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Awesome Behind the Scenes Photos from The Empire Strikes Back

Behind this popular Star Wars installment are many untold stories and rare photos that have only been recently unveiled in J.W. Rinzler's latest book on the epic space opera. Curious? Take a look at some beautiful preview photos!

On May 21, 1980, the second installment of the Star Wars epic space opera premiered and once again wowed moviegoers with its cutting-edge special effects and riveting storyline. However, filming for The Empire Strikes Back also had an epic story of its own, as the production team encountered one obstacle after another before the movie made it to the cinemas.

This is just one story told by author and editor J.W. Rinzler in his recent book on the Star Wars movies, released on October 2010—just in time for the iconic film’s 30th anniversary. Entitled The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, the book is not only a treasure trove of stories, information, and controversies, but also illustrations, drafts, and rare and delicious behind-the-scenes photos. Definitely should be on every Star Wars fan’s wishlist (and bookshelf, eventually)!

Here are some stunning preview photos from Vanity Fair:

Filming of the opening crawl at the Industrial Light & Magic around March 1980.
The scene for the Imperial Walkers was filmed using stop-motion animation. Three scale models and some cut-outs were used for the walkers and a painter was hired to create the landscape scenery.
Mark Hamill greets sir Alec Guinness on set at Elstree Studios in September 1979.
Harrison Ford and the X-wing behind him.
Director Irvin Kershner and unit publicist Alan Arnold, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams.
The Boba Fett costume.
The most iconic scene in Star Wars history—Darth Vader reveals his secret to Luke Skywalker, who hangs for dear life.

As a special treat, here’s a juicy book preview video that might get you convinced to grab a copy for your collection!

Sources and additional readings:

On Set: Empire Strikes Back on Vanity Fair
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back on Wikipedia
12 Awesome Behind the Scenes Photos from The Empire Strikes Back

If you liked this article, you may also want to read Today in History: Star Wars Premieres in 1977

Do you have a copy or have seen other photos from the book? Tell us about it through a comment below!

written by plasticpopsicle

8 comments

  1. boredbone

    boredbone

    empire strikes back is my all time fave star wars movie. total old school wickedness. cool cool pictures.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. boredbone

    boredbone

    funny and awesome how they made that opening supers:)

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. plasticpopsicle

    plasticpopsicle

    The opening crawl and Darth Vader revelation are my favorite photos! I want to buy the book!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. shutterflysimmons

    shutterflysimmons

    these are so cool!! haha nice mattresses in the last picture.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. vicuna

    vicuna

    "Empire strikes back" is my all time favorite of the whole star wars saga!! :)) Great pictures, thanks for sharing! :)

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. plasticpopsicle

    plasticpopsicle

    @shutterflysimmons Love the mattresses too!

    @vicuna You're welcome! Glad you liked it!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. kiteflyin

    kiteflyin

    I love the last one with the mattresses, and the guy that's popping up from them.
    Didn't know that was how they made the opening. Cool.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. robotto_dawad

    robotto_dawad

    love the han solo portrait!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam