George Lucas on Star Wars: Anthony Daniels and C-3PO

***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

C-3PO, Star Wars A New Hope

The Scene: C-3PO bickers with R2-D2 about boarding an escape pod aboard the Tantive IV.

George Lucas Says (via The Characters of Star Wars featurette): “[I originally] was going to make [Threepio] more like an oily used car dealer or a salesman. He was going to be more like a salesman who was always trying to please and always saying the right thing. But as Tony Daniels came into it, he was a very good actor, and he had this British accent, and I just fell in love with the accent. I tried to use all different kinds of people. I tried to use the used car dealer. I tried to use the salesman. None of it worked except for Tony as this kind of fussy British butler.”

I Say: Try as I might, I’ve never been able to picture Threepio as a used car salesman type. Or, for that matter, as anyone other than Anthony Daniels. We can all be thankful that George went with Daniels, and wasn’t as stubborn as he’d prove to be in later years.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: The Old Man and the Machine

***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

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope, lightsaber

The Scene: Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader prepare to duel with lightsabers aboard the Death Star.

George Lucas Says (Via The Birth of the Lightsaber featurette): “In the beginning, the first film, Episode IV, it was a fight between a very old man and a man who was only partially a man, mostly a mechanical being. So it really wasn’t much of a sword fight at all. … As we went on, we wanted to have the lightsaber fights become faster and more intense as Luke became more proficient in the art of sword fighting.”

I Say: I’ve heard George talk about this a number of times over the years. It works fine as an in-story explanation of why there are no acrobatics or fancy sword fighting moves in A New Hope. But if Star Wars had been made in the prequel era, i.e. the late ’90s and early 2000s, you’ve got to know that Obi-Wan would have been doing all sorts of wild stunts. Remember that Count Dooku, who can’t be that far removed from Obi-Wan in terms of age, does a somersault off a balcony in Revenge of the Sith for no apparent reason.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: General Grievous and Darth Vader

***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

General Grievous entrance, Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

The Scene: General Grievous, leader of the Separatist droid army, enters the film.

George Lucas Says (via the Revenge of the Sith commentary track): “With General Grievous, I wanted somebody who was reminiscent … of what Anakin is going to become, which is a half-man, half-robot. In this case, Grievous is sort of 20 percent alien, 80 percent robot. … It echoes what is about to occur with Anakin, as a part machine, part life form.”

I say: George Lucas does love his echoes, doesn’t he? I remember thinking this idea of Grievous sort of foreshadowing what happens to Anakin when he becomes Darth Vader was pretty cool. If nothing else, it shows that Darth Sidious’ forces had become somewhat proficient in creating cyborgs out of critically wounded beings. So, in a way, Grievous also lays the groundwork for Anakin’s transformation later in the film.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Reading Emotion into a Robot

***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

C-3PO, Star Wars A New Hope

The Scene: C-3PO enters the film alongside R2-D2.

George Lucas Says: “One of the very difficult things about creating Threepio is that I needed to create a face that was absolutely neutral, that I could then read into whatever emotion it was that was being put forth in the scene. I had a sculptress come in and do a series of heads to to get to a head that was absolutely neutral and had no emotion on it whatsoever. I wanted all the reactions to be from the environment and the story around it so that if he was happy you would read happiness into his face. If he was sad you would read sadness into his face, and it wouldn’t be distorted at all by the physical configuration of his face.”

I Say: The whole “read emotion into the face” principle doesn’t just apply to Threepio. It also applies to Darth Vader. Case in point: The moments prior to Vader’s unmasking in Return of the Jedi, as he’s telling Luke he wants to “look on you with my own eyes.” We’re reading things like love and compassion into Vader’s mask, which is a stark contrast to what we’ve read into it previously.

To an extent, it also applies to R2-D2 and other robot characters. I suppose that’s what happens when your robots have so many feelings…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Threepio’s Humanity vs. Vader’s Humanity

***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

C-3PO, Han Solo, Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back

The Scene: After a sarcastic interaction with Han Solo, C-3PO says, “Sometimes I just don’t understand human behavior!”

George Lucas Says (via the “Characters of Star Wars” featurette): “Part of the fun of Threepio is he has no soul. He is programmed to think a particular way and be compassionate, but he doesn’t really know what that means. And sometimes he gets frustrated and sometimes he has very human-like qualities, but they don’t have a central place where he can think independently. Darth Vader, on the other hand, as he becomes more mechanical, he loses more and more of his ability to even think like a human.”

