Posts Tagged ‘Cloud City’

Happy 30th Birthday “Emprire Strikes Back”

Friday, May 21st, 2010

I know this has nothing to do with Cloud hosting but it does have to do with “Cloud City” in the second movie in the Star Wars Trilogy.  Yes, the original trilogy.  The only ones that I will watch. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back. To this day, many fans consider the sequel the best Star Wars movie ever made. To celebrate, here are 30 facts you might not know about the film.

Whenever I think of “the cloud” I like to think of Cloud City and picture all our data floating around out there.  Some of it older, some newer and all of it floating around.  So, here’s to all you Geeks out there that love Star Wars.  Here are some interesting facts!

Creator George Lucas insisted on moving the credits to the end of the film. The Writers Guild and Directors Guild didn’t approve and tried, but failed, to pull The Empire Strikes Back from release. They fined Lucas and tried to fine Kershner, but Lucas paid all the fines, Lucas paid nearly $250,000 in fines and dropped his membership in the Writers Guild, Directors Guild and the Motion Picture Association of America.

Yoda’s full name was Minch Yoda. In the first draft, he was known only as Minch. Changed for the better, that was.

Kershner initially turned down the chance to direct Empire, but his agent convinced him to give it a go.

Producer Gary Kurtz came up with the title for the film.

Meet Cliff Clavin, Rebel fighter. Before his role as the annoying mailman on Cheers, John Ratzenberger played Major Derlin, a good guy on the ice planet Hoth.

Boba Fett, the memorable bounty hunter, actually debuted in an animated short on The Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978.

Another preemptive hit from 1978: The first depicted lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker didn’t happen in Empire, but instead in the 1978 Star Wars novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. Vader lost his arm in that battle.

Empire won an Oscar for Best Sound, plus a special award for visual effects. It was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Direction and Best Original Score.

Lucas spent thousands on an advertising campaign to get Frank Oz an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his performance/puppet work with Yoda, the gnomelike Jedi Master. The campaign failed.

The set for the swamp planet Dagobah was elevated to give Oz and other puppeteers room to control the Yoda puppet from below.

Han Solo was frozen in carbonite partly because it was uncertain whether Harrison Ford would be back for a third film. Unlike Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Ford refused to be signed for a three-picture deal. He even asked Lucas to kill off Han.

In the original Star Wars trilogy, the only time Darth Vader and C-3PO share the screen is during the carbon freezing scene. The 1999 prequel, The Phantom Menace revealed a young Anakin Skywalker, who would become Vader, actually built C-3PO.

An early version of Lando Calrissian, the role made famous by Billy Dee Williams, had Lando not as head of Cloud City but instead the clone leader of a clan left over from the Clone Wars, which takes place well before Empire.

To maintain the austere interiors of Cloud City, crew constantly mopped and polished the set between takes, and everyone wore cushioned shoes.

Lobot, Lando’s silent aide on Cloud City, gets his name from “lobotomy.” Lobot was supposed to have dialogue but the filmmakers decided he was lobotomized to accommodate the cyborg implant around the back of his head.

The evil Emperor who his film debut in Empire was actually played by a woman with prosthetic makeup and chimpanzee eyes superimposed in post-production. Clive Revill did the voice in the original release. Ian McDiarmid played the Emperor in Return of the Jedi and subsequent films.

Director Irvin Kershner provided the voice of Darth Vader in the temporary mix of the film before James Earl Jones recorded the final version.

Boba Fett and the rest of the bounty hunters are never referred to by their proper names. Boba Fett is only referenced as “bounty hunter.”

After an extra got sick, Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch was called in to replace the Imperial Guard who escorts Leia and pulls her into the Cloud City elevator when she screams at Luke that he’s entering a trap.

Actor Michael Sheard played Admiral Ozzel, one of two Imperial officers Darth Vader kills by telekinetic strangulation in Empire. Sheard later played Hitler in a small scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Mark Hamill sustained facial scars in a car accident before Empire started shooting. It’s long been rumored the scars were explained in the Star Wars universe courtesy Luke’s nasty encounter with a wampa ice creature early in the film. Actually, that scene was already in early Empire drafts before Hamill’s accident.

That’s no moon … or asteroid. In the dizzying asteroid scene, one of the asteroids is a potato and another is a shoe.

Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon was life-size. The 23-ton ship was 65 feet in diameter and 16 feet high with a mandible giving it an overall length of 80 feet.

The film used eight R2-D2s. Actor Kenny Baker used two, three were remote controlled and three were dummy versions that could be damaged.

Hamill had to bang his head on the ceiling of Yoda’s hut 16 times before the director was satisfied.

Empire was the first film to have a 5.1 surround sound mix.

Luke’s home planet Tatooine appears in five of the six Star Wars films, but not this one.

The most famous line is often misquoted. Darth Vader did not say, “Luke, I am your father.” Instead he said, “No, I am your father.”

Lucas was so intent on keeping that ending a secret he had David Prowse, who portrayed Darth Vader, say “Obi-Wan killed your father.” He later dubbed the bombshell that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Only six people knew the true ending: Lucas, Kershner, writers Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, Hamill and James Earl Jones.

Hamill’s wife gave birth to their first son, Nathan, during the Empire shoot. Hamill went straight from the hospital to shooting. That day’s shots had Luke hanging by a weather vane below Cloud City.

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