46 bits of trivia from The Rise of Skywalker

Mar 16, 2020
millennium falcon from the last jedi

Trivia about The Rise of Skywalker

The Rise of Skywalker is set to close out the Star Wars saga as we know it. Here's some of the production details, facts about the movie and callbacks to the other films! There's some potential spoilers and leaks in here!

  1. Emperor Palpatine is back from the supposed dead and played again by Ian McDiarmid. We suspect that Rey is his grandaughter. 
  2. Carrie Fisher's role following her death was made possible by recycling scenes from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi and using some fancy CGI applications.
  3. BB-8's new friend is called D-0.
  4. Naomi Ackie, is making her Star Wars debut as Jannah. It is speculated that she is the daughter of Lando Calrissain.
  5. The first teaser trailer used the same phrasing as The Phantom Menace did - "Every generation has a legend" was repeated. TPH had the line "Every saga has a beginning" whereas TROS shows its intent with "Every saga has an ending".
  6. This is the ninth and final Star Wars composed by John Williams. This is an incredible feat. 
  7. George Lucas once envisioned that C3PO and R2D2 would be the only characters that feature in every film in the saga - turns out this would be true. 
  8. Anthony Daniels thus also becomes the only actor to appear in all the 9 main saga films.
  9. After George Lucas's 4 director credits in the Skywalker saga, only JJ Abrams will have made more than one film.
  10. Colin Trevorrow was originally hired to direct the film after his success with Jurassic Park but was fired and JJ was asked to come back. 
  11. While the working title of the film was 'trIXie' it was also referred to as Black Diamond for a time in preproduction. 
  12. Keri Russel has a long term working relationship with JJ - she was the star of his show Felicity and had a role in Mission Impossible III which JJ directed. Russel's character is called Zorri Bliss.
  13. This is the first Star Wars trilogy where all three films were released in the same decade.
  14. The first teaser ended with audio of Emperor Palpatine cackling with laughter. Actor Ian McDiarmid did not record a laugh for that, it was used from old recorded audio. McDiarmid obviously plays the resurrected character in the film.
  15. The desert planet featuring the Aki-Aki is known as Pasaana. The scenes for this location were filmed in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.
  16. Lando is back and gets to fly the Falcon with Chewie.
  17. The beasts the Finn and Jannah ride are called 'orbaks'.
  18. While doing promo work for the film, Billy Dee Williams described himself as 'gender fluid'. Though it's complicated, we suspect L3-37 would approve. 
  19. Emperor Palpatine's 'Throne' was inspired by a sketch from Ralph McQuarrie - the artist who did all the original trilogy concept designs for George Lucas:
  20. The Rise of Skywalker is set one year after the events of The Last Jedi. 
  21. Richard Grant plays Allegiant General Pryde.
  22. The snow planet is called Kijimi and is the local for the 'Thieve's Quarter'.
  23. There are six Knights of Ren, other than Kylo.
  24. Rey uses a training remote when training - a clear call back to Luke's use of one in A New Hope.
  25. Kylo Ren's repairing his mask rather than replacing it is a reference to the Japanese art of Kintsugi, also known as Kintsukuroi. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.
  26. The Ghost ship from Rebels makes an appearance with the General Fleet that Lando brings.
  27. In the scene where C3PO has his memory wiped, you can see a Prequel Era Battle Droid in the background. Roger! Roger!
  28. This is the first Star Wars film where Carrie Fisher receives 'top billing'. Post humously at that. 
  29. Wedge Antilles was played by the original actor Dennis Lawson, who perhaps quite improbably is Ewan MacGregor's real-life uncle!
  30. Second fund Wedge trivia moment - he's in the movie! He's part of the assault and says "Nice flying Lando".
  31. Running at 155 minutes, The Rise of Skywalker is the longest Star Wars film
  32. The Death Star II wreckage is not on the 'small moon of Endor" from Return of the Jedi, rather it a different moon called Kef Bir.zorri bliss rise of sky walker
  33. The Aubresh writing on Lando's cain reveals that his full name is "Baron Landonis Balthazar Calrissian III." This is actually just a further confirmation - in the Solo film, L337 refers to Lando directly as Landonis:
  34. This film is the only Star Wars film to reference a character's actual name. But which name? We speculate that Rey, though being a descendant of Palpatine will, reject her heritage and take on the name of Skywalker as a mantle.
  35. Commander D’Acy is one half of the first gay kiss featured in Star Wars. 
  36. That Calamari pilot you saw as part of Poe's fleet? That was Admiral Ackbar's son!
  37. When Kylo Ren becomes Ben Skywalker, Rey gives him Anakin's saber to fight the Knights of Ren - something he wanted for the longest time.
  38. At the celebration on Pasaana C-3PO says it happens once every 42 years. This was the time between the first Star Wars movie to be released in 1977, and this film, the last of the sequel trilogy, released 42 years later.
  39. Director JJ Abrams voices robot D-O.
  40. Babu Fricks workplace featured a collection of old droids - and the 'Bad Robot' robot. This robot could not actually be scene in the final film cut:
    bad robot in babu frick work space
  41. When Ben Solo is once himself again - he does two Han Solo mannerisms 1) he shoots a guard without looking like Han did in The Force Awakens and 2) he shrugs like Han did in Return of the Jedi.
  42. Exogol, the Sith Homeworld, is the opposite of Jedi sanctuary, Ach-to Island.
  43. The  names of the Knights of Ren are Vicrul, Cardo, Ushar, Trudgen, Kuruk, and Ap'Lek. Not that you would know from the film as they do not say a single word. Their ship is called the Night Buzzard.
  44. You may have spied the Tantive IV, Leia's ship from A New Hope. Nien Numb is the current captain. 
  45. It's confirmed that Chewbacca owns the Falcon - note how Finn defers to Chewie when they are being chased by the TIE fighters.
  46. Klaud is a Trodatome, a never  before seen species in the Star Wars universe. 
  47. The creature Rey heals is known as a Vexis. Her act of kindness to this snake like creature was a foreshadowing of her future use of such healing Force powers. 

