The opening crawl was filmed at Industrial Light & Magic, circa March 1980.
Des Webb, in his enormous snow-creature costume with gigantic boots on stilts, could walk no more than a few feet without taking what looked like a painful fall. Here he drags a Luke Skywalker mannequin.
Phil Tippett and Jon Berg stop-motion animate a shot with all three walkers (the background walkers are cutouts). Originally the plan had been to photograph the walkers against four-by-five Ektachrome transparencies shot in Norway; when these didn’t work as planned, matte artist Mike Pangrazio copied select Ektachromes onto large scenic backings.
Harrison Ford sitting behind an X-wing.
A monkey is outfitted with a cane and a mask and measured. The simian was also briefly considered for walking shots of Minch-Yoda that would have been impossible to execute with a puppet.
On September 5, 1979, renowned actor Sir Alec Guinness arrived at Elstree Studios, in Hertfordshire, England, where Mark Hamill greeted him. Though not on camera, Hamill would feed his character Luke Skywalkers lines to Guinness, who played Ben Kenobi.
At the dining-room door, unit publicist Alan Arnold, director Irvin Kershner, Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams.
The Boba Fett costume was built by several crew members and painted by Joe Johnston. “I painted Boba Fett’s outfit and tried to make it look like it was made of different pieces of armor,” says Johnston. “It was a symmetrical design, but I painted it in such a way that it looked like he had scavenged parts and done some personalizing of his costume; he had little trophies hanging from his belt, little braids of hair, almost like a collection of scalps.”
Peter Mayhew, as Chewbacca, with Fisher.
When Darth Vader (David Prowse) revealed his secret to Luke, Hamill was hanging onto a pinnacle above mattresses placed on cardboard boxes about 30 feet off the ground.
Mark Hamill at EMI Elstree Studios, where by September 1979 two Star Wars films had been shot.
What has become an iconic photograph of Hamill, George Lucas, Fisher, and Ford (in the background are chief hairdresser Barbara Ritchie; Michael J. Duthie, an editor who happened to be visiting the set that day; and assistant to director Debbie Shaw, daughter of actor Robert Shaw).