The galaxy far far away is a lot more famous than it might sound, and with a brand new movie universe in the making, every dark corner or mystery of the Star Wars fiction is likely to be explored. But what about the stairs that happen behind the scenes?
We’re setting our sights on the Star Wars Saga for the latest dose of rapid fire trivia, in Screen Rant’s Know Your Movies: 20 Star Wars Secrets That Will Blow Your Mind.
As an inside joke among the modellers on the original movie, they made sure to include miniature copies of a Star Wars poster and a Playboy centerfold in the cockpit of the Rebel Blockade Runner. They’re impossible to see on film, but they’re there.
The Krayt Dragon
The massive bones in the sands of Tatooine are never commented on, so it’s fitting that the crew actually left the fibreglass model behind when filming wrapped. Until a pair of paleontologist fans tracked it down in 1995, taking one of its massive claws as a souvenir.
Feet of The Moff
When actor Peter Cushing tried on the leather boots of his costume as Grand Moff Tarkin, he wasn’t impressed. The actor decided only to wear them when they were visible. For every other shot in the movie, he’s sporting a pair of cushy carpet slippers, hidden from view.
When he was cast as Rogue Squadron pilot Wedge Antilles, actor Denis Lawson couldn’t have guessed that Wedge would become one of the greatest pilots in the galaxy. Or that his nephew Ewan McGregor would be cast as a young Obi-Wan 22 years later.
Everyone knows George Lucas made his millions by keeping the merchandise rights to the Star Wars brand, but Alec Guinness made a deal for just over 2% of all royalties paid to Lucas. When the movie and Obi-Wan Kenobi were instant hits, he never had to take a role that he wasn’t sure of ever again.
Boba Fett’s popularity took everyone by surprise, from George Lucas to the actor in the suit, Jeremy Bulloch, who got the part thanks to his half-brother working as a producer. When he showed up on set the costume fit him so perfectly, he was given the job on the spot, without an audition or screen test.
Fans love seeing R2-D2 navigate the underwater swamp near Yoda’s secret hut, but it wasn’t filmed on a Hollywood sound stage. It was filmed in George Lucas’ unfinished swimming pool, with the crew hiding underwater or out of frame, and Lucas himself filming the shots.
The reveal that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father was kept a secret to almost everyone, with the working script having Vader reveal that Obi-Wan killed Anakin. George Lucas filled Mark Hamill in on the actual twist just seconds before filming his reaction, but the rest of the cast didn’t know the truth until they saw it in theatres.
It’s hard to believe, but the original script for Return of the Jedi didn’t include Yoda’s return or death. George Lucas only added the sequences after a child psychologist told him that unless he actually showed someone confirming Darth Vader was Luke’s father, kids would just assume he was lying, leaving the plot unresolved.
When George Lucas decided to extend the musical scene in Jabba’s palace, he was surprised to find that Femi Taylor, the actress who played the dancer Oola was in even better shape than she had been 15 years earlier. She returned to film the new shots, and audiences never even noticed.
The rise of CG effects was obvious in The Phantom Menace, but model makers were still behind some of the massive shots of Mos Espa Arena. To fill the stands with spectators, modelers painted and placed almost half a million cotton Q-Tips into the scale model by hand, with a fan blowing underneath to make them ripple like the real thing.
Since CG was used in almost every shot, the sets were only built to be as tall as the actors’ heads, and the rest filled in with green screen. Since he stands at 6’4″, star Liam Neeson’s added height cost the production close to $150,000 extra.
Devoted fans probably know that Darth Maul is played by stunt performer Ray Park, but it’s not the British actor’s voice – that’s delivered by Peter Serafinowicz, later playing a different kind of space warrior in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Jar Jar Jackson
The part of the most hated character in the prequel trilogy eventually went to actor Ahmed Best, but the man chasing the role was none other than the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. George Lucas thought his star power would be distracting, and even introduced the two men so Jackson could give his seal of approval.
The Perfect Cut?
Fans have never, and probably will never see it, but rumors of a six-hour cut of The Phantom Menace have swirled for years. According to Jake Loyd, the young Anakin, the people who did see the cut called it “mindbogglingly good.” Which means it’s lost forever, probably.
Actor Christopher Lee brought serious gravity to the role of Count Dooku, but the original character was going to a be a woman, serving as Palpatine’s second apprentice. The design was changed but that version of the Sith warrior was used for the Clone Wars series as Asaj Ventress, Dooku’s own agent.
What’s Old Gets… Older
When it came time to create an older version of C-3PO for Episode 2, the filmakers decided it would just be easier to repaint and weather the originals. So in the prequel movie, fans are actually seeing the very same costume of the original films, before he was polished and updated.
The shots of Anakin Skywalker’s shadow while on Tatooine are too perfect, with Hayden Christensen’s hairstyle giving him the same profile as Darth Vader. Apparently, it wasn’t planned, just noticed when they were setting up the scene and worked into an entire scene in the finished movie.
The Force Awakens introduces ace pilot Poe Dameron and his fellow fighters of Blue Squadron. It’s actually delivering on a decades long plan, since Luke was originally going to be fighting as part of the same squad in the first movie. The blue paint wouldn’t work with effects at the time and became red squadron instead. Finally, things can be set right.
What’s in a Name?
George Lucas thought up the name of his first R2 Droid when a fellow film editor asked for Reel 2, Dialogue 2. But the name of BB-8 is a lot simpler. According to director J. J. Abrams, he just noticed the Droid looked like a capital B and an 8 – from there, the name of the lovable Droid was obvious.
Those are some of our favorite bits of lesser known Star Wars trivia, but what are yours? Let us know in the comments and remember to subscribe to our channel for more videos like this one.