BTS Moebius's Willow and TPM

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by ATMachine, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    So I was rereading the newly-merged Jedi clothing thread when something hit me.

    I've noticed before that the overall look of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and particularly his hairstyle, in the concept art dating to the rough draft of TPM...
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    ...appears to have been based closely on Madmartigan (played by Val Kilmer) in Lucas's earlier film Willow.
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    Both of them have long dark hair with two thin pigtails in front and a ponytail/topknot in back.

    Of course it's well known nowadays that the legendary Moebius, aka Jean Giraud, did some concept art for Willow back in the day. Here is his take on Madmartigan:
    [IMG]

    You can see Moebius is really running here with the Japanese-influenced aesthetic that Lucas likes. The hair of this Madmartigan is quite similar to the final film's version--although Moebius seems to have included a shaven area just above the forehead, rather after the fashion of a Japanese chonmage or Manchu-dynasty Chinese men's hairstyles.

    But that's not the only bit of TPM character design Moebius had a hand in retroactively. Take a look at his designs for another character in Willow--the warrior woman Sorsha, who starts out as a villain and becomes Madmartigan's love interest:

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    Moebius has Sorsha wear a white Noh mask, adorned with ornamental red patches.

    Now whom do we know in TPM who dresses like that?

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    Oh, right.

    There's also the matter of Sorsha's hairstyle in the second piece of concept art above. In the rightmost drawing there, she has a long blonde ponytail on the back of her head; the rest of her head is shaven.

    Compare bounty hunter Aurra Sing from TPM:

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    Aurra also has Luke's long rifle from Ralph McQuarrie's ANH concept art, so it's safe to say she's been put together from various pre-existing unused designs.

    As for Sorsha in the final cut of Willow, she didn't end up with the Aurra Sing hair, or even blonde hair: the shooting script specifically calls for her to be a redhead, and that's what got filmed.
  2. Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus

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    The designs for Sorsha clearly also influenced this early TPM concept of a 'Sith Witch' by Ian McCaig:

    [IMG]

    This concept was a very early possibility for Darth Maul - looks like it filtered into Aurra Sing instead, and later would be directly used for the Nightsisters in TCW.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jun 13, 2014
  3. thejeditraitor Chosen One

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  4. ezekiel22x Chosen One

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    Really cool stuff. I'm loving the connections, especially since Willow is my overall favorite from Lucasfilm and The Phantom Menace my favorite in terms of visual design.
  5. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    If you look closely at Moebius's drawings of Sorsha, you can actually see that her mask has the horns of a Japanese oni mask, but the coloration of geisha makeup (subtly indicating the two sides to her character). Of course, when the design was transferred to Amidala's face as royal makeup, the oni horns went missing.
  6. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    For those interested, here's Moebius's concept art of Sorsha's father, the Elven king of Tir Asleen:

    [IMG]

    I don't think it's very well explained in the final movie, but Sorsha is actually an Elf, and her father's kingdom is in the Faerie otherworld.

    In the film's backstory, Bavmorda kidnapped Sorsha and trapped the Elves of Tir Asleen in crystalline prisons. Sorsha's father had some scenes in the film that were actually shot, but they didn't make the final cut.

    Moebius's Elves (as opposed to the Fairies, who are much smaller) appear to follow traditional Celtic folklore in being human-like with blond hair, but seem to lack the more obvious Tolkienesque elf attributes such as beardlessness.* Note the beard on the king here.

    These Elves are also fairly short, apparently. Which is a contrast to the superhumanly tall Elves of The Lord of the Rings.**

    *Yes, I'm well aware that Tolkien said that his Elves could grow beards once they get very old. That factoid doesn't seem to stick in the minds of the general public for some reason, though, or even of certain Hollywood filmmakers.
    **Die-hard Tolkien fanatics will know this is one thing the good Professor changed his mind on: in his earliest drafts of the stories of Middle-earth, the Elves were shorter than humans, as they were in most Victorian fairy stories.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 15, 2014
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  7. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Also, here's Moebius's version of the film's villain, the sorceress Bavmorda (who is of course Sorsha's mom).

