Wales is a land of mystical folklore and magical history, but what connection does this little country of ours have with the biggest film series of all time, Star Wars ?
A Welshman BUILT THE MILLENNIUM FALCON
Oil-rig foreman John Clark was putting together oil rigs for Phillips Petroleum in Pembroke Dock when he found himself handling the star of The Empire Strikes Back.
But the rebels became alerted to its presence. John was working for Marcon Fabrications where they used to bullseye womp rats.
“Now I am an old man it is great to be able to tell the grandchildren that I helped build it,” John, from Pembroke, said.
“They don’t believe it but when I show them the photos they take it on board.
“They all brag, ‘My granddad built that.’”
The Millennium Falcon was the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.
But on the M4 out of Wales, it was limited to 50mph.
The Force Awakens was filmed on the Wales/England border
The production took over Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean – in August 2014 when dozens of campervans and security guards descended on the tourist spot known for looking suspiciously like Endor or Degobah.
Princess Leia loves to visit Wales
Well, sort of. She talked about killing Jabba the Hut and her famous hairstyle from A New Hope at the Hay Festival in 2014.
On meeting up with her Star Wars cast mates after nearly 40 years she said: “We all look a little melted. It’s good to see other melted people. It’s unique.”
Return of the Jedi was directed by a Cardiffian
Llanishen-born Richard Marquand was a huge fan of George Lucas before signing up to direct the third instalment of the original trilogy, and in an interview before the film’s release, Marquand told of his input during the writing stage.
He said: “Once George and I selected a writer (Lawrence Kasdan), we then locked ourselves in a room for about two weeks. It was very exciting. Larry, George, (Howard Kazanjian producer) and I literally just gave our ideas. Each of us had a different way of seeing how the story could be structured and slowly it was built up.
“There were a number of things I wanted to introduce, characters I wanted to bring into the movie. In every way, George was absolutely ready to listen and Larry and I saw eye-to-eye about many new things we wanted to do.
“You could not, as a director of this extremely complicated saga, go away to England and start working unless you had examined the screenplay very closely. If you work on the script, you know it.”
Marquand died following a stroke aged just 50, but before his death he received critical acclaim for directing thrillers, Jagged Edge and Eye of the Needle.
The young Han Solo could be Taron Egerton
Kingsman star Egerton, about to be seen as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards biopic, has been touted as the person to take on Harrison Ford’s Solo , in a planned stand-alone Star Wars film.
The rumour about the Aberystwyth-actor went around in July, and we’ve heard nothing more…
Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards is helming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Currently filming, with The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones and Hannibal’s Mads Mikkelsen in lead roles, Edwards – whose parents hail from Usk and Pontypool – rose to fame thanks to his work on Monsters.
It was after that indie-flick that he was chosen to head-up the Godzilla reboot , which starred Bryan Cranston.
Prequel character, Watto, was voiced by Harry Secombe’s son
Mumbles-born Andy Secombe created the perfect voice for dodgy slave owner, Watto, in The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones.
Secombe has said Lucas had the idea of a second-hand car salesman for the character.
Where are you most likely to find a Jedi Knight? Well, there are more than 1,200 in Cardiff
More than 170,000 people stated their religion as ‘Jedi Knight’ in the last census, including 1,239 in Cardiff and 821 in Swansea
Darth Vader loved his boat ride under the Severn Bridge
Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Board took advantage of the kudos of having The Force Awakens at nearby Puzzlewood by putting Darth Vader and some Stormtroopers on a lifeboat under the Severn Bridge and it was ace.
And a bunch of stormtroopers also caught the perfect wave at the Severn Bore
Passers-by were stunned as four sci-fi fans took to the water to catch the wave, that can hit speeds of up to 13mph.
Darth Vader came to Cardiff to support the All Blacks
When Darth Vader and Princess Leia were spotted walking around Cardiff , it was just Matt Johnson and Imogen Hamilton’s way of showing support for the New Zealand All Blacks. “Darth Vader is all black and everyone knows Princess Leia and Darth Vader are All Blacks fans,” Matt said.
The couple came to Cardiff from London during the Rugby World Cup and said when they were on the train the got all kinds of stares and gazes. But once they arrived in Cardiff they felt right at home.
We’ve got the world’s first Jedi church
When Daniel Jones from Holyhead started swapping Star Wars action figures with his classmates years ago, little did he know his passion for the film would lead to a life project that’s the first of its kind.
The 29-year-old Bangor University chemistry student set up The Church of Jediism eight years ago and after gaining followers from around the globe, including celebrities from Gail Porter to Star Wars’ Warwick Davis.
The Church of Jediism is an online community which provides sermons, ceremonies, information and religious studies to believers of the Star Wars film.
They hold conferences and sermons online via Skype and through videos, and Daniel provides training sessions to their thousands of members worldwide.
We’ve got the best Star Wars band
Daniel Jones has also he created the only Jedi music band, Straight Jacket Legend.
The music band has released a song to support the ‘religion’ – Journey of a Jedi – and it’s being downloaded all over the world.
Cardiff city centre was the scene of an epic Jedi v Sith battle
As a crowd gathered outside the city’s Central Library in July the iconic music began and the attention focused on the Star Wars characters as they emerged from either end of the Hayes.
It all began when around ten evil Sith headed into battle from the Chip Alley direction, heading straight for the Jedis of the light side, all of them equipped with a plastic lightsaber.
Newport’s got a restaurant with a dedicated Star Wars BBQ sauce
Martyn Thomas, who opened Dirty South Barbecue in Newport in December 2014, and, as a huge Star Wars fans, wanted to pay homage to his movie passion.
A photo posted by @dirty_south_bbq on Apr 18, 2015 at 9:14am PDT
As they admit they like to try new things, so the idea for a new sauce came together for the team at Dirty South. “We’d been looking at introducing a new BBQ sauce for a while and thought this would be a great opportunity.
“In the end, we decided to name it after the Wampa from The Empire Strikes Back – we could have gone with a Tauntaun but if you’ve seen The Empire Strikes Back, no one really want to eat a sauce named after that!”