And what reason did anyone have to think that Lucas could make a world-changing fantasy blockbuster? The only thing remotely similar on his resume was 1971's THX 1138, a bleak, weird film that had been dismissed as incomprehensible by the studio and bombed at the box office. So imagine being the studio executives when this bearded guy brings in his 200-page script that, as we have pointed out before, was a confusing mish-mash of insanity. Even personal friends of Lucas admitted that they couldn't understand what the script was about.
Sure enough, the studio, Universal, passed, but 20th Century Fox stepped in and gave Lucas $8.5 million, maybe because they were afraid of what he might do otherwise.
If they'd have only known ...
So then Lucas flew off to shoot in Great Britain and Tunisia, while in the U.S. a team of untried special effects artists gathered to start making movie magic. After a year, that FX team had blown half their budget and had exactly three usable special effects shots to show for it. Lucas and some Fox executives dropped in on them to find out what the hell was going on and found the crew standing around, having a refrigerator lifted and dropped on the concrete in front of them because "everyone kinda wondered how it would sound."
And that's where the Death Star explosion came from.