Why George Lucas Had This ‘Star Wars’ Actor Wear Slippers While Filming

Star Wars gave the world some iconic costumes — including a pair of legendary slippers audiences never got to see. One of the actors in the original film wore slippers during his scenes and George Lucas filmed him so audiences never saw the slippers. Here’s why Lucas decided this actor should wear some unexpected footwear — and why this decision impacted a Star Wars movie made nearly 40 years later.

The Star Wars logo on top of a popcorn machine
The Star Wars logo | JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

The actor behind an early ‘Star Wars’ villain mocked the character’s name

Star Wars is known for its rogues gallery of villains. From Jabba the Hutt to Darth Vader to Palpatine to Boba Fett, the saga has plenty of threatening antagonists. When Peter Cushing played one of the first Star Wars antagonists — Grand Moff Tarkin — he wore some unexpected footwear. According to Den of Geek, here’s what Cushing had to say about his unusual wardrobe.

“I was dressed rather like an Edwardian chauffer,” Cushing recalled. “Incidentally, I often wonder what a ‘Grand Moff’ is. Sounds like something that came out of a clothes closet.” Cushing then recalled an issue he had with his costume.

Peter Cushing near a mirror
Peter Cushing | Evening Standard/Getty Images

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Why George Lucas thought Peter Cushing should wear slippers

“They hadn’t got time to have my boots made for me, which is usually the case because of my large feet, so I had to do with a pair out of stock.,” Cushing said. “There I was on the first day of shooting, [as] this very cross, unpleasant gentleman, Grand Moff Tarkin, stomping around and it was agony, it really was. So the next day, I say to dear George Lucas, the director, ‘George, I’m not asking for close-ups, but do you think you could shoot me from the waist up from now on?’”

Lucas had no issue with Cushing’s request. In addition, he had the idea Cushing could wear slippers instead of boots. “So for the rest of the film, I stomped around looking extremely angry and very cross with that dear little Carrie Fisher as Grand Moff Tarkin in carpet slippers,” Cushing said. Afterward, Cushing’s choice of footwear made things difficult for the production team behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

A trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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How the slippers impacted ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Rogue One takes prior to the events of the original Star Wars and features Tarkin as a secondary character. The Guardian reports Cushing died decades before the film’s release so Disney used CGI to bring Tarkin to life. However, they ran into one issue — there was no footage of Tarkin’s feet. Because of this, technicians who worked on the film had to refer back to footage from Cushing’s many horror movies in an attempt to recreate his feet with CGI. Who would have thought a minor decision made on the set of the original Star Wars would impact a movie made nearly 40 years later?