Thursday, 28 February 2013
On the strange jungle world of Felucia, a Clone Trooper and his squadron receive deadly new commands in an horrific but expected sequence-Order 66-from EPISODE III.
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
The cliffhanger from 1980's THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK that everyone wanted resolved: was Han Solo still in carbonite at the beginning of RETURN OF THE JEDI? And just as important: how would our heroes, led by Luke Skywalker, rescue him from that slimy gangster Jabba the Hutt? The answers to both those questions would be delivered in spectacular style by the filmmakers. But first, our imprisoned smuggler had to come down from his eerie, isolated wall plaque status within the main audience chamber of Jabba's decadent palace, as seen in this intriguing B/W reference image sent to KENNER TOYS circa 1982. Note: another reference to EMPIRE here: the Tauntaun head on Han's left side, whilst on the other, barely visible in the shadows, is the head of a creature from the original STAR WARS Tatooine exterior scenes: the little-seen Jerba Beast...
AFICIONADO exclusive feature on the Jerba beast:
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Amongst the towering skyscrapers of Coruscant, lethal Bounty Hunter Zam Wesell stays incognito as she readies herself against her next target: Senator Padme Amidala, in a soon-to-be tense moment from EPISODE II.
Monday, 25 February 2013
The Imperial Death Squadron has incredulously failed to capture the Millennium Falcon. Darth Vader is furious-Luke Skywalker and his Rebel friends must be captured at all costs, even if it means sacrificing his commanding officers to do it!
As we eagerly await official news confirming the return of the Classic STAR WARS Trilogy heroes to our cinema screens in 2016, why not settle back and finish the epic Expanded Universe Fate of the Jedi book series, as Troy Denning's Apocalypse brings it all to its nine-part, action-packed conclusion in paperback from 7th March, courtesy of the UK's ARROW BOOKS.
Check out our original review here: STAR WARS AFICIONADO MAGAZINE: APOCALYPSE
Sunday, 24 February 2013
A wary Qui-Gon Jinn and his exploratory party of Padme, Jar Jar Binks and Artoo enter Mos Eisley in a vital search for a replacement Hyperspace generator for their damaged ship. A nostalgic scene set on a classic, landmark planet, from EPISODE I.
Saturday, 23 February 2013
At Elstree, near the end of Summer 1976 London filming for STAR WARS, Mark Hamill gets into the Landspeeder cockpit alongside Anthony Daniels, readying to shoot their scenes of Luke and Threepio searching the Jundland wastes for the missing Artoo-location footage speeding by that would be projected behind them: a common industry technique often replaced these days by blue or green screen. The completed sequence was deemed unusable-the final results not believable enough for Lucas- but eventually appeared on the 2011 Blu-ray release as one of the many deleted scenes.
STAR WARS CAST MEMORIES AND NOTES FROM THE MEMORABILLIA SHOW AT THE NEC BIRMINGHAM-MARCH 29TH 2008
Compiled by Scott Weller and Ian Trussler
|Jack Klaff as the doomed John D in STAR WARS.|
Respected stage and screen actor Klaff played the fight pilot John D. (as in John Doe) for two days of filming in July 1976. According to the script, the pilot he played was a veteran of many fighter missions. They (Lucas/the technicians) asked him beforehand if he was okay about being blown up in the fighter cockpit and after it happened they gave him a wet towel to put on his face to help him acclimatize whilst getting out of the set. He recalls a modest Lucas quietly thanking him for his work. Klaff was then asked by LUCASFILM to come back for some extra filming a short time later, but, at the time, he was in numerous Shakespearean theatre acting roles and wasn’t available.
|Zuckuss has a sit down between bouts of bounty hunting!|
Yes, the actress who played the legendary Zuckuss-she’s alive-she exists-she’s real!!!
Coming straight out of acting school, EMPIRE was one of her first film jobs and she was the best fit for the costume of Bounty Hunter Zuckuss. The mask was very heavy and attached on her almost like one of those ancient diving helmets, which was clasped onto a neck section (like her fellow alien, Bossk’s, as worn by Alan Harris). In the heavy costume, and being the only female actress to inhabit one on the set, she had a personal helper who would assist her in sitting down on a chair between takes (as can be seen in the classic black and white image). After completing her four weeks at ELSTREE (most of the time spent on the Star Destroyer Bridge-it took a long period to set up each part of her filming with the other Bounty Hunters for that brief scene), she was asked to come back for two weeks for some additional Bespin shooting and played a female Mrs. Snaggletooth (the actor playing Mister Snaggletooth is unknown to us), wearing a blue outfit, who can be seen very briefly in the final film.
