5 Secrets From Craig Bartlett, the Creator of Hey Arnold!

Great Big Story / YouTube
Great Big Story / YouTube

Since its Nickelodeon debut in 1996, Hey Arnold! and its namesake football-headed protagonist have captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. Now, with the TV movie Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie slated for November, it's official: The fandom will not be dying down any time soon.

In anticipation of this two-hour nostalgia trip, show creator Craig Bartlett sat down with Great Big Story to deliver five surprising facts about the series. There's good news for those who remember Pigeon Man's departing words, "[I'm going] somewhere where I can live in peace with my friends," and were led to believe that he died. In the interview, Bartlett assures fans that he is alive and well—probably in Paris checking out the pigeon scene there.

Other noteworthy reveals made in the interview: Hey Arnold! doesn't take place in New York—or, exclusively New York; rather. Bartlett says that it's actually a composite of where Bartlett grew up in Seattle, where he went to art school in Portland, and the stoop-laden streets of Brooklyn.

For more surprising facts about Hey Arnold!, you can read our list from 2016 here, or watch the Great Big Story interview below.

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Poike/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Poike/iStock via Getty Images Plus

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Mark Hamill Learned About The Empire Strikes Back's Big Darth Vader Reveal Before Anyone Else

Nope, not even Harrison Ford knew about it.
Nope, not even Harrison Ford knew about it.
Michael Tran/Getty Images

Few cinematic secrets were better kept—or more shocking when they came out—than that of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa's true parentage in the Star Wars saga. According to ComicBook.com, the reveal that Darth Vader is Luke and Leia's father was such a well-kept secret that it wasn't actually put into the script at all. Evidently, only three people on set knew about the moment in advance: Mark Hamill, Star Wars creator George Lucas, and The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner. (Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan was also aware.)

Hamill took to Twitter to explain the pivotal part of the franchise, during which a fake line was used so the actual reveal could be dubbed in afterwards, allowing the trio to keep the secret from the cast and crew for more than a year.

"The cast & crew first learned of it when they saw the finished film," Hamill said to his fans on Twitter. "When we shot it, Vader's line was 'You don't know the truth, Obi-Wan killed your father.' Only Irvin Kershner, George Lucas & I knew what would be dubbed in later. Agony keeping that secret for over a year!"

Props to them for not letting the spoiler slip early. Even with the pressure of keeping such a big plot twist under wraps, Lucas says financial concerns were what plagued him most.

“Well, to be very honest, the most challenging aspect was paying for [The Empire Strikes Back],” Lucas recently told StarWars.com. “In order to be able to take control of the movie, I had to pay for it myself. And in order to do that, I did something my father told me never to do, which was to borrow money. But there wasn’t much I could do because I only had maybe half of the money to make the movie, so I had to borrow the other half, which put a lot of pressure on me.”

If you feel like reminiscing about a galaxy far, far away, check out this year's May the Fourth celebration compilation here. And if you want to see the twist for yourself (whether it's for the first or the hundredth time), all nine movies in the Skywalker Saga are now streaming on Disney+.

[h/t ComicBook.com]

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