The SE scenes of Vader taking his shuttle from Bespin to his Star Destroyer feature the Lambda-class shuttle from ROTJ, rather than the “inverted TIE bomber” shuttle Captain Needa is glimpsed using during one shot earlier in ESB.
I should also note that the “backwards” sword grip used by Ahsoka in TCW and Starkiller in The Force Unleashed game is something used by Zatoichi, the blind swordsman protagonist of a famous series of jidai-geki movies.
Normally real combatants would only use such a grip on occasion, as it increases grip strength at the expense of flexibility and range. It’s not something people would use all the time as a standard grip. But as a blind man Zatoichi probably uses it so the sword doesn’t get knocked out of his grip. Ahsoka has no excuse.
A big difference between the OT and the PT swordfights was the influence of Chinese wuxia martial arts films on the latter, I think. The PT fights also feature one-handed lightsaber fighting; during the OT the idea was that lightsabers were heavy like European broadswords and required two hands.
I’ve never much liked Lando’s ESB outfit. Capes are awesome, but the execution leaves something to be desired here. Quite a lot of the costumes in ESB are rather bland and unattractive IMO.
Same goes for Leia’s dress on Bespin. Some of Ralph McQuarrie’s designs for it are much better than what’s in the film.
Lucas acknowledged in the ROTJ story conferences that he was basically jettisoning Vader’s old motivation of wanting to overthrow the Emperor and rule alongside Luke.
Which makes sense, for the dramatic needs of the film - Vader as a seemingly helpless puppet of the Emperor who doesn’t realize he can kill his master is much more amenable to redemption than a Vader who craves power and merely thinks the wrong guy is in charge.
But it does create a discontinuity with the more personally ambitious, selfish Vader in ESB. I suppose with the idea during ESB’s filming that the third film would feed into a Sequel Trilogy with Luke’s lost sister, Vader’s redemption wasn’t a pre-determined part of the saga plotline. It still could’ve happened, but it wasn’t a necessary dramatic keystone.
In which case it’s possible to imagine a Vader who remains evil and selfish, and a Luke who won’t kill his father but lets him die from a perilous situation. Like Batman letting Ra’s Al Ghul die in Batman Begins - or a robot “letting a human come to harm through inaction”, in the phrasing of Asimov’s Laws of Robotics.
And in the conversation Lucas had with Alan Dean Foster he suggests a very high level of violence in the Vader/Leia duel also. Though it was toned down somewhat in the written novel (especially with Luke using the Kiber Crystal for Force Healing and basically bringing Leia back from the dead).
I like how “Governor Moff Tarkin” treats “Moff” as Tarkin’s first name.
“You can make this picture for teenagers, late teenagers, early twenties, or you play it for kids, and that’s what we’re going for, eight- and nine-year-olds. This is a Disney picture.”
- George Lucas, quoted in Dale Pollock’s Skywalking
Sounds to me like GL considered more than one audience for which to tailor the film. But I’m sure this won’t do anything to convince you that SW wasn’t always intended as a “Disney picture” from the get-go.
Right. And some of the early script drafts and McQuarrie sketches predating the fourth draft suggest Lucas was even thinking of having onscreen nudity like in THX 1138.
But would we still consider the originals “erased” if the only changes were recomped effects? That’s the approach the D+XX project takes, and I don’t see anyone kicking up a big fuss about how it’s not “really” original.
Maybe so, but it still would be getting rid of the groundbreaking effects that won the film an Academy Award.
Right. And it would’ve been far better at erasing the originals.
“When you gotta shoot, shoot, don’t talk!”
– Tuco Ramirez
In the TPM rough draft written in 1994, when Padmé’s ship leaves Theed, it sets out as part of a convoy of five identical ships with four decoys.
What’s interesting is that something similar shows up in a mission in LucasArts’ X-Wing: in one mission you have to identify Princess Leia’s corvette among a five-ship group with four decoys. That game came out in… 1993.
Honest question: are there any differences between the theatrical version and home video releases of TROS?
And if THAT was what Lucas called “Disney-picture” Star Wars, imagine what he thought would be the “teenage” version…
And speaking of which, Lucas says in Dale Pollock’s Skywalking: “You can make this picture for teenagers, late teenagers, early twenties, or you play it for kids, and that’s what we’re going for, eight- and nine-year-olds. This is a Disney picture.”
Which sounds like he did give some serious thought to travelling the other side of that particular fork.
It occurs to me that Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first name (added in the 1976 draft) suggests a “pale belt” or a white belt from karate (suitable for a wizardly advisory figure, in the vein of Gandalf the White).
Then I remembered that Edgar Allan Poe allegedly contrived to get himself thrown out of West Point by wearing “white belts and gloves, under arms” during a parade inspection, as per regulations… but nothing else.
Then I remembered that around the time of the 1975 third draft, Lucas drew on Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress for inspiration by consdiering casting Ben Kenobi as Japanese, and Leia as either Japanese or part-Asian, suggesting a familial relationship of some sort.
And then it came to mind that Ben Kenobi had a prosthetic left arm in that draft also.
