Anyone remember this Star Wars documentary?

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gjw

Member
Back in middle school they used to show us a Star Wars documentary when it was raining and they had to cancel P.E. or other times when the teachers just wanted something to shut us up for a while.
:lol

I don't know if the school actually had permission to use it the way they did or if it was something filmed especially for schools but I must have seen it at least 5 times during my middle to high-school years.

I thought it was From Star Wars to Jedi - The Making of a Saga but I recently watched that one again and that wasn't it.
It did encompass the OT but where FSTJTMOAS was narrated by Mark Hamill, the one I'm thinking of actually had footage where they would cut to Mark Hamill, sitting/standing/walking the aisles of an empty theater, and providing the commentary.
It ended with Hamill in the theater doing his own impersonation of Yoda and the "Jedis crave not these things" line.

Anybody have any idea what I'm remembering?
 

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SSgt Burton

Sr Member
I definitely remember the "making of" television special with Mark Hamill doing a Yoda impression and saying that phrase. I think it ended with Hamill saying (in his own real voice) "Ah but we DO crave these things."

Might have been around the time ESB came out. I might be mixing memories (it was 32 years ago after all :lol) however I think there may have been examples of stop motion (Ray Harryhausen stuff) followed by BTS footage of the AT-ATs.

May have also had grade school student films imitating Star Wars?


Kevin
 
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Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
It's definitely SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back, the made for TV one. Back before we had a VCR I recorded it on audio tape and listened to it hundreds of times. I've always loved Hamill's opening line to that documentary: "It begins with a very basic problem: how to color in a screen that's as white and cold and empty...as the ice planet of Hoth."
 

Colin Droidmilk

Sr Member
In the days before youtube and dvd extras -1994, it was - I remember spending my one and only visit to the Museum of the Moving Image in NY watching that specific doc, having been dying for 14 years to see it a second time.
 

Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
There were three others that I remember very well back from those days, there was one that centered around "Return of the Jedi" about movie monsters and creatures hosted by Billy Dee Williams (it had wonderful footage of the creation of Jabba!), one centered around "E.T." about movie aliens hosted by Robin Willaims, and a really good one called "Great Movie Stunts: Raiders of the Lost Ark" hosted by Harrison Ford. I had all of these on Memorex audio tape and would listen to them over and over while I built my cardboard ships, played with my SW figures or whatever other fun nonsense I was into. :)
 

gjw

Member
See now I would have bet that it also encompassed ROTJ because I can also remember footage of the speeder bikes in front of the green screen and Mark Hamill wrestiling with the Imperial driver.
They also had the raw camera footage of the speeder bike front ends going through the redwoods and then compared it with the finished footage where all of the sound and SPFX had been added in.
I guess that must have been a different documntary.
 

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alienscollection.com

Master Member
See now I would have bet that it also encompassed ROTJ because I can also remember footage of the speeder bikes in front of the green screen and Mark Hamill wrestiling with the Imperial driver.
They also had the raw camera footage of the speeder bike front ends going through the redwoods and then compared it with the finished footage where all of the sound and SPFX had been added in.
I guess that must have been a different documntary.
Speeder Bike chase is here:

From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga - Part 5 of 7 - YouTube
 

Laspector

Sr Member
I remember when SPFX first came on tv. I didn't even have a VCR at that time. I stuck a audio cassette recorder up to the speaker on my tv and just recorded the audio. I must've listened to it 1000 times.
 

SSgt Burton

Sr Member
Sounds like SPFX The Empire Strikes Back, the special made for TV. It's included in the Bluray extras.
(1980) Special Effects. The Empire Strikes Back - YouTube
Dude! Many thanks for that link! Man did that bring back some great memories!

Back when that special came out (and I was 10 years old), I was into doing stop motion films using a Polaroid movie camera that used actual (silent) film in a cassette tape (which I've just found out was a Polavision Land Camera). The film was developed in the special viewer (like a very large old-school computer monitor) that came with it.

So after watching the ESB SPFX show- I was inspired to recreate the Battle of Hoth. This included trying to replicate the shot of Rogue 2's speeder exploding.

I had one of those old MPC Snowspeeder models that I was fully willing to trash for the shot. I set up some fishing line from the top corner of my Parent's kitchen to the bottom corner diagonally across the room. I attached the speeder to the line with a small cut section of a drinking straw, which was attached to the speeder's canopy.

The "explosion" was going to be achieved with a wadded up hunk of flash paper that my Dad bought me from a magic shop.

So I actually did a couple of test runs with the flash paper going while the speeder slid down the fishing line. Despite taking over the kitchen and turning it into a warzone, my Mother was actually impressed with my efforts. :thumbsup

However I never did get the final shot on film. :(

But what fun it was as a kid to set up that shot, feeling like one of those professional effects guys! :D


Kevin
 
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