Back in the early '80s, Leonard Nimoy hosted a really cool show on Nickelodeon called Standby: Lights! Camera! Action! It was the kind of show you'd never see on the kids' network these days, but its nerdy look behind the scenes of various TV shows and movies that kids adored helped pave the way for a generation of movie geeks who relished in that type of knowledge. Heck, I was one of them! I'm still nerding out on this junk -- hence, this post.
On one episode, Nimoy introduced a short behind-the-scenes documentary on Return of the Jedi. It would be the closest the Star Trek veteran ever came to mingling with the Star Wars franchise, and while it's amusing to see the Trek icon geeking out on Star Wars, the footage he teases is even better.
Essentially it's a brief look at set construction, prop makers and costumers (including some nice bits with a baby-faced Phil Tippett), and watching it reminds you how truly special practical effects were and still are. For example, Jabba's ship, which took over 100 men and several months to build (in the middle of a desert, no less), would be created with computers these days. And it's the same for most of those aliens you see walking around in the background, too.
Nimoy leaves off by teasing three trilogies in the Star Wars saga, saying that's George Lucas' ultimate plan. Well, it's been over 30 years since that recording, and we're not far away from the beginning of that third trilogy. If you asked Nimoy back then whether he'd still be playing Spock in 30 years, too, we wonder how he'd answer.
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