Four years passed between the release of American Graffiti and the masterwork of George's life, Star Wars, episode IV (1977). During this period he adjusted to being a millionaire, shared some of his good fortune with those who helped make Graffiti a success, and pitched the camp of his new company, Lucasfilm Ltd., in northern California, far from the hurry and scrape of Hollywood.
He also became more the patient, dogged perfectionist than ever before, writing Star Wars alone and sweating through draft after draft, making himself learn how to write.
The film was a gigantic, unprecedented undertaking, and though he tried to maintain faith that it would be at least a modest success, he went through times of terrible doubt. Shooting took months of eighteen-hour days, with George overseeing the tiniest details until, at one point, he was hospitalized for hypertension. The stress of directing Star Wars led George to hire Irvin Kershner to direct the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.
While composing Star Wars George had studied fairy tales, ancient mythology, and the theoretical works of Joseph Campbell, a popular teacher whose life's work had been to catalogue the religious and social myths of the world. Campbell found a common thread in all myths, a central humanity that George wanted to reach with his space heroes Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.
Just how successful George was in tapping the common thread is a matter for debate, but there is no doubt he touched something in the global psyche, for Star Wars became the runaway international hit of its decade and literally changed the course of moviemaking forever. His film was a high-energy spectacle that folded in comic book art, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers heroics, the perpetual cliffhanging style of old movie serials and pulp fiction, and the visual frenzy of World War II "flyboy" epics. Star Wars Errol Flynn as it did to ancient lore.
In fact, a list of the sources George brought to bear on his epic space fantasy would lead to the conclusion that Star Wars represented everything he knew about movies and moviemaking. When the technology to create the film's dizzying visual and sound effects proved nonexistent, he put his own money into the formation of Industrial Light and Magic, a special effects house and laboratory committed to finding ways of doing what had never been done on film before. This time, George did not merely redefine the interplay of image, sound, and film editing, he reinvented it.
THE LEGACY OF LUCASFILM
Thanks to his willingness to bank on Star Wars' success, George's deal with Twentieth Century Fox to finance Star Wars made him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. The studio originally offered him a fee for writing and directing the film, expecting him to ask for more money. Instead, he accepted their offer, asking only for sequel rights, and full participation in the ancillary rights - giving him the lion's share of profit from toys, games, soundtrack albums, posters, costumes, coffee cups, buttons, anything with the Star Wars name.
He has turned the resulting fortune back onto Lucasfilm, expanding the company's reach into post production facilities and multimedia research. In fact, he has formed two new companies, entirely separate from Lucasfilm. Lucas Digital is the umbrella term for Industrial Light and Magic, which thrives almost twenty years after its formation as the premier special effects company on the planet, and for Skywalker Sound, a state-of-the-art recording studio that provides post production technology to many filmmakers and is developing into a favorite mixing studio for the music industry. Meanwhile, LucasArts was one of the first R&D companies to create games on CD-ROM, bringing the whole of Lucas' expertise in visual storytelling to an emerging technology. LucasArts also makes interactive learning games for children, and a multimedia station for classroom use.
Finally at what George considers the halfway point of his career, he has embarked on the creation of a second Star Wars trilogy, a project that should keep Lucasfilm and Lucas Digital busy until the close of the century. George is in the process of writing all three films himself, and may put on his director's cap for at least one. He has not directed a film since Star Wars, preferring the less hectic world of the producer's office, though he has occasionally supervised the second unit of some of his later work.
George is living proof that a filmmaker can grab a large audience with life-affirming material. In 1992, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave George the Irving G. Thalberg Award for maintaining an exceptionally high standard of filmmaking. "I've always tried to be aware of what I say in my films," he said in his acceptance speech, "because all of us who make motion pictures are teachers; teachers with very loud voices."
(Source: John Tremmel)
More Episode I info. from Henry Elliss:
Here's the Empire article:
"These films are so complicated," considers Rick McCallum, producer of Episode 1, the working title for the new Star Wars prequel, "We don't know what technology we are going to be able to discover, but we need to discover it to be able to solve some of the problems we have facing us in the next 18 months. We have great people pushing the limits of how far we can go to solve these problems."
When Lucas announced he was to make the most eagerly awaited trilogy of films in cinema history - the Star Wars prequels - something akin to euphoria was stirred in the hearts of devotees all over the world. And once again, he is not content to do things exactly the same as everyone else, pitching his films forward to the cusp of special effects technology.
To facilitate the grand scheme mapped out in Lucas' cerebellum, new technology will have to be invented for the film by his erstwhile effects buddies at ILM.
"It's mainly in terms of making totally dimensional CG characters," continues McCallum, "seamlessly, photo realistically. It's tough."
With so much to be done in postproduction, it is also tough to envisage quite how the completed film will look when it arrives in 1999?
"Well, we spent two-and-a-half years writing it and we were all part of that process, then we developed conceptually all the ideas over a three-year period," he says. "We have paintings of every set, sketches and designs of everything. And all the actors have all the schematics, the pictures. We don't do storyboards, we do computer-generated storyboards that are really cut together. And we comp that stuff live on set so the actors know exactly what they are looking at."
Star Wars: Episode 1 landed at Leavesden Studios (the former aerodrome where they filmed Goldeneye) earlier this summer to begin the task of creating the early years of Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan and the Jedi kinghts. A shoot, shrouded in the upmost security, which has also taken them to Italy and the desert setting of Tunisia - a return to the Tatooine of episode four, A New Hope. Principal photography was due to be completed at the end of September, ready for the really hard work to begin over at ILM with their greatest challenge yet. But this isn't necessarily going to be a special effects movie.
"George couldn't care less about technology," retorts McCallum surprisingly. "He really cares about the script. The tools we're using are not to make it look more modern, they are just to be able to do the things we couldn't do. The digital characters we're creating will punch the envelope of computer animation but they're not out of context, they're always rooted in the story."
