TODAY   |  October 30, 2009

Al goes behind the scenes at Lucasfilm

Oct. 30: TODAY’s Al Roker visits the headquarters of Lucasfilm, the production company founded by George Lucas and best known for producing the “Star Wars” films.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> you know, of course " star wars " is a cultural icon , obviously. i was a big fan . i watched it like three times the day the film went out.

>> nerve.

>> yeah, nerve. how about fan boy , all right? get off my back.

>> that is sad.

>> i was by myself. anyway, but i left with somebody. anyway, we went to san francisco to shoot some scenes for what you saw leading into all this.

>> three times!

>> three times!

>> what's the matter with you?

>> a greater force really does determine destiny. just ask the legions of loyal " star wars " fans. when the original " star wars " was first released in 1977 , no one, including its director george lucas , could have predicted its future.

>> when i started making " star wars ," i was just hoping that i would not have such a disaster on my hands that i couldn't make the next two films.

>> reporter: whether it was the imaginative story line , the groundbreaking special effects or the enduring characters --

>> r2-d2, where are you?

>> reporter: it was a cosmic success, and science fiction movies would never be the same.

>> great shot, kid! that was one in a million.

>> reporter: george lucas recently opened up his " star wars " archive for "today's" halloween special . housed at skywalker ranch , the private archive contains original costumes, props and set pieces from all six " star wars " films.

>> the force around you.

>> reporter: i headed west to check it out. first stop, the motion capture stage at industrial light and magic .

>> what we have here is we're using the motion capturer set to put you into a pre-vid system. it's a way to visualize the movie before you actually shoot on set.

>> reporter: that is wild. known simply as ilm, this has produced special effects not only for the galactic empire , but for best-selling movie franchises like " indiana jones ," " pirates of the caribbean " and " harry potter ."

>> and action!

>> reporter: decked out in my " star wars " jammies and chewbacca slippers, i worked with director miles perkins to create a special halloween open. so, here we are on the sound stage , and we're going to be creating me talking to darth vader , as i have many times, but usually it's just in my own head. jabba the hut, i mean, is he any relation to pizza the hut? get chewy on the line. tell him we've got to get ready to jump hyper space . my green screen image was then digitally remastered into a darth vader screen from "the empire strikes back."

>> make a little glow for him so he looks more like a hologram.

>> reporter: walking the halls of this place, you can see the influence and creativity of george lucas everywhere. he's still heavily involved in every aspect of the operation.

>> we're having a lot of fun. i work on it all the time.

>> reporter: his current

star wars: the clone wars " for the cartoon network .

>> george goes through every episode in terms of making sure it's the correct way he wants to tell the story with the pacing, the framing of the camera, every aspect of it.

>> reporter: while i was visiting, the animation team whipped up a personalized al roker droid or albot, and i recorded a voiceover with sound editor matt wood. i told you kids, i'm all out of candy. i might use this on my own children.

>> see if your stupid tape can take this.

>> isn't this taking trick-or-treat a little too far?

>> happy halloween.

>> wow.

>> nice.

>> ouch! that's going to leave a mark. turns out, matt played general grevis in " revenge of the sith ."

>> can i hear a little bit?

>> sure. he'll say like activate the ratios and prepare for attack!

>> ooh.

>> it's a big hit with the ladies.

>> i bet you get a lot of action with that voice. speaking of action, i wondered if george lucas had any tips for my role as hans solo.

>> don't get cocky.

>> you just have to be a swashbuckler and you always have to be ready for anything and always slightly over your head.

>> reporter: that sounds about right, but which character would he like to be?

>> i probably would associate myself with luke. i'm just a farm kid who grew up and became a filmmaker.

>> reporter: not surprising, coming from the jedi master . he's probably rethinking this whole thing.

>> nice.