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All spoilers for the Skywalker Saga will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Prequel Trilogy Films

Original Trilogy Films

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Listed Trivia:

  • 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.
  • Bury Your Art: The original trilogy is one of the most notorious examples of this. While all three films are easily available, most modern versions since 1997 are of the "special editions" of the films, instead of the original unedited versions originally released back in the 1970s and 80s, which have not received an official release at all since 2006 (and even so, it was only a dump of the LaserDisc versions) and are not acknowledged by Lucasfilm. This was deliberate, as George Lucas hated the original versions due to how "unfinished" they are in his eyes and wants the special editions to effectively replace and bury the original unaltered versions for good, to the point of submitting the special editions to the national film registry and refusing to send in the original versions (despite requests from the registry to do so) and having it in his contract with Fox that any surviving copies of the original films be "hunted down and destroyed". This remains the case even after Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and 20th Century Fox in 2019.
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  • Cash-Cow Franchise: With 20th Century Fox famously signing away the merchandising rights to George Lucas as a way to save money on A New Hope. There's also a reason Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Billy Dee Williams was among those considered 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 recognizable. He did narrate trailers for the film.
    • Vinette Robinson auditioned for Padme Amidala. Two decades later, Robinson was cast in the role of Wrobie Tyce, a Resistance pilot, in The Rise of Skywalker.
    • 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.
    • Billie Lourd, the real life daughter of Carrie Fisher, was offered to play Rey. However, she would go on to play Lieutenant Kaydel Connix.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Even fans tend to severely exaggerate the prequel trilogy's use of CGI.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Sir Alec Guinness, while he doesn’t entirely hate Star Wars, admitted to growing irritated with the franchise over time because of how audiences came to only remember him for the role as Obi-Wan Kenobi despite his illustrious career. He once famously told a fan who claimed he had seen the film 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, Blessed be Star Wars, he says. The other cast members knew how much he disliked the franchise 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 film'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 film. 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 films 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, and some eagle-eyed viewers noted that she even had a visible "coke nail").
    • 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.
    • On social media and in interviews, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega have made it adamantly clear that they dislike where both Poe and Finn's characters ended up at the end of the Sequel Trilogy, and have zero interest in reprising their roles in any future projects relating to Disney+ (Isaac explicitly saying he'd only consider coming back if he needed the money for a new house). Boyega has also expressed anger and disappointment at the violent racism that he, Isaac, and Kelly Marie Tran experienced from the fandom, and that in his opinion Disney gave all the nuance in the Sequel Trilogy to its white characters. In an interview with GQ, he said:
      John Boyega: What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are, and then have them pushed to the side.
    • A more lighthearted example: Mark Hamill enjoys watching other characters in Star Wars, but can never stand watching his own performance.
      • In a more serious vein, Mark has gone on record multiple times saying he hated the direction that Luke went in the sequels to the point he considers it a completely different character that he's dubbed "Jake Skywalker". He also hates how people have tried to get him to bash George Lucas, who he has issues with, but legitimately likes both professionally and personally. Mark is also infuriated by how fans treat the other actors especially how Jake Lloyd was treated as he was just a little kid.
    • Marcia Lucas, George Lucas's ex-wife who worked on the Original Trilogy with him, has gone on record in J.W. Rinzler's Howard Kazanjian: A Producer's Life (Rinzler provided other Star Wars reference and behind-the-scenes books) that while she likes Kathleen Kennedy, she had a lot to say about the direction she and J. J. Abrams have taken with the Sequel Trilogy. note 
      Marcia Lucas: I like Kathleen [Kennedy]. I've always liked her. She was full of beans. She was really smart and really bright. Really wonderful woman. And I liked her husband, Frank. I liked them a lot. Now that she's running Lucasfilm and making movies, it seems to me that Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams don't have a clue about Star Wars. They don't get it. And J.J. Abrams is writing these stories — when I saw that movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious. I was furious when they killed Han Solo. Absolutely, positively there was no rhyme or reason to it. I thought, 'You don't get the Jedi story. You don't get the magic of Star Wars. You're getting rid of Han Solo?' And at the end of this last one, The Last Jedi, they have Luke disintegrate. They killed Han Solo. They killed Luke Skywalker. And they don't have Princess Leia anymore. And they're spitting out movies every year. And they think it's important to appeal to a women's audience, so their main character is female, who's supposed to have Jedi powers, but we don't know how she got Jedi powers, or who she is. It sucks. The storylines are terrible. Just terrible. Awful. You can quote me—'J.J. Abrams, Kathy Kennedy–talk to me.'
