Today is May 4th…and anybody who is a Star Wars fan knows how important today actually is. So, before you kick back and begin your movie marathon, take a look at some of these fun facts about the films.
1. Luke Skywalker almost became a sith.
The original trilogy ending was almost met with a darker fate. In Return of the Jedi, fans almost saw Luke Skywalker turn to the dark side. Although the movie ends happily, the original intent was for Luke to take his father’s mask and put it over his own head claiming, “I am now Vader” with plans to destroy the rebellion and take over the galaxy. However, George Lucas decided to end it on a more lighter note considering the films were originally intended for kids.
2. Sir Alec Guinness who played Ben Kenobi, actually hated Star Wars.
We are first introduced to Ben Kenobi (formally Obi Wan Kenobi) in A New Hope. Although this character is beloved by many, Guinness who was the originally actor hated the Star Wars films. He found the films to be nothing more than ‘fantasy rubbish’.
3. Princess Leia was almost played by a sitcom star.
Today, we all remember the late and great Carrie Fisher for her portrayal as Princess Leia in the original films. However, it wasn’t Fisher who almost landed the gig. Cindy Williams, who starred in Laverne and Shirley was set to play the character initially. However, Williams found a dialogue piece between Han and Leia far too difficult to read and years later, praised Fisher for ability to play the role so well.
4. Yoda’s original name was Buffy
Hard to imagine a character as iconic as Yoda almost had an entirely different name. In the very, very early writing states of The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda’s original name was to be Buffy. Not to get confused with Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.
5. Harrison Ford was cast as Han Solo by accident
At the time of casting for the movie, director George Lucas was looking for many unknown actors at the time to play the roles in his film. Although Kurt Russell was originally considered for the part, the role of Han ultimately went to Harrison Ford; whose delivery of feeding lines to other actors while auditioning, prompted Lucas to cave and cast him.
6. Movie theaters did not want to show the film
Star Wars was originally set to come to the big screen Memorial Day Weekend. However, less than 40 theaters in the country had greed to book showings of Star Wars. The studio eventually bumped up its release date to before Memorial Day due to the idea that the movie would flop during the busy Summer months.
7. Return or Revenge?
Over the years, there has been controversy over the titles of one specific Star Wars Film. Many believe that the original title for the third movie was, ‘Revenge of the Jedi’. However, Lucas felt like this did not fit the theme as Jedi do not seek ‘revenge’. The title was then changed to ‘Return of the Jedi’. The revenge theme did pop up years later in the prequels with, “Revenge of the Sith’.
8. A love interest for Luke Skywalker.
After the origins of Skywalker’s family was revealed to him, actor Mark Hamill suggested that it would only be fair if Luke gets a girlfriend as well. She was originally supposed to be introduced in Return of the Jedi; where they meet and fall in love. Inspiration for the love interest was being drawn from a coffee table book of sci-fi art Hamill gifted Lucas. Unfortunately the idea was scrapped from the movies. In the Expanded Universe, Luke eventually did get a girlfriend who later became his wife. She is beloved by die hard Star Wars fans and is known as Mara Jade.
9. Revenge of the Sith was the first Star Wars film that wasn’t rated PG.
This is the third film of the prequels that tells the story of the events that lead up to Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader. The film got it’s PG-13 rating for ‘sci-fi violence and some intense images”, as George Lucas states. He goes on to say the biggest attribution to this rating would have to be the fiery finale when Anakin Skywalker finally transforms into Darth Vader.
10. N’SYNC almost made a cameo.
In the film, Attack of the Clones, boyband members from N’SYNC were supposed to appear as Jedi Knights in the film as Lucas’ daughter requested due to being a huge fan. However, their scenes were cut from the final edit.