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These Behind-The-Scenes Photos Will Make You Rethink The Star Wars Movies

Darren RydingAugust 19, 2022

The original Star Wars movies are some of the most beloved films ever made and for good reason. Fans obsess about the trilogy because it provided so many iconic moments and shifted the boundaries of the sci-fi genre. Many of them want to know what went on behind the scenes.

Today, we’ll look at many classic images from this brilliant franchise. We’ll check out intimate moments between the cast members and the incredible filmmaking processes. There’s a reason why these films hold up so well and remain popular today.

Let’s Drink

C-3PO and R2-D2 make up one of the most famous duos in cinematic history. Anthony Daniels starred as the famous prissy golden protocol droid but he complained about his costume. In the early days, it was notoriously uncomfortable and made it difficult for him to complete regular bodily functions.

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He was the only actor to appear in each of the nine Star Wars movies and benefited from technological improvements. Daniels said that the later films made life easier for him because it was easier to prepare. The role also changed his life because everybody associates him with the franchise (via Popverse).

Harrison Solo

Here’s a fantastic picture of Harrison Ford taking a break behind a life-size replica of an X-Wing. Ford famously played Han Solo in four of the Star Wars movies. He worked as a part-time carpenter on George Lucas’s previous movie, American Graffiti.

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Lucas famously gave him a small role in his first film before casting him as Solo in Star Wars. This picture is fascinating because it shows the scale of some of the props in the series. This legendary movie spaceship is practically the same size as a jet in real life (via Far Out).

Cold Chewbacca

Peter Mayhew was the original actor beneath Chewbacca’s suit in the Star Wars saga. He suffered from gigantism but used it to his advantage in the movie industry. Here’s a still of Mayhew during a shoot in Norway where the crew filmed The Empire Strikes Back.

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The Battle of Hoth is one of the greatest action sequences from the entire original trilogy. Costume designers applied ice to Chewie’s hair because of the cold climate. However, the cast endured tough conditions in this part of the world because there was a genuine blizzard (via NPR).

Lunch Squadron

There’s nothing the Empire fears more than Rebel pilots because of their amazing record against Death Stars. However, even the best fighter jockey needs some downtime as the image below proves. These extras are enjoying a lunch break in the middle of a day’s shoot (via Screenrant).

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This shot also sums up the era because of the big hair and glasses. It’s not the most glamorous setting either because they’re in a big shed with polystyrene cups. Did these men know they were taking part in one of the most legendary film franchises ever?

Master and Apprentice

Mark Hamill and Sir. Alec Guinness was two of the biggest stars of the original trilogy. The former became a legend when he starred as Luke Skywalker, the galaxy’s final hope of salvation from the evil Empire. Meanwhile, Guinness brought necessary gravitas to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Here is a still of the pair in their famous costumes alongside an R2-D2 replica droid. This photo came from the location in Tunisia where filming took place. It’s a great shot because it shows the genuine camaraderie that existed between Hamill and Guinness behind the scenes (via Cinemablend).

Boba Fett

Temuera Morrison stars as Boba Fett in the Disney+ series, but he didn’t feature in the original trilogy. Fett became a cult figure in the Star Wars universe because of his cool armor and brooding presence. However, the man beneath the helmet had a very different personality.

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Jeremy Bulloch’s goofy glasses and mustaches don’t scream ‘ruthless bounty hunter.’ But he was the original man to bring this special character to life and many fans love him. Bulloch became the first of three actors to play different versions of Fett. He’ll always have a unique place in Stars Wars history (via CBC).

Physical Effects

One of the best aspects of the original movie was George Lucas’s dedication to practical effects. These remained in Irvin Kershner’s The Empire Strikes Back, as well as Richard Marquand’s The Return of the Jedi. Filmmakers went to real locations and also created incredible miniature landscapes.

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The photograph above is a close-up of the Death Star from the first film. There is incredible attention to detail because they wanted everything to be perfect. One of the weaknesses of the prequel Star Wars trilogy saw the overuse of CGI and visual effects (via Flockeo).

Gold Bikini

Princess Leia’s gold bikini entranced teenage boys around the world. Carrie Fisher famously wore the outfit in her role as a slave girl in Jabba’s Palace. Today it’s one of the most popular cosplay options for young women because it is so striking. It still inspires a lot of excitement today even if she hated it (via Insider).