11 of Star Wars strangest moments

Mar 6, 2020
 concept design rogue one Senna & Lunka

11 strange moments in the Star Wars films

Star Wars has always been able to take itself not too seriously.

Case in point, the conversations the characters have with each other are intended to be 'hokey' like the classic shows of the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers television era.

If C3PO and R2 aren't arguing like an old married couple, Leia was sassing Luke for being a little bit short. 

So here are a few of the strange, odd and wonderful quirks of Star Wars:
  1. Han Solo grabs Princess Leia’s breasts in the middle of the Battle of Endor. He was perhaps checking she was still wearing this. Harrison Ford also pulled a similar movie on the Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back. The scruffy scoundrel... and let's not forget the infamous nipple slip Lucas left in in Jedi. 
  2. When Jango Fett gets into his ship after his fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack of the Clones, he bangs his head on the open door. This was intentional and is a reference to a famous goof from the original movie where a cloned Stormtrooper accidentally bangs his head on a door (the clone being the descendant of Jango Fett and having inherited this character trait).
  3. The Holiday Special. What about that Space Porn Simulation eh? Oddly, things from the Special have influenced films such as Solo and The Mandalorian show! In Solo, Chewbacca's father's name is Attichitcuk, as it was in the Special. 
  4. Why in Jedi does Old Ben say, that boy is our last hope when he already knows that Leia is his brother and then Yoda has to spell it out to him? Did he have no faith in Leia? 
  5. When E.T. characters turns up in The Phantom Menace!
  6. When we learned that R2D2 could fly in Revenge of the Sith. What the heck?? That little trick could have been handy many times in the original trilogy!
  7. When during the Battle of Hoth, the Rebels decided to flee the planet by flying directly into the path of the Imperial Fleet and Vader. Why do this when they could have gone off in any direction and they could have all split up? Weird battle strategy! Extra fun fact: The line 'the first transport is away!" was spoken by Mark Hamill. Nipple cannons indeed
  8. Darth Vader's black suit was actually inspired by Nazi uniforms.
  9. This strange thing nearly happened. The original Rogue squad unit had a giant green alien called Senna and a Lunka. They were paired as a duo but ultimately dropped - they did get as far as being designed - see the above concept art!
  10. In A New Hope, Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in prison cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year that the George Lucas directed cult film THX 1138, was set.
  11. Yoda’s species has never been mentioned. In official records, he is simply an ‘unknown species’. He'll always be Kermit's ugly cousin to us.
  12. Bonus time - The Last Jedi - Luke decides he needs to kill his nephew in a moment of weakness. Say what?
  13. Bonus 2 - There's a robot in Jedi that gets it's feet blasted with red hit metal - and it feels pain? Since when to robots in Star Wars feel pain?

Want more Star Wars trivia? We've got a cantina full of it!

How Tony Gilroy saved Rogue One from Box Office failure

how tony gilory saved rogue one

Rogue One credits Gareth Edwards as the director, and that's how it should be, Gareth was the hand that guided the production, chose what the shots looked like, directed the actors and generally did what all good directors are supposed to do.