Naturally, McCallum is staying tight-lipped about the nature of the plot which, despite numerous rumours bouncing around the Internet and passing the lips of those eager to have an opinion, remains secret. What has been released is basic stuff. Ewan McGregor has been cast as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, tutoring young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd from Jingle all the Way) to Jedi mastery some 32 years before the events of A New Hope.
Liam Neeson is mysteriously credited as a master Jedi, a mentor to Obi-Wan. Natalie Portman (from Leon) is the Queen, future mother of Luke and Leai, and Samuel L. Jackson has a small but significant role. Other hints come in the form of Ian McDiarmid returning to the cast (as the Emperor Palpatine perhaps?) and Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels' presence strongly suggesting a familiar pair of comedic droids. True?
"Mmmm... All I can say is that I am very happy with the cast," sidesteps McCallum.
One of the biggest problems the shoot has faced has been the degree of misinformation that parts of the media have been spreading. A crime of which Empire must stand accused. Time to set the record straight then...
Carrie Fisher is not involved at all - none of the original lead trio will be featured. The cost is not the suggested $2 billion per film, indeed, Lucas and McCallum are adamant their films will be brought in for the most economic price possible. And, as of yet, no film company owns distribution rights despite rumours that Spielberg's Dreamworks SKG has done a deal. Episode 1 will be released in 1999, following that the pre-production will start on Episode 2 and 3, with the plan to shoot them back-to-back in 2000. The second film will come out in 2001 and the third in 2003.
"The whole idea for George is that ultimately in 2004-2005, once they are all on video, you can actually see them in chapters, giving you 12 hours in the life of a family," explains McCallum. "You'll meet Anakin and you'll see him grow up, how he becomes a great hero and the choices he takes for his moral downfall and then his redemption. It's an epic story of a family. It is no different from the Godfather, it just takes place in a different environment."
Does McCallum see the whole saga as Anakin/Darth Vader's story?
"Personally, yes," agrees the producer. "There are off-shoots because he represents something dark in the third film and his son represents something light from then on. Between the two of them they are really what we are as people. The things that make us what we are. We do bad things through our own choice that can have consequences on other people. That is the overall saga that George is trying to communicate."
And are we to expect a further trilogy of Star Wars movies to take the Skywalker family travails beyond the Return of the Jedi?
"Well, these films will lead us right up to what happened to those kids. You'll meet Luke, you'll meet Leia and you'll see what happened to those kids. If he ever does the other three, that is 18 hours of a family saga..."
(Source: Henry Elliss:Henry Elliss' Home Page with Star Wars Links and More)(Ed. Note: Thanks again, Henry)
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For those of you that may not believe that Lucas would use misinformation, remember what the Official Prequel Website stated:
"Whether the same sorts of security measures are being taken with Episode I our director (not surprisingly) refuses to confirm, though we can admit that "there are rumors" of misleading scenes being filmed for the preservation of mystery, as well as multiple versions of the shooting script with alternative names and scenes. Of 'leaks,' Lucas will only say "don't count on it until you see the movie." (Source: The Official Star Wars Prequel Site)
Notice how the "spies" sending prequel information to the internet are sending only prequel photos and character names to the net while these same spies don't report any concrete news or tangible rumors on the prequel plotline. The reason is that Lucas is controlling what misinformation is released to the Net regarding the prequel production. (Source: Critical Voize)
It is rumored that several hundred different types of space vehicles and other machines used by a motley group of aliens and humans will be showcased in the prequel. (Source: Hartsoe J.)
It is believed that all the Sith have died out prior to the time frame of the prequels and will not make an appearance in the prequels. (Source: Jakers)
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The Star Wars Insider ( 1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN ) sends its apologies on slow service due to the swelling ranks of its subscribers. The December edition of the Insider will be a "spectacular" prequel issue that will have a stunning Episode I cover and prequel information and interviews that will put the internet to shame. (Source: Dan M.)
In the second draft of the Empire Strikes Back screenplay, Lord Vader was alleged to have fallen into a nuclear reactor and not a molten, lava pit. (Source: Freegan)
In the first episode, Yoda will be the teacher of a group of young Jedi students. Obi-Wan wll not be one of these students. Liam neeson will be Obi-Wan's mentor. But the Liam Neeson character will be killed during Episode I. I don't know the name of Neeson. Yoda will become the teacher of Ben, only after Anakin's fall from grace. He willl need a full understanding of the force for his battle against Anakin. And that's why Obi-Wan will be a "reckless" student too (i.e., wanting to face Anakin before he is really ready.) This situation is really hinted throughout Episode I (Source: Mad Hatter)
A simple, concise explanation of "Obi-Wan:"
Obi-Wan just took the "Obi" part of his name, changed it to "O.B." and from there, created the fake name "Old Ben." He was sort of in hiding from the Empire, right? I wouldn't read anything more into the name than that. (Source: Dante)
The next Boba Fett:
By the next Boba Fett, I mean a character with small amount of lines and screen time, but with huge popularity with fans. Personally, I'm thinking the character that Samuel Jackson will play will become the Fett of the prequels. But only if he is a Jedi or something cool and not just some guy in the background. Jackson's already got a huge following and putting him in Episode I is asking for cult hero status (Source: Brian L.)
Jedi Knights probably have differents powers and different fighting techniques. For example, the Emperor seems to be a master of the Force who attacks his opponents without a lightsabre. Similarly, I think Yoda would fight his opponents with his "magical" powers, like the Emperor. This is the advantage of being a Jedi Master. Seeing Yoda running around attack people with a lightsabre would probably look ridiculous. (Source: Eastern Winds)
I think that Yoda will have a relatively small role in the prequel. Ben will probably come to him briefly to discuss Anakin or something like that. (Source: Reflex)
Since 20th Century Fox is going to distribute the prequels and since Fox TV will broadcast the Super Bowl, I wouldn't be surprised to see a prequel trailer sometime during the Super Bowl. (Source: Brad B.)
