In 1977, few people realized that Star Wars would become one of the most successful film franchises in history. Since the first movie hit theaters, that's precisely what Star Wars has become, with nearly a dozen feature films, numerous animated series, hundreds of comic books, and tie-in novels.
Fans have pored over every detail of the series' production, and little has escaped their attention. Still, even the most ardent fans don't know everything, including facts about the first three films: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
This list highlights some of the most interesting things you probably didn't know about the original Star Wars trilogy.
The Sandcrawler Was Investigated By The Libyan Government
The Sandcrawler for A New Hope was large, built to the size seen in the film: two stories high and 90 feet in length when assembled. Because of the time and effort required to put the Sandcrawler together, its construction piqued the interest of the Libyan government.
Inspectors from across the border were sent to determine whether a new type of military vehicle was under construction. But the inspectors realized they were looking at a movie set, so they left Lucas and his crew alone.Cool fact?
Nien Numb Spoke Kikuyu, And Kenyan People Loved It
Nien Numb served as Lando Calrissian's co-pilot during the siege of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi. He's an alien who spoke in a dialect most people probably wrote off as something made up for the film.
But everything Nien Numb said in the movie was from a real language. He was speaking Kikuyu, the dialect of Kenya's majority tribe.
So when he said, "Atirizi inyui mwi hau inyouthe ukai haha," audiences throughout Kenya laughed at what loosely translated into, "What are you doing over there? All of you please come here."Cool fact?
The Rebel Troops On Hoth Were Members Of The Norwegian Red Cross
During The Empire Strikes Back, in the scenes set on icy Hoth, filmed in Finse, Norway, Rebel soldiers move into the trenches to defend the base so transports can escape. The actors playing these soldiers were all Norwegian mountain-rescue skiers. In appreciation for their work, production company Lucasfilm made a donation to the Norwegian Red Cross.
None of the skiers spoke English, so giving them directions was somewhat challenging; second unit director Peter MacDonald had to act out what he wanted them to do.Cool fact?
Han Solo's Freezing In Carbonite Was Partly Due To Harrison Ford's Contract
The Empire Strikes Back has one of the bleakest endings of any movie. Han Solo is frozen in carbonite, and Luke loses his hand and finds out Vader was his father. Han might not have been frozen in the first place if Harrison Ford had signed on to return in the sequel. That's at least a part of the reason that he was put on ice, because Ford was the only one of the principal actors who refused to sign a three-picture deal from the beginning.
Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill had done that when they joined the cast of A New Hope, but Ford wasn't as committed as they were. Had he not returned, Han's absence could be explained, and the third film would have carried on without him.Cool fact?