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

Feb 4, 2021

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.

How many Academy Awards have Star Wars films won?

Jan 29, 2021
Ben Burtt Academy Award win Star Wars
Ben Burt, C3PO and Mark Hamill

What number of Oscars did Star Wars win?

You don't necessarily think of Star Wars films as being Academy Award winners but they are.

When Star Wars was released in 1977 it was not just the moviegoers that loved it, the critical reception was positive so when it came to Oscar seasons, Star Wars actually got 10 nominations and won 7.

That's right A New Hope won 7 Oscars, an incredible achievement for a science fiction film.

George Lucas got a director's gong nod and Alec Guinness famously actually won the best-supporting actor's nomination for his efforts as the fatherly Obi-Wan Kenobi however neither won the award. 

The movie also failed to win Best Picture and Best Script.

Star Wars: A New Hope won Oscars for:
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Sound
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Effects, Visual Effects
  • Best Music, Original Score by composer John Williams (he went on to score all 9 main Saga Films). 
So Star Wars: A New Hope won 6 Oscars in total.

A key fact is that the person who won the gong for Film editing, was George Lucas's wife, Marcia Lucas. The tale of editing Star Wars is actually quite the story and Marcia is credited by those in the know as a key part of the success of the film. 

By the time Empire rolled around, Lucas and film director Irvine Kershner had some issues with the Directors Guild of America so it would seem these issues contributed to a lack of nominations, or perhaps the business had got over the sensation of Star Wars and was not so star struck. 
  • The Empire Strikes back won a gong for Best Sound.
  • Return of Jedi won a special achievement award for Visual Effects. 
While the awards dried up, the innovations that Lucasfilm came up with during production had a long and lasting effect on Hollywood and paved the way for many other movie makers which is probably the most rewarding thing for Lucas.

So in total Star Wars movies have won 8 Oscars, 7 being real ones.

Other worthy awards won include a Golden Globe for John Williams' score and a BAFTA for Best Sound.

The Phantom Menace was nominated for three awards:

  • Oscar Best Sound - Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Shawn Murphy, John Midgley
  • Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing - Ben Burtt, Tom Bellfort
  • Best Effects, Visual Effects - John Knoll, Dennis Muren, Scott Squires, Rob Coleman

The Attack of the Clones was nominated for one Oscar:

  • Best Visual Effects - Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll, Ben Snow

Revenge of the Sith was nominated for one Academy award:

  • Achievement in Makeup - Dave Elsey, Nikki Gooley

The Force Awakens was nominated for five awards:

  • Film Editing – Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey
  • Original Score – John Williams 
  • Visual Effects – Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould
  • Sound Editing – Matthew Wood and David Acord 
  • Sound Mixing – Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson 

Rogue One was nominated for two Oscars:

  • Sound Mixing - David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson
  • Visual Effects - John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal T. Hickel, Neil Corbould

The Last Jedi was nominated for four Academy Awards:

  • Original Score – John Williams 
  • Visual Effects – Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, and Neal Scanlan
  • Sound Editing – Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce
  • Sound Mixing – Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, and Michael Semanick 

Solo: A Star Wars story was nominated for a single gong:

  • Best Visual Effects - Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy

Rise of Skywalker was nominated for three Academy Awards and won zero.

  • Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
  • Best Achievement in Visual Effects
  • Best Achievement in Sound Editing

How many times does Leia kiss Luke and Han in Star Wars?

Jan 15, 2021
What number of times do Han and Leia kiss?
I know.

How many times does Leia kiss Luke and Han in Star Wars?

You might think this is an odd question to ask but there's a famous kiss in The Empire Strikes Back between Leia and Luke where Leia tries to make Han jealous or envious.

Luke seems to love it...

The revelation that Leia is Luke's sister in Return of the Jedi makes that kiss seem kinda gross but hey, since we are thinking about the issue, let's count the kisses!

A New Hope

Three kisses for Luke - one for luck when they cross over the ravine trench by rope, and one when Luke returns from have successfully blown up the Death Star. The third is again for luck before he leaves to attack the Death Star.

for luck kiss gif

No kissy kissy for Han Solo.

The Empire Strikes Back

han solo kisses princess leia

Bear in mind the conversation Luke and Han have after they escape from the Death Star in ANH - Luke sways Han away from thinking that Han could ever have a relationship with her as he appears to like her himself...

Two for Luke - Han, and Leia are squabbling in Luke's recovery room and to make a point she gives Luke a quite passionate kiss - one that makes Luke feel pretty happy with himself and one that makes Han jealous:

luke and leia kiss star wars empire strikes

After Luke is safely on the Falcon after he has just fought Darth Vader, she gives him a sweet kiss of affection as he lies in the sick bay.

Han and Leia do kiss passionately for the first time on board the Falcon after they escape the attack on Hoth base. Han also gets a further two kisses from Leia, the famous one being just as he tells her "I know":

i know kiss empire

Leia's kiss Return of the Jedi - now let's move it fly boy

return of the jedi kiss

Han gets a kiss when Leia frees him from the carbonite block at Jabba's Palace and two more when they reunite at the Ewok village.

He gets another two when Leia lets him know she's Luke's brother.

That means Leia kisses Han five times in Jedi.

The Force Awakens

Han and Leia do not kiss but they embrace lovingly when they are reunited.

The Last Jedi

'Fake out' Luke finally speaks with his sister after many years of self imposed exile. They have a touching conversation at the end which Luke gives Leia a brief kiss on her forehead.

So the final tally is Leia gives her brother Luke 5 kisses and Han Solo got 8.

Watch the kissing here:

But if the question is how many times is Han Solo kissed in Star Wars, you have to add the one that Qi'ra gave him in the Solo prequel movie which makes it 9.

Let's not also forget the famous poster for The Empire Strikes Back which was modeled on Gone With the Wind:

gone with the wind poster comparison to empire strikes back

And if we are counting how many times Ben Solo kissed Rey, it was one...

Why are there photos of Luke with a bandage on his face from The Empire Strikes Back?

Jan 14, 2021
Lawrence Kasdan on the set of Empire with Hamill
Face... off!

Why is there a picture of Luke Skywalker a bandage on his face from The Empire Strikes Back?

We came across this cool picture on Star Wars' Instagram page.

It’s Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of Empire and Jedi (and The Force Awakens and Solo) inspecting the bandage material on Mark Hamill’s face.

This is from the scene at the end of Empire where Luke is recovering from his assault by Darth Vader.

The images of Hamill being covered in bandages were eventually not included in the final version of Empire.

As an aside, it has been suggested this bandage scene was designed to accommodate Mark Hamill's face being re-arranged following a car accident however, that myth has been busted.

And anyway if it were true, you would need to explain the change at the start of the movie, not the end (queue the Wampa attack rumours....). 

The scene was originally intended to allow and Leia have an intimate conversation that leads them toward a kiss but before they are able to do so, R2-D2 and C-3PO enter.

But what kind of kiss?

A loving one leading to a budding romance or two friends who’ve been through some trauma hugging it out?

Obviously, that could have muddled things up with the whole Leia loves Han thing so it makes sense the scene was edited in the way it was released – original script ideas did, however, have a great love triangle between the three main players.

Indeed, the second draft of Empire had lines like Vader addressing Luke in this manner “You're in love with Leia. You don't want to lose her to Han Solo... But you will, if you lack the courage to use the strength that's in you. A strength as great as mine, Luke”.

Go figure but remember, “I know” ultimately became one of Star Wars’ best ever lines.

5 myths about Star Wars (and the actual truth behind them)

Jan 10, 2021
wampa from Empire Strikes Back
Excuse me, do you have any gum?

5 myths about the Star Wars movies

A film franchise with such a long history as Star Wars is sure to have acquired a few myths and urban legends about the development and production of the films.

Here are 5 myths that are now forever debunked!

Myth: George Lucas actually directed Return of the Jedi instead of Richard Marquand

The absolute reality is that Marquand directed Jedi.

Which is not to say it was a smooth process. It was speculated that due to many of the technical elements of product Marquand was out of his depth and this caused several issues.

It has even been whispered that Lucas asked the Director's Guild of America to get himself a directing credit for Jedi.

