Star Wars Secrets: Episode IV – A New Hope

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Star Wars Secrets: Episode IV – A New Hope

Like Star Wars? You will love this article! This is the first part of a series of posts revealing secrets and stories from behind the scenes of Star Wars. Some of these stories were never revealed before. Others are a little older, yet most Star Wars fans find them eye-opening. Enjoy!

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Original Poster Arrow
Have you noticed that in the original poster of the 1977 movie, Princess Leia doesn’t look much like actress Carrie Fisher? This has been the source for numerous rumors and speculations. While Luke Skywalker resembles actor Mark Hamill perfectly, and so do R2-D2 and C-3PO and the Darth Vader mask, only the princess is different. We will leave this question open for now…

And now, onto some truly verified stories, all checked and confirmed by the production. Don’t miss the video towards the end…

 

Do you know the story of C-3PO and the Dragon’s Skeleton?

C-3PO and the Dragon’s Skeleton

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - C3PO and Dragon Skeleton


What’s with the skeleton? The skeleton that C-3PO passes belongs to a Tatooine creature called a Greater Krayt Dragon. This artificial skeleton was left in the Tunisian desert after filming and still lies there. It’s still there in the desert! During filming of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), the site was visited by the crew once more and the skeleton was still there.

 

And what was the origin of the idea for C-3PO’s unique voice and accent?

C-3PO’s Actor and Voice

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - C3PO and George Lucas


Why does C-3PO sound like a British butler? Director George Lucas (right in the photo) had not originally intended to use actor Anthony Daniels’s voice for the voice of C-3PO (here on the left). He only changed his mind after a suggestion by Stan Freberg, one of the actors considered as Daniels’ replacement Daniels’ voice was altered in post-production. His character was supposed to be like a “used-car salesman”. Ultimately, though, George Lucas was won over by the charisma of Daniels’ reading of the part as a “snooty British butler” and so Daniels has done the voice for C-3PO ever since.

Did you know the costume was terribly heavy and inflexible? During production, Anthony Daniels and all other actors playing “C-3PO”-type droids had to lean against a board to rest, as his costume was not flexible enough to allow them to sit. In scenes where C-3PO is required to sit, Daniels’ costume had to be partially disassembled to allow him to sit down. This was hidden by using camera angles, and by having C-3PO sit behind things. This inflexible costume problem was also experienced by actor Jack Haley who played the Tin Woodsman in The Wizard of Oz (1939).

 

And about his best friend R2-D2?

Meet the Real Hero: R2-D2

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - R2D2 Actor


What does the name R2-D2 mean? George Lucas came up with the name R2-D2 during post-production of American Graffiti (1973). One of the sound crew wanted Lucas to retrieve Reel #2 of the Second Dialogue track. In post-production parlance, this came out as “could you get R2-D2 for me?”. Lucas liked the sound of that and noted it down for future use.

How did they make R2-D2’s sounds? In early drafts of the script, R2-D2 could speak standard English, and had a rather foul vocabulary. Although all of R2’s English speech was removed, many of C-3PO’s reactions to it were left in. R2-D2’s vocal patterns largely contain sound designer Ben Burtt’s own voice. In trying to create the beeping, whistling noises of the droid, Burtt found that he was vocalizing a lot of what he was trying to achieve, so he recorded his voice – mainly making baby noises – and then fed it through a synthesizer.

Who was inside R2-D2? Actor Kenny Baker (here on the left) has said that often when the cast and crew broke for lunch, they would forget he was in the R2-D2 outfit and leave him behind.

 

Were R2-D2 and C-3PO an actual couple?

Are R2-D2 and C-3PO an Actual Couple

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - C3PO and R2D2


Were they a gay couple? One of the longest hard-core fan debates about Star Wars is whether or not R2-D2 and C-3PO are to be considered a gay couple or not. Yes the are! On one hand, it’s nice to think that they were a gay couple. They loved each other, worried and took care, fought and got back together… Almost everything a couple does. And since both were male, then, sure they were a gay couple. It could have been a hidden liberal message.

