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Which do you think is a better ESB plot twist? Where do you think the other one would have lead?

If Kenobi had killed Luke's father (let's say because he was turning to the Dark Side like Vader) then maybe Luke would have felt more conflicted about sides--Vader would have been a stronger character(he could have still been a stronger character in ROTJ if he was competing for Luke with the Emperor).

Luke didnt really have much reason to be tempted by the Dark Side in ROTJ. The sister temptation comment by Vader was rather late in the game--it worked but not very suspenseful. The love triangle would have been stronger perhaps.


It would have been even more shocking if Vader and said "No, you killed your father."

Really should have checked all those detention cells on the Death Star before blowing it up.








"Let the Wookie Win!" Circa April 1978

Great article. I was reading a Tippett interview yesterday and it mentioned the blur issue-so here in this decades old article he is giving a hint about the development of the Go motion process used in ESB, Dragonslayer  and elsewhere. I didnt know he worked so closely with Danforth who did very realistic animation and some primitive blur effects for When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.

The chess scene was such an inventive little bit.

Those cut closeup shots are  collector gold if they ever surface.

They say some people hate stop motion because the strobing effect is very noticeable to them. Rumor has it Spielberg is like that and wanted to avoid any stop motion on Jurassic Park until it became clear mechanical ones couldnt do it all. Then the cg experiments got better than expected results...


If you google for Pete Peterson animator there is some really impressive stop motion animation footage done in the 60s ---some for a movie never made called the Las Vegas Monster. Like Danforth he was a meticulous animator--and overcame the lack of motion blur to produce some remarkable and long lost  animation.




Rejected Prequel Titles

I wanted to say

Jimmy Smit's only movie

but he has done others--but mostly tv I think.

I was going to say his worst movie--but since he hasnt done that many

it just didnt seem to fit like it does with Stamp or Lee who have done so many more.

Oh and since he is also in AOTC its a hard call.

I think I should have said Peter Mayhew's worst movie.


So you think george lucas will do this again?

Thanks for that explanation

I kept wondering who has gout? George Lucas?



I think I finally got a dvd player as a christmas gift around 2003-2004.

My last vhs purchase was Jurassic Park 3.

I bought a mad bunch of dvds but not Star Wars because I didnt want the SE ROTJ revised ending. Only seen the online pics-will never scar my corneas with the juxtaposition of Alec Guiness with the kid. Sticking William Holden or Jack Hawkins in there would have been less visually damaging.







How come nobody stopped George Lucas from creating the bad films he created?

Maybe Lucas and Spielberg accidentally destroyed the future of US big studio cinema  by making such profits that it attracted  multi national corporations to buy the studios. I think that led to the eventual decline of the US film industry--and when the old time studio production executives retired and were replaced by business school graduates --voila--Transformers 2007/Clash of the Titans 2010.

On the subject of 50s cinema--the thing is that those films were considered kiddie fare and relatively cheaply made with weaker screenplays and acting.  A big studio wouldnt have touched it. Columbia was formerly poverty row after all.

Jaws onward were big studio films with large budgets. The studios put all their resources into the "kiddie fare"--at least that's the perception.

No doubt the success of Star Wars and Raiders helped kill the more serious vein of science fiction the big studios were doing---the 2001-Planet of the Apes-Soylent Green, Silent Running variety...that's too bad.

The rising cost of filmmaking is also a big factor too obviously.

Less risk taking.

I think the success of the  prequels just from brand name recognition  probably encouraged the studios to focus more on franchises and dispense with original screenplay projects. Why bother when people (seemingly) want another Batman, or will watch a movie made from a Disneyland ride.

The corporate takeover of book publishers has also had a dire effect on storytelling. Feels to me like there is less variety, less books being turned into films.Would even something like Jaws be possible today given that they only care about recognizable franchises? Are there best selling novels anymore that arent about a boy wizard? lol









RedLetterMedia's Revenge of Nadine [TPM 108 pg Resp. [RotS Review+RotS Preview+ST'09 Reveiw+Next Review Teaser+2002 Interview+AotC OutTakes+Noooooo! Doc.+SW Examiner Rebuttal+AotC Review+TPM Review]


some good impressions of Palpatine and Grievous in there.


