Star Wars Screenplay Daily Reading

Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
137
Reaction score
0
I am fairly certain this line was not present in the version of the film I grew up watching. There seemed to be a long pause in the dialog while the schematics were on the screen with the sound of the machine whirring. It stood out as odd and knowing there was missing audio totally made sense when I finally learned of this error.

Great analysis of this scene by the way! We do learn a lot about the characters here!
Quite possible. There were different cuts and Threepios dialogue was added late in edit, recorded at a different sound studio. If you listen carefully you can hear the sound quality of him is off here just a bit.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
0
Location
Akron OH
Star Wars Daily Screenplay Reading -- Day 98

12,070 views

I grew up with the "switching screens with zero dialogue" version too--I think I had taped it off of HBO when my family adopted the VCR extremely late in 1987. (True confession--I had a tape that had "Empire Strikes Back" and "Dirty Dancing" on it that I had recorded in 1988 that I must have played every single night that summer, after my parents were in bed and my younger brother and I (and our friends if they could stay overnight) would stay up until 2am or so drawing and hanging out.) Later I had the CBS/Fox Videotapes that came in the trilogy 3-pack? I don't think either of those had the dialogue.

I remember reading about all that in the past, in an interview Ben Burtt had addressed it as being different between the multichannel, stereo, and mono versions. Whichever one became the basis of the TV broadcast and videotape master was missing that line (as well as the "close the blast doors" line later.)

It definitely makes that scene play differently without the exposition over the readouts. Without Threepio explaining it, Ben gives a knowing look at Luke and the viewer feels like we should have been able to figure out what we just saw. It's a bit more THX-1138, where nothing is explained yet it also needs heavy interpretation. Luckily the scene moves on and we can live without the info.

On to today's scene...

INT. DEATH STAR - DETENTION AREA - ELEVATOR TUBE
Han and Luke try to look inconspicuous in their armored suits
as they wait for a vacuum elevator to arrive. Troops,
bureaucrats, and robots bustle about, ignoring the trio
completely. Only a few give the giant Wookiee a curious
glance.

Finally a small elevator arrives and the trio enters.

LUKE
I can't see a thing in this helmet.

A bureaucrat races to get aboard also, but is signaled away
by Han. The door to the pod-like vehicle slides closed and
the elevator car takes off through a vacuum tube.
This scene got a lot of work done to it post-script, most notably the addition of the 2nd unit's "mouse droid vs Chewie" throwaway bit. Adding that and the line by Luke definitely point towards the awkwardness of the plan in motion that Lucas seems to have been trying to play up.

Han's silent warning about the Wookiee onboard plays much better in the film than here on paper. I don't know that "the elevator car takes off through a vacuum tube" is managed as well, but the set certainly has enough cues to tell us this is a bank of elevators, and once the door has cycled open and closed, we can assume they are moving on to a different level.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
118
Reaction score
2
This scene got a lot of work done to it post-script, most notably the addition of the 2nd unit's "mouse droid vs Chewie" throwaway bit. Adding that and the line by Luke definitely point towards the awkwardness of the plan in motion that Lucas seems to have been trying to play up.

Han's silent warning about the Wookiee onboard plays much better in the film than here on paper. I don't know that "the elevator car takes off through a vacuum tube" is managed as well, but the set certainly has enough cues to tell us this is a bank of elevators, and once the door has cycled open and closed, we can assume they are moving on to a different level.
I just realized I've been misinterpreting Han's gestures in this scene for my entire life. I thought he was asking, "Hey, you want on?" and the guy saw the Wookiee and was like, "Noooooo" but now I'm realizing he's telling the guy to take another elevator.

As for the mouse droid vs. Chewie bit, there are fans who ardently insist that this scene was not included in the original cut of the film and was added shortly after the original release, which Lucasfilm denies. I wonder if it not being included in the screenplay has partially fueled this belief.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
0
Location
Akron OH
12,358 Views

I got real busy this last week, but we're back!

INT. DEATH STAR - MAIN HALLWAY
Several Imperial officers walk through the wide main
passageway. They pass several stormtroopers and a robot
similar to Threepio but with an insect face. At the far end
of the hallway, a passing flash of Ben Kenobi appears, then
disappears down a small hallway. His appearance is so fleeting
that it is hard to tell if he is real or just an illusion.
No one in the hallway seems to notice him.


