With only 10 days left until the 7th instalment of the saga is released, here are 33 facts about this epic franchise:
1. Star Wars has made over 3.5 Billion dollars.
2. A New Hope (1977) is the second highest grossing film of all time in the US.
3. George Lucas came up with the name R2-D2 while filming American Graffiti. A member of the sound crew asked him to retrieve reel #2 of the second dialogue track, which in the parlance would be, “Could you get R2-D2 for me?”
4. A total of 19 different planets are shown throughout the films.
5. Jabba the Hutt was originally meant to be a furry creature.
6. Chewbacca was based on George Lucas’ dog Indiana.
7. “Yoda” is derived from the Sanskrit word for “warrior.”
8. During the lightsaber duels in The Phantom Menace, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen made lightsaber sounds that had to be fixed in post-production.
9. The role of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace almost went to Benicio Del Toro. The actor wasn’t happy when Lucas removed most of Maul’s lines from the film, and he dropped out to be replaced by Ray Park.
10. There’s not a single real clone in Revenge Of The Sith. They were all created using CGI, meaning that not a single clone helmet or costume was physically created.
11. The actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, Alec Guiness, thought of the Star Wars films as “fairy-tale rubbish.” Despite this, he negotiated a deal to earn 2% of the gross box office receipts for the movies he appeared in, earning him over $95 million.
12. While shooting the scene in the trash compactor in A New Hope, Mark Hamill held his breath for so long that he burst a blood vessel in the side of his face. They had to adjust framing while shooting the rest of the scene to avoid showing the blemish.
13. The word “ewok” is never said out loud in the Star Wars movies.
14. Samuel L. Jackson claims that the words “bad motherfucker” were engraved on the lightsaber he used in the Star Wars films.
15. Tupac Shakur auditioned for the role of Mace Windu which went to Samuel L. Jackson.
16. You can see Boba Fett’s face without the helmet in Empire Strikes Back. Jeremy Bulloch, who plays Boba Fett, also plays another role in Empire Strikes Back as Imperial Lieutenant Sheckil, who captures Princess Leia during her attempted escape on Bespin.
17. Chewbacca’s voice is a mix of lions, badgers, bears, walruses and other dying animals.
18. The sets for The Phantom Menace were only as tall as the actors, but they didn’t account for 6’4″ (193cm) Liam Neeson. They had to rebuild all the door frames for Qui-Gon Jinn, which racked up an additional $150,000 in production costs.
19. Burt Reynolds was among the top contenders to play Han Solo, along with Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Christopher Walken.
20. Before Han Solo is frozen in carbonite, Leia says, “I love you,” and Solo replies, “I know.” But the exchange wasn’t written that way. The original script had Solo just responding, “I love you, too,” But both Kershner (director) and Ford agreed the line was all wrong for a charming rogue like Han Solo. In a few final takes, Kershner switched things up, forcing Ford to think on his feet by spontaneously calling “action.” Carrie Fisher delivered her “I love you” line, while Ford naturally responded, “I know,” improvising what is one of his character’s most iconic moments.
21. With the exception of being sucked out of a Cloud City window, Mark Hamill did all of his own stunts in Empire Strikes Back.
22. The carbon freezing chamber is the only time in the original trilogy that Darth Vader and C3PO can be seen on screen together.
23. Yoda’s facial features were based on Albert Einstein. Even the wrinkles on Yoda’s lip were inspired by Einstein’s famous moustache.
24. The Jabba the Hutt puppet took Stuart Freeborn’s team three months to build, cost $500,000 to make and weighed 2000lbs (907kg).
25. The shots where Luke uses his Jedi powers to retrieve his lightsaber from a distance were achieved by Mark Hamill throwing the lightsaber away and then running the film in reverse.
26. Back in 1998, the first teaser for The Phantom Menace was attached to the movie Meet Joe Black, causing attendance for the Brad Pitt romance to spike. Some people went to see the trailer and walked out before the feature even started.
27. Character designs of a 10-year-old Han Solo were made for a scene that was eventually cut from the third prequel (Revenge of the Sith) involving the boy being raised by Chewbacca on Kashyyyk and helping Yoda find the location of the evil General Grievous.
28. George Lucas was so sure the first Star Wars film would flop, that instead of attending the premiere, he went on holiday to Hawaii with his good friend Steven Spielberg, where they came up with the idea for Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
29. A New Hope is the only “Star Wars” movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award, and the first ever science fiction film to be nominated for Best Picture.
30. In early drafts, the script was entitled Adventures of Luke Starkiller. Later it was changed to The Star Wars, and then eventually, just Star Wars.
31. The word “Jedi” is derived from the Japanese words “Jidai Geki” which translate as “period adventure drama.” A period adventure drama is a Japanese TV soap opera program set in the samurai days. George Lucas mentioned in an interview that he saw a “Jidai Geki” program on TV while in Japan a year before the movie was made and liked the word.
32. The music by John Williams is ranked #1 on AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores.
33. The Empire Strikes Back’s most iconic line: “No, I am your father” was a secret to everyone but George Lucas. During filming, the actors had a fake script that read, “Luke, you are your own father!” None of the actors understood what that meant leading Lucas to concoct a lie about time travel and the plot of the upcoming Return of the Jedi to appease them.