Teodor Bjerrang

VISIT HOTH

Teodor Bjerrang
VISIT HOTH

The VISIT HOTH festival

VISIT HOTH is a gathering for all Star Wars fans that takes place at Finse 1222 (Norway), the hotel that hosted the production of The Empire Strikes Back, the second film in the Star Wars saga.

This year the event was the 3rd time - also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the The Empire Strikes Back (production).

You also find Planet Hoth at:

Here are some highlights from the past.

Speakers, trips and photos.

I think we’ve got something, sir. The report is only a fragment from a probe droid in the Hoth system, but it’s the best lead we’ve had.
— Captain Firmus Piett, to Admiral Kendal Ozzel

Peter MacDonald

Peter MacDonald was the second unit director for The Empire Strikes Back when they filmed at the Finse location.

Peter MacDonald at Finse 1979

Photos from the 2019 event, Peter telling stories from the production back in 1979 and other movies he’s been involved in.

Peter has worked on a stunning array of projects so far including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Superman, Batman, three first Harry Potter films, The Bourne Ultimatum, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Guardians of the Galaxy, and of course Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back as the location second unit director.

Madelyn, Chewie and Peter outside Finse 1222 - 8th of March 2019

Madelyn, Chewie and Peter outside Finse 1222 - 8th of March 2019

“The most important thing about any second unit is that you can't tell the difference between the second unit and the first unit. It must have the stamp of the first unit, both in photography and the style of direction. That's why, when I do second unit, I always photograph and direct, so you try and copy what the first unit does as much as possible. You mustn't be on an ego trip and try and do your own style, because your material has to cut into theirs and it mustn't jar, it must fit in exactly so no-one can tell the difference.” - Peter MacDonald 1989

Bjørn Jacobsen

Former Chief executive officer at 20th Century Fox Norway back in 1979 when they filmed The Empire Strikes Back at Finse (Hoth). He also was the one that suggested Finse as the location for the Iceplanet.

Bjørn T. Jacobsen holding the original map of the area, used during filming of The Empire Strikes Back.

Bjørn T. Jacobsen holding the original map of the area, used during filming of The Empire Strikes Back.

Bjørn telling the story about why this particular spot in Norway was chosen for filming Empire — and he reminisces about filming in the harsh conditions of that legendary March shoot in 1979.

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The hotel itself (Finse 1222) and the environs are synonymous with Star Wars lore as various scenes were filmed there. Crew members and Norwegian producer Bjørn Jacobsen hosted a tour, pointing out different filming locations / anecdotes. Where Luke witnesses the vision of Ben Kenobi and Han Solo slices the Tauntaun open to save Luke in the environs of the hotel as well as where Luke was dragged by the Wampa. Also, where he ascended on a tow cable into the underbelly of an AT-AT.

Carrie Fisher and Bjørn T. Jacobsen at Finse during the shooting The Empire Strikes Back in 1979. Photo: Privat

Carrie Fisher and Bjørn T. Jacobsen at Finse during the shooting The Empire Strikes Back in 1979. Photo: Privat

Bjørn T. Jacobsen and Teodor Bjerrang outside Finse 1222.

Bjørn T. Jacobsen and Teodor Bjerrang outside Finse 1222.

Craig Miller

Craig Miller was Director of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm from 1977–1980. He created and oversaw the Official Star Wars Fan Club.

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Craig talked about his role as Director of Fan relations for Lucasfilm from 1977–1980 as he was there at the birthing of Star Wars publicity. A cursory glance at his IMDB will indicate how astonishing the list of fantastic movies that Craig has worked on, everything from Alien to Superman!

Alan Tomkins

Art Director, Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back.

Mr Tomkins was nominated for an Oscar for his work on The Empire Strikes Back (Best Art Direction, 1980). He has worked on more than 100 movies, including a huge number of stand-out films such as 2001: A Space Oddysey, A Bridge Too Far, Cleopatra, JFK, Lawrence of Arabia, Summer Holiday, Dr No, Trail of the Pink Panther, Batman Begins, Natural Born Killers, Saving Private Ryan, Casino Royale

Alan tells stories from his time at Finse back in 1979

Alan tells stories from his time at Finse back in 1979

Teodor Bjerrang and Alan Tomkins outside Finse 1222, 19th February 2018. Slides from Alans presentation.

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Andreas Frølich opens the event with some movie history.

Andreas Frølich opens the event with some movie history.

Christian Berrum looking at a photo of himself from 1979 when he was a part of the Star Wars crew at Finse

Christian Berrum looking at a photo of himself from 1979 when he was a part of the Star Wars crew at Finse

Knut Vadseth — Photographer on the sets back in 1979

Knut Vadseth — Photographer on the sets back in 1979

Crew interviews panel at Visit Hoth 2019 - from left. Christian Berrum, Harald Lystad, Andreas Frølich, Martin Gant and Martin Dahl.

Crew interviews panel at Visit Hoth 2019 - from left. Christian Berrum, Harald Lystad, Andreas Frølich, Martin Gant and Martin Dahl.

Harald Lystad

Harald Lystad, general manager of 20th Century Fox in Norway during the making of Empire.

Harald and Kirsten Lystad outside FINSE 1222 - March 2019

Harald and Kirsten Lystad outside FINSE 1222 - March 2019

Harald was the one who placed the order for the crew jackets during production and he also suggested Finse as the stand-in for Hoth to producer Gary Kurtz, scouting the exact glacier location with him by helicopter.

“It’s really cold up there. It’s minus 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit,” Lystad says. “So I got in touch with a Norwegian supplier of ski gear, and we decided what to make.”

According to Lystad, the gear served another purpose: It made crew easily identifiable, and thus more difficult for press or fans to sneak onto the set. But perhaps most importantly, it did the job of keeping everyone warm.

I remember picking up Harrison Ford at the airport,” he says. “He came out in jeans, a T-shirt, and a small jacket. It was about minus 20 degrees, and he was very happy getting the bag with all this gear.
— Harald

Harald Lystad and Christian Berrum outside Finse 1222, March 2019


Martin Gant

SFX technician Martin Gant who was part of Brian Johnsons team that worked on everything from the motorised R2 units through to the probe droids used in Norway.

 
2019 program

2019 program

2018 program

2018 program

Star Wars Insider visited HOTH

Check out Star Wars Insider issue #185 featuring “Journey to Hoth” by James Floyd — James visited Finse in February 2018.

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Photos from the VISIT HOTH festival

  • 8th—10th March 2019

  • 16th — 18th February 2018

  • 17th — 19th February 2017

Check out my VISIT HOTH photo page for more