The description here doesn't match up to the filmed version at all. We get a squad of Stormtroopers marching down the hall, followed by Kenobi very clearly switching sides of the hall.

And the description of the droid brings 4-LOM to mind more than Death Star Droid, who actually appeared at the Turbolift hub in the previous scene anyways.


 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
118
Reaction score
2
12,358 Views

I got real busy this last week, but we're back!



The description here doesn't match up to the filmed version at all. We get a squad of Stormtroopers marching down the hall, followed by Kenobi very clearly switching sides of the hall.

And the description of the droid brings 4-LOM to mind more than Death Star Droid, who actually appeared at the Turbolift hub in the previous scene anyways.


Something that bothers me about a lot of the available screenplays for the films is that they seem to be edited to follow the final version of the released picture. It's nice when we get stuff that hasn't been changed to match the final result. I bought a ROTJ screenplay about 25 years ago and it didn't have any of the deleted scenes or dialog and I was bummed.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
0
Location
Akron OH
Star Wars Daily Screenplay Reading -- Day 100!

12,462 Views

INT. DEATH STAR - INTERIOR ELEVATOR - DETENTION SECURITY AREA

Luke and Han step forward to exit the elevator, but the door
slides open behind them. The giant Wookiee and his two guards
enter the old grey security station. Guards and laser gates
are everywhere. Han whispers to Luke under his breath.

HAN
This is not going to work.

LUKE
Why didn't you say so before?

HAN
I did say so before!
This scene has one of my favorite bits of comedy in the movie. The back wall slides open while Han and Luke step forward. Its just a subtle moment, I know for a long time when I was young it just seemed like things were weird here until I figured out what happened, but it took a few viewings. It's right there in the script though, intentionally off-putting.

It goes by so fast, with no explanation, classic Lucas direction at work. And the point of all that, at the end of the day, was even more heightened tension. Han's still uneasy about the plan, and Luke is getting his first realization that just making the plan doesn't mean the plan will succeed. On top of all this, they may have already seriously bungled by trying to exit the elevator on the wrong side in full view of the professionals they must now try to fool.

It won't be a long walk to a cell if they mess this up.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
118
Reaction score
2
This scene has one of my favorite bits of comedy in the movie. The back wall slides open while Han and Luke step forward. Its just a subtle moment, I know for a long time when I was young it just seemed like things were weird here until I figured out what happened, but it took a few viewings. It's right there in the script though, intentionally off-putting.

It goes by so fast, with no explanation, classic Lucas direction at work. And the point of all that, at the end of the day, was even more heightened tension. Han's still uneasy about the plan, and Luke is getting his first realization that just making the plan doesn't mean the plan will succeed. On top of all this, they may have already seriously bungled by trying to exit the elevator on the wrong side in full view of the professionals they must now try to fool.
Yeah, the humor in this scene does play really well and the detail of them trying to get the binders to stay on Chewie is not mentioned in the screenplay but is a nice visual touch to how bungling their plan really is. The character commentary is great too. I don't remember when I first realized that they were trying to exit out the wrong side of the elevator I found that a funny little added detail and glad to see it in the screenplay. I also think it's odd that these guys in the detention block are just hanging around holding blasters all day long.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
0
Location
Akron OH
Star Wars Daily Screenplay Reading -- Day 101

12,510 Views

Yeah, I forgot all about the binders glimpse they made sure we saw.

INT. DETENTION AREA
Elevator doors open. A tall, grim looking Officer approaches
the trio.

OFFICER
Where are you taking this... thing?

Chewie growls a bit at the remark but Han nudges him to shut
up.

LUKE
Prisoner transfer from Block one-one-
three-eight.

OFFICER
I wasn't notified. I'll have to clear
it.

The officer goes back to his console and begins to punch in
the information. There are only three other troopers in the
area. Luke and Han survey the situation, checking all of the
alarms, laser gates, and camera eyes. Han unfastens one of
Chewbacca's electronic cuffs and shrugs to Luke.

Suddenly Chewbacca throws up his hands and lets out with one
of his ear-piercing howls. He grabs Han's laser rifle.

HAN
Look out! He's loose!

LUKE
He's going to pull us all apart.

HAN
Go get him!

