OUT OF HYPERSPACE AND ONTO HOME ENTERTAINMENT FROM MARCH 2020

Monday, 13 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: WHERE'S LUKE?


Having endured the barren and equally inhospitable world of Tatooine, where life is potentially very tenuous, Han Solo knows that Luke Skywalker would never have casually forgotten to check back in to his Rebel colleagues on Hoth, and especially not Leia or the droids. With the alarm bells ringing in his head, and the long cold night approaching, Han Solo ignores Threepio (what's new there!), and leaves Chewbacca to continue repair work on the Falcon, whilst deciding to investigate his friend's absence from the base...

Threepio is muffled by Han as he checks on Luke's status with the deck officer!

A maskless Anthony Daniels confers with Kershner, watched by the Deck Officer (Norman Chancer).

Filming the tense scene.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE JOY OF CONFLICT!


His Jedi protectors in Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi have arrived on the Invisible Hand to rescue him from bold Separatist captors, but is Supreme Chancellor Palpatine really cheering them on in their struggle against the newly arrived Count Dooku, and his adept lightsaber skills? A delicious moment from EPISODE III showcasing Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

DELETED SCENE: A NEW PRESENCE...

Original STARWARS.COM caption for this photo: 'Darth Vader pauses about the second Death Star as he picks up a stirring in the Force.'

Newly arrived on the second Death Star, Darth Vader senses a disturbance in the Force, and the building powers of his son, in a deleted scene from Return of the Jedi. This info on the deleted scene originally came from the long-since-defunct Hyperspace section of STARWARS.COM of over a decade ago, though Howard Kazanjian, producer of the film, did not recall this sequence when AFICIONADO originally contacted him about it a few years back- alongside a brief corridor/life scene, previous unused footage of Vader in the meditation chamber from The Empire Strikes Back was utilized for Vader reaching out to Luke, alongside an ILM premises shot, post production scene of 'Luke' building his new lightsaber in a cave on Tatooine, which, too, would end up on the cutting room floor in 1983.

Posed image of Dave Prowse as Vader linked to this scene.

Prowse confers with Howard Kazanjian between takes.

A heads-up on an exciting all-new book dedicated to the producing career of Howard Kazanjian, from respected Star Wars behind the scenes chronicler, J.W. Rinzler:

https://www.thebeardedtrio.com/2020/07/making-of-star-wars-author-jw-rinzler.html

Friday, 10 July 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: LACK OF LOVE, AND LACK OF DUTY!


What a surprise! Han Solo and the Princess are arguing again! This time, her 'highness-ness' is angry with the smuggler in finally making his decision to leave her and the Rebellion at its most critical time. To make things worse, Han can't help forcing the issue over their relationship, charging the Princess's mood even more, in this fun comedic sequence which was originally a much longer confrontational scene and was trimmed in half during editing- in the original version, Leia had the last comedic line instead of Han, making him even angrier when back repairing the Falcon. Also lost, part of an entire sub plot in itself, was a sequence showing a Wampa snow creature trying to scratch through the ice wall of the nearby base corridor whilst the pair are arguing.

As our duo argues, an unexpected visitors attempts a break-in

A Wampa paw tries to break the ice.

The bickering scene continues in another corridor.

"Enjoy your trip, Hotshot!'

Leia walks away in the final moments, as a droid goes past.

The full scene with Wampa moment, as captured in the official Marvel comics adaptation based on one of the revised shooting scripts.

Making an early visit to the film in late March/early April 1979 was George Lucas, along with Lawrence Kasdan, as the Rebel base scenes were being shot. They posed for numerous photographs on the corridor and Medical Bay set, with Kasdan getting a surprise when he saw that some of his Solo/Leia dialogue had been rewritten or changed by Ford without his knowledge.

Lucas confers with cinematographer Peter Suschitzky on the scene. Note the Leia/Han stand-ins in the corridor background.

Best of friends, or best of 'frenemies'? Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford between takes..

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.

Bruce Boa as General Rieekan.

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) and Kershner.

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.