Trivia: A New Hope


  • Adaptation First: The novel based on one of Lucas's earlier scripts was released about six months before the movie.
  • AFIS 100 Years Series:
  • And Starring: Hamill, Fisher and Ford share top billing, Peter Cushing comes next and Alec Guiness gets the "And" in the main cast. James Earl Jones may get "as the voice of Darth Vader"... but is lumped with all the other co-stars.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Mark Hamill took interest in playing Luke Skywalker because he thought the project sounded amazing - bear in mind that this was long before any visual effects were released for the film, and during a time when interest in making the film was pretty low.
  • Breakthrough Hit: This film made George Lucas the media titan he is today.
  • Creator Breakdown: George Lucas's experience with directing A New Hope - along with the demands of the studio, which threatened to pull the plug on the project - proved to be so exhaustive that he didn't direct another film for more than two decades. He still remained onboard with the franchise to write and produce The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi before writing, producing, and directing The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones, and Revenge Of The Sith with complete control. In the case of the latter films, he had the benefit of both an established reputation, financial security, as well as a very controlled in-house environment to create his films in, preventing a lot of the misery he dealt with while filming A New Hope.
  • Deleted Scene: Loads were cut due to Lucas feeling they dragged the pace of the film (and it did get the film the best editing Academy Award). These include:
    • Luke fixing a moisture vaporator. He observed the space battle between the Star Destroyer and Leia's rebel ship.
    • Luke meeting his friends to tell them about the space battle, but no one but Biggs believed him. This scene happened between the droids escaping in the escape pod and Leia confronting Vader.
    • Biggs telling Luke he's defecting to the Rebellion. This happened between C-3PO catching sight of the Sandcrawler and R2 getting captured by Jawas. A later scene where he and Luke reunite as Rebel pilots was also cut, but added back in starting with the 1997 Special Edition.
    • Two deleted scenes — Han talking to Jabba the Hutt, and Luke meeting up with Biggs in the Rebel hangar — were restored in the Special Edition.
  • Executive Meddling: Lucas revealed in an interview that the reason why Greedo shoots first in the re-made version was to prevent a PG-13 rating, which didn't exist in 1977.
  • Fake Brit: Leia's brief accent change could be explained as indicative of speaking formally because she is a senator, much the same way Amidala's manner of speaking changed when she was under cover as her own handmaiden, and later when her term as queen ended. Another possible explanation: the scene where her Fake Brit accent is most prominent when she's arguing with Tarkin on the Death Star. She's talking down to him, letting him know she is his equal and will not be intimidated... but when he points the Wave Motion Gun at her home planet, she drops the pretense and the accent.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Van Helsing is working with Mufasa to take down The Joker, Indiana Jones and Prince Faizal.
    • Porkins would also be widely familiar as Lt. Eckhardt in Batman.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Listen to the voice of the Imperial officer who tells Vader that there's no one on board the Millennium Falcon. Are you suddenly thinking of The Simpsons? That's because several of the British incidental cast were dubbed by none other than Harry Shearer. You can also hear him dubbing the guy on the Star Destroyer who sees the escape pod ("There goes another one") and one of the Rebel pilots in the Death Star attack ("The guns...they've stopped!")
    • Though it's hard to tell because of the heavy editing, Garindan (the Imperial Spy in Mos Eisley) is voiced by John Wayne.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Out-of-universe, George Lucas really had a lot of threats from Fox to pull the plug on his "space movie". Although it did mean Lucas got full sequel and merchandising rights easily. He waived the money he would be paid as the director, and the studio believed they would just be losing less money thanks to that.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Carrie Fisher recalls that she could not generate the level of hatred that Princess Leia would have been feeling towards Grand Moff Tarkin, because she had to deliver those lines to Peter Cushing, who was an admirable gentleman.
    • Also, Cushing found the boots for his uniform to be too uncomfortable, so every time his feet are not in shot, he actually wore women's slippers. Imagine trying to be angry at someone who blew up your planet, and is wearing pink slippers.
  • Method Acting: When Han was ad libbing his response to security over the comm, Harrison Ford only skimmed over the script and instead ad libbed Han's ad libbing, to make it seem more genuinely spontaneous.
