With the celebration of 'May the Fourth' here are some fun facts that you may not have known about the Star Wars movies
Harrison Ford was cast as Han Solo by Accident
Lucas had been looking for unknown faces that he had never worked with before, and initially brought in Harrison Ford- who appeared in his movie American Graffiti -to feed lines to the auditioning actors. He liked Ford's delivery so much that he caved and gave him the part.
Oh, and Han shot first.
Orson Wells was almost Darth Vader
Lucas originally wanted him as the voice, but dropped the idea as he thought he would be too recognizable
The famous opening crawl was actually done with practical effects
They carefully placed 2-foot-wide die cut yellow letter over a 6-foot-long black paper background and the camera made a slow pass over them to mimic the crawl. It took 3 hours to shoot.
Luke and Leia's swing across the chasm was real
Production couldn't afford stunt doubles, so Mark and Carrie were harnessed and swung across the platform 30 feet above the studio floor in one take.
Yoda was originally named 'Buffy'
In early drafts of the screenplay, Yoda's name was actually Buffy. It was then changed to the full name 'Minch Yoda' before being shortened to just plain Yoda.
Vader's reveal was kept a secret from nearly everyone
With false pages in the script, no one knew that Vader was actually Luke's dad except Lucas and two others. Mark was told moments before the first take, and the actor that was playing Vader in the suit would say "Obi-Wan killed your father.", while Mark reacted the way that he did. The lines were added later when James Earl Jones recorded his lines.
Han Solo was supposed to die
Harrison Ford only had a contract for two movies, and wanted to be killed off because he felt as though there was no where left for his character to go. Lucas disagreed, wanting him to come back and have a happy ending in the third movie with all the main characters making it out alive.
They wanted someone famous for the unmasking of Darth Vader
Sebastian Shaw was a theater actor, writer and appeared in movies before taking up the role of Anakin Skywalker.
The series almost ended very differently
After Vader dies, Lucas proposed that Luke would take the mask off of Vader and puts it on himself saying, "Now I am Vader."
Lucas decided that he wanted a happy ending and the idea was scrapped.
Theaters initially didn't want to show the movie
Hard to imagine now, with the fourth of May practically being a national holiday, but less than 40 theaters initially agreed to book showings of 'Star Wars' after the initial release day was moved to Memorial day as the studio thought it would bomb if it were a summer blockbuster.
Fox was releasing another movie around the same time called The Other Side of Midnight and said that any theater showing it must also show Star Wars. As this act is actually illegal, Fox ended up being fined $25,000 after forcing the theaters to show the movies.
No matter what, Star Wars will always be a classic.
May the force be with you.