How 'Robby the Robot' from Forbidden Planet inspired the development of C3PO in Star Wars

Jul 16, 2021
Robby the Robot's influence on Star Wars

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

We've covered many of the influences that films and novels have had over George Lucas but Kitbashed found a great one in the form of the classic movie Forbidden Planet. I particularly enjoyed 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 and inspiration of the 'goldenrod'.

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 travellers:

"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. C3PO's introduction to Padme in The Phantom Menace shows how he is modelled on this concept "Hello, I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations "

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, 'Look at the Sky!' a discussion is had with 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 or 'inspired moment' from 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 by 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 as we know now from the reveal in The Phantom Menace, Darth Vader is C3PO's maker, the line is doubly clever.

Extra fun fact: Robby the Robot appeared in two episodes of Lost in Space. That show also featured a robot that looks somewhat similar, THAT robot is the one that utters the famous quote "Danger Will Robinson, Danger!". That robot had no designated name but was formally titled "Robot Model B-9"

The visual and poetic Symmetry of Star Wars

Jun 25, 2021
color connection padme emperor

Star Wars has a certain rhythm, rhyme & symmetry

It's a visual poem where themes echo and rebound.

Where the colors compare and contrast and bode both hope and dread. 

When voices air similar beats.

There are plenty of callbacks and references to each film.

Common moments happen at the same time in the film's pacing as they did in their mirrored scenes.

This occurs across all 9 saga films but especially the first 6 of which George Lucas acts as the poet or Great Bard

Star Wars aficionado Mike Klimo will happily explain this to you as 'Star Wars Ring Theory'.

And there's no denying the above when you look at these comparisons between the films which show the extent of the visual symmetry that the first 6 Star Wars films that George Lucas helped write, direct and produced have.

Lucas should be more widely credited for the six Star Wars stories he told - here's the proof why as put together by Mike Klimo on his most interesting Instagram.

His posts have a lot of detail about common connections between the films, and plenty of comparisons of how Lucas was inspired by many movies as he made his films - for example, did you know that Return of the Jedi had a small homage shot to the Wizard of Oz? 

So, with full credit to Mike (and George Lucas) here's some visual symmetry and poetry of the Star Wars films:

thirty of us went after her. four of us came back.

a great disturbance in the force
Feeling a great disturbance in the Force.

This pose of Mace Windu is a deliberate homage back to when we first met the cocky and arrogant Han Solo in ANH. 

While Han's personality was not his undoing, Mace's ignorance of the spread of the Sith was his (and that of the Jedi).

mentors in star wars
Jedi and Sith, looking after their protege
Frize Framing

Klimo writes: "When Palpatine reveals himself as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith, there is a wall sculpture, or “frieze,” hanging in the background of Palpatine’s office. 

In Return of the Jedi, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it wall sculpture on Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge that depicts the slimy gangster surrounded by slave girls. (You can see it right after the first skiff guard falls into the Sarlacc Pit.) 

In “The Art of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith,” Erik Tiemens, concept artist on the film, notes: “The idea behind the archaeological frieze in Palpatine’s office is that it depicts an event. [George Lucas] was very clear about making it a dynamic and somewhat gory scene of Jedi and aliens and warriors fighting each other.” 

It foreshadows what is to come at the end of the film and parallels back to Return of the Jedi. 

Poor C3P0 didn't catch too many breaks in Star Wars. 

When Han Solo wasn't trying to shut him off, Poe Dameron was trying to get his mind wiped so they could learn Sith secrets in The Rise of Skywalker - and all the while his mechanical body took a few hits. 

When we first met him he had a silver leg and the parallels in Attack of the Clones and Empire are quite notable - and let's not forget his red arm in The Force Awakens. 

Die Jedi Dogs! 
help -me -obiwan -kenobi

Klimo reveals: "When cleaning R2-D2 in the original Star Wars film, Luke Skywalker accidentally stumbles across a hologram of Princess Leia pleading for help, a vital message that draws Luke into a quest to rescue her. In Sith (A New Hope’s corresponding episode in the Star Wars Ring Theory), director George Lucas reinterprets this crucial plot point, rather brilliantly, as Anakin Skywalker’s nightmare about Padme dying in childbirth. 

Much like Leia’s holographic message, the vision of Padme will draw Anakin into a life-saving quest. And if you listen carefully during Anakin’s first nightmare, Padme cries, “Anakin, help me,” which, of course, echoes Leia’s “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” 

In addition, the holographic message is played twice in A New Hope, the second time with Obi-Wan Kenobi in his hut. In Sith, we witness two of Anakin’s nightmares, with Obi-Wan appearing in the second one"

It's also worth noting that director Rian Johnson cleverly incorporated Leia's plea into the plot of The Last Jedi by using R2D2 to deliver the message for the second time to Luke, but this time meaning Luke was Leia's only hope. 

anakin's nightmares revenge sith

There are plenty more connections made between the films, check out the symmetry of Revenge of the Sith to A New Hope - and for the curious fan, here are 510 facts about Star Wars.

