Over 40 years ago in 1977, George Lucas created a cultural phenomenon. The phenomenon came in the form of a movie called Star Wars. Three years later, a sequel called Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back released and, in 1983, the third film of the original trilogy called Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi came out.
The movies were not only critically acclaimed, but they also made a lot of money at the box office as well. Lucas would go on to make a prequel trilogy and today, filmmakers are on the last movie of the sequel trilogy. With the amount of attention Star Wars movies still get today, it is pretty rare to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of the franchise.
While everyone has their opinion on what is the best Star Wars movie, many people believe that the first three movies that make up the original trilogy are the best in the series. While these first three films have become critically acclaimed over the years, there are still small mistakes in all of the movies. Even though these errors are minute and really don’t affect the overall quality of the movies, they are still mistakes that made it into the final cut of the movies. This list consists of mistakes that are present in not only the original theatrical releases of the original trilogy, but also mistakes that were created from Lucas’ special edition and widescreen versions of these movies.
Here are the 30 Mistakes Fans Completely Missed In The Original Star Wars Trilogy.
30 A New Hope: Darth Vader And Ben Kenobi’s Duel
It is clear to anyone who has seen all of the Star Wars movies that the technology surrounding the effects for the lightsabers improved over time. In A New Hope, the technology was present, but the effect with rotoscoping didn’t always match the movement of the lightsabers.
In early versions of the movie, some shots of the duel are completely missing the red and blue glow when the gang runs to the Millennium Falcon. It is also clearly noticeable when Darth Vader is walking towards the door as it closes. George Lucas later fixed this mistake in his special editions, so unless a fan has a VHS of Star Wars, this mistake was probably missed.
29 The Empire Strikes Back: Han Solo Frozen In Carbonite
One of the most iconic images of the original trilogy is Han Solo frozen in Carbonite. Han gets frozen on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back after Lando Calrissian is forced to betray his friend. During the scene, Han is wearing a white shirt, but in some of the closeup shots, it is clear that he is wearing his blue jacket that he wears for a good portion of the movie.
This mistake was somewhat fixed in later editions of the movie, but it is still clear that his shoulders are significantly darker in the closeup shots since color correction couldn’t completely fix the issue.
28 Return Of The Jedi: Jabba The Hutt’s Reverse Shot
In Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi, Leia is unfortunate enough to come into contact with Jabba the Hutt. Leia quickly becomes Jabba’s servant and is forced to wear a decretive bikini. During one of the scenes were Leia is chained up and Jabba is drinking his wine, everything in the scene is completely flipped to the other side of the screen.
This was likely done in post-production, but it is apparent when watching the movie since Jabba is seen holding his wine glass in his other hand, and since Jabba’s left nostril is higher than his right.
27 A New Hope: Chewbacca Wears Shoes?
Up until recently, Peter Mayhew was the man behind the iconic character of Chewbacca. The costume essentially consisted of a big furry suit that Mayhew would run around in, but in A New Hope, shoes were apparently part of Chewie’s wardrobe.
It can only be seen in one shot, but after Han Solo runs into a huge group of Stormtroopers and starts yelling and running the other way, Chewbacca can be seen running alongside Han. The only issue is that if you look closely, you can see the rubber soles of the shoes Mayhew was wearing.
26 The Empire Strikes Back: The Wampa Just Wears Gloves
In Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker is unlucky enough to run into a giant snow monster called a Wampa. The Wampa ends the life of Luke’s Tauntaun and drags Luke into his cave to snack on later. The Wampa swats Luke off of his ride and then goes back to attack the Tauntaun with one of his arms.
Unfortunately, the crew reached just a bit too far into the shot, which resulted in the edge of a crew members arm getting into the very edge of the frame. It’s a blink and you miss it moment, but the mistake still made it into the final cut.
25 Return Of The Jedi: Luke Walks The Plank
After Han Solo is awoken from his Carbonite and Luke is captured by Jabba the Hutt, the crime lord decides that he will feed Luke, Han, and Chewie to the Sarlacc, an omnivorous creature that will digest them over the course of a thousand years. Thankfully, the gang is rescued from this after Luke walks the plank, jumps off, and then uses the plank to flip back onto the ship.
