Filipino Cultural Influences on Star Wars

Discussion in 'Philippines' started by jedi_ginny, Sep 19, 2002.

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  1. jedi_ginny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 3
    More on Roel Robles (Lucasfilm Art Department), Dooku's lightsaber, and Filipino cultural influences to Star Wars from the latest issue of the Star Wars Homing Beacon (#69)....

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    "An Elegant Weapon"

    Count Dooku clearly does things his own way, but his ideology is not the only thing that sets him apart. His lightsaber handle design is unique among the Jedi weapons fans have seen to date in the saga.

    The distinctive curved lightsaber first appeared in early sketches of the new Sith enemy, and this direction was later expanded with the help of Art Department Assistant Roel Robles, who brought in some of his own cultural roots to the design table.

    "I started bringing in my arsenal of various Filipino swords, spears, and knives to give the Art Department a different feel than what we had before. At one point, we had a room full of artists playing with these deadly balisong (butterfly) knives before a meeting," he recalls. Robles' collection included a wide variety of blade types,
    but his favored weapon was the barong, which featured a curved handle to prevent weapon slippage during combat. "It looks cool, sharp and deadly," he says.

    At one Art Department meeting, Design Director Doug Chiang had Robles lay out his weapons for George Lucas to inspect. "George picked out the barong, which I was really happy about not only because it was my
    favorite blade, but also since it was a Filipino blade, it had cultural and historical bonds. I am proud to say I was able to put a small part of my Filipino heritage into the film," says Robles.

    As further inspiration to his fellow Art Department members, Robles arranged a demonstration of escrima, a Filipino martial arts employing multiple bladed weapons. He and a friend, Jonathan Soriben ("one of the best Filipino martial arts masters that I know," he says) reserved the basketball court at the Skywalker Ranch fitness center and went at it with sticks rather than knives. "So as not to scare anyone," Robles clarifies.

    "When Dermot Power came up from London to work with the team, Iain McCaig encouraged me to set up a demonstration. Iain and Dermot were designing the Sith at the time, and were very impressed. They began to do more work on the Sith with escrima in mind," says Robles.

    (Ginny: Oh, isn't that cool! More Filipino cultural influences on Star Wars!!!!)

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    On that note, Signature Edition Sith Lightsabers are now available. Check the URL below for more:

    http://www.starwars.com/collecting/news/2002/09/news20020917b.html


  2. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    The Kenobi/Maul duel from Phantom Menace also had some signature Kali moves that I recognized after having trained for a couple of years at the Inosanto Academy in Los Angeles.
    Yes it is very cool to see parts of our culture as part of this timeless series of films!

    DK
  3. StompboXX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2002
    star 2
    I've always wanted to train in Kali.

    Is the Inosanto School affiliated with Leo Gaje, et al?
  4. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Guro Dan Inosanto has studied with a number of masters, some being: John Lacoste, Richard Bustillo, Floro Villabrille, Angel Cabales, Leo Giron and of course Bruce Lee.

    DK

  5. jedi_ginny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 3
    Cool! If you're in the vicinity, can you give us a demo? ;)


  6. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    jedi_ginny,
    One problem, I don't know the next time I'm going to be in the Phillippines. I'm writing from Los Angeles.

    DK
  7. jedi_ginny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 3
    Awwww, shucks, DK. Sayang naman. :D
  8. StompboXX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2002
    star 2
    Leo Giron is familiar. How come you left Inosanto?
  9. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    re: Leaving Inosanto Academy

    Unfortunately you have only so much time and energy in this lifetime. Career demands cut into training time, and BELIEVE me, if you are at the Inosanto Academy you'd better be in great shape or you're going to be eating pavement. If I had the time, I'd still be there but you only have so many hours in the day.

    DK
  10. StompboXX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2002
    star 2
    I see...I myself have had difficulty starting with my arnist training with the Leo Gaje Pekiti-Tirsia people here. Theyve been egging me for months already and I couldnt find the time.

    I really want to, though. I NEED to. Can't remain a farmboy forever, you know.
  11. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Stompboxx,

    "I really want to, though. I NEED to. Can't remain a farmboy forever, you know."

    That's good. You've taken your first step into a larger world...

