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Thursday, 17 October 2019

THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: ANAKIN BLASTS OUT!


With power to his starfighter quickly restored, Anakin escapes the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship, but not without first letting out two proton torpedoes that do heavy damage to the main reactor and soon sets off a chain reaction, as seen in two pivotal ILM storyboards shown here.

This would be a scene from Lucas deliberately echoing, or rhyming with, Luke Skywalker's later destruction of the Death Star space station with his proton torpedoes in EPISODE IV.



THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: OBI-WAN'S 'TRIALS' BEGIN...

The energy gates open as lightsaber battle begins anew!

The energy gate opens and a ready Obi-Wan speeds in to attack Darth Maul in a superb sequence showcasing the skills of Ewan McGregor and Ray Park in their roles...

Here's a selection of images from that ultra-fast paced lightsaber duel, including a few moves not seen in the final movie, showing the lightsaber blades both untouched (see the physical battering visual evidence they take) and cell animated.


"We got that lightsaber fight so fast, so f++king quick, that in the end they had to overcrank the camera to slow it down so you could see what was going on. There's something incredible about getting a fight to such a fluid pace that you cannot be thinking about what's next - it's beautiful."

Ewan McGregor - Arena magazine - 2005





"My lightsaber flew out of my hands. No one tells you the sabers have about 10 "D" batteries in them. They burn your hands... I tossed the saber in the air and it ended up hitting a technician in the head."

Ewan McGregor - Twist magazine - 1999






"I was used to handling weapons in my martial arts, but it was still hard work because we were rehearsing all day every day for two months before shooting. Even holding the lightsaber and getting into the posture made a big difference."

Ray Park - Cinescape magazine - 1999




"We got through about 300 lightsabers. Eventually, Ewan had to have a thicker one than anybody else."

Nick Gillard - 1999




"(Flashes a big smile.) Let's just say he (McGregor) tried (to beat me in the fights), but that's all he could do was try. (The lightsaber duel) took about three weeks to shoot, from the point where we came through the door right up until the ends. We'd screw up sometimes, almost hit each other. We'd just laugh about it, and make lightsaber noises. We'd stand here, about to fight, and Liam and Ewan would each go, "Dzzh!' (Laughs.) And I'd cock my head and say, 'Oh yeah, Dzzh-dzzh!" I don't think George needed to add on any sound effects, because we did them all. (Smiles.) I still do them now."

Ray Park - Wizard magazine - 1999

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: RETAKING HER THRONE!


Captured by Droidekas, Queen Amidala and her party are taken to the Neimoidians. Things look grim but, thanks to Sabe's clever decoy work, our heroine seizes her opportunity to retrieve the hidden weapons in the Throne Room, as she and Captain Panaka finally surprise/capture the enemy overlords. Now the tables are turned, and it's time to discuss a new treaty: surrender!

Sabe's decoy force arrives.

Panaka seizes the attack initiative!

Natalie Portman has fun with Lucas and John Knoll between filming scenes.

THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: DEATH OF A JEDI!


Darth Maul delivers a savage, unexpected move that delivers the final death blow to a surprised Qui-Gon Jinn, all of this watched by a powerless to help Obi-Wan Kenobi, cut off from the action by the energy shield gates.

The killing stroke.

A shocked scream of pain from Obi-Wan Kenobi, as first seen in the film's second trailer.

"A very small portion of the generator room was built in England, and from that we created a huge room measuring six hundred feet across, as well as a huge pit- all through CG. The electrical beams were also computer generated. We blended the virtual set with the set built on the soundstage."

Scott Squires - The Making of EPISODE I book - 1999

"When we shot the scene, we didn't know yet how big the beams would end up being, or what colour they would be. Eventually we came up with a purplish colour, which was reflected on the actors and on all the practical parts on the set."

David Tattersall - The Making of EPISODE I book - 1999

Darth Maul stands ready for his next opponent.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: QUI-GON'S LAST STAND!


Cut off from Qui-Gon Jinn by a series of energy gate screens, Obi-Wan can only watch as his Jedi Master and friend fights on with skill, precision and inner strength against Darth Maul. But even Qui-Gon's experience and agility in fighting can be defeated by the raw power and savagery of the Dark Side...

"We developed the look of the energy doors, going from some of the concept art. We then use the Sabre (digital scanning technology) to design the energy doors and work out how they should open and close, the noise pattern, how much they should glow and the kind of energy that should emanate from them."

Pablo Helman - The Making of EPISODE I book - 1999

A series of frames from the early part of Qui-Gon's solo duel with Darth Maul.




Suddenly, Darth Maul starts to gain the upper hand...



THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: EVASIVE MANEUVERS!


The battle intensifies for Anakin Skywalker as he and Artoo evade the continued enemy fire and attacking fighters in this great production art by Doug Chiang. Soon enough, the boy unwittingly sends his craft spiralling into the heart of the Droid Control Ship, with further danger ahead from surrounding Battle Droids as it crashes down powerless in the main hangar.

Note the slightly different cockpit design for the Naboo Starfighter seen in the painting, the final look not yet fully locked down at that stage. Additionally, by the final battle it was decided that, for dramatic purposes, only one Trade Federation vessel needed to be seen - the Droid Control Ship, the rest of the blockade having been prior dispersed once the planet had been successfully taken - an earlier scene with Obi-Wan and Ric Olie noticing this when the Naboo cruiser approaches the planet having been filmed but cut in post production.





Monday, 14 October 2019

THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: WHEN JAR JAR WENT TO WAR!

No time to rest, Jar Jar!

It's "ouch time' for the Gungans as their battle against the Trade Federation is cut short with the destruction of their shield and the arrival of the rolling Droidekas, forcing them back into the hills and ultimately to surrender, but not before 'Bombad General' Jar Jar Binks' clumsiness soon sends him back into the war zone to cause unintentional enemy casualties! A deliberately whacky comedy sequence for the film created by George Lucas in homage to the incredible comic talents and stunt works of the Classic Hollywood B/W movie great, Buster Keaton.

Going downhill in an avalanche of Booma energy balls.

Hang on Jar Jar!

Captain Tarpals (far left) to the rescue?

THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: THE PERILS OF THE ENERGY CHAMBER

Duel in the labyrinth!

The battle continues between Jedi and Sith, of which Darth Maul plays dirty, effectively separating Obi-Wan from Qui-Gon, though the latter fights on with noble strength and resolution...

Darth Maul is ready to strike!

A deleted moment from the duel.



Filming Mau's kicking Obi-Wan


Rehearsing an unused punch by Maul to Obi-Wan.

Maul kicks out at Obi-Wan, as seen in the film.

"They said, 'Do you wanna be in Star Wars?' I said, 'Too fu+king right!'"

Nick Gillard confers with Ray Park between scene filming.

Deleted action scene: STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: EPISODE I AT FIFTEEN: DELETED DUELLING!

Andreas Petrides performs Obi-Wan's fall outdoors at Leavesden Studios.

Falling into a special airbag.

Behind the scenes:
The Fall | Star Wars: The Phantom Menace | StarWars.com

Qui-Gon delivers a powerful blow to Maul in retaliation.

Now it's Ray Park's turn to outdoor fall, taking a hit from Qui-Gon in the finished film.




Filming Obi-Wan's close-up, separated from Qui-Gon at a lower level.

Qui-Gon determinedly fights on against the retreating Sith Lord.

Obi-Wan leaps to catch-up with the distant fighting.