Archive for ‘Behind The Scenes’



Richard LeParmentier: Saluting The Admiral

Mark Newbold | April 17, 2013

motti

The man who first showed us the effects of the awesome powers of the dark side passed away suddenly on Monday 15th April 2013 in Austin, Texas. Richard Leparmentier, better known to millions of Star Wars fans as Admiral Conan Antonio Motti left an indelible imprint on the Star Wars galaxy, helping to illustrate the fearsome powers of Lord Vader as well as the arrogance and malice of a bloated and over-confident Empire.

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Star Wars Mysteries: Let’s Give Luke a Hand

Pablo Hidalgo | April 1, 2013

hand004

In the spring of 2009, Lucasfilm got the following email (without any sort of visual attachment) from a recent visitor to the Star Wars: Where Science Meets the Imagination museum tour.

One of the items on display which was of great interested to me was “Luke’s prosthetic Hand”. It was a prosthetic of Luke’s hand showing damage to the palm area. The display card with the item states:

“Luke’s Prosthetic Hand. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.”

My question is: Was this prop actually used in any of the Star Wars films? I have no memory of seeing it in The Empire Strikes Back (or Return of the Jedi). In Empire, we see Luke’s hand showing damage in the wrist area. In Jedi, we see Luke’s hand with damage to the back of the hand. In none of the movies do we see damage to the palm (if my memory is correct).

So, was the prop on display ever actually seen onscreen in Empire (or Jedi)? Was the prop perhaps built and never used?

Geeky, inquiring minds, need to know! :-) Thanks for any help you can provide.

That question ping-ponged through several inboxes across Lucasfilm, looking for an answer. It landed in my lap, which triggered a few memories. Again, this inquiry came in with no visuals attached, but some very distinctive images popped into my mind.

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Star Wars Celebrityhood: Be Careful What You Wish For

John "Dak" Morton | March 20, 2013

Here at Tierfon Rebel Base we had a family wedding a few weeks ago. Family members came in from across the galaxy. Most of ‘em Navy-types. I’m at the cantina ordering bantha milk, and cousin Tom Mustin comes up to join me, asking, “What’s shakin’, Dak?” I tell him I’m gonna write posts for the Star Wars blog. So, he tells me his sea story. I should say Tom is another family member who put his thumb out on the road instead of going down to the sea in ships. [Note the link to the ship named after his family.]

Bantha milk in hand, Tom draws one from his time as an actor. One of his gigs was in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Says Tom, “I’m in the elevator with another doctor when Shatner and Deforest Kelley enter, wheeling in Catherine Hicks on a gurney.” According to Tom, the scene goes like this. Tom (an intern, talking to other intern): “So Weintraub says radical chemotherapy or she’s going to croak, just like that.” Second Intern: “What about Gottleib?” Tom: “What do you expect? All he talked about was image therapy. I thought they were going to punch each other out. Hahah.” Bones: “UGH!” Tom: “You have a different view, doctor?” Bones: “Sounds like the g-ddamn Spanish Inquisition!” Kirk (Shatner): “Bad Day.”

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, and The Fugitive

Bryan Young | March 12, 2013

If you’ve watched the final arc of the fifth season of The Clone Wars, you might have noticed something interesting about each of the episode titles. (And if you haven’t watched the final arc of the fifth season of The Clone Wars, why in the world not?)

Each of the episode titles, “Sabotage,” “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much,” “To Catch a Jedi,” and “The Wrong Jedi,” correspond to a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Sabotage, The Man Who Knew To Much, To Catch a Thief, and The Wrong Man all deal with themes and situations similar to those faced by Ahsoka Tano in this series of episodes. In Sabotage, police are left to investigate a terrorist plot that blew up a crowded bus, which can relate directly to the bombing of the Jedi Temple. The Man Who Knew Too Much has a spy confess knowledge of an assassination plot moments before he’s murdered, leaving Jimmy Stewart to put the pieces together on his own to prevent more killing. To Catch a Thief follows Cary Grant as he works to clear his name of crimes he’s accused of but didn’t commit, and The Wrong Man follows Henry Fonda as he struggles to prove his innocence in a system where the circumstantial evidence holds more weight than the truth.

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Leigh Brackett and Small Town Star Wars

John Booth | March 7, 2013

On the town square in Kinsman, Ohio, you’ll find a bank, a veteran’s memorial, and a used bookstore with an owner who will unhesitatingly volunteer the assertion that Yoda was born here.

