The history of the Millenniun Falcon (that hunk of junk)

Nov 8, 2019

falcon in battle millennium star wars

Facts about the Millenium Falcon

I don't care what anyone else says about the matter, Han Solo's ship the Millenium Falcon was the coolest hunk of junk there was in ALL the Star Wars movies, even Luke's awesome X-Wing. 

And that means I have questions about the vessel...

Questions of which I have also conveniently answered myself using the power of Google but let's be clear, the new Han Solo movie is probably going to change the canon immensely given a lot of the below is now considered part of the 'Legends' canon.

Who built the Falcon?

It was manufactured by the Corellian Engineering Corporation in 60 BBY.

How did Lando Calrissian come to own it?

The 'bat ship' fell into the hands of Lando Calrissian after a card game of Sabacc from a gambler called Cix Trouvee. As referred to in Empire Strikes Back, Calrissian went on to lose the ship in another game of Sabacc to Han Solo some years later.

How does the Falcon outrun Imperial fleets so often?

The most famous attribute of Millennium Falcon was her hyperdrive. The Falcon's customized Class 0.5 hyperdrive is twice as fast as Imperial warships.  

The hyperdrive system onboard the Falcon was twice the size of the hyperdrive in a standard YT-1300 freighter. 

Of course, when Han could not maneuver the ship to outrun the bad guys he would pretend to be dumped rubbish or fly through an asteroid field. 

How did Han and Chewbacca meet? Why is Chewie the co-pilot?

The short version is Han saved Chewie's life. Here's the full story of the rescue.

In the Solo movie, Han was thrown into the pit where The Beast was housed. As Chewie and Han fought, Han was able to convince Chewie to join him in a bid for freedom.

What is this Kessel run and parsecs business? Did George Lucas get something wrong?

A Parsec is a measurement of distance not time – so Han was simply making an idle boast to impress Obi-Wan and young Luke about the speed of the Millennium Falcon.

Or was he?

Tie-in books have explained that Han meant he cut down the distance commonly traveled on the Kessel run by flying close to Black Holes that no one else had dared to. If you look closely at Chewbacca in this scene, he does seem a bit skeptical about Han's claim, however!

George Lucas has explained that the remark meant that the Falcon's computer was so advanced that it was able to plot a shorter route through hyperspace than any other ship, and thus travel faster.

The Han Solo movie confirms that the 'cheat' Han did with his crew was to take a shorter distance. 

I heard the Falcon appears in The Revenge of the Sith as a cameo appearance. It this true?

At the beginning of one shot closing in on a docking bay on Coruscant, a YT-1300 freighter is seen flying in to dock. George Lucas has confirmed that it was the Millennium Falcon that was seen and not just some other YT-1300 freighter. 

Obviously, Han had not yet won the ship from Lando and another crew was flying her. 

Here are some more facts about the prequel films.

What does it mean when Han says to Chewie "Punch It!" in Empire?

It means step on the gas bro, shit's about to get heavy and we need to GTFO!!! Han Solo also says 'push it' in the Solo film. There's plenty of movie quotes about the Falcon

What names has the Falcon has had prior to being the Falcon? 

  • Corell's Pride
  • Fickle Flyer
  • Meetyl's Misery
  • Stellar Envoy
  • Jackpot
  • Gone to Pieces

How did George Lucas give the Falcon its name?

A sweet theory is that Millennium Falcon's name was probably inspired by a combination of talking Falcon from The Maltese Falcon film and combining it in a roundabout way with The Eagle spaceship from Space 1999...

Here's some quotes characters in Star Wars have said about the Falcon itself.

If Palpatine is alive, Anakin never bought balance to the Force

Nov 6, 2019
Anakin's shadow of Darth Vader
The Chosen One

Does Anakin fulfill the Prophecy as the Chosen One?

... and if he 'did', did it really happen if the Emperor is still alive?

It was The Phantom Menace that introduced the concept of there being a 'chosen one' who would bring balance to the Force.

Whether this was a necessary addition to the Star Wars canon is a moot point, it happened.

Anakin was considered to be the Chosen One as he was considered by Qui Gon Gin as a 'vergence' in the Force - his Midicholrian count was higher ever measured before.

Perhaps grudgingly, Anakin was accepted to be a Jedi in training by the Jedi Council - on the promise that he was indeed the Chosen One.

