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CT The lost pilots and scenes from the Endor space battle in Return of the Jedi

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Lt. Hija, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    If they intended us to believe that there were two super star destroyers at Endor, then they would have taken time to show us them both, in, for example, the views of the battle from the Death Star:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    ^ You are kidding, right?

    Just because we can only see one flank of the Imperial fleet from the Emperor's throne room, doesn't imply that the other one doesn't exist (same goes for the capital Alliance ships I can't pinpoint either in your screencap enlargement).

    On the contrary you just provided visual proof for the existence of the second flank:

    We can clearly see the distinct port side of a Super Star Destroyer, BUT that shouldn't be visible because in the scene aboard the Emperor's Super Star Destroyer we can clearly see that Palpatine's Super Star Destroyer points toward the Death Star, its tower and ultimately the Emperor's throne room, so all we should be able to see (according to you) from the throne room would be the Super Star Destroyer's bow, but not its port side!

    https://starwarsscreencaps.com/star-wars-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi-1983/67/

    Frame # 59 (Emperor's Super Star Destroyer pointing towards Death Star) immediately cuts to frame # 60 with Luke looking at the port side of what must then be the second Super Star Destroyer aka the main communications ship. ;)
     
  3. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Given that Piett's on the main SSD - wouldn't he be able to see the "other wing of the fleet"? And given that, in your theory, the Falcon is close to both wings in fairly quick succession - then they should both be visible.

    Much simpler, I think, to assume slightly lazy compositing, than to posit two SSDs.
     
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  4. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    You may continue to assume while I collect and present evidence.

    And my philosophy remains that the people actually involved in the original productions knew what they were doing (unless evidence to the contrary is presented) while your EU contributors were making conjectural assumptions and simply couldn't know all the details (well, they could have acknowledged at least Kahn's novelization, right?).

    Hernalt

    http://www.ilm.com/vfx/star-wars-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi/

    You probably already mentioned it, but I think it would be great to get a screencap from the storyboard wall behind Joe Johnston from this otherwise copy-proof interactive ILM gallery. =P~
     
  5. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    They did - when they named the communications ship "Pride of Tarlandia", clarified that it was a battlecruiser and not just a regular Star Destroyer, etc, in Legends Essential Guide to Warfare.

    Kahn's novelization gets things wrong occasionally. Like when it says that the Endor planet that the Moon orbits, was destroyed a long time before - yet it's present in Lucas's Ewoks movies.
     
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  6. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 8, 2015
    Actually I had the part in mind where Kahn, probably based on the original, unabridged screenplay, stated two Imperial waves coming in from opposite sides.

    ...which were made a couple of years after ROJ. Of course he could only work with the materials made available to him by Lucasfilm and probably embellished the blank spots. That's still no reason to downplay the value of the ROJ novelization, especially since it's part of George Lucas canon where it doesn't contradict the 6 OT films...and the Ewok movies.
    Belay that, just realized it's in Rinzler's Making of ROJ, I'll try to make a scan tomorrow (unless, of course, someone reading this beats me to it).
     
  7. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Notes on Lando’s demise.
    When trying to have the final say on this topic, checkmate the opponent, win the checkers*, many people cite an article that was originally on starwars.com, under an ‘Urban Legend’ series, circa 2002. The ‘Urban Legend’ series appears to still be a thing. But the article isn’t obviously accessible on starwars.com any longer. Internet Wayback machine does not have it. The complete article does appear to be quoted on another discussion forum.


    

From: https://forum.dvdtalk.com/movie-talk/285813-star-wars-gimme-break-3.html

    

This article reproduces the text of a proposition in full length, with the result that the demonstrably ridiculous speaks for itself. As just one reader, I am persuaded that the first piece of prose -revengeandreturnwhatever- is a hoax, because on its face it does not have any ring of truth. The idea that Lucas might have thought about having Lando die does have a ring of truth. Whoever rejects that assertion has to explain how Solo’s line, ‘I have a feeling I won’t see the Falcon again’ has useful dramatic tension.

    

This article then claims that “Lando is alive and well in every version” of the script. Considering that the script Hija shared is in pdf form and shows age and wearing in a manner that my eye would consider uniform across all pages, including the ‘Lando dies’ pages (Scenes 134 through 136), I would not be able to be persuaded by assertion alone, even by this source of authority at starwars.com, that what my eyes see to be uniform is actually a forgery because starwars.com says so. But I could begin to be persuaded if counter evidence was offered, by starwars.com, of an equal or greater quality, such as images of the relevant sections of the scripts that LFL holds. Obviously it was not an important enough matter, when Star Wars was the size of LFL, let alone now when Star Wars is the size of Disney, to collate and procure evidence that is persuasive. No rubric or criteria is explained that places the ‘Lando dies’ script, with its relatively minor epicycle, in the same class of gross deviation as the revengeandreturnwhatever. Without more information, the writer at starwars.com is using an obvious straw man fake to beat over the head something that is in no way so ‘fake’.

    

The evidence that is ‘stronger’ than the assertions of a starwars.com copy writer circa 2002 is the absence in the 1983 ROTJ Cinefex of any statements corroborating the proposition put forth by the evidence of the ‘Lando dies’ script. To wit, this Cinefex contained up-to-the-minute reporting, from principal parties deep inside the bowels of February, 1982, through March, 1983, who were involved in the scene in question. It was a hum-dinger of a VFX feat to accomplish, and they were talking about it. Over many pages. There is not a single reference to the scene from this document that can be taken to suppose that Edlund, Murren or Ralston had the faintest inkling that Lucas was entertaining, and requiring footage of, the Falcon making it only part of the way out and then being destroyed.

    

That being said, this Cinefex by itself is not conclusive evidence that ‘Lando dies’ never happened. Lucas’ requirements to achieve a ‘Lando dies’ scenario would require no more than the already well-developed processes for compositing a final cut where an explosion is placed over or replaces the Falcon in the manner that the TIE Interceptor received. It could even have been done as a cursory job just to get the basic result. Nothing like this is remotely hinted at in the Cinefex. But that does not make it impossible for footage to have been composited that answers to ‘Lando dies’.

    

The long pole of a theory of ‘Lando dies’ is not the VFX shot.

    

For Lucas to have *tested an audience with a Lando death, he would have needed a matching Ewok celebration, Scene 132. For Lucas to have had a real option of a test film version of Ewok celebration with no Lando, he would have had to have shot enough film during that day, that did not have Lando, that conveyed comparable acceptance, or closure, or denouement. (Because if he didn’t do that test audiences might not like that cut and it would never see the light of day and would enter only into legend… [face_plain] )

    

Shooting at Elstree started Jan 11 (TATOOINE SANDSTORM VERY DANGEROUS) and ended Apr 1. Scene 132 was shot Jan 20. So out of ~6 weeks of filming, it was in the ~2nd week.

    

There’s an adage that for a movie like this, 3 times as much film is shot as what makes it to screen. [SOURCE?] Whoever believes that Lucas _did absolutely_ do the ‘Lando dies’ test audience must believe that he had the prescience in the ~2nd week of shooting to acquire enough footage of a variety of combinations of greetings that he could effect a test film where there was no Lando (and no Nien Nunb) at the Ewok celebration. He had to have enough footage of Luke vs Han, Luke vs Leia, Luke vs Chewy, Luke vs Wedge, Luke vs Nora Wexley, etc, then Leia vs Han, Leia vs Chewy, etc, all without Lando anywhere in the background.

    

Rinzler Making of Jedi says, “For secrecy’s sake the distributed version of the third draft omitted all mention of Leia as Luke’s sister and of the death of Vader; indeed, it contained fake scenes, such as Luke killing the Emperor, written to avoid any genuine leaks.” As just one reader, I find that Luke killing the Emperor has the ring of truth. It is very close to what Star Wars is about, and it is very in line with where the plot and foreshadowing up to that time were already going.

    

Something relevant to scripts from Howard Kazanjian, 1999:

    
“During the entire production, only three full and complete scripts existed. George Lucas's, Director Richard Marquand's, and mine. Richard continually wrote in his and it got quite beat up. I do not believe it existed much after production. Until years later when scripts were printed for other reasons, George and my scripts were the only full and original copies.”

    From: http://www.scifistation.com/lucas/lucas_index.html

    

So that means that any individual actor, from Hamill down to Williams, had as much script as they needed and not more. That means that script pages were frequently to be found unattached to any greater, global, complete script. The combination of the two above quotes by official sources should mean that there should exist surviving script pages that have deliberate disinformation.

    The story that has three parts, that Lucas did write that piece of script, did get that piece filmed, and did place it before a test audience, can be decomposed. Can it be that the test film did not have a significant Ewok celebration? Imagine an Ewok celebration with no Lando, and the closing circle wipe with all the principals except Lando. That's physically possible. Lando being missing from the final circle wipe might go unnoticed if Lucas was sneaky and swapped a variety of people in and out. Lucas could physically compose separate rolls of film to effect a test-version of the MF blowing up in the DS2 tunnel the way the Interceptor did. He could do that and not have news of it reach reporting like Cinefex. A secret test audience, when various sources claim LFL was not doing any test viewings, is a taller tale to entertain.

    

It is possible that the ‘Lando dies’ script falls into the category of script sections that LFL was putting out as deliberate disinformation to “avoid genuine leaks”. The ring of truth that it possesses might have been so strong that more had to be told to satisfy the resonance, and an oral tradition sprang up and grew in the telling. And over time, the oral tradition introduced ‘that’ there had been a test audience, and the test audience saw that it was bad, and said unto George, thou shalt not release thy movie that has Lando die.

    

One further argument in favor of maximum simplicity. A forger forges and forges a script and the script looks like the scripts that were released at that time. And the forger forges text that is so subtly, and so effortlessly, and so uninterestingly *like* George Lucas, and / or / but then it is learned that Lucas himself was forging or defrauding the unauthorized viewer by numerous deceptions of the kind that are like this kind. One theory has more moving parts than the other.