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Maybe the the "O" in Obi-Wan is for Uncle Owen and the "B" is for Ben, but I think making Ben a clone is a bad move (Source: Web)
The NEON article:
Though Ewan McGregor's hair is short, there is a strange extra bundle of hair - real hair, left uncut sleekly swept from his right sideburn behind his right ear so that you can barely notice it "I can't tell you anything about it." he apologises. Ewan Mcgregor has just returned from the Tunisian desert. "I can't tell you much about it, I'm afraid." he apologises. These days, Ewan McGregor rises early and heads out to a movie studio outside London. He can't tell you much about that either. He has his reasons. Ewan McCregor ... is the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the new Star Wars prequel, currently in production but not scheduled for release until 1999. He has had to sign papers swearing himself to secrery.
He opens his bag. I can see a stack of tatty, annotated white paper. "That's the Star Wars script there." he says, slapping the bag back Shut. "Oh! Missed it!"
ME: So give me one word from the script.
EWAN: (Considering this) One word?
EWAN: OK "force". Choice word though, eh?
More pointless clues leak out. He has some pain in his wrist from a rehearsal. "I really stink." he will apologise. "I've been wearing a brown cloak for most of the day. Ooops. I'll get summoned to the producer's office: 'Now, Ewan. People know you're wearing a brown cloak.' 'I'm sorry! I'm sorry!'"
He says that he first met with the casting agents about a year and a half ago. They called him back a year later. He had his screen test on the day the original Star Wars reopened in Britain. He screen tested in the morning, then went to actor Ronnie Fraser's funeral (who Ewan knew from his local pub), then to the Star Wars premiere in the evening "A very peculiar day he reflects"
There is a stage play and a film with his uncle and then, somewhere along the way there are two more Star Wars prequels ("Am I meant to say I'm in them?" he wonders "Well, I am. F*** it. I am. I'm in them all. All three.")
Ewan thought he saw a shooting star last month, lying by the pool after dark in Tunisia, but it was just a bird flying infront of the spotlight.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Lucasfilm INTENDED for Episode VI to be called Revenge of the Jedi (and don't forget about the Blue Harvest story by the way...) but Lucas thought that Revenge was an un-Jedi like thing. I believe you can hear Lucas saying this on one of the interviews before the S.W. videos (the release before the Special Edtions), probably R.O.T.J. You can also prove this by the fact that a lot of the merchandise released was LUCASFILM stuff (check out any Revenge merchandise in back issues of the STAR WARS INSIDER 1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN.
A word on Star Wars canon:
Lucas has stated time and again (as will Sue Rossini - who works at Lucafilm - if you phone her up - they're happy to help. They help on Net publications like Cserves ECHO STATION) that the only Canon is the three films (although recently he's claimed that the SE's are now canon too...) and the three radio drama's.
Have you seen any pictures of Natalie Portman recently? She's VERY good looking and was tough as old boots in "The Professional" so she probably is the Mara Jade-type character for the prequel(s).
Oooh, forgot to mention this before... In the Empire article, they have all of the prequel photos from starwars.com, but blown up huge. On the side of the tank, you can clearly see the red circular sign of the Rebellion, which you can't see on the On-line version.
(Source: Henry Elliss: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/digitelliss/)(Ed. Note: Thanks for your wealth of info., Henry)
Lucasfilm used disinformation by giving Return of the Jedi the code name "Blue Harvest" during filming. There are those who suggest that Darth Sideous, Darth Maul, Sebulba, etc. are code names for the "real prequel character names." (Source: James P. Hagen)
Excerpt from an Ewan McGregor article in the Life Section of U.S.A. Today dated Friday, October 24, 1997:
But this son of educators, who nonetheless dropped out of high school at 16 to pursue an acting career, is about to leap into the mainstream big time. He's the light-saber-wielding young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first of three prequels to Star Wars, the most successful film of all time. It's due in 1999.
Forget the Force. It was fate. McGregor's actor uncle, Denis Lawson, was in the original trilogy as an X-wing pilot. "It was very hard to turn down," McGregor explains. "I wanted to do it for my daughter." She'll be about 6 when the other chapters land in theatres, he says, "the age I was when I first saw Star Wars."
As for his distaste for budget-bloated productions, McGregor says, "I see doing the three Star Wars movies as a way out of having to do major blockbusters. I don't have to do another."
Besides family, work and Oasis, McGregor's great passion is motorcycles. He just bought a new one, a Ducati. "I imported it from Italy, and it's absolutely stunning." Price tag: £ 13,000, or about $ 21,000. (Source: Rajor Cat)(Ed. Note: Oh, great. Eccentric Ewan is going to have wreck on that bike just like the car wreck Mark Hamill had in his sports car back in 1977. So I guess Lucas will have to insert a "Wampa" scene for Ewan to explain his "sudden change in looks.")
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According to the Star Wars character guide, Boba Fett is a human. (Source: D.C.) (Ed. Note: Don't expect to see a Fett cameo until Episode III)
"For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic...."
This new trilogy, set about a generation before the action in Star Wars, has fueled excited and ever-escalating rumors for more than a decade. Lucas has kept purposely tight-lipped for fear that some movie-of-the-week might "borrow" key elements (like Battlestar Galactica did), and he is certain to offer a fair share of surprises. Yet, drawing from Lucasfilm-approved Star Wars canon, the content of the yet-to-be-made movies is not a complete mystery. By looking back at the original films, their novelizations and early drafts of the Star Wars script (which include a malleable storyline for the entire nine-episode saga), we are offered tantalizing clues to these much-anticipated movies.
