SuperQuark, con l'immancabile Piero Angela

The cinematic epic of Star Wars is about to return with great fanfare to the big screen! Almost forty years after the first film and ten years after the conclusion of the second trilogy, in fact, December 16, 2015 will be the date on which the Italian public will be able to admire the film as a world premiere. The Force Awakens (The awakening of the Force), the seventh chapter of the space saga conceived in the seventies by George Lucas, which will be directed by JJ Abrams, co-creator of Lost as well as director of the last two films in the saga of Star Trek.

This for many fans of science fiction and cinema in general is a dream come true, as it revives the interest of a passion that dates back to one’s adolescence, if not even to one’s childhood, when they dreamed of a better future by watching dozens of films. on the TV next to your family.

Read also: Five films to see in 2015

There can be no better occasion, therefore, to bring to the knowledge, both of the fans of the first hour and of the most passionate veterans of this cycle, five curiosities – known or practically unknown – concerning the first trilogy. The one that really marked an era, in more ways than one.

1. May the force be with you, George

It may seem strange to have to say this today, but it was not at all easy for George Lucas to bring this saga to the big screen. Indeed, we can say without a shadow of a doubt that even the realization was an epic.

The project was in fact conceived in an embryonic phase in 1971, after the release of the first Lucas film, THX 1138 (The man who escaped from the future), and presented at Universal Pictures along with American Graffiti.

Universal, however, only gave the green light to this last film, considering the project Star Wars too demanding and risky, as it required an impracticable budget.

A project with a too high budget

However, Lucas did not give up: he continued to work on the saga and, following the success obtained with American Graffititried to bring it back, this time at 20th Century Fox.

The approval finally arrived, however the production company, after some increases in the aforementioned budget, at a certain point blocked any kind of economic aid, thus only partially financing the first film.

George Lucas in 1986

Lucas was therefore forced to personally find the remaining sum of the budget, even going so far as to place a mortgage on his own house.

However, he asked and obtained that part of the proceeds deriving from the merchandising of the film be reserved for him (a rather risky move, since at the time the diffusion of action figurespuppets and the like it was certainly not that large). The rest, as they say, is history.

2. Are we really brothers?

The original trilogy of Star Wars it was a real work in progress, with Lucas (who at first had only a basic idea) who added some significant details in the course of making it more exciting and interesting.

It was only in fact during the filming of Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back (The Empire strikes again), which it was decided to reveal that Darth Vader was the father of Luke Skywalker.

The famous scene in which Darth Vader reveals to Luke Skywalker that he is his father

In Episode IV, in fact, nothing like this was even remotely mentioned and even the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi, aware of the truth, told Luke a whole other story according to which Vader would have killed his father Anakin (an incongruity later resolved by the second trilogy).

The changes of the plot in progress

Likewise, during the filming of Episode VI, The Return of the Jedi (Return of the Jedi), it was decided to make Luke and Leia Organa brothers (when instead in Episodes IV and V there seemed to be a different kind of feeling between them).

Initially Lucas had thought of a lost twin sister of Luke (Nellith) and dispersed in another galaxy, subject for a possible third trilogy, but finally decided to give it up and to marry Leia with Luke.

From watching the Episode VII trailers, The awakening of the Forceit is not said that the plot of the third Skywalker has been completely abandoned.

3. The saga in nine acts, or rather six

How many chapters were really planned in the beginning?

Originally, George Lucas had conceived the saga of Star Wars as a “space opera” in several acts. Nine from the beginning, according to a widespread urban legend, although it is very likely that this was not the case.

What matters, however, is that, being practically a rookie director at the time (despite having already directed a masterpiece like American Graffiti), he could not be completely sure that he could have realized the entire saga and therefore decided to start from the central episodes, considering them the most interesting and autonomous of the entire project.

No one knows exactly what George Lucas' real intentions were at the release of the first episode of the saga

Read also: Five of the best science fiction movies ever

It also seems that behind this decision there was also the fact that the technology of the time did not allow the production of the first three episodes, too demanding from an operational point of view.

When George Lucas resumed his project in 1999, with the second trilogy, he decided even after several second thoughts that that would be the end word to the entire epic. Then came Disney… and something changed.

4. Luke’s mutations

From elder to woman

The script of Episode IV, In New Hope (A new hope), went through numerous revisions and rewrites before reaching its final version.

In preliminary drafts, Luke was first described as a 60-year-old general, then as a woman! Not only that, the first surname associated with him was Starkiller.

Luke Skywalker today

Eventually, the older version of Luke became Obi-Wan Kenobi’s character, while the female one was transposed – albeit very much Sui generis – in Princess Leia Organa.

Lucas finally came to the conclusion that Starkiller was an inappropriate name for a hero, but only at the proverbial last moment (the shooting of the film had already begun) decided to rename him as Luke Skywalker.

5. No revenge

The title change at the last minute

The opening title of Episode VI, Return of the Jediit was actually The Revenge of the Jedi (Revenge of the Jedi). Posters were even produced and teaser trailers were released with this title, which are still easily available online today.

Eventually, however, George Lucas realized how wrong this title was, since in the code of honor of the Jedi knights there could be no room for revenge and therefore changed the title to The Return of the Jedi.

One of the first posters of episode VI, with the title that would later be changed

Again at the proverbial last moment. However, the original title, suitably adapted, was reused several years later for Episode III, Revenge of the Sith (Revenge of the Sith).

And you, which trivia about Star Wars do you prefer?

Report other trivia about the Star Wars / Star Wars saga in the comments.

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