Prequel Trilogy,  Revenge of the Sith

Read an excerpt from ‘Star Wars: Aliens, Creatures & Droids’ about the creation of General Grievous’ voice



“[…] In Star Wars: Aliens, Creatures & Droids, a collected anthology from Star Wars Insider, you’ll learn about the creative forces that concocted, built, and gave life to the droids of the saga including R2-D2 and C-3PO, played by Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels, as well as hear from some of the actors who portrayed fan-favorite creatures and aliens including Admiral Ackbar (Tim Rose), Wicket the Ewok (Warwick Davis), Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), and, of course, General Grievous. Also included are interviews with the talent behind BB-8, an in-depth look at the creation of R2-D2, essential trivia and rarely seen images featuring some of the Star Wars saga’s strangest beings.

Read on for’s exclusive excerpt from an article about the creation of General Grievous to celebrate the book’s release this month!

It’s fall 2002. George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, concept artists, and other key production members are meeting each Friday to review the latest designs for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. On November 22, Lucas tells the assembly that the Episode III villain could be a Separatist droid general. “I won’t limit it at this point to a droid. It could be an alien of some kind. I’m not sure if I want him to be human. It’s the Darth Maul. It’s the Jango Fett. Darth Vader…” he’s recorded explaining in The Making of Return of the Sith. He tells the artists the villain is not a Sith, that it has to be able to do dialogue scenes, and that it has to be iconic.

And so General Grievous the Supreme Commander of the Separatist droid army, was born. Two weeks after Lucas’ instruction to design the foe, concept artist Warren Fu presented illustrations for the character that caught the director’s eye. Fellow concept artist Ian McCaig had advised them to think of their worst nightmares, and Fu imagined a scary masked enemy. His designs became the foundation for the fearsome cyborg who would stalk across the big screen in the final Star Wars prequel.

A combination of robotic technology with an organic base, General Grievous’ voice is grating and loud, part mechanical and part biological. That voice is provided by Matthew Wood, supervising sound editor and sound designer at Skywalker Sound, and it came to be rather late in the process. “My first look at what fully rendered Grievous was going to look like was actually in Star Wars Insider,” Wood tells us. “It was on the cover, and I remember thinking, ‘Whoa, that’s cool. Who’s gonna voice that?’ Because the character has no mouth, we could wait a certain amount of time before Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) needed our final voice-overs.”

Busy working on audio effects for Revenge of the Sith, Wood knew that Lucas wanted the voice to sound as if it was synthesized through the circuitry of a voice box, with computerized, cybernetic qualities, and he and co-sound editor Christopher Scarabosio developed a distinctive resonance for Grievous. “We ran it through some processing, including ring modulation, to give it that synthesized timbre. We put every audition we got through that same process, as an egalitarian method for every actor’s performance. I would play those for George to get his feedback on what things he did or didn’t like. And I had the ability to sit in on all those auditions and also process them,” Wood explains.

Having that perspective put Wood in a very unique position. McCallum was getting nervous because they needed to cast the role of Grievous and time was running out, so Scarabosio encouraged Wood to audition. Wood, a trained actor, had performed voices for Star Wars before, so he anonymously submitted his file to Lucas with the other auditions. He approached Grievous with a gruff, harsh voice, something to convey the character’s militaristic sense. And he also added a little old-school villain style, in the vein of 1930s horror movie actor Bela Lugosi. Wood recalls, “I’d coincidentally come back from visiting a friend in Prague, so it was fresh in my mind, and that’s what I went with: yelling in a classic villain voice with an Eastern European accent. As that hit the processor, I could hear there was this nice gravelly quality. Then I got the surprising call that George had picked my audition.”

Wood’s performance of General Grievous’ biting metallic voice cuts through the Battle of Coruscant in Episode III’s opening scenes, as Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) confront the metal general after his kidnapping of Chancellor Palpatine, but McGregor never knew who voiced Grievous until some years after the movie’s release. Grievous battled with Kenobi more than once in Revenge of the Sith, and during filming McGregor was most often sparring with stunt double Kyle Rowling, who stood in for the CG cyborg, with Grievous’ lines being read in from off-camera. “I worked with Ewan in my sound capacity on all the prequels,” Wood says. “I’d record him all the time for the post-production dialogue recording we had to do. It wasn’t until I worked with him years later, when I brought him in to do a whispery voice for The Force Awakens, that I actually got to tell him, ‘Hey, did you know what ended up happening with that voice? It was me.’ And he was like, ‘No way!’”

