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YouTube/Vimeo/etc. finds for Original Trilogy making-ofs, documentaries, promos, etc.

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There’s a lot of Star Wars related BTS stuff that show up on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. taken from old TV programs, documentaries, etc. that wouldn’t normally be available on any official DVDs or Blu-rays, so I figured I’d make a thread in the same vein as YouTube/Vimeo/etc… Star Wars finds but focused exclusively on these “forgotten” BTS shows/videos.

  • When adding a link to a video, please add a title and/or description so that we don’t have to click on it to find out what it is. Any additional info would be appreciated as well, like f.ex. an IMDB page link, article links, or just a simple blurb. You can also add a photo (screenshot, poster, etc.).
  • Fan-made videos can be posted as well provided they are of reasonably good quality and provide some insight into the production of the making of the OT (Jamie Benning’s Filmumentaries are a good example of this). Please don’t post any reviews or blatant opinion-pieces and the like.
  • No mockumentaries or parodies please.
  • For the moment this thread is only for the original trilogy, so please don’t post any PT, ST, etc. making ofs. Some documentaries do of course cover several eras or aspects of Star Wars, so it’s fine of TPM or TFA, etc. pop up in the video provided the focus is on one or all of the OT films.

If you’d like to share links to more general Star Wars documentaries not focused on the making of specific OT movies, or that don’t fit the criteria above, I’ve also made a thread for General Star Wars Documentaries (YouTube, Vimeo, etc. finds)


An In-Progress Index…

1The Making of The Empire Strikes Back (by Michel Parbot)
2BBC’s The Risk Business (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)
3Walter Cronkite’s “Universe” Visits ILM 1980
4The Galaxy Britain Built: Droids, Darth Vader, and Lightsabers
5The Making of Star Wars …as told by C-3PO and R2-D2
6Star Wars At The BBC
7Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed
8Horizon - How to Film the Impossible (and scroll down)
9Behind the Scenes of Star Wars: The Original Trilogy ILM Special Effects Makers
10SP FX: Special Effects - The Empire Strikes Back
11Star Wars: Music by John Williams
12 to 15Star Wars Begins : Building Empire : Returning To Jedi : More Filmumentaries & Shorts
16Ralph McQuarrie: Tribute to a Master
17From ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Jedi’: The Making of a Saga
18From Star Wars to Star Wars - The Story of Industrial Light and Magic
19When Star Wars Ruled the World
20Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery
21The Mythology of Star Wars
22Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi
23Empire Of Dreams
24Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel
25The Force of Sound (and scroll down)
26Star Wars: Episode IV sound design explained by Ben Burtt
27Sound Advice - An Interview With Ben Burtt (and scroll down)
28How Star Wars was Saved in the Edit
29Brian Linehan’s City Lights - 1980 Interview with Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford
30Clapperboard: The Empire Strikes Back Special
31ILM - Creating the Impossible
32Leonard Maltin interviews with George Lucas (1995 ‘Faces’ VHS Box Set)
33Mark Hamill interviewed on set of Star Wars (1976)
34Industrial Light & Magic - Traditional Matte Paintings
35Star Wars A Conversation With The Masters - ESB 30 Years Later
36Standby…Lights! Camera! Action! (hosted by Leonard Nimoy)
36Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford & Carrie Fisher interview outtakes from Michel Parbot’s The Making of TESB
37Elstree 1976

^ The Index was added as the thread grew to help navigate through the various Documentaries, Making-Ofs, Promos, etc.
 


 
I figured I’d start with a very straight forward documentary:

Michel Parbot’s “The Making of The Empire Strikes Back”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeB-uXGGaEU&list=PLYn2a0e2FVIKni_wHXR5CJYBnnnYH7mIB&index=3&t - from the Adywan revisited YouTube channel.

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^ A great idea for a thread 😃

 
 

BBC’s The Risk Business (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sdB4zedK4w - from the ‘Adywan revisited’ youtube channel. (With props to Babyhum)
 

A little bit of info on the documentary can be found at http://www.starwarsarchives.com/the-risk-business (1980 - 35 mins)

IMDB Page
 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

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oojason said:

^ A great idea for a thread 😃

 

BBC’s The Risk Business (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sdB4zedK4w - from the ‘Adywan revisited’ youtube channel. (With props to Babyhum)
 

A little bit of info on the documentary can be found at http://www.starwarsarchives.com/the-risk-business
 

Great. That’s precisely the type of video I hoped to see on this thread as you’d never see stuff like this on any official home video release.

