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Star Wars Storyboards

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So I just got my copy of the Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy book (edited by JW Rinzler) and am leafing through it. So far I'm quite pleased with it.

A few tidbits stand out. The first is that the book contains four recently discovered storyboards for ANH, the only ones known to survive from the short period between the second and third drafts when Luke briefly became a girl. The storyboards, which may originally have been part of a larger sequence, feature the scene from the second draft where girl-Luke, Han, and Chewbacca (carrying the unconscious Deak, Luke's brother whom they have come to rescue) encounter a monstrous Dai Noga creature in the tunnels deep beneath the Imperial prison planet of Alderaan. The Dai Noga itself is not shown in the surviving boards.

This entire scene would be reworked in several ways; the prisons of Alderaan were moved on board the Death Star, and the monstrous Dai Noga, originally found wandering the corridors deep beneath the prison cells, was later combined with the garbage-masher scene, which was initially a separate incident. In the second draft the Dai Noga is said to be a supernatural monster bred by the Sith Lords, and in fact blaster bolts pass right through it. Han and Chewbacca (carrying Deak) have to sneak around the monster while Luke draws its attention by firing at it with his blaster; they ultimately trap it by firing at the ceiling above it and bringing down an avalanche of debris.

There are also some interesting previously-unseen boards for ROTJ in the sail barge fight scene. Both of them, oddly enough, involve severed hands. In one board Luke severs Boba Fett's hand when Boba tries to fire on him, then uses his lightsaber to damage and activate Fett's rocket pack for his ultimate demise. In another board Luke has himself lost his mechanical right hand, and the severed cyborg hand crawls of its own volition toward the lightsaber hilt that he has dropped.

One minor omission I noted is the lack of boards for ANH and ESB that were drawn up for alternate title sequences--ones for ANH in which THE STAR WARS crawled backward at the same angle as the main text crawl, and ones for ESB with black letters set against the white snow-fields of Hoth, with the crawl header reading Episode II. Both of these have previously been seen in other Making Of books, though, so they're really little loss. I'd much rather see storyboards I've never seen before anywhere (of which the book has a large number).

Also, there are no storyboards for the Special Edition sequences. OT all the way, baby.

PS--there are two variant versions of the storyboards for the last shots in ROTJ: one with only Ben and Yoda appearing as Force ghosts, and one with Anakin (Sebastian Shaw version) added. This of course reflects that the decision to add Anakin to the scene was only made during principal photography; the shooting script didn't mention him.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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ATMachine said:

In another board Luke has himself lost his mechanical right hand, and the severed cyborg hand crawls of its own volition toward the lightsaber hilt that he has dropped.

I'm glad this was dropped. Disembodied hands moving of their own volition have no place outside of an Evil Dead film. ;-) 

I can no longer call myself a Star Wars fan. I’m sick of the same played-out aesthetics/tropes being remixed/regurgitated time-&-time again; I’m sick of the deteriorating characterization/worldbuilding which have been in play since 1983; I’m sick of the toxic fanboys from all ideological camps; I’m sick of the capitalist pigs who refuse to allow this IP into the public domain where it rightly belongs. So while I may still admire the first two films for their technical achievements and characters, I’m no longer capable of enjoying Star Wars in any capacity due to the reasons delineated above.

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Awesome, I'm way behind in my Star Wars reading. Still need to get all of Rinzler's Making Of books as well as this.

DuracellEnergizer said:

I'm glad this was dropped. Disembodied hands moving of their own volition have no place outside of an Evil Dead film. ;-) 

 Thanks, this inspired me to do some searching and now I believe Michael Caine would have made a far better Anakin. =P

Help finish ROTJ: Revisited!

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timdiggerm said:

Does it shed new light on the DSII battle?

Not very much. There were some things storyboarded that didn't make the final film, but I think they were all previously known. For instance, when the Rebels realize the Death Star's shield is still up, two fighters can't pull away in time and are flattened against it.

There was also of course initially going to be a greater use of B-wings; storyboards show B-wing pilots as being the ones to destroy the shield towers on the Executor (a quick look at YouTube tells me that A-wings were substituted in the final film).

One thing that did catch my eye, though, was in the Hoth battle. Apparently the Empire was originally going to blanket Hoth with a kind of "electronic net" that prevented ships from leaving the planet. This was the reason the Rebels fire their ion cannon--to disrupt the net and let their transports escape. It was scrapped when ILM couldn't come up with convincing visual effects to pull it off.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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Tobar said:

Awesome, I'm way behind in my Star Wars reading. Still need to get all of Rinzler's Making Of books as well as this.

DuracellEnergizer said:

I'm glad this was dropped. Disembodied hands moving of their own volition have no place outside of an Evil Dead film. ;-) 

 Thanks, this inspired me to do some searching and now I believe Michael Caine would have made a far better Anakin. =P

I definately have to see that movie now. 

I can no longer call myself a Star Wars fan. I’m sick of the same played-out aesthetics/tropes being remixed/regurgitated time-&-time again; I’m sick of the deteriorating characterization/worldbuilding which have been in play since 1983; I’m sick of the toxic fanboys from all ideological camps; I’m sick of the capitalist pigs who refuse to allow this IP into the public domain where it rightly belongs. So while I may still admire the first two films for their technical achievements and characters, I’m no longer capable of enjoying Star Wars in any capacity due to the reasons delineated above.

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Not much better with that script, though.

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Bingowings said:

Anyone called Michael could have been a better Anakin.

I am now picturing Michael Jackson in TPM saying Jake Lloyd's lines.

"I'm a person and my name is Anakin".

Hmm ... I think Michael actually could have pulled it off better than Jake. 

I can no longer call myself a Star Wars fan. I’m sick of the same played-out aesthetics/tropes being remixed/regurgitated time-&-time again; I’m sick of the deteriorating characterization/worldbuilding which have been in play since 1983; I’m sick of the toxic fanboys from all ideological camps; I’m sick of the capitalist pigs who refuse to allow this IP into the public domain where it rightly belongs. So while I may still admire the first two films for their technical achievements and characters, I’m no longer capable of enjoying Star Wars in any capacity due to the reasons delineated above.

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Heads up, guys: according to this SW.com blog post, JW Rinzler has written another OT book, due for release on October 28, this time about the costumes of the OT. It's called (no prizes for guessing the title) Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy.

It should include not just photographs of the surviving costumes in the Lucasfilm Archives, but pictures of the original costume concept art as well. And Rinzler has apparently interviewed all three of the principal costume designers for the OT: John Mollo, Aggie Guerard Rodgers, and Nilo Rodis-Jamero.

There's another book added to my "must check out" list. The Storyboards book was pretty neat, after all.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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I'd lost track of this book, I'll have to pick up a copy!

Ol’ George has the GOUT, I see.

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Fantastic! Hopefully the costume designers working on the new films give it a read. =P

Help finish ROTJ: Revisited!

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Tobar said:

Fantastic! Hopefully the costume designers working on the new films give it a read. =P

This.

Keep Circulating the Tapes.

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