Little-known sci-fi fact: Vader WASN'T originally going to be Luke's father

Contributed by
Oct 28, 2013

Yeah, you know arguably one the most famous plot twists in science fiction history? Turns out it wasn’t a part of George Lucas’ initial plan for the original Star Wars trilogy.

After the first Star Wars film became a monster hit, Lucas brought in experienced writer Leigh Brackett (The Big Sleep) to pen the script for sequel Empire Strikes Back — with the understanding that the screenplay would follow Lucas’ rough draft for the trilogy.

Well, that version of the script has since leaked, and there’s a major plot point noticeably missing. To say the least.

In Brackett’s draft, Luke winds up on a bog planet where he meets Yoda stand-in Minch, who introduces him to the ghosts of Ben Kenobi and Luke’s father. That’s right — Luke’s father was a long-dead Jedi, who basically serves up an infodump to let Luke know he has a sister and to walk him through the “Jedi oath.” That’s it. No big twist, no “holy crap!” moment where we find out Darth Vader is really his dear ol’ dad.

As for Darth Vader? He’s essentially reduced to a one-note villain. But he still makes a (mostly out-of-the-blue) offer to Luke for a truce so they can rule the universe together. Not surprisingly, Luke declines.

But that’s not the only major change. This original draft also found Han Solo showing Luke the basics of how to use a lightsaber (seriously), featured a boatload of Wampas with the ability to freeze people, and Han Solo spends part of the flick trying to recruit his stepfather into the Rebel Alliance.

The whole thing just sounds so … odd. After turning in this initial draft, Brackett tragically passed away before getting a chance at a rewrite — so we’ll never know if she could’ve worked the kinks out of this thing herself. Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas eventually worked from Brackett’s draft to craft the film we all know and love, and the rest is history.

(Via The Huffington Post)

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