The BBC has announced a new hour-long documentary ‘The Galaxy Britain Built’ celebrating the British contribution to the original Star Wars film.
In the first BBC documentary about Star Wars in almost 20 years, the film includes previously unheard stories from the people who made one of the most successful movies of all time.
Against the odds they made George Lucas’ vision a reality at a time when science fiction had no box office and very few people in the industry believed a space movie would be a hit.
Presenter, and Star Wars super fan, David Whiteley, who has his own unique connection to the original film – he was born on May 4th – tracked down the often modest British talent who brought the galaxy to life, and reveals the secrets of the creation of some of the most famous costumes, props and sets in movie history
David comments, “This documentary celebrates the creativity, ingenuity and enthusiasm of the British team who believed, and helped make Star Wars the international hit it was and continues to be today.
“It has been a very long 18 months, and I can’t wait to see the reactions of the fans.”
David travelled the globe to track down some of the true heroes who worked on the original film, from St Maarten to LA, London to Oxfordshire, with interviews from the likes of Gary Kurtz, Producer; Peter Beale, 20th Century Fox, Executive in Charge of Production; Robert Watts, Production Supervisor; Les Dilley, Art Director; Nick Maley, Creature Maker as well as the last ever interview with Academy Award winner for costume design John Mollo, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
David adds, “Meeting John was special, he takes us on his visual journey from his very first Chewbacca drawing which he said was ‘not very good’, to how he developed it into the Chewbacca we know and love today. It was a true honour.”
David also meets and chats to set director Roger Christian, the designer of every 70’s child fantasy weapon – the lightsaber, and finds out how this iconic prop was born from an old photography shop on Marlborough Road in London.
The film also sees interviews with John Barry, production designer who built the iconic bar where fans first meet Hans Solo, which is made purely from old jet engines lacquered in gold.
Other interviews featured in the film include, Gareth Edwards - Director; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Colin Goudie - Editor; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Diana Hare, executive producer comments, “The Galaxy Britain Built is a wonderful film celebrating the great British contributions that made the galaxy not so far, far away. This is the ultimate fan film made by true Star Wars enthusiasts, and brings some truly great interviews.”
The film transmits on BBC Four on December 21st December 10pm.