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

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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