- "I think if I can get a room full of people and they enjoy it, then I've done whatever I hoped to do."
- ―George Lucas about Star Wars
Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy is a documentary by Kevin Burns about the making of the original three Star Wars films: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
The documentary is strictly chronological, divided into three parts, one for each of the three original Star Wars films. It is narrated by Robert Clotworthy, and features interviews with George Lucas and major cast and crew. It tries to put Star Wars into a sociological and political perspective by using interviews with spectators like Walter Cronkite. The documentary was shot in 16:9 aspect ratio.
The documentary included interviews from the following cast and crew:
The documentary also included interviews from the following celebrities and journalists:
- The original cut of the documentary ran at around two hours and forty minutes.
- It was cut down to around two and a half hours, with only ten minutes cut. This final version was released as the main feature on the bonus disc of the 2004 DVD release of the original Star Wars Trilogy.
- A shortened version of the documentary premiered on the A&E network in late 2004. This version ran at around ninety minutes, cutting out nearly an hour of content.
The original cut of the film included a ten-minute segment which elaborated on The Star Wars Holiday Special and Lucas seeing a mistake in not holding full control over the Star Wars franchise. The part was cut, however, because, according to the producers, "it just didn't fit with the pacing of the film."
- Any mention of the Emperor, played by Ian McDiarmid.
- Any mention of Sebastian Shaw, playing the unmasked Darth Vader.
- Any mention of The Star Wars Holiday Special. As noted above, there was going to be a ten-minute section covering it, but it was cut due to pacing issues.
- Any interview with David Prowse (Darth Vader).
- Any mention of Mark Hamill's car accident in January 1977 that caused him long-term facial damage.