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Archives - August 2000

A boat, a love affair, pirates and bounty hunters!
We might be onto something really big here...

[August 23, 2000 - posted by Roderick]

Today, I want to combine some recent reports from various sources into one exciting new plot theory. I believe that an important series of events takes place on the rumored boat we've been hearing about. On that boat, Padme and Anakin will grow closer to each other, but I've also reasons to believe that we'll see an important action scene on that same boat. What's more, I even think we've already SEEN the interior of this boat on the official Star Wars website!!

Let's start with the rumors about the boat itself. The Force.net recently posted an interesting report:

"One of the vehicles in Episode II will be a large boat that Anakin and Amidala will spend some amount of time on. Apparently this is one of the main vehicles because its design was one of the first to be rushed through production. It will also reportedly be one of the first toys to be made."

This indicates that the scenes on the boat are going to be more than just a few seconds long, and that they might actually be quite important.

Then there was the exciting scoop of Juice.net:

"Our informant drew particular attention to a scene that sees Anakin and Queen Amidala in the confines of an intergalactic hotel spacecraft (the rooms have a bar on one side serving red cabbage, bread and wine, with beds in capsules on the other). The two are in the ship's cargo hold, ..."

I'm convinced that we've already seen the set of this "cargo hold" in one of the Episode II select pictures (the Quicktime VR movie one). Take a look at these screenshots:

This picture definitely fits the description of some kind of bar, serving various sorts of food. With some imagination you can even recognize pieces of bread and the 'red cabbage' mentioned in the report.
On the other side of the room, facing the bar, are some strange objects. Could these be the "beds in capsules" that slide out of the wall if you press a button?
The largest part of the room, on the other side of the bar, really looks like a cargo hold. The architecture of the room, the various boxes on the ground (the cargo) and the low ceiling seems to indicate that we're in some sort of 'storage room'. And take a look at the light shining through the grating in the ceiling: it looks just like the interior compartments of ships in old pirate movies, with light coming in from the deck.

The Juice.net report continues:

"...with Anakin Skywalker playing bodyguard to the Queen, who's on the run for her life. In the scene, which features the two characters getting closer and closer, Natalie is dressed in a stiff, bright green, A-line travelling dress (jim-jams) while the always alert Anakin wears standard Jedi garb complete with dirty big plaited rat's-tail hairdo. Also included in the scene are a whole bunch of other humans and aliens, many of whom are wearing latex costumes that are so heavy and hot that production assistants are kept on hand to deliver resuscitating blasts of fresh oxygen as required".

So Padme is on the run once again, and Anakin is her bodyguard. That reminds me a lot of a similar relationship between the princess and her jedi bodyguard in the old Star Wars drafts (their names change from draft to draft). (You can find these drafts in the Multimedia section of The Force.net).

In these perilous situation, Anakin and Padme fall in love. It's great to finally understand a bit more how this love affair starts!

However, since the Queen is on the run, there might also be an ennemy who persues the two. This could either be one person (like Darth Maul in Episode I), but danger could also come from a group of persuers. I personally believe that danger will come from a group of 'pirates' who at some point attack the boat. This opinion is based on a casual, but very revealing remark made by Samuel L. Jackson in an interview with Australia's Sunday Telegraph (posted at Sir Steve's Guide):

Samuel L. Jackson: "It's Errol Flynn, it's Robin Hood, it's an outer space pirate picture."

In the light of the previous analysis, doesn't this remark become suddenly very interesting?? Will we see an attack on the boat by 'pirates'? Could these pirates be the BOUNTY HUNTERS that are hired to find and capture the queen??? That would solve the important question of how these bounty hunters (including Aurra Sing and Jango Fett) get involved in the story!!

Anakin will have to defend the Queen, thereby showing that he is indeed her 'bodyguard'.

Interesting theory, don't you think? Head over to the forums for feedback and discussion!

