Roderick Vonhögen's Virtual Edition ~ see things before they happen ~ Roderick Vonhögen's Virtual Edition ~ see things before they happen ~ Roderick Vonhögen's Virtual Edition ~ see things before they happen ~
Episode I
The Phantom Menace
  The Virtual Edition
Episode II
Attack of the Clones
  The Virtual Edition
Episode III
Revenge of the Sith
  The Fans' Virtual Edition
  The Spies' Virtual Edition
Episode VII
Plague of Doom
  The Virtual Edition
Episode VIII
The Darkness Within
  The Virtual Edition
Episode IX
Title tba
  The Virtual Edition

Map of the Star Wars
Galaxy Click to go to the Virtual Map of the Star Wars Galaxy
  The Virtual Map
by Nathaniel Reed,  9/2005

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And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN.
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Welcome to
Roderick Vonhögen's
Virtual Edition
May 2011
Luke returns to the Falcon gunport !
29th May 2011
Earlier in the story of Plague of Doom, our heroes had infiltrated the Imperial facility on the Hutt-held planet of Kessel, the infamous spice-mining world. They were continuing their investigation into the enigmatic aura spice gas attacks, and in turn, searching for their friends Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian as well as the Princess of Ondos, Alana Seren.
As they later flee Kessel in the Millennium Falcon, Luke helps Han's evasive manouevres by climbing down into the dorsal gunport, to target the pursuing TIE fighters.
Luke climbs down into the lower gunport.
Interestingly, this image that I had created required a fair amount of logical thinking and pre-planning. If one stops and mentally reviews the Falcon gunport scenes in A New Hope, you come to realise that certain cheats were employed to achieve the finished shots. In the movie, we see Han climb up the gunwell ladder, whilst Luke climbs down it ; although we then get an overhead shot of the young man climbing down, his body obscures much of the silhouetted gunport and chair.
The next shots are of the two heroes settling into their gunnery seats - we don't actually see them sit down - and it should be noted that once they are sat, their hair and clothing falls against their bodies conventionally. Here, we must remember that they have just climbed a vertical ladder, vertical relative to the orientation of the ship. If one stops and thinks about how they have reached the gunports and where they are now facing - outward (up and down) in conjunction with the ship's quad canon - their hair and clothing should be falling at an angle : for Han, he would essentially be lying on his back in the chair and his hair and clothes would be falling down and back away from him ; whilst Luke would be strapped up against his seat, and his hair and clothing would be falling down and forward away from him.
Obviously, from an on-set point of view, the film crew cut from the ship's interior set to the gunwell ladder set and then to the gunport set. These sets would all have been built with a conventional orientation on the stage floor, hence the actors have downward gravity acting on their hair and clothes when they are inside the gunport set.
As an interesting side note, from what I can recall, the early Marvel comics adaptation illustrated the exterior of the Falcon with its upper and lower canon firing from the side docking rings to compensate for and make sense of the actors' physical postures and view points In addition, I have a vague recollection of some tie-in technical reference suggesting that the gunport section has an (optional) anti-grav facility, to allow the gunners to more easily move around inside the cockpit. However, I would argue that a floating gunner could run the risk of knocking an important lever or button with disastrous consequences !!
With our story requiring Luke to climb down into the gunport and for this to be possibly illustrated, I was keen to take the opportunity to reveal a 'new' aspect of the Falcon's interior ! Thus, I elected to present the gunner in the act of getting into his seat. Equally, it caused me to wonder what the seat arrangment could be : I'm therefore proposing that the upper (ventral) seat is tipped forward to allow easier access for the gunner climbing up and into it, and then, once he's strapped in, the seat would tip or rotate backward to provide the gunner with the view along the sightline of the canon ; and likewise, the lower (dorsal) seat is tipped backward to allow the gunner here to step down on to the seat, which would then tip or rotate forward and down to point in sympathy with the downward pointing canon. Of course, there are occasions when we externally see the quad guns lying parallel with the ship's hull, so one must assume that when not in use, the vertical canon are powered down and stowed in this horizontal and parallel orientation.
You can see the VE artwork in the 'Kessel' art gallery as well as in the online illustrated story, and you can discuss this in the forum here !
In March 2011, Virtual Sequel Trilogy co-creator Scott Swearingin alerted me to the fact that the third season of the animated CG Clone Wars series had dramatically killed off the venerable Jedi Master, Even Piell. Since we had elected to resurrect this diminutive Jedi as one of the long-lost Jedi Elders who would re-appear in the dramatic arena to aid and guide Luke Skywalker as he rebuilt a new Jedi Order, we were faced with the prospect of some emergency editing and creative brain-storming ! We've now introduced a new character to replace Master Piell, one Shingen Bunden, whose backstory I'll present below ; his first name is inspired by a character from the Kurosawa / Lucas film, Kagemusha, while his surname is taken from our list of draft names that Lucas originally conceived but never used. What follows is a backstory I have conceived for Master Shingen.....
Shingen Bunden is a sullustian Jedi Master, approximately fifty standard years in age. Short in stature with large mouse-eyes and a pale complexion, Master Bunden has an inherently nervous and worrisome disposition : at the time of Order 66, he was an experienced padawan who was waiting to complete his Trials. He was stationed with his Master on the Inner Rim world of Chandrila, when the Imperial betrayal and ambush took place. Since they were progressing through busy market streets, Shingen was only barely able to escape into the crowds, and fled the subsequent manhunt that was quickly mounted in the city lockdown. In the confusion of a jubilant new Empire, the sullustan stowed away on a public transporter bound for Coruscant. The padawan was directed by loyalty and fear to his natural home that was the Jedi Temple, but on finding the monument in scarred ruin, he spirited away into the lower levels of the sprawling megalopolis : he was canny enough to realise that hiding 'in plain sight' under the noses of the Imperial tyrants could be his best chance of survival. However, such traumatic events rocked the padawan, and his faith in the Force and in the populace around him were greatly shaken. He avoided interaction with others and favoured moving only in great crowds. He never gave up on his connection to the Force as such, but he became less trusting of it and relied on what his large black eyes perceived. Although he was best placed to learn of Emperor Palpatine's demise, and of Mas Amedda's apparently concessionary broadcast to aid the famous Luke Skywalker - surely a relative of the great Anakin Skywalker - the Force did indeed come to Shingen to prompt him to seek out this new Jedi Master. He felt honour-bound and duty-driven, even guilt-ridden, to come forth and make amends by offering his services. Having survived the Clone Wars and their aftermath as his own personal Jedi Trials, he could indeed be now regarded as a Master Jedi.... but that underlying negative and anxious psyche would still be there to haunt him.......
Master Jedi Shingen Bunden, promotional poster artwork by Scott Swearingin.
On the fourth of May - Star Wars Day - the official site revealed the specific details that will comprise the Saga Blu-Ray boxset. From September 12th 2011, the set will present over 40 hours of special features, including never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives. The comprehensive collection also features numerous deleted, extended and alternate scenes, new documentaries and a cross-section of the countless Star Wars spoofs that have appeared in pop culture over the past three decades. Marking the first time ever that the full Saga is available in one complete collection, STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA ON BLU-RAY, presented in widescreen with 6.1 DTS Surround Sound, also features a coveted peek into the making of the Saga with vintage documentaries, audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, prop and costume turnarounds, retrospectives and more.

  • Disc One - Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace - Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, John Knoll, Dennis Muren and Scott Squires - Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

  • Disc Two - Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones - Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll and Ben Snow - Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

  • Disc Three - Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith - Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett - Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

  • Disc Four - Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope - Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren - Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

  • Disc Five - Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back - Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren - Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

  • Disc Six - Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Audio Commentary with George Lucas, Carrie Fisher, Ben Burtt and Dennis Muren - Audio Commentary from Archival Interviews with Cast and Crew

  • Disc Seven - NEW Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III - Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; a flythrough of the Lucasfilm Archives and more

  • Disc Eight - NEW Star Wars Archives: Episode IV-VI - Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more

  • Disc Nine - The Star Wars Documentaries - NEW Star Warriors (2007, Apx. 84 Minutes) - Some Star Wars fans want to collect action figures... these fans want to be action figures! A tribute to the 501st Legion, a global organization of Star Wars costume enthusiasts, this insightful documentary shows how the super-fan club promotes interest in the films through charity and volunteer work at fundraisers and high-profile special events around the world.

    - NEW A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Apx. 25 Minutes) - George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Back in this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.

    - NEW Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Apx. 91 Minutes) - The farce is strong with this one ! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more - and don't miss "Weird Al" Yankovic's one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace !

    - The Making of Star Wars (1977, Apx. 49 Minutes) - Learn the incredible behind-the-scenes story of how the original Star Wars movie was brought to the big screen in this fascinating documentary hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. - The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Apx. 48 Minutes) - Learn the secrets of making movies in a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas' vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back into reality !

    - Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Apx. 48 Minutes) - Go behind the scenes -- and into the costumes -- as production footage from Return of the Jedi is interspersed with vintage monster movie clips in this in-depth exploration of the painstaking techniques utilized by George Lucas to create the classic creatures and characters seen in the film. Hosted and narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams.

    - Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Apx. 26 Minutes) - See how some of the special effects in Star Wars became even more special two decades later ! George Lucas explains and demonstrates how his team transformed the original dewback creatures from immovable rubber puppets (in the original 1977 release) to seemingly living, breathing creatures for the Star Wars 1997 Special Edition update.

    - Star Wars Tech (2007, Apx. 46 Minutes) - Exploring the technical aspects of Star Wars vehicles, weapons and gadgetry, Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering and astronomy to examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.

    At this early stage, it's difficult and unfair to give a judgement in preview. I'll certainly be purchasing this set when I can, though I'm aware that the main features and commentaries appear to be recycled from the 2006 releases, and are nothing original. However, the vintage audio commentaries will neatly place the episode releases in context, and the vintage TV documentaries will be great to see again. Where the spoof material may not overly interest me, obviously the tease of "deleted, extended, and alternate scenes" excites me greatly ... and we've already seen a glimpse of the early ROTJ scene where Luke builds his lightsabre. It's a pity that it's unlikely these scenes will be added into the main features, nor have the ability to be optionally inserted, but we will have to see.... ! Also, the prop and costume 'turnarounds' sounds intruiging, and again I wonder how user-interactive this feature may be.
    Nathaniel Reed, 29th May 2011
    The Discussion Forum
    spoilers within some threads
    Click here for the fan version of Episode III or ...... or click here for the spy version of Episode III
    Rebel rumours for III
    Please highlight to view.
    "We need more time !"

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