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Thursday, 17 January 2019

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: FILMING 'REAL' PEOPLE!


At the main ILM studio stage in early Summer 1982, many vital live action shots filmed against Blu-screen were handled involving Return of the Jedi's principal cast, as seen here with Hamill, Ford and Mayhew, along with a Weequay and Barada guards, filming necessary close-ups aboard one of Jabba's skiffs sailing to the Great Pit of Carkoon. In the final cut, the direction of the scene was flipped for aesthetic/continuity reasons to match Leia's looking towards them from inside the Sail Barge. The Weequay soon turns around to halt their conversation, but this is only seen in the long shot moment of the finished movie.

This image was part of a private collection sold by Phil Tippett from a few years back.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE MYSTERY DEEPENS...


The search for the Outer Rim world of Kamino - home to a unique and deadly saber dart - proves an elusive one for Obi-Wan Kenobi, as he goes through the Jedi Archives once-seemingly accurate database of worlds and systems, in a scene from EPISODE II.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

CLASSIC INDY: OUT OF THE FRYING PAN...

'"Our situation has not improved!"

... but into an even greater fire, as Father and Son Jones's find themselves in a perilous, environmentally challenging new predicament inside the Nazi-run castle at Austria, in this classic image from the action comedy Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, celebrating its evergreen Thirtieth Anniversary this year. Watch for more celebrations of the film over the coming months on the site.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: AN EPIC IN THE RAW!

The infamous raw screening of Star Wars to George Lucas's filmmaking chums.

Think that the original rough cut of Star Wars had made many of the FOX suits in Hollywood nervous? Well, so too were many of George Lucas's friends, who really didn't know what to make of the film what with so much 'scene missing' moments, stock music overlays, and undubbed voicing rawness still present by the time they were seeing it with its writer/director in early 1977. Brian DePalma was the most critical allegedly, to the apparent dismay and concern of Marcia Lucas, though the late Gloria Katz, co-writer of American Graffiti at that time, would recall Steven Spielberg's singular enthusiasm, telling the assemblage he thought the film was gonna make a hundred million dollars. Privately, Spielberg bet with Lucas that Star Wars would make 50-60 million dollars, at least.

'I think it's gonna make a hundred million dollars!' Only Spielberg was truly savvy to recognise the film's hidden runaway potential.

Paul Hirsch, Brian DePalma (above George) and friends circa 1979.

More on fellow writer/director Brian DePalma's thoughts on the film at that time:

http://epicstream.com/news/AltheaSerad/This-Renowned-Director-Thought-The-Early-Cut-Of-Star-Wars-Didnt-Make-Any-Sense

http://uk.businessinsider.com/brian-de-palma-george-lucas-star-wars-2017-5



Tuesday, 8 January 2019

ROGUE ONE: THE REBELS OF YAVIN IV - ALTERNATE/DELETED SCENES

STAR WARS AFICIONADO continues its fascinating and highly detailed examination of the original version of Gareth Edward's gritty lead-in to the original Star Wars- Rogue One, with a look at the many deleted/alternate/re-shoot scenes linked to the Rebel Alliance and its base on Yavin IV.

Jyn Erso, awaiting her destiny on Yavin IV.

After the backstory on Lahmu had been set up, the film was to have started at the Yavin IV base with the adult Jyn Erso already in captive hands, after a failed attempt to steal from a Rebel stockade. Here she is in a confinement area of some kind awaiting eventual female Rebel soldier escort.





Jyn looks back towards someone or something in the shot. It's unclear who- perhaps a fellow prisoner has given some ominous words that look like the end of the line is in sight for her.

The lonely walk into the Rebel command centre.

A shackled Jyn at Alliance High Command.

A shadowy Cassian keeps tabs on Jyn.

A wary Cassian unshackles Jyn in a deleted moment from the re-shoots.

"We have a mission for you..."

Having seen the shadowy figures around her in the main control room, General Draven has Jyn state her true name for the record, of which he then proceeds to list her criminal record sheet (as heard in the first teaser trailer, though this dialogue could also have been specially recorded for that). 'Can you be trusted without your shackles?', Draven asks Jyn. watched by Captain Cassian Andor who checks over a datapad of her personal details - a lost moment, though he can be seen holding the pad in certain shots of the finished film. Cassian will also unshackle Jyn. In the finished movie/re-shoots, it is Draven who has the data pad and Jyn is shackles-less.

Cassian walks to Jyn with his datapad.

From the re-shoots: Cassian checks Jyn's details.
Filming the deleted scene.

Link:
https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.com/2018/01/rogue-one-truth-about-liana-hallik.html

In the original story, the Rebels were already aware of the Imperial superweapon (but not that it is the Death Star) and its upcoming testing-information received via an intercepted and encoded transmission sent by Galen Erso, Jyn's father. There was no Bodhi Rook then, either- he was an altogether completely different character as a shady Imperial transport pilot used by the Rebels later in the film and did not have the holographic message from Jyn's father. In the early cut Jyn is given the mission to go to recruit her former friend and resistance leader Saw Gerrera back to the cause (and whom knows where Galen Erso is located), get info on the Death Star with Andor, then later in the film travel with the Rook character-to-be to the far off Imperial facility at Eadu, to retrieve Galen in order to discover a weakness to the battle station. Given her mission, Jyn responds: "I was trained to fight not to stand down" - deleted dialogue, though the line, "You're all Rebels, aren't you?" would make the film. In the original shoot/cut, Jyn was a little tougher in her scenes with the Rebel leaders, but the subsequent reshoots toned her attitude down to make her more vulnerable to gain viewer empathy. Lost was Draven's strict emphasis to Jyn that she was acting for them on a mission, of which Jyn sarcastically replied, "Yes, sir"- a moment seen in the first trailer. In the reshoots the emphasis changed from Mon Mothma to Cassian Andor in telling Jyn the news about the weapon.

On the airstrip, Jyn makes her way to the U-wing in an unseen moment.

Forging a new friendship in the original cut.

"Good."

By the time they get to Jedha, the relationship between Cassian and Jyn is not the same as in the finished film. Cassian's character recognises her talents and loyalties early, and a far friendlier personality and atmosphere of trust was established between them- of which Jyn was in the U-wing fighter co-pilot's seat rather than K-2SO (as seen in the first teaser trailer). Andor would later be toughened up further with the re-shoots, especially a new beginning on the far off Imperial held Ring of Kafrene, which sees him cold-bloodedly kill a Rebel informer. Presumably Andor was instructed to assassinate Galen Erso at a later point in the original version of the film (which would have similar disastrous results for both Rebels and Imperials to what was seen on screen), when returned back from Jedha to Yavin IV.


Above: emerging from their fighter, the duo, back from what has occurred on Jedha and their first hand experience look at the Death Star, head resolutely to the Rebel command area of the Massassi Temple.

In a rare moment of solace, Jyn looks at the Rebel base around her.

Back at the Rebel base with information obtained from the now deceased Gerrera, the sequences on Eadu likely pretty much followed the final onscreen plot. Here is where the original incarnation of Bodhi Rook (a man with a wife and family) came to play, as our heroes use his Imperial transport to get to Eadu, though reshoots were done linked to Bodhi's new persona that soon erased that earlier life.

Jyn and the Rebels plan their next moves.


Once the Eadu sequence is finished, Jyn, backed up by Bodhi Rook, meets with the other Rebel leaders in the main command room, of which the plan to go to Scarif is formed. Soon enough, Jyn, more determined than ever, will ultimately lead the covert squad to steal the Death Star plans, of which the Rebellion will follow in the diversionary attack.

An out-take for Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed during filming of an ultimately deleted scene.

Note the slightly different look for Riz Ahmed's original character, before the role, renamed as Bodhi Rook, was considerably expanded in the re-shoots.

Various insert scenes of Jyn and Bodhi Rook with Rebel leaders and soldiers, after the disasters of Eadu, working out their next steps would be filmed, including the soldiers that were to have been seen at the originally filmed beach scenes arrival shot at the Maldives. And, of course, there's the legendary 'Space Monkey' himself!

Some of the top Rebel soldiers gather together at the meeting.

A very familiar looking Rebel general far left of shot.

General Merrick (aka Blue Leader) is at the meeting and clashes with General Draven about the potential needless loss of U-wing fighter crews should a battle be initiated.

Generic behind the scenes shot for the busy sequence.

Re-shoot of the important Rebel gathering, with holo Death Star and Cassian Andor present.
An unhappy Cassian knows where things are going in this deleted scene.
Unused angle/discussion moment from the conference re-shoot.