Roderick Vonhogen

'Jango Fett' revealed?
New spy picture of Temuera Morisson on the set reveals Jango Fett's look

[August 22, 2000 - posted by Roderick]

The Force.net just received news of a new 'spy' picture that was taken on the set in Australia. According to the report, the photo "shows Boba Fett's Dad (Temuera ?) He is wearing a long coat to cover his costume, but you can see the legs. It looks like Boba Fett's jumpsuit in blue, with silver armour plates on the legs and knees"

This report confirms the rumors circulating already for a long time, that Temuera Morrison plays a character that looks a lot like Boba Fett, and could be "Jango Fett", Boba Fett's father. I love the idea of silver colored armour plates. It gives Fett almost the appearance of a medieval knight. In the picture above, I've tried to depict a rumored scene that takes place on Tatooine, where Bounty Hunters gather for some unknown reason, and in which we'll see Aurra Sing and Fett together!


An "intergalactic hotel spacecraft" ?!?

[August 21, 2000 - posted by Roderick]

Juice.net has posted an extremely cool spoiler report about a scene with Anakin and Padme that takes place on "an intergalactic hotel spacecraft"!!

This scoop gives us some very important plot information. Head over to The Force.net for a full report! I'll add some comments on this scoop later!



Do you hear that?
The Virtual Edition now has Voice Chat!!

[August 21, 2000 - posted by Roderick]

Hi everybody! I've implemented a new, experimental feature here on the Virtual Edition: Voice Chat! It works a bit like a normal chatroom, but in this one, you can actually HEAR each other and talk! I got the idea from Movieheadlines.net (great site - definitely worth a bookmark!): they implemented a similiar chatroom some time ago.

I actually haven't used it myself yet, but I'm eager to try it out here on The Virtual Edition. CLICK HERE or on the Episode I picture above to enter the chat! (I hope you'll find some other visitors there, if not, just hang in there for a while or come back later). Have fun!

Click here to chat!


Kenobi vs. Fett !!

[August 16, 2000 - posted by Roderick]

According to once of The Force.net's sources, the fight in the rain will be between Obi-Wan Kenobi, and someone in a Boba Fett-like armor.

This could be the rumored Jango Fett, Boba Fett's father. If that is true, what could be the reason for this fight? Is Obi-Wan defending something/someone? Is Jango a bounty hunter at all? What will be the outcome? Will Obi-Wan kill Jango, traumatizing little Boba so much that he'll later help the Emperor hunt down the Jedi? Or will Jango survive the fight? Where will this take place? On Naboo? In one of the new environments?

Lots of food for thought. Let us know what you think in the Discussion Forum!


It's raining Prequel news!
I'm back...

[August 15, 2000 - posted by Roderick]

Hi everybody, Roderick here! I'm back from my vacation in France. The amount of Episode II news that has appeared on the web while I was away definitely surpassed my expectations. After all, Episode II is only going to be released in TWO years from now. And yet, we already know a LOT of things...

Let me first take the time to thank Nat Reed and Jom for their updates while I was away. Great work! The downside of going on vacation for me is the fact that I know that I'll be without e-mail and internet access (and Episode II news!!) for a few weeks. But this time, I knew that the Virtual Edition would be in safe hands.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back, and I'm working through the huge pile of e-mail and the incredible amount of Episode II news everywhere on the web. One of the most exciting Episode II newsfacts is the confirmed action scene that will take place in the rain. After the sunshine and sandstorms of Tatooine, the cold wind and the snow of Hoth, it's cool to see that Episode II will show us some new weather conditions! We don't have many details about this 'rain-fight' yet. Could it be a huge battle between a group of jedi and hostile forces? Or will it be a man-to-man combat with one jedi facing an evil Sith Apprentice? Or could there be any bounty hunters involved in this fight? It's definitely too early to say, but one thing is certain: it's going to be an amazing scene!

