ESCAPE THE SUMMER HEAT WITH A CLOSER LOOK AT THE MAKING OF THE ICE PLANET IN STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.
Stepping onto Hoth’s icy surface feels like a fantastical winter wonderland. Herds of tauntauns search for lichen among crevasses of ice. Snow glitters on rolling hills and sharp-edged cliffs. The air is brittle and cold, fouling up engines as surely as it freezes any human unlucky enough to be caught outside for too long. Danger awaits within the caves, where wampas search for living prey — and all of this is evoked through the special effects and music developed for the film starting in late 1977. The crew of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, from composer John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra to actors and model-makers, built the world of Hoth in conditions as harrowing as those faced by the Rebels in their hidden snow base. As we try to escape the summer heat, StarWars.com explores what it took to make a planet of snow and ice.A top-down look at the practical effects used on the Hoth sets begins with why the Star Wars sequel ended up on the snow planet in the first place. George Lucas recruited science fiction writer Leigh Brackett to pen a first draft based on his original story. She detailed the ice planet, the attack by the wampa, and the Imperial assault that forces the Rebels to flee. Lucas’s second draft changed the tone and some detail, but much of Hoth remained the same.
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