With the recent record-breaking release of Star Wars:The Force Awakens audiences around the world have been drawn back into the universe created by George Lucas nearly 40 years ago. Perhaps you are aware of the stories and characters, but with a franchise of this size some things are not well known.

So for your sci-fi pleasure here are 10 Surprising Facts About Star Wars.

1. Alien Languages? Not So Much

Sometimes it just easier to take what already exists and reuse it. Remember Greedo (the one Han shot first at the Mos Eisley cantina)? He was speaking Quecha, a native language from South America. Oh, and if you speak Zulu you can likely understand Jawaese, it’s the same language, just faster and higher pitched.

2. E.T Shows Up

Did you see the movie ET: The Extra Terrestrial? Did you also see Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace? Then you saw ET’s people. In the Galactic Senate scene there is a short cameo of the Asogian delegation…and ET was an Asogian. The cameo was the result of a promise made to Steven Spielberg. In exchange for a Yoda toy appearing in ET George Lucas put ET’s people in The Phantom Menace.

3. Chewie is Bigfoot?

Some filming for The Empire Strikes Back was done in northern California. It is a beautiful area well known for towering redwood trees. But it’s also suspected Bigfoot country (if you are a Bigfoot believer). Actor Peter Mayhew was asked to not go through the forest in costume…to keep from being shot by Bigfoot hunters.

4. Southpaw Storm Troopers

Did you notice something odd about the Storm Troopers in various Star Wars movies? They mostly appear to be left handed. You could blame this on the fact that their ammunition magazines are on the left…or that the Latin word for left is “sinister.” (Of course the fact that they are clones might play a role.) Can’t trust those sinister lefties.

5. Bad Feelings

In every one of the (now seven) Star Wars movie the same phrase keeps appearing. Someone always says a variation of “I have a bad feeling about this.” You can see each one at the Star Wars Wikia.

6. Yoda is a Muppet?

The voice of Yoda was provided by Frank Oz. Oz is also famous as the voice of Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggie, Animal and Sam Eagle on The Muppet Show. In addition he is also credited for voicing Cookie Monster, Grover and Bert on Sesame Street.

7. One Famous Dog

Back to Chewbacca. His look was actually based on George Lucas’ dog. The dog also has a Harrison Ford back tie in. Ford played Han Solo in Star Wars and Dr. Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones movies. Jones was named after the dog…Indiana. Oh, for you Indiana Jones fans they actually make a joking reference to this in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

8. Homage to a Birthday

Until The Force Awakens came out on December 18, 2015 every Star Wars movie was released within 10 days of May 14. May 14 just happens to be the birthday of George Lucas, who created the Star Wars universe and severed as screen writer on the first six films.

9. Welcome to the United Kingdom

Technically Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a British movie. Of course much filming occurred in the United Kingdom, but according to reports there were significant tax breaks given by the British government. This has apparently caused them some embarrassment.

10. It’s All in a Name

In the Sanskrit language the word for warrior is Yodha. This is the origin for the name of Luke’s trainer and the Jedi Master, Yoda.

I hope that some (or all) of these facts were new to you. Also if you haven’t seen The Force Awakens you might want to check it out. It is just as entertaining as the original trilogy. A thoroughly enjoyable ride!

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