Trivia
 

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Star Wars - A New Hope

Star Wars (1977)

  • William Katt auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker.

  • 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 snowtrooper weapon was the MG-34 machine gun from Germany.

  • WILHELM SCREAM: when the storm trooper falls into the chasm after being blasted by Luke

  • Later in his life, Alec Guinness always recalled the experience of making the movie as a bad one and consistently claimed that it was his idea to have his character killed in the first film, so he "wouldn't have to carry on saying these rubbish lines". He also recalled an occasion when he was confronted by a fan who claimed to have watched the film many times. He said that he asked the fan to do something for him, and that when the young man eagerly answered that he would do anything for Obi-Wan Kenobi, he said, "I want you to promise me that you will never watch it again."

  • In the scene where Luke and Han are taking Chewbacca to the prison cells, Luke says that he is a prisoner transfer from cell block One One Three Eight (1138), which comes from the short film by George Lucas by the name of "Electronic Labyrinth: THX-1138 4EB."

  • Derived from (among other things) the Akira Kurosawa film _Kakushi toride no san akunin (1958)_ (The Hidden Fortress) -- mostly in the characters of R2D2 and C3P0. and C-3PO and R2-D2 are derived from the characters of Matakishi and Taihei, two farmers/ne'er-do-wells Mifune's character, a samurai general, conscripted to help ferry his princess out of enemy territory. Two characters in the Japanese film were split to produce four in "Star Wars": aspects of Toshirô Mifune's samurai character became Ben Kenobi and Han Solo; and aspects of the Princess's character became Luke and Leia (early production art exists showing a female lead character rather than Luke).

  • Before Alec Guinness was cast as Obi Wan, George Lucas briefly considered using Peter Cushing, who plays Tarkin.

  • James Caan, Al Pacino and Burt Reynolds turned down the role of Han Solo.

  • Peter Mayhew worked as an orderly in a Yorkshire hospital prior to being cast as Chewbacca.

  • Peter Mayhew and David Prowse were both given a choice as to which giant character they wanted to play, Chewbacca or Darth Vader. Mayhew wanted to play a good guy and Prowse wanted to play a bad guy, so they ended up playing the matching characters.

  • 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.

  • 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 the following March.

  • At one point, George Lucas planned for the characters of Luke Skywalker and his aunt and uncle, to be dwarves.

  • At one point, George Lucas had planned the character of Han Solo to be a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and gills.

  • George Lucas based the character of Han Solo on his friend, director Francis Ford Coppola.

  • Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Perry King were all candidates for the role of Han Solo, as George Lucas wanted to stay away from any actors he had previously used in his films. Harrison Ford (who had played Bob Falfa in Lucas's American Graffiti (1973)) read the part of Han Solo for screen tests of other characters but wasn't originally considered for the part. During these tests George Lucas realized Harrison Ford was perfect for the role.

  • According to the commentary track on the 2004 DVD, Lucas and the production team apparently had a series of running battles with the studio cleaning service, which would continually clean and buff the floors on set, even though Lucas had requested that they leave them scuffed and dull - part of his idea that the world the characters inhabit should look "lived in".

  • George Lucas at one time considered making Han Solo black. He auditioned several black actors and even musicians (including Billy Dee Williams) until finally settling on Glynn Turman. But after this he decided to make the role white and went with Harrison Ford.

  • When the film was re-released in theaters after it became so successful, the Daffy Duck cartoon _Duck Dodgers in the 241/2th Century (1953)_ was run preceding the feature at the request of George Lucas.

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

  • 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.

  • This is the only film in the series where David Prowse did the lightsaber fighting on his own; he was doubled in the sequels because he kept breaking the poles that stood in for the blades. This switch might explain why Vader pivots on his feet in this film, but not in the others.

  • According to Mark Hamill, studio executives were unhappy that Chewbacca has no clothes and attempted to have the costume redesigned with shorts.

  • The studio was unhappy with Star Wars as a title after negative market testing. A competition was held during shooting for cast and crew to come up with a better one but nothing stuck.

  • George Lucas started writing the screenplay in 1974.

  • Details of Obi-Wan Kenobi's youth were well-guarded by George Lucas, who thought of writing on the subject later on. Before the prequels were released, Marvel Comics was allowed to print a 1978 issue of the film, telling of one of Obi-Wan's earlier adventures, but no other publication detailing Obi-Wan's earlier exploits was ever made until after Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) was released.

  • The "TIE" in TIE Fighter is an acronym. It stands for "Twin Ion Engines".

  • Over 60% of this film was shot with a film that was so prone to fading, it was discontinued in the early '80s.

  • Terri Lynn and Cindy Williams auditioned for the role of Princess Leia.

  • Terri Nunn of the band Berlin was in the running for the role of Princess Leia and had readings with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill.

  • Was originally scheduled for a Christmas 1976 release, but was pushed back five months as post-production (especially special effects) took longer than expected. Studio executives were concerned that the new 25th May 1977 release date would put the film's box office chances at risk as Smokey and the Bandit (1977) would come out that same week. However, by the end of its initial theatrical run in the U.S., Star Wars had grossed over twice as much as Smokey and the Bandit (1977).

  • George Lucas had not originally intended to use Anthony Daniels's voice for the voice of C-3PO. He only changed his mind after a suggestion by Stan Freberg, one of the actors considered for Anthony Daniels's replacement. Anthony Daniels's voice was altered in post-production.

  • 20th Century Fox promoted the film at the San Diego Comic Con, believing the attendees of that event to be the film's main target demographic.

  • When 20th Century Fox attempted to distribute the film in the U.S., fewer than 40 theatres 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).

  • Prior to the release of this movie, the greatest profit 20th Century Fox had every made in one year was $37,000,000. In 1977, because of the film, their year-end profit was $79,000,000.

  • Initial research from 20th Century Fox using the title and a brief synopsis came back with the results that only males under 25 were interested in seeing the film. Fox then deliberately marketed the film with a view to attracting older and female cinemagoers by pushing images of humans (including Princess Leia) centerstage and referring to the film in more mythic tones, rather than science fiction.

  • The movie opened in May 1977 and by November had dethroned Jaws (1975) as the all-time box-office champ. It held that position until Titanic (1997).

  • When writing the script, George Lucas had terrible trouble remembering how to spell all the odd names he had invented for his universe. This explains why there is such inconsistency over the way Wookiee is spelled.

  • Lucas originally prepared a 14-page story treatment for his space opera. The major studios all rejected it because they viewed it as science fiction which was very difficult to market at the time. Lucas did find one sympathetic ear - Alan Ladd Jr, the then new head of 20th Century Fox, who had been impressed with Lucas's efforts on "American Graffiti" (1973). It was Ladd who eventually greenlit the movie, to the tune of an $8,000,000 budget.

  • At one point in the scripting process, the Force was a large crystal or galactic holy grail.

  • Lucas's script evolved into a mammoth 200 page screenplay. Having spent a full year writing it, he was reluctant to condense it so instead he chose to concentrate on the first third, with a view to expanding the remaining two thirds into two additional films.

  • 20th Century Fox bought the screenplay largely because Lucas had hired conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie to create paintings of a number of scenes to help sell it in.

  • On the first day of filming in the deserts of Tunisia, the country experienced its first major rainstorm in 50 years.

  • The day before he began filming as C-3PO, Anthony Daniels tried on his costume for the first time. Within two steps, the left leg shattered down into the plastic of the left foot, beginning to stab the actor every time he took a step.

  • Carrie Fisher found the dialog to be very difficult, later saying, "You can type this stuff, but you can't say it".

  • The actors found George Lucas to be very uncommunicative towards them, with his only directions generally being either "faster" or "more intense". At one point, when he temporarily lost his voice, the crew provided him with a board with just those three words written on it.

  • Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) spent most of the production period in chaos, attempting to create special effects that had never been created before. They blew half their budget on four shots which Lucas rejected. Ultimately, around $5,000,000 of the $8,000,000 budget was spent by ILM.

