Behind the Scenes Photos of the Original Star Wars

Way back in 1976 when Star Wars was in production, it was just another sci-fi movie at a time when the genre was not popular. Of course, the movie changed the genre forever and these behind the scenes photos of the original Star Wars capture the mood on the set and some of the innovative techniques used to film the movie’s special effects.

Since the debut of the movie film over 40 years ago, the Star Wars films, toys, games, and other memorabilia has grown to create millions of fans spanning multiple generations and earning multi-billions of dollars. It truly has grown to be an empire unto itself. However, when the film debuted on May 25th, 1977, post-Watergate America was in a bit of a slump: President Jimmy Carter presided over a country with growing inflation, high interest rates and long lines at the gas pumps. The country needed an escape–something to cheer for–a wholesome respite from everyday worries. Then Star Wars came along and seemingly out of nowhere, a phenomenon was born. People packed theaters like never and cheered as a new band of young rebels stuck it to The Empire and gave us all hope.

The stars of the film at the time were young, largely unknown and had no idea what kind of global recognition lay ahead for them for the rest of their lives. As these behind-the-scenes photos show, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill forged a special bond during filming of the original trilogy and had a lot of fun in the process.

The Actors – A Largely Unknown Crew

Mark Hamill on the set of Star Wars

Anthony Daniels poses among various parts of his C-3PO costume

The young and stylish trio of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford

Kenny Baker tries out an early version of an R2-D2 unit with mixed results as George Lucas looks on

Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker having a smoke and a laugh on the set

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford in 1977 at a Toronto bookstore

David Prowse and Peter Mayhew take a break with some fellow cast members on the set

Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill Dancing

Carrie Fisher gives a warm embrace to Chewbacca

Star Wars Costumes – Behind the Scenes Photos of the Original Star Wars

Mark Hamill tries on a rejected Chewbacca mask that was given to him by George Lucas

A Chewbacca mask under construction being compared to the finished product

Anthony Daniels hydrating through his C-3PO mask

A motley crew of characters and their creators pose for a photo

R2-D2 being helped along during filming of the Tatooine scenes of Star Wars

A stoic Tusken Raider (aka Sand People) on the set of Star Wars

All-hands attention to Anthony Daniels and his C-3PO costume during filming of Star Wars

Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill pose with R2-D2

An elephant dressed up as a bantha, the transportation of choice for Tusken Raiders

Jawas on set in Death Valley, CA

Familiar faces from the Mos Eisley Cantina

Anthony Daniels/C-3PO and a ranger for the National Parks Service shake hands in Death Valley, CA

George Lucas up close and personal with Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina

Greedo gets a breather

Innovative Special Effect

Wide shot of the Sandcrawler vehicle and its massive tracks

A breathtaking array of models from the original Star Wars Trilogy

A classic Millennium Falcon moment with the cast

Pioneering special effects artist John-Dykstra carefully arranges X-Wing, Y-Wing and TIE Fighter models

The iconic X-34 Landspeeder

On the Death Star set of the original Star Wars

A full-size Millennium Falcon on the Death Star set

Outdoor filming of the Death Star surface flyover sequences

Explosions are filmed on the surface of the Death Star

Another perspective on the Death Star attack sequences

X-Wing Fighters in formation preparing their assault on the Death Star

Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1 fighter in formation

On the Set of Star Wars – Behind the Scenes Photos of the Original Star Wars

George Lucas, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill on the set of Star Wars

Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill on the set of Star Wars

George Lucas talking to a handcuffed Carrie Fisher

These are the handcuffs worn during the Grand Moff Tarkin scene flanked by Darth Vader.

An interior perspective of a Millennium Falcon set

Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill working on the bridge swing scene

Mark Hamill, George Lucas and Harrison Ford check in between takes on Star Wars – A New Hope

Mark Hamill and a cool Sir Alec Guinness on the set

George Lucas discusses the bridge swing scene with the participants on the set of Star Wars

George Lucas and Anthony Daniels on the Tatooine set

Luke doesn’t seem to be clear yet on the proper handling of a light saber

Cast and crew on location in Death Valley, CA.

Crew hoist a Millennium Falcon model into position

Mark Hamill breaks character as Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew look on

Don’t look down! A less perilous perspective of the bridge scene

The Royal Award Ceremony in the Throne Room

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