January 2, 2017

Who loves Return of the Jedi?

13 lucky facts about the making of the Return of the Jedi

leia kissing a guard
Don't ask about what's happening here.

13 lucky facts about the making of the Return of the Jedi


For this writer, Jedi was the first Star Wars movie I ever saw on the silver screen.

I must have been 6.

It was awesome.

I was given a book where you played a cassette along at the same time and I duly memorised it.

I also recall borrowing the novelisation (with pictures) a million times from the school library.

And now too many years later here I am blathering on a facts and trivia about the making of the movie....


Here's 13 awesome bits trivia and facts about the effort that when into the making of Return of the Jedi:

  1. Ewoks were a late addition to the Star Wars mythology. Their part in the story was to be played by the Wookiees, but by the time Lucas and his production partners sat down to write Return of The Jedi, they realized that, because Chewbacca could fly the Millennium Falcon, repair the ship and operate pretty much any weapon or machine in the known universe, they'd made the Wookiees too technologically advanced for the plot.
  2. Yoda was to sit this one out, but he was added after consultation with child psychologists helped George Lucas decide he needed an independent character to confirm Darth Vader's claim that he is Luke Skywalker's father. Now you know why Yoda doesn't do much for the rest of the movie. That and the fact he died of old age.
  3. "It's a trap," which is arguably the most famous line in the movie, was, incredibly, not in the screenplay. The line was scripted as "It's a trick!" and was later changed post-filming after a test screening because, let's face it, "it's a trick" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
  4. Admiral Ackbar's backstory is that he was once the slave of Grand Moff Tarkin, as well as his personal pilot. This is no longer canon. 
  5. Ben Kingsley, who played the title role in the 1982 movie Gandhi, read for the role of Emperor Palpatine and “was considered ‘very English.’ That said, Palpatine was eventually played be Englishman Ian McDiarmid...
  6. David Lynch was originally offered the chance to direct this episode of the series. He turned it down because he believed it was "Lucas' thing." He went on to direct Dune instead.
  7. In the DVD 2004 release, Sebastian Shaw (older Anakin Skywalker) is replaced in the celebration scene by Hayden Christensen. Many fans did not understand, nor appreciate this.
  8. Darth Vader's funeral pyre was added at the very last minute, long after principle photography and pick-ups had wrapped. The scene was thrown together and shot near the hills of Skywalker Ranch.
  9. It took six people to work the full-sized animatronic of Jabba the Hutt.
  10. This is the first Star Wars film to show a lights saber combat something other than another light saber. Luke on the Sail Barge fights guards with staffs and blasters. This perhaps a call back to the original movie where Luke wears a blaster helmet and tries to anticipate shots from the Remote on the Millennium Falcon. This shows the progress Luke has made as a Jedi Knight.
  11. Listen very carefully as Darth Vader picks up the Emperor and throws him down the Death Star shaft. This is the only time the Jedi theme music plays over a shot of Vader, reflecting his return to the light side of the Force.
  12. After appearing in this film, Wedge becomes the only X-wing pilot character (apart from Luke) who survives all three major battles in the films.
  13. The film was originally going to be called Revenge of the Jedi until Lucas decided that Jedi do not seek revenge. This was quite late in the production so there was a lot of promotional gear with the title already printed on it. 
This was just a taste of the vast amount of ROTJ trivia out there - if want more try this book, The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi by J. W. Rinzler.

Bonus fact - Alan Rickman auctioned for the role of Jer Jerrod. 