Said production became infamous for its reshoots.

These are a very common thing with major scale tentpole film productions and it's no big deal they occur - the director and producers are simply trying to make the best movie they can. In many instances, they are planned and budgeted for, because that's the reality of making movies.

Revenge of the Sith had plenty of re-shoots, no big deal, they made the movie better than the initial cut.  Indeed, the original film's cantina scene, where Han Solo faces off with Greedo, was completely revamped during reshoots.

Something, something Han Shot first.

In Rogue One's case, there was intense scrutiny from the Star Wars fan base so their alarm bells began ringing when they heard of the re-shoots.

During this time Lucasfilm had recognized Rogue One was not working the way they wanted it to. Established filmmaker Tony Gilroy was brought in to assist Gareth Edwards and the production team to wrestle the film into shape. Gilroy had directed a couple of films, most notably Micheal Clayton, for which he was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Script - Tilda Swinton actually nabbed the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) and as a scriptwriter for the Jason Bourne films. 

 As fate now has it, Tony Gilroy is now considered the mastermind behind the reshoots, with some speculation derivatively thrown Edwards way as to him being incompetent and that Tony was effectively a Ghost Director for the film.

That's uncalled for. 

At the end of the day, Gareth Edwards is the director of Star Wars - he shot for example THAT Darth Vader scene which was a reshoot (effectively a new idea that came to light after principal filming had finished).

Tony's work in reshaping the film through the editing process and creating new scenes means he earned a scriptwriting credit and earned his place in Star Wars immortality.

His key contribution is to the climatic ending of the film on Scariff - it wasn't lost on many fans that most of what was in the trailers was missing from the final cut as most of it had been refilmed. From what we gather, the shoots for this part of the film were extensive and a lot of the originally filmed action points were dropped in favour of Gilroy's new ideas.

general merrick rogue one

But let's start with the first trailer, Jyn Erso's cringe line "I rebel" never made the final cut. They probably didn't need Gilroy to decide to cut that!

Saw Guerra's big "What will you become" speech was cut. 

A key change was the placement of three key characters - Director Krennic was featured as being on the beach of Scariff with his awesome cape but it too was cut. Did you see him, Cassian or Jyn fight a desperate battle on the beach? Nope, their story was altered completely.

Here's what Gilory had to say himself about his fix:

“If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue and all the confusion of it and all the smart people and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve,” Gilroy remarked. “Because you sort of go, ‘This is a movie where, folks, just look. Everyone is gonna die.’ So it’s a movie about sacrifice.”

I mean it was always part of the plan to do reshoots,” he said. “We always knew we were coming back somewhere to do stuff. We just didn’t know what it would be until we started sculpting the film in the edit.”

“I saw the purity that was missing and I saw that, at least, in terms of one or two of the characters because who knew how big the fix was gonna be? Who knew what people would do?”

When things pass through many hands and there's a great deal of confusion ... and there's all kinds of accessories and jewelries and bootstraps and zippers, and all the rest of the stuff. The purity for the characters, if it's not there, to begin with, it just deteriorates and just turns into an absolute mush.

two tubes rogue one
Two Tubes

So what does Gilroy think of Star Wars?

"It doesn't appeal to me," he said of making another Star Wars film. "But I don't think Rogue really is a Star Wars movie in many ways. To me, it's a Battle of Britain movie."

YOu'd think from such a statement, he's got no interest in taking part in a Star Wars production ever again, however money talks and Lucasfilm offered him a nice pay to write and direct the new Stars Wars television show featuring Cassian Andor from Rogue One!

The chronological timeline order of the Star Wars movies

Feb 19, 2020
narative timeline of star wars films

What are the Star Wars movie's chronological order?

With all the Star Wars films coming out these days, you could be forgiven for not keeping track of what the chronological order of them is.

Where does the Solo film fit in for example?

Does it come before Rogue One?

And that's a fair question for the casual viewer who hasn't seen either of those films. 

So, here's the list of every single Star Wars film in chronological / narrative order. Which is to say the order they occurred in their time period (a long time ago) and not in the order they were theatrically released. 

We are even going to include the Ewok side stories because we just loved Caravan of Courage as a kid... (hey why is it not on Disney Plus!!)

time line of star wars

1. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

The one where a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-gon Jinn escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who turns about to be the Chosen One.

Fun Fact: "Phantom Menace" was the name of a villain in the "Flash Gordon" comics. This shouldn't surprise too many people as George Lucas has often cited Flash Gordon as one of his inspirations for making the original Star Wars.

there's always a bigger fish

2. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

The one where Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates an assassination attempt on the senator which leads to ... an attack of Clones.

