George Lucas had a backup plan.
It might not seem like such a bold move today – in the era of blockbuster franchises – to be planning for a sequel before the first movie has even been released. But, in the 1970s, this was downright revolutionary thinking. Especially considering that we’re talking about a movie set in another galaxy in an era where such films were considered inane. (Granted, some people still consider them inane.) But not only did Lucas have a plan for a 'Star Wars' sequel, he had two plans. One, as you know, became ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ The other exists as a sort of alternative universe oddity of what could have been – a story titled ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.’