The work that goes into making a big-budget film is far beyond what anyone outside of the industry can begin to comprehend. Should you be fortunate enough to have someone give your script the time of day, your life after receiving the greenlight from the movie studio will never be the same again. The next several years are spent bringing your dreams onto the big screen, and the cast and crew responsible for making your dream a reality are put through the ringer on a day-to-day basis. Because performers are required to work in close quarters together for extended periods of time, filming a movie can be a painful process for everyone involved. These dust-ups, no matter how small, are meant to be kept under wraps from the media. After all, even the tiniest bit of conflict or controversy can ignite a storm in the media.
Star Wars, as beloved a franchise as any that has graced the big screen, is not without its dirty little secrets. In fact, a number of performers who worked on the film have had negative things to say about their overall experience with the franchise. Despite catalyzing perhaps the biggest fandom the world has known, Star Wars is infamous for the stories that have slowly crept out of the mouths of the media over the years. Media coverage in the 1970’s was not what it is today and had this type of information leaked on a current project, you can rest assured that this movie studio would be in hot water. After digging through years of Star Wars gossip, we dug up 15 Star Wars secrets that are as juicy as they come.
15. Carrie Fisher’s Special Nail
S*x, drugs, and rock and roll were a seemingly integral part of being a famous performer in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and Hollywood’s history is littered with crazy stories of wild parties and drug abuse. While we have seen drug abuse affect a star’s performance on screen, it is rare to see a star maintain an all-too-obvious nod to their partying ways while in costume. Thanks to Carrie Fisher being one of the most candid stars to ever make it big in the entertainment industry, we have learned plenty of crazy Hollywood stories, although this one in particular stands out among the rest.
For those eagle-eyed fans of the series, Carrie Fisher was seen sporting an unusually large fingernail in Return of the Jedi. Given the lifestyle that she was living, fans speculated that the nail was an obvious indicator as to the type of drug that she favored at the time. Years later, Fisher would admit to having a “good time” while filming.
14. The Cast Didn’t Understand The Dialogue
Certain film franchises, when first viewed, can leave a lot of people confused as to what exactly the characters are talking about. The writer’s decision to use made-up words and terms can lead to confusion among fans until they have spent enough time understanding the terminology. A Clockwork Orange was accompanied by a special dictionary when it was first released, due to the language being incredibly hard to follow. While Star Wars wasn’t quite that bad, many people had a hard time understanding the new lingo.
Not unlike the fans who propelled the series to stardom, the film’s performers also had a tough time understanding the dialogue. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Carrie Fisher stated, “None of us knew what we were saying.” Thankfully, the cast and crew, despite the film’s confusing dialogue, were able to band together, push forward, and ultimately deliver a film that would change the entertainment industry.
13. Princess Leia And The Rolling Stones Partied Hard
It may be hard to imagine now, but there was once a point in time where the Rolling Stones weren’t ancient rockers who still manage to sell out stadiums across the world. They were once the premiere rock band on the planet, and an opportunity to hang out with them was something that no person in their right mind would have passed up. It’s important to let off some steam while filming as making a movie can be an incredibly stressful process.
Carrie Fisher told her story about partying with the Rolling Stones in her interview with The Daily Beast, and we could not help but be jealous. As she was renting a house while filming The Empire Strikes Back, she received a call that the Rolling Stones were at the house. Once she returned, they partied all through the night, giving way to one legendary story. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at that party.
12. Potato Asteroids
The making of Star Wars is a topic that has been heavily studied over the years. Back when the original trilogy was being made, directors didn’t have the luxury of relying heavily on computer effects, forcing them to use practical sets to bring the series to life. Because of this, director George Lucas was forced to be crafty and creative while making his movies. Now, you may be expecting to hear a story about Lucas using an abundance of Styrofoam and cardboard, but that just wouldn’t be weird enough to crack our list today.
While making A New Hope, Lucas needed to create lifelike asteroids for scenes that involved them, and this led to the decision to use potatoes while filming. While not every asteroid in the film is a potato, you can clearly see a few while watching the film. Next time you rewatch the series, be on the lookout for the intergalactic spuds.
11. Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi) Thought It Was Rubbish
Regardless of your taste in film, most people generally seem to love Star Wars. While it may have been considered for nerds once upon a time, the franchise has since transcended stereotypes, and the fact that it continues to reel in billions of dollars in box office revenue and merchandise is indicative of the impact that it has had on the world. Before the film was made, however, there was plenty of skepticism to go around. Sure, Lucas had hit a home run with American Graffiti, but pursuing a project that centers around a soap opera in space was ambitious, to say the least.
Despite giving an excellent performance in the film, legendary performer Alec Guinness didn’t think to highly of the film upon reading the script. He wrote a letter to his friend in which he called the film “fairy-tale rubbish.” Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, and the man who thought little of the film helped make it what it has become today.
10. The Rough Cut Of The Film Was Hated
With 8 films, multiple television shows, a gang of video games, a plethora of novels, and even an Ewok special, it is safe to say that Star Wars is a franchise that has seen and done it all since its debut in 1977. As we mentioned earlier, actor Alec Guinness thought that the film was fairy-tale rubbish when he first read the script, and though A New Hope would end up changing the film industry, the rough cut of the film caused some serious doubt from fellow producers and directors. It is not uncommon for film studios to have early screenings of their films in order to gauge fan reactions, and these screenings showcase films that lack finished effects and overall polish.
When George Lucas screened Star Wars to an audience of his peers, the film was met with plenty of criticism. As the story goes, the crowd was dead silent when the film finished airing. Nevertheless, Lucas went full steam ahead, giving way to the franchise we know and love.
9. R2-D2’s Food Poisoning
Normally, an actor securing a role in a film or television project stems from a solid series of auditions in front of directors and producers of any given project. Sometimes, performers can land roles due to an incredible performance that turned heads when it was viewed for the first time. Rarely, however, do you see an already cast performer land a role due to the original performer coming down with a nasty case of food poisoning.
Warwick Davis was just a child actor when he was cast as an Ewok extra when news broke that R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker had come down with food poisoning. Because of this, Warwick Davis was able to secure the role of R2-D2, and he has since become a beloved member of the Star Wars community. This would ultimately kickstart a successful career for Davis who would wind up landing roles in such projects as Harry Potter, Willow, and Labyrinth.
8. The Fuzzy Slippers
In order to make Star Wars feel like it actually takes place in a galaxy far, far away, George Lucas needed to work diligently to make sure that each facet of his film looked and felt authentic. The costume department, in particular, had a mountain to climb while making the film. They couldn’t just let the performers fly around the galaxy in jeans and shirts, forcing them to design what has since become iconic wardrobe. Their ability to create futuristic-looking attire for civilians and military personnel alike was truly incredible, although one actor on the film took issue with a specific piece of his wardrobe.
Actor Peter Cushing, who was tasked with playing Grand Moff Tarkin, complained about the boots that he was required to wear in the film. He requested to be shot from the waist up and Lucas obliged. While filming, Cushing sported a pair of slippers, and this has since become one of the finest behind-the-scenes secrets from the film.
7. Han Solo’s Evolution
With the impending Han Solo film on the horizon, fans of the franchise are anxious to see another actor in the role of the young Solo. Actor Harrison Ford delivered a string of performances that cemented the character as one of the greatest and most cherished in film history, and expectations are sky high for the upcoming film. The scruffy-looking nerf herder that pilots that fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy has become synonymous with the good-looking bad boy stereotype in film, and this is largely due to Harrison’s performance.
While we have come to know and love Han Solo for who we see on screen, there was once a time when Solo was a green alien. Yes, you read that correctly. The evolution that saw Han become a beloved human started with him as an alien. Thank goodness the decision to make Han Solo human was made because the film just wouldn’t have been the same.
6. Harrison Ford’s Millennium Falcon Episode
While some people look to blow off steam by partying or enjoying some good old-fashioned quiet time, others head down a more destructive path. There is an incredible amount of pressure that is involved with making a movie, and everyone chooses to handle their stress in their own way. Even though it is one of the most beloved ships in all of sci-fi lore, the Millennium Falcon was the focal point of one such stress-relieving session.
