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5 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Star Wars

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is set to open on the 18th of December and like you, we can't wait for the latest installment in the series. 7 movies and 37 years since the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977, we bring to you some surprising facts about this galaxy, far, far away.

1. Studios turned down Star Wars because they didn't think it could be a hit

In 1973, George Lucas wanted to make a "Space Opera" - a Western set in outer space  in order to refresh the genre. Turned down by both United Artists and Universal, he eventually got the green light from Alan Ladd Jr. who was then a producer at 20th Century Fox, and Gordon Stulberg, the president of Fox, even though the board of directors didn't agree.

Interestingly enough, the reason Fox said "yes" to Star Wars wasn't because they thought it would be a hit, but rather because they liked George Lucas' previous film, American Graffiti.

The production of the first movie was plagued by difficulties over filming, the story and the budget. It was considered an embarrassment for 20th Century Fox with some whispers from within the studio that the production would be shut down. Thankfully, it never came to that and when Ladd saw the thrill in the audience's eyes and their applause for the film at its first public screening, he was moved to tears.

The unlikely production shot on a $11 million budget, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope went on to gross $775 million worldwide.  

2. The Star Wars Franchise Has Made About $28 Billion So Far (as of Oct 015)


 Interestingly enough, 20th Century Fox allowed George Lucas to forgo an additional $500,000 for directing fees in exchange for keeping licensing and merchandising rights for himself. This decision would go on to cost the studio billions.

Of the $28 Billion of revenue earned so far, only around $4 billion has been from the box office takings, with the bulk of the revenue coming from toys, books, video games and other merchandise.

3. Harrison Ford Wasn't Even Auditioning To Play Hans Solo

Probably the biggest movie star to emerge from Star Wars has been Harrison Ford. From playing Hans Solo  a smuggler, captain of the Millennium Falcon and one of the great rebel leaders in Star Wars, he then went on to play another major character in Indiana Jones.

But it all could have been very different and the world may never have got to know Harrison Ford. In a Reddit AskMeAnything (AMA), Harrison Ford revealed that he was working as a full time carpenter at the time of the auditions for the first movie. George Lucas, who he had worked with on American Graffiti offered him a job to help feed lines for auditioning actors for other characters.

“I had helped George Lucas audition other actors for the principle parts, and with no expectation or indication that I might be considered for the part of Han. I was quite surprised when I was offered the part”, Ford said. 

4. David Fincher worked on "Return of the Jedi"

Okay so at this point you're probably going David, who? Now, you might not recognize his name, but you will definitely recognize some of the movies he's directed. Se7en, Fight Club and more recently, The Social Network and Gone Girl are just some of the cult movies that he has directed.

In 1983, a young David Fincher was hired by George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic as an assistant cameraman where he worked on Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

5. I've Got A Bad Feeling About This...

The phrase, "I've got a bad feeling about this", has been used in all 6 Star Wars movies so far. Will it make an appearance in Episode 7?

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

"I have a bad feeling about this." - As Obi-Wan Kenobi's first line at the beginning when Kenobi talks to Qui-Gon Jinn onboard Saak'ak

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

"I've got a bad feeling about this." - Anakin Skywalker at Geonosis in the arena, in reference to the approaching execution beasts

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

"Oh, I have a bad feeling about this." - Obi-Wan Kenobi talking to Anakin Skywalker as their starfighters approach a large, closing blast door on Invisible Hand

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

"I have a very bad feeling about this."- Luke Skywalker, when the Millennium Falcon approaches the Death Star

"I got a bad feeling about this." - Han Solo, before the walls of the trash compactor start to close in

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

"I have a bad feeling about this." - Princess Leia, while inside the belly of the space slug, just before the mynocks appear

Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi

"R2, I have a bad feeling about this." - C-3PO, when entering Jabba the Hutt's palace

"I have a really bad feeling about this." - Han Solo, after the Ewoks start the preparations to roast him, Luke & Chewbacca


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