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Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) Poster

Trivia

It was stunt coordinator Peter Diamond's decision to arm Sand People with Gaffi sticks, getting a choice of weapons from various studio props - he felt the stick was a good choice, having served in the British Army, using bayonets and similar weaponry and being familiar with what they were capable of. Diamond played the Sand Person that attacks Luke, being the only stunt person on hand for the Tunisian portion of filming - he initially did not plan on playing the part.
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George Lucas was so sure the film would flop that instead of attending the premiere, he went on holiday to Hawaii with his good friend Steven Spielberg, where they came up with the idea for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Harrison Ford deliberately didn't learn his lines for the intercom conversation in the cell block, so it would sound spontaneous.
The skeleton that Threepio passes belongs to a Tatooine creature called a Greater Krayt Dragon. This artificial skeleton was left in the Tunisian desert after filming and still lies there. During filming of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), the site was visited by the crew and the skeleton was still there.
Darth Vader has only 12 minutes of screen time.
In early drafts of the script, R2-D2 could speak standard English, and had a rather foul vocabulary. Although all of Artoo's English speech was removed, many of C-3PO's reactions to it were left in.
According to Harrison Ford, during the making of the film, he and Mark Hamill would usually fool around and not commit to their work whenever Alec Guinness was not on set. When Guinness was on set, they behaved much more professionally.
While George Lucas was filming on location in Tunisia, the Libyan government became worried about a massive military vehicle parked near the Libyan border. Consequently, the Tunisian government, receiving threats of military mobilization, politely asked Lucas to move his Jawa sandcrawler farther away from the border.
Stunt doubles were not used for the scene in which Luke and Leia swing to safety. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill performed that stunt themselves, shooting it in just one take.
Due to the limited budget the American cast members and crew (including George Lucas) all decided to fly coach class to England, rather than first class. When Carrie Fisher's mother Debbie Reynolds heard about this she called Lucas, complaining about how insulting it was for her daughter to be flying coach. Fisher was in the room with Lucas when he took the call, and after a few minutes asked if she could talk to her mother. When Lucas handed her the phone she simply said, "Mother, I want to fly coach, will you f**k off?!" and hung up.
James Earl Jones and David Prowse, who play the voice and body of Darth Vader respectively, have never met.
Kenny Baker has said that often when the cast and crew broke for lunch, they would forget he was in the R2-D2 outfit leave him behind.
Peter Mayhew worked as an orderly in a Yorkshire hospital prior to being cast in the movie. He won his role ten seconds after meeting George Lucas for the first time; all the 7'2" Mayhew had to do was stand up.
Prior to the film's release, George Lucas showed an early cut of the film to a group of his film director friends. Most, including Lucas himself, felt the film would be a flop. The only dissenter was Steven Spielberg who predicted the film would make millions of dollars
George Lucas' decision to accept a lower salary on the film in exchange for full merchandising rights was considered a fool's gamble on his part. Toys based on movies had never been major money-earners (though some movie-toy combinations had done moderate retail returns) because of the long gap between when a movie would go through its theatrical run and when any products based on it would be available. But Star Wars was such a phenomenon that it reached the holiday 1977 sales period in full swing, and changed the way movies were merchandised forever.
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 three words written on it.
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.
This is the only "Star Wars" movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award, and the first ever science fiction film to be nominated for Best Picture.
The scene of Darth Vader's TIE Fighter spinning out of control was added late in the film at the insistence of George Lucas. Other members of the film crew were opposed to including this shot, feeling that it set up a sequel (at the time sequels were generally regarded as inferior cash-in movies), but Lucas insisted upon its inclusion nonetheless.
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-3PO were called A-2 and C-3.
Carrie Fisher's breasts were taped down with gaffer tape, as her costume did not permit any lingerie to be worn underneath. She joked later, "As we all know, there is no underwear in space."
Peter Cushing found the boots that came with his costume extremely uncomfortable to wear because they were too small for his feet. Thus he only wore them in the few shots in which Tarkin's feet could be seen. In all other shots, Peter Cushing wore a pair of fuzzy slippers.
Alec Guinness always recalled the experience of making the movie as a bad one, and consistently claimed that it was his idea to have his character killed in the first film, so he "wouldn't have to carry on saying these rubbish lines". Reportedly because he hated working on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) so much, Alec Guinness claims that Obi-Wan's death was his idea as a means to limit his involvement in the film. Guinness also claimed to throw away all Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) related fan mail without even opening it. Contrary to this, George Lucas has said he made the decision to kill off Kenobi, that Guinness was "less than happy" his character was dying earlier than expected, and that Guinness appeared to enjoy his time on set. While Alec Guinness made no secret that he disliked the dialogue in George Lucas's script, he claimed that he accepted the role for two reasons: 1). He was an admirer of Lucas' previous film American Graffiti (1973) and 2). The narrative compelled him to read the whole script through to the end, in spite of not liking the dialogue and not being a fan of science fiction.
The planet Tatooine is never referred to by name throughout the entire showing of "A New Hope". It doesn't appear on the scroll at the beginning of the movie. When C-3PO says he doesn't know what planet they're on, Luke responds by saying "If there's a Bright Center to the Universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from". In the original trilogy, Tatooine isn't mentioned by name until Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). It is referred to by name and visited in all subsequent movies and prequels.
When 20th Century Fox attempted to distribute the film in the U.S., fewer than 40 theaters agreed to show it. As a solution, Fox threatened that any cinema that refused to show Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) would not be given the rights to screen the potential blockbuster The Other Side of Midnight (1977) (which ended up grossing less than 10% of what Star Wars did).
The bantha seen being mounted by tusken raiders after they spot Luke Skywalker's speeder, was actually an Asian elephant dressed in a costume of fur and fake horns. Filming the scene proved difficult, because the elephant was not accustomed to the extreme heat of Death Valley, and kept removing the costume.
This is the only Star Wars film where Darth Vader's signature theme "The Imperial March" is not played in some form or another - as it had not been written at the time.
The name Wookiee came about as a result of an accident. When San Francisco DJ Terry McGovern was doing voice-over work on THX 1138 (1971)for George Lucas, he made a blunder and exclaimed, "I think I ran over a wookiee back there." George Lucas, confused, asked what he meant by the term. Terry McGovern admitted that he didn't know and added that he simply made it up. George Lucas never forgot the cute word and used it years later in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
George Lucas's script evolved into a mammoth 200 page screenplay. Having spent a full year writing it, he was reluctant to condense it so instead he chose to concentrate on the first third, with a view to expanding the remaining two thirds into two additional films.