33 awesome making of Rogue One facts

Rogue One facts and trivia

Facts and trivia about Rogue One, a truly great Star Wars movie


Here's some facts and trivia about the development, production and detail of Rogue One, the first Star Wars anthology film.
  1. The film's working title was 'Red Cup'. Star Wars films have an odd naming history.
  2. Its place in the Star Wars time line is just before A New Hope. It is also 5 years after the Star Wars Rebels television show.
  3. Visual effects legend John Knoll came up with the story. He pitched it to Kathleen Kennedy and the rest is history.
  4. Doug Chiang is the production designer. His claim to fame is design work on the prequel trilogies.
  5. Garry Whitta wrote the first draft of the screenplay and came up with the film's title. Gary is known for his work on The Book of Eli and After Earth. He actually posted the title of the movie to his Twitter account at one point but no one knew it was the movie!
  6. Screenwriter and director Christopher McQuarrie did a two week pass on the script post Whitta's effort. McQuarrie is best known for winning an Oscar for scripting The Usual Suspects and has had a strong career since so his involvement is notable. 
  7. This is the first Star Wars movie where the title of the movie is said. Bodhi Rook says it, confirming the title of the movie is a call sign.
  8. Alan Tudyk plays Enforcer Robot, K-250. He filmed a small cameo as a pilot called Wray Nerely but it was cut out.
  9. It is the first big screen Star Wars movie that John Williams has not recorded the score for. Michael Giacchino composed the music for Rogue One.
  10. The "I don't like you either" guy, Dr. Evazan has a blink and you'll miss him cameo. You'll remember his as they guy giving Luke Skywalker a hard time in the Cantina Bar in ANH, a hard time until Obi-Wan stepped in and sorted things out.
  11. Genevieve O'Reilly reprised her role as Mon Mothma, whom she previously played in Revenge of the Sith.
  12. Jimmy Smits also returns as Leia's father, Bail Organna. He played supporting roles in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith
  13. Anthony Daniels appears in his 9th Star Wars movie - if you count his voice acting work for the cinematic release of The Clone Wars, making him the only actor to appear in all the Star Wars movies. Whike his side kick R2D2 also appears in all the movies, R2 was only played by Kenny Baker in 4 movies - most of the prequels where animated and he was too ill for The Force Awakens.
  14. Character 'Saw Gerrera' originally featured in Star Wars: Clone Wars television show. Gerrera is played by Oscar winner, Forrest Whitaker.
  15. The planet Jedha features a place known as the 'Temple of the Whills'. This is a great reference to some obscure Star Wars trivia - The Journal of the Whills was a formal record of history, maintained by a beings known as The Whills. During the original Star Wars writing period, George Lucas had the idea that R2D2 relayed the stories he knew to the Whills so that the Skywalker saga could be recorded for all time.
  16. Gary Whitta, one of the script writers, filmed a cameo as a Rebel pilot but it never made the final cut. 
  17. Gareth Edwards requested that that extras grow out their sideburns and mustaches to fit into the ‘70s aesthetic of A New Hope. Check out the radio operator on the Rebel Base...
  18. It falls to K-2SO to deliver the line "I've got a bad feeling about this" - be he gets cut off before he can finish the famous quote. This makes it the tenth time the line has been uttered in a Star Wars movie.
  19. It was Donnie Yen's idea for his character Chirrut Imwe to be blind. Director Gareth Edwards thought it was cool and ran with it. Yen initially turned down the role when it was first offered to him however when he told his kids about the chance, they were so excited, he changed his mind.
  20. In Saw Gerrera's cave there are paintings of monsters from director Gareth Edward's prior movies, Monsters and Godzilla
  21. As Pao sees the approaching AT-ACT on Scarif he let's out a cry of 'Karabast!' - which Rebels fans will know as a saying of characters Zeb and Ezra.
  22. You know that planet Jyn is rescued from as a prisoner? That's called Wobani. Do you think it curious that Wobani is an anagram of Obi-Wan?
  23. Chris Weitz, one of the scriptwriters, said that one of the titles of the movie that was 'kicked around' for Rogue One was 'Dark Times'.
  24. Director Gareth Edwards has a secret costumed cameo appearance as a Rebel.
  25. Speaking of directors, Episode VIII director Rian Johnson also had a cameo as an operator on the Death Star.
  26. Where A New Hope started with Darth Vader in black being surrounded by his white Storm Troopers, Rogue One reverses this with Krennic dressed in white being surrounded by his black Deathtroopers. A continuation of Lucas' Ring Theory perhaps?
  27. The ship known as 'The Ghost' from the television show Rebels makes an appearance in the final Rebel attack. It's the first leap from that show's realm to make into a Star Wars movie.
  28. And to tie into the above, Pablo Hidalgo has confirmed Chopper was in Rogue One - where? He can be briefly found on Yavin base. See the red circle in the image just below.
  29. Did you spot the blue milk in the Erso's family home? That's a nice wee Easter egg referring to Luke having a drink of it back at Uncle Owen and Beru's farm in ANH.
  30. The use of Blue Squadron was a reference to the novelization of Star Wars featuring Blue Squadron instead of Red. This was a choice made by Lucas late in the piece, after the novel was already written by Alan Dean Foster. Foster when on to write Splinter of the Mind's Eye and the novelization of The Force Awakens.
  31. Leia says the last line of the movie "What is it they've sent us? Hope." It's a clever set up for the title of A New Hope and ties in thematically well. In saying this last line, that takes Leia's tally saying the final line of a Star Wars movie to three - the other two being The Force Awakens and Return of the Jedi.
  32. The Hammerhead Corvette used in the Battle of Scarif to smash one Imperial Stars Destroyer into the other was an idea taken the classic video game, Knights of the Old Republic. It was also seen in season two of Star Wars: Rebels.
  33. Rogue One sets up how Luke eventually gets the call sign 'Rogue-Five'. The Original Red Five, Pedrin Gaul, was killed during the battle over Scarif, meaning that when Luke gets involved with the Rebel assault on the Death Star, he takes up the vacancy in Red Squad.
  34. Jyn's mother Erso wears the "red sash of the enlightened' which was worn by the sects found on Jedha - the same as Chirrut wore. Given these sects were about the Whills and the Kyber Crystals, the scene when Jyn receives her mothers crystal necklace should serve to show that her mother was truly trying to protect her with the power of the Force. Also, and perhaps crucially for the plot - Chirrut was able to sense the crystal around Jyn's next on Jedha - which led to Baze and Chirrut getting caught up in Jyn's adventure. 

