We just got some exciting news about Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Tomorrow (Thursday, July 12) evening, “Entertainment Tonight” is scheduled to host the world TV premiere of a special preview of “The Force Unleashed,” including the very first look anywhere at the trailer for the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga, which debuts from LucasArts in Spring 2008. Be sure to check your local listings for the exact time and channel in your area, then tune in to “Entertainment Tonight” for this special preview of this exciting new Star Wars adventure!
Archive for ‘Video Games’
Yahoo.com’s Buzz Log, which offers daily highlights to what people are searching for online, reports today that the previously obscure Darth Nihilus, most well-known to fans for his appearance in the Knights of the Old Republic II video game, has jumped up nearly 400% in Yahoo searches after the Sith lord’s name was dropped in a recent Howard Stern show:
George Lucas and his merry team of henchmen created many different Darths, including Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, and Darth Bane. Despite their relatively low profile, these lesser known Sith lords draw quite a bit of buzz.
Searches on Darth Nihilus spiked 398% after his name was mentioned on the Howard Stern show. Apparently, Howard’s staff interviewed a guy dressed as Nihilus at the latest Star Wars convention. A few clips were played on the air, and Nihilus became a star in Search.
Stern also reportedly said he is looking to invite the CIV fan dressed as Nihilus to his show. Read the full Buzz Log entry here.
For Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, actors Nathalie Cox and Sam Witwer will be playing the central characters of Juno Eclipse and Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice. But what does that mean for an actor in a video game? The actors’ faces are digitally captured, and then their performances are also captured through the use of motion-tracking dots placed on their faces and special camera arrays at Industrial Light & Magic. The actors describe the process…
Nathalie Cox (Juno Eclipse): It was bizarre really. It’s harder in a way. Obviously when you’re on a film set, you have your costume and the other actors around, and they’re all in costume as well, and you have an incredible set. Especially with something like Kingdom of Heaven for example — a massive production with entire villages and castles. You walk on the set and the cameras are rolling and the director says action, it’s kind of easier to get into character. With motion capture, though, is so intense and precise and it’s just your face, literally. You have to get every single emotion that you’re trying to portray in that one line through just your face. It doesn’t matter how much you wave your arms around and jump and down. If your face isn’t doing it, it’s not going to come across in the game. People aren’t going to believe that character saying that line.
Sam Witwer (Secret Apprentice): She makes the dots look wonderful, doesn’t she? Very sexy. Very sexy. I remember standing up in front of the motion capture rig. I’m not entirely new to the whole process of shooting things, but getting in front of the motion capture rig, I asked myself the question: “Can I even act in front of all this? What’s going to happen? Can I just say words? These dots are on my face! I just ate three at lunch! This is not cool!”
I was thinking we were sitting in a chair being told to act, but we actually had a lot of physical freedom. There were a lot of physical freedom, so there was a lot of physical things taking place when we were shooting the motion-capture. If I was pulling my lightsaber, I was actually pulling out a lightsaber. And we were capturing all that reference on video so that the animators can see what my body was doing at any given moment. So, yes, it was focused on the face, but it’s hard just to contain a performance just to the face. So, yeah, everybody allowed me and Nathalie to be as physical as we needed to be.
No, not like that. Not quite like that. Not like I didn’t try, folks.
You may know him as Crashdown from “Battlestar Galactica,” but you’ll soon know actor Sam Witwer as Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice in next year’s new title from LucasArts, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Here’s what he had to say about his character.
Sam Witwer (Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice): The character certainly is a dark sider. I guess what I found interesting about him was trying to get into the psychology of someone who raised in torturous conditions. He’s not a Jedi. He wasn’t raised a Jedi. His growth has been horribly stunted by this awful father figure.
Whereas a regular Jedi, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, would use the Force elegantly to trick a couple of stormtroopers, the apprentice would use the Force to bring the building down on the stormtroopers. He’s like a Force-wrecking ball. You can’t even call him an assassin.
There was one scene we shot where he’s going in to rescue someone. We did a take where he came in and whispered, “I’m here to rescue you,” very hushed. Afterwards, we all looked at each other and scratched our heads — that’s not quite right. Why is he whispering? He just killed five people and burst through the wall! He’s not subtle. When it comes to his job, he doesn’t have a lack of confidence about what he does.
