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ATMachine

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Post
#708015
Topic
Who should the villain(s) of the sequel trilogy be? (if the sequel trilogy has villains)
Time

Ryan McAvoy said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

Anchorhead said:

*Dooku sounds like something a 6-year-old would come up with while playing in the front yard. 

I've heard that Lucas personally pronounces it Doh-ku, which actually makes it sound cool. I don't know why everyone else decided to run with the infantile pronunciation. 

 I've also noticed that Lucas pronounces "Gungans" as "Gungas" and calls "Light Sabers", "Laser Swords". Mind you Patrick Stewart spent a whole interview on the radio the other day talking about his X-Men character "Zaviour" that he's only played for oh 14 years. Senility happens to the best of us ;-)

That's actually how the name is pronounced in most real-world instances. Stewart must have just forgotten that his character mispronounces his own name. ;)

Otherwise, how would we remember that he leads the X-Men?

On topic: the scripts for the original 1977 SW film used "laser swords" instead of "lightsabers" until the third draft or so, which is probably why it sticks in Lucas's head. Even in the later drafts, "lightsaber" is used purely in dialogue, and the script directions still say "laser sword."

Post
#707987
Topic
Star Wars Storyboards - by JW Rinzler
Time

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.

Post
#707807
Topic
Doctor Who
Time

\

Julian Glover looks like he's having a whale of a time playing the campy pantomime villain. Of course, his casting only adds to my growing "GL copied Doctor Who" conspiracy theory LOL. He must have filmed this mere weeks after appearing in ESB but this wasn't Julian's first appearance in the Whoniverse. What's more notable, is that the character he plays is essentially the same as the one he would later play in 'The Last Crusade'. A similar profession in antiquities, the same self-satisfied attitude and even a similar taste in fine cut suits. Of course in TLC the big reveal is that he's secretly a Nazi but in this he's secretly a cycloptic green-tentacle-faced alien. And the Jagaroth spaceship...

...reminded me of something else JL later had a hand in (btw it takes off in the same way as the Federation Starships from that same sequence).

More SW tie-ins to come...

Kind of off topic, but I always thought Julian Glover's turn as Donovan was more directly inspired by his role in For Your Eyes Only (in both cases he plays the wealthy villain, who is initially presented to the audience as an ally of the main character, only to betray him later).

Spielberg probably was the one who cast Glover, since he seems to have always seen Indiana Jones through the prism of James Bond.  After all, Lucas first coaxed him to direct Raiders right after Albert Broccoli refused to let him do a Bond film. (This also explains Sean Connery--apparently Lucas would have preferred Gregory Peck as Henry.)

OTOH, Jon Pertwee was another name tossed around for Henry, and I suspect he was Spielberg's backup choice. So Doctor Who may be in the list of influences on Donovan after all. But, given the Third Doctor's style, this brings us right back to James Bond.

Post
#701541
Topic
Star Wars: Episode VII to be directed by J.J. Abrams **NON SPOILER THREAD**
Time

(Let's try posting this in the right thread this time....)

I found the relevant quote I mentioned earlier from The Making of ROTJ, for the curious:

"I had this concept of the rebel briefing room as being a rather beaten up meeting place, sort of like Britain's last stand in 1940 before the Americans joined the war," Marquand says. "Norman [Reynolds, production designer] thought this was terrific, too. But when we showed it to George, he said 'No, no, no, you've got it completely wrong. That isn't what I intended at all. Your concept of how the rebels win is not the way they win. They win because they've got the best equipment. They've gotten themselves all together.'"

Post
#701439
Topic
Star Wars: Episode VII to be directed by J.J. Abrams **NON SPOILER THREAD**
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

Ryan McAvoy said:

An old lady and a Mon Cal pilot would have added nicely to that "The Rebellion is an equal opportunities employer" thing.

IMO, the old lady adds more to that "The Rebellion is underfunded and undermanned" thing.

Maybe that's precisely why it didn't make the final cut. There's a quote in The Making of ROTJ (I'll find it later) where someone asked GL if the uniforms and sets for the Rebel fleet shouldn't be more beaten up and distressed. Lucas answered that the Rebels actually had superior equipment compared to the Empire, and that's why they ended up winning the civil war.

Go figure.

Post
#701063
Topic
The Prequel Era Has Ended, Long Live the Original Trilogy!
Time

Baronlando said:

http://starwars.com/news/announcing-an-exciting-new-array-of-star-wars-childrens-books.html

They're selling this kids book series about the original trilogy like it's meant to educate the demo that knows mostly the prequel/cartoon era.

Especially pleasing to me is the fact that among the images used to promote the book with the McQuarrie illustrations is his early ROTJ painting of two unfinished Death Stars in orbit over Had Abbadon/Coruscant.

