The Star Wars movies have been a part of the cultural zeitgeist for 37 years, and with Episode VII now in the works, a whole new generation of fans will soon be forged. While we still have 18 months to go until the next film is released, we can take some deep trivia dives to tide us over and get us up to speed for the next installment.
Now, let's explore some little-known facts and figures about the galaxy far, far away.
In early drafts, the script was entitled Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars. Later it was changed to The Star Wars, and then, eventually, just Star Wars.
Because of his involvement with Lucas' American Graffiti, he was asked to read the role while screen-testing other actors. It was only after testing several prominent stars that Lucas realized he had his Han Solo all along.
Right before he was lowered into the carbonite freezing chamber, Han was supposed to say, "Just remember that because I'll be back," in response to Leia's "I love you.” According to interviews with director Irvin Kershner, the line was later changed to "I love you, too." But no one liked Han's response, especially Ford, who improvised the now-immortal "I know."
Lucas originally wanted Orson Welles for Vader's voice but ultimately decided that Welles' voice was too recognizable. Darth Vader was, of course, voiced by James Earl Jones.
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David Prowse, the actor who physically played Darth Vader, was very angry that his voice was replaced with that of James Earl Jones. He claims he was the victim of "reverse racism," since there are no other prominent black actors in the film (apparently glossing over Billy Dee Williams' Lando Calrissian). Subsequently, Lucas has barred him from all Star Wars-related events, reportedly for "annoying" him.
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Also while on location in Tunisia, the Libyan government became worried about what they thought was a massive military vehicle parked near the Libyan border. In response, the Tunisian government, receiving threats of military mobilization, politely asked Lucas to move his Jawa sandcrawler farther away from the border.
Lucas left the Directors Guild of America over a conflict about the opening credits of The Empire Strikes Back. The DGA required all films to have opening credits, but Lucas wanted to bypass them and go straight to the famous Star Wars crawl. Instead of acquiescing to their demands, he left the union.
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Steven Spielberg was Lucas's first choice to direct Return of the Jedi, but Spielberg had to pass because of his guild membership. David Lynch was then offered the chance to direct, but he turned it down and chose Dune as his next project. In the end, Lucas chose little-known Welsh director Richard Marquand, who some believe was a puppet and that Lucas actually directed the film himself.
That hero would be the first film's publicity supervisor, Charles Lippincott. Aware of the power of the sci-fi fan, Lippincott went to conventions to promote A New Hope prior to its release and is largely credited with bringing in huge opening day audiences.
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Lucas had solid reasoning behind why Yoda corroborated to Luke that Darth Vader was his father. During the making of the film, Lucas consulted with a child psychologist, who told him unless it was unequivocally stated that Vader was Luke's father, moviegoers age 12 and under would dismiss Vader's claim to be Luke's father as a lie.
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Empire's most iconic line — "No, I am your father" — was a secret to everyone but Lucas. During filming, the actors had a fake script that read, "Luke, you are your own father!" None of the actors understood what that meant, leading Lucas to concoct a lie about time travel and the plot of the upcoming Return of the Jedi to appease them.
Some of their lines are in Tagalog, a Filipino language. Most of their dialogue, however, is in Kalmuck, a language spoken by nomadic tribes living in central China.
In Clones, the Senate votes to give the Supreme Chancellor sweeping emergency powers to go to war against the Separatist forces. This is the same tactic Hitler used to gain power in mid-1930s Germany.
Technology between the years these two films changed an unbelievable amount. One example of the technology: Every clone trooper in Revenge of the Sith is computer-generated. Not a single clone costume or helmet was created for the film.
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Peter Mayhew has basically just played Chewbacca his entire adult life. Revenge of the Sith (2005) marked his first return to the big screen since Return of the Jedi (1983). Between the two films, the only other movie he has done was Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy (1997), a made-for-TV movie in which he has a voice over role. He will return for Star Wars: Episode VII.
The newest entry in the Star Wars franchise recently took a hit when Harrison Ford, who will be reprising his role as Han Solo, injured his ankle when a door on the Millenium Falcon reportedly closed on it. Production on his scenes will be delayed up to eight weeks while the star recovers.
Considering we have been waiting 37 years for this installment, two months doesn't seem so long.