Fun Fact: When Anakin is slaughtering the Tusken Raider in Attack of the Clones, Qui-Gon's voice can be heard in the background yelling "Anakin! Anakin!".

This is no accident as Qui-Gon Jinn's Force-Ghost was trying to stop Anakin's rage but clearly failed.

Qui-Gon also urged Rey to rise up at the end of The Rise of Skywalker.

3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

The one where after the Republic's victory on Christophsis, Anakin and his new apprentice Ashoka Tano must rescue the kidnapped son of Jabba the Hutt.

It was the first official Star Wars cartoon movie released in theatres.

The Clone Wars television show fits in between these two films.

4. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The one where Anakin and Obi-Wan rescue Palpatine from Count Dooku. Anakin is lured into a sinister plan to rule the galaxy by Palpatine, succumbs and becomes Darth Vader.

Fun Fact: The Millennium Falcon is spied landing on Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith. This was prior to Lando or Han Solo owning it!

anakin as a sith

5. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

The second of the Anthology series, the young Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca (and learns his family name) and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion. Marks a Star Wars first where the original actor, Harrison Ford was replaced by Alden Ehrenreich as Solo.

Fun Fact: This was the first Star Wars movie to not mention the word 'Jedi'.

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

The first Anthology film,  Jyn, finds her caught up with the Rebel Alliance in a risky move to steal the Death Star plans in a desperate attempt to prevent the Empire from taking over the universe.

Fun Fact: This is the first Star Wars movie where the title of the movie is said. Bodhi Rook says it, confirming the title of the movie is a call sign.

rogue one team

7. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

The one where Luke Skywalker joins forces with an old Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot who likes to shoot first, a Walking Carpet and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Fun Fact: the original Star Wars soundtrack remains the highest-grossing non-popular music recording of all-time

8. The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978 TV Movie)

The one where it's so bad, it's so bad yet still is technically Star Wars canon. A TV movie featuring the original ANH cast getting up to some wild antics. One for trivia enthusiasts only...

Fun Fact: Chewbacca’s father is named Attichitcuk and his wife is called Mallatobuck. His son Lumpy’s proper name is Lumpawarrump. The name Attichitcuk was referred to in the Solo film.

9. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The one where Luke meets Yoda and his father.

Fun Fact: The classic "The first transport is away!" quote was delivered by Mark Hamill.

luke arm cut off

10. The Ewok Adventure (1984 TV Movie)

The one where Wicket and his friends agree to help two shipwrecked human children, Mace and Cindel, on a quest to find their parents. They have to rescue them from the Gorax:

gorax creature caravan of courage

Fun Fact: Cindel teaches Wicket to speak English which screws up the moment in ROTJ where Leia teaches Wicket to speak English...

11. Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985 TV Movie)

The one where Marauders raid the Ewok village and steal a power supply they believe to be magical. It kinda goes off-piste and there's a wicked witch involved.

Fun Fact: The witch Charal is a Nightsister. The third season of the Clone Wars introduced them as being Sith Witches from the planet Dathomir.

12 Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

The one where Princess Leia walks around in a golden bikini and there's a second Death Star.

Fun Fact: David Lynch was originally offered the chance to direct this episode of the series. He turned it down because he believed it was "Lucas' thing." He went on to direct the Dune movie instead. It's actually really interesting how much Frank Herbert's book influence the original Star Wars script development.

leia slave bikini

We are just going to sneak in here that The Mandalorian show is set 5 years after ROTJ.

13. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

The one where Thirty years after the Empire's defeat, the First Order appears to be looking for Luke. Rey is introduced as the yin to Kylo Ren's yang.

Fun Fact: The Starkiller base name was inspired by that word being the original last name of Luke Skywalker as found in Lucas's original scripting.

14.Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

The one where Luke decides who is really the last Jedi.

Fun Fact: When Luke raps Rey over the knuckles with the plant, that's a call back to when Yoda trained Luke in Empire.

what is chronological order of star wars films

15. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The one where Rey decided who is really the last Jedi.

We've covered the time sequence order of the movies but there's always going to be some conjecture about what order actually watch the movies.

We say watch all of them as you wish, others say the Machete Order is the best way to watch the films.

There as been no word on when the Rian Johnson trilogy will be set. We suspect whenever it is set, it will be very tangential to the Skywalker saga.

