BTS The Secret History of Star Wars

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by zombie, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. DarthWolvo23 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Has anyone got any thoughts on the following:

    In Rinzlers making of Sith book, in one of the earlier drafts Padme specifically looks at Leia "the smile Leia will remember in episode 6". This also made its way into the excellent young readers Sith novel.

    Why was this changed in the final script as I thought it at least acknowledged Leias memories of Padme?
  2. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    Nub, you're right, except that the Lucas quote from '75 refers to the second film, or as it was put at the time, "BOOK two". Presumably, Luke would find out about this during his (first) confrontation with Vader at the end of the second film. It is true, however, that Prowse refers to the third (or even 'fourth'??) film regarding Vader's paternal identity.
  3. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Ah, quite right, it was the second (I know about the 'book' scenario, it's probably best to refer to them as chapters or episodes anyway, I don't think GL has all that much interest in books that aren't of the comic variety ;) ).

    Whichever way you look at it, I don't think Prowse's comments are much of a smoking gun (they were made after the 1977 release of SW), although I'm merely speculating that he based them on misinterpreting the 1975 comments. There's a slim possibility that he actually did hear something around the traps in 1977 relating to potential developments for the next film, prior to Brackett's contradictory 1978 draft. The 1978 Future magazine article mentioning two potential scenarios, one of which has Father Vader, doesn't name any sources, either.

    We've argued back & forth about these 1977/78 Father Vader spoilers, anyway. Can't remember if anything conclusive came of it, except that David Prowse is probably even less reliable a source than Mark Hamill.
  4. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Jan 17, 2003
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    ;)
  5. DarthWolvo23 Force Ghost

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    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    Any thoughts on this?
  6. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

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    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    It's rather odd, although I can't see it working with the scene as it exists now. A smile, even a tragic one from a dying woman to her newborn, just wouldn't seem to fit in with the atmosphere of high tragedy, intercut with the Gothic birth of Darth Vader.
    Or maybe it would. Hmm...

    The Rinzler ROTS book did acknowledge that everyone on set, GL included, was aware that showing Padme dying on screen was an 'issue', i.e. it contradicted what was stated in ROTJ. The impression I got was that GL simply wasn't too fussed about the continuity, he just wanted it to work on its own (just as back in 1982, he wanted Leia to have some memory of her mother). I think he's well aware of the leaps of logic some fans will go to in order to resolve such contradictions, he probably figured he'd deal with it later.
  7. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It also wouldn't be remembered by said newborn 23 or so years later.
  8. DarthWolvo23 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 4
    But a little green frog can magically lift a ship out a swamp, right?
  9. Hamburger_Time Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2010
    star 1
    Say, any truth to the claim that one of the earliest drafts was blatantly plagiarized from Dune? I read this on TVTropes and I want to know if it's true. I know there was something Frank Herbert threatened to sue over, but I think that was later in development.
  10. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    The Dune thing... the setting of SW seems just as ripped from Foundation, to me. The early versions that are public are mostly available at the Jedi Bendu script site, if you want to check them out yourself.

    Also: I'll just leave this here.

    You know, Hamill's privileged status regarding the Father Vader reveal may play a part in how much credibility people have given his descriptions of further SW films. The others make quite clear that they know tiny bits of things but not the whole (Ford mentioning that the OT characters wouldn't likely continue into the Sequel Trilogy, Daniels saying there were rumors of the droids carrying on though), while not only does Hamill exude confidence, he really was given extra information (in that one case). Perhaps this gives his testimony an added air of trustworthiness (regardless of whether it's actually accurate).
  11. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Oh?

    That's a quote from GL himself, most likely Daniels' own source.

    It's his babble about how GL was telling him about a 12 episode saga in Tunisia in 1976 & the rest that grinds my gears. "And he asks me if I wanted to be in Episode 9, you'd be passing the lightsaber down to the next new hope, blah blah blah..." "Why did you start with Episode IV...?"