I've made a picture to visualize what this scene could look like. The real thing will -of course- be a hundred times cooler :) You can look forward to a lot more updates the next few weeks: there is so much new information to discuss!

"Alderaan is peaceful, we have no weapons !"

[9th august, 2000 - posted by Nat Reed]

Christopher Lee has now joined Episode II. His character, like that of Liam Neeson's in the early days of TPM, seems deliberately shrouded in secrecy : all we know is that he plays a 'charismatic separatist'. Some suggest that he could be a rogue Jedi, or even a 'Dark Jedi', perhaps swayed by Palpatine, but nevertheless throwing the highly respected Jedi Council into dissaray at a time when it needs to remain focused. Others speculate that this 'separatist' is a political figure, again, perhaps under the influence of Palpatine, or alternatively, working against the Sith Chancellor : we might even learn that he is the founding figure of the early Alliance rebelling against the onset of tyranny.

As has been noted by theforce.net, in the early drafts of Star Wars there was a vociferous and opinionated (and corrupt) politician by the name of Count Sandage. For convenience, I will assume that this is Lee's character's name. We know Jimmy Smits - Prince Bail Organa - figures prominently in Episode II : what if it is to this influential figure the charismatic Sandage turns to, to sow the seeds of doubt ? And what if, as has already been speculated, Alderaan, in this timeframe, is actually quite a powerful military might, rivalling that which the Chancellor hopes to oversee ? The Star Wars Radio Dramatisation indicates this very fact. The Clone Wars perhaps cripple Alderaan, and persuades them to renounce violence and become pacifist ? Leia's lines aboard the Death Star become all the more poignant, and Palpatine's and Tarkin's revenge sweeter!

We know from the Return of the Jedi novel that Mon Mothma of Chandrilla is the leader of the Alliance, and has been since her days as a Senator arguing against Palpatine. Of course, George Lucas can re-write this 'history', but perhaps we will see Sandage seeking to find 'young blood' in the Senate, and Organa and Mothma may be the ones he approaches to ensure his ideas, activist by necessity, will be seen through : perhaps mon Mothma is forced to assume full leadership upon the destruction of Alderaan ?

What with the failure of the Trade Federation to secure Naboo ten years previously, as well as the loss of his most able right-hand man, and the forthcoming mortal victory for the Jedi in the Clone Wars, I think we are to almost feel sorry for 'poor Palpatine' !! All the Sith Lord wants is to have ultimate command of the Republic, and he has to face political opposition as well !!

The recent Episode II Select image shows a cafeteria area. It is far too 'clean' to be the rumoured cantina setting. It looks to be either in the Senate or in the Jedi Temple. If the former, this may be where the Chancellor's influence works the best ; or perhaps, under the secure privacy of the hubbub found in such a place, Count Sandage may be weaving his charm ? However, if it is found in the Jedi Temple, could the scene be related to that young actor enigmatically cast as an 'unsavoury trouble-maker' ? Perhaps he entices Anakin into horseplay or worse ; perhaps these two end up fighting here ?

Jom points out that the rumoured cantina setting could be where the Jedi go to discover the whereabouts of the Slaves, or Shmi in particular. It may be that the Chancellor's edict to free the slaves has now been passed, and the Jedi are following this through, but the slave-owners, ultimately the Hutts, may have 'rounded up' their slaves and will fight for them. This would lead to a scenario where Shmi Skywalker would be in great danger .....

Nat and Jom

"... out beyond the Dune Sea"

[2nd of August, 2000 - posted by Nat Reed]

There is a lot of new detail coming out about the new locations for Episode II ! Christopher Walken says he is not starring in the new film .... but are we still to see Darth Bane ?? The recent announcement of a Sith book scheduled for publication suggests that we are being prepared for this. Temeura Morrison says he is "the source for the new stormtroopers" ; Hayden's role is a very physical one. We will be introduced to the lower societies of the Naboo.

