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

Jul 1, 2022


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"

Robby the Robot's influence on Star Wars

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"

5 superbly subtle moments during 'Revenge of the Sith'

Jun 29, 2022

5 points that were quite subtle in the Revenge of the Sith 

Star Wars movies are not all run and gun. 

While many viewers just enjoy them as a spectacle, George Lucas puts plenty of subtlety into his movies. 

You just have to pay attention. 

For instance, did you know Star Wars was a commentary on Vietnam?

Lucas crammed Revenge of the Sith with some great little moments.

Here's 5 we found, the first being this cameo of Moff Tarkin sidling up to Vader and the Emperor (and in case you missed the obvious, that's the first Death Start being built out in front of them).

tarkin-vader-sidious-revenge-sith-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-looking  Moff Tarkin quietly sidles up to the Sith Lords. Moff Tarkin features heavily in A New Hope, it is he who orders the destruction of the planet Alderaan. In Rogue One Tarkin's character is actually given an extended role. Guy Henry was motion captured acting out the role and a CGI version of Tarkin was placed over Henry's head. The character was quite great, showing a strong sense of ruthlessness in his ability to assume command over the Death Star from Krennic and to destroy his own troops left on the ground when he fired the Death Star on his own Scarif base.
  • 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 'conception*' of Anakin Skywalker. The Expanded Universe novels show that Plagueis certainly was capable of such an amazing act...
    Goodbye, old friend
  • Darth Vader's head was symmetrical for the first time in a Star Wars film. It was developed using precise machinery - the original was hand sculpted and was mildly aspherical!
  • As General Kenobi is about to leave to hunt down General Grevious, he shares a nice moment with Anakin which finishes with a very loving, 'Goodbye old friend' from Kenobi. This is the last time in the movie the two Jedi converse as friends. A key thing is the lighting - Anakin in the dark and Obi-Wan in the light - it is a literal case of foreshadowing what was to come.
  • Near the end of the film, Bail Organa and Jedi Master Yoda step into the hallway of Organa's ship and have a nice conversation about becoming. It's the actual ship that Darth Vader boards to capture Princess Leia Organa at the start of A New Hope, the Tantive IV. The ship was later seen again in The Rise of Skywalker and Rogue One.
  • After Padme Amidala dies giving birth to Luke and Leia, she is returned to Naboo for burial - 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.
  • But what was the most subtle part? The massacre of the Younglings by the newly minted Sith Lord Darth Vader was a pretty obvious move. While the murder is off screen, it is blatant what Anakin has just done. He has murdered innocent children. Nothing subtle about that. The subtlety is that this moment was set up and a call back to the prior film, Attack of the Clones. Recall the scene where in front of the Younglings, Obi Wan and Yoda chat about how Obi want has lost a planet (how embarrassing!). This is the same class (but with different students). Clever and chilling. *
Bonus subtle moment! 

Revenge of the Sith also featured a very cool reference to one of the films by a Japanese director that inspired the original Star Wars film.

We have mentioned before how Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress was a major influence on George Lucas. It’s no surprise then that Lucas deftly slipped in a visual reference to Akira Kurosawa’s famous Seven Samurai film. 

As Yoda brings his hand to his head, this is lifted directly from Akira's film:

akira kurosawa yoda refence revenge sith

* This scene was re interpreted when it was used in the opening shot of Obi-Wan Kenobi - Reva, the Inquisitor known as Third Sister was one of the younglings herself. Anakin left her for dead. The same as he did in Episode 5 of the Obi-Wan show - meaning she is the only person in the Star Wars universe to have survived TWO lightsabers to the torse by Darth Vader!

While Palpatine somehow survived, it means Anakin Skywalker never bought balance to the Force (Rey Palpatine actually did)

Jun 24, 2022
Anakin's shadow of Darth Vader
The Chosen One

Does Anakin Skywalker fulfill the Prophecy as the Chosen One?


... and if he 'did' plot-wise in Return of the Jedi, did it really happen if Emperor Palpatine is still alive?

It was The Phantom Menace that introduced the concept of there being a 'chosen one' who would bring balance to the Force.

Whether this was a necessary addition to the Star Wars canon is a moot point, it happened.

