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

Video  |   |  Documentary, History  |  12 September 2004 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 2,215 users  
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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Title: Empire of Dreams: The Story of the 'Star Wars' Trilogy (Video 2004)

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

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Cast

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
...
Himself - Journalist
...
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
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Storyline

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:

12 September 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Robert Watts: We did go over at the end, and we split into three units, right at the end, and Gary directed the second unit, and I have the distinction of directing the third unit of Star Wars. My things were like closeups of R2D2's third foot going down. Nothing too dramatic, but that's how we finished it.
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 »

Connections

References Valley of the Dolls (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All Aspiring Filmmakers Have Something To Learn From This
27 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watch this movie as both entertainment and education. If there was ever a film that so thoroughly covers the making of a classic, bears all and leaves you wanting it to be longer than its 2 1/2 hour length, it is this.

First, it offers a breakdown of Lucas' roots, inspirations and student films. It glides over his personal life, barely mentioning how he met and married his wife, and tastefully omits the divorce Lucas endured as a result of his investment of time into Skywalker Ranch, instead of his marriage. The editor allows us to hear Lucas begin to talk about it, and then fades it off. It was painful the first time, and he probably should't have to relive it with his fans.

The same Bonus Disc contains a shorter documentary that features today's best movie directors discussing how SW influenced them. There is not a finer documentary made about the process of film-making.

The documentary almost takes a detour into propaganda when THX and Pixar come up, but then we realize that Lucas was the guy all of these entities was born from, or developed from. Today's movie editing software is born from Lucas' struggle to make 1970's equipment and people work for him.

A must-viewing for anyone serious about the craft or the profession.


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