Ah, STAR WARS, without a doubt, the greatest trilogy in the history of cinema—yes, greater than THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
Prequels you ask? What Prequels? I only believe in the original trilogy; the prequels do not exist as far as I’m concerned—I am what you might call, a prequel “non-believer.” Or to put it another way, if the entire saga (i.e., all six episodes as a whole) is to be regarded as dogma, then consider me an Episode IV-to-VI heretic.
Thus, for all my fellow STAR WARS heretics out there—which I’m assuming is most of you (okay, George Lucas idolatrists are invited as well)—a slew of new behind-the-scenes material has recently surfaced from the making of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI.
From THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (it looks like there was a lot of smooching on this set):
These behind-the-scenes pictures from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK come courtesy of Lucasfilm, with a few lifted from the book, Making Of The Empire Strikes Back by J.W. Rinzler.
The book is the result of unparalleled co-operation and support from the original moviemakers, including both producer George Lucas and director Irvin Kershner.
In addition, we have some revelatory photographs of the filming of RETURN OF THE JEDI.
Before die-hard fans were sacrilegiously accosted with the Ewoks (I actually thought Wicket ruled, by the way) in the final film, one die-hard fan camped out in the scorching California desert to watch the filming of Jabba’s Sail Barge assault and managed to snap these amazing images, the most notable of which are some intimate moments behind the performance of Boba Fett’s final flight.
According to the website PropStore, the die-hard-fan-behind-the-camera’s name is Mike Davis.
And finally (we try to save the best for last), a documentary by Jeff Broz, another RETURN OF THE JEDI set-crasher, has been uploaded to YouTube, featuring footage shot at the same location on Super 8. Looks like a lot of hard work.
As an aside, since George Lucas has gone on record as saying that he’s retiring, maybe it’s time he let go of the STAR WARS universe as well? His brilliant original vision notwithstanding—which mightn’t even be his vision, as he’s voiced his dissatisfaction with the original versions on multiple occasions—it might be cool to see the Star Wars universe reinterpreted by a different filmmaker. Maybe even an R-rated STAR WARS… with lightsabers, (more) dismemberments and (more) decapitations? Or is that like requesting someone to repaint Van Gogh’s The Starry Night with someone suicide jumping off of the cypress tree?