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Friday, 26 August 2016

RIP Kenny Baker, 1934-2016: the man who was R2-D2


Kenny Baker with Anthony Daniels
on the set of Star Wars in 1976


The fan reaction to the death of Kenny Baker, the man who was R2-D2, showed how much the character meant to generations of Star Wars lovers. Episode Nothing reflects on Kenny Baker’s contribution to the original Star Wars – and considers what difference it made to have a real person operating the levers and lights to bring R2-D2 to life.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Did Elvis Presley see Star Wars?

Elvis on May 29, 1977, the week Star Wars
was released. Photo: elvisconcerts.com

Episode Nothing asks whether Elvis saw Star Wars – and considers what that question tells us about the tumultuous times of 1977.

Friday, 5 August 2016

5 ways things might have been different if Star Wars had not been a hit


A young George Lucas 


George Lucas believed there might just be enough science fiction fans in the world to ensure that a film with a title like Star Wars was at least modestly profitable.
If Star Wars had been just that kind of minor success, or even a failure, the history of cinema since then might have looked very different. But so would the course George Lucas’s subsequent career. Oddly enough, even the films he made before Star Wars would be different today. 


Friday, 29 July 2016

What came before Star Wars in 1970s science fiction?




George Lucas directing Star Wars


It's true to say no one, in 1977, had ever seen a film quite like Star Wars. But that doesn’t mean no one had been trying to get big budget, old fashioned entertainment off the ground.

Today, Episode Nothing looks at film makers who were trying to make science fiction and fantasy, or to revive old movie genres, in the 1970s.


Friday, 22 July 2016

A 1977 interview with Mark Hamill from Blue Peter - and what it reveals about Star Wars

 
Mark Hamill interviewed on the BBC's Blue Peter in December 1977



Millions of children will have seen it in December 1977, but a fascinating clip of Mark Hamill on the British children's show Blue Peter has only recently reappeared. 


Episode Nothing considers what it tells us about the 1970s and the early days of Star Wars fandom.

Friday, 15 July 2016

40 years on: Shooting on Star Wars ends with the film's opening scenes

Darth Vader arrives on the Rebel
blockade runner in Star Wars 


Forty years ago this Saturday 
– on July 16 1976 – George Lucas was able to call "It's a wrap" as principal photography on Star Wars finally finished. The final days of filming had been hurried, with multiple camera crews working under huge pressure. Yet they turned out to be some of the most memorable moments of the film. Episode Nothing looks at the scenes which were the last to be shot, but first in the film. 



Friday, 8 July 2016

Star Wars on TV: how Britain's TV Times celebrated its arrival on the small screen





A chance to win Empire Strikes Back toys in
TV Times as Star Wars came to television


When Star Wars reached British television in 1982, the listings magazine TV Times gave it an unprecedented amount of space. It even commissioned short comic strip telling us something of how the Rebel Alliance stole the plans to the Death Star – and almost certainly contradicting the forthcoming film Rogue One. Episode Nothing takes a trip back to October 24 1982.