A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Star Wars! If you’re like most of us, you’ve felt a strong (but good!) disturbance in the force ever since the newest addition to the franchise was released. But do you know everything there is to know about this fantastic space saga?
Here are 21 Star Wars facts every fan in the galaxy should know…
1. Mark Hamill was in a car accident while filming one of the movies
Whilst filming Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Mark Hamill was in a bad car accident, causing severe facial scarring. In order to explain the scarring in the movie, the scene in which Luke Skywalker is attacked by a Wampa was later added in.
2. E.T.’s alien species are part of the Star Wars universe
Steven Spielberg suggested to his good friend, George Lucas that a member of E.T.’s species, called a Grebleip should be placed in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. As a hidden Easter Egg and nod to the classic movie, three Grebleips were placed in a shot of the Galactic Senate. In fact, Spielberg also included a character in a Yoda costume in E.T!
3. The famous twist in The Empire Strikes Back was kept secret from the actors
Instead of saying the line “I am your father” that would later be recorded by Darth Vader’s voice actor, James Earl Jones, the actor who physically played Darth Vader in Episode V was directed to say “Obi-Wan killed your father”. This kept many cast (and crew) members in the dark about the shocking twist until the film’s completion.
4. George Lucas was fined $250,000 for not using traditional opening credits
A New Hope was among the first modern films to not actually give credit to anyone at the start of the movie. Its prologue screen crawl is now one of the most famous opening sequences in cinematic history. Still, George Lucas was fined $250,000 for it, leading to his resignation from the Director’s Guild.
5. Alec Guinness wasn’t really a fan of Star Wars
Yes, the first actor to play Obi-Wan Kenobi actually dismissed the original movie as “fairytale rubbish”. Despite that, his agent worked out a deal in which Guinness would receive 2 percent of George Lucas’ gross earnings from the Star Wars franchise. The Guinness estate collects Star Wars revenue to this very day.
6. Yoda was going to be played by a monkey
According to J.W. Rinzler’s 2010 book, “The Making Of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” everyone’s favorite, wise, green Jedi was almost played by a monkey. There are even photos of the monkey carrying Yoda’s cane and wearing a mask to prove it…
7. The Machete Order is the supposed superior way to view the first six movies
Want to watch all Star Wars movies in chronological order? One way to do so is by watching the episodes in the “Machete Order”, a universally acknowledged pattern that starts with episodes IV and V, then follows with I through III and finishes with episode VI.
8. Chewbacca almost had to wear pants
Apparently, some studio execs took issue with the wookiee wearing a bandolier and nothing else. Mark Hamill has even said that he remembers sketches of Chewie in shorts and other clothing being sent over to the set! Obviously, they changed their minds.
9. “Darth Vader” can’t attend Star Wars events
As of 2010, David Prowse, the actor who physically portrayed Darth Vader in episodes V through VI is no longer allowed to attend Star Wars conventions and other events. George Lucas reportedly gave no reason other than Prowse “burnt too many bridges”.
10. It’s hard to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special
This 1978 official spinoff movie of the franchise is hard to watch in more ways than one– it’s downright hard to find. It has never been rebroadcast or officially released, though Carrie Fisher does reportedly own a copy of it to play at the end of parties when she wants guests to leave.
What’s your favorite film from the saga? Check out which Episode we ranked as the best Star Wars movie and join in on the debate!
11. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader has been played by six different people
They include David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Bob Anderson, Sebastian Shaw, Jake Lloyd, and Hayden Christensen.
12. Topher Grace edited episodes I through III into one 85-minute film
The actor from That 70’s Show is a fellow Star Wars fan, and to practice his editing skills he cut all three prequels into one shorter, more effective movie. It is so far unavailable for general viewing due to copyright issues, but Grace did screen it once after its completion.
13. James Earl Jones was not so lucky
The force was not as strong with the agent of James Earl Jones. The famous voice of Darth Vader has since told the media that his agent didn’t think the first film would be a success and advised him at the time to just “take the money and run”. He was paid upfront for his work and received only $7,000.
14. All clone trooper outfits were created with CGI
A lot of the three Star Wars prequel films were heavy on CGI. Even the clone trooper outfits were digitally rendered. Was it really that difficult to use real actors in costumes?!
15. Samuel L. Jackson’s lightsaber has something unique engraved on it
Remember Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber? Well apparently, it had the words “bad motherf***er” engraved on it. Samuel, you legend!
16. N*Sync almost made a cameo
Members of the incredibly popular early 2000’s boyband, N*Sync were initially shot as extras in Attack of the Clones. Fortunately, Lucas came to his senses and cut the scene from the movie. Just a few months later, the band went on hiatus and then broke up.
Confused by the long and complex Skywalker family? We’ve put together an awesome Skywalker family tree that explains it perfectly!
17. Tupac Shakur auditioned for the role of Mace Windu
Imagine that! Instead, Samuel L. Jackson got the role. It’s not clear when Tupac actually auditioned for the role of Mace considering filming began in 1997, less than a year after his death. However, Rick Clifford, who worked as an engineer at Death Row Records said in a recent interview for the website 2Pac-Forum, “[Tupac] said [to me], ‘Old man, keep your fingers crossed. I’ve got three movies coming up. One of them, I’ve got to read for George Lucas.'”
18. Star Wars and Marvel have Something in Common
President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, is a self-proclaimed Star Wars fan. He loves the franchise so much to the point where he included a Star Wars Easter Egg in a few of his Marvel movies. He made sure that at least one character gets an arm cut off just like Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back!
19. Star Wars and Doctor Who shared the same costumes
Remember the bounty hunter, Bossk? Well, his costume is a recycled spacesuit from the classic Doctor Who episode: The Tenth Planet.
20. The phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” is mentioned in every film
“I have a bad feeling about this” is in actual fact said in every Star Wars film. It’s become that much of a running gag, that it even appears in non-Star Wars-related George Lucas projects, like in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the Monkey Island series of LucasArts games. Even BB8 said the special words in his droid language – of course this was a hidden Easter Egg in The Last Jedi that many fans struggled to spot…
21. Yoda’s species has never been named
That’s right. George Lucas decided to keep the name and background of Yoda’s species a mystery. “So he’s a mystery character, he’s a magical character. He has no background. He comes and he goes. He’s the subversive secret mysterious stranger that enters the film and then exits at the end.” George said.
Stocked up with enough Star Wars fun facts? Feel as knowledgeable as a Jedi? Good, truly consider yourself apart of the galaxy far, far away…