Webmaster Resources
Bookmark SWS.com
Beyond the Star Wars Movies


Star Wars Merchandise
Master Replicas

Star Wars Community

Star Wars Freebies

Star Wars For Fun
Fun Stuff
Star Wars DVDs
Random Thoughts
"Not So" FAQ

Select Photo Gallery

Star Wars Select
About Us
Contact Us
Link to Us
Site Map

StarWarsShop.com - More Product. More Exclusives.

  Star Wars Spectacular: KJ’s Experience
Part II: "Let the debates begin"


July 26, 2004

Introduction – Steve Sansweet, head of Fan Relations for Lucasfilm, hosted the Star War Spectacular at Comic-Con International on July 24, 2004. About 6,500 fans, including me, crowded into Hall H at the San Diego convention center for the special two-hour presentation that began at noon.

I’ve decided to list my favorite parts of the Star Wars Spectacular below in chronological order. I know that the Official Site has written their own articles about the event (one regular version, and a more in-depth version for Hyperspace members), but I know for a fact that I've mentioned a few things here that the official site does not. Besides, this article is written from a fan's perspective which, I think, is easier to relate to.

Fans try to find seats a few minutes before Star Wars Spectacular, at Comic-Con International 2004, begins.
Photo © StarWarsSelect.com

Star Wars
Spectacular before the show begins.

I decided to write this article in list form, so that you can find the information you’re looking for easily, and you can skip over portions that do not interest you, if necessary. On with the show!

Ewoks and Droid adventures DVDs
– When Sansweet announced that these animated series’ as well as the live action made for television Ewok movies (The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor) were coming out on DVD this fall, I was pretty happy, since they’re all before my time. I'm looking forward to watching them for the first time.

Star Wars
– I glad to get an inside scoop on the classic trilogy DVD, and I was ecstatic when Jim Ward, Vice President of Marketing for Lucasfilm, and Executive Producer of the original trilogy DVDs announced that the documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy on fourth bonus feature disc in the set is going to be two and a half hours long! Awesome.

Screen Test – I had no idea that the Cindy Williams (of Lavern and Shirley fame) tried out for the part of Leia, and Kurt Russell tried out for the role of Han Solo. It was amusing watching part of their screen screen tests.

Carrie Fisher – It was nice of Carrie Fisher to drop by for a bit and talk about her experiences during the filming of the classic trilogy, and during the filming of Empire of Dreams documentary.

Star Wars Video Games – I’m not really into gaming, but it was fun to watch the trailers for: Star Wars Battlefront, Jump to Lightspeed (the new space expansion of Star Wars Galaxies), Knights of the Old Republic II, and Star Wars Republic Commando.

Clone Wars Micro-Series on DVD – What can I say? I’m a big fan of the Emmy nominated series. I was sceptical at first. How could a three minute episode be any good, even if it is Star Wars? Cartoon Network sure proved me wrong. Plenty can happen in three minutes. Nothing beats a solid, well-crafted story.

"We're so pleased that Genndy Tartakovsky, Paul Rudish and crew are hard at work right now on a dynamite third season of Clone Wars,” said Steve Sansweet, "which will air sometime around next Easter…That's about the same time you'll be able to pick up the first 20 episodes on DVD."

  The first 20 episodes of the Star Wars: Clone Wars Micro-Series will be released on DVD spring 2005.
Photo: KJ (scan of Clone Wars P1 Promo card)

The first 20 episodes of the Clone Wars Micro-Series will be released on DVD spring 2005.

THX 1138 trailers – I saw George Lucas' first feature length film, THX 1138, on television a year or two ago, and I can safely say that it’s the strangest film I’ve seen in my life, but genius nevertheless. The trailers were interesting to watch. I’m still in disbelief that Robert Duvall is the lead role.

It’s A Wonderful Life spoof – This segment had me in stitches! The film clip poses the question: what would life be like without George Lucas? A few of the examples were: The Goodbye Girl was the top grossing film of 1977, Harrison Ford is a carpenter (an ad for his carpentry services asks, “Is your house a temple of doom?”). A clay dinosaur chases the characters in Jurassic Park, and the modern sound technology is Hi-Fi Super Analog Sound (at the beginning, it sounds like THX, but then it gets scratchy and out of key to a hilarious effect).

