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FAQ: Star Wars FAQ, Part 1 of 3

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 )
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Archive-name: starwars/faq/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 15-NOV-1996

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge

                                STAR WARS

        Frequently Asked Questions and Sources of Information

           George 'Jake' Tringali   < >


NOTE: Now that we are receiving new information almost weekly from Lucasfilm
about the movies, people should fairly be warned that reading this document
or any articles in the rec.arts.sf.starwars.* hierarchy may spoil your
enjoyment of the movies if you like surprises.  Have you ever had anyone 
tell you the ending of a movie/book before you got to experience it?  This 
is a spoiler, and it can be done through the Internet.  If you are posting 
sensitive information, please place the text "SPOILERS" in the title and 
body of the message.  Enjoy the FAQ!

Recent changes from previous FAQs:
Question 6: Information about the Star Wars Special Edition trailer has
            been added
Part 3: Updated information on Star Wars Special Edition
                               Battle of the Bounty Hunters
                               Boba Fett: Twin Engines of Destruction
                               Tales of the Bounty Hunters
                               The New Rebellion
                               Dark Forces
                               Episode V:  The Empire Strikes Back
                               Episode VI: Return of the Jedi


In the 1970's, George Lucas created the Star Wars universe.  From this
universe came three films and numerous books, comics, games, and 
merchandise.  The universe also spawned many Star Wars fans, who 
occasionally find their way onto the Internet where they can discuss Star 
Wars with other fans.  

Certain topics come up again and again.  They are good questions, and 
the answers may not be immediately obvious, but each time they recur, 
much net bandwidth and reader time is wasted on repetitive responses, 
and on tedious corrections to the incorrect answers which are inevitably 

This article, which is posted monthly, attempts to answer these common
questions definitively and succinctly, so that net discussion can move
on to more constructive topics.

The information included in this document comes from various Usenet 
newsgroups, most notably the rec.arts.sf.starwars.* newsgroups, and various 
publications.  Most of the information in this document has been confirmed.  
If any of the information listed below is based on rumor, it is clearly 
stated.  If you encounter any items in this document which you believe to 
be erroneous or missing, please feel free to drop a message to 
< >.

This FAQ is available via anonymous FTP at in 

This FAQ is available via the MIT mail server.  Send email to 
< > with the body:
send usenet/news.answers/starwars/faq/part1
send usenet/news.answers/starwars/faq/part2
send usenet/news.answers/starwars/faq/part3

You may view this document with a World Wide Web browser.  The URL is:

This document is posted monthly to, 
rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, rec.answers, and news.answers.



If you don't understand terms like "flaming," "ftp," "HTML," "WWW", 
"newsgroup," or "FAQ," or you are new to Usenet, this would be a good time 
to jump over to the newsgroup called "news.announce.newusers" and read some 
of the messages posted there.  The information found in 
"news.announce.newusers" will be essential to understanding Usenet culture 
and a lot of the terms and abbreviations that appear here and elsewhere. 
Reading articles that explain Usenet etiquette ("netiquette") will also be 

For example, it's always a good idea to "lurk" (i.e., read messages and not 
write them) when you join a new newsgroup. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) 
lists like this one will appear, and you'll be able to understand what topics
are discussed.  It's a good idea to always read the FAQ before posting.

Because a primer on Usenet (and the Internet) is beyond the scope of this FAQ 
list, I humbly direct you to "news.announce.newusers" for more information.  
If you want to ask a question about the Net, please ask in the newsgroup 
"news.newusers.questions" and reserve discussions about Star Wars for 


The most common netiquette mistakes made by Star Wars fans are :

1. Crossposting.  A lot of people abuse this function.  If you must send to 
more than one group, perhaps you should create two articles.  If you 
crosspost, or followup to a crosspost, make sure you edit the "Followup To:" 
line so that it has only one newsgroup.  You should always edit your 
"Newsgroups:" line so that it lists only relevant newsgroups.

