Jul 21, 2014

JJ reveals what the X-Wing looks like, mentions something about children in need.

JJ X Wing

The detail on this X Wing looks like the production team is employing the Peter Jackson / Guillermo del Toro mode of attention to detail that helped make them famous.

Remember this X Wing leak? Looks like the same kind of model.

Oh, and the mouse robot.....

Why do Obi Wan and Vader fight so slowly in A New Hope than compared to Revenge of the Sith?

obi wan fights vader on the Death Star

Why do Obi Wan and Vader fight so slowly in A New Hope than compared to how they do in Revenge of the Sith?

Well, it's not because they are old!

This are two ways to answer this question. The first relates to the effort of movie making. The second is about the story telling.

In terms of movie making, Star Wars was produced in 1976 and featured an elderly Alec Guiness clashing swords with a muscle man in a big heavy black suit. No one expected the energetic acrobatics of Errol Flynn.

This was a sword fight using 'light swords' and on screen special effects that never ever been done before. No one ever knew Star Wars was going to become the biggest film in history. No one knew it was going to be one of the most examined and discussed films in history. If George Lucas had, he would have made it better. But he didn't and indeed, he swapped some points with Steven Spielberg!

There was simply no way that the sword fight between Darth and Kenobi was going to be as epic as what was eventually realised in Revenge of the Sith.

But in terms of story telling, this is where things get interesting. What you witnessed was not a sword battle between a Sith Lord and a famous Jedi Knight, it was a conversation (watch it here).

Forget about Revenge of the Sith for a moment, what we were presented with was two foes that had fought some 20 years earlier where one left the other for dead. And now, Vader is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. He could have killed Kenobi in an instant but he chose to play it out a bit, maybe so he could figure out what Obi Wan was up to (he already had a plan though to let the Millennium Falcon escape).

One could argue that Obi Wan toys with Vader somewhat as well. He certainly insults him with his sneering use of the word Darth. This repartee fine for Kenobi, he was trying to give Luke a chance to escape the Death Star. He also knew that his death would be a significant event.

The telling point is not this rope-a-dope of sorts, but Kenobi's line "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." that was important. We didn't know how it was important but we were given enough to know that with this knowledge, Kenobi was not afraid to die.

He knew he was able to help Luke in another, more important way - and that came to be when Luke was doing the trench run on the Death Star and was able to give guidance. It was a noble sacrifice and it set the path for Luke to become a Jedi and bring down the Emperor (Obi Wan had no idea Vader was still to actually fulfill The Prophecy).

vader kenobi battle
From my point of view the Jedi are evil...
By the time Revenge of the Sith came along, moving making had come a long long way.

Blockbusters were now giant spectacles filled with epic action and featured vast amounts of CGI animation. George Lucas was able to take the current state of CGI and use it to make his duel between two heroes one of the fastest flowing there had ever been. He needed to as well for it was the climax of the prequel trilogy and the moment every one had wanted to see since it was learned that Vader fell to the dark side. It had to be epic, anything less would have been a failure.

Extra for experts: Check out this theory about light sabers being used in the Star Wars movies.

Jul 18, 2014

Did Bobba Fett survive his inglorious fall into the Sarlacc Pitt?

Johnathan Rinzler has basically confirmed what every Bobba Fett fan has wished for - that Bobba did not die in the Sarlacc Pitt in Jedi. Many fans have felt that the character didn't deserve to die in such an ignomius way.

The trouble of course is no one really knew Bobba was going to become considered such a 'cool' Star Wars character. This author think's he's over rated for one.....

Any ways Rinzler did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit and this is the answer he gave about Bobba Fett's survival:

"Yes, he does. I have been in meetings with George where he confirms that Fett survived. If it comes from George then it’s true!"

And if you don't believe the man who is one of the team in charge of recording the history of the Star Wars films, I have documented proof Bobba lives:

It aint easy being green, especially if you're a slave dancer on Tatooine

oola jedi coslay green twilek

It aint easy being green, especially if you're a green Twilek named Oola that happens to dance for a giant slug. This cosplayer totally nails the Oola from Jedi, don't you think? Twilek are actually pretty popular as cosplay targets, as if you didn't know...

Jul 17, 2014

IG-88 was built from the beverage dispenser from the Cantina from A New Hope

Did you know that the bounty hunter droid IG-88 who was briefly scene in The Empire Strikes Backwas built with recycled shooting accessories from A New Hope?

ig88 cantina head

IG-88's head was created from one of the beverage dispensers that can be seen in the cantina of Star War's A New Hope! 

