Star Wars Trivia: Empire Strikes Back Was Originally Released With These Two Different Endings

By Liana Keane | 1 week ago

The galaxy far far away of Star Wars is always expanding and with it comes a fandom which thirsts for information. We’re here to provide it by collecting all the most interesting Star Wars trivia and fan art all in one place.

Why Empire Strikes Back Had Two Different Endings In Theaters

The Empire Strikes Back was originally released in theaters on May 21, 1980. But the ending that audiences who went to see it on that night got, is not the same ending audiences who showed up to see it a few weeks later viewed.

In a new revelation on StarWars.com it’s revealed that George Lucas actually changed the ending of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back while it was still in theaters. After the initial screenings on May 21, George Lucas saw the movie with audiences and decided the end of the movie was unclear. He wanted audiences to have a better understanding of where exactly the main characters were, geographically, within the Rebel Fleet. So he called ILM general manager Tom Smith.

When Tom Smith picked up the phone this is what he says he heard from Lucas, “I don’t wanna tell you this. We need some more shots for Empire.” Smith immediately though Lucas was joking, since the movie was already in theaters. But Lucas responded, “No, no, no… it’s not in all the theaters.” Indeed while the movie opened on May 21st, it wouldn’t go into full wide release until later.

So ILM went to work creating new special effects shots. The shots they created let us look in the window of the Millennium Falcon docked with a Rebel Medical Frigate, to see hints of Lando there. And then another shot lets us see Luke, Leia, and the droids inside the Medical Frigate while they talk to Lando. In a time without CGI it was an incredibly complicated shot for ILM to pull off. Here’s the finished product in the Empire Strikes Back ending you’re probably most familiar with…

It only took ILM three weeks to cobble together the shots Lucas wanted and those were immediately rolled out to movie theaters. Audiences got a slightly different ending than the one they’d been getting for the three weeks prior and no one was the wiser.

The Rise Of Skywalker Put Anthony Daniels To Sleep

C3PO

The first time C3PO actor Anthony Daniels saw a completed cut of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in which he is one of the primary stars, it put him to sleep.

Talking to CNET he revealed that he was a little under the weather when he entered director J.J. Abrams’ private screening room, “And [I] fell deeply, deeply asleep… J.J.’s viewing theater is gorgeously comfortable, it’s just wonderful. Too comfortable — I was exhausted. Christine woke me up just before the end.”

Though Daniels has played coy with what he really thinks of the new Star Wars trilogy in the past, I’m going to say I don’t actually think he meant this as a criticism. And the man is 74-years-old. Still, you’d think even a 74-year-old might be able to stay awake for a movie he was starring in… if that movie was any good at all. Ouch C3PO. Ouch.

Baby Jar Jar

If you’d have asked me five minutes ago if there was any way to fix the movie killing disaster that is Jar Jar Binks, I’d have said no way. But that was five minutes ago. Now I’ve seen this…

Meet Baby Jar Jar. He’s cute, he’s cuddly, and given his age he probably can’t talk which likely solves a lot of the problems we had with Jar Jar in the first place. He’s also probably too little to trip over anything and damage it enough to ruin your movie’s plot.

Proof that everything is better when it’s Baby Yoda’d. Good work Star Wars fandom! Problem solved. Now someone get to work on digitally replacing Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace with this.

When George Lucas Met Baby Yoda

Some have wondered if Star Wars creator George Lucas might get involved in Star Wars again at some point. He’s been absent from any involvement in the Star Wars universe since he sold the franchise to Disney in 2012. The answer is probably not, Lucas seem pretty happy in retirement. That doesn’t mean he isn’t keeping tabs though and, perhaps more importantly, he has met Baby Yoda…

So apparently Lucas has visited The Mandalorian season 2 set, but that doesn’t mean he’s involved in it. He’s probably just checking in with Favreau.

Star Wars That Almost Happened

Star Wars Underworld

Before selling Star Wars to Disney, creator George Lucas was working on several different Star Wars TV shows. One of them was focused on the Jedi and the other was called Star Wars: Underworld. Neither project ever made it to TV screens but the second one, Star Wars: Underworld did make it far enough along to film some actual footage.

Now for the first time ever, that footage is available to watch. Here’s the first anyone has ever seen of Star Wars: Underworld

The show was supposed to take place in the deep, seedy underworld of the massive capital city planet Coruscant. The footage reflects that dark, dirty, criminal underbelly pretty well. Obviously there’s not much plot here, this was just a test of how they wanted the show to look, and as looks good it seems pretty good. A far cry from Lucas’s overly shiny setting for both of the three prequel movies.

Star Wars: Underworld made it far enough along that they’d produced as many as fifty scripts for the show. Presumably those scripts are now in Disney’s hands and with the franchise set for big changes in the future, it wouldn’t be a surprise if someone there wasn’t considering resurrecting those ideas, in one form or another.

Baby Jabba

With Baby Yoda craze sweeping the world, one fan decided to take matters into his own hands, and create what he thinks should be the next big character introduced in The Mandalorian

It’s unlikely Jon Favreau wants to repeat the whole Baby Yoda thing, but if he did, I can’t imagine them doing any better than this. Sorry Baby Yoda, you’re pretty cute, but Baby Jaba may actually have out-cuted you.

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