Why were Biggs Darklighter's scenes cut from Star Wars?

Jun 23, 2021
Biggs Darklighter flying his X-Wing in Star Wars

Why were Biggs Darklighter's scenes cut from Star Wars? 

Who is Biggs Darklighter, what's his deal?

  • Biggs Darklighter grew up on Tatooine with Luke Skywalker as great friends sharing a love for things mechanical and flying.  They both shared dreams of escaping the dull desert world.
  • After graduating from the Imperial Academy, Biggs defected from the Empire's service to join the Rebellion.
  • He and Luke were reunited at Yavin 4's Rebel base and flew together against the Death Star. While two the men entered the trench run together, only Luke survived.

Who played Biggs Darklighter?

biggs darklighter cut scene starwars
  • Biggs Darklighter was played by Garrick Hagon in the 1977 release of Star Wars. Hagon was a well established British actor by the time the role of Biggs came around. 
  • Appearances in the Doctor Who television series was arguably his biggest role prior to Star Wars. Eagle eyed fans may have noticed his appearance as a CNN reporter in Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible or as a CIA director in Rob Redford's Spygame.

Biggs' quote to Luke in one of the deleted scenes as Luke tries to observe a space battle in the skyline above:

"I tell ya Luke, the Rebellion is a long way from here. This planet? Big hunk of nothing..." 

Bigg's Character Development

  • Biggs first appeared in the various script drafts of Star Wars as King Kayos's son and the brother of the princess who would become Leia Organa.
  • He was Luke Skywalker's younger brother and the brother of Windy Marstrap in the second draft. He was changed to Skywalker's friend in the third draft.
  • Although Darklighter only appears briefly in the ANH, the movie originally included filmed several scenes with himself and Luke. Left on the cutting room floor, they left his role as a bit part.
  • The scene in which Darklighter and Skywalker are reunited on Yavin 4 was reintroduced in the 1997 re-release of the film. It was heavily edited due to the discussion featuring reference to Luke’s father and would have made no sense in 1997 given the way Empire's revelation went. 
Luke mutters to himself in the middle of a space battle...

"Blast it Biggs, where are you?" 

How did Biggs die in Star Wars?

While they thought it would be like Beggar’s Canyon back home, Luke and Biggs ran the trench run on the Death Star in ANH. Biggs guarded Luke’s flank until he was shot from behind.

biggs luke cut scene

How did Garrick Hagon react to having most of his scenes cut from A New Hope?

Hagon admitted in an interview of his disappointment when he first saw the film and realized that most of his scenes were taken out.

“It was admiration and a thrill mixed with disappointment because I realised what a chunk [of my scenes] had gone."

We don't think he would have been too worried though, he's had a long acting career since his days as a lad from Tatooine!

Hagon's thoughts on Star Wars as from this short documentary:
  • Knew nothing about Star Wars but 'trooped' into his audition where it was mentioned he had been Tunisia which helped get the part!
  • There was skepticism from members of the film production crew as to what the movie would look like.
  • He wasn't familiar with science fiction himself so the role was very different from his classical background of acting. 
  • Felt he had a great on set relationship with Mark Hamill.
  • The exposure would have been nice!
  • The four minute scene that was cut from the beginning of the movie would have been too hard to cut into a smaller segment, so that's why the scene was cut!
  • "We're gonna jump ship and join the Alliance" - A quote from the cut scene.

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

Jun 21, 2021
obi wan fights vader on the Death Star

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

Well, it's not because they are old!

There are two ways to answer this question.

The first relates to the effort of movie-making and the era in which a movie is made.

The second is about storytelling.

In terms of moviemaking, Star Wars was filmed & produced in 1976 and featured a finely aged Alec Guinness clashing swords with a muscular man in a big heavy black suit.

No one expected the energetic acrobatics of Errol Flynn or Zorro.

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 realized in Revenge of the Sith.

But in terms of storytelling, 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 the stylized fight between the two Jedi in 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.

We now have evidence of this in the ending of Rogue One when he took out the Rebels effortlessly with his saber and using the Force. That final scene of the corridor attack has become a classic Vader moment and it can be used to show that he could move menacingly fast if he wanted.

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 conversely argue that Obi-Wan toys with Vader somewhat as well.

He certainly insults him with his sneering use of the word Darth. This repartee allowed Kenobi to give Luke time and chance to escape the Death Star.

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." 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 as he knew his death would be a significant event in addressing the balance of the Force, indeed Yoda had taught him how to become one with the Force.

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 everyone 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.

Want to read some more sweet things about Darth Vader? 

Jar Jar Binks quotes from The Phantom Menace

Jar Jar Binks quotes from The Phantom Menace

Jar Jar Binks quotes from The Phantom Menace

Love him or hate him, Jar Jar Bink’s place in the Star Wars realm will live on longer than you.

