Fun Facts
Fun Facts

The Empire Strikes Back Trivia

AKA:
The Empire Strikes Back Picture
1980
That Kiss... Leia and Han
Trivia, fun facts and more for the 1980 Sci-Fi movie starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher et al.
Contributed by: Chris Slupek
In the original film, when Darth Vader is leaving Cloud City, he says, "Bring my shuttle," in the 'Special Edition' the line is re-dubbed, "Inform my command ship that I will be arriving shortly," or something to that effect.
In between the first and second movies, Mark Hamill was involved in a car accident and the early scene where he is rescued from the Wampa ice creature by Han is used to explain the scarring on his face.
Mark Hamill's wife gave birth to their first son early one morning, and Mark went straight from the hospital to shooting. This was the day they filmed the shots of Luke hanging by the weather vane below Cloud City, on Bespin.
Contributed by: Pete Stone
One of the Imperial officers, Admiral Ozzel, who destroys the Rebels' shield generator from his Walker was played by Michael Sheard, best known to British readers as "Mr Bronson" from the TV school sitcom "Grange Hill". He also played Adolf Hitler in another Harrison Ford movie, "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade". Funnily enough, Walter Donovan in The Last Crusade was played by Julian Glover who was also in Empire Strikes Back as an AT AT comander. He told Darth Vader that "they had neared the Shield Generator and it would be down in moments"
Contributed by: Kathy Evans
The officer on the bridge of the Star Destroyer who says "The ship no longer appears on our scopes" bears a striking resemblance to Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap), but I don't think it's the same actor.
General Rieekan of the Rebel Alliance says "Send Rogues 10 and 11 to sector 38," this is a veiled reference to George Lucasís THX 1138 (1971).
A deleted scene that made it to a trailer shows C-3P0 on the ice planet of Hoth tearing a decal off a door where the rebels have contained the dangerous wampas.
Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch) was called in as a replacement stormtrooper. He can be seen as the Imperial Guard who pulls Princess Leia into the elevator after she screams "Luke! It's a trap!" He can also be seen as the Imperial Guard who is captured by Lando Calrissian's men.
The voiceover line "The first transport is away" during the Rebel evacuation is delivered by Mark Hamill.
The late/great screenwriter Leigh Brackett (who co-wrote this with Lucas) also wrote Howard Hawke's Rio Bravo.
One of the asteroids is actually a potato. It appears just as the Millennium Falcon first enters the field. Two asteroids travel from the top left to the bottom right corner of the screen. Just after the second asteroid leaves the screen a third one appears in the top left corner. This is the potato. Another is a tennis shoe.
Contributed by: James Kennedy
As Han Solo is about to be lowered into the carbonite freezing chamber, Leia tells him, "I love you." Originally, Solo's response was, "Just remember that because I'll be back." No one liked the line, especially Harrison Ford (too un-Han Solo-ish), so several different versions were tried and filmed. Finally, Director Irvin Kershner just told Ford to say whatever instantly came to his head. When Carrie Fisher (Leia) next said, "I love you," Ford responded with, "I know" ...And that's the one that was used.
In the original film, when R2-D2 is spat out of the swamp on Deagobah, Luke tells him, "You're lucky you don't taste very good." In the "special edition," the line is re-dubbed, "You're lucky you got out of there."
Contributed by: James Kennedy
Part of the reason for creating Lando as a black character was that Lucas had considered making Han Solo a black man early in his development of the original Star Wars.
Contributed by: James Kennedy
In the original version of the film, the actor seen as the Emperor in a holographic image is actually a woman. She was replaced in later releases with Ian McDiarmid, the same actor who plays the Palpatine/Sidious/Emperor character in Episodes VI, I, II, and III. The replacement footage for ESB was not filmed until production was underway on Episode I, which is why the scene remained intact when the Special Edition was first released in theaters.
Contributed by: Michael Quinn
John Ratzenberger appears as rebel commander Major Bren Derlin, he played Cliff Clavin on TV's "Cheers".
Contributed by: Chris Cain
Dennis Lawson who plays Wedge Antilles is the uncle of Ewan Mcgregor (obi-wan kenobi from episode 1-3).
Contributed by: A. Verble
If you look closely, someone appears to be carrying a white ice cream maker during the frantic evacuation of 'Cloud City'.
Contributed by: James Kennedy
By the time Empire premiered, toy company Kenner had taken firm control of the action figure market thanks to their Star Wars license and their 3.75 inch line of figures.

