Snowspeeder: From iconic film Prop to Disneyland trashcan

MrV

Sr Member
Part 1
This post will document the journey of one of the most iconic spaceship props in film history (IMO), The Empire strikes back Snowspeeder!

In my quest to document the history of this prop I have used many resources that I feel are worth documenting on this forum. I undertook a basic documentation process on the history of this great prop and Embedded forevermore on the RPF so that it will not be lost to the sands of time.

Early designs for the Snowspeeder were painted by Ralph McQuarrie (Below), the most awesome of initial OT SW artists. From there the small twin seated attack craft was refined in design on paper by Alan Tomkins in England. If you haven’t read his book check it out “Stars and Wars”. The scale model was constructed by ILM back in the States by Joe Johnson.
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With production having learned from their experience in the first Star Wars film, outsourcing production construction was the most pragmatic way to get some props built.

In the book “The making of the Empire strikes back” by Allen Arnold The author states;
“With a company based in Herefordshire (Ogle) doing an outstanding job on Lukes Landspeeder, full size Y-wing and X-Wing fighter’s for the first movie, production of the Snowspeeders was soon outsourced to the Ogle company to construct these full sized props”.

Below are images from the Japanese Magazine Car Styling (1980) featuring a section on Ogle and the making of the ESB vehicles.

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Original blueprints from the JW Rinzler book detail that six of this Craft would be required, however based on production photographs it appears that only four were ever constructed.

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On the 5th March 1979 filming commenced in Finse, Norway with one of the hero craft sent over (Below). Alan Tomkins details in his book "Stars and Wars" how they transported this craft over for use in the crash scene. Once filming in Norway was completed the cast and crew, then commenced filming in England where the prop was used for the echo base hanger scenes, and close-up scenes for the flight shots filmed on May 10th 1979.

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Part 2
Two of these four props appear to have been detailed as hero versions. Ill name these as Hero A and Hero B. The first one (Hero A) being the main one used in all of the interior shots following the shoot in Finse, Norway. The second one (Hero B) more obscure hero with only one production photo available, showing an almost time machine type panel set up with cogs and dials galore. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the Rebel mood styling. however the interior panel display is varied quite dramatically as shown in the two photographs below. Note the lack of detailing on the side of the seat in Hero B.

Hero A
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Hero B
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It is also noted that the Hero A had parts fall of during filming such as the small UHER knobs and Aircraft latches along the cock pit edge.

On the 5th March 1979 filming commenced in Finse, Norway with one of the hero craft sent over. Once filming in Norway was completed the cast and crew, then commenced filming in England where the prop was used for the echo base hanger scenes, and close-up scenes for the flight shots filmed on May 10th 1979.
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So where did they go? Broken up and destroyed is what evidence would suggest. There are some great images online of the Elstree dumping ground following completion of ANH filming. I am sure the same outcome for the end of line props occurred for ESB. Be prepared, these images will be shocking to some.
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At one point Mark Hamill appeared as Luke “Glam rock” Skywalker resplendent in a gold and sequin cape for a German program (Image below). Beware, some things cannot be unseen. For those who love suffering I have also included the link below.

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When asked what was that period in your life? Mark stated that “He just wanted to do something in Germany”. Huh? Ok Mark.

Another appearance, probably the Hero A, was to be seem at a 1980 convention in the UK (Image below). Oh, to turn back the clock!
Sing out if you are in the magazine below.

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However one did make its way back to America to the Lucus Archives in San Francisco.

To be continued….
 
Part 2
Two of these four props appear to have been detailed as hero versions. Ill name these as Hero A and Hero B. The first one (Hero A) being the main one used in all of the interior shots following the shoot in Finse, Norway. The second one (Hero B) more obscure hero with only one production photo available, showing an almost time machine type panel set up with cogs and dials galore. It just doesn’t seem to fit with the Rebel mood styling. however the interior panel display is varied quite dramatically as shown in the two photographs below. Note the lack of detailing on the side of the seat in Hero B.

Hero A
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Hero B
View attachment 1821061

It is also noted that the Hero A had parts fall of during filming such as the small UHER knobs and Aircraft latches along the cock pit edge.

On the 5th March 1979 filming commenced in Finse, Norway with one of the hero craft sent over. Once filming in Norway was completed the cast and crew, then commenced filming in England where the prop was used for the echo base hanger scenes, and close-up scenes for the flight shots filmed on May 10th 1979.
View attachment 1821062 View attachment 1821065


So where did they go? Broken up and destroyed is what evidence would suggest. There are some great images online of the Elstree dumping ground following completion of ANH filming. I am sure the same outcome for the end of line props occurred for ESB. Be prepared, these images will be shocking to some.
View attachment 1821063

View attachment 1821064


At one point Mark Hamill appeared as Luke “Glam rock” Skywalker resplendent in a gold and sequin cape for a German program (Image below). Beware, some things cannot be unseen. For those who love suffering I have also included the link below.

View attachment 1821066


When asked what was that period in your life? Mark stated that “He just wanted to do something in Germany”. Huh? Ok Mark.

Another appearance, probably the Hero A, was to be seem at a 1980 convention in the UK (Image below). Oh, to turn back the clock!
Sing out if you are in the magazine below.

View attachment 1821070

However one did make its way back to America to the Lucus Archives in San Francisco.

To be continued….

OT Star Wars Fans: “The Star Wars Holiday Special is the worst OT spinoff ever produced.”

German Cocaine Fever Dream Disco Special Featuring Mark Hamill: “Hold my beer…”

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