She became very good friends with Chris Parsons as they were roughly the same age and both very young, "we were only kids really" was her phrase. She is still in contact with Chris Parsons and they remain friends. She recalled how tight the security was on the EMPIRE set and that, although she has some personal Polaroid shots of herself and some of the other background artists as aliens on one of the Bespin Cloud City corridors, nobody was allowed to take pictures of themselves on the actual sets.
She had done a little TV work before doing EMPIRE (including a part in the 1979 DOCTOR WHO story THE HORNS OF NIMON, playing a sacrificial victim alongside BLUE PETER presenter to be Janet Ellis). Sadly, unlike Chris Parsons, she didn’t get a chance to play any parts in RETURN OF THE JEDI.
When asked why she has been rarely seen at fan events/conventions (she has appeared at one Japanese event (which she thoroughly enjoyed and was overwhelmed by the friendliness and emotions of the fans there), and at least two signings in the UK), she explained that fans have had difficulty finding her due to her name Catherine Munroe having changed to Katy Jarrett.
|George Lucas and Mark Hamill discuss the heroes Death Star escape, in a behind the scenes image from 1976 for STAR WARS.|
Compiled by Scott Weller
(with thanks to Ian Trussler and Chris Baker for additional info)
The STAR WARS AFICIONADO MAGAZINE team got the chance to talk to J.W. RINZLER in the FAN CLUB lounge at CELEBRATION IV. Impressed with his recently released MAKING OF STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE, now out of print in 2013 and commanding huge prices on Amazon and Ebay, we managed to ask him some burning questions that we thought needed to be covered, and glean some additional information that we think readers might find interesting:
1. That no photos or information exists in the LUCASFILM ARCHIVES on the creation of the Vader mask/main costume. Very few behind the scenes shots available in the LUCASFILM ARCHIVES of Dave Prowse as Darth Vader from A NEW HOPE.
2. Of all the photos taken for the films, A NEW HOPE is the one that is the least represented in the archives with few discs of images compared to the two sequels that followed it and the Prequels.
3. Very little was documented of the pre-production build up to filming. With the film being green-lit for filming so late in the day by FOX, no one was thinking properly about creating any visual documentation. Additionally, so much documented information from that period is not in the archives (either lost, destroyed or in private collections).
4. There were also very few images of behind the scenes production personnel in the LUCASFILM ARCHIVES, with Rinzler having particular trouble finding good images of British Special Effects Technician John Stears (we at AFICIONADO can attest to this-we had great trouble finding images for our MAKING OF STAR WARS issue as well!)
5. According to Rinzler’s information, the on set photographer (we assume he means John Jay) was not present for every day’s filming- apparently only handling a certain batch of days a week. For some sections of the book where filming of certain scenes was not apparently covered, Rinzler had no choice but to use screen grabs (kindly supplied to him by his friend John Knoll-some of which were from the SPECIAL EDITION and had been used in Knoll’s own 365 DAYS book). From information AFICIONADO has, however, we believe that Jay was present throughout the location and ELSTREE/SHEPPERTON filming. There were other photographer so the set as well, like David Steen and Terry O’Neill, who may not have been around for the full filming (often handling the posed studio pictures), so I’m wondering if there is some understandable confusion there on Mister Rinzler’s part.
6. A longer, full length transcript version of Alan Arnold’s ONCE UPON A GALAXY: THE MAKING OF EMPIRE STRIKES BACK book exists, which is a possibility to be used when Rinzler ultimately begins work on his own MAKING OF EMPIRE edition (something that looks very likely, after he has completed work on his INDIANA JONES book, as sales of the MAKING OF A NEW HOPE book have been very encouraging, alongside several very positive reviews).
7. In some instances, the best behind the scenes information came from Lucas and his lawyer (who kept very precise notes on the creation of the first film, and the director’s relationship with TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX).
8. A full cast list for A NEW HOPE exists in the LUCASFILM ARCHIVES but there is no pressure for them to release the information.