The startled guards are momentarily dumbfounded. Luke and
Han have already pulled out their laser pistols and are
blasting away at the terrifying Wookiee. Their barrage of
laserfire misses Chewbacca, but hits the camera eyes, laser
gate controls, and the Imperial guards. The officer is the
last of the guards to fall under the laserfire just as he is
about to push the alarm system. Han rushes to the comlink
system, which is screeching questions about what is going
on. He quickly checks the computer readout.

HAN
We've got to find out which cell
this princess of yours is in. Here
it is... cell twenty-one-eight-seven.
You go get her. I'll hold them here.

Luke races down one of the cell corridors. Han speaks into
the buzzing comlink.

HAN
(sounding official)
Everything is under control. Situation
normal.

INTERCOM VOICE
What happened?

HAN
(getting nervous)
Uh... had a slight weapons
malfunction. But, uh, everything's
perfectly all right now. We're fine.
We're all fine here, now, thank you.
How are you?

INTERCOM VOICE
We're sending a squad up.

HAN
Uh, uh, negative. We had a reactor
leak here now. Give us a few minutes
to lock it down. Large leak... very
dangerous.

INTERCOM VOICE
Who is this? What's your operating
number?

Han blasts the comlink and it explodes.

HAN
Boring conversation anyway.
(yelling down the hall)
Luke! We're going to have company!
It doesn't get any better than this, folks!

Action, story development, humor, building tension, it's all here. Especially in this scripted version, where we get a few extra details that the editing of the film glosses over...like Han and Luke intentionally missing Chewie while taking out the alarms. That was a subtle touch that got lost in the frenetic quick-cuts of the final version. Ditto with Han giving Chewie the signal to go crazy. Han takes command, Luke charges off to the rescue, the audience gets to take a breath as things are looking up for the heroes...

And then there is the failed bluff. For all of Han's bravado, all his cockiness, he just isn't good at lying. It's played as an endearing trait here, and always gets a laugh. He gives up pretty easily and reverts to form, choosing to shoot the comlink (how does that help? It doesn't, it's just what he's good at.) And with the shout of "Luke! We're going to have company!" Han gets the coveted button, while also putting the tension right back into the rescue mission.

Absolutely one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
137
Reaction score
0
12,510 Views

Yeah, I forgot all about the binders glimpse they made sure we saw.



It doesn't get any better than this, folks!

Action, story development, humor, building tension, it's all here. Especially in this scripted version, where we get a few extra details that the editing of the film glosses over...like Han and Luke intentionally missing Chewie while taking out the alarms. That was a subtle touch that got lost in the frenetic quick-cuts of the final version. Ditto with Han giving Chewie the signal to go crazy. Han takes command, Luke charges off to the rescue, the audience gets to take a breath as things are looking up for the heroes...

And then there is the failed bluff. For all of Han's bravado, all his cockiness, he just isn't good at lying. It's played as an endearing trait here, and always gets a laugh. He gives up pretty easily and reverts to form, choosing to shoot the comlink (how does that help? It doesn't, it's just what he's good at.) And with the shout of "Luke! We're going to have company!" Han gets the coveted button, while also putting the tension right back into the rescue mission.

Absolutely one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.
You said it, this is really one of the most fun scenes in the OT, it’s got everything you could want in an adventure.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
118
Reaction score
2
It doesn't get any better than this, folks!

Action, story development, humor, building tension, it's all here. Especially in this scripted version, where we get a few extra details that the editing of the film glosses over...like Han and Luke intentionally missing Chewie while taking out the alarms. That was a subtle touch that got lost in the frenetic quick-cuts of the final version. Ditto with Han giving Chewie the signal to go crazy. Han takes command, Luke charges off to the rescue, the audience gets to take a breath as things are looking up for the heroes...

And then there is the failed bluff. For all of Han's bravado, all his cockiness, he just isn't good at lying. It's played as an endearing trait here, and always gets a laugh. He gives up pretty easily and reverts to form, choosing to shoot the comlink (how does that help? It doesn't, it's just what he's good at.) And with the shout of "Luke! We're going to have company!" Han gets the coveted button, while also putting the tension right back into the rescue mission.

