George Lucas’ Star Wars First Draft Was Completely Different From A New Hope

One of the most striking changes is that Luke Skywalker, ultimately portrayed as a young man eager to escape his boring home in the desert, was originally a much older character. Luke Skywalker was to be an older military man, presumably called back to battle by the new rebellion. The adventure could have been the same, but teaching an older character how war evolved is quite a different concept than a young man discovering the vastness of the galaxy for the first time. For many drafts, Luke’s name was a variant of “Annakin Starkiller”, and some early drafts even saw the character as female.

The dark side of the Force also once had a more colorful name. It was originally called the Bogan, which, to this author’s ear, is far more evocative than simply calling it “the dark side.” The Light Side of the Force, meanwhile, seems to have always remained the same.

Han Solo, the dandy and not too trustworthy smuggler, was ultimately a very human character played by Harrison Ford. In Lucas’ original version, Han Solo was supposed to be an alien that looked a lot like a frog. While one could imagine such a thing using modern CGI or motion capture, or perhaps in some form of “Heavy Metal”-style cel animation, creating a live-action alien frog in 1977 would have required a technology that was not quite available yet. Han Solo’s sidekick Chewbacca was always going to be tall, but wasn’t always sasquatch-adjacent. Some of Christopher McQuarrie’s early concept art saw the character hairless and wearing a tunic, but Lucas eventually found the unexpected inspiration behind Chewbacca, namely his own dog.


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