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After the success of the original film, Lucas hired science fiction author Leigh Brackett to write Star Wars II with him. They held story conferences and, by late November 1977, Lucas had produced a handwritten treatment called The Empire Strikes Back, and asked her to write a draft from his notes.

Brackett finished her first draft in early 1978. It was similar to the final film. It reportedly contains

  • a Battle of Hoth,
  • a rebel base hidden in ice,
  • a wise old Jedi Master,
  • spaceships zooming through a deadly asteroid field,
  • a more overt love triangle,
  • a city in the clouds,
  • unexpected betrayals by old friends,
  • and a climactic duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

But there are supposed to some differences between her version and the final film.

  • Han is never frozen and there are no bounty hunters like Boba Fett.
  • Lando has a different last name (Kadar) and a lady friend.
  • Planet names are different.
  • Yoda is called Minch.
  • Han is sent on a mission to speak to his powerful step-father.
  • Luke has a secret sister named Nellith, who is not Leia.

Darth Vader does not reveal he is Luke's father, but Luke's father appeared as a ghost to instruct Luke.

Lucas has said he was disappointed with it, but before he could discuss it with her, she died of cancer. With no writer available, Lucas rewrote the next draft himself.

Is her first draft of the movie script available?

  • 2
    I'm amused at your inclusion of a spoiler tag; as if anyone who reads this question hasn't seen the movie yet :) – Flater Aug 3 '17 at 12:51
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    @Flater There are still young people out there who haven't seen the original trilogy. Why spoil it for them? – RichS Aug 3 '17 at 17:10
  • I'm not saying literally everyone has seen it. But it seems fair to expect that everyone who reads questions about the availability of the first draft of the script (whether they know the answer or are interested in knowing it) to at least have seen the movie :) That being said, my comment wasn't quite serious, I'm not saying you're wrong for doing so (just to make sure I'm not misunderstood here :)) – Flater Aug 4 '17 at 8:40
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You can find it online here in PDF form, and here on starwarz.com

Page 85 of the PDF references your description of the scene where

Luke's father appears as a ghost.

Here is a snippet of the scene mentioned:

enter image description here

Luke's sisters name is mentioned in the scene as Nellith.

On page 82 of the PDF, Lando Kadar is introduced

Here is a snippet of the scene:

enter image description here

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    Note that back in the day, scripts weren't word-processed. Margin notes would often survive into later versions rather than simply being incorporated. Han's "I love you, I know" was margin noted but never added to the formal script, for example. – Valorum Aug 3 '17 at 9:44

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