Episode III Packing design – The design shows a sort of exaggerated Darth Vader helmet, looking quite angry, and scarier than usual. A duel between two shadowy figures is reflected near the top of the helmet, and below the helmet is a fire or possibly lava. The design is somewhat reminiscent of the Celebration III logo.

Episode III concept art - Concept Design Supervisor Ryan Church presented the audience with a slideshow of Episode III concept art. Most of the slides depicted concept art of one planet in particular. I don’t know if this is considered a spoiler, so if you want to know which planet it is, highlight between the brackets.
[The planet is Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld]

Surprise Hayden Christensen appearance – Rick McCallum’s appearance was common knowledge, but the audience went wild when Hayden Christensen came from behind stage. A Q&A session was soon held. Fans had a chance to ask McCallum and Christensen all their burning questions about Episode III. There were a few funny moments during the Q&A.

The first funny moment I recall was when Christensen made some remarks like “That’s a nice look” and “That’s kind of scary” as a fan stepped up, and was about to pose a question. These statements seemed strange to most of the audience, who could not see the who had stepped up to the microphone. Then the camera panned to the fan. The audience laughed. The fan was dressed up as Anakin from Episode III, long shaggy hair and all. I don’t even remember the question he asked anymore.

The second moment that struck me was when a young boy asked if Christensen liked acting or doing the fight scenes better. Again, the audience laughed. Hayden answered that he liked the fight scenes better, which, of course, spawned more laughter.

Episode III Video Game – We saw a few clips from Episode III: Making of the Game, a documentary about the Episode III video game. Stunt Coordinator Nick Gillard had a hand in the making of the game. Gillard demonstrated lightsaber moves for the game developers with actual stunt lightsabers used in the filming of Episode III. He even taught a few of the LucasArts staff lightsaber fighting techniques.

Hayden Christensen, an avid gamer, was also on hand and advised the crew on Anakin Skywalker's mannerisms and fighting techniques.

The full-length version of Episode III: Making of the Game will be on the fourth bonus disc of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD.

The Return of Darth Vader – The audience was shown a preview of a short video that describes the tedious process of creating the new Darth Vader suit, worn by Hayden Christensen, in Episode III. The full-length version of "The Return of Darth Vader" will appear on the bonus material disc of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD.

Episode III Title – Steve Sansweet began the Star Wars Spectacular by saying that everyone should stick around until the end, because one never knows what surprises may be in store. Hayden Christensen’s appearance was nice, but I had a gut feeling that there was something more. The people on my left apparently did not share my sentiments, and left about twenty minutes before the show was over. I bet they're kicking themselves now.

In the fleeting moments of the two-hour presentation, Sansweet said, "For some time now, the naming of a new Star Wars movie has taken on some special meaning among core fans, who love to take part in guessing games before a title is announced, and then engage in debate once it is. Let the debates begin."

Then, a video played on the screen. The video began with Episode IV, showing a few movie clips, then listing the title, A New Hope, on the screen. The process was repeated with The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and then with Episodes I and II.

Tension built as Episode III appeared on the screen on the screen. Clips of movie production were shown until the title Revenge of the Sith flashed on the screens. I, along with the crowd, cheered and clapped. Quite a few people gave a standing ovation.

As the house lights returned, Steve Sansweet appeared back on stage, wearing an Exclusive Star Wars: Episode III T-Shirt. He said the shirts would go on sale at the StarWarsShop.com booth in five minutes. The presentation wrapped up, and there was a mad dash to the exit.

Back to Fun Stuff
Revenge of the Sith shirts, on sale at the StarWarsShop.com booth at Comic-Con International 2004.
Photo © StarWarsSelect.com

Revenge of the Sith shirts, on sale at the StarWarsShop.com booth at Comic-Con International 2004.


Back to Home