No they were not! On the other hand, there quite a few arguments against it. First, both R2-D2 and C-3PO are droids, which means they have no gender, neither male not female. Second, as droids, what exactly do they feel? It could be argued that they are not capable of love. True Friends! I prefer thinking of them as true friends. The kind of friendship that doesn’t require definitions.

 

What’s Next? Star Wars: From Flop to Mega Success

Star Wars: From Flop to Mega Success

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Premiere and Money


Expected a Flop! Prior to the film’s release, George Lucas showed an early cut of the film to a group of his film director friends. Most, including Lucas himself, felt the film would be a flop; Brian De Palma reportedly called it the ‘worst movie ever’. The only dissenter was Steven Spielberg who correctly predicted the film would make millions of dollars. He wasn’t even there! Lucas was so sure the film would flop that instead of attending the premiere (here in the photo), he went on holiday to Hawaii with his good friend Steven Spielberg, where they came up with the idea for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Started as a flop! When 20th Century Fox attempted to distribute the film in the U.S., fewer than 40 theaters agreed to show it. As a solution, Fox threatened that any cinema that refused to show Star Wars would not be given the rights to screen the potential blockbuster The Other Side of Midnight (1977) (which ended up grossing less than 10% of what Star Wars did).

How much money did Star Wars make? As we know by now, the original movie was eventually a huge success. It was the first film ever to make over $300,000,000 and worldwide it grossed a sum of $775,398,007 (adjusted to inflation, this is over $1 billion!).

 

What was special about George Lucas’s deal?

Amazing Story of Merchandising Rights

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Original Merchandise


The Special Deal: George Lucas waived the normal writer/director fee and asked for a mere $175,000 plus 40% of the merchandising rights. This decision was considered a fool’s gamble on his part. Toys based on movies had never been major money-earners before. After the failure of Doctor Dolittle (1967), when its massive merchandising push proved an equally costly debacle, studio executives saw little if any profit from such matters and agreed.

The boxes were empty! Interested in creating a modest line of colorful space toys, Kenner Toys signed on for the merchandising shortly before Star Wars opened, although they did not believe the movie would be a hit. When Star Wars became a hit, they were unprepared to handle the demand and produce enough Star Wars toys to handle the demand for Christmas. Instead, they sold boxed vouchers for various toys. The toys sold in the ‘Empty Box’ campaign during December were not delivered until March. Merchandising rights are since then a major part of any film contract.

It paid for the sequels: The original Star Wars related merchandise has since generated many millions of dollars in sales. The original dolls are among the most expensive toys in the World. And this special deal allowed George Lucas to make movies completely independent of the studio system he decried. Including the sequels…!

 

Darth Vader: The Actors and Drama Behind the Scenes –

Darth Vader: The Actors and Drama

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Darth Vader Actor


There were two different actors: David Prowse was given a choice as to which giant character he wanted to play, Chewbacca or Darth Vader. He wanted to play a bad guy, so he ended up playing Darth Vader. But for Vader’s famous voice, he was replaced by James Earl Jones. Interestingly, the two actors have never met.

One was hiding: While James Earl Jones supplied the voice of Darth Vader, he specifically requested that he not be credited. At the time, the reason he cited was that he felt he had not done enough work to get the billing, but he later admitted that he didn’t want his name associated with the film because he was still an up-and-coming actor, and didn’t want to be typecast. Jones does receive credit in the subsequent sequels and the 1997 “Special Edition”.

One was angry! David Prowse, the actor actually inside the Darth Vader suit, was still disgruntled more than 20 years after the film’s release about the fact that his voice was replaced by James Earl Jones. He claimed that he was a victim of “reverse racism” as there were no black members in the cast, the studio was worried that they would lose a significant size audience. However, it doesn’t make much since, since Jones wasn’t even credited in the original film. Actually, George Lucas opted to dub Vader’s dialogue with another actor because Prowse has a strong Bristol accent which was not in keeping with the character. The cast and crew’s nickname for Prowse was Darth Farmer, because of his heavy Bristol accent.

