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May the 4th be with you!

Mark Hamill, left, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford starred as rebel heroes in the 1977 futuristic blockbuster Star Wars.

Associated Press/20th Century Fox

Mark Hamill, left, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford starred as rebel heroes in the 1977 futuristic blockbuster Star Wars.

Happy Star Wars Day! It's "May the 4th be with you!" Get it? • Hope you bought your loved ones a greeting card with C-3PO on the front saying "Thank the maker!" Maybe there's still time to whip up some homemade Star Wars fortune cookies with pithy sayings ("Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Ah, Han was so wise.) • Okay, so technically there is no Star Wars Day — the original movie was released on May 25, 1977 — but obsessed fans like to designate today as a good occasion to stage movie marathons at home and wage impromptu light saber fights. • So how well do you really know the movie 33 years later? Even if you know the difference between Dantooine and Tatooine*, these five forgotten nuggets of trivia — culled from the Web — are worthy of inclusion in the Archives of the Jedi Order.

1. Never trust a lefty: Those evil Storm troopers all appear to be all left-handed! It's because their ammunition magazines on their weapons are on the left side, so it's easier to hold the guns left-handed. Or it could also be because most Storm troopers are cloned from the bounty hunter Jango Fett, who could have been a lefty.

2. Meet 'Little Arthur': Ever wonder how the droid names sounded in other languages? Confusing! That's why some Spanish subtitled versions of the film renamed R2-D2 as "Arturito" (meaning "little Arthur") in Spanish. C-3PO simply became "Citripio," which has no meaning.

3. Tie game: How did those one-man Imperial starships get the name TIE Fighters? TIE is actually an acronym that stands for "Twin Ion Engines." The movie's model-maker reportedly came up with it, though other fans maintain TIE stands for "Third Intergalactic Empire."

4. Obi-Wants out: The late Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, infamously regretted his participation in the movie. Guinness once told an interviewer he talked creator George Lucas into killing off his character because a ghost would be a better mentor for Luke Skywalker. "What I didn't tell him was that I just couldn't go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines," he said. His role was greatly reduced for the next two movies.

5. The ultimate power in the universe: After opening in May, Star Wars officially dethroned Jaws in November as the all-time box-office champion. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial snagged the record in 1982, holding it until Titanic rose to the top in 1997. Today, another soon-to-be sci-fi classic holds the record: Avatar.


[* Dantooine is where Princess Leia says the rebel base is hidden, though it's really on Yavin IV. Tatooine is Luke's home planet. And yes, we need to get a life.]

May the 4th be with you! 05/03/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 3, 2010 9:43pm]
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