Anakin was considered to be The Chosen One as he was considered by Qui-Gon Ginn as a 'vergence' in the Force - his Midicholrian count was higher ever measured before.

Perhaps grudgingly, Anakin was accepted to be a Jedi in training by the Jedi Council - on the promise that he was indeed the Chosen One.

But was he?

He left things pretty badly at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

He betrayed the Jedi, killed a few more of them, massacred some Younglings at the Jedi Temple, force choked the woman he loved and he engaged Obi-Wan Kenobi in the most awesome lightsaber duel Star Wars has ever witnessed.

He became wretched and Obi-Wan lamented that Anakin was supposed to be the Chosen One.
  • How could such a betrayal mean Anakin was the Chosen One?
  • So does this mean Vader's son, Luke Skywalker was the Chosen One?
  • After all, he saved the day in a Return of the Jedi?
Right?

You better back the horses up Billy - let's have a think about what happened in Jedi.

Luke Skywalker beat his father in the duel, mortally wounding him as he did so. He then turned down the opportunity to join the dark side with the Emperor.

This led to the Emperor Palpatine raining Force lightning down upon Luke "So be it, Jedi" - to which Vader then betrayed The Emperor by throwing him down the pit, killing him.

This act is considered the moment when Vader brings balance to the Force.

So even though Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and killed all thousands of people and Jedi and other Force users including his friend Obi-Wan Kenobi, he actually was the Chosen One who fulfilled the Prophecy.

It just came about in an extremely roundabout way - it showed the cleverness of the prequels - taking the existing ending of ROTJ and fashioning a grand story around Vader.

It really was good writing by Lucas and Hales.

Don't believe me?

George Lucas has stated unequivocally Anakin was the chosen one:
 

However, if you want to run a cheeky argument that Anakin didn't fulfill the prophecy you could argue that when he became Darth Vader Anakin ceased to exist (as Obi-Wan put it in Jedi).

Thus Vader was the chosen one.

But you could then argue the moment Vader decided to kill the Emperor he was again Anakin so it's a moot point really... and consider this - when Vader throws Emperor Palpatine down the pit, listen carefully - the Jedi motif is briefly played - signaling that yes, Vader is now Anakin.

At the end of the day, you could argue that Luke helps Vader bring balance to the Force - it was his belief in his Father that drove him after all...

HOWEVER

The new Rise of Skywalker however muddies the waters on this one. If Palpatine didn't die, then Anakin didn't bring back the balance to the Force when he threw him in the pit.

Could it be then that if Rey is the one that finally ends the reign of Darth Sidious that she is the one how finally brings balance to the Force?

Update: Since the publication of this article, The Rise of Skywalker Scriptwriter,  Chris Terrio has actually acknowledge the issue of Darth Vader settling things in Jedi:

“Of course, the sacrifice of Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi and bringing balance to the Force, we still had to honor that and I think we do honor that in the film. We don’t take the end of Return of the Jedi lightly at all, because it is one of the most beautiful moments in any film, really — in seeing what Vader does for his son. Return of the Jedi was the first movie I ever saw in a theater, and I remember just being rocked by what I saw in that moment. Because it almost never had occurred to me as a kid that the bad guy could cease being a bad guy and be a good guy. That moment when Vader lifts Palpatine was a genuine shock to me and it’s full of truth and beauty. We had to be careful about that, but if you look at some of the lore of Palpatine and the Sith and the way that George has embedded ideas about the Sith into the mythology of Star Wars, there are ways the presence of that character can still cast its shadow in the future. I guess I’ll leave it at that"
Doesn't convincingly say whether what they've done will fix this issue of the Prophecy being resolved. Time will till! Pretty sure they've over looked this key point in the Star Wars mythology given the wording involved here.

It is actually the Rise of Skywalker film that settles it. It is 'Rey Palpatine', Shiv's own grandaughter that settles it. She is one that kills Palpatine once and for all by using the will of all the assembled Force ghosts and her double lightsaber move, ending the Sith reign and restoring peace to the galaxy. 

How Treat Williams did a cameo in The Empire Strikes Back

treat williams star wars cameo

Treat Williams had a sweet cameo in Empire Strikes Back


It turns out that actor Treat Williams made a cameo of sorts on Empire Strikes Back as an Echo Base rebel in one of the Hoth ice base attack scenes.