  • Mis-blamed: Contrary to popular belief, Greedo shooting first in the original cut of the film was not Lucas' fault - the MPAA insisted he put it in there in order for the movie to keep its PG rating.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Alec Guinness accepted the role of Obi Wan Kenobi for this reason; during filming, he wrote to a friend that he was having a terrible time and that the script got worse with every revision, but "I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me to keep going until next April". After filming, his taking of 2% of the gross royalties paid to Lucas - Lucas got a fifth of the box office, so 0.1% of that made him enough money that he could afford to be much more selective with roles for the rest of his life.
  • Novelization First: The adaptation of the film, credited to George Lucas but ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster, was published months before the movie came out. It contains signs of Early Installment Weirdness, especially a paragraph that hints that Obi-Wan Kenobi might be aware of Earth (or, at least, its birds).
  • The Other Darrin: During the Yavin briefing scene, Wedge is played by a body double instead of Denis Lawson (who plays him in the rest of the movie).
  • Science Marches On: Since Yavin's in the Goldilocks belt, it should be light gray, not orange.
  • Sleeper Hit: Nobody, not even Lucas himself, expected the film to do well prior to its release. Hoo, boy, were they wrong.
  • Start My Own:
    • Lucas was turned down the chance to direct the Flash Gordon movie, so he decided to make his own space adventure film.
    • He also created his own visual effects company... and while Industrial Light and Magic is akin to The Empire now, at first they were their own Rebel Alliance, with a workplace so chaotic that once Lucas returned from England and saw it, he had to be hospitalized in shock.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • The Death Star plans were stored on data tapes, which are still used for long term storage, but tape back then was a standard form of regular storage. This got spoofed by Irregular Webcomic! here, "We have the ability to destroy a planet and tape is the best backup medium we have?"
    • The schematics for the Death Star, even if only a blueprint.
  • Throw It In:
    • The scene of Han trying to talk the Stormtroopers out of investigating the shootout they've just had. Depending on who you talk to, Harrison Ford forgot his lines, never read them at all, or just learned them shortly before shooting. He even cringes when he realizes how he sounds.
    • "I can't see a thing in this helmet!" Mark Hamill had thought the cameras had stopped rolling.
    • The stormtrooper on the right smacking his head on the low doorway. Instead of trying to edit it or even ignore it in later releases, they in fact did the exact opposite by lampshading it with a very audible "thunk" as it happens.
    • Particularly infamous example. Apparently, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher were all really wierded out by Lucas's decided lack of good dialogue skills. They stood up to him—and Lucas, chastened, allowed the actors to basically improvise their own wording for the basic points of the screenplay's dialogue. note 
  • Trolling Creator: "Greedo always shot first." Made even more amusing by the fact that George Lucas was seen wearing a "Han shot first!" shirt during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • Troubled Production: It would be a fitting analogy to say that Lucas getting his film made was a feat as herculean as the Rebels fight against the Empire; they had the bad luck of starting filming in the Tunisian desert just as it rained. The props and equipment had their obligatory malfunctions and breakdowns. The crew didn't really care about or understand the movie. Lucas clashed with cinematographer Gilbert Taylor and the movie ended up so badly behind schedule the crew had to split into three units and meet deadlines or else face shutdown. By the time they had to assemble the first cut, the staff was literally bicycling from set to set trying to film each scene as fast as they possibly could in order to meet the deadline. When the studio asked for a teaser trailer, one was basically slammed together from the footage available at the time. Post-production fared little better despite a delayed release date, as Lucas had to call in two editors (along with his then-wife, Marcia Lucas) to salvage the movie after his first cut was a complete disaster, and his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits turned visual effects team was forced to complete a year's work in six months. And did we mention how ILM initially spent half their budget on four shots that turned out to be completely worthless?note  Lucas was forced to supervise his effects team personally, and nearly got a heart attack from exhaustion. The experience was so miserable, that he left directing the next two films in other hands, and wouldn't direct another movie until The Phantom Menace many years later.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • During initial drafts, Darth Vader's iconic suit would have been a spacesuit as he needed to board the Tantive IV through space. It ended up since rewritten to being a permanent life-support system.