"I wanted to make a kid's film that would strengthen contemporary mythology and introduce a kind of basic morality," Lucas explained in 1983. "Nobody was saying the very basic things; they were dealing in the abstract. Everybody was forgetting to tell the kids, Hey, this is right and this is wrong.'"
In the early 1970s, Lucas wrote dozens of draft scripts and story treatments inspired by Flash Gordon serials, fantasy adventure novels and traditional parables. One of the most detailed early scripts followed Luke's father Anakin Skywalker (originally Starkiller), specifically examining his relationship with Obi-Wan Kenobi and how, by following the easy path, he was eventually transformed into the evil Darth Vader. Fearing that the story would bore modern children because it focused more on character development than action, Lucas shelved the treatment in favor of the later story that became Star Wars. But he never abandoned the script.
The earlier material became the backstory from which Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi would unfold--and therefore logically serves as the focus of the "prequels." This backstory from the original trilogy has made certain basic plot points about the upcoming films somewhat immutable.
With Star Wars, Lucas acknowledges that he was particularly influenced by the writings of the late Joseph Campbell (in particular, The Hero With a Thousand Faces). Campbell, who chronicled the power of myths to define moral boundaries and shape our concepts of ourselves, wrote that mythic heroes in every culture share a common, usually dangerous journey that begins with a separation from home in what he terms the "call to adventure." These heroic figures--though often reluctant--are forced by circumstances (or fate, if you will) to undertake their dangerous adventure and face severe tests, which they may indeed fail. Their trek into what Joseph Conrad called the heart of darkness leads to an Initiation, in which they gain valuable insight into the dual nature of the universe and themselves. That insight, often nurtured by a mentor, helps them face a confrontation with the dark father and endure wounding, even dismemberment. Heroes who survive the ordeal are awarded great treasure (either physical or), and Return with their treasure to empower or control other men.
Luke Skywalker's adventures clearly follow this path--and the new trilogy is also likely to follow the same narrative structure, though Luke's father often makes wrong turns that were avoided by the son. Whereas Return of the Jedi establishes the final disposition of Lord Vader, who serves as the classic Greek tragic hero, Anakin Skywalker's journey from pure-hearted Jedi Knight to Dark Lord of the Sith and back begins about 20 years earlier in what has been referred to as the Clone Wars.
Having completed his training as a Jedi Knight, under the tutelage of Jedi Master Yoda, young Obi-Wan Kenobi faces his first test as a warrior in the Clone Wars, a conflict between the Republic and outside forces that helped undermine the internal viability of the Republic. (One clue to the look and nature of the Republic's Clone Wars opposition can be found in the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back by Donald Glut. When Boba Fett is first introduced in the novel, he is described as wearing "a weapon-covered, armored spacesuit, the kind worn by a group of evil warriors defeated by the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars.")
Moviegoers know that Obi-Wan gained experience in this conflict and studied under Yoda because the Jedi warrior tells Luke that he once "fought in the Clone Wars," and that he (like Luke) was a "reckless" pupil under Yoda. Leia, in her holographic message in Star Wars, affirms Obi-Wan's war story: "General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars." Obi-Wan evidently rises quickly in the service of Leia's adoptive father, Bail Organa, viceroy and chairman of the Alderaan system, and is awarded the rank of general.
In the novelization of Star Wars, Kenobi admits to Luke that Darth Vader was "one of my brightest disciples ... one of my greatest failures," so it is possible that Obi-Wan first meets Anakin Skywalker while the general is training and leading soldiers and young Jedis in combat. Perhaps Anakin was, as Luke has been told, simply "a navigator on a space freighter," and only later became "the best star-pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior." The young Jedi-in-training heeds Kenobi's call to help save the Republic during the Clone Wars.
Meanwhile, in "the bright center of the galaxy," on the Republic's capital city-planet Coruscant, the ambitious young Senator Palpatine, manipulating the restlessness and political infighting caused by war anxiety, promises "to reunite the disaffected among the people and to restore the remembered glory of the Republic." He plans to use the current crisis--the Clone Wars--to engineer his election as president. But some members of the Republic's High Council are dubious of Palpatine's stated objectives, and seek to block his election.
These senators include Bail Organa, Mon Mothma and others (who will eventually form the Rebel Alliance). Among the members of these powerful political families is likely to be the woman who will marry Anakin Skywalker and bear his children, Luke and Leia. While the background of Luke and Leia's mother is purely speculative, it is founded on some known story elements. Luke and Leia are noble-born, and Leia--following Anakin's capitulation to the dark side of the Force--is taken by her mother "to live as the 'adopted' daughter of Senator Organa, on Alderaan," according to the novelization of The Return of the Jedi.
The 'droids See-Threepio and Artoo-Detoo are likely to make their appearance in the new series as Republic government bureaucrats under the charge of Organa, as that is how Lucas envisioned them in his original Star Wars treatment. The androids' inter-trilogy adventures begin as they leave Coruscant for Alderaan in the company of Bail Organa and Lady Skywalker, who recognize they are losing the political battle to save the Republic and seek a safer base of operations.
Narrowly defeated in an election for the presidency of the Republic, Palpatine seizes power "through subterfuge, bribery and terror." His first executive act is to order the destruction of Organa's party as they return to Alderaan, with specific instructions to make their deaths appear the result of an enemy raid. "Aided and abetted by restless, power-hungry individuals within the government and the massive organs of commerce," he assumes near-absolute control of the tottering Republic, influencing by force of arms (or through his powers as an evil sorcerer) most High Council representatives and numerous guilds. His inevitable emergence as emperor and the dissolution of the High Council are documented in the novelization of Star Wars.
But while Palpatine's power play is clearly defined, the Clone Wars remain a mystery. Few details surface in the books, and even fewer are revealed in the three films or the earlier drafts of the original screenplay. One can conjecture that the Jedi Knights are fighting to prevent cloning technology from being used to create a terrible weapon or army that would be used against the Republic. Obi-Wan (O.B.-one) might even be some sort of clone designation, identifying the first clone of a man with the initials O.B.--a designation that Kenobi later replaced with the name "Ben."
Perhaps, as the Jedi ranks precipitously fell (through disease or other causes), scientists in the Old Republic were forced to clone their warriors. When information about that technology first surfaced, sinister forces from worlds outside the Republic may have sought out the technology to strengthen their armies. With the successful end of the wars, fearing that the technology might once again be used for evil, the Jedi may destroy the technology and all information about cloning. (Source: Viceron) (Ed. Note: It is highly unlikely that Obi-Wan is a clone.)
Rumor has it that Anakin suffers great personal tragedies similar to the ones that Luke suffered in A New Hope (i.e., the loss of Beru, Owen and Ben) (Source: Peyt Man)
It is thought that Corellia might be seen in the prequel(s). (Source: Stratocaster)
There are those that claim Lucas has 4 or 5 individuals who work full time to make sure that perfect continuity (i.e., character histories, time line aspects) exists between the prequels and the trilogy. (Source: Blind Keeper)
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Palpatine was a senator when he overthrew the Old Republic. (Source: Rorke UK)
The Official Star Wars Prequel Site has announced that the prequel is scheduled for a May 1999 release. (Source: Asgard)
If the names for prequel characters that are circulating the internet were authentic, then news sources like Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Tonight and CNN would be reporting this news. (Source: Cableron 4)
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Excerpts from The New Rebellion:
"What you don't know," he said calmly, as if he were not controlling her at all, "is that the history of this galaxy is a history of the Force. The Old Republic was guarded by the Jedi Knights, who believed in decency and honor. But they became complancent and allowed Palpatine, who had found a dark power in the Force, to overtake them. He ruled as Emperor and, over time, forgot the lesson of his own life. So, when faced with the youthful power of Luke Skywalker, Palpatine believed he could defeat him. And Skywalker, who had unusual talent in the Force, killed the Emperor instead."
The Empire had done its usual planetary abuse on Msst. They had ripped out essential plant life, made the natives work in the crystal swamps, and had a large colony of slave laborers constantly building buildings that were not needed.
Maybe, Owen Lars is the "Han Solo" of the prequels. (Source: Babble)
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In case you didn't know this, Lucasfilm has used disinformation tactics in the past: Just a few months prior to the release of the sequel to Empire Strikes Back back in the early 1980's, Lucasfilm publicly announced that this film would be called Revenge of the Jedi, when Lucasfilm intended to call this film, Return of the Jedi, all along. Why? It was a Lucasfilm tactic to catch copyright pirates who would be inspired to start mass producing Revenge of the Jedi movie posters, tee-shirts, etc. without Lucasfilm permission. Hence, Lucasfilm used disinformation in order to protect both its copyright in Star Wars and the secrecy of Return of the Jedi's title. Fast forward to 1997, Lucasfilm is using the old tactics once again by disseminating bogus character names and plotlines to the internet. So if you see a Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, etc. poster, tee-shirt or action figure at a flea market or Dollar Store, don't buy it because it will be bootleg merchandise. (Source: Anonymous Insider at Lucasfilm) (Ed. Note: So when the Official Star Wars Prequel Site warned that Lucas might use disinformation tactics, they weren't kidding)
Some think that we may see Bespin, the cloud city, or some other type of cloud cities somewhere in the prequels. (Source: Rrhoric)
Rumor has it that the dark Jedi are intrigued by the unique way that the Sith harness the Force. The dark Jedi find a way to use the Sith magical techniques to make their dark side powers even greater. (Source: Kevin N.)
One theory goes that a great battle occurs between the Jedi Knights and the dark lords. During this battle, large amounts of molten carbonite are spilled all over the battle ground. Anakin and Ben have their epic battle while this carbonite is still liquid. Anakin falls into the liquid carbonite. Ben assumes Anakin dies from this and leaves. The carbonite cools and hardens and Anakin is preserved barely alive and horribly damaged. Palpatine rescues Anakin from the carbonite and Anakin has to wear the uniform of Darth Vader in order to live. This gives the freezing of Han Solo in carbonite special meaning to Vader (if he freezes Luke in carbonite it will bring Luke a step closer to being like his father, Vader). (Source: Hollow Point)
It is very, very unlikely that the Star Wars Character Guide has any value as Star Wars canon because of the large amounts of inconsistencies and gaps in explaining the histories of certain characters. (Source: Job 3:15) (Ed. Note: If your spending all your time memorizing the so-called "history" of the characters in the Star Wars Character Guide thinking that this will give you some sort of clairvoyant "peek" into what the prequels will be like, your wasting your time)
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It is rumored that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker do not meet until Anakin has become an "accomplished fighter pilot" (who is about 20 years old) during the Clone Wars. Ben is amazed at how powerful the Force flows in Anakin and is inspired to train Anakin in the ways of the Force, against the advice of the wise Yoda. However, Anakin becomes bored and restless with the rigorous Jedi training and gives into his hate and aggression and abandons his training under Kenobi. Palpatine senses the tremendous Force-power that Anakin possesses and cleverly persuades the young Anakin to join the dark side. Anakin allies himself with the evil Palpatine and helps the Empire hunt down and murder the last remaining Jedi, who survived the Clone Wars. Kenobi tries to convince Anakin to abandon the dark side, but is unsuccessful. And then, Ben and Anakin engage in the now famous lightsabre duel that nearly costs Anakin his life in Episode III. (Source: The West)
Some have speculated that during his Jedi training with Ben Kenobi that Anakin Skywalker unleashes an ancient spirit of the evil order of the dark side, which warps the very essence of the young Anakin Skywalker. Kenobi is shocked at the sudden change in his his greatest pupil's attitude and is saddened when Anakin abandons his training to become a noble Jedi Knight. (Source: Tomcat IV)
There are those who believe that in Episode III, the Queen (Anakin's pregnant wife) finally makes Anakin choose between her and their unborn child or Palpatine and the dark side. This is a choice that Anakin believes is an impossible and unfair choice that his wife makes him make because Vader cannot betray his master, Palpatine. Anakin has no other choice but to abandon his family and friends to join Palpatine on Coruscant. (Source: Spiral Photon)
These excerpts are taken from the new Star Wars novel, The New Rebellion, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch:
"This is how the Empire took over the last time. Small disagreements became major. Major disagreements were ignored, until the government was so factionalized it didn't work at all."
