Star Wars: Episode IV became an undisputed classic when it was released in 1977, and four decades on it’s still widely regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made.
It’s been forty years after Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo all made their big screen debuts in A New Hope, changing the face of sci-fi cinema forever.
For most people, A New Hope remains the original and best movie in the franchise – before Jar Jar Binks came along and screwed the whole thing up for a while.
In celebration of the film’s legacy, check out 5 incredible facts about Episode IV below:
Darth Vader is one of the greatest villains in cinema history, and despite only appearing in the film for a total of 12 minutes, he was absolutely central to the movie’s planning. In fact, Darth Vader was the very first character thought up by George Lucas, and he worked the rest of the story to fit around him. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo were all just plot devices to build a story around the legendary baddie.
It’s hard to believe after seeing the massive budgets on the new Star Wars movies, but the original movie didn’t have huge amounts of money to burn onscreen. In fact, there was just one suit available for Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew to use during filming, and it allegedly got pretty wiffy after heavy use. In fact, the suit supposedly retained a terrible smell for weeks after it was used in the trash-compactor scene. We wouldn’t fancy co-piloting the Millenium Falcon with Chewy after that…
He communications through a series of bleeps a boops in the movies, but R2-D2 actually spoke English in the original scripts. Some of his lines were pretty explicit. The sweary lines of dialogue were actually filmed, and while the dialogue was removed, most of C-3PO’s reactions were kept in the final cut of the movie.
It went on to be one of the biggest films ever, but no-one had great hopes for the movie before it was released. In fact, George Lucas himself had little faith in the project, and decided to go on holiday to Hawaii with Steven Spielberg. It’s thought that the pair came up with the idea for Raiders Of The Lost Ark during the trip.
One of the biggest characters in sci-fi history nearly went under a different name, as Mark Hamill’s character was originally called Luke Starkiller. He was called this in the preliminary shooting script, before it eventually changed to Skywalker. We’re glad it did – Starkiller just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
So there you have it – 5 crazy facts about Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Many Bothans died to bring us this information…