50 Interesting Facts about Star Wars – Part 2

For part 1 of 100 Little Known Facts About Star Wars, click here.

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1Princess Leia

Princess Leia's hair in Star Wars was inspired by women of the Mexican revolution.


2. In "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back", Han Solo's "I know" reply, when Princess Leia professed her love to him, was improvised by Harrison Ford on the spot, as he felt that the original line ("I love you too") doesn't effectively suit Han's characterization.


3. In the now-defunct Star Wars Expanded Universe, Chewbacca owes a life-debt to Han Solo because Han refused an order from the Imperial Navy to skin the Wookiee as punishment for commandeering a ship full of slaves. Han is dishonorably discharged for his insubordination.


4. Han Solo was supposed to die in Return of the Jedi. George Lucas was afraid that would affect toy sales, so he changed it to an Ewok party.


5. When Han Solo said he did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs he was not trying to describe how fast his ship was going. Instead, he was bragging that he had done a shorter route of the Kessel Run. He did this by going closer to a black hole than most dared to go.


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6BB-8

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as BB-8 flees the massacre of the Jakku village near the beginning of the film, a very obvious puppet alien pops its head out of the sand to look at him. According to J.J. Abrams, everyone knew how bad it looked, but decided to keep it in any way, because they thought it was cute. The puppet alien also says "ko ji ma" as a reference to video game Director Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid video game series.


7. The reason Han Solo was frozen in carbonite in Empire is because George Lucas wasn't sure if Harrison Ford would come back for the next film.


8. X-Wing Blue Squadron makes its debut in The Force Awakens. In the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Luke Skywalker was originally supposed to fly with Blue Squadron, but the blue markings on the starfighters proved to be difficult to film against bluescreens, so it was changed to Red Squadron.


9. The crowds of the pod races in Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace were half a million painted q-tips. With a blowing fan underneath the model stands, the q-tips would move around like a live crowd.


10. In Star Wars, Yoda's unusual speaking style is maintained in the Estonian dubs of the movie, where it is grammatically correct.


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11Jar Jar Binks

Not only is Jar Jar Binks one of the most hated characters in the Star Wars franchise, but he is also one of the most hated characters in the history of film.


12. The characterization of Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars saga as an ambitious and ruthless politician dismantling a democratic republic to achieve supreme power is in part inspired by Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Adolf Hitler. Other elements of the character come from the American president Richard Nixon.


13. The design of Kylo Ren's repaired mask is possibly based on kintsugi, a centuries-old Japanese art to repair broken pottery by joining them together with golden lacquer, giving the fractures a unique golden pattern. In Japanese culture, the kintsugi technique also stands for highlighting imperfections and giving new life to a broken object, which may be symbolic for the character: By repairing his mask, he attempts to revive his Kylo Ren persona, despite the failures he had endured in his past.


14. The "vocalizations" for Chewbacca were inspired by a sad walrus in an emptied out pool.


15. The name of Yoda's race and the home world is never mentioned in any film, book, or media. He is officially said to be of a "species unknown."


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16Tatooine

The desert planet of Tatooine in Star Wars was originally meant to be a jungle planet. One of the producers found sites in the Philippines but thought director George Lucas would be "itchy" from all of the filming in the jungle, so Lucas decided to make Tatooine a desert planet.


17. The communicator used by Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace is actually a Gillette Sensor Excel women's razor.


18. Chewbacca had a nephew named Lowbacca, who was a Jedi and used a bronze-colored lightsaber.


19. The sound of Darth Vader mask's respiratory function is trademarked in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under Trademark #77419252 and is officially described in the documentation as "The sound of rhythmic mechanical human breathing created by breathing through a scuba tank regulator."


20. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s home planet is called "Stewjon" because Jon Stewart asked George Lucas what it was and Lucas made it that as a joke.


21Yoda

In The Phantom Menace, Yoda has three toes. But in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, he has four.


22. In the Brazilian translation of Star Wars, Count Dooku's name was changed to Dookan because in Portuguese “Dooku” can be roughly translated to “from the ass” or even “of the ass.”


23. Jabba The Hutt puppet was 2,000 lbs, took 3 months to build, 3 men to operate, and cost half a million dollars to construct.


24. In the Galactic Senate scene, when Queen Amidala is asking for a vote of no confidence, and the whole Senate is on their feet shouting, in the lower-left corner you can see that there are E.T. species (as in movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)). George Lucas included them as a tribute to his long-time friend, Steven Spielberg, as well as showing them existing in the same universe.


25. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey continues the tradition of disparaging the Millennium Falcon when she calls it "garbage". In the original trilogy, Luke called the Millennium Falcon a "piece of junk", and Leia referred to it as a "bucket of bolts."

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