Here Are 40 Fascinating Star Wars Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Gathering fans from every age, gender and from all parts of the world, the Star Wars franchise is an international phenomenon. Apart from nine well-known movies, the saga has spawned several spin-offs, videogames, TV series, action figures, and even theme park attractions at Disneyland. The worldwide sensation over Star Wars has made its creator, George Lucas, one of the wealthiest people in the entertainment business. However, when Lucas directed Episode IV: A New Hope —the first film of the saga— back in the 70s, little did he know that he and his team had just developed one of the biggest, most recognizable movie franchises of all time. In fact, the franchise likely gave birth to the term ‘blockbuster’ since Episode IV broke box office records upon its release and became a pop-culture icon.
So in order to celebrate and pay homage to the sci-fi heavyweight, we’ve selected 40 fascinating Star Wars facts that even die-hard fans may not be aware of. Enjoy and may the Force be with you!

Photo: Courtesy of Sopitas

#40. Alec Guinness Believed Star Wars Was “Fairy Tale Rubbish”

Luke Skywalker’s mentor and former Jedi warrior Obi-Wan Kenobi seems like a pretty relaxed dude. However, Alec Guinness, the actor who played him in the first three films, didn’t exactly seem to be so relaxed and nice towards the franchise. Before starting the shooting of A New Hope, the late British actor criticized the film series in a letter sent to one of his friends, which was later published in his authorized biography, where he referred to Star Wars as a “fairy tale rubbish“.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Even though Guinness wasn’t keen on the story, he agreed to do the film for what he believed to be the “right amount of money“. He later scored a deal that paid him 2% of the gross for the three movies he appeared in, which eventually earned him a pleasant $95 million. Apart from all the money he gained for a movie he despised, Guinness was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 49º Academy Awards. Not bad at all for something he believed to be “rubbish”.

#39. Steven Spielberg And George Lucas Made A Bet Over Star Wars

It’s fairly known among the public that George Lucas was on the verge of a mental breakdown following the catastrophic production of Star Wars. However, fellow director and friend Steven Spielberg was eager to make a bet with a then-desperate George Lucas about the future luck of the film when they met in Alabama while the latter was shooting Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

According to the acclaimed director, Lucas returned from Star Wars feeling incredibly nervous and discouraged. He felt that the movie hadn’t even come close to the vision he had initially had and that it was destined to be a box office flop. Upon venting out to his friend, Lucas then suggested that the two exchange 2.5% of future profits from both movies. As it turns out, Star Wars became a massive hit and Spielberg became the happy beneficiary of the couple.

#38. Several Structures Built For Planet Tatooine Remain In Tunisia

The stellar coordinates of Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s home planet, are probably unknown. Despite this, Tatooine is a real place and it’s not necessary to jump into a Millennium Falcon and travel through hyperspace in order to visit the Jedi’s home planet—just catch a plane heading to Africa and land on Tunisia! Lucas was actually inspired by Tataouine, a desert Berber town in southern Tunisia, and named Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine after the Tunisian town.

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

Some of the scenes were shot inside the Siri Driss Hotel in the desert region of Matmata, which is quite distinctive because of its deep pits and tunnel corridors. The hotel’s insides are generously covered with Star Wars‘ memorabilia, cast portraits and even pictures of smiling cosplayers. Most of these Tunisian buildings, however, remain abandoned and the small towns stand silent in the winter when tourists are scarce.

#37. Tupac Shakur Auditioned For The Role Of Mace Windu

Few people are aware of the fact that world-famous and incredibly prolific rapper Tupac Shakur actually auditioned for a role in one of the beloved films of the saga. During his hasty rise to hip-hop superstardom, Shakur was trying luck in the film business and reportedly failed an audition for a role as Mace Windu in the now infamous prequel, Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Photo: Courtesy of Sopitas

According to Rick Clifford, who worked as an engineer at Death Row Records —Tupac’s record label—, the hip-hop mogul told him he had gone for a reading with George Lucas. Unfortunately, the part went to Samuel L. Jackson. Shakur was murdered in September 1996, following a very public gang feud with a section of East Coast rappers. Despite his frustrated attempt to become an actor, he remains one of the best selling hip-hop artists of the century.

