10 Facts About Star Wars Movies You Might Not Have Known

Calling all Star Wars fans! It’s time to brush up on your movie trivia, and thanks to the many newer movies that have been added to the series – there is a lot more to brush up on. The original Star Wars movie – Star Wars IV: A New Hope – was released back in May 1977. Who would have thought this futuristic action movie would have gone on to create the universe and fandom it did?

With its 50th anniversary only a few years away, what’s also incredible is just how well the movie has stood up against the hands of time. Even those who weren’t alive for its original release can appreciate and enjoy it for what it is – and that is action-packed.

So as people around the world celebrate May the Fourth Be With You Day on May 4, let’s take the opportunity to look at 10 facts about Star Wars movies that you might now have known about.

The Original Screenplay for Star Wars IV: A New Hope Was Massive

CD and artwork of STAR WARS A NEW HOPE by John Williams from 1977.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kraft74

Did you know that the typical length of a screenplay is 95-125 pages? So knowing that the fact that George Lucas’ original “final” screenplay was over 200 pages is pretty shocking. Rather than cut the content, he decided to expand Star Wars into a multi-movie adventure. He had more than enough content and ideas to then write The Empire Strikes Back and the Return of the Jedi.

Darth Vader Could Have Sounded Different

Star Wars Sith Lord Darth Vader with flowing cape - Hasbro action figure
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Willrow Hood

Another iconic voice and character in the Star Wars universe is none other than Darth Vader. Fans are very familiar with the dark baritone voice – which is James Earl Jones. His voice is commanding, dark, and a bit scary – perfectly suited for Darth Vader.

But before he was cast, Orson Welles was considered for the role. George Lucas decided against using Welles because he thought his voice would be “too recognizable”, and that wasn’t what he was going for.

Mark Hamill Didn’t Make the Big Bucks – At First

Mark Hamill at the Mark Hamill Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kathy Hutchins

Even though we know how much money big stars make nowadays, back when Mark Hamill filmed A New Hope he wasn’t making the big bucks. He reportedly made $650,000 for the first film, which was still considered good money back in 1977 – but it doesn’t compare to today’s top actors.

What did work in Hamill’s favor is that he negotiated to receive 1/4 of a per cent of the film’s total profits, and then revenue on TV screenings, re-releases and other revenue sources. Hamill’s forward-thinking in negotiations certainly paid off in the long run.

Obi-Wan Didn’t Always Have the Same Fate in A New Hope

Scene from Star Wars A New Hope when Sith Lord Darth Vader strikes down Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi - customized Hasbro action figure
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Willrow Hood

A big turning point in A New Hope is when Obi-Wan dies, acting as the catalyst and frankly, the motivator for Luke Skywalker to finish their mission successfully. Well, according to the original script, that wasn’t always his fate. Originally, Obi-Wan was supposed to live through the fight he had with Darth Vader.

Considering this has become such an iconic scene, it’s hard to imagine had it gone differently.

A Famous Puppeteer Was Yoda’s Voice

 Filmmaker/puppeteer Frank Oz (L) and his wife Victoria Labalme attends the premiere of Disney's "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro

Have you ever noticed that the voice of Yoda seemed familiar? Maybe you couldn’t quite put your finger on it, but you felt like you’d heard it before. That’s because the same puppeteer, filmmaker, and actor who voiced Yoda is also the voice of Cookie Monster and Miss Piggy. That famous puppeteer is UK-born Frank Oz. Other characters of his have included Bert, Grover, Sam Eagle, Animal, and Fozzie Bear.

To stay true to the character, Oz even provided the voice of Yoda for many of the Disney theme park attractions, television series, and a VR game.

Stop-Motion Animation Was Used in The Empire Strikes Back

Scene from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back - Han Solo frozen in carbonite with Bounty Hunter Boba Fett and Darth Vader
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Willrow Hood

For those original Star Wars fans, many would cite The Empire Strikes Back as their favorite in the series. There was something so exciting and special about it and by the time it had been released – Star Wars mania was taking hold. For many, it was the action that won them over. So what you may not realize is that it relied on stop-motion animation.

Stop-motion animation was a great way to get the results wanted and needed, but it was incredibly tedious and time-consuming work. It was normal to spend a full day working on just a five-second clip. And while stop-motion animation may seem outdated today, what isn’t dated is how well those action sequences have held up.

You Weren’t the Only One Shocked with the Reveal of Luke’s Father

a fantastic laser sword lightsaber in the hands of a man
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Denis—S

Then there was the reveal of Luke Skywalker’s father, a reveal so shocking that many call it one of the best twists of all time. It seems as though it wasn’t just audiences who were shocked though, as the reveal was kept secret from the cast until the movie was released. Mark Hamill of course knew what would be revealed, but he had to keep that from his co-stars for many months.

The Role of Han Solo Wasn’t Originally Meant for Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, George Lucas at the Mark Hamill Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kathy Hutchins

To picture anyone other than Harrison Ford playing Han Solo may seem absurd, but that’s the shocking reality. Rather than being eyed for the role, he landed it unexpectedly. Ford had worked with George Lucas in American Graffiti in 1973, so the two knew each other. Ford was asked to help with the casting of the first film (A New Hope), and his job was simply to feed lines to the actors who came in to audition.

Several actors came in to audition for the role of Han Solo, which included Kurt Russell, and Ford was there to feed lines. It turns out that Lucas liked Ford’s delivery best and ended up choosing him for Han Solo, even though wasn’t the original intention.

Star Wars IV: A New Hope Had Some Stunning Scenery

Abandoned sets for the shooting of the movie Star Wars in the Sahara desert on a background of sand dunes.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / BlueMoonStore

On first watch of the original movie, you were probably too caught up in the plot and action to give much thought to location, but there’s no denying that the scenery helped add to the movie. Those stunning scenes that depicted Tatooine in “A New Hope”, were filmed in Tunisia and Death Valley nestled between the Mojave Desert and the famed Sierra Nevada mountains.

As well, Mayan ruins and the jungle canopy were used in the movie for the opening shot of Yavin.

Star Wars IV: A New Hope Had to Fight to Get in Theaters

Fantastic Sci-fi landscape of a spaceship on a sunny day, flying over a desert with amazing arch-shaped rock formations
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rafael Trafaniuc

This may sound preposterous now, but back in 1977 when Star Wars IV: A New Hope was released, not many theaters wanted to show it. They had no interest in it, were skeptical about the audience reaction, and weren’t sure it would be a money-maker.

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