How I learned to stop worrying and love Darth Vader
April 28, 2013 6:44 PM   Subscribe

 
I had no idea the space slug was really that small. I guess the camera adds 10 million pounds.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:55 PM on April 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see more pre-final footage of movies, where the special effects aren't applied yet. It would be a kick to see live action of Luke clinging for dear life above ... mattresses three feet below him.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:56 PM on April 28, 2013


Fantastic stuff. I can't believe how young they all look. And there's something so wonderfully visceral about seeing miniaturized models and actors in robot suits and those meticulous background paintings. It really made everything seem so real and physical. Muppet!Yoda beats out CGI!Yoda any day of the week.

And now if you'll excuse me, I must leave before I start telling random people to get off my lawn.
posted by Salieri at 7:02 PM on April 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have always wanted to ride a Tauntaun.
posted by arcticseal at 7:07 PM on April 28, 2013


I am a grown-ass man who works in film and television, and who moves about sets without even thinking twice. There is no magic left for me in any of this, in most cases. Generally I'm the guy right off camera, watching it all go down and maybe occasionally pinching myself, but most days waiting for lunch or end of day.

But I have endless, endless time to look at behind the scenes stuff from Star Wars. I'm not even a fanboy, it's weird. I just can't get enough. I'm instantly 8 years old again, every time a bunch of these crop up. There's just something so magical about that combination of people at that particular time. Seeing young George Lucas, I can't even hate him for ruining everything. I know that stupid slug was just a puppet, and Dagobah was just a set. But....damn. So magic.

Thank you for posting this!
posted by nevercalm at 7:10 PM on April 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


I also just saw this from the "previously" link. Which is storm troopers in the desert. On dirt bikes.

Again, not a fanboy, but what am I doing wrong in life that I do not have a real storm trooper suit?? I make a good living. And I would enjoy the ever-loving fuck out of a storm trooper suit. I mean......sigh.
posted by nevercalm at 7:19 PM on April 28, 2013


I've seen about half these images before, but then half are new to me. I love this robot love picture. Also young Harrison Ford is delicious.
posted by Nelson at 7:21 PM on April 28, 2013


Yoda was a puppet!

R2D2 was an ACTOR!

I mean, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that, these were theoretically true statements.

But I never really KNEW.
posted by cacofonie at 7:32 PM on April 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Was watching some older Muppets tonight and thinking how Henson has always seemed to have a great delight in creating alien worlds and Muppets. He must have had a blast working with SW
posted by edgeways at 7:38 PM on April 28, 2013


1980s Carrie Fisher is ridiculously photogenic.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:55 PM on April 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


That Boba Fett outfit belongs in a museum.
posted by swift at 8:00 PM on April 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


1980s Carrie Fisher is ridiculously prone to naps.
posted by luvcraft at 8:01 PM on April 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Looking at these photos reminds me why I loved the original trilogy when I was a kid....and why I can't stand Lucas now. What made those movies fun and believable has been traded in for lifeless CGI crap.
I think I'll bookmark the site for future reference. Or a reminder of a time when making movies required skill.
posted by nickthetourist at 8:03 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, those pictures of Irwin Kirshner mugging with Davis Prose in full Vader gear are just about the most adorable things ever.

And, man, I think I would forgive some special edition CGI for some Wampa/Snowtrooper fight scenes!!
posted by KingEdRa at 8:12 PM on April 28, 2013


1980s Carrie Fisher is ridiculously flirty. At least when the camera is around...
posted by argybarg at 8:31 PM on April 28, 2013


1980s Carrie Fisher is ridiculously excited about all the cocaine this movie is going to get her.
posted by midmarch snowman at 8:37 PM on April 28, 2013 [15 favorites]


Oh man, this picture is straight out of SPACEBALLS.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 8:52 PM on April 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Tauntaun is even smiling. Awwww...
posted by buzzman at 9:08 PM on April 28, 2013


Wow Carrie Fisher. She just seems so happy and comfortable being herself and it rubbing off on everyone around her. Was it merely seems?