James Earl Jones supplied the voice of Darth Vader, but specifically requested that he not be credited. At the time, the reason he cited was that he felt he had not done enough work to get the billing, but he later admitted that he didn't want his name associated with the film because he was still an up-and-coming actor, and didn't want to be typecast. Jones does receive billing in the subsequent sequels and the 1997 "Special Edition".
Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi never actually meet. The closest they get to meeting is when she sees him from a distance during the lightsaber duel.
Carrie Fisher found the dialogue to be very difficult, later saying, "You can type this stuff, but you can't say it". Harrison Ford had similar trouble (particularly in the scene where the Millennium Falcon leaves Tatooine), and persuaded George Lucas to let him change several lines.
The Chewbacca suit retained a bad smell for the duration of filming after the trash-compactor scene.
When the storm troopers enter the room where C-3PO and R2-D2 are hiding, one of the actors accidentally bumps his head on the doorway due to his limited visibility. When the Special Edition came out in 1997, a sound effect had been added to the scene to accompany the head bump.
George Lucas had not originally intended to use Anthony Daniels's voice for the voice of C-3PO. He only changed his mind after a suggestion by Stan Freberg, one of the actors considered as Daniels' replacement Daniels' voice was altered in post-production. His character was supposed to be like a "used-car salesman". Ultimately, though, George Lucas was won over by the charisma of Daniels' reading of the part as a "snooty British butler" and so Daniels has done the voice for C3PO ever since.
A great deal of the film was shot by vintage 1950s VistaVision cameras, because they were of higher quality than any others available. After the film was released, the prices of these cameras skyrocketed.
The shootout between Han Solo and Greedo inside the Cantina was the subject for a lot of controversy and debate among Star Wars fans as to who shot first. Many fans debated that Greedo actually shot first a split second before Solo did, but with careful examination of the scene, it was obvious that Greedo never fired his shot at all. For the 1997 Special Edition release of this movie, George Lucas had edited the scene to include Greedo shooting first at Solo at point blank range, with Solo moving his head slightly to the right to dodge the shot before firing back at Greedo. The shooting scene was edited for a third time for the 2004 DVD release, so that both Greedo and Han Solo fired their guns more or less at the same time.
At one point, George Lucas had planned the character of Han Solo to be a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and gills. Then Lucas changed the idea of Han Solo to a black human. He auditioned several black actors and even musicians (including Billy Dee Williams) until finally settling on Glynn Turman. But after this he decided to make the role white. Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Robert Englund, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta and Perry King were all candidates for the role of Han Solo. George Lucas also wanted to stay away from any actors he had previously used in his films. James Caan, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro and Burt Reynolds turned down the role. Harrison Ford (who had played Bob Falfa in Lucas's American Graffiti (1973)) read the part of Han Solo for screen tests of other characters but wasn't originally considered for the part. During these tests Lucas realized Ford was perfect for the role.
Denis Lawson, who played Wedge Antilles (his name is misspelt in the credits as "Dennis Lawson"), is the uncle of Ewan McGregor, who plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels. See also Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).
According to Mark Hamill, studio executives were unhappy that Chewbacca has no clothes and attempted to have the costume redesigned with shorts.
On the first day of filming in the deserts of Tunisia, the country experienced its first major rainstorm in 50 years.
According to the Blu-ray commentary, much of the Millennium Falcon is made up of junk parts from cars and airplanes, much of which were obtained from dumping grounds and the like.
The following characters "have a bad feeling about this": Obi Wan (Episode I), Anakin (Episode II), Obi Wan (Episode III), Luke (Episode IV), Han (Episode IV), Leia (Episode V), C3-PO (Episode VI). See also Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). The line is also spoken by Harrison Ford again as Indiana Jones in George Lucas' Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008).
Most of the Stormtroopers are left-handed. That is because of how the weapons are constructed. Their weapons are based on a real weapon, where the magazine is on left side of the weapons. This construction caused it to hit the troopers in the chest. Therefore they have to switch grip of the weapon, which made them look left-handed.
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.
Adjusting for inflation, this would be the second highest-grossing movie of all time.
The original name of the main character in this film was Luke Starkiller, and that was the character's name when filming began in Tunisia. Later, when filming moved to Elstree Studios in London, George Lucas had second thoughts and changed the name to Skywalker. This did not cause a problem, as Luke's last name had not been used in the scenes already shot.
In an earlier version of the script, the Millennium Falcon lands on not the Death Star but at a Cloud City that floats above the gaseous surface of the planet Alderaan. The rescue of Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi's duel with Darth Vader take place at this base, not on the Death Star. A cut in the budget for the movie forced George Lucas to bring in the Death Star early, and in the finished film the scenes that would have take place in the Cloud City take place there, instead. The Cloud City, of course, was later used in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) . Since Alderaan was destroyed in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), however, it obviously couldn't be the location of the Cloud City. So a new planet was created to house the Cloud City: Bespin.
Before casting Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, George Lucas considered casting Japanese actor Toshirô Mifune. He also considered making casting a Japanese Princess Leia.
Chewbacca was modeled after George Lucas's dog, Indiana. See also Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
The filming of the special effects sequences at ILM's studio was interrupted at one point by a visit by representatives from the local camera operators union who were insisting that ILM hire union camera operators. Someone then programmed the newly-developed Dykstraflex motion-controlled camera to perform a complex series of moves that ended with the camera being pointed at the faces of the union reps. At this point the union reps were told, "Send us someone who can operate *that*." The union reps left and were not heard from again.
The humorous moment when Chewbacca frightens a skittish mouse droid was thought up on set and not scripted.
The "TIE" in TIE Fighter is an acronym. It stands for "Twin Ion Engines". Modelmaker Joe Johnston came up with this acronym. In 'The Making of Star Wars' book he mentions another possibility had been 'Third Intergalactic Empire'.
The lightsaber sound effect is a combination of the hum of an idling 35mm movie projector and the feedback generated by passing a stripped microphone cable by a television.
The cast and crew's nickname for David Prowse was Darth Farmer, because of his heavy Bristol accent.
George Lucas planned to score the film with existing classical music like Stanley Kubrick had done on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) before Steven Spielberg introduced him to composer John Williams. Lucas and Williams agreed on a classical 19th-century Romantic music style with liberal use of leitmotif for the score. Since the movie would show worlds never seen before, the music had to serve as an "emotional anchor" for the audience to relate.