    

*http://starwarz.com/tbone/the-millennium-falcons-and-landos-demise/


    SSD vs SSDs next.
     
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  8. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Hernalt

    http://www.ilm.com/vfx/star-wars-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi/

    You probably already mentioned it, but I think it would be great to get a screencap from the storyboard wall behind Joe Johnston from this otherwise copy-proof interactive ILM gallery. =P~[/quote]

    That's a great find.

    [​IMG]

    SB12, SB13, SB18, SB20 are exact. So that means the label is lower right to the image that is being labeled.
    SB54 is different from concept art SB that was for sale. SB54 is a discussion.
    SB55 is exact. SB54 concept art and SB55 production, considered together, inform deliberations about Tector.
    SB63 concept art had B-Wings. I don’t see B-Wings in this SB 63, which is crossed out.
    SB76 is not exact but redrawn from concept art. It is SD or SSD trench guns firing, from pov of MF cockpit.
    It gets indistinct towards the corner of the space.

    For orientation, SB45 appears to be Piett and SB46 appears to be the DS2 firing.
     
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  9. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Hernalt

    Thanks for saving me some extra work. :)

    Wow, looks like my theory is correct, i.e. that "Chapter Six" of the space battle was created from leftovers and therefore couldn't reflect in Mr. Kahn's novelization: http://boards.theforce.net/threads/...urn-of-the-jedi.50041047/page-2#post-53643275

    In the fourth storyboard column from the left we can clearly see Wedge's outmaneuvering of a TIE fighter from "Chapter Two" in storyboards S829 and S830.
    Both were originally followed by storyboards S831 and S832, i.e. Red Two (aka Gray Leader) shooting down a TIE Interceptor, but this event happened much later in the final film, i.e. "Chapter Six" of the space battle.

    But the part of the storyboard wall that really caught my interest are the crossed out storyboards behind Joe Johnston's head. Now, there's storyboard S855 which shows the Falcon skimming over the upper surface of a Star Destroyer, which is usually assumed to be the bow part of the enigmatic main communications ship - and storyboard S873 clearly shows a B-Wing cockpit!

    (funny, I found myself yelling at Mr. Johnston to get up and move that blasting lamp out of the way so we can get a clearer view [face_laugh])
     
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  10. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Whoa. SB73 ( [ Story Board ] "Space Battle" #73 ) is a B-Wing indeed. It's hard to tell what mask they intended, or if they are intending an alien pilot. It doesn't obviously look Sullustan or Mon Cal, but more like a X-Wing helmet.
    The other set of Story Boards that will be critical in unraveling the mystery of the Sith is "Rebel Attack", which begins I believe with Lando saying everyone follow me. Green Leader/Mad Maxx hitting SSD occurs during ( [ Story Board ] "Rebel Attack" #nn ).

    SB20, SB30 I assume are Wedge in an X-Wing. SB37 I think is an A-Wing. SB31 has the profile of Gray Leader in a Y-Wing. IIRC The actor who represented Gray Leader appears in three places, Gray Leader, Red Two, and I'm Hit. (It's been a year.)
     
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  11. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    SB73 (sorry about my earlier "S8" confusion [face_blush]) was illustrated in the Star Wars Storyboards and Mr. Rinzler annotated it as a B-Wing cockpit, add to this it doesn't resemble any other cockpit shape.

    What I found interesting is that early parts of "Chapter Four" - http://boards.theforce.net/threads/...in-return-of-the-jedi.50041047/#post-53629354 - just behind Mr. Johnston had been crossed out. Now, the attack on the main communications ship would have been the subsequent "Chapter Five", and all the storyboards that should follow on that wall depicting this scene have been crossed out (I'd pay real money to see several of these storyboards in good resolution).
     
  12. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I believe I am off radar at least until I have a simulation Kahn script.

    Noticed something while checking Lost Rebels.

    Poppy Hands / Sila Kott has a cut in the dailies exactly where the line, "Got it", was in the script. You can see the physical cut in the dailies. We know that this snip made it to final film release.
    Ann Murray / Grah Mah has a cut in the dailies exactly where the line, "Red Four, Watch out!", was in the script. Until Lucas himself strikes me with lightning, I think that this snip made it to final editing, and got dropped at a very late stage. It might have gotten past the point of a voice overdub, which is relatively standard, to the point of being at release quality.

    Whatever powers that be are in charge of dreaming up funny spelling names for characters, the Ann Murray A-Wing pilot of the Lost Rebels reel could use one. Her line in the novel (would be) after "There's too many of them" and right before "I'm hit!", in the portion of the battle where the rebel fighters first begin drawing fire away from the cruisers.

