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Monday, 7 December 2015

BEHIND THE SCENES: DANGERS OF THE JUNDLAND WASTES

Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels by the Landspeeder prop, which is held up by a small scaffold.

AFICIONADO's in-depth coverage of STAR WARS 1977 original Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's original continuity Polaroids and information notes continues with the classic scene where Luke and the droids are attacked in the Jundland Wastes by the Sandpeople (aka Tusken Raiders), originally filmed in Tunisia during late March 1976.

Anthony Waye rehearses the scene with presumably local extras, and stuntman Peter Diamond, in costume as Sandpeople.
Ann Sknner's continuity shot of Mark Hamill from the second take of the scene.
Another continuity image linked to the third and fourth take.

One image sadly not revealed at the excellent 2014 Skinner gallery at the BFI, though it resides in their Special Collections vault, is a superb angle showing Peter Diamond as Luke's Sandperson enemy raising his lethal gaderffii stick in attack, as Mark Hamill is far left of shot almost out of camera. Below to the right of the image is a large pillow, mattresses and board for safety, where Miss Skinner's unique camera angle positioning also reveals a mosque-like building atop one of the distant mountains, located in what is now known in fan circles as "STAR WARS Canyon". Another unseen three-quarter vertical length image of Threepio (centre of image) sans missing arm, with Luke and Ben on either side (their faces half cut-off in shot framing), also resides in the collection.

Continuity shot of Hamill and Guinness with Anthony Daniels as C-3PO for a brief deleted scene.

Ann Skinner's early 1976 character notes for the Sandpeople, based on a pre-shooting script:

"SANDPEOPLE: Tusken Raiders. Speak coarse barbaric language which is not understood. Ride on BANTHAS in single file.... Monstrous bear-like creatures as large as elephants with huge red eyes, tremendous looped horns and long furry dinosaur-like tailes."

Ann Skinner's earliest pre-filming typed character notes for Ben Kenobi: ""Sorcerer", Old Man, Was a Jedi Knight, FORCE still strong in him (an energy field which gives him power), Scruffy beard, Limp." 

Kenobi's arrival in disturbing the Sandpeople is recorded in Skinner's handwritten notes, specifically the continuity of his seen-for-the-first-time costume:

"Brown cloak over high-neck brown shirt, beige dress under it and wrapped over. Dark belt around waist and lightsaber on left side. Hair untidy. No gloves, heavy brown boots with thick black soles. Hands clasped under sleeves monk-style on walk towards."



Getting ready to film Sir Alec's first scene. Image: LUCASFILM, via Chris Baker.
Note the intriguing real-life paintings carved on the rocks behind the landspeeder.

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI



The mosque/building on the hill, as seen from the Jawa Sandcrawler side of the canyon.

Unions, eccentrics and alcohol: the Brits who built Star Wars

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