  • Alan Ladd Jr was very anxious when he attended the premiere in Japan, only to be met by total silence at the end. What Ladd didn't realize was that silence is the greatest honor that a Japanese audience can bestow on a film.

  • The first film to make over $300,000,000.

  • David Prowse, the actor in 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. In an interview with the Canadian press, Prowse 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.

  • This is the first film to pan the camera across a star field in its famous opening sequence. Prior to that, space scenes had always been filmed with a fixed camera.

  • The first feature film to be screened in Dolby Stereo.

  • Mules were used as the main basis for the sound that the Tuskan Raiders make.

  • When Darth Vader crushes the neck of one of his officers, the actual sound you hear is of walnut shells being crushed.

  • The cast and crew's nickname for Dave Prowse was Darth Farmer, because of his heavy Bristol accent.

  • Carrie Fisher's breasts were taped down with gaffer tape as George Lucas had not considered the possibility of people wearing underwear in space.

  • 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.

  • The film was initially budgeted at $8 million but production problems forced the studio to contribute an additional $3 million.

  • Within three weeks of the film's release, 20th Century Fox's stock price doubled to a record high.

  • The following characters "have a bad feeling about this": Obi Wan (Episode I), Anakin (Episode II), Obi Wan (Episode III), Luke (Episode IV), Han (Episode IV), Leia (Episode V), C3-PO (Episode VI). See also Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).

  • 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 'Wizard of Oz, The (1939)' .

  • The famous Darth Vader suit was designed by production designer Ralph MacQuarrie, who was concerned about the character being able to breathe while he was traveling from his spaceship to Princess Leia's spaceship. It was not explained why Darth Vader wears the suit at all times until Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The look of the Darth Vader suit was based on robes worn by Beduin Warriors.

  • George Lucas had ILM watch archival footage of World War II dog fights as reference material for the final battle over the Death Star. This method would evolve into Pre-Visualization "animatics" in common use today.

  • Voted number 9 in Channel 4's (UK) "Greatest Family Films"

  • Malcolm Tierney's (Lt. Shann Childsen) voice was dubbed over.

  • C-3PO loses an arm when attacked by the Sandpeople. Ben cuts off a creature's hand in the Cantina (see also Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)). The scene in which Ben cuts off the bad guy's arm is a direct reference to Yojimbo (1961); the same scene was the basis for Clint Eastwood's "My mule doesn't like to be laughed at" scene in Per un pugno di dollari (1964) (A Fistful of Dollars); in the original Japanese film, one of the bad guys tells Sanjuro (Toshirô Mifune) how bad he is and how he's a convicted murderer. Sanjuro taunts the bad guys into attacking him ("Are you sure you want me to kill you? It'll *hurt* you know...") and leaves two dead and one with his arm chopped off.

  • The opening crawl for this movie was co-written by Brian De Palma.

  • Jabba the Hutt was originally supposed to appear in the film, dropped in optically on top of a stand-in actor. However, the effect was not acceptable and the scene was cut until CGI allowed it to be completed for the 1997 'Special Edition'.

  • The pulsating engine sound of the Star Destroyer is a manipulated recording of a broken air conditioner.

  • David Prowse was not the only on-screen actor to have his voice overdubbed by another. In the early rough-cut of the Cantina sequence, Wuher, the barkeep is speaking in a very pronounced Cockney accent, one that was overdubbed by an American actor before the film's release. The same also happens with the character of Dr. Evazan ("I have the death sentence in 12 systems!") for much the same reason.

  • In Italy, R2-D2 was renamed C1-P8 while Darth Vader became Dart Fener, the reason being that "Vader" in Italian sounds too close to the common noun for the toilet bowl (the "water", clearly from the English "water closet"). The "clones" mentioned by Obi-Wan Kenobi became "quotes" (Italian: "cloni"/"quoti").

  • According to an interview with George Lucas, originally Luke was a girl, Han Solo was an Alien, the wookiees were called Jawas, and R2-D2 and C-3PO were called A-2 and C-3.

  • In the scene where Luke is attacked by a Tusken Raider, the moment where the raider waves his weapon over his head with both hands in an up-and-down motion was actually created from a shot of him thrusting his weapon up once, run backwards and forward several times.

  • The origin of R2-D2 can be found in the "drones" Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the film Silent Running (1972). Upon meeting Douglas Trumbull, director and special effects chief on Silent Running (1972), George Lucas commented on how much he liked the designs of Douglas Trumbull's two-footed robots in the film (which were operated by bilateral amputees). Four years later, a functionally similar design appeared as R2-D2 in "Star Wars". Universal Studios, the distributor of Silent Running, noted the similarity between the robots (and the similarity of "Star Wars" to the Buck Rogers (1939) serials of the '30s), and promptly sued 20th Century Fox for infringement. The lawsuit was eventually settled when Fox countersued over Battlestar Galactica (1978) (TV), which bore a striking resemblance to "Star Wars".

  • Though the only thing Chewbacca can say from start to finish is a Wookiee growl, he has the last line in the film.

  • The term "Moff", used to describe some Imperial characters (such as Tarkin) is used to mean a regional governor of a specific sector of space. Military officers can also be Moffs - Tarkin, for example, is listed in the script as an Admiral in the Imperial fleet.

  • Luke went through several changes. He started out as a woman, then he was a dwarf, then he was a 60 year-old general then his name was changed from Luke Starkiller to Luke Skywalker.

  • Production was so laden with problems that George Lucas worked himself into poor health. He had to be checked into the hospital after suffering from hypertension.

  • Mel Blanc auditioned for the voice of C-3PO.

  • 7 foot 2 Peter Mayhew got the role of Chewbacca 10 seconds after he met George Lucas. All he did was stand up.

  • During the scene on the Death Star right after Ben leaves to shut down the tractor beam, Chewbacca barks something to Luke to which Han says "Boy, you said it Chewie". Backstage footage reveals that what Chewie says is "The old man's gone mad".

  • Darth Vader was the first character that George Lucas created for the story.

  • The lightsaber sound effect is a combination of the hum of an idling 35mm movie projector and the feedback generated by passing a stripped microphone cable by a television.

  • Jodie Foster was George Lucas's second option for Princess Leia.

  • James Earl Jones supplied the voice of Darth Vader, but 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 billing in the 1997 "Special Edition". David Prowse was reportedly very annoyed at not being told that his voice would be dubbed.

  • George Lucas originally wanted Orson Welles to do Darth Vader's voice, but decided against it, feeling that Welles' voice would be too recognisable.

  • Before casting Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, George Lucas considered casting Japanese actor Toshirô Mifune.

  • Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca, was given the option of playing either Chewbacca or Darth Vader - he opted to be the Wookiee because he wanted to play a 'good guy'.

  • Director George Lucas had trouble getting funding for this movie, most studios (including Universal and United Artists) thinking that people wouldn't go to see it.

  • 20th Century Fox was so sure Star Wars was going to be a disaster that they came within a matter of days of selling off their stake in the film as a tax shelter. Positive feedback from an advanced screening made them change their minds, and the profits from the film ended up saving the studio from bankruptcy.

  • At one point when the prospects for the movie's release seemed bleakest, the idea came up that perhaps the effects could be removed from the movie and recycled into a TV show.

  • C-3PO was originally scripted as a "used car salesman" type, and designed after the robot from Metropolis (1927).

  • Chewbacca was modeled after George Lucas's dog, Indiana. See also Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

  • A great deal of the film was shot by vintage 1950s VistaVision cameras, because they were of higher quality than any others available. After the film was released, the prices of these cameras skyrocketed.

  • The shot where the escape pod leaves Leia's ship was the first ever done by ILM.

  • The Tatooine scenes were filmed in Tunisia. There is a town in Tunisia called "Tataouine". Some of the interiors and the courtyard of Luke's house were filmed in a hotel in Matmata, Tunisia. One can visit this 2 stars hotel and see some pictures and the painted ceiling in the room used for the dining room in the film. 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).