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Here is Carrie Fisher in her full costume on the beach in California. They filmed these scenes in Death Valley but the crew had plenty of downtime. Fisher didn’t love the bikini because it forced her to sit completely straight on set. But it was a convenient option for sunbathing.

Party on Endor

California also played host to the Endor scenes from Episode VI of the Star Wars trilogy. Here is a great shot of the main cast hanging out on set. It’s a classic image with the three main actors, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. Meanwhile, Billy Dee Williams is also present as Lando Calrissian.

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The most special aspect of Star Wars is its creatures and technology. We can see Chewbacca the Wookie as well as a bunch of Ewoks on the set. Meanwhile, George Lucas is in the middle of the shot as the creator of the Star Wars universe. This is a great image that creates a lot of emotions (via Travel In USA).

Deep Roy

Most people know that Yoda was a puppet in the original Star Wars trilogy. Then George Lucas turned to CGI in the prequels with mixed results. However, a real actor also starred as the famous green alien in The Empire Strikes Back. Deep Roy wore a Yoda costume for some walking scenes in the movie.

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The diminutive star took advantage of his small size to forge a successful Hollywood career. He appeared in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as The Grinch. Every Star Wars actor knows that they can tour conventions for the rest of their lives after filming (via The Gamer).

Queen of the Set

Carrie Fisher came from Hollywood royalty but Star Wars was her breakout role as an actress. It made her one of the most famous women on the planet and many men obsessed with her. Here is Fisher with a pair of extra who stole an opportunity for a picture with the star.

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Nobody can blame them for wanting to preserve this memory forever because Fisher was a stunning beauty. She had amazing charisma as well as great looks and her death in 2016 was a major tragedy. We wonder where these men are today and if they remember this moment (via W Magazine).

TIE Fighter

These days filmmakers rely on computers to create visual effects. However, Star Wars used real models and amazing camera trickery to great effect. Here is a shot of a TIE fighter in action as the cinematographers demonstrated their brilliant skills. They were ahead of their time and won many awards.

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The TIE Fighter was the Empire’s main single-pilot vehicle with a menacing appearance. Their pilots also had creepy costumes as their helmets resembled black skulls. This aesthetic stood in stark contrast to the Rebels’ X-Wing fighters and their orange-costumed pilots (via Wired).

Hang On Tight

This image reveals the truth behind one of the most iconic scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy. Darth Vader reveals the truth to Luke Skywalker about his parentage in a devastating moment. In the movie, Luke releases his grip on this pipe as he plummets hundreds of feet.

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However, the reality is a little bit mundane because Hamill dropped onto a pile of mattresses. It’s a low-tech solution to the problem but shows the ingenuity of the era. This scene would have been very different if they kept the mattresses in the movie (via People).

Battle of Endor

The Battle of Endor takes place at the end of the original Star Wars trilogy. They filmed live-action scenes in California’s Redwood forests but this wasn’t possible for all of the elements. The Filmmakers recreated these sets on a smaller scale in their studio.

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This meant that they could introduce practical effects like in the above shot. It shows them using an AT-ST walker as it patrols through the dense forest moon. This dedication added a unique sense of realism to the original Star Wars trilogy despite the limited technology of the era (via Screenrant).

Hive of Scum and Villainy

Mos Eisley Spaceport is one of the most notorious locations from the original Star Wars trilogy. It’s on the forgotten desert planet of Tattoo and is a ‘wretched hive of scum and villainy.’ Alec Guinness delivered this iconic description in his role as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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The filmmakers recreated Mos Eisley on a smaller scale so that they use model spaceships. However, the size of the set was still large as the background vehicles prove. This is what separates Star Wars from rivals like Star Trek and other sci-fi franchises (via Eyelight).

Chilling Out

Many of the images from this era are fascinating but the quality isn’t necessarily great. However, this restored photograph shows Carrie Fisher in a high-resolution shot. It’s a great candid moment where Fisher is lying on her stomach in a state of relaxation. The world misses the legendary Star Wars actress.

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They were filming The Empire Strikes Back because she is wearing her Bespin costume. We don’t know what she is looking at because something captured her attention. This is a photo where nothing is happening but Fisher remains a transfixing presence (via BBC).

Life-Size Droid

Many fans don’t appreciate the effort that the crew went to in the original Star Wars trilogy. They’ll remember the menacing probe droid that uncovered the rebel base on Hoth. Irvin Kershner wanted his team to create a life-size replica of this terrifying robot.

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It was even functional to a point as the wires beneath the droid prove. Meanwhile, the man beside him and the cars in the background give a sense of its scale. There’s something so special about this type of filmmaking because it shows incredible love for the craft (via Nerdist).

Lucas and R2-D2

Here is a young George Lucas and a stripped-down R2-D2 droid. The latter is one of the most iconic robots in history despite resembling a blue garbage can. Lucas admitted that another sci-fi movie had a major influence on his droid’s distinctive design (via Smithsonian).

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He watched Silent Running (1972) and saw the three drones: Huey, Louie, and Dewey. Then he asked director Doug Trumbell if he wanted to contribute to his project. Trumbell declined and his studio even sued Lucas for copyright infringement. In the end, a judge dismissed the case and the rest is history.

Robot Elephants

The AT-AT walkers played a crucial role in the Battle of Hoth. These menacing machines trudged across the snowy landscape and destroyed the rebel base. George Lucas watched clips of elephants and wanted to recreate a similar plodding movement pattern

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Hannibal’s march toward Rome inspired the filmmaker and he channeled this into the movie. While he didn’t direct Episode V, he had a massive influence. The prop makers made large miniature AT-ATs and they used these in the battle scenes (via Metro).

Star Wars Vehicles

Some diehard Star Wars fans would have a heart attack if they entered this room because it is a goldmine. There are so many replica starships and vehicles in this photograph that it’s almost beyond belief. There are also some alien miniatures and even a replica scout trooper (via The Coolist).

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It took hundreds of hours for the prop department to create all of these items. Each of these ships and vehicles had special details because the camera did close-up shots. That’s an outrageous amount of work and commitment. It’s so different from today’s filmmaking processes but it’s very special.

Gold-Plated

We spoke already about how much Anthony Daniels hated his Star Wars costume. It didn’t stop him from wearing it in nine different movies but the paycheck probably helped. Here’s a photograph of the crew attempting to help him to put on his helmet (via Movie Web).

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The struggle appears to be real but it’s impossible to identify the person beneath the suit. If we didn’t know differently we might think that they were repairing a real robot. Daniels played the role with outstanding even if he doesn’t speak six million languages like C-3PO.

Vader’s Fear

Most lists of the best cinematic villains have Darth Vader near the top. His iconic black costume and helmet as well as his disturbing breathing made him a terrifying presence. However, there’s something more intimidating than a Sith Lord and that’s a Hollywood director.

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George Lucas wrote the script but Irvin Kershner directed The Empire Strikes Back. It’s one of the greatest movies of all time and remains the shining jewel in the Star Wars canon. Here Kershner issues directions to David Prowse, the man who wore Darth Vader’s costume (via Looper).

Out Cold

This is another great candid shot of Carrie Fisher enjoying a nap in Finse, Norway. The crew traveled to Finse, Norway for the icy Hoth scenes in Episode V. They endured tough conditions including a harsh blizzard but it wasn’t a complete nightmare for the cast.

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Fisher takes advantage of a break between scenes to steal a nap on a snowmobile. Amazingly, she managed to make herself comfortable in this position as she stretches out. The itinerary was exhausting and took it out of her every day (via The Mary Sue).

Cold World

Here are some of the prop designers working on one of Hoth’s landscapes. One of the most noticeable aspects is the miniature figure of Han Solo on a Tauntaun. He famously rode the animal to Luke Skywalker’s rescue before cutting it open for body heat.

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It’s very interesting to see how the crew made these miniatures and used them in conjunction with real locations. The talent and filmmakers also went to Norway for live-action scenes. The combination of the two creates that distinctive Star Wars feeling (via Nerdist).

Bad Hair Day

Everybody dreams of being a movie star but it isn’t always easy. Peter Mayhew will agree because he had a tough time in the role of Chewbacca. Firstly, the costume was very heavy but it also retained a lot of heat. He wore four different versions of the suit for various purposes (via Wired).

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There was a special half-suit with extra details that Mayhew wore during close-ups. Then there were three full-size suits that he used throughout the process. Meanwhile, they required a lot of maintenance and care. Costume designers used lots of hairspray and beauty products to maintain the Wookie’s hair.

Dagobah Dinner

Dagobah is one of the most important Star Wars planets because it’s where Luke Skywalker meets Yoda. The wise, ancient Jedi Master taught his young student the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, the filmmakers made a full-size Dagobah set in an incredible effort.

