Making of Star Wars Timeline

Early 1973
Lucas writes the first drafts related to Star Wars: a character and location roster
Spring 1973
Lucas writes idea fragment titled Journal of the Whills I
May 1, 1973
Lucas finishes treatment summary
August 2, 1973
American Graffiti released
August 24, 1973
Lucasfilm secures deal with 20th Century Fox to fund pre-production of Star Wars
May 1974
Lucas finishes rough draft
July 1974
Lucas finishes first draft
November 1, 1974
Ralph McQuarrie draws first concept art
January 28, 1975
Lucas finishes second draft summary
May 1, 1975
Lucas finishes story synopsis and typed outline summary
May through July 1975
Industrial Light & Magic established to create special effects
August 1975
Lucas finishes third draft summary
Late August 1975
Casting begins
December 13, 1975
Fox finally greenlights film for production
January 1, 1976
Lucas finishes fourth draft summary
Late January 1976
Main cast finalized
March 15, 1976
Lucas finishes revised fourth draft summary
March 22, 1976
First day of shooting in Tunisia
April 19, 1976
Lucas releases updates to the second half of script
July 16, 1976
Principal photography completed, start of post-production
Circa late October, early November 1976
First cut of film completed with placeholder sound and special effects
November 12, 1976
Novelization by Alan Dean Foster released
Mid January to early February 1977
Filming of pick-ups and re-shoots
Early March 1977
John Williams records soundtrack with the London Symphony Orchestra over 12 days
Early May 1977
Final cut completed, sound mix worked on until release
May 25, 1977
Film released to 32 theaters
June 1, 1977
Mono mix released to several theaters with minor changes