2. Posting to the wrong newsgroup.  Here is a list of Star Wars newsgroups:
rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting     Star Wars collecting (Look for the FAQ)          Role playing, computer, card, etc.
rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc           Miscellaneous topics about SW           General information about SW - moderated
alt.binaries.starwars               Pictures and sound files

    Group name: (moderated)
    Moderator:           David Kemper < >
    Submissions address: < >
    Contact address:     < >

3. Not marking spoilers.  Have you ever had anyone tell you the ending of a 
movie/book before you got to experience it?  This is a spoiler, and it can be 
done through the Internet.  If you are posting sensitive information, please 
place the text "SPOILERS" in the title and body of the message.


1.  Will there be any more Star Wars movies?  When are they coming?
Answer :  Yes.  Here are some facts.
 - George Lucas is hard at work on three movies, which will be prequels to
     the released Star Wars movies.
 - Producer Rick McCallum estimates that the first movie will be in theaters
     in 1999.
 - Budgets on each of the three films will be $50 - $70 million. 
 - Animatics (3-D representation of storyboards) and models of
     creatures and vehicles are being developed.  Artists Doug Chiang
     and Terryl Whitlatch have been working on sculptures.
 - A full-scale miniature mock-up of one of the key scenes on Tatooine
     has been created.
 - Rick McCallum is meeting with George Lucas every Friday to develop the 
 - With the aid of a computer, Yoda will be able to walk in the prequels.
 - Some shooting will take place in 1996 and principal photography will 
     occur in 1997.  
 - Robin Gurland, the casting director, has been travelling the globe 
     looking for two young characters.  No one has been cast yet in any 
     roles.  They are only accepting resumes and head shots through agents.
 - An earlier version of C-3PO and R2-D2 will be in the films.
 - Variety reports that George Lucas will be working in Leavensden studio 
     in Watford, England.  It is a massive former Rolls Royce factory.
 - Rick McCallum and Production Designer Gavin Bocquet travelled to
     Tunisia to scout for possible locations for shooting film.  Other
     possible locations are Morocco, Central Asia, and Portugal.

2.  Who is in the new movies?
Answer:  No one has been announced to be in the movies.  Lucas denied a rumor
that Kenneth Branagh would be in the new movies in an October 1994 TV Guide 
interview.  Rick McCallum will film them back-to-back-to-back.  It has not 
been determined if Lucas will direct the films yet.  John Williams will 
create the score for the new movies.

3.  What about the trilogy after Return of the Jedi?
Answer:  George Lucas has no real plans for these stories yet.  It has been 
rumored that George Lucas asked Mark Hamill to appear in Episode 9.  

4.  Who is writing the new Star Wars films?
Answer: Lucas will write the first draft for all three movies, and second and
additional drafts will be written by other writers.  

The Hollywood Reporter on January 23, 1995 said that Frank Darabont ("The 
Shawshank Redemption", "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein") is front-runner to 
script the first installment of George Lucas' upcoming "Star Wars" prequels.  
Darabont became a Lucas favorite by scripting six "Young Indiana Jones 
Chronicles".  Darabont is committed to write two scripts for Castle Rock:
"The Mist" and "Mine".  

5.  Will 20th Century Fox distribute the new trilogy?
Answer: Most likely.  However, 20th Century Fox, which produced the first 
three movies, lost the rights to the series when Marvin Davis sold the studio 
to Rupert Murdoch.  DreamWorks SKG is another possibility.  In March 1995,
Lucas said, "DreamWorks has the opportunity to create a whole new 
distribution system that may be a vast improvement over the old one." 
Premiere magazine said that Universal City Studios helped with 
"Radioland Murders" to get in favor with Lucas, and perhaps show him that 
they could handle the next trilogy to his liking.

Kevin J. Anderson has confirmed that Twentieth Century Fox Television 
approached Lucasfilm with a pitch for a television series based on the 
post-ROTJ exploits of Jacen & Jaina, popularized in Anderson's Young Jedi 
Knights novels and introduced as the children of Han and Leia Organa Solo 
in Dark Horse's Dark Empire.  Wanting to devote all its energies into 
production of  "The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition" and the upcoming 
prequels, Lucasfilm replied,"not until the movies come out."