Force chokes and strangulation as a theme of Star Wars

Feb 18, 2020
vader choking motti

The first we see of Darth Vader in ANH is him bursting through into the Tantive IV, black Nazi inspired suit and all joining in the shock and awe tactics of his Stormtroopers.

Next thing we know, he's lifted up Captain Antilles by his throat and is choking him, demanding to know where the 'intercepted transmissions' are, thus beginning a theme of strangulation in Star Wars.

Now let's be clear, strangulation in Star Wars is definitely a power play and but its use can have different results on the user and individual on the other end.

When Vader uses it, it's to show strength or to intimidate. And when Luke uses it in Jedi, while it's an intended power movie, it's actually a sign of him dancing too close to the dark side of the Force.

Here's what George Lucas actually said in an interview about the theme in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine:

RS: One of Vader's favorite ways of dispatching people is by strangulation. Is that because of his inability to breathe without the iron lung?

"Well, it's a bigger metaphor than that. Strangulation is always a theme. Life is breath. It's a powerful idea in Buddhism: Cutting off life is cutting off breath. The road to the Force is through the breath. Impotency is cutting off hands and legs and arms. That's a theme too."

Let's examine the context of some of the classic choking examples in Star Wars.

Admiral Motti learns the full power of the Force

Even though Captain Antilles of the Tantive IV may have claim to fame as being the first person on screen to have had their oxygen supply cut off by Vader, it's Admiral Motti who gets the real nod as being the first person to be Force choked by Vader.

What an honor...

Motti believes as an Admiral that he is in a position of strength when he says to Tarkin's man "Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels' hidden fort-...

Vader then gives Motto some gentle retribution in the form of some Force pressure to his throat and gives us the infamous "I find your lack of faith disturbing"

Motti was trying to say "hidden fortress" which is a direct shout out to Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress movie which had a massive influence on the Star Wars plot.

These two moments really set the tone of Vader's character for the rest of the movie.

Rogue One gave us two fabulous choking moments. As Director Krennic visited Vader at his Castle, for his troubles he was choked and Vader quipped:

''Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director", said while he was Force choking the good director.

The second of course when Vader took apart the Rebels as he went for the stolen plans. He Force choked a soldier and flung around like a piece of meat.

Captain Needa has a hard time in Empire when he lost the Millennium Falcon and Jejerrod got a taste of it in a deleted scene in Jedi too:

The deleted scene featured this great exchange between the two:

"Jerjerrod: You may not enter.

Vader begins to choke Jerjerrod

Jerjerrod: it's the Emperor's command!

Vader releases his chock and says: As the Emperor wills.

Jerjerrod: Very good."

Jedi is a good time to think about Luke Skywalker's use of a force choke. 

He does two chokes just as he is entering Jabba the Hutt's palace to Jabba's Gamorrean Guards (the big green pigs). 

Why is a good guy Force choking people? 

It's a pretty aggressive move. Luke is wearing black at this point and it's reasoned he was veering close to the Dark Side and the choking is evidence of that.

Padme and Anakin: Two lovers lost across the stars

There's a clever moment of visual foreshadowing in Attack of the Clones that Anakin will eventually choke his pregnant wife.

anakin choking padme revenge sith

Star Wars Ring Theory expert Mike Klimo spells it out:

'In Attack of the Clones, Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala sit together—in an intimate "fire-lit" alcove—and talk about their growing feelings for each other and the impossibility of sharing a life together.

The pivotal scene is dimly lit and, according to George Lucas on the Clones DVD commentary, "intended to be overly dramatic, almost overly operatic in its emotional intensity." Padme wears a black leather gown, which Star Wars prequel trilogy costume designer Trisha Biggar dubbed the "leather and lace" outfit.

She added: "It was a beautiful gown with a very tight corset and matching gloves." (It’s important to remember that tight-fitting corsets squeeze your ribs and lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe.)

But perhaps most significantly, the outfit, which Lucas himself helped design, also includes a black "choker." So, taken as a whole, the scene’s carefully crafted visuals not only anticipate the choking of Padme, but also what ultimately lies at the end of the road if the star-crossed lovers let their emotions run rampant: the fiery landscape of Mustafar, the loss of life, and a dark leather life-support suit with a device to facilitate breathing.'

So there's that.

As an aside, Attack of the Clones has another moment of foreshadowing when Anakin meets Yoda's class of Younglings.

Speaking of Padme, let's talk about her daughter, Leia in the:

The chocking of Jabba the Hutt by Princess Leia

Princess Leia freeing herself from Jabba's slavery was a strong moment for the character. She famously strangles Jabba with the chains that bound her.

The moment of its plot development is very interesting:

Jabba the Hutt's death scene was inspired by the death of mafia henchman Luca Brasi in The Godfather film. 

Here's an excerpt from "The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi," in which George Lucas, scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan, and director Richard Marquand discuss Jabba's death during a story conference:

"Kasdan: How do you feel about [Leia] being the one that causes Jabba’s death?

Lucas: That I could go for. She could strangle him.
Marquand: With the chain.
Lucas: She jumps around and wraps the chain around him and strangles him. Jabba is kind of a rubber character, so we could have this big, ugly tongue come out, uggghhhh . . . It’s The Godfather.

And as they now say on Tattoine, Jabba the Hutt is sleeping with the fishes!

compare godfather with return jedi choking

It all comes full circle in Revenge of the Sith as Mike Klimo continues to highlight:

"During the duel on Mustafar at the end of Sith, Anakin Skywalker grabs Obi-Wan Kenobi by the throat (with his right hand) and forces him down on a table.

At the start of Star Wars, Sith's corresponding episode in the Star Wars Ring Theory, Darth Vader physically lifts the captain of the Rebel Blockade Runner off the ground by his throat (with his left hand) and chokes him to death."

And this is where it gets weird

Sadly Carrie Fisher is no longer with us, but as a final joke or tipping of the hat to Star Wars, she said this in her memoir, Wishful Drinking:

"Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit — so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra."

Other notable chokes:

Sebula chokes Jar Jar Binks briefly in The Phantom Menace

Vader chokes Admiral Kendal Ozzel in Empire for dropping out of hyperspace in a manner that gave the Rebels the heads up and a chance to flee.

Kylo Ren gets in a force choke or two in the films as well.

What does 'The Rise of Skywalker' mean?

Jan 25, 2020
rise of skywalker

What does 'The Rise of Skywalker' film title mean?

Is it Luke's growth as a Jedi in the Force?

Is it revealed that Rey is a Skywalker and is Luke's son? We think that's a red herring still

Leia's lost daughter?

Or is it a reference to Kylo Ren, being of the Skywalker lineage?

Or maybe the title refers to those who use the Force under Luke's Force Ghost tutelage? Or those that follow his ideology are known as Skywalkers?


It is a little more simple than that.

The Rise of Skywalker ends with Rey, killing her GRANDFATHER, Sheev Palpatine (AKA The Emperor AKA Darth Sidous.

The Skywalker line has ended with the death of Princess Leia and Ben Skywalker.

Rey, who was once 'no one', takes on the mantle of Skywalker as her last name.

One could also argue that Ben climbing out of the pit and in his last act of life, he saved Rey, this was a literal Skywalker rising.

The film finishes with Ray visiting the original Skywalker family moisture farm and burying Leia and Luke's lightsabers.

She is then accosted by a traveller whodemands her name - to with she reveals she has taken on the Skywalker family name - as she does do the Force Ghosts of Luke and Leia overlook, signalling they are happy with her decision to carry the mantle of the Skywalkers.

It's not like Ben Skywalker can eh?

Here's a guide to the meaning of the other Star Wars films.

Who is Jonathan Hales, script writer for Attack of the Clones & how he saved George Lucas

attack of the clones production art Obi Wan and Jango

Johnathan Hales and his role saving the script of Attack of the Clones

Keen eyes may have noticed the name Jonathan Hales as being credited as a script writer on prequel film Attack of the Clones.

While the story was Lucas’, Hales was called in to help with the third draft as time was up – filming was due to start and the script was not yet finished – what a mess!

Hales was tasked with saving the film.

When it was a live site, Secret History of Star Wars noted that Lucas’s first “rough draft - not yet even a proper first draft-was completed in March of 2000 and it was typed up as he was boarding the plane to leave for the studio since production would begin in June.”

Given Lucas was directing and there were pressing production duties, Hales was roped in to help write the finer details of the movie.

He was a writer for Lucas’s Adventures of Young Indiana Jones and clearly had his trust to get the scripting job done.

Production was well advanced and it was in a position that producer Rick McCallum described to as like trying to build a skyscraper without a foundation. Ultimately the final production script was only able to be read by the actors three days before filming!

So what contribution did Hales make? 

The Secret History of Star Wars (now a defunct website) surmised that given Lucas also re-wrote Hales' last polish, his contribution to the script was “tenuous”.

This may not be a fair assessment as Hales did receive a full screenwriter's credit and under the Writers Guild of America screenwriting credit system, a screenwriter must contribute more than 50 percent of an original screenplay or 33 percent of an adaptation to receive credit.

