Up till now, I have kept silent. Well, when I wasn’t harassing family members about it like this morning. It all started with a simple family gathering around Thanksgiving of two years ago, two days before the director of Star Wars V, Irvin Kershner, died. We were having some international students over and we were so excited we could barely get the words out, much to the amusement of our guests. (Apparently Star Wars has international importance.) OK, so I’ll admit Star Wars V was never our favorite–so we barely watched it due to excessive kissing between unfavorable parties, questionable green Yoga instructors , Don Juan-like Han Solo, and an uncharacteristic & depressed Princess. Yet for all these setbacks, there of course is the drama when Luke gets to say “NOO!!!” expressing just how we all felt. My sister had just seen “The Hunt for Red October” which apparently is based on a really good Tom Clancy book about war-conspiracy. Then her “Eureka moment” happened. All I knew is that she was really silent for a while, (unusual) and said slowly “hey, what if Princess Leia…is really defecting?” (definition of defecting: 1. To disown allegiance to one’s country and take up residence in another.)Needless to say, uproar of heated debate, flying napkins, and excited shouting ensued.
She continued: “Darth Vader is doing a coup, and behind the emperor’s back. And look, how else did both Leia and Darth know exactly where each other are? Leia cares about the rebellion but she doesn’t think it can survive without cooperation. She’s making a deal with Darth to destroy the empire. For Darth’s sake he wants to weaken the emperor, for Leia’s sake it’s about the survival of her people, if she trade herself in for the cause. And the gift is possibly Han Solo–he’s selfish and an accessory. That’s why she can’t leave the base and why she doesn’t want Han to leave the base. That’s why Darth Vader is meeting her before the imperial troops.”
I might add …and that’s why Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon is hijacked. That’s why Leia is GUILTY throughout the whole movie to Han and can’t stand up to his physical advances–because she’s using him just like Lando is. That’s why she ISN’T AFRAID of Darth Vader right before take-off, but she IS of asteroids or parasites. And that’s why she doesn’t love Han, but she does love Luke in the end–he’s her hero of the rebellion and her first love (not that brother-junk in Ep VI). But dealing with Darth is dealing with the devil, and he doesn’t keep his promises. That’s why Luke is the HERO. He doesn’t let ends justify means or politics take away people (like his Yoga instructor recommends). He self-sacrifices, he fights evil. And when he can’t resist temptation to join Darth and become powerful–he LETS GO of all his dreams and ambitions and himself. MORALITY and LOVE win.
It’s OK if this re-write/reinterpretation is too “fantastic” for you, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan. Remember, it’s taken 2 years to write about this because so many intelligent fans including most of my friends and relatives disagree. As women, I think my sisters and I have an advantage to see princess Leia’s clues a lot better than unfortunately many men do, though I couldn’t understand why. Now I think I have a clue.
So I happen to think there was some tension in the direction of the script. So now I ask “why was the script so confusing?” Who wrote it and who changed it? I’ve previously assumed the fight over the script was between Kershner and Lucas, but today I just looked up the scriptwriters, and I think I’ve found who I’ve been looking for.
A science fiction writer DIED two years before the film but not before GIVING Lucas the final draft. Her name is Leigh Douglass Brackett. (a woman.) Oh and the original script is locked. According to Wikipedia:
” Brackett’s screenplay has never been officially or legally published. According to Stephen Haffner, owner of the press that printed Martian Quest: The Early Brackett, it can be read at one of two locations: the Jack Williamson Special Collections library at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico (but may not be copied or checked out); and the archives at Lucasfilm, Ltd. in California.”
Maybe it’s time to check it out.