This seems fanciful however as Lucas had a famous falling out with that group! In reality, Marquand was the director of the film and was clearly very crucial to some very successful elements of it!

This myth is kind of like the one how Steven Speilberg directed Poltergeist instead of Tobe Hooper.

Myth - George Lucas secretly filmed a horror film Blue Harvest but never released it

Blue Harvest was the working / filming title of Return of the Jedi.

It was so named as to try and put off of the now fervent fans who might otherwise have visited the film sets and let some secrets out of the bag.

The film production was heavily into the joke and lots of caps and t-shirts were made to put people off.

blue harvest logo
The 'official' logo, note the Star Wars font!
While it was rumored that Lucas wanted to actually make a horror film with the Blue Harvest name, no filming ever took place.

The name has since become the stuff of legend - so much so that the Family Guy Stars Wars spoof was named for it.

Myth - Splinter of the Mind's Eye was the scripted sequel to A New Hope

The book ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’ was commissioned by Lucas as a potential sequel to Star Wars. The myth is that the novel was written based on a script written by George Lucas. There was no written script at all -  Alan Dean Foster was writing the novelization of Star Wars and also the second book.

He was as simply instructed by Lucas to write the book based on some ideas and film treatments that George threw at him.

Lucas could then turn it into a film script down the line if he so chose. The reality is that when Star Wars 'went global' Lucas changed gears and the sequel script was first drafted by Leigh Bracket, which after her death from cancer, Lucas refined further with help from Lawrence Kasdan. 

Interesting side note - the novel was interesting in that Luke cuts off Vader's arm with a saber in the climax, an action which became common theme in the Star Wars movies.

Myth - The Wampa was created to allow for Luke's rearranged face after a car accident

Mark Hamill was injured prior to the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. This is fact. The myth is that due to his face being rearranged, Lucas had to re-write the Hoth events to include the Wampa attacking Luke to account for his injury. The truth is that no accommodations were made for Hamill’s face.

He did apparently get a black eye when filming the famous 'Dianoga' attack in the Trash Compactor' scene from A New Hope which meant he was filmed from one side only for the rest shooting that scene.

Myth - Lucas had 12 films all mapped out before the first Star Wars was released

handwritten plan for star wars episodes
That’s the legend but the mythology of it has grown over the years.

The nutshell is that Lucas wrote a great deal of material when he was developing his little sci-fi adventure.

Based around the so-called “Journal of Whills”, Lucas script eventually was cut up and Star Wars as we know it was filmed.

It was not until Empire Strikes Back came out that the term Episode 5 was mentioned officially. 

Lucas’s grand vision was actually pieced together over several years in very broad strokes.

The 12 or 9 films as most people know of were never fully scripted but were largely imaginings of Lucas that were eventually firmly realized well after 1977.

The story about the novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye effectively confirms this.

And this handwritten vision by George totally proves it (to the right). Indeed he had A New Hope at 6. 

Side note: The Whills were eventually referenced in Rogue One.

Bonus Myth: Darth Vader's name was not a clue he was Luke's father

There's a persistent myth that some fans like to spread the Vader's name is a clue to Luke's heritage. The truth is Lucas did not have the idea to do this until he and Kasdan had been through a few iterations of the script - and crucial to this point, the first draft written by Leigh Bracket made no mention of it.

The story probably started due to people taking the Dutch word of vader which means father and crossing the two together. Fine in theory, a myth in practice.

So there you have it, some Star Wars myths and the truth behind them. It's amazing how much history Star Wars really has!

Extra for Experts:

15 cool facts and trivia about actress Carrie Fisher

Jan 4, 2021
young princess leia slave bikini long pose
A young Carrie Fisher in Jedi

15 great facts and trivia about actress Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia is one of the quintessential Star Wars characters, one of the so-called 'Big 3' characters. 

Every epic adventure needs a princess to be rescued and Leia was that damsel in distress.

Or was she?

Carrie Fisher became one of Hollywood’s more interesting creatures. 

Made a worldwide star by Star Wars, her private life has maintained her legendary status amongst the fans, what with her coke addiction and mental health challenges. 