Intended as a comical relief for The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar became ridiculed and reviled as the worst thing about the movie but never forget Jar Jar was loved by the young kids who saw the movie as much as young kids loved Chewbacca when they first saw Star Wars.

He was intended to sell toys, like an Ewok we guess but he's now loved by many in an ironic sense.

Legend has it George Lucas had a moment when he realised Jar Jar was perhaps not going to help his film succeed...

Ahmed Best played Jar Jar and continued to do voice-over work for the character's appearances in The Clone Wars and video games. Best suffered a lot of backlash for the role but more recently has experienced a lot of support from the Star Wars community who grew up with TPM.

Any hey, if you've come here looking for the character's lines, Lucas must have done something right!
jar ajr binks concept art
Concept art of Jar Jar Binks by Terryl Whitlatch

Jar Jar Binks's The Phantom Menace quotes

  • Mesa called Jar Jar Binks, mesa your humble servant!
  • Ex-squeeze me, but the mostest safest place would be Gunga City. 'Tis where I grew up. 'Tis a hidden city.
  • Hmm... yousa point is well seen. Dis way, hurry!
  • Yousa should follow me now, okeeday? My warning yous: Gungans no like outsiders. Don't 'spect a warm welcome.
  • How wuude!
  • Count me outta dis one. Better dead here than deader in the Core-- Ye Gods, whatta mesa sayin'?!
  • You'd say, "boom de gasa"... den crashded da boss's heyblibber... den banished.
  • Uh-oh! Biiiiiig Goober fish!
  • Monsters out dere, leakin in here, all sinkin an no power? When are yousa tinkin' wesa in trouble?!
  • Oh, maxi big da Force...
  • Den BOOOM! Getin very scared and grabin dat Jedi, den pah... mesa here.
  • Mesa hatin' crunchin'. Dat's the last thing mesa want.
  • Dissen gonna be bery messy! Me no watchin!
  • Gungans no dyin' withouta fight. Wesa warriors. Wesa got a grand army. That's why you no likin' us, mesa thinks.
  • Icky, icky goo!

jar jar nabbo battle

Jar Jar's Attack of the Clones quotes

  • Obi? Obi! Mesa So Smilen To Seein Yousa!
  • Senator Padme. Mesa Palos Here! Lookie, Lookie, Senator. Desa Jedi Arriven.
  • Mesa Busten Wit Happiness Seein Yousa Again, Ani. Shesa Happy. Happier Den Mesa Seein Her In A Longo Time. 
  • It's-A Clear Desa Separatists Made A Pact Wesa Desa Federation Du Trade. Senators, "Dellow Felagates." In Response To This Direct Threat To The Republic, Mesa Propose That The Senate Give Immediately Emergency Powers To The Supreme Chancellor.

jar jar binks senate quote

Jar Jar's Revenge of the Sith quote

  • "Excuse Me."

As you can see, Jar Jar said less and less to say until he was reduced to one line in the final prequel film.  That line can almost be seen as George Lucas making an apology for the character's existence but that may be reading to much into it.

What are the first and last lines spoken in the Star Wars movies?

Jun 18, 2021

What are the first and last lines spoken in each of the Star Wars movies?

opening shot of destroyer in A New Hope

Here's the first opening and last lines spoken in each of the eight Star Wars movies.

Some of them have become classic quotes, especially Luke's to Han in Empire and Yoda's last line in Attack of the Clones.

Star Wars / A New Hope 

We start with one half of the most famous robot duo in history. C-3PO begins Star Wars with the following dialogue:

'Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor. We'll be destroyed for sure. This is madness'

To finish the movie with the last line, Chewbacca yells a triumphant "grrrrrrrrr!" during the medal awarding ceremony.

luke bacta chamber empire concept artThe Empire Strikes Back

Luke begins the greatest sequel of all time when he says to Han Solo over his radio:

 "Echo Three to Echo Seven. Han, old buddy, do you read me?"

Skywalker also closes out Empire's last line when he cries " Ow!" as the medical droid tests his new mechanical arm (replacing the arm Vader chopped off).

Return of the Jedi

Jedi begins with the Shuttle captain saying over the radio:

"Command station, this is ST321, code clearance blue. We're starting our approach; deactivate the security shield"

This is quite clever as it makes references to clearance codes which become a plot point later on.


Leia has the last line of the movie when she responds to Han Solo when he offers to step aside so Luke can get all up and cosy with her instead:

"Oh. No, it's not like that at all. He's my brother."

darth maul eyes
At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge.

First line spoken in the The Phantom Menace

The first line of The Phantom Menace goes to Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn: 'Captain.'

To which the Radiant VII captain: Yes, sir?

Qui-Gon Jinn: Tell them we wish to board at once.

Radiant VII captain: [to communication device] With all due respect, the ambassadors for the Supreme Chancellor wish to board immediately.

Nute Gunray: Yes, of course. As you know, our blockade is perfectly legal and we'd be happy to receive the ambassadors.

