10. The famous friendship between Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart started when they crossed paths during the casting process for the voice of R2-D2, a role that eventually went to Zero Mostel.
9. The very first draft of the basic story of Star Wars, written in a motel in San Pedro in 1971, was entitled ‘Saga of a Sand Planet, Volume 9.’ It featured a roguish spice pirate named “Jo Jo Kawasaki,” who was destined to overthrow the evil Banking Guild through his skills at psychic wrestling.
8. It is commonly believed that the design for C-3P0 was based on the robot Maria in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. This is an erroneous belief. Instead, C-3P0 was based on Jack Benny’s robot butler “Sparkington” in Fritz Lang’s The Big Broadcast of 1933.
7. The Death Star was originally called the Doom Sphere, but test marketing showed that almost no one in the anticipated demographic understood what a sphere was, even if they were shown a picture of a sphere along with a clear and easy definition.
6. All of the languages spoken by various aliens in the first movie were NASA recordings from various space probes that had picked up snippets of actual alien broadcasts here and there among the stars. Once NASA scientists translated these recordings, they discovered that they were mostly recitations of sports scores and talk radio callers who mostly disbelieved in the existence of humans.
5. At first, the big idea of Star Wars was that it was mainly supposed to be about this sort of Laurel and Hardy relationship between two accident-prone robots, with the human part of the story just a kind of sideline to the main robot story. But during the development process, it became clear that a better idea would be to make the whole thing a legendary story told by Whills to other Whills on camping trips, so that’s what they did instead of the robot-centered thing, because who doesn’t love Whills?
4. Due to the fact that the whole budget for the first Star Wars film was $47, George Lucas couldn’t afford to put in all the special effects he really wanted to do, such as giving Tatooine three suns and Biggs a much bushier mustache and Greedo a snout about twice as long. He also wanted Han to have bright red muttonchops and Chewbacca’s pelt to look more like Day-Glo Astroturf. In fact, even when he did the Special Editions, the technology to make these improvements still didn’t exist. The hope is that maybe by the dawn of the 22nd century, they’ll finally be able to release an Extra Special Edition, in which all of the haircuts might at long last live up to Lucas’s original vision.
3. As everyone knows, the actor Anthony Daniels was actually totally inside a C-3P0 costume during the shooting of Star Wars. So C-3P0 wasn’t a puppet or a Claymation figure or anything like that. Less well known, however, is the fact that many of the other characters were costumes worn by actors inside actor costumes. For example, “Carrie Fisher” was performed by John Gielgud, “Harrison Ford” was performed by Estelle Getty, and “Mark Hamill” was performed by a young Andy Serkis. “Chewbacca”, of course, was performed by an actual Wookie actor named Dale Beaumont wearing a “Peter Mayhew” costume. This was just how they did things in old Hollywood, believe it or not.
2. Several of the cast and crew on ‘Episode IV’ developed a pretty serious Pez addiction and many to this day struggle with “staying off the brick,” as they say.
1. All of the opening crawls for all of the Star Wars films were written by the late Beat poet Gene Dutchman, who mostly made a living writing jingles for off-band soda drinks and instruction manuals for digital alarm clocks.