After Dooku’s death, Grievous took over his position and moved the Separatist Council from Utapau to Mustafar at Darth Sidious’ behest. The over-confident cyborg engaged with Kenobi for what would be the final time, as the duel ended with Grievous’ demise. To his last, Grievous barked out orders and taunts punctuated by a phlegmy cough. Lucas wanted Grievous to have breathing troubles because he was essentially a testing ground for the technology that would eventually create Darth Vader. By luck, both Wood and Lucas were in a state to provide the required rattles and hacks.

“For a lot of those lines, you really have to use the diaphragm big time and yell this guttural performance,” Wood recalls. “I would run out of breath and cough, and George himself had a really bad cough that day. I remember telling Chris Scarabosio to keep the tape rolling, because George would come up to direct me and he would start coughing. We captured a lot of George’s really bad coughs from the day, and ended up rolling some of them into Grievous’ performance.”

Wood thinks of Grievous’
 voice as comprising of two-parts: the dramatic element and the processing layer. “I pitch him down about a semi-tone to give him that lower pitch register, and in a way that his voice has an artifacting quality to it where it doesn’t sound perfect,” he explains. “I’m going for imperfection, so when he’s yelling, I want to make it almost like he’s
 so angry that his vocal processor is unable to translate his emotion into voice perfectly.”

Wood had to perform with a hyper-enunciated yell in order to get Grievous’ words and emotion across through the gravelly, scratchy qualities in his voice. The delay and ring-modulation Wood applied is not unlike the standard procedure he uses for droid processing, but Grievous got a little something extra. “It’s a mix and match of a few different things, because George wanted to communicate that Grievous had a biological component to illustrate that he had a weakness,” says Wood. “The cough was to illustrate that, too. It’s such an odd and creepy character. It’s a part I’ve really loved and respected all these years.””


  • archdukeofnaboo

    May I have your attention please:

    I’d like to inform you that a new round of Prequel Bashing, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, whose more positive pieces on the PT you’ll have seen on Naboo News recently (3 covers, lightsabre duels). However, there’s also been some terrible crap to accompany it, that you need to see.

    This one by Darren Franich is worthy of a Cryogenic-style 3,000 word deconstruction. It’s that wrong. Seriously, let me quote you some of the crap he piles against Anakin (a character Lucas clearly outlines is not a stable individual), amongst other anti-Lucas diatribe.

    “That’s gaslighting behavior.”

    “It’s there when you discover, casually, that Luke Skywalker’s grandmother was a slave who married the farmer who owned her — Faulknerian family history, left freakishly unpacked.”

    “All the human action in the gladiatorial finale looks painful, the worst possible combination of community theater stage combat with Virtua Fighter”

    “Here’s another parade of dignitaries, long conversations on terrible couches, banal governmental hyperrealism crafted by someone who hates politics too much to understand it”

    • Arnav “RayO1” Bhattacharjee

      What the HELL was he even talking about?! I’m a film student and all I could here was various jargon being thrown out here and there! He didn’t have a coherent reply at all!

      But, yes folks. They shot in a desert. A real desert. I still find this funny considering George, for all the crap people give him about blue/green-screen (including myself to a very small degree), didn’t use blue/green screen for any of the shots in Tunisia for TPM.

      • Arnav “RayO1” Bhattacharjee

        Though in fairness to JJ, the screen was probably to get the shots of the Star Destroyers in the distance…although that could have easily been done with CGI. Also, yes, he does say that he used it to better match the lighting, but that doesn’t make any sense if they had the natural light right then and there.

    • Cryogenic

      @ Arnav:

      Well, Arnav, my good fellow, here’s something else to cook your noodle:

      TFA didn’t use *any* practical miniatures. All miniature work was accomplished digitally. And this, despite all their evangelising about “practical effects”, “tangible realism”, and recreating the “authentic” Star Wars experience (meaning, in their reactionary euphemistic terminology, the effects techniques of the Original Trilogy).

      While, of course, all three prequel movies used a ton of practical miniatures, and ROTS actually had one of the most advanced film miniatures ever built (the complex lava rig for Mustafar). So, in that regard, there’s a much deeper visual/technical alchemy to the PT — but you’ll never hear about it, or even think it possible, from listening to the propagandistic babble of the current copyright holders.