Absolutely one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.
I don't think I realized that Han and Luke were continuing the ruse after Chewie "broke loose" until reading the screenplay. It immediately becomes chaos in the final cut. Note Lucas referencing his own films: "Prisoner transfer from block one-one-three-eight." (THX-1138) Han's cringe face after awkwardly asking "How are you?" is one of my absolute favorite moments in the film.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
0
Location
Akron OH
Star Wars Daily Screenplay Reading -- Day 102

12,639 Views

I can't believe I forgot to mention the THX-1138 reference! As penance, I will point out that THX-1138 was the license plate number on George Lucas's car, I'm assuming as he drove around with his dog Indiana sitting in the co-pilot's seat a la Chewbacca (okay, geek cred restored!)

INT. DEATH STAR - CELL ROW
Luke stops in front of one of the cells and blasts the door
away with a laser pistol. When the smoke clears, Luke sees
the dazzling young princess-senator. She had been sleeping
and is now looking at him with an uncomprehending look on
her face. Luke is stunned by her incredible beauty and stands
staring at her with his mouth hanging open.

LEIA
(finally)
Aren't you a little short to be a
stormtrooper?

Luke takes off his helmet, coming out of it.

LUKE
What? Oh... the uniform. I'm Luke
Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you.

LEIA
You're who?

LUKE
I'm here to rescue you. I've got
your R2 unit. I'm here with Ben
Kenobi.

LEIA
Ben Kenobi is here! Where is he?

LUKE
Come on!
Technically, the filmed version breaks this sequence down into two scenes: we clearly go from one set-up outside the cell to another with the character interaction inside. Nevertheless, that's just a nitpick. Everything moves smoothly between the two.

I find it humorous that the script describes Luke's "stunned by her incredible beauty" reaction as "staring at her with his mouth hanging open," then has him take off his helmet a bit later. Luckily in the film Mark Hamill pulled this off by tilting his head puppy-dog style.

Leia is true to her character, shooting off a quip instead of being worried by the Stormtrooper showing up in her cell. And totally ignoring Luke's rescue remark--he may be letting her out of her cell, but she hasn't decided if he has rescued her yet at all. (Spoiler--she's right!)

The one little distraction I have always had with this scene is Leia's reaction to the name "Ben Kenobi" though she ought to know him by his real name. (I guess if she was going to retrieve him she would know his alias as well, but this is one of those things that bothered me as a kid, so I don't think I followed the logic all the way through.)
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
118
Reaction score
2
Technically, the filmed version breaks this sequence down into two scenes: we clearly go from one set-up outside the cell to another with the character interaction inside. Nevertheless, that's just a nitpick. Everything moves smoothly between the two.

I find it humorous that the script describes Luke's "stunned by her incredible beauty" reaction as "staring at her with his mouth hanging open," then has him take off his helmet a bit later. Luckily in the film Mark Hamill pulled this off by tilting his head puppy-dog style.

Leia is true to her character, shooting off a quip instead of being worried by the Stormtrooper showing up in her cell. And totally ignoring Luke's rescue remark--he may be letting her out of her cell, but she hasn't decided if he has rescued her yet at all. (Spoiler--she's right!)

The one little distraction I have always had with this scene is Leia's reaction to the name "Ben Kenobi" though she ought to know him by his real name. (I guess if she was going to retrieve him she would know his alias as well, but this is one of those things that bothered me as a kid, so I don't think I followed the logic all the way through.)
It's worth noting that this is the first and only time we hear the name Skywalker in the original version of the film (the SE restored the scene where Red Leader refers to Luke by his surname). In a recent interview, Mark Hamill revealed they had to reshoot this scene late in production because his character's last name was changed from Starkiller to Skywalker.

You're right. Leia clearly refers to Kenobi as Obi-Wan in her message. I think through most of this film he is referred to as Ben and therefore cemented Ben as his name in many fans' heads originally, kind of the same way Leia is pronounced "Le-uh" almost exclusively in this first picture and then became "Lay-uh" in subsequent movies. I've never heard an explanation for that.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
0
Location
Akron OH
Star Wars Daily Screenplay Reading -- Day 102

12,718 Views

INT. DEATH STAR - CONFERENCE ROOM
Darth Vader paces the room as Governor Tarkin sits at the
far end of the conference table.

VADER
He is here...

TARKIN
Obi-Wan Kenobi! What makes you think
so?

VADER
A tremor in the Force. The last time
I felt it was in the presence of my
old master.

TARKIN
Surely he must be dead by now.

VADER
Don't underestimate the power of the
Force.

