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Friday, 9 May 2014

LAUNCHING THE LEGEND. PIC TWO: 'THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK' 1979


In the run up to commencement of EPISODE VII's PINEWOOD STUDIOS principal photography, apparently slated for May 14th, 2014, STAR WARS AFICIONADO presents a key image from the first day's shootings of the previous six films of the saga.

March 5th, 1979. An earlier sent telex from George Lucas wishing the cast and crew of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK good luck wasn't quite enough in protecting them from, at that time, one of the worst winters that Norway had ever encountered. Arriving at the solitary hotel at Finse, near the vital and stunningly visual Hardanger Jokulen glacier, the small troop (including Mark Hamill, Denis Lawson and Carrie Fisher, the latter there with a girlfriend- just for the location fun of it all!) were soon stranded in their hotel by an avalanche, resulting in director Irvin Kershner's early scenes filming an injured Luke Skywalker desperately traversing the deadly environs of Hoth literally being achieved just a few short steps outside the establishment.

Like STAR WARS troubled filming in Tunisia four years before, equipment problems to cameras and effects instruments persisted- this time due to the intense cold, whilst whiteouts and frostbite would bring their challenges and hardships to the human condition. But all these factors would ultimately be considered good omens by the time the film arrived in cinemas by May 1980.

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