CATEGORIES Movies
George Lucas's original script for "Star Wars: Episode IV" was far, far away from what audiences saw onscreen when the film was released in 1977. Now, fans will be able to explore that alternate world for the first time, as Lucas has agreed to allow author J.W. Rinzler and Dark Horse Comics to adapt that screenplay into a limited-run comic series.

The announcement includes juicy details about what could have been in the Star Wars universe had Lucas's original story, written in 1974, been produced unchanged. For starters, the script was entitled "The Star Wars," and had a much lighter, campier tone than the movie does, but still prominently featured devices Lucas dubbed "lazer swords." Luke Skywalker appears not as a Jedi apprentice but as an older Jedi general, and other characters include Annikin Starkiller as a young Jedi, evil Sith knights, and, in one of the most marked differences between the screenplay and the final film, Han Solo as a six-foot tall alien lizard.

"His first complete imaginings were hallucinating to read - mind blowing," Rinzer said of reading "The Star Wars" for the first time. Randy Stradley, a longtime editor of the Star Wars series, said the script "turned my Star Wars fan brain on its side."

It's fun to think what might have been had the movies followed Lucas's original vision more closely. Can you imagine Harrison Ford donning a lizard suit? Would Luke have ended up saving the universe, or would it have been little Annikin? Would Leia have existed at all?

Maybe J.J. Abrams can take a cue from Lucas's early ideas and insert a nod to the franchise's earliest origins into his new "Star Wars" film. Until then, curious fans can pick up the comic series, set for an eight-issue run beginning in September.

[h/t /Film]