9. The Midichlorians reference in the character notes of the hardback edition was not added on to ease pressure on Prequel criticisms. Rinzler confirms that this was in Lucas’s original reference material/commentaries given to Carol Titelman in 1977/78 (of which Threepio’s original origin, as having come from the planet Affa, would later be confirmed by Anthony Daniels to Presenter Chris Kelly in the UK 1980 edition of the Children’s film-making television programme CLAPPERBOARD.
10. For reasons unknown, possibly timing (as he was not present for all the filming-traveling to and from the States), Charles Lippincott did not interview the enigma that was Sir Alec Guinness, or Peter Cushing (who was only on set filming for a select period of days in early May). Additionally, other actors, such as Dave Prowse, weren’t either. In some cases, Rinzler had to use quotes from other sources, from 1976/77, for Alec Guinness, and later 1990’s quotes for Peter Cushing.
11. The full script for REVENGE OF THE JEDI (RETURN OF THE JEDI) exists in the archives. There are no plans to release it at this time.
12. As far as Rinzler is aware, the LOST CUT that was featured in David West Reynolds STAR WARS INSIDER article back in 1998/99 is the FIRST ROUGH CUT and was never apparently intended as a real version of the film (we don’t know what to make of this info-John Jympson, who was hired, and later fired, for his work on the FIRST ROUGH CUT was an acclaimed film editor at that time-why would Lucas hire someone so prestigious to work on a ROUGH CUT?)
I offered Mister Rinzler, who kindly gave an excellent talk and was an extremely nice guy, a copy of the MAKING OF STAR WARS AFICIONADO special issue (which contains behind the scenes information not in his book, which I thought might help fill in some of the information gaps in the LUCASFILM ARCHIVES) but, for understandable legal reasons, he was not able to accept it.
J.W. Rinzler talks about THE MAKING OF STAR WARS BOOK: How STAR WARS Almost Never Was (Star Wars: The Making of the Original Star Wars) - YouTube
J.W. Rinzler talks about THE MAKING OF STAR WARS BOOK: How STAR WARS Almost Never Was (Star Wars: The Making of the Original Star Wars) - YouTube
Friday, 22 February 2013
With the current future of STAR WARS in flux before its sure-to-be, phoenix-like rebirth in 2016, a select group of fans are worried as to whether the latest, fifth season of the hit animated series THE CLONE WARS might be its last-an unneccessary victim of the contractual end of CARTOON NETWORK's association with the show/LUCASFILM, coupled with DISNEY's commercial interests in wanting to push ahead with all-new STAR WARS material beyond what has already been developed. Three episodes of the latest season (the Clovis plotline) have already been lost with a reduced episode count down to 20 rather than 22, causing much anxiety within fandom.
A fan petition has been set-up to make all the major power players at DISNEY and LUCASFILM aware that we want this series to continue production and end on an eventual note of completist success - either with a sixth (which had already been in production before the news of DISNEY's purchase of LUCASFILM) or additional seventh year.
Add your name to the cause and pass it on. There's no harm in STAR WARS fandom's mighty worldwide voice being sent out in support of this noble cause: Save the Clone Wars Animated Series | causes.com
Another point of view on the future of THE CLONE WARS: Opinion: The Clone Wars Series Is NOT Being Cancelled | The Star Wars Underworld
Thursday, 21 February 2013
A newly awakened Obi-Wan Kenobi quickly hangs on for dearer life to Anakin Skywalker, within the tight spot that is the topsy-turvy lift shaft within the heavily damaged Invisible Hand cruiser, during a tense moment from EPISODE III.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
An Imperial Walker continues its relentless attack on the Rebel forces, whilst a Snowspeeder accelerates by, its blasters useless against the enemy beast's hull. Another excellent Joe Johnston storyboard for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Young Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker surveys the seedy and disreputable denizens of the Coruscant sportsbar in his search for the mysterious changeling assassin, in a memorable scene from EPISODE II.
Monday, 18 February 2013
Thirty brave Rebel pilots in technologically dated but speedy snub fighters leave Yavin IV and begin their approach to the colossal super space station weapon known as the Death Star, in this classic original effects composite image from STAR WARS.
Sunday, 17 February 2013
One of the finest artists of the STAR WARS generation, Tsuneo Sanda's artistic skills are shown to their fullest with this superb artwork celebrating EPISODE I, capturing the visual wonder, excitement and memorable characters-past and new- of the worldwide, billion dollar box office success.
