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Coolest bits in Empire of Dreams

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  • rowena cherry
    Stayed up late last night, I did. Empire Of Dreams was absolutely fascinating, to me, and to those with whom I watched it. I m sure each one of us took
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2006
      Stayed up late last night, I did.

      Empire Of Dreams was absolutely fascinating, to me, and to those with
      whom I watched it. I'm sure each one of us took something different
      away from it.

      As an author, my sympathies went out to George Lucas at the point
      where Harrison Ford was explaining how George Lucas (with his author
      hat on) thought that the screen play contained everything necessary
      for the parts to be acted, and could not understand why the actors
      were making such a meal of certain scenes.

      I thoroughly appreciated the story behind the carbon freezing, where
      Harrison was supposed to tell Leia, "I love you, too," and ended up
      improvising, "I know."

      How cool, though, that George Lucas was his own editor. I especially
      liked the detail about that clip at the end of the fight with the sand
      person, where they needed more action but didn't have footage, so
      instead of having him brandish his weapon over his head just once, as
      filmed, they copied and spliced so he shook it in the air three times.
      What serendipitous world-building.

      The insight that I appreciate most (at this moment) was the fact that
      the actor inside Darth Vader's helmet was pronouncing --and acting--
      from one script, and Luke was reacting to another.

      Now that really was the ultimate in saying one thing and meaning
      another... or of not being on the same page! I suppose it wasn't
      really much different from script management for Who Shot JR...? But
      it seemed deeper to me.

      I knew that Darth Vader's voice had been dubbed in later, but how cool
      it was to hear the difference in soundtrack when the original actor
      spoke. What a difference the "right" voice makes! Or the right
      howls. Wasn't it fascinating that Chewbacca originally had lines?
      Talking of Chewbacca, I greatly enjoyed the revelation that some of
      the movie makers were worried about the Wookie's lack of underwear.
      I'd noticed that uncivilized omission only the night before.

      On Thursday night I tried to watch The Empire Strikes Back. I have it
      out from the library too, but it's a VCR and in almost unwatchably bad
      condition. Imagine my joy when it was on TV on Friday night. I was
      very pleased to see swordmaster Bob Anderson's name in the credits as
      a stunt double. (Recently I blogged about the account I'd read in By
      The Sword of why a genuine swordsman, not an actor, had to perform
      Darth Vader's fight with Luke.)

      The music was something else I'd never really thought about--apart
      from the "declarative" Imperial theme for whenever Darth Vader stalked
      across the screen, like the wolf theme in Peter And The Wolf, only
      much more wicked.

      How fascinating that the composer had recently finished the score for
      Jaws, where the antagonist got the catchy, sinister theme music! What
      a twist for those of us accustomed to the Bond theme... the Here Comes
      The Hero refrain. When the movie music is really, really good, I
      don't notice it much, apart from the theme tunes. It's amusing what a
      difference a good orchestra makes to an aerial dogfight, isn't it?

      I've watched a lot of The Making Of... documentaries, but I don't
      think I've grasped how much goes into making a great movie quite as
      vividly as I did last night, watching Empire Of Dreams.

      What did you like best?

      Best wishes,
      Rowena Cherry
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