Titanic, A Force to be Reckoned With: Titanic has leap frogged Star Wars and Independence Day to become the second highest grossing movie in world history with $ 816.4 million earned world-wide. Jurassic Park is the current number one at a little over $ 920 million taken-in world-wide. Star Wars is number one in North America with $ 461 million.
Wed., Feb. 18, 1998
"From what I know about the production of Episode 1, I can tell you that the scope of the special effects is breath-taking and kind of insane in the level of complexity and realism . . . George is asking for incredible special-effects sequences that are still years from the actual perfection of the software needed for such complex shots . . . So what we will see on the screen in May 1999 will be the ultimate experimental film. I.L.M is having to "fudge" certain effects sequences to give the illusion that your seeing certain things when in fact your not. Ingenious on part of the programmers and designers . . . It is hoped that certain break-throughs in the software (to reduce the enormous costs associated with current digital-effects technology) will be made by this summer . . . it is going to be a rush to the finish line for the guys and gals to get the pic finished by late May 1999 . . . The Episode 1 trailer that will debut at the end of 1998 won't contain some of the more spectacular CG sequences because they won't even be half complete by the end of 1998 . . . George is driven by both method and madness. And sometimes it feels like 99% madness and 1% method . . . This film will be the living embodiment of George's and Lucasfilm's dreams and sacrifices over the past 20 years . . . " (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Informant)
One of the more intriguing things that will occur when we see the prequel for the first time is just exactly how many rumors become prequel fact. My jaw will probably drop when I learn that some of these rumors pan out to be true. If you post a million rumors, the law of averages states that at least a few of them have to be on the money. (Source: Mara Rajee)(Ed. Note: What kind of surprises can George possibly have up his sleeves? Can our collective minds unearth every possible variation that George was able to come up with? I would expect a few surprises, but most of it will be like: "Hey, where was the water battle and the Mandalore warriors? Did I miss something?" Expect the unexpected . . . Ep. 1 is unlike any movie ever filmed before because the film is so malleable and subject to change)
Which is it Mandalorian or Mandalore? (Source: King Pin)(Ed. Note: Just guessing but I think Mandalorian (i.e. The Mandalorian are cool.) is used as a noun while Mandalore (i.e. The Mandalore armor is cool.") is the adjective.)
Can you really compare the current success of Titanic to the possible future success of the new Star Wars film? It seems to me a comparison between Titanic and SW: A New Hope is more appropriate. Just like ANH in 1977, few people (if any) expected Titanic to be a box-office blockbuster. Also, the only film to have a greater word-of-mouth audience approval than Titanic is ANH. Like Titanic, ANH's box office earnings started relatively modest and continued to grow and grow. In contrast, the new Star Wars film is expected (almost pre-ordained) to be the biggest box-office grosser in the 100 year history of film. If this film makes less than $ 500 million in the U.S. and less than a billion world wide; some will consider the film a major disappointment. By its release date next year, the new Star Wars film will be the most scrutinized, rumor plagued and criticized film ever. Good luck to Mr. Lucas . . . He always seems so relaxed and unassuming when asked about how well the new SW film is going to do. He expects the film to do "well." In the end, whether the filming makes $ 200 mill or $ 700 mill in the U.S., Mr. Lucas will be all smiles because he made this film on his own terms without any compromises. Something that makes any film maker extremely jealous . . . (Source: Alladin's Crucible)(Ed. Note: Another contrast between Titanic and Ep. 1 is that James Cameron gave up his contractual right to share in the box-office profits to get the necessary funding to complete Titanic whereas George certainly hasn't. This film has already made money and it is still over a year from release)
While I fall on the "Droids can't use the Force" side, I have to bring up an interesting point that I don't recall seeing mentioned here. In ROTJ weren't they torturing droids down in the dungeon in Jabba's lair? I seem to recall that they were, and if droids (or at least some droids) can feel pain then it isn't a great leap to say that they are sentient and capable of Force abilities. Any thoughts? (Source: NYC) (Ed. Note: George has stated in the Star Wars Insider that the prequels are going to dramatically change the way we perceive the current trilogy. George likes the way an added fact or two can change the "meaning" of what appears in the current trilogy. What does that mean? Who knows . . but it may mean that he is (unwittingly) responsible for us over-analyzing the trilogy for clues to the prequels (as many astute readers have suggested). But would George add a droid torture sequence to ROTJ for no good reason? Not likely (unless he is a closet sadist). Notice C3PO's reaction to this scene. There is more to that scene than we can understand right now . . . )
I believe that the new movies are going to be really good. I think they will be better than the special edition. The new characters will be really cool. (Source: SG)(Ed. Note: In the final analysis, Ep. 1 will likely be the best SW film (better acting; better script; unsurpassed special effects), but like the ESB and ROTJ certain aspects of the movie will fall flat: some will hate the hair styles . . . some will hate Anakin being the "hero" . . . some will hate seeing "midget" characters running around the film . . . and some will think certain scenes are too "cute" . . . and those really into over-analyzation may find the story repetitive/cliche, but ultimately you will get your money's worth and then some)
It is rumored that Jeff Goldblume is going to play Jedi-8 in the prequel. (Source: Ground 12)(Ed. Note: Robin Gurland (the casting director for the prequels) stated that she did not want to make Ep. 1 a film with a bunch of celebrity cameos. So Jeff is unlikely to be in the film. Just ask Charleston Heston, Kenneth Branaugh and Co.)
I don't think that it is even theoretically possible to make a perfect Star Wars movie. By the very rumors posted on this page alone, it is obvious that we could never come to a unanimous idea of what and what not to include in the prequels. Some would want to see Jedi droids and others would veto this, some want Thrawn, Xizor, Fett, Chewie, the Falcon, Nien Numb (sarcasm) in while others don't, the Kaibur Chrystal and on and on. GL (George Lucas) is smart enough to recognize that it is impossible to satisfy every single fan. So when GL states that he is making the prequel for himself. He is a smart man because GL could spend the next 20 years trying to come up with a script to satisfy us and would never be able to do it. (Source: Peter Coyote) (Ed. Note: It's very hard to argue with your contention, but should Nien Numb really be in the prequels? I would prefer to see that real ugly guy that pestered Luke in the Mos Eisley Cantina in the prequels.)
Recently, I noticed something kind of interesting in the opening 'rollup' in ANH. It reads: "It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire." etc. If that is their FIRST victory, doesn't that imply that there'd either be no rebellion in episode 3 (assuming that if episode 3 ENDS with the birth of the twins, then 20-something years is an awfully long time for a rebellion to continue 'rebelling' and to win a single victory!) or that perhaps episode 3 doesn't end with the birth of Leia and Luke after all, but instead has an ending that is more 'recent' to the time frame of the trilogy? Anybody got any ideas? (Source: db) (Ed. Note: The Rebellion's first victory also contributed to Palpatine's dissolution of the Imperial Senate as Tarkin alluded to in ANH. Apparently, the Rebellion "with-a-force-of-arms" is recent and did not begin until well after Ep. 3. Undoubtedly, Bail Organa, Mon Mothma and others tried a "peaceful," political rebellion for many years to work things out with the new Empire, but with no success. Each passing year probably saw the Senate become more and more of a figure-head political body, with less and less political power, under Palpatine's government. Hence, a civil war became inevitable to restore freedom to the galaxy. . . Hopefully, George will explain why it took the leaders of the Rebellion so long to strike out militarily. Or maybe they had been fighting for years, but kept getting their collective butts kicked around by the Imperial Navy. The Empire's annihilation of the Jedi Knights and the Old Republic was probably so vicious and so complete that it took nearly two decades for a legitimate, military rebellion to rise up against Palpatine . . . We want to know what happens to all the Sith Lords between Ep. 3 and Ep. 4. Did they rise up against Palpatine? Or did Palpatine have them eliminated because they were just as much a threat to his power as the Jedi?)
I just have a few thoughts about the Prequels I thought might be neat to share. There is so much talk about the Prequels on the net these days, and is some of it wild! Anyway, I have noticed some things that just don't match up. For example : the planets that we will see in Episode One. It's pretty much accepted that we will see at least two planets - Coruscant and Tatooine. Classically, if you look to Episodes 4-6, each movie features 3 different planets. Ep4 (Tatooine, Death Star, Yavin) Ep5 (Hoth, Dagobah, Bespin) Ep6 (Tatooine, Dagobah, Endor, Death Star 2) As you can see, Return of the Jedi is the exception (of course, with the new ending, this really blows my whole theory), although it is debatable. You could say that the Death Star is actually like a ship, and therefore in Ep4. We actually DO see 3 planets not including the Death Star - Alderaan from afar. Another possibility is that in ROTJ Lucas decided to get away from the mold in the first two movies. Regardless, it's a pretty safe bet that at least (and quite possibly at most) 3 planets will be seen in Ep1. The problem we run into is the Gungans. Where do they fit in? Everyone says that they are in the 'sea on Naboo.' How could they hide from an advanced race of people? Or is there society kind of like that of the Mon Calamari and the Squidheads? It's just hard to imagine a Star Wars movie that is fast-paced enough to show 5 or 6 different locations.. To me, once you break the 'mold' or pattern of the original trilogy . . . it ceases to become Star Wars and becomes just another sci-fi special effects piece of junk. Stick to your guns George! (Source: Matt Hecht, Bravo 5 - The Prequels) (Ed. Note: George has stated that the prequels are going to be much more epic and grander than the trilogy because of the new advancements in digital technology, but he has also stated that 1/3 of Ep. 1 takes place on Tatooine. So does that mean that 1/3 takes place on Coruscant and the other 1/3 on some other planet(s) (i.e., Alderaan or Naboo) or some star ship . . . As you mentioned, ROTJ included a motley group of envirionments (even if only briefly shown) . . . Expect Ep. 1 to show us a bunch of new and unique environments (even if they are only briefly shown on screen) . . . To blow us away (again), George is probably going to let it "all hang out in Ep. 1," which means that so much "stuff" is going to be shown on the screen that it will take many, many theatrical viewings to appreciate all the rich details . . . also, George has a habit of starting his movies in the middle of the action so there is no telling what the prologue to Ep. 1 is going to tell us has already occurred.)
Just a quick note, no rumors or anything . . . I got funny looks in the office today when I laughed out loud at your Ed. Note comment to this rumor: > Is there really a good reason for Boba Fett to be a woman? This would be a cheap surprise and it's simply not necessary. (Source: The He-man Woman Haters Club, CEO and president: Bryan)(Ed. Note: For all we know, there are two Jawas standing on top of each other inside Boba Fett's Mandalore armor . . . now wouldn't that be a surprise)< I read your page every day at lunch and would like to thank you for your great work. As many of your readers have said before, your page is a great way to wait off the excitement of the Prequels! Thanks again. (Source: Chris Ivan) (Ed. Note: Thanks for you compliment. We try our best to bring you the best prequel rumors page we can. Hopefully, it gets a little bit better each day)
I read an article about the incredible anticipation surrounding the theatrical premiere of Empire in a 1987 edition of Daily Variety Magazine (a Hollywood film trade magazine). And fans recalled that when the Fox logo and fan fare appeared, it was like a 10 on the rhictor (earth quake) scale in the theater. Are you guys going to be able to contain yourself or are you all planning to scream and shout through the opening crawl? Have mercy on us shy and backwards SW die hards! (Source: Hamms) (Ed. Note: This is unrelated to your comment, but I was recently at a movie screening with some friends and the theater was real dark. Some guy entered from the back and stumbled around and had to use a lighter to find his way. We couldn't contain ourselves. We must have belly laughed for 5 minutes . . . What kind of person would use a lighter in a public theater? To each his own (I guess) . . . wear your ear plugs, my friend, cause 15 years of anticipation and anxiety will be released when the Fox (or whatever fan fare) is heard next year)
In response to cryogenics (i.e., similar to being frozen in carbonite) to speed the wait for the opening of the prequel: I would have myself frozen and brought back on May 1, 1999. Like Hell I could get tickets the day it opens! (Source: Tom Servo) (Ed. Note: Ooops, that important fact slipped our minds . . . The tickets will probably be sold out in April for the first weeks showings of Ep. 1.)
