Star Wars: 5 Filming Secrets About the Empire Strikes Back


Star Wars: The Ascension of Skywalker ultimately was not the epic and unforgettable conclusion that fans have been waiting for. What make them all the more appreciate the first films of the cult saga, and thanks to which we got to know the flagship characters including Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo or the terrible Darth Vader. Nowadays, Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back remains one of the most appreciated opus of the intergalactic saga, and not only because it includes the famous “I am your father”. On the occasion of the film’s 40th anniversary, which will be celebrated on May 21, the official website of Star Wars takes us behind the scenes of this fifth episode, revealing several filming secrets.

There were a lot of women among the extras

Pictures of extras taken during the shooting of the Empire Strikes Back

Artistic director of the Empire Strikes Back, Alan Tomkins revealed that many of the extras present on the side of the rebel troops during the battle on the planet Hoth are women. He also kept photos of the shooting on which we can see them between two takes (see above). At the time, the film crew struggled to find extras and even had to call on the employees of a hotel near the location.

Certain scenes were filmed at George Lucas

Luke and Yoda on Dagobah in episode V Luke and Yoda on Dagobah in episode V

It is on Dagobah that a young Luke Skywalker will follow his Jedi training, under the supervision of a certain master Yoda. The majority of the scenes on the marshy planet were filmed in a studio, but some required a change of scenery. Fact, part was filmed in George Lucas’ pool. Why travel the world when you can shoot your film at home?

The first version of Luke’s training was different

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) rehearsing a scene with a lightsaber  Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) rehearsing a scene with a light saber

Speaking of Dagobah and training. Be aware that the Jedi in the making had to begin with a slightly different training. There had to be many more scenes retracing his learning to handle the light saber, the famous weapon of the Jedi Knights. The first drafts of the sequence notably contained a training scene with floating balls, similar to that of Rey in The Ascension of Skywalker, and another scene in which Luke confronted the droids in Yoda’s hut.


The noise of the steps of imperial walkers has a particular origin

Walkers of the Empire in episode V Walkers of the Empire in episode V

You may know it, but many of the sounds in the first Star Wars trilogy came from recording outside noise. This was particularly the case for the noise of the “steps” of the imperial marchers in episode V. The sound you hear is that of large machines cutting metal plates in half. If these sounds were chosen it is because the teams in charge of recording the sounds for the film wanted to account for the mass and the weight of the mechanical army of the Empire, and to make the movements more credible.

The Chewbacca interpreter also played the puppeteers

Chewie in the Empire Strikes Back Chewie in the Empire Strikes Back

A rather heated discussion between C3P0 and Chewbacca almost caused a technical problem for the team. She had to find a way to animate the droid, while ensuring that his gestures remained fluid. It was Peter Mayhew, the interpreter of Chewbacca, who found them a quick fix. He linked parts of C3P0 to the Wookie’s costume, so when he moved his hands, the protocol droid’s head also moved.

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