“You can’t write poetry on a computer,” says Quentin Tarantino, and he can’t write his screenplays on one either — he does it old school, longhand, in a notebook, putting his words in typewritten form at the last possible second. It may make him sound like a Luddite, but he’s far from the only one; plenty of Hollywood’s most successful scribes prefer to work by hand, at least in the early stages. This week, we found out that Lawrence Kasdan wrote The Empire Strikes Back in longhand as well, and a trip down the Internet rabbit hole turned up several more popular films that were worked out by hand before they made it to the screen.
The Empire Strikes Back
These recently released pages from the Star Wars sequel script by Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Big Chill) include the film’s opening scrawl, a dialogue scene between Han and Leia, the first encounter between Luke and Yoda (first introduced as “Creature”), and a map of the character dynamics. The film was released in 1980, with the screenplay credited to Kasdan and Leigh Brackett (from a story by George Lucas).