    [IMG]

    Note the Sith-esque yellow eyes.
  8. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    As far as Sorsha's hair color goes: blonde is the traditional color of Elves' hair in Celtic mythology, such as with the Welsh tylwyth teg (who supposedly stole fair-haired mortal children), as well as in Tolkien's literary antecedents (notably William Morris). So Moebius was on solid ground in giving her hair of that color. But red hair is often associated with the Tuatha de Danaan, the pre-Christian inhabitants of ancient Ireland, who according to legend retreated from the mortal world and now live as eternally-young beings in Tir na Nog, the Land of Youth.

    The name of Sorsha's father's kingdom, Tir Asleen, obviously derives from Tir na Nog, so Sorsha's red hair in the final film is also a mythologically appropriate choice. (The actress who played her wasn't a natural redhead; she had to dye it.)

    In terms of SW connections, in the very first draft of The Star Wars (later to become ANH) Princess Leia Aquilae has "long auburn hair tied in braids" and blue eyes. The auburn color (which is probably just Lucas using it as a synonym for "red") probably derives from Princess Aura of Flash Gordon. Though Princess Alia Atreides of the Dune series also had red hair, at least after the first book, in which her hair was described as black like her brother Paul's.

    The hair color of the young protagonist, Annikin Starkiller, is not described, but his younger brother Deak is blonde, so Annikin may be too--after the manner of Flash Gordon, as Luke Skywalker would ultimately be. (This is the direction Dark Horse chose to go in for their recent comic book adaptation.)

    However, in many other respects the Annikin of the first draft physically resembles Toshiro Mifune as he appears in Kurosawa's jidai-geki films. He has a "distinctive Kessilian hair knot" which involves "long hair tied in an odd bun on top of his head" (i.e. a samurai topknot), and when he thinks he tends to scratch his "several days' growth of beard" (one of Mifune's most famous mannerisms). His father Kane, who also sports the Kessilian topknot, even wears "the distinctive robes of a Jedi" (that is, a samurai kimono).

    If Annikin actually had Toshiro Mifune's dark hair, he would have looked very much like Madmartigan in Willow, with the same topknot and everything. So perhaps Sorsha's red hair is also actually a reprise of an idea originally mooted for ANH long ago.

    Lastly, there's the intriguing fact that, if Sorsha had remained blonde, she and Madmartigan would have respectively had the same hair colors as Eowyn and Aragorn in LOTR. Which may have been intentional, given how Lucas physically modeled the protagonists in The Star Wars after those of Flash Gordon, and also that Willow's storyline obviously owes Tolkien a huge debt. (A burden it shares with about ten thousand fantasy novels published after 1965 or so.)
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 16, 2014
  9. acroyear7 Force Ghost

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    Yeah, I noticed that way back in the early days of TPM with regards to the similarities between this and Madmartigan. Actually, Qui-Gonn ended up sort of with the Madmartigan look. As an aside, what ever happened to Aurra Sing in the prequel movies? I remember way back when, she was going to have a bigger role in Ep. 2 (and Ep. 3). Did Lucas just decide to abandon this character or was she never meant to have any role at all?
  10. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    I've never heard much about Aurra being planned for any major appearances beyond TPM. Her Wookieepedia entry suggests that she was created mainly because Lucas wanted the Podrace sequence to feature some interesting extras.

    As for Willow: here's a piece of Moebius concept art for an Elf knight of Tir Asleen, who has distinctly African facial features. I suppose Moebius wanted an ethnically diverse cast for his Elf army (in pointed contrast once again to LOTR).

    [IMG]
  11. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Looking at the above concept art, I notice that none of the Elves have their ears showing. So we can't tell if they have the traditional pointy ears of Tolkien Elves, or more human ears.

    However, if we look at Moebius's other concept designs for characters in Willow, we can see that he did intend to differentiate the world's species by ear shape:

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    The film's protagonist, Willow Ufgood of the Nelwyns, has long drooping earlobes in both of these alternative concept drawings. (The one on the right puts me in serious mind of Obélix.)

