Thank God Star Wars Got A Second Draft

Thank God Star Wars Got a Second Draft

If you're a well-heeled sci-fi fan, you probably know about the rarely-seen rough draft of Star Wars. It's crazy different, with characters that have similar roles but different names, among other things. Today, Dark Horse Comics' adaptation of that early pass hits store shelves. Myself and Mike Fahey have read through the miniseries' first issue and spilled our thoughts all inside a chat window. Did you know that Luke Skywalker is all old in this?

Spoiler Warning: This conversation features images and plot details from the first issue of The Star Wars.

Mike: Well. That was... odd.

Evan: Yes. Yes, it was. The main takeaway for me is that it really, really feels like a first draft.

Mike: Really? Because for me it feels like the prequels. So yeah, same thing I guess.

Evan: Like the scribblings from the margins of George Lucas' high school algebra notebook. All the trade stuff... gah.

Mike: "Star... Starshooter. No. Star... dancer! No, that's a pony name. STARKILLER. YES."

Evan: Hahahaha. And just like the prequels showed, arguments about shipping lanes are not a great mover of the excitement needle.

Mike: I had to resist the urge to fall asleep in mid-comic during the trade bits. Force of habit.

Mike: The first few pages were certainly an allegory for the prequel films. SPOILERS

Here's a young boy that looks like Luke Skywalker. You like Luke Skywalker, yes? He's the embodiment of your childhood fantasies? WELL NOW HE IS DEAD. Let's talk about trade routes.

Evan: And even worse is how that scene was oddly underplayed.

Thank God Star Wars Got a Second Draft

Mike: He's flung aside like a piece of trash, the new (I guess) hero of the series angry that anyone is upset by it.

Evan: Y'know, a few summers ago, I went on vacation with a bunch of friends. One of them had never seen Star Wars before.

Mike: That friend was George Lucas.

Evan: Hahahahaa! But, seriously, Watching her react to it, I was struck by how there's so much to laugh at, get choked up by and get scared of in Episode IV. That emotional spectrum is missing here. If that film version of Star Wars is influenced by old film serials, then this comic betrays the influence of, say, Tolkien or something drier.

Mike: Or maybe Conan. With the heroes (again, I guess) certainly. There's no establishing shot. There's no real "Here's Luke at home, having a normal life. Luke could be you."

Evan: True. All of the main characters are all busy in activities that we can't relate to, like looking just like George Lucas in weird headgear.

Mike: What, you don't negotiate trade routes or teach your children to solve floating cube problems? What kind of father are you?

Thank God Star Wars Got a Second Draft

Evan: Not a Jedi-Bendu, that's for sure.

Mike: You're like Darth Vader, all tall and unmasked and looking like Alex Ross evil Superman.

Evan: Stuff like that is so weird!

Mike: But I have to say, I do think the emotional stuff is certainly conveyed in Mike Mayhew's art. He's not related to Chewbacca Mayhew, is he? I've never read any of George Lucas' first draft, so I don't know how this plays out. But you know how Starkiller reveals he's just a head and arms? I am hoping Darth is the rest of his body.

Evan: Hahaha! You're homing in on the main draw here, which is this is a bit of Star Wars apocrypha.

Mike: It's certainly interesting to see what might have been. A lot of this stuff would not have worked as a movie in the 1970s. Just as it didn't work for movies in the late 1990's / early 2000's.

Evan: This fictional universe feels like it can't be bothered for you to catch up.

Mike: It's missing the pre-credits scroll. That's an important Star Wars thing. *goes back to beginning* Oh wait no, there it is. Well, it does catch you up. There's a pre-credits scroll and everything. The Imperial Space Force is dying, the Knights of Sith are coming, and there is mention of the celestial equator. Kids love the celestial equator. I am making my children Celestial Equator t-shirts.

Thank God Star Wars Got a Second Draft

Evan: "Did you fight in the Embargo Battles, father?"

Mike: "I was there when the first trade routes were ratified. The smell of ink was thick and heady."

Evan: Reading this just drives home how lean the original trilogy was.

Mike: The original trilogy was a series of set-pieces and mini-adventures strung together. It was fun. It had energy.

Evan: And, to me, the original trilogy found its momentum more from the character's motivations than from the political macguffin side stuff.

Mike: There was hardly any of that in the original trilogy, really. It was mostl military manueverings. It feels like Lucas wanted the politics in the original, reading this, and it explains why there's so much of it in the prequels.

Evan: Exactly.

Mike: And, like the prequels, the visuals here are amazing, but they don't save the content.

Evan: Yeah, I have to agree. It's like looking through a recovered sketchbook. The only reason for continuing to pick up the series is to see how different things would have been in this version. And that's not much of a reason.

Mike: Right. This an adaptation of a first draft, and it was a first draft for a good reason. You know what would really make this issue work?

Evan: Tell me, Mike.

Mike: Jar-Jar. Tons and tons of Jar-Jar.

Evan: Christ.

Mike: Christ would have been good too, yeah.

Evan: Ok, let's just end on that note. Thanks, Mike.

Mike: Live long and prosper, Evan.

