Trivia / Star Wars

Works in this series with their own Trivia pages:

Listed Trivia:

  • Author Existence Failure: Carrie Fisher's sudden death before Episode IX even began filming sent the crew into complete panic, as she was planned to have a larger role in it than either of the two preceding films, and had clearly been set up to have her own dramatic climax with her son being the new Big Bad. They quickly started discussions on their options, including having Leia be killed between films, simply kept offscreen, or using the same CGI double process that had been used with Peter Cushing (and briefly Fisher herself) in Rogue One. Eventually, the crew decided to kill off Leia.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, has a role equivalent to Kevin Feige: overseeing the progress of the franchise as a whole and serving as The Face Of The Band for the studio side of production.
  • Billing Displacement: James Earl Jones and David Prowse, the men who brought this iconic character to life, are listed under the "co-stars" in the credits for the original trilogy - underneath the actors for less pivotal characters like Lando Calrissian. Downplayed in Revenge of the Sith, where Hayden Christensen is listed third in the credits.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: With 20th Century Fox famously signing away the merchandising rights to George Lucas as a way to save money on the original film.
  • Channel Hop: The first six films were originally distributed by 20th Century Fox, but Episode IV is the only film Fox owns outright, as the remaining films were financed by Lucas himself and merely distributed by Fox. Then Disney (through its acquisition of Lucasfilm) decided to take over distribution of the sequel trilogy. Thus, Disney owns the digital video and television rights to every installment except the original film, which will remain with Fox in perpetuity, while the remaining rights to I-III, V, and VI will revert to Disney in 2020.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • It's common among recent fans, in Cracked and other pages, to argue that the only reason Star Wars is good is because of Lucas' collaborators rather than Lucas himself, much of which, while taking nothing away from the collaborative part of film-making (which contrary to belief, even auteurists admittednote ), is based on misconceptions about film-production:
      • An often cited fact is that Marcia Lucas saved Star Wars after a disastrous "rough cut". The truth of the matter as anyone with familiarity with film production will tell you is that rough cuts of most good to great films are always pretty lousy (and so they are called "rough" for that very reason). So while Marcia Lucas did play a major part in making A New Hope great, it would be an exaggeration, and likewise unfair to other collaborators (including George himself), to claim that she single-handedly saved the film or was alone responsible for the film turning out right simply because she did what many great editors have done on countless film productions.
      • Many have also cited the fact that Lucas can't write dialogues, citing the complaints made by many actors, such as Harrison Ford and others deprecating it as corny. This again ignores the context of the production of A New Hope. What actors were deprecating was not merely the dialogue but the very nature of the project itself. The reason Lucas had so much trouble on A New Hope is that the very concept of the film, i.e. a B-Movie Serial Genre Throwback but done with higher production values was considered absurd, as did most of Lucas' collaborators and producers, and what upset many of them was that Lucas was playing the genre straight rather than submitting it to a Mel Brooks' style parody. Lucas' Homage to Flash Gordon serials was seen with bemused contempt because those films were highly disreputable and Lucas was the only one who envisioned that the Serial could be revived via Reconstruction and higher production values. And this by itself is more than enough among auteurists to make Lucas the main creator of Star Warsnote . It's also important to note that the most famous lines of dialogue in the entire Star Wars media, which most would argue is the least corniest moment in the entire series, was written entirely by Lucas alone.
    • The complaints about the George Lucas Altered Version and Lucas ruining Star Wars ignores the fact that the idea of a film-maker making small alternations, nips and tucks after the film is complete and released, is not without precedent or exceptional to Lucas alone.
      • Orson Welles himself (poster boy for Director's Cut) removed an entire scene from The Trial between an early screening and a later release. Stanley Kubrick did the same for 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut. The French film-maker Jacques Tati for the 70s re-release of his 50s comedy Mr. Hulot's Holiday added an entire new gag about Jaws which is naturally quite anachronistic.
