Behind the Force: Rare and Iconic Behind the Scenes Moments Captured on the Set of Star Wars

Tue Dec 31 2019

A long time ago, we were all introduced to a galaxy far, far away, and the legendary cast of Star Wars first exploded onto our movie screens. The iconic sci-fi saga has since reached cult status, and the franchise is still proving to be an influential force on pop culture.

As the saga continues, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has just been released, we’re paying homage to the Star Wars legacy. We’ve ransacked the archives to unearth the rarest footage and iconic behind-the-scenes moments. These memorable photos caught with the cast and crew members deserve to be seen. So, let’s delve deeper and unravel the filming secrets from our favorite sci-fi galaxy.

Underneath Chewbacca’s Mask

Interestingly, Chewbacca didn’t just wake up like that. Underneath his furry exterior, lies a lengthy mask-making process. So, let us introduce you to the genius behind the infamous Wookie mask, makeup artist Stuart Freeborn. Here he is adding the finishing touches to the prosthetic mask on the actor, Peter Mayhew.

After fabricating the original concept for Chewbacca’s mask, Stuart had to go through an intense design process before he perfected the prosthetic mask mold. Once the design was ready, he then created the fur effect using a mix of animal hairs, making Chewbacca look as realistic and extra-terrestrial as possible.

George Lucas Squares up on Set

This classic photo now holds a special place in movie history. Pictured here is the legendary filmmaker and mastermind behind the fictional Star Wars universe, George Lucas, on set. The photo is even more iconic, as the young George is captured squaring up with one of the most iconic characters from the franchise, the humanoid gold-plated C-3PO.

This iconic photo went viral in 2016 when the author Jay Jones released a spellbinding biography based on the life-story of George Lucas. The biography was titled, George Lucas: Life and this priceless photo was chosen as the cover.

A Rare Moment with Obi and R2-D2

Way back when, in 1977, this rare photo was captured on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. In the iconic sci-fi movie, Luke Skywalker searches for the loyal robot, R2-D2 who has gone missing. He then encounters Obi-Wan Kenobi, played by Alec Guinness.

Obi turns out to be a gifted and aging Jedi Knight, and a master of the Force. He later presents Luke with his father’s iconic weapon, the lightsaber, and becomes his mentor. While he plays an influential part in the plot, the robot R2-D2 is another instrumental part of the story. So this rare photo of both icons holds a special place in the Star Wars hall of fame.

The Legendary Voice Behind Yoda

In the original Star Wars trilogy, the legendary voice actor and puppeteer, Frank Oz provided the voice that helped bring the ageless icon Yoda, to life.
The small, green humanoid alien, and Jedi Master first appeared in the 1980s movie The Empire Strikes Back.

Thanks to Frank, Yoda is well-known for his distinctive voice, strange speech patterns and tendency to speak backward. So here is a rare glimpse of both icons on set. Fans were also joyed with the legendary voice actor, Frank Oz reprised his voice role in an episode of Star Wars: Rebels animated series.

Leia and Luke Goofing Around on Set

In the original Star Wars movies, Mark Hamill wowed us all as Luke Skywalker. And one of the central stories to the plot was his relationship with Princess Leia, portrayed by the Hollywood legend, Carrie Fisher. In The Empire Strikes Back, it’s clear the pair had some on-screen chemistry.

In this rare photo, Mark Hamill can be seen goofing around on set with Carrie. Sadly their on-screen romance was cut short as they later found out that they’re siblings. But as Mark sweeps Carrie off her feet here, it’s clear they didn’t let that get in the way of their backstage fun.

Meet The Ewoks

In the classic Star Wars 1983 hit, Return of the Jedi, we were all introduced to a race of furry aliens, known as the Ewoks. Although the fictional species resembled teddy bears, they were actually mammaloid bipeds from the moon of Endor. They were also hunters who live in huts.

In case you ever wondered who were the actors lurking beneath the Ewoks costumes, now you can wonder no longer. In this candid photo, we’re reminded that they hired a cast of diminutive actors and placed them in Ewok onesies. The cast of Ewoks later got their time to shine in The Ewok Adventure in 1984.

George Lucas and His Directing Style

In this candid shot, George Lucas is pictured sitting in his director’s chair on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Nowadays, George Lucas is better known as a visionary filmmaker and director. However, in the early days of Star Wars, he was better known for his interesting directing style.

