Star Wars: Elstree 1976 Documentary Puts Supporting Cast in the Spotlight
Every Star Wars movie has a massive cast, but only the familiar faces actually ring a bell for a lot of fans who are not at the core fandom. And that’s not surprising, considering how much the cast has expanded, and how much of a particular extra can actually be seen in some of the films.
Take a Stormtrooper for example. Much of the extra inside cannot be seen or even heard. Even actor David Prowse who had been the living and breathing Darth Vader cannot be recognized by his voice since it was James Earl Jones who provided the voice and uttered those five iconic words.
To pay homage to the cast who have worked and contributed to the film, Jon Spira has created a documentary that looks into the people who have had minor roles but were ultimately part of the Star Wars saga. In an interview with Stuff, Spira shared the ambivalent ways that these cast members feel about their roles.
“For most of these people, this was a moment in their lives, a job they did for a couple of days. That this thing that was seemingly insignificant to them in their younger days is the thing that everyone lauds them for and gives them endless kudos for—I think that sits uncomfortably with some of them. That internal conflict is really what interested me and why I wanted to make this film.”
Ultimately, Star Wars: Elstree 76 is no fun thing to watch. It actually dives into the realities of being an extra in big franchise like Star Wars. At the same time, it tells the hierarchies in the fandom and the memories and nostalgia of their old lives.
While it’s not the fun documentary that some Star Wars fans may be expecting, it’s something to look at, especially if you’re looking to get the entire picture of the franchise.