Alien Han Solo?
It took seven months to cast Star Wars and originally George Lucas imagined the Han Solo character differently than his ultimate choice, Harrison Ford. He was supposed to look like a green alien resembling a fish with scale-like skin, and later was even considered to be a fat space pirate. When it was decided he was supposed to be a human, there were other actors considered. Among them were Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell and Nick Nolte.
In the Star Wars Databank, the species of Yoda still remains ‘unknown.’ Even if George Lucas knows what it is, he does not want to reveal it and talks about him as his, ‘mystery character, a magical character.’ His height is 66 centimetres, weighs 17 kilos, and was designed by a British make-up artist, Stuart Freeborn, who based his appearance on himself and Albert Einstein. He created Yoda in only one week with the help of The Muppets creator, Jim Henson, who suggested Frank Oz as the main voice.
Massive puppet of Jabba the Hutt
Jabba the Hutt, from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, was also created by Stuart Freeborn and this giant puppet of the oligarch involved up to ten people to work at once. Check out Jamie Benning’s mini documentary on how the puppet worked!
One of Star Wars‘ most memorable characters, Darth Vader, was played by three actors at once. That is, his voice was given by James Earl Jones, his face by Sebastian Shaw and body by David Prowse. Moreover, to achieve the characteristic voice with the most remarkable line, ‘Luke, I am your father,’ George Lucas had to use a scuba regulator.
Although nowadays it would probably be difficult to imagine a world of science fiction without Star Wars, George Lucas went a long way to make the production happen. He wanted to create a ‘space opera,’ which would be suitable and fun for teenagers. Along with his partner, Gary Kurtz, Lucas wrote a 12-page treatment of Star Wars, but before it was accepted by 20th Century Fox, it was rejected by Universal and United Artists. After four draft scripts, it was released in 1977 and grossed over $513 million worldwide.
Episode VII: new faces on board
The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens caused a sensation among fans all over the world. Not less exciting was the appearance of two new faces among the crew, John Boyega as Finn and Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey. Boyega admitted that he did not tell his family about starring in Star Wars until a cast photo was released to the public.
One of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars series is the droid R2D2. It was said that the name was created by Lucas during the filming of his previous Oscar-winning film, American Graffiti. When the sound editor asked for Reel 2, Dialog Track 2 in an abbreviated form R2D2, Lucas liked it and found it a perfect and catchy name.
A man’s best furry friend
The figure of Chewbacca, representing the Wookie species, was inspired by Lucas’ dog, called Indiana. Chewy resembles the dog’s breed – Alaskan Malamute. The director’s dog not only inspired Star Wars characters, but also gave a title name for popular movie series about the adventurer Indiana Jones, also co-written by Lucas.
One of the most characteristic features of the series is the opening crawl of Star Wars. It was inspired by the same opening crawl that can be seen at the beginning of the Flash Gordon film serial, and when he wrote the text for the first one, it was extremely long – six paragraphs, each consisting of four sentences. Also, the original crawl was four feet long and one foot wide and the camera had to be positioned extremely low to adjust the focus on the letters.
On December 11, 2015, just a few days before the release of the most recent episode, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Sotheby’s and eBay organised an auction with more than 600 items. All of the items came from a private collection, Return of the NIGO, owned by a Japanese designer, NIGO, who started collecting them at the age of six. As a result of the online auction, the memorabilia were sold for a combined total of $505,202. Among the objects were peculiarities, such as a Princess Leia cookie jar, Chewbacca toy, action figures, Obi-Wan tankards, coins, and an autographed Darth Vader helmet.
By Maria Anna Cynkier