Archive for the ‘Internet '05’ Category

June 2005 Interview from One Magazine

Friday, February 27th, 2009

How did you feel when you put on Dark Vader’s
costume for the first time ?
Hayden : It’s hard to desribe, because I felt a
lot of emotion at that
moment. Acting behind a mask was a very
liberating experience and moreover,
when this mask is Dark Vader’s one, you feel very
powerful. It’s a very
animal feeling. It was cool and I enjoyed myself
a lot. But the thing that
satisfied me the most was seeing how the persons
around me reacted when they
found themself in front of Dar Vader. On their
faces, I was able to read a
blend of excitement, admiration and even fear and
a sort of respect. It was
funny to observe it, whereas those persons were
my friends and they knew it
was me, Hayden, behind the mask.

What’s your favourite scene in the film ?
Hayden : On an emotional level, I would say the
one between Anakin and
Obi-Wan before the fight. It’s one of the only
very passionate dark scenes
in the movie. Shooting this scene, I had the
feeling to do an odd thing, for
you can’t let yourself go to a lot of amotions on
screen. Then, I had the
occasion to do it, but it was difficult, because
we always risk to overdo
it. But I have the impression that i got through
it and I’m very satisfied
of this scene. Otherwise, on a technical level,
my favourite scene is
obviously the lightsaber battle between Anakin an
Obi-Wan. It was entierly
choregraphied, but danger is never far away from
you. If you make a mistake,
you hurt yourself ; it happenned several times to
us. I seriously hurt my
knee during the shooting, and I had to stop
during 2 weeks. I also hurt Ian
McDarlid (Palpatine), giving him -accidentally- a
lightsaber knock between
the eyes.

You rehearsed a lot with Ewan McGregor to shoot
this fight scene. Have you
been brought closer ?
Hayden : Yes, during the shooting of the first
movie, he was especially
someone who gave me a lot of advice. But then, we
really became pals. We
often played billiards in his dressing-room.

Because of Anakin’s role, do several producers
refuse to shoot with you,
imagining that you wouldn’t be credible in a
movie without special effects ?
Hayden : No, in fact, only journalists think that
kind of things ! [laugher]
When I meet directors, they always want to work
with me ! [laugher]
Seriously, I think that several directors think
that I’ll never leave
Anakin’s role, but they don’t ask to meet me.
Actually, I recieve a lot of
work proposals, and I’m very grateful for it. I
have several plans in
preparation, which are very exciting and I trust
the future. When I accepted
Anakin’s role, I knaw that I would be bound to
the “Star Wars” universe, but
at the moment, it doesn’t prevent me from
progressing. So we’ll see what the
future hold in store for me.

How do you manage your fame ? Do girls rush on
you in the street now ?
Hayden : No. In fact, I don’t expose myself to
this kind of situation. I
don’t go in the places where I risk to provoke a
riot. I’m a sort of hermit.
I don’t think a lot about the celebrity.

Can you all the same describe the oddest meeting
you’ve had with a fan ?
Hayden : Every meeting with a fan is a bit odd !
[laugher] It’s even oddest
when they are disguised as “Star Wars”
characters…I’ve just come back from
New York, and about fifty persons were waiting
for me at the exit of my
hotel. Sveral of them wer disguised. The fans had
heard where I was putting
up and I can tell you that leaving the hotel
didn’t take place with
discretion. It was very odd. But several fans who
are 5 or 6 are adorable.
They take me for Anakin and it pleases me a lot.

When you’ll have finished to do the movie
promotion, will you want to turn
the page ? What will you feel at that moment ?
Hayden : I think that I’ll have a bittersweet
feeling. I won’t heave a sigh
of relief, but one joy of the actor’s job is to
pass from a character to an
other, to implicate yourself thoroughly and then
to leave all behind you
without turning round. Since I spent more time
with Anakin than with any
other role, it will be sad to say him “goodbye”,
but I will be ready to pass
to other things.

Tempi Moderni

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hayden Christensen, what did it feel like when you first saw yourself in a film that was shot before you were even born?
If I’m not mistaken you’re referring to the last shot in “The Return of the Jedi”, edited by Lucas in its definitive version.
It was a very emotional moment for me: imagine, I’m standing next to Alec Guinness! Above all, I think this choice gives more continuity to the story and makes it easier to understand for whoever watches it.

Let’s talk about now. With the Decameron, directed by David Leland, which you are shooting in Italy, you take on a very different role…
One of the great things about acting is that you can play different characters, visit new places and meet a lot of people. Right now I’m glad to be in Italy (yay!!!), because you could say this country is in my blood: my grandma was from Naples and she fed me with her wonderful cooking.

Do you think there will be a new Star wars trilogy?
No, Lucas has always been very firm on this point.
The actors cannot take on something this big anymore.
However, a tv series is being developed, 101 hours long (yikes!!!), which follows a time lapse of 24 years in the life of Luke Skywalker. If they’re able to beat the odds we might get to see it.

“Episode III” is perhaps the most dramatic one in the whole series. How did George Lucas get you ready for such a role?
He wanted us to approach the role in a Shakespearian way, since the film had to resemble a tragedy. I read many times and very carefully some of the poet’s works, especially “Hamlet” and “Macbeth”.

