TIL a ton of Star Wars scenes were actually matte paintings

Mind. Blown.

This scene from Star Wars? It's a painting. Every single Stormtrooper and Imperial officer… painted. 

I'm sitting at my work computer silently freaking out because I had no idea that a lot of the scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy were matte paintings. It's really incredible. Redditor Join_You_In_The_Sun posted to /r/movies an album of 25 photos of matte paintings used in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, some with the painters in them.

For all these years I thought that those Stormtroopers were just a bunch of extras in costumes. It's crazy to think that someone spent so much time putting in the painstaking detail needed in these scenes. And it looks so much better than some of the CGI environments that Episodes I through III had. They look so real that most people didn't know that these sets were actually paintings.

I feel like my whole world has changed.

For a really great video on how they used these paintings in the cinematography and added actors to them, check this one out. You can also check out the rest of the album of paintings here

star wars painting