July 21, 2015

The best EDI cosplay you'll probably come across

We previously this EDI cosplay was great but here's some excellent cosplay from Mass Effect's larger than life A.I., EDI.

EDI Costume Play

This keen cosplay action pose was brought to you by Crystal Graziano.

November 12, 2014

Hunter cosplay helmet from Destiny

hunter cosplay destiny

Here's a sweet Hunter helmet that serves as some awesome Destiny cosplay. Redner made it himself, here's what he has to say about his art:

"I did the helmet and chest armor for a costume I wore at NYCC this year. The mouth moves and the eyes move but manually. The eyes light up with LEDS and have three settings super bright, bright and blinking."

Here's an awesome Awoken cosplay effort.

November 9, 2014

Mass Effect 4 concept art

concept art mass effect andromeda

N7 day has quickly become the most popular day in the calendar for many Mass Effect fans. To celebrate it this year Bioware release some concept artwork for what is simply being referred to as the next Mass Effect. No other firm details have been announced – people are still fretting that it’s going to be a prequel.


Here’s the pictures, key thing to note is the return of the much loved and much hated Mako:




October 1, 2014

Adrian Majkrzak's Destiny Concept Art

Awoken

Adrian Majkrzak has released some of the concept design work that he did for Bungie's Destiny. 

Ghost
cabal destiny
Cabal
Drop Ship

destiny space ship -concept


Want more pictures? Check out the Destiny design that Dorje Bellbook did.

September 29, 2014

Dorje Bellbrook's Destiny concept art designs


Destiny hive catacombs concept art
Where the Hive live
If you’ve played Bungie’s Destiny, you’ll know how beautifully designed it is. From rocks on the moon to the tapestry of design that can be found in the darkest Hive catacombs, Destiny is a visual feast of design. But to get there, Bungie had to know what it’s designers and artists were going to make.

conceptual mock up destiny

This is where the concept art comes to the fore – the development at this stage has a crucial effect on what the game environments end up looking like (and also determining the ‘feel’ of a cave, castle or common room).

venus conccept art destiny
Venus bridge
So it’s no surprise Bungie through concept designer Dorje Bellbook a bone and asked him to get involved. Here’s some of the design work that Bellbook did – you can see how influential his works turned out to be.

catacombs destiny art
Where the wild things are...
moon destiny design art
M-O-N spells MOON
Warp Gate concept art destiny game
Venus Warp Gate

Of course, the design work was not left all up to Dorje, check out these other pieces of artwork.




Sign up to our newsletter