On August 17th, 1979 actor Mark Hamill was on the Dagobah set at Elstree Studios in England where his performance as Luke Skywalker required him to be the only actor on the call sheet. The other characters in these scenes were R2-D2 and Yoda. Being the only human character for days at a time on a swamp set became a grueling experience for the young actor who started to go a little stir crazy.
It was on this day that Yoda puppeteer Frank Oz decided to liven things up a bit by having his partner Jim Henson bring in a couple of friends to the set.
Mark Hamill was suddenly surrounded by Muppets Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. The experience lightened the mood of the entire crew as well and it made for a nice break in the monotony of Hamill’s solo performance (so to speak).
The Dagobah set was dark, dank, and dangerous. Director Irvin Kershner described it as being so full of smoke that it caused breathing problems and he had to wear an oxygen mask to avoid passing out. Crew members slipped and fell down breaking bones more than once and overall the entire shoot proved to be more challenging than anyone had anticipated.
Gary Kurtz’s wife, Meredith, decided to hold a wrap party dinner on the Dagobah set a few days prior to the final day of production. Invites were sent out and everyone walked into the Dagobah set transformed into an atmospheric dining experience with tables laid out across the stage.
Even though it looked great on film, the Dagobah set proved to be an exhausting production experience for all involved.
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