With Thursday marking the 40th anniversary of the release of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” there are a lot of stories circulating that look back on the iconic first movie of the lucrative saga.
The Hollywood Reporter has published a deep dive on one of the movie’s most infamous moments: the Stormtrooper who banged his head on a blast door.
The shot comes toward the end of the section of the movie when Luke, Han, and company save Princess Leia from the Death Star. Stormtroopers barge into a control room, and if you look closely, one of the them walks right into the door that rises from the floor.
THR tracked down the actor who played the head-banging Stormtrooper, Laurie Goode, and got to the bottom of what happened.
What happened that day when you hit your head? On the second day of filming, I developed an upset stomach. 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 shot. 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.
Which take was that? How many takes did you do of that scene? 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 happening 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!
Goode said when he saw the movie, he couldn’t believe George Lucas used the shot.
As the decades have passed and the blooper has become part of “Star Wars” lore, there’s been a little controversy about the identity of the actor who banged his head. Actor Michael Leader, who died last year, has also claimed to be the head-banger. But Goode proclaims he’s the guy. And he’s even written a song about it (so you know he’s got to be telling the truth).