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Extra! Extra! Bonus edition of BTS Pic of the Day with your chance to win Rinzler's THE MAKING OF THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a special edition of BtSPotD! You’re gonna get two goodies for the price of one! Not only do you get a Bonus BTS pic today, but you North American readers will have a shot at winning the brilliant and thorough Making of The Empire Strikes Back:

Not only is that book awesome, it’s expensive. As someone who has had the great fortune of flipping through it, I can tell ya’ it’s worth every penny (and if you needed more validation, be sure to read Merrick’s review of the book). But screw that noise. Why pay for it when you can win it? Random House has given me two copies to give away to a couple of North American BtSPotD readers. Why North America only? Sorry rest of the world, but Random House isn’t distributing outside of North America, so that means no contests for you. In order to win one of these two books (there was talk early on of them being autographed by author JW Rinzler, but I’m not sure if that materialized) you need to email me at with your mailing address (to be used only in the event you win the contest) and a Behind the Scenes photo submission. Use the subject line BTS submission if you please. That’ll help me keep tabs on what comes in. Any behind the scenes still, but the rarer, the more epic or the more intimate/candid the better. If you scan anything from a publication, please include the magazine or book you took the image from. You have between now and next Wednesday, October 20th, at 11:59pm CST. I’ll pick my favorite two submissions. Keep in mind I’ve been collecting these images for a few months and have quite a large file folder, so if your awesome photo doesn’t get picked it’s because it’s one I’ve already seen. So you know what you gots to do to win one of these awesome books. Now I want to share a picture with you sent along by the publisher. This image does indeed pop up in Rinzler’s book, but it’s a weird one in that it can count as two BTS images in one. The photo has Jim Henson visiting the Empire offices to show collaborator Frank Oz a prototype of the Skesis puppet for their later film THE DARK CRYSTAL. You can see Empire director Irvin Kershner standing next to Frank Oz. Also, look closely to the bottom of the pic to see prototype Gelfling heads! You know what makes this photo amazing to me? The look on Oz’s face. He looks purely happy, like a child at Christmas… In other words, I imagine that would have been the look on my face if I were ever lucky enough to see Jim Henson bring a puppet to life live and in the flesh. Click the below image for the higher res version!

If you have a pic you think should be included email me. I’m looking for the iconic, the rare or the just plain cool behind the scenes shots to feature here. Good luck to those who enter the contest! I’ll post the winners when I pick ‘em! Look for the official BTS pic to hit later today! -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Cool Pic

    by Righteous Brother

    I thought I'd seen every behind the scenes pics from the making of the SW movies, but new ones keep cropping up.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:31 a.m. CST

    America Fuck Yea!

    by UGG


  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Tobias Funke: Time Traveler

    by Aquatarkusman

    The Adventures of the Never-Nude Across the Eighth Dimension

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:40 a.m. CST

    damn yankees!

    by billyhitchcock1

    :-) great pic.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Fuck Lucas

    by Daniel2010

    He ruined everything in life.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:47 a.m. CST

    this photo is

    by vaterite

    bittersweet, as all pictures of Jim Henson are. PS I really want that sweater.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:49 a.m. CST

    I've never entered a comp on here before...

    by LordPorkington

    But you can be damned sure I'm entering this one. Huzzah!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 7:49 a.m. CST

    check out the box over Henson's head....

    by darthderp

    You'll see it better on the high-res pic; R2-D2 cookie jars?? MERCHANDISING! MERCHANDISING!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:04 a.m. CST

    No Lucas in sight in this picture. So calming.

    by ricarleite2

    Feel the genius taking place at this room. Oz. Kershner. Henson. R2D2 in a box. Freeborn. Such a calm and peace, and such a creative environment, all Lucas-free.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:04 a.m. CST


    by pushthebuttonmax


  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Cookie Jar

    by Sal_Tessio

    I had one of those when I was 8. Oh, and the first talkbacker to make some silly Cookie Jar Jar Binks reference should be forced to watch the Ewok Christmas special. Yes, I said forced.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:09 a.m. CST

    by bohdi71

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:09 a.m. CST

    by bohdi71

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Who else is in the picture?

    by bohdi71

    Kathryn Mullen the puppeteer that helped bring yoda to life? Stuart Freeborn who designed yoda? Sorry about two earler posts my enter key jammed...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:14 a.m. CST

    who is Frank Oz? the bald guy with the glasses?

    by KilliK

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:19 a.m. CST

    It's always cool to see masters come together

    by alienindisguise

    especially when it's 2 different projects meeting under 1 roof.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:21 a.m. CST

    That's the legendary Wendy Froud next to Henson!

    by Sith Witch

    What a class act. Wendy is a real gem in this world, and needs more involvement in large-budget fantasy films.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Re: KilliK

    by ricarleite2

    The gray-haired one is Stuart Freeborn. The black-haired one with the mustache is Frank Oz.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    No Luca$. Good thing.