    In the film the one who got the line, "I'm hit!" is in a Y-Wing. That is no reason to assert that color groups were meaningless and interchangeable with ship types at all points. One other thing I noticed checking Lost Rebels reel is that the B-Wing pilot lines start *after the point where we could have / might have heard "Blue Leader, standing by." Also, the Vivienne Chandler / Dorovio Bold video in the e-Rinzler gives only a handful of lines at the very end, and we do not get to hear her say what could be / might be "() Leader, standing by." It only makes sense that no X-Wing pilot actor would say the line, "Red Leader, standing by," since that goes to Denis Lawson. The only remaining color groups are Green and Blue. I suspect the X-Wing pilots red "Green Leader" and the B-Wings read "Blue Leader, standing by."

    If one wants evidence that the B-Wing was originated out of a need to represent an alien fighter to represent the diversity of the Rebel Alliance, look in the Art of Return of the Jedi. The Joe Johnston Sketchbook does have that B-Wing prototype, but it is not labeled. Art of Return of the Jedi connects the dots between Alien fighter and (fighter that a Mon Cal and a Sullustan fly in Lost Rebels).
     
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  13. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I would reverse this logic. We already know that the imperial jamming worked with the jamming emitter out of line of sight. We know that because the Emperor said, “Send the fleet to the far side of Endor. There it will stay until called for.” Same in Kahn and in sanitized Third Draft. Then later Kahn says, "The large central view-screen was coming alive. It was no longer just the Death Star and the green moon behind it, floating isolated in space. Now the massive Imperial fleet could be seen flying in perfect, regimental formation, out from behind Endor in two behemoth flanking waves—heading to surround the Rebel fleet from both sides, like the pincers of a deadly scorpion."

    I have never been forced to burn incense to the Emperor and recite that Endor means the gas giant and not the forest moon. Kahn himself does not appear to have shared 2017's optimistic appraisal that "Endor" dictates the gas giant. Kahn has, "Admiral Ackbar stepped forward. His specialty was Imperial defense procedures. He raised his fin and pointed at the holographic model of the force field emanating from Endor. " So if Kahn is to be trusted to have been self-consistent and self-aware in his usages, Endor must mean the moon, the small moon, the forest moon, moon with the shield-generator, the moon with the Ewoks, the sanctuary moon. Kahn's conceptions should inform how the script Kahn was given can be interpreted. I have gotten comfortable exploiting any excuse in Star Wars to place it into a greater astrophysical context that it is nearly automatic to prefer that Endor is a gas giant of several times Jupiter mass supporting an earth-size moon with earth-magnitude gravity thereby holding an earth density atmosphere. And be done with it. The use of Endor as a gas giant adds an asterix to the Emperor's order to put the fleet on the far side of Endor. *Because the Empire knew the Rebels were massing near Sullust, and because the Empire knew the orientation and coordinates of a likely approach, it was possible to put the Imperial fleet behind the gas giant AND out of sight of the Rebel fleet on its likely incoming vector. This is still the case if the forest moon itself was Endor.

    (That being said) Kahn thought the forest moon was Endor. So when Kahn talks about flanking waves, he was thinking -it would appear- that the two flanking waves were coming from behind the moon. That should mean that one flank came up on the Rebel's rear, and one came up beside / out around / underneath the DS2. The same logic applies with the jamming emitter. It works whether it is behind the gas giant or the forest moon because it works while out of sight. So there is no preferred sequence of presentation of which flank should have the main communications ship or should show up first.

    What does exist is key scenes identifying the ship to the rear of the Rebels. Emperor tells Vader to go to the command ship. Then we see Vader and Piett are on the same ship that clears the Tydirium. When Lando first does an about face, he is flying towards the Imperial ship at the Rebel's tail. That Imperial segment of fleet is starboard lit. When Piett says hold position, that ship is facing the DS2 with the rebels in between. Same ship. Starboard lit. Command ship. Gets hit by Green Leader.

    When Lando did a turn and said, "I wonder what those Star Destroyers are waiting for":
    1.) The turn to align with the Imperial fleet was a starboard turn, as was the starboard turn where the MF was leaving the 'task force' that had the medical frigate. Thereby Lucas was able to imply a fluid single motion and a geography of the battlefield. The 'task force' with the medical frigate thereby was presented as having already made the turn from pointing to the DS2 to pointing to the Imperial fleet segment that appeared at the Rebel fleet's rear. So Lucas, as of film release, wanted the viewer to conclude that the second appearance, the port lit, was the exact same set of ships as the first appearance.
    2.) (But...) Those Imperial ships are port lit.
    3.) Lando only identified the ships generically. Nothing about "The" command ship, or "Vader's" ship, or "Piett's" ship, or "super" star destroyer.
    4.) The ships that Luke and the Emperor see while looking out one window are at an orientation that corresponds with a segment of Imperial fleet being beside / out around the DS2, but at a great distance, if one is judging that distance by the size of the presumed SSD.

    So if one of the two images of an SSD is the better candidate for being the main communications ship, it would be the second in appearance, the port-lit one, the one beside the DS2, the one that Luke sees in profile.