Add in the marriage to singer Paul Simon, her affair with Harrison Ford, and of course, her role in the classic movie, The Blues Brothers, her star and fame shone brightly.

leia slave girl jedi

So given Leia is Carrie and Carrie is Leia, here’s 15 facts and trivia about the actress and character.

  • Princess Leia never actually gets to 'meet' Obi-Wan Kenobi in ANH. 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...
  • Legend has it that Carrie Fisher had a massive drug problem during the filming of Return of the Jedi. Cocaine was apparently her powder of choice. In Jedi you can see she wears an extra long fingernail which is just a perfect instrument to assist with the distribution of nose candy up the nose.
  • Carrie Fisher has spoken many times of her struggles with bipolar disorder. You wouldn't wish this on any anybody. Watch this interview she did with the great Steven Fry. It gives a frightening context in how she struggled with this illness.
  • 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 Jedi during the Battle of Endor. After Han Solo grabbed her breast...
  • According to Fisher in her novel, The Princess Diarist, she and Harrison Ford had a three-month long fling during the making of A New Hope. Harrison was married at the time. 
  • Carrie Fisher appeared as a nun 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 you follow the good book?
  • 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.
  • Carrie Fisher wrote an actual bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and screenplay for the film based on her writing.  In some Holywood circles, she was considered an excellent script doctor. 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 Dustin Hoffman's Outbreak. Her appearance in Scream 3 was apparently scripted by herself. Beauty and brains eh?
  • Speaking of mothers, Carrie Fisher's mother is actually a famous actress in her own right, Debbie Reynolds
  • Fisher was once married to one half of Simon and Garfunkel. It was Simon.
  • Fisher delivered some classic quotes:
    • Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope
    • Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.
    • Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
    • Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder. 
    • I'd just as soon kiss a Wookie!
  • If you asked the average Star Wars fan what was Leia’s home world, they would be correct in answering the planet Alderaan and they could go to the head of the class. If you asked the hardest core fan, they might also quickly add that Leia and Luke were actually born at a medical facility on Polissa Massa – if you’ve seen Revenge of the Sith you might recall that is where Obi-Wan Kenobi took the injured Padme for medical assistance.
  • Leia's character has her own musical theme titled "Princess Leia's Theme". It is represented by the musical leitmotif method which is famously used across the films. The piece was composed by John Williams and was used several times. It first appeared in A New Hope, heard when Princess Leia is captured by the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Later, it surfaces as R2-D2 plays her holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The also theme plays when Kenobi is killed by Vader and it makes an appearance in the credits of the movie. It also is used in the two follow up movies and the Revenge of the Sith prequel when her adoptive father Bail Organa introduces her to her adoptive mother. 
  • Leia's golden metal bikini that she wore while strangling the slug Jabba the Hutt in Return of Jedi is perhaps one of the most famous bikini in the history of bikinis. Its iconic status in film history is perhaps only rivaled by Ursula Andress’s exit from the beach in James Bond’s Dr No. Many women (and the odd male!)  like to dress as Leia and attend conventions dressed in the bikini. Bless. Bless them all…
  • 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. The Force Awakens took this even further and used the number as Finn's designated Stormtrooper number FN2187.
  • Leia says the last line of the movie Rogue One "What Is It They've Sent Us? Hope." It's a clever set up for the title of A New Hope and ties in thematically well. In saying this last line, that takes Leia's tally of saying the final line of a Star Wars movie to three - the other two being The Force Awakens and Return of the Jedi.
  • The Rise of Skywalker was Carrie's last Star Wars movie, meaning she did 6 performances as Leia while the character appeared in a total of eight Star Wars films (Remember the Revenge of the Sith appearances as a baby and the brief CGI cameo in Rogue One. 
  • Fisher appeared posthumously in The Rise of Skywalker as Leia. JJ Abrams has worked her into the script by using deleted scenes and out-takes from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi and some CGI magic. 
And there you have it! 

Do you have anything else to add? If so, leave a note in the comments. 

RIP Carrie.

4 subtle moments you may have missed in The Force Awakens

Jan 2, 2021
subtle moments you may have missed in  The Force Awakens

4 subtle moments you may have missed in  The Force Awakens

1. There was something familiar about the Dejarik Board on the Falcon...

"I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: let the Wookie win." - A classic quote indeed. 