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This great behind-the-scenes photo shows a banquet that took place beside the set. The entire crew enjoyed a meal together to celebrate their work. It’s nice that they have this experience together and bond in a more casual manner. However, it’s a creepy place to sit (via Culture Slate).

Wampa Ice Creature

Luke Skywalker faces mortal peril at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back because a Wampa takes him prisoner. Here’s an image of a full-size Wampa ice creature costume from the second original Star Wars movie. The beast is massive and towers over the people beside it.

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Fortunately, these creatures are fictional because they represent a terrifying prospect. There is also a ‘dead’ life-size Tauntaun beside them. Star Wars won significant praise because it used so many practical effects. These massive models provide a heightened sense of reality (via SyFy).

Read the Script

Here are Luke Skywalker and Han Solo as nobody saw them before. It’s safe to say that the Empire may not have taken the former seriously if he wore that sweater in the movies. We can see Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill learning their lines and reading the script in this classic image (via Entertainment Weekly).

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Neither Ford nor Hamill were stars before the trilogy. Ford had a relationship with George Lucas after working with him on American Graffiti. Meanwhile, Hamill appeared in multiple TV shows and movies but hadn’t made it in Hollywood. The Star Wars franchise changed their lives forever and made them household names.

The Emperor

At this point, it’s safe to say that Ian McDiarmid could play Emperor Palpatine in his sleep. The Scottish actor brought a Shakespearian quality to the role and oozed menace. He didn’t have a lot of physical work to do but used his voice to produce unbelievable menace.

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In this picture, Director Richard Marquand works with McDiarmid in one of his scenes. The pair collaborated in Star Wars Episode VI to great effect. Arguably, Return of the Jedi is the weakest of the original trilogy but the Emperor’s scenes were a highlight (via Inverse).

Big Smiles

Hamill, Ford, and Fisher didn’t have many scenes together as a trio after the first Star Wars movie. However, they spent time together in Norway when they filmed the Hoth scenes. Here’s a great shot of them posing in their costumes as Hamill sits on a replica Tauntaun.

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Fisher is beaming as she poses with her fellow cast members while Hamill is also grinning. Ford cuts a more stoic appearance but that’s typical of the famously grumpy actor. The latter developed a hatred of the movies and even wanted George Lucas to kill him off (via Goliath).

Emperor George

It’s easy to forget that George Lucas only directed the first of the original Star Wars trilogy. But he remained the main creative force that drove the project forward. Star Wars became the most successful film franchise on the planet and Lucas was its emperor.

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In this photo, Lucas lingers behind Palpatine’s throne as a scene develops. Luke Skywalker confronts the Emperor in a dramatic moment. The image quality isn’t fantastic but the moment is fascinating. This is a brilliant piece of cinematic history and fans will appreciate it (via Polygon).

Love Affair

Han Solo and Princess Leia’s relationship is one of the most beautiful storylines in the entire Star Wars franchise. Fascinatingly, the actors that played the famous duo also had a love affair behind the scenes. However, Carrie Fisher said that she regretted the decision because of the intensity.

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Fisher was only 19 at the time when she had a three-month affair with 33-year-old Ford. Furthermore, the latter was a married father-of-two at the time so it was a terrible idea. The pair developed genuine chemistry and spent the night together for the first time after George Lucas’s birthday party (via People).

Creature Feature

One thing that Star Wars does better than almost any other sci-fi franchise is creating aliens and creatures. These have distinctive appearances with fascinating backgrounds and development. Here are many of the aliens from the iconic Mos Eisley cantina scene (via Star Wars).

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Extras wore these costumes in the movie when Luke and Obi-Wan met Han Solo for the first time. The level of detail is amazing because there’s a reason behind each aesthetic choice. Most of these creatures reoccur throughout the entire franchise in other forms of media.

Happy Days

Casual Star Wars fans won’t know Peter Mayhew but diehards love him. It’s easy not to know who he is because he wore a costume all of the time. But he brilliantly brought Chewbacca to life and made the Wookie a key figure in the Star Wars franchise.

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This photograph shows that Mayhew was all smiles beneath his hairy suit. He shares a happy moment with the costume director and shows the fun side of his personality. We remember the faces of Fisher, Hamill, and Ford but Mayhew’s Chewie is also a beloved figure (via The Guardian).

Big Jump

Luke and Han find themselves on the Death Star in the original Star Wars movie. Then they rescue the beautiful Princess Leia from captivity. One famous shot saw Luke and Leia swing across a bridge on a swinging cable. In the film, a fall would have cost them their lives.

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Luckily, movie studios aren’t as dangerous as battle stations. The reality was that they stood on a bridge that was about three feet off the ground. It’s not quite as dramatic as the movie because it convinces fans that they’re in mortal peril (via Economic Times).

Kurtz and Lucas

Everybody knows that George Lucas created the vision behind the Star Wars universe. But another man had a crucial role in the franchise’s creation. This was Gary Kurtz, a producer who worked with Lucas and convinced Universal to support American Graffiti.

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After the latter’s success, the pair continued their collaboration and worked on the first Star Wars film. It was a massive success and made Kurtz’s career. Lucas was a dreamer but Kurtz had the business acumen to make it happen. The two had a perfect balance in their primes (via Film Threat).

Jedi Puppet

We saw Deep Roy’s physical depiction of Yoda on Dagobah in the original Star Wars trilogy. However, fans associate another man with the wise old Jedi Master. Most people think of Frank Oz as the actor behind the tiny green alien because he provided his distinctive voice.

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Millions of people imitated Yoda’s unique speech patterns but Oz was the original. He was also a puppeteer and brilliantly moveRemarkably, scenes. Remarkably, he was more convincing than the CGI version that Lucas created for the prequel trilogy (via Hollywood Reporter).

Star Destroyer

The very first scene of the original Star Wars trilogy shows an Imperial Star Destroyer in pursuit of a Rebel blockade runner. This iconic moment stunned audiences around the world who had never seen anything like this before in a movie theatre.

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Here is a great behind-the-scenes shot of Lucas standing behind a replica Star Destroyer. The scale of the ship is massive as it is longer than a human being. Lucas steered the massive vehicle to produce a sense of realism and threat as it chased Princess Leia’s ship (via Technology Review).

Pure Drama

Arguably, the most dramatic moment of the entire franchise is when Darth Vader reveals to Luke that he is the latter’s father. It’s a shocking scene because Vader is the epitome of evil. Meanwhile, Luke’s life hangs by a thread as he tries to escape from the Dark Lord (via New Yorker).

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The picture above shows the work that goes into producing these scenes. It’s remarkable to see the size of the studio that they use because they produced a massive set. Vader isn’t wearing his helmet at this moment either while there are no less than nine people around them.

Gentle Giant

This photo shows Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew hanging out in their Star Wars costumes. First, it’s clear how tall Mayhew was because he holds Fisher like she is a child. The late pair had a close bond and regularly spent time together on the set.

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Mayhew’s wife revealed the extent of their connection. She said: “Carrie had a habit. She would walk over to Peter. She’d crawl up on his lap, and they had a thing. It wasn’t unusual, it was normal for them.” This platonic bond was beautiful and it’s a tragedy that they’ve left this world (via EOnline).

Fun in the Sun

Carrie Fisher wasn’t the only woman to wear that infamous gold bikini in Return of the Jedi. She also had a stunt double, Tracey Eddon, who wore the iconic outfit in key scenes. Here is a great shot of Fisher relaxing with Eddon after the two became friends.

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The actress loathed the outfit because it hypersexualized her in front of a giant space slug. But there was an upside to the costume between takes. They filmed these scenes in California and there were plenty of downtime to enjoy sunbathing (via Vintage News Daily).

Fighter Peril

Star Wars famously created many spaceships and vehicles with an incredible level of detail. But there’s something else to think about these props. Designers also created special versions for specific scenes where they incurred damage (via PC Gamer).

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This is a fantastic example of a special TIE fighter that suffered damage during a space battle. They made the carnage as specific as possible with a melted wing and creased bodywork. We’re glad that we’re not the pilot flying that ship because it wouldn’t end well!

Lunch with Lucas

Here’s an early take from Yoda’s house on Dagobah. We can see the puppeteer, Frank Oz, and Star Wars create George Lucas running through the scene. It’s fascinating to see the size of Yoda compared to Lucas as well as the polished stools that didn’t feature in the movie.

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This behind-the-scenes shot shows the preparation that goes into a movie. They’re checking to see if Oz can manipulate his puppet easily within the set. It appears that everything is working smoothly but the conversation is serious (via IGN).

