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40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

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Star Wars is a global phenomenon, the likes of which simply haven’t been seen before. But little did George Lucas know in May 1977, upon the release of his first Star Wars feature, that he had just given birth to one of the biggest film franchises of all time.

Like many crazes that came after (J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter perhaps being the most notable comparison), box office records were instantly smashed, and in many ways spawned the modern-day blockbuster. And even if you’re not the biggest fan of the galaxy, you’ll likely be aware of the various spin-offs, TV series, video games, comics, action figures, and various other paraphernalia that has made Lucas one of the wealthiest men in Hollywood.

So to celebrate the sci-fi behemoth, we’ve compiled a ton of interesting Star Wars facts that even Star Wars boffins may be aware of.

1. Alec Guinness Thought Star Wars Was “Fairy-Tale Rubbish”

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

While Obi-Wan Kenobi is a pretty chilled out dude, the actor who played him, the late Alec Guinness, didn’t exactly spread good vibes to everyone working on the films when he criticized the premise of the films as “fairy-tale rubbish”.

However, when he scored a deal that would earn him 2% of the gross for the movies he appeared in, Guinness’s shrewd move would net him a cool $95 million. Not a bad return on something that was “rubbish”.

2. Steven Spielberg Made A Famous Star Wars Bet With George Lucas

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

While it is common knowledge that Lucas was on the verge of a breakdown following the disastrous production of Star Wars, Spielberg was more than happy to make a bet with a then-hopeless Lucas about the future success of the film when he visited Spielberg on the Alabama set of Close Encounters of The Third Kind.

“George came back from Star Wars a nervous wreck,” the famed director revealed. “He didn’t feel Star Wars came up to the vision he initially had. He felt he had just made this little kids’ movie. He came to Mobile, Alabama where I was shooting Close Encounters on this humongous set and hung out with me for a couple of days. He said, ‘Oh my God, your movie is going to be so much more successful than Star Wars. This is gonna be the biggest hit of all time’.”

Upon hearing this self-loathing, Spielberg was then invited by Lucas to trade a share of future profits of his movie in exchange for a 2.5% stake in all future Star Wars’ box office receipts. “He said, ‘You want to trade some points? I’ll give you two and a half per cent of Star Wars if you give me two and a half per cent of Close Encounters.’ I said, ‘Sure, I’ll gamble with that, great.'”

The greatest gamble in history? Probably, as Spielberg admits to seeing windfalls from that bet each day. “Star Wars was a phenomenon, and I was the happy beneficiary of a couple of points from that movie which I am still seeing money on today,” he added.

3. Many Buildings Constructed For The Planet Tatooine Remain In Tunisia

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

Several of the buildings constructed for the fictional planet of Tatooine remain in Tunisia, so much so that locals still use some of them to this day!

However, Star Wars isn’t as loved in Tunisia as it is in the Western world, so you can pretty much explore most of these sites in peace. Many are located in the desert areas of Mos Espa and Chott El Jerid.

4. Tupac Shakur Auditioned For The Role of Mace Windu

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

One of the most successful rappers of all time, Tupac Shakur, auditioned for a role in the Star Wars movies. During his rapid rise to hip-hop superstardom, Tupac failed in an audition for the role of Mace Windu. Despite his unsuccessful foray into acting, he remains an icon in the music world.

His “All Eyez on Me” double disc album remains one of the best-selling hip hop albums. Following a much-publicized gang rivalry with a string of East Coast rappers, Tupac found himself on the receiving end of a fatal wound administered during a driveby. He had just turned 25.

5. A Family Affair

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

While nepotism isn’t something George Lucas has exercised despite his immense power in the industry, he did, in a small degree, bring his family onboard the Star Wars gravy train. His daughter Katie Lucas was cast as a Twi’lek dancer in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones while sister Amanda appeared as a background extra.

Not to be left out, brother Jett played a young Padawan in the Jedi archives.

6. Carrie Fisher Had To Stand On A Box For Scenes With Harrison Ford

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

The late Carrie Fisher may have left a tall legacy, but her actual height of 5’1″ was no match for co-star Harrison Ford’s towering 6’1″ frame. Because of the noticeable height irregularities, Fisher often had to stand on a box, not so she could appear as tall, but so she could simply be in the shot!

Ever heard of invisible heels, guys?!

7. Jabba The Hut Was Supposed To Be In Star Wars: A New Hope

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

Jabba The Hutt is argubally Star Wars’ most infamous villian, and certainly its most standout character owing to its colossal weight, so it’s little surprise that Lucas wanted this extreme and vile monster to be in the original movie. However, the scene was cut because the special effects in the 70s didn’t make Jabba’s appearance all that realistic.

Another fun fact: the size of Jabba’s puppet was so big seven crew members were required to operate it when it was used on set.

8. James Earl Jones Was Embarrassed By The First Movie 

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

James Earl Jones famously voiced Darth Vader’s deep and menacing voice, but his iconic role was doubted by the man himself who refused to have his name on the end credits.

But Jones’s decision proved to be in vain as the film would go on to be one of the highest grossing movies of all time.

9. Tupac Wasn’t The Only famous Name To Have Auditioned, A Trio Of Famous names Unsuccessfully Auditioned For Star Wars

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

Such was the undiscovered talent in 1970s Hollywood, many famous names who weren’t famous in the 70s auditioned for the then-little-known sci-fi movie.

Sylvester Stallone was rejected after he auditioned for the role of Han Solo whilst Cindy Williams and Jodi Foster tried out for Princess Leia to no avail either.

10. George Lucas Missed the 1977 Star Wars Premiere… Not Because He Was Ashamed Of The End Product But Because He Was On Holiday!

40 Interesting Facts About The Star Wars Movies

We earlier revealed that Lucas confined in Spielberg after the crazy production dramas to admit his doubts about the upcoming first Star Wars movie, but that wasn’t the reason he bailed on the premiere.

In fact, he was with Spielberg himself in the verdant tropics of Hawaii! Following the worldwide success of the first movie, Lucas never missed another premiere.

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