|STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENSTHE FORCE AWAKENSFORCE AWAKENSGEORGE LUCASJ.J. ABRAMSTHE FORCESTAR WARS|
The novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker won’t be available everywhere until March 17, but Lucasfilm Publishing made copies of the book available early at Chicago’s C2E2 convention this past weekend. That means some of the revelations left out of the movie have started to surface online, and one of them explains a detail about returning villain Emperor Palpatine that would have been best explored on the big screen instead of in a book released after the fact.
It turns out that Emperor Palpatine is a clone in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The excerpt from the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelization was posted at ScreenRant, and it comes early in the book when Kylo Ren arrives on Exegol and meets Palpatine in-person. The detail about Palpatine being a clone comes in the description of the machinery and equipment attached to Palpatine. Here it is:
All the vials were empty of liquid save one, which was nearly depleted. Kylo peered closer. He’d seen this apparatus before, too, when he’d studied the Clone Wars as a boy. The liquid flowing into the living nightmare before him was fighting a losing battle to sustain the Emperor’s putrid flesh.
“What could you give me?” Kylo asked. Emperor Palpatine lived, after a fashion, and Kylo could feel in his very bones that this clone body sheltered the Emperor’s actual spirit. It was an imperfect vessel, though, unable to contain his immense power. It couldn’t last much longer.”
This was alluded to in a more presumptive fashion by Dominic Monaghan’s character Beaumont Kin after Poe Dameron confirms that somehow Emperor Palpatine has returned. Kin attempts to explain how this is possible by saying, “Dark science. Cloning. Secrets only the Sith knew.” It’s the most vague of explanations and that’s all we’re given. Don’t forget that this comes after the revelation of Palpatine’s return was relegated to the opening crawl of the movie.
Having Palpatine return as a clone isn’t an entirely crazy idea. In fact, that’s how the Emperor returned in the Expanded Universe stories that are now regarded as Legends, and it was something George Lucas was a fan of himself. However, the clone body in the Expanded Universe was not weak like the one in The Rise of Skywalker. But what’s annoying is that no further explanation or details gave us any inkling as to how the Emperor returned, or how he was able to pull the strings of Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke, and the First Order, all from his weakened clone body. That’s still pretty frustrating.Emperor Palpatine Almost Returned in The Force Awakens
It turns out there might have been more of an explanation if director J.J. Abrams went a different route with Star Wars: The Force...
He also set up a sister postproduction facility in Santa Monica and launched EDnet to share video through fiber-optic networks.
Tom Kobayashi, the respected Hollywood sound engineer who ran George Lucas' Skywalker Sound postproduction facilities in Marin County and Santa Monica, has died. He was 91.
Kobayashi died March 3 in Bakersfield, California, his family announced.
After leaving the Lucas fold, Kobayashi in 1992 launched the Entertainment Digital Network, or EDnet, which employs fiber-optic networks to send high-quality video and audio great distances. Its then-revolutionary technology enabled the industry to link together talent, execs and production facilities at great cost savings.
A child of Japanese immigrants, Kobayashi was interned during World War II before serving in the U.S. Army from 1946-51. After graduating from USC's Marshall Business School in 1953, he began his career in Hollywood as an accounting clerk at a film laboratory.
Following more than two decades as vice president, president and COO of audio postproduction company Glen Glenn Sound in Hollywood, the well-connected Kobayashi was recruited in 1985 by Lucas to head his new Skywalker Sound division at Lucasfilm.
Kobayashi at first was tasked with completing the construction of the Technical Building, a 700,000-square-foot postproduction facility on Skywalker Ranch north of San Francisco. The studio was to be equipped with advanced digital-picture, sound-editing and mixing devices developed by Lucasfilm's Droidworks division, the computer/R&D arm that would spawn Pixar.
The studio was to be used solely for the Star Wars creator and his friends and colleagues. But after two films were completed — the 1988 releases Tucker: The Man and His Dream, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and Willow, produced by Lucas and directed by Ron Howard — it became clear a bigger business plan was required: Kobayashi would need to bring outside productions north to complete their films at Skywalker Ranch.
To help feed that pipeline, Kobayashi constructed a second post facility, Skywalker Sound South, in Santa Monica. Both facilities would flourish as dozens of films were made; among the first were Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989, Backdraft 1991 and Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991.
Meanwhile, Droidworks development work was restarted inside Skywalker Sound. In 1990, the EditDroid, an advanced computer film- and video-editing machine, found use in Hollywood, New York, Vancouver and Toronto, presaging the digital filmmaking revolution by more than a decade.
In 1992, Kobayashi and his engineers simplified postproduction by using digital telephone technology and new audio compression devices from Dolby. They connected the North and South ranches, essentially creating a 400-mile-long "digital...
Quarantined viewers tuned into Saturday’s all-day, virtual ScreenCraft Screenwriting Summit were treated to a special surprise in the evening when filmmaker and TV titan J.J. Abrams crashed the party as the surprise special guest. He arrived just after his fellow “Star Wars” scribe Tony Gilroy “Rogue One” and the upcoming Cassian Andor series finished his conversation about the craft of screenwriting.
Abrams’ Q&A touched on a range of topics, from the origins of 2015’s “The Force Awakens” to scaling “the mountain,” as he called it, of writing a screenplay, and to the Golden Age of television happening now. It’s an era Abrams helped to launch with his ABC mystery series “Lost.” “I know my role in that. I’m not talking as if I had nothing to do with this,” he said.
“It’s the Golden Age of television, as they call it, even though I don’t know what television really is anymore,” Abrams said. “That’s because huge chances are being taken. Talent that might not have gotten the chance otherwise suddenly have the opportunity. For me, when I watch a show like ‘Atlanta,’ which takes the most spectacular risks in point of view, in genre, structure, and character […] every story has been told, it’s kind of all been done before,” remarking that the FX series tells its stories in unique ways.
Abrams also praised the Emmy-winning Prime Video series “Fleabag,” created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
“You see ‘Fleabag’ and you’re like, well, yes, the fourth wall has been broken [before], but not like that,” he said, referring to the protagonist’s tendency to face the camera and address the audience. “Yes, there have been amazing love stories, and stories of family, but not like that. What I love is the thing that makes you feel like, ‘Oh my god, this is so amazingly specific.'”
Abrams pivoted to discussing Hollywood’s place in a moment dominated by streaming content with originality that far exceeds what’s being reproduced on the big screen. “Hollywood used to be a place where something would happen, there’d be a movie where people would see it and think ‘Oh my god, that’s amazing. Here’s my answer to that,’ or ‘here’s my version,'” he said.
“Hollywood has become a place where, for the most part, studios say, ‘Oh my god, that’s amazing. Let’s do that literally again.’ And that’s OK, and I think that will continue, but I really hope that all the writers who are here and others in the guild are as excited as I am about this new opportunity with streaming platforms. How many different stories are going to be...
A former MythBuster has crafted an animatronic Baby Yoda that will tour children's hospitals to cheer up kids — and potentially bring balance to the Force.
Grant Imahara, a longtime robotics expert on “MythBusters,” recently completed an animatronic of “The Mandalorian” Season 1's breakout character and unofficial mascot of the 2019 fall television season. The resemblance to the little green character, whose official name is The Child, is uncanny: There's the little brown robe, big green ears, and tuffs of wispy white hair. The creature also boasts the same cute movements that helped Baby Yoda make for some of yesteryear's most viral TV moments.
CNET interviewed Imahara, who currently works as a consultant for Disney Research and as a mechanical designer at Spectral Motion, about the animatronic and its complicated design process in an article published Monday morning. Imahara began building the animatronic by crafting a digital model before creating mechanical systems for the eyes. While a variety of mechanical factors went into the design, Imahara used 3D printing, rather than machining parts, which significantly expedited the process.
While digital modeling and 3D printing made for an easier project, Imahara still had to invest significant time into programming the animation and handling the animatronic's small head, where most of its levers and servos are located. Imahara also discussed crafting the animatronic mouth flap, so it could convey convincing emotions, and added that his Baby Yoda's giant floppy ears made for one of the process' trickiest steps.
“I opted for a simple mouth flap so I could make sure that was capable of doing his signature 'pouty mouth' movement,” Imahara told CNET. “The mechanism that took the longest was the ears. They’re huge levers and the silicone skin acts as a spring, resisting movement, so I upgraded these servos several times, adding more and more torque and size until everything moved smoothly. In the end, the struggle with the ears was totally worth it. They help convey so much.”
Imahara, like countless other “Star Wars” fans, was immediately enamored with Baby Yoda when the creature popped up early in the popular Disney+ “Star Wars” show. By the series' third episode—by that time Baby Yoda had already used the Force to lift a giant alien, got handed off to and subsequently rescued from a villainous Werner Herzog, and met a handful of skeevy Jawas—Imahara was thoroughly convinced the creature had clear animatronic potential.
“After the third episode of 'The Mandalorian,' I knew I had to make my own Baby Yoda,” Imahara told CNET. “I was an animatronics engineer in the ILM model shop before 'MythBusters,' and worked on...