Tag Archives: Death Star

10 Obscure Star Wars Facts

10 Obscure Star Wars Facts Even Hardcore Fans Don’t Know

The only thing people may love more than Star Wars is talking about how much they love Star Wars.

Especially when it comes to true Star Wars fanboys (and fangirls) who can become engaged in a verbal lightsaber measuring contest for hours to figure out who the biggest fan is. Original Trilogy, Prequels, Expanded Universe, it’s all fair game when once’s nerd credentials have been challenged.

Because Star Wars is so popular, most everybody knows a lot about the films already. That Darth Vader wasn’t originally supposed to be Luke’s dad until Empire Strikes Back was written. That Lando and the Millennium Falcon were never supposed to have made it out of the 2nd Death Star alive. Or that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer were cast because they had the good fortune of test screening with Harrison Ford. Even though most of the public may not know these facts, it’s a safe wager that for most hardcore Star Wars fans these would all be old news.

So let’s throw out everything even a scruffy nerfherder would know and discover 10 obscure Star Wars facts even hardcore fans would be surprised to know.

How many do you think you’ll know?

Death-Star-II-Scale-Size

10. The Second Death Star was HUGE!

The first Death Star was nothing to sneeze at. Conceived as the ultimate battlestation, it was designed to bring terror to the galaxy and to crush entire star systems under  the jack boot of the Empire. And it’s worth noting it’s still the only one to ever get a planet on it’s scoresheet when Grand Moff Tarkin of so casually wiped Alderaan off the space charts as if he was shooing a fly in A New Hope. (in the movies at least)

No doubt, the first Death Star was big. So big in fact that, Han Solo first thought it was a moon upon his first glance of it.

But compared to the second Death Star, the first is a small party favor or a small children’s toy.

According to the wookieepedia entry for the Death Star (the Star Wars version of wikipedia) the first Death Star clocks in with a diameter of 160 kilometers. Pretty impressive. Most impressive actually.

That is until you compare it to the second Death Star which was built was a diameter of 900 kilometers! That’s 460% bigger than the original! That’s mind bogglingly massive!

And yet, still insignificant when compared to the power of the Force.

Did you know? In 2012 a petition to the White House was submitted asking for the construction of a Death Star as a form of economic stimulus. As the petition received over 250,000 signatures it was required to receive an official response. In 2013 he White House formally rejected the proposal citing an excessive cost of 852 quadtrillion dollars and an estimated 833,000 years to complete!

Top Ten: Ralph McQuarrie Star Wars Concept Art

Ralph McQuarrie Darth vader

With the upcoming release of the new trailer for The Force Awakens just days away I thought it’d be an appropriate time to take a moment and look back at Star Wars’ earliest beginnings before we become engulfed in all things Episode VII. Back before the prequels, before the special editions, before there was even a Star Wars itself. Back when there was just an early, and almost unrecognizable, draft of the movie and a bunch of amazing concept art of a galaxy far, far away nobody had been to yet.

As you’ll see a lot changed between the original ideas on display here and what eventually made it to the big screen. Something to keep in mind as we get closer to the new film’s release and and continue to pour over every leaked detail, interview, and rumor that makes it’s way onto the internet. (And if you’re interested, I’ve already gone over each leaked piece of concept art for The Force Awakens with a fine toothed comb with the following links. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.)

There’s no denying Star Wars is as big an entertainment juggernaut today as it’s ever been. With a 4 billion dollar purchase of Lucasfilm and the rights to the franchise by Disney in 2012 fans were promised a constant stream of new movies and shows that are finally coming to fruition. Star Wars Rebels, a new cartoon set between episodes III and IV, began airing on Disney XD last year to a warm reception and The Force Awakens, the first film of a brand new trilogy, will break box office records next Christmas. Recent talk of stand alone spin-off movies, such as a rumored Han Solo, Boba Fett, and recently announced Star Wars: Rouge One look to make sure Star Wars stays firmly in the public’s consciousness and imagination for the foreseeable (and profitable) future.

There are two men we can thank for being directly responsible for creating everybody’s favorite galaxy, a long time ago. George Lucas obviously, and Ralph McQuarrie.

Ralph Mcquarrie

Who is Ralph McQuarrie? Ralph McQuarrie was the head designer and illustrator of the three original Star Wars movies. He designed everything from C-3P0, Star Destroyers, X-wings and even Darth Vader. His concept art and unique visual style which focused on simple geometric shapes and iconic designs helped to convince the heads at 20th Century Fox Studios to greenlight the risky science film much to McQuarrie’s surprise. When asked to create art for the film McQuarrie let his creativity loose and responded with large grandiose concepts and images that would become the visual foundation for the billion dollar franchise.

“I just did my best to depict what I thought the film should look like, I really liked the idea. I didn’t think the film would ever get made. My impression was it was too expensive. There wouldn’t be enough of an audience. It’s just too complicated. But George knew a lot of things that I didn’t know.”  Ralph McQuarrie

McQuarrie is credited with creating the lived in universe look of the original films where even though the technology may have been advanced it was worn out and broken down. A far cry from the stale and sterilized worlds of most other sci – fi movies and TV shows until then.

These are the images that made Star Wars. Without them, and without Ralph McQuarrie, there’s a good chance that the films that so many love and hold dear today would never have even be made.