#36. It’s All In The Family

Some people, even respected filmmakers, practice some not-so-subtle favoritism when it comes to having their friends and family take part in their projects. And even though nepotism isn’t something George Lucas has exercised or availed, he did, to some almost unnoticeable degree, bring his family along to the depths of the marvelous Star Wars universe.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

The praised director’s youngest daughter, Katie Lucas, was cast as a Twi’lek dancer in Episode II: Attack of the Clones and participated as a screenwriter in several episodes of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. On the other hand, her sister Amanda appeared as a background extra in Episode II, while The Clone War‘s character Che Amanwe Papanoida is based on her. Not to be left out, Lucas’s only son, Jett, played a young padawan in Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith.

#35. Carrie Fisher Needed To Stand On A Box For Scenes With Harrison Ford

When most people think of Carrie Fisher, they inevitably think of the legendary Princess Leia Organa. She has become an icon ever since the release of the first movie, and although the beloved Fisher may have left a tall legacy, in reality, the late actress was a surprisingly short person. Her height of 5’1” (154cm) was undeniably no match for co-star Harrison Ford’s nearly sky-scraping 6’1” (185cm) physique.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Everything looks different through movie lenses and the actors we see in films don’t usually look the same in real life as they do on the screen. So it’s fairly common in showbusiness to use ‘tricks’ to achieve perfect framing, and given the very noticeable height unevenness, Fisher had no choice left but to stand on a wooden box —not to look just as tall as Ford, but to simply appear on the shot, since she was roughly a foot shorter than her co-star.

#34. Jabba The Hutt Was Supposed To Appear In Episode IV

Galactic crimelord and gangster Jabba The Hutt is potentially one of the most infamous movie villains in all Star Wars, along with the iconic Darth Vader. Besides being one of the most recognizable characters due to his colossal weight, it’s quite a bit surprising to learn that the despicable and vile monster’s first appearance was intended to be in Episode IV: A New Hope.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

The scene was supposed to be included in the first cut of the film and was shot with Irish actor Declan Mulholland as Jabba The Hutt. A stop-motion alien was to be put over Mulholland in the edit. However, George Lucas wasn’t satisfied with the outcome, since the archaic 70s special effects didn’t make the villain look realistic enough and the scene was later eliminated. In 1997, A New Hope was re-released and the scene was added using a CGI Jabba The Hutt.

#33. James Earl Jones Was Embarrassed By The First Movie

Renowned performer James Earl Jones participated in hundreds of films throughout his 50+ year-long career and is especially known for his work as a voice actor. He voiced widely remembered characters such as Mufasa in The Lion King, but his most famous and emblematic role is definitely voicing the evil Jedi-turned Sith, Darth Vader, in the original trilogy. He later reprised the role for The Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Despite having voiced one of the most iconic and popular movie villains of all time, the Mississippi actor refused to have his name on the credits of both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Jones claimed that he felt his contribution wasn’t significant enough and was embarrassed by it, so he didn’t believe it should warrant a credit. Jones later added that he was still an up-and-coming actor and wanted to avoid typecasting.

#32. A Trio Of Famous Actors Unsuccessfully Auditioned For Star Wars

Tupac Shakur wasn’t the only famous figure that had an unsuccessful attempt to land a role in the beloved saga. Although these actors weren’t exactly as famous in the 70s as they are today, they did try their luck for different characters in the then-unknown sci-fi movie. Unfortunately, none of these actors had prosperous auditions and were rejected.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

A then-undiscovered Sylvester Stallone reportedly auditioned for the role of Han Solo but was rejected, and the part eventually went to Harrison Ford. Not long after, Stallone gained international fame by writing and starring in Rocky, which later became a hugely successful saga. On the other hand, Cindy Williams, a star of the 1976 sitcom Laverne & Shelley, and a fifteen-year-old Jodie Foster both auditioned for the role of Princess Leia, to no avail, either.

#31. George Lucas Missed The 1977 Premiere Because He Was On Holiday

We previously revealed that George Lucas confided in his friend Steven Spielberg to express his doubts regarding the upcoming first Star Wars movie. However, few people are aware of the fact that Lucas bailed on the 1977 Episode IV: A New Hope premiere and the reason behind the director’s actions will surprise you!

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Truth is, George Lucas was so convinced Star Wars was headed to being one of the biggest box-office flops of the decade, that he actually went on a holiday trip to the beautiful and tropical greenery of Hawaii with none other than his supportive friend, Steven Spielberg. After Episode IV turned out to be a worldwide sensation and one of the highest-grossing films of the year, Lucas decided never to miss another premiere again.

#30. A Monkey Almost Played The Role Of Yoda

The popular and wise Jedi master who lived in a swamp and taught Luke Skywalker all about the Force first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda was one of the world’s first animatronic puppets and was created by Jim Henson, who also created The Muppets and worked in the beloved kid’s show Sesame Street, among others. But before he joined the Star Wars team, the original idea was to get a trained monkey to wear a mask and walk around with a cane.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

They got as far as to train the monkey to hold the cane, but eventually, the simian plans for Yoda were abandoned after one of the crew members pointed out that it was likely the monkey would take off his mask on every opportunity he had. In the end, the character was turned into a puppet that was operated and voiced by Frank Oz, who worked with Jim Henson before Star Wars. In later films, Yoda was made using CGI.

#29. The Word ‘Ewok’ Is Never Said In The Original Trilogy

Everyone —including fans and people who have never seen Star Wars —is familiar with Ewoks. These adorable, cuddly, bear-like creatures live in a primitive manner, yet have a remarkable talent for bringing down substantially larger, modern and technologic Empires. Ewoks are loved by the public, and all sorts of merchandise such as plushies and toys have become most people’s favorite Star Wars-related memorabilia. But how do we know they’re called ‘Ewoks’?

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Despite their popularity, the word ‘Ewok’ is never mentioned on-screen during the original three films, but only appears in the script and the closing credits. As it turns out, it was mostly the countless toys and commercials that made people familiar with the fuzzy creatures. The name ‘Ewok’ itself was inspired by a Native American Tribe called Miwok, native to the Redwood forest in California, where most of the Endor scenes were filmed.

#28. Boba Fett’s Face Is Seen In The Original Trilogy

The helmeted bounty-hunter is among fan’s all-time favorite characters in the Star Wars universe. Despite not doing very much in the original trilogy, we do see much more of Fett’s history, origin, and development in the prequels. Boba Fett is a human and clone of the infamous Jango Fett, who raised him as his son and taught him the necessary abilities for him to later become a successful bounty hunter.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Part of Boba Fett’s mysterious magnetism is that he never takes his helmet off since he adopted his father’s Mandalorian armor —a traditional armor used by human warrior clans in Mandalore— and Mandalorian culture demands that its warriors follow very strict rules, such as never taking their helmets in front of others. However, the actor who played him stood as an Imperial officer in The Empire Strikes Back at the last minute because the original actor was unavailable.

#27. “I Have A Bad Feeling About This”

The now-famous phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” was spoken twice in the very first Star Wars film, and since then it appears in each and every Star Wars movie and video game made either by Lucas Film or Lucas Arts as some kind of inside joke.

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

Some other projects also include someone muttering the line, or variations of it such as Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or the Monkey Island games, a very popular series among children in the 90s, which was created by then-existing LucasArts.

#26. Return Of The Jedi Nearly Had A Shocking Ending

George Lucas initially had an alternate ending for Return Of The Jedi in which Luke embraced pure evil. In one of the original endings, things start going down a very familiar way, with Darth Vader still somehow sacrificing himself to help Luke defeat the Emperor and Luke taking Vader’s helmet off. However, things take a dark turn, and it was intended that Luke put on his father’s mask and proclaim that he was now Vader.

