Submitted for your consideration is what is alleged to be an early treatment for the first Star Wars movie written by George Lucas in 1973.
As you can see, there are many differences between this treatment and the plotting of the first film, so at the very least we know the plot evolved tremendously from an initial treatment to the actual shooting script of the first (now called the fourth) Star Wars.
THE STAR WARS "THE STAR WARS" May, 1973 Story Synopsis BY GEORGE LUCAS A LUCASFILM LTD. FILM THE STAR WARS by George Lucas LUCASFILM LIMITED May, 1973 Deep Space. The eerie blue-green planet of Aquilae slowly drifts into view. A small speck, orbiting the planet, glints in the light of a near by star. Suddenly a sleek fighter-type spacecraft settles ominously into the foreground moving swiftly toward the orbiting speck. Two more fighters silently maneuver into battle formation behind the first and then three more craft glide into view. The orbiting speck is actually a gargantuan space fortress which dwarfs the approaching fighters. Fuel pods are jettisoned. The six fighters break off into a power dive attack on the huge fortress. Lazer bolts streak from the fighters creating small explosions on the complex surface of the fort. Return fire catches one of the fighters and it bursts into a million pieces. Another of the craft plows into a gun emplacement jutting from the fortress causing a hideous series of chain reaction explosions. The chaos of battle echoes through the vastness of space. It is the thirty-third century, a period of civil wars in the galaxy. A rebel princess, with her family, her retainers, and the clan treasure, is being pursued. If they can cross territory controlled by the Empire and reach a friendly planet, they will be saved. The Sovereign knows this, and posts a reward for the capture of the princess. She is being guarded by one of her generals, (Luke Skywalker) and it is he who leads her on the long and dangerous journey that follows. They take along with them two hundred pounds of the greatly treasured "aura spice", and also two Imperial bureaucrats, whom the general has captured. The two terrified, bickering bureaucrats crash land on Aquilae while trying to flee the battle of the space fortress. They accidently discover a small container of the priceless "aura spice" and are rummaging around the rocks pushing and pulling each other trying to find more when they are discovered by Luke Skywalker and taken to his camp. The princess and the general are disguised as farmers, and the bureaucrats join their party with the intention of stealing their "land speeder" and "aura spice". It doesn't take them too long to realize the general isn't a farmer and that they are captives about to embark on a dangerous mission. The two bureaucrats are essentially comic relief inserted among the general seriousness of the adventure. The small group in their sleek, white, two-man "land speeders" travel across the wastelands of Aquilae, headed for the space port city of Gordon, where they hope to get a spacecraft that will take them to the friendly planet of Ophuchi. At a desolate rest stop, the rebels are stopped and questioned by an Imperial patrol. Apparently satisfied, the captian lets the group continue on their way, but a short distance into the wilderness, they are attacked by the patrol. The Imperial patrol of twelve men is no match for the incredibly skilled and powerful general, who makes short work of the enemy. One of the two-man "speeders" is destroyed in the fight and the bureaucrats must ride on the back of the remaining one, which slows the group down considerably. They drive into a storm, run low on food and water, but eventually make it to the ruin of a religious temple. In the temple they discover a rebel band of ten boys (aged 15 to 18) who are planning an attack on one of the Imperial outposts. The boys laugh in anticipation of the blow they will strike the Empire in the name of the princess. They all stop laughing, but the laughing continues and they look around in consternation. Into the sanctuary ambles Skywalker, scratching himself, amused at the idealism of the youths. He barely glances at them. The contrast between the boy rebels with their terse nods, their meaningful glances, and Skywalker, a real general, a real man could not be greater. The boys plead to join the party to protect the princess, but the general refuses, and insists they all return to their homes. They say they have no place to go and begin to follow the party across the wasteland. One night the party is attacked by one of the large beasts that roam the plains, and is eventually killed by the boy rebels. The general reluctantly accepts the presence of the boys, and allows them to join the group. The general, one of the bureaucrats, and one of the boys, venture into a shabby cantina on the outskirts of the space port, looking for the rebel contact who will help them get a spacecraft. The murky little den is filled with a startling array of weird and erotic Aliens laughing and drinking at the bar. The bureaucrat and the boy are both terrified as the general orders two drinks and questions the bartender about the rebel contact man. A group of bullies begin to taunt and ridicule the boy. Skywalker attempts to avoid a confrontation, but worse comes to worse, and he is forced to fight. With a flash of light, his lazer sword is out. An are lies on the ground, one of the bullies lies double, slashed from chin to groin and Skywalker, with quiet dignity, replaces his sword in its sheath. The entire fight has lasted a matter of seconds. Skywalker, the princess, and their party make contact with the rebel underground, but not before an Imperial spy, who followed them from the cantina, reports their plans to the city governor. The rebels enter the space port to board a trader's ship, whose captain is friendly toward the rebels. The group doesn't realize until it is too late, that it is a trap. Guards pounce on them from everywhere. The princess, the bureaucrats, and the boys run for a ship while Skywalker holds off the guards. They narrowly escape in a stolen space fighter and lose themselves among the giant Imperial fleet