Treat never intended to be, or was cast in the movie, it happened by a chance set visit. He was visiting Carrie Fisher and got caught up in it all.

Years later. Treat explain how the cameo happened in an interview:

"I’ll tell you the story: I went over to London and I was visiting Carrie [Fisher]. She said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to run through a shot?” And, I said, “Sure. All right.” And, she said, “We’ll dress you up and you’ll run through the soundstage a couple of times and that’ll be it – it’ll be fun.”

"I didn’t mention it for like fifteen years after that. Then, once I did in some interview a few years ago, all of a sudden I got more fan mail than I ever have in my entire life! I mean, people sent little dolls and little paratroopers – they still do! It’s crazy. "

You won’t find Treat William's name anywhere in the credits but some people claim he played the part of Jess Allashane. 

This is misinformation as Treat made a set visit in England whereas the scenes for Allashane were filmed in Norway. 

So how's that for a bit of random trivia? Here are 501 more bits of interesting facts.

Click the link if you want to see which other famous actors have done some cameos in Star Wars.

One supposed cameo that did not occur: Dustin Hoffman was not in Star Wars: A New Hope.

The 15 coolest bits of TRIVIA from OBI-WAN Kenobi

Jun 23, 2022

Star Wars fans love Star Wars trivia. 


They lap it up. 


More so when the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ show digs in deep with massive amounts of call backs, references and trivia!

Here are 20 great pieces of trivia from the Obi-Wan Kenobi show starring Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christiansen.


  1. The communicators Kenobi and Tala use when skulking around the Inquisitor Fortress are the exact model used by Luke Skywalker and C3PO in A New Hope.
  2. The tired old Clone trooper veteran that Kenobi gives some credits to was indeed Temeura' Morrison - Morrison of course played the Clones in AOTC and Revenge of the Sith. He looks to be wearing a legit 501 uniform implying that he may have actually fought along side Kenobi in the Clone Wars. 
  3. The breathing lung that Kenobi uses to sneak into the Fortress appears to the be same kind that he and Qui-Gon Jinn used in The Phantom Menace on the planet Naboo.
  4. The homing beacon Reva puts into Leia's droid - mirrors the same trick Vader did by tracking the Millennium Falcon in ANH
  5. When Kenobi and Vader first meet and fight, Vader fights with only one hand on his saber, showing the strength he has over Kenobi and this he is toying with him. When he burns this, it's a literal raking over the coals moment, one which clearly echoes and calls back to what happened on Mustapha, you know, when Kenobi had the high ground. 
  6. The green coat young  princess Leia wears is a call back to the green vest she wears on Endor in Return of the Jedi.
  7. Did you spot the Dathomirian (Darth Maul species) that Kenobi beats up the drug lab scene?
  8. The girl trying to convince Kenobi to buy the spice drug was Ewan McGregor's own real life daughter, Esther Rose McGregor. This scene is perhaps also a call back to Attack of the Clones when Obi-Wan is offered Death Sticks in the Club. 
  9. This creature from Episode 2 is perhaps a reference to so-called Stilt creature that was ultimately cut from the original ANH film:
  10. The spaceship model Luke has in his room in ANH turned out to have been a gift from Ben.
  11. Leia's kidnapper that does all the talking is Flea, the celebrated bassist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Watch out, they're red hot!
  12. That indeed was indeed a C3PO cameo you spied during the political event on planet Alderaan.
  13. Vader's face mask has red lenses - this was nodded to in Revenge of the Sith - the part where the helmet is placed on Anakin's face. 
  14. Zack Braff does the voice acting for the Empire sympathiser who drives the truck that takes Leia and Obi-Wan to the Storm Trooper check point. 
  15. Kenobi reveals to Leia that he feels he used to have a brother but cannot remember because he left his family to become a Jedi. 
  16. Vader's act of pulling down the ship in Episode 5 mirrors what Starkiller did in The Force Unleashed
  17. When Reva asked Kenobi where he was during the assault on the Jedi temple - he was of course taking down General Grevious
  18. Tala's robot friend is called NED-B and is played by Dustin Ceithamer. You may recall him as the Smiling Man in The New Mutants. 
  19. The troopers in black are known as Purge Troopers and are tools of the Inquisitors. 
  20. Kenobi cracking open Vader's skull likely now explains Vader's scar from his reveal in Return of the Jedi:
    vader's scar explained

How did Vader get that scar on his head in Return of the Jedi?

Jun 22, 2022

Many pundits have wondered since Return of the Jedi, what was the origin of Darth Vader's scar on the top of his head?


You know the one on the Sebastian Shaw version of Anakin Skywalker in Return of the Jedi?


Je te presente:


vader's scar cause

Fans have long wondered who did this to Vader.  


The scars below Vader's left eye? That's known.


General Obi-Wan Kenobi was the cause of that - when he had the high ground and left Vader for dead, the lava ignited Anakin and the scars were caused as a result. 


Vader clearly suffered disfiguring damage as seen in Revenge of the Sith:

Vader's revenge of the sith scarring


And those are the cheek scars seen Vader's Return of the Jedi visage. 


But what about the top scars on the head? 


Was it Ashoka when she opened up Vader's helmet in the glorious episode of Star Wars Rebels?


NO. 


It was not Ashoka, as he opened the right side of Vader's face mask:


vader's face  in Rebels


It's revealed in the season final of Obi-Wan Kenobi that it was Obi-Wan himself who scarred Vader - in their third clash no less. 


You can see in this screen grab that there looks to be a wound near the top - it was my 9 year old son himself who noticed this and told me that Vader's 'brain had been opened up':

darth vader scar caused by kenobi


So there you have it, if you were ever wondering how Darth Vader got the scars on the top of his head, it was probably Obi-Wan Kenobi as advised by my son. 


A cynical viewer however might say it was not this incident that caused the scars:

who caused vader's scar? www.starwars.com


But then, Kenobi's saber shot did go a long way up the head:


how did darth vader get his scars?

You be the judge?

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Review Episode 6: The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Hello there. 

Welcome to our review of the final Episode of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. 

Please allow us to ruminate before we fanboy over one of the Star Wars franchise's most significant moments in 20 years. 

The last three years have seen Star Wars fans treated to two truly delightful seasons of The Mandalorian.

That show personally helped wash the 'salty as Crait' taste of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker from our mouth. Sure both movies featured some excellent moments but each ended with a crash as the Skywalker lineage ended not with a bang, but a whimper. 

We then were treated to Boba Fett which started strongly but the switch from a 'badass assassin in a cool helmet' to a 'loveable chap' as a Dayamo felt somewhat unearned. 

Whereas Mando was a slightly episodic adventure which culminated in Baby Grogu meeting Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan's six-episode arc has been more a character study of Obi-Wan's mental trauma of realising he must protect Leia by facing his former friend who is now the most monstrous man-machine in the form of Darth Vader:

obi-wan final episode review www.starwars.com

Obi-Wan's Force spirit has slowly returned as he has faced off Leia's kidnappers, had a run-in or two with Third Sister Reva, a faceoff with Vader in which he was burned on hot coals as Vader played mind games with him, through to seeing a new friend die so that he and Leia may live. 

It's no wonder he aged so much from this time to the beginning of ANH...

And here we are, at Episode 6, the one where everyone heads conveniently back to Tattooine, to where an unknowing child named Luke Skywalker dreams of being a pilot, where Owen Lars dreams never seeing a Jedi again, to where Bail Organa will be waiting for his beloved daughter. 

It's a set-up for one of the most expected showdowns in Star Wars history.

Vader versus Kenobi with everything on the line. 

Though we know both characters survive, and while the visual feast of two former Jedi going toe to toe was a visceral delight, the real story is what this episode should be known as 'The Tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi'.  

For the third and not the final time, Obi-Wan has to fight his former friend.

The mental exhaustion has been telling. 

obi-wan final part review


The difference between Kenobi from the start of this show to the final episode is that gift that Leia has unwittingly given Ben, the gift of love.

His adventures rescuing Leia have renewed his well and his strength returned just when he needed it.

