Interview: Bill Hargreaves, The Droids Maker


William (Bill) Hargreaves – photo by Rene Comtesse (UK)

The name William Hargreaves or “Bill” how is called by his friends, is now well unknown. However, for the big fans of the Star Wars saga, his name it’s well related to IG-88, the Bounty Hunter droid and other movie props made for Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Bill give us some of his time to answer us this interview, so enjoy it!

SWC: How and when do you started making movie props?

BH: I started my first full film in about 1977 on the first Alien as a propmaker and dressing prop man ,for a wonderful propmaster called Dave Jordan .i learned a lot about filming ,SFX, and the importance of good hand props.

SWC: What do you do before making props?

BH: Before I started in film I was a landscape gardener taking after my beloved Dad Bob and a concrete worker   Working with my best mate Glyn Cornes a life long friend , a few other jobs from a wheelchair repairer to learning to become an electrician.

Autografo Bill Hargreaves - Constructor de propsBo´Marr – DXP2´s Collection

SWC: You designed and built some droids and characters for ESB and ROTJ, tell us about them.

BH: I was lucky to have be able to make and add to many droids on Empire and Jedi, my main builds were IG.88 a firm favourite Bo’Marr Monk my spider droids and the Eye from Jabba’s palace entrance built and operated , I built the arm’s , neck ,and leg’s for EV9D9, 8D8, other torture droids also many other droids and creatures .


IG-88 Bountyhunter Droid – Photo by Dave Oldbury (UK)

SWC: How you come up with the idea of IG-88?

BH: IG.88 was conceived mostly in my head , I had no drawings for him or most of the other creations IG.88 was made as a extra for the Bounty Hunter line up , a throw away droid but as you know he has now become a character in his own right , some thing I am very proud of .


Jabba´s Palace Guard Eye – LucasFilm

SWC: Tell us about the eye in Jabba’s Palace.

BH: Jabba’s gate guard The Eye was quite complicated to make it had many moving parts and was operated by me and Steve Short . First was to open the gate hatch then forward with the eye through the open void to a mark very close to C3PO (trying not to hit him ) left and right movements open and closing of the eye activating the light inside then a rapid retreat and close the hatch . It had to be made very accurate as it was seen in close up so took a while to get right , and of course there isn’t a eye guard shop so every thing was made


EV9D9 – LucasFilm

SWC: Which one was the easiest prop to made and which one the most complicated?

BH: The easiest prop was probably the mask warn when leaving the  millennium falcon on planets without air ie when Han goes out side to get rid of the Mynoc  Birds, I made the wings and fluid for them and operated them once as they land on the Falcons screen, The hardest Jabba’s Eye for all the reasons in 5.

SWC: Are you still in touch with the cast and crew members of ESB and ROTJ?

BH: Yes many of the Empire and Jedi Crew are close friend’s from then till now ,two of the SFX crew , Dave Beavis and Dave Watkins are now based in America and we always meet up if they are in the UK, and of course I see many of the old crew at Con’s around and about so we have a good catch up then


Probe Droid Signing – Photo by Dave Oldbury (UK)

SWC: Star Wars changed your life in any way?

BH: Yes Star Wars changed my life and still is , it thought me like George Lucas if you believe you can then you can to quote Yoda there is no try just do . It showed me there is always a answer to every thing so you grow and become stronger knowing what you have achieved and of course it is still changing my life today , I now know you and Star Wars Cali I would have never known you except for Star Wars.

SWC: In any moment do you feel interested to be acting in front of the camera?

BH: Yes I would like to appear in front of camera ,for then you are immortal remembered forever and any way it would be fun ,nice to see it from the other side .

SWC: What do you do now?

BH: Now I do very little compared to the endless day’s filming all of them great fun. I do some Comic-Con’s I enjoy them meeting so many Star Wars Fans is a great honour and again fun, I am trying to help new film makers were I can as they are the future of the industry. I love to spend time with my family and friends so I am busy but in a different and very good way.

SWC: What have you heard about Colombia? Do you wanna come someday?

BH: I don’t know a lot about Columbia there is your coffee l like that a lot , I understand it is a beautiful country with many interesting buildings and some fantastic countryside , we have seen Shakira who is a great ambassador and the few Columbians I have met have been very friendly . We do of course hear about the gangs and drug problems but who doesn’t have those problems .and I now hear you have a great Star Wats following !!! Yes I would love to visit, I do have a health problem that I have to consider but apart from that it sounds a great place to visit

SWC: What comes to you in this new year 2016?

BH: Who knows the future even the force dose not get it right all the time , I will carry on what I am doing now , getting older ,trying to get wiser , meeting fun new people like yourselves , enjoying my family and friends old and new .

Thank you Bill for your time and have a great year!

Interview and Traslated: @DXP2 & @Alejoserrano

Co-fundador y ex-director de Star Wars Cali, nacido en un planeta muy muy lejano y olvidado en la tierra luego de parar por provisiones. Parece del lado de la luz pero se le sale el lado oscuro muy a menudo.
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