In this nearly 16-minute featurette, George Lucas, Ben Burtt, and Mark Hamill talk about the aim, origins and uses of the iconic weapon throughout the saga.
Keira Knightley talks a bit about playing Natalie Portman’s Phantom Menace decoy on The Graham Norton Show.
The retro interviews move on from Lucas to Dennis Muren, who talks about the challenges of the Return of the Jedi VFX.
George Lucas talks about hiring Harrison Ford for Star Wars: “He was the best.”
For the hell of it, here’s Ford and Mark Hamill doing a version of the Alderaan scene:
With all the movie and TV news coming out, it’s easy to get caught up in the future. Because the future, as a wise man once said, is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. But if you’ve got an even passing interest in the past, you should definitely check out Kitbashed.
Writer and designer Michael Heilemann has been on our radar for years, but with Kitbashed he’s delving deep into the origins of Star Wars – not the saga, not the franchise, but the movie. Heilemann connects Star Wars to everything from famous documentaries to Star Trek to a baffling magazine ad. He’s also especially good at analyzing George Lucas’ student films and early works.
Even when his observations are relatively familiar, Heilemann presents them in a novel way. For example, don’t miss his spellbinding video on the war movies which influenced the Death Star trench run. Citations are included for further reading, and the site itself is gloriously easy on the eyes, clean and straightforward and uncluttered. Kitbashed is an absolute joy.
Out right now – I missed it last week – is Star Wars Storyboards: The Prequel Trilogy by J.W. Rinzler.
Original trilogy make-up artist Stuart Freeborn has died at age 98, the BBC reports.
Freeborn worked on many celebrated films, including Stanley Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Star Wars fans will know him best as the man who created Chewbacca, Jabba the Hutt and Yoda. He famously based Yoda’s face on Albert Einstein – and himself.
StarWars.com writes more about his Star Wars contributions, as well as comment from George Lucas:
“Stuart was already a makeup legend when he started on Star Wars,” said George Lucas. “He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy. His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His Star Wars creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films.”
Below the cut, a two-part documentary where Freeborn talks about his work.
Star Wars Aficionado has stills of the three pilots – one of whom does appear in the movie, dubbed by a man – who appear on the Blu-rays. (via)
This (soundless) documentary by Jeff Broz was shot on 8mm in Buttercup Valley during the filming of Return of the Jedi. It’s pretty nifty – you see most of the principal actors (and/or their stunt doubles?) at one point or another. (via)
Can you imagine anyone getting this close to a set on a huge movie like this today?