Michael Heilemann takes to the books to explore the origins of our favorite Wookiee.
We’ve already covered a bunch of Empire Strikes Back anniversary stuff, but today is the actual day. Here’s more stuff to check out:
The sequel begins. Leigh Brackett’s first draft of the film surfaced on the internet last week, giving us an intriguing glimpse into the could-have-beens, including a “tender love scene” between Luke and Leia, Lando being a clone, and Darth Vader’s pet gargoyles. (If you just want the highlights, Geeks of Doom has a nice rundown.)
Visuals. Lucasfilm gave Maxim magazine some rare photos, and to save us classy broads from buying Maxim (err, sorry guys) they’re also on StarWars.com.
Disturbance. They also have a look back at the Emperor’s first appearance – including some seriously whacked-out concept art. Baron Harkonnen is totally jealous.
In other news…
- Sci Fi Wire’s Periodic Table of The Empire Strikes Back.
- The Beat calls Empire “the movie that made being a nerd cool.”
- Ars Technica’s Ben Kuchera: ESB is “one of the best science fiction films ever made.”
- LA Weekly was also on hand at Wednesday’s Empire screening, chatting up stars on the red carpet; KABC-TV nabbed video of Harrison Ford and Ewan McGregor, while the Los Angeles Times has Ford.
- It’s “Empire Strikes Back Night” at tonight’s Dodgers game.
- io9’s Marc Bernardin pegs ESB as the film that “introduced an entire generation of moviegoers to the notion of tragedy.”
- Empire is (shocker!) Underwire’s choice as the finest in the trilogy. They’re also giving away one of those new Hasbro At-ATs and counting down 30 reasons Empire still rules.
- There’s another iPhone app coming for me to suck at. ‘The Battle for Hoth’ should show up in the App Store soon – it isn’t there as I type this, but I did find a Christian heavy metal song. (If you’re dying for details, TFN published the press release.)
- Hoth is coming to The Old Republic.
See any more unique tributes to ESB today? Post them in the comments or tell me on Twitter (@clubjade) and I’ll get them in.
Now we have our first
official straight-on look at the cover for The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, due out next year.
Mystery Man on Film devoted yesterday to a repost that I’m pretty sure I linked before… But it’s still worth a second look. The premise, if you will:
Let it be said, my friends, that the early drafts of Star Wars should be a rich source of encouragement to every aspiring screenwriter the world over – because they royally sucked.
And they do. One example: Annikin Starkiller punches the princess in the face. Sure, she’s a hell of a lot more Vespa than Leia at this point, but… In the face. Oh George, no.
Read on for a compare and contrast of the scripts from 1974 and 1977. The difference is nothing short of amazing.
If your trainwreck syndrome is strong, you can find many of the early drafts at the Jedi Bendu Script Site.
First up, nineteen pages of production notes, with lots of pictures and video clips from the belly of the beast. Then we have a look at the ‘One’ advertising campaign, and their ten favorite Phantom Menace posters. (I still say that teaser is one of the best posters for any of the movies.)
Meanwhile, don’t forget our own TPM poll!
Entertainment Weekly‘s Popwatch points towards a new site co-founded by the actress, MakingOf. The site goes behind the scenes with a variety of filmmaking insiders and looks at upcoming films. It only launched last week, so there’s not much yet, but they do have interviews with Ron Howard and Portman herself.
I think I remember reading this back in 2005, but it’s worth a second look – Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz on another ending for Return of the Jedi – one that leads into another episode where Luke and Leia aren’t siblings.