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Return of the Jedi: Death Star Attack Sequence

by Kenny Hoeschen

Ken Ralston, who worked on the visual effects for Star Wars Episode VI:┬áReturn of the Jedi, discusses the “moving storyboard” created for the film’s climactic Death Star attack sequence. The effects team shot, on tape, a simple version of the space battle with models on sticks, cardboard cutouts, and blue screen. It was crude — sound effects were made by the crew themselves — but effective. “I was hoping it would be in the movie,” Ralston jokes. “But I guess not.”

George Lucas was impressed, and spliced these temporary sequences into the live-action footage he had. From there, Ralston and ILM were able to use their “moving storyboards” as a guide for creating the actual scenes.

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