Photo: Courtesy of Multiversity Comics

Leaving this ending out turned out to be a wise decision since it would’ve essentially contradicted everything else shown in the film so far. Ultimately, George Lucas decided to give a bittersweet ending to The Return of the Jedi, with Luke defeating both Darth Vader and the Emperor without losing himself to the Dark Side, as his father had, and later redeeming him.

#25. ‘N Sync Almost Appeared In Attack Of The Clones

It was the year 2001, in a decade that now seems very far away, and NSYNC was one of the biggest boy bands in the world. Selling out shows and appearing daily on MTV, the group, which included a young Justin Timberlake, was everywhere. So it was quite understandable that the boys had a cameo in one of the films of such legendary saga, but the reasons behind the pop-group appearance are still somewhat dubious.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

NSYNC was supposed to play Jedi knights in two scenes: the Geonosis battle and a meeting between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. It’s rumored that these scenes were shot to appease a request from both Lucas and film producer Rick McCallum’s daughters, although Lucas denied this. The scenes involved the band fighting droids in the Geonosis battle and standing casually just as Obi-Wan and Yoda walked through a corridor, but the footage was later cut.

#24. Yoda’s Species Is Unknown

One of the wisest and most admired characters in the Star Wars universe, Yoda, is well appreciated in fiction and the real world. Despite being so well-known and recognized, the short, green Jedi master’s species remains a mystery. He was a leading member of the Jedi High Council and lived through nine hundred years of galactic history, but still, his origins are unknown.

Photo: Courtesy of El País

Many fans have speculated over Yoda’s species, stating that Yoda’s breed may be related to the Lanniks, because of their physical resemblance. Because of its three fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot, some have called Yoda a ‘tridactyl’. George Lucas wanted to keep Yoda’s species as a mystery in order to make him seem more enigmatic and all-powerful.

#23. Yoda Is Not A Muppet

The iconic Jedi master was created by Jim Henson and voiced by Frank Oz, both men fundamentally important to the creation of The Muppets. Henson created the famous furry icons and co-founded Muppets, Inc. in 1955, while Frank Oz joined the show in 1963 as a puppeteer for numerous characters —such as Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear—, after Henson’s wife quit to raise their children.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Although Henson created Yoda, the animatronic was constructed by a member of the LucasArts team and therefore belongs to them instead of Henson’s house of furry friends. Let’s just say, don’t expect a crossover anytime soon. Still, when asked about Yoda’s species, George Lucas joked that the small, green, wise Jedi is the illegitimate child of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

#22. Yoda’s Toes Change

Continuity errors are fairly normal and, despite some of them being quite notorious, they mostly go unnoticed. Unless you’re one of the biggest movie franchises in the whole world. Some fans are amazingly committed to discovering continuity errors, and thanks to the wonderful tool that is the Internet, there are even communities online entirely dedicated to discussing these errors.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Depending on which film you’re watching, and if you look close enough or simply pause the film at the right time, it can be seen that Yoda has different amounts of toes, although the green elder always has three fingers. In The Empire Strikes Back, as well as Return of The Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, Yoda has four toes, but has three in The Phantom Menace.

#21. In The Original Trilogy, There Are No Female Fighter Pilots

Evidently, George Lucas wasn’t going to be out of his way to be politically correct in 1977 when he took audiences to distant galaxies for the initial Star Wars. In fact, it’s reported that Lucas filmed a few scenes where three female Rebel pilots where shot on camera during the crucial offensive towards the Death Star, but later decided against them and removed them from the final cut before the film reached theatres.

Photo: Courtesy of Yahoo News

On the one hand, it’s very interesting that Lucas decided to shoot with three female pilots of diverse ages but there are no official statements on why the scenes were cut from the film —although later added on the Blu-ray edition—. Some theorize that Lucas chose not to use these women because watching females die on screen would have been dubbed as ‘too traumatic‘. In more recent years, the Star Wars universe has become a bit more progressive, and we’re happy about it!

