Discussion American and British Balance in Star Wars

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by yggdrasil311, Feb 2, 2013.

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  1. yggdrasil311 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 2
    Hello all,

    I was really thinking about the little things I really enjoyed about the OT. One of the things that really shined through for me was the regality and arrogance of the mainly British actors that played parts of the Empire. I feel that the PT missed out on touching upon this, being that they made all of the Clone Troopers a different race/voice.

    I then thought about how Obi-Wan was british also, but he was the "defector", so to speak. He was the man that talked briefly about the Clone Wars, how he served with Anakin way back when, but then Vader destroyed it all. It's an interesting angle to see how a britishman, once alligned with an Empire mostly filled with British people (Actors, so to speak) was now against them. Like he was the Robin Hood or Guy Fawkes.

    I really hope they bring the British angle back. There are so many actors that can bring a menace back to the ST, if they plan on showing the remnants of the Empire. I can't imagine the Empire just disappears. I'd think they could go the route of people still loyal to the Empire (think post-Nazi Germany, the years of the prosecution of old loyalists and SS denizens) and how they had this air about them, a quiet demeanor, with an undershading of just evil crap they were involved with.

    It balance quite well with our American actors, and it would be great to bring back.
  2. TheManFromMortis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2012
    star 2
    _ _ _ _

    There were a hell of a lot of Brits involved in the OT but that's probably because it was shot mainly on soundstages in the UK, apart from location shoots - e.g. Tatooine, Yavin IV. Still, I think Lucas probably tried to use having Alec Guiness and Peter Cushing (Tarkin) as well-known, well respected names to persuade studios to back the film. Looking at the PT, Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid were obviously Brits but, as the PT was shot mainly in Australia, I think quite a lot of the minor parts were played by Australians.
  3. TheManFromMortis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2012
    star 2
    _ _ _ _

    It would be nice to maintain a balance, a mixture of accents etc when it comes to the ST.
  4. Vale Man Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2013
    star 1
    Hopefully they will recruit the best actors for the job regardless of nationality. Although I am proud of the Star Wars Scots, McGregor, Lawson (McGregor's uncle), McDairmid and Park was born in Glasgow. I think at times though McGregor struggled with Guinnesses' English accent.
  5. TheManFromMortis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2012
    star 2
    _ _ _ _

    I don't think Ewan McGregor did too badly with the Guinness-esque English accent. I forgot to mention Christopher Lee as being another Brit in the PT. I hope that can get some actors of the stature of Guinness, Cushing etc into the ST. Given JJ Agrams' involvement, I'm quite keen on seeing John Noble - Walter Bishop from Fringe - in there somewhere. I think he could make for a great, eccentric Jedi (a la Yoda) or a super villain. I'd be happy to see Ewan McGregor appearing as a force ghost, as long as it isn't every five minutes to remind us that we're watching a Star Wars film.
  6. Seagoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 4
    Admiral Motti was an imperial, yet he had an American accent, not British.

    Also, I find it strange that Leia spoke with a British accent when she met Vader on the Tantive IV.
  7. Vale Man Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2013
    star 1
    McGregor carried the PT in my opinion and Obi Wan was the only character in the PT I rooted for. A wee glint in his eye throughout as if his head was full of dirty jokes.
    TheManFromMortis likes this.
  8. Vale Man Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2013
    star 1
    I'd love to see David Tennant in the ST, Robert Carlyle (Original choice for Jango Fett) and Tommy Flanagan, Chibs from Son's of Anarchy as perhaps a gangster/bounty hunter and maybe Charlie Hunam also.
    Last edited by Vale Man, Feb 2, 2013
  9. TheManFromMortis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2012
    star 2
    _ _ _ _

    In terms of the Jedi, I thought Obi Wan and Yoda were well played in the PT. OK, Yoda was a puppet/CGI character voiced by an actor but, at the end of RoTS, you actually felt some emotion when he admitted that he had failed and that he should go into exile. I also particularly liked Ian McDiarmid's performances as Senator, Chancellor and, finally, Emperor Palpatine throughout the PT. What has brilliant about his performance in RoTS was how he portrayed Sidious as revelling in finally revealing himself to the Jedi and instigating the mayhem of Order 66.
    Episode Swag and Vale Man like this.
  10. General Immodet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2012
    star 4
    I really do like a British accent more than an American accent. I also do like an Irish accent and a Scottish accent.
    Maybe it is because I am an European...
  11. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    You realise in Return of the Jedi because it was filmed in North America a lot of the Imperials had American accents don't you.
  12. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Brits were still the main villains in the PT:

    Palpatine/Sidious - Ian McDiarmid (British)
    Darth Maul - Ray Park (British)
    Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus - Christopher Lee (British)

    Even in TCW the high ranking officers in the fleet sound British (the Admiral who works with Anakin a lot, Captain Tarkin) as they were in the Empire.