But was he?

He left things pretty badly at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

He betrayed the Jedi, killed a few more of them, massacred some Younglings at the Jedi Temple, force choked the woman he loved and he engaged Obi-Wan Kenobi in the most awesome lightsaber duel Star Wars has ever witnessed.

He became wretched and Obi-Wan lamented that Anakin was supposed to be the Chosen One.
  • How could such a betrayal mean Anakin was the Chosen One?
  • So does this mean Vader's son, Luke Skywalker was the Chosen One?
  • After all, he saved the day in a Return of the Jedi?

You better back the horses up Billy - let's have a think about what happened in Jedi.

Luke Skywalker beat his father in the duel, mortally wounding him as he did so.

This led to the Emperor Palpatine raining Force lightning down upon Luke - to which Vader then betrayed The Emperor by throwing him down the pit killing.

This act is considered the moment when Vader brings balance to the Force.

So even though Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and killed all those people including his friend Obi-Wan Kenobi,  he actually was the Chosen One who fulfilled the Prophecy.

It just came about in an extremely roundabout way - it showed the cleverness of the prequels - taking the existing ending of ROTJ and fashioning a grand story around Vader.

It really was good writing by Lucas and Hales.

Don't believe me?

George Lucas has stated unequivocally Anakin was the chosen one:

However, if you want to run a cheeky argument that Anakin didn't fulfill the prophecy you could argue that when he became Darth Vader Anakin ceased to exist (as Obi-Wan put it in Jedi). Thus Vader was the chosen one.

But you could then argue the moment Vader decided to kill the Emperor he was again Anakin so it's a moot point really... and consider this - when Vader throws Emperor Palpatine down the pit, listen carefully - the Jedi motif is briefly played - signaling that yes, Vader is now Anakin.

At the end of the day, you could argue that Luke helps Vader bring balance to the Force - it was his belief in his Father that drove him after all...


The new Rise of Skywalker however muddies the waters on this one. If Palpatine didn't die, then Anakin didn't bring back the balance to the Force when he though him in the pit.

Could it be then that if Rey is the one that finally ends the reign of Darth Sidius that she is the one how finally brings balance to the Force?

How each plan hatched by a hero in The Empire Strikes Back failed

Nov 4, 2019
luke kissed by leia after shot

The Empire Strikes Back serves as the bridge episode of the original Star Wars trilogy.

It's the movie where the bad guys win. 

It's the part of the hero's journey where they find things not going to plan.

The monomyth

They suffer some adversity and a lot of heartbreak.

And boy, does Luke, Leia and Han sure suffer a little bit of adversity on their way through the movie.

Many of the plans or actions they embark on fail to some degree or other. It's deliberately set so the success of Return of the Jedi will be hard won, but earned.

Here's some of the failures of our favourite power trio:

  • Leia decided that the Rebels should hide on ice Planet Hoth. Vader finds them and then carves them up a bit with his attack. 
  • Han, Leia and Chewie escape Hoth on the Millennium Falcon only to find that the ship's hyperdrive is broken.  This necessitates Han flying into  into the asteroid field which then results in our heroes nearly being eaten by the giant space slug.
  • Later, Han cleverly uses the Imperial's space junk garbage to hide in open space but he's matched by Boba Fett who also knew that trick. Fett is able to get to Bespin with Vader before Han arrives.
  • Han's whole 'fall in love with Leia thing' didn't go so well for a time. 
  • Indeed Han's idea to run to Lando to lay low for a bit falls over when Lando sells him out. Not that he had much of a choice. 
  • Afer Han is iced by Vader, Leia tries to rescue Han with Chewie and Lando in tow but Boba Fett is able to safely escape in Slave. 
  • Luke, on his own 'heroes journey' faces Vader despite being warned not to by Master Yoda. He's attempting to save his his friends but cannot. Luke fails to convince his father to not be the second most baddest guy in the universe and loses his arm for his trouble

At least he gained a dad?

  • Perhaps amusingly Vader's own plan to convince Luke to join him and overthrow the Emperor and rule the galaxy together is a big flop. 

Luke did have some success bringing down an AT-AT Walker though, we'll give him that!

This post was totally inspired by this tweet!

