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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

BEHIND THE SCENES: LUKE SKYWALKER AND THE REBEL PILOTS

A rare shot of the Rebel pilots and technicians in the briefing room on Yavin IV. Images: Ann Skinner/BFI.

Newly arrived on Yavin IV, Luke Skywalker is finally able to join the cause he believes in with the Rebel Alliance, becoming a soon vital member of the X-wing fighter squad. In a brief space of time he is reunited with his old friend Biggs Darklighter and meets new ones like Wedge Antilles and the Red Squadron leader who once knew his late father at a time long ago, when he was a great pilot.

Here's a selection of Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's behind the scenes Polaroids from the filming of the Rebel Base scenes at Shepperton Studios in 1976, as seen in the BFI exhibition of her work from last year. Two extra unpublished Polaroids showing alternate angles and additional pilot shots reside in the BFI's Special Collection.

Luke and Wedge (Colin Higgins) attend the briefing. Note Anthony Daniels as Threepio without his mask on for this scene rehearsal. Main face on left is extra Clive Bennett.
General Jan Dodonna (Alex McCrindle) shows the Death Star schematics to his pilots.
Costume reference Polaroid of Mark Hamill in pilot's outfit.
Rear costume reference angle of Luke in pilot's outfit.
Luke confers with the droids as they head to his ship.
Assisted by a technician (Shane Rimmer), Artoo is lowered into the rear socket of the X-wing, as Luke readies for take-off.
The classic deleted scene where Luke and Biggs (Garrick Hagon) confer with Red Leader (Drewe Henley). Image: LUCASFILM.
The finished scene restored for the 2011 Blu-ray. With thanks to Chris Baker.
Artoo is readied into positioning during rehearsal. Image: LUCASFILM
Mark Hamill gets ready to film his scene... Image: LUCASFILM.
Whilst Carrie Fisher offers some liquid refreshment! Image: LUCASFILM.

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI Special Collection.

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