George Lucas on Star Wars: Running Out of Environments

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

***New around here? Check out Primary Ignition‘s “George Lucas on Star Warsarchive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Endor forest, Star Wars Return of the Jedi

The Scene: Luke, Leia, Han, and the Rebel Alliance arrive on the forest moon of Endor to disable the shield generator protecting the Death Star.

George Lucas Says: “The thing about Endor is I wanted an environment that was different from the other environments [in the previous movies]. But it needed to be a jungly kind of place with a lot of growth and green, which is the color of life. I wanted to give it a different look than Dagobah, which in essence had the same qualities of a swamp. Again, a cradle of life environment. Lots of life there. But I was beginning to run out of environments. Something that was unique. The only thing I could come up with was really giant sequoias, where the trees would be so big that it would give it a different look than what we’d seen before. The reason I was able to move on and do the [prequels] was because I was able to create digital environments. By the time we got down here to Return of the Jedi I had pretty much shot everything on Earth. *laughs*”

I Say: The whole “running out of environments” problem is something that’s very much evident in modern Star Wars stories. After awhile, all the different desert plants and jungle planets and snow planets start to blend together. Creators are having to work, or at least they should be working, hard to make settings that are as distinct and memorable as Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor are in the original trilogy.

This is one of the reasons I was so enamored with the planet Crait in The Last Jedi. The idea of the planet being one giant salt flat with red soil underneath is very creative, distinct, and memorable. It’s very Star Wars.

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