Last lines of The Phantom Menace

Boss Nass: gets to yell the last line "Peace!" to which Jar-Jar Binks responds with "Ya-hoo!"

Attack of the Clones

First line Naboo lieutenant: Senator, we're making our final approach into Coruscant.

CordÈ: Very good, Lieutenant.

Last line of dialogue. Obi-Wan: I have to admit that without the clones, it would have not been a victory.

Yoda: Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun the Clone War has.

Revenge of the Sith

First line goes to R2-D2 who beeps something at Anakin to which he says: Lock on to him R2.

R2-D2 responds with more bleeping!

Anakin Skywalker: Master, General Grievous's ship is directly ahead. The one crawling with Vulture droids.

Obi-Wan: Oh, I see it. Oh, this is going to be easy.

The last words spoken in Revenge of the Sith go to CP30 as Senator Bail Organa discusses his future

Organa: Captain Antilles.

Captain Antilles: Yes, Your Highness?

Senator Bail Organa: I'm placing these droids in your care. Treat them well. Clean them up. Have the Protocol Droid's mind wiped.

C-3PO: What?

R2-D2 beeps in a way that sounds like laughing

C-3PO: Oh, no!

This conversation means that C3PO says the last line of the movie and then the first in the following, A New Hope which makes for some nice continuity.

The Force Awakens

Notable for George Lucas not having his name on the script - JJ Abrams, Michael Ardnt and Lawrence Kasdan had a crack.

First line - Lor San Tekka to Poe Dameron:  "This will begin to make things right. I've traveled too far and seen too much to ignore the despair in the galaxy. Without the Jedi, there can be no balance in the Force."

Perhaps that was a clever line to address some of the perceived missteps of the Prequel Trilogy?

The last line of The Force Awakens aptly falls to General Organa as she speaks with Rey "May the force be with you!"

Rogue One

Jyn notices the ship about to land and runs to her parents calling  'Mama!'.

Like TFA, Leia gets to say the last, and her only line:

"What Is It They've Sent Us? Hope."

This means Leia has said the last line of three Star Wars movies!

Want more? Check out the introduction text of every Star Wars title crawl and that of The Force Awakens.

The Last Jedi

Resistance Evacuation Officer to Connix (played by Billie Lourd, Carrie's daughter) "We're not clear yet. There are still 30 pallets of cannon shells in C bunker."

Connix: Forget the munitions, there's no time. Just get everyone on the transports.

The last line again goes to Carrie Fisher's Leia when she answers Rey's question about rebuilding the Rebellion with "We have everything we need".

rey achtoo isiland

Solo: A Star Wars Story - first and last lines spoken

The fifth Star Wars prequel told the tale of how Han met Chewbacca (and a bit more).

The first line of the movie was: "C'mon, C'mon" as uttered by the young Han Solo as he attempts to steal a speeder.

The last line spoken was: Han to Chewie "When have I ever steered you wrong?"

The Rise of Skywalker

Rey has the last line and it's a classic: "Rey, Rey Skywalker". As she states this, she assumes the Skywalker mantle. While many fans were unhappy about this, this author feels it salvaged a tricky endgame the sequels found themselves in. 

In case you were wondering what the last thing Princess Leia said, it was Ben.

And Ben Solo's last words were 'ow'.


Here's some trivia about the production! Here's some quotes from TROS.

If you liked this, check out the text of every film's opening crawl!

Perhaps it was Vader who actually choked on his own aspirations....

Jun 12, 2021
Tis but a scratch!

Here's some facts and trivia bout Darth Vader

Here’s everything* you need to know about Darth Vader.

