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18 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About STAR WARS Vehicles

The landspeeder was based on the Bug Car from James Bond.

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1. The names X-wing, Y-wing and TIE fighter came from the production team, not the writers.

The production team used those terms while working on STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE to distinguish the fighters. Those names are not actually used in the film, but were incorporated into the sequels.

2. The original Millennium Falcon looked completely different.

The original concept of the Millennium Falcon was long and cylindrical, rather than the iconic flat model we all know. The model makers thought the design was too similar to spacecraft from the TV series Space: 1999, so they scrapped it.

3. George Lucas was probably hungry when he came up with the Millennium Falcon.

The Millennium Falcon's design that's actually in the movies was inspired by the shape of a hamburger with an olive on the side of it.

4. The original full-build Millennium Falcon was burned in a bonfire.

The full-size build from STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI, was burned in a bonfire by the studio, who didn't realise that they could have sold it in auction and made a lot of money.

5. The Falcon was built in loads of different sizes.

Models of the Millennium Falcon ranged from really tiny ones that could fit into your hand, to ones over four feet long. Incredibly, an almost full-size, 60-foot replica of the ship was made for STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

6. The Millennium Falcon is eco-friendly.

According to Blu-Ray commentary, a lot of the Millennium Falcon is made up of scrap parts from cars and aeroplanes, and most of these parts were taken from dumping grounds.

7. The Falcon has a new sensor dish in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

The Falcon lost a sensor dish after it got knocked off during an attack in STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI. In a nod to continuity, in the STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS trailer, you can see that the ship is sporting a new sensor as a replacement.

8. The X-wing's design in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is a lot different than in other movies.

The X-wing in the new film has a different paint job. They also have blue markings, which couldn't be done back in the day of blue-screen model photography.

9. S-foils give X-wings their distinctive shape.

S-foils are movable wings that are attached to the starfighters. When the S-foils are in attack position, the they change the wing configuration into the iconic X shape that we all know.

10. Inspiration for the AT-AT came from the Oligocene epoch, which was about 34 million years ago.

The design was inspired by paraceratherium, an extinct rhino-like species and the largest land mammal to ever exist. The team even studied walking patterns of elephants to make the movements as realistic as possible.

11. To create the stomping sound of AT-ATs, the crew used a metal shearing machine.

They also created the squeaky joints sound from the door of a rusty dumpster. Clearly, the crew were crazy resourceful.

12. The "TIE" in TIE fighter stands for "Twin Ion Engines".

Joe Johnston, the model maker of the TIE fighters, came up with this acronym. Another name he'd considered was "Third Intergalactic Empire".

13. The TIE fighter engine sound was created by combining elephant squeals and cars driving on wet roads.

Ben Burtt is one smart guy.

14. The production crew got super creative when it came to making the landspeeder "hover".

To make the craft hover, the crew had to find ways to hide the wheels. They shot from angles that hid them, and masked the wheels behind scenery. They also suspended the speeder from a crane so it bounced when Luke jumped in or out of it.

The crew attached a mirrored skirt all the way around the speeder to reflect the sand beneath it, when capturing longer shots. They smudged gelatin onto the camera lens to create a blur effect too.

15. The cameramen had to film the speeder bikes excruciatingly slowly in STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI.

For the infamous chase scene, to make the speeder bikes "move" so fast, Garrett Brown filmed at 3/4 frames per second and had to walk steadily for a thousand feet, which got him 16 usable feet of footage.

A single slight misstep meant he would have to start the whole thing all over again.

16. The landspeeder is kinda 007.

The landspeeder in STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE was designed by car designer Tom Karen, and was based on the Bond Bug car.

17. Sounds from Alcatraz feature in STAR WARS THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

The sound of Darth Vader's command shuttle door is from a recording of Alcatraz cell doors slamming shut.

18. Half of the Star Destroyer's rumble was recorded from a hotel room.

The pulsating engine sound of the Star Destroyer is a pitched down recording of a broken air conditioner from a hotel, which was merged with the sound from a blimp.

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