    While I'm sure Hamill was privy to a great deal of precious tidbits regarding the future of the SW saga at different stages of its existence, the most cursory examination of his quotes reveal so much embellishment, speculation & obvious hindsight that they're rendered almost useless. It's all perfectly innocent, but he's just pieced together his own muddy recollections from completely different times and contexts with later publicly available information & come up with his own history - one which simply isn't true. Very much the same as Gary Kurtz's accounts, except more heavily influenced by common knowledge ('A New Hope', 'Episode IV' etc).
  12. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

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    Apr 26, 2009
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    Sorry, should have watched that before replying.

    Mark Hamill still needed someone sitting next to him at all times in interviews to whop a newspaper over his head once he got carried away, just as he does now. An eight-year-old Luke running around in Ep III? George Lucas may well have invented the term STFU when he saw that interview, I'd be happy to believe him if he claimed he did.

    Harrison Ford's & Anthony Daniels' comments are just based on what GL made well known at the time, nothing new there, they just reiterated what the LFL juggernaut wanted the public to know (and, presumably, what they themselves knew). A marked (ho ho) contrast to other cast members taking the opportunity to spin their own tales about the future of Star Wars.
  13. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    I don't think that Mark's stories were any more accurate. My point was that, since he alone was given information about the Vader reveal (and a big deal was made of this), perhaps this contributed to the confidence given by fans to his stories about future SW - stories that went further than any of the other cast members. I could picture someone being like, "if anyone were in a position to know, it'd be him." With the background info we have today, it doesn't all fit together, but at the time no one had that info.
  14. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I know, and agree with that, another contributing factor is that he's the one doing the conventions, whereas Harrison Ford went on to have a much more successful film career, Carrie Fisher become somewhat jaded, and the rest probably didn't really get much information anyway. You still get the occasional bit of nonsense from the B-list - Peter Mayhew explaining that Chewbacca 'had' to appear in Episode III so as to explain the history of the Millennium Falcon :confused: , David Prowse spilling everything he possibly could prior to the release of ESB and so on.

    Apart from the fans taking everything Mark Hamill says at face value, there's no doubt a fair bit of pressure on him to actually have tantalising anecdotes.
  15. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    I know that your point had to do with Mark's knowledge of the story as compared with the other actors , but Kasdan and Kirsh were also told of the Vader reveal, and not just in the obvious "Vader CLAIMS to be Luke's father" sense, but that he actually was Luke's father. (at least Kasdan says this) That fact alone tells me that Lucas' late 90's claim* that he knew that Vader=Luke's father in late '77 but decided to "not tell Leigh (Brackett)" about it is probably inaccurate, in that the reason he didn't tell Leigh was because he himself hadn't come up with the Father Vader sub-plot at the time (Dec '77/Jan '78) . Well, there I go on another 'Father Vader' tangent.....

    *in the "Annotated Screenplays" (1997) by Laurent Bouzereau
  16. obi-arin-kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 3
    The man constructed an entire UNIVERSE in his head. He likely knew he had something special, but just wasn't sure if it was possible to be made. In this process, ideas get tossed around like crazy, and in this respect you just gotta give Lucas the benefit of the doubt. Paranoia; This is a time where studios would steal any idea that they thought would bring in money. Lucas speaks humbly, but it is more than likely that he was ahead of the game.
  17. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2003
    star 4
    "Paranoia; This is a time where studios would steal any idea that they thought would bring in money. Lucas speaks humbly, but it is more than likely that he was ahead of the game."

    But you seem to be implying that Vader-killed-Luke's-father was deliberate misinformation on Lucas' part - a 'cover-up' for the 'real story - and NOT the actual real story at the time.

