Monday: A LucasArts source tells us what types of games they are developing for Episode I . . . Tuesday: We learn what it is really like to work at I.L.M. . . . Wednesday: A Lucasfilm source tells us what the Man himself says Fett's role in the prequels will be . . . Thursday: Someone at Lucasfilm tells us how much George will change the Ep 1 story line during the "live-action" re-shoots that will occur in 1998 . . . Friday: An I.L.M. informant tells us how much it would cost someone besides George to use I.L.M. for 600+ days of SFX (special effects) work . . .
Sat., Feb 14, 1998
According to an interview on the Official Episode 1 Site, "Padme" is a name that is associated with Episode 1. But which character?. Check out the Official Episode 1 Site for this revelation.
From the look of Owen in A New Hope it looks like he is about 10 to 15 years younger than Ben. So in the prequel, Owen must be about 15 or so and may not appear in the film unless Ben visits his family on his home planet or something. I bet Owen does not become a major part of the prequels until episode 2. I wonder if Anakin and Owen become close friends. (Source: Honey Cutt)
In the prequels, I am pretty sure that only Ben, Yoda and the young Queen know that Vader is really Anakin Skywalker. Everyone else just assumes he is some evil and mysterious dark lord and in fact Vader may have claimed to have personally killed Anakin which would be true "from a certain point of view." (Source: Ceive)
How long is the prequel going to be? ANH:SE is 125 minutes, TESB is 127 minutes while ROTJ:SE is 135 minutes. I would surmise that Ep I will be about 145 minutes long because George has had so many years to come up with great scenes to "jam" into the movie. (Source: Wild Kard)
We all know that Mr. Lucas has an odd sense of humor (i.e., a dance-music number in ROTJ) so what kind of funny scene will he include in the prequel? (Source: Marian R.)(Ed. Note: Sometimes I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about that one)
Fri., Feb. 13, 1998
"ILM will have put in over 600 days on the special effects for Episode 1 by May 1999. The average per day cost for Hollywood and other outsiders to use ILM services is somewhere between $ 125,000 to $ 175,000 per day depending on the complexity of the special effects shots needed for a given film. The special effects work for Episode 1 will amount to around $ 75 million worth of man hours, research and development . . . This film would cost Hollywood well over $ 120 million to produce . . . With the revolutionary digital effects that we have pioneered over the past few years, Episode 1 will look like it cost $ 300 million when in reality George will have spent less than $ 65 million in cash to make this film." (Source: Anonymous ILM Employee)
Thurs., Feb. 12, 1998
"When live-action filming is complete and the director has time to digest the film that has been shot, there are invariably scenes that the director wishes he or she could improve or change. With most Hollywood productions the enormous costs of film making, only gives the director one shot at getting the film right. However, George has had the foresight to give himself numerous opportunities to tweak and mold Episode 1 into a film that completely satisfies his artistic vision . . . One of the worst aspects of filming ANH was that George was often rushed and given insufficient funds to film key scenes. Very few scenes in ANH turned out the way George envisioned them. This time around George has made certain that a lack of funds and insufficient time will not be a factor in the film making process. George still complains that Fox forced him to release "a half complete film to the public" . . . George has looked over and scrutinized the various scenes that were filmed during Phase 1 of live-action filming. Some meet his approval and need no alterations whereas some scenes, with hindsight, are not quite what George was hoping to capture on film. These scenes will have to be re-shot . . . Additionally, George has the opportunity to film exiting new scenes that will push the film into interesting new plot areas . . . He can also modify key dialogue to change the story line to certain scenes in the film . . . George has left the story line to Episode 1 open-ended so that it can be modified to suit his tastes and it can be altered to add ingenious new plot ideas that he may come up with in the middle of the night (for example) . . . or even to add suggestions from his employees. The film is really a team project although 95% of it originates from George, still it is nice to have at least a small impact on the final form that Episode 1 will take . . . However, the one thing you must understand is that the changes and modifications that George will make in the Episode 1 story line having nothing to do with "leaks" from the set. All the changes that will be done are for the sole purpose of making the film better and to integrate interesting story ideas and dialogue changes that George has come up with lately. So don't worry about the secrets of Episode 1 being posted all over the Net . . . And for those of you who think that maybe there have been some "leaks"from members of the Episode 1 film crew, this simply is not true. There are no job openings (i.e., no terminations of film crew members by George) for the Episode 2 and 3 film crews because George is going to use the Episode 1 film crew for the entire Prequel Trilogy . . . The re-shoots will essentially make the final film product that much better . . . "(Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Employee)
More reader rumors and comments tomorrow . . .
Wed., Feb. 11, 1998
"The idea of Boba Fett in the prequels tingles the spines of many fans and makes other fans cringe. But the ultimate decision of whether we see Fett in the prequels has already been decided by the Man himself who states: ‘Fett's success is based on his cunning as well as his armor, which was worn by the Mandalore supercommandos who were vanquished by the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars. After the Clone Wars, Fett has worked at various positions including a bodyguard and a soldier.' Fett (and the Madalore warriors) will appear in the Prequel Trilogy, but when, where and how much we will see of Fett (and the Mandalore warriors) in the prequels is still a mystery . . . And when asked if so-called "leaks" from the Ep. 1 set will "spoil" the film for the fans: ‘You're all in for a big, big shock.'" (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Employee)
Just a thought. I love the new ending to Jedi, but I think it missed something. He should have had the three main guys (Anakin, Ben, and Yoda)'s ghosts should have been in the foreground, while in the background were all the Jedi Knights that were slaughtered during the genocide. It would have been so much more powerful if all the Jedi Luke never knew celebrated the destruction of the Emperor. I know George doesn't want us to get a peek of what they look like, but man, for the whole effect, if we saw Liam Neeson (assuming he's good), Sam Jackson, that CG character, and all the others, maybe even Owen, it would have been better. To tie the trilogies together better, we may need a Star Wars: Final Edition or something. I hope and assume that every question we have about the first trilogy are answered in the second (fat chance). (Source: Liner)(Ed. Note: The digital technology that will be developed thanks to the prequel trilogy will give George the ability to give the Trilogy a "digital" face lift in 15 to 20 years to make the Trilogy look as stunning as the Prequels will be. The change you suggest would really tie all the films together, but how much George decides to change the "look" of the original trilogy remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: there will eventually be another Special Edition of the Trilogy.)
