Empire Strikes Backstage: Intimate pictures of cast and crew during filming of second Star Wars movie
The cast and crew of The Empire Strikes Back faced a daunting task - how to follow Star Wars, the blockbuster which had reinvented science fiction on the silver screen overnight and instantly become the favourite film of millions of cinemagoers.
By the time it opened in 1980, the pressure was really on director George Lucas and his team of actors to deliver, but as these fantastic pictures illustrate they all found time to enjoy themselves in the process.
Ahead of an upcoming convention in Florida in August, which is expected to attract up to 30,000 buffs, here is a chance to see behind the scenes during the making of the second film.
All the stars, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher can be seen laughing and joking in and around the many sets and with a lot of the characters in costume.
Smile please: Despite the freezing temperatures during filming in Norway, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill manage to crack a smile
Pucker up: Darth Vader enjoying a rare tender moment with Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner
The film is actually the fifth in the full series of six films, after three prequels were made from 1999 onwards.
The photographs show a relaxed and playful side of the filming process, with smiles evident from all the lead characters - Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).
Even arch-villain Darth Vader is not left out of the fun, with the film's director Irvin Kershner puckering up for a kiss with the evil dark lord.
Great kid, don't get cocky: Harrison Ford, who played smuggler turned freedom fighter Han Solo in the films enjoying a funny break from filming
Even droids need sun protection: Anthony Daniels, who played protocol droid C-3PO, taking cover from the sun during a scene
Filming on Empire Strikes Back began in March 1979 in Norway during the worst snow storm the country had seen in 50 years. The filming of Star Wars was similarly plagued with freak weather, with Tunisia suffering its first major rainstorm in 50 years.
The snowy landscape was used to portray an icy planet in the Hoth system, and contains many of the iconic scenes in the movie, including one where Han Solo saves Luke Skywalker from freezing to death in a snowstorm by slicing open a giant Tauntaun creature and placing him inside the beast to keep warm.
The production was then moved to the slightly warmer climes of (the indoor) Elstree Studios in London. The film had double the budget of Star Wars and was one of the most expensive ever made at the time at £18 million, tiny now by modern Hollywood standards.
The images, like this one of Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford can be found in a new book called 'The making of Empire Strikes Back' by J.W. Rinzler
Surrender? I can't stop giggling: Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia having a fit of the giggles surrounding by two fearsome Stormtroopers
He's only a Wookie: Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew, who played the giant wookie character Chewbacca
Unseen photographs from the making of 'Empire Strikes Back' show a more relaxed side to the actors, such as (left) Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford
Does this thing really fly? Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Carlrissian, having a joke aboard the Millennium Falcon
These behind-the-scenes pictures come from courtesy of Lucasfilm, with a a couple also taken from the upcoming book Making Of The Empire Strikes Back by J.W Rinzler, which features a foreword by director Ridley Scott. There is a last image below of Carrie Fisher from the third instalment of the franchise, Return Of The Jedi, for good measure.
Author J.W. Rinzler is a long-standing member of the Lucasfilm staff as both executive editor and writer.
The book is the result of unparalleled co-operation and support from the original moviemakers, including both producer George Lucas and director Irvin Kershner.
Meanwhile, quite a sight is in store at the Star Wars Celebration VI, August 23-26 in Orlando, Florida. It is a four-day celebration of all things Star Wars, from all six movies, The Clone Wars television series, books, comics, collectibles, toys, entertainment and more.
The event features cast and crew celebrities, fan-run events, costumes, music, live entertainment, screenings, autographs, collectibles, panels and sneak peaks into the future of Star Wars.
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia gets up-close and personal with a Gamorrean guard
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