Star Wars is one of the most popular film franchises of all time, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than Star Wars Day. This day, held annually on May 4 (as in, “May the fourth be with you”), first became an organized celebration several years ago. Now, it’s a regular tradition on May 4 to bust out your Jedi costume, grab a lightsaber, and binge watch the entire original trilogy.
In the spirit of Star Wars Day, we’re here to bring you only the most important Star Wars factoids to impress your force-wielding friends. Some of these might even make you watch the movies again to rediscover the films’ magic.
George Lucas didn’t direct all three Star Wars movies.
The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were directed by Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand, respectively. Lucas wanted to focus more on the story and characters, and didn’t have a real passion for directing at the time. He even tried to get famed director David Lynch to direct Return of the Jedi, which he ultimately passed on.
The sound of Darth Vader’s ventilator can instantly calm down a child.
Darth Vader himself, however, will scare your kids for days.
There’s a tennis shoe flying in space in Return of the Jedi.
There was also a potato hidden in The Empire Strikes Back.
Some of the sets used in the first Star Wars film are still in perfect condition in Tunisia.
The African country was used to create the sandy backdrop of Tatooine. You can still take a tour and see the buildings used for the Mos Eisley cantina, Luke Skywalker’s home, and dozens of other buildings from the classic film.
Hell exists in the Star Wars mythology.
Han Solo mentions “hell” as an expletive in The Empire Strikes Back. Because of this lone mention, the Star Wars Expanded Universe had to write a history for hell, also known as Chaos. In Star Wars, Chaos is a dark place where the souls of evil Sith lords go after death.
The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s theme) sounds pretty scary when it’s played on the piano.
Watching a stormtrooper perform the song might be slightly scarier.
Minor characters in Star Wars have some truly ridiculous names.
A diner owner named Dexter Jettster, a musician named Droopy McCool, and a rotund X-Wing pilot named Porkins all inhabit the world of Star Wars. And those are just the good guys! Don”t even get me started with Salacious Crumb…
Everyone thought that Star Wars would be a massive failure at the box office.
George Lucas was so convinced that his film would bomb that he fled to Hawaii on vacation with Steven Spielberg during the first film’s premiere.
Yoda is much cuter as a dog than as a green puppet.
Though I still think the dog named Yoda is the ugliest of all.
20th Century Fox made a long-lost Star Wars holiday TV movie with the film’s original cast.
You won’t be able to find the film anywhere, as it was critically panned and fell into obscurity shortly after it aired in 1978. The movie also featured songs from Jefferson Starship and Bea Arthur, who had a supporting role in the broadcast.
The theme song to Star Wars will make any Christmas display infinitely better.
One of my goals in life is to see the Star Wars Holiday Special. In case that never happens, though, I still have some awesome Christmas decorations to tide me over!