Why wouldn't Tarkin be seen in Ep. 1? I haven't read any rumors linking Tarkin to Ep. 1, but, like you say, how often are rumors reliable any way. I guess Tarkin could be character like Lando in Ep. 5 that George needs to introduce in Ep. 2. (Source: Owl's Feign)(Ed. Note: That is just one of the many secrets surrounding the prequels)
Like father, like son. Well so the saying goes. IF Liam Neeson's character is in fact Anakin's father, then he will be a huge influence on young Anakin's life. Maybe Anakin looks up to his Jedi father and wants to be just like him. Of course, it would be the ultimate thrill for a young boy to be involved in an adventure with his Jedi father, like we may see in Episode 1. However maybe Anakin witnesses his fathers demise, which would have a huge impact on his young life. This could form the beginnings of Anakin's "inner struggle" (Source: SW Fan)(Ed. Note: It is rumored, although highly unlikely, that Anakin's biological father is a Sith Lord and Anakin has to destroy his own father (shades of Luke's dilemma in ROTJ) to take his destined place at Palpatine's side as the Dark Lord of the Sith. Or Anakin may have to destroy the Dark Sith Lord, who happens to be a close relative/friend of his)
Is the Force a religion practiced by millions or billions in the galaxy? And how does it so completely disappear by the beginning of ANH? (Source: Ion J. Rifle)(Ed. Note: The Empire's eradication of the Jedi and the Force must have been extremely, extremely ruthless and far-reaching)
I think George Lucas should turn the franchise over to Joel Schumacher. Then maybe Obi-Wan would be played by Jim Carrey. Maybe they'd get Coolio to play Boba Fett (As I walk through the valley of the shadow of Fett...) Maybe Tatooine would be all done up in neon! And maybe the legend "May the Force be with you," will be replaced by the legend, "It's the ship, right? Chicks dig the ship." Or maybe Tommy Lee Jones could be the Emperor! (I want you to search every farm house, hen house, out house and dog house for those Jedi! Your Jedi's name is Obi-Wan Kenobi!) Just a thought. Oh, and maybe Arnold could be Boba Fett: "My name is Fett. Learn it well, for it's the chilling sound of your doom." P.S. I'm just kidding. I promise. (Source: H.H.T.)(Ed. Note: Only Schumacher could destroy the Star Wars franchise)
It is true that Palpatine never was trained by the Jedi however he may have stolen holocrons from the Jedi (or Vader gave them to his evil master when he killed Jedi) so he could learn more about the Force. (Source:Bill)(Ed. Note: True enough, Palpatine could have used the holocron(s) to make himself appear to be a pious, light-side user of the Force, but all the while he practiced the evil ways of the dark side behind closed doors . . . )
Someone asked why Luke's face was in Vader's helmet. It's because Luke used fear and aggression and wasn't even supposed to bring his weapons to the cave. By showing his weakness, it shows he could be on the path that could have ended up just like Vader. You mentioned something about the bumps on Yoda and the Emperor's foreheads, I don't know about that. But one of the signs of a dark Jedi, is the dark veins coursing under the eyes, like Anakin had when he has his helmet removed. (Source: The Beyonder)
In regards to the rumor that the Emperor is Vader's father...well, I think this is true. In ESB:SE, you now hear Luke screaming as he falls from the ledge (after losing his hand & sabre). The yell/scream, is the voice of Ian McDiarmid (the actor who played the Emperor in RTOJ), not Mark Hamill. As a matter of fact, it was the same exact yell of the Emperor, dubbed in, as he falls to his doom at the end of RTOJ. Just listen to Luke falling in ESB:SE, and compare with any version of RTOJ of the Emperor's fall.....same voice.....Palpatine = Grandpa Skywalker. (Source: Obi Clone)(Ed. Nate: That's a compelling rumor, but it sounds a little too convenient to be true. What are the odds of such close family relationships of most of the main characters? I would be more likely to believe that Palpatine is some how related to the young Queen)
We may or may not see the Mandalorian in Episode 1 (who knows for sure?). I think they will be minor background characters, who may even be members of the Senate or are at least trading partners with the Old Republic prior to the Great Wars. I would think that Mr. Lucas will "save" them for extensive use in Ep. 2 and 3. And while the Mandalorian are beaten by the Jedi Knights, the battles with the Mandalorian weaken the Jedi enough that Vader and the Sith Lords are able to finish them off per Palpatine's bidding. (Source: Recalcitrance) (Ed. Note: What we do know is that George has largely forbidden any mention of the Clone Wars and the details surrounding those Wars in the SW novels, comics, CCG, games and role-playing game. The Clone Wars are an important aspect of the prequel trilogy, but just exactly what goes on during those Wars is a complete mystery, but your guesses seem logical)
Mark Hamill's son, Nathan, is in Episode 1 as a background actor. (Source: City)
Ok, those yellow ships in the pictures. Do they strike any of you as looking particularly like subs? hint... hint... (Source: Megalodon)(Ed. Note: It is rumored that those ships/subs are yellow because that is the color that can be seen most clearly against and in a blue environment of water. Just as white ships show up most clearly against a black star field)
To stay in the tradition of George Lucas, a SHORT "rumor": Don't expect to see a sneak preview of the movie just before it comes out. (Source: Frumentuviris)(Ed. Note: George is not going to permit any advanced screenings of Episode 1 with test audiences. That would jeopardize the secrecy that has been so closely guarded during the film making process. If anyone early next year claims that they have seen an advanced screening of Episode 1, then they are lying unless they work for Lucasfilm or attend the only advanced screenings of Episode 1 at the world premiere party in Los Angeles or the advanced screenings for various film critics, but the general public will all have to wait until Tuesday, May 25, 1999 to see the film)
In the Episode ANH Obi-Wan says "if you strike me down I shall become more powerful then you could ever imagine". Now after he has died he still does not show anything of how powerful he is, but in ROTJ he tells Luke, "if you choose to face Vader now, I cannot help you." Does this mean that Ben could have helped Luke defeat Vader later? (Source: Adam Felker) (Ed. Note: According to George, by the time of Empire, Ben's powers to cross from the "afterlife" to Luke's world have greatly diminished. However, as for Yoda, you have found one of the plot inconsistencies in the film. Yoda is by far more powerful than Ben and could have helped Luke during his confrontation with Vader and Palpatine on the second death star. The explanation that George gives is that the mythic hero on his final "journey" must win or lose on his own without help from outsiders. If Yoda had helped Luke defeat the Emperor and Vader, it would have greatly lessened the great success that Luke accomplished on his own terms and skill.)
I don't think Owen is a Jedi or ever was. Ben said that he didn't agree with Anakin's decision to join old Obi-Wan on some damn foolish idealistic crusade. I have a great idea. I think Anakin had the courage to go with Obi-Wan, instead of Ben's real brother Owen. I think Anakin "replaced" Owen as Ben's dear little brother. Maybe that spawned some hate for Ben. I think that may be why Owen loathes him so much. (Source: Liner)(Ed. Note: Maybe, Owen is a coward at heart and is jealous that Ben is so brave and adventurous. Owen may be content to just be a farmer while Ben feels compelled to get involved in something greater)
Will we see the death of the Queen in Episode III or is it something that happens in between Episode's III and IV? Personally, I think we should see her death and the reasons and causes of it. (Source: Sith Lord)(Ed. Note: You have asked the million dollar question that only George knows the answer to. Lucasfilm has stated that Ep. 3 ends with the birth of the twins and in the SW: Annotated Screenplays, it is mentioned in the annotations that the young Queen dies shortly after the twins' birth. Undoubtedly, the vast majority, if not all, of the die-hard SW faithful want to see the young Queen's fate resolved in Ep. 3. It would be disappointing for the death of the young Queen to be explained in some novel that comes out after Ep. 3 . . . but that decision ultimately rests in the hands of George. We will just have to wait and see.)
