"It’s still unreal to me that we’re getting new Star Wars" film critic Robert Chipman says.
"I never thought in my lifetime I would see Episode 7."
Chipman just got to see an advance screening of "The Force Awakens", and to get *you* ready to see the new flick we’re digging up some new stuff about the old films.
Let’s start with Obi-Wan!
Sir Alec Guinness didn’t think much of his role or the movie, calling it "fairytale rubbish", but because he got a cut of the box office; his paycheck was reportedly 95-million dollars!
Luke Skywalker almost had a different name: he was called "Luke Starkiller in early versions of the script.
And even Episode 6 – "Return Of The Jedi" was part of the name game.
Up until the last minute it was "Revenge Of a The Jedi".
The name was changed just before release.
A bigger budget for "The Phantom Menace" didn’t mean props got fancier.
The communicator used by Qui-Gon Jinn wasn’t technical at all!
"It’s a Gillette women’s razor that they took apart for those" Chipman says.
"It’s one of the little things about the prequels that they did decide to do much like the original films."
If auditions had worked out differently, you might have seen members of the boy band NSYNC in "Attack Of The Clones"…
Tupac as Mace Windu in "Phantom Menace"…
And Kurt Russell as Han Solo!
And to get you in the holiday spirit – in 1978, a Star Wars holiday special aired on CBS.
One critic called it "the worst two hours of television ever."
Many fans of the films agree.
However, it was a different time.
"That would not happen today" says Chipman.
"You would never get a “Lord of the Rings" holiday special. But at the time it was, you know, Rudolph followed by some Wookies. But you know, whatever works."
One more tidbit:
Every Star Wars film – until this one – was released the week after creator George Lucas’s birthday in May.
And while "The Force Awakens" is opening in December – the release date for the next film – episode 8 – has already been set for May of 2017.
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