Interview with Kenny Baker
(Original posting: July 25, 2000)

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Kenny Baker is the actor/entertainer who crawled into the R2-D2 unit for every Star Wars film thus far. Being three feet and eight inches tall never stopped Kenny from making it big in the entertainment industry. He was in several fantastic films including Time Bandits, Flash Gordon, Amadeus, The Elephant Man, and of course the Star Wars films. If all goes well, he should end up being one of the proud few who can claim that they were in every Star Wars film. He currently lives in England and is enjoying life relaxing between touring all over the world and appearing at various Sci-fi conventions, something he really enjoys. Kenny was kind enough to take some time out to answer a few of my questions.  (Original posting: July 25, 2000)

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Interview with Anthony Daniels
(Original Posting: May 10, 2000)

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Anthony Daniels—the man behind and inside C-3PO—is one of the most friendly and entertaining personalities of all the Star Wars cast members. He is also a Shakespearean stage actor and does some writing on the side. He is always happy to reprise his role as C-3PO for any cause and will most-likely be one of the very few actors who can claim to appear in every Star Wars film. I recently got the opportunity to chat with Anthony Daniels and asked him a few questions.  (Original Posting: May 10, 2000) Read More

The Path of Luke Skywalker

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George Lucas has stated in many interviews that the heart of the Star Wars saga revolves around the relationship between a father and a son. He might not have had those roles clearly defined at the onset or writing, as evident in the old drafts of the script, but he eventually got his characters there. The role of the son eventually went to young Luke Skywalker who then embarked on the “Hero’s Journey” during the original trilogy. He starts out as a young boy, is thrown into adventure with a wizard-like mentor, defies the odds and pulls off the unexpected, and becomes a hero. The path was not an easy one, however.

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Dagobah

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It may be a slimy mud hole to some, but to Yoda it was home. This swampy, hidden planet was where Yoda fled and where he later trained the son of a fallen Jedi. Some argue that Luke’s Jedi training was much too fast in the film. Initially, there were more trials for Luke to endure. Let’s take a look at some of the deleted moments from the planet Dagobah.

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The Battle of Yavin

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Yavin IV is a small moon orbiting the gas giant Yavin. It’s also where the Rebel Alliance decided to set up camp. Most of the battle preparation scenes took place in the hangar, briefing room, and throne room, not counting the few exterior shots. The battle obviously took place in space and there were a few changes made from script to film. Let’s take a look.

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The Droids You’re Looking For

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C-3PO and R2-D2 are two of the most beloved characters in popular culture. They are also central to the Star Wars universe. Those first lines spoken by C-3PO (“Did you hear that?”) started us on a never-ending journey full of action and adventure that will live on forever. Faithful companions and servants, it’s a safe bet you’ll never see a Star Wars film without them in it. This semi-comedic pair never seem to be out of trouble and someone’s always searching for one or both of them at any given time.

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Rescue and Transformation

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It’s true that Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader before he was badly disfigured on Mustafar, but most people associate Vader with the black suit. That final transformation took place after Palpatine’s search and rescue mission was a success. Vader was rebuilt, and the rest was cinematic history. The shots discussed here are not all full scenes loaded with dialogue, but mostly extra bits from or changes to the existing shots.

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Utapau

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The history of the planet Utapau goes all the way back to George Lucas’ original drafts of the first Star Wars film, way back in the early 1970’s. Fans like myself were very pleased to see the planet finally make it into a film after all those years. It went through many phases of development but ended up as a green and swampy planet where some important events take place.

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To Mustafar and Back

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Much like Tatooine, Mustafar was a seemingly insignificant planet, yet would be the location of galaxy-defining events. Drenched in deep reds and molten imagery, it provided the rich and hell-like backdrop needed for Anakin’s final fall into darkness. Here are some of the deleted scenes that revolve around this crimson planet.

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Rescuing Palpatine

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You have to hand it to Palpatine. Organizing his own capture and rescue to reinforce his cover as a phantom menace to the galaxy was a stroke of pure evil genius. Poor Dooku probably thought so too until he had two lightsabers criss-crossing his neckline.  I’m not sure that even Palpatine foresaw what a  troublesome rescue it would be, however. What we saw in the finished film was a trimmed down version. Let’s take a look at some of the deleted/altered bits from the opening space battle to the big crash landing.

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Return To Tatooine

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Throughout the saga, the Star Wars films frequently bring us back to the first major planet we encountered a long, long time ago: Tatooine. In Episode II, Anakin travels to Tatooine after being haunted by disturbing nightmares of his mother. While he’s there, Anakin will not only find his mother but learn some more about his family, leaving him a changed man. The anger, fear, and aggression that leads to his eventual downfall will take root here, setting the scene for the tragic events of Episode III.

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Anakin and Padmé to the Rescue

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After a distressing message from Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin and Padmé decide to depart Tatooine and aid their friend. Unfortunately, this results in the two of them getting captured, put on trial, found guilty, and tied to execution posts right along with Obi-Wan. Ultimately, it’s Jedi Master Yoda that does the real rescuing here. The scenes on this page deal with Anakin and Padmé’s failed rescue attempt along with some of the surrounding events involving C-3PO and R2-D2.

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