      I think, with your Star Destroyer musings, you’re making easy excuses for them. Abrams likes CG and always has. He just likes pretending otherwise. That said, Lucas embraced digital tools with much less trepidation (and equivocation), giving the prequels a more visionary quality. And for that, he is hated and misunderstood. All of which Abrams is only too happen to pivot on and use to his advantage. Like Palpatine manipulating Anakin. He can feeeeel the anger of the scoffers and the mockers, and he uses it well.

      • archdukeofnaboo


        What did you think of the way Abrams reacted to Colbert using the description “reboot”? He seemed to take offence. Now I’m not sure if the host was deliberately using it as a slight against the ST, as it may well simply be a word that popped into his head, but regardless Abrams felt he had to address it, or rather, spin it in another light.

        Questioning him then about the use of green-screen on a real-world location, on the back of the poignant discussion of Carrie Fisher, was a masterful trap; it really shook him up. If only he’d also asked him about Lucas’ critical remarks about VII, it would made for the perfect ambush that all of us who were aggrieved by the TFA marketing have been looking for. Still, given how brave Colbert, it makes one wonder if he’ll get another cushy Celebration gig again.

        Abrams is indeed Palpatine-esque in the way he legitimises CGI. He’s perfectly happy to ridicule others for doing it (Separatists/Lucas), but he has no problems with doing it himself because of eh, lighting, and eh, other stuff, (for safe and secure filmmaking, no less). The media outlets and fans who wilfully ignore his gaping hypocrisy are like the morons in the senate, applauding themselves as they surrender their last vestiges of power to an openly-autocratic leader.

      • maychild

        It’s part of his phony-baloney “maverick, old-school” persona, the absurd pretense that he’s part of the film generation that Lucas came from even though he was a kid at the time; and of course he’s “remembered” what Lucas “forgot.” And of course he wants to kiss up to the hateboys who put out the “all CGI” memes about the prequels, and sing the praises of movies that used just as much if not more, as “practical effects masterpieces.” Just a few months after excoriating (falsely) ROTS for being “all digital,” people were in ecstasy over St. Peter “The Great” Jackson’s all-digital “King Kong.”

      • archdukeofnaboo


        You hit the nail on the head. There’s a strong pretence of retro-cool about him. He makes remakes, sequels and falshy movies, that are mostly ok, but that’s it. Deep down, I’m sure he’s knows that he’s yet to make a film of outstanding vision.

        Those Lucas comments will have certainly stung him, and he knows it.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        It was fascinating to watch Abrams squirm a little bit when Colbert dropped the dreaded “r”-word. It seems JJ was casting about slightly, trying to find the right words while processing the slur. The little exhalation of breath, combined with the raised-in-frustration eyebrows and the turning of his head away from Colbert, along with with fiddling with his glasses and/or itching the bridge of his nose, are all little tells that suggest he got flustered in that moment.

        And then we get what might arguably be the best bit: Colbert’s impish suggestion that it was an “invigoration”, if not a reboot, which elicits an instant and seemingly involuntary “herh!” sound from Abrams — another indication he was feeling the heat being turned up on him a little. I think Abrams implicitly knew in that moment, even if he didn’t have time to consciously go over it, that Colbert was mocking his equivocal, euphemistic language on the PR circuit last time around.

        Because Abrams otherwise had an easy defence that he deployed in 2016, a few weeks after TFA went worldwide, and which he could have used again: that they designed the first sequel installment as a “reminder” and as a “bridge” between old and new. In this new clip, however, almost four years on, he (somewhat disingenuously) opts to sidestep the whole reboot accusation by emphasising the “7, 8, 9″/saga aspect instead.

        And this dodge of Abrams, despite the fact that Disney markedly did not advertise TFA as “Episode VII”, and actually made Vanity Fair revise an article that incorrectly referred to the film, in 2015, with that nomenclature. And yes, with Abrams knowing full well what Lucas accused the film of being in his interview with Charlie Rose, and what Bob Iger recently conceded in his memoirs.

        Additionally, Abrams knows exactly what he is: a marketeer, a remix artist, a rebrander. “Reboot” shouldn’t be a dirty word to him. But it undoubtedly is, because he was never meant to have rebooted something with a formidable and highly-organised philosophical structure to it, and which was handed over to Disney with story treatments that even Abrams’ own boss (Iger again) said: “from a storytelling perspective, we thought they had a lot of potential.”