Since the release date for Episode I is May 25th 1999, I hope they release a very short trailer about 11 months before the release. This would mean we would see a preview with some other 20th Century Fox release in May or June, possibly the X-Files movie. I know they don't want to burn people out early on, but I dont a think a short trailer (that simply gets the die hard fans excited and lets the average person know that the movie is coming) would do so. Then they could wait until November for a bigger preview. It would be neat to go to some movie on May 25th 1998 and see a 15 second Star Wars trailer which reads at the end "One more year". Remember how the Godzilla preview was attached to last years Lost World, and then the talk died down, and now its picking back up. Godzilla (which will be a blockbuster) would be a solid choice for the trailer to be attached to. I realize that in all likelihood, we will just have to wait till November and that it will be with a 20th Century Fox film, but I just wish they would do it sooner . . . It will be interesting to see what happens to Jar Jar as the prequels progress, considering he is not seen in the current trilogy at all. I think many people will grow attached to this character and then we will see him die sometime in Episode III and it will be kind of sad. Episode III is going to be very tragic and many of our heros will be killed. I just don't think Jar Jar goes into hiding in Episode IV, but you never know. They could use him for possible sequels.
Also, it makes more sense for Luke and Leia to be born at the end of Episode II, that way Leia is raised by her mother for two or three years and we could see the death of the Queen in Episode III. Regardless of what Rick Mccallum says, Episode's II and III are still a long time from now and are subject to change. When George Lucas comes out and says "Episode III will end with the birth of the Skywalker twins" then we can stop speculating about this. Of course maybe he already has said this, I'm not sure. Personally I think such an ending is way to predictable and kind of lame, since we know what happens in Episodes 4, 5, and 6. Anakin and Padme should be the main two characters in Episode III, and once again, Star Wars fans deserve to see the Queen's fate. Yes, we know she dies, but how actually is something nobody knows . . . As everyone knows the name "Padme" has been the rumored queen name for months. Most of us die hard fans kind of assumed that this would be the name. Now of all a sudden someone has leaked out information that Padme is the official name and there are some upset people. Whats the big damn deal? It's not like this is some kind of big shock to the Star Wars community. If George wanted the name to be a big surprise, then Padme would have never even been rumored. Personally, I dont feel he gives a crap about the leak, because he knows he can change it if he wants. Finally, how will "Padme" be pronounced? I'm not sure if I'm crazy about the name. "Thenna" used to be the rumored name and wouldn't be a bad choice. Maybe George wants Star Wars names to be different from "Earth" names. I don't know. (Source: Bryan)(Ed. Note: As between "Padme" or "Thenna," we would choose Thenna. However, Anakin's mother's name is Shmi, which ain't exactly the hottest name in the galaxy . . . We believe a short teaser trailer (15 seconds or so) would be more anticipated this summer than Godzilla, Armageddon and the X-Files Movie combined . . . that is a (slight) hyperbole, but it would be a great summer surprise. George answer our prayers!!!)
Tues., Feb. 17, 1998
Star Wars Insider News (1 - 800 - TRUE - FAN; 6 issues/$ 19.95 U.S. a year): We will be able to judge the "spoiler" value of the character name "Padme" by reading the next couple issues of the SWI. If the SWI continues to avoid commenting on the prequel names circulating the Net, the name(s) won't be printed in the SWI for fear of "spoiling" part of the film for their readers. (The vast majority of SWI readers don't surf the Net for prequel rumors.) If the SWI does print some of the official-for-now names, then we may be making a big deal over nothing . . . a name is just a name isn't it? Since Padme has been posted on the official site, the SWI will probably follow the official site's lead. Padme . . . sounds kind of funny depending on how you pronounce it, but we'll get use to it . . . also, the character names were leaked by someone who did not sign a non-disclosure agreement with Lucasfilm regarding the names. Hence, George did not consider the leaking of many of these names to be all that important because he has the ability to change them if he so chooses.
LucasArts News: LucasArts bounded into 1998 by capturing several prestigious game of the year awards for its hit games Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and The Curse of Monkey Island. On the heels of the strongest fall quarter in company history, LucasArts' two most recent releases swept top honors within their respective genres from the industry's leading PC gaming publications. "It's very gratifying for our titles to be acknowledged not just commercially but also critically," said LucasArts President Jack Sorensen. "LucasArts has long been recognized by consumers and media alike for its unparalleled creativity. Jedi Knight and The Curse of Monkey Island are prime examples of the kind of success we constantly strive for." Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, arguably the most eagerly anticipated title of 1997, was cited as game of the year by PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and PC Games, three of the foremost publications in the PC gaming industry. Additionally, Jedi Knight garnered similar honors from Ultra Game Players, GameSpot, and c/net Gamecenter. Contact LucasArts through Tom Sarris at 1 - 415 - 444 - 8222 or Heather Twist at 1 - 415 - 444 - 8396 (long distance charges may apply in your area).
Reader Rumors and Comments:
Listen to this: if you remove the "ur" from Arthur, you get "Arth" and if you add a "D," you get Darth. I think this is solid evidence that Darth Vader represents Mr. Lucas SW version of the fallen King Arthur of the Camelot myth. (Source: Shadow Blade)(Ed. Note: Interesting theory . . . but could it just be a coincidence?)
It was once said that Luke and Leia were going to be born at the end of Episode 3. The Queen could not die yet . . . because, Leia had remembered her mother when she was a very young child. (Source: Obi-Clone)(Ed. Note: There has been tremendous debate for many years on whether Leia's memories of her mother come from her as a very young infant only a few days or weeks old or whether her mother stayed with her on Alderaan for months or even a few years.)
The Journal of the Whills (i.e., the entire history of the Star Wars Universe) should be made into a 12 hour mini-series. It would be cool. The 12 hours could cover thousands of years and hundreds of the most significant people and creatures that have ever existed in the SW Universe. This would be like making the Bible into a long mini-series. (Source: Rudd N.)(Ed. Note: Sounds good. Why not make a one-hour TV series anthology based on the Journal of the Whills?)
Vader having a secret identity to me is impossible. Palpatine would be able to sense that Vader has the same Force "signature" as Anakin so there is no way Anakin could fool the Emperor. Just thought I would add that little info. And the first time Vader comes in contact with Kenobi in Ep. 3, Kenobi will immediately sense that Vader is Anakin. (Source: Kalamazoo)(Ed. Note: We don't know for sure that Vader and Kenobi actually meet face to face in Ep. 3. Although a second light sabre duel between the two would be awesome)
I believe the young Queen will die in a light sabre duel versus a Sith Lord or she is killed at the hands of Palpatine. (Source: Vernon M.)
How many Jedi Knights are there? Hundreds or thousands. There must be a lot of them if they are responsible for protecting the entire known galaxy. (Source: Pillsby)
More and more, I wonder if the entire story line to Ep. 1 has been cleverly posted somewhere and we just don't know it because we assume everything is just made by somebody with an over-active imagination. Lucasfilm seems to keep quiet about most rumors to keep from tipping us off on which are the real deal and which are the fakes. (Source: Mellon U.)
Mr. Lucas must pull his hair out when people start talking about Ep. 7, 8 and 9 when he hasn't even finished Ep. 1 yet. I'll probably be so old when he makes the sequels that I won't even like Star Wars anymore. (Source: Proto-bound)
If Kenner and Galoob make figures and toys for every new character and vehicle in the prequel, I will have to be Bill Gates' kid to afford them all (and unfortunately, for many reasons, I am not.) And when they throw in "variations," not even Gates himself could afford all the collectibles. Maybe, I should collect Monet, Rembrandt and Picasso instead at least their works appreciate in value. (Source: D.D. Vermee)
It's kind of funny. Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Jim Carrey's pay check of $ 20 million per film seems like a speck of dust compared to what Lucas is going to make from the prequel. Galoob gave him $ 50 million worth of their stock as did Hasbro . . . He will net several hundred million bucks from the theatrical release of Ep. 1 . . . Tens of millions more will be made from the video release . . . and the merchandising revenues will dwarf the value of the Queen's jewels . . . Does he need all this cash to send his kids to college or something? (Source: Lollander)(Ed. Note: George is embarrassed by the untold additional riches that will be earned from the prequels, but in his defense there are a lot of other people making a lot more money than George.)
By the time episode I hits my local movie house, this page will probably have posted every possible and conceivable plot variation that could occur in episode I. I just hope I can make it to May 1999 without my head exploding from the gazillion rumors that are flying all over the place. (Source: Max)
If I had the money, I would have myself cryogenically frozen until May 24, 1999 so that the wait would finally be over . . . (Source: Trojan Force)(Ed. Note: Me and you both)
Mon., Feb. 16, 1998
Episode 1 Box-office news: Lucasfilm now predicts that Titanic will surpass Star Wars as the most successful film at the North American box office and Titanic is likely to become the first movie to earn over $ 500 million in the U.S. It is now estimated that Episode 1 will make between $ 500 to $ 600 million in North American alone . . .
The young Queen = Padme (?)
"Reluctantly, George has to admit that one of the names used for the young Queen on the set and a name that appears in the set "call sheets" is Padme . . . whether this appears as the Queen's permanent name in Episode 1 is an issue left up to George . . . many of us thought that George would not adopt Coruscant as the official name for the Imperial home world and we were proven wrong . . . "Padme" was successfully leaked from the set, which has left George upset to say the least. Everyone at Lucasfilm is being real, real quite as of late. George is not a happy man . . . Hence, with enough fan support, George may adopt Padme as the young Queen's permanent and official name . . . " (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Informant)
It was noted here previously that Padme might not be the queen's name. In the official site's interview with casting director Robin Gurland, it was stated that she searched first for "the two youngest roles (Anakin and Padme)." I realize that there are sure to be younger characters than the queen, so the reasoning that this (Padme) might not be the queen SEEMS logical, but is in reality flawed. She is mentioning these characters in the context of the MAIN characters for the film. She goes on to mention Neeson and McGregor, but fails to mention Portman in this section. The section concludes by stating "around these characters (Anakin and Padme) she built the rest of the cast." Natalie Portman is surely not one of the two youngest actors in the film, however she is playing one of the two youngest MAIN CHARACTERS of the film. Because of this, I am convinced that Gurland is using the name Padme to refer to the queen . . . I am looking forward to the prequels as much as anyone. lately, as i have been listening to the ANH:SE soundtrack, a thought came to mind. i think john williams will incorporate the various themes from the trilogy main characters and apply them to the prequel main characters. for example, luke's themes will be anakin's theme, leia's theme will be the queen's theme. this would seem to make sense and would make subtle connections between these characters. It would also go along with lucas' statements that certain elements of the trilogy will have new/additional meanings when the prequels are added to the mix. (Source: Lando N)
Thomas J. Mosbo's critique of the SW mythology was quite excellent. However, although he does indeed use the term 'clone' properly, I very much doubt that this usage is the one we can expect to see in the films. Cloning is within our capabilities here, on Earth, now. This technology is hardly the kind of thing we would expect to see having only been developed in a galactic society that has mastered faster-than-light travel and a few decades later creates a planet-destroying energy weapon. The only advance upon our current Earth tech we might suggest could have been developed is perhaps some sort of "artificial womb" to remove human participants from the creation process.
