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* AdaptationFirst: Both [[NovelizationFirst the novelization]] and the Creator/MarvelComics adaptation came out before the movie. Given they're based on earlier scripts, there are discrepancies, particularly in the comic.
* AFIS100YearsSeries:
** AFIS100Years100Movies: #15
** AFIS100Years100Thrills: #27
** AFIS100Years100HeroesAndVillains:
*** #14 Hero, Han Solo
*** #37 Hero, Obi-Wan Kenobi
*** #3 Villain, Darth Vader
** AFIS100Years100MovieQuotes: #8, "May the force be with you"
** AFIS100YearsOfFilmScores: #1
** AFIS100Years100Cheers: #39
** AFIS100Years100Movies10THAnniversaryEdition: #13
** AFIS10Top10:
*** Science Fiction, #2
* AndStarring: 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.
* AwesomeDearBoy: 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.
* BreakthroughHit: This film made Creator/GeorgeLucas the media titan he is today.
* CreatorBacklash: Despite the films staggering success, Lucas is very modest regarding the film. In J.W. Rinzler's "The Making of Star Wars", he admitted he's never been satisfied with the movies script despite the numerous rewrites it went through. He also disowned the original theatrical cut and went out of his way to bury it after the mid 90's in favor of the Special Editions and subsequent rereleases based on it.
* CreatorBreakdown: 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.
* DeletedScene: Loads were cut due to Lucas feeling they dragged the pace of the film (and it did get the film the best editing UsefulNotes/AcademyAward). 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.
* FakeBrit: 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 FakeBrit 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 WaveMotionGun at her home planet, she drops the pretense '''and''' the accent.
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: Creator/CarrieFisher 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 Creator/PeterCushing, who was an admirable gentleman. She also likes to draw attention to the irony of her "foul stench" line as Cushing always smelled of lavender and fresh linen.
* MethodActing: 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.
* TheMerch:
** Famously, toy makers were caught with their pants down, and were so desperate that they ended up selling empty boxes, containing a coupon to get the actual toy once it was available.
** Not only them, the studio executives didn't think the movie would do well and gave Lucas ''all'' merchandising rights, from which he has almost certainly made far more money than from the films themselves.
* MoneyDearBoy: Alec Guinness was not a fan of the script nor the overall idea, but he took the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi because he knew the film would do well and he was given a generous payroll of about 0.04% of the box office gross.
* NetworkToTheRescue: Lucas was dumped by almost every studio in Hollywood when he tried to pitch ''Star Wars'' to them. Eventually he went to Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox, who were also reluctant to put their resources in the film due to then-recent financial issues caused by various box office bombs and the UsefulNotes/FallOfTheStudioSystem, but then-studio head Alan Ladd, Jr. managed to cajole the executives into giving the film a chance.
* NovelizationFirst: The adaptation of the film, credited to George Lucas but ghostwritten by Creator/AlanDeanFoster, was published months before the movie came out. It contains signs of EarlyInstallmentWeirdness, especially a paragraph that hints that Obi-Wan Kenobi might be aware of Earth (or, at least, its birds).
* OldShame: Creator/AlecGuinness regretted appearing in this film, although not enough to decline sequel appearances or the big royalty checks. Averted with Creator/PeterCushing who only regretted not being able to appear in the sequels.
* TheOtherDarrin: 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).
* ScienceMarchesOn: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudarsky_extrasolar_planet_classification Since Yavin is in the Goldilocks belt, it should be light gray, not orange]].
* SleeperHit: Nobody, not even Lucas himself, expected the film to do well prior to its release. [[AndYouThoughtItWouldFail Hoo, boy, were they wrong.]]
* StarMakingRole: Creator/MarkHamill, Creator/CarrieFisher, and Creator/HarrisonFord became famous for their roles, and went on to have successful acting careers.
* StartMyOwn:
** Lucas was turned down as the director of the ''Film/FlashGordon'' movie, so he decided to make his own space adventure film.
** He also created his own visual effects company... and while Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic is akin to TheEmpire now, at first they were [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits 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.
