TOP 10 STAR WARS FACTS
The eagerly anticipated seventh installment in the epic sci-fi saga Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on general release in cinemas this weekend - so put some batteries in your light sabre, dust off your best Yoda impression and check out Marion McMullen's
1 Is the force with you?
New film Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens in UK cinemas today (December 17). Overwhelming demand for advance tickets crashed websites across the world and people queued overnight in Singapore to be the first to buy tickets.
2 Can you speak up?
Darth Vader’s menacing rasping sound was made by breathing through scuba diving gear and his sinister black armour included 10 protective layers. His face mask and helmet were inspired in part by Japanese Samurai headdress. The language of the Jawas was created by electronically speeding up Zulu words and phrases. The word Jedi comes from the Japanese words Jidia Geki, which means period adventure drama.
3 Who was comfy in space?
Veteran British actor Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin in the original 1977 movie, often wore slippers during filming because the boots for his character hurt his feet. He was usually filmed above the waist only.
4 Who are the biggest Star Wars actors?
chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew stands 7ft 3ins tall while David Prowse, who played Star Wars villain Darth Vader, is 6ft 6ins.
5 Do I know you?
Vader only appears on screen for 12 minutes in the first movie and David Prowse has never met American actor James Earl Jones, who provided Vader’s distinctive voice.
6 Where was out of this world?
The scenes on Luke’s Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine were filmed on location in Tunisia and at Death Valley National Park in California. Part of the Death Star, cantina and spaceships were built on nine sound stages in the UK at Elstree.
7 Was it child’s play?
Star Wars changed movie merchandising forever. Creator George Lucas accepted a lower salary in exchange for complete merchandising rights and ended up making a fortune. Action figures, T-shirts, posters and toys became bestsellers. An original vinyl cap Jawa figure in the original packaging can now fetch up to $18,000.
8 Was it a winner?
Star Wars was the first sci-fi movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. It ended up winning six Oscars in categories such as Best Original Music Score and Best Editing. It took George Lucas a year to write the script and Steven Spielberg predicted it would a massive hit... even though film bosses were dubious about the appeal of the movie.
9 Are you looking at me?
Carrie Fisher took lessons to learn how to look like an expert when it came to firing a blaster in the action sequences in Star Wars involving Princess Leia. The same person who taught Robert De Niro how to shoot a gun in the movie Taxi Driver helped to train her.
10 You’ve got to hand it to them?
Most Imperial stormtroopers are left-handed. The weapons they were armed with had a magazine on the left side and it hit them in the chest if they tried to carry them in the right hands. Many switched their grip around to the left.