It’s really hard to write about a series of movies with such a huge cult following and a hugely extensive cannon. Even the most esoteric piece of information regarding the franchise will quickly be rebutted by: “Well, duh and also blah, blah, blah.” I would like to apologize beforehand if I repeat information you already know and I would like to say: take it easy fan-boy, we all have love for Jar-Jar Binks. Right? Right? So travel with me to a galaxy far far away (somewhere in Tunisia from what I hear).
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Rosebud’s Your Father
We all know that Darth Vader’s voice was James Earl Jones. Even the least dedicated fans that go to the premiers and midnight showings without costumes. But did you know we almost got an Orson Welles voiced Vader? Luckily Lucas decided against it because he thought Welles’ famous baritone voice would be too recognizable.
Although I have nothing but respect for James Earl Jones, you’ve got to admit that Welles would have also made a pretty awesome Sith Lord. Speaking of changes. In early drafts of the screenplay Yoda was initially called Buffy, later changed to “Minch Yoda” and thankfully was finally penned in as just Yoda.
The Titillating Truth
In the infamous “Slave Leia” scene, actress Carrie Fisher forced the unexpected sexual awakening of hundreds of thousands of nerds with her brass bikini. The said bikini featured two brass serpentine shapes that barely covered the young actresses breasts.
Here’s where things get a little salacious though: First Carrie Fisher refused to wear so-called “Tit Tape”. Second boobs move and steel bras don’t. Third the bikini top had no sides to it. So when she laid slightly sideways in front of Jaba the Hutt, she constantly “spilled out” of her costume, forcing the numerous extras, actors and crew to have to reshoot the scene multiple times.
On top of that she was forced to go commando in most of her other scenes as the flowing costumes didn’t allow for underwear. In most of her scenes in the iconic white dress, Fisher’s breasts were held in place with gaffer tape. As if you needed more of a reason to search for Star Wars outtake videos.
The Jedi almost became a Sith (again)
So Anakin Skywalker started as a Jedi (a good guy for non-StarWarfarians) he was coerced into becoming a Sith Lord (a bad guy, with a much cooler costume) by the Emperor Palpatine (the main bad guy) but if Lucas’ pitch went through Anakin’s life would have been prophetic for Luke’s.
Lucas proposed that after the main battle in Return of the Jedi (and fans will know the scene I’m referring to, and I’m obligated here to say SPOILERS!!!) Luke would take the helmet off a dying Vader and place it on his own head with the phrase: “Now I am Vader”.
It was Lucas that shot down his own idea though because this small change would have taken the franchise in a very different, very dark direction. How cool would it be though? Think about the possibilities: we could have had a Princess Leia that would be forced to become a Jedi to battle her brother the new Sith Lord (sorry if I ruined the plot for you, but honestly it’s a movie that’s almost 40 years old and I did warn you about spoilers).
An Oscar for the Puppeteer
The job of creating Star War’s cast of puppets was originally offered to Jim Henson, but he was forced to decline due to other professional obligations. Henson recommended his closest collaborator Frank Oz, who happily accepted the offer. And not only was he Yoda’s puppeteer, but also his iconic voice.
It is said that Lucas was so impressed by Oz that he lobbied the for the puppeteer to receive an Oscar which unfortunately was rejected by the Academy.
The First Star Wars was a hard sell
It is purported that only a total of 40 movie theaters actually screened the first Star Wars movie. If only they knew that it would make $1.5 million in its first weekend.
What do intergalactic laser shooting dogfights have in common with WWII? Well some of the footage was frame to frame recreations of WWII dogfights which Lucas showed the FX team as a reference for their pace, chaos and intensity. Why be original when you can fake it?
The iconic hairy co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca was inspired by George Lucas’ own dog, Indiana, sitting in the passenger’s seat when the director drove. Indiana (the dog not the state) was the inspiration for another one of Lucas’ most iconic characters, can you guess which one?
Peter Mayhew was chosen to embody the now famous Wookie because of his incredible 7’2” height and was cast on the spot when Lucas saw him working as an orderly (yes Chewbacca is a nurse). The original costume was made out of a combination yak and rabbit hair and weighed just 8 pounds.
The real problem with the suit was that it was extremely warm which would result in the mask detaching from Mayhew’s face and the eyes looking further away from the eye-holes. In later versions of the costume, the creators added a water-cooling system to allow Mayhew to comfortably wear the suit all day.
I have a bad feeling about this
Yes, I’m finishing with such a stereotypically and widely known fact about the franchise I might as well not have even bothered with the rest of these entries…but you have to realize the significance of this unintentional yet hilarious reoccurring line.
This line has been repeated in all the movies of the franchise and actually created a cinematic metaphor, sometimes used unintentionally comically and other times as a parody of the original. I have a bad feeling that I’m about to finish this article with a bad pun.
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Are there any other Star Wars facts that you would like to add? Let me know in the comment section below.