Evan: Wrong Star... Never mind.


Comments

    Thank God Lucas had an editor for the Star Wars trilogy. I'd hate to imagine how the films would have turned out if he had complete creative control over all aspects of the films.

      Like he had with the Prequels.

        Huh?

          He surrounded himself with Yes Men like Rick McCallum during the prequels, so he had complete creative control over the already terrible screenplay, the art direction, shooting, etc.

          Why do you think there are so many clunkers (I don't like sand)? Why the cinematography was so uninspired (the soap opera couch dialogue)? Why the romance felt so forced and completely unnatural? Why he abused the hell out of green screen, so it looks like the actors had 10m of workable set. George Lucas.

            What romance? I thought Han and Leia's relationship with a little cheesy but fit the pulpy adventure story of the Star Wars Trilogy perfectly.

              Anakin and Padme's romance was solely Lucas's creation and was awkwardly asexual. Han and Leia's romance in Empire was not directed by Lucas, nor did he write the screenplay for that movie.

                Padme? I don't remember her in the Star Wars trilogy. And Anakin is only mentioned in exposition. Are you referring to the novels or something?

                Last edited 05/09/13 7:11 pm

                  He surrounded himself with Yes Men like Rick McCallum during the prequels

                  @strand0410 SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 6:26 PM

                  I'm pretty sure @shadow is denying that the prequel movies exist. I frequently do the same.

                As much as I wanted to play it out, @daemondai sprung me. I was just trying to act as if they didn't exist, denying their existence thoroughly. The prequels are such a failure not jist as Star Wars films go, but films in general.

                And I agree with you wholeheartedly, especially in regards to Padme/Anakin, their romance is cringe worthy.

                Last edited 06/09/13 2:29 am

                  True, but without the prequels we wouldn't have had the wonderful films of Harry Plinkett!

                Star Wars itself is the sole creation of George Lucas. The good & the bad.

                What I don't get is the hate towards George Lucas over the last decade. If it wasn't for him, Star Wars would not exist, to whinge about, in the first place!

                Whatever you may think of George Lucas, the entire saga came from George Lucas' imagination. No other person on earth could of created Star Wars in the exact form that we all know it as today.

                Can you think of the world without Star Wars? I can't.

                  No other person on earth could of (sic) created Star Wars in the exact form that we all know it as today.

                  Doesn't matter. I'm not demonising him for the man he used to be. He was once a bright-eyed kid with a passion for film, who turned adversity into art against the studio system. The guy who once said that special effects were merely gravy to a story. But he's more machine now than man. This is the guy who 20 years down the track, nearly ruined one of the most storied sagas in history. These days, "misguided, crappy prequel" is pretty much synonymous with Episode 1.

                  Regarding Lucas, he gets far more credit than he deserves. He's a great producer but director and screenwriter? If you bothered reading the early Star Wars scripts, or watched the early edits that never made it into the cinematic release, it was a bomb. A lot of his bad ideas wound up on the cutting room floor, his wife suggested the infamous Tatooine cut, he had people like Kirschner and Kasdan polishing his scripts. Episode IV was as good as it was, precisely because he didn't have the clout to put all his bad ideas on screen. He had complete control over the prequels and look how they turned out.

                  Last edited 06/09/13 5:11 pm

    I wish more articles were like this. This was a fun read.

    The Star Wars prequels are great in my opinion. Of course, not as original as the originals - but how can you be!?

      Every time someone says they like the prequels, George Lucas presses a little button on his chest and you child Anakin say YIPPEEEEE!!!

      I'd make a guess here and say you were child after 1999. Prequels are great? So you like it you like it when every dialogue scene takes place on a couch with soap opera over-the-shoulder shooting? What about "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Did you like Jorge Lucas's overuse of green screen?

        Nah, I was born in 1983 matie. Let's get down to brass tacks here; Hows it any different to grown adults talking to puppets and actors in cheap rubber masks in the originals? The action in the prequals is spectacular, yes the dialog/acting is incredibly camp, though watching all six films as much as I have, with my Star Wars loving mates, we have come to the conclusion that Episodes 1, 2 & 3 are perfectly good action adventures, albeit in need of a Special Extended Editions, ala, Lord of the Rings.

    Also those "jokes" in this article are so 2001 :/

      You're right. They should all be horrible 4chan jokes like pedobear.

      /end sarcasm

      This was good. Mike: “I was there when the first trade routes were ratified. The smell of ink was thick and heady.”

        I'm just sick of hearing the "do you hate Jar Jar too?" on the net for over a decade!

    I feel like I am in the minority when I say that I wish they would stop making products entirely based upon drafts and rejected ideas. They were rejected for a reason. I know there will be lots of people who will buy these substandard plots and figures based upon early drafts of Ralph MacQuarrie's work.

    The licensee's desire to sell a full priced product using rejected parts and ideas just diminishes the quality of the brand.

    I have called these products the chicken McNuggets of Star Wars because they are using the reconstituted parts of the rejected parts of the franchise.

      I'd take a truckload of products based on rejected parts and ideas over the accepted parts and ideas in the prequels.

      Last edited 05/09/13 4:28 pm

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