The man who made 'Star Wars'

Published 7:45 AM ET, Tue December 15, 2015
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The interior of the Millennium Falcon in a shot from Episode IV. The set was created from airplane scrap by Roger Christian, who would win an Academy Award for his efforts. courtesy Lucasfilm
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader duke it out in front of the Millennium Falcon in "A New Hope." The spaceship was constructed in a hanger in Leavesden, the original surroundings looking like the Mos Eisley port. Once those scenes were shot the set was dressed as the docking bay from the Death Star. Lucasfilm
Luke Skywalker gets a first dogfight aboard the Falcon in a set from Episode IV. Lucasfilm
George Lucas stands next to a prototype of R2-D2, the plucky droid that harbored plans for the Death Star. Lucas and Roger Christian played with a variety of models before settling on one that would fit actor Kenny Baker and all the electronics required to move the robot around. It was cramped and hot, and the shoot was testing at times, especially in Tunisia. Christian says R2 often failed to work, and on the opening day of filming struggled to stay upright, resulting in most of the footage being cut from the final version of "A New Hope." Lucasfilm
Christian designed three landspeeders for "A New Hope." One of the gravity-defying vehicles was made entirely of polystyrene. Lucasfilm
Anakin's lightsaber, later presented to Luke in "A New Hope," as built by Christian. courtesy Roger Christian
Christian on the set of "The Phantom Menace" with Lucas. After winning an Oscar for "A New Hope," Christian would go on to direct the second unit in "Return of the Jedi" and Episode I. Lucasfilm