There are a handful of hardcore Fanboys out there who simply can't handle that “Star Wars” didn't win the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1977. That it lost out to one of the finest, most clever examples of transcendent visual storytelling, “Annie Hall,” is of no consequence. The '77 Oscar is an injustice equaled only by the destruction of Alderaan.
Here's the thing: it's okay to love both. (And to realize that “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” not being nominated that year is possibly the bigger crime.) What you may not know is that George Lucas and Woody Allen recognized there was a problem and actually tried to get a project off the ground that would bring peace to the two parties.
While the film never made it past script stage, we at Planet Fanboy are among the few who've actually had a chance to read the collaborative work. Many Bothans crashed their bumper cars to bring us this information.
The project, given the working title “Star Schnorrers,” detailed the life of Alvy Skywalker, the son of Shmi Skywalker's distant cousin Schmendrick Skywalker. They grew up poor, living in a small house directly beneath a podracing track, adding to their nervous personalities.
As Alvy grew older he entered the entertainment business. He wrote jokes for other comics who would then perform at Jabba's Palace, but he never had the guts to get up and perform on his own. Mainly because when a joke didn't land the comedian ended up tossed in the Pit of Carkoon, where they found a new definition of pain and suffering while being slowly digested by the Sarlaac for over 1000 years. (Still not as bad as lunch at the Carnegie Deli.)
After a game of mixed-doubles Boga Minawk with his buddy Max Antilles, Alvy meets Annie Amidala. This Tatooine transplant from Naboo sticks out like a sore thumb (you should hear her talk about Grammy Amidala – so clearly not from around here!) but her drive to be a torch singer and her personal sense of style (she wears vests like a Corellian) keep her unpredictable and lively.
Alvy and Annie dive headfirst into a deep romance that is complicated and true and ultimately tragic. Highlights include rental house vacation where they try to cook live Kowakian monkey-lizards and Annie's insistence on smoking Collafa spice before making love.
As the relationship grows darker, Alvy turns to his mentor, Obi-Juan Epstein, a sage in a trench-coat with curly hair who would only communicate by honking a bicycle horn. When Annie confronts Obi-Juan and tells his he's “our only Hope,” he disagrees with her, pointing instead to a leering man chasing Dorothy Lamour in a sarong.
Lucas and Allen were unable to agree on a conclusion. Lucas was hoping for a big invasion that culminated in the destruction of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, but the thought of going out to Los Angeles gave Allen a fever and terrible nausea. Furthermore, they could never agree if Max Rebo or Figrin D'an should play Paul Simon part.
Even with Lucasfilm looking for more projects to develop as they enter this new stage of Star Wars, it looks unlikely that this one will ever see light of day. A movie is like a Wookiee, it has to keep moving or it dies. And what we have here is a dead Wookiee.