Saturday, 16 February 2013
LONDON FILM AND COMIC CON 1st and 2nd SEPTEMBER 2007
Compiled by Scott Weller
With thanks to Ian Trussler for additional information
|Gary Kurtz has fun with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher on the EMPIRE set.|
GARY KURTZ (PRODUCER-STAR WARS AND THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)
The Producer revealed that, as well as his Second Unit work on the Blockade Runner for STAR WARS at ELSTREE, he also directed shots of Imperial officers/Stormtroopers on alert during the DEATH STAR attack and recalls filming the scenes where one of the gun emplacements blows up from Rebel fire. He may also have directed the scene where the TIE pilots rush to their fighter bays, but he can’t confirm for sure.
He re-confirmed that, due to lighting, film and technical difficulties, the JABBA THE HUTT/ DOCKING BAY 94 scene, despite no problems with the actor’s performances, was scrapped shortly after filming, and after three attempts to shoot the footage had been done with Ford, Mayhew and Declan Mulholland. This confirmation tells us that Lucas never planned to go back and have a stop motion puppet added on after filming. The footage had already been scrapped and the important plot info about the relationship between Han and Jabba passed on to Greedo in Post Production. Kurtz does not like that scene put back in the SPECIAL EDITON, finding it irrelevant.
Kurtz thought that the recent JW Rinzler MAKING OF STAR WARS book was okay for an “official” book-was surprised by some of the photo choices, however. He also revealed that at least half of the original on-set photography negatives for the film shoot, including his and John Jay’s work, went missing/were lost, and that many of the photos we see in the magazines even today were first printed from the surviving high quality proof sheets!! The stolen duplicate transparencies from the STAR WARS offices in April 1977 were also never recovered.
For the re-mastering of STAR WARS for the SPECIAL EDITION, Kurtz recalls that scenes on the negative were so badly scratched that they had to use the best quality material possible from the remaining worldwide theatrical prints used in cinemas twenty years earlier. It was a difficult job finding good quality prints and Kurtz was heavily involved in this work-even loaning LUCASFILM his own personal print of the movie for one scene which was heavily damaged on the original.
Before RETURN OF THE JEDI, Kurtz had looked at the idea of the spacecraft visual effects for STAR WARS being done with early computer rendering, but in the mid 70’s, it just wasn’t possible and there wasn’t enough memory storage space in those early machines. Additionally, Kurtz cannot recall any experiments with Japanese Bunraku puppetry-something that has previously been mentioned in STAR WARS lore by Richard Edlund- but the process was used, against blue screen, for a couple of shots involving puppets in LABYRINTH.
Some of the end cast credits for the film are incomplete due to mistakes via the film’s original UK production office in 1976, which is why some actors aren’t mentioned (like who the actor was that portrayed Red Ten) and why some actors have incorrect spellings.
Backing up some of what George Roubicek revealed at CELEBRATION IV US, Kurtz confirmed that more incidental material on the Blockade Runner, for the beginning of STAR WARS, was shot during the Imperial attack than what appeared in the final film. What exactly that all was he can’t remember but more material was shot.
Kurtz is currently working on a new character drama set during World War II, which he is very excited about and which should start filming next year. He’s also working on a new STAR WARS project, concerning the unsung heroes behind the scenes who worked on the first film, including John Barry, ILM and other people who haven’t received the credit they should have for the success of the original film. This will not be available commercially, but will be available to fans (probably as a DVD) at some point in the next few years. A book of Gary Kurtz’s on set photographs for STAR WARS and EMPIRE hasn’t been ruled out, though this is not a priority to Kurtz at the moment.
The REVENGE OF THE JEDI original storyline was a several page outline born from events that had been created from Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan’s screenplay for EMPIRE. It was never more than outline before he and Lucas had their falling out over the rollercoaster adventure movie that Lucas wanted the finale film to be, and which he perceived audiences would want to see, rather than the bitter sweet ending that Kurtz had originally planned for with Lucas. Kurtz also didn’t like the fact that the film was starting to be a giant toy movie/promotion.
