The iconic ‘Empire Strikes Back’ line that almost didn’t make the movie

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  • “I know” defined Han Solo, separating him from Luke Skywalker and elevating the film’s status among fans and critics alike.

  • This iconic line was included in the film thanks to a brilliant collaboration between Harrison Ford and director Irv Kershner.

  • George Lucas needed explaining about the change, but audiences loved “I Know”, which cemented its place. star wars History.

Not only in one of the most memorable scenes the Empire Strikes Back but perfect star wars film series, it is thereThe smuggler and reluctant hero of the Rebel Alliance stands chained and defeated. darth vader Solo is supposed to be used as a guinea pig to test carbonite freezing technology for the purpose of capturing himself. Luke Skywalker, If the experiment failed, Solo would face a painful death. If successful, the technique would cryogenically freeze him for an indefinite period of time, perhaps never to be revived. Facing certain destruction, Solo looks to his beloved princess leia for comfort. She meets his silent pleading with an honest declaration, telling him “I love you” for the first time. And in that touching, heartfelt moment, Solo gave the only answer he could: “I know.”

Those two simple words – “I know” – helped define the character of Han Solo, and established him as a better bad boy than the naive, innocent Luke Skywalker. Such extraordinary dialogue increased the height the Empire Strikes Back in the eyes of star wars Fans and film critics alike, many consider it to be the best film in the series and one of the greatest sequels ever made. However, if it wasn’t for the stellar collaboration on set between the stars Harrison Ford and director irv kershnerThat now famous line might never have appeared in the film.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

After the Rebels overrun the Empire, Luke Skywalker begins his Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued across the galaxy by Darth Vader and bounty hunter Boba Fett.

release date

18 June 1980


124 minutes

main style

science fiction

The original ‘Empire Strikes Back’ script needs help


Image by TK

the tremendous success of star wars Raised the stakes for its eventual sequel. the creator george lucas He knew he had to deliver an extraordinary script, so he hired screenwriter leigh bracket To prepare the first draft. Brackett began his career as a novelist and pioneer of the space opera genre before writing screenplays for Hollywood classics. big sleep (1946), rio bravo (1959), and long goodbye (1973) Sadly, Brackett died of cancer shortly after submitting the initial draft.

While he kept some of Brackett’s concepts, including Yoda Due to a character with a different name, Lucas began rewriting the script. then he turned it over lawrence kasdanwho had just completed the script Raiders of the Lost Ark, to carry the dialogue forward. Kasdan’s participation already resulted in significantly improved negotiations. star wars The film, which often featured clumsy, twisted lines that thankfully got lost in the imaginative premise and spectacular special effects.

Despite Lucas doing amazing work with traditional dialogue, even the talented Kasdan failed to write Han Solo’s iconic “I know”. In the original script, Han responded to Leia’s “I love you” in a somewhat awkward manner.Just remember this, because I’ll be back.” Kershner recognized the missed opportunity. After shooting the original line, he tried various alternatives in hopes of finding something that would not be weak. Suspense continues on whether Han Solo will survive or not, Ford was the one who suggested “I know,” Believe it will add a touch of humor to the poignant scene.

Why “I Know” is extraordinary dialogue

Dialogue plays many important roles in a screenplay, such as conveying information, moving the plot forward, and setting the pace of a scene. Of course, dialogue is also necessary for characterization. Each character should have a unique voice. Young writers often struggle with making all their characters sound the same. This is usually a sign that they don’t know their characters well enough. Individuals have unique backgrounds, life experiences, and personalities. Two people rarely react to the same situation in the same way. This should also be true for the characters in the script. The words a character chooses to express their thoughts and feelings reveal who they are and create their unique voice, Luke Skywalker would never answer “I love you” with “I know.” Only Han Solo could say something that flipping in such a dramatic moment. Ford understood this because he knew his character. And because he chose those words, the audience learned about his character.

“I know” is effective because it avoids the obvious. Always try to be one step ahead of the audience when writing dialogue. If moviegoers can hear the lines in their heads before they hear them on the screen, the screenwriter is not doing his job. The obvious answer to “I love you” is the breathtakingly boring “I love you too.” This is fine for a first draft. but writing is revision, Eliminating the obvious and staying one step ahead of the audience draws them into the story and heightens their emotional experience. Han Solo’s “I Know” does just that, surprising audiences with a hint of humor and bravery in the face of death.

George Lucas needed explaining on this ‘Empire’ change

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Although Harrison Ford and Irv Kershner knew they had struck gold with “I Know”. George Lucas was not happy with such a significant change in the script, ​Lucas was afraid that the audience would laugh, and make fun of the whole thing. Kershner fought for the new line, arguing that it perfectly captured Han Solo’s rebellious nature.

It took some convincing, but Lucas eventually agreed to hold two public screenings, one with “I Know” and one with the original line. During the first screening, audience members actually laughed at “I know”, but later attempted to tell Lucas how much they liked the line and how well it worked. Lucas canceled the second screeningAnd the rest is history.

star wars fan devotion the Empire Strikes Back lies in its brilliant script, The film is full of well-crafted scenes, such as the evil Empire’s thrilling attack on the icy planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker’s Jedi training with Yoda in the muddy swamps of Dagobah, and Darth Vader’s maddened display of ancestral pride. Cutting off the hand of. Yet, in a script filled with dazzling action sequences and groundbreaking special effects, two simple words from Han Solo stole the show, and they weren’t even in the script. the Empire Strikes Back This is a wonderful example of how when reminded about the importance of revisions writers everywhere have only one response: “I know.”

the Empire Strikes Back Available to stream on Disney+ in the US

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