        On top of all of that, Abrams seems to expect people to have a short memory. He really played hardcore OT fans and franchise nerds with a mild interest in Star Wars like a harp from hell in 2015. At Comic-Con in July that year, he flatly asserted that they “treated the films, Four, Fix, and Six, especially . . . as canon”. Then there were fan-massaging comments about how they were working really hard to make all the fans proud, when principal photography was announced on the official site in April 2014. But now, all of that is pushed aside, and he wants to make out that continuing and concluding the epic story Lucas started in the previous films was their primary concern.

        I suppose I don’t begrudge him scurrying out of that fox-hole by jumping on the opportunity to say that TROS, the “end”, was “much harder” to make than TFA, the start. It’s the most firm and definitive statement he makes in that whole section of the interview, and represents the moment he confidently takes back control. He sounds sincere there to me. Yet, for a moment, he genuinely seemed at a loss for words. I think he deserved to face a couple of testy remarks amidst softball questioning designed to sell the movie. Colbert’s good at that. I am sure their liberal Hollywood friendship will endure the strain.

        You took my Abrams-Palpatine analogy and really ran with it. I love your invocation of the Senate. Exactly that. So many people did nothing but cheer him on in 2015. And the few that felt otherwise were ambushed and shouted down. A lot can change in four years. Now they’re having to defend their choices more and nervously pay homage to at least the *idea* of an integrated saga, and the notion that Star Wars is one big happy family, even as they’ve done so much to pander and sow division. No wonder Abrams finds something to like about the opera seduction in Episode III. “It’s ironic.”

      • jpieper668

        When he said that only 4 5 and 6 were canon That Really Pissed Me Off! and my opinion of him Changed if he cared about Star Wars he wouldn’t have ignored the prequels talked about Showing Jar Jars skeleton have his prequel hating buddy simon pegg in TFA resurrecting Palpatine turn Han Luke and Leia into Failures stroked ford’s ego by killing off Han Destroying his Character Development from The OT in the process (same with Luke and Leia) and Gave us The Reunion with The Big Three That Many Fans had waited for 32 Years to see he had the opportunity and HE BLEW IT!
        (Others were at Fault as well but you know the rest)

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        Yes. There’s a definite pattern, a rhythm, and a tone to all their anti-PT denigration. Much of it was not direct, but implied (it’s hard to call it subtle). They spoke in a kind of basic “Morse Code”: dogwhistle to those sensitive or receptive to the right frequency. It’s just what Trump did to get into office. Only these people did it from a liberal-corporatist viewpoint (if there is such a thing). So tendentious, so slimy, so grimy, so… disappointing.

      • archdukeofnaboo


        It seems that he’s changed tack a bit with regard to the PT. Likely not enough for many regulars here, but I think it should still be noted.

        I was impressed by how he spoke about the Opera scene. Or I guess I was until he rudely interrupted the interviewer who was giving his own take on the infamous seduction, to know what what his favourite scene was. The interviewer answered really passionately (he’s a prequelist I bet), only for Abrams to turn things sour by griping about Darth Maul’s demise. This railroaded a conversation that had no need for it, and it now opens him up to hard hitting questions on the ST’s own short-lived villain. I mean, if he’s going to come to terms with Johnson’s reasoning, then can’t he do the same with Lucas’? Don’t give me any of this “first time in the theatre” crap – you’ve met the creator since!

        It’s like I’ve said elsewhere: how can the fandom be expected to conceal all their negativity when the director himself is guilty of it in unnecessary situations? There’s no fundamental difference other than the platforms.

        As I understand it, Maul’s death was needed to underline Obi-Wan’s growth from padowan to Jedi, and to show that this was a character skilled enough to take someone under his own wings. As powerful and dynamic as Maul was, people need to understand that, at the end of the day, he was just a henchman of another character. We’ve no reason to suspect he would be capable of setting off a massive separatist rebellion like Dooku had done by AOTC. He was a brawler, first and foremost, and Sidius needed someone politically savvy. While Christopher Lee may not have hogged as much screen-time as some would have liked, I believe it was necessary so that other evil could manifest itself via the assassination conspiracy.

        Which reminds me! There was a very naughty review of Episode II lately I think you’d enjoy dissecting. The forum might be the place.

        I hope other interviewers will now go a step further in probing Abrams on the prequels. You know, when you’re going around talking about “Skywalker Saga” and “9 films”, you certainly are inviting it, making them more relevant than ever. The atmosphere in the fandom has totally changed in the last 2 years, and I don’t think Abrams has a get out of jail card any longer.

        I’m honestly more worried about the short time it took to make this film than the script going up on eBay for sale. Lucas took three years for good reason, and JJ only started filming in like January just gone? He does seem to have a employed a Lucas-esque “film-edit-film-edit” workflow tfor TRoS.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        I think you may have posted those musings in the wrong place. Surely you meant to issue that response in the JJ thread?

        If I respond here and not there, well…

        “Dis is gonna be messy.”

        I’m not sure Abrams has really changed tack. Maybe he’s not seething with vitriol over the PT like some, but — as far as I can see — his style of discourse around the films remains unaltered. Getting him to speak positively about the prequels, or even much mention them at all, is like drawing blood from a stone. He’s obviously not enamoured of them. I’m not seeing any great shift.

        I wasn’t really blown out of my chair by what he said regarding the opera scene. As I said in the other thread, it’s a relatively safe scene to wax euphonic about — few-to-no faux pas committed in that scene, according to the great bashing horde (except, maybe, how easily Anakin is “duped”, and how “obvious” Palpatine makes it that he is really Darth Sidious — plenty of smug comments around those notions in the past).

        And Abrams choosing that scene seems calculated/tactical: TROS is about to come out, and he has obviously had Plagueis as a game coin for a while (I refer you back to that little spoiler from Daisy Ridley’s lips at Comic-Con in 2015), and we know Palpatine is back and Abrams got to work with Ian McDiarmid, whom he praises in the opera scene. So the opera scene is the ideal scene to pick: more than a little self-serving.

        But that’s not to call his pick insincere. For all I know, Abrams genuinely likes that scene. Maybe it’s a diamond in the rough for him. After all, there are many prequel fans, and even people not keen on the prequels, that tend to rank the opera scene as their favourite. And I was utterly mesmerised by it the first time I saw it at the cinema. But, again, it’s the comfortable, “discerning” choice — dissing that scene is like dissing pizza.

        As you’ve noted, Abrams rudely interrupts the presenter — eager, it seems to me, to get off the topic of him saying nice things about the prequels fast. And then Abrams has to turn the presenter’s answer into a negative. Like any person who’s clearly not a fan of these films and still wants to express disdain/disapproval to who he thinks is his wider, like-minded audience. Because the golden rule is that the prequels can never be discussed positively without a serious helping of scoffing and hand-wringing.

        Good point on Abrams meeting and even (to some limited extent) collaborating with Lucas. Yes, indeed: he *should* have more respect for Lucas’ choices, after all this time. But he still can’t really show it, can he? So what does that say?

        Nice thoughts on Maul. As you have just indicated, Maul actually serves a variety of plot functions. In the other thread, I compared him to Phasma; since she is the nearest equivalent to Maul in the sequel trilogy. And what does she do by comparison? This is why Abrams looks and sounds so ridiculous when pontificating on Maul, and by extension, the “flawed” or “disappointing” execution of the prequels.

        BTW… I’ve always been fond of this basic insight into Maul’s significance in the chimerical tapestry of the prequels, from this brilliant essay on the film’s epic lightsaber duel:

        “The references embedded in Maul’s design help serve to offer a dark echo of the light Christ-themes of young Skywalker’s circumstances, offering a crystal-clear projection of the dark figure his savior-complex will take him in his evolution into the twisted Darth Vader. It’s fitting, then, that during the sequence of Maul’s reveal Lucas begins cutting back to Anakin as he watches a trio of powerful battle-droids attack Padme’s team.”

        BLOODY HELL! The prequels are too good for this world!!!

        And Bob Clark is a heck of an essayist. I remember him from the days of TFN. Jedi_Ford_Prefect. A strong TPM fan. When I feed into the movie what he says about Maul, and picture that juxtaposition of fantastic (yet purposefully inflected) imagery in my mind’s eye, I’m blown away and thrilled to pieces all over again.

