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More Things You Did Not Know About Star Wars


I don't think my last article concerning Star Wars went over as well as I'd hoped. Evidently, I am mostly alone in my opinions there. So this time, I went a good bit more light-hearted. Here are some fun things that you may or may not know about the 6 Star Wars films that exist so far. Some of these things you may have seen before. Some are things that you probably would never have noticed, or given a crap about, but are amusing just the same.

More to the point, I tried to come up with things you haven't seen before. Like, everyone knows that the communicator that Qui-Gon used, is a prop made from a ladies razor, or Jabba wasn't originally a big, sloppy worm. But did you know...

There was no such word as "Sith" in the entire Original Trilogy
The word "Sith" was created as a means of explaining what "Darth" means. Dark Lord of the Sith

What really happened is that the name Darth Vader is a Dutch phrase meaning Dark Father. Which makes sense, everything considered. It is known that both the Emperor and Vader were dark force users.
But there was never any mention of what dark force users are called. You can thank fans in the extended universe for coming up with that one. You may also notice that there was no shortage of people named Darth once The Phantom Menace came out. And again, there wasn't anyone other than Dark Father that had that name originally.

Han was frozen at the end of Empire because Harrison Ford was undecided about a 3rd film
There were a number of things that could have happened at the end of Empire. Among them was deciding what to do with Han.

If it were up to Harrison Ford, he would have been killed off. The fans obviously did not want that. Lucas came up with a somewhat inventive compromise of having the character frozen, in the most literal sense. Think of how different Jedi would have been if Han left the series.

The prop for Luke's original lightsaber is a piece of junk from the set
Specifically, it was the handle from a flash bulb for a camera (Grafled 3 cell flash).

This is not really very interesting when you consider how many props for ALL films, not just Star Wars, are made from every day objects. Again, I mention the ladies razor Qui Gon carried with him. This you can chalk up to being inventive, far more than being lazy. It's a prop. If you don't recognize it's origin, then it has done its job. Then, sometimes it's the inspiration that is a silly thing. For instance...

The design for the Falcon was inspired by a burger with a pickle on the side.
This story may or may not be somewhat apocryphal.

The way I heard it was that the original Falcon was actually Princess Leia's ship, the Tantive IV. But it was decided that they wanted something faster and more meneuverable. While discussing it, Lucas couldn't be specific enough about what he wanted and said, "I don't know... Make it look like this." And slid over his lunch, which was a burger with a bite taken out, and a pickle on the side.

Not all of the made up languages are actually made up
Remember this guy? Not Lando. The other guy. His name is Nien Nunb.

He is some alien of some race, who just happens to know how to copilot The Millennium Falcon. Like many non-human folks in the Star Wars universe, he speaks whatever language he wants, and everyone around understands him. But the people in the audience don't, unless there are subtitles. Or you happen to speak the Tanzanian language of Haya, which is what he was actually speaking. So when he blurted out something that was really presssing in the film, the audiences in Nairobi laughed. Because in their language, it translated to something like, "One thousand herds of elephants are standing on my foot."

I'm just going to follow up this one with a "probably a legend" note. Because it really does sound too silly to be 100% true. Plus I do not Speak Haya, so I cannot verify the story. But it's too funny to leave out altogether.

Alec Guinness hated being Obi Wan
Pretty much everyone in the universe would love to have gotten that job. And at first, so did Alec Guinness.

However, no one expected the movie to do as well as it did. So a hugely experienced stage actor like Alec Guinness never expected to get typecast. But it happened. He couldn't poke his head out on stage again for the rest of his life without everyone expecting him to be Obi Wan. In his view it destroyed his respectable acting reputation.

Giving all due respect to Guinness, I can see why he got so pissed. He took his career very seriously. And he did not want what he considered to be some damn silly fairy tale film ruining his career. If it makes you feel any better, he did option for character rights, which made him very rich indeed. So there's that.

The Emperor had no name until The Phantom Menace
He was only known as The Emperor in The Original Trilogy. Hell, he wasn't in the first film, except for one brief mention, at all. And the guy who played him in Empire is not the guy who played him in all subsequent films. Plus they changed his dialogue to something entirely different when they re-released Empire.

Somewhere along the line it was decided that his last name is Palpatine. I'm not even sure where that name came from, other than it first appearing in The Phantom Menace. He has a first name too. It's Sheev, if you need to impress anyone. That never appeared in any of the films. Some person in the extended universe must have come up with that.

Conclusion - There is way more.
I feel like I should just leave this page open-ended, and just add new stuff as I find it. The thing is, when the first Star Wars movie came out, no one expected it to do well. Everyone was shocked when it exploded like it did (no pun intended). So there was nothing else written at first.
In other words, the story was not written ahead of time to be a 3 part saga, let alone 6 parts. It was only because the first story took off (again, no pun intended), that Lucas and his friends had to scramble to create more. This is why many things were written on the fly. Many things were improvised. I'm quite sure that Leia would not have kissed Luke, if the writers intended for them to be siblings.

So I think I will leave this article unfinished for now. I will dig up some more interesting stuff for "page 2" in a few weeks. Stay tuned...

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