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: 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: 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.

The Essential Clone Wars: “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S5:E18 – “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, Stephen Stanton, Dee Bradley Baker, Meredith Salenger
WRITER:
Charles Murray
DIRECTOR:
 Danny Keller
PREMIERE DATE:
February 16, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Ahsoka is accused of murdering a military prisoner.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“The Jedi Who Knew Too Much” is essentially part two of a four-parter that began with “Sabotage.” But this episode is where things really kick into high gear, and the end begins for Ahsoka. I can only assume they had this “framed for murder” story, or something akin to it, in mind when the series began. As Ahsoka obviously doesn’t appear in Revenge of the Sith, common sense would dictate you not create this character without knowing how to ultimately get rid of her.

I can appreciate that there’s a public backlash against the Jedi as the war becomes less popular. There’s obviously precedent for that in the real world, most recently with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But it does beg the question: Is it just the Jedi who are seeing a backlash? If so, why? Why not the chancellor? Why not the Senate? They’re every bit as involved in the war.

Admiral Tarkin (or Grand Moff Tarkin, as we knew him in A New Hope) appears in this episode, voiced by Stephen Stanton. I had mistakenly thought Stanton provided the voice for Tarkin in Rogue One. He didn’t. But he certainly could have. His Tarkin voice is spot on.

Anakin and the clones chase Ashoka outside a building that’s apparently called the “Repubic Center for Military Operations.” Its exterior includes big statues of clone troopers, and what appears to be a big memorial for troops lost during the Clone Wars.

All I could think of as I saw this building was that the Republic must have a lot of money to burn if they can create a facility that elaborate and ordained in the midst of a war. Either that, or Palpatine really wanted to push the clone trooper imagery and propaganda as he built up his Galactic Empire.

The entire prolonged chase sequence involving Ahsoka, Anakin, and the clones is really effective. Very suspenseful, and you believe that either side can ultimately win out.  Kevin Kiner’s score works perfectly too. It all feels like the culmination of five seasons. Like this is what we’ve been building to.

At first glance, Ahsoka’s motivation for running is a little bit questionable. Common sense and logic dictate that only a guilty person would flee that way. However, it does speak to her youth, inexperience, and even a certain impetuousness that might come with being Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice. So it works.

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

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #6 Micro-Review – Firing on All Cylinders

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Han Solo and Chewbacca 6, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #6
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Paul Fry, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: September 28, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This is the kind of issue I pictured when this series first came out. We’ve got Chewie getting into fights in prison, as a bunch of space pirates race to free the Millennium Falcon from the clutches of the Empire. Meanwhile, Han Solo is presumed dead. (Spoiler: He’s not.)

This book was a slow starter. But it’s firing on all cylinders now. My only complaint? That they felt the need to shoehorn Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan into this story. They were, of course, in the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope. Lame.

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

An Andor, “Episode 1” Review

SERIES: Star Wars: Andor
EPISODE:
S1:E1. “Episode 1”
STARRING:
Diego Luna, Kyle Soller, Adria Arjona, James McArdle, Antonio Viña
WRITERS:
Tony Gilroy
DIRECTOR:
Toby Haynes
PREMIERE DATE:
September 21, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Cassian Andor becomes a wanted man.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Let me say this straight away: I did not like Rogue One, the movie to which Andor acts as a prequel. I didn’t think any of the characters were sufficiently developed. The only one with any charm or heart was the robot, K-2SO. It’s always seemed to me like people were fooled into thinking they liked the movie because of all the classic Star Wars stuff in it, along with its darker tone, which I admit does appeal to a large group of fans. But for me, a dark tone by itself doesn’t cut it. I need something underneath the dark packaging to sink my teeth into.

I don’t expect to change people’s minds about Rogue One. At this point, people believe what they believe. Furthermore, I don’t expect Andor to change my mind about Rogue One. But the good news is, changing my mind about Rogue One isn’t what Andor needs to do. This show’s job is to be good in and of itself. What I hope for Andor more than anything is that it does something Rogue One didn’t do: Make me like and care about Cassian Andor.

Disney+ premiered Andor with its first three episodes. It did something similar with Obi-Wan Kenobi, dropping the show’s first two episodes on its premiere date. Apparently, releasing multiple episodes out of the gate helps the show make a bigger splash in terms of viewership. Me? I’d be happy with a single episode premiere. It draws things out, makes the experience of the show last longer, etc. (Plus, it makes it easier to review.)

In our opening scene, we get the time stamp “BBY 5.” Star Wars geeks know this means five years before the Battle of Yavin, i.e. five years before the original Star Wars film. But more casual viewers? They won’t have a clue what that means.

Was that an intergalactic strip club Cassian went into in the opening scene? This being Star Wars, somehow I expected more Carrie Fisher style slave girl bikinis.