Previously, a rival toy company, Mego, held the top spot due mostly to its famous line of 8 inch Superhero figures. The Lucas team originally offered the Star Wars license to Mego. But as the story goes, when the Lucas rep. arrived to meet with the Mego people, they couldn't / wouldn't see him. So, the rep. simply took the elevator to Kenner HQ, which happened to be in the same building. Kenner's Star Wars toys became legendary and still dominate the market today (Kenner was later purchased by Hasbro, who still produces the line today).

Mego, on the other hand, never recovered. The company tried to make up for the Star Wars blunder by licensing nearly everything else under the sun, including Buck Rogers, Disney's the Black Hole, the Dukes of Hazzard, CHiPs, etc., etc. But within a few years, Mego was forced to declare bankruptcy.

The success of Star Wars came as a surprise for Kenner and no action figures were available at the time of the first film's release. To capitalize on the brand in time for the Christmas season, Kenner created the "Early Bird" or "Open Box" campaign where parents could purchase a certificate to give to their children which promised to mail the first 4 figures (Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, and R2-D2) as soon as they were ready. While obviously a bit hokey, the idea was a triumph and only added to kids' desire for Star Wars toys.

Although Kenner is typically given credit for creating and standardizing the 3.75 inch action figure, another company, Fisher Price, had already produced a fairly successful line of 3.75 inch figures, vehicles, and accessories known as 'Adventure People.' You can clearly see pieces of certain Adventure People figures in very early prototype shots of Kenner's Star Wars line.

Both Mego's line of Superhero figures and Kenner's original line of Star Wars action figures are among the most desirable and most expensive brands in the collectible toy market.
Contributed by: James Kennedy
The most popular new character in Empire was, undoubtedly, Boba Fett. Despite very limited screen time, Lucas and Co. used the mysterious Fett character as a major marketing tool for the film.

Boba Fett was first seen in the cartoon segment of the embarrassing awful 'Star Wars Holiday Special' in 1978. Among other cringe-inspiring details: Bea Athur now owns the Mos Eisley Cantina where she waters the plant-head of patron Harvey Corman and Carrie Fisher concludes the show with a loooonnnggg singing number surrounded by Wookiees (and an obviously disturbed Harrison Ford). The Holiday Special was so terrible that Lucas still refuses to release it in any form, though bootleg copies can be easily found.

Lucas also used their deal with Kenner to prmote Fett and Empire. Kids could collect proofs-of-purchases and mail them to Kenner in order to receive the Fett figure in the mail as soon as he was ready (shades of the 'Early Bird' campaign). Star Wars figure packages offered a few hints about the character, such as the danger he posed to Han Solo, and photos of the Fett prototype with a rocket-firing backpack. But before the figure could be completed and mailed, a child swallowed and choked on a toy missile from another company. The child died and Kenner decided to cancel the "firing rocket" feature in favor of a permanently-inserted missile. The changes resulted in major delays in shipping the figure to anxious children but once again, this only added to the excitement over Boba Fett and the new film. When the figure finally arrived, Kenner included a note explaining the backpack rocket change.

Despite persistent rumors, no Boba Fett figures with the rocket-firing feature were ever mailed. A few un-finished/un-painted prototypes exist and are known to sell for over $15,000. Only one painted example has been found. It is a carded (packaged) figure that was part of Kenner's Star Wars exhibit at the 1979/1980 Toy Fair. It was recently up for auction with a starting bid of $100,000.
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The Empire Strikes Back