Saturday was certainly the busiest day at Celebration Europe if you were intending to visit different panels. I’ve known Gerald Home (Tessek, a Mon Calamari Officer) for many years and he said that Return of the Jedi Creature History was going to be a panel that I would enjoy — knowing I’m a fan of trivia and uncovering the smallest details from the movies. I had been able to speak to Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo after the Holocron panel, and Pablo also said I was really going to enjoy it. So I couldn’t wait.
Archive for ‘Behind The Scenes’
The Godfather had a profound influence on the landscape of American cinema after its release in 1972, and the Star Wars universe was no exception.
The Godfather is a masterful exploration of the human side of the mafia and the toll it takes on ones soul and family and was directed by Lucas’s longtime friend and mentor Francis Ford Coppola.
The underworld is a prominent feature of the Star Wars universe, from bounty hunters and mercenaries to the bumbling criminal bureaucrats of the Trade Federation and the criminal largesse of the Hutts.
When Episode I came out a few people were upset by the role midi-chlorians played in the Force — particularly when a drop of Anakin’s blood revealed an unusually high number of them in his system. As Lucas explained in a talk with author Terry Brooks, who was about to start writing the novelization of the film, “In Anakin’s case, there are, instead of one or two or three midi-chlorians in each cell, there’s like a thousand. It’s unbelievable how many midi-chlorians are in there.”
So…what are they? Lucas expounded: “I’m assuming that the midi-chlorians are a race that everybody knows about [in the world of Star Wars]. The way you interact and interface with this larger energy field [the Force] is through the midi-chlorians, which are sensitive to the energy. They are at the core of your life, which is the cell, the living cell. They are in a symbiotic relationship with the cell. And then, because they’re all interconnected as one, they can communicate with the larger Force field. That’s how you deal with the Force.”
Being the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars has truly changed my life. It’s given me the opportunity to do so many amazing things, and one of the opportunities I’m most thankful for has been the chance to co-host Disney’s Star Wars Weekends, which I’ve done for the past five years. I had a blast this summer with my fellow cast mate, James Arnold Taylor, as we spent a month at Disney World meeting fans and celebrating Star Wars!
I took SO many photos and thought I would share some of my favorites. Check them out after the jump!
Hello Star Wars fans,
If you have followed the Clone Wars TV series over the years you will no doubt be familiar with the names of some of my team who are, for the most part, behind the scenes. When I was first making my transition from traditional hand drawn animation to the possibilities CG animation offered, I was very concerned with how the drawings Kilian Plunkett and I were doing would be realized in three dimensions. How did we solve this problem? Enter design artist and sculptor Darren Marshall. Darren has been a member of the Lucasfilm Animation team for eleven years. Predating the creation of The Clone Wars, Darren was part of a special team of artists who were pitching animated concepts to Lucasfilm. When I came in to direct The Clone Wars, Darren was about to leave, believing his time at Lucasfilm was over, since it is rare to have a sculptor on a television series. However, when I saw his work, I knew that Darren would be able to make the critical translation between line art and three-dimensional form work. Simply put, Darren defined the style of the characters on Clone Wars, and has done so as a critical part of the design team for the past eight years.
A lost world in a galaxy far, far away…
Dinosaurs and other prehistoric life forms have more in common with Star Wars than one would expect. Their awe-inspiring and mysterious fossils may be all that’s left from their existence, and mankind has always been fascinated by the life that once roamed the earth. Many children will surely remember having a “dinosaur-period” during their childhood and the release of Jurassic Park (1993) resulted in a revival of interest in all things prehistoric.
Appearing in early Expanded Universe sources, several prehistoric life forms from Earth actually exist in the Star Wars universe. Giant reptiles, called Dinosaurs, lived on Trammis III, a planet situated in The Centrality. The Pterosaur of Ammuud is another example of a prehistoric creature that found its way to the Star Wars universe. A cast from the skull of an Apatosaurus was even used in A New Hope, to create the Krayt Dragon skeleton.
In this entry we will take a closer look at 10 species or creatures from that galaxy, far, far away that are reminiscent of prehistoric life forms. Not just dinosaurs, but also prehistoric mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and even insects will cross our path.
Way back in the ’90s, a suburban dad was single-parenting his two daughters. He was the president of their elementary school’s parent-teacher organization, fortunate enough to have a boss who let him work his own hours, and as long as he got his work done, he was able to be there for his girls. Most willingly and joyfully, he gave himself over to the task.
At home, elementary school artwork adorned the walls of the entrance, the corridor to the bedrooms, the kitchen. Music filled the house, played from the large boombox on the kitchen table. Weekday mornings started at full volume: Chuck Berry’s “School Days.” A musician in his salad days, this dad maintained his chops on Sundays as a rhythm guitarist for a gospel group led by the lead guitarist who had spent the better part of his professional career in New Orleans. The lead singer was a Texan, a Navy man, a soul singer who played sax locally in Tierfon in the Navy Band. The material was, dare we say, Force-ful. Wedded to this routine, this dad presumed to lead an uncomplicated life and stay out of trouble. Then came 1997.
For the past 10 years, the 501st and Rebel Legion costuming groups have brought their costuming expertise to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for Star Wars Weekends. I’m proud to say I’ve participated in the past three years of the event and I’m excited to share with you a little behind-the-scenes knowledge of what it takes to march and what we go through to make it happen.
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws might be one of the most influential films in history. It set the stage as one of the first, true summer blockbusters in 1975, paving the way for the cultural hysteria Star Wars would cause just two years later. Add to the fact that it stands to this day as a fantastic, well-made film, and it’s no wonder that its influence has seeped into the world of film and has devotees among the elites of the entertainment industry. Bryan Singer’s production company is called “Bad Hat Harry” from a line on the beach in Jaws. Ain’t It Cool News’ best journalist, Quint, takes his name from Robert Shaw’s salty character. I once even accidentally proposed marriage to my wife in the middle of the USS Indianapolis speech. (True story, but one for a different time.)
Jaws is no less important to those who create Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The first time I realized there was a hardcore Jaws fan on the crew of The Clone Wars was watching the thirteenth episode of the third season. “Monster” served as our introduction to the now-iconic villain Savage Opress. The homage from Jaws was subtle and CG supervisor Joel Aron later told me that he thought I might have been the only person who noticed it. But in Jaws (and in a few other Spielberg pictures) there is a lovely shot of a night sky, a quiet moment, and a falling star streaks across the frame. The moment is repeated in loving memory in “Monster” and it brought a smile across the face of the film nerd inside of me.
We sometimes forget, with the saga remaining so fresh and vivid in our minds, remastered and updated in the latest formats and constantly playing around the world that while the characters of Star Wars may remain eternally young, the actors who portrayed them on-screen, like the rest of us mere mortals, age, get older, and pass away.
This year alone we have seen Stuart Freeborn and Richard LeParmentier pass on, and only last year we all mourned the loss of the great Ralph McQuarrie. A recent fascinating piece on the Official Blog by Pablo Hidalgo, “Star Wars Mysteries: Hunting for the Fake Wedge,” asked the question, “where in the world is actor Colin Higgins,” the man who played the “fake” Wedge Antilles in the briefing room scenes of A New Hope. It’s a fascinating story, a relatively minor character who grew into a fan favorite but who took three actors — Denis Lawson, David Ankrum, and Colin Higgins — to bring to life in that first film.