* TechnologyMarchesOn:
** 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 [[ParodiedTrope spoofed]] by ''IrregularWebcomic'' [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/67.html here]], "We have the ability to destroy a planet and ''tape'' is the best backup medium we have?"
** [[OurGraphicsWillSuckInTheFuture The schematics for the Death Star]], even if only a blueprint.
* ThrowItIn:
** 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.
** The part where Luke says "I can't see a thing in this helmet!" was not scripted; Mark Hamill had thought the cameras had stopped rolling.
** The joke about Luke and Han facing the wrong way when the elevator door opens behind them was improvised on-set by Hamill and Ford.
** 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 [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] it with a very audible "thunk" as it happens.
** Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher were allowed to make up their own dialogue due to confronting Lucas over what they thought was a poorly written script.
* TrollingCreator: "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 ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull''.
* TroubledProduction: 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; the SciFiGhetto made Universal and United Artists pass on the film, and even as Fox picked it up they were reluctant and gave a paltry $8.25 million budget (which eventually escalated to $11 million). Filming had rainstorms in a frequently dry Tunisian region, malfunctioning props, Lucas clashing with the crew, and things got so behind schedule that the crew had to split into three units to meet deadlines, the teaser trailer had just whatever footage was available, and the film was still delayed from Christmas 1976 to May 1977. And then post-production had Lucas hospitalized for stress, followed by supervising the RagtagBunchOfMisfits turned [[Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic visual effects team]] doing a year's work in six months,[[note]]Before Lucas arrived, most of their time and money was spent setting up their equipment rather than actually filming, and the only salvageable scene they did was the escape pod's release[[/note]] and hiring two editors to salvage the movie (along with his then-wife, Marcia Lucas) after he hated the first cut. Overall, the experience was so miserable, that Lucas left directing the next two films in other hands, and wouldn't direct another movie until ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' many years later.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** The earliest story idea for the film wasn't even called Star Wars. It was initially an idea called ''Journal of the Whills'', which (the journal itself) also serves as a storytelling device. It [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Journal_of_the_Whills found its' way]] to the ''Legends'' universe, and was made canon in the novelization of the film and ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', however.
*** Additionally, the earlier version of the script was called ''Episode IV: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker as taken from the Journal of the Whills'' (from [[http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/skywalker-speaks-mark-hamill-on-returning-to-star-wars-20151218?page=3 this interview]])
** 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 [[TheObiWan Obi-Wan Kenobi]] was originally written with Creator/ToshiroMifune 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. Creator/PeterCushing was also considered to star as Obi-Wan Kenobi before being cast as Grand Moff Tarkin.
** Mifune was also up for the role of Darth Vader at one point. At Tokyo Comic Con, his daughter Mika clarified that her father didn't want to do the film because he felt it was disrespectful to Japan's samurai culture, as this was back when many people still considered sci-fi to be a low-budget and juvenile B-grade genre. She later said that were he still alive today, he likely would have jumped at the chance to appear in a ''Star Wars'' movie.
** Burt Reynolds, Creator/NickNolte, Creator/ChristopherWalken, Creator/AlPacino, and Creator/KurtRussell 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. She would also later audition for [[Film/BladeRunner another iconic science-fiction film]] starring Harrison Ford.
** 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"). The name was eventually repurposed as the codename of Vader's secret apprentice in ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'' and then later as the name of the base housing the [[spoiler:planet-sized superweapon of The First Order]] in ''Film/TheForceAwakens''.
** 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 HeroicSacrifice would be a more meaningful and interesting way to progress the story. Yoda was created as a result, in order to have someone train Luke.
** 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 Kyber 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 Kyber 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 recognizably 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.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQFho0_G1VI Darth Vader]], voiced by David Prowse (his physical actor) instead of James Earl Jones (his voice actor). Oddly sounds hilarious.
** George Lucas offered the merchandising rights to Creator/{{Mattel}}, but the company president passed since he didn't believe that movies were an effective medium for selling toys. He would later come to immensely regret this decision when ''Star Wars'' became a CashCowFranchise overnight.
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