    by disfigurehead

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:46 a.m. CST

    swear to god

    by godhelpus

    I will win this!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Robert Watts and Gary Kurtz

    by godhelpus

    I met Robert Watts in DC in '89. Very friendly and enthusiastic guy.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:48 a.m. CST

    far right is Norman Reynolds...

    by Righteous Brother

    and is that an early yoda mask/puppet on the sofa?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:48 a.m. CST

    I never knew Frank Oz was an analrapist.

    by Mr. Anderson


  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:58 a.m. CST

    You can't force me to watch the Ewok Christmas Special

    by bah

    There's no such thing. There's the Ewok movies and the Star Wars Christmas Special.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:01 a.m. CST

    damn, it really is America fuck yeah

    by Star Hump

    you didn't expect the curry slurpers to come up with that shit didja

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:21 a.m. CST

    What is it with the Early 80's..?

    by Pawprint

    Why is everything so 'brown'?!<p> All the colours seemed to be so autumnal at one stage in the early 80's.<p> Look at this photo; effectively, apart from the guy in the dark blue, and the cloth attached to the skeksis' head (but even these are dark, muted colours)everything is brown! the clothes, the wallpaper...<p> Brown.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Why was everything so 'brown'?!

    by theycallmemrtibbs

    Because it was the era of the 0 megapixel cameras.....

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:36 a.m. CST

    It's brown because

    by thedude2010

    they hadn't gotten over the 70's yet.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST

    If that's Wendy then it would be before she married Brian

    by boogel

    If I remember right she is still credited with her maiden name in Dark Crystal. But Froud in Labyrinth.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Is that also

    by secretcylon

    The guy who designed Yoda standing next to Kershner? Looks a little bit like him. Not sure what he looked like back the though.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST

    three guys on the right are thinking

    by durhay

    "What the hell am I looking at? What is this, geek central?"

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    R2-D2 Cookie Jars

    by catlettuce4

    See the box in the background, top left? Must be from all those cookie jars Kurtz ordered for cast and crew, according to the story he told. And he had a lot left over, which years later were worth a ridiculous amount as rare collectibles.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    those guys are OOZING style and ... well, that's it.

    by Tigger Tales

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Frank Oz is rocking the jacket on the shoulders!

    by skimn

    The coolest nerd of them all.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Kersh looks like he's telling Oz

    by skimn

    that he'd like to bang that chick. Look at the expression on Oz's face.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Random House

    by FloristGump

    It's ok, Arrow (a random House imprint) are releasing it everywhere else in the world. I've got my signed copy on the way from San Fran, so I'm good.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST

    one thing about frank oz...

    by emeraldboy

    never ever ever ask him about miss piggy. or what miss piggy thinks he really gets pissed off about that.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I kinda hate seeing pictures of Henson...

    by BarryConvex

    It reminds me how much I miss his genius and creativity. It sucks that this world has been devoid of his greatness for the last 20 years...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Was Bert from Sesame Street based on Oz?

    by Xian042

    They look so similar. Did Frank do the voice of Bert?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Obviusly using the puppet

    by Bass Ackwards

    to try and distract them from the penis pump, they must have walked right in without knocking and he didn't have a chance to hide it. Quick thinking Mr Henson!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:59 a.m. CST


    by emeraldboy

    I agree. on the morning of henson's death was announced officially fox news sent two reporters down to the henson hq in new york and positioned them outside the door to get a respone. what fucking scummy thing to do. if you want to hear a worse example. in the 1980s there was no bigger show on tv than Russell harty. Harty was quite young when he died suddenly. The red top took over the top floor of the office block which was across the road from the hospital where harty was dying after under going open heart surgery. they could see right into his private room which was on the top floor of the hospital. as family members were goign in the the press pack were getting on to the hospital and hassling his family for news.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    I think Frank Oz voiced Bert

    by HapaPapa72

    I remember his cameo in American Werewolf in London, when he's trying to calm David down in the hospital,"Mr. Kessler! Mr.Kessler, please!" and I couldn't get over how much he sounded like Bert. Yeah, the other guy is Stuart Freeborn, but not sure who far right guy is. And is that Star Wars wallpaper on the...well, the wall in back?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:09 p.m. CST

    re: emeraldboy

    by jimmy rabbitte

    I just looked up the information and Fox News Channel didn't even exist, until six years after Jim Henson died; so I'm thinking they probably didn't send any reporters anywhere, on the day Mr. Henson passed away.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Vanity Fair has a nice collection of pics from the book

    by KilliK

    check them out:<br /> <p><br /> <br /> <p>Chewbacca holding Leia is my fav.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:26 p.m. CST

    ricarleite2 ah ok tx

    by KilliK

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Yes, Oz voiced Bert

    by bah

    As well as Grover, Cookie Monster, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Also Animal

    by bah

    And Fungus, the assistant bad guy in Monsters, Inc.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST

    is FOX so hard to slam

    by frank cotton

    that people got to make shit up? propaganda spewing asshole

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Frank Oz's body of work (the man is a genius)

    by cifra

    The other 50% of Jim Henson's legacy, he's Bert, Animal and Mrs. Piggy of the Muppets among others, he's YODA. And not only that, he's one of the best comedy directors in the History of Cinema: Little Shop of Horrors, In & Out, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, What about Bob?, Housesitter, Bowfinger, Dead at a funeral (the original, not the african-american one)... the guy IS really a genius on par with Henson.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Freeborn next to Kersh

    by Shaner Jedi

    who is next to Oz who is next to....? Who is that?! :p

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:49 p.m. CST

    North America only?

    by henrydalton

    Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? That's like, an extra 10 dollars postage or something? That means THAT much to you? To the publishers? What the fucking fucking fucking fuck??

