Exhibtions: Laserdisk Bonus

Special thanks are due to, alphabetically:

Skywalker Ranch

There are several Star Wars Laserdisc sets in circulation, some of which have bonus material on them which greatly differs from any other published material (either on TV or on the latest iteration of the original series on DVD). Tobias Protz has kindly provided some stills from one of these bonus documentaries. They were taken off a tour through the Lucasfilm Archives and present different views of some items of interest. There are even some images of prototype models (the white X-Wing and Y-Wing, the blue Tie and the mini Star Destroyer by Colin Cantwell).


Two differently scaled models of the Lambda-class shuttle. A grey texture in the background appears to be part of the Death Star II, with one of its poles tipped towards the camera. In the top-left corner there is a detailed model of a section of either the Executor's brim [TESB] or cortex [TESB, ROTJ]. Behind the big shuttle stands a tauntaun. In the bottom-left is a 5-engine early interpretation of an X-wing.

Right side of the jawa sandcrawler.

Lord Vader's chestplate. Also refer to the table of costumes images.

Han Solo's face preserved in carbonite. Note the solidified trickled around his mouth and chin. Was the carbonite condensed to a liquid before solidification? Did Solo cough carbonite during the freezing process, or is this simply his natural drool?

His teeth appear white. Are the exposed from the carbonite surface? If so then are any of the other interior surfaces of his mouth exposed? In Shadows of the Empire [comic] Boba Fett remarked that Solo could survive in vacuum. If he is correct then all the soft tissues must have been covered (or infused) with carbonite.

Imperial Probe Droid model, with mine cart from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at lower left.

Large model of the Millennium Falcon built for A New Hope, with small model constructed for long-distance shots at lower left. This image might allow the models' scales to be determined.

Cockpit of the large model of the Millennium Falcon.

Millennium Falcon gunport.

Various prop weapons. Centre: thermal detonator. Bottom left: Kenobi or Luke (ROTJ) lightsabre. Bottom right: Anakin or Vader lightsabre. Top left: blaster. Top right: stormtrooper blaster rifle.

Closeup: blaster.

Closeup: stormtrooper blaster rifle.

Luke's landspeeder instrument panel.

A view of Luke's landspeeder, facing front, from the upper jet engine. In the right background is a portion of the portal used by rebel fighters to enter the Death Star II.

The illustration in the left and middle background mentions two classic experiments in fundamental physics.

  • The Michelson interferometer proved the non-existence of luminous aether, showing that light propagates at the same speed regardless of the relative motions of observer and aparatus. This was one of the observations that necessitated theories of relativity, generalising and superseding Newtonian mechanics.
  • The Millikan experiment measured the charge of the electron, and demonstrated that macroscopic objects can only be charged in integer multiples of this unit charge. (Quarks, the constituents of nuclear entities like neutrons and protons, have 1/3 of an electron charge, but they cannot be isolated.)

Death Star flak turret models: large scale (left) and small scale (right). The smaller-scale model portrays the entire flak tower and was used for longer shots, while the large model was used for closeups of the turret turning and firing. Speculation: was this smaller version used for the capture of the Falcon scene, from distance?

The conical object in the background is a part of the Death Star II reactor base.

Prototype models by Colin Cantwell: TIE Fighter at right, with early star destroyer prototype at left/rear. These models were used to impress potential investors while funding for Star Wars was being raised. The star destroyer is shown with stern on its left side, potentially enabling scaling.

An assortment of small models. Two snowspeeders sit on the black tile on the left side. To the right of them sits Luke's model of a skyhopper. In front of that is a small star destroyer model, perhaps the one that was built to scale with the Executor. To the right is the damaged wing of Lord Vader's TIE fighter.

Behind the vertical racking, in the centre of the shot, there appears to be a still smaller star destroyer model. Is it a destroyer or is it an Executor dreadnought? What was it's purpose in the films?

Prototype Y-wing (upper) and X-wing (lower) models by Colin Cantwell. A star destroyer stern, canted, on the left of the Y-wing, of fair size in scale.

Closeup: Death Star flak turret model, large-scale. This view shows the intricate detail usually built into 'hero' models, i.e. those built for closeup scenes.

The wing of the prototype TIE Fighter is visible at left, as is the rear of the Death Star Mouse Droid at upper left. At rear is the nose of a German fighter aircraft from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Speculative interpretation: the image may also show the inner “guts” of a star destroyer stern on the right. That feature looks like the indentation.

STAR WARS Technical Commentaries
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