It's still going strong 40 years after the first movie of the series was released, which means there is plenty of incredible trivia floating around the internet in regards to George Lucas' 'Star Wars' franchise. What could this story have been if the director had stuck to all his original ideas?

George Lucas at Mark Hamill's Walk of Fame ceremonyGeorge Lucas at Mark Hamill's Walk of Fame ceremony

1. Lucas had Interesting influences - Every good storyteller has there influences, and for George Lucas, inspiration was drawn from both Joseph Campbell's 'The Hero with a Thousand Faces' (particularly for the character of Luke Skywalker) and Akira Kurosawa's 1958 film 'The Hidden Fortress'. Kurosawa's 'Seven Samurai' also helped the creation of Yoda.

2. The cast could have been very different - Before opting for a predominantly white, predominantly male cast, Lucas toyed with the idea of just black actors, just Japanese actors, and even just little people. Arguably, it would have been more groundbreaking for diversity in film had he chosen a mixture of the three.

3. Harrison Ford wasn't supposed to be Han Solo - Ford was just helping out with auditions for the character, allegedly, but because he was so good at feeding lines to auditionees, Lucas couldn't help but give him the part in the end. Which is just as well because he made it such an iconic part, and one of his greatest lines was ad libbed; that is, when Leia tells him 'I love you' and he replies, 'I know'.

4. Orson Welles could have been Darth Vader - The only reason the legendary filmmaker didn't get the part was because his baritone voice was far too recognisable. Instead, James Earl Jones got the job - that's if you can call it a job; he got $7500 for just two and a half hour's work. 

5. Buffy the Jedi Master - It doesn't exactly have the same ring to it as 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', but long before the cult 90s show aired, the name was nearly adopted for Yoda's character. Generally thought of as a diminutive of the name 'Elizabeth', it certainly seems like it would have been an odd choice. Odder still was that Yoda was almost going to be played by a monkey.

6. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial belongs to the 'Star Wars' universe - Because Lucas is such good pals with Steven Spielberg, he made E.T.'s species - the Asogian - a part of his world. They can be seen in the background at the Galactic Senate in 1999's 'The Phantom Menace'. According to Wikia, they are part of the planet Brodo Asogi and led by a senator named Grebleips.

7. Wedge Antilles is related to Ewan McGregor - The man who played the Rebel pilot and co-founder of the Rogue Squadron in the original trilogy is Denis Lawson from 'New Tricks' and 'Holby City'. He also happens the be the uncle of Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel films.

8. Bossk's costume is from another sci-fi franchise - The costume for the Trandoshan bounty hunter was from the same source as one used in an early episode of 'Doctor Who'. It's a High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suit from the British Royal Air Force; they're probably not the exact same costume, but it's a cool connection.

9. NSYNC made a cameo - Justin Timberlake and company were in 2002's 'Attack of the Clones' just because Lucas' daughters - then aged 14 and 21 - were big fans of the boyband. In case you're wondering why you never spotted them though, that's probably because the scene was eventually cut from the movie.

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10. Some things are never spoken about - Everyone knows what an Ewok is, but somehow that piece of information is left out of the movies entirely. The word 'Ewok' is never said out loud by any of the characters, which just goes to show how excellent Lucas and his team were at storytelling and promotion.