    This consideration is weak to the valid objection that Lucas frequently uses mirrored images. For a variety of reasons. The best defense of this consideration (that there are two SSDs, not one) is a thorough and painstaking analysis of where Lucas used mirror images anywhere in the OT, where the mirroring appeared 'in-universe'. E.g., a viewer watching SW77 can see for themselves that Darth Vader has a green Start and red Stop button on his chest plate that are on the left side. Then there's disk drives on the right side. But then it only takes a few whacks from Obi-Wan's lightsaber and the Star and Stop buttons are now on the right and the disk drives on the left. One can theorize that Lucas was being expedient and efficient and had a pretty good anticipation that relevant audiences of the next few years from release date would not quip over the inconsistency. One can push the theory and say that Lucas experimented with shooting Guinness on the right and with Guinness on the left, and kept what was best of both experiments. Same with Leia in Hoth command center when Solo enters. Mirrored shots. In that case to make the room slightly bigger than it was, and to lend geography to the room, whose ultimate purpose is narrative tension. Then the DS2 firing right side up and then upside down. It's easy to imagine that was expedience based on correct assessment of who, how many, and how relevant would care in the years following release of ROTJ.

    So the existence of mirrored images of the Imperial fleet should best be approached after being armed with explanations for every other mirroring in OT. The easiest, most economic interpretation was that Lucas needed to not use identical shots twice, and so had to change shots, and the easiest way was to mirror one shot - same as he did for DS2 firing. But Kahn still says there were two flanking waves. I did not see anything in the Cinefex pointing to two flanking waves. I would take from that that Lucas abandoned the idea prior to real work being done on ship studio model VFX.
     
  14. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Maybe it was "two flanking waves" that met and came to a halt facing the Rebels, moments before we actually see the fleet?

    That allows for the conservative interpretation, while not decanonizing that line from the Kahn version?
     
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  15. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000

    I'll hold my thought till Hija gets a rebuttal.

    Lt. Hija
    I've analyzed their attack run (in lost rebels) and there is a danger that this script contains three unique scenes, not two.

    1. "Green Leader standing by."
    2. "Three of them coming in. 30 degrees."
    3. "I'm on it, Red Leader."
    4. "There's too many of them!
    5. "You're taking a lot of fire! Back off!"
    6. "Red Four, watch out!"
    7. "I'm hit!"
    8. "It's your left power supply!"
    9. "Got it."
    10. "If you pick one up, watch it."
    11. "My scope's negative. Where is he?"
    12. "Red Six, a squad of fighters have broken through."

    13. "We're starting our attack run on the main power tree."
    14. "I copy. Moving into position."
    15. "Stay clear of their front batteries."
    16. "It's a heavy fire zone down there."
    17. "I'm in range."
    18. "Right with you."
    19. "I'm losing power."
    20. "Get clear. She's gonna blow!"
    21. "I'm on the leader."
    22. "Stay away from those side guns."
    23. "Heavy fire. I see it. Look out."
    24. "Pull up! Pull up!"

    25. "Stay close to the ground."
    26. "Firing proton torpedoes."
    27. "I've lost my main stabilizer. I can't pull out."

    Lines 1-12 during defense of cruisers.
    Lines 13-24 during attack on main communications ship.
    Lines 25-27 might be a fighter -an X-Wing (Mad Maxx) OR an A-Wing (Green Leader) OR both- attacking SSD. Those lines were all too wordy so Lucas just had somebody go AAAhghghhgaaa! and that got the point across. But Vivienne Chandler reads those (X-Wing), the Sullustan and Mon Cal in the B-Wing, AND, Green Wing in the Kahn novelization says "Firing proton torpedoes" wrt SSD. The Kahn is of course different from the film, ergo, the film version went through development after the script hand off. And I'll suspect, went through development *after the filming of those cockpit pit scenes for all fighters.

    There are yet other lines that "must have" been read, at least by A-Wing pilot actors, that are in deleted scenes. So the full lost rebels script is not fully recovered.
     
  16. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    TBPH, the constant alternating use of "Endor" by the protagonists in ROJ probably made Kahn conclude that the mother planet had been gone long ago (i.e. I don't think he can be blamed). From Star Wars to Indiana Jones (1994) featured storyboard OP 2 from the opening scene (Vader's shuttle flying towards the camera / Death Star) and the elements of the VFX shot included "Planet Endor" (seen in the far distance) and "Endor (moon)" as a "matte [painting]", so that was the official approach and we finally saw the gas giant Endor in one of the Ewok films over the forest moon.

    But I think it's redundant for our discussion. Either the Imperial fleet was hiding behind the forest moon or behind the gas giant from where it made a small hyperspace jump. Upon exiting hyperspace the Alliance fleet apparently didn't make a 360° sweep of the area or they would have instantly discovered the Imperial fleet - unless of course the Imperial fleet hadn't jumped and arrived, yet. Obviously the Empire had the advantage that it knew that the Alliance fleet had been massing near Sullust and would jump from there, so they could conclude the flight trajectory (and thanks to their 'reporters' the time of the jump) of the Alliance fleet and prepare themselves accordinglý.

    I remain confdent that he didn't make the scene up but was merely embellishing the (missing) screenplay description of a scene that would have taken place as a holographic projection in the briefing room. As such (and in order not to confuse audiences more than necessary) we would have seen the forest moon, the Death Star and small (differently colored objects) representing both the Alliance and Imperial fleet.

    I concur, the VFX illumination of the Super Star Destroyers appears reversed next to the live-action footage on the Super Star Destroyer bridge. But that could be a minor VFX screwup (we don't know for sure) only overzealous nitpickers such as ourselves would notice. :-B

    IMHO, it's not an essential clue regarding the basic question whether there were two Super Star Destroyers present during the Battle of Endor or just one.

    After ESB did you seriously expect Lando to be more precise? When he saw the Executor over Bespin all he ever said was "Star Destroyer". :(

    But there is no mirrored shot of the Imperial fleet, both are unique and undoubtedly the extra shot was expensive, and IMHO this was done originally to suggest two SSDs but discarded the moment the scene featuring the attack on the main communications ship ("larger Star Destroyer") was discarded and never talked about again. However, it does appear as if the Falcon and company made a 180° turn after they discovered the shield was still intact and the only SSD that could have blocked their flight trajectory was the command ship (because it shows up at the same position later), i.e. the first shot of the Imperial fleet mustn't necessarily show the main communications SSD but the command SSD instead.
     
  17. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    If you look at the scene in the bunker, Leia says "Han, hurry, the fleet is almost here" but it's not clear if it's the Rebel fleet or the Imperial fleet that's moving across the screen showing the Death Star.

    [​IMG]

    Kahn (and Saxton) interpreted it as the Imperial fleet.
     
  18. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000

    "Visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston talks about “Black Friday,” the day Lucas cut many effects shots (and substituted others) in order to improve the film. (Interview by Garrett, 1983)"


    "Visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston talks eloquently about how ILM creates a special effects shot and its evolution. (Interview by Garrett, 1983)"


    "Telematics (or videomatics) are featured in Marquand’s cut (a black-and-white dupe) of the attack on the second Death Star (portions are without audio), which is intercut with Imperial Moff Jerjerrod (Michael Pennington) ordering countermeasures; Ben Burtt performs Ackbar’s lines, circa August 19, 1982."


    "A black-and-white dupe of a daily showing the death of a female X-wing pilot (Vivienne Chandler), as filmed and directed by the second unit."


    "Printed dailies from February 16, 1982, of General Nadine (Dermot Crowley) and crew as they react to the battle and the destruction of the Imperial fleet (again, Marquand is directing from off camera)."
     
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  19. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    That could be a retcon that the current franchise holders could implement. It is difficult to justify in terms of tactics. Piett himself says 'We only need to keep them from escaping.' If preventing the Rebels from escaping is what the Imperial fleet needs to do, and we the viewer have already overheard Lando and Ackbar talking about the option of retreat, then we the viewer know that the Imperial fleet is not actually doing all it is capable of doing to 'keep them from escaping'. Quite rather, as Lando and Ackbar entertain, the Rebel fleet is trapped in the unique circumstance, or, trapped in time, and is not so much really trapped in space. So if there had been two flanking sections of Imperial fleet, how much more could Piett execute his duty to 'keep them from escaping' and maximize the possibility of actually trapping them in space, while they are already trapped in time. I imagine some clever Disney writer could craft some non-tactical rationale, maybe involving daft, internal, officer corps politics, that transitions the Kahn / original Lucas conception into the Lucas / film release conception. Disney is most certainly colonizing the entire OT. The still-reverberating daftness that the ROTJ SSD didn't have auxiliary steering opens up a huge amount of real estate of inscrutable flaw in Imperial procedure or design for Disney writers to exploit.

    This was an excellent riddle. =D= I composed 1000+ words before I looked at it from a tactical standpoint, and then this popped out.
     
  20. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Legends invented Interdictor cruisers for this purpose (with newcanon reusing them) - making the "option of retreat" significantly more difficult. Basically the fleet can block all routes to the Interdictors, (which are some way back behind it - "offscreen") and fire on any ship that heads for them.

    So, as Lando recommends - they don't try to escape - but keep waiting for Han - and when the Death Star starts firing - they move close enough to the Imperial fleet that it risks collateral damage if it keeps doing it.
     
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  21. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    That's not what Kahn suggested. As a matter of fact and according to him, the Alliance fleet had already exited hyperspace the moment Leia, Han and the commandos enter the bunker control room and Leia sees on the screen that their fleet is under attack by the Imperial one.

    The final film edit tells us a different story and since we didn't watch ROJ on a split screen with events occurring in real time, I wouldn't know whether the bunker scene runs parallel to the one of the Alliance fleet preparing for the attack (i.e. it's just the Alliance fleet in the above screencap) or happens right before the Alliance fleet exits hyperspace (i.e. it then must be the Imperial fleet, possibly before it split into two waves).

    =D= WOW! These gems you excavate are amazing, and this one is really one of the more if not most interesting one, IMHO, because it appears to feature (previously unseen) Super Star Destroyer superstructure elements that stand in for (yet) unfinished Death Star tunnel model elements!