We knew we were likely going to get some scenes with child-aged Cassian. He had that line in Rogue One about being in the fight since he was six. It looks like he comes from a world that’s not overly industrialized. The group he and his sister are in looks vaguely tribal.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was bored by this episode. But it did feel like there wasn’t much happening. I’ll chalk it up to first episode exposition and character introduction. But I won’t be inclined to be quite as nice next time…

Okay, I get it. Cassian has lots of friends and connections. Did we need to establish that four times? First there was the Brasso character. Then we had Bix Caleen and Timm Karlo. Then there was the encounter with Nurchi and Vetch. Finally, we had the little exchange with Pegla. Am I supposed to care about these people? The only one that really accomplishes that goal is the Bix character, played by Adria Arjona.

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

The Essential Clone Wars: “Eminence”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S5:E14 – “Eminence”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Sam Witwer, Jon Favreau, Clancy Brown, Katee Sackhoff, Kevin Michael Richardson
WRITER:
Chris Collins
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
January 19, 2013
SYNOPSIS:
Maul and Savage Opress team with the Death Watch against Obi-Wan Kenobi.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

My stance on Jon Favreau voicing Pre Vizsla has softened a bit. He doesn’t necessarily sound like a warrior belongs in a group with Darth Maul and Savage Opress. But maybe that’s the idea. Vizsla is more of a conniving scheming, after all. Maybe it works in a subtle sense…

When Savage gets up from the operating table after Maul comes to retrieve him, he bumps his horns on the lamp above the table. That’s obviously meant to be funny. But it’s oddly timed. Kind of like the stormtrooper bumping his head in A New Hope. Only that was an accident on the set, and they just left it in. From an animation standpoint, this was obviously intentional. It’s an interesting choice.

Jabba the Hutt, as well as the Black Sun leaders, are voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. Richardson has worked on a litany of Star Wars projects, as well as shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Teen Titans, and the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. He also got two Daytime Emmy nominations for voicing the Joker in The Batman.

I was pleased to see that the Black Sun leaders were falleens, the same species as Prince Xizor, who ruled Black Sun when we first saw them back in the ’90s in in Shadows of the Empire. Nice continuity there.

Was that Dengar I briefly saw with the bounty hunters that fought Maul’s group (shown above)? That’s a cool little cameo. Dengar, of course, being one of the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. He had maybe a couple of seconds of screen time as a background character. But still, die-hard Star Wars nuts like me recognized him.

It’s almost always cool to see Jabba’s palace, as it’s a classic location from Return of the Jedi. Especially when we get to see it from different sides and vantage points.

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: Who Shot First?

***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

Han Solo, Greedo, Star Wars A New Hope

The Scene: The bounty hunter Greedo confronts Han Solo over money he owes Jabba the Hutt. The two sit at a table.

In the original version of the film, Han shoots Greedo dead under the table.

In all versions following the 1997 Special Edition release, Greedo shoots at Han first and misses, prompting Han to fire back and kill him.

George Lucas Says: “It was always meant that Greedo fired first, and in the [original release] you don’t get that too well. And then there was a discussion about, “Well it’s good that it’s left amorphous and everything.” … In terms of Han’s character and everything, I didn’t like the fact that when he was introduced the first thing he did is just gun somebody down in cold blood. That wasn’t what was meant to be there.”

I Say: Like a lot of (Dare I say most?) Star Wars fans, I’m a “Han shot first” guy, and call BS on the idea that Greedo shot and missed at point blank range. If Greedo was supposed to fire his gun first, then why have the two of them sitting at a table? The notion that Greedo, or anybody, could miss a shot like that is laughable.

What’s more, I’d argue Han gunning someone down in cold blood fits perfectly with what George describes as his character arc. He’s talked at length over the years about how Han Solo starts out very selfish, cold, and out for himself. But through his relationship with Luke and Leia, he gradually starts to become compassionate and care about others. As this is Han at the beginning of that arc, it’s more than fitting for him to kill Greedo to save his own skin.

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

George Lucas on Star Wars: Not Always a Brave Wookiee

***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

The Scene: As our heroes are trapped inside the trash compactor aboard the Death Star, Chewbacca desperately bangs on a nearby door attempting to get out.

George Lucas Says (via the A New Hope commentary track): “[One of the things I like] about this scene is that Chewie panics. He doesn’t like it here. We didn’t get a chance really for Chewie to express himself very much in the movie in terms of his emotional feelings. He usually goes along with the program. But this is the one place where he doesn’t go along with the program. He just doesn’t like it. He wants to get out. He’s not always a brave wookiee, and I like that in him.”

I Say: Chewie’s emotional side, which is a bit child-like at times, is one of his more endearing qualities. His frustration at losing the chess game to Artoo, his outbursts as Han is about to be frozen in Empire, his joy at seeing Han again in Jedi, etc. These are little moments, but they really shade him in from a character perspective and make him more three-dimensional.

So you know what, George? I like it too.

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