So let's cut to the chase. Vader and Kenobi have a doubly epic duel during each get a chance to really show their skills. Vader does some of the same kinds of actions that he did on Reva in Episode 5, yet Kenobi is able to match him move for move. Kenobi is given the chance to show is classic arms raised pose and display his Jedi fighting style. 

In obtaining the high ground over Kenobi, and leaving him for dead (in a mirror of the ending of The Revenge of the Sith) Darth Vader shows his continued arrogance and lack of patience. 

A defeated Kenobi's will is renewed when he thinks of Leia and Luke and the murdered Tala - a second round with Vader bears us to witness to the GREATEST Kenobi we have seen. We have never seen him stronger as a Force user and in strong and obvious echoes as to how Luke defeats Vader in Return of the Jedi, Kenobi defeats Vader, leaving him once again the broken man. 

Kenobi leaves Vader knowing it is finally over between them and that Anakin Skywalker is truly dead. 

The subplot of Reva stalking Luke was simply a waste of time. Reva's journey should have ended at the hands of Vader rather. The ending to this plot was signalled in the first episode when she taunted Owen. 

He admirably responds to her taunts but ultimately this story has gone nowhere in an exciting way, other than perhaps to witness a would-be Jedi has returned from her dark side.  

After a poignant farewell to Leia where he finally acknowledges he knew her parents and his recognition of Owen and Beru's love and effort with Luke put things in perspective for Obi-Wan as to his role.

His head thus being cleared of Vader and the love in his heart renewed y Leia and Luke, his head clears and his is able to commune with Qui Gon Jinn who makes a very welcome cameo. This signals the training in the ways of the Force that Obi-Wan will ultimately need in another decade is about to begin. 

Absolutely brilliant storytelling. 

And to top it all off, we got a cameo of Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor putting even more mental stress on the now fully formed Darth Vader. 

Trivia and references found in the episode:

  • When Kenobi says to Luke "Hello there" this is not only a call back to the prequels and A New Hope but a nod to Helle There becoming an internet meme over the last decade. 
  • Ben's "I will do what I must" and Vader's retort "Then you will die" is a straight up reference to their duel in Revenge of the Sith
  • When Kenobi acknowledges Darth Vader's claim Anakin is dead with "Then my friend is truly dead" this echoes what Luke will eventually say to Vader in Return of the Jedi "Then my father is truly dead". Even the 'Darth' line is a call back to ANH. 
  • Kenobi's blow to Vader's face opening up his helmet means both Kenobi and Anakin's apprentice Ashoka have done this. Each time reveals a certain truth about Vader's identity for each of them. This makes Luke's eventual redemption of Vader all the more powerful.
  • Kenobi cracking open Vader's skull may now explain Vader's scar from his reveal in Return of the Jedi:
    vader's scar explained

Bonus Image of Qui-Gon Jinn's cameo appearance:

qui-gon jinn in Kenobi cameo



The costume design history of Darth Vader, Nazi inspiration and all...

Jun 21, 2022

A brief history of the design of Darth Vader's costume


Kylo Ren may have been well obsessed with his grandfather Darth Vader but the rest of the world got there well before him.

It was in 1977 to be exact when Vader stepped into the Tantive IV and threw a few Rebels about.

Maybe choked one of them. 

As he did so, he stepped into movie infamy as one of the greatest villains ever.

We have a theory that one of the key reasons why that happened was the look of Vader.

He was like a caped black knight, spewing evil from that robotic face. Not to mention that terse, measured breathing that was utterly terrifying.

His costume was amazing. 

It was just sinister. Vader was a big deal, even before the most infamous reveal of his fathering of Luke Skywalker.

starkiller fights vader artwork www.starwars.com
Early concept of a young Starkiller dueling Vader

Indeed Pierre Christin, a noted comic creator who had some influence over Star Wars, had this to say on why we love Vader:

“A villain like Darth Vader is simply a cinematic flash of genius, destined to be a great film icon forever. The reason we fear him so much is because he partly reflects ourselves.”

So we love Vader because we fear him.

Got it, thanks French dude.

So what were the elements that went into the costume design of Darth Vader?

Who came up with him and his look?

And the meaning of his name?

Read on, Star Wars fan, read on.

How did the concept of Vader develop?


George Lucas is the father of Darth Vader.

