Dark secrets the cast of Star Wars tried to hide

When Star Wars debuted in 1977, no one could have predicted it would become a colossal film franchise that creator George Lucas would eventually sell to Disney for a whopping $4 billion. This classic sci-fi tale has spawned three trilogies and a growing slate of anthology films that delight old and new generations of fans, yet behind the scenes, dark secrets lurk. Co-stars hated each other, actors hated Lucas, and Princess Leia's infamous gold bikini wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Honestly, it's a miracle the original trilogy even made it to the theaters. Buckle up and read on.

C-3PO and R2-D2 hated each other in real life

When audiences are introduced to the world of Star Wars, it's through the experience of two bickering droids named C-3PO and R2-D2. While the two iconic robots banter comedically on-screen, the actors playing the droids, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, truly were prone to arguments. And not in a cute way.

"Once when I said hello to him he just turned his back on me and said, 'Can't you see I'm having a conversation?'" Baker told Hollywood.com. "I was blazing with rage. It was the rudest thing anyone had ever done to me. I was furious. It was unbelievable."

Baker reportedly tried to forge a friendship with his co-star, and a lucrative one at that, but he was repeatedly rebuffed by Daniels, according to Metro. "We could make a fortune touring around making personal appearances," the R2-D2 actor said. "I've asked him four times now but, the last time, he looked down his nose at me like I was a piece of sh*t. He said: 'I don't do many of these conventions—go away little man.'"

For decades, Daniels has never commented on Baker's accusations, but months before the two appeared in The Force Awakens (2015), Daniels addressed the feud by throwing some heavy shade Baker's way. "He's not actually on the set," Daniels told the Mirror. "I haven't seen him for years. His name is on the credits as a sort of… I don't know, a good luck charm, a courtesy. He's a talisman." Ouch.

Alec Guinness regretted playing Obi-Wan

When Oscar-winning actor Sir Alec Guinness agreed to play Obi-Wan Kenobi, he thought it would be "another genre quickie," according to Entertainment Weekly. Instead, Star Wars became, well, Star Wars, and Guinness couldn't escape being recognized as the legendary Jedi master, which was especially unfortunate for the veteran actor because he hated the role so much he begged Lucas to kill off Kenobi.

"I just couldn't go on speaking those bloody awful lines. I'd had enough of the mumbo jumbo," Guinness said in later years, and he wasn't messing around. Entertainment Weekly reported that Guinness returned fan mail unopened, and he wasn't afraid to let children know how he really felt about Star Wars.

"Guinness was approached by a young boy who begged for his autograph, claiming to have seen 'Star Wars' countless times," the magazine said. "Sir Alec agreed, on one condition—that the boy never, ever watch the film again. The kid burst into tears, the kid's mother called Guinness a nasty man, and one clearly envisions the actor leaving the encounter with a quietly satisfied smile playing about his lips."

Despite privately calling the movie "rubbish" in letters, Guinness unknowingly saved Star Wars by being an absolute professional who consistently showed up on time and worked politely with everyone. "I honestly think he held the production together," set decorator Roger Christian wrote in his memoir. Talk about irony.

Harrison Ford tried to saw apart the Millennium Falcon

If Guinness was the calm professional, Harrison Ford was on the opposite end of that spectrum. In fact, he used to dismiss the first movie as something he made to feed his family while struggling as an actor. 

According to HuffPost, Ford's frustrations stemmed from an interest in doing right by his character. While arguing over lines with Lucas, Ford once famously yelled, "George, you can type this sh*t, but you sure as hell can't say it." 

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, said Ford was extremely concerned about getting his lines just right. "He'd written things in the margins, saying the same thing basically, but his way," Hamill said (via HuffPost). "He had an amazing way of keeping the meaning but doing it in a really unique way for his character."

Though Ford was dedicated, Hamill said his co-star sometimes didn't express his concerns with couth. In an interview with Empire, Hamill said, "You heard about Harrison taking a saw to the Millennium Falcon because he got so mad?" People were coming up to me going, 'You gotta stop Harrison, he's sawing up the Falcon.' It was made of wood and he just took a saw to it. I love Harrison. I got to stop him because I can make him laugh when he gets really, really mad."

Of course, what Hamill didn't know at the time is that Ford had found another way of relieving tension while filming Star Wars, and it did some real damage to a young girl's heart.

Ford had an affair with Carrie Fisher

While Ford often cited his family as his reason for acting in Star Wars, he conveniently left out an important detail about his time on set. He had an affair with his 19-year-old co-star, Carrie Fisher, after reportedly saving her from a booze-filled party for Lucas' birthday.

The late Fisher spilled the beans in her 2016 book The Princess Diarist, and according to a review in The Verge, their romance began like this: "'Pardon me,' [Ford] tells a crew member who claims Fisher wants to get a little air, 'but the lady doesn't seem to be very aware of what she wants.' An argument breaks out, and Ford yanks Fisher away from the party and into a car—and starts making out with her. He is married and has two kids. He is 14 years older than her. She is drunk, and he just finished saying she isn't aware enough to make rational decisions. And that's how their affair starts."

Not only did the affair start under questionable circumstances, but according to The Verge, it shouldn't have been treated as the "giddy confirmation of a collective fandom fantasy" that pop culture media made it out to be. Fisher was a teen, and the three-month affair reportedly did long-lasting damage to her self-worth. She fantasized about him leaving his wife, but Ford was allegedly only interested in one thing. "I wouldn't have been able to imagine his laughing wholeheartedly, or known how amazing it felt to actually be with the person you were with and feel that he liked you!" Fisher writes in her book.

Lucas was obsessed with Princess Leia's underwear

As if the tumultuous affair with Ford wasn't enough, before Fisher even started filming Star Wars, she had some pretty strange conversations with Lucas about why Princess Leia couldn't wear a bra. 

"What happens is you go to space and you become weightless. So far so good, right?" Fisher writes in her book Wishful Drinking (via Variety). "But then your body expands??? But your bra doesn't—so you get strangled by your own bra. Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra."

While that's a pretty weird conversation for a teen to have with a director, in Lucas' defense, his then-wife, Marcia, was heavily involved in the production of Star Wars, too. But what happened to Mrs. Lucas is even more shady than obsessing over lingerie in space.

Lucas' ex-wife edited Star Wars into gold

Shortly after wrapping Star Wars, Lucas showed a rough cut to fellow directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian de Palma, and John Landis, according to the Daily Beast. It did not go over well, and Marcia was reportedly reduced to tears.

Obviously, things turned out okay for the little space movie that could, but what a lot of people don't know is that Marcia is a gifted film editor who reportedly transformed the iconic trench run scene into a cinema classic. "She warned George, 'If the audience doesn't cheer when Han Solo comes in at the last second in the Millennium Falcon to help Luke when he's being chased by Darth Vader, the picture doesn't work,'" writes Michael Kaminski in The Secret History of Star Wars (via News.com).

Kaminski says Marcia's contributions to the original movies were deliberately downplayed after she divorced Lucas; she became "the forgotten Lucas." Kaminski claims efforts were made to actually remove her from behind-the-scene photos. In an interview with Film Freak Central, Hamill said Marcia's absence is felt in the less popular prequel trilogy because she was "the heart and warmth of the films."

Fisher partied with The Rolling Stones during filming

As Star Wars grew in popularity, the cast landed in some crazy situations. While filming The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Fisher reportedly found herself partying with both Monty Python and The Rolling Stones during a wild night that spilled into the next day of shooting.

"I was renting Eric Idle's house for five months, and he was doing Monty Python down in Tunisia, and they had a drink that they would give to the extras to make them more 'compliant.' And they called it 'The Tunisian Death Drink,'" Fisher told the Daily Beast. "We had an early call, and Eric called down and said, 'The Rolling Stones are here!' and I came down and it was all of them… I called Harrison [Ford] and said, 'Get over here! This is ridiculous!' I wonder how he remembers it. I remember that we never went to sleep, so we weren't hungover—we were still drunk when we arrived in Cloud City the next day. We don't really smile a lot in the movie, but there we're smiling."

Heavy drinking wasn't the only thing Fisher got into while filming the classic trilogy.

