25 Things You Didn’t Know About Star Wars
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 40 years or so, you’re probably familiar with a little film series known as Star Wars. Maybe you’ve seen every scene shot by George Lucas and can recite any of the movies from heart, or maybe you only saw one of the films once just to shut up your significant other at the time who wouldn’t stop talking about Yoda.
Whatever your level of fandom, there are always new things to learn about the Star Wars universe, and listed below are 25 interesting tidbits about the series that you probably didn’t know. You may laugh or you may cringe, but either way you’ll leave with a greater amount of useless, albeit fascinating, info. Come on, get your geek on.
1. George Lucas had a different ending in mind.
While it’s widely held that Lucas wanted a “happy” ending for the theatrical version of Return of the Jedi, he pitched a much darker version during a story session. Essentially the scene at the end with Luke and Vader stays the same, with Vader sacrificing himself to save Luke and kill the Emperor (Spoiler? Nah, you’ve seen it a thousand times), but when Luke helps remove Vader’s mask, something drastically different happens.
The transcript from the session shows Luke removing Vader’s mask and putting it on himself, proclaiming himself the new Vader and pledging to destroy the Rebels. Basically, the exact opposite of what you might expect to happen. The only thing that kept Lucas from using such an ending was that he wanted the ending to be kid-friendly.
2. Yoda was nearly played by a monkey.
In one of the strangest casting decisions of all time, only eclipsed by Ben Affleck as Batman, the part of Yoda was originally going to be played by a monkey wearing a mask and carrying a cane. The team even went so far as hiring a trained monkey, but the monkey wouldn’t cooperate with the mask. In the end, the job of creating Yoda was given to Jim Henson, who built the animatronic puppet (voiced by Frank Oz) we know and love today. Whoever made the ultimate decision to drop the monkey deserves some kind of award, that’s for sure.
3. Several of the buildings used for shots on Tatooine in A New Hope are still standing.
Four of the films contain scenes shot in southern Tunisia, where the climate was perfect for the setting of Tatooine. Many of the buildings that were built here specifically for those scenes are still standing, and rightfully so. Who in their right mind would tear those things down? Obi-Wan’s home in the desert, Luke’s home, which is now a hotel, and the entire set of Moss Espa can be explored when you visit southern Tunisia. We all obviously have plenty of important reasons to go to southern Tunisia besides these monuments to Star Wars, but they’re certainly an added benefit.