Fisher and Davis

Carrie Fisher shows her sensitive side in this photo with a young Warwick Davis. The latter starred as Wicket, an Ewok in Episode VI. It was a breakout role for the young actor who appeared in a host of movies throughout his life. He suffered from dwarfism but made the best of it by entering Hollywood (via Metro).

The Guardian

Fisher gazes at Davis with a maternal expression on her face. Many of her former costars said that she was an extremely kind person and this shines through her image. Meanwhile, Davis appears to be very comfortable and it’s safe to say many fans would love to be in his position!

Battle Scene

This is a phenomenal image that shows the creation of a Star Wars battlefield. Set designers painted background images that enhance the scale of the landscape. Meanwhile, they produced a rugged plateau with trapdoors that allow them to move props around.

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They also have model AT-AT walkers, one of the most terrifying Star Wars vehicles. It’s phenomenal to see the work that went into these scenes because these movies hold up so well today. Many people think that the original trilogy aged better than the later prequel films (via Futurism).

Instant Connection

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher had a great relationship and bonded very quickly. There are rumors that the pair even had a romantic relationship but nothing as intense as Fisher’s affair with Harrison Ford. They loved to joke around between scenes and had fun with George Lucas too (via N.Y. Post).

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Hamill said that Fisher tolerated his “juvenile high-jinks, even when she wasn’t in the mood.” It’s safe to say that the pair maintained a close bond and had a life-long friendship. It devastated Hamill when Fisher passed away in 2016 but he’ll always have tons of beautiful memories.

Happy Birthday Obi-Wan

Lucas wanted to ensure that everybody felt happy on the set and shared special moments. Sir. Alec Guinness was the epitome of professionalism but even he enjoyed celebrating his birthday on set. He didn’t want to do anything to mark the day but the director surprised him with a cake.

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These moments bring the cast and crew together in an important way. Remember, they traveled to the scorching hot Tunisian desert for the scene above. This was a draining experience because of the intensity of the sun and the schedule (via Hollywood Reporter).

Tech Challenges

The Star Wars crew traveled around the world to far-flung locations in search of the perfect shot. However, this meant that they faced many struggles because nature wasn’t always kind. In this scene, the camera crew is in the desert but they are dealing with problems.

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We can see that they enshrouded the camera in a clear plastic bag. Furthermore, they are wearing goggles because the wind blew the sand everywhere. It represented a risk to the equipment and also to their eyes. Filmmaking isn’t always as glamorous as the fans expect (via Signiant).

Beautiful Bond

This is another insight into Hamill and Fisher’s close relationship. It’s a signed photograph that shows the pair of them beaming as they take pleasure from each other’s company. Many film stars make life-long friendships when they work together on big franchises.

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That’s because they spend a lot of time together on location for several years. The casts of the Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings franchises also maintain close bonds because of the intensity of their experiences. It’s a beautiful thing that most people can’t understand unless they were there (via Yahoo).

The Very Beginning

Mark Hamill said that he found the prospect of working with Alec Guinness very intimidating. The latter was an established legend while Hamill was at the beginning of his career. However, he said that the veteran British star was always a gentleman and had great patience for his colleagues.

The Mary Sue

It must have helped that Hamill is one of the most likable people on the planet. He always has a smile on his face and wanted to create a positive atmosphere on the set. The young star had a good relationship with Guinness and this shone through the movie (via CNet).

Brief Break

The Empire Strikes Back presented some of the most emotional scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy. Here we see Ford, Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams on the Bespin set. This is where Lando Calrissian betrayed his friend because of the threat of Darth Vader.

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It’s also where Leia and Han declare their love together for the first time. In this photo, Williams is drinking a cup of Joe between takes while Ford and Fisher goof around. The atmosphere appears to be positive with the director, Irvin Kershner, behind the camera (via Esquire).

Frozen Face

Harrison Ford didn’t have to deal with the same wardrobe woes as Carrie Fisher. However, some fans thought there was an exception in Episode V when Darth Vader froze him in carbonite. Many people didn’t realize that Alan Harris was the man underneath all of the paste.

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Here we can see the costume team caking paste onto Harris’s face. Harris also played the bounty hunter Bossk in the series. This makeup work took a lot of time but it was very effective. It also added emotional depth to one of the most devastating moments in the entire franchise (via Slash Film).

Why So Serious?

This behind-the-scenes photograph shows the three main cast members in their regular civilian clothes. Ford wears a stylish suit while Hamill’s shirt choice is questionable. Meanwhile, it’s not the most flattering picture of Fisher because it caught her at a strange moment.

Film Makers Fans

A pair of extras dressed in Stormtrooper gear stand guard behind the trio. This may have been a promotional event because their clothing is quite formal. However, Fisher isn’t wearing a dress so it’s not a premiere. Nonetheless, it’s another moment of Star Wars history that fans can remember forever (via NBC).

The Evil Emperor

Here is a close-up photograph of Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine. Fans barely see his face in the original Star Wars trilogy because he always wears a cowl. Nonetheless, a lot of work went into his makeup as we can see from the picture below.

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The Revenge of the Sith (2005) revealed how he suffered facial disfiguration. However, fans had no idea when they watched the original trilogy. One of the joys of this was that so much was unknown and this allowed viewers to create their own stories (via TCM).

Star Destroyer

Imperial Star Destroyers are the most terrifying ships in the Star Wars universe because they are a symbol of evil. This behind-the-scenes photo shows the crew working with a model spacecraft as they used practical effects. However, they also have a bluescreen behind them so that they could add the landscape later.

Thrillist

This was incredibly advanced technology at the time and holds up well today. The original Star Wars trilogy aged well because it didn’t over-rely on computers and CGI. They won many awards because of their use of cutting-edge resources and special effects (via Studio Binder).

Wookie Love

Star Wars would have been a different franchise if Princess Leia had fallen in love with Chewbacca instead of Han Solo. Here is a classic photo of Carrie Fisher pretending to kiss her co-star Peter Mayhew. The pair wear their costumes in one of the most confusing images ever.

All That’s Interesting

It’s a funny moment but it also shows the bond that existed between Fisher and her gentle giant friend, Mayhew. Many fans forget about the latter because he always wore his Chewie outfit but he played a crucial role. He also provided Fisher with an important platonic friendship (via Digital Spy).

On Location

These scenes show the Star Wars cast and crew on location in Tunisia. They filmed many of the Tatooine scenes in the North African country because of the unique landscape and architecture. It’s a fantastic setting and one that many fans visit today (via Far Out Magazine).

Art Sheep

However, it wasn’t the easiest place to bring props and equipment because of the conditions. Spare a thought for Anthony Daniels beneath that C-3PO outfit because of the desert heat. Matt Hamill and Alec Guinness didn’t have it as bad but it was still tough.

Cool Down

Sir. Alec Guinness suffered in the tough Tunisian conditions because of the heat and sandstorms. Here he attempts to protect himself from the elements with a traditional headdress. However, he was no stranger to this because he worked in Jordan and Syria on Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

Why These

Here he is deep in discussion with George Lucas about the film. Guinness didn’t think much of the Star Wars universe and didn’t want to return to the franchise. But he felt that he owed a debt to Lucas and that’s why he came back for Episodes V and VI (via Far Out).

Millenium Falcon

Han Solo claimed that the Falcon was the fastest ship in the Galaxy and completed the Kessel Run in fewer than 12 parsecs. It remains one of the most iconic spacecraft from any sci-fi movie and appeared in many other Star Wars mediums (via CNet).

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This behind-the-scenes photograph shows a special-effects expert manipulating a giant model of the Falcon. This was extraordinarily difficult but it worked brilliantly in the movie. This starship has a special place in the hearts of every Star Wars fan.

The Dark Side

Darth Vader was the main villain in the original Star Wars movie but another man stole several scenes. We’re talking about Peter Cushing’s representation of Grand Moff Tarkin. He was almost scarier than Vader because he was visibly human but acted in a reprehensible manner.

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Like Alec Guinness, Cushing elevated the movie franchise. He developed a background in horror movies and delivered his lines with aplomb. Cushing’s drawn cheekbones and menacing voice made him the perfect accomplice to Vader’s brooding presence (via Times).

Lord Bodybuilder

Many people don’t realize that the man beneath Darth Vader’s costume was a bodybuilder. He became a weightlifting champion in his native UK before moving into the film industry. Then George Lucas spotted him and offered him a choice between playing Chewbacca or the evil Sith Lord.

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This photo proves how big Prowse was as he towers over the other man in the photo. Prowse came from a working-class background and never took his fame for granted. He also starred in A Clockwork Orange before he made his Star Wars franchise debut (via Sky News).

