The Making of Star Wars Return of the Jedi - Ewoks header

Today’s Star Wars Bits looks back to Return of the Jedi, and forward to Episode VII. After the jump:

  • See rare photos from the Jedi set
  • Ian McDiarmid has fond memories of playing the Emperor
  • J.J. Abrams was afraid of becoming the reboot guy
  • ILM eyes a new location in London
  • The Clone Wars gets Emmy recognition

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Boba Fett 1313 2

When Disney shut down the Lucasfilm gaming division Lucasarts, the fans wondered about the fate of Star Wars 1313. The third person game, for which we’d seen gorgeous trailers, has been indefinitely postponed thanks to the corporate decision. If that wasn’t bad enough, turns out that in recent months it had been altered to star not a random character, but Boba Fett himself. Star Wars 1313 was going to be a Boba Fett game.

Below, read more about that as well as the following Star Wars Bits:

  • Disney’s axe at Lucasfilm continues to swing, this time affecting many jobs at Industrial Light and Magic.
  • Dave Filoni, former director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, has been asked to develop a new Star Wars animated series.
  • Read a bunch of additional details about The Star Wars, George Lucasoriginal script that will soon be a Dark Horse Comic.
  • The source codes to two popular Star Wars games are now available online.

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Though three different actors have played Bruce Banner on the big screen in the past decade, only one can really say he also played the Hulk. When Mark Ruffalo appeared as the iconic character in last summer’s The Avengers, he was the first actor to actually portray the Hulk half of the character in motion-capture. (His predecessors Edward Norton and Eric Bana let the CG artists take over that part.)

The decision paid off, as fans enthused that Ruffalo’s Hulk was the best they’d seen in recent memory. Now a new video shows just how Industrial Light & Magic pulled off the trick. Hit the jump to check it out.

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In The Avengers, the audience never questions where the action is taking place. That’s just New York City on screen, obviously. The fact that almost none of the film was actually shot in New York City is a testament to the quality of the effects work by Industrial Light and Magic.

ILM has just released a new video detailing how they were able to digitally recreate New York for Joss Whedon‘s mega-blockbuster. In it you’ll find out exactly how much of the film was shot in New York, see a lot of green screen work, all the tiny details that have to be added to each frame and even learn a few cool pieces of trivia. For either Avengers or filmmaking fans, it’s a must see. Read More »

As we anxiously wait to hear who’ll get to helm the next Star Wars, it seems there’s at least one name we can definitively rule out. Man of Steel helmer Zack Snyder says that he, for one, doesn’t want the coveted gig. The (understandable) reason? It’s just a lot to take on.

“I don’t think I’d be interested in [directing it],” he said in an interview with the LAT. “I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic. I just think doing seven, eight, and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.”

After the jump, Jimmy Smits might be open to returning, while Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic saves Disney a ton of money.

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I doubt I need to tell you much about Industrial Light & Magic, at least with respect to the basics. The venerable effects company has been around for thirty-five years now, after being started by George Lucas to create effects for Star Wars. The company quickly became the premiere effects company in the world, and has set the standard for the transition from practical to digital effects, and every manner of blending the two.

Now there is to be a documentary about the company, directed by Leslie Iwerks, the filmmaker who made The Pixar Story. Tom Cruise narrates the doc, which will also feature interviews with  George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron HowardJ.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau as well as producers and actors. (What, was James Cameron busy?) No word on whether this will be a broad, glossy overview or a nuts and bolts history lesson. I’d expect the former, but maybe we’ll get lucky.

Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible airs November 14th on Encore. The full press release is after the break. Read More »

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