The latest Homing Beacon has arrived and today we get to find out
more about the Mace and Sidious Duel! The following is a sample
entry of the new Set Diary series now available for Hyperspace
members. In the summer of 2003, correspondent Pablo Hidalgo filed
daily reports on the making of Episode III, but by necessity most
of the plot details were obscured as to not spoil any secrets. Now
that the movie is out, much of what was too hot in 2003 can be
discussed, with further insight into the making of Revenge of the
It's one of the fieriest debates of online fan forums: when
Palpatine was cornered in his office's giant window-frame, was he
really overpowered by Mace? Or was he faking to lure Anakin? Could
Mace really have gotten the upper hand on the Sith Lord?
George Lucas is the ultimate keeper of the true answer, and he's
not telling... yet, anyway. If you had asked me in the Summer of
'03, when the sequence was first shot, I would have had a solid
answer. But, if you asked me in the Fall of '04, when the sequence
was re-shot, well... for those who want to debate, it's best to
know more of the story of how this scene came to be.
This entire sequence changed significantly during postproduction.
What we witnessed in Sydney told a different story. Anakin did not
earn Mace's trust by ratting out Sidious right away. He did not
agonize over his decisions while sitting alone in the Jedi Council
chamber. He did not rush in at the last minute to witness a
questionable balance of power. Instead, he stayed at Palpatine's
side, in the Chancellor's private office, as Mace and his posse of
Jedi barged in.
"Stand behind me," ordered Mace, in Sam Jackson's
demanding tones. But Anakin didn't budge. Instead, he watched
passively as Palpatine used the Force to snatch Anakin's
lightsaber from his belt and attacks Mace and the Jedi. There's
ample evidence of this original version for those with sharp eyes
and behind-the-scenes photos. Heck, even Hasbro action figures
with Palpatine packaged with Anakin's lightsaber got out there in
the initial shipments.
So, if Sidious' entire duel played out before Anakin's stunned
eyes, I'd be inclined to think that his fall was just for show.
This changed after a screening George Lucas held for a few key
colleagues. Their reactions underscored the shortcomings of the
way this duel was constructed. Anakin's inaction was hard to
justify cinematically. "The story was there, but it wasn't
clear," said Lucas at the time it came to rebuild this scene.
"It was too abstract. We opened up that part and looked at
what we could do."
When word of the change came down, the keepers of continuities
started carefully tracking the evolving consequences. Palpatine
had two lightsabers, then, since he loses this one in the duel
with Mace. I still have in my inbox a tentative email from one of
the authors asking, "um, have we figured out yet whose
lightsaber Palpatine uses in the fight with the Jedi?"
At first, it was feared it was impossible to CG the small
svelte-handled weapon over Anakin's relatively chunky handle, but
nonetheless, that was the lightsaber given to McDiarmid for the
pickup photography. The shots of Palpatine rising from his chair
and extending the weapon were reshot. The bulk of the duel between
Sidious and Mace stayed from principal photography, except for a
new touch -- a kick to Palpatine's face, done with stunt double
Michael Byrne. This was shot on a partial set of just a piece of
window-frame on Friday, August 27.
So... with this revised duel, if Sidious threw the fight, it
places an awful lot of faith on Anakin's timing ...and he suffered
a kicked-in face to boot. For what it's worth to those arguing, I
doubt there's anyone who thinks Palpatine's serious when he claims
he's too weak. That's obviously a lie. But was the fall into the
corner that preceded his pleas for help a lie as well?
What else changed in this scene? There are a few more interesting
details, particularly where it moved in the sequencing of the
story. But that will have to wait for another entry.
Today I have updated the Official
Links section with two new websites featuring Thomas Hodges
who is a well known Star Wars artist, and Ryan Church who was the
Concept Design Supervisor for Episode II & III. I also updated
a few broken links to their new addresses and or sites. If you
have links to any Official Web Sites for actors, artists, etc.
please send them in so we can share them with everyone. Please
send the links to official
site links. Thank you for your help and contribution to
Galactic Voyage! Together, we can make Galactic Voyage one of the
best fan sites on the Net.
Today I have updated the Movies Section
to fix some broken links and to add the Episode III Trailers. The
Official Star Wars site has made it more difficult to find these,
so I have added a direct link to them which should make for easier
Hannah Brown, Matt C., and Jon Alan sent in some new fan art
pieces a while back. Thank you all for your contributions and
sorry for the delay. These pieces and others can be found over at
Art section. Enjoy!
Today I received a request from Judy Shepherd saying that I needed
to add General
Grievous to the Characters
Section. I have since updated the Characters
Section with General
Grievous from Episode III. Thanks for the request Judy! You
can get a listing of characters using their picture by episode at
the Characters Section. Or, if
you would like to see an alphabetical listing of all of our
characters, you can check out the Character
Index. If you have a character or ship request that you would
like to see posted, please feel free to send me an e-mail and I
will do my best to post it for you.
It Cool News has a little more information about the Star Wars
TV series. Rick McCallum, the co-producer of Star Wars Revenge of
the Sith, revealed the details of Star Wars TV series when he was
at the press conference in Japan yesterday. The article was from
the Mainichi Shimbun (Mainichi Paper) web site, a reputable
newspaper in Japan.
The story will take place in about 20 year span between Episode
3 and Episode 4. It will depict how characters end up being
together (didn’t mention who). It will depict how Luke grows up.
George Lucas will start working on it as soon as he finishes Indy
Jones, he said. The production will start next year, and the whole
series will be about 100 hours long. He also mentioned 3-D version
of all six movies “within two to three” years.
Well, it doesn't sound too exciting to me. I hope we see a lot
of other things going on in the galaxy other than just Luke
growing up on Tatooine. I also thought the 3-D movies were being
pushed out a little farther due to technology issues, but hay...
Rick should know!
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