The first film to make over $300,000,000.
Two different basic designs were created for the Millennium Falcon. The rejected one became the Rebel Blockade Runner seen at the start of the film.
The word "Jedi" is derived from the Japanese words "Jidai Geki" which translate as "period adventure drama." A period adventure drama is a Japanese TV soap opera program set in the samurai days. George Lucas mentioned in an interview that he saw a "Jidai Geki" program on TV while in Japan a year or so before the movie was made and liked the word.
During production, Anthony Daniels and all other actors playing "C-3PO"-type droids had to lean against a board to rest, as his costume was not flexible enough to allow them to sit. In scenes where C-3PO is required to sit, Daniels' costume had to be partially disassembled to allow him to sit down. This was hidden by using camera angles, and by having C-3PO sit behind things. This inflexible costume problem was also experienced by actor Jack Haley who played the Tin Woodsman in The Wizard of Oz (1939).
David Prowse, the actor in the Darth Vader suit, was still disgruntled more than 20 years after the film's release about the fact that his voice was replaced by James Earl Jones. In an interview with the Canadian press, Prowse claimed that he was a victim of "reverse racism" as there were no black members in the cast, the studio was worried that they would lose a significant size audience. However, James Earl Jones wasn't even credited in the original film and it was initially unknown that Vader was being voiced by a black actor. George Lucas opted to dubbed Vader's dialogue with another actor because Prowse has a strong Bristol accent which was not in keeping with the character. The cast and crew's nickname for Prowse was Darth Farmer, because of his heavy Bristol accent.
Alan Ladd Jr. was very anxious when he attended the premiere in Japan, only to be met by total silence at the end. What Ladd didn't realize was that Japanese moviegoers typically wait for a film's end titles to finish before speaking or leaving the theater.
The hilt of the lightsaber given to Luke Skywalker is a Graflex 3 Cell Camera flash tube with some rubber grips and a loop attached to the base, these flash tubes can still be bought today but cost around the same as an official replica hilt.
The actors playing the stormtroopers in the scene where they investigate the escape pod were paid 8500 Tunisian Dinar, which back then was the equivalent of only US$6.50 in 1976 dollars, which adjusted for inflation would be US$24.76 in 2010 dollars.
During production, George Lucas referred to the film as a "Disney movie," trying to capture the whimsy of classic 1950s Disney family films. Ironically, more than 30 years after the release of the film, the Walt Disney Company would acquire LucasFilm, Lucas' production company, including all rights to the "Star Wars" stories and characters for $4 billion; thus the film actually became a Disney movie.
George Lucas came up with the name R2-D2 during post-production of American Graffiti (1973). One of the sound crew wanted Lucas to retrieve Reel #2 of the Second Dialogue track. In post-production parlance, this came out as "could you get R2-D2 for me?". Lucas liked the sound of that and noted it down for future use.
While filming, a fierce sandstorm destroyed several of the Tatooine sets in the desert outside Tozeur, Tunisia, and filming resumed two days later. The same thing would happen to George Lucas 22 years later while filming Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
The pulsating engine sound of the Star Destroyer is a manipulated recording of a broken air conditioner.
The language spoken by the Jawas was created by recording speakers of the African Zulu language and electronically speeding it up. Greedo's language is the Peruvian Indian language Quechua, played backwards. (George Lucas would later feature Peruvian Indians again in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)).
George Lucas waived the normal writer/director fee and asked for a mere $175,000 plus 40% of the merchandising rights. After the failure of _Doctor Dolittle (1967)_, when its massive merchandising push proved an equally costly debacle, studio executives saw little if any profit from such matters and , agreed. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) related merchandise has since generated many millions of dollars in sales, allowing Lucas to make movies completely independent of the studio system he decried. Merchandising rights are now a major part of any film contract.
Carrie Fisher was not accustomed to using guns prior to filming this movie. In preparation, she took shooting lessons from the same person that taught Robert De Niro to shoot for Taxi Driver.
The movie opened in May 1977 and by November had dethroned Jaws (1975) as the all-time domestic (U.S.) box-office champ. It then was beaten by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), but was back on top when it was re-released in 1997. It held that position until Titanic (1997).
George Lucas and the production team apparently had a series of running battles with the studio cleaning service, which would continually clean and buff the floors on set, even though Lucas had requested that they leave them scuffed and dull - part of his idea that the world the characters inhabit should look "lived in". After the sets were constructed, George Lucas went through them and had every single one of them "dirtied up". The R2-D2s were all rolled in the dirt, nicked with a saw, and kicked around a bit. George Lucas popularized the concept of giving sets/props/etc. a "dirtied up" appearance, to create the illusion that they were old and worn. However, he was not the first person to use this strategy. Over a decade prior, Gerry Anderson had extensively used this process in his Supermarionation series, most notably Thunderbirds (1965).
This is the opening sentence for a 13-page treatment George Lucas wrote in 1972: "...the story of Mace Windu, a revered Jedi-bendu of Opuchi who was related to Usby C.J. Thape, a Padawaan learner to the famed Jedi..." George Lucas spent nearly three years rewriting before he completed the script for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). Although most of that early script was ultimately unused, the character of Mace Windu and the term padawaan (with the spelling changed to padawan), both appear in the prequel trilogy. Mace Windu, of course, is one of the Jedi Council members, played by Samuel L. Jackson. And the term padawan is used to refer to Jedi apprentices.
Interested in creating a modest line of colorful space toys, Kenner Toys signed on for the merchandising shortly before Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) opened, although they did not believe the movie would be a hit. When Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) became a hit, they were unprepared to handle the demand and produce enough Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) toys to handle the demand for Christmas. Instead, they sold boxed vouchers for various toys. The toys sold in the "Empty Box" campaign during December were not delivered until the following March.
When first released in 1977, this movie was simply titled "Star Wars", as it was intended to be a stand-alone movie. Sequels were not considered until after it became wildly successful. The name of this movie was changed to "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" in 1981 to fit in better with the names of the other films. The later print was the first one to be released on mass market video (an earlier Betamax release did not have the subtitle), and all video, laserdisc or DVD releases have featured the subtitles. The theatrical cut DVDs, released in September 2006, were the first time that the original opening crawl, without subtitle, has been released on home video. The reason George Lucas created the title card "Episode IV" in the first film was as a homage to 1940's Saturday afternoon "cliffhanger" serials, like the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. He also used the "text crawl" the same way each of those series opened up new chapters. He did not at the time have Episodes I, II, and III already planned. In fact, at one point, 20th Century Fox wanted the "Episode IV" title removed so as not to confuse moviegoers. There are some prints of the film that do not have that title card.
