When Star Wars opened in 1977, no one, not even George Lucas himself, could have predicted it would become the biggest franchise in cinematic history. More than 40 years later, fans are still lining up around the block to watch The Last Jedi, the newest installment in the continuing space opera.
However, even one of the most profitable movie series of all time isn’t immune from making a mistake or two. For example, Han Solo might have made a slight miscalculation when trying to navigate through an asteroid field and, likewise, George Lucas and the rest of the filmmakers probably should have spent a little more time to make sure some of the following bloopers wound up on the cutting room floor.
For this list, we’re counting down the top 15 mistakes in the Star Wars franchise that you probably didn’t notice. These blunders from a galaxy far, far away include actors flubbing their lines, special effect goofs, spelling mistakes, and common mishaps which never should have made their way into the final cut. It doesn’t matter if the slip-ups come from sequels or prequels, just as long as it has Star Wars in the title.
Here are the 15 Insane Mistakes You Never Noticed in Star Wars.
15. Han’s Pose in the Carbonite Changes – The Empire Strikes Back
Han Solo encased in carbonite is one of the most iconic shots in Star Wars history. Chances are you can’t go into a fan’s home without seeing it somewhere on a fridgerator, wall, or drink coaster. For an image to be that big a part of pop culture is astounding, especially when you consider it’s completely wrong.
Before Solo gets frozen into a literal block of ice, he’s handcuffed by the Empire. As he’s lowered down into the carbonite chamber, you can clearly see that his hands are still tied together.
However, when Han’s icy tomb comes back up after the freezing process, his hands are no longer bound by anything. Not only did he manage to get his arms free, but Han’s shirt has also changed to the one he was wearing in A New Hope. Solo must moonlight as a magician in addition to being smuggler.
14. Boarding the Ramp – The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens might be one of the newer Star Wars movies, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Episode VII suffers from just as many goofs and oversights as the original trilogy, one of the most glaring when Rey and Finn first discover the Millennium Falcon.
After being cornered by the First Order, Rey points Finn in the direction of the Falcon, aka the “garbage.” The two take off running towards the iconic ship’s boarding deck and manage to get on just in the nick of time, weird, considering they board from the opposite direction they were running in.
Though Rey and Finn head to the Falcon from the right, they board the ramp coming from the left. We doubt that Rey and Finn ran around the ship, so the next best explanation seems to be that they can somehow teleport.
13. Lando’s Wardrobe Malfunction – Return of the Jedi
When we meet Lando in the Empire Strikes Back, he sells out his oldest friend Han Solo to Darth Vader. However, in the end Calrissian has a change of heart, joining Luke and the rest of the Rebels in the fight against the Empire.
Along with Lando’s new heroism comes a spiffy new outfit. Lando’s digs in Return of the Jedi sport a nice military badge pinned on the chest, but, unfortunately, the filmmakers couldn’t keep track on which side of the body the badge was pinned on.
While Lando is catching up with his old buddy Han, the badge on his uniform changes from the left side to the right side in between frames. It’s a mismanaged goof that would be better expected in a Mel Brooks comedy (“I have a mole?”) than a galaxy far, far away.
12. Luke’s “Force Ghost” – A New Hope
It’s common knowledge that George Lucas has changed A New Hope more times than a baby in a beer-drinking contest. However, Lucas was so busy making frivolous updates, like the infamous “who shot first” fiasco, that he still managed to let some mistakes fall through the cracks.
When Uncle Owen searches the household looking for Luke, there’s something very weird about the empty farmstead. What’s supposed to be rolling film is instead a picture of a still image, with a translucent duplicate of Luke clearly standing in one of the doorways.
This perplexing shot ushered in an onslaught of fan theories that proposed Skywalker was really a force ghost the entire time. In reality, Lucas and company were merely shooting on a budget and didn’t realize the mistake, but it’s an interesting theory, nonetheless.
11. C-3PO Has Lungs? – The Empire Strikes Back
Do droids have feelings? If you’re a Star Wars fan who has more R2-D2 collectibles than you can count, your answer is probably yes. Yet, even if you consider them living, you’d assume their insides are made of cold, hard metal.
That may not be the case for C-3PO, however, who is clearly seen short of breath in The Empire Strikes Back. After Han has had enough of the protocol droid’s quibbles, he hits the kill-switch and shuts him down for good.
Although C-3P0 is powered down, his chest is clearly still moving. This is of course because actor Anthony Daniels isn’t a droid himself, who still needs to breathe even when his character is out of juice.
10. Anakin’s Ship Controls Invert – The Phantom Menace
Anakin Skywalker is said to have been one of the greatest pilots who ever lived. Indeed, as this scene from the prequels shows us, you’d have to be a great pilot in order to steer a ship with controls that keep flip-flopping on you.
At the climax of The Phantom Menace, Anakin boards a Naboo fighter and ends up piloting the starship into combat. After taking the fighter off of auto-pilot, Anakin gets his chance to show off his fancy flying skills.
Sadly, thanks to the production of the movie, Anakin’s skills come off more confusing than remarkable as the controls of the ship keep inverting. One scene has Anakin turning right by steering right, while the next scene has the ship flying left.
9. Obi Wan’s Wig – The Phantom Menace
As Justice League has shown us, reshoots are always going to be a part of big Hollywood productions. Star Wars is no exception, with The Phantom Menace going through extensive reshoots after principle photography.
Of course, time passing means that the actors coming back don’t always look the same from before. That was especially true with actor Ewan McGregor, who had to wear an outlandish wig during reshoots as Obi Wan Kenobi.