10 best facts and trivia about The Empire Strikes Back

Mark Hamill and Irvine Kershner discussing movie making
Hamill, R2, and Kershner on the Degobah swamp set

Ten awesome facts about the greatest movie sequel ever

While A New Hope was a great movie, many people consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the greatest of all of the Star War movies. 

It's certainly one of the greatest sequels to a great movie - it's considered to be up there with The Godfather Part II in that sense.

Here's some facts and trivia that when added up helped to make Empire a great movie...
  • Han Solo’s “I know” line in response to Leia’s declaration of love was a 'prepared' adlib by Harrison Ford. It’s become an iconic Star Wars quote and was also used in Jedi. When we say prepared, we mean he didn't simply make it up during filming. It was an off-script idea put to him by Irvin Kershner which was tried and as it worked so well, used. 
  • Boba Fett was first seen in The Empire Strikes Back right? Nope, technically his first appearance was in an animated segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special. It is the only good part of that movie
  • Frank Oz who is the voice for the most famous little green guy in cinema history, Yoda was also the voice of the Muppet’s Miss Piggy. It was because of his talents that he developed with Jim Henson that saw him get the call-up. He also famously did the puppetry. 
  • A very early draft of the script saw Han Solo going in search of his Father-In-Law, Ovan Marekal, who has political ties with Lord Vader. Luke Skywalker flies to the 'Bog' Planet where he meets a frog-like Jedi named Minch, who teaches him the ways of the force. That's right, Yoda was frog-like and was going to be called Minch. Can you image it, "But Master Minch, you cannot die!"
  • In the same vein instead of the Empire finding the Rebel's hideout on Hoth, there was to be a Wampa Attack. Indeed, a cutscene that was reference in Empire's trailer featured C3PO removing a sign from a door which he hoped Imperial troops would enter and come face to face with captured Wampa. The Hoth scenes were actually shot in Norway.
  • Empire was the first movie to have a number by its title in the opening credits - V. The original Star War was not called A New Hope or Episode 4, this came later
  • That dude in the Rebel Base to which Han Solo retorts, "Then I'll see you in Hell!"? just before he heads out to find a certain missing Jedi? That's Cliff Clavin from the TV sitcom Cheers and the Pixar movies AKA John Ratzenberger.
  • The classic "The first transport is away!" line was delivered by Mark Hamill.
  • In order to avoid sharing creative rights, George Lucas decided to avoid using a major film studio to finance this film. Instead, he bankrolled the $33 million production himself. And then laughed all the way to the bank to deposit all the money he made. Making it one of the most successful 'independent' films ever. 
  • Three characters lose bits of limbs - the Wampa that attacks Luke, C3PO when shot by the Storm Troopers on Cloud City, and of course Luke's hand to Vader's saber.

11 awesome facts about R2D2 & C3PO

Nov 1, 2019

Trivia about C3PO and R2D2

The droids everyone is looking for are the 'odd couple' of the Star Wars franchise.

One's a cheeky astromech, the other a golden protocol droid who's a stickler for the rules.

R2D2 and C3PO have been there from day one since they were given some secret plans by Princess Leia with a mission to get them to Obi-Wan Kenobi -  in fact they were around when Anakin Skywalker was an idealistic cherub who was into pod racing.

This is to say these androids have had many adventures and given viewers many laughs!

Here's some cool facts and trivia about them, the actors that fit into the tin suits and how they came to be the most heroic robots in the galaxy.
  • George Lucas took a lot of his inspiration from a film called The Hidden Fortress. It featured a pair of bickering sidekicks who served as comic relief and crucially managed to help keep the plot ticking along. Lucas adopted this concept and applied it to the robots. This is quite amusing as it appears in real life that Kenny Baker and R2D2 didn't get on too well - it's well documented that Daniels has been quite vocal about Baker's attitude.
  • Anthony Daniels, who voiced C3P0 and climbed into the tin suit, is the only actor to appear in all 9 Star Wars trilogy films - you may also count The Clone Wars animated film and Rogue One appearances too! 
  • Kenny Baker did not actually film anything for Revenge of the Sith, his parts were a mix of CGI and footage recycled from Attack of the Clones.
  • C3PO's most famous quote is perhaps "I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: let the Wookie win." which pretty much speaks for itself! As a side note, that game between Chewbacca and R2D2 was never finished. When Finn bumps the table in The Force Awakens, it's the same game of Dejarik from A New Hope! That game is also referenced in the Han Solo film. 
  • A lot of people miss it, thinking the C3PO is totally golden but his right knee down is silver. In The Force Awakens, he had a red arm for most of the film. 
  • R2 stands at 96cm tall. 
  • Anthony Daniels is the only actor to have appeared in all the original, prequels and sequels. He also did the cameo in Rogue One, meaning he has appeared in 10 films. Daniels also did voice-over work for The Clone Wars film. 
  • Ralph McQuarrie designed C3PO by taking liberty with the Maschinenmensch the film Metropolis:

  • R2D2 was infamously given the ability to fly in the prequel films which bugged many fans (despite the fun he had on screen). This was rather roughly explained in other fiction that after the Clone Wars the company responsible for the development of his boosters went out of business. When his rocket boosters were damaged they were unable to be repaired.
  • R2D2 and C3PO were snuck into a scene in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark as well as JJ Abrams' two Star Trek films.
  • The characters were so popular they had their own animated television series for a short time and once appeared in episodes of The Muppets and Sesame Street where R2 oddly appeared to fall in love with a fire hydrant!
  • R2D2 served several masters - starting with Padme, Anakin, Bail Organa, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker and for a time, Jabba the Hutt... In the expanded universe R2 accompanies the descendants of Skywalker on many adventures.
  • The two robots are the subject of Obi Wan's most famous quote, "These aren't the droids you're looking for". This line has become a common phrase used to indicate that the issue or matter being discussed is not relevant, often said with a knowing wave of the hand...
  • When Obi-Wan finds General Grievous on the planet Utapau, his first words are, "Hello, there." This is exactly what said when he first met R2-D2 in ANH. It's now a famous internet meme...
  • Fun fact: Anthony Daniels voiced Legolas in Ralph Bakshi's animated film version of The Lord of the Rings. Another fun fact is that Obi-Wan was inspired by Gandalf.
  • Here's some early concept art that focuses on the Cantina scene in A New Hope. Check out  the design of our robots to the left and that green guy in the middle is Gredo, the guy who shot second:

Did you think this was a good list? Here's 101 facts about Star Wars! Or some trivia about the Mandalorian tv show.

Dune's influence on Star Wars

Oct 30, 2019
the effect Dune on A New Hope

How 'Dune' influenced George Lucas' first Star Wars film script

We have covered many times that George Lucas soaked up a thousand different inspirations from books and films that he wove into the grand tapestry of Star Wars.

We've looked at war films, country and westerns,  Akira Kurosawa and even the novels of Edgar Rice Burrows.

We have however always shied away somewhat from Frank Herbert's Dune.

Let's fix that.

Forget that Dune was made into a movie in 1984 by David Lynch, it's the novel that had the influence on Lucas and his development of the original Star Wars script or "Journal of the Whills" as it was once titled.

While there should be no doubt about the influence that it had on Lucas, we cannot find a single article or quote by the man wherein he refers to Dune. But make no mistake, the comparison of some of the ideas in both movies are unmistakable...

Indeed Herbert himself has been said to have jokingly formed the "We’re Too Big to Sue George Lucas Society" when he recognized elements from his own works and many other writers in the film.

And let's be clear, Star Wars does not have the same story as Dune. It took elements and themes and paralleled them but not the direct plot.

If you wanted to be fairly uncharitable you could argue that A New Hope is basically Akiro Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress set on Dune.

Spice Up Your Life

In the first draft of Star Wars, the drug ‘spice’ was very much a central theme of script.

Lucas's first version of Princess Leia was not fleeing from the Empire with the stolen plans for the Death Star but rather, holding a cargo of the drug 'melange' spice...the later script noted Han Solo smuggled of spice...

And let's not forget that young Luke Skywalker once had the belief that his "father didn’t fight in the Clone Wars, he was a navigator on a spice freighter.”

