Death Star wall panels...found item?


Legendary Member
Was watching a 1967 spy movie called "Deadlier Than the Male", and noticed this ceiling:


Sure looks like Death Star corridor panels.

However, those did vary:


What do you think, sirs?
Its possible the design was taken or someone related to the build did those as well. If you notice the panels in SW you will see they are designed and made for the exact wall they are mounted. This means they were created for that set. Low budget films do steal and reuse sets regularly but im not seeing that here at least in the comparison shots.
It looks like the ceiling in the other movie had a continuous design cut out of it while the death star panels were grouped into squares. Very similar, though.
The Star Wars set panels were designed to be interchangeable
and build different configurations. For example, the hangar set
was repurposed into the chasm and corridors, etc.

They were fabricated by a company called Dick George Associates (the irony!) from designs by John Barry and his assistants.

If you look closely you will see some of the back lit panels warping
under the lamp heat.

Another note. They were quite grey/brown on set. The recent grades
have pushed them into a blue colour which they most certainly were not.
Low budget films do steal and reuse sets regularly but im not seeing that here
No, I'm not saying that this movie's set pieces were still around to be used by SW 8 years later, but rather they might have used a common source.
Very cool find. Do you have any reference from the 1967 film of scale so that one could try to associate the size of the shapes to see if they are similar? If so that would really support a similar source. I do agree about the way the SW ones are cut for the walls in particular and not continuous. However given the variety, it is possible that they took continuous sheets and cut them to particular sizes. This screencap below also shows some of the variety...


Looking closer...


Color of the material is seen better here...


Redid the screencap from the 1967 movie...


And looking closer at the trimming imperfections, of which I see similar imperfections on the panel from the old movie, I'd also say it is likely a similar source...

for scale, note that at the top right corner of the screengrab is the back of Elke Sommer's head.

The film was shot at Pinewood.
I forgot to correct the scaling of the first pic:

More attached.


  • DTM_1.jpeg
    190.7 KB · Views: 2,592
I do not know if it is obvious to others (I noticed it but no one else has mentioned it) but besides the oval, the beam at the top of the wall from the 1968 movie looks to be the same style as the beam running up and down the wall in the shot with Vader walking. To me that seems a little more than a coincidence. If i had to guess, I would say that it was reused set dressing (or whatever the Hollywood term is). I would also guess that some panels like for the large amount needed to cover the chasm was made to replicate the styling of the found panels. Just a theory.
I dont know what job I would hate more, the guy who is penciling in all the dimensions for the cuts or the guy with the hole saw and jig saw doing the actual cutting.
I dont know what job I would hate more, the guy who is penciling in all the dimensions for the cuts or the guy with the hole saw and jig saw doing the actual cutting.

As industrial carpenters they would have likely set up a Step & Repeat cutting process. This is standard practice when fabricating patterns.
Also, wood that thin wouldn't have withstood the torsion of adhoc
hand cutting without splitting and warping.
.... don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure I read that the illuminated panels on the Death Star sets were sheet metal.

They seem pretty thin as they buckled quite badly as Hal points out, and they shake quite a bit during the pyro effects.

That's a very cool discovery Treadwell! I'd put good money on the answer being that Dick George had a hand in making those ceiling features for 'Deadlier Than The Male' and simply adapted and reused the same tooling on Star Wars. Too much of a coincidence otherwise imo.

There are SW set photos that show some of these illuminated 'lozenges' covered over to black them out in order to vary their pattern, which is a genius yet simple way to create a bit more variety. I've been working on Death Star wall panels in miniature on and off for some time, so I love this stuff!
Well, they're very thin bezels, made out a somewhat wobbly material. You can see it buckling in Sithlord's first pic at the upper left, and you can see it flopping around when DS walls are blown up during the trench battle.
Well, we all know Lucas has taken his inspirations and designs from other
movies, so I guess we know where the death star designs came from.

This thread is more than 13 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. This thread hasn't been active in some time. A new post in this thread might not contribute constructively to this discussion after so long.
If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.