While IG-88 was only briefly seen in Empire, it was enough for him to feature in a short story written by Kevin J. Anderson called Therefore I am: The Tale of IG-88. It's a very clever yarn that's woven around the events of Empire and Jedi. Get a copy from Amazon here!

Jul 10, 2014

How Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet influenced Star Wars

robby the robot

How Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet influenced the development of C3PO 

We've covered the influences that films and novels have had over George Lucas but Kitbashed found a great one in the form of the movie Forbidden Planet. I particularly enjoyed to discovering how the famous 'Robby the Robot' had an influence on the robot that became C3PO.

While we have previously discussed how Ralph McQuarrie's design for C3PO was inspired by the Maschinenmensch from Fritz Lang's famous film, Metropolis and that his comedy duo act with his foil R2D2 came from The Hidden Fortress, it's Robby the Robot that sets the tone of the golden rod. 

Early C3PO design sketch
Early C3PO design sketch
How many times in the Star Wars movies does C3PO mention that he is a protocol droid that is capable of speaking some 6 gabillion languages? A thousand? Robbie the Robot did it first as he was being introduced to the human space travelers:

"If you do not speak English, I am at your disposal with 187 other languages, dialects and sub-tongues"

Kitbashed cleverly notes that this example means that Robby the Robot is effectively a proto-protocol droid.

Word on the street has it that George Lucas has stated that the lumbering robot was not a direct inspiration for C3PO. This is not wholly true. In the documentary about science fiction films of the 1950's a, Look at the Sky! discussion is had with the directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas about Forbidden Planet.

Spielberg suggests that Lucas must have been inspired by Robby as he developed C3P0′s character. Lucas naturally suggested he was more influenced by Metropolis. That may be so for the 'look' of C3PO but Lucas totally stole the protocol droid idea whether he admits it or not!

There's a further reference to Robby in A New Hope. At a point in Forbidden Planet the character Alta tries several times to summon Robby with her remote control, he excuses his absence with having been busy taking an 'oil bath'.

What does C3PO do when he gets to Luke's moisture farm? He has an oil bath and he exclaims "Thank the maker! This oil bath is going to feel so good."

And now that we know Darth Vader is C3PO's maker, the line is doubly clever.

Who is Aayla Secura and is she really the hottest blue alien ever?

Ayyala Secura
Look behind you love...
As usual, we are going to play the sex sells card on this one as it seems the only reason people visit In a far away galaxy is to look for pictures of Princess Leia in a certain slave bikini.

Aayala Securra - she's become a bit of a fan favourite with those who actually enjoy the Star Wars prequels (you could call these people the silent majority if you will). So who is she, what makes the blue Twi'lek tick and who play her in the movies?

Let's start with her official bio from Star Wars website:

'With an athletic build, an exotic beauty, and blue skin, Aayla Secura stood out among the many faces of the Jedi ranks. A cunning warrior and Jedi Knight during the rise of the Clone Wars, Aayla fought alongside Clone Commander Bly on many exotic battlefields. Having mastered the emotional detachment necessary in the Jedi Order, she always tried to pass on what she had learned to others.'

Which is nice and all but most fans first met Aayla in Attack of the Clones.

So did George Lucas create this Jedi?

No he did not. Aayla Secura was first brought into the Star Wars saga by Dark Horse Comics as part of the expanded Star Wars universe. George Lucas took a liking to the character and decided to use her and she was added to the script of Attack of the Clones near the end of the writing process.

I heard she died. Is this true?

Yes, she died in the events of Order 66 on Felucia where her Clones turned on her and shot her from behind. You can catch this in Revenge of the Sith.

Who played Aayla Secura?
Amy Allen played Aayala in Clones and Sith 

Amy Allen plays the character. Amy was part of the production crew for many films and wound up work at Lucasfilm. This work was parlayed into playing an extra in The Phantom Menace as a Twi-lek. Come time for someone to play this new character in Attack of the Clones, Amy was called on.

Amy Allen also appears in three different guises during the Outlander Club sequence in Attack of the Clones. She was filmed during principal photography standing near the video screens in one outfit, and digitally cloned by ILM to appear in two different places at the same time. These 'two' characters were later identified as twins Mya and Yma Nalle. 

During later pickup shots Amy appeared behind Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen as they discuss the changeling, wearing a hat and thick braids. This patron was later named Lela Mayn.

Just goes to show it's all about who you know in Hollywood.

Is Aayala the sexiest twi-lek to have appeared in a Star Wars movie?

Well some might argue that Oola is...

Fans love Aayala and the best way to show Star Wars love is to do cosplay!

Aayla Secura cosplay star wars

Aayla Secura cosplay babe