#20. Star Wars And 2001: A Space Odyssey Share Almost The Same Crew

George Lucas was, like many other contemporaries, a massive admirer of fellow filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick, who started as a photographer and later transitioned towards film, was famous because of his unique style, which paid special attention to framing, set design, and music. The acclaimed director released his science fiction masterpiece in 1968, nearly ten years before George Lucas ventured into the creation of Star Wars.

Photo: Courtesy of AVS Forum

Although the story of 2001 didn’t directly inspire Star Wars, Lucas has said the film was “hugely influencing” and he recruited as many people as he could from Kubrick’s film to work on his own. For example, A Space Odyssey opens with a sequence that shows the struggles of apes, which were created under the supervision of Stuart Freeborn. Freeborn was hired to work on A New Hope and its previous sequels. Most notably, he manufactured the puppet for Yoda.

#19. There Are No Physical Clone Troopers

In the original trilogy, all the clone troopers were played by real people. However, this brought a lot of problems related to using the armor. For instance, the extras and stuntmen had trouble walking in those suits and the helmets were difficult to see through, which resulted in several accidents where extras would either slip or fall. One of these incidents was even caught on film in Episode IV, where a clumsy Stormtrooper smacks his head against the door.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

In order to avoid these issues and prevent people from getting hurt while at the same time pushing the technology further, George Lucas decided to rely on the use of CGI for the prequels. Therefore, no physical armor was built, which resulted in LucasFilm saving a large amount of money, since the cost of CGI clone troopers is considerably less than hiring extras and creating multiple suits for each of them.

#18. Qui-Gon Jinn Used A Razor As His Communicator

Qui-Gon Jinn is a rebellious human, a Jedi master, a well-respected member of the Jedi Order and Anakin Skywalker’s first mentor. Jinn is played by British actor Liam Neeson in the 1999 prequel, The Phantom Menace. Although The Phantom Menace is one of the least favorite films of the franchise, fans discovered an entertaining detail in the movie.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

There’s a scene where Quin-Gon Jinn communicates with Obi-Wan Kenobi and he uses some sort of device which fans found oddly familiar. Well, turns out the ‘Comlink’ was actually modeled from the handle of a Gilette Ladies Sensor Excell Razor! More precisely, a resin casting of the razor was used as a base for the addition of several pieces, including three solder lungs and matrix pins.

#17. E.T Exists In The Same Universe As Star Wars

Renowned director and friend of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, pushed the boundaries of sci-fi when he made the story of an adorable alien called E.T, who was lost on Earth and wanted to return home. Lucas and Spielberg, apart from being long-time friends, admired each other as filmmakers so it’s no surprise that there are easter eggs related to one another hiding in both the director’s movies.

Photo: Courtesy of Thought Co

For example, in E.T, the aforementioned alien spots a child in a Yoda costume for Halloween and tries to approach him, as if being aware of who he is. Lucas returned the nod years later, in 1999, when he included a group of aliens resembling E.T. that can be seen in the background of the Imperial Senate. In fact, the Senator of the planet Brodo Asogi in the Galactic Republic is named Grebleips, which is Spielberg spelled backward.

#16. Ewoks Speak Tibetan

Some non-existing languages are created solely for movies —which is quite an extensive job, yet some others take inspiration from extinct or minority dialects. For example, Ewoks live on the forest moon of Endor and speak a ‘primitive language’ that is mostly fictional. However, Ben Burtt, a sound designer that worked on The Return of the Jedi and created the Ewok language, admitted that the dialect the adorable furry creatures possess is not entirely made-up.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Believe it or not, the Tibetan language contributed to the Ewok speech. For example, the initial prayer that Ewoks utter to C-3PO is the beginning part of a Tibetan Buddhist prayer. People of the Tibetan diaspora, that is, that live outside Tibet, were very confused as many parts of the phrases they could understand didn’t correlate to the events on the screen. Burtt also recorded a Kalmyk refugee telling folk stories in her native language and used the recordings along with Tibetan, as a basis for creating the Ewok language.

