Following my last journal entry, here are some trivia factoids about Star Wars: The Phantom Menace ..
BEWARE THIS MAY SPOIL THINGS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FILM!
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THE new Star Wars film is on course to be the first movie to take nearly £10million in its opening British weekend.
Originally in the storyboards and concept art, Maul was killed by OBI-WAN but NOT split in half. The now infamous “Maul in half” shot was an afterthought and not the original plan for that shot.
How did Jar Jar pick up Anakin? A stand-in for Jar Jar dressed in blue, physically picks up Jake Lloyd during that shot. All of the actors in that shot were filmed on a bluescreen stage, with the background and other effects to be put in later. The person who lifted Lloyd on the set was removed, and a CG Jar Jar was composited over Lloyd with the animation matching the movement. It looks way to good for Lloyd to have been in a rig on wires.
When asked on Big Breakfast why SW Trilogy will not be released on DVD, George Lucas said “Well I’m waiting really until I finish all the films before I do that … I want to make it as a 6 box you know 6 film set when I release it”
Ewan McGregor in Heat magazine describes the Dark Side as “it’s struggling with the desire to punch journalists”
In the credits, Jabba The Hutt is credited as playing “himself.”
Sets were built only as high as the tops of the actors’ heads; computer graphics filled in the rest. But Liam Neeson was so tall that he cost the set crew an extra $150,000 in construction.
A pod from the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) can be seen behind Qui-Gon in Watto’s junkyard.
Qui-Gon Jinn’s communicator is a redecorated Sensor Excel Razor for Women.
When the droid control ship explodes, one large fragment is a model of the Millennium Falcon.
Natalie Portman (Queen Amidala) missed the premiere party in New York because she had to go home to study for her high school final exams.
The film contains no acting credit for the character of Darth Sidious. (We all know who that is now, yes?)
After the film’s end credits finish rolling, the sound effect of Darth Vader’s breathing can be heard.
The letters ILM can be seen spraypainted as graffiti throughout the film and in the final battle Jar Jar knocks over a battle droid with serial number 1138 on his back. ILM=Industrial Light and Magic, Lucas’ sfx people, and 1138 referrs to THX1138, a movie by Lucas.
In 1997, a fierce sandstorm destroyed several of the Tatooine sets in the desert ouside of Tozeur, Tunisia. Filming resumed two days later. George Lucas considered this a good omen, as the very same thing had happened during filming of the original Star Wars (1977).
A group of aliens resembling E.T. (from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)) can be seen in the Galactic Senate chamber shortly after Queen Amidala calls for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum. A delegation of Wookiees can be seen also.
Natalie Portman’s voice was digitally enhanced for distinguishing between Padme and Queen Amidala.
Lucas has said that there are a couple of shots in the movie that were “filmed” on digital video instead of 35 mm film. He also said that he dares anyone to try and figure out which shots these were.
When Amidala and entourage first disembark at Coruscant, as Amidala is walking away with Palpatine, if you look behind them you can see Jar Jar peering into, then waving a hand in the face of one of the senate guards.
Maul falls down a deep open shaft foreshadowing the fate of his Master.