What the cool thing about this story is that Haden [Blackman] and George [Lucas] have come up with a story that once you put it into the middle of Star Wars, if you take out the character of the Secret Apprentice, [A New Hope] doesn’t happen. He’s an integral character. And he’s proportionately powerful. Nothing against … I’m a LucasArts fanboy … nothing against Kyle Katarn. Nothing against those guys. They’re a bunch of wusses.
What I found most interesting about the character is that he’s a dark sider, he’s extremely aggressive, he kills many, many people, but underneath it all he’s an innocent in a weird way. He’s a kid. He’s like the photo-opposite of Luke Skywalker. That’s sort of the way we decided he should be played. There’s certainly a lot of attitude. You get snarky a lot of times, especially with her [Nathalie Cox as Juno Eclipse], but he’s also got this innocence. He’s this kid trying to figure out what’s going on. What is he supposed to be doing?
Today, the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars, fans were given a glimpse of the next chapter of the saga: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Key members from the crew of LucasArts’ cutting edge videogame as well as the two star cast-members of The Force Unleashed joined host Dave Collins (who is actually developing sound for the game) to discuss what fans can expect. Check back later for more quotes…
Haden Blackman (Project Lead): When we first started out with this game, we explored a lot of different options and a lot of different directions. We kept coming back to the idea where we really wanted to reinvent the Force and create a game that took the Force in new directions. What really resonated with us was this idea of really amping up the Force and kind of blowing it out of proportions, and in some cases, making it totally out of control. Really being able to use that to set up interesting game-play situations, and to really take advantage of the power of next generation systems and do a lot with physics and simulation, and all driven by this notion of the Force as you’ve never seen it before.
Matt Omernick (Art Director): As a Star Wars fan, it’s a cool dream come true There’s that 18-year gap that we get to work with. A big theme that we really stick to visually is the idea of evolution and construction. As you know, the galaxy is pretty much turned on end at this point. The Empire’s taken over. We see a ton of transition. Imagine a TIE fighter construction factor. What does that look like? We get to create that.
Another example is Kashyyyk, which is in the game. We think of Kashyyk as this pristine, very calm world. What happens when the Empire really makes it mark there on that, takes over and starts to enslave Wookiees? From an artistic standpoint, it’s an incredible playground. You get to invent.
Haden Blackman: Ultimately, we hit on this idea of — what if Darth Vader were to take a secret apprentice? From there, the story kind of exploded. It’s cliché to say that things write themselves — they don’t. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of iteration, but once we had that idea, the number of possibilities seemed limitless to us. The story really has been driven from this main character. The plot all revolves around that.
Matt Omernick: Getting the script really opened up our mind to the possibilities of the Secret Apprentice. How would Vader really treat an apprentice? We came up with this concept that referred to internally as “Vader’s Attack Dog.” The idea being that Vader would really keep this person under his heel and beat them down both physically and mentally and basically raise them in darkness. That’s what really informed our design of the character. You’ll see tattered clothing and layers and layers from years and years of… not necessarily torture devices, but restraints and things like that when you see design of the character.
Juno Eclipse, on one hand has to be this very stoic hardened Imperial pilot with tons of experience, but at the same time, she has this soft heart inside of her, because she’s the love interest in this game. So, it’s finding this balance. Finding someone you know and respect as an Imperial officer, yet there’s something inside her that’s redeemable.
This just in from LucasArts:
Kick Some Brick Through All Six Star Wars™ Movies for the First Time in LEGO® Star Wars™: The Complete Saga
The Award-Winning Videogame Brings Families Together Again, This Time on Even More Next-Generation Consoles
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – May 24, 2007 – LucasArts and TT Games celebrated today the 30th anniversary of the classic movie series that spans generations with the announcement of LEGO® Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Building on the success of both LEGO Star Wars “block-buster” videogames, each complete with LEGO action and minifigure humor, The Complete Saga enables families to play through the events of all six Star Wars movies in one videogame for the first time ever. Developer Traveller’s Tales takes full advantage of the unique capabilities of all three next-generation consoles, while also adding new characters, new levels and new features. Players can build and battle this fall on the Wii™, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360™ videogame system from Microsoft. Traveller’s Tales is also creating an entirely new Nintendo DS™ version, developed brick by brick from the ground up.