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October 12, 2010 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
posted by zarq (35 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
THAT's how they did the text crawl in the opening shot??
posted by crunchland at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yep! I didn't know that either.
"For the classic trilogy," explains Knoll, "a high contrast film of the text was laid out flat on a long lightbox (a transparent table lit from underneath), with a camera set up on rails running parallel to the lightbox. The camera was controlled by a computer to make sure the scrolling speed remained constant: that's what we call a 'motion-control camera'. To create the illusion of text disappearing on the horizon, the special effects guys tilted the camera at an angle and ran it down the track. A star field was later optically added to complete the footage." This effective procedure was used to create the opening of all three classic movies.

posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on October 12, 2010


I really enjoyed the Vanity Fair link, they were so young, OMG I was alive to see it the first time in the cinema hall etc thanks, Zarq
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:01 AM on October 12, 2010


Btw, that reminds me of reading about the making of The Black Hole and how they'd painted it on clear sheets of glass etc, I wonder if CGI has lost us some master skills in modelmaking and SFX?

yes, I did indeed want to grow up and work for Industrial Light & Magic one day
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:04 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Impressive. Most impressive.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:04 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also never before seen footage of Eric Stoltz as Chewbacca.
posted by dgaicun at 9:09 AM on October 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


I hate you dgaicun
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:09 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, um... what's with the monkey?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:11 AM on October 12, 2010


I remember when the movie was first released, one of my best friends insisted in seeing it the first day and then the day after and so on. He kept telling me how important and groundbreaking this film was. I stopped just short of the double digits I think but he found other people to see it with him even more times. He's in the business now and I guess he was right. At the time I just enjoyed being immersed in this fantasy world.
posted by caddis at 9:13 AM on October 12, 2010


The image I love is the Boba Fett costume.
Is that boba fett socks I see?
posted by ShawnString at 9:20 AM on October 12, 2010


Also never before seen footage of Eric Stoltz as Chewbacca.

This should be a thing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:27 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I think there is nothing about Star Wars that I don't want to know. Well, episodes 4-6, anyway.
posted by Shohn at 9:27 AM on October 12, 2010


We hate to say it, Chewie, but your loyalty to Lucas may not have been the best career move. Think of all the great parts you turned down so you could be available for Star Wars. The Eddie Murphy role in 48 Hrs. The Cheshire cat in Cats & Dogs. Teena Brandon in Boys Don't Cry!

And for what, Chewie? Lucas gave you only two lines in your entire career: "Arrgh!" and "Arrrrgh!" Okay, maybe that was some of the best dialogue he ever wrote, but in all those years you never got a big speech. You never got a love scene. You never got naked, Chewie. You were always naked.

You got screwed, bro.

posted by zarq at 9:33 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


OK wait...so how much of this was shot in space and how much was not?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:33 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, um... what's with the monkey?


Carrie Fisher's cocaine sherpa.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:34 AM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I saw Empire Strikes Back in theaters four times when I was eight. I can't remember who all I conned into taking me that many times, but I was IN LOVE with this movie. I had a picture book, character cards, the novel adaptation (that I still have a copy of somewhere), posters, you name it. I frequently played with some kids younger than me at a friend of my mom's and they had ALL the action figures and play sets. We would spend hours messing with that stuff. I was either Boba Fett or Princess Leia - nobody ever wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Cool post- good stuff- thanks!
posted by PuppyCat at 9:38 AM on October 12, 2010


I couldn't buy the Wampa Throw Rug because it looks too much like the abominable snowman from the Rankin/Bass Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Scariest Thing Ever From Childhood.
posted by starman at 9:39 AM on October 12, 2010


This should have been used in the movie.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 9:40 AM on October 12, 2010


That picture of Luke over the mattresses should really be the new Hang In There cat poster.
posted by condour75 at 9:41 AM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I really should get out of this thread and go find something to eat in Paris tonight.
posted by The Lady is a designer at 9:44 AM on October 12, 2010


This should have been used in the movie.

And then in Jedi we find out they're brother and sister.
posted by bondcliff at 9:49 AM on October 12, 2010


I couldn't buy the Wampa Throw Rug because it looks too much like the abominable snowman from the Rankin/Bass Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the Scariest Thing Ever From Childhood.

You mean Abominable the enforcer?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:57 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"A New Hope" is my earliest memory. Mom says it was like the moment I found religion. Once I was into my teens, I realized that Luke was a whiny punk & I hated him, that I really didn't agree with the Jedi code (which only got worse as Lucas put out the new films)... but it's still one of the greatest story backdrops ever. Still a huge influence on my life. And Chewbacca's still awesome.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:32 AM on October 12, 2010


I could hardly see through the mask because it used to mist up with all of the steam. So if someone said, “did you see anything, Jeremy?” I’d say, “No, I didn’t.”

Hmm, I wonder if that also means he couldn't see all the way to Florida after all.
posted by homunculus at 12:19 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I've just made a deal that'll keep the Empire ou...Hey! Is this Tasters Choice?"
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 12:42 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, um ... what's with the monkey?

"Carrie, I'd like you to meet my stand-in for our love scenes."
posted by New Frontier at 1:05 PM on October 12, 2010


A what? A what the hell is a wookie?
posted by ob1quixote at 2:25 PM on October 12, 2010


Those photos made my day. I was a teenager again, waiting in line to see Empire on opening day and all unknowing, get my hormones carbonated by Harrison Ford. Thank you for taking me back.
posted by immlass at 3:29 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was a teenager again --- As were Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, and Mark Hamill.
posted by crunchland at 3:50 PM on October 12, 2010


To this day, my Rebel Armored Snowspeeder is one of my all time favorite toys.

I wish I still had it.
posted by Thistledown at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2010


Dear Thistledown,
coming very shortly to Target...
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:02 PM on October 12, 2010


Harrison and Carrie are in a huge argument

Maybe because he was sitting in her chair.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:37 PM on October 12, 2010


Look again. Her chair is behind his. If it were her's, you wouldn't be able to read her name.
posted by crunchland at 6:41 PM on October 12, 2010


Most people don't realize that Chewie was madly in love with Leia.
posted by johnnyace at 6:16 AM on October 13, 2010


To this day, my Rebel Armored Snowspeeder is one of my all time favorite toys.

I have about 2/3 of mine.
posted by Caviar at 10:55 AM on October 15, 2010


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