Here's a comparison of some direct lifts and inspirations

princess irulan dune madsen

Dune's influence on A New Hope 

  • Princess Leia’s name is arguably inspired by the Princess Alia.
  • Star Wars features a dry dessert planet called Tatooine. Remind me what kind of planet Arrakis was in Dune?
  • The Jawa sandcrawler Jawas was possibly inspired by the mining vehicles Arakin’s used. 
  • The Skywalker family were moisture farmers in a similar vein as the 'dew collectors’.
  • The 'Jedi Mind Trick' is very similar to how the sisterhood of the Bene Gesserit can use The Voice to influence the actions of others.
  • In ANH, Luke Skywalker practices his lightsaber training against an automated training remote. This seems a direct lift from the part where Princess Alia works on her sword skills against an automated training dummy.
  • Spice mining...

space slug empire dune

The Empire Strikes Back was influenced by Frank Herbert

  • In Empire Strikes Back, the Millennium Falcon just manages to escape from the jaws of giant, space slug that was living in a space asteroid. In Dune, there are giant sandworms a giant one of which causes a bit of similar havoc when one attacks the Duke's vessel. 
  • In ESB, the villain turns out to be hero's father. In Dune, the villain out to be hero's grandfather
  • Alia can connect her mind to her brother Paul Atredies physically. Kinda like what happens when Luke calls out to Leia after he's fought Darth Vader.

jabba inspired by dune emperor

How Return of the Jedi was inspired by Dune

  • Return of the Jedi’s Jabba the Hutt looks like a giant slug with a fat face and arms. This character may have been inspired by The God Emperor of Dune, Leto Atreides the Second who funnily enough was a 15-foot long slug. That novel was published in 1981, two years before the release of ROTJ. We do appreciate that Jabba was originally conceived in ANH as a human.
  • Indeed, a lot of the whole Jabba The Hutt Palace scenes appear to have been inspired by the Children of Dune sequel.
  • The sand desert where the Sarlaac Pit resides is called the Dune Sea
Mortal Engines author Philip Reeve shared his views on Dune influencing Star Wars when he was discussing the definition of 'space opera':

"Star Wars was, of course, a love-letter to the genre, full of motifs which come straight out of pulp fiction and the rockets hips’n’ray guns serials of 1930s cinema.

It also borrows heavily from Frank Herbert’s novel Dune, which I read when I was about twelve, mad about Star Wars and looking for something similar.

I was far too young to get Herbert’s mix of Orientalist fantasy, desert ecology and flaky 1960s mysticism but, as with Star Wars, that combination of swords and starships appealed to me. "

Let's not forget Lawrence of Arabia having an influence on Star Wars

Both Dune and George Lucas were inspired by the story of Lawrence of Arabia which was a spiritual journey of sorts that took place in a desert. Lucas was most definitely inspired by the David Lean movie and use shots from it for both the original and prequels films.

We say this to show that though the book came before the film, they both share common inspirations. Indeed, 19 other movies went into the creation of Star Wars.

Speaking of the Great Bard...

We should acknowledge that a lot of Shakespeare's plays influenced Frank Herbert as he developed Dune - so while many of the family dynamics in Dune and the 'saga' of it all, can be compared and contrasted with Star Wars, one could perhaps argue the driving force of Shakespeare ripples underneath the surface quite strongly in Star Wars regardless of Dune's influence.

Indeed, to dismiss Shakespeare's work as an influence on George Lucas would be a mistake. Though Lucas may not have been directly taking paragraphs out of Shakespeare (unlike which he did for Tolkien!) his admiration of The Forbidden Plant exposed him to what was basically The Tempest set in space. Given Lucas's love of films by Akiro Kurosawa, he most likely saw 'Ran', which was a remake of King Lear!

Shakespeare actually has a lot to answer for - it was his line from Othello that inspired the name of the Mortal Engines novel!

Extra for Experts: 

One: We mentioned above that David Lynch directed the movie version of Dune.

We think it's a pretty good science fiction movie, though a patient watch is needed. You know how things come full circle? George Lucas actually met with Lynch to discuss the possibility of Lynch taking the director's chair for Return of the Jedi! Lynch turned him down which led to Richard Marquand having a crack.

Two: There's a large feeling out there that Lucas was perhaps inspired by the film script of a Dune film that never got made by director Alejandro Jodorowsky. That this version of Dune got so close to being made is the stuff of legend and can be seen in the documentary called 'Jodorowsky's Dune'.

Three: Denis Villeneuve is remaking of Dune. He's well placed to do so following the success of his Blade Runner sequel and the fantastic Arrival. 

The second Mandalorian trailer is out now!

