Long lost documentary on ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ surfaces

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1:00 pm EDT, October 17, 2012

This one is for all the Star Wars fans out there who miss the days of the original trilogy! Back in the late 70’s, filmmaker Michel Parbot was given access to the set of The Empire Strikes Back to film a documentary about the making of the film. Unfortunately, the documentary was never officially finished. Instead, a film called SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back was released listing Parbot as the camera man. Fans can see this film on the Blu-Ray box set.

But, what happened to the footage from the original film? Well, according to the folks over at MintInBox who have spent two years researching this lost film, Lucas film still has the documentary. They even allowed the folks at MintInBox a chance to see it. Portions of the film aired only once on TV, and it was shown in Dutch, of all things! But all of that wonderful footage has been locked away for over 30 years.

Until now!

Fifteen minutes of the film has surfaced on YouTube. It’s gritty and worn and difficult to watch. But for the die hards out there, it’s a must see! The first video is ten minutes long and starts off in Dutch but switches to English with Dutch subtitles about 50 second in. The second video is about five minutes long.

The footage contains interviews with Irvin Kershner, Stewart Freeborn (mislabeled as Frank Oz), as well as many of the men working on the special effects. We get a behind the scenes glimpse of how horrible the weather was for the Hoth sequences, how go-motion worked, and even how they incorporated matte paintings.

Here is the 10 minute video:

Here is the 5 minute video

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