George Lucas could never have known that his space opera Star Wars would turn into one of the most well-known and profitable movie franchises in history. If he had, the director might have spent a bit more time filming the original series to make sure some of the more entertaining mistakes were left on the cutting room floor. Luckily, that wasn’t the case, which means fans can spot each and every obvious or hard-to-miss error to this day. Even after all these years, Luke Skywalker’s big screen adventure still has a few surprises.
Here is our list of 10 Star Wars Movie Mistakes You Missed.
It’s no secret that some of George Lucas’s “improvements” on the original films weren’t popular with fans, but just as many new mistakes seemed to slip into new editions. When Luke’s Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen wake up to find him already out searching for a romaing R2-D2 in A New Hope, there’s something off about the shot of the empty homestead. What looks like rolling film is actually a still image, with a ghostly image of Luke visible in one of the doorways. Was Skywalker a Force ghost the entire time, and fans just never knew? Creepy.
The weapons of the Jedi Knights were more than cutting edge, but on set, they’re were actually a clever use of old-fashioned tech. The swords had three sides covered in reflective tape, which would rotate to give off a shimmering effect. It worked wonders at the time – except when Obi- Wan and Darth Vader first face off in the Death Star, and the white power cord is clearly visible running from from the Jedi’s saber up his sleeve.
George Lucas didn’t have every detail of his story down pat before filming, which meant a few scenes had to be edited out or trimmed down in post-production. When Luke is reunited with his friend Biggs before the attack on the first Death Star, their commanding officer shows up to meet his newest pilot. The man originally made an offhand comment about knowing Luke’s father, but knowing what problems that would cause down the line Lucas decided to edit it out, obscuring the cut with an unknown person walking in front of the camera. Unfortunately, R2-D2’s sudden jump in the background made sure the cut would stand out for all time.
The swordfighting choreography improved over the course of the series, but in the first movie, actors Alec Guinness and David Prowse still took their duel as seriously as possible. Even though they were constantly told not to slam their stunt swords together for fear that the props would break – which they did – the combatants just couldn’t hold back. The lightsabers are supposed to be beams of energy in the movie, but with every hit, it’s easy to see the clouds of dust flying off. These days, it hopefully just adds to the tension. Plus, who knows how long they had gone without being used.
The special effects team basically created the entire industry with Star Wars, so some mistakes can be forgiven. These days we know that if a character is dressed in blue, a green backdrop will be needed to add in effects. In the first movie, that fact slipped by. So with every shot of R2- D2 riding aboard Luke’s X-Wing in the final battle, it’s hard to miss his blue paint job suddenly turning black, effectively rendered see-through thanks to the blue screen used by the crew.
George Lucas may add in aliens or boulders in his re-releases wherever he chooses, but what happens if you want to add a line of dialogue that an actor never spoke? That’s the problem with Luke’s arrival on the planet Dagobah. When he explains that he’s there to search for Yoda, his extra line – “if he even exists” – wasn’t spoken by actor Mark Hamill in the scene. The special effects team tried to cheat by altering the darkness of the actor’s mouth to make it seem like his lips were moving, but there was just no way to fake it perfectly…Jedi Knights are apparently gifted ventriloquists.
No Star Wars fan will forget the adrenaline rush or the laughter of seeing a massive Imperial Walker brought down with a single rope in the Battle of Hoth. But Luke proves he doesn’t need anything but a lightsaber and a thermal detonator to bring one to its knees near the battle’s end. It’s an impressive stunt, but a little less fantastic when you notice the stick being used to simply push up one of the AT-AT’s back feet to tip it to one side.
Every director knows the value of using old or unused footage to make a different scene pop, and the asteroid field of The Empire Strikes Back is famous for including everything from potatoes to old running shoes – but one asteroid is a bit more familiar. Apparently, the effects team decided to re-purpose a shot of the Millenium Falcon flying through the field, applying the view from inside the ship’s cockpit. But keep an eye on the asteroid flying in from the bottom left corner, and you’ll notice the unmistakable shape of Han Solo’s ship flying by. The effects team managed to blur out details of the hull, but its barrel roll makes it impossible to miss.
What’s My Line?
When the Falcon finally sets down inside of a massive space worm, a tremor sends Princess Leia into the Han’s waiting arms. It’s hard to know how many times the actors had to perform the scene, but Harrison Ford clearly got bored first: when Carrie Fisher tells her co-star that “being held by him isn’t quite enough to get her excited,” Ford silently mouths her entire line along with her
Watch Your Head
These days it’s rare to see a CG effect or object actually pop through or on top of an actor’s performance, since attention to detail has never been higher. But back in the early days, layering one effect onto another shot was a time-consuming process. So when Darth Vader’s shuttle was rendered a little too low on the landing pad of Endor’s moon in Return of the Jedi, the mistake was left in. Audiences now get to enjoy seeing Vader’s black helmet passing through the nose of his ship on every viewing.
So what do you think of our list? Did we miss any of your favorite errors, goofs, or mistakes in the Star Wars series? Let us know in our comment section and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for more videos like this one.