The chess scene on the Millennium Falcon was done using stop-motion creatures. The crew considered doing it with costumed actors, but opted for the stop-motion technique, as they wanted to avoid comparisons and similarities to the film Westworld.
In 2010, George Lucas sent Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the executive producers of TV's Lost (2004), a letter congratulating them on the show's end and letting them in on some (possibly facetious) secrets about his development of the Star Wars movie series: "Don't tell anyone ... but when 'Star Wars' first came out, I didn't know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you've planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories - let's call them homages - and you've got a series."
The famous Darth Vader suit was designed by production designer Ralph McQuarrie, who was concerned about the character being able to breathe while he was traveling from his spaceship to Princess Leia's spaceship. It was not explained why Darth Vader wears the suit at all times until Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The look of the Darth Vader suit was based on robes worn by Bedouin Warriors.
The weapons the stormtroopers used were essentially the Sterling L2A3 9mm SMG (sub-machine gun) a military weapon developed in the late 1940s in the UK and adopted by the British and Canadian Armies in the 1950s. The curved left entry side mounted magazine was removed. And that was as much as it was modified for the film. The longer sandtrooper weapon was the MG-34 machine gun from Germany.
Was originally scheduled for a Christmas 1976 release, but was pushed back five months as post-production (especially special effects) took longer than expected. Studio executives were concerned that the new 25th May 1977 release date would put the film's box office chances at risk as Smokey and the Bandit (1977) would come out that same week. However, by the end of its initial theatrical run in the U.S., Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) had grossed over twice as much as Smokey and the Bandit (1977).
The music by John Williams is ranked #1 on AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores.
In the scene where Obi-Wan is giving a short history of the Jedi Order and Luke's father in his hut on Tatooine, a patch can be seen on the right shoulder of his robe. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, there is a burn hole in Obi-Wan's robe in the same spot after his fight with Anakin. Keep in mind that this movie was made 28 years after A New Hope.
George Lucas originally wanted Orson Welles to do Darth Vader's voice, but decided against it, feeling that Welles' voice would be too recognizable.
The first draft was twice as long as the finished film, and contained a lot of elements that would be recycled in later movies - for example, the last act would take place on the jungle planet Yavin, which would be the home planet of the Wookiees (originally envisioned as smaller, with heads like that of "giant bushbabies", and not technologically capable), who would end up fighting the Empire alongside our heroes. The second draft was a substantial rewrite which cut all this out, but Lucas still wanted a Wookiee in the movie: so he created Chewbacca, a Wookiee co-pilot who was familiar with technology. For Jedi, Lucas brought back his idea of a low technology race fighting the Empire - but in place of the Wookiees, he invented the Ewoks (by effectively shrinking them down half the size and inverting the two syllables in their species name)note . A giant battle with Wookiees on their home planet Kashyyyk finally made it to screen in Revenge of the Sith.
A small pair of metal dice can be seen hanging in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon as Chewbacca makes preparations to depart from Mos Eisley. Set designer Roger Christian claims he added the pair of dice hanging in the Millennium Falcon cockpit (briefly seen when Chewbacca bumps his head on them as he first enters) because there were dice hanging in Harrison Ford's car in American Graffiti (1973). However, Ford's character had a skull hanging from his rear-view mirror. Ron Howard had the fluffy dice. They don't appear in subsequent scenes, because they were stolen from the set and not replaced.
Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) spent most of the production period in chaos, attempting to create special effects that had never been created before. They blew half their budget on four shots which George Lucas rejected. Ultimately, around $5,000,000 of the $8,000,000 budget was spent by ILM.
Luke went through several changes. Lucas toyed with the idea of changing him into a woman after cutting Princess Leia from the script. He also entertained the notion of casting the principal characters as a dwarfs. In an early screenplay, Skywalker was a 60 year-old general. In the shooting script, he was called Luke Starkiller but this was changed to Luke Skywalker during production.
During the scene on the Death Star right after Ben leaves to shut down the tractor beam, Chewbacca barks something to Luke to which Han says "Boy, you said it Chewie". Backstage footage reveals that what Chewie says is "The old man's gone mad".
This is the only Star Wars series film in which neither Yoda nor Palpatine make an appearance. Yoda is not mentioned, as the character had not yet been created. Palpatine (whose name is never uttered in the classic trilogy) is mentioned, but referred to only as "the Emperor".
At one point in the scripting process, the Force was a large crystal or galactic holy grail called the 'Kyber crystal'. This idea was used in the 1978 Star Wars novel "Splinter of the Mind's Eye".
In Italy, R2-D2 was renamed C1-P8 while Darth Vader became Lord Fener, the reason being that "Vader" in Italian sounds too close to the common noun for the toilet bowl (the "water", clearly from the English "water closet"). The "clones" mentioned by Obi-Wan Kenobi became "quotes" (Italian: "cloni"/"quoti").
George Lucas originally prepared a 14-page story treatment for his space opera. The major studios all rejected it because they viewed it as science fiction which was very difficult to market at the time. Lucas did find one sympathetic ear - Alan Ladd Jr., the then new head of 20th Century Fox, who had been impressed with Lucas's efforts on American Graffiti (1973). It was Ladd who eventually greenlit the movie, to the tune of an $8,000,000 budget.
When Darth Vader crushes the neck of Captain Antilles, the actual sound you hear is of walnut shells being crushed. The same sound effect is used in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), when Han Solo is freed from the carbonite.
According to the exhibit at the Smithsonian, the sound of a TIE fighter is created by combining the squeal of a young elephant with the sound of a car driving by on a rain-slicked highway.
This is the only film in the series where David Prowse did the lightsaber fighting on his own; he was doubled in the sequels because he kept breaking the poles that stood in for the blades. This switch might explain why Vader pivots on his feet in this film, but not in the others.
The first science fiction film to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.
Darth Vader's breathing was originally meant to be much more labored and raspy. The sound of this labored, raspy breathing would be used later on in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) during that movie's climax.
The Tatooine scenes were filmed in Tunisia. There is a town in Tunisia's rural south named Tataouine (Berber for "eyes"), and Lucas liked the name so much he adopted it for Luke Skywalker's home world. Some of the interiors and the courtyard of Luke's house were filmed in a hotel in Matmata, Tunisia. One can visit this two-star hotel and see some pictures and the painted ceiling of what was used for the Skywalker dining room. When Luke goes out of the farm, he appears in a flat deserted area, while the reality when you get out of the hotel show a lot of other houses, small stone hills and a lot of prickly peartrees (a variety of cactus very common in Tunisia).
Unlike the other films in the series, this film features Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) as the ranking Imperial villain, instead of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Both of their names are references to the Roman Republic/Empire. The Tarquins were kings of Rome in the days before the Roman Republic. Palatine Hill was a major location in the city of Rome.
20th Century Fox was so sure Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) was going to be a disaster that they came within a matter of days of selling off their stake in the film as a tax shelter. Positive feedback from an advanced screening made them change their minds, and the profits from the film ended up saving the studio from bankruptcy.
Following principal photography, new scenes had to be filmed for the Cantina scene, to give it more diversity and add more aliens to the scene. However, the reshoot set was very small. If you look at the close-up scenes of most of the aliens when Luke and company enter, you can see the same window in the background.
George Lucas had ILM watch archival footage of World War II dogfights as reference material for the final battle over the Death Star. This method would evolve into pre-visualization "animatics" in common use today. (Former fighter pilots were also employed as technical advisors, and audio recordings of radio communications made during dogfights were studied, to help with the dialogue.)
According to Ben Burtt, the sounds Chewbacca makes have been made from a compilation of large mammals, mostly bears (he said one particular zoo-kept Grizzly Bear was an invaluable source of Chewbacca sounds). R2-D2's sounds are various people (mostly Burtt) making baby-like sounds or sometimes actually recordings of babies electronically manipulated to sound mechanic.
Mel Blanc auditioned for the voice of C-3PO.
The first two drafts of the screenplay apparently ripped off Flash Gordon and Frank Herbert's Dune, respectively. Lucas had to rework the draft several times when the rights holders (King Features and Herbert) balked. Even then, Herbert tried to sue because they're still similar, but he relented when the film became a hit in its own right.
The origin of R2-D2 can be found in the "drones" Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the film Silent Running (1972). Upon meeting Douglas Trumbull, director and special effects chief on "Silent Running", George Lucas commented on how much he liked the designs of Trumbull's two-footed robots in the film (which were operated by bilateral amputees). Four years later, a functionally similar design appeared as R2-D2 in "Star Wars". Universal Studios, the distributor of "Silent Running" noted the similarity between the robots (and the similarity of "Star Wars" to the Buck Rogers (1939) serials of the '30s), and promptly sued 20th Century Fox for infringement. The lawsuit was eventually settled when Fox counter-sued over Battlestar Galactica (1978), which bore a striking resemblance to "Star Wars".
According to Star Wars canon, Tatooine's twin suns heat the planet so much that only the polar regions are habitable.
During the scene where Han Solo and the others emerge from the Millennium Falcon's secret compartments, John Williams wrote a 3-note motif for the accompanied soundtrack. This 3-note motif is a cue from Psycho (1960). As a friend and colleague of Bernard Herrmann, who wrote the music for Psycho (1960), John Williams included this particular cue as an homage to Bernard Herrmann. SOURCE: 'The Making of Psycho' documentary which can be found in the Bonus Materials section on the 'Psycho (1960) Collector's Edition' DVD. The 1:16 mark of the documentary reveals this information.
The reason the screen "whites up" as Ben and Luke carry C-3P0 to repair him after the Sand People attack is that Anthony Daniels was only wearing black tights below the waist.
Two of the creature characters have names which resemble the Russian words for the animals that they resemble. Chewbacca sounds like sobaka (dog) and Jabba sounds like zhaba (toad).
WILHELM SCREAM: The film revived and re-popularized the "Wilhelm Scream" sound effect, first used in Distant Drums (1951).
Darth Vader was the first character that George Lucas created for the story.
The name Luke derives from the Greek word for light, which fits into the film's allegorical themes of light and darkness. The Biblical Apostle Luke was an early convert to Christianity, much like Luke Skywalker converting to the ways of a Jedi. In addition, the name Luke is also a derivative of the name Lucas.
The terms "X-wing" and "Y-wing" and "TIE fighter" were used by ILM effects guys to distinguish the fighters. These terms are not used in this film, though they were incorporated into the sequels. They also became popular with the public after the toys and the Making of special aired on tv. In addition, ILM's special effects staff nicknamed the Millennium Falcon "The Porkburger" but this never caught on.
David Prowse's Darth Vader mask had to be padded with foam because it was much too large to fit over his face properly.
While speaking at London's National Film Theatre in 2009, Ben Burtt disclosed that the alien gibberish sprouted by the Mos Eisley spy Garindan/Long Snoot in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) was actually the processed voice of John Wayne.
In an early version of the screenplay, Luke Skywalker was a 60-year old general and Han Solo had green skin and gills.
Prior to the release of this movie, the greatest profit 20th Century Fox had every made in one year was $37,000,000. In 1977, because of the film, their year-end profit was $79,000,000.
The line "May the Force be with you." is ranked #8 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes.
Some unused footage shot for the film was used in The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978).
The first feature film to be screened in Dolby Stereo. Previously, films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Mr. Billion (1977) had made use of the sound system with disastrous results. However, technical minded George Lucas knew exactly how he wanted to incorporate the system and made it work for his picture.
At 121 minutes (special edition runs 125 minutes) this is the shortest of the six "Star Wars" films.
The rescue of the Princess - and Obi-Wan Kenobi's duel with Darth Vader - were originally intended to take place on Alderaan.
Meco's Disco version of the theme song is the biggest selling instrumental single of all time.
20th Century Fox didn't like the title "Star Wars" and wanted to rename the movie. In a 2013 "Nerdist" podcast, Mark Hamill said that one of their concerns was that they thought that potential female audiences (already a group they thought would be unlikely to enjoy science fiction) would be turned off by the word "wars" in the title. Hamill also said that another reason they wanted to change the title was that a rather large percentage of the Fox focus group members who heard the title (Hamill said 30%) thought that he movie must be a "behind-the-scenes look at the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton marriage."
George Lucas based the character of Han Solo on his friend, director Francis Ford Coppola.