  • Who is he? Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker before he became a Sith Lord known as Darth Vader. A fallen Jedi Knight, Vader became the 'evil henchman' of Sheev Palpatine who rose to rule over the galaxy. In reality, the first six Star Wars films are about the rise and fall of Vader’s character.
  • The Darth Vader mask that appeared in Revenge of the Sith was fashioned using a digital design to computer-lathe the base master, from which molds were made to cast the on-screen costume masks. This meant Vader’s mask was exactly symmetrical.
  • While Qui-Gon Jin theorized that Anakin’s virgin birth was the will of the Force, Palpatine implied in Revenge of the Sith that Darth Plagueis caused the birth using the Force - earlier drafts of the ROTS script suggested this was indeed the case. It’s non-canon however, so it’s only a theory.
  • How old was Vader when he died? Darth was 45 years old. 
  • Vader's look was inspired by Nazi uniforms.
  • In the Alan Dean Foster novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Luke and Vader have a duel and Luke chops off Vader’s arm. When Lucas decided that the novel would not form the basis of the second film the book was made redundant however Lucas keep the idea of the arm severing and reversed who did what. Which was again reversed in Jedi…
  • Seven people have contributed to the character performance of Darth Vader in the movies. If we go in chronological order - Jake Lloyd played Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace, Hayden Christian played Anni and Darth in the other two prequels, David Prowse was the suit in all three original trilogy films while James Earl Jones did the voice over 4 times (inc Revenge of the Sith). Bob Anderson chipped in with some stunt work in Jedi and Sebastian Shaw famously played the unmasked Vader in Jedi as well. Finally, when The Empire Strikes Back was redone for re release in 1994-95, C. Andrew Nelson was used for a few fill in bits and bobs ( See his drop by notes in the comments!).
  • Occasionally people think it was Vader’s son Luke Skywalker who brought balance to the Force. While Luke’s efforts helped with it, the actual of balancing the Force came when Vader chose to throw the Emperor down the well (as the Emperor was in the middle of killing Luke with Force lightning). Vader found the compassion & love for his son was greater the choice he made to follow the Emperor and fall to the Dark Side of the Force. Vader truly was the chosen one. Or rather, he used to be until Rise of Skywalker determined Rey was The Chosen One. You can debate it either way until the space cows come home. 
  • Vader was a defeated man. The main way he fell to the Dark Side was by way of trying to find a means to prevent his wife’s death. When he actually caused Padme's death what did he have to live for? Nothing. He was simply trapped as the heavy breathing vessel of Palpatine. He did eventually become obsessed with finding this son so they together could overthrow Palatine.
  • In A New Hope, the character has only 8 minutes of screen time. It was all that was needed to propel Vader to becoming one of the most popular bad guys in the history of bad guys in movies.
  • Vader’s theme song is known as the Imperial March and is often used to signify the arrival of a bad person by smart alecs who hum the tune as they enter a room.
  • James Earl Jones did the voice of Vader.
  • Vader’s confession to Luke that he was his father in The Empire Strikes Back is considered by many movie fans to be the best plot twist in a movie. This concept was not originally thought of by Lucas for the first film which clearly intended that Vader and Anakin were different people -please recall Obi Wan’s expository scene with Luke. The line said during the filming of the scene was “Obi-Wan killed your father” – a clever ruse to throw people off the real twist (which apparently only the team of Lucas, Kasdan, Kershner, and Mark Hamill actually knew the truth of).
  • Darth Vader is not German for Dark Father and the name thus is not a clue about his parentage of Luke.
  • Vader's voice turned up briefly in Rise of Skywalker when it was revealed Darth Sidious had impersonated him. James Earl Jones returned one final (?) time to record the voice. 

The legend, the myth and the balls of Admiral Gial Ackbar

Jun 9, 2021
Admiral Ackbar in the Battle of Endor

Facts about Admiral Ackbar

Probably the most popular character in the history of movies that looks like a giant gold fish, Admiral Ackbar was one of the heroes in the Battle of Endor, commanding Rebel fleet with enough resolve to give the Millennium Falcon enough time to carry out it's mission.

But who is this character? Where did he come from and what kind of stuff is he made from?

Origin of the character in Return of the Jedi pre-production

During a production meeting where George Lucas, film Director Richard Marquand, and others players had divided up their coterie of aliens between foreground and background creatures, Lucas offered Marquand the chance to create a legend:

“George suddenly said to me, ‘Who’s going to play Admiral Ackbar? I just decided he should be a creature, so you can pick out Admiral Ackbar.’ I said, ‘George, I think this should be your decision. He’s one of your new characters here.’

And he said, ‘No, you choose.’”

Marquand then determined to choose "the most delicious, wonderful creature out of the whole lot, this great big wonderful Calamari man with a red face and eyes on the side.”

It was a painting by concept artist Nilo Rodis-Jamero.

According to Marquand, “One or two people around the table, who shall be nameless, said they thought it was a terrible idea: ‘People are just going to laugh when they see this guy.’”

admiral ackbar concept design by artist Nilo Rodis-Jamero
It's a piece of concept art!

So what species of creature is Ackbar?

He is a Mon Calamari a sentient species indigenous to the world of Dac. Many fans simply refer to the Mon Calamari as Calamari.

They are humanoid in shape and form and stand about 1.7m tall.

They are most commonly seen with salmon-coloured skin tones. Rogue One's Admiral Raddus was a blue grey colour because he came from a cooler climate than Ackbar.

What is Ackbar’s backstory? How did he join the Rebel Alliance?

The expanded Star Wars universe has come to the party and backfilled the origin of Ackbar. The short version is Mon Calamari was attacked by the Galactic Empire and Ackbar was forced to act as an interpreter for Grand Moff Tarkin.

He was freed from captivity during a failed attempt by Rebel forces to capture Tarkin.

He joined the Rebel Alliance and helped convince his species to support the cause, playing an integral part in persuading his people to contribute their fleet of starships to the Rebel Alliance. Ackbar then built his way up in the Rebel Alliance to the point that he was seen as an Admiral in Jedi. 

What kind of stuff is Ackbar made from?

In Return of the Jedi Ackbar senses that the Rebel forces are overrun and he signals a retreat which seems like a pussy thing to be doing at time like that but he was able to be convinced by Lando Calrissian to stick it out a little longer.

