Aug 30, 2014

What is the structure that Luke enters while training with Yoda on Degobah?

What is the structure that Luke enters while training with Yopa on Degobah during The Empire Strikes Back?

It wasn't until I read this awesome article about Ralph McQuarrie that it dawned on me that yes, what is that place that Luke ventures into on Dagobah when is is undergoing training with Master Yoda? It seems to be a cave but it has like ummm structure.

Ross Plessat asked McQuarrie and wrote:

"Hoping to learn about the stone hallway on Dagobah where Luke confronts “Vader,” I pointed to his sketches of it and asked, “Is that a remnant of a mysterious civilization?” “It must be,” he answered. “Somebody lives there, Yoda lives there. I don’t know very much about Dagobah.“ I replied, “In an early script Yoda tells Luke that Dagobah had been used as a training ground for Jedi in the past, so maybe this structure was part of the academy.” “Could be,” he said. “There must be some barracks or something left there. [Laughs] I don’t know; I didn’t get into it with George.”

Training ground in the past? Seems like not too ban an idea. But why would Yoda hide so close to such a place? Couldn't Vader find him? Maybe it was a place so ancient that only people who are 900 odd years old would remember such a thing. 

Perhaps the Extended Star Wars Universe can help

The cave / structure itself is sometimes referred to the Dark Side cave. This is possibly because Dark Jedi practiced there and maybe died there. 

But frankly unless George Lucas spells it out in terms of the movie, nothing will explain it.

Who is Koyi Mateil?

This is Koyi Mateil

Koyi Mateil - Revenge of the Sith
Are they real or are they just spectacular?
Koyi Mateil made a brief appearance in Revenge of the Sith during the scene at the Galaxies Opera House. The scene was notable for being when Palpatine revealed to Anakin he could help save Padme from dying and now infamously supplying the knowledge that Twi'leks are no strangers to getting breast implants...

Aug 25, 2014

Just how influenced by Star Wars was Guardians of the Galaxy?

guardians of the galaxy star wars themed posterNow that the hype and dust of Guardians of the Galaxy has settled somewhat, we can take the time reflect on just how good a movie it was and wonder why that might be. Is it because it felt like Star Wars? For this writer, it may have been the best fun he’s had at the movies since he saw Roger Rabbit or Return of the Jedi as a child so maybe there is something there.

Before we go through the Star Wars influences on Guardians, we should note the first comic form of Guardians of the Galaxy was published in 1969, some 8 years before Star Wars hit the silver screen. So this writing is about how the Star Wars films influenced the Guardians movie.

To clear up any doubt about whether the influences are real or just imagined by rabid Star Wars fans, the film’s director James Gunn was quoted as saying:

“This was intentionally my version of Star Wars. When I was first considering doing the movie, the chance to make something like that was one of the things that got me on board. Not just Star Wars, but Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and other movies like that. The stuff I loved as a kid. I wanted to make a movie that made people feel the way they made me feel.”
  • The duo of Groot and Rocket Racoon pretty much stole Guardians from Star Lord. They were very funny did some cool things and they had a great personal relationship. Did you notice how Rocket translated everything Groot said for their fellow Guardians? That’s unmistakably a Han Solo and Chewbacca type friendship right there. Han spends a lot of the Star Wars films sharing what Chewie thought or responding. C3PO totally does with R2D2 so this would seem an obvious Star Wars influence on GoG.
  • While Peter Quill (Star Lord) is arguably of the Han Solo mold, Groot is effectively Rocket’s version of Chewbacca. How is Quill like Han Solo? How about his quips for every situation he’s in, his sexual tension chemistry with Gamora mirrors Solo and Leias and he turns out to be a hero after struggling a bit. 
  • Evil Fathers. As Luke and Leia had Vader as their evil father, sisters Gamora and  Nebula had the world conquering Thanos as their adopted father. 
  • There's a puppet master pulling strings. Ronan the Destroyer takes the part of Vader in this film and like Vader serving the Emperor, Ronan served Thanos. 
  • Thanos even kills an underling who annoyed him which mirrors Vader’s force choke moves.
  • George Lucas also managed to have a random influence on the post credits seen – Howard the Duck makes an amusing appearance. While Howard is a Marvel product, it was Lucas who directed the movie version. You could argue that a lot people (such as myself) would only have known who Howard was from having seen the movie (as a child, many years ago!).
So Guardians is not exactly a copy of Star Wars it certainly has been influenced by it. This is not to say that Guardians was not influenced by other things as well. The movie has a multitude of references to icons of the 1980s such as Troll Dolls. Star Lord is also arguably based on Indiana Jones (which was based on a million of other things but is actually another Lucas influence). At one point Quill even makes a passing reference to the Ark from Raiders. 

