With a franchise as big as Star Wars, both in terms of its on-screen universe and its off-screen production history and fandom, there’s always a constant flow of stories that we’ve never heard before. While not all the following bits are revelations, chances are there’s at least one bite in this trio of trivia and news nibbles that is fresh for you.
Freddy Krueger Actor Helped Cast Luke Skywalker
Did you know before he became the horror icon Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Robert Englund auditioned to play Han Solo? It turns out he was too young for the part, which was initially a “cool uncle” type. But he was still instrumental in the casting of the first movie, as he claims credit for telling his friend Mark Hamill to try out for the role of Luke Skywalker. Here’s part of the story from Englund (via MovieWeb):
At that time, Mark Hamill was always on my couch. He was a TV star. He was filming a TV series across the street; I think it was called The Texas Wheelers, with Gary Busey. So he was always at my place, and I knew he was home because his cowboy boots were out front. He always left his boots outside. So there he was, halfway through a six-pack, watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I went in and I said to him, “Look at these sides, I think you’re right for this, man. This character is like a space prince, and it’s George Lucas!”
Check out the rest of that and Englund’s own audition experience in an interview with the site Force Material, who spoke with the actor at the recent Oz Comic Con in Brisbane, Australia. And check out Hamill’s audition video for the part below.
The Star Wars Sequel We Nearly Got Instead of The Empire Strikes Back
Most Star Wars fans know about Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the 1978 novel that helped spin off the expanded universe. And they know that its story was to be the basis for the first Star Wars sequel if the first wasn’t a huge hit and only warranted a modestly budgeted follow-up. But whether you’re already familiar with the book (and maybe its comic book adaptation) or not, this fun video on the alternate possibility sequel from Mr. Sunday Movies is worth a viewing (via ComicBookMovie.com):
The Early Adventures of Yoda
Finally, there has to be some stuff that even the biggest Star Wars fan doesn’t know about Yoda. Despite his prominence in the movies and their cultural zeitgeist, he hasn’t had a lot of his back story laid out in other media. He may not get that solo film rumored a while back but he is getting some origin material in the form of the Star Wars comic book, which will devote a number of pages to his pre-Phantom Menace years as a Jedi warrior, before he became a master and mentor to other famed characters.
Here’s an excerpt from an interview with writer Jason Aaron (via /Film) on exploring Yoda’s past:
This story takes place before the Clone Wars and it’s set in a world we’ve never seen before. I was always just intrigued by that idea. You know, we’ve seen Yoda as the teacher, as the wise Jedi Master, but I wanted to see Yoda just as the Jedi. So this puts him on a very unusual adventure. The other big challenge with Yoda, of course, is finding something that’s a challenge for him, right? Who can pose a threat to Yoda? I think we came up with an interesting answer to that question.
Learn more from the rest of that interview at Star Wars.com. And check out the cover art for the issue here: