Awesome images have been found just in time for Star Wars Day. From the personal collection of Carrie Fisher, star of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, come 20 images of the 1977-1979 era. The images depict personal snapshot of her time in England, probably during the shooting of The Empire Strikes Back. Two other images depict Carrie with Mark Hamill and Harisson Ford at a press shoot for Star Wars. For me the most amazing images are a couple of photo’s from the set of The Empire Strikes Back. Carrie can be seen alongside Treat Williams, both dressed in Hoth Soldier uniforms on the Hoth set Echo Base.
An interesting story behind these photos is that Treat Williams wasn’t even cast in the movie. He was just visiting Carrie Fisher and one thing led to another. His appearance has sparked some debate among fans who did or did not see Treat Williams running around in the background of The Empire Strikes Back.
According to actor John Morton: “Well, Treat Williams decided he was going to come and hang out on the set, which he did, and he appeared in those ice planet scenes as one of the lieutenants or officers in the Rebel Forces. And I’m sure that there is no credit for him at all and he didn’t have a character or anything, but he just said, ‘Hey, this looks like a lotta fun and I’d kinda like to be a part of it, mind if I take a role of an extra?’ Everybody said, ‘Yeah!’ So here you have this Hollywood star who just decided, for probably no salary, just to hang out for a few scenes and was quite happy with the role of an extra in Empire Strikes Back. And that was kinda the way it was.”
Treat Williams himself addressed to issue in an interview he did for Broadway World in 2012: BW: Was he the one who got you involved with STAR WARS somehow or did that come about through another avenue?
TW: [Laughs.] No, no, no – you know, I regret very little in my life, but that STAR WARS thing is something…
BW: I had to ask!
TW: [Big Laugh.] I’ll tell you the story: I went over to London and I was visiting Carrie [Fisher]. She said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to run through a shot?” And, I said, “Sure. All right.” And, she said, “We’ll dress you up and you’ll run through the soundstage a couple of times and that’ll be it – it’ll be fun.” So, I dressed up like one of these… I don’t know; what are they called?
BW: Echo Base Troopers.
TW: Thank you very much – Echo Base Troopers. [Laughs.] So, we run through the shot and then they say, “OK, we’re gonna do this about twelve more times.” So, I ended up being an extra – which was good for me to find out what that was like, if only for half a day – and then I didn’t mention it for like fifteen years after that. Then, once I did in some interview a few years ago, all of a sudden I got more fan mail than I ever have in my entire life! I mean, people sent little dolls and little paratroopers – they still do! It’s crazy. [Laughs.]
BW: The STAR WARS audience is voracious.
TW: It’s unbelievable! Unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it. Interestingly, Alec Guinness wrote two amazing autobiographies – both of which I highly recommend – and in one of them – BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE, I think – he says, “It was as if I had no other career than playing Obi Wan.” [Laughs.]
BW: And you feel somewhat the same sometimes when you get the mail about a part like that.
TW: A little bit. Another story he tells in one of those biographies is one about a woman who approached him and said, “My son has seen STAR WARS sixty-seven times,” and, then, he says, “I think your son should get over it!” [Big Laugh.]
BW: That’s so funny.
TW: It was all fun, though. I mean, every time I see Carrie we talk about it still. I actually found a picture online of us onset together – me dressed up in that costume and Carrie as Princess Leia. I look about 12.
Not only was Treat Williams uncredited for his participation in the 1980 Star Wars sequel (you won’t find his name anywhere in the credits), but the actor actually played two bit parts in the film: Echo Base trooper Jess Allashane and Cloud City trooper Jerrol Blendin.