STAR WARS: Nerdy facts you may not know about the Universe
Alex Bagosy
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Several years ago, as a much younger incarnation of me, I helped to create the Internet's first major Star Wars roleplaying club - SWC (which, so far as I know, is still in existence in one form or another on the web.) I guess you could say that, even earlier than that, I've been something of a Star Wars geek, but it was that early period on the Prodigy bulletin boards that first ensconced me in hardcore Star Wars trivia and meaningless information.

Since Star Wars is back in vogue again, what with the re-release of "Episode One" (and the rest of the films) in 3D, the impending release of a new television series based upon the exploits of Boba Fett, and the on-again, off-again saga of whether we'll ever see Episodes 7-9, I thought it might be fun to take a look back and share some interesting, but UTTERLY USELESS information I've collected over the years.

I started my collection in sort of a unique way. We were having a hard time determining what was "canon" and what was not "canon" when forming the Star Wars club. So I err... wrote to Lucasfilm, and asked them what we should consider canon.I actually got an answer, and I sort of went from there.

Interestingly, canon for Star Wars has radically changed since the late 1980s - to the point that many of the answers they gave me then have subsequently been superseded. Nevertheless, it's still a Universe that I love and admire - even if I want to erase every memory of "Attack of the Clones" from my brain

Hope you find some of this stuff nerd-tastic. If you've got other stuff, or maybe a newer interpretation of the canon, I'd love to see it!

Incidentally, I've tried to list these in very rough "Chronological" order (ie: from the events of the Prequels through to the end of "Return of the Jedi" and the books that followed.)

May the Force Be With You,

Alex
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1. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit: Star Wars Classic Trilogy Collector's Edition [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:8776]
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Can you identify the characters and ships that appear in both the Prequels and the Original Trilogy? Here are just a few...

People:

- Anakin Skywalker, of course, appears in all the films, if one counts the "Darth Vader" appearances.

- Boba Fett appears in Episodes II, III, IV, V, and VI. He originally did not appear in Episode IV, but was added to the "Special Edition" of the film in the late 1990s. Fett's first appearance was actually in 1979, as part of the "Star Wars Holiday Festival" (which is best forgotten by everyone.)

- C3PO and R2D2 appear in all of the Star Wars films. The "Gonk" Droid supposedly appears in some of the Prequels, but I haven't spotted him yet.

- Chewbacca appears in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, as well as all three of the Original Triology films (Episodes IV-VI)

- Emperor Palpatine appears in Episodes I, II, III, V, and VI. He was first shown in Episode V, using the face of a woman and the mouth of a monkey, in a wonkey hologram type animation. This version has since been edited out (but I still own it, lucky me.) There was still a great deal of debate prior to Episode VI about what he should look like.

- Jabba the Hutt appears in Episodes I and II. He is also in Episode IV and Episode VI. Like Boba Fett, he was added to Episode IV as part of the "Special Editions." However, the difference is that parts were originally filmed for him. (See the entry on Jabba later on for some interesting tidbits on this.)

- Yoda appears in Episodes I, II, III, V, and VI.


Things:

- Plans for an early form of the Death Star are seen in holographic form in Episode III. The Death Star itself appears in Episode IV. The Second Death Star appears in Episode VI.

- Y-Wing Stargfighters, first seen in Episode IV, are also depicted in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

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2. Board Game: Star Wars: Yoda the Jedi Master [Average Rating:4.19 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
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YODA'S species and homeworld have never been revealed.

This is one of the tightest secrets held by Lucasfilm. While George Lucas has confirmed that Yoda does have a species and a homeworld (he isn't some strange sort of aberration - confirmed by the appearance of another member of his species in Episodes One and Two), he has thus far said that he prefers to keep the information under wraps for now. The only thing that the fan community knows for certain is that Yoda is NOT human, and that his home world is most definitely NOT Dagobah.

Lucasfilm frequently refused permission to West End Games when it proposed printing adventures involving Yoda's species and/or homeworld for the original Star Wars RPG, and has done so with other properties. Most recently, Star Wars: The Old Republic, was asked to remove Dagobah from the game, along with several adventures tied to Yoda's identity.

In all official publications, Yoda's planet is simply identified as "Yoda's Homeworld."

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3. Board Game: Star Wars Clone Wars: Das letzte Gefecht [Average Rating:2.47 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
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Originally, all surviving Clone Troopers became Storm Troopers. But, not all Storm Troopers were, in fact, Clones.

