Ever wonder how they ever made Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi? Well this documentary explains it all as we're taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the making of the ... See full summary »
This documentary chronicles the making of the original Star Wars trilogy from start to finish. We get some background on George Lucas' start in the business and then continue with the making of Star Wars (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). The visual/special effects and financial problems are explained as well as casting, editing, scoring and releasing the films with tons of archival footage and interviews with plenty of cast & crew members.Written by
David Prowse, who portrayed Darth Vader physically in most scenes of the original Star Wars trilogy, was not interviewed for this documentary, and is only briefly featured through archive footage. This was due to his strained relationship with Lucasfilm and George Lucas in particular (due to an incident for which the actor was unfairly blamed), which also led to Prowse subsequently being banned from attending official Star Wars fan conventions. See more »
During a segment on merchandising for the original Star Wars, pictures of Princess Leia dolls wearing 'space fashions' are shown. However, this clothing line never made it into production. See more »
The role of Han Solo needed someone older with a more cynical edge. Harrison Ford had worked with Lucas on "American Graffiti". But because the director initially only wanted new faces, he was not allowed to audition. Instead, he was brought in to feed lines to the other actors.
I was given sides and asked if I would help read the other actors. It became my task to explain to the other actors who were coming along just what it was that this... these sides, uh... uh, were meant to be about.
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Bloopers, outtakes and deleted scenes shown during the end credits: George Lucas and Richard Marquand clowning around inside the AT ST cockpit. Rough black and white footage of the Death Star Trench. Luke's medical face mask being removed by 21B. Han kissing his girlfriend (Jenny Cresswell) in the Mos Eisley cantina. Early bluescreen tests in the Millenium Falcon cockpit. Behind the scenes footage of Solo firing at Vader in the Bespin dining room (also used on the blooper reel). Kenny Baker inside R2D2 in Tunisia. Mark Hamill falling over in the Finse snow wearing a blue ESB parka over his orange flight suit. Hamill and Carrie Fisher relaxing on Jabba's tummy. Lucas and daughter Amanda on the sail barge. Jack Purvis and Mike Edmonds enjoying a cigar on a break in their Ewok costumes. R2D2 picking up a squirrel with a mechanical arm. More shots on location in Tunisia. A stormtrooper costume and R2 Unit under construction at ILM. Closeup of a Jawa's glowing eyes. Ewok mask under construction. Lucas on the sail barge. Fisher and her stunt double sunbathing on the barge set. Alec Guinness' birthday party in Tunisia. X-wings and a Taun Taun on location in Finse. A model Snowspeeder being blown up. See more »
A shorter, 90-minute version of this documentary aired on the A&E Channel September 12th 2004. See more »
Interesting, entertaining, informational... and thorough without being boring
This special starts before the original Star Wars, and after introducing Lucas and setting the scene for the time period, it takes us through the entire trilogy, with clips, interviews and behind the scenes footage en masse(I won't throw on the ever-ambiguous "and more" that is a common favorite to throw on DVD covers and the likes... believe me, if they've got something good to sell you, they know it, and they won't hesitate to tell you, "more" is like "interactive menus"... it makes nothing out of the ordinary sound like a real treat). Each main member of the cast, including Kenny Baker(R2D2), and Anthony Daniels(C3PO) - who sounds a lot like his character even when he's just speaking normally - and Peter Mayhew(Chewbacca). It has a good pace throughout, the version I watched was 90 minutes, and it never grew stale. It is edited expertly throughout. There is a solid flow to the documentary. It holds a lot of information, and the right amount of time is spent on it. The fun factor of this is achieved nicely, and without overshadowing what it is presenting. About the only person not brought in for an interview is David Prowse, who I suppose may still hold a grudge over not being told that they weren't going to use his voice(and if he knew that they were going to add in footage of Vader where his voice was still the one heard, in this special(which... let's just say, doesn't exactly sound as powerful and terrifying as that of James Earl Jones, who is also interviewed in this)... well, he might have stayed away for that reason, I know I would). There is perhaps a bit of patting on the back going on, as the special mentions just *how many* nominations and wins the films got, and how important it was, and so on and so forth, but this doesn't keep it from being worth watching. I recommend this to any fan of the original trilogy. Heck, the anecdotes alone almost make the hour and a half worth it. 8/10
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