Empire of Dreams: The Story of the 'Star Wars' Trilogy (2004)

Video  |   |  Documentary, History, Sci-Fi  |  20 September 2004 (UK)
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Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

An in-depth making of documentary about the original Star Wars trilogy, covering the productions of the three films and their impact on popular culture.


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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Himself - Journalist
Himself - Filmmaker
Himself - Filmmaker
Himself - Director
Himself - Producer (as Howard Kazanjian)
Gary Kurtz ...
Himself - Producer
Leo Braudy ...
Himself - Professor and Cultural Historian, University of Southern California
Himself - Journalist (archive footage)
Herself - 'Princess Leia Organa'
Gareth Wigan ...
Himself - Former Production Executive, 20th Century Fox
Alan Ladd Jr. ...
Himself - Former Studio Chief, 20th Century Fox
Ralph McQuarrie ...
Himself - Conceptual Artist
Himself - Cameraman, Miniature and Optical Effects
Steve Gawley ...
Himself - Model Maker


This documentary chronicles the making of the original Star Wars trilogy from start to finish. We get some background on George Lucas' start in the business and then continue with the making of Star Wars (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). The visual/special effects and financial problems are explained as well as casting, editing, scoring and releasing the films with tons of archival footage and interviews with plenty of cast & crew members. Written by Rhyl Donnelly

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Release Date:

20 September 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El imperio de los sueños. La historia de Star Wars  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This feature-length documentary is featured on the 4-Disc Star Wars Trilogy DVD set, released in September of 2004. See more »


During a segment on merchandising for the original Star Wars, pictures of Princess Leia dolls wearing 'space fashions' are shown. However, this clothing line never made it into production. See more »


Carrie Fisher: I had one outfit for the first movie and as George taught me, there is no underwear in space. Instead of that, there's gaffer tape. So I was taped down. And I used to say we should just make up a contest on the call sheet to see who's going to rip it off. But we didn't do that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bloopers, outtakes and deleted scenes shown during the end credits: George Lucas and Richard Marquand clowning around inside the AT ST cockpit. Rough black and white footage of the Death Star Trench. Luke's medical face mask being removed by 21B. Han kissing his girlfriend (Jenny Cresswell) in the Mos Eisley cantina. Early bluescreen tests in the Millenium Falcon cockpit. Behind the scenes footage of Solo firing at Vader in the Bespin dining room (also used on the blooper reel). Kenny Baker inside R2D2 in Tunisia. Mark Hamill falling over in the Finse snow wearing a blue ESB parka over his orange flight suit. Hamill and Carrie Fisher relaxing on Jabba's tummy. Lucas and daughter Amanda on the sail barge. Jack Purvis and Mike Edmonds enjoying a cigar on a break in their Ewok costumes. R2D2 picking up a squirrel with a mechanical arm. More shots on location in Tunisia. A stormtrooper costume and R2 Unit under construction at ILM. Closeup of a Jawa's glowing eyes. Ewok mask under construction. Lucas on the sail barge. Fisher and her stunt double sunbathing on the barge set. Alec Guinness' birthday party in Tunisia. X-wings and a Taun Taun on location in Finse. A model Snowspeeder being blown up. See more »


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Throne Room
Composed by John Williams
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User Reviews

Sweet Dreams
14 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

I have also seen a 90 minute version of this documentary, which was shown on the brilliant Biography channel. Although I had doubts about buying the soon to be released trilogy on DVD, the documentary has certainly whetted my appetite, and made me eager to see the complete version which will be included on the fourth disc of the set. Even for someone as knowledge about the Star Wars movies and George Lucas as I am, it was still very entertaining, and contained quite a few never before seen out-takes from all the films. The programme features the problems that Lucas had with 20th Century Fox execs (apart from Alan Ladd jnr, who greenlit Star Wars) when the movie ran over budget and missed it's Christmas 1976 opening date, the '...hippies...' at ILM who hadn't completed any decent effects shots Lucas could use, and the destruction of sets in Tunisia which halted filming temporarily. There are also interviews with most of the original cast members - even Harrison Ford who certainly doesn't enjoy doing them, which is no big secret.

These edited highlights I've described, have left me hankering for more.

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