Liam Neeson is the dark Jedi Lord that trains Palpatine in the dark ways of the Force. He, not Palpatine, shares a common ancestry with Yoda. Neeson is killed by Palpatine 3/4 of the way through Episode one . . . An earth-shaking battle will occur on the water world in one of the prequels. This occurs before Anakin's fall to the dark side. The battle is so horrendous, that the orbit of the water world--Hoth--is upset so that it becomes the icy planet that is seen in Episode 5. The rebels, having no idea that Anakin is Darth Vader, return to Hoth to hide, but Vader knows instantly that the rebels have returned to an Old Republic hideout. (Source: J. Kep)(Ed. Note: Liam Neeson's is described by Lucasfilm to be a venerable Jedi Knight. "Venerable" means "worthy of reverence or great respect because of historic or historic associations." So Neeson is a "good guy" in Episode 1. Neeson stated in the Star Wars Insider # 36 that he is under Yoda in the Jedi pecking order. Hence, it is very unlikely that Neeson has anything to do with the dark side in Episode 1. But you may be correct that Neeson does not survive Episode 1 (similar to Ben's fate in Episode 4) . . . your theory on how Hoth became an ice world is extremely interesting and is something we have never heard before. Interesting . . . )
I found this info. at Corona's Coming Attractions . . . Notice it states who owns r2d2 and c3po in STAR WARS I: GENESIS: Nabu Royalty. (Ed. Note: That rumor probably originated from an early draft of the ANH screenplay which had the droids belonging to a royal family on Alderaan)
Princess/Queen Zareil Amidala (a.k.a. "the young Queen,") Queen Naberrie Amidala (Zareil's mother), King Thennos Amidala (Zareil's father), Princess Padme (Zareil's little sister). Other Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn (name changed back as of 2/6/98) , a wise and venerable Jedi Knight, Mace Skywalker, Anakin's father, Shmi Skywalker, Anakin's mother Obi-Wan Kenobi, a reckless but noble Jedi, Padawan (Jedi trainee), Anakin Skywalker, a young boy from Tatooine w/ an amazing skill in the Force, Chancellor Valorum, President of the Senate ,and Chief-of-State of the Republic, Jedi Master Yoda, a wise ancient Jedi on the Jedi Council, Sith Lord (name being changed as of 2/9/98) ,a Bothan Sith Lord. The main "action villain" "Darth Sidious", a shadowy dark hooded figure who we only see via holographic messages General Holledack, lead of the Nimoudian troops King Bos Nass, leader of the Otah Gunga, aquatic human/dinosaur people, Ric Olie, Nabu fighter pilot a.k.a. "Bravo Leader" "Bravo 5", a Nabu pilot in "Bravo Squadron," Royal Ambassador Sio Bibble to the Nabu Royal Family, Jar Jar, Zareil and Padme's bodyguard Panaka, a blood thristy; power hungry Nimoudian R2-D2, Qui-Gon's droit, C-3P0, Zareil's golden protocol droid.
Now, our thoughts on 'the list': of course, the majority of names have been mentioned before, and are generally accepted to be validated as the working names for the production of the characters. But some of the information we haven't seen before: General Holledack, Padme's father's name, Bos Nass, and Anakin's father named Mace (a name previously linked to a Jedi Knight character Samuel L. Jackson is supposed to be playing.) We're just throwing the names out there into the melee, and are carefully venturing ahead. Hopefully this will generate further discussion and eventually we'll be able to disprove or validate the new names. (Source: Fred the Wonder Dog)(Ed. Note: We're not familiar with Corona or how they gather info. And we certainly don't want this to be taken as criticism of their fine site, but . . . The only response we can give to all these rumors. is: Don't hold your breath expecting all this info. to be proven true by the movie. The various alleged names and other rumors that you sent in are a culmination of fan-created rumors/speculation and classic examples of disinformation.)
Tues., Feb. 10, 1998
"The Episode 1 games are going to require a 200 MHZ CPU and 32 MB RAM. The PC games will be played best on a 300 MHZ CPU or higher with at least 64 MB RAM. And I hope you have a huge hard drive because the games are going to require several hundred MB of free hard disk space . . . The games will be the closest we have come yet to photo realism as we attempt to make you feel like you are actually participating in a Star Wars movie . . . Some scenes that have been shot for Episode 1, but will not make it into the final cut of the film, will be integrated into the games and will be a great added bonus for gamers . . . Although I'm not working on the N64 versions of these games, from what I have scene so far, the N64 has an untapped potential that has to be seen to be believed. However, by far the best Episode 1 games will be for the PC because the processing power of the latest PC's are leaving Playstation and N64 in the dust. It would be a good idea to get a 300 MHZ/ 64 MB RAM computer this Christmas (if your in the market for a new PC), the investment will be more than worth it when you get to play the first of the Episode 1 games by May/June 1999 . . . )(Source: Anonymous Lucasarts Employee)(Ed. Note: More info. on the Ep. 1 games tomorrow . . . )
What is it like to work at I.L.M.?
"The dream of every ILM.-er over the past 15 years has been to work for LFL (Lucasfilm, Ltd.) long enough to participate in the production of the Prequel Trilogy. Some of us have lasted while others have moved on to greener pastures . . . While you may think that working at ILM is some kind of dream job, it is not always what it is cracked up to be. The hours can be extremely long and the work can be down right boring and tedious at times. The time it takes to put just one second of a computer animated sequence on film takes hours and hours and hours . . . However, every so often we'll make another breath through in digital animation that makes all the back breaking and mind numbing work more than worth it . . . Everyone want to work on the amazing and breath-taking main battle sequence for Ep. 1, but not all of us are that lucky . . . My work mainly involves the CG work for the Galactic Senate. The toy executives at Kenner and Galoob must have wet their pants when they found out that the Senate will feature dozens and dozens of creatures that have never been seen in the Star Wars galaxy before . . . With digital animation, George and the design team have been able to create wondrous creatures that can only be made to come alive through computer animation. The days of traditional stop-motion animation appear to be dead . . .
George also has given us the flexibility to add certain ideas (i.e., cool new vehicles) that we have come up with in our spare time to the background of the film . . . The worst part of the job can be when George asks for a certain shot. And you say: "But there's no way on earth to do that." So we have to put our collective heads together and work untold hours to come up with a new way to do what George has asked. When George was writing the script for Ep. 1, he knew that many of the sequences in the story could not be achieved with current technology, but that has never stopped him from coming up with the most ingenious ideas. It is our job to find a way to breath life into his creations. The chance to see this awesome film taking shape is the best days of my life to say the least . . . Most of what George is asking us to do for this film could not have been done a mere two years ago. We have pushed every facet of digital film making for this movie . . . And the battle sequences and other SFX shots that will be needed for Ep. 2 and 3 cannot be accomplished with the technology we're using on this film. By the time we are finished with Ep. 3, the state of digital animation will be unbelievable. Ep. 1 will look like a black-and-white silent film compared to the jaw-dropping SFX that will be featured in Ep. 3 . . . )(Source: Anonymous ILM Informant)(Ed. Note: Tomorrow we promise to post all your rumors and comments that are piling up)
Mon., Jan. 9, 1998
"We are producing four basic types of games based on the story that will be presented in Episode 1: a battle sim (that will be based on the never-before-seen 20 minute battle sequence in Ep. 1), a first-person perspective game (similar to Dark Forces 1 and 2), a strategic game (based on Ep. 1 which will be basically a prequel to Rebellion) and a role-playing game (that will have an original story line that arises during the same time frame as Ep. 1 . . . Each game will be revolutionary and will push current PC and platform video game systems to their limits . . . )(Source: Anonymous Lucasarts Employee)(Ed. Note: More on the Ep. 1 games tomorrow . . . We didn't have time today to post this message in full today . . . sorry)
``Titanic'' has now grossed $337.5 million, compared with $329.7 mill for ``Forrest Gump,'' and is now fourth only to "Star Wars" ($ 461 mill), "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" ($ 399 mill) and "Jurassic Park" ($ 357 mill) as it continues to steadily move up the list of all-time top-grossing films at the North American box office.