6.  What's going on with the original Star Wars films?
Answer: All three original movies were taken off the market on 
January 31, 1996.

Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox will distribute a Special Edition of 'Star 
Wars' to be released in the U.S. on January 31, 1997.  The Special Edition 
will feature previously unreleased footage, new digital special effects, 
and a digitally remastered soundtrack.  New creatures, vehicles, and droids 
will be added to the Mos Eisley scenes.  A computer generated stormtrooper 
will make an appearance.  Han Solo will confront Jabba the Hutt, a scene 
that was filmed in 1976 and can be found on the video "From Star Wars to 
Jedi." This Jabba the Hutt scene will also have a surprise cameo 
appearance, according to Star Wars Insider #28.  The rerelease will be 
about four minutes longer than the original.  The Biggs scene will not be 
included (see Question 14.)

The trailer for the Star Wars Special Edition is currently in theaters as
an opening for "Romeo and Juliet".  The trailer will also appear on the 
laser disc version of "Independence Day".

George Lucas was so happy with the restoration of 'A New Hope' that
restoration on 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi'
will occur in the future.  'Return of the Jedi' will have an extra minute
added to its ending with new scenes of celebration on Bespin, Tatooine, 
and Coruscant.  'Empire' will be released on February 21, 1997, and
'Return' will be released on March 7, 1997 in the U.S.

7.  Are Alec Guinness, Frank Oz, and Peter Cushing are dead?
Answer: Sir Alec Guinness played James in the 1996 BBC film Eskimo Day.
Frank Oz was last heard as Miss Piggy's voice in a Lay's Potato Chips 
commercial and on the television show "Muppets Tonight!".  
Unfortunately, it is true that Peter Cushing passed away in August 1994.

8.  What other projects are Lucasfilm, LucasArts, ILM, and THX working on?
Answer:  Lucasfilm is supposedly in preproduction on a film called "Red 
Tails", to be directed by Thomas Carter.  The film, not currently set up 
at any studio, is about the first all black air squadron in World War II.  
Lucasfilm also has a fourth Indiana Jones production waiting in the wings 
(see Question 30.)

LucasArts will be publishing Jedi Knight, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, and
Outlaws this winter.  These three games are designed for both multiplayer 
and stand-alone action. Jedi Knight is the sequel to Dark Forces; 
Outlaws is an action-adventure Spaghetti Western; and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
is the ultimate Star Wars space combat simulation. In addition, LucasArts' 
highly anticipated children's game, Mortimer and the Riddles of the 
Medallion, and its first strategic simulation, Afterlife, will ship this 
spring.  Finally, in 1997, LucasArts will publish Rebellion, a real-time 
competition of galactic expansion and domination pitted against survival 
and resistance in the Star Wars universe

Lucas Digital Ltd. includes Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light and 
Magic.  Skywalker Sound recently worked on "Mission Impossible" and "James
and the Giant Peach"  ILM has released "Special Effects: Anything Can 
Happen", an IMAX film with sequences from "Star Wars: The Special 
Edition".  Upcoming projects include 
 - "Casper 2(?)", "Lost World", and "Forrest Gump 2(?)" for Paramount
 - "Spawn" for New Line Cinema 
 - "Mars Attacks!" from Tim Burton
 - "101 Dalmations" from John (Home Alone) Hughes
 - "Daylight" starring Sylvester Stallone
 - "Men in Black" from director Barry Sonnenfeld
 - "Star Trek: First Contact" from director Jonathan Frakes

THX recently placed its magic touch on "Heat" and "Jumanji".  Upcoming
THX-certified laser discs include "ET", "The Abyss", and "Toy Story".

9. I have something called "Episode III : Fall of the Republic".  Is it the 
   real thing?
Answer: No.  It was written by John Flynn.  This is fanfiction.  In reality, 
Episode III has not been written yet.  John Flynn also wrote an article for 
CINESCAPE in which he describes the plot and characters of Episodes I, II, 
and III, but he neglects to tell them that his interpretation of the plot and
characters are just his own fanfiction and his own speculations.

10.  What are the black things on the Emperor in the Throne Room?
Answer: Bad special effects.  They tried to cover up parts of the Emperor's 
face with the black "white-out".  These are known as the Emperor's slugs.

11.  What are the Clone Wars?
Answer :  The Clone Wars seem to be a war between the Jedi and some unknown 
enemy.  The Timothy Zahn 'Star Wars' books say that there was a technology 
that could clone warriors to create legions of troops.  However, this may or 
may not be used by Lucas.

12.  Why is Star Wars called Episode IV?
Answer: The Star Wars saga as originally conceived by Lucas was much too 
large to be made into a single film or even a single trilogy so Lucas 
structured his ideas into three trilogies.  He decided to make the middle 
trilogy first because he believed it had the greatest chance of being a 
theatrical success.  

13.  In A New Hope, why didn't the Death Star blow up the planet, or,
     in the movie <fill-in>, why didn't <characters> do <this action>?
Answer: Dramatic license.  Remember, this is a legend, not a historical 
account of an actual story.

14.  What are the cut scenes from 'Star Wars : A New Hope'?
Answer: There were scenes filmed where Luke met his friend Biggs on Tatooine. 
It was _never_ released in the movie theaters.  There was a scene filmed 
where Luke met someone in the Rebel hangar that knew Luke's father.  There 
was a scene where Han met Jabba on Tatooine.  Originally, Lucas had a large 
actor in a fur suit as Jabba, and he wanted to use special effects to place 
the creature of Jabba over the actor.  He did not like the results, so he cut 
the scene from the movie.  Partial unfinished footage of these scenes can be 
found on the video "From Star Wars to Jedi : The Making of a Saga".  The 
original film did not have the text "Episode IV: A New Hope".  This text was 
later added to the opening scenes.

Ryan Silva maintains an extensive listing of ALL the lost scenes.  You can 
email him at < >, or point your WWW browser at:

15.  What are the differences in the soundtrack of the released 
     Star Wars and the currently available ones?
Answer:  This answer in under construction.  There are now four different
versions of the soundtrack: 70mm 6 track, 35mm stereo, 35mm mono, and THX.
The THX version is a "best mix" of all three.  Mr. THX 
( is compiling a list of the differences.

16.  Wasn't Return of the Jedi originally Revenge of the Jedi?
Answer: Yes.  A lot of promotional material was printed with this title.  The
title was changed because revenge is not Jedi-like, and the studio wanted to 
avoid confusion with an upcoming movie named "Star Trek II: Vengence of 
Khan", which later became "Wrath of Khan".  While filming in certain 
locations, the workers said they were making a film called "Blue Harvest : 
Horror Beyond Imagination" to keep away Star Wars fans.

17.  What Star Wars related items have appeared on television?
Answer: Each movie had a "making of" TV special.  You can find them at some 
video stores.  They are "The Making of Star Wars" (1977),  "SPFX: The Empire 
Strikes Back" (1980), and "Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi" (1983)

In 1978, "The Star Wars Holiday Special" aired for its only showing.  The 
special was about Chewie visiting his family on his home planet.  Most of the 
major movie characters had cameos.  There was a short cartoon in the middle 
which showed Boba Fett.  If you ask around on the Star Wars newsgroups, you 
can usually find someone who will sell you a copy of this.  You can also 
contact Dog Star Collectibles for a copy of the special and the "making of" 
TV specials at < >.

There were two Ewok movies.  They were "The Ewok Adventure: Caravan of 
Courage" and "The Ewoks: Battle for Endor".  There was a season of animated 
comic "The Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour."  In the second season, the show 
became the half-hour "Ewoks" show.

In 1985, PBS aired "From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga", which was 
available with the boxed set of the trilogy.

