Star Wars fans have been waiting for this moment for a long time.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters this weekend, but before you rush to the theater here are five things you didn’t know about the classic franchise.
1. Those special effects may be from a galaxy far, far away, but they were inspired by real conflict here on earth. The space battles were styled on World War II dog fights. The computer controlled camera rigs helped pioneer a new age in visual effects.
2. One of the most famous lines in The Empire Strikes Back wasn’t even scripted.
Princess Leia: I love you.
Han Solo: I know.
Harrison Ford ad-libbed it. Maybe it was to throw off the scent of their affair that Carrie Fisher exposed in her new memoirs, “The Princess Diarist.”
3. Chewbacca’s voice wasn’t computer generated. It was a recorded combination of a bear, walrus, lion, and badger.
4. Director George Lucas was so worried that Star Wars would tank that he visited a buddy Steven Spielberg, who was filming Close Encounters. The pair agreed to give each other 2.5% of each film’s profits. Star Wars went on to gross nearly a half a billion dollars, making Spielberg the winner of that friendly agreement. Close Encounters brought in a mere $132 million.
5. Han Solo was actually supposed to die after being frozen in carbonite at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Ford’s contract was only for two years, but they extended it. They finally got around to killing him in the 7th installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters Friday, December 16th. Click here to find a theater near you.