movie poster

Rating: 9 stars


star wars filmmaking director interview behind the scenes

Seen 1 time

Seen on: 03/26/2019

View on: IMDb | TMDb

Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy (2004)

Directed by Kevin Burns, Edith Becker

Documentary | History

Most recently watched by sleestakk


Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy is a 2004 documentary film directed by Kevin Burns and narrated by Robert Clotworthy. It documents the making of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Length 151 minutes


George Lucas | Mark Hamill | Harrison Ford | Carrie Fisher | Anthony Daniels | Kenny Baker | Steven Spielberg | John Williams | Howard G. Kazanjian | Ben Burtt | Alan Ladd, Jr. | Billy Dee Williams | Joe Johnston | Phil Tippett | Frank Oz | Lawrence Kasdan | Irvin Kershner | Warwick Davis | Stuart Freeborn | Gary Kurtz | James Earl Jones | Richard Edlund | Peter Mayhew | Robert Clotworthy | Walter Cronkite | Leo Braudy | Bill Moyers | Jim Bloom | Gareth Wigan | Paul Huston

Viewing Notes

Saved the best SW documentary for last. Wait this is 2.5 hours??????? Holy shit this is so goddamn good.

Really, this could be 10 hours long. First 90 minutes or so are about making Star Wars but this could be expanding to features just about the McQuarrie concept drawings, the model building, the on-location shooting, etc. It’s true magic of the making of Star Wars and the sequels. Love that outtakes are included of how the scenes were originally shot. Just stuff like hearing David Prowse saying all of Darth Vader’s lines during filming or even Peter Mayhew saying what Chewbacca was saying in English during the filming is so damn cool.

Such scrappy filmmaking to make it all happen. I forget that Empire Strikes Back was an independent production until I watch one of these documentaries. So crazy that Lucas essentially reinvented blockbuster filmmaking. Funny how it presents Lucas as a bad director. Which adds up because he hired Irvin Kershner to direct ESB. So inspiring to hear everyone talk about making these films. Kershner and Harrison Ford have the most illuminating insights. Also interesting to hear Ford talk about the need to kill off Han Solo by the third film. Makes more sense as to why Han was killed in The Force Awakens.

Mark Hamill’s statements also are revealing and make his recent statements about The Last Jedi and Episode IX more understandable. He wanted more adventures for Luke Skywalker.

Probably the most tragic takeaway from viewing this (and the other SW docs I’ve watched this year) is despite it all and all the tremendous accomplishments and achievements that George Lucas and his films were able to attain, he never seems happy. It’s weird. Like literally with a straight face he says, “well if I made some people happy then I guess I achieved what I wanted.” But no smile and indication that he’s truly experiencing joy.

Given how he revolutionized this type of filmmaking it’s sad to see. He did so much and flipped the process on its ear yet he doesn’t seem fulfilled.

Of course, this doc, like the others I’ve watched, makes me want to view the original trilogy again. Maybe I will watch them.


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