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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. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Hernalt asked

    Can you think of any best candidates for what Ackbar was saying, that was deemed ‘pointless’?

    ACKBAR
    We've got to give those fighters more time. Concentrate all fire on
    that Super Star Destroyer.

    I still don't understand how the 'sinking' of the Emperor's SSD would have given the Falcon and the fighters inside the Death Star "more time", unless a) Ackbar anticipated the SSD to take a nose-dive and crash into the Death Star to b) stall the Death Star from completing its rotation to get the optimal firing position to obliterate the Endor moon.
     
  2. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Well, that is an excellent candidate for a line that is not remotely explained in the film itself. Your theory about Endor is pretty good as the ticking bomb factor. If the Death Star could rotate faster than the fighters could get through the tunnel system, then, the fighters were running out of time in so far as the fate of the rebels (and Ewoks, to the omniscient viewer) on Endor was concerned. Lucas has a quote that he cut out the Emperor Jerjerrod Endor scene because the Emperor's death was the time "lock-in", and he felt that rendered a secondary time element or count down moot. But as you say, there it is pretty prominent in that line of Ackbar's. Ackbar could not have known anything about the Emperor Vader Luke time line.

    IF what you say has the remotest grain of truth, and you are not retroactively rewriting your conception of the past just because this same concept has been broached in Rogue One, THEN, what you say has very interesting implications for students and fans of Rogue One. Because the seeds of the pivotal tactical choice were sown in ROTJ, except that in ROTJ it is never explained what exactly is the tactical objective of taking out the SSD. It is only ever left as a tonal chord struck at the choice moment, to distill or symbolize the 'health bar' of the Empire. The viewer of ROTJ sees that 'health bar' start to go down, down, down, as a representation of the spiritual and emotional stock in the other scenes, but not as an indication of a tactical objective that matters to the other scenes. This has never been figured out. This riddle would be fertile ground for new canon.

    But anyway, that cannot be the actual Ackbar line that Ralston was referring to, because he said "So George was trying to cut back and tossed them both." So the available lines for Ackbar that are not in the film release include Kahn lines, Home lines (these are not a 1:1 relationship), and videomatic lines for which that Ben Burtt did voiceover.
     
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  3. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Hernalt wrote

    IF what you say has the remotest grain of truth, and you are not retroactively rewriting your conception of the past just because this same concept has been broached in Rogue One, THEN, what you say has very interesting implications for students and fans of Rogue One. Because the seeds of the pivotal tactical choice were sown in ROTJ, except that in ROTJ it is never explained what exactly is the tactical objective of taking out the SSD.

    I'm not sure I'm following correctly, but are you suggesting that a large Rebel Star Cruiser might have seized the opportunity to attach itself at the keel of the SSD (after it had been immobilized), fire its engines (as the SSD impacts on the DS surface, a starboard particle thrust beam is clearly visible that wasn't there earlier when the SSD began to 'sink'...) to use the SSD as a massive projectile against the DS?
    [face_thinking]
     
  4. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I think, 'nevermind'. My point is too paper-thin to be useful to the question of Lost Rebels. It really only reflects on the widely supported Rogue One.

    So next time I sit down with my materials I will try to locate an Ackbar line, that is not in the film, that best fits what Ralston would have considered "pointless".
     
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  5. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I. Ackbar of course gets a lot of lines throughout Lucas’ writing. They are evidenced in the released film, the Kahn James Version, the Gerald Home scripts, and in the videomatics where Death Star is turning towards Endor.

    The context Ralston gave was that this line followed a finished VFX sequence where an A-Wing is being chased by a TIE around a Star Destroyer dome. That means that this Ackbar line cannot be from the phase of battle where the rebel fighters were defending the rebel cruisers from TIEs. There is a passage in Kahn between Ackbar and Lando where they argue the pros and cons of taking the rebel cruisers in broadsides with the Star Destroyers. In Kahn, this passage is belabored and pointless. Ackbar’s lines that are in Kahn but not in the film are, “But no one's ever gone nose to nose at that range, between supervessels like their destroyers and our cruisers!” and “We know nothing about the tactics of such a confrontation!” It is possible that Kahn interpolated and generated these tedious lines on his own. But there’s no excellent reason to doubt that these were in the original Lucas script, since they are bracketed by lines that do exist in the film (‘point-blank range’, ‘won’t last long against’). There is no obvious narrative room for the visuals of a well-developed VFX scene with the action that Ralston describes. So this is not it.

