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Friday, 13 May 2016

BEHIND THE SCENES: JENNY AND THE MONSTERS!

Another day of fun and danger in the Mos Eisley Cantina! Image: Kurtz/Joiner Archive. 

Lovely "Local Girl", and occasional smooching partner to Han Solo, Jenny (as played by Jenny Cresswell, also known in sci-fi circles for her background appearances in many numerous episodes of the also shot in the UK series SPACE: 1999), watches goings-on on the Mos Eisley Cantina in this in-between shots image taken in April/May 1976 at Elstree Studios. In front of her is one of the Rodian "Alien" creatures- we presume Greedo, played by Paul Blake. Note that the alien's masked hands have not yet been properly attached to the costume. Next to them are a variety of aliens and humanoids including several suited spacemen (one wearing a stock yellow outfit previously used in 60's and 70's DOCTOR WHO, presumably pulled in from the costume warehouse), and a Mosep creature.

Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's costume continuity notes for Jenny Cresswell's character- "Long hair forward over shoulder. Terra-shirt lapped over from right to left- gaping to show boobs. Tied on her left side. Brown suede knee boots. Brown suede skirt (to knees)."

Bald alien female Leesub (Pam Rose) with a Mosep and several humanoid extras (including a later seen Jabba thug played by Tommy Weldin). Image: Ann Skinner/ BFI.

Unseen continuity Polaroids from Miss Skinner currently held by the BFI's Special Collection include one B/W faded full-length image of Cantina aliens towards right of the bar in the smoky environment: pipe-breathing Dannik in corner relaxing by bar tip, Dr. Evazan nearby with Walrus Man, and Luke Skywalker. Another B/W towards left side of the the bar shows Dannik and the multi-armed alien bug third along in shot. Theres' also one colour Polaroid three-quarter length of Doctor Evazan (without gun) and Kabe (aka Bat creature).

Skinner's handwritten notes refer to Walrus Man as "Walrus", with a "piggy monster" (presumably Dr. Evazan (played by Alfie Curtis)). In a small list of creature notes, she lists for front of the bar: "Gas Mask", "Flash Gordon" (the small person later seen running about in the street, played by Marcus Gilbert), "tall man with wrinkly nose", and "hyad" (spelling incorrect here- hard to decipher from the handwriting). Plus: "Gilda (Cohen) - left of matron" (or Marion?)/ "Jenny (Cresswell) behind Gilda."

Walrus Man (Tommy Ilsley) makes an adjustment to his mask between filming scenes. Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.

Other vague aliens or humans handwritten described by Miss Skinner are "Pixie", "Goggles" (presumably Tommy Weldin), "2 girls" (presumably the space hookers- Tonnika Twins), "Man in black anorak", "Pipe" and "Mantis" (presumably the massive fly/stick-insect/ Preying Mantis figure seen at the back of the right side of the bar).

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI Special Collection.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: BEHIND THE SCENES: WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME...

The space pilot now named Boshek. Image: STAR WARS ARCHIVES Facebook page.

The identity of an important background extra in the Cantina sequence, the space pilot who recommended Obi-Wan to Chewbacca (as heard in the later SW audio drama), has also finally been revealed, played by UK artist Basil Tomlin: Billy Jensen - Storytelling, Product Building, Crime Solving, Money Making

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