"That won't happen here," ChoFi said.
Gno smiled. "I used to believe that, all those years ago." Leia picked up the voting record, wincing at the pain in her hands. "We can't be afraid of change, Senator," she said to Gno. "We have to remember that there is one major difference between then and now. They don't have a leader like Palpatine."
"At least no yet," Gno said.
* * *
A Kloperian refering to the out-of-date C3PO and R2-D2:
"You are a protocol droid at least three models behind, and an astromech droid sixteen models out of date. If you were part of our team here, we'd definitely recycle you."
(Source: Solo Force)
There is conjecture that if C3PO is not a protocol droid in the prequel then he might be either a freight droid, a maintenance droid, a medic droid or a repair droid. (Source: Gnory)
It is my belief that the character known as Darth Maul is a Devaronian (like Kardu' Sai' Maloc). The Devaronians as you may recall have red skin, dark eyes, and have short horns protruding from the tops of their heads. Now, look at the on-set descriptions of Darth Maul (who apparently kills Qui Gon Jinn in a duel) he/she is described as having flame red skin, dark eyes and short horns coming out of his/her head. Like I said, pure speculation. (Source: JPGal1)(Ed. Note: Yeah, those on-set descriptions are Star Wars canon [sarcasm])
Words of encouragement allegedly spoken by Yoda to Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi at the very end of Star Wars: Episode III:
"Appear now many dark clouds, yes; but quickly pass will they."
To seduce Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, Palpatine explains to Anakin that as he explores the dark side and enters its very core:
"Your many hidden talents will become obvious to those around you."
Senator Palpatine continually amazes his followers with his ability to predict events before they happen. As control over the Senate continues to drift under Palpatine's complete control, Palpatine is rumored to give this prescient statement to his followers:
"Good news of a long-awaited event will arrive soon."
Maybe in Episode III, there is a similar scene like in Return of the Jedi, where Palpatine wants Luke to destroy Vader and take Vader's place at his side. So maybe in Episode III, in order to be second in command and to be Palpatine's right-hand-man, Palpatine orders Vader (Anakin) to destroy the current dark lord of the Sith named Lord Darth Something-or-other (possibly Anakin's father who abandoned him as a child to become a dark lord) to complete Anakin's transformation to the dark side. Then Vader earns the title of Lord Darth (sort of like Grand Moff) and becomes Lord Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith. The parallels between Episode III and Episode VI would then be absolutely cool. (Source: Brenda M.)
It occured to me one night, while watching Star Wars for the one milllionth time, that it would be silly for Han Solo's Millenium Falcon to appear in Episodes I, II & III. If there is a design for a Millenium Falcon-type ship, that has been rumored to be in the prequels, then could it be just a standard cargo ship (or ships) that play some minor role in the films? After all, the Falcon is always called a "cargo" or "freighter" or "a piece of junk" having been given "special modifications" etc... Maybe in the "older" designs for the prequels, these cargo ships are standard issue. (Source: Orb Canter)
10 - 19 - 97
Some will like this and some will not like this next rumor: The only canon, in the Star Wars Galaxy, is the three Star Wars films. Lucas has never said that the novels, comics, etc. are canon because they aren't. Dark Horse wanted to raise Boba Fett from the dead, not Lucas. Dark Horse wanted to resurrect Palpatine with a clone, not Lucas. While Lucas may give nods of gratitude to the novels and comics in the prequel, don't start crying if events in the prequel(s) contradict the novels, comics, etc. (Source: Unikron)(Ed. Note: Some of the novels aren't that good anyway)
It is conjectured that Yavin 4 (the moon where the Rebel Alliance had their secret hidden base) in A New Hope will not be in the prequels. (Source: Gooron)
With the powerful C.G.I. technologies now available to Lucas and with the limitless imagination of Lucasfilm, the prequels will contain astounding non-Earth like environments that cannot even be imagined without the C.G.I technology pioneered by the geniuses at I.L.M. (Source: Miran Shrout)
It is thought that Lucas may use a junkyard as an original environment for one of the prequels. (Source: Yig)
There is a quiet, hopeful rumbling deep inside Lucasfilm that the prequel may be ready for a May 1998 release. (Source: Cashmen)(Ed. Note: Considering that it takes a toy manufactuer about 18 months to prepare a new toy line for release to the public and Galoob and Hasbro only received the toy merchandising rights a couple of days ago for the prequels, the odds of a May 1998 release are the same as seeing Salacious Crumb in the prequel, which is none).
After reviewing all the prior Star Wars character names like Snaggletooth, Ugnaught, Zuckuss, Bib Fortuna, Klaatu, Logray, Lumat, Salacious Crumb, Paploo, Nien Nunb, Prune Face, Ree Yees, Squid Head (I am not making some of these up), Sy Snootles, Teebo, Weequay, Yak Face, Ramba, Tig Fromm, Kea Moll and other not-very-cool-names, the sound of Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, Jar Jar Binks, Mace Windu, etc. are actually starting to sound pretty good. Most of these names are probably the minor background characters like the B'omarr Monk, Barada, Nikto, etc. from the trilogy. (Source: Palon Face)(Ed. Note: Hmmmm, you know that makes sense. Maybe, just maybe . . . and what's the big deal about knowing some of the character names, anyway?).
