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.
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.
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?
Bob Anderson, who did Darth Vader’s fighting in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, has died at age 89.
Anderson’s work on the Star Wars films was originally supposed to be a secret, but Mark Hamill outted him in a 1983 interview.
“It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told (director) George (Lucas) I didn’t think it was fair any more,” Hamill told Starlog magazine. “Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man.”
The Black List is an annual vote that picks the best unproduced scripts circulating around Hollywood. Among the top vote-getters this year is Evan Susser and Van Robichaux’s ‘Chewie,’ which Movieline describes as “A satirical behind the scenes look at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew.”
Previous Black List selections that went on to be filmed include Diablo Cody’s Juno and Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network.