No, I think the cloning technology is likely to be something that requires a more fundamental molecular control, using genotype ("design") information to create either a fully-grown adult phenotype (actual body) - pretty dodgy given what we know about embryology - or a phenotype that rapidly ages to an adult stage (and then presumably slow down again). And, of course, without the capability to implant memories (and thus language, skills, motivations etc) into these artificially-created beings, they would be worthless. This second requirement renders this technology rather implausible given our current knowledge about neurobiology, but it is perhaps not beyond the realms of possibility that a DNA-type molecule might be created that actually built neural connections that matched those of a being with 20 years' experience behind them. I rather doubt it, though - the amount of information specified in such a molecule would have to be enormous. Perhaps the clones are cyborgs with a digital brain or brain prosthesis, or some post-production work is done by a nanotechnology of some kind to create the memories. This suggests a more "Star Trek" kind of technological universe though, and Star Wars techs tend to be more heavy-duty industry developed spaceward than technologies of the small and subtle. Having said that, Luke's artificial hand, the Lobot, and the obviously very advanced AI technology of the time indicate at least some promise in these areas. Of course, all these musings could amount to moot points if Lucas simply chooses to fudge it and introduce the ability to create battle-ready cloned warriors without any explanation. Which he probably will. (Source: Ceri)
It will be interesting to see how important the women's roles will be in prequels. In the existing trilogy, Leia becomes more and more liberated as the story progresses, at least in so far as how we see her. In ANH she is a helpless damsel in distress, clad in a virginal white dress, and she sits at the Yavin base while the men blow up the Death Star. At the beginning of ESB she is in a more powerful commanding position, and when Han is frozen she suddenly takes charge of the escape and uses the force (unwittingly?) to rescue Luke. In ROTJ we find out that she is capable of being a powerful Jedi, too, and she is the one who saves the day by enlisting the Ewoks help and by saving Han's butt at the bunker. Her potential force powers even play a role in Luke and Vader's duel ("if you will not turn, perhaps she will").
So the question is: Will the prequels feature a reversal of this pattern as the Emperor takes control? It seems likely that Episode 3 will end with the death of the Young Queen, and probably include some banishment of Beru and/or maybe Mon Mothma. It would make the most sense and feel right if Episode 3 incorporated some kind of moral and social regression to more sexist gender roles. That way, when we watch all six films together (wow! I can't wait! I'm so impatient!) there will be a smooth flow from Episode 3 to ANH. Just to make it a little more complicated, I read an account on the Star Wars Prequel Pic Page of something George Lucas said at the opening of the Star Wars exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum. Apparently, when asked about female roles in the prequels, George said there wasn't really a place for women in action films(!). Did he mean that that was true in 1977? Has his opinion changed in twenty years? Since George is directing Episode 1, will the female roles resemble those in ANH (motherly housewife, damsel in distress?) In conclusion, I'm betting that Episode 3 will end with a really tear-jerking death of the Queen. This might really change the gender imbalance among STAR WARS fans! And since we will all be waiting for this to happen, George is going to pull out all the stops to figure out a way to have it happen which we don't expect. It should be good! (Source: Joel Frangquist)
Coming this week (Feb. 15 - Feb. 21): An official source explains why the expectations surrounding Episode 1 are not high enough . . . and an employee at Lucasfilm explains why "Padme" may not be the name for the Episode 1 female that you may think that it is . . . and more info. from our Lucasfilm sources . . .
Sun., Feb. 15, 1998
Special Episode 1 News: As most of you know by now, the Official Episode 1 site posted an interview, which gave tantalizing clues as to a real character name in the prequel. But this info. is ambiguous, Gurland states that "Anakin" and "Padme" are the two youngest actors that she casted for roles in Episode 1. Natalie Portman does not qualify as one of these. As we have reported to you in the past, the primary maintainer of the official site, Marc Hedlund (Hedlund@best.com) has a sense of humor (i.e., He use to have http://www.blueharvest.com/ linking to the Official Site. Lucasfilm still owns this domain name, but it no longer links to the Official Site) so if you want a clarification as to exactly who "Padme" is in Episode 1 then you need to send all e-mail inquiries to Marc (and hope that he will give you a reply). Don't get your hopes up that "Padme" is the name of Natalie Portman's young Queen character . . .
A plethora of rumors and comments in today:
In Children of the Jedi, Luke meets Calista, who he falls in love with. Will we see her in the prequels like when they are getting ready to go on the mission to save that planet? (Source: Adam Felker)(Ed. Note: Since she is a character from the post-ROTJ novels, the odds of her appearance in the prequels is very slim (assuming that she is old enough to be alive during the prequels))
According to A Guide to the SW Universe, C3P0 is activated 112 years before A New Hope, so these rumors of him being made by Anakin are probably false. He probably is a translator from Naboo and we won't get to see him an any binary loadlifters. (Source: Scott Taylor) (Ed. Note: Most of these types of rumors are very interesting, but, like you have suggested, this and many other rumors, that some people except as truth, are false)
I believe that Luke and Leia's mother is very strong in the prequels, much like Leia. She is definitely a Jedi of some sort in my mind and a strong political leader. She probably died protecting her children. (Source: William Bailey [a.k.a Axl Rose])(Ed. Note: Maybe, if you pray hard enough, all your suggestions will come true)
I was surfing the other Star Wars sites, when I came across one called Dark Ocean's. The site contained past quotes from George, as well as those close to him. I found this quote particularly fascinating. Marcia Lucas (Lucas' ex-wife) in an interview with Reader's Digest:
"At one point, George had Boba Fett and Vader being brothers in the prequels, but he thought that would be too hoaky. Beru turns out to be related to Palpatine while we get to meet Ben's "dark" brother who entices him to try the dark side."
