Behind the masks. Beneath the helmets. Big people. Small roles.

Elstree 1976 is the new feature length documentary from the makers of Anyone Can Play Guitar. Director Jon Spira once again puts centre stage a group of people who were intimately involved with a pop culture phenomenon. This time, he takes a look at the community of British character actors who donned the costumes and uniforms in the original Star Wars trilogy.
These people came from a wide variety of backgrounds and went on to have unique careers and lives. This is resolutely not a ‘Making of Star Wars’ documentary. Star Wars is merely the common ground shared by these people and just a starting point for collecting the experiences of this generation of performers. It tells the story of six decades of British theatre, cinema and movie conventions from the perspective of working actors whose characters’ fame often seems to eclipse their own. The film explores the industry, the craft and the acting life. It reflects on what makes and sustains a pop culture phenomenon, how it feels and what it means to be a part of that legacy. Most importantly, it forms a portrait of a generation of performers and the British film industry, which facilitated the rise of the Hollywood blockbuster.
Sitges 2015
BFI 2015

The Cast



Who'd have thought inside Darth Vader was a bouncer from Bristol called Dave? Starting out as a body builder, Dave made the move to acting and quickly found himself working with directors as diverse as Stanley Kubrick and Terry Gilliam. Dave became a personal trainer, eventually owning his own gymnasium.



Jeremy has had a long and varied career on stage and screen. He started acting young with performances in "Billy Bunter“ and "Spare The Rod”, leading to a spate of teenage rock n' roll films starring alongside the likes of Cliff Richard and Billy Fury. His most famous role, however saw him under a bounty hunter's helmet.



Pam grew up in Buckinghamshire, she trained as a professional chef but spent the sixties working as a model and dancer. She fell into film extra work by chance but continues to do it to this day. Pam spent most of her career working in casinos, which prepared her well for her appearance in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that was Mos Eisley.



Derek has played a handful of small acting roles and has had an unrivalled career as a supporting artist. From the Indiana Jones films, to the James bond films, the Superman films, The Shining, Victor Victoria, Krull… it's an endless list. But Derek has also done so much more. As a music photographer, he took the first shots of Shane Macgowan and formed a strong relationship with Marvin Gaye. Derek enjoys swimming, martial arts and social media. He had two roles in Star Wars. Both in the same scene.



John can be seen in just one shot in Star Wars. It was his only experience of being a supporting artist and he didn't ever mention it to people until 25 years later when it re-entered his life in a quite unexpected way. John has had a varied career including gas fitting and plumbing, car sales and a recent move into the children's educational market



Born in Canada, Garrick has been acting since the age of six and in his teenage years he hosted his own radio show in Toronto. Appearing alongside Sir Alec Guinness at the Stratford Theatre company he went on to appear in an astounding variety of theatre productions and an amazing 116 films and television shows. A highly respected actor, who still regularly appears in TV and movies, Garrick is the leading light and instigator of the Story Circle, a highly respected organisation producing high quality audio books. Garrick is perhaps best known for appearing under a helmet and behind a moustache in the bid to destroy the Death Star.



During the 60’s and 70’s Paul built a varied and credible resume as a stage and screen performer. An integral part of the London Bubble Theatre in the 1970s he went on to perform Shakespeare and Proust at the Royal Court Theatre. Unrecognisable beneath a full head mask in Star Wars, Paul spends a lot of time being asked the question 'who shot first?'



Laurie was a successful model and a dedicated musician right through the 60s and 70s, before getting involved with film work. Laurie has appeared in the background of everything from "Adam Adamant Lives" to "The Benny Hill Show", not forgetting his many appearances throughout Star Wars as a Stormtrooper. These days, Laurie spends his time playing music, jogging and working on his new feature-length comedy screenplay.



Angus left the shop floor of the Chevrolet factory in 60’s Detroit to pursue a professional acting career. He moved to the UK to study at LAMDA before appearing in Norman Jewison’s Rollerball, he went on to give memorable performances in films such as Force 10 from Navarone, Witness, Judge Dredd and Eyes Wide Shut. Angus currently resides in Edinburgh with his wife and his dog Archie and is writing a fantasy crossover epic, destined for the big screen. Angus had a small but explosive role in Star Wars.



As a young musician, Anthony embarked on a Kerouac-like journey across North America. Following his ambitions to be an actor he found himself in 70’s London, cast in a Ridley Scott commercial in-between playing gigs in seedy nightclubs. Anthony’s acting career has led him through a variety of big budget blockbusters including The Eagle Has Landed and Valentino. As a music Producer Anthony has collaborated on radio hits and an epic variety of music projects. Anthony had a notable role in Star Wars which ended up on the cutting room floor but still managed to make it onto the screen in a different way and utter one of the most iconic lines of the movie.




Elstree 1976 DVD Now Available

Elstree 1976 DVD


£10 + £3.00 p&p


Elstree 1976 Quad poster

30” x 40”

£14.00 + £6.00 p&p
(worldwide p&p £8.00)


Dan Mumford Ltd Edition Alt Poster

A2 18″ x 24″ silk screen print

£30.00 + £6.00 p&p
(worldwide p&p £8.00)


Elstree 1976 One Sheet Poster

27” x 40” or 18″ x 24″ (A2)

27” x 40” – £14.00 + £6.00 p&p (worldwide p&p £8.00)
18″ x 24″ (A2) – £7.00 + £6.00 p&p (worldwide p&p £8.00)


Limited Edition Japanese Elstree 1976 Poster A2

18″ x 24″ (A2)

£14.00 + £6.00 p&p (worldwide p&p £8.00)


Anyone Can Play Guitar DVD

£10.00 + £3.00 p&p

British Film Company
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