Post
#700679
Topic
The Sad Story of LucasArts' Darth Maul Game
Time

Color me unsurprised that the first thing that Lucasfilm staffers tell the third-party game developers who are about to meet with George Lucas is "never say 'no' to George."

Also somehow not surprised that GL played with the statues of Maul and Talon like action figures and said "they're friends!" to illustrate his idea for the game concept.

And once again we see GL is only capable of thinking of plot and character ideas in terms of pastiches of other media--he name-checked The Godfather and Lauren Bacall in speaking to the guys at Red Fly.

I am however frankly a bit mystified that the Lucasfilm guys warned the developers not to mention the name of the protagonist Starkiller from The Force Unleashed--and that Lucas wouldn't ever do so either. He named him, after all, didn't he? (Did GL decide he no longer liked using the name Starkiller for that character? Sorry, George, but you don't get to un-release video games, even bad ones.)

Post
#698025
Topic
What do you LIKE about the EU?
Time

darklordoftech said:

ATMachine said:

RicOlie_2 said:

I think Vader was always intended to be Luke's father though, even in the pre-ESB universe. His name even implies it.

 *sigh*

Actually, Lucas' earliest surviving notes on Vader's name don't say anything about the word "father"--rather they suggest the name was a combination of the phrases Dark Invader and Death Water.

Also, I highly suggest you read through the Leigh Brackett script of ESB.

And even if Vader was always intended to be Luke's father, a universe in which he's not would be interesting. As far as we knew in 1977, mrs. and mr. Vader named their son Darth and Darth betrayed and murdered Luke's father.

Which is exactly why Obi-Wan refers to Vader as "Darth" -- he's calling him by his first name, because they used to know each other.

Personally I love the idea of a SW multiverse embracing early-draft ideas. Something along the lines of the current The Star Wars comic.

You could have a version of ANH without the later sister-Skywalker retcon, where Luke is 18-20 years old and Leia is only 16, like the script calls for--and have Luke "get the girl" at the end of the saga instead of Han. (And introduce Nellith Skywalker, Luke's real twin sister, while you're at it.)

Or go with Lucas's initial thoughts about casting and have Luke still be the blond Flash Gordon type, but with Han Solo being black and Leia Japanese (plus Toshiro Mifune as Obi-Wan).

Post
#697958
Topic
What do you LIKE about the EU?
Time

RicOlie_2 said:

I think Vader was always intended to be Luke's father though, even in the pre-ESB universe. His name even implies it.

 *sigh*

Actually, Lucas' earliest surviving notes on Vader's name don't say anything about the word "father"--rather they suggest the name was a combination of the phrases Dark Invader and Death Water.

Also, I highly suggest you read through the Leigh Brackett script of ESB.

Post
#697165
Topic
Star Wars: Episode VII to be directed by J.J. Abrams **NON SPOILER THREAD**
Time

I recall reading something on the ST '09 DVD that said the original plan for those scenes was to have Kirk be stranded on a desert planet--and when he and original-flavor Spock meet up with Scotty they do it in a seedy cantina full of aliens.

No surprise he dropped Star Trek like a hot potato when Disney came calling.

Post
#697042
Topic
What do you LIKE about the EU?
Time

SilverWook said:

darklordoftech said:

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rish_Loo

Evil Gungans are always funny.

 

Please tell me that's not a bone in his nose.

OK, just when I thought Jar Jar as Stepin Fetchit couldn't get any worse...

(Oddly enough, in the first draft script of TPM, Jar Jar spoke normal English. On the other hand the humans of Naboo were super racist, referring to Jar Jar's "bad smell" and confining him to the cargo hold of the Queen's starship. The idea was that they would have to overcome their racism by the end of the film after relying on the heroism of the Gungans to defend their city.

When one realizes that Lucas changed the Gungan motif from recalling the unjust persecution of African-Americans into an offensive caricature of them, Jar Jar becomes all the more disgusting.)

Post
#693653
Topic
General Star Wars <strong>Random Thoughts</strong> Thread
Time

The Making of ROTJ reveals that it was Lawrence Kasdan who first suggested that Luke should have a different color lightsaber for ROTJ. However, the idea wasn't actually acted on until post-production, when the bright blue sky of the footage shot in the Yuma desert made Luke's blue rotoscoped saber blade all but invisible. (The original blue saber can be seen in the film's trailers.)

Post
#693644
Topic
General Star Wars <strong>Random Thoughts</strong> Thread
Time

SilverWook said:

I'm sure differing Lightsaber colors originally came about to make dueling scenes easier to follow, and keep the guys doing the rotoscope FX from going insane. Now, it's probably a couple mouse clicks and done. ;)

Vader's was actually blue in McQuarrie's early conception.