So Palpatine is related to Luke's aunt Beru. I think the fans have underestimated Beru's role in the prequels. Is she the Queen's sister? Is she a Jedi? Is she Anakin's sister (thus Palpatine's daughter)? Why is she looking after Luke? Why is she married to Ben's bitter brother? It also seems clear George wants Boba Fett to have more than a cameo role in the films. It also contained a quote from Gary Kurtz ( Producer of ANH and ESB):
" It will be interesting to see who gets to pilot the Falcon when it's brand new in the Prequels. I think that just about everybody in the galaxy at one time or another owned or piloted the Falcon(laughs)...."
I'd hazard a guess Ben pilots it in the first one, then passes it on to Anakin, so he's flying it by the second and/or third. As well as a 15 year old interview with George, in which he confirmed these characters would be in the Prequels:
"Ben Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Anakin's wife, Luke and Leia, Jabba, Boba Fett, Mon Mothma, Ackbar, Tarkin, Veers (and other older Imperial officers), the Emperor, Owen, Beru, Chewbacca, Vader, Wedge Antilles' family, R2, 3PO, Jawas, Sandpeople, stormtroppers, Yoda and Lobot (Who?)(Ed. Note: Lobot is Lando's Bespin personal assistant, with the headset-computer wrapped around his ears and head, from ESB).
I would be fascinated to read other "rumour-mongers" thoughts and feelings on what exactly these tid-bits allude to. (Source: Nicus)(Ed. Note: Once again, we're being asked to comment on rumors posted on someone else's web site and we would rather not comment on rumors posted on other web sites . . . but what we can tell you is that George was married to Marcia, but they got divorced in the 1980's. As a result of their divorce settlement, George gave her a gazillion dollars and Marcia agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement stating that she would never publicly comment on any of the story ideas that George told her about. So in reality, there are two people on earth who know the story arc of the prequels: George and his ex-wife, Marcia. And neither is willing to reveal the secrets of the Prequel Trilogy story line. We'll just have to wait and see the films.)
"Journal of the Whills"??? Never heard of it. It was mentioned a while back and it sounded very, very interesting. How can I find out more about it? If Palpatine were to be revealed as Anakin's true father it would certainly tie in with the so-called enormous strength in the force that seems to be present in the Skywalker family line. My inclination is to think that it is complete bunk for several reasons. First, in ROTJ Palpatine refers to Vader as 'my friend', not 'my son'. Second, in ESB, Palpatine refers to Luke as "the son of Skywalker". If Luke really were a grandson to 'grand-pops' Palpatine, then there would probably be a better way of refering to Luke. Regardless of whether or not it is legit (Journal of the Whills) it sure sounds interesting. Anyone know anything about this thing?? (Source: db)(Ed. Note: The Journal of the Whills is the name of a "mythical" book or set of books that contains the entire history of the Star Wars galaxy (i.e. the origins of the Force). This Journal does not exist in reality and exists mostly in George's head and in the notes he takes in his spiral note books (which is a writing habit of his which started in college). It is unlikely that this Journal will ever be published because like Tolkien, the author of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings saga, George believes that revealing the entire mythological history of the Star Wars galaxy would somehow lessen the overall grandeur and epic-feel of the Star Wars movies. The history of Tolkien's Middle Earth was published by his son after Tolkien's death. So maybe George's children will publish a similar book revealing the entire history of the Star Wars galaxy or maybe they will use these additional stories for future Star Wars movies. Only time will tell)
On 2/11, a scooper informed you about character names that were posted on the Corona Coming Attractions site. He reproduced the information accurately except for one thing. Padawan is not speculated as a character. The scoop on the CCA site reads:
"Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi: reckless but noble Jedi padawan (jedi trainee)." (Ed. Note: That was our error we copied the posters info incorrectly. Sorry)
This implies that padawan is the name for a student in the Jedi order. If it's true, it could help to explain the whole Obi-Wan name problem. Perhaps Obi-Wan and padawan are both names for Jedi rank. Maybe there are other "wans" in the cycle? Of course, we don't even know if the original scooper was giving true info. (Source: Vis Kar)
Do you think a trailer will be shown of episode 1 when Star Trek 9 hits the big screen Thanksgiving? I know George said promotion of episode 1 will not start until late 98 but the opening of Star Trek is only a few days from Dec.And a perfect time to tease us will something.Look I know it's fun to speculate about what the prequels are going to be about it passes the time until May 99 but you guys are going a bit overboard,George is a brilliant man he knows what he is doing. Leaking out enough info for the diehards to piece together a puzzle that does not have all the peices. This is precisely what he wants.The average joe probably doesn't even know about a new Star Wars film being made, And if they do they know very little.But for us diehards it is a different story we thrive for star Wars so he has to wet our appetites. There are so many of us out there,We represent a whole lot of CASH!!! for Lucas.The bottom line we are Star Wars fans for each one of us that means something different.MAY THE FORCE BE WITH US IN MAY 99 (Sourcee: Jeff)(Ed. Note: For the Episode 1 trailer to be shown with Star Trek 9 (a Paramount Studios produciton), Paramount will have to win the distribution rights to the prequels. The Episode 1 trailer is going to be an extremely big draw among movie fans because it will be the first time in over 15 years that we get to see an official sneak peek at a new Star Wars movie. What this means is that the distributor of the prequels will only show the Episode 1 trailer with its own films. If Lucasfilm chooses to sell the Episode 1 trailer rights separate from the Prequel Trilogy distribution rights, then there is no telling with what films we will see the trailer with. It should be very interesting . . . The info. officially released by Lucasfilm, per their customary tactics, are very minor and insignificant to the overall story line of Episode 1. Sorry, they aren't going to reveal anything big until the trailer hits the cineplexes . . . )