Surprisingly, George found it a little hard to communicate his visionary ideas to the actors in the early days. That’s because he usually had only two specific directions, telling them to “be faster” or be “more intense.” As the saga continued, however, he later got much more involved on set.

A One in a Million Shot

In this classic Star Wars scene from 1977, all four central members of the Star Wars cast, are pictured here in one glorious and smiling shot, from Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill to Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew. It’s fair to say this is also one of the most memorable scenes from the franchise.

In this scene, the magical ensemble is pictured having a moment of fun between takes. Harrison Ford once said about his on-screen co-stars, “I think that that feeling of being at ease with one another shows up on the screen.” And this is another reason for our Star Wars fandom.

A Rare Beauty and The Beast Moment

This rare, behind the scenes black and white photo, was captured on the set of The Empire Strikes Back in 1977. It feels just like a classic Disney-style Beauty and the Beast moment, as the “Beauty,” Princess Leia is caught sharing a forbidden kiss with the “Beast,” Chewbacca.

As we’ve seen from this rare backstage footage, it’s clear that the original cast members of Star Wars had kinetic energy both on and off-screen. In this movie Chewbacca was played by the actor Peter Mayhew, so we’re sure she saw beyond his furry mask, and the actors were happy to goof around between takes.

When Even Droids Get Thirsty

The gold-plated C-3PO is one of the most iconic droids from the Star Wars universe. The humanoid robot was originally designed and built by Anakin Skywalker, and boasted that he’s “fluent in over six million forms of communication.”

On the big screen, it’s easy to believe that the gold-plated humanoid robot was computer-generated. In this rare moment, we’re reminded that there was a real actor. Anthony Daniels is lurking beneath the droid’s golden shell, and he needed a refreshment, just as much as the other humanoids.

A Star Wars Apocalypse

While this may look like a frightful zombie alien apocalypse scene from a horror movie, we have to remember that behind every extra-terrestrial mask, is a talented makeup artist. In this case, the legendary man behind the masks on the Star Wars set was the makeup artist, Rick Baker.

When Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope premiered in 1977, fans were swept away by the pulse-racing space adventure. In one memorable scene, fans were transported to the planet of Tatooine, which was inhabited by a wild collection of villainous aliens. So thanks to Rick Baker’s unrivaled talent, he was able to bring these zombie-inspired aliens to life.

The Time Princess Leia Met an Ewok

In this throwback photo, we can see Carrie Fisher warmly embracing an Ewok on the set. The Ewok was played by Warwick Davis, who was just 11-years-old when he landed his breakthrough role as Wicket in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.

Interestingly, Warwick first auditioned for the part after his grandmother heard a radio announcement asking for people under four-feet tall to be cast in the movie. So as Warwick was under three-feet at the time, he got his chance to be a part of cinematic history.

The Class of 2001

George Lucas was a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick and his intergalactic space voyage movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. So when he was casting the production team for Star Wars, he decided to recruit members of the production team from the classic Stanley Kubrick movie.

Although he couldn’t gather the entire production crew, George hired many of the same crew members. So when the production team started filming Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, they earned the on set nickname of “The Class of 2001.”

The Best Darth Vader

In this illusion-shattering photo, we’re introduced to the smiling face behind the legendary dark, Darth Vader suit. The actor David Prowse started out as a bodybuilder, before being immortalized as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films.

As the legend goes, David Prowse reportedly stopped learning his lines after he discovered his voice would be dubbed over by a “darker” voice artist James Earl Jones. He then had a habit of confusing his co-stars by spouting the wrong lines and expecting them to keep a straight face!

Behind The Panavision Lens

Way back when, in 1977, Star Wars was known for its advanced cinematography and groundbreaking filming methods. So as George Lucas peers into the lens of this oversized Panavision camera, it really was the height of modernity and the lens changed the entire look of the film.

In fact, the Panavision PSR 35mm camera was used for all the major shots in the 1977 movie, Stars Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Despite being ahead of its time, the camera wasn’t immune to the desert terrain or the elements, so they added a handy weather-proof coat for extra protection.

The Heart and Soul of R2-D2

Another brave and legendary droid from the franchise is R2-D2. While it’s easy to think that this character was computer-generated, back then, not everything was that advanced. Instead, the iconic actor, Kenny Baker, is the man responsible for bringing the iconic robot to life in Star Wars.