looking for the rebels. The general orbits his ship further and further away from the planet, until he feels it is safe to head out into deep space toward Ophuchi. As he maneuvers to break out of orbit, a patrol craft hails the ship and requests to board and search her. Skywalker trys to discourage them, but the patrol becomes suspicious. Skywalker makes a run for it and the patrol craft fires on them. The rebels return the fire and destroy the patrol craft. The stolen Imperial ship races toward the safety of deep space as twelve fighter craft converge on the destroyed patrol and give chase. A raging air-to-air battle and chase begins which continues halfway across the galaxy. The rebel boys shoot down many Imperial ships under the harsh and uncompromising instructions of the general. A few of the boys are angered at his cold and relentless directions, although they grow to respect him when they begin to see the results of his training. Their ship is hit several times and begins to break up, causing them to slow down. They maneuver the crippled fighter to an asteroid in an attempt to hide from their pursuers. The trick works, but as they resume their trek across the galaxy, the ship is rocked by a series of explosions and plummets toward the forbidden planet of Yavin. Everyone jettisons safely away from the doomed craft before it explodes, and using rocket pack, slowly drift to the foreboding surface. The general, the princess, the two bureaucrats with the "aura spice", and one of the rebel boys regroup and set up camp. When only one other boy shows up, the group decides to split up. The general, princess, and bureaucrats head for what appears to be a city, while the two boys go off looking for their comrades. They are watched by a giant furry Alien, who quietly disappears into the foliage. Skywalker and his party race along a narrow pathway riding "jet-sticks" fashioned from their rescue packs. They round a bend and see the way is blocked by three or four Aliens, riding large bird-like creatures. The general instantly changes direction on to a side path, the others follow close behind, chased by the Aliens. Skywalker drops behind the others and begins shooting at the Aliens with his lazer gun. The Aliens sling a dart-like object at Skywalker as they rush along the road. The general kills the last Alien just as he reaches the gate to the Alien camp. Skywalker cannot curb his "jet-stick" in time and the momentum carries him directly into the enemies' hands. The group is surrounded by Aliens. Skywalker jumps off his "jet-stick" and takes a defense stance. The Aliens give him room. They seem puzzled by these intruders and jabber to themselves. Two leaders carry on a heated argument. Finally one storms off in disgust and the other summons a guard who steps forward with a large spear in his hand. Skywalker and the Alien stand surveying each other. The Alien makes a lunge, the general counters, and the fight begins. A desperate fight ensues, but eventually Skywalker wins by cutting the Alien in half with his lazer sword. At this, all the Aliens worked into a frenzy mob, carry the general off and throw him over a thousand foot crevasse into a boiling lake. The general's sure death, terrifies the bureaucrats and moves the princess. The Aliens lead them to a small hut where they are imprisoned. Unknown to everyone, the general grabs an overhanging vine on his descent and swings to safety. He starts back to rescue the others when he encounters an Alien. Skywalker starts to attack, but the Alien drops to the ground jabbering and carrying on. The general recognizes the Alien as the one who argued with the leader, who ordered his death. The general trys to communicate with the Alien, but all he can make out is that the creature worships him and wants to take him some place urgently. The Alien leads Skywalker to a clearing where a platoon of the Imperial guard is lounging, obviously waiting for someone or something. The general jumps undercover as a herd of Aliens arrive with the princess and bureaucrats in tow. A trade is made and the platoon leaves in a "speed tank" with the three captives. The general tries to follow, but is unable to keep up. The Alien leads Skywalker to a small farm where he discovers the boy rebels are waiting for him. The farm is owned by a cantankerous old farmer who is married to an Alien. He tells the group that he hates the Empire and shows them the location of an outpost where they might have taken the princess. The general and his army of youthful warriors plan an attack on the small Imperial outpost. They use surprise and the general's rigorous training to overcome the enemy and capture the outpost. they discover the princess has been taken to Alderaan, the capitol of the Empire. They make plans to rescue the princess from right under the nose of the Emperor. The only craft at the outpost capable of intergalactic travel is a squadron of one-man devil fighters, which the general trains the kids to use. When they feel they are ready, they strike out toward the center of the galaxy and the heart of the Empire. Disguised as Imperial rangers, the small armada flies right through the gates of the impressive city-planet of Alderaan and stops at the prison complex. After overcoming a series of difficult barriers and traps they find the princess and free her. An alarm sounds. The rebels are forced to fight their way out of the prison with "multiple lazer guns" and swords. A few of the boys are killed, but most of them make it to their spacecraft followed by Skywalker and the princess. They break through a ring of Imperial ships attempting to stop them and escape into deep space. The princess' arrival on Ophuchi is celebrated by a huge parade, honoring the general and his small band. The princess' uncle, ruler of Ophuchi, rewards the bureaucrats, who for the first time see the princess revealed as her true goddess-like self. The general commissions the "boy rebels" into the princess' special guard. After the ceremony is over, and the festivities have ended, the drunken bureaucrats stagger down an empty street arm in arm realizing that they have been adventuring with demigods. THE END ? MAY 25, 1973