When it was launched in 1977, George Lucas’ “Star Wars” transformed Hollywood. Not only was it a box office phenomenon, but it also transformed the filmmaking process. This is a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of this epic film.
George Lucas had the idea for “Star Wars” while working on the script for his previous film, “American Graffiti.” He wanted to make a big, epic space opera in the vein of the old Flash Gordon serials. However, he quickly realized that making such a movie would be extremely expensive. So, he put the idea on the back burner and focused on making “American Graffiti.”
After the massive success of “American Graffiti,” Lucas decided to revisit his idea for a space opera. He wrote a treatment for what would eventually become “Star Wars” and shopped it around to various Hollywood studios. However, every studio turned him down, thinking that the movie would be too expensive to make and that it wouldn’t be successful. Undeterred, Lucas decided to finance the film himself.
The Casting Process
Casting for “Star Wars” was notoriously difficult. Many well-known actors turned down roles in the movie, including Christopher Walken, Jon Voight, and Jack Nicholson. In the end, Lucas had to settle for relative unknowns like Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford.
The Filming Process
Lucas originally wanted to shoot “Star Wars” entirely in England to take advantage of the country’s expansive countryside and world-renowned studios. However, after meeting with 20th Century Fox executives, he decided to shoot the movie in Tunisia instead. Most of the scenes outside were shot in Tunisia, and the scenes inside were shot at Elstree Studios in England.
“Star Wars” is one of the most iconic movies ever made. It changed Hollywood forever and cemented George Lucas’s place as one of the most influential filmmakers. Next time you watch “Star Wars,” take a moment to appreciate all the hard work that went into making it—you might just see it in a new light!