A great action sequence is one we can be completely immersed in. One where we forget we’re sitting in a theater or on our couches, everything around us dissolves around us and we, even for a fleeting moment, become a part of the movie. In the history of cinema there are certainly many examples of scenes like this but few can hold a candle to the action sequences in Star Wars.
It’s a fair assumption that you — a Nerdist.com reader — probably know most of the film by heart but I’d wager not all of us think about what went into building such groundbreaking spectacles all those years ago. Our minds will usually go to thoughts of broom stick light sabers and the Frank Oz puppeteering and we all know (at least on a basic level) that the space battles utilized miniatures.
In a gallery recently added to Imgur, we’re treated to some stills from the production on a day they did some good ol’ fashioned Death Star KerBLAMering (technical term). It’s a delight to see the practical approach of these effects in particular because these explosions are quite literally the practical side of some of the very first CGI. It’s like stumbling upon a shoebox full of photos of your great grandparents before they were even adults. Your PeePaw and GamGam (I’m assuming) had no idea you’d someday appreciate them as young cool teenagers, unaware of the legacy they would be a part of. These photos are quite like that.
George Lucas and the Star Wars production team couldn’t have expected their work would have such an incredible impact on the world. They were just doing their jobs and weren’t thinking about the amount of media and adoration it has garnered over the last 38 years.
What’s surprising is just how casual these photos look. They even had a dog on set! Some of the most iconic scenes in movie history look as if they were shot in the parking lot of a community college. It appears some of the shots were lit by angling entire sections toward the sun. It makes the scope of what the filmmakers did that much more astonishing, knowing that Luke’s trench-run was accomplished in a parking lot with a camera in the bed of a pick-up truck.
Who knew a brown pickup truck is just out of frame sitting next to the Death Star! How great are these photos? Let us know what you think in the comments below.