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Des Webb

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Des Webb was the actor who played the Wampa ice creature on the original Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

Webb was not specially familiar to movie acting when he joined the cast of the movie, having acted in no previous movies.

Webb could not bear the heavy suit and suffered from heat exhaustion. Most of the intended scenes for the "Ice Creature," of which initially there were several, were removed from the final version of the movie. The decision was made that none looked good enough for the final release, and an entire sub-plot about wampas attacking Echo Base was removed. Only some labels on doors were retained, and a dead tauntaun being autopsied by 2-1B.

Finally, the Wampa almost did not appear on-screen, except for little glimpses. Webb was used for some takes, but the arm knocking Luke Skywalker was not Webb's on disguise, and the roaring wampa is just a puppet.

Webb would act in an episode of TV series The Black Adder on 1983; his character, mainly a giant, would be PC-identified as person of unrestricted growth.

Webb would also act in strange 1985 Morons from Outer Space in a small role as a Eskimo chief, again without a disguise. He would not appear in any other movie since.

For the 1997 re-release of Empire Strikes Back, special effects had advanced and the Wampa could be clearly seen on-screen. This time, there would be no need for a tall actor. ILM artist Howie Weed designed and wore the new Wampa suit, and new footage would be shot and mixed in with the existing one. Webb was not seen in this new footage.

Des Webb died on May 21, 2002 of a stroke.

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