I actually liked R2D2's introduction in TPM and his appearance before the Queen. Reminded me of a 1940s high seas film-Captain Blood or something. Might be the only thing I liked in it.

Would have been more logical if C3PO served on the same ship.

The protocol droid built on Tattooine was just very bad writing.

Like saying the movies were for kids but having political intrigue and trade problems in it.. Yeah-kids love that stuff.

Red Letter Media guy gets my respect for risking(or rather achieving) mental damage by analyzing the prequels.

I think his storytelling points can be used on many recent films-wish he would savage District 9, most overrated production of recent years. So poorly thought out-I must track down the version that apparently deserved a best adapted screenplay nomination over so many sf films in the past that never got one.

The version I saw was some kind of ultra cheap Alien Nation-Enemy Mine retread with a lot of  shaky cam and an uncertain blend of seriousness and comedy.

It was nowhere in the league of Robocop/2001/Star Wars as some people described it. It may be better than the Prequels but I dont plan to watch it again to do a comparison.





Some (not so kind) words about Lucas by Mel Smith

Bobby Jay said:

Something occurred to me last night though. Back in the early 90's, when rumours about the prequels was beginning to emerge, I remember reading somewhere that Lucas planned to use images of Alec Guinness from his early movies to create a digital young Kenobi in the prequels.

**Yeah I heard that too--and I read somewhere-maybe AICN that there was a rumor Lucas had done digital scans of the SW actors in the early 90s(this would have been around the time of the Abyss-Terminator 2 where such technology was being developed at ILM).


I think the idea is interesting and bound to happen--whether its using archival footage altered like they did with Brando for Superman Lives (if you google you can find the making of footage) or altering the features of someone to more closely resemble a famous person.

Whether such an illusion could work except in brief bits--dont know.Would be hard to get a performance out of it that didnt seem artificial or not right-especially if you are familiar with the real person's movies.

The Infamous "Stormtrooper Aim" Explained With Science

 Come to think of it--the object in Kane's childhood wasnt really the issue--it was his lost childhood that mattered--maybe he did talk about that to people he knew but they didnt clue in(he hinted about it to his second wife when discussing things moved from his homestead).

He may well have only remembered the name Rosebud when he held the snowglobe.

The rebel base exposure is more of a problem since it goes against the character. Leia wanted to protect the base more than Kane wanted to talk about his childhood.

The Infamous "Stormtrooper Aim" Explained With Science

Just to comment on something in the article responses, I have a 1980 Worlds of Star Wars magazine and it mentioned some biological background for characters. Dont have it in front of me but I recall it said the stormtroopers were clones.

I always figured it was a bunch of different clone models, not Jango Fett(since the prequels were decades away).


But the stormtrooper aim thing is something I never paid attention to.

I never spot the stormtrooper who hits his head either.

On Rosebud-I dont think its a plot hole exactly. Maybe he didnt want people to know he had a sissy fixation on a childhood item!

Strange name for a slei-- oops! spoiler warning!






Favorite Star Wars Book?

Anchorhead said:

My favorite(s) are The Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley. They're well written, very interesting, have that depth of character & atmosphere, that attention to scene detail that Daley was so good at - and - they're free of the burden of all the stuff that is just so fucking tired to me about Star Wars, i.e. The Empire, The Sith, Vader, R2, 3PO, etc.  There is just so much more that can be done with the vast, dark, unknown universe we were introduced to in 1977.  Brian Daley did it with these three novels.


**Its been so long since i had seen the ads for the Han Solo books and with so much focus on the Jedi since I had completely forgotten the possibilities until a couple of months ago i saw a painting by a comic artist (Adam Hughes I believe) showing Han Solo and Chewbacca circa 77 that made me think they could have just as easily spun off the movies into something about Han Solo or something entirely different.