When Lucas was throwing around ideas for his ‘Journal of the Whills’ concept he wrote down the name of ‘General Vader’ who he noted was an Imperial Commander.

The character was described as a “tall, grim looking general”. Lucas also wrote down ideas for 'Knights of the Sith', a character called 'Kane Starkiller' who was a cyborg.

Eventually, Lucas fashioned the character as a 'Black Knight of the Sith' who served the 'Master of Sith'.

Initially, Vader did not have his famous helmet. Lucas had suggested his face be obscured by a black silk scarf.

This was during 1975 at which time Lucas asked Ralph McQuarrie to turn this concept into a drawn character.

When McQuarrie learned that Vader (as it was then in the script) was to cross through the cold vacuum of space to enter Leia’s spaceship, he added the mask.

Obviously, the reasons for Vader needing the mask were made more interesting later on.

McQuarrie delivered duly delivered some concept art:

Early Darth Vader concept designs
Early Darth Vader concept designs

A costume designer by the name of John Mollo was given these sketches and told to get to work. 

Mollo was inspired by samurai influences (which would have pleased Lucas given his penchant for Akira Kurosawa movies) and Nazi uniform and armour that was used in the trench battles of World War I.

In keeping with this minor Nazi influence, Stormtroopers were named after specialist German soldiers from the same era. 


Brian Muir made the actual helmet and mask, fashioning early sculptures out of clay. He did his sculpting over a plaster head of David Prowse.

Here’s a great interview with Muir explaining the process.

Fun fact: Vader’s armour was given the serial number E-3778Q-1M.

That voice


During filming, David Prowse did the actions and also voiced the character believing he would be doing the final recordings as well.

Lucas had other ideas and tried to hire the great filmmaker Orson Welles (speaking of Welles, check out our Theory About Director Krennic's name) with no success. Welles did eventually voice the robot Omicron in The Transformers Movie.

This was just as well for James Earl Jones got the gig and Vader’s final ingredient was found. Jones recorded his lines in 2 and a half hours and received a small cheque for his time.

Jones also chose to not receive an on-screen credit as he thought his role was too small.

This was eventually rectified when Star Wars become a global smash again with Empire Strikes Back.


That claustrophobic breathing...


Ben Burtt invented the sound by recording him using a scuba breathing apparatus.

The microphone was placed in the regulator.

To get the sound just right, these recordings were played in empty rooms and re-recorded to get that ‘from the helmet’ sounding effect.

Ben Burtt became a mainstay of Star Wars for many years and designed sound effects for most of the saga films. 


Who was that old guy that played Vader in Return of the Jedi?

early vader helmet sketch design


During A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, David Prowse did the bodywork for the character. 

Bob Anderson did the heavy lifting / stunt work. 

Come time for the finale of Return of Jedi, there was a need to show Vader’s face.

It was the big reveal moment, father and son eyeballing each other for the first, and last time in their lives.

Veteran English actor Sebastian Shaw was hired. His scene was filmed in secret so as to hold off on the ‘surprise’ as long as possible.

It is Shaw who stands as a Force ghost with Yoda and Obi-Wan in the original form. He was eventually replaced by Hayden Christiansen in the Special Edition via the wonders of CGI.

Take note of the scars on Sebastian Shaw's version of Anakin - did Obi-Wan Kenobi cause them 10 odd years prior?

Coming back to Kylo Ren for a moment – When Luke Skywalker ceremonially cremated his father's armour on the moon of Endor in Jedi, Vader’s helmet featured on the funeral pyre.

In the real world, the specific prop was an old promotional mask that was used for the promotional touring that took place after the premiere of A New Hope.

In the movie realm, the mask and helmet that Kylo Ren is holding when he talks to his grandfather Vader in The Force Awakens appear to have been retrieved from the pyre.

9 great 'Call Backs' that connect Star Wars films

Jun 20, 2022
darth maul face close up


Awesome 'call back moments' that join the Star Wars movies up



When we say callbacks we're talking about how the Star Wars movies each have moments where they reference each other. 

Here's some classic moments where the script writers took the time to match things up. 


Things that go bump on the Death Star



Remember that Storm Trooper that bumped his head in A New Hope? 