PAUL JERRICHO (IMPERIAL AT-AT PILOT-EMPIRE)
The actor confirmed that he played the part for four days at ELSTREE on a full 360 degrees built set. As ever, the Stormtrooper costume was extremely hot and heavy to wear. And, as ever, the actors reacted to nothing on the view screen. His scenes were directed by Kershner.
|Chris Malcolm as Zev in EMPIRE.|
CHRISTOPHER MALCOLM (ZEV-REBEL SNOWSPEEDER PILOT-EMPIRE)
A really nice guy, at his first convention, the actor revealed that the replacement camera used for Snowspeeder cockpit blue screen filming had previously been used on GONE WITH THE WIND- such was the film’s status that people on set would often come by just to touch the legendary camera that had filmed the landmark movie!! As previously mentioned in STAR WARS AFICONADO, it took a long time to film scenes in the cockpit due to blue screen lighting problems. Malcolm also confirmed that actor Eugene Lipinsky did indeed play a Rebel Snowspeeder pilot whose scenes were cut from the film, but that’s all he could remember on that score (any one out there got any ideas as to who he would have played?). Malcolm may also have had a scene showing how he got his facial injury before being felled by a Walker, but, again, he can’t recall for sure anymore.
|Deep Roy about to play Yoda for a brief walking scene in EMPIRE.|
DEEP ROY (WALKING YODA-EMPIRE, NUMEROUS ALIENS-JEDI)
Not much info apart from the fact that he just loved working on EMPIRE and RETURN OF THE JEDI and had a great time with everybody. Adored working with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on WILLY WONKA, which was one of the most demanding parts he’s ever played and also liked working with Gillian Anderson on THE X-FILES.
AL LAMPERT (COMMANDER JIR-STAR WARS)
Another really nice guy. When asked why it’s taken so long to attend a convention, he replied that he had never been asked!!! As far as he was aware, all of his scenes filmed were in the final movie and nothing was cut. His part in STAR WARS was just after he had competed work on SPACE:1999. Lampert was aware of the time pressure to try and finish the movie, recalled the slightly flimsy Blockade Runner corridor set, and remembered when George Lucas had to pull the plug on the shoot when they run out of off money. Even at that time, the film had certainly not been finished in Lucas’s eyes.
VASS ANDERSON (REBEL TECHNICIAN-STAR WARS)
Only appeared as a Rebel technician in STAR WARS, he did not appear on EMPIRE. Was on set for a week’s filming.
|Syd Wragg as he appeared in one scene from STAR WARS.|
SYD WRAGG (IMPERIAL OFFICER-STAR WARS)
Playing the officer who talked to Tarkin briefly before Princess Leia is brought into the war room, Wragg revealed that he did have a line of dialogue that he said to Peter Cushing before being motioned away. The line was something like “All Imperial ships are ready” he recalled. Wragg, having greatly enjoyed working with Ford, Fisher, Hamill and Peter Cushing, would also go on to work on several James Bond films, including the epic THE SPY WHO LOVED ME-released in 1977- and SUPERMAN THE MOVIE (playing one of the Kryptonian elders, and recalling how Marlon Brando always used to read his dialogue off cue cards!!). Having taking up Karate, he also taught Gareth Hunt how to fight as Mike Gambit in THE NEW AVENGERS, as well as Joanna Lumley as Purdey (Wragg recalled that, being her first major TV role, Lumley was very shy at first). He also worked on THE SWEENEY teaching fighting moves to Dennis Waterman, who would later go on to MINDER, with George Cole, as well) and THE PROFESSIONALS TV series, again teaching the leads how to do Karate.
Wragg is also seen walking the corridors of the Death Star in some scenes, like where Han and Luke escort Chewie, whilst disguised as Stormtroopers.
|Ralph Brown as Ric Olie with Jake Lloyd as Anakin in EPISODE I.|
RALPH BROWN (RIC OLIE-EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE)
Unaware that his friend, Ray Winstone, had also auditioned for the part of Ric Olie and was considered for the pilot by Robin Gurland after previously thinking of him for several insect like creatures (??) for EPISODE ONE. Though he liked the filming experience (especially being in the fighter cockpit for the space battle scenes), and working with Jake Lloyd, who he thought was fun, Brown was not a fan of the finished movie or of the experience of working with George Lucas.
