It’s rare, but every now and then the stars of
Star Wars is one of the most popular franchises of all time, and possibly the biggest sci-fi series in existence today. Despite some of its eccentricities and the episodes where it falls down (cough, Episode I, cough), we still love Han, Luke, and Leia. But there’s always more to know about the Galaxy Far, Far Away, including some hilarious and odd origin stories. So check out the weird world of Star Wars for facts you probably never knew.
1. Our favorite teacher and wise one, Yoda, was famously brought to life on screen by a Jim Henson puppet. But in the original plans for the movie, he was going to be played by a monkey with a mask and a cane. This is one instance where we can definitely appreciate that the puppet master was brought in.
2. Another bizarre origin story goes along with Padme Amidala’s wedding gown. Costume designer Trisha Biggar created the intricate piece after she found an Edwardian lace bedspread. She hand sewed beads across the whole thing, transforming it from antique to gorgeous new dress.
3. Many of the characters in the movies have unexpected connections, but they’re not the only ones. There’s an X-wing pilot named Wedge Antilles, played by Denis Lawson, in the original movies. Who’s Denis Lawson? Only the uncle of Ewan McGregor, Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels.
4. George Lucas has always been a unique director, but when he first began Star Wars he was part of the Director’s Guild of America. Unfortunately, they didn’t approve of his opening credit sequence, so in order to keep it as the iconic scroll of text we see today, Lucas quit the guild.
5. The original script for the first movie was significantly different from the final product we know today. Luke’s last name was Skykiller and originally the story featured two of his friends from the Academy, Biggs and Camie (Biggs is one of the rebel pilots in the final cut). Han Solo is a green swamp monster, but perhaps the best change was the name, which originated as “Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars”.
6. Costume designer Biggar was creative on more than the wedding gown. Her inspiration for Queen Jamillia’s crown came from a dinner she had in Australia. She had abalone, a mollusk with a beautiful iridescent shell. From that same restaurant, Biggar brought home 10 abalone shells and created the crown for Naboo.
7. Although the best description of Chewbacca comes from Princess Leia (walking carpet), the actual inspiration for the character was George Lucas’ dog, Indiana. Indiana was also the namesake of another Lucas character.
8. Most people know that James Earl Jones was the iconic voice of Darth Vader, but he wasn’t the onscreen overlord. That role went to David Prowse, a weightlifter. Amazingly, Jones was so ashamed of the film that he didn’t let them use his name in the original credits.
9. The first Star Wars movie was considered a long shot by most of the people involved and had an extremely small budget. Because of this, the American cast and crew had to fly coach to England rather than first class. That included Carrie Fisher, but her mother, Debbie Reynolds, was not too thrilled about the idea. She called Lucas himself to complain, but Fisher took over the call and reportedly said “Mother, I want to fly coach, will you f*** off?!”
10. Our favorite Yoda has an interesting actor behind him. He shares a voice with Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster, and Grover, the amazing voice actor Frank Oz.
11. Just after primary shooting finished, Mark Hamill got in a car accident, leaving his face a little beat up. Unfortunately, that meant there were no reshoots possible.
12. In the original script, the force was supposed to be an actual object called the Kyber Crystal.
13. In The Empire Strikes Back, our heroes must navigate some asteroids. How did the crew make those giant rocks? One is a potato and another is a shoe.