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Saturday, 3 October 2015

BEHIND THE SCENES: LUKE vs WAMPA!

A fiery encounter with the Wampa ice creature.

No longer on the dinner menu, Luke Skywalker strikes back against the huge Wampa creature that has captured him, in this original sequence filmed but cut from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Note the insect-like Wampa mask used here- an early idea being that the creature saw via radar-like natural instincts. Because of the nature of the pyrotechnics, we assume stuntman Terry Richards, who played the creature in the scenes of a Wampa attacking the Rebel base, was inside the costume rather than Des Webb, who wore the immense Stuart Freeborn creation, albeit with a different head, during the Norway filming.

The early mask for the Wampa.
Luke strikes the Wampa...
...  and the sparks fly!

With the footage of the creature not looking effective on screen, much of this sequence was refilmed by producer Gary Kurtz and a second unit later in the production schedule, with the Wampa now wearing its cuddly-looking mask from Norway, with shots filmed and used in the finished movie showing the creature facially obscured and its body only partially revealed.

Gary Kurtz (far right) supervises the Wampa re-shoots.

The Empire Strikes Back - Original Wampa Scene - YouTube

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