Aboard the Millennium Falcon, R2D2 is beating an agitated Chewbacca at Dejarik so C3PO suggests the strategy to placate the hairy goof. That game between the Walk Carpet and The Little Droid that Could was never actually finished.

In The Force Awakens, Finn accidentally turns on the Dejarik board and the game begins exactly where R2D2 and Chewbacca left off!

In the Rise of Skywalker, they go back to this and Poe and Finn conclude Chewbacca is a cheat.

2. Obi Wan calls out to Rey via the Force

During Rey's flash back scene at Maz Kanata's castle, Obi-Wan Kenobi called out to her via the Force:

Rey! These are your first steps

It was very subtle and many people missed it the first time round (including myself).

The internet went bonkers over the revelation from TFA's director JJ Abrams that yes, that was Obi-Wan Kenobi was calling out to Rey and that the voice was that of both actors that have played Kenobi, the younger Ewan McGregor and the older, nominated for an Oscar for his turn at the role, Alec Guiness!

It turns out that Ewan had been called into to record this line of dialogue. Which is pretty cool as he was arguably the best thing about the Prequel Trilogy.

He was the ultimate Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith and his part made Guinesse's turn all the more special when you understand what the character went through.

So how did this happen that Guinness had a line as well as McGregor?

You can thank producer Bryan Burkk for surprising JJ with some dialogue that Guinness had recorded when he said the word 'afraid'.

The sound engineers were able to take the Rey sounding syllable as it was phrased just the way the script needed it. McGregor's words were used for the rest of the line.

3. Rey was always awesome, she didn't suddenly 'become' able to take on a Knight of Ren (but she did have some help...)

When we first met Rey, she is shown crawling and abseiling around the crashed Star Destroyer. She later beats up the two men sent by Unkar Plutt to steal BB-8 from her.  

This subtly demonstrates to the viewer that she can handle herself in a fight, which is handy when she fights the grandson of Darth Vader. 

It should also be no surprise when she goes sneaking around the Star Killer base after she has escaped as she has had practice climbing around the crashed destroyer on Jakku, it was practically her day job after all! 

It's a classic moviemaking trick to show the hero doing something at the start of the movie so it's no surprise when they can do it later on. 

It's the Chekov's gun thinking at play. The subtlety of The Force Awakens is that it's not in your face as much as other movies do.

4. It was not an accident that Han Solo kept using Chewbacca's Bowcaster weapon

When Han died, Chewbacca shot Kylo Ren in anger to avenge Han. What was REALLY happening was the culmination of the movie's running gag of Han Solo using Chewbacca's bowcaster.

The movie made a blunt point that Chewbacca's Bowcaster weapon is very strong. Both Chewie and Han Solo used it to great effect, demonstrating that when hit with it you would be thrown 10 feet from where you stood. And probably be dead.

After Kylo Ren killed Han Solo, Chewie shot Kylo with the bowcaster. He took the full blast to his chest. He didn't take a back step, which demonstrated how strong he was however Chewbacca's shot severely injured him.

The subtlety of this is that it was a deliberately drawn out plot point that leveled the 'playing field' somewhat so that when Rey fought Kylo, she at least would be able to foot it with him for a time...

The blast had left Ren bleeding and as he faced Rey, his blood was spilling onto the snow at his feet.

All those hammy jokes of Han trying out the weapon were a not-so-subtle effort to make the climax of the movie believable.

Did you like that? Star Wars is full of subtle moments. We've got some more:

10 insanely awesome facts about Star Wars

Dec 30, 2020

10 awesome Star Wars film facts that any fly boy should know!

Oh noes it's another damn post on key facts about Star Wars!

But you know you love them!