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    The diminutive brownies have large mouse-like ears and furry heads.

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    I'm not sure, but I think these are Moebius's versions of Orcs: note the large sinister bat-like ears and feathered crests.

    And of course Madmartigan has normal human ears.

    Going back to the Elves, I notice that Moebius draws Sorsha's battle mask as having human-sized, but gracefully pointed, ears. I suspect they mimic her ears' actual shape as Moebius envisioned them.

    Of course Sorsha in the actual film has regular human ears. I wonder if this change, like her red hair, ties in with the recycling of character design concepts from the ANH rough draft. After all, Princess Leia of Aquilae was virtually certain NOT to have pointed ears.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 16, 2014
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  12. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    And just for good measure, the back sides of the two character concepts for Willow Ufgood, shown above.

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    The theme of hairstyle and ear-shape differentiation among the various species continues here. In both drawings Willow has a long ponytail of red hair flowing down his back.
  13. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    There's one more piece of Willow concept art I'm going to post. It's not by Moebius, but it is illustrative of the LOTR allusions that permeate the film.

    [IMG]
    In this scene there is a battle taking place in the ruined castle of Tir Asleen. In the foreground is Madmartigan, who wears the golden armor of the King of Tir Asleen. This foreshadows that he will become the King of Tir Asleen at the end of the film.

    Note the design of the golden cuirass he's wearing, as well as the purple and red colors of cloth. Taken together, these elements suggest that this concept artist saw Tir Asleen as a sort of stand-in for imperial Rome or Constantinople, whose emperors wore purple and red clothes and golden armor. This in turn is highly reminiscent of Minas Tirith, capital of Gondor, from The Lord of the Rings--which Tolkien always described as being like late Rome or Byzantium in its overall character.

    That memo apparently didn't get picked up by scriptwriter Bob Dolman, who in the shooting script described the armor Madmartigan dons as "a complete set of armor of shining silver," i.e., probably Western plate mail after the fashion of the later Middle Ages.

    While the idea of golden armor made it into the final film, the overall design of the armor was much less Roman/Byzantine and much more medieval-European than the above concept art would suggest, as these pictures show:

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    That last image is a grainy screencap from the old DVD, but it's the best image I could find of Madmartigan with his helmet on. The white plume is also a bit Tolkien-esque, as Éomer in the books is described as having a white horsetail crest atop his helmet.

    Of course, Lucas flirted with borrowing ideas from LOTR as early as the second draft of ANH, where Luke's major goal throughout the film is to return the powerful Kiber Crystal (a Force artifact, much akin to the One Ring) to his father the Skywalker, who is the Jedi in charge of the Rebel base at Yavin. The Crystal ended up transmogrified into the Death Star plans.

    Later on Lucas would toy with the idea of casting everyone from Tatooine--including Luke, Owen and Beru, and Ben Kenobi--as little people, and having everyone else be regular size. This obviously owes something to the Shire in LOTR.

    And of course, the lightsaber colors of the final film--blue for the good guys, red for the baddies--parallel the colors of the flaming swords of Gandalf and the Balrog, respectively.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 16, 2014
  14. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    [IMG]
    I should make a correction to the description I wrote for the above concept art of Willow Ufgood. I actually think the two different character concepts seen here might be for two distinct characters, the one on the left being Willow. Moebius seems to have been involved with Willow at a very early stage of the story writing. It's quite possible that in the earliest ideas for the film, Willow set out on his journey with a companion, a fellow Nelwyn. In fact there is such a character in the final film--Willow's best friend Meegosh--but Willow sends him back home before they get very far.

    If Meegosh sounds like the Samwise Gamgee to Willow's Frodo Baggins, you're dead right. In fact, that's likely precisely why it was changed: too much of a naked rip-off of LOTR. This idea would also explain why the second character in the drawing in question looks distinctly like Obélix: his friend and companion is the leader of the duo, the Astérix figure.

