Christmas is nearly here, and you know what that means! Presents, turkey, carols, and, most important of all Star Wars! Indeed, with The Last Jedi getting a mid-December release date, fans appetites have been suitably whetted! But, if you’re anything like us, this is going to be the longest two months of your life! We need more Star Wars to get us through – anything Star Wars in fact!
In order to try to force that fix before December, we thought we’d rewatch the existing Star Wars movie… Well, that was an awesome 16+ hours of space opera questing, blasting, Jedi-ing, and quipping. So, from our rewatch we have decided to compile a list of things that we discovered about the Star Wars movies that we’re willing to bet you never knew! So, here are some of the top things we managed to find out!
The Hero With a Thousand Faces
Most people know that Star Wars itself was based on the Akira Kurosawa 1958 film The Hidden Fortress. But, a lot of people aren’t aware that the character of Luke Skywalker actually came from somewhere else entirely. The young Jedi is actually most influenced by Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. The book examines how the works and myths from across the ages all share a similar structure. This is basically the structure Star Wars takes, and Luke is the hero around which the story revolves.
The original script was too long
When submitting the original script for the movie, George Lucas churned out a weighty 200-page magnum opus! But let’s go back for some context. Following the success of American Graffiti, Lucas was hot property in Hollywood, and he submitted a 13-page treatment of his idea for Star Wars, but studios were quick to pass, finding it too confusing. Eventually, 20th Century Fox picked it up, and greenlit the project, but what of that 200-page script? Naturally, he was told it was too long and would need to be cut down. He removed the second and third acts (which would become The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi).
Lucas used visual aids
The budget for the movie came in at around $10-11 million, a massive sum for a movie at that time. To prevent the Fox executives from getting cold feet, Lucas used visual aids to better convey his vision and ideas for the movie. He actually hired an illustrator to come up with intricate sketches of pivotal moments in the film, that he could use to help sell the studio bigwigs on his vision of the movie. The idea obviously worked because the studio was sold on the idea, and the film was a runaway success.
Strange sound effects
There are so many excellent sound effects in Star Wars, and many of them are unforgettable. The process that went into making these sounds is as unique and complex as the sounds themselves, and they were all the brainchild of sound designer Ben Burtt. For example, Chewbacca’s voice was created by mixing the sounds made by a bear, lion, walrus, and badger. R2-D2’s distinctive bleeps were created using loops on a synthesizer, mixed with baby coos performed by Burtt himself!
These are just a few of the cool things we bet you never knew about Star Wars. To be honest, there are plenty more as well, and we could probably write a thesis on them. But, we feel these are some of the significantly unique and lesser-known ones. When it comes to studying and enjoying Star Wars, we feel like these are among the coolest little-known facts out there.