original star wars screenplay

The thing about writing is that most first drafts stink. You churn out that story, forcing it out of your brain through your fingertips, and then stare at the mess before you and wonder what went so horribly wrong. So you put it in the drawer for a little while. A few weeks. And then you take it out and start to perform the necessary surgery to make it function. To bring it to life.

This is the story of most screenplays, but it’s almost hard to imagine the process with something so iconic as Star Wars, a movie that arrived in theaters feeling so confident and fully formed. And yet, the story of the original’s movie’s evolution has been well-documented over the years. George Lucas‘ original Star Wars was nothing like what he ultimately shot. Now, actor Peter Mayhew is offering fans a deeper glimpse into an early version of this saga by sharing pages from his personal copy of the original screenplay.

Mayhew, who has been suiting up as Chewbacca since 1977 (with a little help), posted the first few pages of his personal script on Twitter with the promise that he will keep on posting them until he’s shared them all. And when that happens… well, something will happen. Here’s the official press release on the matter:

London, England – February 17, 2016 – Peter Mayhew, the actor that has portrayed Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise since it’s inception in 1977, is releasing his original script that he received in 1976 for Star Wars to celebrate the start of filming on Episode VIII.  Peter will be releasing a few pages on his Twitter each day. On the final day of the release of the script Peter will pair it with a big announcement.

“The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the‘Journal of the Whills’” by George Lucas reads completely different from what Star Wars Episode IV eventually became.  Peter’s script along with Peter’s wookiee coffee thumbprints and notes scrawled on the pages are a treat to read and brings us back to the root of what made Star Wars great.

He will start the release on February 17th @ 8PM EST

@TheWookieeRoars

The basic elements are still there. The script still begins with a bombastic opening crawl that provides all of the necessary backstory. The opening scene still involves an Imperial assault on a spacecraft carrying R2-D2 and C-3PO. But there are already a few differences to note, namely Luke Skywalker is Luke Starkiller and that the tile of the film appears is The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills – (Saga I) Star Wars.

You can read the pages yourself via Mayhew’s tweet below.

While it’s certainly going to be fun to read a few pages of this screenplay each day, we have to wonder what Mayhew is planning to announce at the end of all this. This could be his way of revealing that he plans to auction off this priceless item or maybe he’s planning to announce his retirement from playing Chewbacca after Star Wars: Episode 8 (he has been battling health problems for some time now). In any case, Mayhew has always embraced his Wookiee legacy and his love of Star Wars. No matter what comes at the end of this, it’s going to be a fun journey to see what this saga looked like when he first read this screenplay so very long ago.

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