      • Likewise Charlie Chaplin also altered many of his films for re-releases note . David Lean collaborated in the restoration of Lawrence of Arabia which brought back his original near four hour version, and got Peter O'Toole and other actors to re-record dialogues decades later. Most film-makers simply do not have the level of control over production and the ones listed above are fairly rare instances. Lucas was the first film-maker to have total control over his properties and unlike the examples above, he made Star Wars which has a huge online fanbase as well as facilities to reshoot and re-record dialogues and add-in more special effects. So while one can criticize Lucas for some of these changes and tinkerings, the idea that Lucas is somehow being sacrilegious and heretical is based largely on unfamiliarity with film history and production norms. Likewise, the general public did not notice these changes or became aware of the extent of Lucas' alterations until the advent of the internet, and the very recent mainstreaming of nerd culture such as The Big Bang Theory and South Park which were the first introduction to many audiences about these changes.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: People who bash the prequels for being 'CGI obsessed' apparently never bothered to really look into the many, many practical effects the three movies had. See here for a few examples.
  • Creator's Favorite: R2-D2 for George Lucas.
  • Darkhorse Casting: What George Lucas was trying to do, and almost succeeded in doing, when casting for the Original Trilogy. Harrison Ford read the part of Han Solo while they were casting for Leia, and did so well in the role that Lucas finally relented.
  • Dawson Casting: Inverted by Ian McDiarmid, who was 38 when he was first cast as the Emperor in Return of the Jedi... then played straight by the same actor nineteen years later in The Phantom Menace.
  • Demand Overload: Many kids got IOUs instead of Star Wars toys in the 1970s, because back then, movie toys were given small runs, and the company in question (Kenner) got completely overwhelmed.
  • Development Gag: Usually shows up in character names.
  • Dueling Movies: To a degree the first three movies dueled with the first three Star Trek movies. In the MAD parody The Empire Strikes Out an off panel person hits George Lucas with a snowball. A reader a few issues later suggested that the snowball was thrown by Gene Roddenberry.
  • Fake Brit: Leia in A New Hope, briefly. Her 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.
    • Since this is the franchise we're discussing, it becomes a point in the Imperial Agent's storyline in SWTOR that the RP accents used are actually Imperial accents, used in official business when speaking Basic. This makes Leia's accent slip more understandable, as she is dropping her Senatorial mask and reacting like a sane person.
    • This gets explained in Bloodline as being a Brief Accent Imitation to mock Tarkin's accent.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Luke's nickname amongst the fans is "Farmboy" or "Wormie". For Palpatine, Sid, Palpy, Palps, or Palpidious. "Vaderkin" to refer to Vader between taking the name Darth Vader and the Mustafar incident. AT-STs are commonly referred to as "chicken walkers."
    • After Disney bought out the franchise from George Lucas with J. J. Abrams tapped to direct a new film (The Force Awakens), some call its current state "Disney Wars" and "NuWars". The latter parallels "NuTrek", which Abrams also kicked off with a new film.
    • Other nicknames for Palpatine are Franknote , Alright, The Senate, Weak, and Too Weaknote 
  • Flip-Flop of God: Over the years George Lucas has made many contradictory claims about the development, conceptual background, and future plans of the series, always claiming that whatever his current plans are is what he had in mind all along. Of special note is the prospect of a Sequel Trilogy. Lucas made statements claiming that he both had and did not have plans to create episodes VII, VIII and IX. For a long time, Lucasfilm's official stance was that the saga culminated with Luke saving his father and confronting The Emperor, and since that had happened there was no need to create further feature films. However, in late 2012 he sold Lucasfilm to Disney Pictures for an estimated $4.05 billion, so they could produce new films every "two to three years" with the franchise continuing "well into the future".
  • Follow the Leader: Inspired so many.
    • The original Star Wars film itself drew from many sources. The Hidden Fortress connection is well known. The Dune-Tattooine inspiration is pretty obvious. You can tell George Lucas must have seen at least Space Battleship Yamato episodes 26, 1, and 8, in that order, so we can probably pin his famous trip to Japan down to early 1975, when the series went into reruns. Isaac Asimov noticed some similarity to his Foundation series but didn't take it personally. Plus plenty of ideas and concepts from John Carter of Mars. As Wilson Mizner observed, stealing from everybody is just called "research."
  • Fountain of Expies: Darth Vader has enough that it warrants its own page. To a lesser extent, Palpatine inspired a lot of "lords of all evil" characters. You can even expect to see a Palpatine-esque character with a raspy voice, dark cloak and rugged looks every time a show wants to display its ultimate villain.
