With Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, set to hit the big screen later in 2015, fans new and old seem to be coming out of the woodwork with anecdotes and factoids about the Star Wars franchise. Everyone seems to have a piece of little-known information to wow friends and family these days. Of course, a beloved movie franchise with a history as long and complex as Star Wars will have collected quite a few myths by this point, and sometimes separating the fact from fiction can be tricky, even for the most dedicated of fans. Think you know everything there is to know about Star Wars? Check your knowledge against the common myths and facts below!
Actually, the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, was produced by independent film producer, Gary Kurtz, as was part of the second movie, Empire Strikes Back. Kurtz left late in production, though the reasons why are still unclear.
Not quite a myth! After attempting and failing to purchase the rights to Flash Gordon in 1971, the idea for "The Star Wars" was born. Star Wars was originally intended to be somewhat of a Flash-Gordon-type sci-fi space opera, and evolved from there into the movies we all know and love today. The finished film still owes much to those moved loved serials from George's childhood (as does the Indiana Jones films).
While comparisons between the two films are undeniable, the similarities are general and relatively generic themes that are common to pretty much any action-adventure of the time. If you read all of the Star Wars versions, you'll notice a progressive story with dynamic characters that change a lot throughout the story. While we won't deny that The Hidden Fortress may have served as part of the inspiration behind Star Wars, the movies were certainly not written to mimic Kurasawa's work.
This is a common myth that's been around for a while. While many fans believe (or would like to believe) that Lucas actually directed the film, the fact is that Marquand did the directing. There were plenty of technical aspects of filming that were beyond Marquand's expertise, which did lead to a few problems on the set, but the Return of the Jedi we all know and love would not be what it is without the work of one Richard Marquand.
This widely-believed rumor speculates that Hammil's "rearranged face" made the creation of the Wampa necessary. However, while it is true that Hammil was injured shortly before the filming of The Empire Strikes Back, no special writing or accommodations were made to account for Hammil's face injuries. They did, however, film only one side of Hammil's face for an entire scene after he suffered a black eye following the Dianoga attack in the trash compactor.
This is a huge point of contention among avid Star Wars fans, but it also happens to be true. While many people believe the episode numbers were added later on, once the newer Star Wars trilogy was in the works, Lucas actually did intend to number the original episodes (IV, V, VI), until Fox shot the idea down, claiming it would only serve to confuse audiences. Which is funny, because that's exactly what happened years later, when the new trilogy hit the scene.