Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10 Things You Didn't Know About the Empire Strikes Back

Who you callin' a clone, clown?!"
Okay, even I was skeptical, because (at least where the Original Trilogy is concerned) I consider myself to be a bit of an expert. Wired did a preview of the new The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back book, the follow-up to The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film (which I own and love more than a pair of newborn Jedi twins). In any case, while I've heard of some of these, I was surprised by more than a few:
  1. Yoda's first name was Buffy. No he didn't stake vampires instead of Sith. His name later changed to Minch Yoda. Finally, (thank-the-Force) it was shortened.
  2. They filmed a scene where Luke's face is patched up after the wampa attack, as an additional cover for Hamill’s 1977 car accident. Obviously, it was deleted.
  3. Growing up Jedi is hard(er) thank it looks. Something about a crystal in Luke's lightsaber with a map to Yoda, Han Solo making fun of Luke, and Vader force choking junior in his X-wing cockpit only to be saved by R2.
  4. The galaxy far, far away is even bigger than we thought. It was originally to include a water planet, a city planet (sounds like Coruscant), and Hoth (but not icy) which is Lando’s homeworld. Oh, and Lando’s a clone.(??!!)
  5. Castle Von Vaderstein. Let me repeat, Darth Vader has a f#@king fortress!! I’ve seen concept drawings of this. Perhaps Jeff Rients could bend his nothing-after-79-rule juuuust a bit.
  6. Vader is not a Skywalker. We've all been batting this around of late, but the part we didn't get was  Anakin is still alive and Luke’s sister is training to become a Jedi too (and she’s not Leia).
  7. Luke-Leia-Han love triangle was more prominent early on. Luke loses Leia to Han. Han doesn’t get frozen, but instead acts like an even scruffier nerf herder (read: douchebag).
  8. Special FX are hard. By upping the ante in Empire, ILM had a hard time keeping up with the script. At one point, they even considered putting a monkey in a Yoda costume.
  9. No Star Wars 2? It was (almost) Kubrick's fault. Kubrick’s The Shining had a fire on the set at Elmstree sound stage where Empire was to be filmed. They rebuilt, but Kubrick’s flick went waaaaaay over schedule (big surprise) putting completion of both pictures in doubt.
  10. Miss Piggy - Yoda = Frank Oz messing with Hamill during rehearsal. You should check out the Wired article for the full story on that one!
Oh, and you can bet your wampa droppings that this is at the TOP of my Christmas wishlist. HUGE props to Charlie Jane Anders of iO9 for compiling this great list!


  1. It gets even better. As I mentioned in my post on Brackett's ESB script the other day, not only does Vader have a fortress, he's got pesky little gargoyles all over the place.

  2. That's some interesting factoids.
    Altered Star Wars seems like an awesome venue for gamers to make their own campaigns based off bits of the series yet with complete freedom to take it where they want to go.

    Sadly too many folks won't play anything without D&D on the cover. And even finding people for that can be tricky sometimes!

    But man does Lucas give us gobs of toys to play with.

    (The Infinities versions of the Original Trilogy Movie comics by Dark Horse are pretty awesome for this. Hell, in some cases I kind of wished they were canon over what we got!)

  3. @Rufus, yeah I have a few of those issues. I esp. liked the series were Luke doesn't make it off Hoth and Leia has to be trained instead. Neat stuff!