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Growing Up Jawa
An Interview with Star Wars Jawa Actor Frazer Diamond

By Kat
Staff Writer

July 20, 2010

In the mid-1970s, seven-year-old Frazer Diamond lived every Star Wars fan's dream: he got to hang around the Star Wars set. He also snagged a small, uncredited role as a Jawa.. Since Frazer's father, stunt coordinator Peter Diamond, worked on all three of the original Star Wars films, young Frazer could often tag along.

In today's interview, Frazer Diamand talks about his role as a Jawa in Star Wars: A New Hope, describes life on the sets of all three original Star Wars films and discusses the development of his popular UK animation website
Toonhoud website, founded by Frazer Diamond
Screenshot of
Frazer Diamond founded the popular UK animation website in 1999

You played a Jawa in the film A New Hope. Can you describe a typical day on the set for you? Well, I was only actually on call for four days, in total. And the detail is a little hazy. I was only seven years old! Two or three days were spent in limbo, waiting for the crew to complete other scenes and get on to our stage. That's the part so many people don't always appreciate, when it comes to films, there's an awful lot of waiting.

I remember it was very hot. We were stuck under those studio lights, sweltering away in that heavy gear. During filming, we sported additional lightbulbs that were strapped around our heads - they were red hot! So it was lightbulbs, a black face cloth with two small eyeholes and that Jawa hood, plus the studio lights...Hot! We had just the one scene, when C-3PO and R2 are reunited upon the Sandcrawler, a door opens up behind them and in run three Jawas. One of them is directed towards our robot heroes, and he waves a gun at them, causing 3PO to exclaim "Don't shoot!". That's me, pointing the gun. That's been the cause of some amusing brotherly banter over the years. I got the gun! I got the reaction!

How did you land the role of a Jawa in Star Wars?
Just the luck of the draw, I think. They needed two small folks to play Jawas, so my father [stunt coordinator Peter Diamond] put us forward for it. That kind of last-minute employment is quite common. I'm not aware of him "pushing" for the roles, if you know what I mean....

What types of cast and crew members did you interact with on the set? Did you meet any of the main actors?
Our scene involved Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, of course. The third Jawa - the Chief who directs me to the droids - was Rusty Goffe, and Jack Purvis played a meandering Power Droid.

As for the rest of the cast and crew, well, I know I met everyone. I spent more time on the set of the Star Wars films than my brothers (more contention!). I remember my very first visit, before even the notion of any film appearance had come up, I was introduced to Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford as they stepped off the Trash Compactor set, still in their Stormtrooper outfits, and one of them picked me up (remember, I was just seven years old) whilst they talked to my father. Of course, back then, there was no Star Wars phenomenon, so these really were just two guys who worked with my Dad...

Your father, Peter Diamond, was a stuntman in Star Wars: A New Hope. Can you describe his involvement in the film?
How long have we got? Seriously, my father was there from Day One, but you've billed him wrongly as a "stuntman". He was the stunt arranger. He co-ordinated all of the action in the original trilogy. He and Bob Anderson devised the swordfights, trained up the cast, etc. He also appeared on screen in numerous guises. In A New Hope he played a Stormtrooper, Garouf Lafoe, a Death Star Trooper and - the best known - he was the Tusken Raider who attackes Luke on Tatooine. That's him in all those publicity shots, wielding his gaderffii at the camera.

Were you involved at all in The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi?
No. But I was there during shooting. I remember being overawed by the scale of the Hoth Base set and the Dagobah set - they were huge sets. Dagobah, in particular, was just this whole swamp on a sound stage. It looked real. I recall seeing Stuart Freeborn at work on his Yoda sculpts and giggling at the visual similarity between him and the character. And I remember the drifts of rock salt that filled the Hoth stages and being perched on a slab of polystyrene, whilst my father assisted on the Wampa cave set. Oh, and there was lots of training going on with my Dad and Colin Skeaping who was preparing to double for Luke on Bespin.

Jedi was altogether a very special experience for me. Our family - that is, my Mother, myself and two of my younger brothers (there are six of us) - travelled to Yuma with the crew, before moving up to Crescent City, and eventually coming down to San Rafael . I have great memories of being in and around the motel pool in Yuma with the cast and crew. I was fourteen years old, so was in my prime to take in all that geekness...

Had you been cast as an extra in other films prior to A New Hope?
No, I was never a child actor, though I was able to hang around on numerous film and tv productions as I was growing up. I later appeared in two episodes of a tv series called Dick Turpin. It was a popular show, here in the UK. I was a street urchin, blink and you'll miss me. But that was it...

How has Star Wars impacted your life in a more long term way?
It's an icebreaker, certainly. Although it's more usual for friends to bring the subject up. I don't feel particularly comfortable taking advantage of the connection. I want to be judged on my own merits. That's why I don't do the whole convention thing... photos....Even chats like this are a rarity, really... But absoloutely, it was one heck of an experience that I'm really grateful for. People go to film school now to learn the kind of stuff I was taking in, day to day.

What's the story behind your website How did you decide to launch the site?
Toonhound has been online for eleven years now. I was just filling a gap, when I started. I've always had an affinity with animation. For years I wanted to be an animator, but the reality is, I just don't have the skills. At the time, there were lots of new sites springing up, covering all the new Pixar and Disney movies, or looking back at those Saturday Morning Classics, but there wasn't a hub for UK shows. So I stepped into the breach...

Is there anything else our readers should know about you or any of your projects?
I've always got umpteen projects on the go. Scripts, comic books, series ideas - an endless stream. But I'm not sure if any folks out there really want to know about them!

What's next for you?
Oh, now you're pinning me down. Okay, I'm two-thirds of the way through a little graphic novel project I've been putting together, and 15,000 words into the first of a series of macabre Victorian adventure stories I'm trying to write. Note the word "trying". It's a slog for me, I prefer writing scripts. But more importantly, Toonhound's with me every day, stretching on beyond the horizon, and it's crying out for redevelopment right now, so I'm going to be busy...

A big thanks to Frazer Diamond for taking the time to share his story with For more information visit Frazer Diamond's website at

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