10 Best Facts and Trivia About the Empire Strikes Back

Mark Hamill and Irvine Kershner discussing movie making
Hamill, R2, and Kershner on the Degobah swamp set

Ten awesome facts about the greatest movie sequel ever

While A New Hope was a great movie, many people consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the greatest of all of the Star War movies. 

It's certainly one of the greatest sequels to a great movie – it's considered to be up there with The Godfather Part II in that sense.

Here's some facts and trivia that when added up helped to make Empire a great movie…
  • Han Solo’s “I know” line in response to Leia’s declaration of love was a ‘prepared' adlib by Harrison Ford. It’s become an iconic Star Wars quote and was also used in Jedi. When we say prepared, we mean he didn't simply make it up during filming. It was an off-script idea put to him by Irvin Kershner which was tried and as it worked so well, used. 
  • Boba Fett was first seen in The Empire Strikes Back right? Nope, technically his first appearance was in an animated segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special. It is the only good part of that movie
  • Frank Oz who is the voice for the most famous little green guy in cinema history, Yoda was also the voice of the Muppet’s Miss Piggy. It was because of his talents that he developed with Jim Henson that saw him get the call-up. He also famously did the puppetry. 
  • A very early draft of the script saw Han Solo going in search of his Father-In-Law, Ovan Marekal, who has political ties with Lord Vader. Luke Skywalker flies to the ‘Bog' Planet where he meets a frog-like Jedi named Minch, who teaches him the ways of the force. That's right, Yoda was frog-like and was going to be called Minch. Can you image it, “But Master Minch, you cannot die!”
  • In the same vein instead of the Empire finding the Rebel's hideout on Hoth, there was to be a Wampa Attack. Indeed, a cutscene that was reference in Empire's trailer featured C3PO removing a sign from a door which he hoped Imperial troops would enter and come face to face with captured Wampa. The Hoth scenes were actually shot in Norway.
  • Empire was the first movie to have a number by its title in the opening credits – V. The original Star War was not called A New Hope or Episode 4, this came later
  • That dude in the Rebel Base to which Han Solo retorts, “Then I'll see you in Hell!”? just before he heads out to find a certain missing Jedi? That's Cliff Clavin from the TV sitcom Cheers and the Pixar movies AKA John Ratzenberger.
  • The classic “The first transport is away!” line was delivered by Mark Hamill.
  • In order to avoid sharing creative rights, George Lucas decided to avoid using a major film studio to finance this film. Instead, he bankrolled the $33 million production himself. And then laughed all the way to the bank to deposit all the money he made. Making it one of the most successful ‘independent' films ever. 
  • Three characters lose bits of limbs – the Wampa that attacks Luke, C3PO when shot by the Storm Troopers on Cloud City, and of course Luke's hand to Vader's saber.

Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.