The original Star Wars trilogy was a huge hit at the time, but even today, it remains a popular illustration of a future age among many age groups. New episodes were released in the early part of this century, and recent episodes have been in production over the last few years. George Lucas’s science fiction classic has remained alive for nearly forty years, and many fans enjoy sharing details and fun facts about the trilogy.
Listed below are 13 fun things about the original Star Wars trilogy you may not know:
1 Lucas originally thought it would be a flop. George Lucas once thought that his dream project would be a disaster, and he wasn’t alone. Many of his director friends agreed that it was a risk after they saw his first cut.
However, Steven Spielberg told his long-time friend that it would be just the opposite for Lucas’ viewers. It is unclear if Spielberg truly believed in his friend’s production or if he did so just to make Lucas feel better about all his hard work. Regardless, he may have given Lucas the confidence boost he needed to follow through on his project.
2 There was a change to the original title. The original film was titled Star Wars. After the release of Empire Strikes Back, viewers noticed that the sequel was labeled the fifth episode. This confused viewers at the very least, and 20th Century Fox wasn’t exactly thrilled with Lucas’s decision. When the original episode was re-released, the text crawl at the start of the film labeled it as the fourth episode.
3 The original script was longer. In 1974, Lucas presented his screenplay for The Star Wars, its original title. It was 200 hundred pages long; most screenplays are closer to 100 pages. The movie became three movies (that inspired six more movies).
4 The original film was longer. There were a lot of edits done to the original film. About half of the footage didn’t find its way into the final cut.
5 Lucas consulted a child psychologist. After Luke discovers that Darth Vader is his father, there was speculation that viewers wouldn’t believe Vader’s claim. When Lucas consulted a child psychologist he discovered that children wouldn’t believe the villain unless it was clearly stated as fact. Lucas used Yoda to confirm this claim in the beginning of the last film of the trilogy.
6 Grand Moff Tarkin wore slippers. Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin, claimed his boots were uncomfortable, so he wore slippers on set (though his feet were never shown in the frame).
7 There was an extra with an ice cream maker. In the scene where people are fleeing Cloud City, one of the extras is carrying (what looks like) an ice cream maker.
8 Harrison Ford didn’t sign on at first. Harrison Ford wasn’t as excited at the idea of appearing in the sequels. He thought that Han Solo’s part in the story was over, so he didn’t commit right away. This was one of the reasons for freezing Han Solo in carbonite.
9 Harrison Ford was supposed to be feeding lines. What makes the above fact so interesting is perhaps that Harrison Ford became Han Solo by accident. Lucas brought Ford in to feed lines to those who were auditioning. Apparently, Lucas liked the way Ford fed lines to the actors more than he liked the other performances.
10 Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill did their own stunt. Since the production couldn’t afford stunt doubles, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher really made the swing over the Death Star chasm. They used safety harnesses to swing thirty feet above the studio floor. The good news is they got in one take.
11 It was hard to book showings. A lot of theaters didn’t want to feature the original film. In fact, less than forty theaters played the film when it was announced it would release earlier than planned.
12 It took multiple puppeteers to operate Jabba the Hutt. The puppet used for Jabba the Hutt was so large that three people had to control the larger limbs, tongue, jaw, and head movements while four others were needed to control eye movements and Jabba’s lungs.
13 Lucas considered alternate endings. Lucas considered ending the trilogy differently than the touching moment between Luke and his father. One of Lucas’ ideas was to have Luke put on Vader’s helmet and give into the dark side. Another of his ideas included having Han Solo perish on Endor.
The popular trilogy is a well-known story among many age groups. Thousands of hard-core fans know most of these and perhaps many more. However, the average person has no idea how different the film could have been or the hurdles Lucas and his producers overcame to breathe life into his dream!