Sun., Jan. 8, 1998
I believe the "Chewbacca" version of Episode I, played by Ahmed Best, is no other than a "GUNDARK". What is a GUNDARK? I have never seen one, but I remember this species' name from a line in ESB when Han and Leia were visiting Luke after he had been found unconscious on the frozen plains of Hoth:
HAN: You don't look so bad. You look strong enough to pull the ears off a GUNDARK
LUKE: Thanks to you.
HAN: That's two you owe me, junior...
Just a thought that was burning my mind if I didn't tell someone. At least someone who knows what I'm talking about. (Source: AWE. Drop by my SW links page at AWE's Star Wars Site and e-mail me your SW site address and it will all be posted.)(Ed. Note: It will be interesting if George lets us see things and places in the prequels that were mentioned in the trilogy, but never seen on screen (i.e., Ord Mantell, Spice Mines of Kessel, etc.)
I saw SW:SE AGAIN last night on channel 11. This time I was really paying close attention to some details:
1. When Threepio is getting sold to Owen, he said his first job had something to do with binary load lifters? Whatever that means, was it his real first job or was it his first job after having his memory erased? (Ed. Note: We possibly could see 3PO operating load lifters in the prequels, but it may be something that 3PO was involved in between Ep. 3 and 4.)
2. Regarding that whole Obi-Wan thing, Ben says he hasn't gone by that name since BEFORE Luke was born. That means that most likely by Episode 3, Ben has already done something terrible to have his title stripped away. (Assuming the twins are born in between episodes 2 and 3.) (Ed. Note: The Skywalker twins are born at the end of Ep. 3 as stated by Rick in the past. Ben has probably been on Tatooine since the end of Ep. 3 and no one on Tatooine knows that he was ever called "Obi-Wan," except for maybe Owen and Beru.)
3. Also, R2 goes nuts when the sandpeople are in range. Prior experience? (Ed. Note: Yes)
4. Ben also says that "Vader hunted down and destroyed the Jedi Knights. Now they are all but extinct." That means Vader is the only knight left. Yoda's a Master, along with the Emperor. Ben doesn't count. I really think that the Jedi stripped away his title for doing something really bad. (Ed. Note: There is no evidence that the Emperor is a Jedi. He may just be a master of the dark side, who never had formal training with the Jedi. Also, Owen may have been a Jedi. He is dressed in a cloak and tunic similar to that of the Jedi . . . And whose to say that there aren't other Jedi Knights and Masters like Ben and Yoda who found some remote planet to live on in obscurity. The adventures of these surviving Jedi Knights and Masters may be explored in the SW novels that explore the time line after Ep. 3)
5. Tarkin says the last of the Imperial Senate has been swept away. The last remnants of the Old Republic are gone. This is strictly a question. Why the heck is the Imperial Senate part of the Old Republic? Isn't that the Empire? (Ed. Note: With the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Senate became known as the Imperial Senate with the rise of the Empire. With the rise of the Rebellion, the Emperor found it necessary to dissolve the Imperial Senate in order to centralize all power under people he directly controlled and not rebels like Senator Leia and Mon Mothma.)
6. Last, expect EVERY hero introduced in the prequels to die. That's why Episode 3 is so tragic. The only immortal characters are Anakin, Ben, the droids, Palpatine, the twins, Yoda, and other familiar Imperial leaders. EVERY Jedi WILL die. Later Liam, goodbye Sam Jackson. You can most likely kiss the Queen goodbye too! (Source: Liner)(Ed. Note: According to Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays (page 314), Lawrence Kasden, the screenwriter of ROTJ, wanted to add an emotional plot twist to ROTJ by killing off Luke . . . George rejected this idea, of course . . . Since pre-production began on Episode 1, George has been dropping hints that the prequels are going to be quite unconventional in terms of the dark nature of the story. Conventional wisdom states that the good guys cannot die and must defeat the bad guys. However, George is going to defy this conventional wisdom in the prequels . . . but only George knows how many of the "good guys" are actually going to die in Ep. 3. Also, in the Annotated Screenplays, the young Queen dies shortly after the birth of the twins)
Anybody interested in Vader's house and this all this lava stuff, should check out Ralph McQuarrie's design paintings at the National Air and Space Museum site. Actually, this site should be very close to the top of anybody's STAR WARS bookmark list. The sections relevant to Vader and lava are titled "The Final Victory" and "Into the Belly of the Beast." Yes, there are concept sketches of Vader's house (not with lava, though) that were ideas for ESB but were never used, and yes, the Emperor's throne room in ROTJ was originally going to be in a cavern full of lava in the depths of the Imperial City on (not yet named) Coruscant. These two ideas are not fan created, but I think the combined idea of Vader's House being surrounded by lava is a confusion of these two separate ideas. It's possible these ideas will be used in the prequels, but almost certainly not as early as Episode 1. (Source: Joel Frangquist) (Ed. Note: It is rumored that George may not use the idea that Anakin fell into a molten-lava pool while having the epic light sabre duel with Ben. Moreover, it may be possible that Anakin and Ben never meet in a light sabre duel at all in the prequels. But considering that all the fans are salivating for this duel, it will almost certainly be included in Ep. 3 . . . George wants to introduce some new environments in the Prequel Trilogy so we should see a water, lava, grassy-plains, mountainous and subterranean (underground) environments in the prequels. Also, some of the new environments will be the kind that can only exist and be created in a computer and will be ones that do not exist in any form on earth.)
I picked up a copy of Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays that you have referred to on the rumor page and thought I would send in some excerpts: On pg. 269, Lucas says that "One of the things that will never get explained in the films is how Ben was able to retain his identity [after dieing in ANH], because it happened somewhere in between the third and fourth movies. I set up that this is a discipline that he learned from Yoda . . . It was decided during story meetings that Uncle Owen was in fact Ben's brother . . ."
