5 Myths About Star Wars (And the Actual Truth Behind Them)

5 Myths About the Star Wars Movies

A film franchise with such a long history as Star Wars is sure to have acquired a few myths and urban legends about the development and production of the films.

Here are 5 myths that are now forever debunked!

Myth: George Lucas actually directed Return of the Jedi instead of Richard Marquand

The absolute reality is that Marquand directed Jedi.

This is not to say it was a smooth process. It was speculated that due to many of the technical elements of the product Marquand was out of his depth and this caused several issues.

It has even been whispered that Lucas asked the Director's Guild of America to get himself a directing credit for Jedi.

This seems fanciful however as Lucas had a famous falling out with that group! In reality, Marquand was the director of the film and was clearly very crucial to some very successful elements of it!

This myth is kind of like the one how Steven Speilberg directed Poltergeist instead of Tobe Hooper.

wampa from Empire Strikes Back
Excuse me, do you have any gum?

Myth – George Lucas Secretly Filmed a Horror Film Blue Harvest but Never Released It

Blue Harvest was the working / filming title of Return of the Jedi.

It was so named as to try and put off of the now fervent fans who might otherwise have visited the film sets and let some secrets out of the bag.

The film production was heavily into the joke and lots of caps and t-shirts were made to put people off.

blue harvest logo
The ‘official' logo, note the Star Wars font!

While it was rumoured that Lucas wanted to actually make a horror film with the Blue Harvest name, no filming ever took place. Was there even actually a script? 


The name has since become the stuff of legend – so much so that the Family Guy Stars Wars spoof was named for it.

Myth – Splinter of the Mind's Eye Was the Scripted Sequel to a New Hope

The book Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’ was commissioned by Lucas as a potential sequel to Star Wars. 
The myth is that the novel was written based on a script written by George Lucas. There was no written script at all –  Alan Dean Foster was writing the novelization of Star Wars and also the second book.

He was as simply instructed by Lucas to write the book based on some ideas and film treatments that George threw at him.

Lucas could then turn it into a film script down the line if he so chose. The reality is that when Star Wars ‘went global' Lucas changed gears and the sequel's script was first drafted by Leigh Bracket, which after her death from cancer, Lucas refined further with help from Lawrence Kasdan. 

Interesting side note – the novel was interesting in that Luke cuts off Vader‘s arm with a lightsabre in the climax, an action that became a common theme in the Star Wars movies.

Myth – 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
This is fact. 
The myth is that due to his face being rearranged, Lucas had to re-write 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.

He did apparently get a black eye when filming the famous ‘Dianoga‘ attack in the Trash Compactor' scene from A New Hope which meant he was filmed from one side only for the rest shooting that scene.

Myth – Lucas Had 12 Films All Mapped Out Before the First Star Wars Was Released

handwritten plan for star wars episodes

That’s the legend but the mythology of it has grown over the years.

The nutshell is that Lucas wrote a great deal of material when he was developing his little sci-fi adventure.

Based around the so-called “Journal of Whillsâ€, Lucas's script eventually was cut up and Star Wars as we know it was filmed.

It was not until Empire Strikes Back came out that the term Episode 5 was mentioned officially. 

Lucas’s grand vision was actually pieced together over several years in very broad strokes.

The 12 or 9 films as most people know of were never fully scripted but were largely imaginings of Lucas that were eventually firmly realized well after 1977.

The story about the novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye effectively confirms this.

This handwritten vision by George totally proves it (to the right). Indeed he had A New Hope at 6. 

Side note: The Whills were eventually referenced in Rogue One.

Bonus Myth: Darth Vader's Name Was Not a Clue He Was Luke's Father

There's a persistent myth that some fans like to spread that Darth Vader‘s name is a clue to Luke's heritage. The truth is Lucas did not have the idea to do this until he and Kasdan had been through a few iterations of the script – and crucial to this point, the first draft written by Leigh Bracket made no mention of it.

The story probably started due to people taking the Dutch word of vader which means father and crossing the two together. Fine in theory, a myth in practice.

So there you have it, some Star Wars myths and the truth behind them. It's amazing how much history Star Wars really has!

Extra for Experts:

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.