    If the Empire is still around in the ST then the trend should continue, if not maybe others will play the bad guys. I would think any major villain will be played by a Brit though, we're just better at it :p
  13. yggdrasil311 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 2
    Thanks. Hence the reason for the thread about a return. To the American and British angle.
  14. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Hmm why should the British (which includes Welsh/Scottish and Northern Irish) be the baddies though ?
  15. yggdrasil311 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 2
    They don't have to be. I just wish they had more of a presence. They were mostly British in the OT though, so I 'd like to see that tradition carried on.

    Again, I'm all for any countrymen, accent, etc. being any side. It's just how it was casted back then
  16. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    Perhaps its not about being Imperial or being the villain. Perhaps the "British" accent is generally the accent of Coruscant, or of the core systems. Of course, that makes Mace and Yoda the obvious outliers.
  17. thesevegetables Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2012
    star 4
    What about Canada?
    *Hayden Christensen*
  18. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
  19. yggdrasil311 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 2
    Well I'm sorry if it came off that I wanted the Brits to be the baddies again. It makes sense that the location where it is being shot does factor into the side-cast and their dialect/origin.

    I dunno if I am in the lone, being that Lucas took a LOT of different story elements for Star Wars, but I always looked at the Empire as being the English during the American Revolutionary War or Nazi Germany. Leia's line about "the tighter your grip becomes, the more slips through your fingers" resonated with me, as a younger plumper child, thinking about that tyranny and dictatorship that went on. I always took the casting of the Britians as an honor, being that they are just more level-headed, more relaxed, sometimes more arrogant, and exudes an evil demeanor while not being overly flashy.

    I look at an actor like Colin Firth, for instance. I have long, on this board, talked about how he is a ringer for General Veers and could play his son in the ST. Perhaps out to continue/uphold the Veers name, possibly avenge his father (even though he is technically alive and now appears in Game of Thrones (balls and all). Colin Firth exudes this confidence, but could show immense rage at any minute. He showed that in 'A King's Speech', and won an oscar for that performance. I'd love to have that kind of leader presence on the screen to be running or part of a rogue Empire that is attempting to bring it back to power.
  20. fett 4 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2000
    star 4
    Well Sir Dereck Jackobi has said he would like to be in a Starwars film and he would make a good villain

  21. yggdrasil311 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 2

    You are thinking like i'm thinking then. He's a great actor!
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  22. GunganSlayer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2013
    star 2
    I like this discussion because it reminds me a lot of general cinema history. Go back and watch classical Hollywood epics, and other films, from decades past, and you'll find that more often than not, Brits are cast in leading roles playing parts of Romans, Roman generals, senators, centurions, etc. Villainous roles also are played by many Brits. The trend continues today, too. I'm not equating The Empire to the Roman Empire, but, there is a commonality there. Many British actors are typically "classically trained," which means that their basis in acting is drawn from their knowledge and experiences from theater, which is practically always viewed as the ultimate level/status/achievement for an actor.

    Theater and film are two totally different beasts, and I enjoy both for different reasons. But, remember, the performance you see in a film, is one that could have been created from multiple takes, from multiple angles ,and have been edited in certain ways. Yes, that actor/actress has rehearsed their role, but a particular scene you may watch could have been done 13+ times or so; ultimately the director chooses the best take of the performance for the scene. In theater, yes, actors rehearse their lines, their scenes, and their plays, but what you, as an audience member sees during a live performance, that, my friends, is it. The actor/actress has no second chance. They have to nail it the first time. That's why, in my mind, actors that have been trained in theater are just suburb in film. I'm not saying one is better than the other, and, as always, there are exceptions to the rule.

    Obviously, not all the actors in the PT or OT were classically trained. Like we know, many secondary roles in the OT and Episode I are filled by Brits, since they were primarily filmed there (studio work), and, Episode II and III had many Australians/Kiwis in roles, since studio work was done in Australia.

    Given that Lucasfilm is under new management, and now owned by Disney, I am very curious where studio work will be done, and obviously what location work will be done, (which I hope there is a lot of). Perhaps ironically avoiding my ramble above, we shouldn't be concerned about the nationality of the actors in the ST. As long as the actor, regardless of their nationality, or even accent, performs and represents the character the writer(s) created, then we'll be fine. And, lest we forget, good actors can perform multiple accents, as we know.
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  23. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    I've always thought this "good guys= American, bad guys=British" tendency to be one of the tackier aspects of Star Wars.
    fett 4 likes this.
  24. Bobatron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    The Imperial officer who said "Skywalker has just landed, my Lord" had what sounded like an American southern accent.
    STAR WARS has tried to have a balance of many different Earth accents, either noticeably regional or just theatrical or cartoony. The problem has been when they tried having non-American and non-British-related accents, like the Neimoidians, people criticized all involved for being racist. This is what society has come to, people calling a STAR WARS movie racist.
    Accents don't bother me more than manner-of-speech. I just hope the non-American dialogue doesn't sound like it does in Lord of the Rings movies, and I hope the American-accented dialogue doesn't sound like most modern stuff now, like Battlestar Galactica.
    Last edited by Bobatron, Feb 3, 2013
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  25. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    The villains should all have Boston accents this time around. "Yew mahst join tha dawk side yew filthy Jedoy scum".
    Darth Chiznuk and Count Yubnub like this.
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