By the re-shoots, the Rebels' meeting was changed, however- it was decided it would be more dramatic if Jyn and her information were not trusted and that the in-fighting Rebellion ultimately had to be compelled to fight as one, once Jyn and her team had gone to Scarif of their own free will - at one point Mon Mothma even considers that "The odds are too great. We need to surrender." The location of the vital meeting was made bigger to encapsulate more members of the alliance and a graphic of the Death Star was shown to the assemblage (presumably part of the original version of Jyn's meeting with Gerrera on Jedha) which did not make the final film, though made a trailer appearance. Cassian Andor was also present for the scene but digitally removed from the final cut-it was better for him to make an entrance dramatically later, separately from the meeting with his men as they side with the lone Jyn, part of the revised characterization for Diego Luna's character.


Playing with the crystal necklace she's had since she was little, Jyn awaits the final decision or go order of the Rebel Alliance in one of the temple's hangar bays.


Cassian and the Rebels await their leaders' decisions.


An unseen background trooper from the original version.

In the original version, Cassian and his team are also awaiting the final go order to accompany Jyn to Scarif, and the start of their potential do-or-die mission. This was changed so that Andor went against his superiors to help Jyn in the finished film. "I've been fighting for the Rebellion for a long time. A cause that I believed in. I believe in you"- another filmed but deleted line from the re-shoots. As originally shot, Jyn was wary of Cassian's motives what with the death of her father, but his belief in her wins through. This need to go with her, realizing they have to go it alone, was expanded in the re-shoots.

From the original version: a clearly upset and wary Jyn with Cassian.

"If you're really doing this, we want to help."

Upset yet dedicated to the mission - "All right. Let's go..."

In the re-shoots, Jyn is touched by Cassian's faith in her.

Another image from the re-shoot.

"You're a Rebel now!". A K-2SO line was added to this scene for a TV spot.

"Are you with me?"

There was at least one further original version scene of the friendship between Jyn and Cassian in the Rebel hangar bay as they prepared to fight under the orders of the Rebellion. In both the original and reshoots was a moment where Cassian says to Jyn, "Are you really doing this, I want to help. We can do this together." To which she replies, "All right, let's go."

Another brief moment was lost where Jyn asks Chirrut if he's prepared to go with her. He tells her, "I believe in you."

Ready to go!

In the first teaser trailer and only briefly shown in the film (and cropped in tight), Jyn and Cassian head to the Imperial transport ship as some of the Rebel pilots race off to their fighters ships assembly areas, ready for the ultimate go order to Scarif. A shot of fans resembling Biggs and Porkins was taken on set at the Cardington location used for the temple hangar interior and exteriors - part of a special charity drive linked to British director Gareth Edwards:

Link: Star Wars Rogue One director Gareth Edwards invites disabled Nuneaton niece on set - CoventryLive

Blue Leader consults with Captain Antilles in an angle not seen in the finished movie.

A group of pilots, several of whom weren't seen in the final cut.

One of the many female fighter pilots cast for the film. Sadly, this background actress, as Zal Dinnes, didn't make the final cut.

Rebel pilots are assembled or race to their ships.

A look at some more background pilots who never made it to the final cut.

More generic pilots awaiting the go order at Yavin IV.

K-2SO loads up in a background scene at some point in the film.

"Welcome to Rogue One." Alternate unused take- note Bodhi Rook far right.

"Take hold of this moment..."

"Welcome to Rogue One." Footage of alternate swapped character dialogue was done for the departure sequence from Yavin IV, and especially the christening of the vessel as 'Rogue One'. In the final version this was confirmed by Bodhi Rook, but shots were taken with other characters saying it. "Take hold of this moment. The Force is strong," says Chirrut Imwe in the shuttle- a deleted moment from one of the trailers.

The Rebellion gathers.

With Jyn's covert squad soon en route to Scarif, General Dodonna and Bail Organa (with other senators) address key pilots and soldiers about what lay ahead, in what will be the Rebellion's greatest test yet against the Empire and its Starfleet. "May the Force be With Us" was surely uttered here too (likely by General Dodonna). This must be set after Organa's scene with Mon Mothma, talking about the need to resume contact with the in-hiding Obi-Wan. It was hoped by the production team to use footage or even a potential CGI likeness of Sir Alec Guinness as Kenobi somewhere near the end of the film, but his estate ultimately refused permission.

If anyone has any more info on the deleted scenes for Rogue One, we'd love to hear from you.