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

Video  |   |  Documentary, History, Sci-Fi  |  20 September 2004 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 2,315 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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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 »


Himself - Film Editor: I wound up winning an Academy Award for "Star Wars" before I'd even started thinking about winning Academy Awards.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits there is a final outake of General Dodonna (Alex McCrindle) saying "and may the force go with you". See more »


References Buck Rogers (1939) See more »


Throne Room
Composed by John Williams
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User Reviews

A good documentary if rather self-important
3 November 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Like most DVD fanatics I picked up the "Star Wars" boxset last Christmas when it came out. I was disappointed, to be honest. Apart from the fact that much more could have been included in terms of extra content (did we need a video game demo taking up space on the fourth disc?) it also didn't include the original versions of the films - which, as far as I know, are those that practically everyone prefers.

Nevertheless this insightful and exhaustive documentary - which covers the entire pre-production through post-production phase of each original "Star Wars" film - almost redeems the DVD collection. Although it is fairly "full of itself" as IMDb commentator Bob the Moo notes, it DOES feature a good wealth of information - including some facts I hadn't heard about before (e.g. Jedi was given a fake working title so fans wouldn't sneak onto the set).

If you're a fan of "Star Wars," definitely check this out - if you don't want to dish out the cash, it's playing on A&E right now. But in my opinion it's not as great as it could have been because it falls victim to George Lucas' "cleanness" - we're led to believe "Star Wars" is the most important and defining event of the past century and that turned me off a bit.

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