#15. David Lynch Was Asked To Direct The Return Of The Jedi

Legendary director David Lynch is known —and loved— for making bizarre, surrealistic, complicated and marvelous films and TV shows, such as Mullholand Drive, Blue Velvet and the highly celebrated cult-classic Twin Peaks. Lynch has a very particular style which is definitely not suited for everybody, so it’s hard to imagine him directing something such as an epic sci-fi tale like Star Wars. But he was indeed approached by George Lucas to direct the third of his original trilogy.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

The two met in order to discuss the script, but had creative differences over the road it should take. The meeting didn’t prosper, and since the Wild at Heart director tends to a more niche, indie taste, he declined the offer, possibly thinking Star Wars was a bit too commercial for someone with such distinctive quirks like him. Eventually, things worked out for both parties, since Return of the Jedi was finally directed by the late Richard Marquand, and it’s regarded as one of the best films in the Star Wars franchise.

#14. Darth Vader Is Banned From Star Wars Events

While James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader, British actor David Prowse played Darth Vader in physical form. However, the latter has a somewhat turbulent and complicated relationship with George Lucas, who reportedly found him annoying and accused him of leaking Darth Vader’s identity before the release of the film. In simple words, the climate onset was not smooth, and things were a bit awkward between the two, to say the least.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Whether rumors of Prowse spoiling the plot in Return of the Jedi are true or not, the actor was promised to be seen and heard at the end of the film, when Vader’s mask is removed and his identity is finally known. However, George Lucas went with a different actor to upset Prowse. By any means, he has been banned from attending any LucasFilm associated event, which includes conventions. There has been no word from Disney regarding the rescission of the ban now that they own LucasFilm.

#13. TIE Fighters Are Elephants

TIE fighters were the memorable symbol of the Imperial fleet. They were single-pilot vehicles and their initials stand for Twin Ion Engines, which propelled them. TIE fighters were designed for fast-paced fights and highly regarded as being fast and agile, although also fragile starfighters. TIE fighters and various TIE craft appear in Star Wars films as well as the spin-offs.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

One of the most recognized elements of the deadly TIE fighters is their iconic sound, which resembles a high-tech buzzsaw and evokes a sense of danger, similar to an ancient beast of some sort. However, Star Wars‘ sound designer Ben Burtt achieved this frightening sound by using something much different—elephants! He sampled a movie’s elephant noises and slowed them down, he then mixed them with the sound of cars on wet pavement, and the rest is history!

#12. Chewbacca’s Voice Is From Several Animals

Played by Peter Mayhew and designed by makeup supervisor Stuart Freeborn, Chewbacca is both an alien and a familiar, adorable, gigantic, and lovable dog. The fact that he towers above anyone else and walks like a human is irrelevant to his charm. Nevertheless, Mayhew didn’t produce Chewbacca’s grunts, whimpers, and other sounds, as they were in fact provided by Burtt, using the help of some animal friends.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

George Lucas suggested that bears could be a good option to create Chewbacca’s iconic sounds, and Ben Burtt later collected the grunts and roars of bears, as well as the sounds of dogs, lions, and even walruses. Burtt would travel to oceanariums in order to catch the right sound from the colossal mammals. He then analyzed and associated the pitch of the sounds the animals made when angry, scared and stressed. The result was Chewie’s characteristic voice.

#11. Lightsabers Are TVs

A Jedi’s lightsaber is a mythical, otherworldly sword, —yet a deadly one! The now-iconic sound of the lightsaber came to Brett in fragments. First, he remembered the hum he would hear as a projectionist in cinema school. He recorded that sound, and a few days later he accidentally had a broken microphone cable pick up the buzz from the back of his TV. He recorded the buzz and mixed it with the hum of the projector monitor.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

From there, he played the lightsaber sound through speakers, recording it with a microphone that he would wave over and around the speakers. As a result, he was able to create the sound of the lightsaber moving and striking objects. At the end of the day, Ben Burtt designed one of the most remembered and lasting sonic elements in cinema by simply ignoring the rules of ‘good sound’ and just being creative.

#10. Collectible Star Wars Coins Are Legal Currency In Niue

In the small Polynesian island of Niue —1,500 miles off the coast of New Zealand— coins with embossed Star Wars characters such as Darth Vader, Yoda, and Princess Leia became legal tender in 2011. Shops accept the cash for everything from food to clothing, and more. The coins are struck in the same way as a pound coin, giving them a 3D embossed effect.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Also like the pound coin, the reverse side of the Star Wars coins features the head of the Queen who is also the monarch of Niue. The colored Star Wars coins are available in three sets, which include nearly every character in the franchise. Unfortunately, they are more suited as a collector’s piece as the value of the metal content is much higher than the face value, so it’s very unlikely someone would ever want to spend them.

#9. Liam Neeson Was Too Tall For The Doorways

Liam Neeson is a tall, tall man. The actor, famous for films such as Schindler’s List and the Taken saga, may not look that tall, since such things like height and weight are usually edited in films, in order to avoid significant differences between co-stars. However, disasters may happen when crew members and set designers forget about the real heights of some actors.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Unfortunately for Neeson, the Star Wars sets were only built as tall as they needed to be for the actors in each installment of the franchise. So, when the British actor —who is 6’4” (193cm)— joined the cast of The Phantom Menace, all the doorways reportedly had to be rebuilt so that Qui-Gon Jinn could walk through them without ducking.

#8. There Are So Many Fan Videos That A Remake Could Be Shot Frame By Frame Of The First Two Films

The Star Wars fandom is incredibly vast and it continues to expand with the help of the wonderful tool that is the Internet. Fans from all ages and parts of the world take enjoyment in the sci-fi franchise, so much so that the videos that have been uploaded to the Internet are so many, that a remake of the first two films can literally be made shot by shot. And for the first film, this has already happened.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of Internet users to remake Star Wars: A New Hope into a fan-made film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars in whichever way they wanted. Within just a few months, the project, named Star Wars Uncut, grew into a wild success. The creativity and diligence that were placed on the project were extraordinary.

#7. Jabba The Hutt Was Supposed To Be Furry

Jabba Desilijic Tiure, commonly known as Jabba the Hutt, is a large slug-like vengeful creature from the Hutt species that operates as a crimelord in the galaxy. The alien gangster orchestrates his evil deeds, such as slavery and smuggling, from his palace outside Tatooine. Jabba The Hutt is a major antagonist in the last film of the original trilogy and is one of the most repulsive characters in the franchise, both for his appearance and his attitude. But he wasn’t originally intended to look that way.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Original designs and sketches of Jabba The Hutt made him out to be furry and whiskered, until they settled on the slug-like creature he became in the end. It’s hypothesized that changing his appearance to something more soft-looking was eventually turned down, as it would make him seem more friendly and ‘cute’, which was not the intention. Some of these rejected designs made it into comic books before the film was released.

#6. George Lucas Left The Directors Guild Of America Because Of Star Wars

In the directors guild, meticulous and rigid rules determine how to go about opening a film, but George Lucas did not approve nor adhere to the archetypical opening credit scene and thus abandoned. Despite his resignation, the guild insisted that credits appear at the beginning of the film. However, Lucas placed them at the end.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

At first, The Directors Guide of America was not bothered by Lucas’ refusal because they thought the first film would fail anyway. But things changed when The Empire Strikes Back was released. They tried to fine Lucas but failed, so they turned their attention to director Irvin Kershner. Lucas went ahead and paid the fine himself, which amounted to about $250,000, and then dropped his membership from both guilds and the Motion Picture Association of America.