Also, Ben hints that Anakin and Luke are the most powerful Jedi that he has ever encountered (on pg. 270), "But what amazed me was how strongly the Force was with him. I had never seen anything like it and did not again . . . until you." So this would make Vader more powerful in the Force than both Yoda and Palpatine and means that Luke has the potential to surpass the powers of Yoda and Palpatine. Hence, this explains Ben statement also on pg 270 that "The Emperor knew, as did Ben, that the Force is strong in the Skywalker line, and he began to search for Anakin's offspring." (Source: Caral Cleveland)
On your site I noticed the following in a posting:
Are the Jedi Knights some kind of semi-religious order who take a vow of chastity and dedicate their entire lives to protecting and serving the Old Republic? And what about Palpatine, does he ever get married and have kids? From the few pages I have actually seen, word is that Yoda has a wife and kids. I think that throws chastity out of the picture. (Ed. Note: Yoda's wife and kids in Ep. 1 is pure rumor and nothing more.)
Could Tarkin have the affair with Anakin's wife instead of Ben? (Source: Wile E. Coyote) (Ed. Note: Anything is possible)
On another note, I think most everyone is throwing this Obi-Wan/Ben thing waaaay out of proportion. I'd say Frumentuviris was right when he said it's just a nickname. It doesn't have to have some deep significance to make it special. I think Lucas was just saying Hey, let's give this crazy old wizard a nickname! I'm assuming here that you know that originally, Obi-Wan WAS a crazy old wizard, but Sir Alec Guiness thought Ben deserved a bit more integrity. And wouldn't the crazy old wizard that was originally Kenobi have had a nickname? (Source: Dvorkan)
What's going on with the new scenes and re-shoots being shot in Tunisia? Is George making Episode I into some kind of choose-your-own-adventure kind of movie? I thought the story as been in his head for 20 or so years, why is he so unsure about the exact storyline he wants for the movie. (Source: Harrison Z.)(Ed. Note: After live-action filming is over, it is not uncommon for a director to say, when looking at the finished product,: "I wish I could go back and film a scene where A does X at Scene 54." George has that opportunity. He can go back and back and back to live-action filming until he gets the story he wants to portray on film exactly right)
I'm sure George Lucas knows what he's doing, but as far as I'm concerned, going to such great lengths to keep character names a secret is pretty anal. I just can't imagine sitting in a theater, watching Episode 1 and thinking, "Man! If only I hadn't known the names of the characters, this movie would have been great!" (Source: Gizon)(Ed. Note: George is keeping the names secret not because he's anal, but to protect Ep. 1 from bootleggers and others who would violate the Star Wars copyright. If the real character names were revealed, you would find all kinds of rip-off action figures, posters and T-shirts with the name emblazoned on him. Using code names makes illegal merchandise easier to spot. Hence, if you see a Ep. 1 poster with a "Balance of the Force" title both you and Lucasfilm will know that it is fake. The same goes for Darth Sidious and Darth Maul action figures that may be found and flea markets and Sci-Fi conventions. They are all fakes.)
Much has been said about the appearance of the esteemed Millennium Falcon in Ep.I (personally I think it will be in, flown by Palpatine, or even Boba Fett, when he guest stars.). But other ships have only been brushed on. I know we'll see X/Y wings Tie's and Star Destroyers. And I know we'll see Dreadnoughts (and believe MrL will tantalize the analytical page over the "was that or wasn't that the Katana Fleet orbiting Coruscant") We'll see Headhunters, Corvettes, Mon Cal Passenger Liners. But, best of all, we'll see the "new" technological terror that is a Super Star Destroyer. (Source: The Fool Who Follows)(Ed. Note: We agree many of these ships may get "cameo" or more significant roles in the battle sequences in the prequels. Remember, it was pretty durn hard to tell that one of the ships leaving the Mos Eisley space port was indeed the Dash Rendar's Outrider (see page 42 of SW: The Annotated Screenplays for confirmation of this "cameo" appearance))
Are the prequels going to have some kind of super-weapon like the death star that appears in the trilogy and almost all the SW novels? (Source: Rachel) (Ed. Note: Cloning technology may be considered a super-weapon . . . but, hopefully, we won't see any "death star-type" dooms day weapons in the prequels)
I wonder if some of the Generals from the trilogy will show up in various ways in the prequels. I am sure Dodanna and others played a large role in the shaping of the Republic. (Source: Incredibyte)(Ed. Note: The "older" Alliance and Imperial officers will be appearing in the prequels in one form or another. Some will have significant roles others will have smaller roles. We get to see exactly what some of these people were doing during their younger days)
I read somewhere at this rumors site that the young Queen may be a young Jedi Knight in training. This could be more true than most rumors. Because in Empire, Yoda complains that Luke is too old to begin his training and Luke is no older than 22 in Empire!!! So if the young Queen is only 15 or 16 in Ep. 1, this might be the perfect age to begin Jedi training. Also, it would be neat if the young Queen and Anakin were both Jedi warriors. (Source: Belle's Vue)
I think that Obi-Wan is Ben's given name and he changed it to avoid being hunted down by the Empire. This way he could stay on Tatooine and protect Luke. When people say that they think that R2-D2 uses the Force I would just like to know where in the movies is there any evidence of this. To all you people who think that the Kaibur Crystal (for those of you who don't know what the Kaibur Crystal is: It is an orb that magnifies the holder's power in the Force it was in "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" which was written shortly after ANH.) I don't think that it will be in the prequels. Lucas has stated that he will not use characters from the books that have been written about the Star Wars universe, so I don't think he will use other things from the books either, and in ROTJ:SE the orb that the statue of the emperor is holding could be a Jedi Holocron (a devise that the Jedi use to store information about the teachings of the Force). (Source: Bill)(Ed. Note: It is unlikely that the Palpatine statue is holding a Jedi Holocron because Palpatine is unlikely to have ever trained as a Jedi. And he holds the Jedi in scorn and despises them as do most individuals in the galaxy by the end of the prequels.)
