Star Wars Weekends, Week 4

This week brings ILM Practical Model Supervisor Brian Gernand and man of many faces Jerome Blake to Star Wars Weekends. And not two more excited guests could you find here.

Brian talked about the challenges of building the many “real” (that is, not built inside a computer) models for the latest installment of the Star Wars saga. He also told a great story about the Darth Vader sequence at the end of “Revenge of the Sith”. Sharp-eyed fans have noticed that Vader’s hands were chained to the table above his head in the trailer, but that this was changed in the actual film. Well, seems when the ILM artists saw the original take of this scene, they didn’t think the “hands-up” look was very Sith Lordish. They drew straws on who would tell George what they thought, and eventually it was brought to the great Jedi Master’s attention that the scene just didn’t look right that way.

George took their advice and the scene was reshot with an ILM CG artist wearing the Vader costume. So, there you have it, the actor playing Darth Vader in that final sequence is not actually Hayden Christensen after all, but one of the artists who just happened to fit in the costume. How’s that for something to tell your kids?

Jerome Blake broke the crowd up with his witty banter, as usual. He’s played many masked characters in the saga, Rune Haako being perhaps the most famous. Jerome talked about playing the character and how he and Silas Carson, who plays Nute Gunray, tried to bring even more humor to the two characters. At the end of the scene in “The Phantom Menace” where Darth Sidious announced that Darth Maul is coming to see them, they did what is described as a “camera two take” — they turned and simultaneously both looked into the camera in a reaction shot. George had a good laugh, but, in the end, told them it was just too funny to put in the film.