  • Franchise Zombie: An interesting case. George Lucas originally planned for there to be twelve movies in total, but eventually boiled it down to nine while working on The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, and from there, went with six (the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy). He stated that he did and didn't have plans for additional sequels, generally stating that he wouldn't be directing any more movies in the franchise beyond the two trilogies and would avoid the creation of additional films unless he approved of the story. Disney convinced him to allow the films to expand further with a $4,000,000,000 deal. However, he is a creative consultant for the Sequel Trilogy as a way of making sure the story has the spirit of the other movies, and the cast and crew involved with the movies are very enthusiastic to be a part of the project - both of which are good signs for the direction of the trilogy.
  • I Am Not Spock: Nearly the entire cast has suffered this to some degree. Most of them have embraced it, while others were left resentful of being typecast (most notably Alec Guinness, the only member of the cast who was a big star before Star Wars). Averted by Harrison Ford, though, who launched a successful acting career outside of the Star Wars films.
  • Image Source: Has its own page.
  • Jossed: The ridiculously common theory that "bringing balance to the Force" actually meant equalizing the number of Jedi and Sith (thus Anakin really did bring balance to the Force through Order 66 even if that wasn't his intention) has been firmly squashed by George Lucas who has helpfully clarified that the Sith are the source of imbalance in the Force. "Bringing balance to the Force" refers to destroying or redeeming all of the Sith, thus cleansing the Force of the dark side, which is inherently an imbalance.
  • Killed By Request:
    • Sir Alec Guinness was reportedly the one vying for Ben Kenobi to be killed in Star Wars: A New Hope because he thought the films would turn out to be terrible as well as thinking Kenobi was annoying.
    • Harrison Ford also wanted Han Solo killed off in the Original Trilogy, which didn't happen. Until the first movie of the Sequel Trilogy.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Palpatine may be very evil, Ian McDiarmid is very funny, witty and charming.
    • And the Grand Moff Tarkin was played by Peter Cushing, who was known to fans and co-workers alike as a sweet and kindhearted gentleman. Carrie Fisher allegedly had trouble bad-mouthing him because he was a pleasant man and because he was wearing slippers in the scene where Leia and Tarkin confront each other (he was shot from the waist up).
    • In contrast to playing the Hot-Blooded psychopath Kylo Ren, Adam Driver is reportedly very shy and nervous in real life.
  • Name's the Same: Bound to happen in a franchise with over a thousand works.
  • Oddball in the Series: The Star Wars Expanded Universe Jedi Prince cycle. The Glove Of Darth Vader has Luke Skywalker on a quest to save the whales from being hunted by The Empire. It also contains "Mount Yoda"; the "Tatooine Retirement Home for Aged Aliens"; Leia being replaced by a Fembot at her and Han's wedding; Triclops, the emperor's crazy three-eyed son, versus Trioculus, an evil three-eyed impostor; "mofference", or the line "I bid you Dark Greetings!"; and lots of Narmy Written Sound Effects. It was eventually retconed into a minor event described as being of little importance involving a minor rogue faction of The Empire.
  • Old Shame:
    • Sir Alec Guinness grew to hate the series over time and regretted having played Obi-Wan Kenobi, because of how audiences came to only remember him for the role despite his illustrious career. He once famously told a fan who claimed he had seen the movie a hundred times that he could have an autograph if he never watched the film again. Ironically, Star Wars made him rich, as he was the only actor able to get a cut of the gross (2%). In his autobiography, Blessings in Disguise, he acknowledges this irony, and admits that the film gave him the financial freedom to do whatever he wanted with his career for the rest of his life. The other cast members knew how much he disliked the series while filming, and commented that he still remained professional despite his own feelings towards the film, and that despite his misgivings about the first film, he agreed to reprise his role in the two films that followed, even after George Lucas cautioned him that by doing so, nobody would ever again be able to look at the actor without seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    • Jake Lloyd, the young 9-year-old Anakin's actor, hated the role so much he felt George Lucas ruined his acting career. This wasn't helped by him constantly getting teased by kids making lightsaber noises after the movie came out, as well as being bullied and harassed by fanboys blaming him for "ruining" Star Wars (and keep in mind, he was only nine at the time). He also had to do over 60 interviews, which was very exhausting for him to do. After all that, he quit acting after voicing Anakin in five video games and wouldn't watch the movie anymore. His opinions of Star Wars have since gotten better though.
