The trivia behind the concept art of 'Attack of the Clones'

Aug 14, 2022

attack of the clones art bookThe Attack of the Clones came out on 16 May 2002 and seeing as that's close enough to a 20 year anniversary, I had a look through my 'The Art of Star Wars, Episode II - Attack of the Clones' book.

There is more than just amazing concept art in there, it has plenty of facts and trivia about how the film came into being.

Author Mark Cotta Vaz shines a good insight into how  director and writer George Lucas would make decisions about what creatures and space ships and costumes would go into the film - it's an iterative process that largely appears to have worked.

It also shows some of the challenges that producer Rick McCallum faced and how his production team overcame them.

jango fett slave concept art

1. The Clone Trooper classrooms are a reference to Luca's first film, THX-1138

ryan church clones

The cloned troopers (from Jango Fett's DNA) were taught in giant classrooms.

Artist Edwin Natividad stated "it's assembly line learning, no individuality. There's no personal attention, they're just soldiers being trained". They are literally a factory production line of humans Iain McCaig confirmed the idea was they were going "back to George's THX days".

If you were not aware, THX-1138 was Lucas's first feature film and it covered a range of ideas, including 'planned reproduction of populations', control of said populations (through a bean-counter beauracracy under which human life and labour was valued in productive units) 

These concepts were totally on display in the final film:

attack of the clones thx 1138 reference

There's a lot going on during the Kamino sequence - the introduction of the clones, Jango and Bobba Fett, and throughout it all, a strong thematic parallel with the Empire Strikes Back.

2. The design of Coruscant

The idea of an 'Imperial City' was dabbled with as an idea by George Lucas during the pre-production of Return of the Jedi. It even had a name, Had-Abbadon. Luca asked his now-famous concept designer Ralph McQuarrie to come up with some ideas:

imperial city ralph mcquarrie

First mentioned in the Thrawn 'Heir to the Empire' novels by author Timothy Zahn and spied at the end of Return of the Jedi celebration scenes and in a bit of The Phantom Menace (refer to the Jedi Temple scenes with Yoda, Mace Windu and friends), Attack of the Clones was Star War's first chance to truly flesh out the planet of Coruscant.

George Lucas challenged the design team to make the city/planet look better than Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner (which funnily enough starred Harrison Ford who had become a box office A-list celebrity at that point following his two Star Wars roles and his massive Lucas produced hit, Indiana Jones).

A key feature was that personal vehicles could not be found on the lower streets. Only public transport existed. The planet's lower level inhabitants were modelled to look like they were part of a 'rough trade' or took part in criminal elements. This was in strict contrast to the upper levels where the nightlife was 'decadent' (Death Sticks anyone?)

Here's an early design idea by Marc Gabbana:

Marc Gabbana coruscant design idea

3. Anakin's Yellow Speeder


The yellow 'speeder' that Anakin Skywalker uses when he and Obi-Wan Kenobi chase the assassin Zam Wesell, is, of course, a reference to the yellow hot-rod that featured in George Lucas's second feature film, the beloved American Graffiti.

shuster speeder design attack clonesJay Shuster had designed his concept shortly before a meeting with Lucas.

He thought maybe Lucas had seen some elements of Anakin's TPM pod-racer, Lucas certainly loved the exposed engines and it was the director himself who ordered the speeder have a paint scheme like the hot rod in his 1973

Here's a screen comparison of the two films by Mike Klimo:

comparison of the yellow car in american graffiti to Attack of the Clones

Fun fact - Ron Howard has a major part in the film. He famously turned down a chance to direct The Phantom Menace however eventually ended up directing the Han Solo film. 

You can thank Mile Klimo for that discovery.

4. When a Sith Lord is not a Sith Lord but Ventress

When Lucas was bedding in the script for AOTC, at one point, the Sith Lord that became Count Dooku was considered to be a female. Artist Dermot Power came up with this design:

dermot power female sith lord ventriss

When Lucas decided that Dooku was his man, Power's design was ultimately used as the inspiration for the Clone Wars character, Ventress

ventress original design

Power said of his work: "My first drawing had her was;k down the stairs. I gave her a slim upper body clad in armor or leather, widened her hips, gave her a heavy belt and baggy pants for a grounded feeling - like watching a samurai."

It's amusing the art book does not acknowledge this design became Ventress, but this of course makes sense as the book came out well before Ventress's official entry into Star Wars canon. 

