Part 5 of From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga picks up in Arizona: the filming location of the Jabba’s sail barge sequence from Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
According to narrator Mark Hamill, the sail barge was the biggest set ever constructed for a movie, measuring 212-feet-long and 80-feet-high. Yet it only appeared on film for a couple of minutes. This is intentional; according to George Lucas, a fatal flaw in science fiction is spending too much time showing off sets and locations. “You don’t have to spend too much film time to create an environment,” he says. “The story is not the settings. The story is the story. It’s the plot.” The scene also represents the Star Wars storytelling style: fast and energetic.
The Star Wars style is accomplished through editing and the speed of movement through the frame. Lucas was always fascinated with speed due to his interest in car racing, which heavily influenced the Star Wars films. This is evident in the space battles of Return of the Jedi, featuring quick glimpses of TIE fighters, the Millennium Falcon, and Rebel ships, as well as the Falcon gunner sequence from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
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