    Ackbar is not featured in the attack in progress on the main communications ship, but does appear after that ship has been destroyed. The sequence of events suggests that this ship was responsible for the jamming that confused rebel sensors. Ackbar’s lines are, “The jamming has stopped. We have a reading on the shield.” and “I'm afraid so. It looks like General Solo's unit didn't make it.” These are interesting but not so pointedly important as to be really essential in the three-theatre finale. So they might be what Ralston called pointless. It certainly does not make a viewer drop their suspended disbelief to (later) hear Ackbar suddenly announce, “the shield is down”, after the viewer has seen with their own eyes the shield emitter dish be destroyed. Perhaps Ackbar’s big eyes are good enough to spot that explosion on the surface of Endor. Maybe he had sensors that detected when the dish was destroyed. The Lost Rebel lines for the attack on the EMCS primarily depict rebel fighters taking on a ship that is defending itself, and is not obviously defended by TIEs. So this is not obviously the passage Ralston thought was pointless.

    The scene subsequent to the previous is where Ackbar whispers to himself, “They did it.” Not really pointless, not really necessary. We get a scene where Ackbar reveals an inner exhaustion at keeping up commanding appearances when he slumps after the SSD starts to fall. This line doesn’t have the oomph of pointlessness, and doesn’t have any obvious context for the elaborate VFX shot.

    Ackbar by inference shows up again for the not-included sequences where the Death Star is turning while the rebel fighters are burrowing down the service tunnels. There’s a line in Kahn where Lando says, “Split off and head back to the surface—Home-one just called for a fighter, and you might draw some fire off us.” But film Lando says, “Split up and head back to the surface. See if you can get a few of those TIE fighters to follow you.” So the Kahn line shows that there is some involvement between Ackbar, or what Ackbar says and does, and the kind of ship that Green Leader is piloting, an A-Wing. (It is common retcon that A-Wings are interceptors…) Why or how Ackbar knows that the Rebel Attack force can do without _one_ fighter is left mysterious. It can be as easy as Lando reporting back that he had the ships to spare - he and a critical mass of fighters got far enough into the Death Star that the rear guard / covering fighters’ job is complete.

    The lines by Ackbar during the Death Star turning phase are, “The Death Star is turning away from the fleet—looks like it's repositioning to destroy the Endor Moon.” and “Point oh three.” One that’s not really pointless, and one that makes a quantitative point.

    The last line of Ackbar in the film is, “We've got to give those fighters more time. Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer.” In Kahn this is, “We've knocked out their forward shields. Fire at the bridge.” We know that Green Leader should be the same Green Leader that was engaged in the Death star tunnels until he was ordered to the surface, because his entrance is, ‘“Glad to help out, Home-one,” called Green Leader.’

    The Kahn Ackbar line, “We've knocked out their forward shields. Fire at the bridge.”, is already covered in concept by the scene that Lucas composed for the SSD bridge with Piett. An analysis of Call Sheets suggests that Scene 128 (‘intensify forward batteries’) was either a scene in progress, or had not been composed into numbered scene form early on. We vicariously experience through Piett the ‘lost our shields’ and ‘intensify forward batteries’ moments, which is the rough direction of Ackbar’s line. It is sound or probable that Kahn had the script with the Ackbar line before Lucas had finished perfecting Scene 128. So, because of the final Piett scene, the final Kahn Ackbar scene was actually rendered moot. However, the final Ackbar line in the film, “Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer”, precedes and anticipates and complements the final Piett scene. It is not moot or redundant - it is a tonal, emotional note of finality. As I’ve made analogy before, the SSD is sort of the Empire’s ‘health bar’. The film Piett scene makes the Kahn (original script) scene “pointless”. Also, there are A-Wings in the area of a Star Destroyer dome.

