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Between Star Wars And The Empire Strikes Back, The Entire On-Set Vibe Changed (For The Better)

While the "Star Wars" franchise is arguably one of the biggest on the planet now, that wasn't exactly the case when it started in 1977. Its creator George Lucas initially feared that "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" — the subtitle wasn't actually added until a third re-release in 1981 — would be a massive flop, and he refused to believe it was actually successful until a news report talked about the new "Star Wars" obsession that was sweeping the nation. "Star Wars" saw massive success upon the release of the first film, grossing over $200 million by the time Lucas began work on the sequel.

With this in mind, expectations and hype surrounding "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" was on a completely different level compared to its predecessor. That hype paid off, as the film was arguably even more well-received than the first film. It's considered by many the best "Star Wars" film ever and one of the greatest films ever made. However, it wasn't just expectations that changed when it came to the massively-awaited middle installment in the original trilogy. Even the on-set attitude toward the film itself shifted — for the better.

Mark Hamill says the crew was much more excited the second time around

During an interview with the "Lucasfilm Fan Club" in 1988 (via Star Wars News Net), Mark Hamill talked extensively about his on-set experiences filming the original "Star Wars" trilogy. Perhaps one of the most interesting things he recalled is how much the attitude of the crew members shifted between "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back." According to the legendary actor, a lot of the British crew thought the first film wasn't the greatest thing in the world, to put things mildly. But they were much more enthusiastic the second time around.

"Everyone was excited to see how things were going to turn out but there was a different feeling on the set," Hamill said. "On the first film, a lot of the British crew thought yourself we were all making the biggest piece of rubbish ever! And those were their words! And a lot of them just didn't get the unique style of the film." Hamill also revealed that the crew consistently pointed out logical inconsistencies with the film's plot, such as no one on board the Death Star being able to detect the heroes. However, that all changed with "The Empire Strikes Back." "But on the second movie, there were a lot of the same crew but with very different attitudes! But, it was always fun," he said.

It's not exactly surprising that some of the crew had reservations and criticisms about the film, especially considering that George Lucas himself had doubts about "A New Hope" and its potential for success. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 here, and even non-fans are aware of just how massive and popular "Star Wars" was, is, and continues to be in the modern age.