Leigh Brackett hat am 17. Februar 1978 einen ersten Entwurf zu einem Drehbuch für Das Imperium schlägt zurück fertiggestellt. Da George Lucas das Drehbuch nicht gefiel bzw. die Richtung welche die Story eingeschlagen hätte, verfasste er anhand des Entwurfs zwei eigene Fassungen, welche er an Lawrence Kasdan weitergab, der das endgültige Drebuch fertigstellte. Das Resultat hatte kaum bis gar keine Ähnlichkeit mehr mit Bracketts Entwurf, dennoch wurde sie in den End Credits als Co-Autorin genannt. Vermutlich da sie kurz nach Fertigstellung ihres Skriptes an Krebs verstarb.
Wie dem auch sei, kann das Skript jetzt als PDF heruntergeladen und von allen begutachtet werden:
Brackett worked on the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back. The movie won the Hugo Award in 1981. This script was a departure for Brackett, since until then, all of her science fiction had been in the form of novels and short stories.
The exact role which Brackett played in writing the script for Empire is the subject of some dispute. What is agreed on by all is that George Lucas asked Brackett to write the screenplay based on his story outline. It is also known that Brackett wrote a finished first draft which was delivered to Lucas shortly before Brackett´s death from cancer on March 18, 1978. Two drafts of a new screenplay were written by Lucas and, following the delivery of the screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark, turned over to Lawrence Kasdan for a new approach. Both Brackett and Kasdan (though not Lucas) were given credit for the final script.
Many reviewers believed that they could detect traces of Brackett´s influence in both the dialogue and the treatment of the space opera genre in Empire. However, Laurent Bouzereau, in his book Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, states that Lucas disliked the direction of Brackett´s screenplay and discarded it. He then produced two screenplays before turning the results over to Kasdan, who did not work directly with Brackett´s script at all. It is speculation if Lucas´ assignment of credit to Brackett was a mere courtesy, a mark of respect for the work she had done during her illness, or a contractual obligation. Support for this view comes from Stephen Haffner, owner of the press that printed Martian Quest: The Early Brackett, who has read Brackett´s script, and claims that-outside Lucas´ storyline-nothing of Brackett´s personal contributions survives in the finished movie.
Brackett´s screenplay has never been published. According to Haffner, it can be read at one of two locations: 1) the library of the Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, but may not be copied or borrowed off-site; and 2) the archives at Lucasfilm, Ltd. in California.