I've done something like this before, but since my knowledge of the SW rough draft has since increased greatly, I thought I'd have another go. George Lucas's 1974 rough draft for The Star Wars is full of interesting visual images. Sadly, since the draft is on paper and was never illustrated until the recent Dark Horse comic adaptation, many of these images have gone unremarked. I hope in these posts (really rather an essay) to illuminate some of those visuals--which is best done, in many cases, by probing into the origins of various elements of the script. The best way to approach this, I think, is to provide a detailed summary of the script, illustrated throughout by pictures that show just what Lucas had in mind for the look of the film. Accordingly, this will be a long and image-heavy post. --- The rough draft's principal protagonist is the eighteen-year-old Annikin Starkiller. The script tells us that Annikin and his father, Kane, wear their hair long, in "an odd bun" on top of their heads. This hairstyle is said to be picked up from the inhabitants of the Kessil System, where the Starkillers lived as fugitives for a time. This "bun" is, in fact, a samurai topknot, and Annikin is meant to resemble Toshiro Mifune in his various samurai roles. This means that Lucas probably imagined Annikin as having black hair. As the pupil of a venerable elder Jedi, Annikin also recalls Katsushiro, the young apprentice samurai in Akira Kurosawa's film Seven Samurai. The image of the black-haired warrior figure recurs in Lucas's later work, both in Willow and in early concept art for TPM. Given Lucas's apparent preference for blue-eyed heroes, Annikin likely has black hair and blue eyes, which would make him resemble the literary version of Conan the Cimmerian. Robert E. Howard's Conan stories appear to have been a notable influence on Lucas's early drafts of SW. Early in the script, Annikin ends up engaged in a lightsaber duel with a Sith on an arid, desolate planet. The equivalent scene in the second draft (now set aboard a spaceship) would be immortalized in art by Ralph McQuarrie. Both Annikin and his Sith opponent are wearing breathing masks, as the air of the planet shown in the film's first scenes is unsuited to humans. These masks are meant to be reminiscent of samurai battle masks. In this draft, Jedi and Sith do not have telekinetic superpowers. That came later--in the second draft, to be precise. At this stage, the Jedi are ferocious warriors because they have trained hard to achieve intense discipline of mind and body. But they are not superhuman, or genetically distinguished in any way from the general population. (Once Lucas did give the Jedi telekinetic abilities, he began immediately to think of Jedi powers as a heritable genetic trait. In fact, the second draft portrays the Jedi as a set of families whose powers descend from father to son, much in the vein of the Bene Gesserit matrilineal bloodlines from Dune. And, just as Paul Atreides was the opposite-gender culmination of the Bene Gesserit matriarchs' breeding program, Lucas gave serious thought to revising the second draft to make Luke Starkiller a girl.) Oh, and in the rough draft, everyone's lightsabers are red in color. Which was faithfully reproduced by (most of) the sabers in the recent Dark Horse comic adaptation. Annikin's younger brother Bink, only ten years old, is killed by the Sith warrior. Bink is described as having "dusty blond hair," so presumably he is the very earliest prototype of Jake Lloyd's nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker. After they bury Deak, Annikin and his father Kane return after long voyaging to their home planet of Aquilae. The script now shifts focus to Alderaan, a cloud city on the capital planet of the Galactic Empire. The image of the floating city in the clouds is obviously inspired by the Sky City of the Hawkmen from Flash Gordon. We are introduced to the city of Alderaan by a squad of two-man "stardestroyer" fighters flying overhead, as the evil Emperor makes a speech announcing the imminent invasion of Aquilae, in front of a massed army of troops in black uniforms. The two-man craft would recur as the twin-pod cloud cars seen in Bespin in ESB. Presumably the early concept art for that craft, which made it triangular in shape like a full-size Star Destroyer, was influenced by the SW rough draft. In fact, this scene on Alderaan is meant to recall the opening of Leni Riefenstahl's infamous Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, in which Hitler descends from the clouds down to Nuremberg via airplane. The Emperor here is even described as having a Hitler-style mustache. However, the Emperor's speech contains lines taken from the diary of John Adams. This serves to indicate how Lucas conceived the Empire: a vision of an America that has been corrupted and fallen from its once-noble ideals. We also first encounter here another heroic character, observing the scene: Clieg Whitsun, "a tall, blond young man about twenty years old." Whitsun is something of a prototype of the final film's Han Solo. He fights alongside Annikin Starkiller in several battles, wielding a lasersword and laser pistol, but is distinguished from Annikin by not being a Jedi warrior. Given Clieg Whitsun's blond hair, and the syllabic sound-similarity of his name to that of Flash Gordon, it's safe to say that Lucas intended Whitsun to physically resemble the Flash of Alex Raymond's comic strip. In later drafts, this property would be transferred to chief protagonist Luke Starkiller/Skywalker, who would no longer be black-haired. Han Solo, on the other hand, would have brown hair like Buck Rogers. Over the course of the script, Clieg Whitsun accompanies the party of fleeing rebels until they are forced to abandon their damaged spaceship in orbit over Yavin; there he sacrifices his life to save Princess Leia. Following the speech there is a scene where we see Imperial bureaucrats plotting the upcoming invasion of Aquilae. Chief among them is the newly appointed governor of the soon-to-be-conquered territory, Crispin Hoedaack, a Grand Moff Tarkin figure. Hoedaack is "a young, treacherous man with stone-cut angular features and piercing grey eyes." His henchman is Darth Vader, at this stage conceived only a "a tall, grim-looking general." The Imperials' quarters are described as "white-on-white," an image of sterility and lifelessness that recurs from THX 1138. On Aquilae, we are introduced to the commander of the Aquilaean King's armies, General Luke Skywalker. Skywalker is "a large man, apparently in his early sixties, but actually much older. Everyone senses the aura of power that radiates from this great warrior. Here is a leader: a JEDI general. He looks weary, but is still a magnificent looking warrior. His face, cracked and weathered by exotic climates, is set off by a close silver beard, and dark, penetrating eyes." Unlike Kane and Annikin Starkiller, the Jedi warrior Luke Skywalker does not wear a samurai-esque topknot. Along with the color of his white hair, this connects him visually with Kambei Shimada, the gray-haired lead samurai in Seven Samurai, who shaves off his topknot at the beginning of the film as part of a disguise used to rescue a small child from a bandit. The short hair and beard of Luke Skywalker also visually connects him with Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name from Sergio Leone's films. Lucas stated that he envisioned the General character as "a seventy-year-old Clint Eastwood." However, despite the Clint Eastwood connection, General Skywalker is presumably meant to be Japanese, as proclaimed by his dark eyes. We also meet the King's fourteen-year-old daughter, Leia Aquilae. She is described as having "long auburn hair tied in braids" (i.e., red hair) and blue eyes. The braids may already have been conceived as being like those of the final film's Leia, whose hairstyle recalls the Nordic braids of Queen Fria from Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon. Leia's red hair comes from several sources: most notable are probably Princess Alia in Dune Messiah and Princess Aura (and Queen Desira, shown below) from Flash Gordon. Leia's stated age (14) is taken from that of Princess Yuki, the heroine of Kurosawa's film The Hidden Fortress, who like Leia becomes a fugitive on the run from enemy troops. Lucas likely already imagined Leia as wearing the white dress she has in the final film. As Ralph McQuarrie noted, this dress is in fact deliberately designed in order to resemble the robes of the Virgin Mary. Goddess symbolism permeates Leia's character throughout the various drafts of the film; she is the divinity whose cause the heroes fight for.