There’s something magical about that familiar Star Wars fanfare. Adults become children again, and restless kids settle down and lock their eyes on the screen. Over the years, John Williams’ iconic score has been interlaced into seven feature films, a radio drama, and two animated series. It’s become a cinematic touchstone, a near-perfect merger of action and sound, responsible for the enjoyable escapism experienced by several generations.
Far-away galaxy devotees and vinyl aficionados in all likelihood already have at least one copy of the Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope soundtrack, either lovingly worn with scratches and hisses or tucked away for safe-keeping (or both). A brand new picture disc, which combines the visual and sonic elements of the saga, may just earn an honored place in many fans’ collections.
Blastr brings news (by way of The Force) of a two record set which captures the sound and the fury of the franchise. The first slab of vinyl displays the menacing dark side of the Force, featuring everyone’s favorite non-moon, the Death Star on the A-side. Flip the record and Darth Vader’s menacing mug will spin right ’round the turntable. The second disc brings fans back to the heroic spirit, both in tone and in image highlighting the rousing X-Wing attack sequence and a blaster/bow-caster toting Han Solo and Chewbacca on the B-side.
Force fanatics drooling for a copy will have to keep their dark side urges in check, though. The double disc set retails for roughly $35, but it won’t be available until September 30. Fortunately, the records are currently available for pre-order through Amazon.
Star Wars, like vinyl, experienced several elongated dips in popularity. During the dark times, the saga and the medium were kept alive by the fire in the hearts of devotees. Fortunately, both have entered into exciting new chapters as the next generation rediscovers the magic of Star Wars and the rich tones of records. The new two disc set will be gratifying for many old timers – especially those who fondly recall sitting on the edge of their bed, gazing beyond the record sleeve into cosmic realms as the stains of Williams’ score crackled through the speakers. It’s also ideal for those just uncovering the Star Wars Universe and the audio gold of vinyl.
In an era when just about everything can be digitally enhanced, there’s just something about an organic feel which can’t be replicated with CGI. The latest wave of Star Warsfilmmakers understand that and chose to include more practical and blended effects in their stories. The same rings true for a classical score – despite John Carpenter’s ‘80s synth awesomeness. And while it’s a shame that John Williams won’t score Lucasfilm’s first standalone, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fans can enjoy his stunning soundscapes in The Force Awakens as well as throughout Episodes VIII and IX.
Movies can go through many changes before making it to the big screen, especially when they’re as complex and story-driven as the Star Wars movies. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for instance, had a substantially different plot before an injury befell Harrison Ford and caused a major rewrite favoring newer characters over old.
The original trilogy was not immune from such major changes, either. While much has been said about how many changes George Lucas has made to the films after their release, there were even bigger changes made before they hit theaters.
Speaking to Inverse, Lucasfilm’s first fan relations officer Craig Miller discussed some of the major changes that occurred between George Lucas’s original conception of the first Star Wars movies and their final versions. Among them: Boba Fett was set to be the main villain of the third movie, which eventually became Return of the Jedi:
“Originally Boba Fett was set up in Empire as a character, and the third movie’s plot was going to be more about Boba Fett rescuing Han Solo and all of that. Boba was gonna be the main villain… That was set up, why he was taking Han Solo away, why there was a thing with him in the Christmas special.”
So why did Boba get pushed to the sidelines in the final version of the movie? According to Miller, it was to move up events that were supposed to happen much later in the Star Wars timeline:
“When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster. So he took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi.”
Boba Fett in the restaured Han and Jabba scene for the DVD release of A New Hope.
The “third trilogy” comment is not a typo. While the original run of Star Wars films prior to its prequels was eventually limited to three movies, Miller says Lucas had a much grander scheme in mind involving not just three, but 12 whole movies:
“At first there was one film, and then George originally announced that it was one of 12, and there were going to be 12, and then that changed to, oh there was never 12, there was only 9, and he was going to make 9. And then during all of it, George kind of lost interest in continuing it… While we were working on The Empire Strikes Back, George decided he was going to complete the first film trilogy and that would be it.”