According to the Insider magazine, Spain has now been re-confirmed : is this to be the much-rumoured Lanzarote location, that volcanic island ? Or is it on the mainland, perhaps the grassy plains of the Interior ?? Could this be Alderaan, as inspired by the Ralph McQuarrie concept paintings and the original location concepts discussed for The Empire Strikes Back ? Will we see Kettle Brae ?

There is also a new planet to be derived from shooting in Tunisia ! We know we are to return to Tatooine - to Free the Slaves - so clearly we are to be introduced to a second desert planet. However, how will George Lucas show a desert planet and make sure the audience doesn't think they are looking at Tatooine again ? He has shown us the dune seas and rocky mesas ; perhaps he intends to use another exotic location for dwellings or interiors, similar to the way the Ksour grain silos were used for The Phantom Menace ?

A lot of environments will be partly or wholly created in CG. We are hearing of often one or two actors being filmed against blue screen, to be later joined by a host of creatures in an alien setting. We heard of Obi-Wan Kenobi wading through stormtrooper 'hatchlings' with his lightsabre drawn : this scenario would easily fit in with what we have here ; and might earn him his title of 'General' along the way !! The Fett apartments are supposed to be extended with CG - though this was common practice in TPM - and the second Select picture shows the Lars garage in conjunction with bluescreen.

Tough looking New Zealand actor Temeura Morrison is playing a bounty hunter. Most fans speculate this to be 'Jango Fett', owner of the Slave 1, wearing a modified suit of armour, and father of the young Boba Fett. We hear now he is to be the 'source' of the stormtroopers ! Is this to mean he is to be the host cloning stock, the subsequent stormtroopers being variants of Fett ? Or simply his armour and armoury are what inspires the Chancellor in the equipping of his Republic army ?

Hayden Christensen will be showing us why he was a "powerful warrior", with very demanding stunt scenes. We must 'root' for him in this episode, for it is at this stage in his life that he will succumb to Pride and Arrogance and Power-thirst. We will be intrigued to see flashes of the Darker Side appear in him, and start to recognise the path he must follow, but he will still be the Hero of the film. His Republic-saving actions will seal his fate.

And having glimpsed the Royalty of Theed in Episode I, we will be introduced to the middle and lower echelons of Naboo society. What could this mean to the storyline ?? Will we see something of Amidala's home ? Are her Handmaidens more involved in this episode ? Is it truly significant that the official site has 'overlooked' the listing for 'Queen Amidala', and mentions only Padme ? Or is it simply the case that if Natalie Portman's character is in danger or visits these more 'modest' locations in Theed, then she would obviously go under her 'Padme' guise ?

The third Episode II Select image clearly shows the blue-skinned Senator seen briefly in TPM, Senator Orn Free Taa.

We know, from the TPM Visual Dictionary, that this Senator is confident in the power of money. Palpatine's senatorial quarters will have been upgraded to that of the Supreme Chancellor, and no doubt he will have retained his blood-red colour scheme !! Senator Taa is obviously being quizzed by Palpatine : either he is in the service of the Chancellor, or he is about to willingly accept a bribe !

Interestingly, George Lucas isn't simply showing us glimpses of Episode II : through his selection, he is telling us its story ! We are shown a brave Padawan in battle dress at a time of War ; we see a young Queen, sad and thoughtful, on a dusty world far from her own ; and we are party to the attraction of political power ... and corruption. It will be interesting to see what the new images will be and what part of the story they tell.

Nat and Jom

I recently went to the Art of Star Wars exhibition at the Barbican, in London : it was well worth the visit ! I don't know what impressed me most : being inches away from encased models of the Millennium Falcon and the Executor ... marvelling at the detail in the costumes (and seeing masking tape holding together some of the 20 year old costumes !!) ... gazing in admiration at a matte painting from ROTJ ..... or seeing the 'Fabulosi' stamps on some of the Lucas-confirmed concept sketches !!

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All original content © 2000, Roderick Vonhögen - The Netherlands