How has this trilogy affected your life?
Getting to play this character was a privilege. The process of his transformation and the conflict between the decisions he is forced to make and his moral ideals are extraordinary and I think any actor would be satisfied with this role. The life I lived before Anakin and the one after are like day and night to me:
I went from high school to cinematic history in a flash! I grew up together with Anakin, becoming a better person and actor.

Skywalker comes down to earth

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hayden Christensen is looking slightly apprehensive as he contemplates a life without lightsabers. For almost five years, he has been involved in the Star Wars saga, with little time for anything else. Now, in a flash, it is over, and the young actor is facing a future in which he will be acting with real people rather than puppets and looking at real scenery instead of blue screens.

For the young Canadian, it is the equivalent of exploring a whole new galaxy, because he was a relative unknown when Star Wars creator George Lucas picked him to play Anakin Skywalker in the final two films, Attack of the Clones and the soon-to-be-released Revenge of the Sith. He has grown up in the role, and to Star Wars fans everywhere he will always be the heroic young Jedi knight who, in Lucas’s saga, is lured to the Dark Side and becomes the evil Darth Vader.
“To be honest, I’m not really sure how I feel,” he says. “I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that it’s over. It’s been such a huge part of the last five years of my life and it’s been all-consuming. I’m excited to now have the time to go on and play other roles and be a part of other films, but I’m going to miss it. Absolutely. It’s changed so much of my life.”

Hayden Christensen, 24, is talking on a flying visit to Los Angeles from the Italian film location where he is currently filming The Decameron, a comedy very loosely based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th-century literary classic.

A personable, polite young man, he got on well with George Lucas because both are shy and prefer to fade into the background once their work is done. Christensen blushes easily, and earnestly attempts to answer questions to the best of his ability although he is clearly uncomfortable talking about personal matters. (He acknowledges that sexually he was a late bloomer, is anything but promiscuous, and does not have a girlfriend at the moment because he has just come out of a long relationship.)

Raised in Toronto, he began acting when his actress sister’s agent spotted him and persuaded him to appear in television commercials. The exposure embarrassed him, and when his schoolmates challenged him over the commercials he denied it was him. It was only when he went to high school and a teacher encouraged him to consider an acting career that he began to embrace the idea.

He worked extensively in Canadian television films and series. His first feature film role was in Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, and then he was chosen by George Lucas to play Anakin Skywalker, beating Leonardo DiCaprio and others to the role because of his on-screen chemistry with co-star Natalie Portman.

Yet, while the Star Wars films have made Christensen an international star, they did little to showcase the acting abilities he has shown elsewhere, as the pill-popping disaffected teenager in Life as a House, and the rogue journalist in Shattered Glass. He is hoping that The Decameron will allow him to spread his acting wings after Star Wars ’s strange technical constraints. “For example,” he says, “I’d been looking forward to my scene with Yoda, but when I arrived on the set there was a blue box for me to sit on and they propped up a green puppet on another blue box. There was an assistant director off-screen doing a Yoda imitation… and that’s what you’re given,” he says, laughing.

The Decameron will have to manage without him for a few days as he prepares to do the rounds of the European premières for George Lucas. When he finally gets home, he is not sure where it will be. He has houses in Toronto and Los Angeles and a flat in Brighton, which he is using while he hunts for a place in London - a city for which, thanks to a well-received West End run in This is Our Youth and his Star Wars work at Elstree, he has developed a firm affection.

Christensen has several other projects in mind for when he finishes The Decameron but he is not yet telling what they are. Nor is he the slightest bit worried that the fate of his predecessor, Mark Hamill, may befall him, too. (After appearing in the first three Star Wars films as Luke Skywalker, Hamill’s big-screen career nosedived.)

“It’s out of my hands,” says Christensen with a shrug.

“All I can do is focus on the work that excites me, and if it excites the people who go to see the movies I’m in - and I think I can accomplish that - then hopefully I can avoid that syndrome.

“Fame is a bizarre thing. You have to take it with a grain of salt and laugh about it because we are just actors. The machinery of Hollywood can build you up into something and dispose of you very quickly, so I’m trying to really enjoy this time in my life - and milk it for all it’s worth.”

Christensen Plays Super-Villan Darth

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Half of Hollywood is playing a superhero these days, it seems. Hayden Christensen is more than content to play the super-villain.

Amid the current onslaught of heroes such as “Spider-Man,” “Batman,” the “Fantastic Four” and “X-Men,” Christensen takes ultimate bad guy Darth Vader to the dark side with “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.”

The last installment in George Lucas’ space opera about the Skywalker family, “Revenge of the Sith” completes the story explaining how a brash young Jedi knight was seduced by an evil mentor and became the venomous Vader.
After landing the role of Anakin Skywalker as a lovesick, discontented teen in episode two, “Attack of the Clones,” Christensen finally got to the moment he and every other “Star Wars” fan has been waiting for with “Revenge of the Sith.”

“I just really wanted to put the costume on,” Christensen told The Associated Press in an interview at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch. “Who wouldn’t?”

The new film follows Anakin’s descent into evil and lust for power, which lead him to near-fatal injuries and a rebirth as the part-flesh, part-machine Vader behind the black helmet, mask and cape made famous in Lucas’ original “Star Wars” trilogy.

Christensen, 24, appears only briefly in the Vader get-up near the movie’s end, but those scenes electrified even those working on the film. The day he appeared in full costume, the whole team turned up on set to “bear witness to Darth Vader for the first time,” Christensen said.

“It was absolutely overwhelming, just from the aspect of getting to act behind a mask,” Christensen said. “That is a very freeing position to act from, and to have that mask be the mask of Darth Vader is extremely empowering.

“I almost got this sort of beastly sense when I was in it. What was really cool was watching everyone else sort of look at me, people I knew and was friends with, you know. Their eyes would light up with sort of a glimmer of fear, or there was a respect that needed to be paid. They had to step back and sort of lower their heads. It was a day I’ll never forget.”
Another such day came five years ago, when Christensen was hurled from relative obscurity to household name almost overnight. Lucas picked him from a handful of finalists to take over from child actor Jake Lloyd, who played Anakin as a boy in episode one, “The Phantom Menace.”

At the time, Christensen, who was born in Vancouver and grew up in Toronto, had only a few TV credits and some small film roles. The news hit him like one of the bolts of blue lightning shot from the fingers of Vader’s master, the evil emperor.
Christensen recalls “rushing out into my living room at the time and having a mock light-saber duel with my roommate. And he was a DJ, and he put on the `Star Wars’ soundtrack and blasted it. That was a fun time.”

After shooting “Attack of the Clones,” Christensen quickly followed with Kevin Kline’s small contemporary drama “Life As a House,” playing a petulant teen reconciling with his dying father.

“Life As a House” hit theaters months before his “Star Wars” debut, allowing Christensen to present audiences an early glimpse of his acting chops untainted by the Anakin persona.

Christensen then had the lead role in the acclaimed independent film “Shattered Glass,” playing a real-life journalist who went from wonderboy to disgrace after it was discovered he fabricated stories.

With “Revenge of the Sith,” Christensen surpassed his performance from “Attack of the Clones,” presenting a full-bodied performance of a willful man who succumbs to his fears and ambitions, said Ian McDiarmid, the veteran British stage actor who plays the emperor.

“The thing about Hayden’s performance is, I think he takes the audience with him every inch of that way, so that people will not be sympathetic to his actions, but at least will understand why he has done them,” McDiarmid said.

Playing to that dark side feels like an easy fit for Christensen, who said he gravitates toward dusky figures with secrets to hide.

“I guess I have a certain affinity with the more shadowy sides of life and people,” Christensen said. “I’ve always thought of personality as like an onion and having layers and layers of good and bad, good intentions and bad intentions, and what is ultimately at the core of someone.

“So I like playing characters who have a complexity. People sometimes presenting a face that they’re really not. But then, I’m doing comedy right now, so we’ll see.”

Next up for Christensen is the 14th century comic adventure “The Decameron,” based on the tales of Boccaccio. The film is now shooting in Italy.

The range of roles Christensen has earned hint he may avoid the typecasting suffered by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, whose careers went downhill after the original “Star Wars” trilogy.

Christensen already figures “Star Wars” likely will be his career high point and Anakin the role he’s most associated with.

That prospect does not concern him so long as he can find challenging parts somewhere: “It’s fun for me if I go off and make small movies that nobody sees.”

Star Wars: Episode III’: The Vanity Fair Preview

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Are you willing to be seduced by the dark side of the Force? Complete with an army of Wookies, the ultimate lightsaber duel and the rise of Darth Vader, the epic ‘Star Wars’ saga comes to a rousing conclusion this summer when ‘Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith’ dominates theaters worldwide.

Tonight on ET, we go behind the scenes of the final ‘Star Wars’ film and get a sneak peek at the unprecedented, four-panel cover of Vanity Fair magazine, on newsstands Jan. 11, that brings together some of the biggest stars of all six films, including MARK HAMILL, HARRISON FORD, CARRIE FISHER and BILLY DEE WILLIAMS alongside NATALIE PORTMAN, HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN, EWAN McGREGOR, LIAM NEESON, SAMUEL L. JACKSON and GEORGE LUCAS (and, of course, Yoda, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Chewbacca)!

“This is the movie for people who didn’t quite get the last two but enjoyed the first three,” says JIM WINDOLF, contributing editor for Vanity Fair. “They’re going to understand because there’s going to be Wookies. So you can’t go wrong with a lot of Wookies in the movie.”

For the hardcore, serious ‘Star Wars’ fans, ‘Revenge of the Sith’ promises to wrap up everything and connect the two different series (the three prequels and episodes IV-VI) into one, big, six-part story, “which is really about the rise and fall of Darth Vader,” says Windolf, who got the goods from ‘Star Wars’ mastermind Lucas in an extended interview.

The ‘Star Wars’ saga actually began in 1972, when the then-27-year-old Lucas was finishing up ‘American Graffiti’ and hoping to make a movie that brought together elements of some his favorite influences, from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ Buck Rogers and the Flash Gordon serials to even the James Bond films. Little did he know that after he managed to launch ‘Star Wars’ in 1977 (now re-titled ‘Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope’) that he would devote 30 years to his immensely popular tale.

