There are many cool things about the original Star Wars trilogy; Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt and the Millennium Falcon are but three, for example.
The lore and legend of Star Wars that George Lucas created goes beyond far what you see on the screen as these 25 pieces of trivia and myth show:
- In A New Hope, Princess Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year in which the Lucas-directed movie THX 1138 is set. This number was later given to Finn in The Force Awakens.
- Ewoks were a late addition to the Star Wars mythology in Return of the Jedi. Their part in the story was to be played by the Wookiees, but by the time Lucas and his production partners sat down to write the movie, they realized that, because Chewbacca could fly the Millennium Falcon, repair the ship and operate pretty much any weapon or machine in the known universe, they'd made the Wookiees too technologically advanced for the plot. That's why you may have seen some Ralph McQuarrie concept art out there where the Wookie's home in the trees looked like that of the Ewoks.
- Is Wedge Antilles really Obi-Wan Kenobi's Uncle? Yes, from a certain point of view. Denis Lawson who played Wedge Antilles is the real-life uncle of a rather famous actor called Ewan McGregor.
- In Return of the Jedi, listen very carefully as Darth Vader picks up the Emperor and throws him down the Death Star shaft. This is the only time the Jedi theme music plays over a shot of Vader, reflecting his return to the light side of the Force. It's the reason for the name of the movie.
- It's a myth that the wampa was created to allow for Luke's rearranged face after a car accident. Mark Hamill was injured prior to the filming of The Empire Strikes Back – that is a fact. The myth is that due to his face being rearranged, Lucas had to rewrite the Hoth events to include the wampa attacking Luke to account for his injury. The truth is that no accommodations were made for Hamill’s face.
- After appearing in Return of the Jedi, Wedge becomes the only X-wing pilot character (apart from Luke) who survives all three major battles in the original trilogy. Indeed Wedge even turned up for the biggest battle of them all in The Rise of Skywalker.
- Anakin Skywalker really is the chosen one. While Yoda and Obi-Wan may have thought a mistake had been made in the reading of the prophecy, Anakin was the one who actually killed Sith Lord Palpatine by throwing him down the Death Star’s reactor shaft in Return of the Jedi and thus restored balance to the Force. Well, he was until Rey showed up anyway…
- The famous reveal of the father and son relationship between Vader and Luke in The Empire Strikes Back is often misquoted as “Luke, I am your father.” The line is actually “No, I am your father.”
- Admiral Ackbar‘s “It's a trap,” which is arguably the most famous line in the Return of the Jedi, was, incredibly, not in the screenplay. The line was scripted as “It's a trick” and was later changed post-filming after a test screening because let's face it, “it's a trick” just doesn't have the same ring to it.
- While Return of the Jedi saw Luke return the favor to Vader and cut his arm off, the idea for it actually came from the expanded universe novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye. This book was intended to be turned into a sequel to Star Wars but, when that movie became so popular, the idea was abandoned. Vader is actually the only Star Wars movie character to lose an arm three times – and both his legs. Obi-Wan Kenobi got three of his limbs in Revenge of the Sith.
- James Earl Jones is famed for providing the voice for Vader. However, he didn't do the famous breathing effect. This was done by Ben Burt placing a microphone inside the mouthpiece of a breathing apparatus and recording it being used.
- Vader's suit and general look were inspired by Nazi fashion.
- The late and great John Wayne's voice was used in A New Hope. An old recording was manipulated and used for the Imperial spy Garindan – that's the guy with the big black nose that informs the Stormtroopers about the whereabouts of Luke and company. It's quite a cool bit of trivia when you bear in mind that Wayne's The Searchers had a strong influence on the movie.
- Leia's character has her own musical theme titled “Princess Leia's Theme.” It is represented by the musical leitmotif method which is famously used across the movies. The piece was composed by John Williams and was used several times. It was first heard in A New Hope when Princess Leia is captured by the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Later, it surfaces as R2-D2 plays her holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- At one stage, George Lucas considered using the great Orsen Welles as the voice actor for Darth Vader.
- It's a myth that Lucas had 12 movies all mapped out before the first Star Wars was released. The truth is that Lucas wrote a great deal of material when he was developing his little sci-fi adventure. Based on the so-called “Journal of Whills,” Lucas' script was eventually cut up, and Star Wars as we know it was filmed. It was not until The Empire Strikes Back came out that the term “Episode 5” was mentioned officially. Lucas’ grand vision was actually pieced together over several years in very broad strokes. The nine movies that most people know of were never fully scripted but were largely ideas of Lucas' that were eventually firmly realized well after 1977. The story of the novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye effectively confirms this.
- Princess Leia never actually gets to properly “meet” Obi-Wan Kenobi. She sees him from afar when she's escaping the Death Star and Obi-Wan is about to let Darth Vader kill him but that's it – unless you count Obi-Wan being present for her birth in Revenge of the Sith.
- Return of the Jedi was originally going to be called “Revenge of the Jedi” until Lucas decided that Jedi do not seek revenge. This was quite late in the production so there was a lot of promotional gear with the title already printed on it.
- Rumour has it that Carrie Fisher had a massive drug problem during the filming of Return of the Jedi. Cocaine was apparently her powder of choice. In the movie, you can see she wears an extra-long fingernail, which is just a perfect instrument to assist with the distribution of the drug up the nose.
- Fisher admitted she had an affair with Harrison Ford during the filming of A New Hope. This was from her book The Princess Diarist. Harrison was married at the time.
- Darth Vader was referenced in the movie Back to the Future by Marty McFly as being from the planet Vulcan. Nobody was sure who was more upset at the time – Star Wars fans or Trekkies! We did like the Van Halen moment, though.
- Princess Leia was subject to one of the most famous ad-libs in cinema history – that being Han Solo's response of “I know” to her declaration of love. Harrison Ford apparently made it up at Irvine Kershner's suggestion to improvise. It was ad-libbed in the sense that they worked it out on set and “off script.” What was the original line? “I'll be back!“ Leia got to return the line in Return of the Jedi during the Battle of Endor.
- A group of E.T. aliens made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was of course a fantastic Steven Spielberg film that featured a Yoda costume in the famous Halloween scene.
- If you asked the average Star Wars fan what was Leia’s home world, they would be correct in answering the planet Alderaan. If you asked the most hardcore fan, they might also quickly add that Leia and Luke were actually born at a medical facility on Polis Massa. If you’ve seen Revenge of the Sith you might recall Polis Massa is where Obi-Wan Kenobi took the injured Padmé for medical assistance.
- Darth Vader has only 12 minutes of screen time. That's up there with Hannibal Lecter's limited screen time in The Silence of the Lambs, for which he won an Oscar.
Did you think this was a good list? Here are 501 facts about Star Wars. And if you really like trivia, try this piece about The Mandalorian. It's such a great show, it's truly a spiritual return to the original mission statement that Lucas set down.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Paul Rose Jr is the Editor in Chief of Wealth of Geeks & manages the Associated Press program for The Insiders network. He has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.