TARKIN
The Jedi are extinct, their fire has
gone out of the universe. You, my
friend, are all that's left of their
religion.

There is a quiet buzz on the comlink.

TARKIN
Yes.

INTERCOM VOICE
Governor Tarkin, we have an emergency
alert in detention block A A-twenty-
three.

TARKIN
The princess! Put all sections on
alert!

VADER
Obi-Wan is here. The Force is with
him.

TARKIN
If you're right, he must not be
allowed to escape.

VADER
Escape is not his plan. I must face him alone.
Yeah, I don't know about this scene. It almost seems to be a placeholder. It is here so we don't lose track of our villains, but I don't think it has the level of intensity or impact it could. One would infer that with all the information given, Vader would be showing up at the Detention Level pronto, and you could follow that he would be able to track down our band of hapless heroes pretty quickly from there.

Instead, looking at it really hard one can hypothesize that Vader is so preoccupied with Kenobi that he is barely paying attention to the developments around the Princess.

Tarkin, meanwhile, has nothing to do in this scene. Perhaps if he was to have a bigger reaction to the reveal of the rescue attempt, we could gain more insight into his character. As it is, he stays cool and collected, leaving the details of containing the break-out to Vader. Who is kind of fixated on one thing right now, and shouldn't be left in charge.

I do like the filmed version's moving of the comlink call signal to just before Tarkin's line dismissing the Jedi. That way, he is already onto answering the call and the line gets to be Tarkin confidently putting an end to his discussion with Vader. It plays more real than Tarkin just waiting for a call he shouldn't know is coming.

An okay scene, but I'd say it could have been worked on a little more to give us some more character development of these guys.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
137
Reaction score
0
In hindsight, this scene gives us a small early history of the Jedi (extinct/flame gone out) and mentions Vader's former master (Kenobi). Tarkin also implies that Vader is/was a Jedi.

Some of this was revealed in Kenobi's hut on Tatoine when he presents Luke with his father's lightsaber, but this gives some credentials to old Ben's crazy stories. We find out in ESB and ROTJ that Ben liked to stretch the truth a bit....

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
1,781
Reaction score
0
Location
Akron OH
Star Wars Daily Screenplay Reading -- Day 104

12,772 views.

INT. DEATH STAR - DETENTION AREA - HALLWAY
An ominous buzzing sound is heard on the other side of the
elevator door.

HAN
Chewie!

Chewbacca responds with a growling noise.

HAN
Get behind me! Get behind me!

A series of explosions knock a hole in the elevator door
through which several Imperial troops begin to emerge.

Han and Chewie fire laser pistols at them through the smoke
and flame. They turn and run down the cell hallway, meeting
up with Luke and Leia rushing toward them.

HAN
Can't get out that way.

LEIA
Looks like you managed to cut off
our only escape route.

HAN
(sarcastically)
Maybe you'd like it back in your
cell, Your Highness.

Luke takes a small comlink transmitter from his belt as they
continue to exchange fire with stormtroopers making their
way down the corridor.

LUKE
See-Threepio! See-Threepio!

THREEPIO
(over comlink)
Yes sir?

LUKE
We've been cut off! Are there any
other ways out of the cell bay?...
What was that? I didn't copy!
Here we get a healthy dose of serial-style action. Han and Chewie give up the entrance, because there was no plan in place to try and hold it. Retreating to the cellblock is a spur of the moment decision. Luke actually makes a great choice here, utilizing what "Spider Man: Homecoming" called the "guy in the chair" trope: if this were set in the present Luke would just check Google Maps--since this was made in the 1970s, he does the futuristic sci-fi equivalent.

But for all that, the scene belongs to Han and Leia's first interaction. She calls him out on his retreat, he suggests that if she isn't thrilled about the rescue, she doesn't need to participate. Immediately they have set up the style of their banter for the next 3 movies, and it really helps to develop their characters and keep the action and adventure fun.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
118
Reaction score
2
Are you saying that guards are not armed in jail/prison?
I was speaking from memory. I rewatched the scene and the Death Squad Commanders actually unholster their guns after the officer signals them over to our heroes. I was thinking they were standing around with their guns drawn, just waiting for something to happen. All. Day. Long. Only to die quickly when something does happen.
 
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
30,792
Reaction score
69
Location
Oregon
I'm not an expert for all Prisons/Jails, but I have seen a few armed guards at a couple places.
 
Top