Star Wars Memories: Mistakes & Trivia

Retro Staff |  1  Comment

We love Star Wars.  And we thought we knew the original trilogy like the back of our hands, but this and the forthcoming post on Friday proved us wrong.  Staffers Mike and Rebecca – huge Star Wars fans – took on the task to report movie mistakes and quiz us on our vast (or, at least what’s what we thought) knowledge.

Every movie has mistakes…

Luke and Obi-Wan

Just moments before this shot, there was a coat hanging on the wall (to the left).

With any movie production, many takes of each scene are filmed before the whole mess is handed off to an editor to be cut together.  No matter how much care is taken with a film, something always slips through the cracks.  Star Wars is certainly no exception, and, thanks to the internet and legions of sharp-eyed fans, the evidence is readily accessible.

Episode IV: A New Hope contains tons of little continuity errors and mysterious disappearing and reappearing props.  It’s understandable – imagine you’re a set decorator out in the Tunisian desert and you’ve got to dress up Obi-Wan’s hovel in a hurry.  So you grab a few random space gewgaws, things you think old Ben might have hanging around, and toss them on the coffee table.  But filming takes forever, and in between the zillion takes in the blistering heat and trying to figure out exactly what a moisture vaporator looks like, a few things might get moved around.

Obi-Wan’s abode is something a lot of websites point to on the long list of oopsies.  The tchotchke count on the table definitely decreases when Obi-Wan watches Leia’s message.  Later, when Obi-Wan gives Luke his lightsaber, there is a coat hanging just to the left of Luke that disappears when the camera moves closer.  And not even shrubbery is safe from whatever black hole props disappear into on Tatooine.  When Luke is leaning over the edge of the compound to talk to Aunt Beru, he’s standing between a few shrubs.  When he turns to leave, the shrubs are gone.

On the Death Star, when R2-D2 and C-3PO are alone in the control room, you can see a rack of three guns just to the right of 3PO.  But in a later scene, there are four guns on the rack.

After Luke and Han have “rescued” Leia and are about to shoot their way into the trash compactor, Luke is missing the armor on his left shoulder.  But when Chewie moves towards the garbage chute, both of Luke’s shoulders are armored.  And in the epic Darth vs. Obi-Wan lightsaber duel, Darth’s chest plate winds up on backwards!  Additionally, if you pause the fight at exactly the right moment, Obi-Wan and Vader switch sabers for a second.

On Leia’s ship, when Darth Vader chokes the rebel commander, the unfortunate man clearly dies on-camera.  When Vader tosses him into the nearest wall, the actor’s hands come up to protect his face!  Not that I blame him – Vader (and David Prowse) has quite the throwing arm.

Star Wars Blooper

When Vader tosses him into the nearest wall, the dead soldier’s hands come up to protect his face.

On the Death Star, when the stormtroopers break into the control room where R2 and 3PO are hiding, the trooper on the right can be seen bumping his head on the door.



But, my personal favorite comes just after the destruction of the Death Star.  When Luke climbs out of his X-wing and Leia comes rushing to meet him, he gleefully shouts “Carrie!”

See for yourself:


None of these bloopers detract from the Star Wars experience, however.  In fact, I think they enhance it.  It’s fun to spot little whoopsies, and it always brings a smile to my face when the stormtrooper bumps his head.  Also, these mistakes are a tribute to Star Wars’ humble beginnings.  A film that somehow managed to make it through a multitude of screenplay drafts, budget issues, production problems, and all manner of challenges to become not only a smash hit the likes of which the world had never seen, but a cultural icon as well.  

And every fan knows his stuff…

Original or Remastered?

We all know that George Lucas has tweaked the original Star Wars over the years (do we ever!). Now we’re going to see how well you know your Star Wars!  Below are 12 scenes from the movie, taken from either the theatrical release or the remastered DVD editions.   Let’s see if you know which ones are from the 1977 original and which ones were added or changed later.

  1. In the title crawl, are the words “Episode IV: A New Hope” original or remastered?
  2. During the firefight in the rebel blockade runner, one of the rebels gets shot and falls to the floor.  When he falls, a sound like a crashing airplane or rotor can be heard.  Is the sound original or remastered?
  3. On Tatooine, Luke cleans up the droids in his workshop.  The back end of his T-16 Skyhopper is visible in the background.  Is the T-16 original or remastered?
  4. The Millennium Falcon escapes from the starport on Tatooine.  The angle of the shot is from above the ship, looking down as it takes off.  Is this angle original or remastered?
  5. When the Death Star fires on Alderaan, two Imperials cringe away from the beam.  Is this scene original or remastered?
  6. When the Millennium Falcon is tractored into the Death Star, there are two stormtroopers in the foreground.  Are the stormtroopers original or remastered?
  7. Two stormtroopers searching the Millennium Falcon‘s interior pause at the exit ramp. One of them says “There’s no one here.”  Is this phrase original or remastered?
  8. In a scene on the Death Star, Han and Chewie chase a squad of troopers down a corridor.  When the heroes turn a corner, they find the troopers facing them in front of a large bay full of more troopers and a TIE fighter.  Is the TIE fighter original or remastered?
  9. When the X-wing fighters take off from the Yavin moon, one flies close past a guard perched on a tower.  Is the X-wing original or remastered?
  10. During the X-wing/TIE fighter battle, Wedge says “My scope shows the tower but I can’t see the exhaust port.”  Original or remastered?
  11. After the Millennium Falcon takes out Vader’s TIE fighter, there is a view of the Falcon swooping around.  Is that shot original or remastered?
  12. While the heroes are walking in for the medal ceremony, Chewbacca growls just before the attended guests turn in unison. Is the growl original or remastered?
While you’re scratching your head, or looking things up on the web – really, it’s just to distract you from looking at the numbers below – check out this 3-1/2 minute reel of Star Wars mishaps. Darth Vader’s reversed chestplate is at the end, by the way:


Answers – Original: 2, 3, 5, 6, 12; Remastered:  1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11


So, how did you do? Are you a true Star Wars aficionado, or do you need to take time this upcoming weekend to rewatch?

Last updated: May 23, 2012
Filed under: Retro Memories Tagged with: movies, Star Wars