Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #8: It Used Art Design From The Holiday Special

October 13, 2014

Ah, “The Star Wars Holiday Special.” The infamous 1978 show that gave us Chewbacca’s family, the first glimpse of the Wookiee home world Kashyyyk, Bea Arthur as a bartender, Jefferson Starship, Diahann Carroll, and a singing Princess Leia.

Ralph McQuarrie had done the concept art for the show, designing the giant trees and houses that the Wookiees called home. More than 20 years later, people working on art design for ROTS dusted off McQuarrie’s art and adapted it for the movie.

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #9: It Won Empire Awards’ Movie Of The Year

October 12, 2014

Empire Magazine, the UK’s big entertainment rag, hands out its own set of awards every year. Among the winners in 2006 was ROTS in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, beating out a competitive list of nominees like “Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire,” “King Kong,” “Serenity,” and “Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.”

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #10: It Won The Teen Choice Award In 2005

October 12, 2014

ROTS won the coveted Teen Choice Awards surfboard in the action film category, beating out the likes of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “National Treasure,” and “Sin City.” (There was no sci-fi/fantasy category until 2010.)

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #11: It Was Only Sold On DVD In The U.S.

October 11, 2014

As many pointed out in a previous post, ROTS was sold on VHS in the UK, Australia, and other countries. But in the U.S., ROTS became the first Star Wars film not sold in VHS format when it was released for the home viewing market November 2005. I believe it wasn’t the only 2005 film to completely skip videotape either. I’m pretty sure “Batman Begins” and “Sin City” were also exclusively released on DVD (Blu-Ray wasn’t a thing yet). The home video market was turning digital and away from the analog tapes.

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #12: It Brought Fans In On The Production

October 11, 2014

Lucasfilm knew from experience how anxious people were to get even the most meaningless glimpse of Star Wars in production. It had to deal with a massive number of spoiler-driven fan sites, tabloids, the entertainment press, paparazzi, and even a stolen copy of the AOTC script.

So when ROTS went into production in 2003, Lucasfilm decided to give fans “access” to the set in Australia with not only online chats with various folks involved with the film but with webdocs, photos from the set, and the super popular webcam. Of course to access stuff like the webcam you had to shell out for premium Hyperspace membership but it was unprecedented. By being so open about the film, Lucasfilm could give the fans what they wanted but still remain in control of what comes out. The people determined to find out the entire film in advance were going to do it anyway but for others who just wanted to speculate or get a glimpse of how our heroes look, there was plenty to keep us busy for two years. There were a lot of interesting moments caught at random on the webcam but for me the highlight was when I happened to be folding laundry when the webcam switched over to Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Nick Gillard, etc. rehearsing the film’s big duel. That was awesome!

Compare that to the near-radio silence on Episode VII. Times have sure changed.

Flashback Friday: Burger King And ROTS

October 10, 2014

ROTS restored Star Wars’s tie with fast food after a hiatus with AOTC. It was a return to one Star Wars’s original licensees, Miami-based Burger King. Burger King had done tie-ins with ANH, TESB, and ROTJ. I have the glasses to prove it! In 8th grade, one of my friends whose dad was an exec at BK got to go to the local press screening/premiere of ROTJ, making her the first person at my school to see it. (I’ll never forget how everyone was asking her about it and I’m saying, “Don’t tell me anything!!” Even though the stupid Miami Herald had already given away the Luke and Leia spoiler.)

There was of course a contest with cash, prizes, and of course free food. ROTS made me gain quite a bit of weight because I had to get the different burger and fry boxes, including the gut-wrenching super sizes. Thank God Disney’s official fast food deal is with Subway.

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #13: It Made The Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Sci-Fi List

October 10, 2014

I don’t like It’s corrupt. But even a prequel-hating hive like that one had to put ROTS on its top 100 science fiction movie list compiled in 2007. Yup, you can see it on the ROTS Wikipedia entry. No word if the list compiler was immediately fired or executed.

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #14: It Set Four Box Office Records Opening Day

October 9, 2014

A movie theater that looks more like an airport check-in counter.

ROTS opened big on May 19, 2005 as one might have imagined. After all it was supposed to be the saga finale in terms of release order and the prequel trilogy conclusion. Who was going to wait? I sure didn’t wait long; I saw it opening day after work.

ROTS set four records on May 19: midnight screenings gross ($16 million), opening day gross ($50 million), single day gross, and Thursday gross. It still holds the Thursday gross record nine years later.

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #15: First Time Vader/Anakin Were Played By The Same Person In The Same Film

October 8, 2014

In Eps IV-VI, David Prowse played Darth Vader on set and James Earl Jones dubbed in his voice later on.

In ROTJ, Prowse still wore the suit but once the helmet came off, it was Sebastian Shaw. At the end of the film, Shaw originally appeared in “spectral” form but that was changed in 2004 to Hayden Christensen.

When they filmed ROTS, the original plan was to have someone taller and bigger in the Vader suit a la Prowse but Christensen successfully lobbied to appear in the suit. Although Jones dubbed in his voice once more, Anakin and Vader were for the first time played by the same guy.

Undeniable Fact About ROTS #16: Lucas Finally Did A Cameo In The Film

October 7, 2014

After three decades of devoting himself to the Star Wars universe, there was one thing George Lucas had never done: a Hitchcock-esque cameo. He’d appeared (in disguise) in “Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom” and his kids appeared throughout the prequels but he never appeared in any of the Star Wars films.

That all changed when he was talked into doing a cameo as theatergoer Baron Papanoida alongside one of his daughters. The character was expanded upon in an episode of Clone Wars, who turned out to be a pretty good shot.


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