Prior to the release of THE PHANTOM MENACE, Brown, who had a film premiering at the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, when asked by a journalist about working on STAR WARS told reporters that Lucas was “a man lacking in human decency.” When this quote ended up in the NEW YORK TIMES, Lucas and LUCASFILM were immensely unhappy with Brown, who would not be invited to the film’s London premiere.
|Quentin Pierre (left) as one of the Bespin guards (alongside Alan Harris) escorting the carbon Han Solo in EMPIRE.|
QUENTIN PIERRE (NUMEROUS ROLES –STAR WARS, EMPIRE AND JEDI)
Having previously worked at PINEWOOD on both seasons of SPACE: 1999, which he found boring to work on, Pierre would be hired for STAR WARS by Stunt Co-Ordinator Peter Diamond, and would also be Billy Dee Williams stand in on EMPIRE (as well as playing a Bespin security guard (one of the two who escorts the carbonised Han Solo to SLAVE ONE)). For STAR WARS, Pierre would do a lot of stunt work as a Stormtrooper (there was, at first, some film scheduling problems with the SPACE: 1999 production office, but eventually things were sorted out). Pierre was also hired specifically by LUCASFILM for JEDI, and was also one of the Royal Guards for the film (he was one of them for the deleted scene in JEDI with Vader Force-choking Moff Jerjerrod as well). The Emperor’s Royal Guard costume was difficult to walk in and all the actors in the red robes had to make certain that there was enough spacing between them as they walked so that they didn’t fall over each other. Pierre also hinted that with his likeness on one of the action figure cards that there was a bit of a stink over the use of his image- it looks like he or his agent may have tried to get extra money for the use of his face.
|Two Rodians at work in Jabba's Palace from RETURN OF THE JEDI.|
MAROLYN TURK (BEEDO-RETURN OF THE JEDI)
A former double for actress Glen Close on British filmed movies including the two 101 DALMATIONS movies and HAMLET, and with 300 feature film credits to her name as a background artist, Marolyn, playing the Rodian Beedo, would strike up firm friendships with the majority of other actors in the masked costumes on the Jabba’s Palace set and would go on over the years to correspond with many of them regularly. Sadly, one close friend of Turks, who had worked on JEDI, sadly died.
The Rodian costumes, and several others, were originally built for men but the size 10 frame better suited the female form. To avoid claustrophobia, Turk would often push the eyes of her mask. Both Turk and the numerous other actors in the monster make ups got on extremely well with the main cast and, in between takes, Turk, with Mark Hamill, would come up with mind games to ease the boredom of setups.
STEPHEN SPEIRS (CAPTAIN TARPALS-EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE)
Impressed with his work in the London National Theatre’s production of GUYS AND DOLLS, Speirs filming duties as Captain Tarpals were very lengthy and in a manner not unlike the process that was used to film Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks on set (in those dark days before CGI characters had been firmly cemented on screen). Additionally, the voice over/adr work for the character also went on for a lengthy period, with new lines of dialogue and other character ideas for the character coming up. Steven enjoyed working with George Lucas.
|William Hoyland as Imperial Commander Igar in RETURN OF THE JEDI.|
WILLIAM HOYLAND (IMPERIAL COMMANDER IGAR-ENDOR GARRISON AT-AT-RETURN OF THE JEDI)
Hoyland recalls that he and Mark Hamill, in costume, got stuck for three hours in the specially built elevator in the studio soundstage to take the actors/crew to the walkway/gantry next to the AT-AT. The scene where Luke has handed himself over to the Imperials, with Hoyland presenting his lightsaber to Vader, was filmed by Richard Marquand. Due to the delay with the lift, however, the days filming was in serious danger of going over schedule, resulting in Marquand being a bit sharp with some of the other actors on the scene in the rush to get things completed. Hoyland recalls that Mark Hamill was extremely nice to work with.
JIM DOWDALL (STORMTROOPER IN STAR WARS, BESPIN GUARD IN EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)
Dowdall, whose work includes numerous JAMES BOND films, A BRIDGE TOO FAR (made after his STAR WARS filming at ELSTREE), HANOVER STREET/FORCE TEN TO NAVARONE (both working with Harrison Ford), and DOCTOR WHO, the stuntman/actor remembers how uncomfortable the Stormtrooper outfits were. Braving the rain on the 1977 Saturday morning of the UK cast and crew screening of the movie, Dowdall, almost reluctant at going, travels there on his new Harley Davidson and is soon amazed by the film, recalling that, with the opening shot, all of the cast and crew got up and applauded the incredible sequence. Unfortunately, he could not recall any of the possible scenes of Stormtroopers taking away/ killing the Bespin residents when they evacuate in EMPIRE.
ROBERT ENGLUND (WILLIE IN “V THE SERIES” AND FREDDY IN THE “NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET” FILMS)
As seen in a photograph in the MAKING OF STAR WARS book, Robert Englund visited the ILM team in San Fernando Valley, and was a friend of effects man Dennis Irving, the brother of Amy Irving-who would later marry, and divorce, Steven Spielberg. Englund would bring food over to the ILM team during their hard work at the Thanksgiving holidays, and was also a friend of Hamill- Englund and his girlfriend would let the young actor stay over at their apartment from time to time as Hamill’s was in such a bad state.
Englund, auditioning for the part of the surfer character in APOCALYPSE NOW, turned up unshaven and wearing a tight military shirt, where, though passed on for APOCALYPSE with Francis Ford Coppola, he was recommended to Lucas to try out for the Han Solo role, as the actor looked quite tough.
JOHN FORGEHAM (THE OFFICER AT THE BEGINNING OF STAR WARS WHO, SEEING THE ESCAPE POD, SAYS: “THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE”)
Forgeham, whose career as an actor spans nearly forty years, got the part of the Imperial gun officer when his agent called him saying that there was a small part on STAR WARS. Knowing it was only a days work, and living in nearby Borehamwood at that time, Forgeham takes on the part arriving on the specially built set and reacting to blue screen, The scene, which was shot with another actor (whom Forgeham thinks he knew from working on the UK soap opera CROSSROADS (someone named David?)) was not shot by Lucas-Forgeham thinks it was Second Unit (probably the Monday after the July filming of STAR WARS was halted). After the filming, Forgeham was happy to frequent the well- stocked ELSTREE STUDIOS bar!!!
Forgeham also confirmed that his friend Ken Hutchison was indeed in the movie-playing one of the Imperial officers in the conference room scene with Vader and Tarkin. Hutchison was also listed, according to Pablo Hidalgo as being present on the call sheets for the Blockade Runner filming but he was replaced in the filming by Al Lampert (JW Rinzler’s MAKING OF STAR WARS book also lists another actor for that scene and role: Constantin De Gregory)
At the convention, Forgeham went over to meet and shake hands with Gary Kurtz and was amazed by the worldwide STAR WARS fans in attendance to see him.
|Carrie Fisher and Tracy Eddon get a tan in Yuma during filming of JEDI.|
TRACEY EDDON (STUNT WOMAN-RETURN OF THE JEDI)
As well as being Leia and Threepio’s stunt double as Yuma, Eddon also unhappily played an Imperial Stormtrooper for one of the Endor battle scenes filmed at the Redwoods. She was coerced into doing it as they had run out of stunt men to occupy the suits, and, when putting it on, said she looked ridiculous.
Tracy Eddon’s father was the late Ed Eddon, who appeared in the Blockade Runner scenes in STAR WARS-Ed (Eddie) Eddon was the silver haired Rebel trooper with blue eyes who had two close ups before he was killed by Stormtroopers. Tracy’s mother is Sadie Edon, also a stunt woman, who was in STAR WARS, playing the cantina alien Reegesk.
Eddon, still a working stunt actress, enjoyed being on JEDI, working with the cast, and was impressed with the specially built Sail Barge set on location. She doesn’t recall playing an Endor Rebel Commando when I asked her-it may well have been Wendy Leech in the posed group photo taken on the DEATH STAR set with Mark Hamill.
Colin Skeaping played Luke for the scene where he and Eddon, as Leia, swing over to the Sand Skiff.
|The rat-like alien Reegesk in the Cantina, from STAR WARS.|
SADIE EDON (REEGESK-THE CANTINA ALIEN-IN STAR WARS)
Sadie, whose surname is spelt Edon, previously a regular stunt woman on the JAMES BOND films, remembers that the filming of her scenes on STAR WARS were one day only on the cantina set. None of the regular background artists wanted to wear the suit and Edon braved the extremely hot costume (she really couldn’t wait to get out of it by the end of the filming). She also recalled, however, that she was paid a good sum of money at the time for wearing the costume.
Sadie, now retired, thinks Harrison Ford is gorgeous!!