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Film Studies 101
Feature
The Story Behind The Empire Strikes Back
The six important decisions that created a classic

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The Story Behind The Empire Strikes Back | 3. Lucas’ Decision To Write The Second Draft Screenplay
3. Lucas’ Decision To Write The Second Draft Screenplay

The writing of The Empire Strikes Back is usually parlayed as the story of two writers. There was original writer Leigh Brackett, who sadly passed away during the first draft. “She was literally dying when she wrote the script,” says Rinzler. “I think you’ve got to give her due. It’s amazing she finished it at all. Leigh was coming from a different mindset and didn’t understand what [Lucas] was getting at. Nobody did back then.” Raiders writer Lawrence Kasdan came in and picked up the baton, but there is an important overlooked figure in the process. "What often gets glossed over is that George did write the second draft. Particularly keeping in mind the prequels, people tend to say Lawrence Kasdan wrote the best film. Now Kasdan made it great — George is the first to say that the Yoda dialogue he wrote is not half as good as the Yoda dialogue that Lawrence Kasdan wrote. But the structure, the story, the plot — all that comes from George. That can’t be belittled.”

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