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?