Nerdsgiving is upon us! That’s right, friends, as we geeks say: “May the Fourth Be with You.” Here at Tubi TV, we’re celebrating Star Wars Day with fascinating facts about the Star Wars movies and fandom. From the bizarre to the touching, step up your nerd knowledge with these 20 things you didn’t know about Star Wars.
1. The first reference to May 4th and Star Wars happened on May 4th, 1979. Margaret Thatcher became the United Kingdom’s prime minister that day and her Conservative party congratulated her with an ad in the newspaper The London Evening News that said, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
2. Anthony Daniels would often trip and fall over the Ewoks actors during filming for Return of the Jedi, because he could only see straight ahead in the C-3PO costume.
4. George Lucas’ birthday is May 14, and each of the first six Star Wars films (The original trilogy IV, V, VI, as well as the prequels I, II, and III) was released the week after his birthday.
5. Peter Cushing (the actor who played Grand Moff Tarkin) was so uncomfortable in his costume boots that he wore slippers during many of his scenes, and insisted his feet just never be in the shots.
6. Many of the buildings constructed to be used in shots of Tatooine are still standing in Tunisia, and some of them are still inhabited by locals.
7. The character Luke Skywalker was originally going to be named Luke Starkiller, and the name was used right up until shooting began. Since the name was never actually mentioned, it was easily changed to Skywalker.
9. At one point, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi was going to be called “Revenge of the Jedi” and there were actually trailers and posters produced with the original title.
10. Tupac Shakur actually auditioned for the role of Mace Windu. We missed out on something great there.
11. He’s not the only musician who was eager to hop on the Star Wars train. The members of NSYNC made a cameo in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, since George Lucas’ daughters were apparently huge fans. Unfortunately for fans of the group, the scene was cut from the final version of the film.
12. Lucasfilm has someone on staff whose sole job is just to maintain the complicated Star Wars canon.
13. The famous reveal of the father and son relationship between Vader and Luke in The Empire Strikes Back is often misquoted as, “Luke, I am your father.” The line is actually, “No, I am your father.”
14. Acclaimed film director David Lynch passed when George Lucas asked him to direct Return of the Jedi.
15. James Earl Jones famously provided the voice for Darth Vader. But he didn’t do the famous breathing effect. This was done by Ben Burt, by placing a microphone inside the mouth piece of a breathing apparatus and recording it being used.
16. The communicator Qui-Gon Jinn uses is actually an altered Gillete Sensor Excel women’s razor.
18. Jodie Foster was considered for the role of Princess Leia, according to Carrie Fisher.
19. Princess Leia was subject to one of the most famous ad libs in cinema history: Han Solo’s response to her declaration of love with “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.
20. Stunt doubles were not used for the scene in which Luke and Leia swing to safety. She and Mark Hamill performed that stunt themselves, shooting it in just one take.
Star Wars is a huge franchise that’s been beloved by fans for decades, so there’s no way that 20 facts can cover everything thing there is to know about the world’s most famous space opera. What’s your favorite bit of Star Wars trivia? Who’s your favorite character? If this list has put you in the mood to binge more sci-fi goodness, you can watch free science fiction and fantasy movies streaming free on Tubi TV. May the Fourth Be With You!