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Jim Wendy Oz Irv and Freeborn

    by TheJudger

    That is a serious creative junction right there. Words and associative vocabulary would be near impossible for me to form in a room containing these gods.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 6:36 p.m. CST

    75 Days

    by Countdown_to_Vader

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Can we enter more than one pic?

    by Nickytea


  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Riley and Nickytea

    by Quint

    Riley - If there were in my hands I wouldn't care, but they're being shipped by the publisher, so it's their call.<BR><BR>Nicky, yeah. Submit as many as you want.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Does that box really say R2D2 cookie jars?

    by BBSloth

    Also you can get a cheap copy of Making of TESB from with free shipping

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Was ANYONE attractive in the 70's?

    by ChocolateJeebus

    How did babies get made?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Hot 70's Babes

    by Flexfill

    Caroline Munro, Farah Fawcett, Suzanne Summers, Barbara Bach, Cherie Currie, Susan Anton, Adrienne Barbeau... see they didn't have all the plastic surgery types yet so they just had to come that way. There were plenty of hot people in the 70's for sure.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:52 p.m. CST


    by Flexfill

    Barbi Benton. So hot, even Hef had to have her live at the mansion for a good long while.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Bo Derek in "10" from 1979

    by Flexfill

    Can't forget about her... she was considered tops in her day during the late 70's.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Frank Oz looks embarrassed

    by FeralAngel

    Like he's thinking, goddammit, Jim, I'm trying to impress these people, did you have to bring that goddamn puppet with you? LOL.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 1:20 a.m. CST

    1970s are awesome

    by Kontarsky

    No one gave a shit and everyone got laid, fuck the haters. Bo Derek in "10" indeed. Ps someone please scan this book so I don't have to buy it and give money to Luca$. Unless my money is going to Frank Oz's spirit, Ken Colley, Julian Glover, and Ridley Scott, I'll never purchase it

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Frank Oz is also the La Choy dragon,

    by Dennis_Moore

    which is the greatest commercial of all time.<p><p>Henson's commercials for Wilkins Coffee are also brilliant.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Forgot to add that Henson is the voice,

    by Dennis_Moore

    Oz is in the suit.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 6:37 a.m. CST


    by Harrys_Merkin

    The wallpaper on the back wall is Star Wars wallpaper that millions of kids had on their walls in the late 70's, myself included. It took me over 20 years to track down a roll of this and finally ebay and a geek in Milwaukee allowed me to own it again. Funny that they had it up in their office.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 6:40 a.m. CST

    74 Days

    by Countdown_to_Vader

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Starwarrior, you sir are a monumental idjit.

    by white_vader

    By that line of reasoning, Lucas could not have been the brains behind the first Star Wars film, because what has he done since - the second trilogy? Now do you see how stupid your argument is? <p> McCartney couldn't have been a driving force behind the Beatles because what has he done since on that level? See what I mean? <p> At least some people have ONE peak, moment of genius/greatness or clarity. Whatever Lucas may be now, he had three. Star Wars, Indy and American Graffiti. And no matter what he turns out now or in the future, that will always be true. In that light, your Kirshner/Kurtz argument is stunningly stupid. Stop being disingenuous, anyone who knows anything about Empire knows it's the thorn in GL's side and self-proclaimed least favourite. Not to mention the pertinent irony of Kirsh being Lucas' teacher which is why he got the job in the first place. But hang in there mate, one day your moment of lucidity will arrive...

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Great book, but spotted a mistake

    by Crumb

    There's a lovely double page spread matte painting of the Falcon said to have been used as part of the Rebel Hanger background on Hoth. It's actually from RotJ when Lando and Han are chatting before they set off on their missions. Hoth didn't need a matte of the Falcon as they had the (almost) full size mock up. They used matte's in combination with the setpiece for the long shots. Great book, but screw you Lucas.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST

    The guy far right is Norman Reynolds

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    Can't remember what he did, i'm sure he's on the Star Wars and Indy DVD's waffling away. His 'hair' is enteraining as i recall.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST

    It's spelled SKEKSIS, Quint.

    by Bronx Cheer

  • Oct. 17, 2010, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Siggy's Beaver

    by white_vader

    You know, Google and IMDB are your friend. You could have probably found out he's a brilliant production designer on the same time it took you to type that! Yes, that's quite a coiff. Very 50s Britain.