22 things I learned from reading Peter Mayhew’s original ‘Star Wars’ script

Deputy Entertainment Editor
02.25.16

For the last week, Star Wars fans who follow Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) on Twitter have been enjoying a special treat. On February 17, the actor cryptically declared on social media that a big announcement would be coming soon from him. To keep But he didn”t say when. That would normally be the end of things, with fans and journalists periodically checking back to see if the news had dropped. But then Mayhew did something fun…he started posting photos of his original Star Wars script every day and promised to keep it up until the unknown day of the announcement.

So far we”re eight days in. No announcement yet, but so far the posted script pages have been fascinating. From dialogue changes to more background information to characters that never saw the light of day, it”s an interesting trip down memory lane.

DAY ONE:

Things I Learned:
#1: The working title for Star Wars script was Journal of the Whills, which were journals written by the Jedi and kept safe by the Keeper of the Whills.
#2: I wish that sweet sticker had made it into poster form.
#3: The opening crawl was longer with no focus on Princess Leia or the Rebellion”s act of stealing the Death Star plans.
#4: Threepio was concerned for the safety of the Captain, not the Princess.

DAY TWO:

Things I Learned:
#5: Luke was introduced in his capacity as a farmer. We even get to see the robot that breaks down, causing Uncle Owen to buy Artoo and Threepio later.
#6: The exchange between Vader and the Rebel Officer was more stilted, showing the well-known fact that dialogue was not Lucas” strong suit.
#7: Confirmation that a lot of Artoo”s beep are actually him swearing.
#8: Why the Empire didn”t fire on the empty life pod just to be safe…they were saving weapon power.
#9: Even on Tatooine there are old people yelling at the young folks to slow down.

DAY THREE:

Things I Learned:
#10: Four whole characters were cut from the final version – the Fixer, Camie, Deak, and Windy. Luke”s nickname was Wormie…ew.
#11: In this draft, Biggs still had his expanded role.
#12: Battles for the fate of the galaxy apparently happen above Tatooine all the time.
#13: Vader gives the order to send out a false distress signal that a meteor storm killed all aboard Leia”s ship, explaining why no one comes looking for her. This also means Bail Organa dies thinking his daughter is dead.

DAY FOUR:

Things I Learned:
#14: Uncle Owen still has the authority to ground 20-year-old Luke.
#15: Biggs” function as a character appears to be to spout exposition about the Alliance and the Empire.
#16: Everyone keeps talking about how Owen and Beru will pay off the farm after one more season, which makes their deaths even more tragic. So close to retirement.

DAY FIVE:

Things I Learned:
#17: Vader uses the Dark Side to float coffee cups.
#18: Droids sleep. More proof they are sentient beings and should be afforded rights and protections.

DAY SIX:

Things I Learned:
This section made it into the finished film virtually unchanged. Moving on!

DAY SEVEN:

Things I Learned:
#19: The famous quote was almost “Obi-Wan Kenobi. Help me. You”re my only ho.”
#20: Obi-Wan had been coming around for years – ostensibly to train Luke and check on him – but Owen kept running him off.

DAY EIGHT:

Things I Learned:
#21: Still fascinating to me how much the Force was originally more literal Space-Magic and less mystical connective tissue of the universe.
#22: If there”s a “fortune beyond belief” coming from this season, it must be the Tatooine equivalent of the Monsoon.

You can head over to Peter Mayhew”s Twitter account to follow along as he continues to post Star Wars script pages!

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