    There's also the matter of this guy:

    [IMG]

    ...who appears to be a very elderly brownie. If that's the case, then this character would appear to be a great sage or leader of the brownies. In the actual film Willow meets the brownies right after he first falls in with Madmartigan (the Aragorn figure), and he learns from them that he must seek out the sorceress Fin Raziel, setting up the next stage of his quest. In other words, Willow's encounter with the Brownies is equivalent to the pause at Rivendell for the Council of Elrond in LOTR, and this character is some sort of combined Elrond/Gandalf-type figure.

    In the final film this person appears to have been replaced with Cherlindrea, a fairy queen after the manner of Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Again, this was probably a deliberate change to break from the mold of Lord of the Rings.

    As well, Moebius drew up concept art for certain evil henchmen of Bavmorda....

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    ...who may be what the shooting script describes as the "druids" who serve her. The overall shape of their shrouding robes (if not the color), and their withered faces, are very strongly reminiscent of the wraithlike Black Riders in LOTR. In fact, the shooting script would go on to specify that the evil druids wear black robes.

    I also neglected to point out earlier that, because Bavmorda is Sorsha's mother, Sorsha is actually a half-elf. Just like Arwen Undómiel! (This also explains why Moebius's Sorsha appears to be of human height, when his other Elves are somewhat shorter.)

    Lastly, we have Bavmorda's chief lieutenant, General Kael:

    [IMG]

    ...who was known as "King Kael" all the way into the shooting script, with the name only dubbed over in post-production. Again, his name was likely changed to get away from the LOTR prototype, because Kael's role is essentially that of the Witch-King of Angmar, leader of the Nazgûl and chief servant of Sauron.

    I'm not necessarily condemning the film for being unoriginal, mind you. Lucas would hardly be the first to draw shamelessly on Tolkien's epic as a template for a fantasy narrative. After all, that's how Terry Brooks got to be a bestselling writer, and he did the novelization for TPM.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 17, 2014
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  15. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    I will say that the sheer number of "lifts" from Lord of the Rings in Willow suggests that the connection between Star Wars and Dune (which we know Lucas read--his earliest story notes for ESB quote dialogue from Children of Dune verbatim) is far less fanciful than is sometimes made out. The major difference being that Star Wars had more time to gestate and had many more additional influences added into the mix.

    Lucas's earliest outlines for the Journal of the Whills are strikingly reminiscent of Dune, with "Prince Luke Skywalker," heir to a desert planet kingdom, being forced to flee for his life when the Empire invades and kills his father. Seeing Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress convinced Lucas to change Prince Luke Skywalker to Princess Leia Aquilae, but otherwise this Dune-inspired plot structure is largely intact in the rough draft of what would become ANH. It was only in the second draft that Lucas began to work the film's structure towards its final shape--and that draft, as I noted earlier, bears the strong influence of LOTR, with a magical Kiber Crystal standing in for the Death Star plans as the MacGuffin coveted by the Empire.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 17, 2014
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  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    The PT Jedi may have a few things in common with the Bene Gesserit - prophesied messianic figure - a "we exist only to serve" principle - a distrust of "romantic love" as dangerous, and so on.

    The Voice may compare well to the Jedi Mind Trick.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jun 17, 2014
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  17. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    I just rewatched the final scene of The Hidden Fortress. In the finale, Princess Yuki sits in her throne room--flanked by her loyal generals Makabe (the Obi-Wan figure) and Tadokoro, a character akin to Prince Valorum in the ANH rough draft--and rewards the two peasants who accompanied them on their journey. All three of them are kitted out in their finest garb (General Makabe is wearing a brand-new suit of armor). But what really struck me is that Yuki is wearing white geisha makeup, visible even despite the black-and-white cinematography.

    I don't know if Lucas even then had the idea of putting white face paint on Princess Leia in the last scene of the rough draft of ANH, which like the final film greatly homages Kurosawa's ending. However, Moebius's use of the white geisha/oni mask for Sorsha in his Willow concept art is certainly striking, given the other connections between Willow and the ANH rough draft in terms of character design.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 18, 2014
  18. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    In passing, I ought to note that the "red-headed Leia" idea, spawned from Princess Aura in Flash Gordon, seems to have disappeared by the time of the ANH third draft. At that point Lucas seems to have been toying with casting her as either Japanese (like Yuki in The Hidden Fortress) or as a blonde like Jean Harlow (at least according to costume designer John Mollo).