Its always fascinating to see how people perceived SW films before they were released. The idea that ESB might not be a success seems so silly now, but that would have been a logical concern back in the day. As a side note; its also interesting to see how little has changed in the film industry, having studied filmmaking in the UK I get the impression that they still struggle with similar problems today.


Walter Cronkite’s “Universe” Visits ILM 1980:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aiee-MhPEWg - from TheStarWarsTrilogy.com’s YouTube channel.

More info: https://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/2013/07/21/walter-cronkite-s-universe-visits-ilm/

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Huh - I really enjoyed the Walter Cronkite doc; thanks man. Though it was a little strange to see George kind of happy / excited to talk about the models, laborious effects, cameras and the process… 😃

 


 

The Galaxy Britain Built: Droids, Darth Vader, and Lightsabers’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMJ7vXnyyRA - at the ‘Ceejay Julien’ youtube channel. (A 2017 documentary - 59 mins)
 

The blurb:-

"The Galaxy Britain Built celebrates the British contribution to the original Star Wars.

Presenter and Star Wars fan David Whiteley uncovers some never-before-heard stories from the geniuses who helped build the galaxy, from the costume designer and art director to the man who made the lightsaber. It was a time when science fiction films were not box office draws, and very few people in the industry believed in George Lucas’s vision. But his first Star Wars film ended up being a very British endeavour.

The programme documents the behind-the-scenes talent that helped bring the galaxy to life in the late 1970s. It also looks at how the British talent continues to be part of the Star Wars legacy to the present day."
 

IMDB Page
 

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oojason said:

 
The Galaxy Britain Built: Droids Darth, Vader and Lightsabers’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMJ7vXnyyRA - at the ‘Ceejay Julien’ youtube channel. (A documentary from 2017)
 

That was great. It still surprises me to hear all of these stories that I’ve never heard before, like the part about putting Hamill, Ford & Fisher at the bottom of the cast list to please Equity in the UK. I’m pretty sure there’s no other movie in the history of film where people know so much about the production, yet new details and anecdotes like that keep popping up.

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The Making of Star Wars …as told by C-3PO and R2-D2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSuDjjlIPak&list=PLYn2a0e2FVIKni_wHXR5CJYBnnnYH7mIB&index=2&t=0s

Originally aired on September 16, 1977, on ABC.

“This TV special, the first ever Star Wars documentary, was hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2 and narrated by William Conrad, with appearances by George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.”

I’ve always found this one to be really charming. It’s kind of silly and not as “in-depth” as other SW documentaries, but considering it was made primarily for children it managed to cover a lot of ground.

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^ Loved it.

C3PO: ‘Flash who?’ 😃

Interesting to see the hints re a love triangle for the then-coming Empire Strikes Back film - and the toy promos as well!

 


 

Star Wars At The BBC’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxd5dMHDJBw - at the Des Chelsea youtube channel. (A 2015 documentary - 17 mins long)
 

The blurb:-

“A long time ago in a TV studio not so far away, the stars of the original Star Wars film came to the BBC to promote their then-unknown movie” - with Peter Serafinowicz.
 

A short and lighthearted documentary with the voice of Darth Maul on some of the early promo work for Star Wars in the UK.

Feature a decent snippet of an interview with Mark Hamill where he talks about his car accident; which wasn’t as bad as was made out - just a broken nose that needed to be reset which nobody seemingly noticed, yet… “Over a period of years it has [the story] built up into having my face reconstructed with plastic surgery”.
 

IMDB Page

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Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZt5HRPLExQ - at the Honor The Force youtube channel. (A 2007 documentary - 91 mins)
 

The blurb:-

"Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed is a TV documentary which premiered on The History Channel in May 2007.

