Things You Didn't Know About The Star Wars Prequels
It took decades, but the Star Wars prequel films were all made, and while they may be divisive among fans, they stand as some of the most important science fiction films ever made. Though it's been decades since the first film in that trilogy was released, there are still small tidbits of information many fans don't already know. After all, some things escape the notice of even the most dedicated fans (or haters).
If you find something here that you didn't know about the Star Wars prequels, make sure to give it an upvote, so the rest of the world will see the most interesting facts even a dedicated Star Wars fan didn't know!
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George Lucas Paid Homage To His Friend, Steven Spielberg
In 1982, Steven Spielberg paid some sci-fi respect to his pal, George Lucas, by having a child appear in a Yoda costume during the trick-or-treat scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It was a polite nod to another titan of the genre, and while it may have taken a long time to come to fruition, Lucas paid his buddy back in kind.
In Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, the Senate chamber reveals a plethora of aliens taking part in the Republic's proceedings. They aren't shown for very long, but one of the Senate delegations consists of members of E.T.'s species.
Of course, that wasn't the first time each director gave a cinematic nod to the other. In Close Encounters of the Third Kind, there's a tiny R2-D2 hanging down from the mothership. Also, R2-D2 and C-3PO are both represented as hieroglyphs in Raiders of the Lost Ark, while the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom takes place in Club Obi Wan. While both men worked on the Indiana Jones films, it was Spielberg who sat in the director's chair.
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You Can Visit Mustafar IRL
The duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin is one of the most significant parts of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and its location has a great deal of importance in Star Wars lore. Most people would probably assume that the lava shown in the movie was CGI, or even that the whole landscape was CGI, but it wasn't - at least, not entirely.
Shots were taken of the eruption of Sicily's Mount Etna to capture the lava flow to make it look more realistic. Etna is the largest volcano in Europe, and it erupts fairly often. One of the largest and most recent eruptions came in 2002, and it was during that time that footage was taken for use in the film.
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The Cost Of 'The Phantom Menace' Was High, But Not In The Way You'd Think
When Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released on May 19, 1999, it was a pretty big deal. After all, Star Wars was finally returning to theaters after nearly 16 years. Fans were excited, to say the least. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment consulting firm, analyzed the impact the movie's release had on American productivity.
According to the firm, an estimated 2.2 million full-time employees skipped out on work to see the movie. That drop in productivity was measured at almost $300 million ($470 million in 2020). The Wall Street Journal reported that because so many employees were planning on seeing the movie, numerous companies simply opted to close on opening day for what the press was calling "Phantom Flu."
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A Real-World Location Was Used For The Jedi Archives
The Jedi Archives are one of the most important elements of the Jedi mythos, and they first appeared in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. The archives needed to look like a majestic library, and that's precisely what it looked like, but it wasn't dreamed up out of thin air. It turns out, the Jedi Archives were made as an exact digital reconstruction of the Long Room of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
The digital recreation was so exact, Trinity College Dublin sought legal action against the studio over the use of the library without permission. "The similarities are obvious, from the arched barrel vault running the length of the room to the double-height book stacks. Even the busts and statuary of the Jedi Archive mirror the busts of figures from the academic world in the Long Room."
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Liam Neeson's Height Cost The Production A Lot Of Cash
Liam Neeson is not a short man. He stands at an impressive 6 feet 4 inches, which is considerably taller than average. You'd think the set department would have taken his height into consideration when constructing things like doorways, but it turns out they didn't.
The sets for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace were only built to the height of the actors' heads; the rest was to be filled in with CGI. For Neeson, this meant that the crew had to rebuild the set to his height, or the effects wouldn't work. It ended up costing the production an extra $150,000.
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General Grievous's Cough Is The Result Of George Lucas's Illness
George Lucas wanted to instill a bit of human weakness into General Grievous, so he gave him a raspy voice and a cough. The actual coughing sound recorded for the movie ended up being the result of a coincidence. Around the time the production was ready to record the coughing sound, Lucas had bronchitis, and he ended up coughing into a microphone.
The resulting sound was edited and made into Grevious's cough. It's likely they would have gone with anyone's cough for the part. Still, seeing as Lucas was in charge, his incidental illness ended up breathing life into the character. This fact ended up creating a meme (pictured), representing Matthew Wood, who did Grievous's dialogue, and Lucas, who did the cough.