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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: THE DARK LORD'S FURY!


Vader begins using the Force to haul objects of all sizes and weights as projectiles towards a soon overwhelmed Luke Skywalker, as seen in this great production painting art by Ralph McQuarrie.


The early stages of art creation.


Thumbnail duel concept art.

Monday, 20 September 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: LETHAL FLYING OBJECTS!


The lightsaber duel continues but Darth Vader soon uses the Force to constantly distract Luke with flying objects of various size and weight that hurt but not injure the young Jedi.





Irvin Kershner goes through some lightsaber move points with Hamill.

Peter Diamond and stage hand colleagues prepare to throw lightweight heavy objects at Mark Hamill from behind the camera.




Hamill confers on the scene with Irvin Kershner and Peter Diamond.


Sunday, 19 September 2021

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE SECRET CRUSADER!


Fighting the injustice and tyranny of the soon established First Galactic Empire, operating mostly within the law yet also via the courageous birth of the Rebel Alliance of whom he is such an important genesis part (established in deleted scenes from EPISODE III), the highly respected Alderaan statesman Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) is an essential player in the live action and animated realms of the Prequel STAR WARS universe, as well as the first singular standalone adventure, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Mon Mothma and Bail Organa confer in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Perhaps we may even see more of Bail in the upcoming Obi-Wan or Cassian Andor series prequels on Disney+, alongside the already confirmed to appear Mon Mothma (played by Genevieve O'Reilly) for the latter, in 2022?

Saturday, 18 September 2021

ILM BEHIND THE SCENES: WIBBLY-WOBBLY WALKER!


Paul Huston and the model team prepare to bring down a soon wobbly AT-ST 'Chicken' Walker on a special miniature set situated outside of ILM in late 1982, for the memorable concluding Ewok battle of Return of the Jedi.

Retro feature on the Original Trilogy:

https://videoandfilmmaker.com/wp/index.php/features/a-look-back-at-star-wars-old-school-vfx/




Modelmaker Easy Owyeung on the challenges of working on the Trilogy:

https://vimeo.com/222299458

Friday, 17 September 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: OUT FROM THE SHADOWS!


In their new surroundings, it isn't long before Darth Vader finally reveals himself to Luke once more. Luke treads carefully, lightsaber reactivated, clearly sensing danger, in this great selection of images...

Norman Reynolds set design for the scene.

A close-up look at the gantry corridor and observation window area.


The combatants move in. Note Bob Anderson higher heeled Vader boots.








Conferring with Bob Anderson.

A close-in look at Bob Anderson in his stunt Vader mask and costume.


Thursday, 16 September 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: THE SEARCH CONTINUES...


Now out of the tunnel, Luke is trapped in the new environment as the grate suddenly shuts behind him- a moment that made the audience (including me!) jump out of my seat on the film's first cinematic viewing back in the day. The scene was presumably done by shooting the grate's moving a moment at a time with Mark Hamill being very still. This was then likely speeded up behind him in post production editing, with help from ILM and an excellent sound design effect from Ben Burtt.

The wall grate is now sealed...

Set construction at Elstree.

The final lower level control area set as seen on screen for the next part of the lightsaber duel.


Wednesday, 15 September 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: SEARCHING FOR VADER...

 

Entering an eerie light-filled connecting tunnel - a small but memorable set - Luke Skywalker continues searching for the elusive Dark Lord...

Checking distances for the camera lensing position with Peter Robinson.



Tuesday, 14 September 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: DARK DESCENT!

Posed publicity image of Luke looking down to find the elusive Vader...

Luke goes in pursuit of Vader, heading deep down into the lower levels of the Carbon Freezing Chamber...

Mark Hamill recalled in a late 1980 interview that he did a series of gymnastic moves that never made the final film. I'm assuming it was during this sequence, perhaps similar to something preconceived by artist Ivor Beddoes...

Ivor Beddoes storyboards of Luke's climb down to the lower level...


Monday, 13 September 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: 'SABER DRAMA!


A selection of behind the scenes images of the intense Carbon Freeze lightsaber duelling captured on film between Mark Hamill and Bob Anderson.

Madelyn Most reads the clapperboard.

Bob Anderson gets ready for action.






Colin Skeaping (in Luke costume) watches as Mark Hamill duels Bob Anderson as Vader.