Star Wars Day 2014: 12 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | May 4, 2014 7:05 PM EST
May 4 is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise's films series, books and other cultures emanating from it.
The date was chosen as "May the 4th" due to its peculiar effect that sounds similar to the series' phrase "May the Force be with you". Fans later started saying commonly, "May the fourth be with you".
Happy Star Wars Day 2014, May the Fourth be with you! Here are 12 fun facts about Star Wars you probably didn't know. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The reference gained popularity after it was first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Thatcher's political party placed a congratulatory note in The London Evening News stating, "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie... Congratulations."
Ever since it was released in 1977, Star Wars has remained one of the most influential and popular sci-fi films of all time. It has spawned three prequels, two sequels, TV movies, books and countless number of Toys.
In celebration of the Star Wars Day 2014, let us take a look at some of the most unique facts about Star Wars that most of us probably didn't know:
1. Star Wars' original title was "Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars" It was eventually shortened and Luke's name was changed to Luke Skywalker.
2. Star Wars has been the most successful movie related toy line ever in history. 250 million action figures were sold between 1978 and 1986.
3. Frank Oz, the actor who voiced Yoda, also voiced Miss Piggy on the Muppets.
4. The sound of Darth Vader's strenuous breathing was reportedly created using a scuba regulator.
5. George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars, was reportedly diagnosed with hypertension and exhaustion as a result of filming Star Wars.
6. Every Star Wars movie in the United States has been released in May, one week after George Luca's birthday
7. John Williams has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores including the Star Wars series, Superman, the Indian Jones Series among others. But he won an Oscar for the Star Wars soundtrack. The American Film Institute, in fact, named it the greatest film score of all time.
8. Chewbacca, the gentle, hairy, non-English-speaking co-pilot, was inspired by George Lucas seeing his own dog sitting up on the passenger seat of his car. The dog, named Indiana, also inspired the name of the lead character in Luca's another film franchises - Indiana Jones. (Chewbacca is derived from 'Sobaka', the Russian Word for dog.)
9. The Millennium Falcon, the fictional spacecraft used in the Star Wars, is said to be inspired by the shape of a hamburger with an olive in its side.
10. Mark Hamill, the actor who played Luke Skywalker, damaged his face in a car accident which made reshoots impossible.
11. It took three actors to portray Darth Vader. James Earl Jones did the voice, Sebastian Shaw was his face, and David Prowse was his body.
12. When the 20th Century Fox's special effects department was shutdown prior to filming, George started his own company known as 'Industrial Light and Magic'.
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