The candids of puppet-Yoda reinforced how puppet-Yoda is more authentic than CG Yoda. Maybe the re-re-release of 1-3 will splice in footage of a puppet Yoda over the original CG Yoda.
posted by porpoise at 9:25 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think LoTR and The Hobbit struck a near perfect balance between digital and physical FX, so all is not lost in this age chums.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:29 PM on April 28, 2013


(Is there a non-imgur link? I wouldn't be surprised if this came from some other source, and that original source should probably be the benefactor of my clicks. If imgur really is the primary source here, then I apologize for assuming otherwise.)
posted by incessant at 9:48 PM on April 28, 2013


Man, Empire Strikes Back transports me back to being a 10 year old. It had the coolest toys.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:48 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


According to wikipedia, Carrie Fisher "revealed that she wished she had turned down the role of Leia Organa," and "had a cocaine addiction during filming of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and also survived an overdose." This information always makes me picture a much sadder, confused Fisher when I look at her grinning in these pictures.
posted by Grandysaur at 10:11 PM on April 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, she sought treatment for manic-depression sometime in the early 80s. My snarky comment aside, when I was looking at the photos I kept thinking about how the biggest smiles are put on to hide a lot of sadness.
posted by midmarch snowman at 10:24 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember reading "Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back" and finding out the now well-known facts about how Harrison Ford was a carpenter and Mark Hamill had plastic surgery after an accident. Also Ford revealed he was divorcing his first wife and it also claimed that Carrie Fisher traveled to Norway for filming because she loved to travel even though she didn't have to be there.
posted by girlhacker at 11:06 PM on April 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


'Empire' didn't have a monopoly on fun.
posted by George Lucas at 11:26 PM on April 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


From George's last link: In the 2008 LucasArts game The Force Unleashed, players exploring Kashyyyk will find a trophy room with a Jar Jar Binks encased in carbonite. This is a nod to a full-sized version made by a fan that is now at home in Lucasfilm HQ at the Letterman Digital Arts Centre.

Jar-Jar Binks has fans?!? Mind blown...
posted by Harald74 at 11:44 PM on April 28, 2013


Regarding Carrie Fisher's cheerful demeanor despite her troubled life, I'm reminded of the classic quote Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. You know, even wildly successful people.
posted by Harald74 at 11:49 PM on April 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's something about Carrie.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:38 AM on April 29, 2013


Well, addiction doesn't mean you don't have good days. Anyway, we've all seen Postcards, right? She depicts herself as a pretty functional addict, enough of the time. But jeez, how much snow do you have to snort before John Belushi tells you you have a problem?

Also, I think it's generally understood that she was friends with her co-stars, which helps a lot (and allegedly also helped the addiction a lot). She hated the role for its low culture implications, she hated the costume (and hair), she hated George sometimes, and she definitely hated the unwanted worldwide fame. But for an addict the part where you're working and managing your addiction can be a kind of high itself (or so I understand).
posted by dhartung at 12:41 AM on April 29, 2013


I'd love to see more pre-final footage of movies, where the special effects aren't applied yet.

There's certainly lots of such footage to be found. A particularly memorable scene from ESB involves Vader force-pulling Solo's blaster to himself, via wires.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:25 AM on April 29, 2013


But jeez, how much snow do you have to snort before John Belushi tells you you have a problem?

This is like having The Replacements do an alcohol intervention and throw you out of the band
posted by thelonius at 3:53 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm amazed this one doesn't get trotted out more in the periodic discussions of how much Harrison Ford hates still being tied to the franchise.
posted by COBRA! at 5:27 AM on April 29, 2013


awkward family photo
posted by fuzzypantalones at 5:58 AM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Is there a non-imgur link? I wouldn't be surprised if this came from some other source, and that original source should probably be the benefactor of my clicks. If imgur really is the primary source here, then I apologize for assuming otherwise.)

Presumably the original source, where these images ultimately came from, is LucasFilm, and Imgur needs your clicks more than Disney does. This particular collection seems to have been assembled on Imgur (it's partially annotated), and not stolen from some random blog, so click away.
posted by gkhan at 6:17 AM on April 29, 2013


That Boba Fett outfit belongs in a museum.

I don't know which that's a better sequel concept for, Star Wars or Indiana Jones.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:21 AM on April 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jar-Jar Binks has fans?!? Mind blown...

Maybe just people who like the idea of Jar-Jar frozen forever.
posted by atrazine at 6:45 AM on April 29, 2013


Vaguely Related: Toledo Mud Hens will wear a Chewbacca promotion jersey for a game this weekend.
posted by dry white toast at 7:02 AM on April 29, 2013


I lot of these would look fantastic blown up in poster form. They definitely stirred the now subdued super fan feelings inside me, making me wish I could flip on ESB right now. Argh...WORK...STUPID REAL LIFE.


Also. The guy who played Fett...was actually kind of intimidating without the helmet. More so than what the prequels brought us. Bleh.
posted by Atreides at 7:43 AM on April 29, 2013


I don't think I'll ever not be freaked out by behind-the-scenes pictures of Muppeteers in action.

Also, nobody less awesome than Billy Dee F'ing Williams himself could pull off a costume as lame as Lando's leisure suit.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:29 AM on April 29, 2013


Also. The guy who played Fett...was actually kind of intimidating without the helmet. More so than what the prequels brought us. Bleh.

Jeremy Bulloch is a really swell guy. I once was a volunteer at a fan convention in Seattle, probably 10-ish years ago. I helped take cash at the autographs table at which Bulloch and Kenny Baker were present. Afterward, I went to the hotel bar and chatted a bit with Bulloch, who was patiently and genially talking with some of the other volunteers.

He mentioned that his other, uncredited role in ESB is the Imperial officer who uses Leia for a shield in this scene.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:39 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw the original Star Wars when I was 9 years old, and I've watched the original series many times since then, and I *just* realized something as I looked at these pix. Mark Hamill was really cute!

He just couldn't compare to/compete with the handsomeness and charm of Harrison Ford. Poor Mark, he'd be the heartthrob, if they'd gone with Christopher Walken for Han.
posted by MoxieProxy at 2:31 PM on April 29, 2013


Let it be known I loved the original Star Wars, but one of the funniest (and kind of true-ish) rants I ever read about it went (paraphrase) something like: Billie Dee Williams, the only black person in the universe. Lando Calrissian space brother. The only other black guy turned out white when they took the helmet off.
posted by edgeways at 2:59 PM on April 29, 2013


I just...Harrison Ford is right there so you choose Mark Hamill as male lead? These pics sure bring that decision to the fore.

In the pic of Ford pretending to shoot himself that space gun looks like half a Bolex with the lenses tacked on as gun barrel. Any special effects people know something about that?
posted by glasseyes at 3:41 PM on April 29, 2013


In the pic of Ford pretending to shoot himself that space gun looks like half a Bolex with the lenses tacked on as gun barrel. Any special effects people know something about that?

I'm not a special effects person, but I've worked as a property master and can tell you that what you see and what is actual reality is obviously really different. Anyone knows that. But there are things that pass in ways that are almost predictable, and it takes a bit of experience but eventually "no one will ever see it" is practically a mantra.

Two things ruined that....hi def and the internet. Before the internet, you would probably have had an almost zero chance of seeing that picture, much less in that definition. And hi def....we've adapted, but initially there were massive headaches with even such basic things as putting up a set, taping corners, painting and shooting that had been done for generations where suddenly you point an HD camera at it and it's like "ah, fuck, really?? I know it looks like shit every day, but now EVERYONE knows it looks like shit." So now the mantra is "fix it in post" or "shoot around it."

