Friday, 20 October 2017
POSSIBLE SPOILERS! A vital new supporting player for the Resistance struggle comes into play for The Last Jedi and likely Episode IX in Laura Dern's striking Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Very much in the Mon Mothma mode, though not afraid to take arms in battle, she will surely be the torch bearer, alongside Poe Dameron, to the cause against the First Order passed on from the departing General Leia Organa at the end of VIII. It's great to see a new picture of this sure-to-be-popular character, clearly in a key meeting with other operatives and droids (of which this film will showcase a wide variety).
Laura Dern talks VIII: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcdTXpC9Xzo
We're used to seeing low life scum in the STAR WARS universe - bounty hunters, informants, killers and thieves of the Outer Rim, now The Last Jedi shows us a different but no less memorable side of villainy at the lush and decadent Canto Bight casino on Canto, bringing in a diverse and powerful variety of all-new corrupt evildom, whose distinguished clothes and wealth-on-tap peoples and patrons can't hide their true, petty, greedy veneers, and status as collaborators to anyone who'll widen their bank accounts, be it Resistance or First Order.
|A Panaflex camera with an illustrious filming history prepares to film Garrick Hagon at Elstree during July 1976.|
In his cramped cockpit and under bright studio lights, Garrick Hagon gets ready to film his scenes as Biggs Darklighter (aka Red Three), Luke Skywalker's best friend from simpler times on Tatooine, though you wouldn't really have known that proper if you were a generic audience member watching the film for the first time back in 1977, or hadn't seen the late 1976 MARVEL comic or the later published STAR WARS STORYBOOK,which gave the worldwide STAR WARS fan base its first and now legendary tantalizing glimpse of the film's deleted scenes visually, all of whose images were pretty much devoted to the Tatooine-based scenes of Biggs with Luke before the former's departure to secretly join the Rebellion.
|Colourized image of classic Garrick Hagon/Biggs B/W shot.|
In the lead-up to and at the Battle of Yavin, Biggs further suffered quite a few great little lost moments before his sad demise at the hands of Darth Vader. The April 1976 Revised Fourth Draft script used for filming refers to Biggs showing sadness at the loss of his wingman Porkins (Red Six), and, before Red Leader's trench run, he'd shoot down an attacking TIE fighter going after Luke (an earlier TIE attack on Red Five previously foiled by Wedge), followed by his doing a celebratory victory roll with his fighter. After the deleted first unsuccessful trench run made by Luke and his wingmen, we also would have seen him evading one of Vader's TIE support -reuniting with Wedge and Luke, telling them "Don't ever give up on old Biggs", whilst showing some speedy piloting alongside them. Though some of the script corresponding effects shots were likely never completed linked to his deleted scenes, you can bet that most of the actor's cockpit dialogue lines were filmed and survived, having been already pre-filmed before the official editing Post Production phase.
Prior to the space battle on Yavin, it's sad that his reunion scene with Luke, later restored partially to the 1997 Special Edition, in which he refers to himself and his friend as "a couple of shooting stars" was never filmed- a great regret according to Hagon, the line instead changed to the less impressive "They'll never stop us" by the time of lensing at Shepperton Studios, taking place several months before the cockpit scenes were filmed at Elstree.
Actor's official site: http://www.garrickhagon.com/
Find out what happened next in that short period between Princess Leia Organa and her ship's fast escape from Scarif to its arrival, under Imperial pursuit, above the equally far-off world of Tatooine, through screenwriter Gary Whitta's excellent short story, Raymus, a showcase within the fascinating collection/ homage to Episode IV: A New Hope, celebrating its many diverse supporting characters in 40 special adventures: A Certain Point of View, out now in UK hardback from CENTURY, and earning rave reviews from fans and critics.
More details here: https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/out-now-in-uk-hardback-star-wars-from.html
Get the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Certain-Point-View/dp/1846056837/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1508504961&sr=8-2&keywords=star+wars+certain+point+of+view
Thursday, 19 October 2017
The classic 1977 image soon used for marketing/promotion for STAR WARS which we all wish had been in the film- (we assume Luke's) X-wing fighter bearing down on Darth Vader's unique ship, with the Death Star lurking in the background. With very few optical shot frames available for publicity by the film's release, this was a special composite image by Richard Edlund and ILM, with laser fire airbrushed on by Ralph McQuarrie.
Truly a magical and exciting shot, I remember it being used effectively by Letraset UK stationery for 1978 ring binders, whilst Stateside as the very special cover for American Cinematographer magazine, for whom it was first conceived.
The subtle power and strong nobility of Liam Neeson's Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn, from EPISODE I, shines through in this lovely art from regular artistic genius Tsuneo Sanda.