Boba Fett to Vader’s order of “no disintegration”, in The Empire Strikes Back: “As you wish.”
The Star Wars universe as we know it today would certainly be vastly different if the original trilogy had been expanded to a 12-part series of films. As it stands, even with the prequels and The Force Awakens only seven movies have been released so far. The interview with Miller is interesting both as a look at what could have been and as a look at how spoilers were avoided by planting rumors about plot points that were never meant to be. But mostly, it’s a giant tease for die-hard fans of cinema’s most iconic intergalactic bounty hunter.
Boba Fett, a summary
“Apart from his pay, which is considerable, Fett demanded only one thing: an unaltered clone for himself. Curious, isn’t it?”
― Lama Su, to Obi-Wan Kenobi, about Boba Fett’s creation
Boba Fett was a male human bounty hunter, and the genetic clone of infamous bounty hunter Jango Fett. Boba was created by the cloners on Kamino and was physically identical to the clone troopers created for the Grand Army of the Republic, though Boba was unaltered and did not grow at the same accelerated rate as the other Jango clones. Raised as Jango’s son, Boba learned the combat skills necessary to one day become a bounty hunter in his own right.
Boba cradles his father’s helmet, swearing vengeance against the Jedi who killed Jango.
Jango was killed during the Battle of Geonosis, which sparked theClone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The young boy swore vengeance against Jedi Master Mace Windu, who killed Jango, and teamed with a group of bounty hunters that included Aurra Sing and Bossk. Their plot to kill Windu failed, and Boba realized that he had gone too far in trying to kill the Jedi Master—but he vowed never to forgive Windu. After serving a brief prison sentence, Boba formed a team of bounty hunters and took on a number of missions.
Boba Fett follows the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back.
After the rise of the Galactic Empire, Boba gained a reputation as one of the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunters. His distinctive Mandalorian armor helped keep stories about the Mandalorians alive in the galaxy after the Empire’s subjugation of the planet Mandalore. By the time of the Galactic Civil War, Boba worked for Jabba the Hutt. Shortly after theBattle of Hoth, Boba and other bounty hunters were gathered by Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, to locate Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, hoping to use them to lure Luke Skywalker into a trap. The plot was successful, and Boba took Solo, who was frozen in carbonite, to Tatooine to collect the bounty that Jabba had placed on him.
Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi: feed the Sarlacc? No, he doesn’t. There’s a theory saying Boba has survived the toxins inside Sarlacc and escaped, thanks to his Mandalorian armor.
After Solo’s friends in the Alliance to Restore the Republic mounted arescue on Tatooine, a battle broke out over the Great Pit of Carkoon. Boba fought against the Rebel rescuers and was inadvertently knocked into the Sarlacc.
A man of a few words
In the original version for The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett was played by actor Jeremy Bulloch and voiced by Jason Wingreen. For the DVD release of The Empire Strikes Back in 2004, his voice was dubbed by Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones – maybe because Lucasfilms artists thought if Boba was a clone of his father Jango, both would have the same voice. Click here if you want to ear Jason Wingreen original voice for Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back.
Here are the complete quotes for Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back. Or how to be a badass with a few lines of dialogue.
“As you wish.”
“He’s no good to me dead.”
“What if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me.”
“Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.”
Boba Fett also has a “Wilhelm” scream as he falls into the Sarlacc. Some consider this the fifth line. Check out below all screen time for Boba Fett in the original version for The Empire Strikes Back:
1st appearance (1:05:16 – 1:05:57) is 41 seconds for the scene with all the bounty hunters standing and being addressed by Vader. Boba Fett says to Vader, “As you wish.”
2nd appearance (1:15:43 – 1:15:57) is 14 seconds, with 8 of these seconds being only his ship. This is the scene in which Boba Fett flies his ship after the Falcon.
3rd appearance (1:27:30 – 1:27:56) is 26 seconds. This is the scene in which Han fires his blaster at Vader, where he says “We would be honored if you would join us.”
4th appearance (1:29:41 – 1:30:28) is 47 seconds. This is the scene in which Han is tortured. Boba Fett says to Vader, “He’s no good to me dead.”