    • A great many of those involved in Star Wars, up to and including George Lucas, came to see it (temporarily) as a noose around their necks. Lucas especially felt this way since working on the movies led to a divorce from his first wife.
    • Everybody who worked on The Star Wars Holiday Special either denies its existence or wishes to hunt down and destroy every copy. Yes, that includes George Lucas (even though he wasn't directly involved in it). When Conan O'Brien brought up the subject of the Holiday Special with Harrison Ford during an interview, Ford first tried to deny it ever happened. Then, O'Brien announced they had a clip. The look on Ford's face was one of whether he should flee the scene or terminate O'Brien with extreme prejudice. Carrie Fisher had similar feelings about the special. She mentioned in her autobiography Wishful Drinking that both the special and her association with Star Wars as a whole led to her to start taking drugs (her role as Princess Leia in the special has her noticeably intoxicated in each scene she's in).
    • In an interview, Natalie Portman said she has no intention of ever showing her children the prequels, and that acting in the franchise hurt her career. However, in another interview she merely said that although she doesn't want to reprise her role in Star Wars, she was pleased with her part in the prequels. Also, in yet another interview, she said that another reason she doesn't want her childen watch the prequels is because her character dies.
    • Mostly averted with Hayden Christensen. While he's acknowledged the divisive reaction and fan backlash to his performance and admitted that he was struggling with the fame, he stated that there's never been any part of him that said he shouldn't have portrayed Anakin. In a 2016 interview, he also said he's excited that they're making the Sequel Trilogy and would love to return if they asked him.
    • Applied to Mark Hamill in a Self-Deprecation kind of way. He likes and enjoys watching other characters in Star Wars, but he can never stand watching his own performance.

  • Playing Against Type: An interesting retroactive case for Mark Hamill, who's spent almost his entire career since these films playing villains, the nastier the better. Luke Skywalker now kind of comes off as a piece of Early Installment Weirdness for him.
    • Inverted like hell in the Japanese dub on the same character with Bin Shimada, Luke's official Japanese voice actor: Most of Shimada's roles could not be out of place on the Star Wars universe in any strech like Juda, Paptimus Scirocco, Dr. Hell, Broly, etc. Luke Skywalker is the complete opposite of all those previous roles, if you exclude some roles like Yuichiro Kumada.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Nearly three generations have grown up with Star Wars, so almost anyone working on modern projects is one of these.
    • The 501st Legion, the world-wide "definitive Imperial costuming organization," was rewarded for their service by being canonically named as Vader's Praetorian Guard, as well as being made the "stars" of Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
  • Real-Life Relative: Wedge Antilles's actor (Denis Lawson) is the uncle of Ewan McGregor, who plays Obi-Wan. Famously he tried to talk his nephew out of the role, fearing that, like his own career, McGregor would meet with early success and then a nosedive. He was wrong and this was actually McGregor's breakout role, and Lawson has had a mild resurgence himself on British TV.
  • Referenced by...: See ReferencedBy.Star Wars.
  • Refitted for Sequel: Considering the immensity of the Star Wars universe, a lot of ideas get recycled. A New Hope was to feature a ground battle at the Rebel base on Yavin, which was later adapted to the Battle of Endor (a similar forested planetoid) in Return of the Jedi.
    • The battle was finally featured in the single-player campaign of Star Wars: Battlefront 2, where the rebels received an epic curb-stomping by some very pissed off 501st veterans. How the ceremony at the end of A New Hope fits into this was initially unclear, but The Essential Guide to Warfare establishes it took place not long after the Death Star battle, while the Battlefront 2 fight happened during a subsequent several-month-long siege of the Yavin System by the Imperial military.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The reason that Disney have yet to release the unedited Theatrical Versions of the Original Trilogy. Even after the purchase of the franchise, Fox still technically owns the rights to the films until 2020. Even after that, they have perpetual ownership of A New Hope.
  • Sleeper Hit: Nobody expected Star Wars to be as popular as it is today.
  • Trope Namers: Has its own page.
  • Uncredited Role: Shockingly, James Earl Jones went uncredited as the voice of Darth Vader for decades.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Lucas originally wanted to make a movie of Flash Gordon, but wasn't able to secure the rights from producer Dino De Laurentiis - who would later make the Flash Gordon movie after Star Wars took off.