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Congratulations to Ron Howard and the cast and crew of SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY in wrapping up the film's principal photography stage at Pinewood. We look forward to seeing more teaser images, and, hopefully, a Christmas or New Year trailer showcasing our favourite Corellian scoundrel.
Compiled news: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/han-solo-movie-news-trailers-151520530.html
The Rebels hopes for survival against the destructive power of the Death Star now rest on a young and inexperienced boy with two X-wing fighter wingmen as support. A concerned Princess Leia keeps her faith in her new friend. But will it be enough?
Interestingly, the Revised Fourth Draft shooting script (19th April, 1976) has a small but interesting sequence between Leia and Dodonna, taking place before Luke's run, that was most likely filmed and cut.
This scene could have been part of this moment in the film seen below.
V223 (268) INT. MASASSI OUTPOST - WAR ROOM
Dodonna and Princess Leia listen intently to the talk between pilots. The room is grim after Blue Leader's death (*). Princess Leia nervously paces the room.
LEIA (to Dodonna): Can they go on?
DODONNA: They must.
LEIA: We've lost so many. Without Blue Leader, how will they re-group?
LUKE (Voice over): Close it up, Wedge. Biggs, where are you?
BIGGS (v/o): Coming in, right behind you.
WEDGE (v/o): OK Boss, we're in position.
Note * Blue Leader became Red Leader in the finished film.
|Image: Kurtz/Joiner Archive.|
Additionally the above posed shot taken at London's Shepperton Studios in the Rebel War Room shows both supporting artists Vass Anderson and Alan Harris with the main stars. Though a Rebel technician, we don't see Andersson in the base scenes at all in the completed movie, as far as I'm aware, whilst Harris also played a senior Rebel officer in scenes shot a few months later at Shepperton, alongside Carrie Fisher, on the Rebel Hangar set (he filled in for an unavailable for the day Alex McCrindle). It's possible that because of the background character change with Harris that his and Andersson's potential scene in the War Room was cut- a staged publicity shot like this with scene characters would not have been taken without a reason. It could be a moment set just before Leia and Threepio walk into the main monitoring area after the fighters have taken off, or possibly linked to this scene in the 19th April, 1976 Revised Fourth Draft:
137: INT. MASASSI OUTPOST - WAR ROOM
The princess sits quietly before the giant displays showing the planet of Yavin and her four moons. The red dot that represents the Death Star moves ever closer to the system. A series of green dots appear around the fourth moon. Dodonna stands behind the princess with several other field commanders.
CONTROLLER: The red signal is on the station, it's moving into the system.
COMMANDER: The ships are away.
On one of the secluded mountain peak islands of Ahch-To, Rey continues to develop her lightsaber mastery, hoping that, if Luke Skywalker chooses not to train her, that the nature and power of the Force on this unique planet might at least help shine a light on her future abilities and destiny, in this moment from The Last Jedi.
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
|Luke and his wingmen speed over the exhaust port after their original first failed attempt with torpedoes. A 1976 storyboard.|
With the demise of Red Leader, Luke and his team begin their attack run on the Death Star trench. However, as originally scripted and filmed, he, Wedge and Biggs actually made two attack runs- the first attempt proving a failure as Luke uses his targeting computer (and not listening to Ben's advice in his head) to launch his weapons and missing- the torpedoes going astray and detonating near the shaft. Darth Vader and his wingmen are close behind but fail to catch the fast escaping trio, pursuing them instead into space, with Luke (his X-wing fighter slightly damaged) and Biggs pursued by TIEs (Darth chillingly telling his pilots: "Take them") before both shake off their attackers to re-group with Wedge for another assault.
|Luke's missiles go off course in the original conception.|
|TIE fighters descend to attack Blue (Red) Leader. Back then, in mid 1976, there was no plan to give Vader his own unique ship. That came later and evolved in the design process.|
|Luke and his wingmen rush to Red Leader's singular aid. It is unknown if this shot was ever completed.|
At this point in the film's 1976 conception the idea of setting the sequence to a countdown hadn't been properly worked out-most of that ultimate suspense was created in post production by Marcia Lucas and Paul Hirsch's editing, to give the film more excitement-though the opening portion of the X-wing trio's first trench entry was cleverly sequed into the finished sequence (up to Luke's talking to Wedge about the enemy laser tower), the ultimate omission of Red Five's first unsuccessful torpedo attack did not affect the storytelling- indeed, the loss tightened it up and strengthened it, what with the young Luke now not ignoring Ben's ethereal advice and going on to trust his former mentor and his own instincts in the Force.
With ILM effects/model filming of the Death Star trench run going on until Christmas of 1976, in conjunction with the post production editing, it's likely that the majority of the first trench run sequence by Luke was mostly abandoned by that point, with the technicians concentrating on the adjusted finale instead.
Paul Hirsch brief talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fo3UvNtpMs