For those who are expecting the prequels to be quasi-remakes of the Trilogy with familiar faces and familiar places (other than Tatooine), it's not going to happen. (Source: FX 41)
10 - 18 - 97
If sites on the internet were posting the real names for characters in Episode I, then obviously Lucasfilm's lawyers would take legal action against those sites to prevent the dissemination of such ill-gotten information. But there is no need to take such action since none of the names that will appear in the prequel have leaked to the Net . . . yet. Lucasfilm wants speculations and wild rumors because this is what keeps everyone from getting bored and restless while waiting for the prequel to be released. The prequel won't be released for another 19 months. (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Spokesperson)(Ed. Note: Just use your common sense: If you had information about the real names for characters in the prequel(s) or exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of the world's most-anticipated movie would you: 1. Give them for free to some web site(s) or 2. Sell them for big bucks to a tabloid, newspaper or TV news show (i.e., Hard Copy or Entertainment Tonite). Unless you share a bank account with Bill Gates, you would do # 2 (no pun intended). Although Lucasfilm will never, ever publicly admit this, they are the ones sending out these fakes names and prequel photos to the internet for our amusement).
This next bit of tantalizing Episode I news comes from Harry Knowles' Ain't It Cool News!!! It is a head shot of Ewan McGregor, which allegedly shows the hair cut that Obi-Wan will have in the prequel. CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT TO SEE THAT PHOTO. (Ed. Note: Is this photo authentic? No comment).
For all you aspiring screenplay writers, please stop sending in screen plays for Star Wars: Episode II and III and other film ideas you would like for Lucasfilm to make into major motion pictures or television shows. For legal reasons, Lucasfilm cannot read any unsolicited screenplays, movie treatments, etc. Otherwise, we could get sued for using an idea in a film and then someone could come along later and claim: "That's my idea! Lucasfilm read my script and ripped me off ! I'm suing!" Sorry. (Source: Lucasfilm Insider)
In the prequels, it is rumored that there will be a tough, good-looking female lead character along the lines of the ultra-cool Mara Jade (from the Star Wars novels). (Source: Last Fling)
It is thought that Anakin Skywalker changes his name to Lord Darth Vader prior to his near-fatal lightsabre duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi. (Source: Vecton)
Some hope that Lucas will release a second soundtrack album of "rock" or "alternate" music that is music inspired by the prequel. (Source: Grunder)(Ed. Note: Better watch out for what you ask for: Lucas' favorite type of music is country. I can already hear Lean Rimes singing about her unrequited love for Ewan McGregor)
10 - 17 - 97
Don't believe the false rumors (i.e., what young Obi-Wan Kenobi looks like in the prequel, how his hair is cut) posted about Ewan McGregor on some web sites: To see what McGregor really looked like during the filming of Star Wars: Episode I check out the current edition of Entertainment Weekly (# 402, October 24, 1997, on sell now at newstands everywhere) We have a picture of him on the cover (and inside the magazine) with Cameron Diaz. All the pictures were taken on September 13, 1997 in London while phase one of the Prequel was still underway at Leavesden Studio. And in the article, Ewan McGregor would not discuss the prequel due to contract stipulations. But, apparently, Ewan will be Obi-Wan in all three prequels. (Source: Benjamin Svetkey of Entertainment Weekly, 1675 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. E-mail: Entertainment Weekly., Subscribe now and get a one-year, 52-issue subscription for only 79 cents an issue and save 68 % off the $2.50 cover price) (Ed. Note: Don't believe any rumors regarding what Ewan, as young Ben Kenobi, or anybody else involved with the film looks like in the prequel until you see the movie [several dozen times])
Start saving your money now, ladies and gentlemen. The inside rumors are that Galoob and Kenner are going to produce nearly 1,000 different types of Star Wars toys. So I hope you either win the lottery or start robbing armored Wells Fargo trucks so that you will have enough money to buy all the merchandise. There will be at least 250 prequel-related action figures and a dozen or more prequel-related vehicles released by Christmas 1999. (Source: Grand Moff Raake)
Here is a rumor that no one can believe: I was recently playing the Dark Forces II game and came across a bunch of secret codes that give tidbits of information about the prequel. I will keep you updated on what I find. (Source: Veracity Questioned)(Ed. Note: Creativity and Ingenuity = 10, Truthfullness and Plausibility = 0, you guys can play Dark Forces II until your blue in the face and you are never going to find any "secret" information about the prequel(s)).
It is rumored that the Sith are fully, computer-generated in the prequel. (Source: Spellbinder)
In the prequels, it is rumored that the Jedi use all types of weapons: the lightsabre, the lightdagger, the lightstaff and other cool weapons. (Source: Kingdom Went)
If the prequel bombs, will Lucas still make Episode II and III? (Source: Vos Horke)(Ed. Note: The odds of the prequel bombing are the same odds as the real prequel script getting posted on the Net: 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000)
10 - 16 - 97
You read it here first: If you thought the Ewoks were a merchandising sell out by Lucas in Return of the Jedi then prepare yourself. By the time the prequel is released during Memorial Day Week 1999, the toy stores are going to be stuffed with a horde of "muppet-type" stuffed animals from the prequel. And the worst one of all: The Baby Jabba the Hutt. That's right. Jabba is a baby in the prequel and your going to fall in love with him on screen whether you want to or not. (Source: Lucasfilm insider)
Explaining the scarcity of some of Kenner's action figures at the toy and retail stores:
"It makes the shopping experience extremely exciting. What fun would it be if you went to Toys R Us and two-dozen Princess Leias as Jabba's Prisoner were sitting on the racks ? Star Wars fans love the endless hunt for the best figures and the short production runs of the best figures make the hunt all that much more difficult and rewarding once the fan finds that extremely elusive figure." (Source: Anonymous Kenner Employee)
The fact that Anthony Daniels (the voice and body of C3PO in the Trilogy) is elusive when asked if he is going to be in the prequel means that he is definitely in the prequel. (Source: Lord Dradin Bargor)(Ed. Note: Of course, it is reverse psychology on the part of Lucasfilm)
Don't be too disappointed if that yellow fighter/ sea skimmer that is seen on the Official Prequel Website is not in the prequel. (Source: Grando Pando)
Some are speculating that there will be fighters in the prequel that have cockpit canopies that are closed manually, but this is unlikely since even in our primitive society (as compared to the advanced societies in the prequel) have cockpit canopies that are closed by machine mechanisms. (Source: Sundown)
It is rumored that Samuel L. Jackson may be Lando's father. (Source: Vapor)
NEW YORK, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ballantine Publishing Group has just acquired rights to a sweeping program of future Star Wars fiction and nonfiction titles, it was announced today by Linda Grey, President of the Group. Ballantine, a division of Random House Inc., the world's largest English-language general trade book publisher has been publishing the best selling novelizations of the first three Star Wars films for over 20 years.
