CELEBRATING FORTY GLORIOUS YEARS OF 'THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK' AT STARWARS.COM

OUT OF HYPERSPACE AND ONTO HOME ENTERTAINMENT FROM MARCH 2020

Saturday, 24 October 2020

'THE MANDALORIAN' - SEASON TWO NEARS...


With the new series about to explode with the ferocity of a thermal detonator onto Disney+ from October 30th, 2020, here are the latest character posters (featuring visual 'Easter Eggs') and an all too brief recent trailer release...






Friday, 23 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: TO CRUSH A SPEEDER!

The weighty issue of an AT-AT foot destroying Rogue Leader's crashed Snowspeeder is filmed at ILM, with Art Director Joe Johnston being one of the key supervisors of the scene, and whose model filming had to match the previously shot live-action footage at Norway, earlier that year...

Readying the Snowspeeder model for the weighty AT-AT foot drop on the ILM filming stage.


Crunch-time!



More ILM behind the scenes of this sequence.

Joe Johnston adds detail to the giant Walker leg.

Model maker Ease Oweyung checks the Walker legs. 

The ILM model makers clown around!


Thursday, 22 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: CRASH-LANDED, AND INTO GREATER DANGER!

 


He's survived the crash-landing and now Luke Skywalker must escape his near-totalled Snowspeeder (and recover important battle equipment from its interior) before it's ultimately trampled upon by an approaching Walker, as seen in this location footage filmed in Norway, on a very cold day, with Mark Hamill. It's believed that a Norwegian extra filled in for the body of Dack. 

Scene plate filmed on location, with approaching Walker added by ILM in later Post production.

The UK built wrecked Snowspeeder.


Detailed look at the cockpit interior,


A very cold Hamill on location.


Hamill and Gary Kurtz in a filming break.


Escaping the Snowspeeder.



Wednesday, 21 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: ROGUE LEADER GOES DOWN!


Rogue Two has been taken out by the Walkers firepower, now its Luke's turn as his Snowspeeder is critically damaged, soon careening onto the snowy surface, in this great storyboard by Joe Johnston,

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: A BRUTAL WAR!


In memorable on location photos that definitely captured the sense of hardship, comradeship and brutality of war seen with our very own real-life conflicts in the trenches of World War One, exhausted and injured Rebel soldiers gather whilst their comrades fight on against the walkers, Such near-realistic images weren't ultimately seen in the completed film (alongside shots of dead dummy Rebel soldiers littering the snowscape), perhaps considered too adult and realistic for the fantasy film, despite the overall darkness prevalent in this first sequel.


The above posed location photo would clearly be an inspiration for one of the rarer-seen Ralph McQuarrie production paintings for the film. 


Monday, 19 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: BREAKAGES AT BREAK TIME!


Suffering unrelenting attacks from Imperial Walkers, the Hoth Rebel base's command centre has fallen to pieces around Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, the actress seen here in a filming break- note Jerry Harte (playing a Rebel Force Head Controller) in the background getting in a quick snack! A great behind the scenes image at Elstree, from The Empire Strikes Back.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE SITH'S SLIPPERY SERVANTS!


In the best filmic tradition of slippery secondary baddies- crafty and duplicitous alien versions of Peter Lorrie and his noir ilk, if you will - the mysterious Sith's accomplices in Nute Gunray and Rune Haako are in this blockade of the peaceful Naboo purely for the promises of power and greed beyond anything seen with their Trade Federation heritage. But watch out for those two Jedi!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES: POP CULTURE VADER!


Back in 1977, as far as Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox were concerned, Dave Prowse was not Darth Vader, much to the actor's chagrin, as another man wore one of his character's costumes for the many toy/publicity engagements needed throughout the US with the surprise success of Star Wars. That other man would be Don Posts Studios employee Kermit Eller, who'd soon put as much gusto and enthusiasm into becoming the Dark Side Sith Lord for thousands of adoring young fans as Prowse would do on screen in his three cinematic appearances.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65wM3nfCgbw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkeHD0Kdno8



An TESB related Vader costume was also showcased at a 2019 Bonhams US auction:

Kermit Eller discusses his promotional work as Darth Vader at a 2019 sci-fi auction. Image: Bonhams US.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7025889/Star-Wars-Darth-Vader-costume-Empire-Strikes-expected-fetch-1-2-MILLION-auction.html

Friday, 16 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: IMPERIAL GROUND FORCES AT WORK!


Now released onto the Hoth surface, the Imperial Snowtroopers recce the enemy power generators in this great production painting idea for The Empire Strikes Back that sadly never made the film, as the Walkers vs ground troops instead became the singular focus of the ground conflict. Though approved by George Lucas in the film's pre production stage, the final design of the Snowtroopers was ultimately on screen- realized differently, surely due to the later influence of director Irvin Kershner, working with UK costume designer John Mollo.

McQuarrie's approved design for the Imperial Stormtrooper from George Lucas.

As seen on the battlefield in this other McQuarrie art.


Thursday, 15 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: FALLEN BEAST!


Rogue Three's mission to bring down a Walker proves a great success (the Imperial machine soon destroyed by Rebel blaster fire once its armour proves compromised) and builds morale into the surviving members of Rogue Flight as they press on with their attacks.

A selection of ILM behind the scenes images of the filming of the AT-AT supported from above, before being released downwards.

Fallen Walker storyboard idea.



Richard Edlund, Jon Berg and Steve Gawley are amongst the crew handling the sequence.