Sat., Feb. 7, 1998
If Leonardo DiCaprio plays Anakin Skywalker, the entire triliogy of prequels will be utterly ruined and I will lose a great deal of respect for George Lucas. Lucas would be best off if he chose a no name actor. Too many big names in too many parts will cause the prequels to lose the originality and triumph that the original triliogy had. Stars should be made from the movies like Harrison Ford, not put into the movies. (Source: Jaster Mereel)(Ed. Note: David Hasselhoff has a better chance of getting a role in Episode 2 than Leonardo . . . sorry for the short update. We will have a major update tomorrow)
Fri., Feb. 6, 1998
If Palpatine has children in the prequels, it would be tragic to see him reluctantly murder them because they would not join his quest to rule the galaxy. (Source: Margo Tah)
The prequel will be awesome because of all the special effects. Will we get to see CG Mandalorians in the prequels? (Source: Mad Harker) (Ed. Note: The Mandalorian probably do not appear in full force until Episode 2)
Why is ep 1 going to feature mostly all new star ships? (Source: Ferris Bueller) (Ed. Note: Because George wants it that way)
Hello, I have been reading your prequel rumours page for a very long time. Maybe I have missed something, but in Episode 1 who is Anakins father? Does anyone have any ideas? (Source: S.W. Fan) (Ed. Note: Liam Neeson has been rumored to be Anakin's father, but until we see the film we want know for sure . . . considering that Luke grew up without his biological mother and father, it would be sad if Anakin didn't have both a mother and father)
Boba Fett should be in Ep 1 so that he will appear in all 6 episodes. (Source: Ballistic Jedi) (Ed. Note: Don't bet on it)
I'm reponding to the Prequels update for 2/2/98. (To answer Source: J's question.) Concerning ESB...when Luke battles Vader in the cave on Dagobah: When Luke cuts of Vaders head, his face appears behind Vader's mask. This is simple sybolism...This is to demonstrate that Luke will become just like Vader if he gives into his hate and anger (notice he activated his lightsaber FIRST....AND... attacked Vader FIRST) and into the Dark Side. (Source: Matt)
I'm not sure, but I think that the person who got the info about Vader's House got it from my page.(Link to the site showing the Vader-Lava pre-production pic The only reason I put it up is that in the annotated screenplays George says that they won't use the design for Jedi, but to save it for "use down the road." The pictures I got are pre-production drawings from ROTJ, not fan made art. It is just something we may possibly see, if at all, in Episode 3. (Source: Hecht) (Ed. Note: We should see a Volcanic environment in the prequels . . . )
Thurs., Feb. 5, 1998
I love reading the stuff on your site but one thing really bugs me. It's when people read so far into the original trilogy that they are bringing out prequel rumours. George didn't even know if he was going to make Empire when Star Wars was in production let alone the prequels!! (Ed. Note: George didn't know that he would make Empire into a movie, but he did write the basic plot lines for Empire, ROTJ and the prequels while writing the ANH screen play) . . . (Source: John The Tydirium Hanger Bay)
Reguarding the whole Obi-Wan/Ben thing, there have been many theories on which is his born name. I think that he was born with the name Ben until he became a great Jedi Knight and earned the rank or position of Obi-Wan. Then, after his great failure and the destruction of the Jedi Knights, he went back to Ben. I also think that his name has always been Ben, but he hadn't been called Obi-Wan in a while because he was alone on Tatooine for so long. (Source: Liner)
If you didn't already know, 4-LOM was a droid who avoided memory wipes long enough that he became sentient. Could it be that only sentient, independently thinking creatures, which R2-D2 certainly is not, can control the Force. (Source: Patron) (Ed. Note: That's a sound theory)
I don't know if anyone else has heard of "The Journel Of The Whills" (I'm sure you have), but I was wondering if it was ever published, as i have never seen a copy. However I remeber talking to a non "Star Wars" fan friend of mine,who claimed to have read it. She told me this pre-1992 and an awful lot of what she said it contained has been confirmed (one way or another) by Lucas and McCallum. She said it was published between 1977 and 1982. What was in it? Well pretty much everything we already know, Obi-Wan turns to the darkside and is ironically saved by young Anakin (McCallum has already told us this much), a love triangle exists between Anakin, Obi-Wan and the Queen. Obi-Wan and the Queen getting it on when Anakin is off following his master's example, thus neglecting his wife. Obi-Wan gets in there, Anakin finds out and decides to lose seek solice in the darkside. However he does not turn easily, having to under go several tests/tasks( for details see Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces) under the Emperor's imprisonment. Anakin is pretty much innocent in this, fighting desperately to remain good, he however "gives in to hate." Apparently two of the tasks involve Anakin having to defeat a perfect clone of himself and having to kill his bride the Queen. Also the Emperor IS Anakin's father (as Anakin is illegitmate) and all that "it's your destiny" stuff, Luke is told by Darth and the Emperor in 4, 5 and 6 has far deeper meaning (something to do with the Skywalker family history).
However, as I said my friend told me all this sometime ago, and is not a particular Star Wars fan (which I find intrigueing as she revealed so much). I don't know how much of this is still in the Prequels as it was Lucas's vision in the early 1980's. Has anyone else seen or read the book, I would be fascinated to know. Did Lucas withdraw the books after/before ROTJ. Also when the book francise's were draw up in the early 1990's, one of the strongest stipulations was that no mention was to be made of Luke and Leia's mother, in any of the books. Was she a Jedi? Had Lucas worked it out yet? Who knows, but I bet you come millennium 1999( it's not May anymore, according to young Ewan's latest' interview) Luke's point of view will have been replaced by the Young Queens, and not Obi-Wan's as Lucas wants everyone to think. (Source: Nicus) (Source: The Journal of the Whills will probably never be published in its entirety . . . the definite release date of the prequel in North America is Tuesday, May 25, 1999)
Alright, here is what I have to say, people are reading to much into it, Ben is a shortened version of Obi-Wan, a nickname, that is all it was meant to be. R2D2 could or could not have force powers, with the technology of our beloved SW universe a human brain could be put into a droid, however there is no supporting evidence of the fact so for now me must assume (no assume jokes) that R2D2 is a droid and that is all, the second reason he is probably not is is because Luke or Yoda could have sensed the fact that he had a human brain. I am personally going to buy all the tickets to the SW prequel films to my local theatre, and scalp for mucho cash. HEHEHEHE, and I have one supporting evidence that the orb in the statues hand is not the Kaibur crystal, the Kaibur crystal magnifies force powers exponentially and the Emporer was not that powerful. (Source: Vader)
Ok, the scene where Luke fights Darth and it is him in the mask is supposed to symbolize what will happen to Luke if he follows the dark path. Yoda tried to tell him not to take his weapons, but he did. Agression, as opposed to defence is considered a trait of the dark side, which means that because Luke was the first to attack and the first to cut a guys head, he failed Yoda's test and followed the dark path, the Luke in vaders helmet was meant to scare him back to the light path. This is all speculation, as much of this is, however I don't think it symbolizes Lukes relationship to Darth. (Source: SCORPiON)
What if the name "Obi-Wan" has nothing to do with cloning but is instead some kind of honorific for a Jedi Knight, a sort of equivalent of saying "Sir Kenobi," or like the way the Pope takes the names of a saint or two." - Absolutely, that's always the way I've interpreted it too. In Japanese, "Kenobi san" would mean "honourable Kenobi", and that ain't a million miles away. (Source: Ceri)
"As many of you know, Marc Hedlund of Lucasfilm is the primary maintainer of the Official Star Wars website, if you have a comment or question about the official site you can contact Marc personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org Hopefully, he will be able to answer some of your questions . . . just don't ask him for a copy of the script." (Source: Anonymous Lucasfilm Informant)
Wed., Feb 4, 1998
It will be interesting to see who plays Anakin Skywalker in Episode's II and III. I think an excellent choice would be Leonard Dicaprio (star of Titantic), who would be great at playing a character that starts out a hero and later falls from grace and becomes Darth Vader. However Lucas may want to go with a lesser known actor. Recently, people have speculated that Leonard and Kate Winslet would be too expensive to get but considering that Episode I is going to make a billion dollars, I think that's ridiculous. Lucas should go after who he wants, regardless of the cost. Rumors have it that Titantic is going to be a billion dollar hit. Imagine how much money Episode I will rake in. My point is that they can afford anyone. With a Dicaprio in the movie, the female audience would double (not that die hard Star Wars fans care but I'm trying to make a point). Anakin Skywalker is a serious role and they should get the best possible person to play it. If Anakin is going to be 9 in the Episode I, then I assume he will be in his 20's in Episode II and Dicaprio is in this age range. (Source: Bryan) (Ed. Note: DiCaprio is an excellent actor, but probably is not tall enough for the role of Anakin. George could spend $ 200 million producing Episode 1, but that's not his style. George once stated back in the early 1980's: "Anyone can take a large amount of money and all the time in the world and make a great film. The key is taking a small amount of money and a reasonable amount of time and make a great film." True to his words George is going to spend less than $ 70 million (a small amount of money for a blockbuster film) to make Episode 1. However, by the time Episode 1 is released, George will have spent over 5 years in pre- and post-production for Episode 1, which is "all the time in the world.")