Despite the suggestion of Hale’s work being mere polish (well, if that’s the case, how did he not pick up on the Anakin's sand quote business? Or did he write that line into the script himself?) Lucas must have been happy enough with his contribution to the script as Hales continued to do a fair bit of writing of the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones series.

All this aside, Lucas gave Leigh Brackett a credit for The Empire Strikes Back, despite evidence from Lawrence Kasdan suggesting her work did not contribute materially to the final version of the film.

As an aside, some famous film re-writes or script doctoring moments have gone uncredited including Star War's very own Carrie Fisher as a script doctor for Hook, Sister Act, Lethal Weapon 3 but even Fisher couldn't save Last Action Hero.

In such circumstances, script doctors often deliberately go uncredited, even when they do major work.

But what is this business referred to as script doctoring and why is this discussion suddenly taken place?

To answer the latter, it's an interesting tangent and it gives a good reason to talk more about Star Wars. The first part of the question refers to a scriptwriter taking an existing script and giving it 'another go' with a major restructure or simply tidying up some pacing issues, improving dialogue, fixing scene that wasn't quite working or coming up with a more suitable ending.

Did you ever hear of a scriptwriter called Tom Stoppard?

If you've ever had a cup of tea in his living rooming, you'd have probably noticed his big shiny Oscar gathering a fine layer of dust on the mantlepiece. He won it for a delightful film called Shakespeare in Love.

Tom Stoppard also has a massive connection to George Lucas which fans will be amused to consider.

George Lucas once asked Stoppard to do a  re-write of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - he did the final version of the film but is uncredited - screen writing credit is shared between 5 people but not Stoppard.

Now if we go cast back to Revenge of the Sith, the film turned out a lot different to what was original script - and we're referring to the fall of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force here. As the film was pieced together Lucas felt Anakin's turn was too abrupt and not logical.

Lucas did two sets of extra pick up filming to ensure his new story line of Anakin turning to the dark side of the Force was in response to his need to save Padme's life.

So who helped Lucas get this very late piece of story incorporated into Sith?

It must have been Stoppard who is credited as being the uncredited script writer that saved the film.

This was a secret let out of the bag by Hayden Christiansen in an interview with Playboy.

So there we have it.

A small insight into Hale's work on Attack of the Clones lead us to learning that Carrie Fisher is an actual script doctor herself and that one of the most famous script writers in history, Tom Stoppard helped Lucas with Revenge of the Sith.

Hollywood is clearly a who you know industry!

Rey's leaked concept art has a sweet Return of the Jedi reference

Jan 23, 2020

Do you remember this image above from the end of the Return of the Jedi?

Luke had been dressed in black for most of the film. It was a metaphor for his potential alignment to the Dark Side. He was Force choking Gamorrean Guards after all...not to mention the key offer from Mr Dark Side himself the Emperor to join the Dark Side - at which point he rejects the job offer which the classic quote:

I'm a Jedi, like my father before me.

Here's the video of it.

Post the Emperor's supposed death, we see Luke's costume has come undone after being zapped by Force Lightning, showing he was part of the Light Side of the Force all along.

And now cut to the concept art that was designed for Colin Trevorrow's version of Star Wars which was titled Duel of the Fates (the title is a reference to the musical piece from Revenge of the Sith).

Trevorrow's version was ultimately rejected by Lucasfilm and JJ Abrams was bought back on for another crack at the story which became The Rise of Skywalker.

It features Rey on a Star Destroyer with a double saber blade and - a costume similar to Luke's Jedi outside - with the same open flap:

rey double saber concept art

We think the concept artist did this as a specific nod to Luke's moment in Jedi.

This artwork can be found in 'The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' book.

The concept art book also features this image of R2D2 and C3PO on the planet of Coruscant (which featured in the prequels).

c3po tros concept art colin trevorrow

It strongly reminds me of this scene from Retun of the Jedi - one which was based on a similarly styled shot in the Wizard of Oz:

star wars wizard of oz parallel

Order the Art of The Rise of Skywalker:

Box Office Sales of Star Wars films

Jan 20, 2020
star wars box office ticket sales

How much money has Star Wars made?

When Star Wars was first released in 1977 it had a slow start but then word of mouth spread and suddenly the film was a LITERAL blockbuster.

People were queuing around the block to see the film. It was making ticket sale records by the week.

Back then, you couldn't book tickets to see films on your cell phone, you had to do it the old fashion way and if you wanted to see the film at a peak demand time period, you had to take a place on the sidewalk.

Anyways ticket sales were massive and Star Wars (before it became known as A New Hope) became one of the biggest money-making movies ever.