So here's ten sweet facts about the Star Wars movies that every self respecting fan boy and girl should know.
  • The only characters that appear in all 9 saga films form the most famous robot pairing in history, R2D2 and C3PO - they even did a cameo in Rogue One. Obi_Wan Kenobi makes a solid effort by appearing in 6 movies albeit with two different actors and two appearances as a ghost plus a voice cameo in The Force Awakens and in The Rise of Skywalker.  Our robot duo trump all that as they also appeared in the Star Wars Holiday Special which is technically considered Star Wars cannon! Or is it?
  • The Millenium Falcon has a cameo appearance in Revenge of the Sith. In an all too brief shot it is seen landing on Coruscant. 
  • Return of the Jedi was originally going to be called Revenge of the Jedi. An early idea Geroge Lucas had featured a really dark ending where Luke Skywalker was going to take over the Empire by himself, presumably after killing the Emperor and Lord Vader. 
  • A lot of people cite Mon Mothma as being the only other female in the original Star Wars other than Leia as having a role of any really importance. How everyone forgets loving Aunt Beru. But now we have Jyn and Rey as leads! Any one seen a shint Captain Phasma lately?
  • In early drafts of Star Wars, Luke’s last name was Starkiller and he was a General. Indeed, that was his dad. Luke was an idea that came later. 
  • 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. Technically 2 - Fett first appeared in a street parade! In chronological order, Fett first appears in Attack of the Clones as the son of Jango. Temuera Morrison will play the character in The Book of Boba Fett. 
  • 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 for Empire Strikes Back. He also did the puppetry for that film, the follow up Return of the Jedi and the pretty sweet effort of The Last Jedi.  
  • Return of the Jedi’s Ewoks were originally intended to be a tribe of Wookie, however, it was eventually realized that given Chewbacca could fly the Millennium Falcon, Wookie were not so primitive and thus the entire plot of the Ewok attack on the Shield generator would have seemed nonsense (more so than it was? -Ed). The Ewoks thus came into play for this reason – and also apparently it was thought a lot of kiddie-friendly Ewok teddy bears and associated merchandise could be sold. You saw Caravan of Courage right? The Wookie were eventually seen on their home planet of Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith. 
  • Richard Marquand suggested that Leia should be the one who killed Jabba the Hutt.
  • The Phantom Menace's Darth Maul has a grand total of ten horns on his head.

Did you think this was a good list? Here's 501 bits of trivia about Star Wars! Oh, and some about the Prequels.

The enduring appeal of R2D2 and C-3PO

Dec 29, 2020
r2d2 c3po in TESB

Did you know that R2D2 and C-3PO are the only characters to appear in all 9 Star Wars main trilogy films?

It's actually 10 if you count their appearance in Rogue One and let's not forget C3PO's turn in The Clone Wars movie either...

They've been on their own TV show, starred on the moments and had their tin cans featured on cereal boxes, trading cards and everything in between

What is the reason for their enduring appeal? 

There are many reasons for this but let's begin at the beginning as all stories should.

The Hidden Fortress as an inspiration for the droids

When George Lucas was a film student he was introduced to the films of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. This study proved to have a strong influence on George and Kurosawa's ideas and styles found their way into George's early work.

The film Hidden Fortress has had a key impression on the development of Star Wars when Lucas borrowed that film's concept that the story was told from the point of view of two bumbling peasants.

Lucas converted that idea into the first Star Wars film being told from the point of view, a pair of robots which ultimately became the famous gold and white and blue pairing of R2D2 and C-3PO. 

And just like that those two robots became a staple of the Star Wars diet. Not just there for comedy relief with their fantastic banter and memorable quotes but at times had central roles in helping Luke Skywalker overcome his various challenges.

These aren't the droids you're looking for

these arent the droids looking for

It's about 20 minutes into the movie when Obi-Wan Kenobi utters his immortal quote to the Stormtroopers in Mos Eisley who are looking for our escapees "These aren't the droids you're looking for".

It gave the first real glimpse that there was something extra special about Obi-Wan, was he truly a wizard and not such a crazy old man?

That line has stayed in pop culture for over 40 years now - and it's part of why R2 and Threepio have managed to stay in the Star Wars consciousness.

And being part of the Star Wars family means you stay in the family (until JJ Abrams decides balls of orange and white are better).

 R2D2 was always ready with an insult and C3PO would give it right back

R2 and Threepio argue and fuss over each other almost like an old couple, especially in the original trilogy.

