Trivia: G.I. Joe: The Movie

  • Executive Meddling: The name "Cobra-La" was intended as a placeholder name by the writers until they could think of a better name, but Hasbro loved the name and forced them to keep it. Comic writer Larry Hama, however, hated the concept and refused to write a single Cobra-La story for over twenty years, finally doing so for a commemorative Cobra-La figure release. The packaging even advertised it as "The first Cobra-La story written by Larry Hama!"
    • Duke was originally supposed to die in the film, and the scene was scripted and filmed as such. This was when G.I. Joe: The Movie was first on the slate of the three Sunbow films to be released. However, due to scheduling conflicts, it was pushed back, and Hasbro liked (AT THAT TIME, it must be stressed) the edginess of Duke being Killed Off for Real — this was around the time when Robotech had been among the first to show actual death in a (ostensibly) kid's show with Roy Focker being killed off — and demanded the writing staff of Transformers: The Movie to do the same to Optimus Prime. And as it happened, Transformers: The Movie was released first. The reaction was, to say the least, not the one the execs were expecting from six-year-olds and their parents and suddenly, demanded last-minute voice-over inserts to establish that Duke had lived. The voice inserts are painfully obvious; mute the sound at the right moments, and you get the death scene it originally was.
      • This is lampshaded six-ways from Sunday by Buzz Dixon, the movie's head writer, in his commentary track on the Blu-Ray disc. During Duke's "coma" scene, he quotes, at length, verbatim and hilariously deadpan, John Cleese's legendary monologue from the "Dead Parrot" sketch, replacing "Joe" for "Parrot" each time.
  • What Could Have Been: In earlier drafts, Lt. Falcon was either the brother or son (accounts vary) of General Hawk. Hence the avian motif in their codenames.