||Star Wars Spectacular:
Part II: "Let the
July 26, 2004
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!
Introduction – Steve Sansweet, head of Fan
Relations for Lucasfilm, hosted the Star War Spectacular
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.
Photo © StarWarsSelect.com
Star Wars Spectacular before the show begins.
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
Star Wars Trilogy – 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
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.
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
|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.
so pleased that Genndy Tartakovsky, Paul Rudish and crew are hard
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
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.
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
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
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
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
up as Anakin from Episode III, long shaggy hair and all. I
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Photo © StarWarsSelect.com
Revenge of the Sith shirts, on sale at the StarWarsShop.com
booth at Comic-Con International 2004.