18.  What is Hardware Wars?
Answer: Hardware Wars is a 13-minute, very funny, very low budget parody of 
Star Wars.  You can find it at some video stores, on a tape called
"Hardware Wars and other film farces," which also contains three other short 
films: "Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind", "Bambi Meets Godzilla", and "Porklips 
Now", which, like Hardware Wars, were made by Ernie Fosselius.  For more 
information, point your WWW browser to

19.  What is the Journal of the Whills?
Answer:  This is mentioned in the introduction to the Star Wars 
novelization and hardly anywhere else.  Its significance is unclear, but it 
might be similar in concept to the Red Book of Westmarch, the ficticious 
book from which Tolkiens' Lord of the Rings story supposedly comes.

20.  How did Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford get their scars?
Answer: Mark Hamill went through the windshield of his BMW in California.  
Harrison Ford received his 2-inch scar in a car accident in his early 20s.

21.  Why did Han Solo refer to parsecs as a unit of time?
Answer: He was lying to Ben and Luke and trying to make himself look good.  
This is shown in the novel adaptation and the script of 'A New Hope'.  If 
you look at the movie (and in the script), Ben gives Han a disbelieving face 
after this line.  Kevin Anderson gives an alternate answer in his Star Wars 
books, which deals with travelling near black holes.

22.  Why is a B-wing called a B-wing?
Answer: It is shaped like a "B"lade.

23.  Was Cliff Claven from Cheers in a Star Wars movie?
Answer: John Ratzenberger, who portrayed the Cliff Claven character on 
Cheers, was Major Derlin in "The Empire Strikes Back".  He tells Leia that 
"there's nothing more we can do tonight.  The shield doors must be closed."  
Later, before the battle on Hoth, Derlin instructs the fighters "Okay.  
Everybody to your stations.  Let's go!". 

24.  Did you know the stormtrooper hit his head?
Answer: Yes, we all know that.  Every month or so, someone drops in with this 
question.  It happens so often that it's now a joke on the Star Wars 
newsgroups.  When the stormtroopers find the droids in the Death Star, the 
stormtrooper on the right of the screen bumps his head...pretty hard too.

25.  What is GONK?
Answer: A long time ago, in rec.arts.sf.starwars (rest in peace), the Gonk 
Wars raged.  Gonk is the power droid that you can see throughout the movies.
It is a black cube with silver legs that says "Gonk".  You can see Gonk best 
in the Jawa's Sandcrawler in 'A New Hope'.  Many Star Wars fans believed that 
Gonk was a God and that the whole movie was about Gonk and the characters of 
Luke, Leia, and Han were just bit parts.  In any case, we hope never to have 
a Gonk War again since it took up so much traffic in r.a.s.s.

26.  What does the Hebrew lettering on Darth Vader's chestplate mean?
Answer: The chestplate can be seen at

The readers of rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc have been researching this topic.
The readers believe that it is indeed Hebrew lettering.  Some possible
translations are "until he won" (where 'won' means a prize or money as
opposed to a victory) or "until a return".  David Fleischer recently wrote
in saying that the first line may be "Or, and his works", the second may
be "which will move", and the third may be "until he has won".

27. In Kevin Anderson's books, it refers to a time when the Emperor was 
    resurrected.  In which book did this occur?
Answer: The Emperor was resurrected in Dark Horse's "Star Wars : Dark Empire"
comic series.  You can buy the six issues separately, or you buy the trade 
paperback which places all the issues into a single book, and has some extra 

28. What is THX-1138?
Answer:  It is a 1970 futuristic science-fiction movie starring Robert 
Duvall, who plays a character named THX-1138.  It was written, directed, and 
edited by George Lucas and produced by Francis Ford Coppola.  It was adapted
from his first short film that he made at his university.  
- THX stands for "Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment" after a friend of Lucas who 
  invented the THX sound system extensively used by Lucas.  
- The name of the movie is also found on Pinky and the Brain's chalkboard in 
  the Animaniacs animated series.
- THX-138 is on the license plate of a car in another Lucas movie "American 
- Luke says "Prisoner transfer from block 1138" on the Death Star.
- In the novelization of "A New Hope", the stormtrooper whose uniform Luke 
  wears is designated THX-1138.
- Rieeken says "Send Rogues Ten and Eleven to station three-eight" on Hoth.  
- Noel Nelson reports that a speeder has the license plate THX-1138 at the 
  Star Tours ride in Disneyland.
- Peter Leyshan reports that THX1138 is the name of a container in the 
  LucasArts game 'TIE Fighter'. 
- THX Sound System can be found at
- There are many more obscure ones, too many to be mentioned here.  One 
  includes a car in a Danish comic that has THX 138 on it.

29. When Han is lowered into the carbon freezing chamber, he is wearing
    handcuffs.  Why do they disappear when he escapes in Jabba's Palace?
Answer: You were probably watching the Pan and Scan version of the movie.
The Pan and Scan version was made for televisions, and therefore cuts out
the sides of the movie.  If you watch the letterbox version, you can clearly 
see two ugnaughts walk in front of him and take off the handcuffs.

30. What are the "Star Wars people" up to recently?
Carrie Fisher may play the role of Edina in an American version of the 
British sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous".  Carrie Fisher is doing a rewrite of 
"Kate & Leopold", which stars Sandra Bullock.  Carrie was recently 
published on Buzz Online at

Hamill's voice is in the game "Full Throttle" and the animated 
series "Batman" and "Spiderman".  Mark is in the "Wing Commander IV" 
computer game.  A "Wing Commander" movie is being made that will take 
place 25 years before the games, but Mark Hamill will not be playing 
the young Christopher Blair.  However, Mark will be lending his voice
as Christopher Blair in the upcoming animated series "Wing Commander
Academy".  Mark explored a new arena when the Dark Horse comic "Black Pearl"  
came out with its first issue in September 1996.

Harrison Ford is in the upcoming movie "A Hundred and One Nights".  Author 
Tom Clancy worked a deal with Paramount for three more Jack Ryan films, 
starting with "The Cardinal of the Kremlin", and they hope Ford will agree 
to play the role for all three films.  The first draft of a new "Indiana 
Jones" movie has recently submitted, but it is being delayed until the 
Star Wars films are underway.  Ford's current project will pair him with
Brad Pitt in a crime drama set in New York City.

Sadly, actor Sebastian Shaw passed away in England recently.  He had
the memorable role of Anakin Skywalker, whose face we see only towards
the end of 'Return of the Jedi', and finally when he is paired with
Yoda and Ben in the glow of the Force at the Ewok celebration.

We will also miss the talents of Brian Daley, who passed away in February.
He wrote the National Public Radio serial adaptations of the three original
Star Wars films, and wrote numerous Star Wars novels, including the
Han Solo series.


I would like to thank all the Star Wars fans that help me 'spread the word'.  
These (and many other unmentioned) people deserve credit for this part of the 
FAQ.  If you see any of them, pat them on the back and get them your local 
equivalent of Corellian Rum.

Jeanne Mangum  
Peter Ferguson 
Eric Sansoni   
Alec Usticke   
James L. Belcher
Aditya Sood    
Eric Schaetzlein
John Warren    
Michelle Lunsford
Noah Nelson    
Jim                      71344.2421@CompuServe.COM
Peter Leyshan  
Ryan Silva      
Eric Jackson   
Keven Lewis    
Nicole Nuke    
Evan Reynold   
Mike Beidler   
Roger M. Wilcox
Craig Carey    
Rebecca Moesta Anderson


This FAQ is Copyright (C) 1996 by George Tringali.  This work, in whole or in 
part, may not be sold in any medium, including but not limited to electronic, 
CD-ROM, or print, without the explicit, written permission of George 

Permission is hereby granted to quote reasonable extracts from this work,
provided that proper attribution is given.  You may also distribute this work 
(subject to the conditions above) in its entirety via email, FTP, and the 
WWW, provided that the the work is distributed in its entirety (including
header information) and remains unaltered.


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