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Friday, 7 October 2016

BEHIND THE SCENES: BUSY ON THE BACKLOT!

Bob Anderson gets ready to walk like a Wampa at Elstree.

As its lengthy principal photography period comes to a close at Elstree Studios by September 1979, there's still a few additional scenes or re-shoots that need to be captured on film for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the majority involving Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, now the lone actor on site after months on the Dagobah soundstage. Primarily handled are a couple of shots of Luke injured by the Wampa and being dragged along (with stuntman Bob Anderson wearing the stilted furry feet of the snow creature), and a moment of Luke getting ready to leave Hoth with Artoo, after bad weather at the Norway location filming likely necessitated a rethink of the assembled material linked to the Rebel X-wing's departure. All of this extra filming took place against white backgrounds and snow covered flooring on the outdoor backlot.

A part of the Wampa attack is readied, whilst a stand-in lies prone for Hamill/Luke. Notice the Wampa costume and Tauntaun shell/support in the background.
Mark Hamill back in Hoth gear for filming.
Gary Kurtz makes an adjustment for continuity.
The scene in the film: Luke collapsing first...
... then the Tauntaun in front of him.
One of the Tauntaun props at the Elstree backlot. Image by Stephanie English.
Getting ready and costumed to film a part of the Hoth departure scene.
Now helmeted and ready for filming.
"Don't worry, Artoo, we're going, we're going..."

Also lensed was an insert shot more clearly showing Han (played by an unknown double) near the Tauntaun, either getting ready to use the lightsaber to open its belly, or to reach for some equipment.

Gary Kurtz, Robert Watts and Norman Reynolds watch the insert filming.

With thanks to the STAR WARS ARCHIVES website and STARWARSSCREENCAPS.COM for selected imagery.

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