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Trivia / Star Wars

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Listed Trivia:

  • Author Existence Failure: Carrie Fisher's sudden death before The Rise of Skywalker 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. In the end, it would be decided that unused footage of Fisher from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi will be used in Episode IX.
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  • Billing Displacement: James Earl Jones and David Prowse, the men who brought the plot-central Darth Vader 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.
  • 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.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Billy Dee Williams was among those conisdered for Han Solo. He would later play Lando Calrissian.
    • David Prowse (Darth Vader) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) were both offered each other's roles. Prowse didn't want to play a goodie, while Mayhew didn't want to play a baddie, so they switched.
    • George Lucas considered casting Peter Cushing as Obi-Wan Kenobi before casting him as Grand Moff Tarkin.
    • Christopher Lee turned down the role of Tarkin. He would later play Darth Tyranus/Count Dooku in the prequels.
    • Lucas originally wanted Orson Welles to voice Darth Vader, before deciding that his voice was too recognisable. He did narrate trailers for the film.
    • Benicio del Toro was offered the role of Darth Maul, but turned it down when most of his dialogue was removed. He later played DJ in The Last Jedi.
    • Mark Lewis Jones auditioned for a part in Rogue One but did not obtain it. He was later offered the part of First Order captain Moden Canady for The Last Jedi.
  • Channel Hop: The first six films were originally distributed by 20th Century Fox, but when Disney bought Lucasfilm outright in 2012, they got control of all of them except A New Hope, as the later films were financed by Lucas himself and merely distributed by Fox. Thus, Disney owns the digital video and television rights to every installment except the original film, which was thought to remain with Fox in perpetuity, while the remaining rights to I-III, V, and VI would revert to Disney in 2020. When Disney proceeded to buy Fox, they gained ownership of all rights to the movies.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Even fans tend to severely exaggerate the prequel trilogy's use of CGI.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • 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. 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 hated playing young Anakin in The Phantom Menace so much he felt George Lucas ruined his acting career. After the movie's release, he was constantly teased by kids making lightsaber noises and harassed by angry fans blaming him for "ruining" Star Wars (while he was only nine). After giving over sixty interviews to press and voicing Anakin in five video games, he quit acting and swore off associations with the movie. 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.
    • Played for Laughs: Mark Hamill enjoys watching other characters in Star Wars, but can never stand watching his own performance.
  • 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: Briefly, Leia in A New Hope. Bloodline explains this away as a Brief Accent Imitation to mock Tarkin's own.
  • 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." Doubles with Ascended Fanon in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, where the rebels will call the AT-STs chicken walkers on occasion.
    • After Disney bought out the franchise from George Lucas and commissioned a sequel trilogy, the first of which was directed by J. J. Abrams (The Force Awakens), some call its current state "Disney Wars", "NuWars", "Mouse Wars" and most belligerently, "Rats Wars" or "Rat's Wars". "NuWars" parallels "NuTrek", which Abrams also kicked off with a new film.
    • Other nicknames for Palpatine are Frank,note  Alright, The Senate, Weak, and Too Weak.note 
  • 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. It was even stated at one point early on that the saga could go up to twelve episodes. 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: George Lucas originally planned for twelve movies total, but boiled his plans down to nine while working on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, then went with six from there. Lucas eventually stated that he wouldn't direct any more movies in the franchise beyond the two trilogies, and any further movies would have to be made with his approval. Disney convinced him to allow for more films with a $4,000,000,000 deal - however, he is a creative consultant for the sequel trilogy, and the cast and crew involved are very enthusiastic about the project.
  • 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.
    • Then Jossed again (and supported by a Flip-Flop of God from George Lucas) in the "Mortis" episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. There Anthropomorphic Personifications of the Balance (the Father), the Light (the Daughter) and the Dark (the Son) are introduced and it is explicitly stated that neither the Light nor the Dark Side can be allowed to become too powerful or the consequences for the universe would be terrible.
  • Killed by Request:
    • Sir Alec Guinness reportedly asked for Ben Kenobi's death in A New Hope, because he had no faith in either the film or his character.
    • Harrison Ford also wanted Han Solo killed off in the original trilogy, which didn't happen. Until The Force Awakens.
  • Name's the Same: Bound to happen in a franchise with over a thousand works.
  • Oddball in the Series: The Star Wars Legends 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.
  • 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' 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.
  • 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 owned the rights to the films until 2020. Even after that, they were slated to have perpetual ownership of A New Hope. That was, however, until Disney decided to buy Fox itself, thereby acquiring the rights to all of Episodes I-VI.
  • Sleeper Hit: Nobody expected Star Wars to be as popular as it is today.
  • 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.
    • Considering the vastness of the franchise, there are a lot of tentative ideas that ultimately were not used. George Lucas originally wanted to serve as a mere supervisor as nine films were made under different directors, and he looked forward to seeing how the franchise would evolve with different people. 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.
    • 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 writer's strike in the UK that had been brewing). Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales took the original spot.
    • There were plans to re-release all six movies in 3D. However, they only got as far as The Phantom Menace in 2012. Months later, the Disney buyout occurred, and the plans for re-releasing the remaining movies were scrapped in favor of the Sequel Trilogy.
    • A Boba Fett movie was planned for the Star Wars Anthology series. The movie was scrapped in favor of The Mandalorian.
  • The Wiki Rule: Are you on Wookieepedia again?
  • 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. Marvel Star Wars (2015), after the Continuity Reboot, settled things by establishing the original explanation regarding Leia's height as canon.
  • 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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