That goof became the stuff of legend among Star Wars fans so much so that when Lucas decided Jango Fett was to be the 'father' of the Clone Army, this 'bump' was called back as an actual character trait of Jango. 

During Attack of the Clones, when the Mandalorian Jango Fett gets into his ship after his tete a tete with Obi-Wan, he bangs his head on the open door.


Grand Moff Tarkin's Revenge of the Sith blink and you'll miss him cameo



Remember this guy from A New Hope? 

Tarkin is the dude who ordered the destruction of planet Alderaan, the home of the Organa family and millions of other voices. 

The quick character cameo occurs at the end of Revenge of the Sith 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 younger Tarkin quietly sidles up to the Sith Lords.


Tarkin was also brought back from the dead as a CGI animation for Rogue One. This means Tarkin appeared in three Star Wars movies in a row (for the time line).


Vader's murder of the Younglings



Killing of the Younglings in Revenge of the Sith was a pretty obvious severe call back to the prior film, the Attack of the Clones. 


While the murder is off-screen, it is blatant what the freshly anointed Vader has just done. 

He has murdered innocent children and there's nothing so subtle as that. 

The call back is to the prior film, Attack of the Clones. Recall the scene where in front of the Younglings, Obi-Wan and Yoda chat about how Obi-Wan has lost a planet (how embarrassing!). 

This is the same type of class where Yoda is teaching young ones about being a Jedi. 

In hindsight, it's a brutal set up.

This moment is also revisited in Episodes 1 and 5 of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, 


'It's treason then' quote by Palpatine
It's treason then...



I've got a bad feeling about this...



This line is stated by so many major characters, you just expect this line to be in every Star Wars movie you see.



"I love you / I Know"



So said Leia to Han as he was about to be frozen in carbonite. Ford's ad-libbed reply of" I Know" is the stuff of Hollywood legend. 


The call back came in Jedi when just after Han Solo grabbed Leia's breasts, the lines were reversed. 

The line was used by Poe Dameron to Rey in The Last Jedi and one more by Han Solo to Ben in The Rise of Skywalker.


"You will die"


During Revenge of the Sith Mace Windu and Palpatine have battled it out and Windu has won the duel (something Yoda couldn't do, even when Mace had softened the Emperor up for him). Palpatine is no longer pretending he is anything but a Sith Lord. 


And he launches a lightning bolt attack on Windu with the words "you will die". 

This is a call back to Jedi when Luke has resolved not to kill his father and join the Dark Side which pisses of the Emperor who confirms Luke is now a Jedi and then stuns him with a bolt or a few thousand of Force lighting. 


He takes a pause and says "And now, you will die". Great work script writers, great work.


The Force Awakens


The Force Awakens film was basically a well-executed rehash of all the famous Star Wars moments, revisited in different guises.

Jakku is a stand-in for Tatooine, Rey's heroism matches Luke, Maz's Castle can be likened to the Cantina etc.

The movie is basically a greatest hits of the Star Wars universe and there's one hit which we think is a brilliant call back to the film that started it all, A New Hope. 

When Finn is tending to Chewbacca's injury he looks for something to use. And he pulls out the training remote that Luke used under Obi Wan tutelage, 30 odd years beforehand. It's a blink and you'll miss moment but it was a nice wink to the past. Rey again uses one in The Rise of Skywalker. 

And if you didn't like that, this little factoid may brighten your smile.

You know when Finn bumps the digital chess board (the game is actually called Dejarik) ... the game the starts up is the uncompleted game that Chewbacca and R2D2 played in A New Hope!

What did Rogue One offer?


Rogue One also featured a few call backs, especially to A New Hope. While the plot connections between the movies are fairly straightforward for us, the call back to 'hope' we like the best is pretty awesome and it doesn't matter in which order the movies are watched.

At the end of Rogue One, Leia's quote is that she has been brought 'hope' in the form of the Death Star plans.

In ANH, Leia refers to Kenobi as being her 'only hope'. With the entire theme of Rogue One being about hope (Jyn says that 'Rebellions are built on hope') the callback is pretty strong.

The Last Jedi snuck a few in too


When Luke is on the Millenium Falcon, R2D2 shows him the old hologram projection of Leia seeking help from General Kenobi is a blatantly obvious reference to A New Hope!