    • In the same book, Marcia Lucas also says that she dislikes the Prequel Trilogy.
      Marcia Lucas: George is, in his heart and soul, a good guy and a talented filmmaker. I wish he would’ve kept directing [other kinds of] movies. But when I went to see Episode I—I had a friend who worked at ILM, who took me as a guest to a preview—I remember going out to the parking lot, sitting in my car and crying. I cried. I cried because I didn’t think it was very good. And I thought he had such a rich vein to mine, a rich palette to tell stories with. He had all those characters. And I thought it was weird that the story was about this little boy who looked like he was six years old, but then later on he’s supposed to get with this princess who looked like she was twenty years old. There were things I didn’t like about the casting, and things I didn’t like about the story, and things I didn’t like—it was a lot of eye candy. CG.
    • Harrison Ford enjoyed working on the films and is grateful for the original being his Star-Making Role, but is known to get pretty grumpy when people act as though Han Solo is the be-all and end-all of his career.
    • Tim Rose, the costume actor for Admiral Ackbar, felt humiliated during the character's retirement after the crew, especially Rian Johnson, turned the event into a big joke. During an interview, he admitted to breaking down crying and having to leave the event for an extended period of time. After the interview, Twitter users flocked together to mock the aging actor. Needless to say, many fans were furious at the treatment he was receiving. Similarly, Tom Kane, Ackbar's new voice actor, was not pleased about Holdo taking over Ackbar's position in the story as second in command.
  • 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 averted when he was played by the same actor nineteen years later in The Phantom Menace, who now matched his age.
    • Retroactive example with Wedge Antilles. In the movie he is played by 28-29 year old Dennis Lawson, but in Rebels is revealed that he is almost the same age as Ezra and Sabine.
  • Demand Overload: Many kids got IOUs instead of Star Wars toys in the 1970s, because back then, film toys were given small runs, and the company in question (Kenner) got completely overwhelmed.
  • Development Gag: Usually shows up in character names.
  • Development Hell: Several attempts to expand the franchise's feature films beyond the Skywalker Saga ran into this. (See also Saved from Development Hell.)
    • A trilogy of films from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss was announced in 2018, which were believed to be focused on the origins of the Jedi. After the two accepted a massive deal to produce content for Netflix, however, they exited their contract with Lucasfilm. This trilogy was removed from the schedule, though Kathleen Kennedy's response indicated the door remains open for them to resume their work if they wish.
    • A separate trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was also announced prior to that film's release, which, like the Benioff/Weiss films, would be entirely separate from the Skywalker Saga. Little information about this trilogy has surfaced since, however, and with Johnson subsequently becoming attached to making multiple Knives Out sequels and the Peacock series Poker Face, his trilogy is set to be on hold for a very long time.
    • The anthology film Rogue Squadron, like the Johnson trilogy, has been put on hold thanks in no small part to multiple prior commitments on the part of its filmmaker, as director Patty Jenkins had also committed to making a sequel to Wonder Woman 1984 and a Cleopatra biopic. Jenkins would eventually exit directing duties for the latter in order to focus on Wonder Woman and Rogue Squadron, though Wonder Woman is expected to take priority.
  • Died During Production: 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 would be used in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Dueling Movies: To a degree the first three films dueled with the first three Star Trek films. 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. That said, a Star Wars and Star Trek movie would not actually be released in the same year until 2002 with Attack of the Clones and Star Trek: Nemesis. The second (and currently last) time it occurred was 2016 with Rogue One and Star Trek Beyond.
  • Fake Brit:
  • Fan Community Nicknames:
    • Warsies.
    • The corners of the Star Wars fandom that are the most critical of the Disney era films (chiefly the Sequel Trilogy and especially since The Last Jedi) and very vocal about it are nicknamed "The Fandom Menace" (a pun with The Phantom Menace).
  • Flip-Flop of God: Over the years, George Lucas has made many contradictory claims about the development, conceptual background, and future plans of the franchise, 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:
  • Fountain of Expies:
    • Darth Vader has many. 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.
    • Boba Fett is so popular that he's inspired other bounty hunters in fiction.