And he’s right — from (yes, you know what’s coming next) a certain point of view.

Because rural Kinsman — which is almost 19 miles from the nearest Interstate and surrounded by the expansive fields and woods of the state’s northeast corner — boasts ties to a pair of science fiction legends as well as the classic middle chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy.

The Empire Strikes Back has always been special to me not just as a movie, but for the memories and feelings it sparks. I have never experienced anticipation for a movie the way I did when I was nine years old, waiting for the sequel (Sequel? I don’t even think I knew the word existed. All I knew was “MOAR STAR WARS!”) to the Greatest Movie I’d Ever Seen. It was a time of teaser articles in National Geographic magazine and of getting a thrill just seeing that amazingly cool new Empire movie logo, and it ruled.

Which is partly why I love the back side of Ohio Historical Marker 10-78:

Ohio Historical Marker 10-78

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E-Mails Between Master & Padawan About Ahsoka’s Decision

Ashley Eckstein | March 6, 2013

eckstein

By now, I’m sure you’ve all had a chance to digest what happened in the Season Five finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was very emotional and like I teased all season long, I’m sure you now have more questions than answers about what happened and what’s going to happen next.

Imagine being in my position, having to keep this a secret for so long! The suspense has been killing me! We recorded these last four episodes a year ago and I was definitely shocked when Dave Filoni told me that Ahsoka was going to walk away from the Jedi Order. It took me awhile to digest this news and I clearly remember, like it was yesterday, when it finally hit me that Ahsoka’s life and my life was changing forever. Dave Filoni sent me an email about recording the final scene with Matt Lanter. The word “final” hit me like a ton of bricks. We’ve been recording The Clone Wars for seven years now. I’ve grown extremely fond of my time in the recording studio, especially getting to record the scenes between Anakin and Ahsoka with Matt. They had become routine, commonplace and when I realized that the final scene of the season was the final scene with Ahsoka and Anakin, it broke my heart. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that change.

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Star Wars Mysteries: The Rebel Commando That Wasn’t

Pablo Hidalgo | March 5, 2013

This installment’s hunt for answers wasn’t sparked by any long-burning question. It probably won’t turn your world upside-down like the Max and Wedge posts did. But if I were the kind of guy who really enjoyed photo-supported Star Wars esoterica (and I am), I’d be all over this (and I am).  I stumbled upon this latest discovery while researching the Max Rebo entry. For years now, there was a reference photo in our image archives that had been labeled a Rebel commando. Based on that keyword, this reference photo saw print in a couple of sources like, until a few weeks ago, StarWars.com. But as soon as I learned that this is not a Rebel commando, I had them pull it.

There's something not right about this guy....

There’s something not right about this guy….

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ILM’s Model-Making Masters of the Universe

Steve Sansweet | February 11, 2013

There was a panel at a relatively small model show Saturday in the community center of my relatively small town, Petaluma, California, population 57,941. That’s not nearly as small as most semi-rural towns in wine country, but for a guy born in Philadelphia it sure is.

There were about 2,000 people who filled the center all day. The display we had at the Rancho Obi-Wan table attracted folks for the length of the show. There were babies in strollers and grizzled granddads whose lifelong hobby has been building exquisite scratch-built and model kits.

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Kagemusha

Bryan Young | February 11, 2013

It was never any secret that George Lucas was a fan of Akira Kurosawa’s. In the first installment of this column, we looked at the inspiration of The Hidden Fortress on Episode IV, but that’s not where the influence between Lucas and Kurosawa ended. By the late seventies, Kurosawa was a legend, but couldn’t get the money to finish his epic film, Kagemusha.

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Star Wars Mysteries: Hunting for the Fake Wedge

Pablo Hidalgo | February 6, 2013

Longtime readers of StarWars.com will already know this story. Parts of it were recounted in the official Homing Beacon email newsletter back in September 2004, and then a few months later on the ol’ user blogs that used to be hosted on this site. But since neither of those archives are readily available, and since I’m overdue for a blog post, I figured I’d retell the story of how I found the enigmatic briefing room Wedge Antilles from Episode IV. Also, this is an excuse to launch a semi-regular series of blog posts that have to do with little mysteries I’ve helped solve in my time here at Lucasfilm.

Who are you... and what have you done with Wedge?

Who are you... and what have you done with Wedge?

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