BTS Journal of the Whills, Part I outline by George Lucas

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Dark Lord Tarkas, Mar 9, 2012.

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  1. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
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    So I've read that this two page outline from 1973 was the first ever written brainstorm that contributed to Star Wars, with the Jedi-bendu and the warlord Mace Windy. I figured since it was only two pages and so many old Star Wars scripts are available that it would also be around, but I've done a ton of searching and have come up dry. Does anyone know if the full two-page "Journal of the Whills, Part I" outline (or the Journal of the Whills, Part II which is Mace Windy's adventure with his "padawaan" apprentice on Alderaan, for that matter has ever been made available and if it's anywhere on the internet? Thanks!
  2. thejeditraitor Force Ghost

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    Aug 19, 2003
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    used to have all the old scripts on my comp.
    i think there's a site http://starwarz.com/starkiller/
  3. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    The Journal of the Whills outline isn't on there - I don't think it's available anywhere at all. Unlike the other drafts, it wasn't something that was reproduced & distributed among people involved in the development, it was just a scribbled summary GL tossed together for a couple of people.

    Excerpts have popped up in various publications over the years, the most extensive appear in JW Rinzler's Making of Star Wars.

    Excellent summary from another thread:

    http://boards.theforce.net/star_wars_saga/b10456/31747127/p4

    As I understand it, GL wrote it earlier than 1973 (perhaps as early as 1969?)
    The Jedi Bendu Starkiller site linked above does have all the other drafts of SW, including the 13-page treatment based on Kurosawa's 'The Hidden Fortress' so check it out. Worth noting that apparently GL all but threw away the Journal of the Whills material and started over.
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    lol. Yeah that's what happened. Those poor peace-loving North Vietnamese. :p


    Seriously though, that's pretty much The Phantom Menace described up there.
  5. thejeditraitor Force Ghost

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  6. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Feb 27, 2007
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    As it happens, I have read the first page of the Journal of the Whills plot outline.

    The second page is summarized in The Making of SW. But it never got farther, as a full text at least, than the "Chairman of the Alliance" dispatching orders to Mace and Chuiee for a "secret mission." The whole plot of the outline exists mainly in the form of various notes on character and place names. But the plot can essentially be reconstructed if one keeps in mind the original outline's likeness to the ANH first draft from 1974--and to TPM.

    ---

    As for the goofy view of the Vietnam situation... times have changed, I don't endorse Lucas' vintage-70s reading of the politics, but Lucas definitely intended the Aquilae = heroic North Vietnam, Empire = evil America analogy.

    Of course "Prince Luke Skywalker" became "Princess Leia Aquilae" (borrowed from Princess Yuki in Hidden Fortress) in the first draft script, so as to provide a love interest for the hero. So at the end of the first draft, Annikin Starkiller (now the name of the Jedi apprentice character) becomes hailed as Leia's consort and "Lord Protector" of the desert planet Aquilae, just as Paul Atreides becomes Emperor on Arrakis or John Carter is acclaimed Warlord of all Mars/Barsoom.

