NEWS

Original Star Wars Script Found In New Brunswick, A Province Far, Far Away

06/08/2015 11:45 EDT | Updated 06/08/2016 05:59 EDT
SAINT JOHN, N.B. - It's one of the most iconic science fiction films ever made, so how an apparent draft of the shooting script of the original "Star Wars" movie ended up in the archives at the University of the New Brunswick is a head scratcher, says one of the school's librarians.

David Ross at the university in Saint John, said another librarian who was hired under a contract to digitize parts of the university's science fiction collection made the discovery about a week ago.

The "revised fourth draft" shooting script is dated March 15, 1976, about a year before the movie was released, and contains a red stamp that says "Property of: Lucasfilm Ltd."

Ross said the school's records show it was acquired in 1990, but exactly how or why it came to the library is not known.

"It's kind of a mystery," said Ross. "It is in our catalogue, we just didn't know to look for it."

Ross said it was most likely acquired by a previous librarian who was responsible for acquiring science fiction and fantasy material for the library's collection at conferences and through his contacts.

The light blue cover of the script includes the phrase "The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the 'Journal of the Whills' by George Lucas."

Ross said the contract librarian and sci-fi buff who made the discovery, Kristian Brown, made notes about the differences between the script and the movie, including that Luke Skywalker's name in this draft of the script is "Luke Starkiller."

"The script contains lines and entire scenes that are not included the theatrical release of the film," said Ross, reading from Brown's notes.

But an expert in everything "Star Wars" said while it is unusual the document was found in the Maritimes, "Star Wars" shooting scripts are fairly common and can be found online instantly.

Cal Johnston, owner of Strange Adventures comic book store in Halifax, said the script likely would not pique the interest of collectors because it's difficult to verify.

"These are photocopied pages. It's very easy to make others and certainly during the time of the shooting, if they needed more, they would have gone and photocopied more," said Johnston. "Who knows how many of those scripts are floating around.

"Myself, as a guy who deals in collectibles, I wouldn't really put much value in it."

Johnston said how the "Star Wars" movie plot evolved from script to screen is also very well-documented and well known among fans.

Ross said the script has not been officially authenticated. He was not sure if the school planned on taking that step.

The script will be placed in an enclosure and put on display in the main library, said Ross.

— Story by Aly Thomson in Halifax.

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