Battle Scene

Lightsaber fights are some of the most iconic moments in the Star Wars franchise. Every movie has at least one that fans remember and recreated. The sound and distinctive bright colors of the laser swords made them a popular gift choice for children around the world.

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This photo reveals a clash between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. The real lightsaber battle wasn’t as dramatic as the movies because they used rods. Then the special effects team manipulated the swords and made them appear to be shining lasers. Now they’re a legendary weapon (via Game Rant).

High Drama

The end of Return of the Jedi saw Luke Skywalker defeat Darth Vader after a dramatic battle. Here we see the young Jedi cast down his father before the Emperor attempts to turn him to the Dark Side. But an immense amount of production went into this iconic moment.

Monovision

We can easily count 10 people standing around the set as they make this scene happen. This photograph provides an amazing insight into the filmmaking process. A glance at a movie’s credits shows that hundreds of people combine efforts to create a movie (via Space.com).

All Smiles

There’s nothing quite like being on a Star Wars set because it transports actors to a new world. This photo shows the pure joy on Harrison Ford’s face when he stepped onto the Millenium Falcon. They built a full-size cockpit that enabled them to film realistic scenes with their cast.

Jedi Insider

Carrie Fisher beams beside Ford as a camera captures the pair’s bliss. It’s moments like these that provide a movie with soul because it means the process was healthy. This scene came from Episode V when the pair spent a lot of time on the Falcon. It’s difficult to separate them from this franchise (via Gizmodo).

Bar Wars

It’s nice to know that the three main Star Wars actors maintained a good relationship in real life. There are always horror stories about cast members hating each other. But that wasn’t the case in the original trilogy because they had a close connection.

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This picture captures the trio in a canteen enjoying some downtime. It’s the eighties because there is an ashtray in front of them. Meanwhile, Ford is enjoying what appears to be a cup of coffee. If we didn’t know that they were famous we’d think they were just regular friends hanging out (via The Things).

Desert Filmmaking

We’ve spoken a lot about the challenges that the cast and crew confronted in Tunisia during A New Hope. However, the desert landscape entranced Lucas after he read Frank Herbert’s Dune. The latter held a slight resentment toward Lucas because of his success.

Original Trilogy

Lawrence of Arabia also had a profound impact on the franchise because of the stunning desert shots. In this scene, we see Alec Guinness and Mark Hamill in an early scene from the original movie. The crew is hard at work around them as they capture the perfect shot (via Inverse).

Dynamic Duo

George Lucas and Mark Hamill are the two most important figures in Star Wars history. The former created wrote and directed significant chunks of the universe. Meanwhile, Hamill played the original trilogy’s main character, Luke Skywalker in a career-defining turn.

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Lucas made Hamill a star but he also depended on his actor to bring the character to life. This early photograph shows the pair on set discussing a scene. It’s a fantastic moment and a great insight into their dynamic during the filmmaking process (via The Playlist).

Jedi Masters

Alec Guinness’s screen time diminished in the latter movies of the original trilogy. But they still provided crucial moments in guiding Luke Skywalker on his journey. Here we see Guinness and Hamill in an intense conversation about the script in a behind-the-scenes photograph.

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This was during Return of the Jedi when Luke returned to Dagobah after helping to rescue Han Solo. It’s an emotional moment because Yoda dies and then he reconnects with Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is a defining moment in the young Jedi knight’s life (via Digital Spy).

Ewok Actors

The Ewoks are one of the most notorious alien species in the Star Wars universe. Originally, George Lucas wanted to create a race of lizard people on Endor. However, the studio pressured him to use a more child-friendly design because they wanted to sell toys.

Monovision

The cuddly bear-like aliens became a polarizing part of Episode VI. Some people love them but others think that they signaled the beginning of the franchise’s decline. Here we can see the actors who wore the Ewoks’ suits during these noteworthy scenes (via Ranker).

Falcon in Flight

Diehard fans know that Lando Calrissian owned the Millenium Falcon before he lost it to Han Solo in a game of Sabaac. Here we see Billy Dee Williams, Fisher, and another actor on the ship. Williams has one of the most famous smiles in Hollywood and here it is in full force.

The Week

We love the seats that appear as though they came from a DeLorean. It looks like Fisher is right at home as she sits in the co-pilot’s chair. Chewbacca’s presence is notably absent but we can see blue screen around the cockpit. It’s a great insight into life on this iconic starship (via Fascinations).

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