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.

How close to the dark side of the Force did Luke Skywalker actually get?

Luke killing Darth Vader
Keep your filthy hands off my sister!
How close to the dark side of the Force did Luke Skywalker actually get?

Luke starts out as a farm boy, realises he’s in a war with his own father and suddenly is the last hope for freedom. It’s a tough gig and by the time Jedi rolls around some four years after Luke followed a crazy old man on an adventure, Luke has changed considerably. He is no longer the blue eyed dreamer, he’s well on his way to become a Jedi, he is, the new man in black. Roll over Johnny Cash. And Black means he’s skirting the line, getting too close to the dark side of the Force. That place where Vader went and look what happened. Millions died.

So what evidence is there that Luke was bordering the dark side of the Force?

Jedi builds this up very slowly, and quite carefully. First up is Luke’s entrance to the Palace. He begins his rescue by force chocking two hapless Gamorrean guards in a manner that his father would be proud of. He then mockingly commences negotiations with Jabba the Hutt and despite nearly having the tables turned on him by way of the Rancor, he warns Jabba 'that's the last mistake you'll ever make'. That's a death threat if I ever heard one. I hadn't realised Jedi did such things? At the very least it's a sign of cockiness, something I believe Han Solo warned him about some four years ago in A New Hope.

Following a mad cap orgy of blood letting at the hand of Luke's saber, Luke having pretty much already effected the rescue, he fires the cannon into Jabba's Sail Barge killing everybody but his pals. Everybody but his pals. He didn't have to kill them, he could have just swung himself and Leia onto their escape ship, but no, he killed them all. Kind of like how Anakin dealt mercilessly to those who kidnapped his mother. Dark side much?

One could perhaps argue that in getting rid of Jabba, Luke was actually helping the people of Tattoinne become free of the crime lord's family and the long shadow it had cast over the planet. But I think that's being to free with Lucas' intentions with the script.

And let's not forget the fact that Luke is wearing black costuming for most of the film. He arrives at Jabba's Palace in a dark Jedi like robe which when discarded in the Rancor attack reveals a suit of black. Or more correctly, a suit of black death!

On Endor, Luke is wearing another black costume and wears this when he confronts Vader in front of the cackling confident Emperor. Vader is all in black too as the color is the universal symbol for villainy and so the comparison must be made - Luke is getting close to the dark side and his costume is intended to help the viewer believe this may be the case.

Let's cut to the climatic saber battle between Luke and Vader, during it Leia is shot on Endor and Luke feels her pain through the force and unwillingly reveals her existence as being Vader's taught, a fact which the Sith Lord seizes on and threatens to turn her to the Dark Side. And, that is a bridge too far for Luke, he loses his shit at Vader. Gone is the formal Jedi restraint, he just goes for it and beats Vader by tapping into his anger. He deals Vader a mortal blow and suddenly that moment is make or break for Skywalker. Of course Luke choose light over dark but he was *THIS* close when he made his final fatal attack. The difference was that he was not Vader, he was Luke Skywalker, son of Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi Knight.

Lucas then served us with a nice twist of sorts however. Take a closer look at Luke's costume. Look at the fold across the chest that is now unbuttoned, what is that colour? It's white. It's the yang to black's yin. Underneath all Luke's stresses doubts and struggles with who his father was and who HE was, he was always the good guy. Always the Knight in White Satin. Always the boy who never got to Tosche Station to get his power converters. This is a movie after all and he was a Jedi, like his Father was before him. Nice symbolism Lucas.

So yes, Luke got pretty close to turning to the Dark Side, but his heroic qualities shone through and after all of that with Vader, he regained his zen and stuck it to the Emperor telling him that he was a Jedi like his Father was before him. It was a fearless moment one which nearly cost him life when he was zapped by Force lightning.

But we all know how that turned out....

Aug 13, 2014

Everything you need to know about Anthony Daniels, you know, the polite Englishman that played C3PO

Daniels as C3PO
Here's some facts about C3PO and the actor who gets inside the golden suit, Anthony Daniels.
  • Daniels has played C-3PO in all six of the Star Wars feature films from the original installment in the series. 2005's Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, he also performed the vocal tracks for scenes that featured a computer-generated C-3PO. Daniels also took part in the Star Wars spin offs Droids and The Clone Wars (film and show)
  • Daniels has reprised the role for cameos on The Muppet Show and Sesame Street (where he befriended Big Bird) and most recently a quick part in Legoman.
  • Anthony Daniels did a cameo in Attack of the Clones - check him out in the bar scene where the assassin is caught.
  • Anthony is the only actor to feature in all six Star Wars films.
  • George Lucas took a lot of his inspiration for Star Wars from a film called The Hidden Fortress (amongst other things). It featured a pair of bickering sidekicks who served as comic relief and crucially managed to help keep the plot ticking along. Lucas adopted this concept and applied it to the C3PO and R2D2. The two loosely serve to tell the tale of Star Wars from their viewpoint and naturally make a few saves along the way. 
  • Here’s three choice quotes from the golden rod:
    • "I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: let the Wookie win." 
    • "Excuse me sir, but that R2-D2 is in prime condition, a real bargain" 
    • "Sir, it's very possible this asteroid is not stable"
  • Famed artist Ralph McQuarrie designed C3PO by taking inspiration from the robot Maschinenmensch that featured in Metropolis.
  • As C-3PO, he has the first line in A New Hope (Did you hear that? They've shut down the main reactor) and the last line in the Revenge of the Sith (oh no!) , neatly tying the two trilogies together. 
  • In Sith, All filmed shots of C3PO had the green screen set reflecting in his shiny gold armor, so digital effects artists in post-production had to digitally redo C3PO's armor frame by frame to remove any traces of the green reflection.
  • C3PO is proficient in Bocce.

Aug 11, 2014

Cool Hand Luke?

Some might say this is Luke's hand. I doubt it.