It’s national Star Wars day, which means that you probably should fire up the old LaserDisc player and watch the original, unedited trilogy instead of the special editions.
Of course, while we hate that any current versions of the original trilogy have to have a bunch of needless CGI, it’s still better than having to watch the prequel trilogy.
It turns out that there are several things about Star Wars that would have changed the original trilogy (hereafter referred to as “trilogy” because we’re not going to keep acknowledging the prequels).
Orson Welles was Almost Darth Vader
The career of Orson Welles had a bit of a tragic trajectory to it, starting with the Mercury Theater and Citizen Kane, and ending with Paul Masson wines and frozen peas.
Lucas thought that Welles voice would be a bit too familiar to audiences, so he settled on James Earl Jones.
Alec Guinness Hated Star Wars and Almost Wasn’t In The Empire Strikes Back
Alec Guinness’ hate of Star Wars is something of legend, as he dismissed the film as “fairy tale rubbish” and was furious that the role of Obi-Wan completely eclipsed his very successful film career. Apparently he told a young fan who had seen the film 100 times that he would sign an autograph only if the child never saw the film again.
Guinness only agreed to appear in Empire after being promised a quarter of one percent of the film’s gross, and a shooting schedule from 8:30 AM until 1:00 PM. He made millions for a few hours of work and presumably hated himself for it.
Stanley Kubrick Delayed Empire
The Empire Strikes Back and The Shining were being filmed at the same studio when a major fire broke out, destroying an entire soundstage. Kubrick, not being known for being anything less than a perfectionist, was not only given Empire’s soundstage to finish his movie, but he also took a huge amount of time to complete the filming, delaying Empire significantly.