    It's worth noting that virtually all of Ralph McQuarrie's ANH concept art depicts Leia as blonde. (However, storyboard artist Alex Tavoularis preferred to draw her as a brunette, modeling her on Flash Gordon's fellow-Earthling girlfriend Dale Arden.)
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 18, 2014
  19. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    By the way, there's some concept art shown among the deleted scenes on the Willow Blu-ray that appears to show Sorsha as Lucas wanted her to look: red hair, dark eyes, hair pulled up into a samurai topknot. It may have been modeled on Joanne Whalley, the actress who played her.
  20. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    So today I sat down and watched Willow all the way through for only the second time. (Sue me.)

    I also read through the only script draft available online for the film, the "third revision" of the first draft. This is the script I erroneously described as the "shooting script" in earlier posts. However, in several respects it's quite different from the final film. (It does, though, contain the fairy queen Cherlindrea, as well as Sorsha's red hair.)

    One such difference is that in this early version, the castle of Tir Asleen--which Willow and Madmartigan are trying to find--is hidden, and actually thought to be a myth by most people. It is reached by passing through a long, lava-filled cave tunnel in the mountains beneath Bavmorda's castle. Inside the tunnel dwells a terrible two-headed guardian, the Eborsisk. Beyond the cave is Tir Asleen, a shining castle set amid a valley full of flowers. (In the final film the Eborsisk is encountered inside Tir Asleen itself.)

    The novelization, and apparently the final shooting script, dispensed with the idea of a cave with a monstrous guardian on the way to Tir Asleen. Instead, Bavmorda has surrounded the castle and its valley with a maze of waste dunes, at the innermost point of which is an enormous wall of thorns. Willow has to use magic to burn a hole through the wall and pass into the valley beyond. This sequence may have been entirely or partially filmed, but it was ultimately dropped.

    Another difference in this early script is the fact that Willow actually encounters Elves as well as Brownies along his journey, both early in the film. The Elves and Brownies are both diminutive creatures, though Elves are said to be twice as big, and they are enemies of sorts. Right after he meets Madmartigan, Willow is captured by the Elves. Their king, Franjean, imprisons him underground, but he is freed by two kindly Brownies, who are under orders to bring him to their queen, Cherlindrea.

    The Elves give chase, in a scene which climaxes at a chasm spanned by a fallen log. To make matters worse, some trolls show up at that point. Willow and the brownies get safely across just as the log falls into the pit. In the final film this entire scene is gone. There the Brownies capture Willow themselves and take him to Cherlindrea, and the name Franjean is transferred to one of the two Brownies who accompanies Willow on his quest.

    If we remember that Moebius seems to have drawn a wise old Brownie elder instead of Cherlindrea--i.e., an Elrond figure--and that Willow is captured just after he first meets Madmartigan--the Aragorn stand-in--then we can add the chase scene with the Elves in this early draft to our growing list of LOTR parallels. It closely resembles the scene where the Black Riders pursue Frodo to the Fords of Rivendell, but find themselves unable to cross the river.

    Having said all that, I think it's still more likely than not that this guy, Moebius's "Elf King"...

    [IMG]

    .... is still actually (as I suggested earlier) Sorsha's father, the ruler of otherworldly Tir Asleen, and not the king of the wicked diminutive Elves of the third-revision first draft.

    Why? Due to the first rule of movie costume design: tell the audience who's connected to whom using visual motifs.

    When we compare the Elf king seen above to Moebius's designs for Sorsha:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    ....we see numerous likenesses: blond hair, red capes, faces hidden by horned helmets, and masks with central protruding horns.

    The mouse-head with the unicorn horn on the King's helmet might actually be the heraldic symbol of Tir Asleen, as the helmet of the other Elf knight Moebius drew also bears it.