The rumor of Boba Fett being a female is a little ridiculous. In the Special Edition Return of the Jedi, he is seen near two women, one of which he touches with his hand. The girls like him and they are kind of flirting with each other. Unless Boba Fett is a lesbian or someone who likes to tease and trick women by making them think he is a male, then there is defintely a man in that outfit. Some have said that Mr.Lucas has a funny sense of humor and might want to surprise us all, but I don't think he's going to go this far. Everyone knows that a male actor played the part of Boba Fett in the trilogy (which takes away some of the mystique of the character)and that his voice is a male voice. Is there really a good reason for Boba Fett to be a women? This would be a cheap surprise and it's simply not necessary. (Source: The He-man Woman Haters Club, CEO and president: Bryan)(Ed. Note: For all we know, there are two Jawas standing on top of each other inside Boba Fett's Mandalore armor . . . now wouldn't that be a surprise)
O.K. So George Lucas isn't using any characters from the spin-off books. But what about characters like Kyle Katarn, from Dark Forces, who has a history, albeit only slightly commented on? or is 20 years too long ago? (Source: Jedi Master)(Ed. Note: You'll have to wait for the movies to find the answer to that one)
According to one of the anchors on CNBC today (2/13/97), George Lucas bought 15 square miles of land in Tunisia for $160,000. Reason: to keep the studio execs off his back. Also the anchor said that Episode I will be titled "Balance of the Force" and will be released next fall. Last time I checked, May wasn't in the fall though. Is the release date being pushed back? Let's hope not... (Source: Pete)(Ed. Note: There are no studio execs on George's back (except for the one's that desperately want the rights to distribute the prequels). George is self-financing the prequels without any outside financial sources . . . "Balance of the Force" is not the real title of Episode 1 (regardless of what you hear from the major media outlets) . . . the official, set-in-stone and will-not-change release date is Tuesday, May 25, 1999 . . . see you at the theater)
I think that it would be pretty lame if Anakin's real dad was a Sith Lord. Just think: this has been done already (as long as Luke actually KNEW who his father was, his father was a Sith Lord). Just think how much more dramatic it would be if Anakin's father is actually NORMAL?? Then, because of some huge mistake that Anakin makes, and by not listening to his warnings, Father dies and Anaking is more enraged than ever. This could help push him over to the Dark Side (we see the flip side of this if ROTJ, as Vader's death is the switch that assures Luke's adherence to the Light Side). If Anakin's father is a Sith Lord, it's almost not worth it to watch Episode One, because it will end up being a vague imitation of the current trilogy, and nothing new at all... (Source: Sameer Ketkar)(Ed. Note: It would be ironic if Anakin's father is a venerable Jedi Knight (while Luke's father is an infamous Sith Lord), whose death Anakin blames on the other Jedi/Jedi Council)
My friend's sister works for Dreamworks S.K.G. (Ed. Note: We have been warned. Disinformation to follow . . . ) and although she doesn't know much about the distribution of the upcoming films (Ed. Note: What a surprise)- she did tell me that there is a strong rumor in the filmmaking community that the INDY 4 project and the talks with Harrison, and the rumor that Carrie fisher would be ghost writing the prequels are just big fronts for what is the intended project Episodes 7, 8 & 9 of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, with Ewan, Natalie, and the young kid playing the children of Han and Leia. Like I said it is only a rumor, but the possibility is strong due to recent leaks being dropped out of LFL that there will be no post-ROTJ episodes (Source: Megatronforever)
The fact that Vader used to be Anakin is obviously common knowledge. At least, the Emperor knows it, "My son is with them." "Take your father's place at my side." "You, like your father, are now mine." And Xizor recognized the name of Skywalker as well and figured out that Luke was Vader's son. (Source: Gregory Attaway)(Ed. Note: True enough. From your evidence, it would appear that Palpatine knows that Vader is Anakin)
My theory on why Luke and Leia's mother gave them up is that she never wanted to. Maybe, she put them in hiding while she went to confront her husband or something, promising to return, but she got killed. I don't believe that she would ever give them up for good. Mabe, Owen felt that he was stuck with Luke and didn't want him to be as *irresponsible* as his mother who left him there? Maybe, he didn't know she was dead. (Source: Mara Jade-Scully)(Ed. Note: Another rumor to throw on the pyre)
I recently discovered your site, and have found all the speculations amusing, but it reminds me a little too much of fundamentalists picking over what a specific verse in the Bible means, without ever understanding what the whole thing is really about. Even the debate over what the official Star Wars "Canon" consists of is reduced to the same legalistic bickering.
But what makes Star Wars SO remarkable is that George Lucas's studies (particularly of Joseph Campbell) have enabled him to create a true mythology with all the depth and meaning present in the myths of many cultures. Certainly, the plethora of characters and creatures with which he has populated his universe add to the detail and depth of his myth, but in the end they only set the stage for what the story is all about. Like any other myth, Star Wars is about TRUTH, and about how we as humans find our place in the universe, how we face the choices in our lives, and how we deal with the reality of good and evil, destiny and free will, etc. (And because of this, it is only the Star Wars movies themselves which are important, because only they contain Lucas's mythic cycle.)
And although of course Lucas is free to do whatever he chooses in his new movies, I highly doubt that he will betray his mythological vision (and if he does, it will be that and that alone which will cause the movies to be failures). What he continues to say about the Force, etc. will therefore not be arbitrary "rules" of a game which he will make up, but rather must "ring true" to the experience of the thousands of years of mystics of every religion which he drew on in developing his idea of the Force to begin with.