The diminutive three-foot-eight actor was originally cast as he was one of the only adult actors who could fit inside the costume, which he operated using a remote control. After reprising the role in six Star Wars movies, George Lucas paid tribute to the late actor as “a talented vaudevillian” and “the heart and soul of R2-D2.”

George Lucas Rehearses with Yoda

In this moment of pure photo gold, the brilliant director, George Lucas, is pictured stepping in for Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. As he sits patiently with his legs crossed, in the middle of the miniature, fairytale-style cave, it’s clear that George was a very hands-on director.

In this legendary scene, George is pictured rehearsing with Frank Oz, the iconic actor who starred as Yoda. As he converses with Yoda, it’s clear that the hands-on and visionary director had some very clear ideas about where each scene should go.

Behind the Battle of Hoth

In this legendary scene, we’re introduced to the animators behind the force, Phil Tippett and Jon Berg. They are in the middle of shooting the Battle of Hoth with AT-AT models. This was a major battle led by Darth Vader and was considered a big victory for the Galactic Empire.

The epic battle took place on the remote and icy world of Hoth. So as this rare photo shows, the legendary animators are helping to bring the AT-ATs to life for this epic scene. Before they had the luxury of modernized technology, the animators had to adjust the large models frame-by-frame for the battle stop-motion scene.

A Deep Moment Between George and Mark Hamill

On the set on Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, in a galaxy far far away, director George Lucas shared a deep moment with Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Interestingly, while George Lucas had a very clear vision of how each scene should be filmed and directed, he later had a change of heart.

After this film wrapped up, George Lucas said “the empire is there… everything is there. I want to try and get some good directors, and see what their interpretation of the theme is.” So, he later let some other directors have creative freedom over the movies, including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, who took the iconic franchise in a whole new direction.

A Moment to Celebrate on Set

This throwback photo was captured on the set of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode V. In this celebratory moment, Mark Hamill, George Lucas, and another cast member took a moment to raise a toast to Sir Alec Guinness.

The reason for the toast was that it was Sir Alec Guinness’s birthday, so they celebrated with a birthday cake too. While we were disappointed that they didn’t celebrate with a Star Wars themed cake, this movie was filmed in the middle of the baking hot Tunisian desert. So we’re sure they were just happy for any kind of cake.

The Lighter Side of The Galaxy

This retro snap was captured on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. As you can see, the cast members, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca took a moment to take a time out and enjoy the lighter side of the galaxy.

Star Wars movies are typically filled with action, adventure, fantastical creatures, and battle scenes. Still, in between takes and fighting for the good of the galaxy, you can see that the cast saw the lighter side of every situation. We bet they had a few running jokes that we wish we could share too.

The Mask Revealed

In this rare and candid shot, we can finally see the real face behind the legendary Chewbacca mask. The actor Peter Mayhew was quite a trooper, as he reprised the role of Chewbacca in five films in the Star Wars franchise.

His equally legendary makeup-artist, Stuart Freeborn is happy to pose with Peter Mayhew, while holding the iconic mask up for the whole world to see. While Peter must have been proud of his prosthetic creation, we’re sure Peter Mayhew was happy to have a moment to breathe after donning the mask for so long.

The First Digital Camera

Another classic relic from the archives is this photo of the Millennium Falcon model. On the big screen, the Star Wars ship looked a lot bigger. At least in our memories, it was a grand model, large enough to soar through the galaxy.

Although we’d love to believe that George Lucas and his crew built a supersized Star Wars ship, in hindsight, we now know this was all down to some awesome camera work. The model was shot by the Dykstraflex camera, which was the first digital motion photography camera system of its kind.

Deep Roy’s Jedi Talents

In this rare colorized photo, we can see the actor Deep Roy in all his glory. The actor, stuntman and puppeteer famously stood in for the Jedi Master, Yoda in the unforgettable hit, The Empire Strikes Back. After impressing everyone with his Jedi talents, he then played some other iconic roles in the series.

In the original Starwars movies, Deep Roy sometimes appeared as an Ewok. He also sometimes stood in for R2-D2. And after making his mark on the Star Wars franchise, he then graced the sets of Doctor Who and Star Trek. So, for hardcore fans, Deep Roy is now considered a sci-fi legend.

