There’s been much talk of the similarities between Star Wars films A New Hope, and The Force Awakens, and here you can see select scenes from both side by side. Stark, or what? While some of the comparisons were obvious, there’s a fair number of more subtle likenesses.
There’s far more to having your atoms scrabbled, in Star Trek style, by being beamed up or down somewhere, than many of us might imagine. In fact, the whole process is quite the journey… into realms, frankly, you couldn’t possibly imagine.
Once upon a time, the monsters, robots, animals, extraterrestrials, and the like, that featured in movies of a certain vintage, were often people dressed in costume, until the advent of CGI, for the most part, changed that.
Director Ridley Scott and associate producer Ivor Powell had long been scratching their heads as to who could fill the not inconsiderable shoes of Alien. Peter Mayhew (known for playing Chewbacca in “Star Wars”) was considered, as were basketball players, mime artists and six-foot-three-inch” German model Veruschka von Lehndorff. But none were quite right for the otherworldly being created by Swiss surrealist artist, H.R. Giger.
The Millennium Falcon underwent a long and arduous number of conceptual iterations before its final iconic shape emerged; the one we now once again see blasting its way across the big screen. In fact it wasn’t even known by its famous name until well into production, having up until then gone under the much mundane moniker: Pirate Ship.
The Exchange’s Mr. Loverd acknowledges getting the minutiae correct services “that small percentage of the population that can understand this stuff.” But writers face fans who have turned the Web into an accountability tool. And shows like “MythBusters” have popularized movie-science debunking. There are also academic critiques. The 2013 space drama “Gravity” was a hit, but astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson publicly raised questions: Why did satellite debris orbit east to west, and why didn’t Sandra Bullock’s hair float in zero-G? The movie makers, Dr. Tyson says in an email, “needed that twist of reality to intensify the story.”
Science fiction seems to have science become non-fiction, and if the science thereof doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, sci-fi writers may find themselves in hot water. It’s a topic that’s near and dear, given I’m writing a manuscript that has a decent sci-fi element.
I’m trying to ensure accuracy where possible, but I’m afraid when it comes to faster than light travel, I’ll be dropping the ball.
It’s fair to say that US scientist and science fiction author David Brin takes a reasonably dim view of the Star Wars films, especially the first six movies. It’s series creator George Lucas’ “sneering contempt for democracy and the common man”, that particularly gets on Brin’s goat, to say nothing of that “nasty little green oven mit” Yoda:
Yoda is pretty much, inarguably, the most evil figure ever in the history of any human mythology. I have defied folks to name one time when he says or does anything that is indisputably wise. The trail of destruction that follows him and every decision that he makes is inarguable and overwhelming.
Evil, and not much of a strategist either. Or was he?
I do hope folks will notice, for example, that Yoda, in Attack of the Clones, orders the Jedi into a suicide charge that kills most of them, then conveniently shows up with the new clone army that he ordered. An act of treachery and betrayal so stunning that I had to watch the movie twice. Perhaps that was Lucas’ evil plan.
Brin has written a book, Star Wars on Trial, that examines the good and bad aspects of the saga in court case fashion, where he, unsurprisingly, acts as the prosecuting attorney.
A new book by Sir Christopher Frayling presents the largely unpublished archive of art director Harry Lange’s designs, concepts, roughs and photographs for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The result is a veritable feast for design and film geeks.