Fisher did cocaine during Empire and Jedi

In 2012, eagle-eyed internet users noticed that one of Fisher's fingernails was noticeably longer than the others in a scene from Return of the Jedi (1983), and a screencap immediately made the rounds claiming to be Fisher's "coke nail," according to io9

Ever the humorist, Fisher caught wind of the headlines and responded as only she could via Twitter. "I never used my fingernail for drugs," she tweeted. "I used dollars or tiny spoons like any other respectable former drug addict."

While doing press for The Force Awakens, Fisher once again responded with humor when the Daily Beast asked if she had a "difficult time" because of her battle with addiction while filming The Empire Strikes Back. "Actually, no, I didn't go through a difficult time!" she said. "I said I did blow a couple of times. That's not a difficult time! …Oh god, that will be fun for Disney! It's a billion years ago, and if I could tell you the truth, you would laugh so hard. And… I can't. But it was location. Location means everything is permitted. I went without being needed to Norway [on Empire] — that's how much fun I was having. I was upset that I didn't get to go to Tunisia for the first one. But I had a good time on the movies."

While Fisher had a good time, not everyone enjoyed their Star Wars experience, particularly a certain Dark Lord of the Sith.

The man behind Darth Vader spoiled The Empire Strikes Back

When most people think of Darth Vader, they think of James Earl Jones' iconic voice, but behind the mask, Dave Prowse was the towering physical presence in all three of the original films—and he was lucky to have a job after he spoiled one of the greatest cinematic reveals of all time.

In 1978, two years before The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters, Prowse attended a convention in Berkeley, Calif. where he told a cheering crowd (via The Retroist) that in the sequel, Luke and Vader are locked in a "do-or-die lightsaber duel" where Luke learns Vader is his father. "Father can't kill son, son can't kill father. So they live again to star in 'Star Wars IV.'"

However, as io9 notes, there's no way Prowse knew any of this because the original script for Empire had Vader telling Luke that Obi-Wan killed his father and Jones dubbed in the actual reveal in post-production. Essentially, Prowse was making up spoilers and got lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it).

Despite appearing in Empire and Return of the Jedi, Prowse and Lucas reportedly had a falling out, according to News.com, and in 2010 he was banned from all official Star Wars events after appearing in The People vs. George Lucas (2010), an anti-Lucas documentary. In Prowse's defense, he claims Lucasfilm still owes him residuals from Jedi, and there's a chance Darth Vader might have been ripped off by some slippery Hollywood accounting, according to /Film.

The Leia bikini was a body-shaming disaster

While her famous double hair buns in Star Wars are probably Princess Leia's most iconic look, the gold bikini she wears as a prisoner of Jabba the Hutt is a close second. Fisher looked amazing in the costume, but it was nothing but trouble for the actress. The Telegraph reported that when Lucas showed her early sketches of the bikini, she felt he was trying to "frighten me into exercise," and it worked for all the wrong reasons. 

According to the Daily Beast, Fisher suffered from "serious body dysmorphia issues." She didn't specify if the bikini exacerbated the condition or started it, but Fisher did look back on the awkward situation with her trademark wit. She described the costume's particular challenges in her interview with the Daily Beast: "'If I lay like this'—she arches her back flat—'and it doesn't adhere, it is like plastic, so that is a problem here'—she points to you-know-where—'because if I lay down, it doesn't go with me. I didn't inform him, but I always thought that if Boba Fett were of a mind, he could see all the way to Florida.'"

Fisher was verbally abused by a director

As if the slave bikini fiasco wasn't bad enough, Fisher told the Daily Beast that Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand was verbally abusive to her. 

The fiery actress didn't take it lying down. "I hated him," she said. "He fell all over Harrison, but he would yell at me constantly. He yelled at me one day, and I burst into tears, and it felt great because it f*cked up the makeup. I thought, 'Oh, I f*cked up your shot? Now you see who really f*cked up.' It took an hour for them to do my makeup again."

To quote the Daily Beast, "Fisher is, simply put, a boss."

Making motion picture history can get messy

While Star Wars emerged as a blockbuster success and a space adventure for the whole family, obviously things weren't so squeaky clean when the cameras weren't rolling. From torrid affairs, wild parties, and the near destruction of the Millennium Falcon, it seems like anything and everything was possible as Lucas (or should we say the Lucases?) struggled to bring this cinematic vision to life. So the next time you sit down to watch the adventures from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, remember that the real excitement went down on a supposedly boring little planet called Earth.