In universe, I would think a Lightsaber color is purely a personal preference. There has to be a switch on the hilt for that somewhere?

It gets better than that: the text of GL's 1974 rough draft of The Star Wars describes only one lightsaber color, and that is red. And the lightsaber thus described is that of the protagonist!

Although the initial idea was to give everyone red sabers, early effects tests (glimpsed on the Blu-ray) show that ILM considered using all-blue, all-white, and all-red sabers. The all-white sabers were what GL picked--possibly after reading a SF story by Edmond Hamilton featuring white "lightswords," a term which may have helped GL abandon his use of "lazersword" in earlier drafts--and they can be seen in all their ugliness in the original trailer.

The failure of the original attempt to realize the lightsabers' glow in-camera meant that a new rotoscope effect had to be devised in post. It's at this point that GL probably remembered reading Lord of the Rings and the scene where Gandalf wields the blue-glowing Elvish sword Glamdring against the flaming red sword of the Balrog.

McQuarrie certainly seems to have devised the idea of different saber colors earlier, but even after agreeing to it Lucas didn't follow his choice of colors (yellow for the hero, blue for the villain, and white for stormtroopers!).

Even after the finalization of the effect, the idea of uniformly colored sabers didn't stop: one of McQuarrie's concepts for the cover of the SW novelization (a second take on his famous painting of the second draft's Deak Starkiller/Vader duel) shows all-white sabers. The Marvel adaptation of SW used all-red sabers. And Splinter of the Mind's Eye and the ESB novelization both describe Vader's saber as blue as well as Luke's.

Post
#691514
Topic
General Star Wars <strong>Random Thoughts</strong> Thread
Time

Very interesting! I would have to suspect that Zahn's idea for the history of the Clone Wars was probably where Lucas first got the notion of Palpatine being the chessmaster behind them.

Lucas cribbing significant plot points of his movies/TV shows from EU material (after forcing the writers not to use them) isn't new. Back in the early 90s Rob MacGregor wrote an Indiana Jones novel (Peril at Delphi) whose first draft included as the story's narrator a 90-something Indiana Jones with an eyepatch and a cane. Lucas told him to cut out the bookends, claiming that "no one wants to see an old Indy."

Lo and behold, when the first season of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles aired a couple years later, it featured a 90-something Indiana Jones, with an eyepatch and a cane, as the narrator in bookend segments in every episode. But the elderly Indy proved unpopular and was dropped from the show later on; in the current-day edits of the series he no longer appears at all.

Post
#691302
Topic
General Star Wars <strong>Random Thoughts</strong> Thread
Time

In the 1977 story conferences excerpted in The Making of ESB, Lucas told Leigh Brackett that, because Lando Kadar was a clone, Leia ought to be suspicious of him, due to the Clone Wars. He further stated that the clones were "partly responsible for the war" and that "on these planets of clones, there are many countries, say about 700 countries and [Lando is] from one of the ruling clone clans."

The rest of the conclusion is my own inference; but it's not a great leap, really, when Lucas's various drafts and outlines from ANH and ESB have multiple dialogue lines lifted verbatim from Dune and its sequels.

Dune was clearly on his mind from the get-go as an influence, back to the very first "Journal of the Whills" outline--where "Prince Luke Skywalker" is the endangered heir of the royal family of a desert planet. In other words, an ersatz Paul Atreides. This role became the character of Princess Leia Aquilae by the time of the rough draft script, under the influence of The Hidden Fortress.

Post
#691255
Topic
General Star Wars <strong>Random Thoughts</strong> Thread
Time

KilroyMcFadden said:

I always imagined a situation where there was some kind of evil clone uprising.

That's exactly what GL originally thought of it as: a rebellion by evil clones sometime in the past, which presumably led to a ban on the use of cloning technology (as seen in the use of mechanical artificial limbs--a plot staple from the very first draft of ANH).

In fact, the Clone Wars as first conceived were clearly inspired by the Butlerian Jihad in Dune--the long-ago conflict in which sentient machines rebelled against human rule, leading to a total ban on intelligent computers in the Dune universe. Only, in the SW galaxy, robots remain ubiquitous, and cloning is taboo instead.

Post
#668897
Topic
How would you have handled Episode VI (6)?
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

Now that I think about it, it would be kind of interesting if Ep. VI had ended on the same note as Dune, with Luke becoming the new Emperor - and eventually a reluctant dictator - ala Paul Atreides.

It certainly would have paved the way for an interesting sequel trilogy, at any rate.