"Star Wars has become the most successful franchise in the entertainment industry," said Ms. Grey, "and we're excited to have an opportunity to play such a key role in the publishing that will accompany the new Star Wars movies. Along with our bestselling Star Wars backlist, publishing all of the new adult fiction and nonfiction well into the next millennium will introduce the magic of Star Wars to a whole new generation of readers."
"We're delighted to bring our complete Star Wars adult publishing program under one roof said Howard Roffman, Vice President of Licensing for Lucasfilm, Ltd. "It will create an unprecedented opportunity for a coordinated program that will take Star Wars publishing to its highest level and bring exciting new books to our fans the world over."
The first of the three new Star Wars films has just completed the first phase of principal photography and is expected to be released in May 1999. Under the new licensing agreement, Ballantine, through its Del Rey imprint, will publish novelizations of the three new Star Wars films, which are prequels to the original Star Wars Trilogy, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In addition, they will publish all the nonfiction books based on the new trilogy of films, and spin-off novels set in the periods of both the classic films and the new prequel trilogy.
There are more than 13 million copies in print of Ballantine's Star Wars novelizations. In addition to the trilogy, Ballantine publishes more than 55 Star Wars titles, including The Art of Star Wars, Star Wars: The Han Solo Adventures, A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Star Wars: The Lando Calrissian Adventures, and Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels. Ballantine was the publisher in 1976 of the first-ever Star Wars book, Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, prior to the release in 1977 of the phenomenally successful film, Star Wars.
Ballantine's sister Random House Inc. companies abroad will publish the three new Star Wars novelizations, the classic Star Wars spin-off novels, and new novels relating to the upcoming films throughout the English-speaking world. The companies include Random House UK, Random House Australia, Random House New Zealand, Random House South Africa, and in Canada, Ballantine Books.
The Star Wars fiction will also be available throughout the English-speaking world in audio format from Random House Audio Publishing. The nonfiction Star Wars projects, including illustrated and art books, guides to the various aspects of the Star Wars universe, illustrated scripts and other informative and entertaining companions to the Star Wars experience will be published by Ballantine in the United States and Canada.
The Ballantine Publishing Group is a division of Random House Inc., the world's largest English-language general trade book publisher. Its imprints include Ballantine, Del Rey, Fawcett, Ivy, House of Collectibles and One World. Other divisions of Random House Inc. include the Random House Trade Publishing Group, the Nopf Publishing Group, the Crown Publishing Group, Random House Children's Publishing, Random House AudioBooks, Random House Value Publishing, Fodor's Travel Publications, The New Media Division, Random House Direct Marketing and Random House Client Distribution Services.
Random House International comprises the international divisions of Random House US and Random House UK, and it also includes subsidiary companies in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It maintains regional offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, New Delhi, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, Cologne, and San Juan, PR.
Based in Marin County California, Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm Ltd.'s businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution activities as well as the business activities of the THX Group. Lucasfilm's feature films have won 17 Oscars and received 56 Academy Award nominations, and its television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards.
The Lucas group of companies also include LucasArts Entertainment Company, Lucas Digital Ltd. and Lucas Licensing Ltd. LucasArts Entertainment Company is a leading international developer and publisher of entertainment software, whose games have won critical acclaim with more than 100 industry awards for excellence. Lucas Digital Ltd., which consists of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, services the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects and audio post-production. ILM has won 14 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and 12 Technical Achievement Awards. Skywalker Sound has been honored with 10 Academy Awards. Lucas Licensing Ltd. is responsible for the licensing of all of Lucasfilm's film and television properties. (Source: Argon the Hutt)
On the Trilogy Special Edition:
''It's like that old screen door in back that never fits right,'' Lucas, 52, told Newsweek. ''I wanted to fix little things that have bugged me for 20 years.''
''It's one of those cultural phenomena,'' says Fox vice president Tom Sherak. ''Everybody remembers where they were when they saw 'Star Wars' for the first time. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in Baltimore; my wife was eight months pregnant ... ''
''The hard-core fans who bugged us to re-release the trilogy now have kids of their own and want to share the experience with them,'' says ''Special Edition'' producer Rick McCallum. ''Originally, we were only going to do a limited release - 25-to-50 prints, tops. Then the trailer (tacked onto 'Independence Day') drew applause from the fans and their kids. We said, 'Let's do it for them.'''
Star Wars Detractors:
''It essentially crowded individual, personal films out,'' counters Jaglom, known for quirky, low-budget romances. '''Star Wars' was the beginning of the mammoth, meaningless superhero movies with Stallone and Schwarzenegger.'' (Ed. Note: Given a choice between quirky, low-budget romances and mammoth, meaningless superhero movies, my choice is for "mammoth, meaningless superhero movies.")