    Now, at 0:06' we see what's probably taken from the Ralston videomatics that feature the model of the Emperor's SSD superstructure we saw in the film. But where it truly gets interesting is the 'trench' we see between 1:01 and 1:06'. This is a VFX model but I do not recall ever having seen it in the Death Star tunnel scenes. As a matter of fact I believe it's part of the main communications ship superstructure and the horizontal aperture at the end of this trench could be the enigmatic cargo bay with the power reactors inside Lando (Kahn) described in Chapter 9 of the ROJ novelization.

    Thanks, it would appear that it's General Madine reacting to the destruction of the Emperor's Super Star Destroyer. That's been my theory for quite some time now. ;)
     
  22. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Leia sees on the screen that the Imperial fleet is moving toward the Rebel fleet in order to attack it, as I recall, in the novel.

    (precise wording escapes me - but Saxton treated the novel as proof that this was the Imperial fleet - as part of his conjecture about Star Destroyer speeds and decelerations).
     
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  23. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    These are good, thorny questions and evidence at this resolution is diffuse and scarce. Offering an opinion is worthless. Arranging evidence in a way that is remotely persuasive will take 'some time'.
     
  24. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    SSD vs SSDs

    The simplest explanation is that it is possible Kahn extrapolated from Lucas’ “enemy ships at Sector RT-23 and PB-4” and embellished it with “two behemoth flanking waves”. This simple explanation doesn’t answer why there was a battle outside the Emperor’s window, and other select inconsistencies.

    The simplest explanation for why there was a battle outside the Emperor’s window is that Lucas completely abandoned all rational spatial relationships in that scene in an effort to set his emotional note and poetic tone just right. Lucas usually tries to preserve spatial relationships, and this is quite a glaring exception.

    The inconsistency Hija pointed out about the scene heading / slugline for the SSD is not easily answered. The simplest explanation for why it went from Vader’s Star Destroyer to Super Star Destroyer and back to Vader’s Star Destroyer is that there was a reduction, simplification, or combination of previously separate sets.
    I will try to pursue these lines of thought with what evidence I have at hand.


    I. SSD scene headers
    Hija said, “It's only for the second shot of the Imperial fleet that the Super Star Destroyer we see here is established to be "the Emperor's Super Star Destroyer" (with which he arrived at the Death Star according to a storyboard not implemented in the final film) while the Super Star Destroyer in the first shot is not identified!”

    Until I see that claim demonstrated all I have to go on is what Rinzler provides in Storyboards. Rinzler Storyboards page 207 bottom has two concept storyboards by George Jenson. Rinzler identifies the Joe Johnston story boards as Vader’s approach to the DS2. The two George Jenson images that Rinzler appears to assign to Vader’s arrival at the DS2 both feature a Shuttle Tydirium class exiting a hangar that is positioned on the back of the commonly seen superstructure of an Imperial capital ship (commonly called conning tower, bridge, etc). The image on the bottom left is zoomed in enough to the back of the superstructure that you cannot know perfectly that it “is” a standard SD as opposed to an SSD. The bottom right image is not so zoomed in, and reveals a great linear plane of hull stretching out before the superstructure. This cannot be anything but what we appreciate to be a SSD. The George Jenson images, it should be reasonable to assume, are early concept art of Vader’s arrival at the DS2, and are not concept art of the Emperor’s arrival later. We do know that Vader was in possession of his SSD at the end of ESB.

    So if Rinzler was accurate, Vader once arrived in an SSD, at least in concept art. That has a resonance with the scene header in the sanitized script where the SSD with Piett on it is called “VADER’S STAR DESTROYER”. If Vader was intended by Lucas to arrive at the DS2 in a SSD, then that conception precedes the scripts given to Kahn, because Kahn has him arriving in an “Imperial Star Destroyer”.

    As I was comparing Kahn and Third Draft, I wondered for a brief period if the scene header became “VADER’S STAR DESTROYER” simply because the Emperor, the local highest source of authority, had commanded Vader to go out and wait on the command ship. The Emperor had arrived by a command ship, and he was now settled in in his throne room, and he had his own designs on Luke to meditate upon. Vader Left the command ship because he sensed Luke and had his own designs. If the command ship had attained the scene header of “VADER’S STAR DESTROYER” because Vader was on it, then it might lose that header once Vader left it. That was my thinking.

    The scene breakdown in the sanitized script - which ought to have been scrub-a-dubbed of this sort of thing, still retains vestiges of some incomplete thought.

    60 INT VADER'S STAR DESTROYER - BRIDGE 60
    Shuttle Tydirium with clearance code. Vader is on board.

    103 INT SUPER STAR DESTROYER - BRIDGE 103
    Piett says wait here the Emperor has something special. Vader is not on board.

    128 INT VADER'S STAR DESTROYER - BRIDGE 128
    Piett says increase forward firepower. Vader is not on board.

    Vader has left the SSD by scene 103, and is certainly no longer on it by Scene 128. And in the film he arrived at DS2 on a SD. And in the film the Emperor arrived on a SSD.

