Celebrating Star Wars: A Galaxy of Stories on Digital HD
Star Wars fans worldwide are rejoicing as the iconic saga arrives for the first time ever on Digital HD. Whether you’re a veteran who witnessed the original Star Wars in theaters or a new generation of fans, the timeless allure of Star Wars continues to captivate and inspire. Let’s dive into some fun facts and behind-the-scenes stories from the Star Wars Digital Movie Collection!
Bonus Feature #1: Conversations – Doug Chiang Looks Back
Unlocking the Design Secrets of Star Wars
In this thrilling bonus feature, Design Director Doug Chiang shares the five design principles he gleaned from George Lucas, which contributed to the creation of enduring cinematic icons:
- The 3-Second Rule: Designs must instantly connect with the audience, revealing their essence within seconds.
- Personality: Every element, from characters to vehicles, in the Star Wars universe possesses a distinct personality.
- Believability: Designs aim for realism, ensuring the audience remains fully immersed in the cinematic experience.
- The Geek Factor: A touch of flair, that “extra cool” element, gives designs an irresistible appeal.
Bonus Feature #2: Discoveries from Inside – Models & Miniatures
The Evolution of Starships in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Model Shop Supervisors Steve Gawley and Lorne Peterson unveil fascinating insights into the creation of the miniature models that became Star Wars classics:
- Models & Miniatures Fact #1: The original Millennium Falcon design differed significantly from the beloved hamburger-shaped vessel we know today. Its initial form resembled a sleek, elongated craft, which was later reimagined.
- Models & Miniatures Fact #2: Surprisingly, the discarded original design of the Millennium Falcon found new life as the prototype for Princess Leia’s ship, the Rebel Blockade Runner. The distinctive conical cockpit of the Millennium Falcon remained.
With Star Wars arriving for the first time ever on Digital HD fans are celebrating. From those who saw the iconic movie when it first arrived in theaters, to the generations after, Star Wars is a movie that continues to attract a following and fans worldwide.
“The bonus material gathered for this release is a great collection of treasured classics and fan favorites, as well as newly produced pieces that manage to shine a new light on these films after all these years.” –Pablo Hidalgo, Star Wars Historian
Bonus Feature #3: Conversations – Sounds in Space
The Auditory Odyssey of Star Wars
Sound mixers Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood take center stage in this bonus feature, shedding light on the remarkable sounds that brought the Star Wars universe to life:
- Sounds in Space Fact #1: Did you know that the iconic sound of the Wookiee, Chewbacca, was one of Ben Burtt’s earliest sound creations for Star Wars? The film’s creative team compiled an extensive library of nearly a million unique sounds and sound effects over the years.
- Sounds in Space Fact #2: The thunderous roar of the Star Destroyer in Episode IV: A New Hope had an unlikely origin. While staying in a hotel one night, Ben Burtt heard a deep rumble emanating from an air conditioning unit. This unexpected source became the thundering sound of the Star Destroyer’s engines.
- Sounds in Space Fact #3: Australia’s wildlife contributed to the auditory tapestry of Star Wars. Recordings of penguin mating calls from Melbourne and the sounds of fruit bats quarreling over a banana in a Cairns rainforest were ingeniously combined to create the distinctive Geonosian species sounds.
Bonus Feature #4: Discoveries from Inside – Costumes Revealed
The Secrets of Iconic Wardrobe Pieces
Get an exclusive look at the costumes of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Han Solo, and other beloved Star Wars characters:
- Costumes Revealed Fact #1: Crafting the masks of the fearsome Tusken Raiders involved an unconventional shopping spree. Prop designers scoured plumbing stores, hardware shops, and camera stores in England to find the perfect materials.
- Costumes Revealed Fact #2: George Lucas’ fascination with Samurai culture is reflected in Darth Vader’s costume. The chest plate and mask of Vader’s attire draw inspiration from these iconic Japanese warriors.
Bonus Feature #5: Conversations – The Star Wars That Almost Was
Unearthing the Saga’s Alternate Paths
Explore the alternate paths that iconic moments and stories from the Star Wars saga nearly took:
- The Star Wars That Almost Was Fact #1: George Lucas’ initial screenplay for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope featured a vastly different story. In early drafts, Han Solo was a giant green alien, and R2-D2 spoke full sentences.
- The Star Wars That Almost Was Fact #2: The original script of A New Hope included numerous locations that were eventually excluded from the final film. These places encompassed the Imperial Capital and a palatial estate.
- The Star Wars That Almost Was Fact #3: In the original scripts, Obi-Wan Kenobi survived his iconic duel with Darth Vader. However, during filming in Tunisia, George Lucas decided that the Death Star needed a significant death to enhance its menace, leading to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s fateful demise.
Continue your journey through Star Wars history with more exciting features!