5. The Arena Battle Monsters are classic John Carter of Mars riffs

obi-wan battles the acklay in ATOC
Obi-Wan Kenobi takes on the Acklay

Harking back to John Carter of Mars, Ray Harryhausen and perhaps a few gladiator movies, Padme, Anakin and Obi-Wan are forced to take part in their own execution by three deadly creatures.

monsters in the area geonosis

The Acklay became so when George Lucas asked Iain McCaig to combine sketches he had done - designed likened to a velociraptor and a praying mantis.

The Nexu was once a lion that could breathe fire and the 'Reek' was inspired by the dinosaur species Placerias from the Triassic period. 


The Battle of Geonosis

Attack of the Clones is a bit of a convoluted mess.

We all get it, and those that don't, well they love it so good for them. 

What's not really up for debate is how awesome the last 40 minutes of the film is. After the arena battle with the monsters and Yoda flying in with his cloned army  (apparently with no qualms about using cloned humans as meat puppets) to save the day - and then a battle ensues proper which makes for some great action scenes amidst the chase with Count Dooku.

Here's some cool concept designs that went into the battle:

air attack geonosis

battle of geonosis clone troopers
  
yoda geonosis concept art

ryan church geonosis artwork

jedi fight concept art

reek attack concept 

Other fun facts learned from reading 'The Art of Star Wars, Episode II - Attack of the Clones' :

  • Padme's costumes in The Phantom Menance were inspired by actual costumes from Mongolia. For Attack of the Clones, Padme was dressed in a more Elizabethan-era style. 
  • The centipede like mechanical monsters sent into Padme's room by Zam Wessel are called 'kouhuns'.
  • Jango Fett's Slave 1 ship was designed to look similar to the Millenium Falcon as if it had been made in the same era, or even by the same manufacturer. 
  • Kit Fisto was originally designed in mind as a Sith Lord and only became green once made a Jedi. 

Order the book from Amazon:



↠ How many words does Darth Maul say in The Phantom Menace?

Jul 24, 2022

How many words does Darth Maul say?






31


That's right, Darth Maul only says 31 words in The Phantom Menace.

This is attributable to George Lucas trimming down the role he had in mind for the character prior to filming.

That 31 is 27 words less than the 58 words Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke as the Terminator in the first movie of that franchise!

We reckon Darth's boss, Emperor Palpatine, had much more interesting things to say anyway.

Who was Luke's sister intended to be in Empire Strikes Back when Yoda said 'No, there is another...'?

Jul 9, 2022

Despite making out in Empire Strikes Back, the Return of the Jedi ultimately revealed that Princess Leia was Luke Skywalker's sister. 


Given the kiss, it could not have been George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan's intention that Leia and Luke were twins. 


Indeed, draft scripts never hinted at this (just the same as early scripts did not feature Lord Vader being Luke's father). 


Ideas progress and develop over time and the best film scripts are born of many revisions - so was Yoda's like to Obi-Wan Kenobi that there was another hope a deliberate set up for an idea Lucas has or was it simply a plot device that was intended to be worked on down the saga?


Producer Gary Kurtz is said to have outlined what Luca's intentions were for Leia when he was asked to give a comment about The Phantom Menace and he was drawn into a discussion of the original intent of the saga films was to be. 


Kurtz indicated:

EPISODE 6: Leia was to be elected "Queen of her people" leaving her isolated. Han was to die. Luke confronted Vader and went on with his life alone. Leia was not to be Luke's sister.


So if the scripts never showed Luke was Leia's twin brother and Kurtz knew this was the intention, what did the early scripts of The Empire Strikes Back actually reveal?


Come on down Leigh Brackett - the scriptwriter of whom Lucas asked to take the first crack at the story.


Brackett's effort featured Luke meeting his actual father (who was clearly not Vader) and also his... sister. 

Introducing Nellith Skywalker from a Lucas revision of Brackett's draft:

nellith-skywalker-luke-sister

The now-defunct www.thesecretlifeofstarwars.com site (found on the Way Back Machine) notes that once Lucas decided Vader was to become Luke's father. 

Lucas then left it open in Empire and elected to make the twin relation in Return of the Jedi. 

This does raise the question of why Yoda says 'there is another' to Obi-Wan Kenobi if he knew Leia was Luke's sister - Kenbo was at Leia's birth and had rescued her when she was kidnapped as a young child...

The choice for Luke and Leia to be twins worked out well in the end and made for a good mild twist near the end of Return of the Jedi. 




 

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



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