  • Came fourth in the UK's Ultimate Film, in which films were placed in order of how many seats they sold at cinemas

  • After the sets were constructed, George Lucas went through them and had every single one of them "dirtied up". The R2-D2s were all rolled in the dirt, nicked with a saw, and kicked around a bit.

  • The sounds of the lasers were made by striking one of the suspension wires of the original Severn Bridge. The longer ones were used for the ships while the shorter ones were used for the hand guns.

  • There is a rumor that Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) was having trouble timing his conversations with R2-D2, as R2-D2's dialogue was to be dubbed in later. Supposedly, Anthony Daniels asked George Lucas to make some kind of noise to help him, but when George Lucas forgot, the matter was dropped.

  • The Millennium Falcon was originally modeled after a hamburger with an olive next to it.

  • Two different basic designs were created for the Millennium Falcon. The rejected one became the Rebel Blockade Runner seen at the start of the film.

  • Han Solo's blaster was manufactured from a "Broomhandle" Mauser Pistol.

  • According to the exhibit at the Smithsonian, the sound of a TIE fighter is created by combining the squeal of a young elephant with the sound of a car driving by on a rain-slicked highway.

  • Harrison Ford deliberately didn't learn his lines for the intercom conversation in the cell block, so it would sound spontaneous.

  • When the storm troopers enter the room where C-3PO and R2-D2 are hiding, one of them "accidentally" bumps his head on the door, complete with sound effects.

  • The Chewbacca suit retained a bad smell for the duration of filming after the trash-compactor scene.

  • Cardboard cutouts are used for some of the background starfighters in the Rebel hanger bay.

  • 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.

  • Most of the crowd watching the heroes receive their medallions are cardboard cutouts.

  • Portions of the sound effects for the Millennium Falcon's engines were recorded at an air show at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual convention in Oshkosh, WI. In a gesture of thanks, Lucasfilm donated a model of the Falcon to the EAA Air Museum.

  • The model used for the rebel blockade runner (the first ship seen in the first scene of the film) has a tiny Star Wars movie poster and a tiny Playboy centerfold in its cockpit. These aren't visible on screen, though.

  • The famous opening title sequence of the Star Wars series was first used in the The Phantom Creeps (1939) series which began in 1939.

  • The piece of equipment used to fire the Death Star's weapon is actually a Grass Valley Group 1600-7K television production switcher.

  • The targeting grid used for the Millennium Falcon's canon is based on a paperweight Lucas saw on Arthur C. Clarke's desk.

  • The language spoken by the Jawas was created by recording speakers of the African Zulu language and electronically speeding it up. Greedo's language is the Peruvian Indian language Quechua, played backwards. (George Lucas would later feature Peruvian Indians again in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)).

  • George Lucas shot the opening sequence of the Storm Troopers bursting through the blockade runner door, and the ensuing battle against rebel troops, in two takes. While the action on set was over very quickly, Lucas used six cameras to capture it, thereby extending the length of the scene on screen. Since some cameras were in very tight and others wide, it is difficult to tell the various actions that were duplicated.

  • 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.

  • The final battle has been described as borrowed from The Dam Busters (1954), but much more closely resembles one in 633 Squadron (1964).

  • The final medal scene parallels shot-for-shot a sequence in Triumph des Willens (1935).

  • Leia was imprisoned in cell number 2187, perhaps a reference to the Canadian documentary 21-87 (1964), which may have influenced George Lucas and his filmmaking style.

  • The sequence where Luke returns to the farm is identical to The Searchers (1956), when the farm has been burned by Indians

  • Denis Lawson, who played Wedge Antilles (his name is misspelt in the credits as "Dennis Lawson"), is the uncle of Ewan McGregor, who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels. See also Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).

  • Han and Luke "transfer" Chewbacca from cell block 1138, a reference to Lucas' earlier film THX 1138 (1971). "THX-1138" was going to be the serial number of the guard with the faulty transmitter on the Death Star, but this was changed.

  • 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. They don't appear in subsequent scenes.

