Documentary filmmaker Jambe Davdar, creator of the fan documentaries Building Empire and Returning to Jedi, recently launched the third chapter of his trilogy chronicling the iconic trilogy, Star Wars Begins. It is available on YouTube in 14 installments.
“Star Wars Begins is an unofficial commentary to Star Wars, offering an insight into the development and creation of film. The documentary combines video from the movie itself with seen and unseen behind the scenes footage, rare audio from the cast and crew, alternate angles, bloopers, reconstructed scenes, text facts and more to give an in-depth look at the process which brought the film to the big screen,” Davdar said in his blog.
And what an unofficial commentary it is! The feature film is rich with audio from several people involved in the production, from the more obvious key players such as George Lucas (writer/director), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), John Williams (composer) and Gary Kurts (producer), to the lesser-known Dennis Muren (miniature and optical effects), John Mollo (costume designer) and Maurice Murphy (London Symphony Orchestra).
And those are just the people who talk in the first five minutes.
Each audio clip is filled with delicious tidbits of information and trivia, some of which would surprise even the most learned of Star Wars fans. It’s a most welcome substitute for the disappointingly dull commentary released in the 2004 2-disc edition, where Carrie Fisher’s hilarious (but too infrequent) dry wit was the only thing to save us from Lucas’s rambling drone. (I said to my husband, “If he says ‘mythological archetype’ one more time we’re turning this off.” And soon after we did. It was the only time we ever chose to stop watching Star Wars. We never spoke of it again.)
In addition to the audio commentary goodness, Davdar also intercuts the film with deleted scenes, alternate takes, set audio and even the original concept crawl of the opening titles to ensure sheer geeky bliss for viewers.
I think I dreamed once that this existed. And now that I know it does, I know exactly how I’ll be spending my evening. If anybody needs me, I’ll be on YouTube.