I Say: The notion that Vader is losing his ability to even think like a human being is compelling. In contrast, Threepio is, in many ways, trying to discover his own humanity. There’s an interesting dichotomy there when you consider that Darth Vader built C-3PO. As the movies go on, the human being starts to become less human and more robotic, while the robot starts to gain his humanity.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Princess Leia’s PhD

***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!***

Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The Scene: Princess Leia makes her first appearance in the film, feeding the Death Star plans into R2-D2.

George Lucas Says (via the A New Hope commentary track): In Princess Leia, I was looking for somebody who was young, 19, the same age as what Luke was supposed to be. But instead of being kind of an idealistic, naive, farm boy from the far reaches of the nether lands, she’s like a very sophisticated urbanized ruler. A senator. She’s a politician, she’s accomplished, she’s graduated and got her PhD at 19.”

I Say: What sticks out to me about that quote is that Leia has her PhD. So technically, she’s Dr. Leia as well as Princess Leia.

The average fan doesn’t know just how smart Leia is, do they? I think most people view her as a bold, fearless character. But they don’t necessarily grasp just how supremely intelligent she is. She’s one of the most educated, most intelligent characters in the entire Star Wars saga.

And here I thought she couldn’t be more awesome…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Yoda and the Path to Digital Characters

***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

Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back

The Scene: Luke Skywalker is trained to be a Jedi by Yoda on the planet Dagobah.

George Lucas Says (via the Empire Strikes Back commentary track): “It was struggling with [the creation of Yoda] that took me to the next level of saying, ‘Gosh, I wish I could get that [puppet] to walk.’ Because he can’t walk more than a few feet. … It takes a lot of work to get him to go anywhere. That was really what started me on the idea of creating digital characters that could actually move freely in a set without having to have the whole scene blocked around the puppeteer.”

I Say: So can we infer from this statement that we have Yoda to blame for the exhaustive overemphasis of digital technology in the prequels?

I jest, of course. This train of thought makes all the sense in the world. There’s nothing wrong with it, strictly speaking. It’s just a shame that things went to such an extreme. It took him down a dark path, so to speak…

And as Yoda himself says: “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: The Risk of Yoda

***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

Yoda, Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back

The Scene: In the swamps of Dagobah, Luke encounters a small creature who we later learn to be Yoda, a wise Jedi Master.

George Lucas Says (via the Empire Strikes Back commentary track): “There was a huge challenge with this. I didn’t want Yoda to look like a man in a suit. So I made him two and a half feet tall, which would have been impossible to put anybody in [a suit that size]. … It was one of the scarier things in the movie. Because if he looked like Kermit, we would have been dead.”

I Say: I don’t think this risk gets talked about enough. I think the achievement that is Yoda has subsequently gotten lost in all the advancements in digital technology, many of which have ironically been spearheaded by George Lucas. Had puppeteer Frank Oz, puppet designer Stuart Freeborn, Empire director Irvin Kershner, and everybody involved in the creation of Yoda not been as talented as they were, the movie might have fallen on its face.

Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, deserves a lot of credit for the creation of Yoda too. It’s one thing to create a realistic-looking puppet. It’s another thing to act alongside that puppet, react genuinely, and make it feel like a living being that could exist in the real world. Without Mark Hamill, Yoda as we know him today doesn’t exist.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Fatherhood: Dinosaurs and Potty Training

Tyrannosaurus Rex, toilet scene, Jurassic ParkBy Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

My three-year-old is big into dinosaurs right now. She’s going to be one for Halloween. She got her costume today, and now I can’t get her to take it off.

For a split second, it occurred to me: “Maybe she’d like to see Jurassic Park!”

Then in that same split second, I remembered the scene from that movie where the lawyer gets gobbled up off the toilet by the T-Rex. Seeing that would probably send the wrong message from a potty training standpoint…

That, and the whole “humans being devoured alive by dinosaurs” thing. That doesn’t help.

Incidentally, Jurassic World: Dominion SUCKED. I mean, how much worse could you possibly screw things up?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Burials and Echoes

***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

Anakin Skywalker, funeral scene, Star Wars Attack of the Clones

The Scene: At a small funeral ceremony for his mother, Anakin promises not to fail her again.

George Lucas Says (via the Attack of the Clones commentary track): “There’s, again, a constant echoing back and forth of things. .. where [Anakin’s mother is] buried, one can assume that Owen and Beru are buried in the same place.”

I Say: What I like about this “echo” is that it actually extends beyond Owen and Beru, and even beyond Lucas’ influence with The Rise of Skywalker. If Shmi Skywalker is buried at the homestead, one would have to assume that her husband Cliegg Lars was eventually buried there too.

Then, in The Rise of Skywalker, Rey buries Luke and Leia’s lightsabers near the homestead. So in a symbolic and ceremonial sense, Luke and Leia are buried there too.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.