“Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (which was just called “Star Wars” back then) came out in 1977 and started a franchise that is still going strong almost half a century later. That meant that things felt very different on the set of the hugely anticipated sequel. Not only that, but Mark Hamill’s wife Marilou was pregnant with their first child, Nathan, while he shot the second film.
With the first film a hit, everyone wanted to know what was coming next in the adventures of Luke, Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Things had to change in terms of secrecy for “The Empire Strikes Back.” Hamill tells the site that it felt different with the cast and crew because “on the first one nobody knew about us or cared.” He spoke about actually showing the script for the first film to friends, something that would be unimaginable now. Hamill continued:
“I mean, I remember passing the script around to my friends saying, ‘Hey, you gotta read this. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever been involved in.’ There was no social media. There was no security. There wasn’t any focus on this unknown science fantasy film, but everything changed after that. So on Empire, suddenly … we had to be really careful.”
Just compare that to the uproar when third trilogy-star John Boyega accidentally left his script for “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” in his house when he moved, and it was put up on eBay. In a way, it’s kind of lovely to look back at the world before the franchise exploded and imagine looking at that very first script.
All of the “Star Wars” films are currently streaming on Disney+.