According to the most recent Expanded Universe Canon, Palpatine moved to shut down the Cloning operations on Kamino when it became apparent that the Clones were low on individual initiative, and so willing to obey orders without question that they could constitute a liability to his "New Order." Furthermore, there was a legitimate reason: clones were expensive to produce, and to train, much more expensive than creating a force based upon volunteers and conscription. Attempts to rectify this situation involved the creation of "Spaarti" cloning technology, which rapidly produced clones, but resulted in clones who began to break down mentally and psychologically over time, making them dangerous to themselves, and others.

As such, cloning was outlawed and the facilities destroyed, with the exception of a handful of examples, which were stored in secret archive facilities.

In one example from more recent novels, a clone member of the 501st bitterly complains about the "new guys" (volunteers and conscripts) who aren't "like the recruits we had in the old days."

Officially, Lucasfilm has said that by the time of Episode IV, only about one third of the Stormtroopers were clones.
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4. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars – The Clone Wars Edition [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2597]
Alex Bagosy
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According to Lucasfilm, not all Clones obeyed "Order 66," Palpatine's orders to exterminate the Jedi. We know that most of the clones seen on screen in the films did so, but at least one group, the Republic Commandoes, and several individual Clones, refused their orders. Although a -very- small number who refused their orders apparently survived into the era of the Rebellion, most were likely exterminated.

The most interesting case is Captain Rex, featured prominently in the "Clone Wars" animated series. The creators have said that they have already decided upon his fate viz a viz. Order 66, but they have refused to say whether he will be one of the vast majority, or one of the very few to refuse his orders.
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5. Board Game: Star Wars Mos Eisley Shoot-Out [Average Rating:4.85 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
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Native, slug-like beings, the Hutts destroyed their original homeworld with environmental wastefulness and a global war that involved the use of hydrogen bombs and orbital bombardments... They later settled their "adopted" home world of Nal Hutta and its adjacent world of Nar Shadda, and had already been established there for many thousands of years when the period covered by the films begins. The Hutt Cartel is a sovereign, neutral entity throughout the films, though representatives (such as the infamous Jabba) play a role in the less legitimate businesses of the known galaxy on a regular basis. While most such Hutts are genuine scum, there have been exceptions. Acording to the lore of "Knights of the old Republic," one of the Old Republic's most beloved Chancellors was a Hutt known for his incorruptible, amiable nature.


Hutts are born hermaphrodites, but choose their sex upon reaching maturity, then maintain that identity for the rest of their lives. How and why this occurs is a mystery to outsiders. The Hutts are naturally Force resistant, and while aware of the Force, cannot be trained as Jedi. They are among the longest lived creatures in the galaxies, and can live for centuries.

Jabba the Hutt, the infamous Gangster, is said to have begun his career as a daring mercenary, who eventually surrendered to sloth and avarice as he grew older. This is apparently a common behavior among Hutts.

His earliest appearance in the Original Trilogy was to have been in Episode IV: A New Hope, at which time a human actor was cast to play him. However, the parts were cut, with varying reasons given for the omission. For years, the fan community was told that these scenes had been lost on the cutting room floor, but when the Special Edition films were released, the scene was (controversially) added again, with "slug" Jabba added to replace the human actor.

Incidentally, many Star Wars fans may be familiar with Jek Porkins, the somewhat... robust... X-Wing pilot who dies in the Death Star Trench Run. He's a fan favorite, played by character actor William Hootkins. Hootkins was a genuinely decent person, and was always quite fond of his fans. He had a great sense of humor about the character, and was always willing to sign an autograph or answer questions. Sadly, he passed away relatively recently, and is greatly missed by those who had the honor to meet him.

Why bring up Porkins? Because Hootkins told a crowd full of fans that he had originally been involved in the films as an aspiring "Jabba" when the part was still intended for humans. Hootkins didn't get the role, but George Lucas was so impressed with him that he offered him a part as the important but... unfortunate... Porkins. The rest is history.As Hootkins sometimes said, "Porkins was proof that big guys can be heroes too."




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6. Board Game: Risk: Star Wars Original Trilogy Edition [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1233]
Alex Bagosy
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Han Solo was initially a promising young graduate of the Imperial Naval Academy. On his first cruise as an officer, Solo was placed in charge of an operation that ran into a sanctioned slaving operation. Solo, who believed that the Imperial Navy should never sanction slaving, risked his life to forcibly rescue one of the captives: a Wookiee named Chewbacca. Solo was dishonorably discharged, a punishment considered relatively mild given the extent of his offenses, which included theft of Imperial property and disobeying direct orders.

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7. Board Game: Star Wars Fleets [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
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According to the only official figure ever given, published by West End Games, approximately 53,000 Star Destroyers of all types were built and in service at one time or another with the Galactic Empire. The figures do not confirm whether these were strictly Imperial and Imperial II class Star Destroyers, or whether this also includes Star Destroyer types built by the Old Republic and still in use with the Imperial Navy.

Interestingly, the films seem to contradict this. Han Solo says, in Episode IV, that it would take "a least a thousand ships, and more firepower than the entire fleet has available, to destroy a world like that" upon viewing the aftermath of the destruction of the planet Alderaan.

So the real number is probably somewhere in between.
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8. Board Game: Star Wars Miniatures Starship Battles [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:8565]
Alex Bagosy
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The "Super" class Star Destroyer, the largest Film Canon warship (unless one considers the Death Star to be a warship, rather than a battle station/space station) identified, was built to act as a command ship for the Imperial Fleet. Four such ships were built, but only one of them, the Executor, was ever seen on screen.

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9. Board Game: Star Wars Miniatures Battles [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:3895]
Alex Bagosy
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The Imperial Guard, also called the "Red Guard" and the "Royal Guard" were the most elite troops in the Imperial Military. Selected from every branch of the military (Army, Navy, Stormtroopers), they were inducted in secret and trained in the use of advanced techniques, to include some basic training in force-based combat. In fact, original drafts of the guard had them carrying their own lightsabers.

The Guard was said to number anywhere from 50 to 50,000. They were never deployed together at the same time and place. Units were routinely rotated into combat and served as regular Stormtroopers (and, presumably, other combat roles) without any indication or identification that they were, in fact, members of the Guard.

Originally, in drafts of the Prequels, the Imperial Guard were to have descended directly from the Senate Guards seen in Blue in the Prequels. However, it was soon decided that this would not be the case. The Senate Guards were supposed to be "truely incorruptible champions of the Republic," and an underlying plot involving controversy regarding the creation of Palpatine's "Red Guard" was proposed, and eventually dealt with in the Clone Wars animated series. Notably, neither the Imperial Guard nor the Senate Guard are identified as clones.
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10. Board Game: Star Wars: Escape From Death Star Game [Average Rating:4.72 Overall Rank:10672]
Alex Bagosy
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At least three "Death Star" type battlestations were built. The first, a non-firing prototype, was built in an Imperial research facility and features prominently in some Expanded Universe stories. The second, made famous in Episode IV, was destroyed at the Battle of Yavin. The third, featured in Episode VI, was destroyed at the Battle of Endor.

Darth Vader is the only positively identified organic survivor of a Death Star's destruction. Several droids, however, survived the destruction of the first Death Star, according to West End Games.
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11. Board Game: Star Wars: Battle of Hoth [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:4447]
Alex Bagosy
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The Snowtroopers in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back are (mostly) wearing their armor wrong!

Originally, the "belt armor" worn by the snowtroopers was designed to slot nicely into the gap at the bottom of their chestplates. However, this was not clearly explained to the cast and crew, who wore them both the "point" on the belt worn both correctly (up) and incorrectly (down). During filming, test shots were taken of various actors so that costumes used in future scenes could be replicated quickly and efficiently, and so that uniformity (very important to the Imperial look portrayed in the films) was maintained. The reference photo, however, was taken of an actor who was wearing his armored belt with the "point" down, and as such, all Snowtroopers filmed from that point on were instructed to wear their belts upside-down! The error stuck, and was only recently rediscovered when new production shots were discovered.

However, the Blue Rays have shown that a few snowtroopers did wear their belts correctly - it is generally assumed that these scenes were shot early on, before the "correction" was made.
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12. Board Game: Battle for Hoth [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Alex Bagosy
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The actors on the set of The Empire Strikes Back had no idea that Darth Vader was Luke's father. Because lines spoken by Darth Vader were originally voiced by David Prowse and later over-dubbed by James Earl Jones, Prowse was given completely different lines to speak during the "big reveal." As a result, they were just as surprised as everyone else that Darth Vader was Luke's father.

The same occurred during the filming of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. During the filming of that movie, anywhere from four to six alternate endings were filmed, some of which involved the deaths of prominent characters and even victory for the Empire. Harrison Ford supposedly insisted that Han Solo should die at the end of Return of the Jedi to give the character "real depth and meaning," and apparently came away from filming the project believing that the cut featuring his death was the final one. Billy Dee Williams also believed that Lando and the crew of the Millineum Falcon failed to escape the Death Star on time.

Nobody seems to know where the original cuts of either scenes are, or if they even exist anymore.
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13. Board Game: Star Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:212]
Alex Bagosy
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As a result of editing, more than just the "new scenes" added to the Special Editions of the films have changed.

Some of the highlights....

- In the original cantina scene in Episode IV, Han Solo clearly shoots FIRST at Greedo, the Bounty-Hunter who hopes to make a quick buck by taking his head back to Jabba. The scene was edited for a recent DVD release to make it appear that Greedo shot (badly) first. However, after massive fan protest, the scene was restored, only to re-surface in the "Greedo Shot First" variant with the new Blue Ray releases.

