Star Wars is Back

Old TypewriterYesterday, the new teaser for The Force Awakens dropped. It has everything you’d want from a Star Wars teaser. Lightsabers (I guess they’re still called that even when they look like narrow beams of concentrated flames now, right?), TIE explosions, a speeder going across a desert. Everything a nostalgic Star Wars fan needs to feel like his childhood is safe once again.

If you didn’t watch it, go back and watch it. It is awesome. Mostly because you could watch bread toasting to certain portions of John Williams’ score and get goosebumps, but the ending doesn’t hurt, either. I didn’t watch the Anaheim celebration thing. Much like I did with the prequels, I will watch the official teasers and the trailers once they arrive, but I won’t scour the Internet looking for spoilers. I want to experience the film, and while knowing a story prior doesn’t prevent me from enjoying it, I avoid it where possible.

Oh yeah, in case you need another copy, the original movies were released on digital HD April 10th. As if I don’t own the original trilogy in enough formats already. “Does that mean aren’t going to buy them?” a sane person might ask. All I can say to that is…probably not. I’m weak…and sensitive to peer pressure.

While I was lost in Star Wars land on the Internet for a few hours yesterday afternoon, I discovered a series of conversation videos going behind the scenes on the original films. I think they might be associated with the digital release, but I wouldn’t swear to it. All I really know is that they’re out there, and they’re cool. I especially like this little snippet with Ben Burtt:

That video is all I need to label the guy a genius, right?

If you go down the rabbit hole looking at how they did the special effects for those movies, there is another video where they say that the models and special effects for the ending space battle in ANH (that’s the first original movie, A New Hope, for the non-nerds among you) cost over three and a half million dollars. In 1977. That’s a lot of work that they can just do with a computer now. Of course, certain friends of mine complain they miss the models. There is a story from the prequels where the digital animators were forced to redo Yoda. The puppet in the original trilogy’s ear would jerk a certain way when his head moved because, well, he was made of rubber. According to what I remember reading, the digital animators made all his movements smooth and natural. Test audiences hated it. They missed the quirkiness of the puppet’s motions, and so they went back and re-did those segments. I don’t know how true that is, but I read it on the Internet and heard someone else who didn’t work on the film confirm it. Plus, it just makes sense.

By the way, I think we’re all happy they hired Lawrence Kasdan. I’m not sure why Lucas didn’t hire him to write the prequels, but I do know we all wish he had. How can you not hire the guy who not only wrote ESB and ROTJ, but Raiders of the Lost Ark and Continental Divide to write your prequel scripts? What do you mean one of those four movies doesn’t belong? Should I have said The Big Chill instead? Anyway, your feelings about Eddie Souchak aside, Kasdan writing Lucas’ stories is a proven commodity. Add in some J.J. Abrams lens flare, and it seems like it’s going to be a very good Christmas this year. IMAX 3D, right? RIGHT?!?

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