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Monday, 12 May 2014

LAUNCHING THE LEGEND. PIC FIVE: 'ATTACK OF THE CLONES' 2000



In the run up to commencement of EPISODE VII's PINEWOOD STUDIOS principal photography, apparently slated for May 14th, 2014, STAR WARS AFICIONADO presents a key image from the first day's shooting of the previous six films of the saga.

June 26th, 2000. Enduring a critical mauling from both the press and certain persistent fan quarters, EPISODE I's success at the box office in 1999 ultimately overrode its naysayers in re-launching the STAR WARS phenomenon all over again, making nearly a billion dollars worldwide and comfortably trouncing nearby new movie franchise competition in the shape of THE MATRIX and THE MUMMY. Buoyed by an impressive pre-launch advertising campaign, alongside an immense toy and book launch, young and old across the globe keenly welcomed back George Lucas's well-crafted universe of old and new characters, many amazed and intrigued by the CGI universe that would revolutionize film-making in the years ahead. Now, the STAR WARS production machine juggernaut was firmly up and running as work continued into 2000 with the start of principal photography on EPISODE II, though behind the scenes creative pressures were quietly noticeable as Lucas and co. tried their very best to craft the next two episodes in a darker, more dramatic fashion, as the story made its evolutionary reach towards the events of the original 1977 film.

This time out, there would be several firsts for the saga: the series would now be made on revolutionary digital cameras developed by SONY, whilst England's successful Leavesden Studios location would be deserted by Lucasfilm, primarily for financial reasons, as the warmer, cheaper climes of Australia beckoned with their large scale FOX STUDIOS facility: new and ready for the many worlds and alien creatures soon arriving within their soundstages. But starting the filming, so as to get the UK and Oz crews together in a "warming up" kind of way, was the return of the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing character of Ian McDiarmid's splendidly creepy Palpatine, now Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, and his plot-moving senate scenes within the galactic arena of Coruscant, aided and abetted by his mysterious and equally corrupted confidantes, Mas Amedda (David Bowers) and Sly Moore (Sandi Finlay).

Sure enough, the Attack of the Clones against their Separatist enemies would begin, and a universe would feel its destructive after-effects...

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