OUT OF HYPERSPACE AND ONTO HOME ENTERTAINMENT FROM MARCH 2020

Thursday, 9 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: SOLO'S FAREWELL!

The new Rebel Command Centre on Hoth is a hive of activity.

With a recent incident to his life via a bounty hunter on the world of Ord Mantell, Han Solo knows he has to leave the Rebels and pay off his debt to Jabba the Hutt sooner rather than later. Informing General Rieekan (played by British/Canadian actor Bruce Boa, whose voice was later dubbed in post production) of his imminent departures, the news comes as a shock and disappointment to a soon angry Princess Leia Organa.


Continuity polaroid by Pamela Mann.


Han strides off after Leia gives him a goodbye cold shoulder, in an angle not seen in the film.



The Rebel Command centre scenes were mostly filmed over early Spring 1979, of which George Lucas was an on set visitor/advisor during the start of principal photography for The Empire Strikes Back.

Rehearsing Han and Leia's early verbal conflict.

Right from the start, Harrison Ford enjoyed working with new director Irvin Kershner.

Going through the scene with Kershner and Kurtz.

Chris Parsons as the other droid of Echo Base, K-3P0, watched behind by a female technician (Brigitte Kahn).

Lucas's old friend Walter Murch visits the early filming.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: FALCON CHECK!


He's on his way to give his report to Rebel command and reveal a decision that will cause upset, but first off Han Solo checks in on his beloved Millennium Falcon, and on the repair progress of the vessel with his grumpy first mate Chewbacca, hard at work.


Irvin Kershner directs Peter Mayhew.

In the behind the scenes footage, Peter Mayhew was given actor reference dialogue to say as Chewbacca when sparring with Harrison Ford as Han- a technique also used for a few sequences on the original Star Wars. Director Irvin Kershner gave Chewbacca the welding torch as a prop when fixing the Falcon because he thought it best suited the bulky character to use.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: THE 'FALCON' AT ELSTREE!

The star vehicle in all its glory at Elstree: the Millennium Falcon.

It had previously only been built as a half-size wooden prop for filming on the original Star Wars back in 1976, but The Empire Strikes Back, being the film that would showcase the Millennium Falcon more than ever before, required the necessity for a full-size build, specially farmed out for creation by a team of Welsh shipbuilding team at Pembrokeshire Docks under top secret conditions, nicknamed 'The Flying Saucer' or 'UFO' by puzzled local residents, then shipped in sections for refitting at Elstree studios on their newly built, biggest soundstage, The Star Wars Stage. The incredibly detailed craft was an amazing site during filming in June 1979 and even had the ability to be moved into position via compressed air supports, an ability that was used for an ultimately deleted scene with Han and Leia prior to the Rebels evacuation.



The Falcon moving into position on stage.

Deleted scene featuring the moving Falcon:

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.com/2014/02/deleted-scene-han-and-lifters.html

A selection of superb behind the scenes images...

On the Echo Base hangar bay, after the Rebels evacuation.

Referred to as the 'UFO', built in top secret conditions at a Pembrokeshire Dock in Wales, the Millennium Falcon full-size exterior was built in assembly sections and transported to Elstree Studios, London.



Reassembled at Elstree Studios.


The UK Production Design Department, with the diorama showing the Falcon in the hangar bay.





Image: via John Daly collection.



Image via John Daly collection.






The Falcon being positioned for later filming on the stage with the Bespin Landing platform scenes.

Monday, 6 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: REBELS AT WORK!


Inside the new Rebel base, its technicians and bearded leader look very cold but efficiently capable as they acclimatise to their difficult but not unlivable environment, alongside two familiar droids, in this terrific conceptual art by Ralph McQuarrie for The Empire Strikes Back, full of detail and colour depth (love the deep blue cold cave walls) and which was one of the first paintings officially released to publicity preview into 1979.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

CLASSIC IMAGE: THREEPIO JOINS THE FIGHT!


Batting for the wrong side, adding to the droid's overall dreadful ordeal on Geonosis, Threepio, or at least his head, joins the enemy! A fun moment away from, yet linked to, the gargantuan death arena conflict of EPISODE II.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

OUT NOW IN UK PAPRBACK: 'GALAXY'S EDGE: BLACK SPIRE'


Now available in UK paperback from Arrow, after its earlier, acclaimed hardback success, return to the diverse and incident packed realm that is Galaxy's Edge, and a memorable adventure from Delilah S. Dawson at its infamous Black Spire...

Official release blurb:


Walk the ancient streets, meet the colourful characters, and uncover the secret history of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the upcoming expansion to the Disney Parks experience!
After devastating losses at the hands of the First Order, General Leia Organa has dispatched her agents across the galaxy in search of allies, sanctuary, and firepower―and her top spy, Vi Moradi, may have just found all three, on a secluded world at the galaxy’s edge.
A planet of lush forests, precarious mountains, and towering, petrified trees, Batuu is on the furthest possible frontier of the galactic map, the last settled world before the mysterious expanse of Wild Space. The rogues, smugglers, and adventurers who eke out a living on the largest settlement on the planet, Black Spire Outpost, are here to avoid prying eyes and unnecessary complications. Vi, a Resistance spy on the run from the First Order, is hardly a welcome guest. And when a shuttle full of stormtroopers lands in her wake, determined to root her out, she has no idea where to find help.
To survive, Vi will have to seek out the good-hearted heroes hiding in a world that redefines scum and villainy. With the help of a traitorous trooper and her acerbic droid, she begins to gather a colourful band of outcasts and misfits, and embarks on a mission to spark the fire of resistance on Batuu―before the First Order snuffs it out entirely.

Get the paperback here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Galaxys-Edge-Black-Spire-Star/dp/1787462412/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=galaxys+edge+paperback&qid=1593720477&sr=8-2

Friday, 3 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: HAN IN THE BASE!


The cold climes of Hoth, and his smelly Tauntaun companion, are not to this smuggler's liking, as Han Solo, arrived back at Echo Base after sensor placing, prepares to leave the Rebels and finally pay off the long-standing debt he's incurred to infamous gangster, Jabba the Hutt.

Harrison Ford prepares to film his scene.


Behind the scenes shot with producer Gary Kurtz inspecting the scene.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: THE REBEL HANGAR - AS SEEN ON SCREEN!


A selection of images showing the immense Rebel hangar set completed within the all-new Star Wars Stage at Elstree, and seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Much second unit work showing pilots and male and female Rebel technicians before and during the later evacuation, plus numerous droids shuttling along, never made the final cut. The hangar was made to look even bigger and different in certain establishing shots by rearrangements of the various Snowspeeders, and full-size and partially built X-wing fighter props, and the use of children in specially made Rebel costumes positioned to make certain parts of the set look even bigger- a trick also used in other blockbuster sci-fi films of the time, like Alien and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.






Image via Ben Ageros Collection.








The impressive hangar set rearranged as another bay in Echo Base.