    DK
  12. kampilan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Its my dream to learn Lameco, Cabales, Inosanto FMA, Bakbakan , Kuntao, Silat , Illustrisimo and JKD/Kali before I die! Very awesome indeed that FMA have influenced the recent SW films! Never knew there was a Pinoy in the ILM Art Dept and very proud Robles got to show off our martial culture to Lucas and staff. I've got to see the Homing Beacon article...I don't receive it anymore... gagoo!
  13. jedi_ginny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 3
    Hey, kampilan! Nice to meet you.

    Actually, there are other Pinoys at Lucasfilm and ILM, but we haven't discovered who they are yet, exactly. :D
  14. kampilan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    I did notice the small similarity with the barung hilt and Dooky's hilt but wasn't sure...now its just so awesome to know that it is indeed very true! I'd like to get a Kris, kampilan(with hair) and barung someday. All I got are some cheap weapons boards of "Moroland" my dad sent me while visiting relatives.
  15. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Jedi_ginny,
    Mary Lou Bihr is the vp of Lucasarts marketing division the last I heard. She's Pinoy. I know...she's my cousin.


    DK
  16. kampilan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Darthkatan---you're so lucky, man!

    Wow, you actually got to meet and train with Punong Guru Inosanto! Wish he was doing movies! I'd be lucky to even take a single class on one of the disciplines I mentioned earlier...
  17. StompboXX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2002
    star 2
    So kampilan, u're in the States right now?

    I found a barung in a shop in Glorietta (Makati). Feels good. Very comfy to hold, actually.
  18. jedi_ginny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 3
    Wow, DK! Really? Cool! Maybe you could ask her about Filipino involvement in Star Wars for us? :D Looks like we're all about to put up a Roel Robles fan club here! LOL.

    Aids: Is that the store near the escalators going up to the G4 cinemas? I saw one there too, but the store looked so darned forbidding, I didn't want to go in! :D


  19. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    kampilan,
    Yeah, Guro Dan doesn't do many movies anymore. The last thing he did that I remember seeing him in was Out for Justice with Steven Seagal. He played the character of "Sticks" in the pool hall where he has a fight scene with Seagal. They end up doing a real brief escrima exchange with pool cues.
    Some of his students are doing movies though, both in front of and behind the cameras.

    DK
  20. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Jedi_ginny,
    If you're serious about doing an article on the site about Filipino involvement in Star Wars, I could ask her for you.

    DK
  21. jedi_ginny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 3
    Oh, we are soooo dead serious. :) Really. As soon as the SWP website is up, we can start preparing for it. But we'll need to know if it's possible to do the article in the first place. Thanks a million for any help. We really appreciate it. :)
  22. StompboXX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2002
    star 2
    If Robles doesnt get a promotion after all the press he's getting, then I don't know what will happen to him.

    Just a thought.
  23. kampilan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    I heard that Jeff Imada was the stunt/fight coordinator for "DareDevil"? Be very cool to see some escrima/arnis action. Is "Stick" a charcter in the movie as well? Yeah, that'd been so awesome if Guro Dan played the part of Stick, a Filipino wise-man instead of the Japanese/Ninja influence of DareDevil's teacher. I do remember recalling Mr. Inosanto in a Seagal movie but forgot which none! Thanks!
    Also, Kass Magda was underused in a made-to-video movie...forgot the title.
  24. darthkatan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Kampilan,
    Jeff is another Academy guy who's working on a lot of high profile films. I think I did hear that he was doing Daredevil. Should have some pretty good stick work if it's true! The last thing I remember seeing about him was a behind the scenes clip on The Time Machine where he was doing some stunt choreography for the Morlocks (some of the Morlocks were Academy guys as well).
    I actually ran into Jeff about a year and a half ago at a Sharper Image store (don't know if you have these in the P.I.) He snuck up on me while I was checking out a life size replica of a Stormtrooper. We talked for awhile and he was laughing when I told him my girlfriend and I were the only folks in the movie theatre cheering when he was killed in the last Lethal Weapon film with Jet Li. (Jeff was the Asian thug who torches Danny Glover's home and subsequently gets t-boned by a mack truck at the end of that cool car chase scene.)
    I don't think Guro is really into the movie scene any longer. He's too busy giving seminars around the world and paying attention to the daily details of running his school.

    DK
  25. jedi_ginny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 3

    StompboXX wrote:

    If Robles doesnt get a promotion after all the press he's getting, then I don't know what will happen to him.

    Just a thought.


    Maybe he can replace Doug Chiang, now that it's confirmed he won't be working on Ep3? :D

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