First Draft of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Takes STAR WARS Universe in a Much Different Direction

The first draft of George Lucas' Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back has surfaced on the web, and let me tell you... it is significantly different than what we eventually got. It not that it's better or worse, it's just that it would have taken the whole Star Wars universe in a much different direction. 

The first draft of the script was simple titled "Star Wars Sequel,” it was completed on February 23, 1978. The writer of the script Leigh Brackett died of cancer on March 18, 1978, and she never got a chance to do any rewrites. George Lucas ended up doing various drafts before Lawrence Kasdan got involved with the film. 

Here are some interesting points of information that you will definitely be interested in knowing.


  • Luke's twin sister might have been named Nellith rather than Leia, and Darth Vader might not have fathered them.
  • The native inhabitants of what we know of as Bespin, the Cloud People, seem to resemble the Kaminoans in Attack of the Clones. 
  • They're tall, “white-skinned and white-haired” and ride on flying manta-rays. 
  • Lando admits to being a clone, and that his family were refugees of the Clone Wars. He further explains that his great-grandfather was cloned because he wanted sons.
  • Leia talks to Han Solo about his stepfather on the Rebel base. His step father was an extremely powerful man named Ovan Marekal.
  • Obi-Wan doesn’t appear to Luke Skywalker with the message to see Yoda on Dagobah after Luke escapes the Wampa cave.
  • While Luke is in sick in the sick bay, he describes the snow creatures that attacked him (Wampas); One of the commanders asks him if he thinks the snow creatures pose a threat to the Rebel base. As this is going on the Wampas are attacking the base.
  • It's revealed that the snow creatures are making a deliberate attempt to rid their world of the outsiders. 
  • Chewbacca goes gets in a fight with a Wampa!
  • Leia never kisses Luke but later on in the script there is a scene where we see them “in the midst of a tentative, and very tender love scene.” Hello!
  • The center of the Empire is an Imperial city called Ton Muund. The first time we see Darth Vader is in the city trying to find the location of the Rebel Base.
  • Vader mentions Luke by name and acknowledges the fact that he used the Force to help him make his shot that took out the Death Star.
  • When Vader tries to entice Luke to the dark side of the Force, he mentions that the dark side can protect loved ones from harm.
  • Dagobah is referred to as the Bog planet. This was a training ground from young Jedi. It here he meets Yoda, but in this draft of the script he is called Minch.
  • Minch shows Luke a Jedi duel, and calls upon Obi-Wan to be his opponent. He say's ”By the Force, I call you!” 
  • Luke is told by his elders that the only way he can master the Force is to face Vader and the dark side of the Force. He doesn't acquire it by hard cardio workouts with Yoda strapped to his back.
  • Darth Vader has pet gargoyles. Yeah... I know. 
  • Luke eventually calls upon Obi-Wan like Minch did. And here's a big change... this time Obi-Wan has got Luke’s father with him. His father asks if him if he knows about his sister whose name is Nellith in this version of the script. His father says he can’t tell him her name because Vador would read Luke’s mind and find out about her.
  • Luke takes the oath of the Jedi Knight.
  • Remember that scene where Luke and Vader have their lightsaber battle? Well in this version Luke actually uses the Dark side of the Force to fight back.
  • We don't have any surprise of "Luke I am your father." because he's not. Luke doesn't get his hand sliced off. Vader's just trying to get Luke to join him to rule the galaxy because he sees his potential as a powerful Jedi.
  • In the end, Leia loves Han, Luke's in love with Leia, Han leaves with Chewbacca to meet with Ovan Marekal, and Luke salutes the Millennium Falcon with his Lightsaber as it fly's away. 

So what do you think of what possibly could have been?


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