20 Things You Didn't Know About Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Star Wars behind-the-scenes facts from the movie that started it all.

Star Wars New Hope

It's impossible to overstate the meteoric influence that Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope has had on the landscape of cinema over the last 40-plus years.

Yet despite ushering in an era of effects-driven Hollywood spectacles, few have ever matched its peerlessly ambitious world-building.

George Lucas' big-budget space opera was an unprecedented, unfathomable achievement back in 1977, and one which of course kickstarted an IP still going strong today (though some might debate the latter statement).

The effort that went into making A New Hope the movie we know and love is inestimable, Lucas and his immensely talented army of artists labouring tirelessly to transport audiences to another world.

And though much has been written over the years about the film's high-pressure production and how thoroughly it flirted with disaster, you probably haven't heard these 20 incredible behind-the-scenes factoids and tidbits.

From the unexpected involvement of legendary filmmakers, to A-listers who almost played major parts, and also the numerous on-set troubles which threatened to derail the project altogether, these are the Star Wars stories you absolutely need to know...

20. George Lucas Took A Lower Salary In Exchange For Full Merchandising Rights

Star Wars New Hope

In what's surely one of the smartest business moves in Hollywood history, George Lucas made the decision to accept a lower salary of just $150,000 for Star Wars on one condition - he retained the merchandising and sequel rights for the IP.

At the time this seemed like a slam-dunk for Fox, given that movie merch had never been a colossal money-spinner, and they had very little faith in Star Wars' commercial prospects.

But of course, Star Wars soon enough became an unprecedented phenom, kickstarting an unheard-of demand for action figures, lunchboxes, and so on.

Between 1978 and 1979 alone, Star Wars sold $100 million worth of toys, a figure that kept snowballing until it reached upwards of $3 billion per year in recent times.

As such, it's little surprise that Lucas' own net worth currently stands at a cool $5.7 billion.

His bold decision to gamble on himself also ensured future blockbusters wrote iron-clad merchandising terms into artists' contracts.


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