Bonus Feature #6: Discoveries from Inside – Hologram & Bloopers
Journey into the Heart of Special Effects
Step inside the Archives for a glimpse of an early Death Star explosion and a recently uncovered blooper reel that showcases actors’ hilarious mishaps:
- Hologram & Bloopers Fact #1: This exclusive bonus feature takes you behind the scenes as film cameras gain unprecedented access to Skywalker Ranch’s Film Archives. Here, you’ll find the original film material from all six Star Wars movies, including dailies and work prints from the original trilogy.
- Hologram & Bloopers Fact #2: Witness the original work prints for the 35mm hologram of Princess Leia in A New Hope, offering a unique perspective on the movie’s special effects.
Bonus Feature #7: Conversations – Creating a Universe
Building the Star Wars Legacy
In this captivating documentary, Roger Christian and Joe Johnston, longtime collaborators, share their experiences and memories of constructing the Millennium Falcon and other iconic Star Wars elements:
- Creating a Universe Fact #1: A full-size model of the original Millennium Falcon design was initially created for Episode IV. However, its design had to be reimagined when similarities to a spacecraft from “Space: 1999” emerged.
- Creating a Universe Fact #2: When budget constraints struck, only half of the full-size circular Millennium Falcon was constructed, adding an interesting chapter to the starship’s history.
Bonus Feature #8: Discoveries from Inside – Weapons & the First Lightsaber
The Artistry of Creating Classic Props
Delve into the Archives to explore the classic weapons and props that defined the Star Wars Empire:
- Weapons & the First Lightsaber Fact #1: Han Solo’s iconic blaster found its origin in a modified Mauser C96 pistol with an attached silencer. Star Wars Episode IV’s set decorator, Roger Christian, played a pivotal role in designing this iconic piece.
- Weapons & the First Lightsaber Fact #2: Many stormtroopers in the early movies shot their pistols left-handed due to the design and the way empty shells ejected. The stormtroopers’ blasters in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were based on a Sterling submachine gun.
- Weapons & the First Lightsaber Fact #3: The inspiration for the iconic lightsaber handle came from a serendipitous discovery within a random box at the studio. Inside, Roger Christian found Graflex handles, originally from vintage camera flashguns of the 1940s, which became the basis for lightsaber handles in the movies.
Bonus Feature #9: Conversations – The Lost Interviews
Revealing Unheard Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Listen to previously unreleased interviews with the cast and crew of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope:
- The Lost Interviews Fact #1: Carrie Fisher faced fear during her iconic swing stunt with Mark Hamill. No stunt actors were used; both actors took on the challenge. Hamill wore a girdle to carry their weight for the swing, but Fisher did not.
- The Lost Interviews Fact #2: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher’s famous swing to safety was achieved in a single take, even though Fisher wanted to redo it. Safety precautions included placing boxes underneath the actors to break their fall if needed.
- The Lost Interviews Fact #3: Initially, Anthony Daniels, the actor behind C-3PO, was uninterested in meeting George Lucas to discuss his role in Star Wars. It was only after reading the script that he changed his mind.
Bonus Feature #10: Discoveries from Inside – Matte Paintings Unveiled
The Art of Crafting Illusions
Esteemed artist and painter Harrison Ellenshaw discusses the nearly forgotten art of matte painting, a crucial element in shaping the look of Star Wars and countless other classic films:
- Matte Paintings Unveiled Fact #1: Harrison Ellenshaw served as the supervising matte painter for A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Surprisingly, his highly technical department consisted of just one person.
- Matte Paintings Unveiled Fact #2: Explore some iconic scenes from Star Wars. While you might assume they involved massive sets and numerous extras, many of these scenes relied on meticulously crafted matte paintings to achieve their striking visuals.
Bonus Feature #11: Conversations – The Effects
Celebrating Technological Advancements in Star Wars
Revel in the technological breakthroughs made possible by the Star Wars franchise in this exciting bonus feature. Iconic video effects artists share stories and secrets from their groundbreaking work:
- The Effects Fact: Serendipity played a role in the Imperial Walker scenes as one of the most spectacular lighting effects emerged when the team turned off the lights to head to lunch. A true “happy accident” that became legendary.
Bonus Feature #12: Discoveries from Inside – The Sounds of Ben Burtt
Unraveling the Sonic Mysteries of Star Wars
Explore the inspiration behind the sounds of C-3PO, R2-D2, the Lightsaber, and more with iconic sound designer Ben Burtt:
- The Sounds of Ben Burtt Fact #1: Ben Burtt’s quest for Darth Vader’s distinctive breathing led him to a scuba shop, where he recorded various breathing sounds using a tiny microphone inside a scuba tank valve.
- The Sounds of Ben Burtt Fact #2: Ben Burtt’s innovative approach to creating Lightsaber sounds involved recording the humming sound of a projector motor at the University of Southern California, combining it with the buzzing sound from the back of his television. This combination birthed the iconic Lightsaber sound.
Delve into the auditory and visual magic that brought Star Wars to life.