    What I think might have happened was that the voice of Ackbar (Erik Bauersfeld) read a number of variations of lines, including the Kahn script ones and the film release ones. The Kahn lines were originally intended to be incorporated with VFX. In this case, the scene and line Ralston could have been talking about was the action of an A-Wing doing what Ackbar had said, concentrating fire on the SSD, but in this case it was followed by a defending TIE. But then the Piett scene stole the show in terms of what minimal lines needed to be released in film to get the general entirety of the scene across. So that Ackbar set of frames was dropped. The VFX shot of the two A-Wings flying down at the large studio scale dome also stole the show in terms of what visual elements needed to be released in film. So the frames Ralston had been so happy with were dropped. This hypothesis requires that Erik Bauersfeld read both sets of lines during overdubbing, or he read the film release version, and someone like Ben Burtt read the Kahn versions. If I had to pick, I’d say that Ralston called “pointless” a Ben Burtt reading of a Kahn Ackbar line.



    II. While researching what might be the best candidate for what Ken Ralston called a “pointless” line, I saw a connection between Green Leader and Jake Ferrell.

    Here is the dialogue of the Kahn passage, which would be based on the script that Lucas sent Kahn in very early 1982 or prior:

    111__________“I see it—the power-channel system,” Wedge radioed. “I'm going in.”
    222__________“I see it, too,” agreed Lando. “Here goes nothing.”
    333>OOO______“This isn't going to be easy—“
    444__________“Where are we going, Gold Leader?” Wedge called out gaily.
    555>PPP______“Lock onto the strongest power source,” Lando suggested. “It should be the generator.”
    666>VVV______“Red Wing, stay alert—we could run out of space real fast.”
    777>YYY______“I’ve got a reading on a major shaft obstruction ahead,” Lando announced.
    888>ZZZ______“Just picked it up. Will you make it?”
    999>aaa______“Going to be a tight squeeze.”
    AAA__________“My scope's gone!” yelled Wedge.
    BBB__________“Cut speed,” cautioned Lando. “Some kind of power discharge causing interference.”
    CCC__________“Switch to visual scanning.”
    DDD__________“That's useless at these velocities—we'll have to fly nearly blind.”
    EEE__________“Green Leader!” called Lando.
    FFF__________“Copy, Gold Leader.”
    GGG__________“Split off and head back to the surface—Home-one just called for a fighter, and you might draw some fire off us.”
    _____________Green Leader and his cohort peeled off, out of the power shaft, back up to the cruiser battle. One TIE fighter followed, firing continuously.
    HHH>RRR______Ackbar's voice came in over the comlink. “The Death Star is turning away from the fleet—looks like it's repositioning to destroy the Endor Moon.”
    III>SSS______“How long before it's in position?” Lando asked.
    JJJ>TTT______“Point oh three.”
    KKK>UUU______“That's not enough time! We're running out of time.”
    LLL__________Wedge broke in the transmission. “Well, we're running out of shaft, too.”
    MMM>bbb______“That was too close,” muttered Calrissian.
    NNN__________“Gdzhng dzn,” nodded the copilot.



    Here is a transcript of the videomatic offered in e-Rinzler that was assembled in August 1982:


    OOO<333______”This isn't going to be easy. The shaft branches off." (Wedge)

    PPP<555______”Now lock onto the strongest power source. It should be the power generator." (Lando)

    QQQ__________”Those fighters are still back there." (Jake Ferrell)
    RRR<HHH______”The Death Star is turning away from the fleet. It's going to blow up the Endor moon." (Ackbar)

    SSS<III______”How long before it's in position." (Lando)

    TTT<JJJ______”Point Oh Three." (Ackbar)

    UUU<KKK______”That doesn't give us much time." (Lando)

    VVV<666______”Red Wing. Form up. And stay alert. We could run out of space real fast." (Wedge)
    WWW__________”Rebel fighters have entered the superstructure." (Imperial controller)

