The actors in Elstree 1976 (2016) say having a small role in Star Wars changes people’s perceptions. “Were you in Star Wars?” someone says. They want to know more.
Signing autographs at fan conventions is quite a lucrative consequence of being in Star Wars. In Elstree 1976, the actors playing the smaller parts are presented as people and more than their parts.
If Star Wars fascinates one, and even if it doesn’t, Elstree 1976 provides interesting stories and colourful personalities behind some of the smaller roles in the first released Star Wars film.
For a movie with a studio in its title, it is not a chronicle of what happened during studio shooting.
Studio filming was done at Elstree Studios, but the documentary also mentions moments around the filming of some of the Tatooine scenes in Tunisia.
It features the actors behind some small roles in Star Wars. As well as bit parts and extras, some of which many have never heard of apart from the fans who know the ins and outs.
David Prowse is the most well-known as he was the man in the suit of Darth Vader.
They talk about life before, during and after the filming of the first Star Wars film. Interview questions are rarely present in a lucid presentation of faces, voices, personalities, and words, which makes for a colourful film experience.
What they say is always interesting, such as comments about how the film industry works. The detail is fascinating.
It’s interspersed with footage of the film, still photos, the actors in real life settings, their other work in television and film, and even their personal lives.
Will it just interest Star Wars fans? It should interest those who are already interested, emotionally attached, or were or are fans of the Star Wars films. It should also be interesting to others.
One of the actors said that 25 per-cent of the world have seen Star Wars.
Not all of those will see this documentary, but it’s good enough for even those remotely interested.
Elstree 1976 (2016) ****½ Featuring: Paul Blake, Jeremey Bulloch, Garrick Hagon, Derek Lyons, Angus MacInnes, David Prowse, Pam Rose, John Chapman, Anthony Forrest, Laurie Goode. Director/Writer: Jon Spira