This year marks the 40th anniversary of George Lucas’s original Star Wars and if the excitement over Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is any indication, the series might last 40 more. Forty years is a long time to accumulate weird and interesting stories, some of which could have drastically altered what we currently know to be Star Wars. Here are 10 weird things about Star Wars that you probably didn’t know.
1. Return of the Jedi‘s interesting shortlist of directors
Despite Irvin Kershner’s fantastic work on The Empire Strikes Back, which is considered the greatest Star Wars film thus far, when it came to returning to the directing chair for Return of the Jedi he decided to turn it down. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2010, he explained, “After working for two years and nine months doing Empire, and having it take so much out of my life and having given me so much, I felt that it was a complete experience and it was time to move on.”
It’s certainly not an unfair stance, but before Lucas ended his directorial search with Richard Marquand, there were some fairly interesting and subversive choices that could have changed everything we know about the final film in the original trilogy.
Lucas’s search began with David Lynch, who was hot off an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for The Elephant Man. He was offered the project, but later declined to make Dune — a decision he might wish he could take back. Lucas then moved on to David Cronenberg who also said no so that he could pursue Videodrome and The Dead Zone. Lucas eventually settled on Marquand and both Lynch and Cronenberg later said that Lucas’s control of the film’s vision was a major factor in their decision to bow out.