After the success of the original Star Wars (1977),[d] Lucas hired science-fiction author Leigh Brackett to write the sequel with him. They held story conferences and, by late November 1977, Lucas had produced a handwritten treatment. In the first draft that Brackett would write from this, Luke’s father appears as a ghost to instruct Luke. Lucas was disappointed with the script, but Brackett died of cancer before he could discuss it with her. With no writer available, Lucas wrote the next draft himself. In this draft, dated April 1, 1978, he made use of a new plot twist: Vader claiming to be Luke’s father. According to Lucas, he found this draft enjoyable to write, as opposed to the year-long struggles writing the first film. Lucas has said that he knew Vader was Luke’s father while writing the first film, though the relationship is not evidenced before said draft of The Empire Strikes Back.

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