#5. The Opening Crawl Was Filmed Manually

Star Wars opening crawl is a signature element in the series. It opens with the static blue text, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”, followed by the Star Wars logo and the crawl text, which describes the backstory and provides the context of the film. The famous sequence has been featured at the beginning of every film of the original saga that LucasFilm produced, and although it has retained the same basic elements, the opening crawl has notably changed throughout the series.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Lucas has claimed that the opening crawl was inspired by the ones used at the beginning of each episode of the original Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers film serials, which inspired Lucas to write much of the Star Wars saga. In the 70s and early 80s, digital technology wasn’t something that was at hand, so the opening writing that pans up out of shot was, in effect, filmed manually. The words were printed out on a glossy plate and a camera moved over it. Of course, in later movies, the crawl becomes digital.

#4. Harrison Ford Wasn’t Intended To Play Han Solo

George Lucas first met Harrison Ford when he hired him as a carpenter, and later cast him for a small role in American Grafitti. It was a small, yet significant role but not enough for Ford to live on, so he returned to carpentry. Lucas had no interest in casting Ford to play Han Solo, partly because he didn’t want to be the kind of director who reuses the same actors over and over.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

The actors that were considered for the smuggler were Burt Reynolds, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Christopher Walken. Still, Ford helped Lucas out by doing line readings during the audition process, and eventually, the director was convinced no one else could pull off the role, so he ended up casting Harrison Ford as Han Solo. It’s safe to say it was a wise choice since Harrison Ford is now worth an alleged $230 million.

#3. The Most Stop Motion Animation Is Used In The Empire Strikes Back

In the ’70s and early ’80s, there were absolutely no digital tools to animate films, and even if they did exist, it would probably have been much more expensive than the movie’s budget could afford. So, in order to animate a lot of the scenes in the 1980 motion picture, there was no choice but to do it completely manually and using stop-motion techniques. Such is the case of the AT-AT walkers in the battle of Hoth, which were all made with stop-motion. All in all, out of all the Star Wars franchise, this is the one that uses the most stop-motion techniques.

Photo: Courtesy of The Ford Theatres

In fact, The Empire Strikes Back was the first big-budget Hollywood film since King Kong to use stop-motion techniques. Before Lucas’ film, stop-motion had been displaced into the oblivion of low-budget fantasy pictures, which had been kept alive during the ‘50s and the ‘60s. Fortunately, Lucas was very well-read and studied in the history of visual effects and knew the results that could be achieved.

#2. John Ratzenberger Makes A Cameo In The Empire Strikes Back

Actor John Ratzenberger is widely known for his role as Cliff Clavin in the beloved sitcom Cheers, and —many years later—, he appeared in each and every one of the Pixar animated movies. Sometime before this, Ratzenberger made a cameo in The Empire Strikes Back, playing Major Bren Derlin and telling Han Solo not to go out into the cold.

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Not long after he appeared on The Empire Strikes Back, his career exploded and he became quite famous. Ratzenberger was thirty-two years old when he portrayed Derlin, spending about a week filming his scenes at Elstree Studios in a suburb in north London. Ratzenberger reprised his role as Derlin thirty-seven years later in LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.

#1. Han Solo Was Nearly Killed Off In The Original Trilogy

Almost every person that has grown up watching the original Star Wars trilogy has fond memories of it. In fact, the movies are still just as popular and celebrated today as they were forty-two years ago, and they’ve spawned a whole host of prequels and sequels. However, what people might not know is that the original ending to Return of the Jedi, the third installment of the original trilogy, was supposed to be quite different. For instance, Han Solo was almost killed.

Photo: Courtesy of StarWars.com

The differences were unbelievable and involved major characters. For example, the unused ending involved Luke deciding that the Rebellion wasn’t worth fighting for and leaving, disappearing into the wilderness. Things were planned to be worse for Han Solo, since in the original script he is killed as he and Princess Leia battle with the Empire. Ultimately, the script was changed because Lucas was concerned that fewer toys would be sold if Han Solo got killed, so he changed it to a happier one.

Related posts:

  • About Author

    Silvana

  • Advertising

  • Advertising