But the gold medal has to go to David Wain, the writer of films like Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer, who has included someone named Jim Stansel in every movie he's written -- once as a newscaster, once as a lawyer, once as a shady guy holding a paintbrush, and so on. According to Wain's Reddit AMA, Stansel was a co-worker of his dad's and they had a Super 8 film of him going up on a hot air balloon. For some reason, the name stuck with Wain. Now the real Jim Stansel can point to Wet Hot American Summer and say "You know that fake person Beth made up to get out of an awkward conversation? That's me!"
The Asteroid Fields In Star Wars Had Secret Potatoes
Given all the advances in special effects technology over the past 40 years, it's almost staggering how well the original Star Wars trilogy holds up visually. Through the power of determination, creativity, and basically no money whatsoever, they managed to slap a movie classic together out of literal junk. Props were recycled, helmets were torn apart and made into other helmets, and during intense space chase scenes, they had the Millennium Falcon fly through a field of potatoes.
Sorry, a space field of potatoes.
We're kidding, of course: The asteroid designs that George Lucas approved ended up looking a lot like potatoes, so that's the in-joke among creators and fans. Also, we're not kidding: In the backgrounds of several of these asteroid field chases, you can find actual potatoes if you look closely enough. In this video from the designers of the Millennium Falcon, they confirm it themselves while showing off some shots from the film, and it's a little embarrassing how well the actual potatoes blend in. They also threw some tennis shoes in there, because at some point they apparently started using this set as a trash can.
Why does that potato have bits of corn in it?
While it's not officially confirmed anywhere, the rumor is that the potatoes are an act of revenge against the highly demanding George Lucas. The talented folks at Industrial Light & Magic worked 15-hour shifts making things like AT-ATs and the floating city of Bespin into reality, having to invent new technologies to make the movies work. So, it's entirely possible that they added in potatoes as a joke, or a stress reliever. Sadly, the scene where the Millennium Falcon crashes into an asteroid only to have it explode into millions of French fries ended up being cut from the final movie.
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