There were a number of interviews with the special effects crew of The Empire Strikes Back in Fantastic Films #17. Here’s the first. It gets pretty technical, because that’s Edlund’s field, but anyone can appreciate what he says about the now famous asteroid chase sequence:
There’s a star background, a far background, and an asteroid background, plus individual asteroid foreground elements. Individual rocks get photographed separately as do belt layers. So all that adds up to about 20 stage elements. A shot like that requires about 100 separate pieces of film…
Notice that Edlund says “he became a hippie” during his early career. Some of the album covers he photographed and designed can be seen at Discogs. A couple of the psychedelic 7 UP commercials he worked on for visual effects pioneer Robert Abel are here and here. A shot of Edlund working on Star Wars is here.
Edlund went on to do visual effects for films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Poltergeist, Ghostbusters, Fright Night, Big Trouble in Little China, Die Hard, and, of course, Return of the Jedi.