Star Wars – Ten facts you may not have known

May the Force be with you, again!

2015 is certainly is a year for the big movie franchise comebacks and, another blockbuster that will hit cinemas this year is the latest edition of the Stars Wars saga; “Star Wars; The Force Awakens”. The seventh in the series of Star Movies, Star Wars 7 will see some familiar faces return to the screen as Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill all reprise their roles of Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. The film, which is scheduled for release, just in time for Christmas 2015, on 18th December 2015 is expected to earn over $500m on its opening and, possibly, $2 billion in total. Now that’s certainly a force to be reckoned with! Here are ten little known facts about Star Wars that you may not have heard before.

1. The Chewbacca character was inspired by a shaggy dog
No surprise here really, but George Lucas got his inspiration for Chewbacca and his fellow Wookiees from his pet dog. Apparently he got the idea when was watching his drive off in a car with their pet Alaskan malamute next to her.

2. Darth Vader was two different people
In the original Star Wars trilogy, the body of Darth Vader was played by British Body builder Dave Prowse, who, for those British readers who are old enough to remember, was also the Green Cross Man. The Voice of Darth Vader, though, was the voice of the actor, James Earl Jones.

3. Luke Skywalker nearly became Darth Vader
George Lucas did consider a surprise, twist ending to Star Wars at one stage. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Lucas had envisioned Luke Skywalker taking off the helmet of Darth Vader, putting it on himself, and turning the Dark Side. He changed his mind because the ending was too dark for the children that the film was targeted at.

4. Yoda was nearly a monkey
Not all of George Lucas’s ideas were so great. At one stage, it has been reported that Lucas was going to use a trained monkey, carrying a walking stick to play the part of Yoda. Thankfully, though, sense prevailed and Yoda was created by the Muppets man, Jim Henson. The voice of Yoda was that of Frank Oz, why also gave the voice to Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear in The Muppet Show.

5. ET made an appearance in Star Wars; The Phantom Menace
Members of the ET’s alien race made a brief cameo appearance in Star Wars; The Phantom Menace. This was George Lucas, returning a favour to Steven Spielberg, who had included Yoda and some Star Wars toys in his movie” ET: The Extra Terrestrial”

6. Liam Neeson’s height cost the Stars Wars team an extra  $150,000
When they built the sets for “The Phantom Menace”, they built them to accommodate the actor’s heights. They hadn’t, though, banked on Qui-Gon Jinn, played by Liam Neeson, and his height of 6’4”. All the doors on the set had to be rebuilt to allow the tall actor to pass through without having to bend his neck, at a reported total cost $150,000.

7. Han Solo was originally going to die
In an original storyline for “Return of the Jedi” the character of Han Solo was going to be killed off at the end. George Lucas decided otherwise, because he thought that killing off Solo would also kill off sales of Star Wars Toys.

8. Carrie Fisher had to hide her breasts
When playing Princess Leia, actress Carrie Fisher had her boobs strapped down with gaffer tape because the costumes were designed to be worn without any underwear underneath and the producers didn’t want too much of Fishers figure to be on show .

9. Harrison Ford wasn’t first chic to play Han Solo
There were quite a lot of well-known actors that were considered for the part of Han Solo in Star Wars, before Harrison Ford was finally chosen. Included in the front runners for the part were; Jack Nicholson, Burt Reynolds and Al Pacino.

10. How many toes does Yoda have?
The Jedi Master, Yoda, seems to have a bit of problem with his toes and the number of them varies, depending on which of the Star Wars movies you are watching. In Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back and, Revenge of the Sith, he has four, but in The Phantom Menace, he only has three.

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