Initial research from 20th Century Fox using the title and a brief synopsis came back with the results that only males under 25 were interested in seeing the film. Fox then deliberately marketed the film with a view to attracting older and female cinemagoers by pushing images of humans (including Princess Leia) centerstage and referring to the film in more mythic tones, rather than science fiction.
Cardboard cutouts were used for some of the background starfighters in the Rebel hangar bay and most of the crowd watching the heroes receive their medallions in the final scene.
Portions of the sound effects for the Millennium Falcon's engines were recorded at an air show at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual convention in Oshkosh, WI. In a gesture of thanks, Lucasfilm donated a model of the Falcon to the EAA Air Museum.
The targeting grid used for the Millennium Falcon's canon is based on a paperweight George Lucas saw on Arthur C. Clarke's desk.
When the blasters are cocked they have a clicking/clunking sound. This is a recording of a parking meter handle being turned.
20th Century Fox bought the screenplay largely because George Lucas had hired conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie to create paintings of a number of scenes to help sell it.
R2-D2's vocal patterns largely contain sound designer Ben Burtt's own voice. In trying to create the beeping, whistling noises of the droid, Burtt found that he was vocalizing a lot of what he was trying to achieve, so he recorded his voice - mainly making baby noises - and then fed it through a synthesizer.
The enhanced effects used for the Death Star explosions in the 1997 re-releases of this movie and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) feature the "Praxis Wave," so named for its first use by Industrial Light and Magic in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) for the explosion of the Klingon moon, Praxis.
The cantina creature later to be known as 'Dice Ibegon' was really nothing more than a hand puppet known as the 'Drooling arm'. This was because it was fashioned to have a red, oozy liquid drip from it's mouth. When they tried this on film however, the liquid spurted all over the place and the shot was judged to be too disgusting for a PG movie.
In the novelization of the film, the book begins with a short prologue which tells the story of the fall of the "Old Republic", the rise of the Empire, and the rise of the Rebel Alliance. This would be part of the basis for Episodes 1-3 of the "Prequel Trilogy".
Obi-Wan never says "May the Force be with you"; he always says a close variation of the line. The line is spoken by both Han Solo (to Luke) and General Dodonna (while addressing the assembled rebel pilots).
The only movie, out of all six, when one of the characters refers to the droids as "robots" on screen.
According the commentary on the Blu-ray Disc version of the movie, the scene where Tarkin blows up Alderaan was the first scene Carrie Fisher filmed at Leia. She admits to being influenced by Peter Cushing, and admits she may have based some of her performance on his own style of acting.
According to commentary tracks, Peter Diamond wishes he could have had the Lightsaber fight between Obi-Wan and Vader reshot, because they were constantly breaking the blades.
Both of the main robot characters were inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame, R2-D2 in 2003 (inaugural class) and C-3PO in 2004.
When the film was re-released in theaters after it became so successful, the Daffy Duck cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (1953) was run preceding the feature at the request of George Lucas.
George Lucas shot the opening sequence of the Storm Troopers bursting through the blockade runner door, and the ensuing battle against rebel troops, in two takes. While the action on set was over very quickly, Lucas used six cameras to capture it, thereby extending the length of the scene on screen. Since some cameras were in very tight and others wide, it is difficult to tell the various actions that were duplicated.
In the Blockade Runner scenes at the beginning of the film, with the shootout in the white hallways, only a single white hallway was built. It was filmed from multiple angles to give the impression that the "ship" was bigger than it really was, and so that the best parts of the battle footage could be used more than once.
When writing the script, George Lucas had terrible trouble remembering how to spell all the odd names he had invented for his universe. This explains why there is such inconsistency over the way Wookiee is spelled.
Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi are ranked #14 and #37 respectively on the "Heroes" section of AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains, making Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) the only film to have more than one character on the list.
Though the only thing Chewbacca can say from start to finish is a Wookiee growl, he has the last line in the film.
Jabba the Hutt was originally supposed to appear in the film, dropped in optically on top of stand-in actor Declan Mulholland. However, the effect was not acceptable and the scene was cut until CGI allowed it to be completed for the 1997 'Special Edition'.
The piece of equipment used to fire the Death Star's weapon is actually a Grass Valley Group 1600-7K television production switcher.
The day before he began filming as C-3PO, Anthony Daniels tried on his costume for the first time. Within two steps, the left leg shattered down into the plastic of the left foot, beginning to stab the actor every time he took a step.
David Prowse was not the only on-screen actor to have his voice overdubbed by another. In the early rough-cut of the Cantina sequence, Wuher, the barkeeper is speaking in a very pronounced Cockney accent, one that was overdubbed by an American actor before the film's release. The same also happens with the character of Dr. Evazan ("I have the death sentence in 12 systems!") for much the same reason. Sheelagh Fraser who plays Luke's Aunt Beru was also dubbed, as George Lucas felt she sounded a little too English for the character.
Among the first promotional licenses granted was to Marvel Comics, who published a Star Wars comic book series which ran for 107 issues from 1977-86. The first six issues were an adaption of the film, which included some deleted scenes from the film. The adaptation was also published in a tabloid sized Collector's Edition format.
George Lucas wanted TIE Fighters to move by very fast in the Death Star Escape sequence. His crew thought this meant a ship moving by the ship's window in 3-4 seconds, Lucas wanted them to go past in about half a second. This led to the film crew moving the backgrounds in additions to the TIEs themselves to create a greater illusion of speed.
The studio was unhappy with "Star Wars" as a title after negative market testing. A competition was held during shooting for cast and crew to come up with a better one but nothing stuck.
Within three weeks of the film's release, 20th Century Fox's stock price doubled to a record high.
Production was so laden with problems that George Lucas worked himself into poor health. He had to be checked into the hospital after suffering from hypertension.
The original teaser trailer was narrated by Malachi Throne. In the documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the 'Star Wars' Trilogy (2004), he is given a "special thanks" credit.
The character name Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to allude to the following definitions. OBI - a form of belief involving sorcery, practiced in parts of the West Indies, South America, the southern U.S., and Africa. And a charm used in this belief system. WAN - Archaically meaning dark or gloomy; also pale in color or hue, meaning decline in ability (referring to dotage of the aging Jedi). KEN - knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception. range of sight or vision.
Terri Nunn of the band Berlin was in the running for the role of Princess Leia and had readings with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill.
The final version of the opening crawl for this movie was co-written by Brian De Palma after complaining that the previous (third draft) version was too difficult to understand.