Hence, speculations about some "rule" that there can "only be two dark lords" to explain the Emperor's urging Luke to kill his father and take his place seem utterly ridiculous. The Emperor is tempting Luke, plain and simply. Whether he would have actually allowed Luke to finish off Vader might depend on what he was after, but it doesn't matter. What is important is how Luke perceived the situation, and what his motivations and decisions were. The Emperor tempts him with power (whether genuinely offered or simply as a lie to provoke him to action), but Luke rejects that temptation.
Also rather silly is all the speculation about who is whose mother or father, and what surprises along these lines Lucas might pull out of his hat. The revelation that Darth Vader is Luke's father was not just a novel idea put in the movies for shock value or to keep people's interest. It is what the entire story is all about. The whole point of a myth is not to tell a fun story, but to provide a context within which we discover who we are and how we ought to act. Lucas has done this very effectively in Star Wars by gradually leading us into some very deep insights about good and evil, and about ourselves.
In ANH, the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are very obvious. Vader is the ultimate expression of evil, while Luke is the epitome of goodness and purity. The good guys kill off the bad guys (the typical American view of morality), except that Vader escapes to make a sequel possible. And when the sequel arrived everyone assumed that it would be the same old story again. Anyone who had seen the first movie would never have suspected that the most poignant moment in the whole series would be the death of Darth Vader.
But in TESB, Lucas begins to question this "black and white" view of good and evil, and as we follow Luke's discovery of truth our own understanding grows. He, like everyone else, starts out by assuming that the good guys are good guys and the bad guys are bad guys. His first hint that this is not so comes with his experience in the cave. He thinks he is encountering evil in the external form of Vader, and he thinks he can stop evil by killing it (still the typical American response). But when he sees his own face under Vader's helmet he begins to realize that evil is not necessarily "out there", but that the face of evil can indeed be his own. He pulls his weapon first, he acts out of fear and hatred, and it is that in itself which is the evil. The revelation that Vader is in fact his father is only an extension of this same realization. Luke comes to realize, especially in ROTJ when he cuts off Vader's hand to reveal the same mechanisms which he now also has, that there is NO DIFFERENCE between himself and Darth Vader. He is capable of making the same choices for evil which Vader has, and on the other side, Vader is capable of making the same choices for good which he has.
It is this which sets Luke apart from every other character in Star Wars. The Emperor, Obi-Wan, and even Yoda do not believe that Vader is capable of choosing good. When Luke tells Ben that he can't kill Vader, Ben replies "Then the Emperor has already won". Everyone assumes that the way to deal with the evil Darth Vader is to kill him. And it is precisely because Luke is the only one who believes otherwise that he is the only one capable of defeating the evil. It is not how strong the Force is with him that makes him a threat to the Emperor, because in the end the Emperor was capable of killing him no matter how strong his powers. What makes Luke a threat to evil is that only Luke was willing to look the evil Darth Vader in the eye and say "There is good in you." (Luke is therefore very much a Christ figure in the trilogy, the one who redeems rather than condemns.)
And so what the myth of Star Wars tells us about ourselves is that there is no such thing as "good guys" and "bad guys". In reality, every person is equally capable of good and evil. If we want to look for evil, we will find it within ourselves. But we will also find good there as well. It also tells us (in a nation quick to label people as "hardened criminals", "nutcases", "terrorists", etc who are therefore somehow different in nature from ourselves) that NO ONE is beyond redemption (nor is anyone beyond corruption). We can choose good ourselves and we can trust the good in others (even when all evidence says that we cannot).
What Episodes 1-3 will therefore show us is not just how Anakin Skywalker turns to evil and becomes Darth Vader, but we will see that in the same situations, we ourselves would make exactly the same choices. We will see how it is possible for someone who in Episode 1 is the epitome of goodness and purity can become the ultimate expression of evil by Episode 4, and then can be redeemed again by the end of Episode 6. (Hence, the title "Return of the Jedi" in terms of its significance in the entire cycle really refers to the return of Anakin Skywalker [who is also each of us].)
What Lucas does with the Emperor in the prequels remains to be seen. He may remain a "totally" evil character (and hence ultimately "inhuman", since the lesson of Star Wars is that humans are never "totally" evil), or we may see a spark of humanity even in him (after all, he also has the choice to turn to good up to the very last moment as well).
Speculations about whether droids can use the Force or not, however, are interesting because the answer to this question does have a bearing on how Lucas views our place in the universe, and it will be interesting to see whether he does address this question or not. Whether machines can be considered "alive" or not is one of those questions which Science Fiction has often dealt with. At the very beginning of ANH, the droids' escape pod is not fired at because no life forms are detected on board (which seems to negate the possibility that R2D2 has a human brain, an idea which would basically make him a Dalek anyway). But the droids certainly have plenty of personality and "soul". And even though ROTJ features Lucas's idea of a technologically advanced army being defeated by a primitive one, that does not mean that Lucas views technology as "bad", simply that a trust in technology as the answer to all our problems is misplaced.
One further note - I'm not sure where the popular idea came from that clones are sub-human "copies" incapable of free will, who spring fully mature from a test tube, but I sincerely hope that Lucas does not use this conception of clones in his movies. A clone is in essence no different than an identical twin, except that a clone would grow up at a different time than his parent-twin, and hence have less in common with him than identical twins have with each other. To produce an army of clones one would therefore have to get started a good twenty or so years before the army was needed and would have to have some sort of cultural milieu and educational system in place which would ensure the loyalty of a whole generation of people. Not very likely. (Source: Thomas J. Mosbo)(Ed. Note: Are you writing your thesis on the prequels?)
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