Six years ago, ‘Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace’ introduced Anakin Skywalker (JAKE LLOYD) as an innocent boy from the planet Tattooine who becomes involved with the Jedi knights against the forces of evil. In ‘Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones,’ Anakin (now played by Christensen) was trained as a Jedi by his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) as the Clone Wars erupted and he fell in love with Queen Amidala (Portman). Now, in ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ Anakin falls prey to the influence of the evil emperor Palpatine (IAN McDIARMID), who is amassing his forces to create the evil Empire. Of course, audiences will finally get to see the big lightsaber duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan that brings about the rise of Darth Vader.

“Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen worked with the martial arts expert at the Skywalker Ranch for eight hours a day for weeks perfecting these moves so it looks natural,” says Windolf. “We know that in the original ‘Star Wars’ movie Darth Vader ends up killing Obi-Wan Kenobi, so this is going to be a battle that is going to severely injure Anakin Skywalker and it looks like this is the reason Darth Vader has to wear that suit.”

The tone of ‘Revenge’ will be darker than the usual ‘Star Wars’ movies, and Lucas “hints that Anakin Skywalker is literally going to go to the underworld, to hell itself,” says Windolf. “He says it’s going to be a violent movie; it looks like he’s prepared to accept a PG-13 rating,” which none of the previous films have received.

Now that he’s pretty much done with his 33-year project (there are no more ‘Star Wars’ movies planned), what’s next for Lucas? “He talks like a man who is really glad to be finished,” says Windolf. “Although he is enthusiastic about making these movies, he started working on them in 1972.” In fact, Lucas actually considered himself to be an avant-garde filmmaker when he first started out of film school, and he told Windolf he’d still like to go out with just a camera on his shoulder and a small crew “and make documentaries or something.” The world awaits!

Watch ET for more on George Lucas and ‘Revenge of the Sith’

Year of the geek

Friday, February 27th, 2009

2005 has something for every movie nerd
Before we look ahead to the year in movies in 2005, first let’s take a look back a couple years. Remember 2002, when such flicks as The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Star Wars: Episode II — Attack Of The Clones and the original Spider-Man had geeks hyperventilating in anticipation?

Well, it looks as though the coming year has ‘02 beat for all you chess club members. Yes, 2005 is poised to become the Year of the Geek, as the most hotly anticipated films have a strong fantasy bent to them.
Come along with us, o Clearasil-smeared one, as we preview what’s coming in the months ahead Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith -OPENS: May 19 -WHO: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor -WHAT: The third and final instalment of George (The Emperor) Lucas’s trilogy of prequels to his classic Star Wars flicks sees Anakin Skywalker finally complete his transformation into Darth Vader.
-WHY: Despite being bores of the most colossal variety, the first two prequels raked in mountains of cash. Action-figure clutching fans will see this one too, but more out of a sense of duty than desire. Well, maybe there’s some desire to see Jar Jar Binks die in horrific and bloody fashion. But that’s it.

Enough about 2004, bring on 2005 wish list

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Farewell, 2004! Enough with the year-end wrap-ups and the moving looking-back montages set to the score of Lord of the Rings.

Here at Flick Chick Central, we’re forward-thinking children of the future. And we (well, we being me) would like to unveil the official “Flick Chick’s 2005 New Year Movie Wish List,” including the films I’m most looking forward to penciling into my Hello, Kitty desk calendar.
Star Wars: Episode III: To be honest, I was so depressed and disappointed by Episodes I and II that I really hold out only a faint flicker of hope that this series ender won’t muck it all up. Hopefully, George Lucas will relent on the overwhelming CGI and extraneous characters (Hit the bricks, Jar-Jar!) and embrace the drama of Anakin Skywalker’s (Hayden Christensen’s) final descent into evil masked terror. Let’s hear it for evil masked terror!

Play it again, and again, Hollywood

Friday, February 27th, 2009

After a year heavily larded with dispiriting sequels and misbegotten remakes, Hollywood sat itself down, looked at the declining attendance figures at movie theaters and decided to make the same mistakes all over again in 2005.

With luck, this year’s crop will merely be disappointing and misunderstood. With better luck, these five will turn out to be movies you want to see again and again, even if nobody remakes them.
“Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” (set for May 19): Love it or hate it, George Lucas’ three-episode prequel cycle comes to a close and, with it, the “Star Wars” saga begun in 1977. This is the episode in which Anakin Skywalker goes over to the dark side of the force and becomes Darth Vader, so the movie is expected to be a little on the grim side.

Star Wars actors reunited

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Actors Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor have teamed up with other stars of all six Star Wars movies for a new Vanity Fair photo spread. The magazine grouped together 22 major performers in the legendary franchise, inviting cast members from the original 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope to this year’s final installment Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith. Mastermind George Lucas, who directed four of the intergalactic movies, joined Ford, Fisher, Portman and McGregor as well as original Luke Skywalker star Mark Hamill, Samuel L. Jackson, Liam Neeson and Hayden Christensen. Robots R2-D2 and C3PO also joined their human co-stars for the reunion shoot. Lucas admits the final part of the opening trilogy marks the end of an era in his career-and he now plans to stop making successful films. He says, “I’m going to make movies nobody wants to see. I’ve earned the right to fail.”

The Vanity Fair Star Wars Cover!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

This is the movie for people who didn’t quite get the last two but enjoyed the first three,” says JIM WINDOLF, contributing editor for Vanity Fair. “They’re going to understand because there’s going to be Wookies. So you can’t go wrong with a lot of Wookies in the movie.”

They also mention the film may get a PG-13 rating:

The tone of ‘Revenge’ will be darker than the usual ‘Star Wars’ movies, and Lucas “hints that Anakin Skywalker is literally going to go to the underworld, to hell itself,” says Windolf. “He says it’s going to be a violent movie; it looks like he’s prepared to accept a PG-13 rating,” which none of the previous films have received.

Joystiq gets a peek at the Star Wars Episode III game

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The next installment of the Star Wars Trilogy is just around the corner. After decades of waiting to see how Anakin became Darth Vader, the wait is almost over. We’ll get hit with a lot of merchandise in the coming months, but none of it will hold our attention as much as the official game. I was lucky enough to get a chance to check out the Playstation 2 version of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith this week, and I’m happy to report it looks great.

Seeing previews like this is always a bit tough. It’s based on a movie that you want to see, so you’re stuck between wanting to know everything and wanting to know nothing. While the fine folks at Lucas have NDAs tattooed to their eyelids, that still doesn’t make it any easier. For instance, the demo broke ( I believe accidentally) into a film clip for a split second. Two of us averted our eyes, and looked over our shoulders. Yes, we should be blasted as nerds and demerited seven journalist points. But I, for one, will not be tainted.

The scene we got to check out has Anakin, Obi Wan and R2 racing through a space dock with trashed craft everywhere. The droids are all familiar, and just as much fun to see break apart as they were in Obi Wan — which just so happens to be my favorite action platformer with the Star Wars name on it. The action looks very similar to Obi Wan, with light sabers swinging all over the place and incredible moves that only a Jedi (and a brilliant fight coordinator) could pull off. Indeed, some of the folks who worked on Obi Wan are working on the Episode 3 game. Knowing that makes me feel warm on the inside. Granted, they had to remove some of the more complex moves from OB for the larger, more “mainstream” audience, but it looks like there will be plenty of tricks to go around.

One of the main reasons the fight moves work so well is because the character animation is very well done. Yes, you get the inevitable jerkiness as you change directions, but once you get going the motion adds a lot to the overall experience. For example, Obi Wan’s body language is formal, even uptight. Anakin’s movement, on the other hand, is cocky and brooding. This is the result of Hayden Christensen actually consulting with the developers. At one point, the team had Christensen’s digital counterpart holding the light saber tightly, as if he was preparing for battle. But Christensen informed them Anakin would never do that. He showed them how George told him to move (I wonder who he meant by this “George”). The result is that Anakin walks around with the saber at his side, dangling, casual. He’s not preparing for a fight, he’s ready for one. That attention to detail is palpable, even in the pre-alpha.

The scenes have scripted endings so all action leads you in that direction. However, as in Obi Wan, there’s a lot of free movement within the space. Hey, throw enough bad guys at me and I won’t care if I can jump on that scaffolding or not. Indeed, you’ll need the help of Obi Wan as you move throught the hectic level I saw. At one point, after a lull in the action, you realize your path is blocked by a ship’s carcass. You and Obi Wan can team up and Force Push that puppy right off its platform, allowing you to pass. Nice.

At the end of the level the Jedi must protect R2 as he carries out his duty. Again, the scripted elements were clear as day, but it’s the nature of the beast. And Lucas has more than proven they can pull off this kind of game.

Overall, I’d say you should expect an experience similar to EA’s Lord of the Rings efforts. Perfectly fun, mainstream fare, that many of us will consider a great way to cap off an afternoon of seeing the final episode of the Star Wars series. The game is due on the shelves May 5, 2022 (05/05/05…ooooooooh), which is before the film’s release date. If you don’t like spoilers then you will definitely want to wait on the game. It has a lot of key story points on display for all to play.

Planning out for a sold out Year

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hayden Christensen stars as Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi who becomes Darth Vader, in the May release of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of The Sith. This, the final film in the Star Wars series, is the most anticipated movie of the year.
May 19, however, will see McGregor in the most highly anticipated release of the year, George Lucas’ last installment of the Star Wars saga, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. If the trailer is any indication, this movie should shake its candy-coated predecessor’s kiddie movie status and give adult audiences all the bloody, light-saber crashing Jedi slaughtering they’ve been waiting for. Hayden Christensen looks absolutely terrifying as a Sith lord, and McGregor bears a striking resemblance to the original Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sir Alec Guinness. Liam Neeson is also reported to have a cameo in this movie, reprising his role as Qui-Gon Jinn’s spectral projection. Lucas had better come correct with this last movie, lest the geekiest mob of this side of a Star Trek convention decides to storm Skywalker Ranch and demand the film maker’s head on a charger.

