After all these years it's pretty amazing to learn there's actually behind-the-scenes footage from the original Star Wars trilogy that we haven't seen, but here comes 15 minutes of an untitled documentary pieced together by filmmaker Michel Parbot, who was given full access to the set of The Empire Strikes Back. The finished doc never saw a commercial release, and Parbot went on to work on another doc about the film called SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back.
This doc, however, remained hidden, though 15 minutes of it was unearthed via an old Dutch TV documentary that must have aired it a long time ago because this sucker is dirty. The video begins in Dutch, but switches over to English 45 seconds in. According to MintinBox.net (via Open Culture, who first posted the footage), this doc is known as "one of the most lost documentaries about the Empire Strikes Back."
They explain: "Why is that story so mysterious? Well, because it was broadcasted only once on TV, then it disappeared anonymously. It was time to rediscover it, to reveal again its existence and its contents. Let's start the story where it starts…
September 22, 1980 on FOX Television: the Americans were able to discover a documentary named "SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back," with a voice-over and it was dedicated to the special effects of the Empire Strikes Back, though it didn't contain that many interviews. On IMDb, it is referenced here and Michel Parbot is credited as the cameraman in the part Camera and Electrical Department. This documentary can be watched today, as it is part of the Saga's Extras on the Blu-ray discs. Contrary to the "SPFX" documentary, it is especially focusing on interviews (actors, technicians, director and producer). Even George Lucas appears time to time and very briefly. The "making of" documentary is in four parts: Introduction, Norway, Characters, Special Effects."
The site includes a lengthy article about the doc, including stills from each of its four parts. Hopefully someone will be able to dig up the rest of it, specifically part four
which focuses on the special effects and the score. Thanks to /Film
for the discovery.