A new Star Wars film is about to be released, much to the glee of kids and adult nerds everywhere. Yet there is a great disturbance in the Force. You sense that you may not know everything about Star Wars, and that just won’t do when debating with others at trivia night. You need to up your nerdichlorian count for the next big Jedi mind battle while waiting in line to see The Force Awakens for the 9th time (you really do need to get out more), so here are a few tidbits to impress friends from Hoth to Alderaan.
Wookie Of The Year – Think your coat is warm? Well, in the original Star Wars Chewbacca’s outfit was made from knitted yak, goat, and rabbit hair. No word on whether the evil do-gooders from planet PETA used their protest lasers to attack Kashyyyk, the Wookie homeworld.
Ch-Ch-Changes – You probably know Luke’s original last name was supposed to be Starkiller. But did you know Han Solo was originally supposed to be a large green reptilian-ish guy with gills? Speaking of Han, Kurt Russell, Christopher Walken, and Martin Sheen all tested for the role before Harrison Ford landed the part. Oh, and Yoda was originally going to be played by a monkey wearing a mask and holding a cane. As he would have said – “A good movie that does not turn out to be”.
Ewok This Way – Those lovable, furry annoying creatures are actually speaking a combination of Tibetan and Nepalese. Also, the word ‘Ewok’ isn’t ever actually spoken in Return Of The Jedi. And finally, the songs the Ewoks sing had lyrics written by the lead singer of Toto, Joseph Williams. His dad? Composer John Williams.
Props, Brah – Some items used in a galaxy far, far away were made from items closer to home. Han Solo’s blaster is an old German Mauser pistol, ornamented with different space thingies for camouflage, just as the Stormtrooper sidearm is a made-up British Sterling submachine gun. Remember the communicator that Qui-Gon uses in Phantom Menace? It’s actually a Gillette Ladies Sensor Excel Razor. One can only assume it was one smooth way to transmit.
Director’s Chair – George Lucas only directed the original Star Wars. His old college professor, Irvin Kirshner, directed The Empire Strikes Back, and Richard Marquand directed Return Of The Jedi. Lucas wanted his buddy Steven Spielberg to direct Jedi, but he declined. Lucas also asked David Lynch to helm the third film in the trilogy but was rebuffed yet again. Alas, the only twin peaks in Return Of The Jedi were found in Leia’s slave bikini outfit.