The special focuses on how Star Wars is relevant today and the history that inspired it, and also makes various connections to Greek mythology. It consists of a number of interviews with well-known politicians, journalists and critics, along with historical content and clips from all six of the Star Wars movies, such as John Lyden, professor Chad Stanley, Tom Brokaw, Stephen Colbert and Peter Jackson".
 

IMDB Page - according to IMDB there is also a 102 minute version…

 


 

Horizon - How to Film the Impossible’:-

https://vimeo.com/54710740 - at the Jrmtrinquet vimeo channel. (A 1985 documentary - 50 mins)
 

The blurb:-

“It is about the ILM / Lucas heyday, a world in which the likes of Ralph McQuarrie were hugely influential. It’s about a time when innovation was made in a machineshop and not via lines of computer code. In many ways it’s a love letter to a bygone era when visual effects were more akin to a stage illusionist tricks or the slight of hand of a magician.”
 

IMDB Page

Edit: Doh! - I just noticed we have OT•com threads on this documentary already - Link 1 & Link2
 

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oojason said:

^ A great idea for a thread 😃

I agree. I can’t wait to watch some of these.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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Behind the Scenes of Star Wars: The Original Trilogy ILM Special Effects Makers’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85MK2GDkoxo - at the Danny Nguyen youtube channel. (A 2015 Documentary. 59 mins)
 

The Blurb:-

“Watch the Star Wars Original Trilogy – Behind the Scenes – ILM Special Effects Makers. Learn how those amazing and groundbreaking effects where achieved in 1970’s & 1980’s.”
 

I have to admit, I like the original “Silver” Death Star concept quite a bit.

“It is only through interaction, through decision and choice, through confrontation, physical or mental, that the Force can grow within you.”
-Kreia, Jedi Master and Sith Lord

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theprequelsrule said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85MK2GDkoxo

I have to admit, I like the original “Silver” Death Star concept quite a bit.

Great find. Do you know what DVD set these are from? I remember having seen them before but I can’t remember where exactly.

(Slight nitpick, but could you please add the title of the video, or some kind of description, so that it’s not just a link?)

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oojason said:

Horizon - How to Film the Impossible’:-

https://vimeo.com/54710740 - at the Jrmtrinquet vimeo channel. (A 1985 documentary - 50 mins)
 

Honestly one of these best effects-focused documentaries I’ve seen. I feel like a lot of similar documentaries tend to simplify things to much, but here they really take you through the process.

The remastered version by Harmy is really great, especially since most online versions tend to vary greatly in quality and never seem to stay long either before Horizon takes it down;
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hQ0GQjmIWDPOv0Xs3rJ2SgzOLDVQoiP2gPeHBNuqZto/edit

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Star Wars: Music by John Williams’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eWqxlCNnKE - at the Neil Bowyer youtube channel. (A 1980 documentary - 60 mins)
 

The blurb:-

“BBC documentary showing John Williams’ writing, recording and editing process for the soundtrack of The Empire Strikes Back, as well as discussions about his earlier works as a composer of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Mainly served as a way to build up hype for The Empire Strikes Back, but it was insightful and comes recommended for fans of Star Wars and Williams’ music.”
 

IMDB Page
OT•com thread

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Star Wars Begins’:-

https://vimeo.com/32442801 - at the Filmumentaries - Jamie Benning vimeo channel. (A 2011 Documentary - 139 mins)
 

The blurb:-

"Filmmaker Jamie Benning has finally finished his trilogy of documentary-commentaries. This final chapter concentrates on the first Star Wars film. Like his two previous documentaries, Building Empire (2006) and Returning to Jedi (2007), Star Wars Begins is an unofficial look at the creation of the classic movie and features deleted scenes, alternate takes and different angles, bloopers, original on set audio recordings and a huge amount of commentary from cast and crew, culled from every corner of the galaxy.

What’s interesting about the format is that Benning’s documentary is feature-length, and follows the flow of the original movie itself with the deleted scenes added where they would have been, with interviews placed over the top of the action they’re describing. The overall effect is much more engrossing than a DVD commentary track and the wealth of material contained makes it well worth sitting through the entire runtime of 2hrs 18mins.

If you’ve never seen the deleted scenes of Jabba the Hutt or Biggs Darklighter on Tatooine, or heard David Prowse saying Vader’s dialogue, then you will get a real kick out of this. Many reviews and comments have centered on the fact that it’s like watching your favourite movie but from an entirely different perspective.

Benning has obviously invested rather a lot of time and effort into creating this film, and the other two parts of his own trilogy. Lets hope that on the forthcoming Blu-Ray box set LFL will go into as much detail and exude as much love for the subject matter as these films do."
 

IMDB Page
OT•com thread

 


 

Building Empire’:-

https://vimeo.com/36158111 - at the Filmumentaries - Jamie Benning vimeo channel. (A 2006 Documentary. 137 mins)
 

The blurb:-

“Building Empire is an unofficial commentary on The Empire Strikes Back. Starting with the movie itself, it adds behind the scenes footage, audio interviews with the cast and crew, alternate angles, reconstructed scenes, text facts and more to give an in-depth look at the process which brought the film to the big screen.”
 

IMDB Page
OT•com thread

 


 

Returning To Jedi’:-

https://vimeo.com/36474256 - at the Filmumentaries - Jamie Benning vimeo channel. (A 2007 Documentary. 148 mins)
 

The blurb:-

“Returning to Jedi is an in-depth look at the making of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. It features rare alternate takes, production audio, on-screen facts, cast and crew commentary, storyboards, behind the scenes footage and reconstructed scenes.”
 

IMDB Page
OT•com thread

 


 

Jambe Davdar (aka Jamie Benning) has also produced some other quality Star Wars projects and content, too…
 

Slimy Piece of Worm-Ridden Filth - Life Inside Jabba the Hutt - a mini documentary about puppeteer Toby Philpott work on Jabba the Hutt for Return of the Jedi, and more…

Return of the Jedi - Special Location Effects - Kevin Pike talks to Jambe about his location special effects work on ROTJ.

Do or Do Not - a mini documentary about the team who brought Yoda to life…

Star Wars In Numbers - a short fun video pointing out some interesting facts.

Blast it Biggs! Where are you?! - Jambe talks with Garrick Hagon, aka Biggs, about his role in Star Wars.

Robert Watts - A Life In Film - fascinating interview with the production manger of SW, who then became a producer on ESB & ROTJ.

as well as outtakes and rare scenes from the Original Trilogy too.
 

And also some non-Star Wars projects - covering films such as Back To The Future, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Labyrinth and Chinatown - amongst others.

 

vimeo.com/filmumentaries : filmumentaries.com : twitter.com/jamieswb : facebook.com/filmumentaries
 

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ZkinandBonez said:

theprequelsrule said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85MK2GDkoxo

I have to admit, I like the original “Silver” Death Star concept quite a bit.

Great find. Do you know what DVD set these are from? I remember having seen them before but I can’t remember where exactly.

(Slight nitpick, but could you please add the title of the video, or some kind of description, so that it’s not just a link?)

They’re on the SW Saga Blu-ray set.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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ATMachine said:

ZkinandBonez said:

theprequelsrule said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85MK2GDkoxo

I have to admit, I like the original “Silver” Death Star concept quite a bit.

Great find. Do you know what DVD set these are from? I remember having seen them before but I can’t remember where exactly.

(Slight nitpick, but could you please add the title of the video, or some kind of description, so that it’s not just a link?)

They’re on the SW Saga Blu-ray set.

That’s weird as I’ve never watched the blu-ray bonus features. I guess I must have seen a few of those clips on YouTube at some point and forgotten about it.

I also like how the Holiday Special cartoon segment is just slapped in the middle of all the BTS stuff. I didn’t know that it had received an official release of any kind.

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Ralph McQuarrie: Tribute to a Master’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9iBIaQMlOg - at the transitionpictures youtube channel. (A 2012 Documentary. 43 mins)
 

The blurb:-

“George Lucas, a number of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) alumni, and a new generation of artists and filmmakers inspired by McQuarrie’s body of work remember the artist and discuss his influence on their careers and the film industry in general. McQuarrie’s designs were instrumental in securing funding for Star Wars (1977), as well as helping define the look of the original Star Wars trilogy.”
 