    It's obvious that Moebius drew his concept art at a very early stage of the story-writing process. (As seen with Cherlindrea and the Brownie sage.) But if I'm right about the King of Tir Asleen having originally been a diminutive Elf lord, how did that property get transferred in the third iteration of the script to an impish troublemaker named Franjean in a much earlier scene?

    I suspect that Lucas originally wanted the inhabitants of Tir Asleen to be Elves. Thus the name of their castle: Tir Asleen, like Tir na Nog, the Otherworld of the Tuatha de Danaan, the fairy folk of Irish mythology--who were once men who walked the land, until they were defeated by invaders and retreated into the fairy hills. Sorsha, whose father was the King of Tir Asleen and whose mother was Bavmorda, would thus be half-elven, like Arwen in LOTR.

    At the same time, I suspect that the story originally had, instead of two Brownies accompanying Willow, a fellow Nelwyn, the Samwise to his Frodo (or the Obélix to his Astérix, if you're French like Moebius). And with the Elves not showing up until later in the film, the chase scene early on would have different antagonists--perhaps Bavmorda's soldiers instead of wicked elves.

    But all these plot details would inevitably have made people realize the numerous connections to Tolkien's work. Therefore I suspect changes were made by the time of the third iteration of the script. These would be: the Brownie elder was replaced by a fairy queen, the second Nelwyn dropped out in favor of two Brownie companions, the Elves became dangerous troublemakers living in the mortal world, and the people of Tir Asleen became human, as the Tuatha de Danaan had originally been. This may be the real reason why Sorsha's hair color was changed--blonde suits an Elf, but red hair was the trademark of the Tuatha de Danaan when they ruled Ireland.

    In this scenario, the subterranean cave beneath Bavmorda's castle, with its monstrous guardian of the hidden approach to Tir Asleen, would be a remnant of an earlier draft--the cave originally being the passage into the Faerie otherworld. In later drafts this barrier was changed into a maze and a wall of thorns, all borrowed from Sleeping Beauty--whose castle in the old fairy tale is of course that of a mortal king and queen.

    Also, looking at Moebius's concepts for Sorsha, I think it's possible (though not definite) that his three drawings of her may show her character progression over the course of the film. In the upper drawing she is wearing the sinister black armor of Bavmorda's army. In the lower drawing, the leftmost figure shows her attire in a scene where Madmartigan sneaks into her tent as she sleeps. The concept artists--and not just Moebius, judging by other concept art on the Blu-ray--apparently imagined Sorsha sleeping naked (in the final film she was given a nightgown). The third figure of her, on the lower right, I'm less sure about, but it may actually be Sorsha in "good guy" armor after she changes sides. (Funny how joining the side of Good seems to involve dressing in skimpier armor.)

    I could be wrong here, though, and these might be just two different armor concepts. After all, Moebius did a few alternate versions of his character designs for Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 19, 2014
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  21. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    One other LOTR parallel that I've failed to note so far is the character of Airk Thaughbaer, Madmartigan's old comrade-in-arms. He's red-beared and blonde, much like the Rohirrim of Lord of the Rings. And. like Theoden of Rohan, he leads a vast army to relieve the fortress where the heroes are besieged by enemy troops. Also like Theoden, he ultimately dies at the hands of the Witch-King of Angmar figure, General (originally King) Kael, who is then himself slain soon afterward by a grieving friend.
  22. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Another Saga & CT Manager

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    That underground tunnel with lava you described immediately made me think of the approach to the Emperor's subterranean throne room in those McQuarrie paintings for Jedi.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Jun 19, 2014
  23. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    The two Brownies who accompany Willow are very reminiscent of R2-D2 and C-3PO. They're both a pair of bickering comic relief characters who act as foils for the more serious principal leads. Once again, it seems, Lucas drew on this storytelling idea taken from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. Probably because at that point in the writing process he was trying to find other influences to replace the overly numerous LOTR likenesses.

