Star Wars: 14 Crazy Rumours Lucasfilm Started About The Empire Strikes Back In 1980

This is how pre-internet speculation worked.

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If you think that movie fandom is completely ridiculous nowadays, with more internet ink used on film before they come out than when they're released and entire sites dedicated to giving out massive spoilers, you know nothing €“ fans have been pouring over trailers for clues and speculating endlessly for decades. Sure, without the internet it wasn't global and couldn't be as detailed, instead kept to in-person conversations and monthly magazines, but it was no less ravenous. It was so prolific, in fact, that sometimes movie studios would secretly manipulate emergent fan groups. Seriously.

Craig Miller was Lucasfilm's fan relations officer around the time of The Empire Strike Back's release and, to ensure that Star Wars wasn€™t a one-hit wonder, was tasked with engaging audiences ahead of the sequel. One of his biggest ideas (which he's just revealed to Inverse) was to work with Starlog magazine to share officially sanctioned €œrumours€ €“ some fake, some true - posing them as real fan speculation to create the illusion of rabid excitement. It's devilishly genius, and it worked.

During the discussion, Miller also revealed the original plans for Boba Fett were to make him a primary antagonist going forward, only for that to be dropped when Lucas chose to wrap-up the series with the third film. Many outlets have picked up on this detail, although it's learning that these already-fascinating Starlog rumours were actually plants that's really the most interesting thing in that interview.

They serve as a document of a time when Star Wars was still defining what it was, and its continued success into the next decade, let alone century, was uncertain. Here are the fourteen most interesting rumours from the article Miller planted.


Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.