 

In your opinion, was Harrison Ford perfect for the part

Harrison Ford was Perfect for the Part

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Harrison Ford


We almost had another actor for Han Solo: Harrison Ford was originally not allowed to audition, as he had starred in American Graffiti (1973), also directed by George Lucas. George Lucas originally intended to use only new faces for Star Wars, but after using Harrison Ford to read lines with actors auditioning for the other roles, he realized Ford was the best actor for the part of Han Solo.

It look real right? Harrison Ford didn’t learn his lines for the intercom conversation in the cell block so it would sound spontaneous. And the background? George Lucas based the character of Han Solo on his friend, director Francis Ford Coppola.

 

And Luke Skywalker?

Luke was Almost a Woman

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Luke Skywalker


We almost had a different Luke: Luke went through several changes. Lucas toyed with the idea of changing him into a woman after cutting Princess Leia from the script. He also entertained the notion of casting the principal characters as a dwarf. In an early screenplay, Skywalker was a 60 year-old general.

What do you think about Luke Starkiller? The original name of the main character in this film was Luke Starkiller, and that was the character’s name when filming began in Tunisia. Later, when filming moved to London, George Lucas had second thoughts and changed the name to Skywalker. This did not cause a problem, as Luke’s last name had not been used in the scenes already shot. The name ‘Starkiller’ would later be used as the name of the Sith apprentice in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008). In honour of Lucas, J.J. Abrams named The First Order base, seen in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), “Starkiller Base”.

 

Who’s next? Chewbacca…

The Secrets behind the Beloved Chewbacca

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Chewbacca


The man in the suite: Peter Mayhew worked as an orderly in a Yorkshire hospital prior to being cast in the movie. He won his role ten seconds after meeting George Lucas for the first time; all the 7’2″ Mayhew had to do was stand up. And the sounds? According to sound designer Ben Burtt, the sounds Chewbacca makes have been made from a compilation of large mammals, mostly bears (he said one particular zoo-kept Grizzly Bear was an invaluable source of Chewbacca sounds).

The Missing Medal Story: The full name Chewbacca is only said once in this movie. Every other time he is called just “Chewie.” Though the only thing Chewbacca can say from start to finish is a Wookiee growl, he has the last line in the film. Some fans took offense to the fact that Chewbacca did not receive a medal in the closing scene. MTV remedied this twenty years later when they gave the character a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Head Tilt Secret: When I picture Chewbacca, I think of him tilting his head to the side while he listens to Han speak. For some reason, it reads as a human motion and sticks in my mind. On a panel at MegaCon in 2014, Mayhew said the move came about because he was constantly ducking to fit through doorways.

 

Don’t miss Princess Leia…

The One and Only Princess Leia

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Princess Leia


Not enough women, right?! Before Leia was added to the story, George Lucas was concerned that there weren’t any major female characters. He considered changing Luke into a woman. Eventually, along with Beru Lars and Mon Mothma, Princess Leia is only one of three female characters to star in the Original Trilogy while in the first film she and Beru are the only two female characters to appear (although non-speaking female extras are seen in Mos Eisley).

The one and only Carrie! Carrie Fisher was cast under the condition that she lose 10 pounds. Her breasts were taped down with gaffer tape, as her costume did not permit any lingerie to be worn underneath. She joked later, “As we all know, there is no underwear in space.” Since Fisher was not accustomed to using guns prior to filming the movie, she took shooting lessons from the same person that taught Robert De Niro to shoot for Taxi Driver.

What did she tell her mom? Due to the limited budget the American cast members and crew all decided to fly coach class to England, rather than first class. When Carrie Fisher’s mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, heard about this she called George Lucas, complaining about how insulting it was for her daughter to be flying coach. Fisher was in the room with Lucas when he took the call, and after a few minutes asked if she could talk to her mother. When Lucas handed her the phone she simply said, “Mother, I want to fly coach, will you f**k off?!” and hung up.

 

What’s Next? The Royal Twins: Luke and Leia

The Royal Twins: Luke and Leia

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Luke and Leia


Twins with a Twist: While Luke and Leia are supposed to be twins, the Princess would actually be nearly two years older than Luke Skywalker because of Einstein’s theory of relativity, at least according to a recent (serious) scientific article.

No Doubles! Stunt doubles were not used for the scene in which Luke and Leia swing to safety. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill performed that stunt themselves, shooting it in just one take. Correct Ancestry: Actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are of Swedish and Jewish ancestry, respectively. In the prequels, their parents would be played by Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, who also have Swedish and Jewish ancestry.

The joint vacation story: During a holiday break for Christmas in 1976, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher spent a few days in New York City together. One evening they saw a movie together, and a trailer for Star Wars happened to be showed prior to the feature. Hamill recalls that upon the ending of the trailer a heckler shouting “Coming soon to the Late Show!”.

 

Surprise: Next for the Real Life Tatooine in Tunisia

Real Life Tatooine in Tunisia

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Tunisia


Jungle or Desert? Originally, George Lucas envisioned Tatooine as a jungle planet. Gary Kurtz travelled to the Philippines to scout locations; however, because of the idea of spending months filming in the jungle would make Lucas “itchy”, the director refined his vision and made Tatooine a desert planet instead. Kurtz then researched all American, North African, and Middle Eastern deserts, and found Tunisia, near the Sahara desert, as the ideal location.

Desert Storm: On the first day of filming in the deserts of Tunisia, the country experienced its first major rainstorm in 50 years. Later, while filming, a fierce sandstorm destroyed several of the Tatooine sets in the desert outside Tozeur, Tunisia, and filming resumed two days later. The same thing would happen to George Lucas 22 years later while filming Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).

 

And there are more stories from that desert…

Desert Stormtroopers and More

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Desert Storm Troopers


Who wants to be a local actor? The actors playing the stormtroopers in the scene where they investigate the escape pod were paid 8500 Tunisian Dinar, which back then was the equivalent of only US$6.50 in 1976 dollars, which adjusted for inflation would be US$24.76 these days.

The origin of the name Tatooine: The Tatooine scenes were filmed in Tunisia. There is a town in Tunisia’s rural south named Tataouine (Berber for “eyes”), and George Lucas liked the name so much he adopted it for Luke Skywalker’s home world. You can still visit! Some of the interiors and the courtyard of Luke’s house were filmed in a hotel in Matmata, Tunisia. One can visit this two-star hotel and see some pictures and the painted ceiling of what was used for the Skywalker dining room. When Luke goes out of the farm, he appears in a flat deserted area, while the reality when you get out of the hotel show a lot of other houses, small stone hills and a lot of prickly peartrees (a variety of cactus very common in Tunisia).

 

Coming Up Next: The Story of the Sand People

The Story of the Sand People

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Sand People


Border Troubles: While George Lucas was filming on location in Tunisia, the Libyan government became worried about a massive military vehicle parked near the Libyan border. Consequently, the Tunisian government, receiving threats of military mobilization, politely asked Lucas to move his Jawa sandcrawler farther away from the border.

How he got himself into the movie: It was stunt coordinator Peter Diamond’s decision to arm Sand People with Gaffi sticks, getting a choice of weapons from various studio props – he felt the stick was a good choice, having served in the British Army, using bayonets and similar weaponry and being familiar with what they were capable of. Diamond played the Sand Person that attacks Luke, being the only stunt person on hand for the Tunisian portion of filming – he initially did not plan on playing the part. And who else lived in the desert?

