It’s hard to compute, but the greatest sequel of them all The Empire Strikes Back is 40 years old this month and talking to StarWars.com, Mark Hamill looks back at the film to remember his time in the role, and the pressures of making the sequel to the biggest hit in movie history.
Discussing the film he walks us through the various locations, including Finse, the shooting location Fantha Tracks visited a couple of years ago.
“They had scouted a location that was going to take us 90 minutes to get to, where there was a glacier that had blue ice that photographed blue on camera,” he says. “I was very excited to see it and then, as happens in filmmaking, it was one of the worst snowstorms in I don’t know how many years. We wound up filming right outside the lodge. I mean, if you turned the camera around you saw people on their balconies having their hot chocolate as Harrison [Ford] and I were acting next to a dead tauntaun.” About 30 feet from the door of the hotel, Hamill endured take after take, lying in the snow as the injured young rebel glimpsing the specter of his former master. “It’s funny because if you see the photos where the crew is included, they’re all in goggles and masks and you know they’re just completely bundled up. I would stay bundled up right until we had to shoot, then the protective gear would come off and obviously the wardrobe is designed to look good but not actually be practical in terms of keeping you warm in those conditions. And I remember I was supposed to be sort of groggy and semi-conscious when Obi-Wan comes to me in the vision. And they’d say, ‘Get a little more snow on his face!’ and Graham Freeborn [the chief makeup artist] would scoop up snow and pack it so it would be in my eyelashes and eyebrows,” Hamill says. “You’d go as long as you could and then you’d try to get in a tent and get warm until they needed you again. Certainly a challenging environment. I mean, North Africa could be warm, but that you can handle better than bitter cold,”