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In celebration of its 30th episode, #5facts compiled 30 facts about legendary science fiction movie saga Star Wars. If you’ve ever wanted to expand your knowledge of light sabers, Ewok languages and what goes on behind the scenes, this will stuff your brain with trivia about that famous galaxy far, far away.
Special thanks to the musicians who lent their tracks to this video, including the Beantown Swing Orchestra, Estraadiraadio and Coyote Kisses.
How many of these Star Wars facts do you know? Even the most dedicated Jedi might be surprised at what goes on in the Galactic Empire.
1. Yoda was almost played by a monkey.
According to the book The Making of Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler, George Lucas originally planned for Yoda to be played by an adorable monkey wearing a mask and carrying a cane.
2. “Ewok” was never spoken in the original trilogy.
The word “Ewok” is never uttered by a character in the original trilogy. Although, the species is identified in the script and closing credits.
3. Boba Fett’s face is actually visible in the original movies.
You may think you never see Boba Fett’s face in the original trilogy, but the actor who played Fett, Jeremy Bulloch, did stand in for an Imperial officer at the last minute.
4. “I have a bad feeling about this” became a running gag for the franchise.
The phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” or “I have a very bad feeling about this” is said in every Star Wars movie.
5. Return of the Jedi almost had a very different ending.
In a story development session for Return of the Jedi, George Lucas toyed with the idea that after Luke removes dying Vader’s helmet, he puts it on, proclaims “Now I am Vader” and turns to the dark side.
6. ‘N Sync nearly had a cameo in Attack of the Clones.
Boy band ‘N Sync made a cameo in Attack of the Clones at the request of George Lucas’ daughter. They were edited out of the final cut. Bye, bye, bye, Justin Timberlake.
7. Yoda has no determined species.
Yoda’s species has never been named. A mystery, it is.
8. Yoda is not a Muppet.
Legendary Muppeteer Frank Oz voiced Yoda and Jim Henson oversaw his creation, but he was built by a member of Lucasfilm. So don’t expect to see him at Kermit’s holiday party.
9. Depending on what movie you’re watching, Yoda has a different number of toes.
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.
10. There are no female fighter pilots in the original trilogy.
Even though female fighter pilots were in the original screenplay, they were removed from final cut.
11. Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey share almost the exact same production crew.
George Lucas admired Stanley Kubrik, and when he set out to make Star Wars, he hired so many people who worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey that the group was referred to as “The Class of 2001.”
12. The Star Wars prequels used computer animation to create legions of Clone Troopers
No physical suit of armor was ever built for the Clone Troopers in the prequels. Every single Clone Trooper was computer animated.
13. Qui-Gon Jinn used a Gillette razor for his communicator.
In Episode 1, the personal communicator used by Qui-Gon Jinn is actually made from a resin cast of a Gillette Ladies Sensor Excell Razor. Now that’s smooth.
14. E.T. was in The Phantom Menace — sort of.
The alien race of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial makes an appearance in Episode I: The Phantom Menace — officially connecting the worlds of Lucas and Spielberg sci-fi. A senator and his delegation from planet Brodo Asogi are present in the Grand Convocation Chamber when Queen Amidala calls for a vote of no confidence.
15. Ewoks speak Tibetan.
The Ewok language is a combination of Tibetan and Nepalese.
16. David Lynch passed on directing Jedi.
Acclaimed film director David Lynch passed when George Lucas asked him to direct Return of the Jedi.
17. Darth Vader is banned from all official Star Wars events.
David Prowse, the actor who portrayed Darth Vader (in form, not voice), is banned from attending official Star Wars conventions because George Lucas finds him annoying.
18. The sound of a TIE fighter engine is actually an elephant.
The sound of a TIE Fighter engine was created by combining an elephant bellow and a car driving on wet pavement.
19. Chewbacca’s voice is an eclectic mix of other animals.
Chewbacca’s voice is a mix of bears, walruses, lions, badgers and other dying animals.
20. The lightsaber noise comes from the familiar hum of an old television.
The noise a lightsaber makes is created by combining the hum of an old television’s picture tube and the buzz of a film projector’s motor.
21. You can use Star Wars collectible coins as real money.
The tiny South Pacific island of Niue accepts limited edition Star Wars collectible coins as legal tender.
22. Liam Neeson was too tall for Star Wars.
The sets for The Phantom Menace were only as tall as the actors, but they didn’t account for 6’4″ Liam Neeson. They had to rebuild all the door frames for Qui-Gon Jinn, which racked up an additional $150,000 in production costs.
23. There are enough fan tribute videos to recreate A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.
There are shot-for-shot re-creations of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back made entirely of campy fan tribute videos.
24. Jabba the Hut was originally meant to be furry.
Originally, Jabba the Hut was not conceived as a grimy slug, but as a fuzzy creature.
25. George Lucas left the Directors Guild because of A New Hope.
George Lucas paid a fine and resigned from the Directors Guild rather than start Episode IV with a traditional credit sequence.
26. The iconic opening credits were created in an unorthodox way.
Filmmakers used a physical crawl to shoot the opening credits in the original films.
27. Harrison Ford almost wasn’t Han Solo.
Burt Reynolds was among the top contenders to play Han Solo, along with Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Christopher Walken.
28. Empire Strikes Back uses the most stop-motion animation.
Of all the films in the franchise, Empire utilizes the most stop-motion animation.
29. Cliff Clavin makes a cameo in Empire.
Cheers and Toy Story actor John Ratzenberger has a brief appearance in Empire Strikes Back. He’s the one who tells Han not to go out into the cold to look for Luke. Then he sits down for a beer with Norm.
30. Han Solo almost died at the end of Jedi.
Gary Kurtz, the original producer of Return of the Jedi, said that in the early story outline, Han Solo dies and the Rebel forces are left in tatters, with Luke disappearing into the wilderness. But George Lucas thought killing off main characters would hurt toy sales, so he changed the ending to a big Ewok party.
This Facts are compiled by Andrea Romano and published in Mashable.