No matter what galaxy you’re from, the Star Wars® phenomenon has surely inspired you to pick up a lightsaber and join either the Light Side or Dark Side of the Force.
Whether you’ve seen all the films or just a few, these Star Wars fun facts just might have you taking a second look at some of your favorite movie moments. Think you know all the secrets behind the scenes? Read on to find out.
Luke almost wasn’t a Skywalker
Luke Skywalker, the legendary hero of the first three Star Wars movies, had a different last name before shooting began: Starkiller. It was ultimately changed to cast a more positive light on the good-natured qualities of the character.
The Force of Star Wars was not strong with Obi-Wan Kenobi
Sir Alec Guinness, the English actor who played Luke’s Jedi mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was not fond of the sci-fi thriller. Though his role was ultimately iconic, he felt the premise of Star Wars was nothing more than “fairy-tale rubbish.”
George Lucas was able to shave costs on props
The communicator Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn used in Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace was actually a modified Gillette® Sensor Excel woman’s razor.
Monkey around, almost Yoda did
Yoda was almost played by a monkey. Producers wanted the furry primate to wear a mask and carry a cane. As it turns out, the wise old Jedi was actually created and built by Lucasfilm under the supervision of Muppet maker Jim Henson.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for extras
During the evacuation of Cloud City scene in Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, an extra can be seen running with what looks like an ice cream maker. The creative minds behind the film said it was actually something much more valuable. According to an intriguing backstory, the “object” in question was a database filled with Rebellion contacts.
A familiar phrase
The words “I have a bad feeling about this” are spoken in every film.
Grand Moff Tarkin was played by Peter Cushing. According to the actor, his costume boots were much too uncomfortable to wear on set and opted for slippers instead. Cushing demanded that his feet never appear in any final shots.
The buzz surrounding a lightsaber
To get that familiar sound emanating from lightsabers, sound engineers combined the hum of an early television picture tube with the noise from a film projector’s motor.
You can purchase things with collectible Star Wars coins
In 2011, the South Pacific island of Niue began allowing people to pay for goods and services with limited edition Star Wars coins. The currency, embossed with the likeness of C-3PO, Darth Vader, Princess Leia and Queen Elizabeth II on the opposite side, is considered legal tender.
Set designs built for sagas to continue
Four Star Wars movies were partially filmed in Tunisia. Many of the domed homes built for the planet Tatooine are not only still standing, they’re being used by local residents, too.
Harrison Ford was not the first, second or even third choice to play Han Solo
The rugged actor known for his sharp wit and fearless demeanor in the Star Wars franchise was initially just called in to help read scripts. George Lucas later realized Ford was the perfect candidate to play a smuggler turned leader of the Rebel Alliance. Ford was paid a meager $10,000 for his role in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.
Breathtaking and trashy
During the filming of the trash compactor scene in the first movie, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) had to hold his breath so long, he ruptured a blood vessel in the side of his face. To help conceal the blemish, framing was adjusted for the the remainder of that sequence.
Revenge of the misprint
The original name for Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi was slated to be called
Star Wars: Episode VI — Revenge of the Jedi. There were even trailers produced and posters printed using the first title.
George Lucas is a master of deception. So, when Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace was shipped to theaters, it was labeled The Doll House. When Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones shipped, it arrived as Cue Ball.
Who’s under Vader’s mask?
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader has been played or voiced by six different actors: David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Bob Anderson, Sebastian Shaw, Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen.
You can enjoy a seven-night Star Wars vacation
Travel to a magical galaxy and explore a world devoted to this epic saga. This package includes a stay at The Fountains and four Disney® Magic Your Way® tickets, good at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and the other parks. May the Force be with you!
Images © Disney, © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.