And then I thought about how people in the desert climate of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom generally don’t wear clothing except for the leather straps of their “war harness”.
Now I’ve got a vision in my head of Leia Organa, Queen of the New Alderaan colony on Tatooine, going around wearing nothing but some strategically placed belts and long gloves to cover up a pair of droid arms.
I think I might have done a little too much LDS, as they say. 😉
I’m reading Anthony Daniels’ book I Am C-3PO, and I’ve just found a slightly different take on the story of one of the first film’s audio differences.
IIRC, the received wisdom is that his whole “tractor beam” line was recorded in a broom cupboard in the UK, and flown over during the mixing process; this is why it was in the mono mix, but not the 1977 stereo/surround one.
Daniels’ version of the story is slightly different.
At some point during editing, they phoned me. […] Would I please go to a studio in London and record an extra line? Of course. What was it?
“That’s holding the ship here.”
“Is that it?”
“Yes. We forgot to say what a tractor beam is actually for.”
“The tractor beam, that is holding the ship here, is coupled to the main reactor is seven locations.”
It was one of the quickest jobs ever but it worked, once they plopped in the new words. The audience would never know the line was compiled over five thousand miles, and many weeks, apart.
I don’t believe I’ve heard any mix which includes “that is holding the ship here”, though I only have the various 1977 mixes to hand this week. Is it in any other mix, or is there an equivalent in any of the foreign language dubs?
I’m not saying the usual version of the story is wrong. Indeed, it seems to fit the facts better than this new one; Mr. Daniels can be forgiven for mis-remembering something which happened over 40 years ago. I just thought another side of an oft-recounted tale may be of interest to some of you.
Every mix begins with him saying R2 “says he’s found the main control to the power beam that’s holding the ship here. He’ll try to make the precise location appear on the monitor”. The remaining dialogue that follows this is what was added later, this line specifically. “The tractor beam is coupled to the main reactor in several locations. A power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave.”
Strange. I wonder why they would have been so eager to record a line about there being multiple tractor-beam control panels but only one needed to be turned off.
There’s actually some pretty funny stuff in Flesh Gordon. The “good, there’s oxygen on this planet” gag is a classic.
And I swear the burning wreckage of Not-Princess-Aura’s swan spaceship was an inspiration for the cutscene before the duel with Sariss in LucasArts’ Jedi Knight.
Vader’s identity was always likely to be a big surprise twist of some sort - though not originally him being the same person as Father Skywalker. Prowse probably just arrived at the solution that Lucas also ultimately hit on.
Maybe he even asked George at one point and George’s response was noncommittal enough for him to realize it was on the money. Hell, maybe Prowse even gave Lucas the idea.
To me it seems probable that Prowse put two and two together faster than anyone else in the cast - and then talked endlessly to magazines about his personal theory as to what was likely to happen in ESB, rather than keeping quiet for the sake of maintaining the surprise.
I’m a fan of differing multiversal canons. A single monolithic canon has never done it for me.
The “I am your father” twist is great but it’s also fun to think about Vader as some other variety of related-to-Luke-somehow villain. E.g., maybe he’s Luke’s older brother, or a clone of his father, or maybe even Ben Kenobi’s son.
Back in the 1980s Lucas warned us about the dangers of digital technology being used to alter classic films for the historical record. Now he’s illustrating that danger by his own example.
I’m probably in a minority of one in preferring Creepy Puppet Yoda to the digital version.
AOTC also has some weird monkeying around with the order of some shots in a couple of scenes - oddly enough, both have to do with flying vehicles.
I’m not quite sure what scene this is from. Maybe just the actors talking backstage? It seems like they’re standing directly under stage lights though.
Looks to me like they’re standing in front of the Death Star viewscreen. You can just make out the slanted lower edge of the screen area.
I had to turn up the brightness of my screen, but yes, it does seem like its the viewscreen in the background. So unless I remember those scenes incorrectly, this means that there’s a deleted scene where Tagge was present, presumably either before Leia enters the room during the destruction of Alderaan scene or some extension of the scene where Vader and Tarkin discuss the tracking beacon.
It’s probably this scene from the revised fourth draft:
INT. MAIN CONTROL ROOM - DEATH STAR
Darth Vader and the regional Governor Moff Tarkin stand before a huge screen that shows a million stars. Admiral Motti and General Tagge are standing with them.
The final check out is completed and all systems are operational. What course shall we set?
She has a great deal of control. Her resistance to the mind probe is considerable. It will still be some time before we can extract any useful information from her.
Perhaps she would respond to an alternative form of persuasion.
What do you mean?
I think it is time we demonstrated the full power of this station. Set your course for Alderaan…
Originally this scene came just after Luke finds the skeletons of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. But (with dialog slightly reordered and some of Tarkin’s lines given to Vader) it’s basically in the final film, but without any alternate angles.
There IS an establishing shot of the Death Star exterior, which isn’t in the script - perhaps the original idea was to use the wide angle of the bridge as the establishing shot, but that didn’t convey the idea of the scene taking place on the Death Star well enough.