After Rey and Kylo have defeated Snoke's Royal Guard, Kylo makes it clear he is seizing control of the First Order and invites Rey to join him. Vader made the same offer to his Luke in Empire. Both Luke and Rey refused the offer. 

When Leia reunites with Luke on Crait, she mentions her hair. This is a call back to The Force Awakens when Han Solo mentions the change when they too reunite. Here's some more call backs found in The Last Jedi.

The Falcon's dice were carried over from a deleted scene in The Force Awakens and they also turned up in the Solo movie.

Speaking of...

Han Solo movie


Darth Maul's cameo at the end is a big call back.

He is shown to still be alive, even though Obi-Wan Kenobi sliced him in half in The Phantom Menace. 

The Clone Wars and Rebels (set after Solo) showed Maul survived his duel with Kenobi which means he is able to turn up as the lead of one of the crime syndicates, the Crimson Dawn.

When Han is stuck in the mud, when fighting the beast, this post echoes that of him being stuck in carbonate in TESB.

The Mandalorian also has plenty of callbacks - 'Life Day' from the television special, Salacious Crumb beasts being cooked on a BBQ spit and the Mandalorian riding a Blerg is a straight-up call back to the cartoon segment of the Holiday Special in which Boba Fett rides a similar-looking beast.

The Rise of Skywalker made some cool call backs which connected the sequel trilogy, our favorite being when Ray used a sled on the sand at the Skywalker moisture farm.

Review Episode 5 of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Jun 15, 2022

Review Episode 5 of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Spoiler alert. 


Spoiler alert.


Spoiler alert.


darth vader in obi-wan show


This is it. 


The one that the fans boys and girls have long wanted. 


The Return of Anakin Skywalker.


Indeed, this episode kicks off with Kenobi and pre-Sith Anakin undertaking a training exercise with light sabers. 


This is used as framing to examine the connective tissues between Anakin and Vader as they play a game of cat and cat with Reva, now the Grand Inquisitor, set between them as a somewhat unknowing mouse. 


A stronger episode than part 4, it features a Storm Trooper platoon attack in which they miss 99 per cent of their shots, the death of Tala to save Leia and the other refugees and an instantly iconic moment of Vader using the Force to bring down a ship that had just taken off. 


The episode also reveals that Reva was indeed the youngling that was spied in Episode One. While she is ruthless in her search for Kenobi, along the way she has killed many innocent people - seemingly solely to gain a personal audience with Vader so she can return the favour of his attempted murder of her as said Youngling. 


All very tragic. 


All very Star Wars.


This episode has a lot to pack regarding the relationship between Anakin and Kenobi. It shows how they both know each other so well that Vader's hunt for Kenobi is over and played out before it has even begun. 


And now we know where this show is finally headed. 


Back to Tattoine where a little boy dreams of becoming a pilot... 


darth vader kenobi show www.starwars.com

Trivia and references and things to think about from Episode 5:

  • When Kenobi and Skywalker train together, Anakin still has both his human arms - meaning this training exercise took place before the Attack of the Clones film. He still has his Padawan braid as well.
  • The true Grand Inquisitor apparently has two stomachs and can survive a sabre to the torso...
  • When Reva asked Kenobi where he was during the assault on the Jedi temple - he was of course taking down General Grevious
  • Given we now know Vader can pull ships from the air, why did he not do that to the Falcon on the Hoth base in Empire Strikes Back?
  • Anakin quote "Mercy doesn't defeat the enemy master"
  • Reva would appear then to be the only person in the Star Wars galaxy who has survived TWO light sabre stabbings from Lord Vader. 
  • Vader stabbed Reia with her own sabre - he never actually drew his the whole fight.
  • The name of the planet was Jabiim.
  • The troopers in black are known as Purge Troopers and are tools of the Inquisitors.  
  • "I was but a learner, now I am the master” this line from ANH now can arguably make a lot more sense - Kenobi outsmarted Vader with the escape. AND OMG I just realised that Anakin was never granted the rank of Master by the Jedi Council and in ANH hope he claims that title for himself. I bet you all realised that 17 years ago!
  • Vader pulling down the ship was a reference to the game Force Unleashed.



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