    The problem with that theory is that it assumes what it sets out to prove: that Father Vader was 'always'* the 'real-deal' as opposed to the Vader-killed-Skywalker-Daddy story (*or that the former always took precedence over the latter for the latter's entire existence as a story concept). And it assumes something else: that 'Hollywood, INC' would have given two figs about the 'real identity' of the father of Luke "Space-Farmer", the hero of an 'imitation Flash Gordon'-type flick. o_O

    As for Lucas being "ahead of the game", I go back to point of my post above yours: the fact that he told Kasdan (his second writer) and Kersh the real story**, but supposedly withheld the real story from writer #1 (Leigh Brackett) doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    **when he didn't have to really tell Kasdan and Kersh to whole story; he only really needed to tell them that Vader would claim to be Luke's father in order to get Luke to doubt Obi-Wan and in the process, eventually go over to the dark side.

    Regards,

    Steve "TOSCHESTATION"
  18. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Even once it's established pretty much beyond a reasonable doubt that the Darth Vader who appears in the 1977 film Formerly Known As As Star Wars was NOT meant to be the father of Luke Skywalker, the fact that he isn't in Brackett's draft doesn't prove conclusively that Lucas didn't consider it as a possibility at the time, perhaps as early as the post-production of SW (which I believe is when it may have occurred to him for the first time, when early ideas for the volcano duel in which Vader suffered his injuries came about with the breathing sound effect).

    It's unfalsifiable, & we've been back & forth about it ad nauseam. We're really only talking about a period of approximately 6-9 months across 1977/78 anyway. Trying to pinpoint exactly when it first occurred to George Lucas during that time that it would be a good idea to make his film's villain the father of the hero is pretty much impossible, particularly considering that he insists he came up with the idea 4 or 5 years earlier, which actually can't be true, as the story & characters themselves didn't even exist in the same form.

    'Father Vader' does have his genesis in the first draft character of Prince Valorum, as well as the cybernetic Kane Starkiller, even though it can't be claimed that proves that "it was that way all along" as GL would have us believe. Even so, disparate elements such as the noble Sith Knight, the half-man half-machine hero's father, the gradual fading into the background of the father, the 'walking iron lung' vision of Vader's suit, and the volcano duel backstory contributed to the big twist of the SW Saga. At some point these ideas reached critical mass & "the Tragedy Of Darth Vader" actually was born. Let's not forget - eventually Lucas did make Darth Vader Luke's father.
  19. obi-arin-kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 3
    I'm not implying that. I'm simply stating that when you look at the larger picture--the overall scope of the saga--it is very common to have an abundance of ideas floating around in the writing process. Perhaps he had a more fleshed out saga where Vader wasn't the father, initially. Perhaps the entire idea of "star wars" wasn't complete by the time deadline was rolling around. When you look at the creative process of "star wars", it is so grand and large that you just have to give the artist the benefit of the doubt.

    Another related example could be the whole quigon thing. Perhaps the idea of quigon--or the way things played out in that respect--were in some places there from the start. I'm not talking about specific events and characters, but moreso the general treatment of what happened.
  20. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    It's possible, but it's also possible that an intervening stage between SW and ROTJ at one point had the structure of a word-for-word clone of Gone With the Wind. Does it make any sense, given what other information is available? No, but it's technically possible. In speculating about creative processes, it seems better to me to not "multiply entities without need," i.e., to assume the simpler explanation given the details as known.

    Where I'll agree with you is in the notion that the creative process is always in flux, and tons of ideas will be 'swirlin around in my head,' making it difficult to pin down when these concepts "first" appear. However, given the incredibly vague nature of a story that is still involving this type of brainstorm, it wouldn't be quite accurate to say that GL "had a Qui-Gon story planned out"... at most it seems like it could have been a vague idea, and possibly that tiny initiatory notion occured to him sometime in the late 80s or later (given how the rough form of TPM has Ben as the main character, who in the film is pretty much replaced by Jinn, I'd say it's likely a late development).
  21. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Well, here's something I noticed the other night that got me thinking, but just ended up as a dead end. Spaceballs was on the telly, & Lone Star's 'prince' outfit reminded me of something:

    [image=http://www.billpullman.org/film/spaceballs/S21.jpg] [image=http://www.billpullman.org/film/spaceballs/S20.jpg]

    Couldn't help but think of:

    Bail Organa & his aide, TPM

    [image=http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/c/c7/Senantiles.jpg] [image=http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/3/37/Agrippa.jpg]

    Mon Mothma, ROTS

    [image=http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/5904/209716-153042-mon-mothma.JPG]

    Spaceballs was released in 1987, I had this ridiculous idea that maybe, just maybe, they'd gotten a hold of some doodles that Ralph McQuarrie or Joe Johnston had done around 1983 or so for the next batch of SW movies, i.e. the prequels, then ripped them off, only for the same designs to be used in the prequels themselves.

    Unfortunately, from looking at the credits for Spaceballs on IMDB, there's no common elements, looks to be a coincidence, probably brought about by the white costumes having a common historical source. Just would have loved there to have been a handful of rough sketches somewhere with barely legible scribbles saying, "Bail Organa, Senate outfit - R. McQuarrie 1983" or "Anakin Skywalker and Ben Kenobi, Jedi robes - J. Johnston, 1983".
    (I think I was encouraged by discovering some early costume sketches of Robert Evans in the aborted 1985 production of "the Two Jakes" a few weeks ago - a genuine glimpse of something that might have been)

    Oddly enough, the four-years-too-late SW parody also had another coincidental parallel with the bones of the SW Saga - despite having a Darth Vader-type enforcer & Imperial officers, the ruler of the galaxy, President Skroob, was just a snivelling bureaucrat, much as the Emperor was originally envisioned.
  22. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Isn't that Bail Antilles as opposed to Bail Organa?

    ( Though I guess at that point they were thought to be one and the same. )
  23. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    That was Adrian Dunbar as Bail Organa in TPM, the deleted scene is on the Blu-Ray. The 'Bail Antilles' mentioned in TPM was meant to be a separate character, unseen.

    When Jimmy Smits was cast as Bail Organa for AOTC, the images of Dunbar's Bail Organa floating around were retconned to be Bail Antilles. No harm done.
  24. Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2009
    star 3
    Always wondered who that mysterious Adrian Dunbar was and looked like, and which role he was supposed to have played in TPM.
    Knew he was mentioned at the time for TPM, but his name doesn't show up in the credits. Thought he had been rejected eventually.

    Thanks for the info !

  25. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Even once it's established pretty much beyond a reasonable doubt that the Darth Vader who appears in the 1977 film Formerly Known As As Star Wars was NOT meant to be the father of Luke Skywalker, the fact that he isn't in Brackett's draft doesn't prove conclusively that Lucas didn't consider it as a possibility at the time, perhaps as early as the post-production of SW (which I believe is when it may have occurred to him for the first time, when early ideas for the volcano duel in which Vader suffered his injuries came about with the breathing sound effect).

    That draft didn't merely conveniently omit Vader's big revelation. It quite deliberately included a scene in which the ghost of Luke's father visits him on Dagobah and tells him about his sister who is clearly not Leia at the time. This ghost, and Vader's subsequent revelation, are mutually exclusive. And as the sister was something we know Lucas and Brackett discussed in story meetings, and that the two of them together actually worked out a great many story details before she began writing, the most reasonable conclusion is that the ghost of Luke's father appears in that script because Lucas wanted it that way.

    And if we're going to have any kind of reasonable discussion here, we can't go about saying "I'm sure Lucas had this idea rattling around in his head but kept it to himself." Either some trace of it appears in a draft that we can see, read; or at least read about; and discuss, or it doesn't.

    You bring up Kane Starkiller, Prince Valorum, General Vader, and Annikin Starkiller, but these character were all separate characters early on. Yes, aspects of each can be seen in the final character, but they cannot be used to argue that he had the final character in mind early on.