He then set to work and managed the fleet er admirably well showing a clear head for battle conditions.

Kirk Thatcher with various Ackbars and Calamari friends

What is the origin of the quote "It's a trap"?

Everyone knows that Ackbar's phrase "It's a trap!" has became almost more famous that Ackbar himself. But that was not the original line in Kasdan's script for Jedi. The actual words were, "It's a trick!"

During post production it was felt the line didn't quite have the desired effect. The change is now the stuff of Star Wars and film making legend.

What is his full name? Where does Gial come from?

The first name of Ackbar's character, Gial, was not formal published until the 2012 release of the Star Wars reference book The Essential Guide to Warfare, some 28 years after Ackbar first appeared on the silver screen!

Such was Ackbar's enduring popularity, he was brought back for a small role in The Force Awakens as a military advisor to Princess Leia. And then he was sadly killed off like a bitch in The Last Jedi!

Why Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie

Jun 3, 2021

Clone Wars concept art by Ryan Church
The end of the Clone Wars concept art by Ryan Church

Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie

I used to think Return of the Jedi was my favourite Star Wars movie.

I saw it in the theatre as a young kid. It was awesome.

Yeah, everyone loves Empire, but I love Jedi.

I love the attack on the Death Star. I love how Luke saved Vader. I love the primitive Ewoks beating the Storm Troopers.

I love that bikini.

And then 15 years later there were three more movies! And I watched them. I enjoyed them. I didn’t go crazy for them but then something happened, I found Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) being my go to movie.

It's now my favourite Star Wars movie.

"Why?!" I hear you scream at me. "

Why would you say that? The prequels sucked".

"We hate them" you say.

"You’re a moron for saying this! You’re not fit to write about Star Wars! You're not a real Star Wars fan!".

Let's be clear. Haters need not apply.

Let's talk this through, it's so more civilised... Here's my points on why Sith is the fave.

Revenge of the Sith had the best opening scene of any Star Wars film

Yeah, Return of the Jedi was awesome when Luke rescued everyone on Jabba's sail barge but it was a slow build. Revenge of the Sith featured an epic space battle over Coruscant where hundreds of ships were taking part in an epic space battle.

We were thrown instantly into the action with Anakin and Obi-Wan flying around, dodging missiles, crashing ships and getting rid of metal hungry droids that were trying to eat their ship while on a frantic mission to rescue the Chancellor from the many clutches of General Grevious.

This was the fabled Clone Wars finally truly before our eyes on a grand scale.

Featuring some of the best CGI ever done at the time, great camera work, amusing banter between the leads and some zippy music, this opening Stanza of ROTS was epic Star Wars magic.

The story arc

Being the third movie in the trilogy, we finally get to where the lava hits the road.

This is Anakin’s movie.

Or it’s Vader’s movie.

Something, something, the duality of man.

Yes, ever since we first met Vader capturing Princess Leia he has been the bad guy we loved and we wanted to know who the hell he was and what made him tick.

It turns out it was his love for Padme that turned him to the Dark Side.

Ewan McGregor shone brightly as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi had a lot to do in this movie. Rescue the Emperor, take down Grievous and leave his best friend for dead.

You can say what you like about the earlier films but you cannot deny how good McGregor was as he ran about taking the higher ground.

Proof is in the pudding with the announcement Kenobi will have its own series, directed by Deborah Chow who directed the third episode of Season One of The Mandalorian.

We saw Vader as truly evil when he massacred the Younglings

Fans of Vader were used to see him Force choking some impertinent officer or torturing Han Solo but until Sith came along, they had never seen Vader as truly evil. But they did when he killed Yoda's young students.

This was the first true moment when we knew Anakin had well and truly turned to the Dark Side.

Yes, he’d massacred the tribe of Sand People who had beat and mistreated his mother so badly that she died of her injuries but these were the kind of students that had been introduced to us back in Attack of the Clones. 

It was a brilliant set-up.

Whilst Yoda teased Obi-Wan about losing a planet, these Jedi kids were the backdrop with an air of charm about them. For Anakin to come and murder them all (or the next class) in ROTS, it was a chilling, chilling moment and perhaps was one of the darkest moments in all of the saga.

How can you hate such great storytelling?

It's all about the hands

Revenge of the Sith featured 4 hands being cut off in the film.

Anakin loses one to Obi-Wan, Mace Windu loses one to Anakin and Obi-Wan cuts two of General Grievous' robot arms off. 

Fun fact: Darth Vader was actually the only Star Wars film character to lose an arm three times!

And both his legs as well. Count Dooku got Anakin's arm in Attack of the Clones before Yoda stepped in and saved the young Jedi.

Obi-Wan Kenobi then got 3 of Anakin's limbs in Revenge of the Sith! (He had the higher ground...).

Lucas does a Hitchcock

George Lucas made his first Star Wars cameo in Revenge of the Sith. He dressed as a Pantoran senator, Baron Papanoida. You might not have recognised him as he all dressed up in blue body paint! His daughter also cameoed with him at the same time.

And let's not forget Jett as the Padawan Jedi that tried to escape with Bail Organa. That was a bad ass moment as it showed the faith the Jedi had in themselves and their padawan.

Some of the thinking that went into the movie was truly awesome film making

Moff Tarkin's cameo

A quick character cameo occurs when Vader and the Emperor are standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, overlooking the initial construction stage of the Death Star.

In a blink and you'll miss it moment, a young Moff Tarkin quietly sidles up to the Sith Lords. Tarkin was also brought back to the silver screen in Rogue One.

The suggestion Plagueis and Palpatine may have conspired to cause Anakin to be born

During the opera scene, Palpatine tells Anakin about how Darth Plagueis was so powerful he could create life. While it's never made explicit, the film could have been suggesting that Darth Plagueis caused the 'immaculate conception' of Anakin Skywalker.

The Expanded Universe novels show that Plagueis certainly was capable of such an amazing act...

light and dark star wars

The 'goodbye, old friend' farewell between Anakin and Obi_Wan

As General Kenobi is about to depart to track and take down the robot General Grevious, he shares a nice moment with Anakin which ends with a very loving, 'Good bye old friend' from Kenobi.

This is the last time in the movie the two Jedi converse as friends. But what's so special here? Check the lighting that casts over the players  - Anakin resides in the dark and Obi Wan is awash in the light - it is a literal case of foreshadowing what was to come for each character.

An eye for detail 

After Padme dies as a result of her 'broken heart', her body is returned to the planet Naboo for ceremony and burial befitting a former queen. - her body has been altered to make it appear like she was still pregnant - this is all part of the ruse to keep the existence of Leia and Luke a secret.

The epic sword fight between Vader and Obi Wan

For this writer, the duel on Mustapha is Lucas's crowning glory as a CGI whiz and story teller. It goes back to the truth/lies that were spun by Obi-Wan to Luke on Tatooine.

Vader killed your father?

Not quite kid, but I actually cut off his arm and legs and left him to die.

mustapha concept art from revenge of the sith
Concept art by Ryan Church
But the sword fight was epic.

It was fast and furious and nothing like the duel the two had in A New Hope (this wasn't because they were old hacks, it was because of the era in which the movie was made).

The fight meant everything to the movie and it had to be good because everybody knew that both swordsman lived so it had to end very well. And Lucas delivered with Anakin's arrogance leaving him missing his limbs bar his mechanical arm.

So those are the reasons that Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie, my go-to movie if you will.

Maybe I'll fall in love with A New Hope again or get lost in the darkness of Empire but for the moment, I can't get enough of Sith!

In more modern times, this movie ties in with The Clone Wars series so well. The Final of TCW intertwines throughout some key moments of this film, making it even more amazing. 

The best Darth Vader quotes from Star Wars

May 19, 2021

Darth Vader quotes that show he was the worst Sith Lord ever (but possibly the greatest Jedi!)

If you had to think of the most loved, most famous movie villain in all of movie history, you would be hard-pressed to go past Star War's Darth Vader.

A New Hope introduced him as the meanest, most badass and mysterious bad guy ever.

His place in movie history was assured when he became one half of a conversation that was to be one of the biggest plot twists in movie history with the reveal of him being Luke's father and by the time Return of the Jedi rolled around he proved to actually be the Chosen One.

There's basically him and Ernst Stavro Blofeld from James Bond and maybe The Terminator. But even then the T-800 turned to the light...

Did you ever think Lord Vader was supposed to be Darth Sidious' apprentice and they were to rule the world together? Betraying your Sith Lord Master must be the ultimate betrayal right? (It's almost expected by the Sith).

Well Vader already betrayed the Jedi when he took part in Order 66 so what’s one more betrayal? Just add it to the list right?

Or maybe not...

Palpatine intimates to Anakin during Revenge of the Sith that Darth Sidious killed his master while he slept so maybe that’s what the Sith do to each other.

After all, Palpatine also set up Count Dooku as an apprentice only to deliberately set him up so that Anakin Skywalker could behead the poor chap – this was so as to give Anakin a chance to dip his toes into the murky depths of the dark side…..

Sure, the prequels introduced Anakin as a screechy, whinnying idealistic young boy that hates sand but let's put that aside for now - here are the best Darth Vader quotes from the four movies the character was in.

Given he wasn't really one for long inspirational speeches, he sure had a way with words that made him very quotable.

the force is strong with this one
The Force is strong with this one!

The original Star Wars (A New Hope)

  • “I find your lack of faith disturbing” - says the Dark Lord after appearing to be openly mocked by Officers on board the Death Star. Vader challenges one of them to a force choke competition, naturally he went first... it's arguably one of Vader's most famous quotes.
  • "When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master." - Vader taunts Obi Wan, his Jedi teacher and former friend just before he kills him in the slowest sword fighter ever.
  • "The Force is strong with this one." Vader is commenting on the skills of an X-Wing pilot that is trying to blow up the Death Star, not realising he's trying to kill his own son.

