Debunking Star Wars Myths: Separating Galactic Fact from Fiction

20 October 2023
The Star Wars universe is not just a galaxy far, far away; it's also a sprawling landscape of lore, fan theories, and myths that have taken on a life of their own.

Over the decades, these myths have woven themselves into the very fabric of the franchise, blurring the lines between what's canonical and what's merely speculative. In this in-depth exploration, we aim to set the record straight.

We'll delve into some of the most enduring myths surrounding Star Wars, from directorial credits to secret horror films, and reveal the fascinating truths behind them.

Prepare to have your Star Wars knowledge expanded and some long-held beliefs debunked as we separate galactic fact from fiction!

Myth 1: George Lucas Directed "Return of the Jedi"

The belief that George Lucas directed "Return of the Jedi" instead of Richard Marquand has been a subject of fan speculation for years. Kind of like how Steven Speilberg directed The Poltergeist instead of Tobee Hooper. This myth likely gained traction due to the complex technical aspects of the film, which led some to question Marquand's expertise. 

However, Marquand was indeed the director and played a pivotal role in shaping the film's emotional and narrative arcs. 

Myth 2: "Blue Harvest" Was a Secret Horror Film

The working title of Return of the Jedi, "Blue Harvest" has been the subject of much intrigue. Fans speculated that it was a secret horror film George Lucas was working on. In reality, the title served as a smokescreen to deter fans and the media from snooping around the sets of "Return of the Jedi."

blue harvest working title return of the jedi

The production team even went so far as to produce "Blue Harvest" merchandise like caps and t-shirts to maintain the ruse. While Lucas may have entertained the idea of making a horror film, no footage under the "Blue Harvest" title was ever shot.

Myth 3: "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" Was Scripted as a Sequel

Alan Dean Foster's novel "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" has often been mistaken as a scripted sequel to "A New Hope." In reality, Lucas commissioned the book as a potential low-budget follow-up in case "Star Wars" didn't perform well at the box office. Foster was given a set of ideas and film treatments from Lucas but was largely left to his own creative devices.

When "Star Wars" became a global phenomenon, Lucas shifted gears, opting for a higher-budget sequel. The first draft was penned by Leigh Brackett, and after her untimely death, it was further refined by Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan.

Myth 4: The Wampa Was Created to disguise Mark Hamill's Face

The myth that the Wampa attack in "The Empire Strikes Back" was written to account for Mark Hamill's facial injuries from a car accident is enduring but false. While Hamill did sustain injuries, the script was not altered to accommodate his changed appearance.

Interestingly, Hamill did get a black eye during the filming of the Dianoga attack scene in "A New Hope," but this was cleverly managed by shooting him from one side for the rest of that sequence.

Myth 5: Lucas Had 12 Star Wars Films Mapped Out

The notion that George Lucas had a grand plan of 12 films is more legend than fact. While Lucas did have an extensive amount of material, including concepts around the "Journal of Whills," these were not fully fleshed-out scripts for a 12-part saga.

The episodic structure we know today was not formalized until after "The Empire Strikes Back," and even then, it was a fluid vision that evolved over time. Lucas's ideas were broad strokes that were gradually refined into the Star Wars universe we know today, such as the Clone Wars seen in the prequels, mentioned in ANH.

Bonus Myth: Darth Vader was planned as Luke's father all along

The idea that Darth Vader's name was a clue to his relationship with Luke has been debunked by multiple script iterations which did not feature this father son relationship. 

This myth likely originated from the Dutch word "vader," which means father. However, this was not an intentional clue planted by Lucas. The revelation about Vader being Luke's father was a later addition, developed during the scripting process for "The Empire Strikes Back."

Each of these myths adds a layer of intrigue to the already rich tapestry of the Star Wars universe. They serve as a testament to the franchise's enduring cultural impact, sparking debates and theories that have captivated fans for generations.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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