Oct 28, 2019
mandalorian face

They said you were the best in the parsec, would you agree?

We might:

Looks like the Mandalorian is the real deal. 

↠ 27 WTF Star Wars facts

Oct 23, 2019
empire concept art
Luke Skywalker always took his bath time very seriously...

27 random as Star Wars facts that you might not know

Here's some random as nuggets of trivia and facts about the Star Wars movies. As the legend and lore of Lucas's far away galaxy grows, these factoids become even more awesome!

  1. In a New Hope, Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year that the Lucas directed film THX 1138, was set. 
  2. In Return of the Jedi, listen to the music very carefully as Darth Vader picks up the Emperor and throws him down the Death Star shaft. This is the only time the Jedi theme music plays over a shot of Vader, reflecting his return to the light side of the Force and him actually being the Chosen One
  3. Darth Vader was actually the only Star Wars film character to lose an arm three times! And both his legs as well... Obi-Wan Kenobi got 3 of his limbs in Revenge of the Sith! He did have the higher ground after all... Luke followed up with a hander arm sever in Return of Jedi.
  4. The Bantha milk drank by Luke and Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in A New Hope is blue! It's become the stuff of Star Wars legend so much so, it was used in Rogue One as well. 
  5. Anakin Skywalker really is the ‘Chosen one’. While Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi may have thought a mistake had been made in the reading of the prophecy, Anakin was the one who actually killed Sith Lord Palpatine by throwing him down the Death Star’s reactor shaft in Jedi and thus restored balance to the Force. If you pay careful attention to the music when this happens, the Jedi theme plays briefly, perhaps signaling something profound... 
  6. Harrison Ford famously was never intended to be Han Solo, he was just hanging around after American Graffiti and was helping other actors read their lines as Lucas was in the casting process. Eventually, Lucas wised up and realized Harrison already had the part down cold. 
    slave concept art
  7. Princess Leia was subject to one of the most famous ad-libs in cinema history - that being Han Solo's response to her declaration of love - "I know". Harrison Ford apparently made it up at Irvine Kershner's suggestion. Leia got to return the line in Return of Jedi during the Battle of Endor. 
  8. Carrie Fisher appeared in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. This movie was a weird Kevin Smith homage to Star Wars and featured an appearance by Fisher as a nun and Mark Hamill as a parody of himself. Carrie's cameo was the one that got the laughs.... do you follow the good book?
  9. A lot of people forget this but Fisher appeared in the classic movie When Harry met Sally. She was the 'friend' of Sally who ended up marrying Harry’s best friend. See, there is life outside of Star Wars! Fisher also had a cameo in the Blues Brothers!
  10. Carrie Fisher wrote an actual bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and screenplay for the film based on her writing. The book was about her drug addiction and her relationship with her mother. Fisher has managed to parlay her writing talent with a few turns at playing script doctor for a few Hollywood movies, most notably Rene Russo's Outbreak. 
  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. For the prequel film Attack of the Clones, Yoda was performed by Frank Oz. The next two prequels featured a CGI Yoda and the DVD release of Clones saw a CGI version replace the puppet. 
    y-wing concept art
  13. While many think Yoda had Darth Sidious beat in his famous duel in Revenge of the Sith, it was actually Mace Windu, a former student of Yoda who firmly beat the Sith Lord (of course Anakin came in and ruined it all..). 
  14. The original drafts for Star Wars show that the Skywalker family was actually called Starkiller. Indeed the drafts featured a General Starkiller and didn’t focus on the young moisture farmer from Tatooine. His son was called Deak. He eventually became Luke. 
  15. During Revenge of the Sith Bail Organa and Yoda step into the hallway of Organa's ship and have a nice conversation about becoming rebels or something. It's the same ship that Darth Vader boards to capture Princess Leia Organa in the start of A New Hope. 
  16. Does the name “Annikin Starkiller” sound familiar? That's the character's original name for the Skywalker line.
  17. During the assault on the Rebels ice base on Hoth, it is Hamill who speaks the line, “the first transport is away!”. This line is later used as a reference to Star Wars in Mass Effect 3
  18. Carrie Fisher had to stand on a box for most of her scenes with Harrison Ford in the original Star Wars films because she is a foot shorter than him. This was done so the actors would look better in the frame shot together. 
  19. Master Yoda is 66 cm tall. As a comparison, R2D2 stands taller at 96 cm! 
  20. In the very short lived T.V. show Firefly, a model version of Han Solo frozen in carbonite can be seen in many places - the props department would move it around as a running gag. Presumably, this was kind of like how Superman appeared in every episode of Seinfeld
  21. Princess Leia never actually gets to 'meet' Obi-Wan Kenobi. She sees him from afar when she's escaping the Death Star and Obi-Wan is about to let Darth Vader kill him but that's it. Unless you count Obi-Wan being present for her birth in Revenge of the Sith... 
  22. Harrison Ford is the only actor to have appeared in films directed by all three of these directors: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola.
  23. Yoda's original name was 'Minch'. Glad Lucas changed it?
  24. Everyone assumes Luke only appeared in the three original Star Wars films. Think about it for a moment and you’ll realize Skywalker appears as a baby at the end of Revenge of the Sith. He, of course, appeared for 30 seconds in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi making it 6 film appearances. 
  25. In A New Hope, Darth Vader has only 12 minutes of screen time! Talk about screen presence.

