If you’re a true Star Wars fan, you already know that May 4 is Intergalactic Star Wars Day. What’s the significance of this date? you may ask. Well, it’s a play on the classic Star Wars quote: May the fourth be with you! The actual line, May the force be with you, was first spoken in the 1977 film when General Dodonna was explaining the attack on the Death Star to the Rebel pilots.
And if you’re really a true Star Wars fan, you’ve already seen the recently released trailer for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens which hits theaters on December 18. Gamers will be thrilled to know that Disney is also releasing Star Wars: Battlefront, the first video game since they acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. We can’t wait! So in honor of Star Wars Day and to get you amped for The Force Awakens, here are 15 random Star Wars facts that you never knew.
1. Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from “The Journal of the Whils”
Yep, this was an early title for Star Wars. You’ve got to wonder if they’d have made it to Episode VII in the series if they hadn’t gone with the short and sweet title we love for the first one. You can check out the entire script on Starkiller, a super fan site.
2. Luke Starkiller
Speaking of Starkiller, that was indeed Luke Skywalker’s original name. His character went through several revisions, including a female version and an old war hero version. It would be a much drearier Star Wars Day without Mark Hamill’s dashing good looks and heavenly name to match.
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3. Darth Vader vs. George Lucas
We all know James Earl Jones as the iconic voice of Darth Vader but he wasn’t the actor behind the mask. David Prowse was the actor who brought the costume to life in the original trilogy but yet another actor, Sebastian Shaw, was the face of Vader when he was unmasked in Return of the Jedi. Needless to say, Prowse is a little bitter and not shy about saying so, which may be the reason George Lucas banned him from all Lucasfilm events in 2010.
4. David Fincher’s Big Break
Big break may be an exaggeration, but in a 2012 interview about The Social Network, David Fincher revealed that his first job in the film industry was as an assistant camera operator on Return of the Jedi.
5. Princess Leia’s Buns
We’re talking about her hair of course! Princess Leia’s side buns are one of the most recognized, yet least wearable (unless it’s Halloween or Star Wars day) ‘dos out there. The inspiration for this stand-out style is rather murky. George Lucas has said he was inspired by turn-of-the-century Mexican revolutionaries, however there’s not much evidence that this was a hairstyle they wore. Mental Floss has a few more interesting theories.
6. Man’s Best Friend, Chewbacca
George Lucas says driving with his beloved Alaskan Malamute, Indiana, sitting in the passenger seat like a person inspired Chewbacca, Han Solo’s equally furry co-pilot.
7. The E.T. Connection
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were buddies and each other’s biggest fans. If you pay attention you’ll find little homages in both of their iconic sci-fi masterpieces. There’s the trick-or-treater dressed as Yoda in E.T., prompting him to yell “Home!”. George Lucas was paying attention because years later, The Phantom Menace featured three aliens of E.T.’s species occupying their own pod in the Senate.
8. The ISIS Connection
The sets for Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tatooine, are still standing in the Tunisian dessert. In 2013, photographer Ra Di Martino made a pilgrimage to capture the remains of the set and, amazingly, it looks almost exactly as it did in the original movie. Unfortunately, in March CNN reported that ISIS militants are actually using the town as a way-station between Tunisia and Libya.
9. First is Best
George Lucas was nominated for Best Director at the 1978 Academy Awards and Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture. Although they didn’t win, it has the distinction of being the first science fiction movie to receive a Best Picture nomination.
10. Stormtroopers are Lefties
One of the more obscure Star Wars facts is that the Stormtroopers appear to be left-handed. This is because their weapons are based on a gun, the Sterling L2A3 9mm SMG, whose magazine is on the left.
11. Bad Motherf***er
You’ve gotta love him. Samuel L. Jackson, who played Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels, told Graham Norton that his light saber from the films has ‘Bad Motherf***er’ engraved on the side.
12. NSYNC Cameo (Almost)
The boys from NSYNC, and Star Wars superfans, almost had cameos as Jedi knights in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Sadly, their scene was cut from the final version.
13. Mark Hamill’s Car Accident
Just before Star Wars finished shooting in 1977, Mark Hamill suffered serious facial injuries in a car accident which is why he looks slightly different in the movies that followed.
14. I Have a Bad Feeling About This
This simple, yet suspenseful line is uttered in every film in the series.