    • The role of Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally written with Toshiro Mifune in mind. Depending on who you talk to, either 20th Century Fox wasn't keen on giving Mifune another whirl (although Mifune could speak English, all productions where he was speaking English ended up dubbing over his voice due to his thick Japanese accent) or Mifune wasn't available. Either way, the role went instead to Alec Guinness. Peter Cushing was also considered to star as Obi-Wan Kenobi before being cast as Grand Moff Tarkin.
    • Burt Reynolds, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, and Kurt Russell were all considered to star as Han Solo. Ford wasn't even considered at first, but he helped with the line readings, and was able to best pull off Han's droll pessimism.
    • Originally, Sissy Spacek was supposed to be cast in the role of Leia, while Carrie Fisher was supposed to be cast in the lead role of Carrie. However, after Fisher objected to doing a nude scene, the two actresses swapped roles.
      • Teri Nunn, later the lead singer of Berlin, was also considered for the role.
    • The prologue of the tie-in novel outlined a largely different backstory than what the films eventually portrayed. In particular was that it said that Emperor Palpatine was originally a helpless puppet of the Imperial bureaucrats rather than the ultimate string-puller that the later films revealed him to be.
    • As mentioned under "Deleted Scene", Biggs was originally meant to be a more prominent character in the movie.
    • Luke was going to be surnamed "Starkiller" until fairly late in the process, when it was realised that the name uncomfortably reminded people of Charles Manson. The name "Luke Skywalker" was brought back from the first draft script, where it had actually belonged to the Obi-Wan-like mentor character (the young hero, meanwhile, had been called "Annikin Starkiller").
    • Between writing the second and third draft scripts, George Lucas considered changing Luke to a girl (presumably named Leia) and making Han her love interest. (The second draft had been a bit of a sausage fest: Leia's place in the final film was filled by Luke's older brother Deak, and a character named "Leia" had only made a small appearance as Owen and Beru's daughter.)
    • Obi-Wan was originally going to survive the duel with Vader on the Death Star. George Lucas changed this when he considered that the character would have had little to do for the remainder of the movie, so he decided that a Heroic Sacrifice would be a more meaningful and interesting way to progress the story.
    • In the draft of the script used in the audition for Luke, Alderaan was called Organa IV, Han seems a lot more knowledgeable about the Empire, Kenobi is not present as Luke and Han react to Alderaan's apparent disappearance, and Luke admits that he does not have the money to pay Han.
    • The Kiber Crystal a crystal which amplifies the power of the Force in its bearer was a major part of the plot in the second and third draft scripts. In the third draft, while the others are rescuing Leia, Ben Kenobi goes to take back a Kiber Crystal which had been stolen by Vader when he betrayed the Jedi. In the final film this was replaced by him deactivating a tractor beam holding the ship.
    • While the first draft of the script had a wildly different plot from the finished film, the second draft was recognisably similar but still had significant differences. Luke was the third-youngest son of "the Starkiller", the ancient Jedi leader of the Rebellion; he left his (happy) home with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru to rescue his elder brother Deak from the Empire, and to bring the Kiber Crystal to his ailing father. Han was younger, and was actually the cabin boy on a pirate starship: he stole the ship by rigging it so it appeared to be about to explode and letting the rest of the crew evacuate themselves. He and Chewbacca were also accompanied by an older science officer named Montross. Threepio would've joined Luke and Artoo in the attack run on the Death Star.
    • We could have seen Cloud City one movie early: it featured prominently in the first three drafts of the script. In the first draft, it was the capital city of the Empire. In the second and third drafts, it was a giant prison complex which essentially took the place of the whole sequence on the Death Star in the middle of the final film except that rather than being captured with a tractor beam, Han would have willingly agreed to go there on a rescue mission purely to get the reward money. In fact, we wouldn't have even seen the Death Star on-screen until the Rebels' attack run. (Incidentally, the name of the gas giant on which Cloud City was located was actually "Alderaan"; the world destroyed by the Death Star was called "Ogana Major", then "Organa Major".)
    • The first three drafts all featured an elderly character who was a cyborg, with only their head and right arm remaining organic they would dramatically reveal this by smashing their left arm open in anger. In the first draft it was Kane Starkiller, father of the young hero Annikin. In the second draft it was Montross (see above). In the third draft it was Ben Kenobi. The premise of a cyborg main character would later be recycled in a slightly different form, with Darth Vader.