Hardly a Sith Lord at the peak of his powers?

Surely he could have tapped into the Force on that one?

We jest.

The Empire Strikes Back quotes by Vader

  • "We would be honored if you would join us" - Vader mocks Han, Leia and Chewie when the trap on Cloud City is revealed. It's perhaps the only joke Vader makes in the saga other than the one he does as he chokes out Director Krennic in Rogue One. 
  • “I am altering the deal, pray I do not alter it any further…” - Vader tells Lando how it is from beneath his black helmet. Han is going with Boba Fett and everyone else is Vader's.
  • "Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me." - Vader praises Luke after he manages to escape Vader's trap with an acrobatic flip.
  • "No, I am your father!" -  And so revealed was one of cinema's greatest plot twists that Vader was actually Luke's old man.
Here's the video:

Here's the full conversation which happened just after the father cut off the son's hand:

Darth Vader: There is no escape. Don't make me destroy you. Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
Luke Skywalker: I'll never join you!
Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Vader: No. I am your father.
Luke: That's not true. That's impossible!
Vader: Search your feelings, you know it to be true!
Luke: Noooo! Nooooo!

Return of the Jedi

Concept art of Luke and Vader duelling

Return of the Jedi was full of quotes from Vader:

  • “I hope so for your sake, the Emperor is not as forgiving as I am” - This was the end of Vader's pep talk with the Jerjerrod who has in command of the second Death Star. Was it a slight joke by Vader to encourage the completion of the battle station or merely a statement of fact?
  • "Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for... sister. So, you have a twin sister. 
  • "Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side... then perhaps she will..." This taunt from the Sith Lord was perhaps not the finest thing he could have done. While he was trying to enrage Luke enough to open the door to the Dark Side for him he miscalculated and Luke finally bested him.
  • In reply to Luke's "I'll not leave you here. I've got to save you." Anakin says "You already have, Luke." 

Having proven that he was indeed the Chosen One by killing the Emperor and restoring balance to the Force, Vader perhaps single-handedly* became the worst Sith and greatest Jedi at the same time. 

His conversation with Luke is perhaps the most emotional moment of all the Star Wars films, given the weight behind it. 

Revenge of the Sith

And then we come to Revenge of the Sith where Anakin Skywalker succumbs to the Dark Side and becomes Lord Darth Vader. 

When he awakes from his reconstruction after losing his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi his first thought is for his love, for whom he apparently thought he was making his most recent 'life choices' for:

"Where is Padme? Is she safe? Is she all right?"

Palpatine's answer doesn't impress him much!


Rogue One quotes

Vader was brought back for the Rogue One prequel movie - even though he had minimal screen time, his cameo was awesome!
  • "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director."

This was a simple, yet brilliant line in the film. 

Director Orsen Krennic was a vainglorious man, who had stopped at nothing to achieve his goal of building the Death Star and thus currying favour with Emperor Palpatine. He had killed the wife of his best friend (Galen) to do so. He was hell-bent on rising the ranks further in the Empire.

And then he ran into Darth Vader and found in him against a wall of man/machine that hindered his own Imperial March. 

Vader then literally chokes him as he says the line, we get the wonderful interplay of the classic Darth Vader Force choking a member of his own team which is obviously crushing the advance of Krennic. 

This makes Krennic even more desperate at the end of the film...

* You saw what we did there right?

Darth Vader quote from The Rise of Skywalker

The Emperor is a cruel master and we learned during this film that he had been manipulating Ben Solo since day one. Snoke was a puppet clone that he had used to influence Ben and when Darth Vader spoke to him through the mask, it was Palpatine all along.

Here's the line in TROS that he revealed this knowledge to Kylo Ren:

"At last, my boy. I have been every voice, you’ve ever heard, inside your head."

This was superbly delivered in the film  - the line begins with Palpatine and then turns into a mix of Darth Vader and Snoke's voices. What a mind trick to have played on the last Skywalker!

Best quotes Darth Vader said to Luke Skywalker

Nothing like an awkward father-son dynamic on which to base one of the greatest film trilogies of all time...

  • "No, I am your father!"
  • "Impressive, most impressive"
  • "That name no longer has any meaning for me
  •  It is... too late for me, son. The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your master now"
  • "You cannot hide forever, Luke"
  • "Sister. So, you have a twin sister"
  • "Tell your sister you were right" (as Anakin Skywalker)
  • "You already have, Luke"

palpatine and darth vader

Best quotes Emperor Palpatine said to Vader

Vader often used a good chat with his apprentice to outline his plots for the audience...
  • "We have a new enemy: the young rebel who destroyed the Death Star. I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.”
  • "The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.”
  • “If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally.”
  • "It seems, in your anger, you killed her."

Extra for experts, trivia and facts about Vader's character and inspiration for it!
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