With the anticipation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at an all-time high, conversations among fans have been very similar – “Is Kylo Ren really Luke Skywalker? Who are Rey’s parents? Why does C-3PO have a red arm?” In a new documentary, the Star Wars discussions go back to the very beginning and prove even the smallest roles can create the biggest impacts.
Elstree 1976, directed by Jon Spira, chronicles the stories of the character actors behind the masks of some of Star Wars most well-known characters. For some, a day’s worth of work changed their lives forever.
Paul Blake is the man behind the mask of Greedo, the Rodian murdered by Han Solo in an attempt to collect the bounty offered by Jabba the Hutt (Yep. Murdered by Han Solo, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED). Who knew that one day of work behind a mask would unknowingly put Blake in the middle of one of the fandom’s biggest controversies.
Also profiled is Darth Vader himself, and I am not talking about James Earl Jones. English bodybuilder David Prowse wore the heavy armor of the Sith Lord. Prowse was originally supposed to be the elder Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi but was replaced in that scene by Sebastian Shaw.
Jeremy Bulloch received only 20 minutes of screen time combined between Empire Strikes Back and Jedi, but those 20 minutes helped cement one of the most popular characters ever to appear in the Star Wars Universe, Boba Fett.
The documentary also features actors that played Jawas, Stormtroopers, X-Wing Pilots, and Cantina patrons. Even though fans may not know the names of the actors, the impact they created has lasted almost 40 years.
Elstree 1976 will be released in 2016.
So what do you think? Are you going to check out the origins of the people behind the masks? Let me know on Twitter or sound off in the comments below.