George Lucas’ Star Wars opened on May 25, 1977. The first film of the franchise grossed a total of $775 million domestically and overseas. The franchise has spawned seven films, several spin-offs, and has grossed a box office revenue of $7.5 billion – making the franchise third highest-grossing film series. The most recent film, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, is set to be released on December 15, 2017. The cast of the franchise includes Mark Hamill (Batman: The Animated Series), Harrison Ford (Air Force One), and Carrie Fisher (The Blues Brothers). Since the film is turning 40 this year, let’s discuss 10 facts that you may not have known regarding the film.
Fact 1: Peter Mayhew, who has played Chewbacca, spoke his lines in English. His lines were later converted into Wookie, which is a combination of bear, walrus, lion, and badger sounds.
Fact 2: Star Wars was originally titled “Adventures of the Starkiller, Episode One: The Star Wars.” The script featured two brothers, Deak and Luke Skywalker.
Fact 3: In 1977, theaters weren’t exactly eager to screen Star Wars. However, 20th Century Fox insisted that if theaters wanted a print of “The Other Side Of Midnight,” they would have book Star Wars as well.
Fact 4: The opening crawl was paying homage to the Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s and 1940s – these serials were an influence for the Star Wars films.
Fact 5: When Star Wars premiered, it was the highest grossing film of all time until E.T. premiered in 1983 and clinched the title.
Fact 6: Carrie Fisher took lessons from the same people who taught Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver in order to properly wield her blaster.
Fact 7: Utini! The Jawa language was based on the language Zulu, the South African language, only it was sped up during post-production.
Fact 8: Harrison Ford was hired because Lucas worked with him on American Graffiti. His purpose was to read lines and play off of the actors auditioning for roles in the film. However, Lucas liked him he hired him for Han Solo.
Fact 9: An earlier draft of Star Wars originally referred to the Jedi as Dai Nogas.
Fact 10: The character Han Solo was based off of the personality of Lucas’ friend and fellow director Francis Ford Coppola, who impressed George Lucas with his smooth talking charm.