If you’re a true Star Wars fan, you probably think you know all the facts about the movies. Whether it’s who killed who, who used their lightsaber first or who wore Jedi robes before they became fashionable…you know them all, right? Well, see how many you know out of these lot. Take a look at some of the most interesting Star Wars secrets – from all of the movies ever.
We almost didn’t have Anakin
Hayden Christensen was cast as Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones… but nearly didn’t get the part. Other high profile famous actors also auditioned for the role, including Paul Walker, Colin Hanks, and Jonathan Brandis. Christensen ended up with the role because of how he looked next to Natalie Portman – and boy he looked good. Oh, and he did pretty well in the audition too…
General Grievous wasn’t originally General Grievous
We all know General Grievous as the Supreme Commander of the Confederacy of Independent Systems (oh, you didn’t know that? And you call yourself a fan…). In more simpler terms, we know him as a Cyborg. However, early concept designs imagined him as a small child that sits in a floating chair. They threw out that idea because they didn’t think it would be taken seriously enough.
They all love a lightsaber
Lightsabers are anyones Kryptonite (oops, cross-referencing). Give a lightsaber to any person…ever…and they’ll struggle to not play with it and pretend that they’re saving the galaxy from enemy invaders. It turns out; we’re not so different to famous actors. Ewan McGregor and Christensen both played around on set, and McGregor even made swooshing noises when filming – which had to be edited out.
You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to know that Darth Vader translates to the German for ‘Dark Father’…which makes sense. Because he’s dark and evil and, well, we won’t spoil the rest. It is less known that the name ‘Yoda’ originates from the Sanskrit word for ‘warrior.’ Mmm, interesting, this is.
They used a lot of visual effects…
I know, why couldn’t they just go up to space and fly spaceships around to get the shots? Such a waste. As visual effects became even more widespread, the directors began to rely on them even more. Star Wars: Episode III contains more visual effect than Episodes I and II put together.
…So much so, that some people weren’t even real!
Because of the number of visual effects in Star Wars: Episode III, none of the Clone Troopers were real. All of the clones were created using CGI, and no actors were brought in for the movie. Well, that’s disappointing.
Coming up… Brownie points if you spotted the potato and shoe in this next scene…
The Empire Strikes Back is renowned for its famous Asteroid sequence, and is known as one of the best in the business (if there is a filming-asteroids-for-movies business). But it turns out that the special effects aren’t so special. Many of the crew members have reported that one of the asteroids is a shoe, and another is a potato. Right…
The films could have been very different
Before the Star Wars saga became a huge hit, producers originally had a few different ideas for how the movies and the series would come about. One of their ideas was to portray Luke and his family as dwarves, with Han Solo being a green-skinned monster with gills and no nose. A Hobbit-Green Lantern-Voldemort mix?
You’d expect the Star Wars production studio to be full of expensive equipment, resulting in professional sound effects. Oh, what are we saying? Ben Burtt, the sound editor, took sound creation to new levels. R2-D2’s whistles were created by recording baby sounds and manipulating them, Chewbacca’s growls were made by recording large animals such as bears, and the lightsaber sound effect was made by combining the sound of a movie projector and TV feedback.
There was a song
Yes, Google it now. In 1977, Meco remixed the pop theme tune in A New Hope into a Disco classic that the world seemed to love. The song reached number one on the Billboard Pop Chart and topped that chart for two weeks. Chart-topping movies and chart-topping songs. What next? Chart-topping recipe books?
We first see Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, but have you ever stopped and looked at him to wonder who he looks like? Apparently, producers based Yoda’s looks on Albert Einstein – with his large head and wise eyes. During filming, the puppet of Yoda was so lifelike that the director often gave instructions to the puppet of Yoda…rather than the puppeteer.
Yoda could have been very different
Before Yoda became a puppet, producers had come up with the idea that Yoda was going to be played by a monkey wearing a mask and carrying a cane. They eventually dropped the idea and decided on the puppet. We’re glad, that sounds creepy…
Coming up… Liam Neeson using a lady shaver and THAT gold bikini…
Did they really need cleaners?
All throughout the filming of the Star Wars movies, George Lucas often got into arguments with the cleaners who used to want to clean up the set. Lucas, however, wanted the set to look dirty and used. They were in outer space, after all. Because of this, Lucas attempted to dirty everything up on set, including the R2-D2 models – who he rolled in dirt and kicked about. Aw, poor R2-D2…
R2-D2 could have been a jerk…
Before filming properly began for the Star Wars movies, R2-D2 was originally cast as an English-speaking robot and was written as a bit of a jerk. Lucas decided to change it, and un-jerk the character. Thankfully. We don’t think we could ever hate R2-D2
In Star Wars: Episode I -The Phantom Menace, Liam Neeson (oh, sorry, Qui-Gon Jinn) is filmed using a communicator. But look closely…you might see that the Communicator is actually a Sensol Excel Razor for women. It was painted and redecorated to look like it wouldn’t be out of place in space. Which is good, I guess.
Carrie Fisher’s gold bikini has gone down in history as one of Star Wars’ most iconic looks. But it seems like Leia’s bikini didn’t want to behave itself on set. Fisher refused to use body tape, meaning there were many wardrobe malfunctions and a lot of ‘things’ became loose.
Comfort over style
Could Grand Moff Tarkin be any more of a legend? Well, yes he can. Peter Cushing who played Tarkin found his costume boots extremely uncomfortable during filming. To combat this, he wore slippers around the set, and even during filming. Although producers asked him to wear his boots, Cushing just told them to exclude his feet from the shots. Comfort over style. We get that.