        And speaking of blood:

        Obviously, too, Maul fits a blood theme in the movie — all that red (well, Amidala, in particular), the blood-red of Maul’s face and the interior of his ship, and how Obi-Wan’s own person is drenched in red when reading off the results of Anakin’s midi-chlorian test (based on a blood reading) in the queen’s ship; and Maul arrives on Tatooine and emerges from his aforementioned blood-red ship’s interior in the very next scene. Rian Johnson seems to have obliquely tapped into this theme in TLJ. Heck, even Abrams uses the colour red in some clever ways in TFA (Rian, you could argue, simply took it up another notch). Our sequel directors may not be staunch prequel lovers, but they can’t escape the grandeur and intense visual construction of the prequels.

        It does seem like they’ve done this last entry — “a late entry” — by the seat of their pants. A manoeuvre worthy of Anakin Skywalker himself. However, given that Lucas had little intention of making the sequel trilogy on his own dime (and time), we might be better off looking at the last act of the Skywalker Saga as an insane bonus. That’s the more generous/salubrious view, anyway.

        I saw your shout-out regarding that article and read through it. The only reason I’m not issuing a response right now is that I know it’ll end up being a long one. You know me too well. I’d really like to go to town and dismantle that casuistic bilge in a most thorough and royally indignant fashion! It may take me a while to put something together, but that’s the aim. However, please don’t hold me to it.

        Crafting yet another lengthy rebuttal is a big obligation, and I’ve written any number of responses to smug, chippy broadsides against the prequels in recent years. These articles simultaneously inspire me, but also push me close to losing the will to live. Entertainment Weekly is a hydra attack helicopter: promoting the prequels in one moment, completely trashing them the next. I almost don’t want to acknowledge that publication or a dozen others like them anymore. But I’ll see.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        I actually don’t mind that there was no great reunion in the sequels. Disappointing, perhaps. But it lends the right wistful air to the traumatic, galactic PTSD-inducing event that TLJ reveals as the cause of the fracturing and the madness: Luke momentarily catching a reflection of his own dark shadow when he lets his fear of Ben Solo, and his fear of failure, and fear of being revealed a fraud, get the better of him. The scene that sent out huge ripples in the Force, both in the SW universe and outside of it!

        But I do understand the anger and the sadness:

        Fans are grieving for a Luke, and a reunited “Big Three”, that they never got to see — that they believe Disney/LFL has deprived them of. It’s funny, in a way: they all moved to slay the sequels after the second installment, initially holding out hope after TFA and losing it, as if echoing the path of Luke, who is initially amazed at Ben’s potential (as Obi-Wan claimed to be of Anakin’s to Luke in ROTJ), only to see that potential as something dark and terrifying, feeling it should be ended in its tracks.

        And now, like Luke on the island, many fans seem to have lost a good deal of hope in the franchise. Our own Arch Duke, just the other day, posted that maybe it’s time for Star Wars to end, just as Luke suggests to Rey that it’s time for the Jedi to end. Because what we call “Star Wars”, or even just “the saga”, has changed. But whether it has changed for the worse, or lost all its meaning, is open to question.

        For me, TLJ has now helped to redeem the sequel trilogy a degree. Yes: a partial redemption. Full redemption still pending. The Rise Of The Sequel Trilogy: Please wait while we install the necessary files. This may take a while.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        Good point. But, of course, it was a different “they” back then, with a different person captaining the ship — sailing on stormy but independent/unexplored seas.

        The bit that grinds most is when Kathleen Kennedy benignly assured fans in 2013:

        “Looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feeling for what even some of the early films did in combination with real locations and special effects, that’s something that we’re looking very seriously at…. So we’re going to find some very cool locations that we’re gonna use in support of [Episode] VII. And I think we’re probably gonna end up using every single tool in the tool box to create the look of these movies, that’s what we’re really excited about… It’s using model makers, it’s using real Droids, it’s taking advantage of the artwork that gets done that you can actually touch and feel. We want to do that in combination with CG effects….”

        Why the early reassurance; if not for them signalling an awareness that there was enormous (online) disdain for the prequels, and much conversation about the way they allegedly looked “fake” and “inhuman”?

        Moreover, they didn’t use “every tool in the tool box”. They (largely) dispensed with digital cameras in the sequels, and they didn’t use physical miniatures, at all. Lucas did. While heavily pushing digital, he also kept up a certain baseline craftmanship across the films. Even the Neimoidians in Episode III are actors in animatronic masks — refined from Episode I, and despite the fact that, in Episode I, they verged on realising those characters digitally.