It was a unique position since Star Trek and most film science fiction was grounded by Earth links while SW was completely free of such restraints to the imagination.





The unmasking of Vader and Richard Marquand

I originally expected a big headed alien. When I first saw him he looked like Ray Milland to me.

In an 83 SW documentary Lucas mentioned that people wouldnt or didnt like the "funny old man" but he claimed that that was what was always planned.

I do think the unmasking robbed Darth Vader of his mystique but if he is doing that redemption story it was pretty much necessary.

I think was a little too old though.

 I read somewhere  that David Lynch was asked to direct ROTJ and he turned it down?


'78 interview with David Prowse [spoilers] :) he reveals Vader is Luke's father

SilverWook said:

 The horned Wookiee ripoff with the battle axe still cracks me up to this day.


**speaking of horned wookies--I believe there is a second season episode of Lost in Space featuring space pirates-one had a green head with a bright orange vest(made me think of Greedo), and another is a big brown hairy creature ( with horns) and what appears very much like a belt running diagonally across the chest.

Always wanted to look it up again to see if I was imagining the bandoleer.



'78 interview with David Prowse [spoilers] :) he reveals Vader is Luke's father

I liked the Lizard Man! Cayman of the Lambda Zone!


I wouldnt mind seeing a new SW rip off especially since Lucas really didnt keep with the style in the prequels.


These days it would be pretty easy to make 77 era sets and even better fx.



Saw this quote today:

'Star Wars creator Lucas added, "(Coppola) taught me how to write. He taught me how to direct."'




How has Star Wars aged with you?

Haha I remember where I sat when watching Empire and ROTJ too.

During Empire there was a guy in front of me to my right who had a really weird ear-cauliflower ear or something-and during Jedi this idiot kept talking behind me with his girlfriend about some boy in the audience who he said had a girl's hairdo. I was so uncomfortable I wondered if he meant me. lol

Also someone flooded the washrooms in the mall where I saw Jedi.

Cant really do that with many other movies.

I saw Raiders in my pajamas.



How has Star Wars aged with you?

I was 7 when it came out. I saw it in a drive in although I fell asleep during the Death Star attack. :(

I collected the books and comics and watched the holiday special when it premiered.

ESB I saw in a theater on my birthday. One of if not the best cinematic experiences I ever had. I feel lucky to have seen it when the surprises were surprises. ROTJ didnt have such an impact on me--I liked it at the time but after a while I could see how it doesnt really follow ESB in tone, and both sequels are rather different from the original 77 movie which stands on its own as a separate complete movie experience and story. It felt like an infinite universe of adventure and possibilities.

I didnt favor SW media  over anything else though--I liked Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Spider-man etc...

I would say SW has aged well for me--I used to dislike Hamill's performance in SW but now see it as appropriate, and I can appreciate things that I hadnt thought of before(like its connection to spaghetti westerns).


The big change was that for years I saw Lucas as a secretive Tolkien like creator who had planned out everything years ago-and I had anticipated the prequels for many years--but now I know he made it up as he went along and benefited greatly from collaborators. I now feel that MacQuarrie was probably the single most important contributor to the SW experience with his designs(especially Vader and the stormtroopers).

I think the artwork surrounding SW is a separate media phenomenon all its own--the light saber, the ships, Darth Vader etc..

I dont revisit SW films often-and dont bother checking out expanded universe, comics or anything associated with the prequels so it doesnt feel all that tarnished.

If one image sticks in my mind from SW above all others its the shot of the Millennium Falcon blasting off from Mos Eisley with the aliens and storm troopers watching in the foreground.










'78 interview with David Prowse [spoilers] :) he reveals Vader is Luke's father

He was guessing for sure. I am pretty sure he or Kershener said that Prowse was saying: "Obi Wan killed your father" in the Bespin scene and he didnt find out the truth until the premiere.

I thought the grudge with Lucas comes from the fact that Prowse was rather possessive of the Vader part. He wanted to do the voice and be the face under the mask and make appearances in the costume.

