Star WarsSTAR WARS: Prequels & Sequels
christensen as anakin in episode 3 All things Lucasfilm...
The original Star Wars trilogy is episodes 4, 5 and 6 of a nine-part series, which creator George Lucas calls The Journal of the Whills, apparently a reference to those pesky Midichlorians. Lucas takes his time making the first two trilogies - working for three years on each film. As Samuel L Jackson says, "Filming Star Wars is weird s**t." JJ Abrams will have to be a bit more fleet of foot, now that Disney is pushing for more aggressive release dates. HE'S NOT FINISHED YET. Lucas continually tinkers with these films to make it one long cohesive narrative for a "definitive" version — moving bits of the music around, dropping characters in here and there, etc. He's also using TV series to fill in gaps between films, including Clone Wars. And in selling his empire to Disney, he has made it possible for spin-off movies to come out annually. He may not get his hands dirty, but you can bet he'll keep everything in line with his vision.

THE SEQUEL TRILOGY. From the very start, Lucas claimed that Episodes IV, V and VI were the central part in a trilogy of trilogies. But he has continually changed his story. It took him 15 years to get down to making I, II and III, amid furious claims that Episode III "completes the saga as originally written." We knew better. And now he has passed the torch to Abrams, who has the challenge of continuing the saga while maintaining the continuity. Most promising are rumours that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are all back on board to reprise their characters.

back to the topT H E     C A S T . . .

Harrison Ford: Han Solo
Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker
Carrie Fisher: Leia Organa
Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca
Anthony Daniels: C-3PO
Kenny Baker: R2-D2
Ewan McGregor: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Alec Guiness: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Frank Oz: Yoda
Natalie Portman: Padme Amidala
Jake Lloyd: Anakin Skywalker
Hayden Christensen: Anakin Skywalker
David Prowse: Darth Vader
James Earl Jones: Darth Vader (voice)
Sebastian Shaw: Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid: Palpatine
Pernilla August: Shmi Skywalker
Liam Neeson: Qui-Gon Jinn
Terence Stamp: Valorum
Ray Park: Darth Maul
Brian Blessed: Boss Nass
Samuel L Jackson: Mace Windu
Christopher Lee: Count Dooku
Jimmy Smits: Bail Organa
Joel Edgerton: Owen Lars
Bonnie Piesse: Beru Whitesun
Peter Cushing: Moff Tarkin
Denis Lawson: Wedge
Billy Dee Williams: Lando Calrissian
Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett
Warwick Davis: Wicket
CAMEOS • Episode I: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Lindsay Duncan, Sofia Coppola, Ralph Brown, Celia Imrie, Greg Proops, Scott Capurro • Episode II: Rose Byrne, Jack Thompson, Ayesha Dharker, Steve John Shepherd • Episode III: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Jett Lucas • Episode V: John Ratzenberger, Treat Williams • Episode VI: Tony Cox, Deep Roy

back to the topP R O D U C T I O N   T R I V I A . . .

lucas on set in 1976 TIME SCALE: Episode I takes place about 30-35 years before the original Star Wars, when Obi-Wan is 30, Anakin 10, and Amidala 14. Episode II about 10 years later; and Episode III is about two years after Episode II. Roughly 20 years passes between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. We still don't know when the third trilogy is set.

CONTINUITY: Lucas' big challenge was to preserve continuity in the series, which means that the character arcs and plot twists will be very different for new fans who experience the films in sequence I to VI for the first time. The surprises for them will be very different than for those of us who watched them in the order they were made — for example, the relationships between Vader, Luke and Leia will be no surprise. But Anakin's fall will. And Obi-Wan now has a completely different story that redefines his actions in IV. Also, Palpatine becomes the connecting point as a seriously epic villain!

Ewan McGregor's uncle Denis Lawson played Wedge Antilles in all three original films. Wedge is the only X-wing pilot besides Luke to survive the trilogy. After Lawson visited McGregor on the set of Episode I, McGregor said, "He came up and sat with me, and he met George Lucas and he said, 'George, you're still wearing the same shirt.' And he was, apparently!"

dynamic duo Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker are the only cast members who will appear in all nine films as Threepio and Artoo, the droids through whose eyes the entire tale is told. Two other characters appear in six films, but they're played by multiple actors: Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor I-III, Alec Guinness IV-VI) and Anakin (Jake Lloyd I, Hayden Christensen II-III, David Prowse IV-VI, Sebastian Shaw VI, voice of James Earl Jones III-VI). And then there's Palpatine...

Ian McDiarmid played the Emperor at age 100 in Empire and Jedi and stars in the prequels as the younger Palpatine, closer to McDiarmid's actual age (53 when he shot the prequels). "I am 30 years younger in the new version so I'll be more recognisable. Anyway, I think they only cast me because of my long pointed nose. I have played a lot of grotesques because I suppose I look like one." back to the top

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© 2014 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall