According to some of Ralph McQuarrie's concept art, an early version of Luke Skywalker's character was a 16-year-old girl.
Lucas originally hired Ford, whom he worked with in the 1973 film "American Graffiti," to play off actors auditioning for roles. His line readings were so convincing, Lucas decided to cast him as Han Solo.
Before he was a roguish Corellian pirate, Han Solo was written as a green-skinned monster with gills.
Lucas has cited the work of acclaimed Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa — particularly the 1958 adventure film "The Hidden Fortress" — as a defining influence. The Jedi likely owe their name to jidaigeki, the period-drama genre to which "The Hidden Fortress" belongs.
The voice of Garindan (aka Long Snoot and the "greatest spy in Mos Eisley spaceport") is that of John Wayne, distorted in postproduction.
For the character of Han Solo, Lucas channeled the personality of fellow director Francis Ford Coppola, who impressed Lucas with his smooth-talking charm.
Reaching New Audiences
In 2013, "Star Wars: A New Hope" became the first picture to be dubbed in a Native American language — Navajo.
"Star Wars: A New Hope" became the first sci-fi movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1978. (The winner was Woody Allen's "Annie Hall.")
The Darth Vader mask was too big for David Prowse's face, so the costume department padded it with foam and stuck Velcro at its base. Prowse claimed that it still wobbled, however, when the wind machines were at full blast.