 

Quiz: Who were the actual Jawas?

 

Who were the actual Jawas?

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Jawas


What did the Jawas say? The language spoken by the Jawas was created by recording speakers of the African Zulu language and electronically speeding it up. The recordings of Jawa voices you hear in the final film are a mixture of studio recordings, as well as recordings done in places like canyons to get an ambient echo effect of sorts, spliced together.

Who were the actors? Surprise! The Jawas filmed on location in Tunisia were played by Jack Purvis, some local extras and the daughters of producer Gary Kurtz: Melissa Kurtz & Tiffany L. Kurtz. The Jawas filmed in Pinewood Studios, England, for the scene where R2 and 3PO are woken inside the Sand Crawler were played by Rusty Goffe and the sons of stunt coordinator Peter Diamond: Frazer Diamond & Warwick Diamond.

 

Coming Up: The Truth behind the Lightsaber

The Truth behind the Lightsaber

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Lightsaber


How was the Lightsaber Effect Created? Korean animator Nelson Shin was asked if he could animate the lightsaber in the live action scenes of a film. He drew the lightsabers with a rotoscope. Shin explained to the people from Lucasfilm that since a lightsaber is made of light, the sword should look “a little shaky” like a fluorescent tube. He suggested inserting one frame that was much lighter than the others while printing the film on an optical printer, making the light seem to vibrate. Shin also recommended adding a degausser sound on top of the other sounds for the weapon since the sound would be reminiscent of a magnetic field. The whole process took one week, surprising his company.

How as the special sound created? The lightsaber sound effect was developed by sound designer Ben Burtt as a combination of the hum of idling interlock motors in aged movie projectors and interference caused by a television set on a shieldless microphone. Burtt discovered the latter accidentally as he was looking for a buzzing, sparking sound to add to the projector-motor hum. The pitch changes of lightsaber movement were produced by playing the basic lightsaber tone on a loudspeaker and recording it on a moving microphone, generating Doppler shift to mimic a moving sound source.

You can still buy it!! The hilt of the lightsaber given to Luke Skywalker is a Graflex 3 Cell Camera flash tube with some rubber grips and a loop attached to the base, these flash tubes can still be bought today but cost around the same as an official replica hilt.

 

The True Story: Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t very Happy.

Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t very Happy

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Obi Wan Kenobi


Would you believe he wasn’t happy? Actor Alec Guinness recalled the experience of making the movie as a bad one, and consistently claimed that it was his idea to have his character killed off in the first film, so as to limit his involvement and make sure he “wouldn’t have to carry on saying these rubbish lines”. He later mentioned to ‘shrivel up’ each time someone mentioned the movie, and claimed to throw away all Star Wars related fan mail without even opening it.

Others remembered his professional approach… Contrary to all this, George Lucas has said he made the decision to kill off Kenobi, since the character had no part to play in the movie’s finale, and deserved a memorable exit. According to Lucas, Guinness was “less than happy” that his character was dying earlier than expected, and even appeared to enjoy his time on set. Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have always stated how patient and helpful Guinness was on the set, and praised his professionalism and respectfulness to all cast and crew members. And also: When Ben Kenobi is turning off the tractor beam, the set Alec Guinness was on was only six feet above the ground.

 

Test Yourself: Which spaceship made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs?

Which spaceship made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs?

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Millenium Falcon


The Millennium Falcon Design: The design of the Millennium Falcon is based on a burger with an olive sticking out of the side (attached by a toothpick). This could be the reason for crew members nicknaming it the “Porkburger”. The targeting grid used for the Millennium Falcon’s canon is based on a paperweight George Lucas saw on Arthur C. Clarke’s desk.

What is it made of? According to set designer Roger Christian, the Millennium Falcon set was the most difficult item to build. Christian wanted the interior of the Falcon to look like that of a submarine. He found scrap airplane metal “that no one wanted in those days and bought them”. He began his creation process by breaking down jet engines into scrap pieces, giving him the chance to “stick it in the sets in specific ways”.

The Missing Metal Dice Story: A small pair of metal dice can be seen hanging in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon as Chewbacca makes preparations to depart from Mos Eisley. Roger Christian claims he added the pair of dice hanging in the Millennium Falcon cockpit because there were dice hanging in Harrison Ford’s car in American Graffiti (1973). However, Ford’s character had a skull hanging from his rear-view mirror. Ron Howard had the fluffy dice. They don’t appear in subsequent scenes, because they were stolen from the set and not replaced. It’s rumored that in the new Part VII the dice will appear again.

 

What do you think: Who was the top villain?

Who was the top villain?

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Peter Cushing


There was no Emperor! Unlike the other films in the Star Wars series, this original first film features Grand Moff Tarkin, by actor Peter Cushing, as the ranking Imperial villain, instead of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Both of their names are references to the Roman Republic/Empire. The Tarquins were kings of Rome in the days before the Roman Republic. Palatine Hill was a major location in the city of Rome. This is the only Star Wars series film in which Palpatine doesn’t make an appearance. Palpatine (whose name is never uttered in the classic trilogy) is mentioned, but referred to only as “the Emperor”.

The Likable Villain Story: Peter Cushing found the boots that came with his costume extremely uncomfortable to wear because they were too small for his feet. Thus he only wore them in the few shots in which Tarkin’s feet could be seen. In all other shots, Peter Cushing wore a pair of fuzzy slippers. Although their respective characters obviously despise each other, Carrie Fisher found Peter Cushing to be very charming, polite and humorous on set. They got along so well, in fact, that Fisher found it a real challenge to act as if she hated him.

 

What’s Next? Into the garbage chute, flyboy!

Into the garbage chute, flyboy!

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Trash Compactor


Now you can call Luke! The hatch number that Han Solo reads to C-3PO at the end of the scene (326-3827) was actually Mark Hamill’s phone number.

Dangers Under Water: Mark Hamill held his breath for so long during the trash compactor scene that he broke a blood vessel in his face. Subsequent shots are from one side only.

An Incredible Smell: The Chewbacca suit retained a bad smell for the duration of filming after the trash-compactor scene. In the words og Han Solo: What an incredible smell you’ve discovered!

 

The Ultimate Questions: Who Shot First??

Who Shot First??

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Solo and Greedo


The Shootout Debate Resolved! The shootout between Han Solo and Greedo inside the Cantina was the subject for a lot of controversy and debate among Star Wars fans as to who shot first. Many fans debated that Greedo actually shot first a split second before Solo did, but with careful examination of the scene, it was obvious that Greedo never fired his shot at all.

The Amended Version: For the 1997 Special Edition release of the original Star Wars movie, George Lucas had edited the scene to include Greedo shooting first at Solo at point blank range, with Solo moving his head slightly to the right to dodge the shot before firing back at Greedo. This caused perhaps the worst backlash of all the alterations made to the original trilogy from outraged fans.

Editing 27 Years Later: The shooting scene was therefore edited for a third time for the 2004 DVD release, so that both Greedo and Han Solo fired their guns more or less at the same time. Case Closed!

 

What’s next? These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Stormtroopers


Identify the Stormtrooper: Although the Anchorhead scenes featuring Anthony Forrest as Fixer were deleted, Forrest still appears in the finished film. He played the Stormtrooper who stops Luke and Obi-Wan in Mos Eisley and is then deluded by Obi-Wan’s use of the Force. Here in the photo… Do you recognize?

Why are the stormtoopers left-handed? Most of the Stormtroopers are left-handed. That is because of how the weapons are constructed. Their weapons are based on a real weapon, where the magazine is on left side of the weapons. This construction caused it to hit the troopers in the chest. Therefore they have to switch grip of the weapon, which made them look left-handed.