  • George Lucas waived the normal writer/director fee and asked for a mere $175,000 plus 40% of the merchandising rights. Studio executives, seeing little if any profit from such merchandise, agreed. Star Wars related merchandise has since generated many millions of dollars in sales, allowing Lucas to make movies completely independent of the studio system he decried. Merchandising rights are now a major part of any film contract.

  • The MPAA originally rated the film G, but studio execs had it changed to PG before release because it might turn off teenagers from seeing it, considering it a "kids' movie".

  • Several scenes were filmed showing Luke on Tatooine, such as interacting with his friends on Tatooine (before Biggs leaves for the Rebellion), and seeing the rebel space battle through his macrobinoculars. The inclusion of these scenes in other versions of the story (e.g. comic books, "Story of Star Wars" kids' book, novel), sometimes with stills from the footage, has led many fans to swear they saw them on film. Officially, those scenes have never appeared in any release of the movie but new evidence suggests that they were incorporated in prints released specifically for drive-in theaters. It is, or at least was, common practice to release special prints just for the drive-in market because the lighting conditions are so different.

  • Shortly before production began, George Lucas brought in his film school pals Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck to polish some of the dialogue.

  • The name Wookiee came about as a result of an accident. When San Francisco DJ Terry McGovern was doing voice-over work on _THX 1138 (1970)_ for George Lucas, he made a blunder and exclaimed, "I think I ran over a wookiee back there." George Lucas, confused, asked what he meant by the term. Terry McGovern admitted that he didn't know and added that he simply made it up. George Lucas never forgot the cute word and used it years later in Star Wars.

  • Ben Burtt created the sound of Darth Vader's breathing by placing a small microphone in the second stage (mouthpiece) of a scuba regulator, and then recording the sound made by his breathing through the regulator.

  • The word "Jedi" is derived from the Japanese words "Jidai Geki" which translate as "period drama." A period 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.

  • Scenes featuring Luke and his Tatooine friend "Biggs" were cut from the film. Biggs was a young pilot who left the Imperial Academy to join the Rebellion. Luke mentions him to his "aunt" and "uncle" during the breakfast scene, and the character later shows up as a Rebel pilot who accompanies Luke down the final run on the Death Star trench.

  • 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.

  • Actress Koo Stark had a brief appearance as a Tatooine woman named 'Cammie' in the 'Biggs' scene but her role ended up on the cutting room floor.

  • Director Trademark: [George Lucas] [1138] in honor of his earlier movie THX 1138 (1971).

  • For reasons that are unclear, Denis Lawson does not appear in the scene taking place in the Yavin 4 briefing room. Wedge's lines in this scene are delivered by a stand-in actor, 'Colin Higgins' . Lucasfilm has confirmed that Denis Lawson was indeed not present for the shooting of that scene. Despite speaking his lines, the character in the scene is not considered to be Wedge Antilles.

  • On opening weekend in 1977, the movie earned $1.554 million on fewer than 40 screens. In 1997, it made over $36 million on over 2,000 screens.

  • Chewbacca's "voice" is a combination of several animals including bears, badgers, walrus and camels.

  • Lucas acknowledges his debt to Akira Kurosawa's _Kakushi toride no san akunin (1958)_ "Hidden Fortress" in the first conference room scene on the Death Star. Just as an Imperial Officer is saying the line "...the Rebel's hidden fort..." he is telekinetically strangled by Darth Vader, shutting him up before he can say the full title.

  • When the blasters are cocked they have a clicking/clunking sound. This is a recording of a parking meter handle being turned.

  • 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)

  • George Lucas said in an interview that Darth Vader was based on Hakaider, a villain from the superhero TV series, "Jinzô ningen Kikaidâ" (1972), which he saw while he was in Japan.

  • While 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.

  • The original name of the main character in this film was Luke Starkiller. It was changed to Skywalker on the first day of filming. All early drafts of the script still bear the name "Starkiller".

  • Dan O'Bannon and John C. Wash animated the Death Star schematics seen on the computer screen as R2D2 searches the Death Star's computer memory. They were influenced by similar sequences they produced for the filmDark Star (1974).

