5 Facts About the Original Star Wars You Probably Didn’t Know
Since the time when the original Star Wars started changing the world, just about all the information that could be circulated about the movies, has.
While some of the stories have taken on a life of their own and have even muddled the history, others are quite unknown.
This info comes from the DVD trilogy with a great bonus CD with Empire of Dreams, a very long documentary that goes through, piece by piece, every element that went into producing this film.
These were some things that really stood out for me.
George Lucas was fiercely independent with his art, and had disdain for the studio systems method of creating movies. But he had to deal with the studios because there was no other way to make movies that the general public would see.
However, he knew that one studio could be better than the others when it came to his vision for Star Wars. Since the movie was so unique and in a genre (sci-fi) that was not a big money maker, he had to pitch it to everyone in hopes of getting it to fly at all.
He was glad when he was turned down by these studios in particular, because he perceived them as studios that would mess with his vision more than the studio that did pick it up: 20th Century Fox.
From the audition reads to the jawas walking around on set, until the moment the movie opened, a lot of the actors and crew members thought it was nutty.
Mark Hamill can remember a line from his original audition read, "But we can't turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if that actual security there is any greater than it was on Acquili or Sulles. What's there is is most likely directed toward a large scale assault." In the documentary he asks, "Who talks that way?"
The crew in the studio in London thought it was just some silly children's film, and sometimes afforded George the amount of respect they thought would be commensurate with that.
Harrison Ford said, "It was weird. It was very, very weird."
Lucas had real expectations in his approach to this film. He had no idea it would be a hit, much less change the culture. He thought it would be a nightmare to make and that it would be a horrible failure.
But he was committed to pushing it through, and he did. But not after a lot of heart ache, and actual diagnosis of exhaustion.
It wasn't easy for him to stay true to his vision. He fought with camera people, studio execs, fired his editor and took the job himself, and tried constantly to make the actors say their lines faster.
The orchestral soundtrack isn't the only brilliant part of the sound. From creating Chewbacca's voice, to timing R2D2's dialogue, to the signature sounds of the lasers and doors, the audio crew had a huge task on hand.
Haven't you ever wondered how they made Darth Vader's eerie breathing? Yep, it was scuba gear.
Other cool sound elements. They recorded the sound of banging small metal implements on steel suspension wires held up towers and power poles for the laser blasters.
People are always calling the film low budget. It wasn't really low budget. It received a regular budget for a film of its kind at that time. That was on the lower end of budgets, but people act like it was put together in some sort of indie, bootstrap way. I'm sure it stretched its budget, and it has no doubt done more with less than any other enterprise in history, but it wasn't really low budget.
It was a regular studio movie, with a regular studio budget.