When Luke first jumps off, the shot clearly shows that Luke just barely grabbed onto the plank by the fingertips of his right hand, but in the very next shot, Luke has a firm grip with both of his hands on the board.
24 A New Hope: The Rebel Soldier
For many people, Darth Vader is one of the most iconic movie villains that has ever graced the big screen. The character was immediately shown as a villain after he chokes a Rebel soldier for information, breaks his neck, and then throws him into a wall.
The scene showed Vader’s ruthless nature right away, but it doesn’t look like he actually ended the life of the Rebel scum. When Vader throws the soldier into the wall, the actor throws his hands up to protect his head from hitting the wall, even though he wouldn’t have been living at that point.
23 The Empire Strikes Back: Leia’s Outfits
While Lando Calrissian is often a fan-favorite character from the original trilogy, he does betray his friends -- although he really had no other choice. Lando hands over Han, Leia, and Chewbacca to Lord Vader, and the characters are then imprisoned on Cloud City.
When Leia comes face to face with her father, she is wearing a brown dress with a grey shawl, but when she is thrown in prison, she has a completely different outfit that is white. If she was a prisoner, it seems incredibly unlikely they would have let her change into a more comfortable outfit.
22 Return Of The Jedi: Han’s Reflection
Near the end of Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi, Han Solo is successful at blowing up the shield generator on Endor. He quickly runs away to find cover, but when he runs away from the building, a reflection of him running can be seen on screen.
This is likely from some type of plexiglass that was in between Harrison Ford and the camera in order to protect the camera from the blast. When the generator actually blows up and viewers see a wide shot, they can also see debris bouncing off of the left and right sides of the set back into frame.
21 A New Hope: C-3PO’s Reflection
There are many traits that C-3PO has, but the character is most known for being a very shiny droid. While C-3PO’s golden plating is visually appealing, it created some continuity errors in the original trilogy. During several scenes in A New Hope, cameramen and crew can sometimes be briefly seen in C-3PO’s armor because of how shiny it is.
This happens during a few scenes in the first movie and the sequels, but one of the most obvious moments is when C-3PO is talking with R2-D2 on the Jawa’s transport. If you look closely at C-3PO’s head, the cameraman can briefly be seen.
20 The Empire Strikes Back: It’s Opposite Day
One of the first continuity errors comes pretty early on in Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back. In one of the first couple of scenes, Han enters the command center on Hoth as he says his goodbyes to the people of the Rebellion. There is a shot where Leia looks at Han whe the entire shot is completely flipped.
Leia is looking the other way, and both of the men sitting next to her are now on opposite sides. The shot was likely flipped in post-production for some reason, but the exact reasoning isn’t known.
19 Return Of The Jedi: Ewoks Are Human?
When Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi was first released, George Lucas got a lot of hate for including Ewoks in the movie. The characters were basically walking teddy bears with giant eyes and were a way to make the movie more family friendly.
Unfortunately, one of the costumes didn’t have these fake giant eyes, so in one scene, fans can see the actor’s face behind the Ewok mask, which is honestly just kind of creepy. The shot comes during the scene where the Ewoks are praising C-3PO because they believe he is a god.
18 A New Hope: Luke’s Speeder
When Star Wars was first released in 1977, movie-goers were blown away by the futuristic technology present. One of the coolest aspects of the first movie was the presence of futuristic vehicles that looked completely different than conventional ones. One of these vehicles came in the form of Luke’s speeder.
The vehicle seems to hover across the land, never touching the ground. That being said, when the Tusken Raiders raid Luke’s speeder, the wheels from the vehicle underneath can be seen. It seems like the big rock on the side could have covered up the wheels, but the scene was shot from the back, making the cover of the rock useless.
17 The Empire Strikes Back: Cloud City’s Architecture
There are many planets and cities that have been created for the world of Star Wars, but one of the most popular is Cloud City. Even before George Lucas changed things with the special editions, Cloud City truly looked stunning.
That being said, one mistake does come from the building that Han, Leia, Chewie, and C-3PO are staying in. From the outside, the building has solid slopes leading up to the roof, but from the inside, the ceiling is completely flat and made of glass.