- The "Shevastanian Wolfman" a character who appears in the Cantina Scene, was removed from the films prior to their DVD release. The reason? The "wolfman" mask used was used in filming without permission, and the copyright holders refused to allow it to remain in the film without being paid royalties. As such, it was removed.

- Voice work for Boba Fett was originally done by actor Jason Wingreen. However, it was decided that, since Boba was a clone of Jango Fett, played by Temura Morrison (who also played the other clones in the prequels), the voice of Boba should be "identical" to that of his "father." Interestingly, the voices of the Stormtroopers were not changed, giving weight to the later Lucasfilm confirmation in more recent novels that most Stormtroopers were, in fact, not clones.

- Mara Jade, the "Emperor's Hand" first introduced in the "Heir to the Empire" trilogy by Timothy Zahn, was added to Jabba's Palace in the Special Edition of Episode IV. She is disguised as a dancer, and crouches atop the grating over Jabba's beast pit, watching Luke fight the Rancor.

- In death scenes from "Return of the Jedi", the face of Anakin Skywalker was replaced with that of Hayden Christensen, who played the part in the Prequels. His spirit, depicted in the final scenes of the film along Yoda and Obi-Wan, is also replaced with an image of Christensen. Anakin was originally portrayed by Sebastian Shaw. However, when the Prequels were written, it was decided to make Anakin "younger" and the Clone Wars more "recent" than had originally been envisioned, therefore Shaw was seen as "too old" for the part.

- One of the most notorious changes occurred with the Blue Ray edition of the films recently released. In this edition, Vader is seen to throw Emperor Palpatine down the reactor shaft on the Death Star, and to shout, "NOOOOOOOO!" at the top of his lungs - the same line given at learning that Padme is dead. Vader said no such thing in the original cut of the films.



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14. Board Game: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – Battle at Sarlacc's Pit [Average Rating:4.91 Overall Rank:10373]
Alex Bagosy
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"The Empire was anti-alien" - it's often repeated by numerous sources, but the fact is that this was created entirely by novels and comic books created -after- the original films. In no film canon source is the Empire ever seen to actively persecute aliens any more than it persecutes human beings.

The confusion seems to arise from the fact that Imperial forces shown on screen with open helmets and uncovered faces are undoubtedly human. Stormtroopers and various pilots, with covered faces, are at least humanoid.

The idea that no alien served in the Imperial Military is also a creation of post-film authors, such as Timothy Zahn. In fact, several books published by Lucasfilm seem to contradict this.

At the moment, the accepted idea in Expanded Universe canon seems to be that aliens were treated differently according to their "degrees of humanity" - that is, the more they looked like humans, the less prejudice they experienced.

However, the idea that aliens were actively persecuted or prevented from serving in Imperial ranks is never touched upon by any of the six films. The only possible reference occurs in Episode IV, when one of the officers in the Death Star's detention block asks where Han and Luke (disguised as stormtroopers with Chewbacca in manacles) are "taking that thing."

However, it's worth noting that Leia herself calls Chewie a "walking carpet" only a few minutes later.

Further confusion is caused by the prequels. Palpatine is seen actively working, both as Darth Sidious, and as a Senator, with alien races. His aids are alien, as is his trusted apprentice, Darth Maul (a Zabrak.)

A similar myth, probably created by Kevin Anderson (who created the Admiral Daala character) is that females never served in important positions in the Imperial military (Daala being the only exception.) However, (rather controversially, it seems) Lucasfilm has since confirmed that even a few stormtroopers were women!

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15. Board Game: Cannon [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:3363]
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Star Wars has a canon that is immense and internally consistent to a remarkable degree.

All canon can be thought of as "historical reports" from a galaxy far, far away. While generally reliable, none of it (even the movies) can be considered infallible like religious adherents would consider canonical religious writings.

Unlike many other franchises, nearly everything with a Star Wars logo is part of the canon to some degree, even video games. (Though of course, your particular playing of a video game is not canon, nor is every possible ending of a video game.)

While nothing is infallible, not everything is created equally either. There are clearly more important canonical works, which trump works at the lower levels.

G-canon ("George"): the six movies, including their novelizations.
T-canon ("TV"): the TV shows and associated movie.
C-canon ("Continuity"): Most everything else. Books, comics, video games.
S-canon ("Secondary"): Older works that may introduce big contradictions
N-canon ("Non"): Not canon at all. Deleted scenes, "what-if" books, etc.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Canon
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16. Board Game Designer: Robert Wesley
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
mb
I 'gots' "Sgt. ROCK" & "Star Wars" & "SPEED Racer" comics! robot
 
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