You have to tip your hat to Star Wars fans for showing a high level of enthusiasm for a 32-year-old movie. After an incomplete, made-for-Dutch-TV “making of The Empire Strikes Back” documentary surfaced on the Internet yesterday, here we are the very next day and somebody’s already posted more footage from the Michel Parbot-directed documentary, thanks to documentary filmmaker Jamie Benning.
The good people at Movies.com, namely Managing Editor Erik Davis, contacted Jamie Benning, who made the fan created “filmumentary” Building Empire on The Empire Strikes Back. Benning was aware of the Dutch Star Wars documentary and was able to produce additional footage he came across from StarWarsArchives.com. Some of the additional footage overlaps with what we posted yesterday, but it’s in better quality and still worth watching. Check out the additional footage below:
Benning also talked about how he came across the additional footage of the Dutch TV documentary and how he tried to incorporate it into his film, Building Empire:
When I was making Building Empire back in 2006 I came across details of a lost documentary that charted the making of The Empire Strikes Back. But wait, hadn’t I already seen that? Didn’t I have it on VHS? No, SPFX was a different doco entirely which concentrated for the most part on the visual effects. This missing doc was apparently full of on-set footage and interviews with the cast and crew. I had to get my hands on it. Unfortunately my search was fruitless and I had to release Building Empire without this lost gem.
When I came to make an updated version of my filmumentary for the Miami Underground Film Festival, I was lucky enough to make contact with the owner of the fantastic fan site StarWarsArchives.com. He was kind enough to furnish me with a few snippets of the doco to use. Alas he was unwilling to release the whole thing to me. In talking to him this week I was able to convince him to release these snippets for you all to see. Make sure you visit StarWarsArchives and it’s Facebook group. The owner, Stefan, has some other lost gems which I am sure will come out of the woodwork if we offer our interest and support. Enjoy!
If you watch the people involved with the making of The Empire Strikes Back, you can get a feeling of importance in their tone of voice. It feels almost as if they knew they were making something special that would (at times) surpass the original Star Wars film. Maybe one day we’ll get to watch the Dutch documentary in its entirety, but this is enough Star Wars goodness for now.