Filming Under the Desert Sun

In this iconic shot, the cast members are caught standing around under the blazing sun for a chat between shooting scenes. Many times filmmakers relied heavily on real-life scenery in order to depict the so-called galaxy far, far away. So, these locations can be found all over the world.

For instance, when filming Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, the cast and crew spent two and a half weeks on location in Tunisia. This was the perfect setting to depict the desert planet of Tatooine. Oddly enough, Tatooine was originally envisioned as a jungle planet. Lucas, however, did not want to spend all that time filming in the jungle so they switched up the vision.

Inspired from a Childhood Classic

In this rare snap, George Lucas is captured on set filming the opening scene of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. For those of you who don’t know, Lucas was inspired to create the Star Wars universe by a childhood comic strip hero called Flash Gordon, which was first published in the 30s.

Lucas originally wanted to adapt this adventure series into a movie but could not obtain the rights. He then decided to create his own original space adventure concept. The success that Star Wars saw after its release took many by surprise.

Robots Need AC Too

Here we can see George Lucas adding some finishing touches to the C-3PO costume, before applying the recognizable gold color. The eyepieces on the costume were actually covered with real gold, in order to prevent corrosion. As you might imagine, filming inside the C-3PO robot costume could get pretty hot.

The costume department used rubber and plastic for the robot’s joints which when filming in high heat would even approach the materials’ melting points. Naturally, this proved very dangerous for actor Anthony Daniels who was responsible for bringing C-3PO to life on screen.

Somewhere Over The Galaxy

Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford are captured here in their infamous stormtrooper uniforms. The concept of Luke and Han dressing up as stormtroopers to rescue Princess Leia was actually a borrowed idea from the Wizard of Oz. If you recall, in the Oz film, Dorothy’s friends dress up as Winkie Guards to save her from the Witch of the West.

This is not the only idea in Star Wars that mirrors The Wizard of Oz. Luke also lives on a farm with his aunt and uncle just like Dorothy. In addition, Chewbacca and the Cowardly Lion have similar characteristics in that they are both animals that are able to communicate and walk on their hind legs rather than all fours.

Cut Scenes and Holiday Specials

This rare snap captures Darth Vader as he makes his way through the Death Star with Commander No.1, played by actor Leslie Schofield. Commander No.1, later renamed Chief Moradmin Bast first appeared in Episode IV – A New Hope. Unfortunately, most of Schofield’s material was cut out of the film.

To make matters worse, the scene was used with an altered dialogue in the cringe-worthy Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978. The original scene was released in 2011 as part of the Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray set.

Getting Inspired for Wretchedness

The Cast and crew members are caught here taking a short break from the heat while filming the Mos Eisley scenes in Lost Hope. George Lucas had a very specific vision for the fictionalized spaceport town of Mos Eisley. In the film, it is described as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” To illustrate exactly what he had in mind for this wretched hive, Lucas screened two specific films for inspiration.

You might notice in the film, Once Upon a Time in the West, one of the characters shoots another with a gun hidden under the table. This is very similar to how Han Solo shoots Greedo. In addition, the bizarre characters seen in the film Fellini’s Satyricon provided big inspiration for the Mos Eisley cantina scene.

Mayhew, the Gentle Giant

Peter Mayhew on the left and Kenny Baker on the right can be seen here taking a seat backstage in between filming. George Lucas only has endearing things to say about Mayhew, who was the first actor to put on the Chewbacca mask. When describing the star Lucas said, “No matter how hard he tried, he wasn’t ferocious.”

Lucas goes on to describe him as “a very gentle giant.” He elaborates saying, “He was more like a Wookie than I originally imagined a Wookie to be. Originally, I envisioned Chewie as some big ferocious beast, but Peter’s Chewie wasn’t really ferocious.”

Do or Do Not. There Is No Try

Filmmakers found a variety of ways to bring Yoda to life on screen. Originally, Yoda was portrayed by Frank Oz and his expert puppeteering skills. The wise and mysterious Jedi Master was then rendered entirely through computer-generated imagery.

In addition, for only several second unit shots in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda was also brought to life by Kenyan-English actor, Deep Roy. To do so, Roy had to perform these scenes on his knees in order to bring him down to Yoda’s height.

The Sleeping Princess

We’re glad someone captured Carrie Fisher taking a nap aboard a snowmobile. When filming Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Fisher, who played Princess Leia, traveled to the filming location, Finse Norway even though she had no scenes to film there.

