TMSM Mythbusters: Jedi Secret Ops and Wampas And Damage

mythbustersThe goal of this blog series is to factually prove or disprove rumors, myths and misconceptions in the Disney-verse. In honor of Star Wars Weekends starting in a few days I though we would cruise off the Disney path for a moment and jump to light speed and tackle a Star Wars Myth. Tonight on TMSM Mythbusters we are looking into the following myths “Jedi Secret Ops” and “Wampas And Damage.”

Jedi Secret Ops

11210517_10204827789629417_65608387927181683_nOur first Star Wars myth is about “Blue Harvest” a horror movie George Lucas “secretly” filmed but never released are the same time as Return of the Jedi. I won’t beat around the bush and hold you in suspense on this one (because honestly the majority of you Star Wars fans are screaming the answer at the screen as you read.) This myth is busted, in a fun and unique way.

You see Star Wars (later renamed Star Wars: A New Hope) was so popular that George Lucas decided that instead of using “Return of the Jedi” while filming it would make more sense to use a code name for the film to throw off fans to keep them from showing up to the set and to keep story line secrets secure. The crew was even in on the joke and wore shirts and hats the “Blue Harvest” name on them to keep the cover story going. It seems though that at some point either Star Wars fans decided to play with non Star Wars fans or people just assumed “Blue Harvest” was a real movie that was never released because the horror movie myth began to circulate.

blue-harvest-1 The code name “Blue Harvest” was only used during principal photography of the movie, but was so popular with the crew that they had a “retro” Blue Harvest shirt made for when they were making the special edition of the movie. Don’t sit there and think that “Blue Harvest” wasn’t the only Star Wars movie to have a code name. Episode’s 1-3 shared a blanketed code name “JAK Productions”, “The Force Awakens” code name was rumored to be “Foodles” and “AVCO”, and the upcoming “Rogue One” was code named “Los Alamos.” So as I mentioned earlier this myth is in fact busted but only because the people making the movie in question created a fake movie to throw off fans!

TMSM Mythbusters Busted Wampas And Damage

The myth in question is that the Wampa scene was created to cover up real life events that occurred during the filming of “The Empire Strikes Back.” This is a great myth that fans seem to have created based on an actors real life experiences. During the filming of Empire, Mark Hammil was in a car wreck and sustained some injuries. The myth says that the Wampa scene was created to mask some of those injuries. The problem was that the information on this event changed depending on where you research it because it’s become SUCH an intense and deep legend that it’s hard to find the truth. Sean Munger’s blog about this topic in honestly the BEST and most factual I have found that addresses all sides of the myth, when it happened, the car being driven and the actual injuries Hammil sustained as well as the audio of an interview with Mark about the accident.
imagesBelow are some of Mark’s quotes from Munger’s article regarding the wreck.
“What happened was that I was on the wrong freeway. I was way out in the sticks somewhere and there were no cars and no traffic, thank God. I was going about 65-70 mph… I was speeding, going too fast… and what happened, I think, was that I tried to negotiate an off-ramp and lost control, tumbled over, and went off the road. I fractured my nose and my cheek…. I read in magazines, “Mark Hamill almost killed in auto crash.” And what prose… “As he dragged himself from the wreckage… the flames were higher”… you know?… “his nose slid off his face.” And I’m going, “Wow, this is great! But I don’t remember it!”…I just woke up and I was in the hospital and I knew that I had hurt myself very, very, very badly… but I wasn’t really sure. And then someone held a mirror up to my face and I just felt that my career was over.
Also it seems that George Lucas himself denies that the Wampa scene was created to mask the actor’s injury.  “On the DVD commentary for The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas denied that the Wampa scene was created to address Hamill’s injuries, noting that the scene had been written some time earlier. “
Based on Mark’s own accounts in the audio above that his nose was broken and his cheek bone damaged, and the fact that the movie was probably only doing touch up filming when the wreck should have occurred, as well as the fact the movie was written up to a year before it was filmed and going through and creating all those effects would have taken quite a lot of time and wouldn’t have been last minute “cover up” effective when it came to staying on film schedule, I am going to safely say that the myth that the Wampa scene was created because of Mark’s wreck is busted.
TMSM Mythbusters Busted
Image and Research Sources: RebelScum Forums; TheSWCA; DorkSideOfTheForce; SeanMunger



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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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