The truth about the weapons: The weapons the stormtroopers used were essentially the Sterling L2A3 9mm SMG (sub-machine gun) a military weapon developed in the late 1940s in the UK and adopted by the British and Canadian Armies in the 1950s. The curved left entry side mounted magazine was removed. And that was as much as it was modified for the film. The longer sandtrooper weapon was the MG-34 machine gun from Germany.

 

Amazing Story: The History of Disney and Star Wars

The History of Disney and Star Wars

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Disney


They Said No! George Lucas originally pitched the Star Wars film to Universal, United Artists and Disney. They all passed on the film before he took it to Fox. Remember this, in 1976 Disney said no. Nevertheless, during production, George Lucas referred to the film as a “Disney movie,” trying to capture the whimsy of classic 1950s Disney family films, one of Lucas’s favorites being Swiss Family Robinson (1960).

35 Years Later… Ironically, more than 30 years after the release of the film, the Walt Disney Company would acquire LucasFilm, Lucas’ production company, including all rights to the “Star Wars” stories and characters for no less than $4 billion! And so, eventually, Star Wars actually became a Disney movie.

 

Coming Up: May the Force Be with You

May the Force Be with You

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Jedi Force


What does Jedi mean? The word “Jedi” is derived from the Japanese words “Jidai Geki” which translate as “period adventure drama.” A period adventure drama is a Japanese TV soap opera program set in the samurai days. George Lucas mentioned in an interview that he saw a “Jidai Geki” program on TV while in Japan a year or so before the movie was made and liked the word.

Who said: May the Force Be with You”? The line “May the Force be with you” is often ranked within the top 10 movie quotes. But who said it? Obi-Wan never says “May the Force be with you”; he always says a close variation of the line. The line is actually spoken by both Han Solo (to Luke) and General Dodonna (while addressing the assembled rebel pilots), neither of whom has Force powers.

 

Why did we start with Episode IV?

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Episode IV


The Original Title was Star Wars: When first released in 1977, the movie was simply titled “Star Wars”, as it was intended to be a stand-alone movie. Sequels were not considered until after it became wildly successful.

Same Movie, New Name. The name of the movie was changed to “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” in 1981 to fit in better with the names of the other films. The later print was the first one to be released on mass market video (an earlier Betamax release did not have the subtitle), and all video, laserdisc or DVD releases have featured the subtitles. The theatrical cut DVDs, released in September 2006, were the first time that the original opening crawl, without subtitle, has been released on home video.

Episode IV Origins Explained: The reason George Lucas created the title card “Episode IV” in the first film was as a homage to 1940’s Saturday afternoon “cliffhanger” serials, like the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. He also used the “text crawl” the same way each of those series opened up new chapters. He did not at the time have Episodes I, II, and III already planned. In fact, at one point, 20th Century Fox wanted the “Episode IV” title removed so as not to confuse moviegoers. There are some prints of the film that do not have that title card.

 

Who is Missing from Star Wars?

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Yoda Missing


Who is Missing? When thinking back, many fans missed this fact. The first Star Wars movie is the only Star Wars series movie in which Yoda does not make an appearance. Yoda is not even mentioned, as the character had not yet been created.

The Empire Strikes Back! We will only meet the great Jedi Master in the sequel movie Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, which will be the subject of the next article in this series.

 

Don’t miss the video…

Star Wars Original Trailer 1977

After all these amazing stories, you must miss Star Wars, right? Here’s the original Star Wars trailer from 1977 with amazing frames from the movie. Lean back and enjoy!

 

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More from Briff.me

Star Wars Secrets - The Empire Strikes Back

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook. And then, click on to the next chapter: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

Star Wars Secrets - A New Hope - Gifts

 

 

 

If you’ve enjoyed these stories, don’t miss this post about Best Star Wars Gift Ideas: The ultimate guide for the die-hard Star Wars fan.

We also have this very nice article with some interesting stories… Don’t miss – Star Wars: Behind The Scenes.


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