Star Wars fans have probably spotted the Jedi Knight’s hair looking entirely different in certain scenes. For some reason, Lucas and company decided to go with a wig that doesn’t look remotely close to McGregor’s hairdo at the time.
8. Where’s the Millennium Falcon’s Satellite Dish? – A New Hope
Among the pantheons of cinematic starships, the Millennium Falcon is in a class of its own. Along with the Enterprise, it’s one of the most recognizable spaceships in history, but iconic as it is, the filmmakers might have had a little trouble coming up with its finished look.
After Han Solo agrees to transport Luke and Obi Wan to Alderaan, Chewbacca leads our heroes into the hangar where we get our first look at the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. However, you may notice that the Falcon is missing a very important piece of it’s look: the radar dish.
There is no satellite dish when we get our first glimpse of the Millennium Falcon. Yet, as soon as we see it in space, the dish is back in all its glory. Maybe Chewbacca needed it to play a game of Dejarik.
7. Han Mouths Leia’s Line – The Empire Strikes Back
After escaping the clutches of the Empire, Han Solo and company hide out in the recesses of an asteroid. Of course, we soon find out that it’s no asteroid, but a giant space slug. As a tremor from the creature sends a shockwave through the starship, Princess Leia falls right into Solo’s arms.
Though it’s a quick exchange, our bet is that the take had to be done several times as Harrison Ford clearly gets fed up with the scene. As Carrie Fisher says her line, “Captain, being held by you is quite enough to get me excited,” Ford silently mouths the words along with his co-star.
It’s hard to tell if Ford had just had enough of the scene, or he was simply trying to help out Fisher who couldn’t remember her line. Either Harrison Ford is impatient, or Han Solo knows how to use Jedi mind tricks.
6. Luke Doesn’t Say “Come On” – Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi is the movie where Luke finally realizes his full potential as a Jedi Knight. He quickly makes mincemeat out of Jabba’s entire gang, destroying his barge and rescuing his buddy Han Solo and Leia from the clutches of the alien gangster.
However, when Luke and Leia swing to safety after destroying Jabba’s barge, you might notice something peculiar. After the Jedi motions for Leia to point the gun at the deck, the line “come on” can be heard. Yet, if you watch the scene closely, Mark Hamill’s lips aren’t moving. The awkward line was added in post and obviously not uttered by Hamill himself.
5. AT-AT Flop – The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back is filled with one iconic moment after another, including the spectacular battle on Hoth. The Empire does indeed strike back against the Rebels with the use of their AT-ATs, giant, mechanical monstrosities that have enough firepower to take out an entire Rebel base.
However, Luke proves that the vehicles aren’t invincible by destroying one all on his own using nothing more than his lightsaber and a thermal detonator. It’s an impressive feat, but a little less remarkable when you notice the stick popping up out of the ground to push against the miniature’s back feet in order to knock it over.
4. Anakin’s Head Travels Through the Door – Attack of the Clones
While the Sith seem to be the primary antagonists of the Star Wars saga, the real villains to the characters are opening and closing doors. One of the earliest examples involves Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, when the dark lord’s noggin passes right through his transport ship due to an editing mistake in post-production.
A little less than 20 years later, the same mistake happens to the same character in Attack of the Clones. The CGI-heavy prequel has entire set pieces rendered from digital effects, including the factory on the planet Geonosis. When the CGI door in the factory starts to close, all of the characters duck underneath to avoid hitting it, except for Anakin.
3. Lightsaber Cord – A New Hope
To moviegoers in the late ’70 and early ‘80s, the lightsaber appeared to be quite the pioneering effect in cinema. However, the technology used to create the famous Jedi weapon was just a clever use of out-of-date technology. The prop swords had three sides covered in reflective tape that made them appear like they were actually made out of lasers.
For the most part, the trick worked wonders, except for an instance between Darth Vader and Obi Wan in A New Hope. When Obi Wan takes out his saber to duel his former apprentice, the chord for his weapon can clearly be seen running up his sleeve.
2. Captain Antilles’ Resurrection – A New Hope
During the opening shots of A New Hope, the Rebel ship carrying the fabled Death Star plans is boarded by Darth Vader, who makes quick work out of the ship’s crew. One of the more unfortunate soldiers is Captain Antilles, who dies a painful death after being suffocated by Darth Vader.
Or does he? After Vader grabs Antilles, he chokes the Rebel officer (not by using the force, but the old fashioned way) until Antilles looks pretty much lifeless. However, when Vader becomes disgusted and throws the corpse against the wall, the actor playing Antilles throws up his hands to brace for impact.
1. Stoormtrooper’s Head Hits the Door – A New Hope
As we’ve already pointed out, Star Wars characters have a long history involving mishaps with opening and closing doors. However, this one from A New Hope is the granddaddy of them all, and quite possibly the most hilarious.
This goof-up was a classic in the making that many moviegoers didn’t pick up on until Episode IV made its way onto home release years later. While Luke, Han, and Leia are busy trying to escape the trash compactor, a gang of Storm Troopers bust into the communication room where C-3PO and R2-D2 are hiding out.
However, before they can get there, one of the clumsy Troopers bangs his noggin on the room’s door that hadn’t fully opened yet.
The blunder became notorious among Star Wars fans, so much so that a comical sound effect was added in to later editions to acknowledge the goofy Trooper.
Can you think of any other mistakes in Star Wars that we missed? Sound off in the comments!
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