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Mardji: Misc



Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Mardji under her bantha costume.

Mardji (19511995) was an Asian elephant who portrayed the bantha in the original release of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Some on-line sources identify Mardji as an African bush elephant, rather than an Asian elephant, and describe her as being born wild in the African savanna. However, pictures of Mardji appear to be of a female Asian elephant (among other differences, she was tuskless, like most Asian elephant cows.)

Mardji was transported from Marine World Africa USA in Redwood City, California, now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, to a Star Wars shooting location in Death Valley, California. There, she was outfitted with a bantha costume, made up of layers of fur and a lightweight horned headpiece. Though Mardji was a well-trained elephant, she had difficulty adjusting to her costume, often trying to remove it while the cameras were rolling.

During the production of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, footage of Mardji was taken by a team including special effects artists Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett and Jon Berg. This footage was used as a reference for how the AT-ATs should move.

Mardji spent the rest of her life as a Marine World attraction. She was euthanized in November 1995, after suffering from chronic bone inflammation.

External links

  • Bantha (behind the scenes) in the Databank
  • Empire's Elephant on
  • Mardji in the Star Wars Actors Database

This article uses material from the "Mardji" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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