Leigh Brackett's Hitherto Unseen First Draft of The Empire Strikes Back
I could give you the rundown of why Leigh Brackett’s first draft of The Empire Strikes Back, dated February 17, 1978—which I haven’t read yet, because I literally just found it—is a giving me a geekgasm right about now, but you should just go read Michael’s book, if you haven’t already. But the short of the long is that Brackett passed away from cancer two months after handing in this draft, and Lucas, who didn’t like the direction, discarded the work and started over. She received writing credit nonetheless.
Brackett’s screenplay has never been published. According to Haffner, it can be read at one of two locations: 1) the library of the Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, but may not be copied or borrowed off-site; and 2) the archives at Lucasfilm, Ltd. in California.
Now we just wait for the story conference transcripts to leak as well. God I love the intarWebz.
PS: Here’s a look at design in 1977.