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Never-before-seen Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back outtakes and bloopers released to celebrate 40th anniversary

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
(Image credit: IMDb)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back turns 40 this year, and some rare and exclusive footage has been released to celebrate.

There’s seven minutes of footage in total, featuring behind the scenes outtakes and bloopers of scenes with actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. There’s also a mixture of new and archival interviews with Star Wars creator George Lucas, Hamill, Anthony Daniels who voiced droid C-3PO, Billy Dee Williams who played Lando Calrissian, and co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

Released in 1980, the follow-up to 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope was a box office hit. Set three years after the events of the first film, the movie sees the Galactic Empire hunting the scattered Rebel Alliance throughout the galaxy. While Darth Vader pursues Han Solo (Ford), Princess Leia (Fisher), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Luke Skywalker (Hamill) studies the Force under Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz) to prepare himself for his upcoming confrontation with Vader.

The Rebel Alliance sets up a new base on the ice planet Hoth, and filming for these scenes took place in Finse, Norway in 1979. The footage captures a moment when production was halted due to a snowstorm and Hamill jokingly invents the Tauntaun Dance, named after the Hoth’s furry lizards, to pass the time. Even though Leia doesn’t appear in any of the outdoor scenes on Hoth, she can also be seen hanging out in Norway anyway. “I’m only up here to irritate the crew,” she says.

Now, though, we can get our fix of the galaxy far, far away from The Mandalorian – check out our The Mandalorian season 2 release schedule to make sure you don’t miss this week’s season 2 finale.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.