Star Wars: Episode III:Empire Online has done us all a favor and transcribed the going-ons of the latest video clip to hit The Official Star Wars Website which is available to 'Hyperspace' members only. The clip apparently showcases the bluescreen work for the final duel in the film between 'Obi-Wan' and 'Anakin Skywalker'. Take a look at the details:
We begin with Lucas video conferencing with the production crew (and Rick "Rickmeister" McCallum) in Sydney as the Art department seeks clarification on the look of some of the film's locales. What follows is a montage of some pretty fantastic design sketches of sets and concept art for laser pistols, which George gives his stamp of approval to - or not, as the case may be. Prosthetics for a corpulent blue alien, wookiee suits and an animatronic Mon Calamari head are all showcased but it's the fight choreography that really piqued our interest.
"It's going to be a real challenge to do this fight in there," says Lucas, looking at the design art for a particular chamber, "but hey, Nick has to have something to do." Enter the man himself, stunt co-ordinator Nick Gillard, who directs Hayden Christensen along with Ewan McGregor's stunt double in what must be the film's climactic lightsaber duel - set against against a blue screen.
Anakin advances, following parry with riposte, before delivering a hefty boot to his opponent's face. Most thirilling of all? Anakin's saber is a pleasing shade of red. A flurry of blows from the fledgeling Sith leave Obi-Wan on the defensive before we see him flung backwards across the room.
Later scenes see Ewan McGregor poring over photos of Alec Guinness and discussing how best to ensure that his character's look reflects that of his older self. A few dashes of grey added to the Scotsman's beard and the likeness is well on the way. "It's only two years after the last one," he says to the make-up artist. "It must have been a hell of a two years - just look at me now."
Obi Wan isn't the only one enjoying a makeover as Anakin's locks undergo some modification with mock-ups of what he'd look like with an extended Mohawk ("I think it's too much," comments Lucas) and finally the finished product: a rugged-looking mop tied back in a pony tail.
Needless to say the whole thing leaves you wanting more, and more there will be. Part two will be online next month.
Thanks to Empire Online!