    XXX__________”Open the power discharge gates. Flood Sector 304 and 138. That should slow them up a bit." (Jerjerrod)
    
YYY<777______”I got a reading on a shaft obstruction at 6 marks." (Lando)
    
ZZZ<888______”Just picked it up on my scope. We'll make it through. Will you?" (Wedge)

    aaa__________”This is gonna be a tight squeeze." (Lando)
    bbb<MMM______”That was too close." (Lando)



    Here is what survives in the final film release:

    111__________“I’m going in.” (Wedge)
    222__________“Here goes nothing.” (Lando)
    555>PPP______“Now lock onto the strongest power source. It should be the power generator.” (Lando)
    666>VVV______“Form up. And stay alert. We could run out of space real fast.” (Wedge)
    GGG__________“Split up and head back to the surface. See if you can get a few of those TIE fighters to follow you.” (Lando)
    FFF__________“Copy, Gold Leader.” (Pilot)
    MMM>bbb______“That was too close.” (Lando)


    I could make various observations about the paring choices Lucas made. The Jake Ferrell line from the videomatic stands out to me. You *could have an A-Wing pilot warning Gold Leader that it is still too dangerous to start locking onto a strongest power source. ‘Don’t do that just yet, there are still too many TIE behind us.’ That’s one possibility. It’s not a strongly obvious possibility.

    We know the videomatic is not a final configuration because we know that Lando does have an A-Wing go back to the surface. It is kind of a summary, from entrance into the tunnels until that tight space where the MF loses its dish. It is to be expanded upon. Maybe it is a stand-in sponge. All the lines in the film release occur in the Kahn script. Only three lines from the videomatic occur in the film release.

    The sequence of ‘lock onto the strongest power source’ and ‘those fighters are still back there’ doesn’t have the ring of necessary and sufficient causality. And the videomatic is decidedly rough. And the videomatic is decidedly a blend and rework of the Kahn script, moving up the involvement of Ackbar, and adding three new characters, Pilot, Jerjerrod and Controller. What I hypothesize or propose is a Kahn script revision that occurs before the videomatic is assembled. All you do is insert the Jake Ferrell line in a specific place, and then re-imagine how Lucas would have gone about the thought process to re-mix the sequence into the videomatic. See if you can spot where Jake Ferrell now shows up, and see if it makes sense, and see if it still makes sense once the videomatic is remixed. I think this was the original destiny of the Jake Ferrell character. Jake Ferrell was NOT Green Leader. Green Leader of SSD bridge fame (Arvel Crynyd) was this Green Leader, here. Jake Ferrell made it clear that Lando’s orders to Green Leader did Not result in a substantial number of TIEs being fooled into leaving the trail of the MF. It would be a pinch of tension-raising sweetener like other Lost Rebel lines that did survive into the final release.

    111__________“I see it—the power-channel system,” Wedge radioed. “I'm going in.”
    222__________“I see it, too,” agreed Lando. “Here goes nothing.”
    333>OOO______“This isn't going to be easy—“
    444__________“Where are we going, Gold Leader?” Wedge called out gaily.
    555>PPP______“Lock onto the strongest power source,” Lando suggested. “It should be the generator.”
    666>VVV______“Red Wing, stay alert—we could run out of space real fast.”
    777>YYY______“I’ve got a reading on a major shaft obstruction ahead,” Lando announced.
    888>ZZZ______“Just picked it up. Will you make it?”
    999>aaa______“Going to be a tight squeeze.”
    AAA__________“My scope's gone!” yelled Wedge.
    BBB__________“Cut speed,” cautioned Lando. “Some kind of power discharge causing interference.”
    CCC__________“Switch to visual scanning.”
    DDD__________“That's useless at these velocities—we'll have to fly nearly blind.”
    EEE__________“Green Leader!” called Lando.
    FFF__________“Copy, Gold Leader.”
    GGG__________“Split off and head back to the surface—Home-one just called for a fighter, and you might draw some fire off us.”
    _____________Green Leader and his cohort peeled off, out of the power shaft, back up to the cruiser battle. One TIE fighter followed, firing continuously.
    QQQ__________”Those fighters are still back there." (Jake Ferrell)
    HHH>RRR______Ackbar's voice came in over the comlink. “The Death Star is turning away from the fleet—looks like it's repositioning to destroy the Endor Moon.”
    III>SSS______“How long before it's in position?” Lando asked.
    JJJ>TTT______“Point oh three.”
    KKK>UUU______“That's not enough time! We're running out of time.”
    LLL__________Wedge broke in the transmission. “Well, we're running out of shaft, too.”
    MMM>bbb______“That was too close,” muttered Calrissian.
    NNN__________“Gdzhng dzn,” nodded the copilot.
     