Could Mon Mothma be Tarkin's girlfriend in the prequels until Tarkin joins Palpatine in his attempt to crush the Old Republic and the Jedi Knights? (Source: One for the Road)
If the Emperor is 50+ years old in Episode 1, then he may have children who are already Jedi Knights!!!! And if he murders them in Ep. 3 because they will not join the dark side then this would make him one mean mother. (Source: Hanzon)
I heard Episode 1 is coming out at the end of this year. Is it true? (Source: Nichols)(Ed. Note: That rumor is absolutely, 100% false. Post-production will literally continue on Episode 1 until a few days prior to the official release date of May 25, 1999. The first theatrical teaser trailer will be coming out at the end of 1998. )
Alderaan has to be in the prequels for us to have feelings when it is destroyed in ANH. (Source: Horatio Alger)
I wonder what Darth Vader's mask and suit will look like in Ep. 3 since it will be a suit that is likely 20 years older than the one seen in ANH. (Source: Criss)
1. In ANH, Leia says on the recording to Obi-Wan, "This is our most desperate hour." Does this mean that perhaps Bail tells Obi-Wan that he will only seek his help in their "most desperate hour?"
2. Another Question: I saw somewhere a sketch of Darth Vader's House, with a lava moat surrounding it. Is this real or is it something somebody has made up? (Source: Bog Hag)(Ed. Note: 1. Only George knows the answer to your first question . . . but it is rumored that the message from Leia to Ben is Bail's "code words" for telling Ben that it is time for Luke to seek out his destiny (to destroy the Emperor). Luke is the only being in the galaxy who is capable of destroying the first death star in ANH . . . 2. Ralph McQuarrie from Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays (page 296-297): "The Emperor was going to be in a cave surrounded by lava [in ROTJ]. The throne room was down in the lower levels of what turns out to be the Empire's headquarters planet . . . The Emperor's office would be at the bottom of it, so far down that you would have lava." George Lucas from the same book (page 297): "In the end, it didn't seem necessary to show the home planet of the Empire [in ROTJ]" . . . The sketch your are talking may be a pre-production sketch by McQuarrie, but without actually seeing it; it might be "fan-created" art.)
It is very probable that Lucas is giving fake scripts out or at least edited scripts since he also did this while filming the SW trilogy. No one knew about Vader claiming that Luke is his son until they filmed it, he either took it out or changed it in the scripts he gave out for the rest of the movie. I heard he was really paranoid about things getting out . . . In one rumor it is said: >>Okay that was really groovy. Did you notice that when George talks about Ben in the first Trilogy he calls him Obi Wan Kenobi. However, when George talks about Ben in the new movies he, calls him Ben Kenobi. Could Obi Wan Kenobi be a clone of Ben Kenobi? . . . I think I know who owns R2D2!!<< Does anyone remember ANH???????? Has the excitement over the prequels made us totally forget about the original, wonderful movies? Remember that Ben says that he hadn't called himself OBI-WAN in many years? He himself said that his given name is Obi-Wan.
It would just sound a little suspicious with a Clone-War name of Obi-wan so of course he would change it. And Artoo was probably told by Leia that he was now property of Ben since she was trying to get him to go there. It just really bugs me that people are getting a little overboard on all this. Some of them are just making stuff up to get attention. (Source: Wedge67)(Ed. Note: The Empire script contained fake dialogue for what Vader said to Luke while Luke was dangling for his life on Bespin. In the editing room, George dubbed what was said on the set with: "No, I am your father." So only George and the film editors knew what Vader really said to Luke. George used this same tactic and some new ones while filming phase 1 of Episode 1. Altered scripts are necessary to keep the film's integral plot details a secret . . . George is not paranoid. He is just very, very, very cautious for good reason. TNO.)
I think it is pretty definite that the Kibur Crystal will be in the prequels. If you look at ROJ:SE in the end, you will see that there is a statue in the background of Coruscant that falls. If you look closely, it is of a hooded figure holding a stone (The Emperor and the Kibur Crystal). (Source: Liner) (Ed. Note: We have posted that rumor several times in the past. If you don't know what Liner is referring to, watch the end sequence of the celebration on Coruscant in ROTJ: SE in slow motion. You will see a statue in the background that is knocked over by the people. The statue is Palpatine and in his right hand he is holding an "orb." Is this the legendary Kaibur Crystal?)
If the prequel is going to make over a billion dollars at the box office, why is George being such a tight wad with the budget? (Source: Joe G.) (Ed. Note: George is not known for being a spend thrift and he thinks it is ludicrous that it takes over $ 60 million to film a large scale films these days. In 15 to 20 years, the technology will finally exist that will allow George to make Episodes 7 - 9 completely on computers (which will reduce the costs of film making tremendously) . . . if he decides to make the sequel trilogy one day))
Tues., Feb. 3, 1998
I live in Canada, and was watching a Canadian interview with Samuel L. Jackson, he was talking about working with big name stars, and mentioned that he had found himself working with DeNiro, and Hoffman (Jackie Brown and Sphere), though I am sure you knew that then he went on to mention doing scenes with Yoda. Now I know that it's not a major break on what is happening on the set, but I thought it might be nice to know directly from an actors mouth, that there are definite scenes between Jackson, and Yoda . . . now the speculation part, wouldn't that certainly make Jackson Jedi then? Possibly training with, or visiting Yoda? Though I guess this depends on whether or not Yoda is living on Dagobah that early on. (Source: John Stewart)(Ed. Note: Since Jackson is in his mid-forties he is probably a Jedi Master if he is even a Jedi . . . he could be a member of the Galactic Senate, an ambassador, etc. This is yet another mystery surrounding Episode 1 that will not be answered until May 1999)
I hope there is a big space battle to open the prequel and an underwater battle that closes the film in style. Can't wait much longer!!!! (Source: Stigma One)
Yoda is not the prominent Jedi we all imagine him to be in Episode 1. In fact, many look at Yoda as a crazy old warrior, whose beliefs and visions are tired and too idealistic. This alone maybe the only reason why Yoda lives, because he does not blindly follow the Jedi into their fatal destiny. (Source: Barcode)(Ed. Note: While that could be possible, Yoda stated to Luke that he had been training Jedi for several hundred years. Hence, in Episode 1 Yoda is probably a Jedi Master and a member of the Jedi Council. In the Star Wars Insider # 36, Liam Neeson stated that he is under Yoda in the Jedi "pecking order.")
