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A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away...) I saw a show on TV. It was sort of like one of those "Hollywood Extra" type shows. This is going back to the early 80's for sure.

Anyway, on the show they talked about a scene in one of the Star Wars movies that was apparently shot on the roof of a studio. Someone discovered that if you go frame-by-frame in this scene with the then-spanking-new VHS release, you could see the edge of the roof and the parking lot below. And they showed it frame-by-frame, and sure enough you could see the parking lot below.

I'm 99.9999% positive that Lucas has fixed this by now, so it's not going to show up on any DVD/Blu-Ray release. And it's so long ago that I couldn't even find anything on Google that confirms this.

Does anyone know which scene/movie this was in? It had to be the original trilogy, but I can't remember which one it was.

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    And you're absolutely sure it was Star Wars (and not, say, Spacehunter)?
    – Walt
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 1:20
  • It was definitely one of the trilogy. It was one of the fighting scenes in space. At the time I was still very much about Star Wars and remember being very interested to see this rare mistake. Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 1:21
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    This MAY be it! It's from the scene when Luke blows up the Death Star. empireonline.media/jpg/50/0/0/640/480/aspectfit/0/0/0/0/0/0/c/… Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 1:28
  • I remember this too and it was Star Wars original trilogy. I'm almost 99% sure it was the first (New Hope) but I don't know what scene it was from. I'm also sure that Lucas fixed this when he "fixed" all the other things he did for the re-release. Hope this helps!
    – Cat B
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 1:38

1 Answer 1

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This was definitely the Death Star sequence from Episode 4: A New Hope.

Will Brooker's book about the production of Star Wars explains in some detail how George Lucas left the shooting of FX scenes largely to Bruce Logan, and with very little of the remaining budget, forcing him to be imaginative in his execution.

The Death Star trench scenes of A New Hope were shot in the parking lot and roof of the studio, and with limited time and no money for re-shoots the original versions contained shooting goofs, including the floor of the parking lot at the edge of frame.

A model of the Death Star's surface was made and laid on a table, then Bruce's team would drive past with a camera in the back of a pickup and shoot the surface as explosions erupted:

enter image description here

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    I assume, though, the actual erroneous footage is lost in the depths of revisions that this film underwent?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 12:54
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    Exactly. Unless someone can find a 35mm can of the originally distributed film, it's unlikely any further distributions were left in their original, un-touched-up form. Commented May 19, 2016 at 13:29
  • Yeah, I think this is the answer. As I said in my question, it was visible in the original VHS release. So, it's most likely visible in the original laserdisc release as well (of which I own 3 different versions). Now that I have a better idea of the scene, I'll have to check my laserdisc(s) and see if I can find it. Commented May 19, 2016 at 17:54

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