The Star Wars series is Hollywood’s most famous space saga; since 1977, 7 Star Wars films have been launched, with two more scheduled for 2017 and 2019. Both children and adults love these movies and Star Wars is the third highest-grossing film series. Star Wars is everywhere and still there are many less-known facts about the series – keep on reading to find out and be surprised!
1. Star Wars didn’t make everyone rich
Harrison Ford was paid just $10,000 for his performance in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Who would have thought, given the franchise is a money making machine?
2. Not all Star Wars movies are suitable for young children
Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars movie not rated PG. Instead it was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for “sci-fi violence and some intense images”.
3. Costumes could be really uncomfortable
When Peter Cushing played Grand Moff Tarkin, he refused to wear his costume boots for being too uncomfortable and wore slippers instead. Of course, his feet were not shown in the shots.
4. Lucas had an alternate ending in mind
The Star Wars saga could have been completely different if producers would have chosen one of Lucas’s ideas for the end of Return of the Jedi. At the end of this film, Luke and Vader fight and Vader eventually sacrifices himself to save Luke by killing the Emperor; Luke watches his father die after taking his mask off. The story would have gone dark if Lucas’s suggestion had been listened to: “Luke takes his mask off. The mask is the very last thing—and then Luke puts it on and says, ‘Now I am Vader.”
5. Some people have earned nice money out of Star Wars
We’re talking about Steven Spielberg who made a bet with George Lucas for a percentage of the Star Wars films. It looks like Spielberg knew what he was doing, given that he has earned millions of dollars since.
6. Some characters were rescued
Did you know that Han Solo was supposed to die? His fate was intentionally left up in the air at the end of The Empire Strikes Back movie. The reason? Ford’s contract was limited to two movies. Ford decided to make the third movie as well, but asked screenwriters to kill the character. Lucas did not agree since he wanted all main characters to enjoy a happy end.
7. You can see buildings from Star Wars in real world
Many buildings created for the fictional desert planet of Tatooine are still present in Tunisia and some of them are being used by the locals. We bet many Star Wars fans would like to be in their place.
8. Not every Star Wars actor enjoyed the series
One of them is Alec Guinness, who considered the saga “fairy-tale rubbish” and didn’t want to play in The Empire Strikes Back. Filmmakers insisted and convinced the actor to appear as the ghostly version of Obi-Wan with Yoda on Dagobah. Guinness agreed to work just for four hours and a half and asked to be paid 0.25% of the movie’s total gross. As a result, he earned millions of dollars!
9. Star Wars was environmentally friendly
Do you remember the bounty hunter droid IG-88? The character was built from recycled film props. His head was made from the drink dispenser used in the cantina scene in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
10. Real-life war footage was used for the space battles
In the late 1970s, creating special effects was a very difficult job; Lucas had to use footage from the World War II dogfights for scenes such as the space battle in the Millennium Falcon between Han, Luke, and the TIE fighters.
11. Not all props are real, as you probably have guessed
For instance, the clone trooper outfits were created with CGI instead of being physically produced.
12. Finding solutions everywhere
Do you remember the communicator Qui-Gon Jinn used? It was an adapted women’s razor – more precisely, the Gillete Sensor Excel.
13. Orson Welles was almost included in the project
George Lucas had chosen Orson Welles to be the voice of Darth Vader, but he changed his mind after realizing his voice is too recognizable.
14. Actors got carried away
It’s the case of Ewan McGregor, who made the sound of the weapon himself when he was filming light saber fight scenes. The sounds were removed in post-production though.
15. The original draft of the script was too long
Lucas’s first proposals were denied by a couple of studios in 1973; in 1974, his treatment of the story was picked up by 20th Century Fox. Lucas delivered a 200-page screenplay, when most screenplays are between 95 and 125 pages. He had to eliminate the final two acts and keep just the first one. The two other acts eventually became The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi.
Whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, finding out some less-known facts about the saga is fascinating and inspiring at the same time. The famous series may have never existed or the plot could have been completely different, and it’s definitely interesting to find out the circumstances defining this successful space opera franchise.