Star Wars continues to delight fans with new worlds being created every few years. The original trilogy is still the most iconic, changing the lives of its stars and many fans who became obsessed with every frame. The art director on the original Star Wars, Leslie Dilley, was honoured with the Oscar for Best Art Direction for his work on Star Wars, later called Star Wars Episode VI: A New Hope.
Part of that job came with travelling to Tunisia, which was used as the filming location for Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s childhood home.
Luke grew up on Tattooine with his uncle and aunt, though he later discovers they took him in after the death of his mother, Padme, and his father Anakin Skywalker’s shocking turn to the Dark Side.
His sister, Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, was raised by the Senator of Alderaan and his wife, meaning they did not grow up together.
Luke’s childhood home has become an iconic scene and was seen a great deal in other films, including Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
According to Leslie, that home had some interesting issues in filming, including one moment where the entire roof collapsed around them.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “I was in Tunisia with the crew responsible for getting Luke Skywalker’s childhood home ready for shooting.
“The day before the shooting crew was to arrive, we had gotten the 30’ circular roof of his uncle’s house set into place.
“The roof stood a few feet above ground-level, because the home was underground. It was quite a heavy disc that took many hands to put into place.
“On our arrival the next morning, we were astonished to find the roof gone…
“After some heavy sleuthing, we determined that there had been a wind and sandstorm during the night, and the disc had been lifted up by the wind onto its side and we found it quite a distance away, half-buried in the sand.
“We could see the tracks where it had rolled along on its side like a penny!
“We learned that we couldn’t make any assumptions about the desert and the weather.”
Clearly there were many challenges to creating these many worlds, and Leslie has also worked on some other major films, including some from director Steven Spielberg.
He said: “It was wonderful to be a part of so many wonderful franchises. Star Wars, Raiders, Alien, Superman, Bond – it was really an exciting time and I wouldn’t change a thing…
“On Legend I was part of a team creating the most magical forest with 30’ trees on a Pinewood soundstage. Those monstrous trees were engineered to move freely.
“And then building an asteroid set for Mimi [Leder, an American film director] on a Paramount soundstage for Deep Impact was exciting as well.
“Steven Spielberg was instrumental in my working for Mimi, and we worked on three films together.”
One of the movies he worked on with Spielberg was Raiders of the Lost Ark, which won Leslie his second Oscar for art direction, despite being nominated for Alien and The Empire Strikes Back.
Leslie will receive the 29th Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television Award at the BAFTA Cymru Awards this year.
The British Academy Cymru Awards, hosted by Alex Jones on BAFTA Cymru’s social media channels, will take place on Sunday, October 25 at 7pm
Published at Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:01:00 +0000