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Friday, 20 October 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: THAT OTHER 'SHOOTING STAR'!

A Panaflex camera with an illustrious filming history prepares to film Garrick Hagon at Elstree during July 1976.

In his cramped cockpit and under bright studio lights, Garrick Hagon gets ready to film his scenes as Biggs Darklighter (aka Red Three), Luke Skywalker's best friend from simpler times on Tatooine, though you wouldn't really have known that proper if you were a generic audience member watching the film for the first time back in 1977, or hadn't seen the late 1976 MARVEL comic or the later published STAR WARS STORYBOOK,which gave the worldwide STAR WARS fan base its first and now legendary tantalizing glimpse of the film's deleted scenes visually, all of whose images were pretty much devoted to the Tatooine-based scenes of Biggs with Luke before the former's departure to secretly join the Rebellion.

Colourized image of classic Garrick Hagon/Biggs B/W shot.

In the lead-up to and at the Battle of Yavin, Biggs further suffered quite a few great little lost moments before his sad demise at the hands of Darth Vader. The April 1976 Revised Fourth Draft script used for filming refers to Biggs showing sadness at the loss of his wingman Porkins (Red Six), and, before Red Leader's trench run, he'd shoot down an attacking TIE fighter going after Luke (an earlier TIE attack on Red Five previously foiled by Wedge), followed by his doing a celebratory victory roll with his fighter. After the deleted first unsuccessful trench run made by Luke and his wingmen, we also would have seen him evading one of Vader's TIE support -reuniting with Wedge and Luke, telling them "Don't ever give up on old Biggs", whilst showing some speedy piloting alongside them. Though some of the script corresponding effects shots were likely never completed linked to his deleted scenes, you can bet that most of the actor's cockpit dialogue lines were filmed and survived, having been already pre-filmed before the official editing Post Production phase.

Prior to the space battle on Yavin, it's sad that his reunion scene with Luke, later restored partially to the 1997 Special Edition, in which he refers to himself and his friend as "a couple of shooting stars" was never filmed- a great regret according to Hagon, the line instead changed to the less impressive "They'll never stop us" by the time of lensing at Shepperton Studios, taking place several months before the cockpit scenes were filmed at Elstree.

Actor's official site: http://www.garrickhagon.com/ 

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/behind-scenes-red-flight-at-elstree.html

https://www.scifinow.co.uk/interviews/star-wars-interview-garrick-hagon/

Filmumentraies interview: https://vimeo.com/126754777

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