Year’s upcoming movies step back into the familiar

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The Force will be with you again in May as Lucas unveils “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” the final chapter of his prequel series.
Fans grumbled over the first two prequels. They scoffed at starting Anakin Skywalker’s journey toward evil in childhood and ridiculed the young Jedi’s mushy romantic babble.
Still, it’s hard to imagine fans will not turn out to see Anakin take his final turn to the dark side and become the malevolent Darth Vader.
The man pulling the galaxy’s strings shrugs off the gripes. Lucas says he’s making the movies his way, not the way fans want.
The fan base basically wanted the first film to be this film, ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ and have Darth Vader become Darth Vader in the first episode, then have the other ones with Darth Vader going around killing everybody,” Lucas told The Associated Press. “But that’s really not what the story is at all. And I knew it when I was going to go back and do it. I said, ‘I’m going to tell the story of how he became that person, not the story of him being that person.

Filmmakers were thinking mostly inside the box

Friday, February 27th, 2009

‘Star Wars’ sick day: May 19
A long time ago, in a galaxy known as early “Saturday Night Live,” Bill Murray played a lounge singer who crooned, ” ‘Star Wars,’ nothing but ‘Star Wars’ …”

And it will be nothing but “Star Wars” on May 19, when the sixth and final installment of George Lucas’ space spectacular is released. This is his last chance to bridge “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” with the original “Star Wars,” released in 1977 and now fourth in the sequence. At one time, Lucas talked about doing nine movies, but he decided to quit at six.

In “Revenge of the Sith,” Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is lured to the dark side, and the foundation must be laid for his wife, Amidala (Natalie Portman), to become pregnant with twins, known as Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. After all, in “Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back,” Darth Vader shocks Luke (Mark Hamill) with the revelation: “I am your father.”

This is the skinny from 20th Century Fox on the plot: After three years, the Clone Wars are nearly at an end. The Jedi Council dispatches Obi-Wan Kenobi to bring General Grievous, deadly leader of the Separatist droid army, to justice.

Back on Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine has grown in power. He transforms the war-weary Republic into the mighty Galactic Empire. To his closest ally, Anakin Skywalker, he reveals the true nature of power and the promised secrets of the Force in an attempt to lure him to the dark side.
We know how that turns out.

The Master Behind the Action: Nick Gillard at Star Wars Celebration III

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Nick Gillard, swordmaster and stunt coordinator for Episodes I, II, and III, is set to appear at Star Wars Celebration III this April at the Indiana Convention Center.”I really enjoyed Celebration II, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to III,” says Gillard, who made several appearances at the 2002 Star Wars festival, including time on stage with Hayden Christensen to talk about lightsaber training for Attack of the Clones.Gillard has been the master choreographer behind some of the most memorable scenes of the prequels. Serious and casual fans alike remember the “Duel of the Fates” battle between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace, and Obi-Wan’s “rumble in the rain” with Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, among many others. The upcoming fight pitting Anakin Skywalker against Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, for which Gillard worked with actors Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor, may be the most anticipated on-screen lightsaber battle of all time. Gillard created individual fighting styles for each of the Jedi in the films, even though some of these were “fictional” martial arts. He felt each style used needed to have an authentic, real-life feel. Taking into account each character’s distinctive personality and position in the Jedi order helped Gillard fashion a fighting style best suited to each.

“I hate stunts that look like stunts,” said Gillard in a interview while filming The Phantom Menace.

“Every parry is deliberate. There is no pure cinema stuff, no meaningless flourishes. There are no moves that would actually leave the fighter open. In some cases the fights are going so fast that you can hardly see all this, but if you slow it down, you can see that every move is for real.”At Celebration III, fans can enjoy listening to interviews with Gillard, and hear behind-the-scenes stories on the work that goes into making memorable and believable fight scenes. Sessions will Gillard are scheduled to include time for questions from the audience, so fans should watch their favorite scenes and come prepared.In addition to the Star Wars prequels, Gillard’s recent credits as stunt coordinator include the films Dirty Pretty Things, Reign of Fire, Shaft, and Sleepy Hollow.

SW3 Pickup Shoot & Voice Work

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The official site reports of a pick-up shoot of four scenes in London’s Elstree Studios on January 31st, with Natalie Portman (Padme Amidala) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin/Vader). They did not share the scene. The pickup is mainly to patch over continuity or accommodate changes in dialogue. Hayden shot a ‘follow through’ for the fight with Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). In the film, Dooku tosses Anakin and Obi-Wan through the air like ragdolls. ILM has a deadline for the effects shots of April 1st.
Meanwhile it’s been revealed that providing the voice of the evil General Grievous is Matthew Wood, whose history with Star Wars has been mostly behind-the-scenes. Though Wood is an actor, his contribution to the prequel trilogy has been primarily as supervising sound editor. Grievous’ implacable metallic skeleton gives him the aspect of a droid, but hidden inside the armored carapace is an unwholesome, living being. To remind viewers of this inner Grievous, his words are occasionally punctuated with a hard, wet hacking cough — suggesting that Grievous is literally rotten to the core.
In a three-hour recording session, Wood laid down all of Grievous lines. “He’s definitely an evil character. He’s the leader of the droid army, but not a droid. He feels things; he feels things extremely, I would say. It’s a lot of yelling, and shouting out orders, so it had a lot of drill sergeant to it. I liked the sound of the Eastern European and Romanian accents. Also, I had just come back from Prague, so I had that in mind for Grievous.” says Wood.