IMDB Page
 

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From ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Jedi’: The Making of a Saga’:-

https://www.starwars.com/video/from-star-wars-to-jedi-the-making-of-a-saga - at StarWars•com. (A 1983 Documentary. 65 mins)
 

The blurb:-

“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 the original trilogy.”
 

IMDB Page
 

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From Star Wars to Star Wars - The Story of Industrial Light and Magic’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3euVZouOkfw - at the ShinobiWan1 youtube channel. (A 1999 Documentary. 46 mins)
 

The Blurb:-

“The incredible evolution of George Lucas’ special effects dream factory, including an inside look at ‘Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace’.”
 

IMDB Page
 

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When Star Wars Ruled the World’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM8yzdEUoNI - at the SCAD92 youtube channel. (A 2004 Documentary. 56 mins)
 

The Blurb:-

"This 2004 VH1 documentary provided interviews with Star Wars stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, Billy Dee Williams, and more!

The show begins in the mid-1970s as George Lucas struggles to find a way to make his dream project a reality. Relive the incredible and unlikely impact of the first Star Wars movie, the sudden fame of unknowns like Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, and the way fans around the world fell in love, first with the movie and then with the action figures, pillow cases, C-3PO cereal and everything else they could - and did - line up to buy.

The show also chronicles the immense anticipation for the first Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back and the build-up to the climactic Return of the Jedi that had fans traveling hundreds of miles to visit the gates of the movie’s set. Along the way, they will highlight the cultural impression made on millions of fans by Star Wars icons like Darth Vader, Ewoks, and Yoda."
 

IMDB Page
 

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Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b95U5ag9Lrc - at the Albe Sure youtube channel. (A 1997 Documentary. 60 mins)
 

The Blurb:-

“Host Howie Long takes viewers on a tour of the “Star Wars” universe, as Fox TV celebrates the re-release of the original three legendary films in this one hour special.”
 

IMDB Page
 

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The Mythology of Star Wars’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjaUeNd1kq8 - at the Honor The Force youtube channel. (A 2000 documentary. 57 mins)
 

The Blurb:-

“George Lucas discusses how Joseph Campbell and his concept of the Monomyth (aka the Hero’s Journey) and other concepts from mythology and religion shaped the Star Wars saga.” - with Bill Moyers.
 

IMDB Page
 

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Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqcz7ZAIh7w - at the mranderson00001 youtube channel. (A 1983 Documentary. 49 mins)
 

The blurb:-

"Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi is a television documentary, first broadcast on CBS in 1983. It is a look behind-the-scenes of the creation of the various alien creatures from the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, which was released that year. The documentary was presented by Star Wars actors Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams, and directed by Robert Guenette who had directed the previous television specials The Making of Star Wars (1977) and SP FX: The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

Hosted by Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams, the special includes an interview with Star Wars creator George Lucas who elaborates on the evolution of the Ewoks, Sy Snootles and Jabba the Hutt, which required six people to operate. It also includes location footage from the redwood forests of Northern California (where the Endor scenes were filmed, Buttercup Valley in the Yuma Desert in Arizona, where the sequence aboard Jabba’s sailbarge was shot, and various scenes on the soundstages at Elstree Studios near London where the interiors of Jabba’s palace were filmed.

Over 60 alien creatures were created for Return of the Jedi which were operated by a variety of techniques old and new."
 

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What a great thread, though I could spend way too much time in here 😃

My little contribution (please edit this if I get it wrong):

 

Empire Of Dreams’:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bFIG1wh0zU - at the Soarinfan Videos youtube channel. (a 2004 documentary. 151 mins)
 

The Blurb:-

"Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy is a 2004 documentary film directed by Kevin Burns and narrated by Robert Clotworthy. It documents the making of the original Star Wars trilogy: Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, and their impact on popular culture.

The documentary is chronological, divided into five parts, from the beginning of George Lucas’ career as a filmmaker, to the complicated production of Star Wars in 1976, to the impact of the film, and its sequels, have made on the world today.

It features interviews with George Lucas and major cast and crew members. The documentary puts Star Wars into a sociological and political perspective by using interviews with spectators such as Walter Cronkite".
 

IMDB Page

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