  6. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I think I see a contentious candidate for a Ralston "pointless" Ackbar line. Gerald Home Scene 113A:
    This satisfies the condition that forward fighters -and A-Wings are retconned to be fast- have reached the Star Destroyers. It is logical that Star Destroyers retain some air cover of their own, so it is sensible that a TIE may be on hand to chase an A-Wing around a tower or dome. Fans that need the Star Destroyer domes to be shield generators or power generators have an ally in this Ackbar line. That *could lead causally to a subsequent scene with a dome being destroyed (she's gonna blow). Of course, the script for that shot says:
    which is distinct from it saying:
    ;)
     
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  7. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Although this thread is about the lost scenes from the Endor space battle, I think we've thus far glossed over the deleted scenes of the Rebel commandos aboard the Millennium Falcon.

    [​IMG]

    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/...cs-and-footage.50017733/page-26#post-54900314

    Interestingly, I couldn't help but notice that originally Lando was supposed to lead the fighter attack aboard a fighter himself!

    ACKBAR
    Once the shield is down, our cruisers will create a perimeter, while the fighters fly
    into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor. General Calrissian has volunteered to lead the fighter attack.

    Later on, it becomes obvious that Solo really needs to persuade Lando to use the Millennium Falcon instead:
    Look. I want you to take her. I mean it. Take her. You need all the help you can get. She's
    the fastest ship in the fleet.


    Apparently, Lando either recruited Rebel commandos on the fly to man the Falcon's gunports (which is why they brought their weapons along) and/or he came up with some Plan B, i.e. to board the Death Star with a team of Rebel commandos to seize control of the Death Star's control room.

    Falcon interior footage starts at 6:03 minutes.

     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  8. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I think you draw a reasonable inference. "My little maneuver at the battle of Tanab" ought not, per logical understanding of Solo's ownership of the Falcon, have involved the Falcon. Solo is offering the Falcon to Lando for apparently the first time in its own history, so, it cannot have been involved during battle of Tanab. Lando's little maneuver is of such status that it got noticed at the highest levels. It had to have involved skills immediately relevant to this mission, which we see is literal maneuvering down a tunnel. Because it was a certain set of maneuvering skills, the odds that he was piloting a large bulky thing like a freighter is low. Two souped up hotrod trucks is not going to happen on Lucas' watch in GFFA. There's one hotrod truck, the Falcon, which retains to itself this special property. So Lando was in a craft capable of maneuvers that was not a hotrod truck. That narrows it down in ship type. Furthermore, Han vouches for Lando by saying he's a fair pilot. Han did not tell the leadership about Lando's maneuver; that means that it did not meet a threshold of astonishment to Han, himself, whose piloting we saw in ESB. But Han's endorsement that Lando is a fair pilot stands for quite a bit, considering what Han has demonstrated himself. And, lastly, Han was approached before Lando, and Han's piloting is the best evidenced piloting, but Han has changed or has a different schedule of motivations. (Externally, Han the character had a possibility of dying on Endor.) So, Lando is at least second choice, but good enough, based on the known best choice's recommendation.

    Ackbar does say 'while the fighters fly into the superstructure.'

    Now, ROTJ Han says "Good luck. You're going to need it.", after in SW77 he evinces that he does believe that lucky things happen (I call it luck.) So luck is a thing. Luck can be improved. Luck can be transacted. And when he says it, Han knows that Lando does not have the advantage of the Falcon. Lando's expression to Han is, "Dude I got this what is this shade back off." Han's grasp and command of the total tactical necessity, and maneuvering necessity, is very well better than Lando's. Han knows Lando will need more than what hardware Lando has on tap. Han's expression with long distance stare reveals he's given this quantitative thought.

    When Madine reveals that someone must infiltrate the shield generator, the rustle in the crowd reveals that this is the higher prestige mission than leading the fighter attack. There are a number of complementary motivations for why Han chooses the more difficult and prestigious mission. The most succinct to type out is, 'If you want something done right you gotta do it yourself.' 'I wasn't going to let you get all the credit' is nearby. 'Do you think a princess and a guy like me' is not far behind. So there is some coherence in character for why Han volunteers to 'sneak around' where Lando engages in a 'fair fight' (it's not all Lucas' thumb on the scale to make Han do this serial swashbuckling, as much as that is abundantly not absent). So Solo doesn't need his ride. And/but he wants his 'old buddy' to have luck, because he assesses that his buddy does not necessarily have the hardware that is up to this task.

    Han can confer dice (Greek tyhkoi) that hang from a rear view mirror. Which is also hardware. Which is objectively hardier, and faster, than whatever Lando might have had. (The dice are in the first scene of SW77 of the Falcon cockpit. Obviously they fall off their hook when the Falcon "blasts" out of Mos Eisley. [face_plain] ) So Han can confer the ideal protection of Greek Tyche or Latin Fortuna.

    The scene in the hangar starts in media res with Lando having refused the offer once. Separating "all the help you can get" and "she's the fastest ship in the fleet" seems to my ears that they are distinct line items, and the speed is not the sole help. It has advantages that equip it for work that naively or tactically one would choose a fighter for.

    The commandos on board may have brought weapons simply because they're standard issue weapons to never be without, and their role is a necessary surprise once Lando designs to take the Falcon. The Falcon has defensive cannons and tends to shower sparks. So Lando's acquiescing to Han's exhortation could have precipitated a sequence of rapid events such as telling Nein Nunb that he is no longer wingman in a B-Wing - he's now copilot in a stock light freighter. A platoon of marines that might have stayed on the carrier to repel boarders or protect leadership now get drafted into being waist gunners and engineers, because of dire need. So now one might speculate without immediate futility if the B-Wing that is painted into the matte painting of the hangar was Nein Nunb's up until the point that Lando accepted the Falcon and needed a copilot. And what might really bake my noodle is if Lando's original ride is parked in plain sight in any of those hangar matte paintings. Han and Lando were indeed walking in the same direction. IF the B-Wing behind the Falcon might be designated Nein Nunb's, the next closest fighter is an X-Wing...[face_thinking] Conversely, Lando is called Gold Leader, so in this contemplation it Could have been a Y-Wing, if there remained any coherence with SW77 fighter group colors. There's a Y-Wing right beside the Tydirium.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  9. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    I'm currently doing an in-depth study of the various turbo-laser gun tower models used in ROJ and have identified all the VFX model variations. [face_relieved]

    Interestingly, the one supposedly sold at an auction for 92,500 $ in 2012, here is the image of the "Mark III" turbo-laser gun turret and tower built for ROJ (erroneously put in the ANH section of the recent Japanese Star Wars Chronicles '2')...

    [​IMG]

    ...doesn't appear to be in the final film at all (in the scene where the Falcon and the fighters race across the Death Star surface all the gun towers are only facades (!) with only fully built Mark I and Mark III turbo-laser gun turrets placed on top).

    However, it appears that the ILM model builders anticipated the realization of the storyboarded scene with the Alliance fleet bombarding the Death Star that would have required fully built gun towers!

    [​IMG]

    (i.e. because of the motion blur during the race across the Death Star surface, nobody could tell the difference between a facade base tower and a fully built one, but in that rather 'static' above scene such tricks would have become obvious)

    So why none of us has ever watched the scene featuring the capital Alliance ships bombarding the Death Star, it looks as if we know at least two (exclusive) elements (fully built Mark I and Mark III gun towers) that would have been featured in this scene. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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  10. Hernalt

    Hernalt Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I'm trying to digest your discussion, but I'm not sure how you are using the word, facade. 'The SW77 MK I gun turrets are placed on top of 'facades' of gun towers.' The image you provided to my eye shows fully three dimensional skeletal structures. Perhaps skeletal exo-structure, as it is hard to see an actual skeletal 'spine' or architectural load bearing member, which should be the matter of course for a tower that attempts to house a very singularly heavy object that rotates in azimuth and also has shear stresses in elevation. What I am not seeing per se, are towers composed of only the two dimensional surfaces that were prepared to be caught on camera. The shadows 'look' square. That being said, there are absolutely towers in that BTS image where the turrets are not perfectly centered. Which makes me think that was an archival or continuity image and not an image taken immediately before any principal photography.

    If I follow your argument, the existence of a hero model animatronic tower leads to the conclusion of VFX / model shop preparation for the Alliance bombing scene, because:
    You feel it is not probable for that animatronic tower to have been used in a still set with rebel fighters racing across the still set, with the turret tracking them. I would say there is certainly precedent for that kind of shot, because that is exactly the kind of shot where we are introduced to the animatronic tower in SW77, with Luke's X-Wing peeling off left and the tower tracking it. So in theory ROTJ *could have had an analogous surface still shot with several fighters and a Falcon.

    I can see a qualitative argument that ROTJ was trying to up the ante wherever feasible and borrow visualization or blocking from SW77 as little as feasible. ROTJ maintains a consistent visceral wow factor by having the POV truck with the fighters. In contrast, the majesty of the cruisers and destroyers is maintained by treating their movement with substantial (and expensive, from a model maker standpoint) mass. This is best displayed in the scene where a Mon Cal (freedom) moves antiparallel to the hero model SD superstructure.

    Using the other evidenced blocking in ROTJ, I can imagine that a baseline version of the Alliance bombardment scene would have slow, majestic movement of rebel cruisers above a stationary DS2 skyline. No animatronic towers. Or, the animatronic turret could be present, perhaps showing the gunners not knowing what to fire at. It's also possible that a minimum criteria version of this scene would have three degrees of movement - the rebel cruisers moving slowly against starfield, the DS2 skyline moving slowly beneath the POV, and this animatronic turret. All slow, all bearing witness to the gravity of the situation for the Imperials.

    The image you posted on this thread is not as far as I can tell the animatronic tower. Neither the markings on the tower or the turret are identical.

    Something I never paid too much attention to is literally how many rebel cruisers would be required to meaningfully 'bomb' something the size of a moon. The mission design is impractical if it's a uniform coverage. A better mission design would concentrate cruisers where they can have the most effect. So.... where would maximum effect be? Around the Emperor's Tower? Over the Starbucks warehouse? The water slides? I imagine, going by Ackbar's mission plan, it would have to prevent escape by small craft. So, some kind of concentration over the hangars that can field ships fast enough but robust enough to let the Emperor escape. I do not immediately conceive of that by looking at the story board in question.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  11. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    The image I posted of the Mark III gun tower - assumed to be a genuine ILM VFX model built for ROJ - is of a VFX model, for which there is no proof that it was ever in the actual film. The footage is inconclusive (too much motion blur) -

    [​IMG]

    - but the Death Star model landscape (used in the above scene) apparently consisted only of facades onto which the gun turrets were put (in better images you can see that there is no gap between the facades and the gun turrets). Here is an image to illustrate the issue: https://www.pinterest.de/pin/550354016934829543/

    [​IMG]

    On the right you can see a larger (MK III) tower in the foreground but the tower is only a facade with two sides (!). Of all the images I've seen of that model there is not one "whole" tower with four sides in that landscape.
     