    The scene description for 60 resonates with several scenes in ESB:

    Someone could be forgiven for wondering if this scene was extremely early in script overhaul and channeled the ESB status quo, such that Vader was back, in his own SSD, and his context was barely different, and then the Emperor arrived, somehow, by some means, but it was not on >Vader’s< star destroyer, an SSD. And then Lucas needed to increase the grand entrance or dignity of the new in-person character the Emperor, and that kinda sorta required that Vader’s grand entrance be demoted while the Emperor’s was promoted. And the vestigial remains are that there are still scene headers saying Vader’s Star Destroyer.

    If a Vader SSD was inherited briefly from ESB, but a new live action character of surpassing importance needed to be introduced convincingly there could have been a handoff in Lucas' mind of a Heisenberg nature, where both Vader and the Emperor briefly had their own SSD. And that collapsed as the situation demanded into the SSD belonging to the Emperor.

    This does not move any chess pieces on the board of the main communications ship. This just points to some ambiguity in the ‘one’ SSD that is known.



    II. Combat as seen from DS2

    In Kahn, the matching throne room scene occurs just prior to the rebels dropping out of hyperspace. “The Emperor continued. “From here, young Skywalker, you will witness the final destruction of the Alliance—and the end of your insignificant rebellion.” So there is no combat to be seen outside the windows, and so the Emperor is telling Luke he WILL see the battle.

    In the sanitized script, this segment of the scene occurs just after the Rebels have done an about face and the fighters are flying into waves of TIEs, the cruisers are trying to get distance from the DS2, and the fighters’ primary goal is to draw fire away from the cruisers. The DS2 has not yet fired and changed the balance, so, the phase of battle where Lando and Ackbar agree to get into broadside slugging matches with SDs has not yet started.

    In the film, what Luke sees outside the window the first time he looks is two fully engaged and fully mixed fleets trading broadsides at point blank range, with fighters swarming at every point. This reflects the phase of battle After the DS2 has fired and After the rebel cruisers have started mixing with the SDs. But this is not supposed to be the case because we have not reached the point in the throne room scene where the Emperor tells Jerjerrod to fire. So what Luke sees is not supposed to be happening, yet. At this time in the film, Luke Should be seeing a stable group of SDs standing off at great distance from a group of rebel cruisers that are moving away from the DS2 (and him), and Imperial fighters mostly harassing the cruisers, and rebel fighters mostly trying to draw away Imperial fighters. (This is irrespective of whether there is a single Imperial fleet or two sections.)

    So Lucas again is making an editorial choice. Maybe there was a mixup and the wrong reel, a later reel, was put in earlier than it should have been. It is easier to believe that Lucas chose the footage that would have maximally engaging drama for the scene and the moment in question.

    How does the timing in the script match with the view of the battle that Luke gets, and how does that match with the triggers in Luke’s turn to the Dark Side?

    https://starwarsscreencaps.com/star-wars-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi-1983/69/

    These screen caps statically show that Luke did not step away from the windows until after the conditions had obtained of rebel cruisers engaging with SDs at point blank range. So there is conservation, if a little stretching, of the general flow of battle.

    Lucas juxtaposes the loss of an X-Wing and a Y-Wing immediately before the Emperor telling Luke, “Your fleet is lost. And your friends on the Endor moon will not survive.” The Emperor further taunts Luke and effects that Luke draws first. This moment right exactly here leading up to his teetering on the Dark Side is the moment that Luke should have seen the footage of the fully mixed battle that the film says he saw too early / before it began. So, the slip in the time stream has caught up as of now. If Luke looks out that window exactly now, and sees a SSD in close fighting with rebel cruisers, then NOW that SSD is a different SSD than the command ship that we know is aligned with its bow to the DS2 and is also a great distance away.

    Perhaps someone will produce examples where Lucas settles for an emotional or notional or tonal representation of an otherwise very explainable, indicative, declarative spatial relationship. I cannot think of any, but then I don’t study allll aspects of the OT. Hija has provided examples where Lucas made clever salvage of footage from various angles of the Star Destroyer bridge. This is not that case. This is not forced perspective. This is not matte. This is not a trick of the eye or an illusion. The film itself is saying there’s a fleet, an engagement, at such and such an angle and distance so as to make it distinct from the fleet and engagement that we know Should Not share that angle and distance.

    The lowest possible, least cognitively challenging method of bridging this inconsistency is to throw up one’s hands and say Star Wars is fantasy. That’s easy enough for confronting one piece of media. That does not by itself help destroy the concerning lines in Kahn, neither the possibly elaborated ‘flank / pincers’ or the transcription from Lucas of two unique sector coordinates.

    This does not move any chess pieces on the board of the main communications ship, because more evidence would be to necessary to outflank that easy explanation.


    I’ll try to work on
    Lighting from port or starboard
    next
     
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  25. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    [​IMG]
     
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