More Sith Rumors

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Not surprisingly, the Internet is buzzing with leaks about the much-anticipated May 19 release of
“Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” (Semi-spoiler alert). According to reports, Samuel L. Jackson’s Jedi character,
Mace Windu, supposedly “dies a spectacular death,” and Liam Neeson — whose character Qui-Gon Jinn perished in “The
Phantom Menace” — will come back as a ghost.
According to the text of the opening “crawl,” now available in full at, the final installment of George Lucas’
series opens after the “fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor
Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate,” and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi
(Ewan McGregor) have set out to find him.

Final Star Wars scene shot at studio

Friday, February 27th, 2009

The last ever scene of the Star Wars saga to be filmed was shot in Elstree Studios last Monday - as director George Lucas completed a vision that began in Borehamwood three decades ago.
Lucas was at Stage Eight on Monday with actor Hayden Christensen, who plays Anakin Skywalker, as they filmed the final footage for Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith.
Lucas first used the facilities at Elstree to make the original Star Wars film in 1977.
“I know that George loves coming back here,” said the studios’ direcor of production, Julie Wicks. “I think he appreciates and feels comfortable with the facilities.”
The scene, which concerned Anakin and Padme Amidala, was only likely to be a ‘reaction shot’ as Natalie Portman, the actress who plays the role, was not present.
It was filmed in front of a blue screen - the background will be added later by computer.
“It was a very low-key affair,” said Ms Wicks. “They were only here for half a day, so it was a very short scene they were shooting.”
Paul Welsh, Elstree Studios’ historian, said: “It is quite special that George came back to the studios to film the last ever scene although it’s a natural conculsion. It all began in Elstree and he has a strong symbolic association with the studios.
Mr Welsh added that Stage Eight is the only surviving stage from when the original films were first shot in the 1970s.
“A lot has happened in that time and it is very important that Elstree is still standing for him to come back to almost 30 years on,” he said.
“George was very supportive of our ‘Save the Studios’ campaign back in the late 1980s when the studios were on the brink of closure.
“Upon our success, he sent me a lovely letter congratulating us, and expressing his kind wishes for the future.”
The forthcoming film concerns Anakin’s transformation from a Jedi to the Dark Side, eventually becoming the epitome of intergalactic evil, Darth Vader The film will now be tweaked for sound and special effects at Abbey Road studios and Lucas’s base Skywalker Ranch in California.
Most of the filming took place in Australia and Tunisia. The movie is due to get its UK and worldwide release on May 19.

Vader saves Star Wars

Friday, February 27th, 2009

He may be the man behind the most feared movie villain of all time but Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse has now turned superhero – to rescue Star Wars supremo George Lucas.Twenty-eight years after winning a place in science fiction film history for his role as the giant galactic baddie, the 69-year-old is back on the big screen, playing himself in Saving Star Wars.

The movie was shown on Sunday night at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival and tells the story of a band of crazy Star Wars fans who kidnap Lucas, the movie series’ egendary filmmaker.Dave said: “The fans hated the last two movies and they hear he’s got the script for the new one in a briefcase that’s chained to his wrist.
“They want to persuade him to get back to the essence of the original films.
“I get the job of saving George at the end and they’ve got a great lookalike for him.”

The low-budget flick is a far cry from the multi-million-pound movie trilogy that made Dave a household name.
Saving Star Wars was made on a budget of just £50,000 but has had great festival reviews and is now available on DVD.
But even “saving George” wasn’t enough to win Dave the role he really wanted – a return stint as Darth Vader in the sixth and final Star Wars movie Revenge of the Sith.
Released on May 19, it stars Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and will finally reveal how the young Jedi Knight is transformed into Darth Vader – showing how he is turned by the infamous “dark side of the Force”.
And even though he’s now a pensioner, Dave admits he was bitterly disappointed not to have been offered the chance to finish what he started in that galaxy far, far away.
He said: “I’ve only seen a teaser trailer for the new film but it looks like it will be terrific.
“I let everyone know I was interested in the Darth Vader role but no one took me up on the offer.
I’d have loved to have done it but I guess they wanted Hayden.
“But when I did Star Wars I was 6ft 7in and weighed 20 stone and Hayden is about 5ft 9in and 10 stone soaking wet.
“How they are going to carry it off I don’t know. They will probably just use more special effects.”
Dave added: “It’s a different kettle of fish now and I think that is for the worse.“The CGI effects are now so good that eventually it will be the death knell for small part actors and actresses. You’ll just have the main stars.”
Now living in Croydon, south-east London, with wife Norma, the Bristol-born actor has fond memories of his time bringing death and destruction to outer space.
But he admits being known as the man in that famous black mask – which he last wore for Return of the Jedi in 1983 – does have its advantages.
He said: “I am regarded as the ultimate screen villian of all time but I can walk around Croydon and have complete anonymity. That’s the joy of playing a masked character.
“Or I can go to a convention and have as much publicity as I want. You can switch it off when you don’t want it and that’s the best situation.
I’d hate to be someone on the soaps.
Dave is a regular on the sci-fi convention circuit and is looking forward to meeting up with more than 50 of his former co-stars at a massive exhibition in Indianapolis, US, in April.
He said: “If I wanted to I could be somewhere in the world every weekend. That’s how busy it is. I’ve literally signed hundreds of thousands of autographs over the years.
“They are absolutely fanatical about Star Wars in Japan and I’ve got appearances lined up in Puerto Rico and Buenos Aires.
“I am knocked out that after 28 years people still queue up to see me. I’ve now put a show together, like an Evening With, and we are now touring the theatres and universities across the UK. We’re also set to go all across America.”
With just a few months to go until the final movie brings the curtain down on the Star Wars series, Dave says he is certain it will be a fitting finale.
The two recent prequels, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, were panned by fans and critics alike.
Dave said:Empire Strikes Back was my favourite. It was the adult version of Star Wars.
“But I didn’t like Jedi because of the Ewoks. It also started the merchandising culture.
“With Phantom Menace I just felt they lost the plot with all the strange characters and convoluted story. And the technology was so much better in a film that was set 40 years before the first Star Wars.”
Dave, who also starred in three Hammer Horror films, Clockwork Orange and Casino Royale, is now writing his autobiography, which is due out in March.