16 Return Of The Jedi: Lando’s Gloves
After Luke saves himself from falling into the Sarlacc pit, he unties Han and Chewie, but after that, things don’t go according to plan. Boba Fett briefly intervenes and Lando eventually falls off of the ship after being shot from a soldier on Jabba’s big ship.
When Lando first falls into the Pitt and is hanging from ropes, he is wearing a pair of black gloves. The gloves were likely to prevent actor Billy Dee Williams from burning his hands on the rope, but in the following scenes, the gloves are missing.
15 A New Hope: Clumsy Stormtrooper
Most fans have probably caught this mistake if they watched the special editions of A New Hope, but it is just too iconic of a mistake to not include. After a group of Stormtroopers break into the control room in A New Hope, one of the Stormtroopers on the right side of the screen bumps his head on the rising door.
The mistake wasn’t that noticeable in original versions of the movie, but George Lucas decided to turn the mistake into a joke for his special editions by adding a sound effect in when the Stormtrooper hits his head.
14 The Empire Strikes Back: Luke Hanging Upside Down
The Wampa scene in Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back may have created some iconic imagery for the movie, but it also created a few continuity errors. Not only did Mark Hamill think that Luke shouldn’t have hurt the Wampa, but the scene of Luke hanging has a glaring mistake.
In wide shots, Luke’s legs are far apart, but when the cameraman filmed a closeup shot, Luke’s feet are right next to each other. Also, the level of snow covering Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber changes in between different shots.
13 Return Of The Jedi: The Droid’s Burning Feet
Jabba the Hutt is no doubt a ruthless crime lord, but at times he can be just plain cruel. One of his more horrific scenes is when C-3PO is walking through Jabba’s palace and a Gonk droid’s feet are being burned by a red hot iron.
The droid screams in pain, but the iron didn’t even touch the bottom of his feet. The iron is clearly not touching the droid, and the steam can clearly be seen coming from big holes in the bottom of the droid’s feet.
12 A New Hope: Is That Kenny Baker?
Before Kenny Baker passed away in 2016, he was the actor responsible for bringing R2-D2 to life in the original and prequel trilogies. Baker had appeared in a few projects prior to 1977, but Star Wars was by far his most popular movie at the time.
In one scene during A New Hope, R2-D2 is captured by the Jawas and is being transported before he is bought by Luke’s Uncle. While R2-D2 is on the transport, there is one scene were Kenny Baker’s face can clearly be seen through R2-D2’s eye lens. Baker was indeed inside the R2-D2 costume, but the camera certainly wasn’t supposed to pick up his real face.
11 The Empire Strikes Back: Captain Needa Is Alive
Several aspects about Darth Vader make him unique, but one of his most iconic traits is his habit of using the Force to choke people. One person who falls at the hands of Vader is Captain Needa, played by actor Michael Culver.
Needa fails Vader for the last time and has his life taken by Force-choke. Needa falls to the ground and Vader summons other guards to drag him away, but if fans watch Needa, his legs start to bend almost like he is helping the guards drag himself away.
10 Return Of The Jedi: Luke Chops Off Vader’s Hand
Luke Skywalker is eventually able to bring his father back to the light side of the force, but not before he chops off his hand. In the brutal lightsaber battle in Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi, Darth Sidious watches as the father and son try to end each other with their blades.
Luke is seen as the champion of the battle and actually cuts off Vader’s right hand. Vader’s hand is resting above a metal rail before Luke chops it off, but the metal rail already has a cut in it so that it looked like Luke cut through both Vader’s hand and the railing.
9 A New Hope: Tatooine’s Two Suns
Star Wars in general has a lot of iconic imagery and planets, but one of the most iconic scenes from the first movie is when Luke gazes at the sunset on Tatooine. While sunsets are usually visually pleasing, George Lucas made the scene look even cooler by giving the planet two suns.
The problem comes when Luke is staring off into the sunset and the wide shot doesn’t show a cloud in sight, but the closeup of the two suns has a few clouds drifting past the second sun.
8 The Empire Strikes Back: The Cloud City Betrayal
Several new characters were introduced in Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back, one of which was Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian. During the scene where Lando leads Han, Leia, and Chewie to Darth Vader, the group is walking down a hallway and Han and Lando switch sides of the hallway in between shots.