    Another major change in the first draft script is the elimination of the Border System; in that version the Empire's armies nakedly attack Aquilae without using a catspaw. Likewise the Alliance of Independent Systems and the Galactic Cold War are jettisoned, and the Jedi become fugitives on the run from the Empire. Not to mention that Han Solo (though still an alien) is downgraded from "leader of the Hubble people of Aquilae" to "random alien guy who tags along."
  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    So hang on, I've read references to this outline being 'Part I' and 'Part II' - does this just mean 'page 1' (which you've just quoted) and 'page 2' (incomplete and trails off, supposedly), or is there a separate document altogether called 'Part II'?
  8. thejeditraitor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
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    ah, i remember this from somewhere now.
    also loved reading all the old scripts. very strange stuff.
  9. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    There were snippets published way back in 1983, in Dale Pollock's 'Skywalking'. That's where the name 'Mace Windu' comes from - due to GL's shocking handwriting, Pollock didn't realise it said 'Mace Windy'. He also used the name C.J. Thape, not 'Thorpe'.
  10. thejeditraitor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 4
    does anyone remember that site that was dedicated to bringing "the star wars" original scripts to life?
    it had all the scripts and some cool rocket ship illustrations. can't remember the name and can't find it (if it still exists).
    first saw it in 01' i think.
  11. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 3
    Interesting stuff.
    So was Lucas far more politically radical in his younger years? I ask because the prequels' political stance seems quite tame in comparison.
  12. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Feb 27, 2007
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    Nub, Part I of JOTW is the introduction about how CJ Thorpe came to serve under Mace Windy, and how Windy was forced out of his position of power due to political maneuverings. Part II is where the narrative would really begin--with the arrival of the Alliance Chairman's message about a "secret mission"--but it ends abruptly before that mission is actually detailed. Both Part I and Part II are simply headings on the two pages of text, so the second part header must be on page two.
  13. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Ah OK, that's sort of what I figured. There's probably a bit more to it than what we've seen, I can't imagine GL was such a whacked out radical that he'd submit a page and a half of incomplete gibberish to a studio executive. Even so, it's probably nothing more than incomprehensible nonsense with maybe a coincidental name or incident. It's well-known that this first draft was thrown back at GL very politely as gibberish. You can just imagine the real reactions.

    "Jedi-bendu, Galactic Empire, Independent Systems, and a... padawaan learner? Ugh, there's a third page - 'Journal Of The Whills Part III: The Tragedy and Redemption Of Darth Vader' - what is this crap? Taste my lighter, light my fire, hippie, hope you've got other copies of this junk, sell it to Andy Warhol... Get Babs Streisand on the phone, we need to make some money. I've got a great feeling about 'Hello Dolly', we'll make a fortune. This sci-fi garbage is for idiots, like I told that guy about the monkey planet movie. After we get Babs on 'Hello Dolly', let's get Lee Marvin and that kid from Rawhide to do that musical western we were talking about, we'll be pissing on ice until the next century."
  14. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
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    You guys rule! I was crushed to read that it's never been released, but then someone posts half of it! Incredible. Can't thank you enough.

    On the Part I versus Part II thing, I was under the impression that Part II was a separate document outlining C2/CJ and Mace Windy's "greatest adventure" on Alderaan. You guys are saying Part II was just the second page of Part I? I had read that "Journal of the Whills, Part I" was a two-page outline and "Journal of the Whills, Part II" was a longer document. Is that not correct?
  15. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    I'm guessing the whole 'Part I' and 'Part II' idea simply comes from GL titling each page with Roman numerals in a somewhat grandiose fashion, as opposed to just 'p1' and 'p2'. Wookieepedia's the only source I know of which refers to it as two documents, so it can't be taken as definitive.

    As I mentioned above, GL did submit this to studio people, so at some point a more extensive and polished (well, typed up) version probably existed, but I doubt it would have included much else. Entire completed films have been lost over the ages, it's not surprising that a hastily assembled pitch document put together by some radical filmmamker in the late 1960s/early 70s might be long gone.
  16. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Bit of a bump - yes, GL was far more of a political radical back then, as were his peers. He was initially slated to direct John Milius' Apocalypse Now, which was originally envisioned as more of a Dr Strangelove or M.A.S.H sort of satire, rather than the darker vision Coppola would eventually make. Apart from the collapse of American Zoetrope, studios were very nervous about such a film about Vietnam in the early 1970s, plus GL became more focused on a space fantasy film he was writing, so Coppola took over.

    Unfortunately, John Milius' first draft from 1969 has disappeared from the web (the sendspace link cited on most sites doesn't work anymore, plus the excellent website mypdfscripts.com has been shafted by spiteful studio behaviour) - I don't suppose anyone has a copy?
  17. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
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    "tame" or "realistic"? Monstrous companies buying political power is a huge problem. North Vietnam somehow being the victim in the Vietnam War is up there with not landing on the moon. :p
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