  • This is the opening sentence for a 13-page treatment George Lucas wrote in 1972: "...the story of Mace Windu, a revered Jedi-bendu of Opuchi who was related to Usby C.J. Thape, a Padawaan learner to the famed Jedi..." George Lucas spent nearly three years rewriting before he completed the script for Star Wars.

  • The filming of the special effects sequences at ILM's studio was interrupted at one point by a visit by representatives from the local camera operators union who were insisting that ILM hire union camera operators. Someone programmed the Dykstraflex camera to perform a complex series of moves that ended with the camera being pointed at the faces of the union reps. At this point the union reps were told, "Send us someone who can operate *that*." The union reps left and were not heard from again.

  • In the Italian version of the trilogy, the Death Star is called Morte Nera (Black Death).

  • The terms "X-wing" and "Y-wing" and "TIE fighter" were used by ILM effects guys to distinguish the fighters. These terms are not used in this film, though they were incorporated into the sequels. They also became popular with the public after the toys and the Making of special aired on tv. In addition, ILM's special effects staff nicknamed the Millennium Falcon "The Porkburger" but this never caught on.

  • When Ben Kenobi is turning off the tractor beam, the set Alec Guinness was on was only six feet above the ground.

  • The humorous moment when Chewbacca frightens a skittish mouse droid, was improvised on set and not scripted.

  • The reason the screen "whites up" as Ben and Luke carry C-3P0 to repair him after the Sand People attack is that Anthony Daniels was only wearing black tights below the waist.

  • George Lucas's original choice for cinematographer was Geoffrey Unsworth, but Unsworth was committed to A Bridge Too Far (1977). Gilbert Taylor was hired instead, but hated working on the project. Producer 'Gary Kurtz' became concerned that Taylor was slowing production down and attempted to replace him with Harry Waxman, but the camera crew made it clear they would not work under Waxman, and Lucas told Kurtz that replacing Taylor would probably delay the film even further.

  • James Earl Jones and David Prowse have never met.

  • Perry King screen-tested for the role of Han Solo. Though he lost the part to Harrison Ford for the film, he got to play Solo in the National Public Radio adaptations of the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

  • During filming, Peter Mayhew actually spoke English dialogue for Chewbacca so that his character's conversations with the actors would seem more natural. In post production; his dialogue was dubbed into what we see now Chewie's growls and barks. A clip of Chewbacca's voice before dubbing in the Death Star control room scene is shown on the documentary included in the new 2004 DVD release.

  • The original teaser was narrated by Orson Welles, who was the original choice to do the voice of Darth Vader.

  • Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz did uncredited rewrites on George Lucas's screenplay. Lucas also consulted with Joseph Campbell for each new draft.

  • The movie's line "May the Force be with you" was voted as the #8 movie quote by the American Film Institute

  • Was voted the #1 film score of the last 100 years by the American Film Institute.

  • CASTLE THUNDER: Heard various times in the film whenever laser bolts or other various weapons are fired. It's most well-known use in the film is when the Death Star blows up.

  • Upon its original release, the opening crawl did not include "Episode IV: A New Hope." According to Lucasfilm, this was added upon its re-release in 1978 or as late as 1981. The later print was the first one to be released on video, and all video, laserdisc or DVD releases have featured the subtitles. The theatrical cut DVDs, set to be released in September 2006, will be the first time that the original opening crawl, without subtitle, has been released on home video.

  • George Lucas and John Williams agreed on a classical 19th-century Romantic music style with liberal use of leitmotif for the score. Since the movie would show worlds never seen before, the music had to serve as an "emotional anchor" for the audience to relate.

  • George Lucas said in an interview with Leonard Maltin that the Ewoks in "Return of the Jedi" were originally supposed to be Wookiees. However since he doubted he'd get to make the third film in the series he decided to make a wookiee Han's co-pilot (Chewbacca.)

  • All of the dialogue by Shelagh Fraser (Aunt Beru) was dubbed.

  • This is the only "Star Wars" movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award.