Are you referring to the bits in Making of ROTJ where Kasdan suggests exactly this ending? I think it's a very interesting potential story direction as well.

Of course it would have echoed not just Dune, but also the much older John Carter of Mars series, whose first trilogy ends with John Carter becoming Warlord of all Barsoom. (Along with the ending of The Hidden Fortress, this is probably what Lucas intended to parallel with the "coronation" scene at the end of the original ANH rough draft.)

But as Edgar Rice Burroughs was much more idealistic than Frank Herbert, John Carter is a much more benevolent ruler than Paul Atreides. For one thing, he doesn't unleash a galaxy-wide holy war that spills oceans of blood.

Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, on the other hand, was offered the rule of Mongo after the downfall of Ming the Merciless, but refused--he stepped aside to let the rightful heir Prince Barin take over (not as King, mind you, but as a President) and hopped the first rocket back to Earth. It's Flash Gordon's altruistic refusal to take on political power that Lucas probably wanted to evoke in ROTJ, rather than Herbert's Atreides Empire with its inevitable decay into despotism.

Incidentally, Mongo after Ming seems to be a federation of constitutional monarchies--it's referred to as the "United Republics of Mongo" and the overall head of state is a President, but the individual realms of the planet retain their royal sovereigns. This is probably more or less what Lucas imagined the Republic as being like (applied to a galactic scale) when he wrote ANH.

Post
#666844
Topic
Making of Return of the Jedi (the book) Thread
Time

A quick reaction to a few of the ANH eBook goodies:

One really cool video shows the original version of the title card. Originally the STAR WARS logo (in a different design) didn't recede straight backward. Instead it started out in normal orientation, then folded over backwards into the plane of the opening crawl, and then receded, followed immediately by the crawl text.

We also get concept art by Ralph McQuarrie and John Mollo for Princess Leia; McQuarrie draws Leia as a blonde, and Mollo gives her light brown hair. (Mollo recalls that Lucas at that point wanted Leia to resemble Jean Harlow.) In fact, there's a new photo of Carrie Fisher trying on a dark blonde wig.

Mollo consistently draws Luke with blond hair--sometimes short like Flash Gordon's, and sometimes longer like Mark Hamill's. Which helps explain why Hamill got the part.

(Frankly, Hamill had the WASPy, blond, Flash Gordon look that Lucas wanted for his hero. On the other hand, Will Seltzer, who was the front-runner for the Luke role until Hamill auditioned late in the casting process, had curly brown hair and was ethnically Jewish. The fourth-draft script of ANH, written during the time of early casting sessions, describes Luke as having Seltzer's "curly hair," but the revised fourth-draft script changes it to Hamill's "shaggy hair." In the third draft Luke had "short hair.")

Oh, and Rinzler has unearthed a previously unknown rough painting by McQuarrie, of a scene that occurs in the rough draft and the second-draft script of ANH. It shows Annikin/Luke Starkiller stuck high in the treetops of Yavin, having just crashed an escape pod, and about to deal with a monstrous spiderish creature perched on his chest, looking for a meal.

Post
#665883
Topic
How would you have handled Episode VI (6)?
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

Changed the whole method of how Palpatine & Vader go about seducing Luke to the darkside to make it more believeable. The whole "if-you-strike-me-down-in-hatred-you'll-join-me" bit is just dumb and smacks of future PT developments.

This is where Lucas really should've taken a page from Tolkien (whom he obviously read--or else why are Jedi sabers blue and Sith ones red?). The One Ring in the LOTR books, for all its evil power, doesn't turn you into a mindless ally of Sauron. If Denethor, Steward of Minas Tirith, got his hands on the Ring, he wouldn't use it to ally with Sauron and crush the people of Gondor and Rohan--he'd use it to overthrow Sauron utterly and establish Gondor as a mighty empire.

But Tolkien's entire point was that this is the wrong approach. If Gondor defeated the Evil Empire of Mordor using Mordor's own methods, it'd just inevitably set up a new despotism in its place. But Denethor would still think that he was a hero, and still claim to be acting for the forces of Good.

Lucas missed Tolkien's point--that fallen good guys don't stop thinking they're good guys. If Luke kills his father in anger it doesn't make sense that he would become the Emperor's lapdog--it makes far more sense that he would try to overthrow the Emperor and seize power for himself, in the name of creating a new, more "benevolent" Empire. (Mind you, Kasdan actually proposed this as a happy ending for ROTJ.)

FWIW, Peter Jackson got this one wrong too--by turning the traitorous and cunning Saruman of the novels (who happily betrayed Mordor at the first opportunity in hopes of seizing the Ring for his own) into a much more authentically loyal servant of the Dark Lord.

Sorry for the slight off topicness...