How The Force Awakens & Rise of Skywalker used Ralph McQuarrie's concept art

Oct 21, 2019
If there's a name as synonymous with Star Wars that's not an actor or George Lucas, it's Ralph McQuarrie.

He was the first illustrator that George used to bring his ideas to 'life' by way of McQuarrie's exceptional drawing and painting talents. 

Ralph did conceptual art design for all three original films. Star Wars as we know it would be a completely different beast if a different artist was used to draw the Millennium Falcon.

For the Prequel trilogy, a different lead concept designer was used (Doug Chang). However, with the advent of the Star Wars Rebels TV show, Lucasfilm took a look at the original designs McQuarrie did in the past that did not necessarily see the light of day on the silver screen.

This use of McQuarrie's work was continued into the development of The Force Awakens and some of those elements made it on to the screen. Here’s what we’ve noticed as being directly inspired by the works of McQuarrie.

Our favourite is the X-Wing design. Note the split engines!

Here's Poe Dameron posing with his X-Wing:

On the planet Jakku, there’s a opening entrance to the trading post where Rey gets her supplies from. It’s a direct lift from McQuarrie's work - I think this was from the Return of the Jedi design era.

When we first step inside Maz Kanata’s Castle we track a furry looking green tailed fellow:

He’s known as 'X' and was once a suggestion for what the Greedo character in A New Hope could look like:

There's also some more minor examples of costume elements that may have made their way on to Rey's outfit and some Snow Stormtroopers (there were cut from the movie). You could even argue his designs influenced the Star Killer base look.

McQuarrie brought life to R2D2 and C3PO and it was his drawings of them that George Lucas used to help shop his Star Wars stories around the film studios as he attempted to get his space opera made.

That design work has also perhaps helped to inspire the design of BB-8.

Check out an original sketch idea and compare it to the final version of BB8 and decided on that one for yourself!

Extra for Experts 2:

JJ Abrams also use some McQuarrie inspiration for The Rise of Skywalker as well.

The Emperor's new 'throne' was taken from an early sketch design that was never put into production for Return of the Jedi:


31 facts and trivia from The Rise of Skywalker

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!

  1. Emperor Palpatine is back from the supposed dead and played again by Ian McDiarmid
  2. Lando is back and gets to fly the Falcon with Chewie.
  3. 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
  4. BB-8's new friend is called D-0 
  5. Naomi Ackie, is making her Star Wars debut as Jannah. It is speculated that she is the daughter of Lando Calrissain.
  6. 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".
  7. This is the ninth and final Star Wars composed by John Williams. This is an incredible feat. 
  8. 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. Anthony Daniels also becomes the only actor to appear in all the films as Kenny Baker died. 
  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. The beasts the Finn and Jannah ride are called 'orbaks'.
  17. 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:
  18. The Rise of Skywalker is set one year after the events of The Last Jedi. 
  19. Carrie Fisher's scenes as Leia are cuts taken from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi which are mashed up with some clever CGI application. 
  20. Naomi Ackie plays 'Jannah'. Is she Lando's daughter?
  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 - 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
  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 recieves '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. Running at 155 minutes, The Rise of Skywalker is the longest Star Wars film
  31. This film is the only Star Wars film to reference a character's actual name. 
  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

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