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I have had this particular show since the Early 80's. I believe I picked
this one up in Japan at a military exchange store. Since home videos were
still new then, I figured this was the only way to get a copy of anything
"Star Wars" for a while.
I have always like to watch it for many reasons, none the least of which is the background on the series. (Seeing George Lucas in his early-mid thirties reminds one of watching old home movies.)
The droids bickering is still the same, amusing. Seeing Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, before all of their later work, is nice, too. Harrison Ford in particular, compares Han Solo to Bob Falfa (interesting parallel in the names, huh), because that was what he'd done at the time. Of course, no mention of Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan and other memorable Ford Characters. Another funny comment by Mark Hamill is how "George [Lucas] was so successful with the first one, he could set the next one in Redondo Beach."
One added bonus that I had forgotten about was a trailer (yea, AFTER the credits) for Empire. I had forgotten about it and only saw I because I watched end credits to see when the show was made (and couldn't find the remote.)
Hopefully, when the Original trilogy gets put onto DVD, Lucasfilm will be able to resurrect this.
Now, let's hope we can convince them to include the "Star Wars Holiday Special".....Sorry George, just kidding. :)
This must have been THE first making of, behind the scenes documentary that
I ever saw. I vividly recall seeing it on TV sometime after watching the
movie at the cinema, and I'm lucky enough to own a copy on video. After
another recent viewing, it still captivated me with all the original footage
LITERALLY behind the scenes and the camera on set during filming. R2D2 and
C3PO act as hosts, from their control room on an unidentified ship, as they
introduce the various characters involved in making the film and it's
effects. Watching the very young looking principles talk about their roles
with '70s hairstyles and clothing is also a hoot! Even a snake-hipped young
Lucas, who now resembles Jabba in girth, is funny to watch, as he struts
around in his de rigueur plaid shirt.
Documentaries on films are now commonplace thanks to the advent of DVD, and the E channel. But even some of the recent ones I've seen aren't really a patch on this. Grab a copy if you can, then have a good try at collecting the other ones.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
[MAY BE SPOILERS]
You've seen Star Wars right? Well of course you have unless you've been living under a rock your whole life. Of course if you have, I apologize. Anyway, it took alot of work to make that movie. Sure it looks easy but it takes three whole years to do a Star Wars film! Bickering droid duo C-3PO and R2-D2 show us the original source of the Force: George Lucas. He talks about how he was inspired to do the movie. We also see C-3PO, R2-D2 and Darth Vader place their feet in cement. In R2-D2's case, his rollers. Star Wars was a regular '70s phenomenon! Merchandise, even disco music! We also see interviews with Star Wars stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. We also learn that Chewbacca is 200-years-old! Wow! And he looks no younger than 30! Sure the C-3PO costume looks comfortable, but it was a real pain in the plastic buttox for Tony Daniels!
And that's pretty much it. This was a nice video. It would've been nice if they'd have done Making Of videos for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. It's interesting to see the space ships move courtesy of a blue-screen effect! It's so much better than the classic "string technique". Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker play C-3PO and R2-D2. Naturally. You know, as soon as Episode III comes out, they will be the only two actors to have appeared in all six Star Wars films! Amazing!! But anyway, Star Wars fans, if you're interested in learning just how the greatest sci-fi film in history was made, then by all means, check out The Making of Star Wars! And may the Force be with you!!
C-3P0 and R2-D2 host this 50 minute long documentary about the making
of A New Hope. I got it for Christmas in 1995, right around the last
time the original trilogy was released on VHS. It is very informative;
I particularly like watching how the spaceships were filmed. If you
want the ultimate documentary about the making of Star Wars though, I
would recommend the Empire of Dreams documentary. I have to admit I
fast forward the short host segments with R2 and 3PO now. The main
reason to get this is for the old interviews with Lucas, Ford, Hammill,
Fisher, Guinness, and even Gary Kurtz. It's cool to see them when they
were so young, and Lucas actually has a normal neck. There is also some
rare behind the scenes footage. Did you know Guinness was only six feet
off the ground when he shut down the tractor beam?
Die hard Star Wars fans will appreciate the footage of Luke Skywalker and Biggs Darklighter talking on Tattooine. It is very brief though, only about five seconds, and you can't hear what they're saying. But this footage is very rare and can only be found in a few documentaries. I've found stills on some websites, but that's not the same.
On a side note, it's funny to hear Mark Hammill say "Princess Leia is a chump if she goes for Han Solo." We can forgive him, he didn't know. Most interesting is when George Lucas says "I will say Luke is more devoted to Princess Leia." It makes me wonder if he really had the whole story planned from the beginning.
This documentary first aired on TV on September 16, 1977. I was only
four years old at the time, but I can clearly recall watching it with
my brother... it was THAT fascinating. It wasn't until 2000 that I saw
this charming documentary again.
Hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2, aboard a generic starship set, this film allows the viewer a sneak peak behind the curtains. We are privy to models before a blue screen, to the then-revolutionary motion control camera system, to the early character sketches for all of the main characters, as well as interesting behind the scenes clips that will NEVER be seen anywhere else. We even get to see and hear George Lucas talk about his creation, long before it had sunk in just what a massive phenomenon he had on his hands. Gary Kurtz, producer of the first two Star Wars films, also makes a brief, rare appearance. The short interviews with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are also very quaint and amusing, in light of just how big they were all in the process of becoming.
As indicated in other reviews, if you have a chance to buy this documentary on Ebay or elsewhere, by all means do so. Since this film refers to the original version of the film,it is highly unlikely that it will ever be released on DVD-- consider how that the original version of Star Wars will not be available in September when the original trilogy is finally released on DVD. Sadly, only the "Special Editions" are the versions now recognized by Lucasfilm. All Star Wars fans will love this one!
When this first aired, I could not even stand on my own. By the time I
could read, Jedi hit the streets and naturally, I had to go see it. I
cannot remember exactly if I saw this Making of before or after that
time, but having purchased it recently, I can safely say that if you
don't get it, there is no problem: almost of all its coverage already
appears on the extra disc of the new DVD release. If you are a
completist or really, really want to see what was on the minds of
everyone involved in it, or really, really want to see Carrie Fisher
(and the rest) in their usual, everyday garments commenting (with no
damaging comments), or really, really want to have every Tony Daniels
performance, then this one is for you.
Having bought the Spanish dubbed copy (with the awful, original 1978 dubbing!), I can only think it must be a very different experience in its original form. But I will continue to watch it every once in a while, that's for sure.
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