In the more than 40 years since the Star Wars saga debuted, various behind-the-scenes stories have been chronicled in movies, TV specials, and books, informing fans about nearly every detail of the development process. Despite the wealth of information out there, some fans still relay anecdotes about the series' development to one another, regardless of the truth behind those stories. Lucasfilm creative art manager Phil Szostak regularly offers insight into the franchise through his Twitter account, purely for the sake of informing fans, though he recently started a thread in which he offers corrections to long-held myths about the production process of the series.
Star Wars Mythbusters— Phil Szostak (@PhilSzostak) August 3, 2019
Darth Vader is from the German (or Dutch) for “Dark Father”
1. “General Vader/Imperial Commander” appears on an early-1974 list of potential character names by George Lucas
(screenshots from @jwrinzler’s essential Making of #StarWars book series) pic.twitter.com/G1ohdTQLjI
The first myth that Szostak addressed was the idea that "Darth Vader" is a German/Dutch translation of "Dark Father," confirming that plans were always in place for Vader's reveal in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The art manager went on to cite a number of instances of the name's appearance, confirmation of Vader being Luke's father, and debunked the translation of "Darth," irrevocably busting this myth.
Subsequent myths that get busted were related to the design of the AT-ATs and Boba Fett's Slave I, the origins of Chewbacca's name, and the influence of Ralph McQuarrie's concept art on the original Star Wars being made. One myth that Szostak actually confirmed, however, was that the original draft of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back saw Luke Skywalker only being mildly injured in the opening scenes, only for Mark Hamill's real-life car accident and subsequent injuries at the time inspiring that attack being upgraded to a much more severe encounter.
The Lucasfilm exec even extended the offer for submissions to have myths busted, though he did mention he already had a long list of myths he intended to debunk.
Prior to beginning his streak of myth-busting, Szostak's Twitter account has been a favorite among fans, as he regularly offers exciting looks at the series and is the author of multiple The Art of Star Wars books, which chronicle the development of the films throughout their various stages of production.
The next movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, lands in theaters on December 20th.
Were you surprised by some of the myths he debunked? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!