15 Shocking Facts About Star Wars
If you’re like us, then December 18th can’t come soon enough. How awesome does the new Star Wars movie look? Of course, we’re prepared for disappointment – that prequel trilogy did, after all, happen. But, things look promising! So, we’re withholding judgment. At any rate, this seemed like as good a time as any to take a look at some shocking and surprising facts about the Star Wars movies that have come before. We’re willing to be even the biggest fan boys and fan girls won’t know some of these. Want to test yourself? Then, let’s take a look!
1. A Unique Distinction
There is no more bankable and popular franchise than Star Wars. One need only look so far as the furor surrounding the newest entry into the franchise to see this in action. Because of this, the films have been translated into more languages than we can possibly count. However, there’s one that bears mentioning. The original Star Wars was the first blockbuster film to be translated into the Native American Navajo language.
2. No Love For The Ewoks
There are lot of great moments in Return of the Jedi. The moments, however, involving the infamous Ewoks – the Jar-Jars before Jar-Jar was Jar-Jar – are not among them. Here’s something you may have noticed while watching the film, though. Did you ever notice that no one ever refers to them as Ewoks? They’re only identified as such in the closing credits. Here’s wishing they just hadn’t existed in the first place!
3. Yoda Is A…
With what you just learned about Ewoks, here’s something that will stick in your craw. What species of alien is Yoda? Search your feelings. You know the answer… It’s on the tip of your tongue… Or wait, no it’s not, because Yoda’s species doesn’t even have a name. Seriously! They could spend the time coming up with a race of Teddy Bears, but they couldn’t even come up with a species name for the most iconic Star Wars character of them all.
4. The Jedi That Wasn’t
Given how strongly associated the actors and actresses of Star Wars are with their roles, it might surprise you to learn about some of the actors and actresses who were almost in the film series. For our money, there’s none more surprising than the man himself, Tupac Shakur. He was set to audition for a role in the Phantom Menace, but something came up… He was gunned down in Las Vegas.
5. The Name That Wasn’t
If you’re a Star Wars fan, then the name “Return of the Jedi” is one that’s emblazoned in your memory. But, it almost wasn’t. When prepping for the film’s release, the film was actually called “Revenge of the Jedi” – the posters even said as much! However this was changed prior to the May 1983 release. Interestingly the film “Star Trek: Wrath of Kahn” was originally called “Star Trek: Revenge of Kahn”. The name was changed to avoid confusion with the final Star Wars film.
6. It Was As Bad As You Thought
One of the biggest complaints about the prequel trilogies is that they were overly reliant on CGI. In the biz, they call the effect “the uncanny valley”, which means something that looks close enough to being real but not real enough. This effect pulls us out of the fiction, and makes us aware of the medium. But, just how committed were the prequel trilogies to CGI? None of the armor worn by the clone troopers was real, that’s how committed they were.
7. The Old Sets Live On
We’re really going to drive home how awful the use of the CGI was in the prequel trilogy. Do you remember Luke Skywalker’s original home on Tatooine; you know, the ones where his aunt and uncle met their makers? Well, the set that was built for that home still stands today, where it was originally built. Should you ever find yourself in Tunisia, you can actually make a trek out in the desert to visit the location. Incredible!
8. N’Sync Was Almost In “Attack of the Clones”
Yep. You read that right. If the rumors are to be believed, George Lucas invited the boy band to appear in the second film in the prequel trilogy as a gift to his daughter. Whatever the intentions, half of the group did actually film a scene for the movie, with J.T. and Lance Bass unable to attend. Thankfully for the rest of us, this scene was ultimately cut from the film. Still, Joey Fatone in “Attack of the Clones”? We’d love to see that.
9. Nice Shoes, Dude
There were three main badasses in the original Star Wars trilogy. The first was, of course, the menacing Darth Vader. Then, you’ve got The Emperor and his lightning hands… And then you’ve got Grand Moff Tarkin. That’s him up there. But, as much as a badass as he was on screen, he was all about comfort while filming. How do we know this? The dude wore slippers during every scene that he shot. For real.
10. Ret-Con Origin Stories
How big of a Star Wars geek are you? Pretty huge? All right, then we’ve got an incredible trivia question for you. From what planet does Obi-Wan Kenobi originate? Give up? The answer is Stewjon. As if that weren’t weird enough, wait until you hear by the planet is called Stewjon: It’s a reference to the former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who once asked George Lucas where Obi-Wan came from during a panel discussion. Stewjon was just a joke at first, but then it stuck.
11. O.G. Darth Vader Don’t Come Around No More
We’ve been testing the Star Wars knowledge of some of you fan boys and fan girls out there. Let’s keep it going. Who’s the actor that originally portrayed Darth Vader? Give up? His name was David Prowse. Now, David had been making regular appearances at Star Wars conventions around the globe, until he was suddenly banned from such conventions in 2010. The reason why? Apparently George Lucas finds him to be annoying. Ouch.
12. Star Wars Inspired More People Than You
It took George Lucas a long time to get Star Wars made. You’d actually be surprised to learn the number of producers and studios that passed on the film before it finally went into the production. After the film came out, though, it was an instant success, inspiring a whole new generation of young filmmakers. One of those happened to be James Cameron, who quit his job as a truck driver to pursue filmmaking after seeing the original film.
13. E.T. Is In Star Wars
Here’s one we bet you didn’t notice, unless you’re incredibly eagle eyed! Believe it or not E.T. and his alien brethren made an appearance in the prequel trilogy. If you look up above, they can be seen participating in a parliamentary vote taking place in the Galactic Senate. Given E.T.s eventual arrival on Earth, and that Star Wars happened “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, they must’ve survived all the… Well, all of the star wars!
14. The Christmas Special Is That Bad…
If you’re an avid Star Wars fan – and who isn’t – then you’ve likely forced yourself to slog through the cringe-worthy Star Wars Christmas Special. It’s terrible television for sure, but like any spectacular car crash… You can’t help but watch. But, once is enough, you know! That’s exactly why Carrie Fisher – who plays Princess Leia – uses it to ward of lingering house guests when she’s having a house party.
15. Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber Isn’t That Special
Just think of that thing. How much did you wish that you had one of your own as a child? Well, that lightsaber wasn’t as special as you thought it was. Of course, you know it’s a prop. But, how was that prop built? More or less, it was built by affixing a few nuts and bolts to a garden variety flash tube form a 40s era camera! Oh, and Qui-Gon’s communicated in The Phantom Menace? That’s a Gilette Sensor Excel for women.