R2D2 enjoyed his night out tonight at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford. We drove over there to see a showing of Elstree 1976, a documentary about the lives of the actors and extras who were involved in the first Star Wars film in 1976.
The film is basically a set of talking heads type interviews cut together to give an insight of how people accidentally found themselves being a part of film history. The contributors, every one of them obscured in the film by a mask, a helmet or makeup, talk about their time on set, their acting careers (those that had them) and the phenomena of signing memorabilia for fans at Star Wars conventions. It seems that, even if you were only on screen for a few seconds or the back of your head was all that was visible, real Star Wars fans still want you to sign their posters. And, believe me, some of these people were barely in the film, but that’s part of the fun of it.
However R2D2 was a bit pissed off because he didn’t know about this convention culture, with the fans and the posters and people dressing up as him. As soon as he heard about it he wanted to know, if they get paid to have a day out, and he was a real star of the film, why hasn’t he been asked? All the way home he couldn’t stop beeping and complaining and saying he was going to tell C-3PO. Believe me the air was blue, although you wouldn’t be able to tell because be beeps out his own swear words.
Anyway, if you’re a fan or Star Wars or you just like small independent films (it was funded on KickStarter as my Travelogue will be as soon as I can get it together) then you should try to see Elstree 1976. It’s a very long time since I’ve been to the movies and seen a film that got a round of applause at the end.