5th appearance (1:33:34 – 1:36:58) is 3 minutes 24 seconds. This is the scene in which Han is frozen. Boba Fett was going to fire at Chewbacca until stopped by Vader. Boba Fett says to Vader, “What if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me.”
6th appearance (1:37:37 – 1:38:10) is 43 seconds. In this scene Boba Fett fires 4 blasts at Luke.
7th appearance (1:41:45 – 1:41:57) is 12 seconds. In this scene Han is put in Boba Fett’s ship. Boba Fett says to his Cloud City helper: “Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.”
8th appearance (1:42:26 – 1:42:31) is 5 seconds. This scene shows only Boba Fett’s ship as it flies away.
Boba Fett’s 4 lines consist of 5 sentences total. All but the last line is spoken to Darth Vader. Boba Fett’s lines total 27 words. Boba Fett’s screen time is 6 minutes 32 seconds, where 13 seconds of which is his ship only. Only one scene is over 1 minute long. The second longest scene is 47 seconds long.
It’s no secret to anyone who saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens that J.J. Abrams leaned heavily on A New Hope (and to a lesser extent The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) for the new movie. But the extent of Abrams’ *ahem* inspiration has now been cataloged by filmmaker Zachary Antell in a video entitled “A New Awakening”.
While some of the visual comparisons are stronger than others, it’s still impressive that you can make a video that’s over four minutes of nothing but similarities between the original Star Wars and the birth of the new saga. While I understand that Abrams wanted to draw heavily on nostalgia, here’s hoping that it will be much harder to make a similar video with future Star Wars movies.
Star Wars: Episode VII – A New Awakening or The Force of Hoping?
There’s no denying that The Force Awakens is strikingly similar to A New Hope. This is by design; Disney wanted to bring back the old fans who felt distanced from Star Wars following the disappointment of the prequels. But what may be more surprising is just how closely The Force Awakens mirrors Episode IV, shot by shot.
In order to make the two films this similar, great pains must have been taken during the writing of the script. Shooting the film and editing it would have taken a tremendous attention to detail in order to capture the right camera angles, colors, etc. There’s a purposefulness here that goes beyond pleasing the crowd. It goes back to George Lucas’s meticulous treatment of Episodes I-VI, and the precedent he set for connecting each Episode together with particular themes, plot points, even cinematic shots.
Lucas once described the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy as being like stanzas in a poem. Each film corresponds to another; The Phantom Menace to A New Hope, Attack of the Clones to The Empire Strikes Back, and so on. This is evident in certain major plot threads, such as the death of a mentor and the destruction of a super structure in the first installments of both trilogies, romance in the second, and a cataclysmic spiritual shift for one of the main characters in the third (Anakin Skywalker falling to the dark side, Darth Vader turning back to the light).
Specific shots, like Anakin and Luke in their cockpits in Episodes I and IV, provide even more “rhyming” connections. Alternatively, Mike Klimo’s Star Wars Ring Theory suggests each shot of The Phantom Menace matches sequences from Return of the Jedi, and so on moving inward to Episode II matching Episode V, and Episode IV matching Episode III.
The point is, the Star Wars films are connected by more than just a common story line, characters, and a setting in a galaxy far, far away. There’s a cinematic artistry threading them all into one cohesive epic. The Force Awakens, it appears, is continuing that glorious tradition. There are nods to both A New Hope, as the video above showed, and The Phantom Menace scattered throughout the film (one small nod to The Phantom Menace I take pleasure in is Poe Dameron telling Red Group and Blue Group to follow his lead; Captain Panaka says something similar to the Naboo guards in Episode I).
To what extent this will continue in Episode VIII and IX is uncertain. However, Rian Johnson, director of Episode VIII, has expressed a fondness for the prequels that is hard to find in filmmakers these days, and he’s likely to have seen the connections between the two trilogies. And while neither he nor J.J. Abrams may agree with all of the creative choices Lucas made, they surely have respect for his vision as a filmmaker. Through them and Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, Star Wars will hopefully continue on into another stanza.