It is pretty well-known that Harrison Ford had a rather miserable time making the first trilogy, and he even requested that his character be killed off all those years ago. As it were, Ford once became so aggravated on set that he began to saw apart the Millennium Falcon. The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy was actually made of wood, and Ford decided to blow off some steam by trying to destroy the ship. Thankfully, Mark Hamill was there to put an end to that.
5. The Big Reveal Was Leaked
Considered perhaps the best film in the entire saga, The Empire Strikes Back was a film that packed one heck of a punch. Unlike most films, things end on a total down note for the beloved characters of the franchise. Sure, A New Hope is what got everything started, but The Empire Strikes Back is a masterpiece. Of course, the most recognizable moment of the film came when Darth Vader reveals that he is Luke’s father in what has since become the most misquoted film line of all time. To this day, it continues to shock fans who are watching the series for the first time, and watching reaction videos on YouTube is hilarious.
What most people don’t know is that the actor who played Darth Vader, Dave Prowse, actually spoiled the film during a speech he gave. This caused a huge rift between Prowse and George Lucas, and the duo have yet to patch things up.
4. Revenge Of The Jedi
With the new trilogy in full swing, fans patiently await any shred of news that they can get their hands on while waiting for the next installment to be released. One of the more intriguing pieces of information that is kept under wraps when a new film is in production is the title of the next saga. Fans lost their minds earlier in 2017 when it was announced that the next film’s title would be The Last Jedi. Because Disney has been impressively tight-lipped about it, fan theories have been swirling for months now.
Prior to its release in 1983, the working title for Return of the Jedi was actually Revenge of the Jedi. Despite the initial name, Lucas realized that a Jedi would never commit an act of revenge, giving way to the name that we all know and love. The use of the word revenge would be used for the 2005 film Revenge of the Sith.
3. Yoda’s Name Evolution
Not unlike the overall character evolution of Han Solo, Yoda has had a name evolution of sorts. It is not uncommon for writers to mix things up during the editorial and creative process. Names, places, and even titles of projects can change, usually for the betterment of the project. Once the final draft is complete, the creator has to live with the decisions that were made along the way. And thankfully, for us, George Lucas made some key changes to certain characters. It may be hard to imagine now, but there was once a time when Yoda had an entirely different name.
The earliest drafts of Star Wars refer to Yoda as Buffy, which doesn’t come close to resembling what his name would end up becoming. After Buffy, the character’s name would end up becoming Minch Yoda, bringing us a bit closer to what we know him as now. Eventually, the name of the character would be shortened to Yoda.
2. The Bitter Feud Between C-3PO And R2-D2
On the big screen, droids C-3PO and R2-D2 have a unique relationship that started all those years ago when Anakin Skywalker was just a young man looking to become a Jedi master. The franchise itself has done an incredible job with giving droids their own distinct personality, and they remain a popular fixture in the franchise to this very day. Due to their appearances in the original trilogy, C-3PO and R2-D2 are the most beloved droids to appear in the series, although few know that the actors behind the characters had a backstage beef.
Their bitter feud started during the filming of the original trilogy, and it has yet to cool off after nearly 40 years. On set, incidents as well as scathing words have only added fuel to the fire. The two have taken public jabs at each other, and we don’t see this war of words ending anytime soon.
1. The Infamous Affair
Affairs that end up hitting newsstands quickly become one of the hottest subjects of the year, and media outlets crave this type of drama going down on film sets. We have seen Hollywood affairs dominate headlines for weeks on end, and the most infamous ones continue to be talked about decades after they occur. Although Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford each had their own way of blowing off steam while filming, it turns out that the two characters who fell in love on screen also engaged in an affair while making the franchise. Fans were stoked to see Leia and Han end up together, but few knew what was happening on set.
Ford was significantly older and married when he engaged in his affair with Fisher. She talked about their romance in her autobiography, and it would have a long-lasting impact on the rest of her life. If you ever thought that the two looked awfully cozy on screen, now you know why.
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