She wanted to be there simply so she could spend more time with the cast and crew. Fisher had a close bond with many of her fellow cast members. Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker had this to say about his co-star; “Fisher was able to make you feel like you were the most important thing in her life.”

Mechanical Elephants

Here is a closer look at the visual effects supervisor, Phil Tippett, positioning the miniature AT-ATs for the Hoth battle stop-motion scene in The Empire Strikes Back. Interestingly, these mechanical structures were inspired by the walking machines in H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds.

In addition, the visual effects team carefully studied the walking patterns of elephants in order to make the movements as realistic as possible. Other than scenes where they fall in battle, Imperial AT-AT walkers were all animated using traditional go-motion techniques. The scenes that needed to depict them falling were filmed in real-time on high-speed cameras.

Robots Finding Their Identity

In early drafts of the scripts for the first film, R2-D2 could actually speak standard English. Not only that but writers gave him a pretty foul mouth. In the end, they decided to remove the English vocabulary and replace it with the robotic sound effects that we hear today.

Although the English speech was removed, many of C-3PO’s reactions were left in. C-3PO also had a change in identity. His character was originally supposed to mimic that of a used car salesman. However, Lucas was particularly fond of the “snooty British butler” personality that Anthony Daniel’s voice brought to the table.

Getting Cold Feet

The cast members here are happy to smile for the camera here while filming on location in Finse, Norway. During their time spent in Norway, they were actually met with a pretty heavy storm. While this would normally affect the filming schedule, director Irvin Kershner actually saw it as a perfect opportunity.

The blistering winter storm made for an ideal backdrop in the scene where Luke wanders through the snow after escaping the Wampa cave. Mark Hamill literally had to wander outside in the cold, while the rest of the cast and crew got the chance to stay warm inside.

The Classic Fisher-Ford Story

Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford can be seen flaunting their undeniable chemistry for the camera. It’s no mystery that these two had developed quite a strong bond while on set. The actress even spoke of their three-month-long affair in her book The Princess Diarist.

Their relationship was complicated, to say the least. Ford was married and a father of two at the time. Fisher later expressed regret that she spoke about their time spent together in her book. Ford is known for keeping his personal life to himself. “He’s incredibly private; I feel really bad for doing that to him,” Said Fisher.

Harrison Ford Teaches George Lucas about The Forest Force

When this iconic photo emerged of Harrison Ford and George Lucas on the Star Wars set, many fans questioned what exactly was happening here. In fact, there’s a very popular thread on Reddit with a strong conviction that Harrison is teaching George how to bowl.

While this is a plausible excuse, other fans have come up with their own theories about this epic shot. We like to think that Harrison is simply imparting his infinite Jedi wisdom to George, and explaining the finer details about the Force’s presence in the forest.

In Awe of Their Surroundings

This breathtaking shot was captured on the set of A New Hope in 1977. As you can see, all the beloved Star Wars clan is gathered here for one epic scene, including C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and R2-D2. However, it seems like the cast and crew have other things on their minds.

This cinematic photo was shot by some of the most advanced cameras for its day, including Panavision Cameras. While the camera is honing in on the cast, it seems like the cast and rest of the camera crew were more in awe of their jaw-dropping surroundings than anything else.

George Meets The Ewoks

While George Lucas was already well acquainted with the mythological creatures from the expanded universe, it seems like the fun of it all hadn’t worn off. Here we can see George Lucas greeting a zoo of furry Ewoks on the set of the 1983 hit Return of the Jedi.

As George Lucas sizes up the furry cretins, it feels like he also had a few things to say about them to the crew. As the years went on, we can see that George continued to be hands-on, and was very much involved in the intricate details and the specifics of each mythological character for each scene.

Ian McDiarmid’s Monstrous Transformation

When filming Return of the Jedi in 1983, Ian McDiarmid had to go through a pretty intense makeup transformation. In fact, he had to spend hours in the makeup chair while they applied prosthetics to his facial features, so he could look like his monstrous alter ego, The Emperor.

Underneath his monstrous guise, Ian McDiarmid was actually a young handsome guy in those days. But to transform him into an elderly, all-powerful Holocron, the makeup team had to put some work in. Interestingly, they only transformed two-thirds of his head as the rest was covered by a hood.

Tales of The Golden Droid

On the set of A New Hope, here we can see the lovable yet cynical gold-plated droid, C-3PO, standing beside Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. With his love of etiquette and protocol, the golden droid could always be counted on to point cast members in the right direction on every occasion.

Interestingly, the actor inside the golden skin, Anthony Daniels, proved a force to be reckoned with on Star Wars set. He now holds a special place in intergalactic history. He even released a memoir about his Star Wars experiences, I Am C-3PO, as he was the only actor to appear in nine epic movies in the sci-fi saga.

A Touching Tribute to Kenny Baker

In this touching photo, we see actor Kenny Baker posing outside his R2-D2 suite. Kenny stole fan’s hearts as the feisty droid in A New Hope. He then continued to make his mark on the Extended Universe in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and in three prequels.

Interestingly, it could have been a whole other story for the extended universe. Kenny initially turned down the role of R2-D2, as he protested, “I don’t want to be stuck in a robot, what for, for goodness’ sake?” Nonetheless, we’re glad George Lucas convinced him to take the part, as there was literally no other person for that job!

The Star Wars Family Magic

As this throwback photo of the infamous holy trio shows, it’s clear that the Star Wars cast were more like a close-knit family than colleagues. This smile-inducing shot was captured on the set and it’s clear they enjoyed filming the scene, just as much as fans loved watching them.

This candid photo perfectly captures Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, and her infamous plaited locks. As she looks adoringly at Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, another lovable member of the cast. Chewbacca, played by Peter Mayhew, is also more than happy to pose with them for the family shot.

Chewbacca Was Based on George’s Dog

This vintage snapshot was taken on the set of A New Hope, which was filmed in 1976. As this casting assistant held the Star Wars clapper board up to the camera, it’s clear that the legendary, furry “Wookiee warrior” Chewbacca towered over him in size.

Chewbacca has a beastly appearance, and we couldn’t understand much of what he said. However, he quickly won fans with his lovable personality and unwavering loyalty to Han Solo. Interestingly, George Lucas revealed that “The Wookiee [character] actually came from my dog, Indiana, who is a big malamute, a very large, furry dog.”

Carrie’s Unforgettable Legacy

It’s clear that throughout the original sci-fi franchise, Carrie Fisher left a legacy like no other. This stunning and raw throwback shot of Princess Leia in all her plaited glory was caught on the set of The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.

Interestingly, Carrie Fisher was only 19 at the time of filming this movie, but she sure made her presence felt on the expanded universe. She was also no typical Hollywood cookie-cutter star but soon won over the cast and legions of fans with her unapologetic honesty, sharp wit, talents and humor.

George Was More Involved Than Most

In this flashback shot from A New Hope, George Lucas is using his sci-fi wisdom and knowledge to closely direct Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker in this iconic scene. As we can see, George does seem to have a very clear vision of how he wanted every scene to be played out to perfection.

As he puts one leg up on the stage, we can’t help but think George should have been on screen, or at least he could have made a cameo appearance. After all, he did create the Galactic Empire. Still, he was more than happy to direct from afar and let the actors work their magic.

All Eyes on Carrie

This glorious black and white photo was taken on the set of Star Wars in 1977. As we can see, it looks like Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, and Anthony Daniels, who played the gold-plated droid, C-3PO, are all vying for the affections of the beloved Princess Leia, played by Carrie.

While Carrie Fisher was a popular member of the cast, both on and off the set, this shot is also seminal for another reason. It’s not often that we got to see Anthony Daniels in his human form. But here he is pictured rehearsing, holding the iconic gold-plated mask of his esteemed droid character C-3PO.

George Sets up Camp Next to a Bantha

In this nostalgic photo, George Lucas is pictured setting up camp on the set of A New Hope. As he focuses on fine-tuning the advanced camera equipment ahead of him, the scene is even more comical as he is just chilling next to one of the mightiest creatures in the franchise, a Bantha.

In the fictional franchise, these oversized mythological creatures are depicted as a cross between an elephant, a horse, and a yak. The quadrupedal mammals were known for their long, thick fur and recognizable moaning sounds. They were discovered roaming on the planet Tatooine and used as “beasts of burden” by Tusken raiders.

A New Directorial Direction

This rarely seen shot was captured on the set of The Empire Strikes Back, as Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are in costume, preparing for their next scene. It’s clear that Harrison and Carrie had a lot of on-screen and off-screen chemistry, but this shot is significant for another reason.