I read  (I think it was from a  Hamill interview) that he would prance around the set in full Vader gear, MH was annoyed with him for not giving credit to the guy doing the fencing (Bob Anderson?)...Apparently he and Christopher Reeve, who Prowse trained for Superman, also had some falling out.

One interesting anecdote Prowse told (assuming its true lol)  was that on Jedi they didnt want him to do the bit with picking up the Emperor and so they had rigged all sorts of things for a stunt man to do the lifting that didnt work-and finally they relented and he just went over and picked up the Emperor in one hand with no problem.

I think Prowse is right that Vader was the most iconic part in SW.








Chuck Klosterman on SW

I dont think Star Wars deviated that much from the general mood of the 70s. It was experimental cinema in its day--FOX had planned Damnation Alley as its major sci fi film--SW was a little side project.

SW took place under a war and galactic dictatorship, lots of people died, and the bad guy lived to fight another day. Vietnam and the hippies  (the Force, Chewbacca ) are echoed in the story. R2D2 represents the technological comfort that sprang up with innovations in home appliances (I just made that up but I think it has some truth. lol)
It may have been influenced by serial adventures but it wasnt a straight update of them(the same is true of Raiders--how many 1940s serials had a main character with  a Polanski-like rape scandal?).

Audiences change too--the people who wanted to see foreign and alternative stories in the 60s  gave way to a different audience by the late 70s.

Although it probably killed serious science fiction films. Before SW the genre was geared at adults for the most part. Silent Running, Colossus the Forbin project,  Planet of the Apes, 2001, Forbidden Planet, Day the Earth Stood Still...After Blade Runner there hasnt been much in that vein from the major studios...

The  main change after SW was the multi national corporations buying the studios and the focus on merchandising.

I think its possible that the prequels were a more obvious damage to moviemaking--since they started appearing there was a noticeable shift towards franchises and a lapse in even the most basic attempt at character and dialogue. Coincidence? I wonder. Maybe the studios thought: hey, people are going to see these things no matter how bad they are...

Star Wars was not deep in either department but is practically Shakespearean compared to a Transformers or Clash of the Titans 2010. ROTJ despite its flaws is more emotionally involving than most of the big studio movies I watch these days.

Cameron isnt getting the same criticism because there isnt anything but franchise, remakes and comic book movies  from the studios, and the critics working now grew up after Star Wars.





Return of the Jedi cut-scene

Bingowings said:

I don't think it hurts that much seeing the saber built but personally I would have had it built on Dagobah not Tatooine and have Yoda die in the beginning of the film (after completing Luke's Jedi training as best as he could) rather than just waiting for Luke to return and dropping down dead in the middle of his reunion conversation.


Yeah that was unfortunate timing as well as the numerous times Yoda says "Luke!" in that scene.

ROTJ has a slow start--ESB at least had some connection-following the probes to Hoth, but the other seemed merely to ensure we got another Star Destroyer opening.

Like there's a considerable time lapse between ESB and ROTJ--supposedly Chewie and Lando are looking for Jabba and Boba Fett--they will rendyvous on Tattooine (presumably when they locate them?). I assume that is the one place Jabba wouldnt be--unless it was just some awkward dialogue.

Would Luke rescue Han before going back to Yoda? Probably, but unless they went after Han immediately I would have expected him to go back to Yoda pretty fast.

If there is anything I would like to know more of from a historical paper trail,  is what would have happened had Lucas kept the gang together (Kurtz, Mrs. Lucas,  etc) through ROTJ's production. Just to get a sense of how it may have been different. I think I read Kurtz say he felt the new Death Star was repetitive--well if that is true what type of threat and location would they have had instead? The Endor base attack was rather boring--visually not exotic. If Lucas hadnt gone cheap what might that have been like?

I think i read somewhere that the Emperor's chambers might have been on a lava rock planet?

If Leia wasnt the other, how would that have played out--how would Kenobi have explained not revealing who Luke's father was..etc.

Since I dont like thinking about the prequels at all, this is what I would be curious to know more about if any paper trail exists to highlight it.