Often they would find themselves in a strange situation and R2D2 would communicate some pithy comment or insult and C3PO would give it right back at him, case in point this classic from the opening scene of A New Hope when they were about to evacuate the Tantive IV with the stolen plans:

"Don't you call me a mindless philosopher you overweight glob of grease!"

The true stuff of friendship!

early prototype of R2D2
George Lucas with an early build of R2D2

Facts and trivia about R2D2 and Golden Rod

  • Despite creating him as Anakin Skywalker, C3PO only shares a brief moment on screen with Darth Vader. In The Empire Strikes Back, when Han is being frozen into carbonite. Vader gives no indication of recognizing his creation but to be fair, protocol droids in his configuration are everywhere.
  • 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. You may not have recognized him?!
  • 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 and then Anakin, Bail Organa, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker and for a time, Jabba the Hutt... 
  • 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 A New Hope.
  • In early script drafts, R2D2's name was simply A-2.
  • R2D2’s height is 96cm tall.

Anthony Daniels and a friend
Anthony Daniels and a friend

The Forbidden Plant also inspired C3PO's creation

Forbidden Planet poster with Robby Robot
This was a movie I had heard of for many years due to it being the origin of one of the more famous robots in science fiction (before R2D2 and C3PO came along!) Robbie the Robot.

Released in 1956 this was one of the first big-budget science fiction films.

Apparently a bit of a commercial flop, it quickly gained cult status with repeat showings and is now considered a classic science fiction movie.

While quaint by today's standards it features strong science fiction themes crossed with star crossed would-be lovers. Some research for this movie reveals that it was loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Robby the Robot is the key take-away. When he first meets the spacemen from Earth, he volunteers that he could speak to them 'I am at your disposal with 187 other languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues'. 

George Lucas probably borrowed this concept for C3PO.

I'm not sure if it's my dirty mind but at one point in the film, Robby cannot be found because he was giving himself an 'oil job' which could have been a lewd joke by the filmmakers. A loose Star Wars connection is that C3PO would later have an oil bath at Luke's farm.

We're off to see Jabba the Hutt! The wonderful Hutt of Tattoine

One of our favourite moments with these two droids is in Return of the Jedi when they are framed on their way towards Jabba's palace:

Notice anything?


How about if we add this?

a new hope wizard of oz reference

Yep, we're pretty sure Lucas and director Richard Marquand used our droids in homage to the Wizard of Oz!

What is the design inspiration of C3PO?

Ralph McQuarrie designed C3PO by taking liberty with the Maschinenmensch the film Metropolis:

Here's an early concept draft:

concept draft of C3po and r2d2

The influence of R2D2 and C3PO on films and culture

The 80s were good for Star Wars and with Lucasfilm pushing hard on the merchandise sales, our driod friends we everywhere. 

Even Steven Speilberg got in on the act and included them on a hieroglyphic in the original Raiders of the Lost Act:

r2d2 c3po indianna jones

Speilberg also managed to sneak in an R2 unit into Close Encounters of the Third Kind which he was making at the same time as Lucas was producing ANH:

r2d2 easter egg in close encounters

Indeed, Lucas and Speilberg famously swapped points on those films so Speilberg has made a tidy sum of money from a film he didn't make! 

JJ Abrams was such a big fan of R2, he also snuck him into his reboot of Star Trek.

Robots also appear to be pretty hard to do as cosplay:

worst c3po cosplay

terrible starwars cosplay

The chronological timeline order of the Star Wars movies

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 and Disney Plus show 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 story adventues 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 - 2020)

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 and ties in neatly to the beginning of the Revenge of the Sith timeline. 

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 hungry 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 Disney Plus show is set 5 years after ROTJ. The Book of Boba Fett is set in the same time frame. Rangers of the New Republic will also play in this time space.

We are not sure where Ashoka fits in at this time.  

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 has 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. We also now know that the film by the guys that did Game of Thrones have left their deal with Lucasfilm and moved onto something with Netflix.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi mini series is moving along into production - it will naturally be set before Rogue One / ANH.

Rogue Squadron is the new stand-alone Star Wars film directed by Patty Jenkins. It has been hinted at but not yet clearly stated that this film will be set POST the events of The Rise of Skywalker. 
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