In this movie, George Lucas had handed over the directorial flame to his talented peer, Irvin Kershner. Irvin was an acclaimed director and actor at the time, but he gained notoriety after this movie. In fact, he was credited with adding a new layer of depth to the characters, and made his own unique mark on the Star Wars extended universe in this movie.

Alec Guinness Was A Seasoned Pro

Back in 1977, Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi was already an acclaimed actor, with a career spanning thirty years. He had made a name for himself in movies like Oliver Twist and was a seasoned pro. Mark Hamill later said Alec “had the patience of a saint” on the set.

The reason for this was because the other actors, including Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, were known for having a great time on set, and could often be seen cracking jokes. So Mark was impressed that Alex was able to remain so stoic and act like a pro “after all the nonsense that he and Harrison Ford subjected him to.”

Sometimes Robots Need to Cool Off

This glorious moment was captured between shots in The Empire Strikes Back. As you can see, while Anthony did get a lot of compliments for his futuristic suit, it wasn’t always so easy to film these epic scenes. This was was especially the case as they filmed under the scorching heat of the desert sun.

While it does look like C-P30 is taking a relaxing vacation, he later revealed that spending so much time inside a gold-plated costume often had its challenges. As he couldn’t sit down, he spent most of his time between takes standing around. Still, no one could tell, as he continued to act like a gold-plated pro throughout the franchise.

A Darth Vader Kiss

When Irvin Kershner took over the directorial flame from George Lucas in The Empire Strikes Back, it was clear he had big boots to fill. However, he proved his might in the Star Wars universe and soon became just as chummy with the cast.

Just as Irvin was brave enough to take over the Star Wars mantle, he was also brave enough to square up with one of the most notorious villains in the saga, Darth Vader. What’s more, he was even happy to join in the fun and pose with him for a hilarious kiss for the camera.

Mark Hamill’s Touching Tribute to Carrie

In this stunning colored photo on set, Carrie Fisher seemed more than comfortable to rest her head on her beloved co-star Mark Hamill. They seem natural in each other’s company – like they were old friends, which makes the photo even more poignant.

In 2017, Mark Hamill made a touching tribute to his late co-star Carrie Fisher in a speech. He said, “We loved each other, and what a great thrill it was to come back to The Force Awakens at that time in our lives.”  He added, “There was a comfort level with each other. We could rely on each other, and there was a deep respect,” and it sure shows.

Assembling the Rebel Fleet

All of the Star Wars movies featured the work of talented visual effects artists, and this was no different in the 1977 film A New Hope. These artists had to bring countless planets, creatures, and technology to life – including the X-Wings. And when it came to this rebel fleet, George Lucas knew exactly how he wanted the visual effects artists to make them.  

This rare behind-the-scenes photo shows visual effects supervisor John Dykstra assembling the miniature rebel fleet ready for filming. He was told by Lucas that he wanted the fleet to be “drag racers” and that they had to have a “long narrow front and a guy sitting at the back.” It was then Colin Cantwell, who came up with the overall concept design of the X-Wing, who decided that a split wing would be best.

Getting Up Close and Personal with Greedo

George Lucas and his Star Wars team have traveled across the globe to film the movies over the years, but most of the Cantina scenes in A New Hope were actually filmed at Elstree Studios in the UK. But when it came to fine-tuning the movie Lucas wanted to reshoot some of these scenes, and he had to do so away from the studio in Los Angeles. For this, he asked actress Maria de Aragon to step into the shows of Greedo.

Han Solo and Greedo’s encounter has gone down in history as one of the greatest Star Wars moments of all time, but it wasn’t fun for Maria. In fact, she noted that “It was hot under the mask and I almost lost my life because I was out of breath. George Lucas noticed and made sure I got help. I had a very bad three or four minutes there.”

Downsizing the Sandcrawler

When making a franchise in outer space, there are some logistical problems that come into play. After all, George Lucas couldn’t take his team out of the atmosphere to shoot non-existent planets and alien transportation devices. Because of this, the production team decided to instead make miniature models of everything – including the Jawa Sandcrawler.

These huge mobile fortresses used by the Jawas as their transport and shelter in Tatooine looked huge in the 1997 Special Edition, but this amazing photo shows just how small they really were. You may even spot the time Jawa sticking its head out of the hatch! What’s more, the desert of Tatooine was made from finely ground walnut shells and carved foam.

Fisher and Hamill Having Fun on Set

There’s no doubt about the fact that every movie comes with its challenges, and takes a mental and physical toll on all of the actors involved. But it seems as though Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill always found ways to wind down when they weren’t transforming themselves into Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. And this picture shows that they got on like a house on fire.

These guys always found time to have a joke and a laugh while filming their Tatooine scenes in the Arizona desert, despite the fact that they must have been tired and hot. And we bet their happiness spread its way across the whole team, which is why every single Star Wars movie they starred in has been a success and a fan favorite.

The Giant Millennium Falcon

Although Lucas has become the master of making miniature models of his Star Wars creations, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t also make realistic, true-to-size props as well. When it comes to the Millennium Falcon, there are no holes barred – and Lucas commissioned a giant ship to go alongside its miniature counterpart. And this picture shows its true size.

This ship was made at Elstree Studios in the UK, and the team used the miniature made at the Industrial Light & Magic studios in Los Angeles (George Lucas’ US base) as their guide. But they did run into a problem when they realized that their set wasn’t big enough to house the Falcon. So, they had to build a new “Death Star Hangar”, especially for this creation.

The Intense Week-Long Shoot

One of the most iconic scenes in Star Wars history takes place in The Empire Strikes Back. This is the scene where Darth Vader confirms that he is, in fact, Luke Skywalker’s father. And while the scene is over within minutes, filming this scene took a whole week to complete. Mainly because they first filmed an alternate ending where Vader instead revealed that “Obi-Wan killed your father.”

George Lucas was the one to break the news to Mark Hamill that Darth Vader was his character’s on-screen dad, and this meant that the emotions he portrayed in the final cut were due to the emotions Hamill felt at the time. But it was also tough for the young actor, as he had to try and hold himself still on a nine-inch wide plank standing 30-feet above the ground with wind machines trying to blow him off balance.

The Makeshift AT-ST Crew

The Empire Strikes Back introduced us to all-new characters and technology, and the All Terrain Scout Transport (AKA the AT-ST) instantly became a fan favorite. Often nicknamed the “Chicken Walker” this creation offered model makers some tough challenges. But model maker Paul Huston managed to make the end result work better than anyone had imagined.

Paul made small models of these vehicles and the production team then used camera trickery to make them seem much larger than they were. Much of this model was made using simple materials like styrofoam, and they even included the crew members within these creations. The crew was also weighted to ensure that they would realistically drop when the AT-ST was crushed by the dual log combo.

The Unfinished Death Star

The Death Star is one of the most iconic pieces of imagery within the Star Wars universe, and George Lucas wanted to make sure that they knew exactly what the space station looked like before they got fully into filming. But with a low budget to work with, they originally only had a matte painting commissioned to see it in all its glory. However, this wasn’t enough for Lucas.

He was so insistent that they made a 3D model that they had to bypass their budgetary concerns and go ahead with the plan. This picture shows that model during its construction, and it’s clear to see that it was worthwhile. The model was actually made from layered platelets of edged brass to ensure that it was not only sturdy but also able to show intricate detail.

George Lucas and a Young Anakin

The Star Wars movies have often brought up-and-coming actors to the forefront of Hollywood’s attention. This is because Lucas has often seen something fresh and new in people who have not yet been given a chance, and this picture shows one of his protegees. Yes, The Phantom Menace saw Jake Lloyd take on the role of the young Anakin Skywalker, pictured hugging R2-D2.

The casting director for this movie actually auditioned over 3000 young boys for this role, and only three were in the running after these auditions came to an end. Both George Lucas and the casting director Robin Gurland knew that Jake was the best of the lot, and Gurland even confessed that “There’s a very intuitive guy feeling you get about that’s the one. With Jake, I just got that feeling.”

Carrie and Her Stunt Double Enjoying the Sun

Carrie Fisher will forever be known for her role in the Star Wars franchise, and while she put her heart and soul into this role she didn’t do all of her stunts. These instead were given to her stunt double, Tracey Eddon. These two had an amazing relationship with each other and would hang out in between filming, and this rare picture shows just how close they were.

In fact, these ladies would often head to Jagga’s sail barge and layout in the Arizona sun. On this particular day, they happened to be wearing their iconic bikini – an outfit that has stood the test of time and adorned Star Wars posters for decades. We guess there are worse ways to spend your break.