Fantastic Vintage Star Wars Photos Show How A Chimp Inspired The Emperor

Now that new Star Wars news finally made its way to the Internet, the floodgates on vintage, archival Star Wars artifacts are starting to bubble up – some that we have seen (and shared) over the years, and some that’s even still unique to our eyes.

Like these. The Imgur user JoinYouInTheSun posted these very cool behind-the-scenes shots from Star Wars Archives that showed how make-up genius Rick Baker created the composite character of The Emperor. One part monkey, and one part his wife, The Emperor was a significant player in Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi, but I’m not sure I ever knew what went into the creation of the villain. For starters, as you can see in the album below, Baker’s wife at the time, Elaine, sat in for The Emperor as her husband Rick worked. We get to see the prosthetics she wore for the process, and we see the face of the chimp whose eyes Baker pulled to give The Emperor’s face more "unsettling." Guess what? It worked. Scan the album below for some classic Star Wars making of images!

Why stop there, though? Let’s keep digging through the archive. As we deal with the digital onslaught that was the simple reveal of ONE cast photo from a Star Wars: Episode VII table read, Business Insider dug up newspaper clippings of the casting announcements from 1977’s Star Wars, which has gone on to be known as Episode IV: A New Hope. Where’s the fanfare?! Where’s the rush to click bait?! OK, I long for these simpler times.

Star Wars Press clippings

And this one, for the addition of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It’s basically the equivalent of a Tweet!

Star Wars Press clippings

Wash it down with this old-school poster, focusing on the aspect ratios of the visuals! Man, how times have changed.

Star Wars Old poster

Wouldn’t it be great if J.J. Abrams, in his dedication ot the Mystery Box, resumed such brief messages to the press? Could it ever reduce the amount of Star Wars hysteria? Ah, that’s all part of the fun. Lets keep the machine rolling. We have a long way to go until December 2015.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.