New documentary will attempt to solve long-running 'Star Wars' mystery

Sam Ashurst
Is the culprit in this Star Wars line-up? (credit: LucasFilm)
Is the culprit in this Star Wars line-up? (credit: LucasFilm)

A UK documentary crew will try to solve a Star Wars mystery that’s baffled experts for decades - namely, the identity of the Storm Trooper performer who banged his head on a Death Star door. Important stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree.

The moment being investigated in Empire Strikes Door is an iconic blooper. There’s a reference to it in the prequel trilogy (when Jango bangs his head on Slave I’s door in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones), with an added sound effect in the special editions to underline the moment. But, until now, the identity of the actor has remained a secret.

There are apparently three main contenders, all of whom are likely culprits. But only one is the actual actor, with the other two bumping their heads on unrelated (and presumably not captured on film) space station doors. Man, it must be really hard to see where you’re going in those helmets.

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As long as you’re not wearing a vision-blocking Storm Trooper costume, you can watch the trailer for the film, which will be aired on YouTube later this month, in the tweet below.

As you can see from the trailer, the movie will feature cameos from Kevin Smith, Greg Grunberg, and several other Star Wars experts. Will they be able to get to the bottom of the mystery?

One contender, Laurie Goode, has previously spoken about the moment, with a very convincing-sounding story.

Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday August 20 A prop store employee adjusts a screen matched Tantive IV Stormtrooper helmet from 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope (estimate ??120-180,000), during a preview of the forthcoming film and television memorabilia auction at the Prop Store head office near Rickmansworth.
A prop store employee adjusts a screen matched Tantive IV Stormtrooper helmet from 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope.

“On the second day of filming, I developed an upset stomach,” Goode said. “By mid morning I had paid three to four visits to the loo/bathroom. Having re-dressed myself and returned to the set, I felt the need to rush back to the gents’ toilets, but I was placed in [the] shot.”

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“On about the fourth take, as I shuffled along, I felt my stomach rumbling, and “bang,” I hit my head! As I wasn’t moving too fast, it was more of a scuffed bash, so it didn’t hurt, but as no one shouted “cut,” I thought the shot wasn’t wide enough for me to be in frame.”

“I remember after the first two takes, we were told to hold our guns in our left hands as opposed to our right. So I believe the head bang happened on the fourth take — whatever number of takes we did, the head bang happened on the last take. When it first happened, that day I told my fellow actor on the film, Mark Kirby, that I hit my head, but we didn’t go for another take.”

Hmm, that’s a lot of information - we’ll find out the truth when Empire Strikes Door arrives on YouTube on 25 September.