Behind-the-scenes of George Lucas’ classic 1977 film ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’
As millions of people flock to the cinemas this weekend in the hope of finding some needed respite from Christmas prep, a large majority of those will be going to take in the latest and final instalment of sci-fi saga, Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. We thought we’d take a look back at the very beginning of George Lucas’ saga.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope began filming in 1977. It was described by George Lucas, quite famously, as a modern fairytale set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”
The premise, if we need to explain it, sees a young man and soon-to-be-idol Luke Skywalker dreaming of becoming a space pilot after becoming bored with his life as a farm boy on the desert of Tatooine. He soon finds himself dragged into a civil war between the Galactic Empire and a band of rebels. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are now pop culture icons after playing the lead roles of Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.
Star Wars was first released in theatres in the United States on May 25th, 1977. Its earnings were huge with $461 million in the United States and $314 million overseas. Lucas’ film surpassed Jaws to become the highest-grossing film of all time at that time.
Filmed in Tunisia, on location and at Elstree Studios, Hertfordshire, the film was praised for its creativity and unique special effects Lucas’ Light & Magic company employed to such dazzling and inspirational effect.
The film received ten Academy Award nominations and, quite emphatically, won seven of them. At the time, it was among the first films to be selected as part of the U.S Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
These rare Polaroids give a great insight into the making of this innovative sci-fi classic. The shots were owned by crew member Ann Skinner and include scenes not included in the final cut.