It's nice to see Star Wars and George Lucas having an impact on movie making in a great way - it's returning the favour after all...

Aug 21, 2014

Photos of Star Wars characters 'Out of character'

Anthony Daniels dressed as C3PO without his head
Mirror, mirror on the wall 
Sometimes we might be guilty of taking Star Wars too seriously. Not as serious as some Star Wars fans mind you. We don’t really care about parsecs actually being a measurement of distance. (Or do you? – Ed) So it’s good to take a step back and have some fun with Star Wars, as that’s what movies are all about really, fun. 

Here’s some  of the characters from the films being caught a little bit out of character at amusing or interesting moments. Carrie Fisher is always having a blast on set – indeed it looks like the Star Wars production sets were a fun place to be!

Mayhew and Irvine
Peter, I want more rawwweerrrrrrr

I'd sooner kiss a wookie!
carrie fisher onhoth base
Drop it like it's Hoth

Why I'm excited about Star Wars 7

It would seem obvious why I'm excited about Star Wars 7. Because Star Wars, right?

Yes, but we as part of the production we are seeing a lot of cool things happenening which seem to all point to something magician is happening in the production sweets, in the male up rooms, on the set designers giant labs and at the desks of Lawrence Kasdan and JJ Abrams.

While we can only guess what the plot of SW7 is, we've heard whispers about Luke's light saber from Empire, we've seen the Falcon is back for another smuggling mission, Harrison Ford's Han is so important to the story that when he broke his leg filming was delayed. We've heard Luke might be a captive on an island and regardless of anything Gwendoline Christie will be featured. All of which adds up to a nice pot of movie magic that is slowly brewing.
  • I'm exited because there will be X-Wing
  • I'm excited because Peter Mayhew is bringing back the 'bacca.
  • I'm excited because name set designer
  • I'm excited because JJ Abram's Super 8 film shows he can truly do a good movie - despite what the haters say about his very good Star Trek movies.
I'm excited because, like the Cylons, Disney has a well thought out plan. A trilogy and 3 stand alones means their expectations are huge and the plan will fail if SW7 doesn't hit the Wookie out of the ball park - which means every kitchen sink that's at Pinewood Studios will be thrown into making 7 the best movie it can be. Which means were getting something special.

I'm excited because it's clear that SW7 appears to be using a lot of practical special effects - do you remember that creature that featured in the first A Hope for Change video?  Like Yoda and Jabba's before him, he was not CGIed up the wazoo. He was real. A clever artist or two made him. Real is good. 

I'm excited because Mark Hamill's beard reminds me and everyone else of Obi Wan Kenobi and everyone wants Luke to be as awesome in 7 as Kenobi was in 4. 

Carrie Fisher's daughter has a bit part and this could mean flash backs in time if she is playing a young Leia. Might we see what the planet Alderaan looks like! Could we see a flash back to Darth Vader!? Will we catch a glimpse of Jimmy Smits?

These are just a few of my favourite things!

Does this look like anyone you know?

Aug 17, 2014

Oola and Lyn Me from Jabba's Palace in Return of the Jedi

Found today on the interweb, Oola and Lyn Me from Jabba's Palace in Return of the Jedi.

Lyn Me and Oola from Return of the Jedi

Oola was played by Femi Taylor in both the original release of Jedi and also filmed extra scenes when Lucas did the Special Edition. Lyn Me was added to the Special Edition and was played by actress Dalyn Chew.