Anniversary Of The Day

As The Empire Strikes Back hits 30, we can only ponder what might have been…

Gary Kurtz, George Lucas’ partner in making the first two Star Wars films, explains how Return Of The Jedi would have ended originally, in the outline that Lucas and he had come up with before Lucas decided to change everything to make it more of an upbeat toy-selling vehicle.

Luke and Leia would have rescued Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, but then Han would have died halfway through the film, during a raid on an Imperial base. (This is something that Harrison Ford has mentioned before as well.) The film would have ended with the rebel forces in tatters, Leia struggling with her new duties as queen, and Luke walking off into the sunset alone, like Clint Eastwood at the end of a spaghetti Western. It would have been a more nuanced, muted ending to the saga, instead of the Ewoks dancing in the forest like a “teddy-bear luau.” (Not sure if that phrase is from the Times’ Geoff Boucher or Kurtz, but it’s hilarious.)

The Ewoks and the fast-food, drive-thru merchandising did kinda bug me.

8 Responses

  1. MissJean

    I would have liked Kurtz’s ending because he is a better writer, especially of the repartee between Solo and the princess. As for what might have been, I saw the outtakes of the “prequels” and it’s amazing how all the relationship-building scenes between Amidala and Anakin were jettisoned. It made a lot more sense. One of my friends said the first prequel had Anakin getting into fights with other kids, showing his anger issues started early. But that was jettisoned, too – except in the novelization. Instead, he goes from sweet little kid to angsty adolescent in one easy step.

    Yes, I loved Star Wars as a kid and my friends are geeks.

  2. fozzy

    Lucas said that the Ewok’s battle against the Empire was an analogy for the Vietnam war. The Ewoks were a small guerilla force overcoming a technologically superior Empire aka America. I know it’s stupid but I do enjoy calling my Vietnamese brother-in-law an Ewok and singing the Ewok song when he’s around.

    Yub nub
    eee chop yub nub

  3. Uncle Rick

    Aawwww, I kinda liked the Ewoks. I used to go to church with the actor who played Deej. Nice guy.

    So nowadays I go to church with the actor who played Steve Hill in The Virginian, Capt. Richards in Hondo, and a lot of other stuff. He’s a nice guy, too. I wish all Hollywood types were like these two.

  4. thekingtut

    I mean, that ending sucked worse than Jar Jar Binks. And that’s some major league suckage.

  5. thekingtut

    It’s a good thing Lucas fired him. Kurtz’s ending fucking sucked!

  6. eNeecie

    I never understood Lucas’ explanation as to why he changed the wookies into ewoks. And it was so obvious that Ford didn’t want to be in ROTJ. He was just walking through his lines, I wouldn’t have minded if they had shot him halfway through. However, the ending with Luke and Vader was wonderful. It made the rest of the movie worth it.


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