    One other thing: The fairy queen Cherlindrea, diminutive with wings and blonde hair, is like a cross between Galadriel and Shakespeare's Titania. However, she's not the only Galadriel analogue in the film: there's also the sorceress Fin Raziel, whom Cherlindrea directs Willow to seek out. Fin Raziel lives in exile on a fog-shrouded island in the middle of a lake, which in the script is guarded by a monstrous sea creature set there by Bavmorda. (The creature's scenes were actually shot, but they were deleted because the special effects were very unconvincing.)

    If I'm right about Cherlindrea originally being a male Brownie in the mold of Elrond, then Fin Raziel would have been the principal Galadriel analogue, and the trek to her inaccessible island would have been the narrative equivalent of the Fellowship's journey to Lothlorien, the hidden Elven enclave where no time passes compared to the outside world. (Say Fin Raziel's name with four syllables--sounds similar, doesn't it?)

    The invention of Cherlindrea, the beautiful blonde fairy queen, may be why Fin Raziel in the final film is portrayed as an old woman. Which would make her a Gandalf analogue--and she dresses in white robes. It's quite interesting (and frankly a good idea) that one of Lucas's principal deviations from the storyline of LOTR was to add more women to the mix.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 19, 2014
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  24. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    One detail I neglected to mention above is that in the third-revision script for Willow, the Elf king Franjean is said to talk in an outrageous French accent. He addresses Willow as "Monsieur," and his name basically means "Jean the Frenchman". This seems to be a harbinger of the much more cringe-inducing ethnic alien accents that were later on display in TPM.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 19, 2014
  25. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    star 3
    OK, enough talk about LOTR for the moment... there are a few interesting additional influences on Willow that I'd like to point out.

    Bavmorda is obviously a combination of the evil stepmother from Snow White with the wicked fairy godmother (Maleficent or Carabosse, depending on the version) in Sleeping Beauty. With just a pinch of Jadis the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe thrown in for good measure.

    In fact, the people trapped in crystal blocks in the courtyard of Tir Asleen are much like the petrified stone statues found in Jadis's castle. And like Jadis's statues, in early scripts of Willow the heroes bring these petrified warriors back to life to fight a battle. (All very fitting, since CS Lewis and Tolkien were best friends in real life.)

    The subterranean cave which originally led to Tir Asleen is strikingly reminiscent of an underground fairy hill, a staple of the Sidhe (Elves) of Irish mythology. The wall of thorns that replaced it, as I mentioned above, is from Sleeping Beauty.

    Sorsha being taken away from her royal father by her mother Bavmorda reflects not only the fairy-tale influence of Snow White, whose evil stepmother seduces the good King, but also another Narnia reference. In The Horse and His Boy, Cor, prince of Archenland, is kidnapped at birth and raised under the name Shasta in the household of a Calormene--i.e., Evil Fantasy Arab--peasant fisherman. His escape from his foster-father and return to his real home forms the principal plot of the book.

    Like Moebius's Sorsha, Shasta/Cor has blonde hair. And he falls in love with a dark-haired Calormene girl named Aravis... while in LOTR dark hair is of course characteristic of Numenoreans like Aragorn, the model for Madmartigan. In fact, since Lucas generally only lightly tweaks the names of the characters on whom he models his own heroes, Sorsha was probably directly inspired by Shasta.

    (So Sorsha was originally a half-elf like Arwen, a warrior like Éowyn, and a kidnapped child like Shasta. That is a lot of concentrated borrowing right there.)

    Also, Airk Thaughbaer's first name is a modification of "Erik," the legendary Viking chieftain--probably a connection to Tolkien's Rohirrim. (And of course "Thaughbaer" is simply Lucas's garbling of "Theoden.")

    On the eve of the final battle, Bavmorda turns all the soldiers of the heroes' army into pigs, a trick borrowed from the sorceress Circe in Homer's Odyssey.

    Willow's magic wand and magic acorns feel very fairy-tale-ish as well, but I haven't nailed down any specific references for those. (In the third-revision script, instead of being given a wand, Willow has to gather magical ingredients to create a Philosopher's Stone before he can do magic. The finished Stone is actually described as being a reddish sort of putty substance--red being the traditional color of the Philosopher's Stone.)
    Last edited by ATMachine, Jun 19, 2014