TL;DR: yes it could've been something stupid like half a Bolex with lenses tacked on as a barrel. Because when you shot things fast and were really good, stuff even worse than that passes every single day.
posted by nevercalm at 6:16 PM on April 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


MoxieProxy: "Mark Hamill was really cute!"

Way ahead of you there: Mark Hamill was my very first crush, and it all started with that image of Luke Skywalker gazing into the twin suns of Tatooine, as the music from John Williams swelled in the background. Luke Skywalker burrowed his way into my prepubescent heart and never really let go.

In those days, there wasn't as much media with which one could feed one's celebrity crush. While I'm sure many other Star Wars fans had Mark Hamill crushes, there were no others I could find growing up in my neck of the woods, at least in my circle of friends, so I didn't have any sort of fan club or support group with which we could exchange celebrity news and gush over photos. I was super embarrassed to even ask my mom to buy me copies of celebrity crush mags like Tiger Beat, so I pretty much had to rely upon the vast Star Wars merchandising and officially licensed product to feed my celebrity crush fantasy world. Had the Luke Skywalker action figures, of course. I had a very specific Luke Skywalker trading card that I procured from a package of Wonder Bread that formed the centerpiece of my Mark Hamill altar. I slept with it under my pillow. That was kind of the nice thing about the length of time between the movies; the crush would sort of subside for awhile and then fire back up when a new movie was released, so he was pretty much my only celebrity crush from 1977-1983.

Alas, that new-fangled VCR technology took awhile to make in into my household, and the Star Wars movies weren't released on VHS until 1986-ish, so after the last Star Wars movie was released in 1983, the fuel for my limerence was sort of starved off and eventually moved on to various other celebs of which I am slightly mortified to admit.

That first celebrity crush did shape my world in many other ways. I think it's the reason I never wanted to be a princess, because princesses didn't get to use light sabres. I think having that crush made me want to grow up to be a different type of person; the type of person who could be a Jedi and get shit done. As a result, Mark Hamill is the one celebrity in the world for whom I think I could not be in the same room without seriously melting into a puddle of nostalgic goo and becoming speechless, a la Troy on that episode of Community when he met LeVar Burton. I am 99 percent certain that if I were ever in a situation in which I were face to face with my first crush, I, a grown-up, a bona-fide old, would be reduced to tears. I am not sure I will even be able to hold it together in a theatre if and/or when he shows up in the new movies.

Goddamit, I wish I still had that trading card.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:42 PM on April 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


awkward family photo
even more awkward family photo
posted by Flunkie at 6:58 PM on April 29, 2013


Sorry to chime in late here, but why is Tobias fisting Yoda?
posted by sapere aude at 10:02 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


When 800 years old you are, fisted too you will want to be.
posted by Sebmojo at 10:04 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, prostrate exams were unspeakably violent.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:40 PM on April 29, 2013


In the pic of Ford pretending to shoot himself that space gun looks like half a Bolex with the lenses tacked on as gun barrel. Any special effects people know something about that?

Solo's gun is a mostly unmodified Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" pistol, with an extra muzzle flash guard attached.

But have no fear, photographic equipment was indeed used by the props department: Anakin's (and Vader's) original lightsabres were made from Graflex flash handles.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:47 AM on April 30, 2013


There's something about Carrie.

She was just up here for the Calgary Comic Expo. While I didn't get to see it, this summary of her Q&A session gave me some good laughs.
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:46 AM on April 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carrie Fisher is amazing. I saw her one woman show "Wishful Drinking" when she was in Melbourne. There's some audience interaction in certain parts and I answered a bunch of questions about Hollywood romances & dynasties (of which her family was a part), after which I won a plastic medal and a kiss on the cheek. Carrie Fisher kissed me on the cheek.

That is all.
posted by crossoverman at 3:55 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older Here is Today   |   The original Star Wars film to be dubbed in the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments