Marquand recalls the construction of a sandstorm that he wanted to shoot for the movie. The director wanted an elaborate screen test done before turning on the massive fans and starting to raise sand for real. However, it seems that real-life grit was not suitable for the camera, and the filmmakers created a strange, perhaps poisonous mix instead. Marquad recalled:
“We tried everything. We tested the look, the color, the quality of the sand, what we needed to make it look like sand, the fans, what were the issues for everything. The sand is a mixture made up of Styrofoam pellets and a mixture of talcum powder. Talcum powder is terrible. I hope to God it’s not carcinogenic, because it certainly gets everywhere. The powder is used to give a bit of thickness in the background. We don’t use sand. I mean, hey, why would you use sand in a sandstorm? These are the movies!
(Talc isn’t poisonous, but it’s certainly not a good idea to inhale it.)
While the sandstorm looked good with its mix of Styrofoam and talcum powder, Marquand still worried that putting his actors in the middle of it could cause bodily harm. The director wanted to dress his actors in protective clothing and shield their eyes from him. Thinking quickly and creatively, Marquand considered that the characters in “Return of the Jedi” could have access to wilderness survival kits. After that, all it took was one clever costume designer.
Leave a Reply