Collectively, the 12 Star Wars films on this list have a worldwide cume of over 10 billion dollars.

Star Wars Box Office Sales:

Film Title
U.S. Year of Release
Box office grossAll-time ranking
Estimated Budget
U.S. and CanadaOther territoriesWorldwideU.S. and CanadaWorldwide
The Skywalker Saga
Star WarsMay 25, 1977$460,998,507$314,613,557$775,512,0641998$11,000,000
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes BackMay 21, 1980$290,371,960$257,607,494$547,975,06798182$18,000,000
Star Wars: Return of the JediMay 25, 1983$309,306,177$166,040,934$475,306,17782231$32,500,000
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom MenaceMay 19, 1999$474,544,677$552,538,030$1,027,044,6771742$115,000,000
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the ClonesMay 16, 2002$310,676,740$338,859,618$649,436,35880140$115,000,000
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the SithMay 19, 2005$380,270,577$469,765,058$850,035,6354478$113,000,000
Star Wars: The Force AwakensDecember 18, 2015$936,662,225$1,132,561,399$2,068,223,62414$245,000,000
Star Wars: The Last JediDecember 15, 2017$620,181,382$713,358,507$1,333,539,889912$317,000,000
Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerDecember 20, 2019$495,154,801$534,600,000$1,029,754,8011540$275,000,000
Spin-off movies
Star Wars: The Clone WarsAugust 15, 2008$35,161,554$33,121,290$68,282,8442,370$8,500,000
Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryDecember 16, 2016$532,177,324$524,879,949$1,056,057,2731235$265,000,000
Solo: A Star Wars StoryMay 25, 2018$213,767,512$179,157,295$392,924,807189311$300,000,000

Star Wars Box Office Ticket Sales Facts

  • Six months after it's release,  it was the number one box office champion in North American history, having overtaken Steven Speilberg's Jaws in revenue. It held that record until Speilberg's follow up to Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial claimed it back. 
  • If you adjust ticket sale prices for inflation, then Star Wars is the 4th highest-grossing film in history, sitting behind Gone With the Wind, Avatar, and Titanic.
  • Side Fact - Lucas put ET aliens in The Phantom Menance.  
  • When the Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope was released, ticket sales saw it go up to number two on the all time list until Titantic drowned it. 
  • JJ Abram's turn at the helm, The Force Awakens sits at number 10 on the adjusted for inflation list. 
  • That said and even though Avengers Endgame is the current number one box office champ world wide, The Force Awakens is the number one film in the North American market. That's some pretty good mojo eh!
  • 5 Star Wars films have been the highest-grossing films for their release year - the original Original Trilogy films, The Phantom Menace, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi.

Which Star Wars actor has the highest film grosses?

This is a trick question. You would think given the success of his career and his many movie hits, that Harrison Ford would have sold the most tickets when you add up every movie he's been in.

But the Star Wars character that has sold the more tickets than Ford when you add up all the sales of the movies they have been in?


You know that guy in The Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo tells that guy he's "see him in Hell!" When that guy is actually a well known actor called John Ratzenberger.

You may know him as Cliff from the classic comedy show, Cheers.

Your kids might know him as Mr Potatoe Head from Toy Story and just about every single Pixar film. That's right, his voice over work means that he is the Star Wars actor with the highest career box office gross!







The truth is that Mace Windu himself has a higher earnings total than Force - that's right Samuel L Jackson has had more earnings - three Star Wars prequels, a turn as Frozo in The Incredibles and various other big selling tent pole such as a few Avengers films, Spider Man, Captain Marvel et al have it over Harrison Ford.

Ford is actually twelve on the all time list, Jackson 2.

Mark Hamill comes in about number 50 when you add in the recent billion-dollar performance of The Rise of Skywalker and Carrie Fisher 45 (she had a better post Star Wars career than Hamill).

The number one player across all films? It's cameo king Stan Lee who has appeared in most of the Marvel films until his death. 

How Box Office Numbers are calculated 

The nominal value of the ticket price is added multiplied by the number of tickets sold to arrive at the Box Office gross. 

This form of Box Office is thus a measure of success using the current value of a dollar.

An inflation adjusted box office will adjust the current measure to a consistent value of a ticket, removing the effect of inflationary ticket prices. 

The adjusted inflation value can thus give an insight into how popular a film is across generations - and that box office champ is Gone With the Wind. 

One reason to account for this is the time in which is was released it was considered a brilliant film and also that it didn't have to compete in the current movie industry where it would have faced many competitors which meant it was screened forever.

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