‘Elstree 1976‘ explores the lives of the actors and extras behind one of the most celebrated Science Fiction films in cinematic history, Star Wars. From the man behind film’s most iconic villain, to the actor whose character was completely cut from the final film, the documentary delves into the eccentric community these individuals have formed and how the Star Wars franchise – which spans five decades from ‘A New Hope‘ to ‘The Force Awakens‘ – continues to impact their lives decades later.
Many of the minor characters were merely part of the set design, but eventually gained recognition as the Star Wars universe expanded into books, comics, etc. Fans learned the history of masked characters like Boba Fett and Greedo, but the sci-fi blockbuster also had a lasting impact on the people inside the costumes.
Not all of the interviewees had minor roles in the series however. For example, David Prowse, whose six-foot-eight bulk filled out Darth Vader’s suit and provided the menacing movements of film’s most iconic villain, wouldn’t be recognized on the street by all but the most ardent Star Wars fans. In the final cut of the movie, his face and voice were replaced by Sebastian Shaw and James Earl Jones, respectively. Others got to work on what would become the biggest movie of all time, but saw their characters cut entirely from the finished film.
Directored by Jon Spira, the documentary includes conversations with Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Garrick Hagon (Biggs), Anthony Forrest (the Jedi mind-tricked sandtrooper and Fixer, a friend of Luke Skywalker who’s role was cut out of the movie), and even the stormtrooper that bonked their head Laurie Goode, among others such as the Jedi Master himself, Mark Hamill.
The movie will start a US theatrical run on May 6th in select cities including Los Angeles and New York City. For the full list of theaters and ticket information, look here.