Blood, sweat, and tears
Mark Hamill is known for his role in Star Wars: A New Hope and every fan remembers THAT trash compactor scene. It has been reported that Hamill held his breath for so long during this scene that he burst a blood vessel in his face. For the rest of filming, the camera crew had to adjust their shots so that they couldn’t see the blemish.
Coming up… A Hip Hop Star Wars; it could have happened…
Samuel L. Jackson is a bad mother…
Samuel L. Jackson played the Jedi Master, Mace Windu in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Jackson has since said that his lightsaber that he used throughout all of the films was engraved with the words ‘bad mother… (you know the rest)’. What a legend.
There could have been no Samuel L. Jackson
Mace Windu went to Samuel L. Jackson because he was the best man for the job. But he wasn’t the only one who auditioned for the role. It has been reported that Tupac Shakur (yes, Tupac, the rapper) also auditioned for the role. Could there have been a Star Wars Hip Hop collection?
NSYNC and Star Wars
George Lucas’ daughters were huge fans of NSYNC. Who wasn’t? Because of this, George Lucas shot a cameo of NSYNC in the film Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Unfortunately, the cameo was cut from the final scenes, but he still gets major dad points for that…
A family affair
Although they didn’t get their favourite boyband in the film, George Lucas’s daughters were cast in Attack of the Clones. Katie Lucas appears in this movie as a Twi’lek dancer, and Amanda Lucas appeared as an extra in the background. Lucas’s son, Jett Lucas, also appears in the movie as a young Padawan.
The recurring phrase
If you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan, you’ve probably recognised that there is one phrase that is repeated throughout all of the Star Wars movies, and “I have a bad feeling about this” has now become one of the most iconic movie quotes of all time. With all of its variations, this phrase is repeated 10 times (as of March 2017).
What’s with the ice cream maker?
While Cloud City is being evacuated, you can see an extra in the background running out of the building with something under his arm. To us non-space folk…it looks like an ice cream maker. And it WAS an ice-cream maker. This object was supposed to represent a database of contacts.
Everyone’s favourite fluffy army was brought into the saga in the Return of the Jedi. Lucas wanted a smaller army, rather than an army of Wookies. But the name ‘Ewok’ is never mentioned throughout the whole film. Instead, it appeared in the credits, and is inspired by the Miwok Native American Tribe. This tribe is native to the Redwood Forest, where most of the Endor scenes are filmed.
Coming up… Which film do you think has the highest body count?
Before Return of the Jedi was released, it was going to be called Revenge of the Jedi, and posters were printed with this title. But producers decided to change the title to Return of the Jedi as they thought is sounded better.
Name changes part II
Incidentally, the Star Trek film The Wrath of Khan was originally going to be called The Vengeance of Khan. But because the Return of the Jedi was going to be called the Revenge of the Jedi, producers didn’t want sci-fi fans to get confused between the two.
When Return of the Jedi was being filmed, the code name for the movie was ‘Blue Harvest.’ It’s thought it was named after a horror film whose tagline was ‘horror beyond imagination.’ We wouldn’t call Star Wars a horror, but Blue Harvest is a pretty cool code name.
Darth Maul made his first appearance in The Phantom Menace and was played by Ray Park and voiced by Peter Serafinowicz. However, the role almost went to Benicio Del Toro, but he wasn’t impressed when George Lucas decided to remove almost all of Maul’s lines from the film. To be fair, he did only have three lines in the entire film…
Episode III of the Star Wars saga used to hold the record when it comes to body count. The movie totals 115 deaths on the screen. However, with (SPOILER) 6 planets being destroyed in The Force Awakens, we have a feeling that body count is much higher. The movie with the lowest body count is the Empire Strikes Back – with 30 deaths on the screen.
Coming up… Whose mother shouted at George Lucas down the phone?
The production budget for A New Hope was very limited, so George Lucas decided to fly all of his cast from America to England in economy class. When Debbie Reynolds (Carrie Fisher’s mother) found out, she called Lucas and decided to shout at him – a few expletives were exchanged, too.
Clothes or no clothes?
The production of A New Hope meant George Lucas nearly had to fork out for even more clothes. Originally, producers wanted Chewbacca to wear clothes in the movies, as they didn’t want him ‘naked’ for the whole of the saga. But this never happened. Which is good, because it would have been weird.
Tatooine is real
You may have looked upon the buildings of Tatooine in awe, and wondered where on earth they were? Some of the buildings made for filming continue to exist today in Tunisia; and are even used and lived in by some of the Tunisian locals. Where do you live? Oh, just in a house from Star Wars. No biggie.
According to sources, Luke Skywalker was originally meant to be called Luke Starkiller and was still his name at the beginning of the movie. However, during filming, the name was changed to Luke Skywalker, and it just stuck.
A change in lightsabers
You may notice that Luke’s lightsaber is different in Return of the Jedi than it was in the previous film. This is because he lost it in the previous film. Lucas originally intended for his lightsaber to be the same colour, but decided to change it to keep up with the pretence that it had been lost.
What are those creatures?
In Attack of the Clones, you can see some odd looking creatures that Anakin rides to impress Padme. These creatures, called Shaak, are based on cows and can be seen grazing in the fields. They’re even be seen later on in the film on an asteroid, as a bit of a running joke by the visual-effects supervisor.
We all hate Jar Jar
Most people hate Jar Jar Binks. But that’s no secret, right? Well, it turns out that Jar Jar votes in favor of Order 66, leading to the rise of the Galactic Empire and the destruction of the Jedis. Ugghhh, we hate him, and we knew it wasn’t just because of his annoying voice.
You now have a use for those Star Wars coins…
If you ever spent your childhood (or adulthood) collecting the Star Wars coins, you can go to the island nation, Niue, and spend them as actual currency! Finally, a nation that gets us…anyone fancy a trip to Niue?