In Star Wars: A New Hope, right before the Millennium Falcon exits hyperspace, we see a "tunnel" through which the ship is traveling:

The Millennium Falcon in hyperspace

How did ILM create this effect in 1976?

NOTE: I am not referring to the "stretching star lines" effect shown when a ship enters or exits hyperspace as detailed by John Dykstra in a 1978 interview with the Fantasy Film Journal. I am specifically referring to the blue tunnel effect seen while the ship is still in hyperspace.

  • Nice question. However, the quality of the gif is hell. Can you provide one frame in good quality at least?
    – p2or
    Apr 12, 2018 at 9:20
  • I'm not entirely sure if this method was used in this particular shot, but you might wanna have a look at the slit-scan method en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slit-scan_photography
    – yann
    Apr 16, 2018 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


Although it looks like a slit-scan effect similar to the Tom Baker era Dr. Who titles, in this case, the effect was very simply made with mylar - a reflective plastic. Due to time and budget constraints, there wasn't much they could do, so they made a tunnel out of mylar and flew the camera through it. They apparently had a lot of mylar left from making the reflective background behind the starfield.

  • 1
    Welcome! Paraphrasing: surplus is the parent of special effects. Oct 5, 2018 at 0:58
  • Thanks for the answer!! If you update it with a source, I'll mark it as the accepted answer.
    – user339676
    Nov 2, 2018 at 3:35

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