The term "Moff", used to describe some Imperial characters (such as Tarkin) is used to mean a regional governor of a specific sector of space. Military officers can also be Moffs - Tarkin, for example, is listed in the script as an Admiral in the Imperial fleet.
The Millennium Falcon was originally modeled after a hamburger with an olive next to it. Because the name of the ship had not been finalized at this time, storyboards refer to as the pirate ship. Some boards indicate for the first version of the pirate ship (which became the Blockade Runner) to be changed into the 'Hamburger Boogie' version.
Ben Burtt created the sound of Darth Vader's breathing by placing a small microphone in the second stage (mouthpiece) of a scuba regulator, and then recording the sound made by his breathing through the regulator.
On opening weekend in 1977, the movie earned $1.554 million on fewer than 40 screens. In 1997, it made over $36 million on over 2,000 screens.
When Ben Kenobi is turning off the tractor beam, the set Alec Guinness was on was only six feet above the ground.
The Jawa language was based on the Zulu language. The recordings of Jawa voices you hear in the final film are a mixture of studio recordings, as well as recordings done in places like canyons to get an ambient echo effect of sorts, spliced together.
According to one of the interview clips in the "When Star Wars Ruled the World" special, the concept behind the Force is, essentially, "Religion's Greatest Hits."
For the special edition version, in the Cantina the close-up shot of the wolfman was removed. He was replaced with a close-up shot of a CGI dinosaur-type man. However in additional frames, you can still see the wolfman in the background.
Before Alec Guinness was cast as Obi Wan, George Lucas briefly considered using Peter Cushing, who plays Tarkin.
At one point, George Lucas planned for the characters of Luke Skywalker and his aunt and uncle, to be dwarves.
The film was initially budgeted at $8 million but production problems forced the studio to contribute an additional $3 million.
C-3PO was originally scripted as a "used car salesman" type, and designed after the robot from Metropolis (1927).
While the shot where the escape pod leaves Leia's ship was the first ever completed by ILM, the first shot actually approved by George Lucas for the movie was a shot of the laser cannons in the Death Star trench.
The sounds of the lasers were made by striking a metal wrench up the steel re-enforcement cables of a high-voltage electricity pylon - those long lines of power pylons that criss-cross most countries. The Millennium Falcon "shutdown" engine noise was sourced from an external air-conditioning unit on its last legs.
There is a rumor that Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) was having trouble timing his conversations with R2-D2, as R2-D2's dialogue was to be dubbed in later. Supposedly, Anthony Daniels asked George Lucas to make some kind of noise to help him, but when George Lucas forgot, the matter was dropped.
In the original draft, Luke made a failed Death Star Trench bombing attempt before making his shot that ultimately destroyed the station. While all footage of the first trench run was eliminated from the final movie, one line that referenced the first run remained - "They're coming much faster THIS TIME."
Dan O'Bannon and John C. Wash animated the Death Star schematics seen on the computer screen as R2D2 searches the Death Star's computer memory. They were influenced by similar sequences they produced for the film Dark Star (1974).
In the Italian version of the trilogy, the Death Star is called La Morte Nera (Black Death), and Darth Vader is called Lord Fener.
Upon receiving the script prior to her audition, Carrie Fisher read it aloud with her friend, actor Miguel Ferrer. Struck by how unique the story was, Fisher decided to lobby hard for the role of Princess Leia - a decision which paid off.
George Lucas said in an interview with Leonard Maltin that the Ewoks in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) were originally supposed to be Wookiees. However since he had established Chewbacca as a fairly sophisticated character who was able to fly spaceships, he opted to make the Ewoks more primitive so as to contrast with the Imperials and their technology.
Although the Anchorhead scenes featuring Anthony Forrest as Fixer and Koo Stark as Cammie were deleted, Forrest still appears in the finished film. He played the Stormtrooper who stops Luke and Obi-Wan in Mos Eisley and is then deluded by Obi-Wan's use of the Force.
The final scene in which Luke and Han received their awards required a much larger soundstage than was available at Elstree Studios. The scene was shot at Pinewood Studios instead.
The horned alien seen in the Cantina sequence was originally a devil mask created by Rick Baker for a Halloween show.
20th Century Fox green lit the film despite marketing surveys indicating little or no interest among potential movie goers in a science fiction movie. A related survey also resulted in a strong dislike of the film's title as the word "Wars" held negative connotations for much of the general public during the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War.
Most of the planets/moons/etc. seen in the films were just balls that were painted. However, unlike the planets and the like, an actual model was built of the Death Star, because there were constant shots of vehicles approaching it.
The very first treatment of the film was originally titled "The Journal of the Whills". It centered around a Jedi-bendu by the name of Mace Windy (who would become the Mace Windu character in The Phantom Menace) and his apprentice, C. 2. Thorpe. Lucas brought the thing to his agent, Jeff Berg, who was quickly confused by the massive amounts of jargon used in the treatment, and recommended he start simpler.
When Luke and his aunt and uncle are eating they are using a white set of glasses and pitcher. These are a Tupperware style.
The model used for the rebel blockade runner (the first ship seen in the first scene of the film) has a tiny Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) movie poster and a tiny Playboy centerfold in its cockpit. These aren't visible on screen, though.
In the DVD commentary, Carrie Fisher shares that she and a friend of hers read the script out loud and both wanted to play Han Solo.
In earlier drafts, including the ones that were used for audition readings, the planet Alderaan was known as Organa Major. Although the name was changed, the "Organa" was retained and became Leia's adoptive family name.
George Lucas started writing the screenplay in 1974.
Over 60% of this film was shot with a film that was so prone to fading, it was discontinued in the early '80s.
20th Century Fox promoted the film at the San Diego Comic Con, believing the attendees of that event to be the film's main target demographic.
Director George Lucas had trouble getting funding for this movie, most studios (including Universal and United Artists) thinking that people wouldn't go to see it.
At one point when the prospects for the movie's release seemed bleakest, the idea came up that perhaps the effects could be removed from the movie and recycled into a TV show.
Came fourth in the UK's Ultimate Film list, in which films were placed in order of how many seats they sold at cinemas. Gone with the Wind (1939), The Sound of Music (1965), and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) came first, second and third.
Han Solo's blaster was manufactured from a Mauser C96 ("Broomhandle") pistol, a late-19th century weapon.
