Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett of Industrial Light and Magic reminisce about the making of Star Wars

Watching this documentary, it’s amazing how happy it all was. Some of you knew each other from high school, a few of you were childhood friends, and some of you worked together at Cascade Pictures. Is it wonderful that this whole group got together in the first place?

Phil TippettA: Yes, it was a miracle.

Dennis Muren: But there are common features. I got Ken Ralston involved, and then eventually Phil and John Berg. I brought my little group of people that I trusted. John Dykstra had his own group of people he also trusted. Richard Edlund had his own band that he trusted. You hire people you know who can get the job done.

There are many different types of work to make this show. There were outsiders like me. I’ve never worked with John before, I’ve never worked with technology at all like I did in Star Wars, but it’s a fluke that [it] it all happened because somewhere out there, if there was an obstacle and someone said, “No, we have to do it like this,” everything could change.

George’s attitude was also: “Do your best, try not to overdo it, make sure you do it on time and do your best.” I’m very lucky it worked out that way, but [there were] a lot of smart people are working on it. George and [producer] Gary Kurtz made the decisions they made, right down to us. We made some very smart decisions [when] we crossed our fingers and corrected all the time when problems arose. There were issues that came up all the time and we tried to make adjustments.

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