  12. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Well...even Lorne Peterson (ILM chief model maker) didn't go that far, but according to the calculations I made based on the large ROJ conning tower model (with the smaller bridge balcony model) the length of an SSD is almost 15 miles.

    That (bold) is what Timothy Zahn told me in 1995 at Alliancecon, rationalizing his claim why only one SSD should exist, yet he later propagated this 25,000 Star Destroyer figure. Interesting...

    But that was already established in ESB? Captain Needa lost track of the Falcon, went to Executor to apologize to Lord Vader, and right after his execution Piett informs Vader that the Falcon "is probably on the other side of the galaxy by now" (or Vader executed Needa for arriving too late...?!?) [face_skull]
     
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  13. Outsourced

    Outsourced Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2017
  14. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    He never actually said there was only one SSD in Heir to the Empire. In fact, from the way it was worded, it was pretty unambiguous that there was more than one:

    "That particular SSD was Darth Vader's personal ship"

    Maybe what he actually said was that there was only 1 SSD at Endor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  15. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Oops...thanks for the heads-up. Friday I had several JCF tabs open and was looking for Lorne Peterson's original SSD size quote, here. Somehow my reply made it to this thread first (can't explain how that could have been possible, as your quotes only showed up in my form for the parallel Saga thread). [face_dunno]
     
  16. Zanthra

    Zanthra Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Yesterday
    I have been reading and studying this thread over the past few days, because it brought up some interesting questions for me. The biggest one for me since I grew up playing X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, when were the roles of the A-Wing and B-Wing decided. In regards to that, I found this from September 1983: http://www.thestarwarstrilogy.com/starwars/post/2013/05/20/The-Men-Who-Made-the-Monsters
    I suspect the issue with the bluescreens was in making the proper masks. Given the large film area that would be swept by the highly vertical B-Wing if it passes quickly in front of the camera, it would require accurate blending at the edges of the background mask which is something I don't think the blue-screen technology of the time was capable of doing.. This is a problem that all the ships would run into moving quickly over background objects, but the B-Wings flat even wings that cover a lot of film area as is passes by would exacerbate the problem. This is just my speculation however given the information I have.

    As for the question of the Medical Frigate. The storyboards SB31, SB32, and SB38 all list "Hospital Ship" under elements, and all of which ended up on storyboard and on film with the Nebulon-B in the background. In the movie SB38 takes place before SB31 and SB32 so if the storyboards were One of the model makers also discussed in one of the making of videos how at the end of the empire strikes back they made a new "Medical Frigate" model.

    One thing that I am curious about, is there any mention in the novelisation about destroying the dome on the Super Star Destroyer? From the scripts it goes from "Concentrate all Firepower on that Super Star Destroyer" to losing the shields. I am thinking that the attack on the conning tower domes (power trees) for the jamming was cut as part of the Black Friday. When that happened, they had a lot of footage, including the A-Wings attacking the dome of the jamming ship. What they were perhaps able to do was to shift that scene later to the Super Star Destroyer, and establish a plausible correlation between that ad the deflector shields going down. That would mean re-compositing the Star Destroyer dome explosion against the Super Star Destroyer backdrop. Also explaining why the domes are a reluctant relationship with the star destroyer shielding, and why it seems such a huge weakness for such a ship. The domes relating to the shielding was made to give a scene the VFX people really liked a reason to be kept, and allowed them to shorten what should have extended scenes of bombardment and attacks against the SSD down to just the dome explosion before it was reasonable that the shield would drop. Finally a very rough storyboard of the shields going down earlier in this thread was notably lacking in any dome explosion. If we take that to be the SSD bridge destruction scene, it was being presented without the prior dome explosion.

    Shortly after the Super Star Destroyer destruction is another difference in all the scripts I have seen from the movie. They indicate that as Luke is bringing his father to the shuttle, there should be explosions going off, and fires and the like (keep in mind that this is still before Lando reaches the reactor). This would be from the fairly well established intention to have the rebel fleet bombarding the Death Star. Is this changed from any version of the script to reflect the much quieter scene that played out there?

    Anyways, just some observations I noticed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018 at 5:34 AM