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Behind-the-Scenes Photos of 'Star Wars' Episodes IV, V & VI Show Magic in the Making

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood June 4, 2014 at 11:01AM

"Star Wars: Episode VII" is on everyone's minds these days--if you missed it, yesterday we brought you the news that the newest star to join the film's every-growing cast is Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o--but Empire Magazine had decided to take a look back in Star Wars history to, you might say, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
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Tozeur, Tunisia stands in for Mos Eisley.  Apparently, a tea service was hauled up the hill for the English crew members, but Anthony Daniels missed his tea break because it took so long to get him into his C-3PO suit.
Tozeur, Tunisia stands in for Mos Eisley. Apparently, a tea service was hauled up the hill for the English crew members, but Anthony Daniels missed his tea break because it took so long to get him into his C-3PO suit.
Visual effects supervisor John Dykstra puts together a miniature rebel attack fleet.
Visual effects supervisor John Dykstra puts together a miniature rebel attack fleet.
A young George Lucas directs actress Maria de Aragon through the infamous Han Solo/Greedo scuffle scene.
A young George Lucas directs actress Maria de Aragon through the infamous Han Solo/Greedo scuffle scene.
The Death Star trench miniature may have taken months to build, but it took one afternoon in a parking lot at ILM to blow up, as seen in this photo.
The Death Star trench miniature may have taken months to build, but it took one afternoon in a parking lot at ILM to blow up, as seen in this photo.
A set of tiny, two-inch AT-ATs used in the shots looking out of Luke's cockpit.  Each second of the 4-6 second long shots took an hour to shoot.
A set of tiny, two-inch AT-ATs used in the shots looking out of Luke's cockpit. Each second of the 4-6 second long shots took an hour to shoot.
"Empire Strikes Back" director Irvin Kershner teaches Mark Hamill the ways of the force on the Reactor Control Room set.
"Empire Strikes Back" director Irvin Kershner teaches Mark Hamill the ways of the force on the Reactor Control Room set.
Star Wars V Luke/Vader climactic battle
Kershner and Lucas chat on the Dagobah set.  Kershner hated Yoda and worried that he puppet would fail completely, putting the whole movie at risk.
Kershner and Lucas chat on the Dagobah set. Kershner hated Yoda and worried that he puppet would fail completely, putting the whole movie at risk.
George Lucas stands in front of the unfinished Death Star from "Empire Strikes Back."  Budget worries had prompted discussion of a matte painting for the effect, but Lucas insisted it be done in 3D.
George Lucas stands in front of the unfinished Death Star from "Empire Strikes Back." Budget worries had prompted discussion of a matte painting for the effect, but Lucas insisted it be done in 3D.
Shooting the Endor speeder bike scene in front of a blue screen.
Shooting the Endor speeder bike scene in front of a blue screen.
Carrie Fisher and stunt double Tracey Eddon sunbathe on Jabba's barge in Arizona.  (The production opted not to return to Tunisia for more Tatooine shots, choosing the less expensive Arizona.
Carrie Fisher and stunt double Tracey Eddon sunbathe on Jabba's barge in Arizona. (The production opted not to return to Tunisia for more Tatooine shots, choosing the less expensive Arizona.


This article is related to: Star Wars, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Empire Magazine


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.