Several scenes were filmed of Luke with his friends on Tatooine in an effort to introduce the main character earlier in the film. First Luke watches Princess Leia's ship battle with the Imperial cruiser in the sky overhead through his binoculars, and later he meets his best friend Biggs Darklighter in Anchorhead, who has left the Imperial Academy and plans to join the Rebel Alliance. Also present in the Anchorhead scenes were Anthony Forrest as Fixer and Koo Stark as Fixer's girlfriend Cammie. All these scenes were later cut, leaving Luke's mention of Biggs to his aunt and uncle as the sole reference to his character early on. The scenes have never officially appeared in any release of the movie, but stills were included in "The Story of Star Wars" (a book-and-record set), and the scenes also appeared in the comic book and novel adaptations. This has led several people to believe they actually saw the scenes on the silver screen. All of the scenes were included on the CD-Rom "Star Wars: Behind the Magic" in 1998. A reunion scene between Luke and Biggs at the Rebel base was included in the Special Edition re-release of the movie. However, a line by Red Leader about having once met Luke's father was cut from this exchange.
In the early mono mix of the film, a few lines are slightly different, or completely different vocal takes. For instance, a different actress dubbed Aunt Beru's lines in the earlier mono mix. Likewise, Luke's line "Blast it Biggs, where are you" in the Death Star battle was "Blast it Wedge, where are you" in the mono version. Although the mono mix is less common, the version of the latter line in it may seem to make more sense, since Wedge was the one who did eventually save Luke in that point of the battle. However, in the chaos of such a large-scale dogfight, either version would be acceptable, since Luke might not have known that Biggs was otherwise occupied and Wedge was free to come to his aid.
In 1998, the film was ranked #15 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies. In 2007, it moved up two place to be ranked #13 for the 10th anniversary edition of the list.
The movie's line "May the force be with you." was voted as the #22 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
First of 18 consecutive films with Dolby-encoded soundtracks to win Academy Awards for Best Achievement in Sound.
In its May 30, 1977 issue, Time magazine voted Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) "The Year's Best Movie." The franchise would go on to feature on the magazine's cover six times.
This film is ranked #2 on the AFI's top 10 science fiction films.
The original editor for the film was John Jympson. Richard Chew was Lucas' first choice of the editor but budgetary reasons will not allow him to do so. After the first assembly, which was absolutely disastrous, Lucas fired Jympson, asked his then wife Marcia (while editing) New York, New York who in turn brought in Chew and Paul Hirsch to finish.
The second film to gross more than $100 million at the US box office. The first was Jaws (1975).
Normally 20th Century-Fox released about 20 films per year, but the long-running success of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) resulted in the studio issuing only seven new films in the entire year of 1978.
In some Spanish subtitled releases, R2-D2 name appears subtitled as "Arturito" or "little Arthur" in Spanish, since the pronunciation is very closed resembled, this is also the case with C3-PO whose name is subtitled as "Citripio", but that does not resembles anything in Spanish.
Remains one of the 50 highest grossing movies of all time (as of 2010 at #30) without adjusting dollars for inflation and is the oldest film to have such distinction.
Peter Cushing completed his role in a matter of days (May 8-12). Shooting lasted from March-June 1976, released one year later due to the extensive special effects.
All of the dialogue by Shelagh Fraser (Aunt Beru) was dubbed.
James Woods auditioned for the role of Han Solo.
George Lucas's original choice for cinematographer was Geoffrey Unsworth, but Unsworth was committed to A Bridge Too Far (1977). Gilbert Taylor was hired instead, but hated working on the project. Producer Gary Kurtz became concerned that Taylor was slowing production down and attempted to replace him with Harry Waxman, but the camera crew made it clear they would not work under Waxman, and Lucas told Kurtz that replacing Taylor would probably delay the film even further.
George Lucas asked costume designer John Mollo to create simple, nondescript costumes without any buttons. The only exception to this last rule were some of the green rebel uniforms worn by extras during the Throne room sequence, as Mollo had to find a lot of spare uniforms at the last minute.
Melanie Griffith was offered the role of Princess Leia.
Michael Elphick was offered a major featured role but could not accept.
Malcolm Tierney's (Lt. Shann Childsen) voice was dubbed over.
In the scene where Luke is attacked by a Tusken Raider, the moment where the raider (Peter Diamond waves his weapon over his head with both hands in an up-and-down motion was actually created from a shot of him thrusting his weapon up once, run backwards and forward several times.
In some scenes that were filmed but never used, the filmmakers had to use multiple models of R2-D2, since he had a hard time keeping up with the other characters. When one could no longer keep up, a second one hidden behind a corner or wall would "sneak" back into the main group. As this charade wasn't very convincing, none of these scenes made the final cut.
In earlier versions of the script, the line "There will be no escape for the Princess this time" was "There will be no escape for the Captain this time." (A reference to Captain Antilles, who Vader later strangles to death.)
Perry King screen-tested for the role of Han Solo. Though he lost the part to Harrison Ford for the film, he got to play Solo in the National Public Radio adaptations of the original "Star Wars" trilogy.
Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, old film-school friends of George Lucas, did uncredited rewrites on the screenplay. 20th Century Fox refused to pay them a fee, insisting that Lucas pay them out of his own salary. He eventually gave them some of his own profit points as a reward. The rebel General who talks to Princess Leia on her arrival at Yavin IV is named 'Willard' after Huyck.
Mules were used as the main basis for the sound that the Tusken Raiders make.
CASTLE THUNDER: Heard various times in the film whenever laser bolts or other various weapons are fired. It's most well-known use in the film is when the Death Star blows up.
The briefing of the pilots and the final dogfights at the Death Star were inspired by many WWII films including Flying Tigers (1942), Flying Leathernecks (1951) and Battle of Britain (1969) amongst others.
William Katt auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker.
Terri Lynn and Cindy Williams auditioned for the role of Princess Leia.
Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing have both appeared in productions of Hamlet. One of Guinness's first roles, at the age of 19, was playing Osric in John Gielgud's production in 1933, which is considered to be one of the best theatrical productions of the twentieth century. Cushing played the same part in Laurence Olivier's film version of Hamlet (1948), which marked his first collaboration with future Star Wars cast member Christopher Lee.

Director Trademark 

George Lucas:  [1138]  in honor of his earlier movie THX 1138 (1971).

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are of Swedish and Jewish ancestry, respectively. In the prequels, their parents would be played by Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman, who also have Swedish and Jewish ancestry.
Vader," pronounced differently, is the Dutch word for "father". In German, "Vater" means "father".

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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