Star Wars, later re-titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, is a 1977 American epic space opera movie written and directed by George Lucas. It’s the first movie in the original Star Wars trilogy and the beginning of the Star Wars franchise. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
1. Both George Lucas and 20th Century Fox had little hope that the movie would succeed before its release. Lucas’ friend, Steven Spielberg, was hopeful for the movie, insisting that it would be a massive hit.
2. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was nominated for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen at the 1978 Writers Guild Awards. However, it lost to “Annie Hall.”
3. Initially, fewer than 30 theaters wanted to show the movie. 20th Century Fox used the highly anticipated literary adaption “The Other Side of Midnight” to secure more screen time for “Star Wars,” requiring each theater that played the former to play the latter. “Star Wars” box office gross eventually surpassed 10 times that of “The Other Side of Midnight.”
4. Orson Welles was considered for the voice of Darth Vader, but Lucas changed his mind after fearing that Welles’ voice would be too familiar to audiences.
5. Studio executives were worried about Chewbacca’s lack of clothing and fought for his costume to include shorts.
6. Christopher Walken was originally cast as Han Solo.
7. David Prowse and James Early Jones, who played Darth Vader in costume and voice-over, didn’t meet until 2012.
8. Han Solo was first conceived as a large green alien with gills in place of a nose.
9. James Earl Jones’ name didn’t appear in the original credits because, as a young actor, he didn’t want to be typecast.
10. George Lucas was so sure that the movie would flop that instead of going to the premiere, he went on vacation to Hawaii with his friend, Steven Spielberg, where they came up with the idea for “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
11. In early drafts of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, R2-D2 could speak standard English, and he swore a lot.
12. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope cost over $300,000,000 to make.
13. Harrison Ford didn’t learn his lines for the intercom conversation in the cell block so that it would sound spontaneous.
14. 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 two phrases written on it.
15. During production, the cast attempted to make George Lucas laugh or smile, as he often appeared depressed.
16. Stunt double weren’t used for the scene where Luke and Leia swing to safety. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill performed the stunt themselves, shooting it in just one take.
17. The lightsaber sound effect is a combination of the hum of an idling 35 millimeter movie projector and the feedback generated by passing a stripped microphone cable by a television.
18. 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.
19. Kenny Baker has said that often when the cast and crew broke for lunch, they would forget that he was in the R2-D2 outfit and leave him behind.
20. 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.
21. On the first day of filming in the deserts of Tunisia, the country experienced its first major rainstorm in 50 years.
22. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is the only Star Wars movie where Darth Vader’s signature theme “The Imperial March” is not played in some form or another, as it hadn’t been written at the time.
23. The Chewbacca suit retained a bad smell for the duration of filming, after the trash-compactor scene.
24. Carrie Fisher’s breasts were taped down with Gaffer’s tape, as her costume didn’t permit any lingerie to be worn underneath. She joked later, “As we all known, there is no underwear in space.”
25. Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi never actually meet within Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The closest they get to meeting is when she sees him from a distance during the lightsaber duel.
26. A lot of the movie was shot by vintage 1950s VistaVision cameras, because they were of higher quality than any others available. After the movie was released, the prices of these cameras skyrocketed.
27. 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-3P0 were called A-2 and C-3.
28. The Jawas’ language is Zulu electronically sped up. Greedo’s language is Quechua, an indigenous South American language.
29. Chewbacca was modeled after George Lucas’s dog, Indiana.
30. According to the Blue-ray commentary, a lot of the Millennium Falcon is made up of junk parts from cars and airplanes that were obtained from dumping grounds.