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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 2,099 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

Complete credited cast:
...
Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself - 'R2-D2'
Jim Bloom ...
Himself - Production Supervisor
Leo Braudy ...
Himself - Professor and Cultural Historian
...
Himself - Sound Designer
...
Himself (archive footage)
Richard Chew ...
Himself - Film Editor
...
Himself - Journalist
...
Himself - 'C-3PO'
...
Himself - 'Wicket the Ewok'
Peter Diamond ...
Himself - Stunt Coordinator
...
Himself - Visual Effects Supervisor
...
Himself - Cameraman, Miniature and Optical Effects
...
Herself - 'Princess Leia Organa'
...
Herself (archive footage)
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

12 September 2004 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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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

David Prowse: [as Darth Vader] Start tearing this ship apart piece by piece until you've found those tapes. Find the passengers in this vessel. I want them alive!
Ken Ralston: I can still hear David Prowse's accent in the Darth Vader mask, muffled, because he would do the real dialogue, trying to curse Carrie Fisher or something. It was hilarious and terrifying at the same time, because we didn't know what Darth sounded like. That was the first time we heard him. We're like, "Is that it? Is he gonna be some Scottish guy? ...
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 Easy Rider (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good documentary hampered by self-promotional nature
25 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This documentary about the making-of the Star Wars trilogy makes one realize how much of a miracle it was that the original film was made at all. A myriad of problems beset George Lucas and his collaborators during production and few predicted the film would be as big as it became.

Empire of Dreams (2004) is a generally good documentary. It goes in-depth with the production of the first film especially. The best asset is the plethora of archive footage, which is wonderful to see.

I'm not sure if this is the definitive behind-the-scenes SW. The majority of Empire of Dreams (2004) focuses its attention on Star Wars (1977) and lavishes a good deal of attention on The Empire Strikes Back (1980), virtually ignoring Return of the Jedi (1983). You're probably better off with JW Rinzler's Star Wars books, which give each film in the trilogy equal attention and go into an almost day-by-day record of the productions.

Empire of Dreams is also quite uncritical and there are several moments when as much extreme praise is showered upon George Lucas as possible, bordering on nauseating. Marcia Lucas, whose contributions to the film were important, is quickly glossed over. She and David Prowse (the physical performance of Darth Vader) were not interviewed due to having rather rocky relationships with George. There's also a plug for those wretched special editions, with their intrusive CG additions and narrative tampering.

Is this necessary viewing? Not really, but Star Wars fans will enjoy the behind-the-scenes footage.


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