From Star Wars to Jedi – The Making of a Saga is without a doubt THE BEST Documentary ever made about the original Trilogy and probably about Star Wars overall.
Important favor to ask! Share this with as many Star Wars fans as you possibly could. The Documentary is old, but Golden and a MUST SEE for every last fan of the Saga!
Created in 1983 and voiced by Mark Hamill himself, the documentary tells an incredible story. The full movie contains priceless information and shots from behind the scenes. It shows how the actors behaved, interacted with each other, teaches us how the sets and all the puppets were created, allows us to hear long forgotten interviews with the staff as well as Lucas.
In the following links you can watch Parts 1 to 9 from the original Star Wars YouTube channel. if you wish to do so, you can also watch the entire movie all together. It never made it into the digital modern world and is therefore incredibly hard to find these days (except on YouTube).
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0295270/
From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga is the classic documentary chronicling the creation of the original Star Wars trilogy. Narrated by Mark Hamill, it features rare behind-the-scenes footage from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and is officially available on YouTube for the first time.
In part 1 of From Star Wars to Jedi, Hamill explains the main plot of the saga and the story of Luke Skywalker, a Tatooine farmboy who discovers his Jedi destiny. On his journey across the galaxy, Luke would confront evil in the form of Darth Vader, Sith Lord; learn from Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda; and discover both the dark side and light side within himself. Princess Leia, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and other companions would join Luke — but he would face the ultimate villain, the Emperor, alone.
Filming of the original Star Wars began in Tunisia in 1975, with George Lucas serving as writer/director; Irvin Kershner helmed The Empire Strikes Back; and Richard Marquand was behind the camera for Return of the Jedi. As seen in the video, Lucas was heavily involved in all the films, including effects sequences like the Death Star attack and Hamill’s costume fitting from Return of the Jedi. In an interview, Lucas explains that creating the world in A New Hope was a big hurdle. With that done, he was free to tell bigger and better stories with its sequels…
In part 2 of From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga, we learn about the genesis of the Jabba’s Palace sequence and creature creation in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. George Lucas says that he was disappointed with the cantina scene from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. He wanted it to have more exotic creatures, but production problems and a lack of funds prohibited this. Jabba’s Palace — “The monster rally of George’s dreams” as described by narrator Mark Hamill — gave him another chance. It featured more than 80 creatures, including the Max Rebo Band (designed by Phil Tippett), which was more monsters than had ever been assembled for a single movie. They all began life as maquettes, sculpted over and over until the designs were right, and then built into full-scale puppets and masks. Muscles controlling expression were accomplished with either wire cables or air tubes hidden inside the masks, giving aliens like the Gamorrean Guard the ability to emote.
Lucas made frequent visits to the creature shop, and is seen in the documentary advising on how the Sy Snootles puppet could convincingly work for the film. Ultimately, it took three puppeteers — two below, one above — to bring the singer to life.
In part 3 of From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga, narrator Mark Hamill details the creation of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi’s giant, slug-like crime lord: Jabba the Hutt.
The early designs for Jabba didn’t quite hit the mark. According to George Lucas, the first design was too human; the second was too snail-like; the third was just right. Jabba became the most complex puppet ever constructed for a movie. His head neck accommodated two main puppeteers, while other operators were placed elsewhere in his body; the gangster’s eyes and facial muscles were radio-controlled. Stuart Freeborn oversaw the creation of Jabba, who took three months and close to half a million dollars.
Jabba was originally supposed to be in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, and a scene was shot featuring a human male standing in for the role — as seen in this video. The creature was to be super-imposed, but the sequence was left unfinished. When it came time to use Jabba in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, Lucas took the opportunity to redesign and improve the character.
And so on and so on. Keep watching, the videos get just better and better the more of them you watch!