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"Well, Treat Williams decided he was going to come and hang out on the set, which he did, and he appeared in those ice planet scenes as one of the lieutenants or officers in the Rebel Forces. And I'm sure that there is no credit for him at all and he didn't have a character or anything, but he just said, 'Hey, this looks like a lotta fun and I'd kinda like to be a part of it, mind if I take a role of an extra?' Everybody said, 'Yeah!' So here you have this Hollywood star who just decided, for probably no salary, just to hang out for a few scenes and was quite happy with the role of an extra in Empire Strikes Back. And that was kinda the way it was."
―Actor John Morton[src]

Richard Treat Williams is an American screen actor who has starred in such feature films as Deep Rising (1998), Dead Heat (1988), Flashpoint (1984), Prince of the City (1981), and Hair (1979), and such television series as Heartland (2007) and Everwood (20022006). Born in Rowayton, Connecticut, on December 1, 1951, Williams graduated from Kent School, the same preparatory high school as fellow actors Ted Danson and Seth MacFarlane, and film director Peter Farrelly. In his career Williams has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards, one Emmy Award, and three Golden Globe Awards.

Biography[]

The Empire Strikes Back[]

Treat Williams and Carrie Fisher pose for photographs on the Echo Base set.

Treat Williams visited the exclusive set at England's Elstree Studios during the 1979 filming of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back,[1] to visit actress Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia Organa), according to the now-defunct StarWars.com Hyperspace feature "Photoreceptor."[2] According to actor John Morton (Dak Ralter), Williams, who was in London at the time, decided that it would be fun to appear in the film as an extra, and did so with the blessing of the film's production staff.[3] Donning the tan fatigues of a Rebel soldier,[1] Williams appears in the film at some point during the interior Echo Base scenes on Hoth, according to Morton.[3] During his stay on the set, Williams befriended actor Harrison Ford (Han Solo)[1] and posed for photographs with Fisher.[4][5] Williams was uncredited for his role in the film.

Following Williams' appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, the online Star Wars fan community has made efforts to pinpoint the actor's exact role in the film. Dating back to at least 2003,[6] fans, particularly among autograph collectors,[7][8][9] have linked Williams to several characters from the film[10][11][12][13][14] whose names were established canonically through Decipher, Inc.'s Star Wars Customizable Card Game,[15][16][17] including Jess Allashane, Jerrol Blendin, and Jeroen Webb.[10][11][12][13][14] However, neither of the aforementioned characters were portrayed by Williams.

Norwegian author and television personality Arve Juritzen,[18] who appeared in The Empire Strikes Back as an extra to portray a Hoth Rebel soldier during the Battle of Hoth,[19][20] has previously autographed the Jess Allashane SWCCG card for fans, suggesting that he, in fact, portrayed the Allashane character.[21][22] In any event all external Hoth scenes, including the Battle of Hoth, were filmed in Finse, Norway,[23] concluding on March 11, 1979,[24] whereas filming at Elstree Studios in England,[25] where Williams visited the set,[4] did not begin until March 13, after the Norway shots were completed.[25] Moreover, the extras assigned to play Hoth Rebel soldiers during the battle were all Norwegian locals.[26] Given that Allashane is depicted as appearing during the external Hoth scenes filmed in Norway,[15] this character would not correspond to Williams.[1] Meanwhile, the Jerrol Blendin character, a Cloud City Wing Guard,[16] was portrayed by stuntman Jim Dowdall,[27][28][29][30][31] while the character Jeroen Webb, an Echo Base Rebel officer,[17] was played by British actor Norwich Duff.[32]

Very few official Lucasfilm products have addressed the matter of Williams' presence on The Empire Strikes Back set, and none have definitively stated that the actor actually appeared in the film. To date, only the now-defunct StarWars.com Hyperspace feature "Photoreceptor" (2004) and the 2010 behind-the-scenes book The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, written by author Jonathan W. Rinzler, have officially released black-and-white photographs of Williams, dressed as a Rebel soldier, posing with Carrie Fisher on the Echo Base set, with accompanying captions confirming Williams' identity.[2][4]


Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Duke, Brad. "Devil of a Time." Harrison Ford: The Films. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2005. 223. "Ford had befriended Williams at England's Elstree Studios during the 1979 production of The Empire Strikes Back — where Treat had managed to make his way onto the exclusive set, and was in tan fatigues to portray a rebel officer."
  2. 2.0 2.1 HyperspaceIcon.png Photoreceptor: "In For a Treat" on Hyperspace (article) (content removed from StarWars.com and unavailable)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chitwood, Scott: TheForce.Net - Jedi Council - Interviews - Cellblock 1138 - John Morton (Transcript of phone interview held on 1997-02-14). TheForce.net. theforce.net. Archived from the original on December 12, 2004.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, pg. 162
  5. 113 seldom seen Star Wars photos - Imgur (2011-06-26). southhost.imgur.com. Imgur. Archived from the original on April 15, 2018. See photo.
  6. "darth small": Treat Williams was in Empire - LucasForums (2003-10-16). LucasForums - The Official Forums of the LFNetwork. LFNetwork, LLC. Archived from the original on August 17, 2012. "I was ghosting the IMDB.com empire strikes back forum and there is a thread that said treat williams(From Hair, the Phantom and a lot of other movies currently on WB' s Everwood) played two small roles in Empire one was as a rebel in echo base and the other was a a cloud city security guard. He was uncredited ( as he really was just an extra).Go to IMDB.com and look at his filmography empire is towards the begining [sic]."
  7. Trilogy Autographs. Dahoov's Autograph Collecting. starwarsautographcollecting.com. Archived from the original on May 21, 2006. "Treat Williams signed index card; obtained through the mail. Unsigned photos are of his characters: Top: Jerrol Blendin and second: Jess Allashane those were his characters in Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back."
  8. "karloff3": Star Wars Autograph Successes - Treat Williams. I Have a Bad Feeling About This. geocities.ws. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. "Treat Williams Jeroen Webb; Treat Williams Jerrol Blendin"
  9. Autograph Classic Trilogy (2012-07-25). JMY'S PLANET DAGOBAH. planetdagobah.com. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017. "Treat Williams: Jess Allashane (Echo Base Trooper) (ESB); Jeroen Webb (ESB); Jerrol Blendin (Cloud City Trooper) (ESB)"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bob Vitas: The Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia - Version 12.0. The Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia. Bob Vitas. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. "Treat Williams This performer portrayed Jess Allashane and Jerrol Blendin in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back."
  11. 11.0 11.1 Pirrello, Phil: 100 Things You Didn't Know About The Empire Strikes Back - Movies Feature at IGN (2010-05-21). IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. "Not only was Treat Williams uncredited for his participation in the 1980 Star Wars sequel (you won't find his name anywhere in the credits), but the actor actually played two bit parts in the film: Echo Base trooper Jess Allashane and Cloud City trooper Jerrol Blendin."
  12. 12.0 12.1 TVcom logo.png Treat Williams at TV.com (backup link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 STAR WARS UNIVERSE.COM - Films - Cast & Prod - Casting des acteurs de Star Wars - WILLIAMS Treat Richard (French). Star Wars Universe. starwars-universe.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. "Actor / voice actor (Films): The Empire strikes back: Jess Allashane / Jerrol Blendin / Jeroen Webb"
  14. 14.0 14.1 StarWarsDotComBlogsLogoStacked.png "…and blast us into oblivion" – N/A, Darth Mother's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; archived from the original)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameHoth Limited (Card: Echo Base Trooper) (backup link)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameCloud City Limited (Card: Trooper Jerrol Blendin) (backup link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameHoth Limited (Card: Jeroen Webb) (backup link)
  18. Arve Juritzen - Juritzen Forlag (Norwegian). Juritzen Forlag. juritzen.no. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016.
  19. Oldbury, Dave Louis: My Arve Juritzen Starwars Autograph (2011-06-27). Star Wars Autograph Collecting. let-the-wookie-win.com. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017.
  20. Oldbury, Dave Louis: My Arve Juritzen Starwars Autograph (2011-06-27). Star Wars Autograph Collecting. let-the-wookie-win.com. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017.
  21. Oldbury, Dave Louis: My Arve Juritzen Starwars Autograph (2011-06-27). Star Wars Autograph Collecting. let-the-wookie-win.com. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017.
  22. Trilogy Autographs. Dahoov's Autograph Collecting. starwarsautographcollecting.com. Archived from the original on May 21, 2006.
  23. The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, pg. 104
  24. The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, pg. 116
  25. 25.0 25.1 The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, pg. 120
  26. The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, pg. 112
  27. Jim Dowdall. Convention-Guests. convention-guests.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2010. "From Sci-Fi such as Star Wars where he performed as a Stunt Stormtrooper and Empire Strikes Back as a Bespin Guard in the jail sequence with Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher."
  28. YouTube.png Jim Dowdall Stormtrooper Stuntman on Star Wars and ESB on the ConGuests YouTube channel (backup link)
  29. Bennett, Lewis: Photo Gallery. Jim Dowdall home page. jimstunt.com. "Harassing Harrison Ford on 'The Empire Strikes Back'" Archived from the original on September 2, 2016.
  30. Bennett, Lewis: Photo Gallery. Jim Dowdall home page. jimstunt.com. "On set as a Bespin Guard for 'The Empire Strikes Back'" Archived from the original on September 2, 2016.
  31. Pellegrom, Dennis: Jim Dowdall interview - Stormtrooper - Star Wars. Star Wars Interviews. starwarsinterviews.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019.
  32. The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, pg. 135. "[Gary] Kurtz watches as [Harrison] Ford rehearses with [Irvin] Kershner a scene in which Solo gives orders to a Rebel soldier (Ray Hassett was the deck officer; Norwich Duff played the second officer)."

External links[]

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