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Making Star Wars

Year: 1977
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Robert Guenetta
Writer: Richard Shickel
Cast: Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, William Conrad, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, James Earl Jones, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew

It's not quite as cheesy as The Star Wars Holiday Special that came out a year later, but the mother of all Making Of documentaries is still a mix of the informative and the silly.

The framing device is of C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) standing in some control room bickering, watching clips and behind the scenes footage on a monitor, all of it narrated by the dark and syrupy tones of William Conrad (overdubbed by 'In a World' trailer legend Dan LaFontaine in later versions).

It must have run on TV years back, or else I saw it on an early VHS copy, because I remember a lot of it. It very roughly follows the plot of the film, showing the locations and shots coming together and occasionally branching off to follow the progress of the fledgling ILM as they put together the effects shots.

Like the Holiday Special, it was all part of the fabric that cemented all of our love for the Star Wars name. But the most prescient line is the very last one, by Threepio. 'Where will it all end, Artoo? Perhaps it will never end'. A more unwittingly true sentiment has never been spoken as I write this review today, 39 years later with Disney having bought LucasFilm and planning to release Star Wars movies for as long as they can wring more cash out of the name.

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