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

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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.


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

20 September 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Império dos Sonhos: A História da Trilogia 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 »


Narrator: Just one day into filming, the Sahara was pelted with its first major rainfall in fifty years.
Robert Watts: We were going out there to shoot. I came out in the morning and the rain was going horizontally down the street this way. I thought, "My God!" I just called a rest day on the crew and told them to go back to bed, because there was no way we were going to shoot on that.
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 Valley of the Dolls (1967) See more »


Cantina Band
Composed by John Williams
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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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