December 21, 2007

Star Wars filmed at Tikal

Massassi TempleFor their brief appearance in Star Wars: A New Hope, the Massassi temples were actually the ancient pyramids found in Tikal, Guatemala. A skeleton crew of ILM cameramen traveled to Guatemala to film the handful of scenes required. When they arrived, they discovered that the path to the 300-foot summit was completely overrun by the jungle. They hired locals to hack through the brush with machetes.

Arriving at the summit, ILMers Lorne Peterson, Richard Edlund and Dick Alexander discussed who should be the one to play the Rebel sentry standing atop the slender tower. Peterson "won" that honor by virtue of him having no children. The crew lacked appropriate props, so the scanner that the Rebel trooper carries is actually several light meters held together with gaffer's tape.

1 comment:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
One rather would believe that the item as quoted was for the filming of the 'improved' version of the film, as most viewers of the original print version said they could not see the Rebellion ships being launched off the planet! It would have been second unit responsibility, given the early state of CGI effects...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'