ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

When it comes to Star Wars, my massive over-enthusiasm for all things set in a galaxy far, far away has taken me all over the internet, roaming for tidbits of information about the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. After all, if you've already played Knights of the Old Republic through for the fifth time, and rebuilt that Lego Millennium Falcon for a sixth, you need something to do.

Sometimes, though, there are even more intriguing (to a Star Wars geek, anyhow) things floating around out there - things that have to do with the original trilogy, no less...

I mean, really - what could be more interesting than all the weird stuff that happened on the set of freakin' Star Wars?

My personal favorites?

George Lucas Came Up With THAT Twist Really Late

So, Y'know that whole iconic scene where Darth Vader tells Luke that he's his father? Almost didn't make it into the film.

As it turns out, the early plan for The Empire Strikes Back that Lucas was working on in 1977 had no reference to Anakin being Luke's father. Instead they focused on his having a secret Jedi-trained twin sister, hidden across the galaxy, named Nellith. The two were, it seems, set to team up in a later movie to fight their father's killer - Darth Vader - together. And in the meantime, Luke would be trained on the spirit of his father, Anakin.

It wasn't until the script's second draft in 1978 that the iconic plot twist found its way in - and our childhoods were changed forever.

Luke Skywalker and Han Solo Were Best Buds

Or, rather, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford reportedly became super-close pretty much right away - even faster than their on-screen characters did.

As Mark Hamill put it in his recent Reddit AMA:

Well I'd seen him in American Graffiti, and I did the screen tests with him. We just fell into our character roles. Luke idolizes Han Solo, it was such a great role because Hans was the cynic, he was the modern role in this fairly tale. It was just the right element in the stew for all the cynics in the audience.
I just thought Harrison was fantastic, so perfect for the part. We fell into the role of mentor/student. they couldn't have made a better choice, and he can do no wrong. He's got a great sense of humor, it was fun to try to make him laugh.

The pair also reportedly spent most of the time on set fooling around - except when Alec Guinness, a.k.a. Obi Wan, was around. Then, they were apparently model professionals...

I mean, who wouldn't be?
I mean, who wouldn't be?

Which explains a lot, if you ask me...

...Though That Didn't Mean Hamill Told Ford About THAT Same Twist

After all, as Hamill reminds us, it was a pretty damned close secret...

"Irvin Kirshner brought me aside, and said "I know this, George knows this, and you'll be the third person who knows. If it goes out we'll know you leaked it." So I was terrified of being the one to ruin it. I remember when they screened it, Harrison turned around and said "I didn't know that! Why the f*&^ didn't you tell me?!"

Which, incidentally, totally makes me love Harrison Ford even more...

The Opening of A New Hope Was Almost VERY Different

As Mark Hamill puts it, Luke Skywalker was going to have been introduced to audiences in a very different way:

"There was a scene at the beginning of the first movie that was cut out. When you're first introduced to Mark he's on the farm and he sees the Robots, when R2 and C3PO eject he races to the club, and you see what his life is like on Tatooine. This beautiful actress calls him wormy. I loved it [because] you saw that he wasn't well liked by his peers, and he bumps into Garrick Hagon, and Luke is really excited bc he has joined the empire, and Luke is so anxious to get off the farm and find his lot in life. He's thrilled that Biggs has joined the Empire, and feels as soon as he'd get the chance he'd join the rebel alliance. this shows that Luke is apolitical, and joining the empire is even attractive to him.
They changed to get to the plot faster, so now it goes straight to the 4th scene. The only place you can see it is the novelization of the screen play."

Or, if you prefer, right here...

And, of course...

Han Solo's Classic Line to Princess Leia?

Y'know the one - where, after she says she loves him, and he responds "I Know."

That line?

Totally improvised...

Which mostly just makes it even more awesome...

What about you guys, though?

What are your favorite Star Wars On-Set Secrets? Let us know below!


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