    • Lucas then turned to the films of Akira Kurosawa for inspiration, and wrote a script that was pretty much a remake of The Hidden Fortress - IN SPACE! He considered buying the rights to that, but decided to develop his own story further.
    • Word of God stated that Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally written for Toshiro Mifune, veteran of Akira Kurosawa classics like Yojimbo and Seven Samurai; this was a reverent way to directly pay tribute to the Samurai films that Star Wars was adapted from.
    • Many things were considered over the years, considering the vastness of the franchise. A major thing to consider is that George Lucas originally wanted to serve as a mere supervisor as nine films were made under different directors, and looking forward to seeing how the franchise evolved with different people Running the Asylum. As things continued on (possibly due to a particularly disastrous incident of "leaving it in someone else's hands") he took more direct control of The Verse. The more recent Star Wars television productions seem to be him trying to salvage what was left of that original intent.
    • In the Leigh Brackett first draft script of Empire, Vader and Anakin were two separate people; Anakin showed up to Luke as a kindly Force Ghost. Also, Luke's twin sister was not Leia but someone else, a girl called Nellith who was mentioned but never seen, in an obvious Sequel Hook.
    • The basic story of the original trilogy was intended as a single movie, beginning with the hero's journey to become a Jedi and ending with the defeat of the Empire with the destruction of the Death Star. Realizing how immense that project would be, Lucas opted to not tell the defeat of the Empire in a single movie but keep the destruction of the Death Star (which is why the Death Star II came into play as well as another forest planet being involved). Lucas also coalesced the backstory notes into what became the foundation for the prequel trilogy, deciding that an entire trilogy happened before the original films. In each trilogy, the story grew far beyond the original intention.
      • Much of this is covered in Michael Kaminski's The Secret History of Star Wars, which painstakingly goes over documentation from the very earliest days of the project to show how Lucas developed and transformed his original vision, especially the idea that Luke's father and Darth Vader were two different people.
    • According to George Lucas, the whole series was supposed to have a Framing Story with R2-D2, the last surviving member of the main cast, telling an advanced future race about the fall of the Republic and the rise and defeat of the Empire.
    • A New Hope was originally going to be released around Christmas 1976 (much like how The Force Awakens was released in December of 2015), but was pushed to May of 1977.
    • Palpatine was originally conceived as an Anti-Climax Boss, a power-hungry dullard manipulated into the Galaxy's top spot by Vader and Tarkin, who ran things behind his back. Notably, this detail was changed so late in the universe concept that it made it into the novelization of A New Hope.
    • Initially Luke and Leia were going to the Official Couple of the series, with Han as the Romantic False Lead, and Luke's sister was going to be a totally different character. Due to Lucas's burnout by the time of Return of the Jedi, he killed two birds by just making Leia the other Skywalker.
    • There's now a Dark Horse comic called The Star Wars that actually adapts one of the earlier drafts of the script. Luke Skywalker is the elderly mentor training Anakin Starkiller! Darth Vader is a totally separate character with no helmet! Leia has two brothers! The Jedi are called Jedi-Bendu! And many more.
    • On that note, the last name Starkiller got far enough into production that, according to Hamill, they had to reshoot Luke and Leia's first meeting in the detention level.
    • Early sketches of Chewbacca depict him with a bat-like face.
    • The Last Jedi was originally supposed to have a Meaningful Release Date on May 26, 2017, forty years and one day since the release of A New Hopebut it was delayed to December 15, 2017 due to rewrites expanding the parts of the lead characters introduced in The Force Awakens (and possibly due to a writers strike in the UK that had been brewing). Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales took the original spot.
  • Word of God:
    • Lucas long argued that the prequel's story existed in some form or another from the beginning of the saga, as the films featured the subtitles, Episode IV-VI (although the subtitle "Episode IV" wasn't in the first Star Wars film until its 1981 video re-release). A New Hope and a few elements of the original trilogy also make slightly more sense when seen against the backstory in the prequels, though others are more complicated.
    • Another notable example is Chewbacca's not getting a medal at the end of A New Hope. The official explanation is that such things are against the Wookiee religion — except that the original official explanation, from the Official Star Wars Fan Club, was that he did get one but Leia wasn't tall enough to put it around his neck.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Sort of. Lucas did have an over all Myth Arc plotted out, but as the production of the films went on the story grew more and more. The version we know is hardly anything like the original story Lucas planned.

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