I wonder if the teachings of the Force state that their will be an evil user of the dark side that will enslave the galaxy and rule as evil dictator. Maybe Palpatine is so unassuming and appears to be one of the good guys that he takes the Jedi by surprise. (Source: Foster's)
Just speculation on my part, but what if Liam Neeson is a Jedi Master who turns to the dark side! AND BECOMES PALPATINE!!! This would explain his fascination with Anakin, his foil relationship to Yoda, and his absence in the final scene (with the force spirits of Yoda, Ben, and Anakin) in ROTJ. (Source: R. Smithe)
What if the name "Obi-Wan" has nothing to do with cloning but is instead some kind of honorific for a Jedi Knight, a sort of equivalent of saying "Sir Kenobi," or like the way the Pope takes the names of a saint or two. I've always thought that George chose the name Obi-Wan-Kenobi because it sounded vaguely Japanese, and we all know that the notion of Jedi Knights owes a lot to samurai warriors. When I was a little kid, when I'd heard the name but before I'd seen the movie, I thought Kenobi was Asian!! Anyway, the significance of this would be that when George calls the guy Ben Kenobi in the screen saver, it means that Ben is not yet a true Jedi, having not been trained by Yoda and so forth. Nevertheless, Ben thinks he's hot stuff and full of the force, so he tries to train Anakin, and of course it goes all wrong. This is why Ben was so angry when he (subsequently) went to Yoda to be properly trained and make up for his mistakes, and it is as Obi-Wan that he fights Vader in the legendary epic battle-in-the-lave in Episode 3. Later, Ben is approved by Yoda, and gets his honorific, but when the Empire takes control he goes back to his old name so as not to attract attention to the fact that he is a Jedi.
I think this theory makes at least as much sense as the cloning theory. The theory is corroborated by the fact that Anakin Skywalker changes his name to Darth Vader. Perhaps Sith warriors take entirely new names, not just an honorific, and "Darth Vader" means something in Sith appropriate to his story. Maybe "Darth" is some kind of honorific, but I agree with whoever said that it would be stupid to have a bunch of Darth so-and-so's running around. More likely, Sith warriors take entirely new names.
Yoda wouldn't need an honorific because he's one of the original saints, so to speak. Palpatine is just The Emperor, in the Trilogy, so he need doesn't some other name, and he probably thinks honorifics are stupid anyway. Luke's honorific wouldn't get mentioned until after ROTJ. One interesting tidbit to add to this debate is in the existing trilogy Vader always refers to "Obi-Wan", never to "Ben", and rarely even to "Kenobi". I can't say I have a theory as to why this is. Personally, I feel that all of these names are too symbolic to be about something as mundanely realistic as cloning. There are name changes in the Bible and other ancient mythology. The names and the changing of names are meant to give the story its mythic feel. They are signifiers of the deep changes the characters undergo. And probably the most epic line in Star Wars is "That is a name I have not heard in a long, long, time." When you think about it, you knew there would be prequels as soon as you heard that (Source: Joel Frangquist)(Ed. Note: If I had to bet all of George's money whether Obi-Wan is a clone designation or a "honorary title," I would bet that "Obi-Wan" is a "honorary title" of some sort)
Hasn't anyone thought that the name "Obi Wan" may not be a name at all and kind of an honorific??? Ben was a general in the "clone wars" and maybe Obi Wan is a kind of rank.. or title.. like being knighted.. the clone speculation sounds kind of silly. (Source: Daniel)
How many Jedi Knights serve the Old Republic? Is it several hundred, thousands or an army of millions? If the Jedi Knights are relatively small in number, then Palpatine could wage a war of attrition and destroy the Jedi Knights by producing millions of cloned warriors (i.e. storm troopers) (Source: The Munchies)
Just want to add my two cents . . . If you read the first draft of SW:A New Hope, there's a clear description of 'air tanks' which 'hover magically a few feet from the ground'. Seeing as Lucas has commented that his original SW scripts contained some of what we'd see in the prequels, I think it's pretty safe to say that the pictures of the tank/helicopter with the rebel logo (see www.starwars.com/episode-I/) is one of these beasts. (Source: Nick J)(Ed. Note: Your theory is probably correct or at least close to the mark)
Today I was thinking of the SW Trilogy SE. I feel that Mr. Lucas is going to use the 3D models he used for the SE for the Prequels. So that means we all will see the following: Dewbacks, Jabba, Cloud City, Mos Eisley, X-wings, Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighters, Rontos, Bantha's, Outrider, Swoop Jockeys, Scurriers, Imperial Lander, Probe Droid and Cloud Cars. (Source: White Knight The Jedi Base and Web Master of Star Wars Fans Confederation)
It would be best if George opened the new movie in 7000+ theaters instead of the 3000 THX theaters: At Lucasfilm they are very busy with keeping everything a secret. If the movie opens in 3000 theaters not everybody can see the movie in its opening week. And when a week is past everybody will know the plotline to the movie (unless you're a hermit (even then it would be difficult to ignore)). That would be worse than having to wait for some places in a THX theater. You watch the movie in a regular theater and then after two weeks or so you go to a THX theater. Continuing on this: maybe George has to open the new movie in the whole world at the same time. How can you keep the plot a secret when the movie has opened somewhere?
Something else: When you don't know a person you call him by his "normal" name (for example: Obi-Wan) when you get to know the guy you give him a nickname (for example: Ben). Everybody get the idea? (Source: Frumentuviris) (Ed. Note: Hopefully, George will choose a mass release for the film. What this would mean is that the movie distributor would produce about 5,000 to 6,000 prints of the movie and with screen-splitting technology, the cineplexes could show the film on 7,000 plus screens. Odds are that you may not get to see the film the first day or two, so for your protection starting on May 24, 1999 avoid the Internet until you see the film and avoid reading reviews for the film that may or may not tell you too much about the film.)
If the Jedi Knights are rumored to pilot the Falcon in the prequels, then is it possible that Corellian Freighters (i.e., Millennium Falcon-looking ships) are their star ships of choice? Maybe there are a bunch of "Falcons" used by the Jedi because they need to transport supplies, Jedi Knights and others all over the galaxy for missions and whatever . . . (Source: Ying Ying)(Ed. Note: That sounds pretty cool)
My guess, and what I've thought for a long time about when Luke fought the vision of Darth (in the Dagobah cave) was that the FORCE was trying to tell Luke that Vader was his father . . . like he was fighting himself!! (Source: Adam Felker [curious reader)(Source: Interesting . . . George left that scene ambiguous so we could each form our own interpretation of what its meaning is)
I have always wondered whether Jedi like Yoda, Ben and others ever marry and have children. Luke appears to be some kind of monk who avoids women like the plague. Are the Jedi Knights some kind of semi-religious order who take a vow of chastity and dedicate their entire lives to protecting and serving the Old Republic? And what about Palpatine, does he ever get married and have kids? (Source: Panther Shine)(Ed. Note: George has stated that we finally get to see Jedi doing what Jedi are suppose to do in Episode 1. Many of your questions will be answered in Episode 1. At the beginning of Episode 1, Palpatine is a few years over 50 so he should have a wife and kids (if he is ever going to have any))