In the distant past, in a galaxy not very far away…before the kingdom struck back, heralding the return of Jedis – there arouse a young talented director called George Lucas. The upcoming moviemaker hatched a crazy proposal for a teen space opera that nearly never made it to our screens. Here is all the truth you would love to know about the outer-space-escapade movie named Star Wars, including the story of its creation from inception to conclusion.
The Truth About Star Wars
The director of Star Wars George Lucas was residing in a one-bedroom apartment In Mill Valley in 1973, when he directed one low-budget movie titled American Graffiti, which was loosely based on his love for hot-rod culture and his youth in Modesto, California. Although the production cost was less than $1 million, the movie turned into a blockbuster teen-culture classic, grossing over $50 million with five Oscar nods, which include Best Director.
Encouraged by his success with Graffiti, Lucas had the determination to follow through on his idea for a space opera, which he has been hatching since 1971 with his partner Gary Kurtz. The plot was centered on outer-space escapade like in Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon—stories Lucas adored as a growing child.
During that time, Hollywood was already suffused with sci-fi movies like Logan’s Run, Rollerball, as well as THX 1138, but Lucas was bent on making a different kind of sci-fi film – something fun that will be targeted at 14 to 15-year-olds.
How George Lucas Created The Movie
Lucas and his partner Kurt shopped around several studios in Hollywood for financial backings for Star Wars. They were turned down by the likes of Universal and United Artists, and the reasons were obvious because while modern movies are known to depict the future with shiny tech and sleek suits, Star Wars preferred rustic machinery and used parts. The duo was certainly in for a hard sale. Despite being repeatedly turned down, Lucas persevered in presenting his original concept of the movie to studios, but they were averse to taking on a story which they see as confusing.
Such playful escapade portraying mythical characters alongside a princess was regarded as a kiddy’s movie which is fit only for Disney World. Except that Disney didn’t even want it. They later stumbled on some encouragement from 20th Century Fox, thank to their earlier buzz from Graffiti. The support which came in the form of funds to flesh out the script took them a long way. In fact, we would be right to say that even the diehard fans of Star Wars will not be able to recognize the earliest draft of the movie: There, Luke Skywalker came as a grayish old general, Han Solo was depicted as a frog-like alien, there’s a major character called Kane Starkiller and the Bogan was the name given to the dark side of the force
It was quite a struggle for Lucas to reign in this space epic. The plot was just too dense, tonally unbalanced and the scenes were too elaborate, and expensive to shoot. Even Lucas’ mentor and friend Francis Ford Coppola had some misgivings concerning the early drafts, and it was compounded by his partner Kurtz who described the 2nd draft as gobbledygook.
However, the story continued to improve with each round, by 1975 when the second draft came out, Luke Skywalker has gone from an elderly general to a farm boy, and Darth Vader became the intimidating man in black we know today. The 3rd draft introduced the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well as intensified the tension between Han Solo and Leia. Conceding that he was not good with writing dialogue, Lucas employed the services of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck. For Lucas, Star Wars was gradually taking shape with the 4th draft completed on the 1st of January 1976. Eventually, it was the same draft that was used when production took off on the 25th of March 1976 in Tunisia.
Initially, Lucas and his partner budgeted $18 million for the production but took the $7.5 offered by Fox as they were eager to take off shooting, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Released a year later in 1977, the movie ushered in a brand new era in film-making with its, fantastical world-building, special effects, as well as an enthralling blend of both fairy tale and myth. While the final budget was pegged at $11 million, Star Wars grossed above $513 million globally during the initial release, setting the pace for a franchise which would span for decades, creating generations of viewers and fans worldwide.