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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE GROUNDED ROGUES!


As the hot summer of '79 finally brings out the sun over a previously snow-coated UK, filming of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK continues with another long, long day inside the Snowspeeder cockpit scenes (seen from above in this great behind the scenes angle at Elstree Studios), which have taken longer to realise than originally planned due to lighting/blue screen problems and director Irvin Kershner's dedicated perfectionism.

Irvin Kershner and David Tomblin supervise the filming of Mark Hamill in the cockpit.
Pilot assemble. Image: via STAR WARS ARCHIVES website.

With the exception of a seemingly not present Ian Liston (Janson), the above rare image shows our fighter pilot hero actors surrounding the seated Kershner as he goes through the script scenes. L to R: Eugene Lapinsky (who played either Hobbie or Zev's gunner), Denis Lawson (Wedge), John Morton (Dak), Richard Oldfield (Hobbie) and Christopher Malcolm (Zev), plus Mark Hamill (Rogue Leader- Luke Skywalker).

A veteran of UK-made movie blockbusters at that time (including SUPERMAN II), Lapinsky's scenes for EMPIRE never made the final cut and he wasn't credited. STAR WARS INSIDER has previously contacted his US agent to ask for more info about his work on EMPIRE, but sadly no response has been forthcoming. Lapinksy would later return to the realms of sci-fi, playing one of the mysterious baldy-men "Observers" of the hit J.J. Abrams co-created TV series FRINGE.

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