As well as being packed with Star Wars stories and acting anecdotes, it will also tell of his exploits as a world champion weightlifter and bodybuilder.
When he’s not meeting fans, the doting granddad is making the most of the time he spends with grandchildren Hannah, ten, and Josh, eight – now the pair have managed to separate fact from fiction.
Dave said: “They knew nothing about Star Wars until they went to school and one day they came home and said, ‘Grandad, you’re a baddie aren’t you’.
“I said ‘No, I’m quite nice. I give you pocket money’ but they said everyone at school had told them I was a bad man.

“So we showed them the films and they loved it and both wanted lightsabers.

It may be more than two decades since Dave hung up his lightsaber but the star hasn’t called time on showbusiness. He has now swopped acting for singing and last year even dueted with legendary showman Howard Kiel in Las Vegas.He said:I’ve been having lessons for about three years now. My teacher loves the fact he’s got Darth Vader as a pupil.

“I do things like Old Man River and songs from the shows but someone has offered me a cover and I want to do it as a Christmas single.
But I promise you, I won’t do it dressed as Darth!

Star Wars producer: ‘Elstree is our home’

Friday, February 27th, 2009

When George Lucas came to Elstree Studios last week for the final shoot of the Star Wars saga, it marked the end of a vision that started in Borehamwood almost 29 years ago.
Director George Lucas started filming the original Star Wars on July 16, 1976, at Stage Eight at the studios.
Although it was a coincidence that the final shots were filmed on Stage Eight last Monday, it was no coincidence that Lucas returned to Borehamwood.\
Rick McCallum, the producer of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the two previous prequels, told the Borehamwood & Elstree Times that the studios were the home of Star Wars.
“We could have shot anywhere in the world,” he admitted, “but Elstree’s our home, even when we’re not shooting here, we have a production office there.
“We always come back, we were here in August and shot for two weeks. Usually we come back two or three times. We like it. We like being in Elstree, we like shooting there and we have a lot of friends here. George and I are the only Americans on the crew, all the heads of department are English.”
Mr McCallum confirmed that the final scene was between actors Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman who play Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and his love interest Padme Amidala, but he would not say what the scene was about.
Some additional dialogue was also filmed for ‘looping’, the process of replacing dialogue in previous shots where background noise got in the way.
He said that there were no big celebrations as there had already been several wrap parties in different locations. “It was a quite sedate affair. There was only a small crew, but there was a tinge of sadness - the crew’s been together for almost 15 years.”
He added that one of the reasons they came back to Elstree was to support the studio and its future, and another was because of Julie Wicks, the studios’ director of productions.
“Every stage is basically the same - an empty four walls,” he explained, “what makes it different is the way you’re treated and the way the staff take care of you. That place is fantastic. It’s as good as any studio in the world.”
Lucasfilm, the production company behind the Star Wars films issued a statement, which read: “A long, long time ago, in a studio not so far away, George Lucas wrapped STAR WARS: A New Hope on Stage 8 at Elstree Film Studios. That was in July 1976. In perfect synergy, 29 years later Lucasfilm wrapped STAR WARS; Revenge of the Sith, snapping the clapperboard on the last take of the Star Wars feature films.
“Mirroring Lucasfilm’s successful history, Elstree Studios lays home to both indigenous and international film makers alike. Julie Wicks and her team, devotedly co-ordinate all logistical strands of a production from start through to completion.
“Combining this with Hertsmere Council’s continued commitment in keeping Elstree Studios alive for the foreseeable future, Lucasfilm would like to extend their deepest thanks.”
- There are currently two productions underway at Elstree Studios. Flyboys, a movie about young Americans joining the French air force during the Second World War; and a British television production called Class of 76.