23 Things You Didn’t Know About Star Wars

Do you think you know everything about Star Wars? Don’t brag about it too much, because even for the most devoted Jedi there’s a whole galaxy of facts yet to be discovered. Here are some of our favourite facts about the Star Wars films…

#1 George Lucas lost a bet to his pal Steven Spielberg over the success of Star Wars. For simply predicting the triumph of Star Wars as a superior film to his own, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, Spielberg is said to have earned a share of at least 40 million dollars.

#2 You might think you never get to see Boba Fett’s face in the original movies, but Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who portrayed him, did briefly stand in as an Imperial officer in The Empire Strikes Back.

#3 Lucas’ initial idea was to have Yoda played by a monkey wearing a mask and carrying a cane.

#4 David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader (the body, not the voice), was banned in 2010 from attending official Star Wars conventions. He reportedly got on Lucas’ nerves after leaking movie plots and accidentally featuring in an anti-Lucas film, The People Versus George Lucas.

#5 Tupac Shakur was asked to audition for the role of Mace Windu, but died before he had the chance.

#6 The noise of a lightsaber is created by combining a hum of an old television and the buzz of a film projector’s motor.

Image Source: LucasFilm

Image Source: LucasFilm

#7 Peter Cushing, who portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin, found his costume boots so uncomfortable that he wore slippers during many of the scenes. As a result, you rarely see his feet in the shots.

#8 Princess Leia’s side-buns are inspired by the hairstyle female Mexican revolutionaries used to sport in the early 20th century.

#9 On the island of Niue in the South Pacific, Star Wars collectible coins are accepted as real money.

#10 The initial concept model of the Millennium Falcon looked too similar to the spacecraft from the 1970s TV series Space: 1999, so Lucas told the model makers to create something completely different that looked like a flying hamburger and sailed like a sunfish.

#11 Lucas’ eldest children all appear in the three Star Wars prequels. His daughter Katie plays a Twi’lek dancer in Attack of the Clones, her sister Amanda features as a background extra and their brother Jett portrays a young Jedi Padawan.

#12 The phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” features in every Star Wars film.

#13 It is said that Michael Jackson had his eye on the role of Jar Jar Binks, one of the most despised characters in film history. He wanted to portray the role using prosthetics and make-up rather than CGI.

#14 The scene in which Luke Skywalker is mauled by a Wampa in The Empire Strikes Back was added because actor Mark Hamill was involved in a bad car accident, resulting in severe scarring on his face.

#15 Yoda has either got 3 or 4 toes, depending on whether you’re watching The Phantom Menace, The Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi or Revenge of the Sith.

Image Source: LucasFilm

Image Source: LucasFilm

#16 Darth Vader and Mufasa in The Lion King are both voiced by the same actor (James Earl Jones)

#17 Han Solo was originally meant to be a green-skinned alien with gills instead of a nose. Lucas changed him into a human after Harrison Ford read out some lines for him as a favour.

#18 The Empire Strikes Back and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining were both filmed at Elstree Studios in 1979. A fire damaged part of the set for The Shining, which meant Kubrick had to take over some of Lucas’ studio space. This severely delayed Empire’s shooting schedule.

#19 David Lynch refused Lucas’ offer to direct Return of the Jedi.

#20 Chewbacca’s voice was created from recordings of bears, walruses, lions, badgers and other animals from sound designer Ben Burtt’s personal menagerie.

#21 The scene in The Empire Strikes Back that shows Han Solo being frozen in carbonite was included because it was unclear at the time of filming whether Harrison Ford was willing to come back for Return of the Jedi. Lucas decided to include the scene so Han Solo could easily be written out.

#22 Boushh from Return of the Jedi is voiced by the same actor as E.T. (Pat Welsh, known for her raspy voice)

#23 The famous movie line, “Luke, I am your father” is perhaps the most misquoted line in film history. Darth Vader actually says…

No, I am your father

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Team Zavvi

Team Zavvi


A collection of thoughts, opinions and news from the staff at Zavvi.