  • Franchise Zombie: George Lucas originally planned for twelve films 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. After doing the prequels, he was not interested in going further. Enter Disney, offering to purchase Lucasfilm for $4 billion exactly to continue the story. Lucas considered doing Episode VII for them and then selling, but just decided to let others take over the series. He was a creative consultant on the eventual film... only for Disney to throw his concepts out (although the below entry shows some of his ideas were retained, mostly by the first writer Michael Arndt). The only time he returned was when J. J. Abrams visited him prior to writing Episode IX.
  • God Never Said That: Variation- George Lucas did, in fact, state outright that Disney threw out the story concepts that he wrote for the sequels and started completely fresh; however, he was simply mistaken. Kathleen Kennedy later clarified that they didn't discard them entirely, they simply rearranged things and took creative license wherever they wished, and subsequent revelations have confirmed that a lot of his ideas - such as a Luke going to an ancient Jedi temple, a young female scavenger (Rey, but Lucas named her Kira) being his Padawan, Han and Leia's son being corrupted by the dark side, and a scene set in the ruins of the second Death Star - did indeed end up being used.
  • 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 (most notably Alec Guinness, the only member of the cast who was already big star before Star Wars). Averted by Harrison Ford, though, who launched a successful acting career outside of the Star Wars films.
  • Killed by Request:
    • Sir Alec Guinness reportedly asked for Ben Kenobi's death in A New Hope by persuading Lucas that it would make him a stronger character. Lucas agreed to the idea.
    • Harrison Ford also wanted Han Solo killed off in the original trilogy, which didn't happen. Until The Force Awakens.
  • No Origin Stories Allowed: George Lucas has stipulated that Yoda's species, homeworld, and origin cannot be revealed, and this still applies after the Continuity Reboot. Fan Fic doesn't abide by this, though; there's plenty of Fanon on it.
  • The Pete Best:
  • 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 II, 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 II fight happened during a subsequent several-month-long siege of the Yavin System by the Imperial military.
  • Saved from Development Hell: Anthology films focused on Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi were planned early into Disney's ownership of the franchise. The Fett film went through multiple iterations, one set to be made by Josh Trank before he parted ways with Lucasfilm, another with James Mangold attached; meanwhile, the Kenobi film was expected to be directed by Stephen Daldry. Both films were halted following the financial failure of Solo, but with the success of The Mandalorian, they were retooled into the Disney+ shows The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, each with new creative teams.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The reason Disney didn't release the original and prequel trilogies on Blu-Ray prior to the purchase of 20th Century Fox: they 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 said, even after they did get the rights, they reportedly said to J. J. Abrams that it isn't possible for them to release the original unedited versions, though this is less likely to do with legal issues and more a mix of wanting to respect George Lucas's wishes (as he deliberately wanted the special editions to be the only versions available) and the original negatives reportedly being in a poor shape even before the buyout.
  • Similarly Named Works: Bound to happen in a franchise with over a thousand works (a majority of the first ones to use said titles being Star Wars Legends works).
  • Sleeper Hit: Nobody expected A New Hope to become as successful as it was and turn into a juggernaut of a franchise.
  • Studio 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 owned 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 films.
  • Tie-In Cereal:
    • Over the years, Kellogs has released a number of Star Wars based cereals, with Yoda (representing the Jedi) or Darth Vader (representing the Sith) adorning the front of the boxes. Other examples include ones with Jedi from the prequel trilogy, BB-8 and Baby Yoda. It was all the same kind of cereal; plain kernels with Star Wars-themed marshmallows.
    • In 1984, Goldenrod released C-3PO's, a cereal based on the character C-3PO with kernels shaped like Bs and 8s.
  • Uncredited Role: Shockingly, James Earl Jones went uncredited as the voice of Darth Vader for decades.
  • 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. Star Wars (Marvel 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 overall 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.
    • The entire Disney-produced Sequel Trilogy was never planned in much detail, with Disney's original plan being for each director (Abrams, Johnson and Trevorrow) to come up with their own scripts. Reportedly, one reason Trevorrow left the production of The Rise of Skywalker was because many of his ideas were not compatible with what Johnson had written. In September 2020, Daisy Ridley admitted that Rey's backstory changed many times even during the shooting of the films, with early plans for her character to be connected to Obi-Wan Kenobi being scrapped after The Force Awakens. Even the connection with Palpatine was only pitched when The Rise of Skywalker was being rewritten after Trevorrow's departure, and it was still being flip-flopped on up until the end of the film's production.

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