It must be odd to have been one of the many masked background actors in the original Star Wars. Imagine being simultaneously visible and invisible in one of the most successful and influential movies ever made. Between white-armored Stormtroopers, helmet-wearing X-Wing pilots, and latex-engulfed alien barflies, Star Wars has plenty of these auxiliary thespians. And what does one do, exactly, with this half-anonymous notoriety? Cherish the memory? Stew over what might have been? Slough it off? Hit the convention circuit and sell some autographs? These are the questions at the heart of Elstree 1976, an upcoming documentary by Jon Spira, who previously chronicled the late ’70s Oxford music scene in Anyone Can Play Guitar.
As shown in its new trailer, Elstree 1976 will include some interviews with the most prominent of Star Wars’ “hidden” actors, the best known of whom is probably David Prowse, who gave physical form to Darth Vader and who also appeared, sans mask and respirator, in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Other interviewees include Pam Rose, Derek Lyons, Garrick Hagon, and Jeremy “Boba Fett” Bulloch, all of whom swear they’re in Star Wars somewhere, even if they’re not actually recognizable as themselves. Elstree 1976 is currently playing in several theaters in Australia and will be available for purchase sometime next year.