fun & games
Did you know that “Star Wars” almost didn't happen because Universal Studios turned it down? Or that Harrison Ford was an unknown actor working as a carpenter when George Lucas chose him to play Han Solo? Or that Luke Skywalker’s original name was Luke Starkiller? Here are some fascinating facts about “Star Wars”, one of the highest-grossing sci-fi film series in history:
• R2-D2 was named after a technician from “American Graffiti” asked Lucas to hand him “R2-D2” (Reel number 2, Dialogue track number 2).
• The small actor hiding in R2-D2 is named Kenny Baker, who is less than four- feet tall!
• It took three different actors to portray Darth Vader: David Prowse (height: 6 foot, seven inches), James Earl Jones (voice) and Sebastian Shaw (face).
• Chewbacca’s name is inspired by the name of Chebika City, in Tunisia, near the place where the Tatooine scenes were shot.
• C-3PO was inspired by a robot character in Alex Raymond’s science fiction novel, “Iron Men of Mongo”. Raymond’s robot was a copper-colored, polite robot who was shaped like a man and worked as a servant. Lucas intended that C-3PO and R2-D2 be a space-aged Laurel and Hardy team.
• When dedicating to “Star Wars” fans, Mark Hamill wrote “Follow the Force”, and Harrison Ford, less serious, wrote “Force yourself”.
• Sounds for the light sabers where recorded by moving a microphone next to a TV set!
• In 1996, 37 percent of the toys sold in the U.S. were “Star Wars” products.
• Lucas got his idea for Obi-Wan Kenobi and “The Force” after reading Carlos Castaneda’s “Tales of Power,” an account of Don Juan, a Mexican-Indian
sorcerer and his experiences with what he called “the life force.”
• “Return of the Jedi” was originally titled “Revenge of the Jedi”, but later
underwent a title change, due to the fact that, according to Lucas, “A Jedi would never take revenge.”
• During the famous asteroid scene in “The Empire Strikes Back”, one of the deadly, hurtling asteroids is actually…a potato!