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

Video  |   |  Documentary, History  |  12 September 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 2,253 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 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


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)  »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

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 »


George Lucas: I spent, you know, probably six or seven months casting "Star Wars." And that's a long process to sit in a little room and interview people. And I interviewed *thousands* of people.
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 »


References Eye of the Needle (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Writer talks about Star Wars movies influence, Joseph Campbell and new myth
30 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All, Like many of you, I'm a fan of Star Wars. Since I was born in 1977, I'm what you might call a Star Wars baby. At least that is what my mother told me. Star Wars has been a part of my life for years.

Times have changed, but I remember feeling like the characters in Star Wars were friends who I was on a journey with. Do you know the feeling? Like, if I'm watching Empire Strikes Back, or if I happen to stumble onto it on some random channel, I have to immediately watch Return of the Jedi.

A few years ago, while at dinner with friends. A cinematographer asked me what my greatest movie experience was. Without a doubt, Return of the Jedi's opening scene, where Darth Vader walks down the plank... I remember the audience's ovation.

The movies were fun then. When Return of the Jedi was released, I remember Vader's opening scene and the long lines. The lines for Jedi where ridiculous.

Like many of you, I was expecting to feel the same magic, when the last three movies were released. It didn't happen. I could be wrong, but I think the most exciting thing to happen in the Star Wars universe, within the last 15 years, has to be the Phantom Menace TRAILER. I remember downloading this trailer from Kazaa and hearing the audience going crazy. For a split second, when I watched the trailer back in 99, it was 1983 all over again.

As the years have passed, I've grown attached to films with similar themes. The hero, who takes off on a journey and has a similar quest to Luke. A few years ago, I sought out the writer of another favorite film, The Last Dragon.

The writer, Louis Venosta revealed to me, that Joseph Campbell's book, A Hero With a Thousand Faces, was an intricate part of his writing. I had never heard of Campbell until this time. I would learn that Campbell was the author who influenced Lucas. In fact, Campbell has said that Lucas was his greatest student.

After reading several of Campbell's books and meeting with Venosta, I thought about writing the sequel to the Last Dragon, but then realized that I needed to write my own story.

As a native New Yorker, and someone who could have lost his life during 9/11, I felt that a story needed to be made. A new myth. I finished writing my first book in 2008. Over the last few years, I couldn't figure out how to get the story out to the people who needed and wanted to read it.

Like many of you, I hate all of the remakes. I was watching EMPIRE OF DREAMS, the documentary of the Star Wars films and I see a comparison between the time when Star Wars was made and the current state of affairs in the United States today. When I was selling my book on the streets of New York, a passerby told me that there weren't any new stories since the Matrix.

The name of my book is MASTERNEVER AND THE FLOW OF DEATH. You can download the entire book by visiting I've included an entire soundtrack that accompanies the book. I hope you will download and enjoy the book.

I hope you don't mind me posting here. After writing a book and several screenplays, I want to connect with people who have similar interest. The rest of the Star Wars babies. Those waiting for a new myth.

I'm also posting here, because IMDb played a vital role in starting this journey four years ago. So, I've come full circle.

You can see me talking about this book, mythology and stories, but visiting this video.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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