by Bobby Blakey
There is no denying that Star Wars is easily one of, if not the most popular and iconic science fiction franchise of all time. With numerous films, TV series and specials as well as comics, books and so much more you would think that at this point all the stories have been told. With the latest documentary Elstree 1976 fans get to step into the world of the lesser known actors that made up the beloved galaxy far, far away.
This is a film that most may or may not have even heard of as it is not getting near the release it deserves. Star Wars or any other science fiction film for that matter, cannot fully work without the vast array of interesting creatures and aliens that inhabit the worlds their stories are in. While some may seem to think these people do not matter it is interesting to hear their experiences and the importance of what their involvement had on the finished product. The film focuses on David Prowse (Darth Vader), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Paul Blake (Greedo), Anthony Forrest (Fixer/Sandtrooper), John Chapman (Drifter Red 12), Garrick Hagon (Biggs), Laurie Goode (Stormtrooper/Saurin), Angus MacInnes (Gold Leader), Derek Lyons (Temple Guard/Medal Bearer), and Pam Rose (Leesub Sirin) giving it an eclectic group of both main and secondary characters to follow in their different experiences. What makes this film so great outside of being yet another peek into the beloved franchise is that you get a perspective from actors that don’t often get heard outside of convention panels. Some of the most interesting stories around come from these guys because they were there during just about every aspect of the scenes they were inhabiting as opposed to just front and center of the camera. This film takes a pretty generic approach to the storytelling, but breaks it down in categories of their careers leading up to the convention life and life after Star Wars with plenty of stock footage, stills and interviews that are both enjoyable and fun to watch. There is even an aspect that isn’t often discussed aloud outside of the inner circles in regards to those that had speaking roles and those that were just the extras and their involvement in conventions. It is interesting to see the opinion of all involved on this and numerous other things regarding both Star Wars and their lives.
Obviously this film will appeal mostly to the Star Wars fan base, but there is so much more here. This is the story of a group actors and where they came from and what being involved in this iconic film did for them both good and bad throughout their lives. Take a peek behind the helmets and masks of the most iconic franchise in history and check out Elstree 1976 when it hits DVD on June 28th from MVD Visual.