[link=http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/08/star-wars-was-born-a-long-time-ago-but-not-all-that-far-far-away-in-1972-filmmakers-george-lucas-and-gary-kurtz-wer.html]http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/08/star-wars-was-born-a-long-time-ago-but-not-all-that-far-far-away-in-1972-filmmakers-george-lucas-and-gary-kurtz-wer.html[/link] The above article from the LA Times describes the reasons Gary Kurtz, producer of Episodes IV and V, separated from the Star Wars franchise. The entire piece is a fascinating read, but what jumped out to me as a fanficcer is the excerpt below. I found it cool and thought I'd share it with you guys. ?We had an outline and George changed everything in it," Kurtz said. ?Instead of bittersweet and poignant he wanted a euphoric ending with everybody happy. The original idea was that they would recover [the kidnapped] Han Solo in the early part of the story and that he would then die in the middle part of the film in a raid on an Imperial base. George then decided he didn?t want any of the principals killed. By that time there were really big toy sales and that was a reason.? The discussed ending of the film that Kurtz favored presented the rebel forces in tatters, Leia grappling with her new duties as queen and Luke walking off alone ?like Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns,? as Kurtz put it. I know scripts go many rewrites, but those are some pretty big changes. It's a little boggling to think that the happy Ewok luau is, in a very tenuous way, an alternate universe deviating from the originial original story where everything is more angsty and Empire Strikes Back-ish. If you read the article, he submits that the drive for toy sales was the reason for the changes. How successful would the franchise have continued to be had it ended in the way of the original outline? It seems there would be less opportunities to expand with the EU, even, perhaps. I'm sure the audience was considered as well; perhaps they anticipated the fanbase would be happier with happy. Could the payoff in integrity (assuming the original, bleaker script was a better one) have outweighed the advantages of the final cheery version of RotJ? And about the idea itself, how do you guys think the components of it fit in with the characters and settings as they are, were and evolved to be?