        Neo-Luddites with a neurotic desire to please took over the franchise. Very much in contrast to who Lucas is, and what he stands for. In that way, Star Wars has been “reorganised” dramatically. In retrospect, the prequel times really were the good times. The grandeur of the Republic may be gone, but it lives on in memory, and in the hearts and minds of all those lucky enough to appreciate it while it was there — with every fresh contemplation and revisiting of the prequels being a consecration.

  • Arnav “RayO1” Bhattacharjee

    May I have your attention please?

    This is a tiny meme I made concerning Daisy Ridley’s rap recap of the Skywalker Saga, and a certain…way they regarded Jar Jar Binks. Now don’t be alarmed; they actually paid great homage to the prequels, but it all came crashing down with that little insult at my boi Double Jar.

    I don’t want this spread out of vitrol, but out of good fun. Just to poke fun at the actress…and maybe change people’s minds a bit?

    • Cryogenic

      @ Arnav:

      I’m not sure you overreacted. Not entirely.

      The little dig at Jar Jar, complete with scowl, also enraged me.

      Of course, we’re meant to be “cool” about these things, not take everything “so damn seriously”, and “just relax” about things meant in “good humour”.

      But there’s little that’s funny about bullying and bigotry, constantly going for low-hanging fruit, and punching down when you should be elevating.

      So Daisy is allowed to get bent out of shape at criticism of *her* character, firing back that “Mary Sue” is a a “sexist” descriptor; but disdain for Jar Jar, comical or otherwise, rapped out by Daisy herself on late night television, is completely fine. And after Ahmed Best recently came out in public and revealed he’d contemplated suicide for all the media-driven taunting and cold industry rejections. Right…

      I’m reminded, as a nice rejoinder, of Natalie’s recent SNL skit, where she taunts people to talk smack about Jar Jar, suggesting she’ll bloody them up or fill them with lead if they run their mouth. That itself might be a little on the acerbic side, but it’s damn heroic next to this virtue-signalling tripe.

      It’s pretty pathetic that this kind of thing is still “situation normal” when Disney has now had ownership of the franchise for seven years, and the last installment of the supposed “Skywalker Saga” is a mere three weeks from release. Lucas himself declared Jar Jar his favourite character a few years ago. So it’s also like they’re taking a big fat dump on the franchise’s creator — which, of course, they are.

      All through the production of these movies, sometimes overtly, often as an undertone, there has been a strong whiff of ingratitude, narcissistic preening, and intellectual arrogance that *these people* understand Star Wars just as perfectly, if not better, than the man who dreamed it up, assembled it, and took it to soaring heights, before handing it off to their (crooked) stewardship.

      Personally, I find it hard to stifle my contempt for this sick boomer-millennial alliance (really: the Empire) whose propaganda arm is the geek-media and now-mainstream media. Which appears to be almost completely made up of leftist proto-fascists, scheming corporatists, feminist charlatans, and mocking philistines. They want to tell you what are the right and wrong opinions, while casting their aspersions and getting very nasty if you cast any back.

      Bashing Jar Jar and mocking the prequels by extension just gets worse and downright “Brave New World” sinister when you recall their still-smoldering offensive strategy for fans who weren’t enamoured of “The Last Jedi”. They couldn’t simply be decent, honest-to-goodness Star Wars fans in revolt (many of whom, undoubtedly, were courted into liking TFA by the same people now trashing them for their negative opinions on TLJ). No. They had to be trolls, racists, misogynists, and outright Neo-Nazis, worthy of expulsion from all forms of social media and excommunication from wider society — remember?

      I fear you may have awakened a sleeping dragon, here, Arnav. I’m recalling some of my earlier contempt and disdain for what they’ve done; how they’ve chosen to play this game. Star Wars is one story, and Episode IX is designed to bring closure to three trilogies — as Abrams himself recently had the nerve to say. But this is more “Good Cop/Bad Cop” routine: stroking your face with one hand, while punching you in the gut with the other. Really crass; and a pattern that is far too deliberate and drawn-out to deny.

      Constantly maligning Jar Jar and the prequels, as if people haven’t been programmed to hate both enough already, is really sick — no matter how quickly they slip the knife in between the ribs and then carry on like nothing has happened. For an entertainment company that has built its legacy on family feature films, child-like characters, and goofy (and Goofy) mascots, it’s unfathomable. If prequel fans choose to boycott Episode IX, at this stage, I’ll understand. I feel a little tempted to go in that direction myself.

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