While the first two episodes of the hit new Disney+ mini series Light & Magic were focused on the creation of Star Wars: A New Hope, episode three takes us into the aftermath of the release and into the days of The Empire Strikes Back.
This episode opens up with a montage of shots of people whom both worked with Industrial Light and Magic and various directors such as JJ Abrams and Ron Howard discussing the feelings they felt upon seeing the premier of Star Wars.
It does a fantastic job of highlighting just how big of an impact this franchise has had on the industries biggest directors as well as pop-culture. It then picks up in the aftermath, we see the crew who had become a family now has split ways much like the end of a sports film in which we see the directions the team headed after winning that championship.
Dennis Murren went to work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Ken Ralston went on to go back to doing commercials, and Lorne Peterson found himself working on the X rated film Flesh Gordon. This family who had lived and breathed Star Wars for months now had gone separate ways as they did not know the impact the film really had on the industry just yet. We then see George Lucas talking about he was quietly working on the sequel to the film and how he wanted to assemble the team back together with everyone except Dykstra due to his behavior on the first film.
One of the most beautiful moments of this series however, is Phil Tippett discussing how much he loved working on the stop motion and effects in the upcoming sequel. He discusses his struggle with mental health and that to him working on this set for hours on end felt almost like he was meditating and calming his mind. He concludes with if it wasn’t for this he probably would be dead today. the scene itself is powerful and heavy showcasing how impactful Star Wars truly can be for a person. On the flip side one of the funnier moments is George Lucas telling the audience how he barely knows how to use a phone or computer despite pioneering special effects in Hollywood.
Light and Magic continues to dazzle as we get a behind the scenes look into the most popular SFX brands in existence. Hearing everyone’s takes on their time working on these films peels back the curtain into a world many may not have thought about. This series is a welcoming sight into just how hard behind the scenes workers are for the movie industry.
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