Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released nationwide on May 21, 1980, which is 35 years ago tomorrow. Does that make you feel old? The movie received mixed reviews at the time, but now is considered the best of the six Star Wars films (so far). The problem back then was that it did not have a happy ending, but rather a cliffhanger that made us wait three years for the resolution in Return of the Jedi. That darkness became more appealing over time. And since then, we’ve found out that the finished movie differed in many ways from the original plan. Warning: spoilers ahead.
Leigh Brackett’s first script did not have the Skywalker paternity plot twist. Luke was going to meet up with his father later, who would administer the oath of the Jedi with the help of Minch Yoda and Ben Kenobi. With this plot line, the Luke-Leia-Han love triangle would be a much bigger deal. Thankfully, this was cut when they reconfigured the Skywalker family tree.
Minch Yoda? Yeah, that’s another change in the original plan. You’ll find out plenty of those changes in an anniversary post on The Empire Strikes Back at Uproxx.