Also, after Darth Vader is revealed and the group is surrounded by Stormtroopers, the Stormtroopers’ feet are fairly far apart, but in the close-up shot they are almost touching. These mistakes don’t take anything away from the quality of the scene, but are mistakes none the less.
7 Return Of The Jedi: Leia Meets Wicket
While the heroes meet hundreds of Ewoks on the planet Endor, among the most famous is Wicket. Wicket is the first Ewok that Leia meets and befriends. Warwick Davis plays the character, and Return of the Jedi was actually his breakout role.
Wicket is initially scared of Leia, so she offers him food in her left hand. In the very next shot, the food is now in her right hand. Leia also takes her helmet off in one scene, which scares Wicket, but Leia is seen taking her helmet off again in the following shot from a different angle.
6 A New Hope: The Garbage Chute Hole
When Han and Luke venture off to rescue Princess Leia from the clutches of Darth Vader, things don’t go according to plan. They quickly realize that Leia isn’t just another damsel in distress as she can protect herself and even saved their skins more than once.
One of these rescues came in A New Hope when she shot a hole in the wall while on the Death Star that led to the garbage chute. The blaster hole isn’t big enough to fit a person in the first shot, but when the characters go to jump through the hole in the wall, the blaster hole is now much bigger.
5 The Empire Strikes Back: Luke’s Hand Didn’t Really Get Chopped Off
Every Star Wars fan knows that Luke Skywalker gets his right hand chopped off by Darth Vader right before he finds out that Vader is his father. Luke decides to fall into a pit rather than join his father, and Luke luckily slides down a chute that leaves him hanging off the bottom of the building.
Mark Hamill’s hand obviously didn’t get cut off during this scene, but did Luke’s? He may get a mechanical hand later on in the movie, but for a brief moment when Luke has his tumble, it is clearly seen that Hamill is hiding his hand in his shirt.
4 Return Of The Jedi: Lando Hits His Head
The Stormtrooper hitting his head in A New Hope is often thought as the most memorable and funniest mistake in the original Star Wars trilogy. Billy Dee Williams has a similar mistake in Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi.
When Lando enters Jabba’s palace wearing his disguise, the actor can clearly be seen bumping his head on the ceiling of the set. The mistake was subtle enough that many people probably didn’t pick up on it, but it also stands as an unintentional shout out to the mistake in the original Star Wars.
3 A New Hope: Han Shot First
George Lucas has released several different versions of his original Star Wars trilogy over the years, all of which come with “improved” scenes and special effects. One of the changes to A New Hope that particularly angered fans was having Greedo shoot his blaster at Han first.
In the original version, Han did indeed shoot first. In fact, Greedo didn’t even get a chance to fire at Han. While this isn’t really a mistake, the continuity error comes when the blaster shot hits Greedo. A split second before the shot hits him, it is clearly seen that a dummy of Greedo was used so that the actor wasn’t put in harms way.
2 The Empire Strikes Back: The AT-AT Explosion
The AT-ATs (All Terrain- Armored Transport) was first introduced in Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back when the Empire attacks Echo Base. In one scene, Luke ran alongside one of the AT-ATs, hoisted himself up using a cable, threw a thermal detonator inside the AT-AT, and then detaches himself.
The AT-AT takes one step before it blows up, but in the wide shot, Luke is nowhere to be seen. Luke clearly wasn’t buried by the snow in the previous shot, and he definitely should have been seen in the wide shot since he was wearing a bright orange coat.
1 Return Of The Jedi: A Lightsaber Shadow
The lightsaber has definitely been evolved over the past 40 years, but one continuity error seems to always remain: shadows. Since a lightsaber gives off its own light source, a shadow shouldn’t be formed by the blade. In several of the movies, the weapon creates a shadow since actual sticks were used to film the scenes before the glowing effect was adding during post-production.
Most of the times the shadows are barely noticable, but during Luke and Darth Vader’s final battle during Star Wars: Episode VI- Return of the Jedi, shadows from the lightsabers can be seen on more than one occasion.
Are there any other mistakes in Star Wars the original trilogy we missed? Sound off in the comments!