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CV: A Conversation With The Masters

Posted By Mike on August 11, 2010

The final TBD event on the Celebration V Thursday event schedule has been filled in. SW.com reports on the last minute addition:

Thursday, August 11
Digital Stage (Valencia A)

"Thirty Years Later: A Conversation with the Masters.
George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Back in this new, insightful retrospective from Lucasfilm. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.

This film event will be co-hosted by Liz Lee of MTV's popular show "My Life As Liz." the show is all about a high school senior and her friends who are outside the mainstream of daily high school life, making alternative cool all over again. Liz is a "nerd, and proud of it," who enjoys comic books, indie music, and most importantly: Star Wars! That space saga from a Galaxy Far, Far Away has been referenced numerous times on the show, and Liz is a champion of the saga for a younger generation of fans."

UPDATE: The first panel I hit today featured David Collins (game composer and Proxy in TFU) welcoming us to CV, promoting upcoming Celebration events and then introducing Liz Lee. A promo for My life as Liz followed along with a short Q&A between Collins and Lee talking a bit about her show and naturally some Star Wars.

A Conversation with the Masters was then presented to what felt like a small panel crowd. It's a shame as the video was quite entertaining. The panel was a bit of a last minute addition and I'm not sure enough people knew about it.

In a nutshell A Conversation with the Masters is simply George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, and John Williams talking about the making of The Empire Strikes Back to the backdrop of old archived making-of footage. What Star Wars fan can't get behind that?

I hope everyone will get to check out the video sooner or later, but in the meantime how about some cliff notes? Here is a little breakdown of what four of our favorite Star Wars luminaries had to say about Empire. Some of this you may have heard previously, some maybe not...

Irvin Kershner
- When recieving The Call from George Lucas, Kershner thought that he called wanting to play tennis.
- Got offered the directing gig over lunch

George Lucas
- Looked at TESB as the middle act in a single film
- Only plot device he had at first was Vader's fatherly reveal
- Didn't feel that the Dagobah sequences were dramatic enough so he added the Han/Leia side adventure that took them to Cloud City
- Originally Obi-Wan was to train Luke...but you know...he's dead now
- Talks about some of Joe Johnston's Yoda concept ideas while images of them are displayed

Irvin Kershner
- First saw Yoda without a head
- Stuart Freeborn took a week to complete Yoda's head and Kershner found it funny that the end result looked like a self portrait of none other than Stuart Freeborn

George Lucas
- Yoda's unique way of speaking made the dialogue much more interesting

Lawrence Kazdan
- Jumped in to punch up the script following his work on Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Helped make Yoda's dialouge easier to understand
- Found Yoda's principles via George's writing to be brilliant

Irvin Kershner
- Wanted Yoda to be like a "willful child" and come alive. References Yoda's rummaging of Luke's supplies and his spat with R2 as examples. They improvised Yoda's first scene.
- George is an amazing producer who offered improvisational freedom.
- The wings of Luke's X-Wing fell off as Yoda was to raise it from the swamp waters of Dagobah. It ended up taking 10 hours to get one good take that was roughly 11 seconds long.

John Williams
- Yoda's theme was simple in tune, yet it was also youthful, flowing and projected simplistic wisdom.
- Music was to create a comfortable but emotional feeling

George Lucas
- Williams is quite easy to work with
- Told John Williams to "go ahead and save the movie."
- Lots of Williams praise in regards to his themed pieces
- Wanted Williams to come up with a stronger theme for the Imperials than was created for the Death Star in ANH

John Williams
- Music shouldn't be electronic. It should be melodic, romantic and fill us with good emotions
- The Imperial March is his favorite SW piece to perform.

Lawrence Kasdan
- Cloud City was great as you thought our heroes were safe, but...

George Lucas
- Love of the Boba Fett concept led to an expanded role

Lawrence Kasdan
- Boba - the bad samurai

George Lucas
- Wanted the audience to invest in the hero struggle while still making him vulnerable
- "There is another" made Luke vulnerable. If there is another, then there is now the possibility that he could die.
- Only 3 or 4 people originally knew the Vader reveal
- Kasdan wrote an alternate Vader reveal scene
- Lucas brought in psychologists to contemplate the effects of the big Vader reveal on young audiences.

John Williams
- It's a nice feeling that The Empire Strikes Back still resonates and will survive us all

George Lucas
- Empire was a challenge technically and financially but he's extremely proud of the end product.
- TESB was the film that made Lucasfilm stand on its own.

Stay tuned for more panel coverage and images from the TFN/Rebelscum/ForceCast team. Yesterday was an amazing day all around complete with a fantastic live ForceCast show at 4:15. The audience was incredible and the show was full of fun surprises. Stay tuned as we catch our breath and start getting the coverage posts online for you. No Fan Left Behind!

NOTE: I think this coverage post accidentally got published with major typos before the post was complete. Sorry about that. It's been a long couple of days already!

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[Celebration - News Archives]
CEII: Jabba's Palace Reunion - Massive Guest Announcements
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
10 new guests announced!

Star Wars Celebration VII In Orlando?
Posted By Chris on May 3, 2013:
Story updated inside

CEII: Ink-Fusion Tattoo Festival
Posted By Chris on April 17, 2013:
Get your own tattoo at the show!

CEII: Allen, Baker & Blake Added
Posted By Chris on April 17, 2013:
Aayla, R2 and Greedo in Germany!

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