Related Videos

Top 10 Brits Who Changed Star Wars Forever

VO: JB
Written by Sean Harris The ‘galaxy far, far away’ was actually created a lot closer to home. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Brits who changed “Star Wars” forever! For this list, we’ve gathered the greatest British contributors to George Lucas’ epic space opera, assessing the UK’s impact across every movie in the saga, and the stand-alone spin-off stories in the Anthology series. Though “Star Wars” is often considered an all-American affair, there are countless links between it and Britain. Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 Brits Who Changed Star Wars Forever


The ‘galaxy far, far away’ was actually created a lot closer to home. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Brits who changed “Star Wars” forever!

For this list, we’ve gathered the greatest British contributors to George Lucas’ epic space opera, assessing the UK’s impact across every movie in the saga, and the stand-alone spin-off stories in the Anthology series. Though “Star Wars” is often considered an all-American affair, there are countless links between it and Britain. Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof

#10: Elstree & Pinewood Studios

OK, so our opening entry goes not to one person, but groups of people, all based in the UK. For the first trilogy and the 2015 reboot series especially, the majority of studio work took place in England. “A New Hope” was primarily conceived at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, where the predominantly British crew were apparently unconvinced by Lucas’ vision, comparing it to a children’s movie. Thirty-eight years later, and major filming for “The Force Awakens” took place at Pinewood Studios, in Buckinghamshire – with J. J. Abrams at the helm.


#9: Pembroke Dock Construction Workers

Of all the “Star Wars” spaceships, Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon is by far the most iconic; and it was built by British hands. Prop and set designers scoured scrap yards as inspiration for interior shots in the first film, while a team based at Pembroke Dock in Wales were commissioned to build a full-scale model for “The Empire Strikes Back”. Completed in 1979, the top-secret project was codenamed ‘Magic Roundabout’, and the unlikely story has since inspired local musicians and filmmakers.

#8: John Stears

The unique aesthetics of the original “Star Wars” trilogy proved a massive reason for its immense popularity. The sets and props pushed sci-fi standards higher than ever before. And John Stears was behind most of them. An effects expert working alongside influential set designers including fellow-Brit, John Barry, Stears developed the look for C-3PO and R2-D2, controlling R2 in the first film. He also worked on Luke’s Landspeeder, and he co-created the model for the Death Star – using Colin Cantwell’s concept art. Without him, the movie might’ve looked very different indeed.

#7: John Boyega

British actors have long been an integral part of the “Star Wars” universe, with the likes of Sir Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing and Ian McDiarmid taking some central roles. Even the original Darth Vader was physically played by the British bodybuilder, David Prowse. But John Boyega led the line for “The Force Awakens”, as Finn was the first new character to appear in the very first trailer for the super-hyped sequel. Some took issue with the Stormtrooper’s race, But Boyega rose above and proved a pivotal figure in the well-received reboot.

#6: London Symphony Orchestra

It’s possibly the most famous film score in the history of cinema, and it was first recorded at Anvil Studios in Denham. The music for “Star Wars” was written by John Williams – the celebrated American composer – but performed by the LSO, as well as the London Voices choir. The New London Children’s Choir was also involved throughout the prequel trilogy, while British involvement ended when a stateside orchestra was selected for “Episode VII”. Cue “The Imperial March”.

#5: Trisha Biggar

The prequel trilogy proved a fair disappointment for many fans, with Episodes One, Two and Three criticised for their dreary storyline and an overuse of CGI. However, Trisha Biggar’s work in Costume Design was a clear plus-point for the films, as the Scot oversaw the creation of more than 1,000 intergalactic outfits. Her work served as a continuation of British control over “Star Wars” costumes, with John Mollo previously bagging an Oscar for his original work. Even in outer space, the Brits’ got style.

#4: Gilbert Taylor

He was arguably the biggest British influence during day-to-day filming of the first “Star Wars” film, but he almost quit the production part-way through. Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor worked on the inaugural picture, making countless stylistic decisions for how the movie should look. However, his relationship with George Lucas was famously fraught, and clashes between the pair were routine. Taylor stuck around just long enough to see the shoot out, but wasn’t involved in the sequels. His ideas were retained though, and the following films strived to recreate what Taylor had started.

#3: Richard Marquand

As the first Brit to take the director’s chair for a “Star Wars” movie, Richard Marquand was tasked with rounding off the original trilogy, with “Return of the Jedi”. And it’s fair to say, he did quite well. Following on from two of the most successful movies of all time, the film sees Luke, Han and Leia take on Jabba the Hutt, before a string of revelations and an intense final battle. We should also give a nod to Gareth Edwards here, the British director behind “Rogue One”, the first instalment in the Anthology series.

#2: Daisy Ridley

Playing the central role in “The Force Awakens”, Daisy Ridley emerged from relative acting obscurity to become one of the most recognised faces on the planet. As Rey, she starts off a scavenger before encountering Finn, engaging the Force and fighting off the First Order. And that’s before she even gets to Luke. Alongside Felicity Jones, and backed up by Carrie Fisher in one of her last roles, Daisy fronts a new era of strong female characters and she gets to roll with BB-8. Not bad.

#1: Roger Christian

We very nearly awarded top spot to the guys who created Yoda, makeup artists Stuart Freeborn and Nick Dudman, but the series can thank British design for the lightsaber, too. Roger Christian proved an influential figure throughout the first trilogy, revolutionising how sci-fi films should look by building sets and props out of junk materials. But his best-known invention is the saga’s iconic weapon of choice. Christian earned an Oscar for Art Direction on “Star Wars”, as the lightsaber became a standout symbol for the entire franchise.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs