vader unmasked

In today’s edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Warwick Davis talks about being cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • A fan finds out what a middle-aged Anakin Skywalker would actually look like.
  • Simon Kinberg on the differences between making X-Men and Star Wars movies.
  • The loudest Star Wars shoes you will ever see.
  • A fascinating look at modern politics through the prequel lens.
  • More footage from LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • The probable final gasp of fame for the Chewbacca mom.

Star Wars News Net recently chatted with Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi and various other background roles throughout the Star Wars saga (he’s also one of the stage hosts at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration in London). The interview is mostly puffy, with Davis answering questions like whether he prefers the older or newer films:

I grew up watching the classic trilogy so therefor Star Wars: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, their my Star Wars. I love what J.J. Abrams has done with Episode VII and I’m really excited to see what is coming up in the years to come as far as Star Wars goes.

However, he does have this cute little anecdote about driving his daughter to the set after she was cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and hoping he would be able to land a part himself:

It was a great honor, I was thrilled actually. But initially I wasn’t asked to go back, my daughter Annabelle who is an actor, she got the part in it (Episode VII) before I did. I used to take her to Pinewood Studios and drop her off in the morning and I would kinda hang around a little hoping that they would notice me and say Warwick come and be in Star Wars again. Eventually they did ring up my agent and say can we get Warwick in — we would love to put him in the film.

Davis ultimately played Wollivan, one of at the aliens hanging out in Maz Kanata’s tavern.

ghosts

Reddit user isaac_2 decided to answer a question that has been probably plaguing dozens (dozens!) of Star Wars fans the world over: what would a middle-aged Anakin Skywalker actually look like if he wasn’t a mutilated cyborg wearing a black mask? I kid, because his work is actually pretty impressive. He took an image of Hayden Christensen and Sebastian Shaw (who played the unmasked Darth Vader and his force ghost in Return of the Jedi before he was replaced by Christensen in future editions) and… well, here’s him explaining it:

I wanted to see what a middle-aged, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker wouldve looked like, so I facemorphed Hayden Christensen and Sebastian Shaw, polished it up, added a beard, etc. Just something I did in my spare time over a few days. Pretty happy with how it turned out!

You can see a cool gif of his process right over here, but here’s how the whole thing turned out:

real anakin

Cass R. Sunstein, the author of The World According to Star Wars, has written a fascinating post at The Washington Post examining how the turmoil of the prequel trilogy reflects America’s current political climate. Here’s a brief taste:

As a result, nationalist sentiments intensified, leading to movements for separation from centralized institutions. People craved a strong leader who would introduce order — and simultaneously combat growing terrorist threats.

A prominent voice, Anakin Skywalker, insisted, “We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problem, agree what’s in the interest of all the people, and then do it.” And if they didn’t, “they should be made to.”

Eventually, something far worse happened. The legislature voted to give “emergency powers”  — essentially unlimited authority — to the chief executive.  An astute observer, Padme Amidala, noted, “So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.”

The whole thing is very much worth a read.

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