.A new series on Scifi Channel UK shows how the minor players made a huge impact on Star Wars movies and Popular culture.
SCIFI has decided to dot these interviews around SCI
FI’s schedule for a two month period, until mid-June.
But who are the ‘STAR WARS: THE UNSUNG HEROES’? …here’s the full,
1. KENNY BAKER – ACTOR, R2-D2
Kenny’s lovable droid character, R2-D2, has a cult
following across the globe, making Kenny a big, big star – even though he
only stands at 44 inches tall. For over a quarter of a century now, Kenny
has sat in the frame of R2-D2 – a very uncomfortable position when you’re on
location in blazing hot Tunisia…
2. JEREMY BULLOCH – ACTOR, BOBA FETT
Remember the sinister bounty hunter in the closed helmet from the Star Wars
trilogy? He wears body armour and packs more firepower than a Death Star
stormtrooper squad. He speaks a grand total of four lines in three movies
and dies ignominiously.
In the vast cyberspace cosmos created by Star Wars fans and fanatics, Boba
Fett has emerged as a cult figure who challenges Darth Vader, Han Solo, Luke
Skywalker and other marquee characters the marketers carefully groomed for
stardom. So powerful is his grip that writers and fans brought him back to
life and gave him hero status in the alternate universe of novels and short
stories that surrounds the film.
Today a rare Boba Fett toy can set you back hundreds of dollars, if you can
find one. A life-sized fully equipped figure costs $5,000. And Boba Fett is
a big player in the Internet culture that constantly reinvents and expands
the mythic Star Wars universe. A website poll found Fett was the number two
all-time favourite Star Wars character. A Google search on “Boba Fett”
yields more than 400,000 websites…
The man behind the original mask, Jeremy reveals how he came to don the
costume, the aura he brought to the character, and the cameo appearance
Jeremy makes, unmasked, in the new film.
3. WARWICK DAVIS – ACTOR, WICKET THE EWOK
It was Warwick’s grandmother who prompted Warwick to attend the casting
audition for Return of the Jedi. Cast as an Ewok, Warwick immediately made
the character his own, and so adept was he at developing the role (he based
it on his pet dog) that George Lucas quickly cast him as the lead Ewok,
Wicket, a role which would see him work alongside Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
and Harrison Ford. A star of the Harry Potter movies, Warwick is also coming
up in the motion picture version of ‘The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’.
4. NICK GILLARD – STUNT COORDINATOR
Having worked on all three of three of the new Episodes of STAR WARS, Nick
has created some of the most impressive fight scenes ever seen on screen,
and taken the Lightsaber duel to new heights, including what will be in the
culmination of Revenge of The Sith, the longest fight scene in cinematic
Researching fighting styles and training each actor with tough routines and
particularly challenging moves, Nick has been responsible for showing the
power of both sides of the force and realising the battle between good and
evil that is ultimately at the heart of the STAR WARS Saga. But this takes a
lot of work – like having to teach SAMUEL L. JACKSON to wield a lightsaber –
which meant hours of listening to Reggae at the same time…
5. CHRISTIAN SIMPSON – A FAN who has bagged his dream job and now works as
Hayden Christensen’s stand-in on set!
Christian Simpson first saw Star Wars when he was a child at a London Cinema
in the early 80’s. He fell in love with the films, collected the memorabilia
and re-watched the original films countless times. Like so many, this love
for Star Wars endured into adulthood. Unlike most, Christian took his
commitment as a fan to new heights.
Learn how Christian’s persistence as a fan earned him his name in the
credits of not one but two films, and how he got to perform next to Ewan
McGregor, Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson and, literally, walk in
Darth Vader’s shoes.
6. NICK DUDMAN – CREATURE EFFECTS ARTIST
From working as a trainee on The Empire Strikes Back with legendary Creature
Designer Stuart Freeborn, Nick has since become an integral member of the
Star Wars family. Now Creature Effects Supervisor, he uses animatronics and
prosthetics to skilfully craft the look and feel of the many wonderful and
strange creatures that inhabit the Star Wars universe. From Yoda to Darth
Maul, Nick’s work is fundamental to making the vision of Star Wars come
7. PAUL & NORM HARRISON – ELSTREE PROPS
A Father & son team, Paul & Nick worked on the Original Star Wars films and
were responsible for creating & making the legendary Lightsabers. Paul &
Norm will show us how the Lightsabers were developed over the course of the
films and evolved with the characters, and how the light and dark sides of
the force have different style lightsabers.
Paul began on Star Wars as a 16 year-old apprentice working for his father.
Norman is now retired and Paul carries on the family tradition of running
the business, based at the British home of the Star Wars Saga: Elstree
8. FRANK HENSON & PAUL WESTON – STORMTROOPERS
Paul & Frank are real cockneys and both working stuntmen. These hard men of
the film industry are also the faces behind the masks of the legendary hard
men of the Star wars galaxy; Darth Vader’s right hand men: Stormtroopers.
Paul & Frank reveal how appearing tough on-screen was actually tougher
off-screen: with long days encased in plastic in the desert and broken bones
received: being a Stormtrooper was hard. Is there a lighter side though to
these iconic proponents of the darkside?
9. JOHN MOLLO – COSTUME DESIGNER. Oscar Winner 1978
Find out how a man whose career started as a military historian, writing
highbrow academic books on military dress became an Oscar winning designer
of costumes of the future. Star Wars was John’s first foray into the world
of show business and also his first job as a designer. What resulted from
the union were legendary costumes that have become icons of popular culture:
from the white flowing robes of Princess Leia, to the hardened white shells
of the Stormtroopers.
10. MAURICE MURPHY – PRINCIPAL TRUMPET, LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Maurice started playing trumpet in Northern Brass Bands, progressing to his
current position as principal trumpeter with the world famous LSO that has
performed all six Star Wars Soundtracks.
Trumpet is one of the major leads in the music score, and probably the most
memorable; leading themes that span the epic story, from the classic main
theme to the new classic duel of the fates; and bringing to life through
music, characters such as Luke, Leia, Yoda and Anakin.
Maurice will reveal how through closing your eyes, the music of Star Wars
has the power alone to transport you to a galaxy far, far away….