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Galactic News

Sunday August 25, 2002
Homing Beacon #67

The latest Homing Beacon has arrived, and today we get to talk about Jedi Master Coleman Trebor from Attack of the Clones! Animation Director Rob Coleman's crew was in charge of bringing the eponymous Jedi Coleman Trebor to life. To help fill out the Jedi ranks in both the arena and the Jedi Temple with more exotic shapes and forms, it was decided that several alien Knights and Masters would be entirely digital.

In the case of Trebor, the horn-crested Jedi came about as a replacement to an Episode I Jedi Master removed from the Jedi Council. "If you think back to the original Jedi Council there was a long-necked Jedi on the far side -- Yarael Poof -- he was a puppet. George was afraid that if we kept that guy in, people might confuse him with the Kaminoans."

No new footage of the Jedi Council chambers was shot. Archival Episode I footage was reused, digitally modified to fit the appropriate time of day, and the offending Jedi Master was painted out and replaced with Coleman Trebor. To further suggest the progress of time, another Jedi Master got the digital axe. Green little Yaddle was replaced by Shaak Ti, an actress wearing elaborate makeup who was composited into the scene.

Coleman readily notes that the naming of the Jedi wasn't his idea. It came about during an Art Department meeting at Skywalker Ranch, when concept sculptors Michael Patrick Murnane and Robert E. Barnes displayed the outcome of a rather intense sculpting jam session. From the array of aliens, George Lucas picked his favorites and assigned their roles. "[Visual Effects Supervisor] John Knoll said, 'Uh, George, you know you haven't named anything after Rob...'" recalls Coleman.

From that suggestion, Coleman Trebor was named, the maquette was realized as a computer-generated character, the character was painstakingly animated and composited into the temple and arena scenes...

... and then Coleman Trebor was quickly iced by Jango Fett.

"Yeah, but we don't actually see him hit the ground," Coleman is quick to point out with a laugh. "I keep telling George it's only a flesh wound. He was the most heroic, he was the one who went after Dooku!"

Coleman has no qualms about his Jedi counterpart's screen time. He says he actually shoved all thought of the character's name out of his mind since he was never certain that the name wouldn't get changed by the time the film was released. "If there is a toy I'd certainly be sending that up to my dad," he notes. "Dad look: a Jedi!"

Posted: by Jedi Power