This week concludes the run for the Lost Jedi. However they are still available to see in the main gallery here. Essentially a fan piece, created very much outside the Jedi Universe it never-the-less represents a great memory of my time at the Star Wars Exhibition in London (which ran from May 4th, 2007 until January 2008). For those who missed that please find over the next couple of weeks some videos from that exhibition. And if you were present, please let us know what you thought.
Jedi Master Govija Kaoli (Jack Gavin) is a whip crack smart tactician who always gets every body killed. Always put at the sharp end because of his calm exterior, Govija Kaoli has only one true Achilles heel. His Padawan Mooba Choobi. Having been assigned an idiot nephew to the successful Hooba Choobi, Govija finds his path immeasurably blocked by the affable buffoon. Govija is a kind hearted warrior with almost immeasurable patience and a wry view of the universe but even he is uncertain whether his strong Jedi intuition and piloting abilities will help him survive alongside such an incredible idiot.
Padawan Mooba Choobi is under the tutelage of Jedi Master Govija Kaoli. While rumours that the prophecy of the chosen one that would bring balance to the force continue to flow around the Jedi Temples throughout the galaxy, some suspect, mostly those who have never met him, that Mooba Choobi represents an alternative to Anakin Skywalker. It has been observed by both Master Windu and Master Yoda that Mooba Choobi’s innate connection to the force helps him survive in incredibly dangerous circumstances. Although Mooba is unable to harness the force to his own ends it manifests at times of great danger (like a universal survival instinct). Whether Govija Kaoli can survive it is another matter entirely.
Darth Sidious, of course perfectly embodied by Ian McDiarmid in the feature films was for us played by Marcus Sinclair. A singular individual its hard to imagine anybody who embodied more perfectly all that Sidious was. His impression of him was incredible. Sinclair appeared in front of a review board of Lucasarts representatives to confirm that he could play the part and it was in no way a sure thing. There was deep concern from Lucasarts that no recognisable characters be represented live to an audience out of fear that it would undermine the event. The only exceptions were, of course Vader and the Storm Troopers. Sinclair’s performance was certainly impressive enough to get them on board and we had our evil emperor. The only real problem was that he rarely dropped out of character. Nefarious, calculating and naughty to the last, Sinclair became a genuine thorn in the side of any actor dressed as a Jedi. Utilising the mighty Vader (Daniel Vivien) throughout his reign of terror, all the actors could do when faced with him was fall before him. I took a pummelling on day one frankly. Occassionally, with the aid of force pushes from the assembled public he would be defeated but even then he rarely gave up. Marcus Sinclair, we salute you, you really are an evil little sith!! 😉
The most layered and complex design I had attempted up until this point, the battle for Ipris Kii was the clearest scenario I had in my head. A coastal fortification under heavy assault from the Galactic Senates Forces (Clone Troopers led by Jedi). The incursion is through heavy cloud cover and among the assembled warriors are Howsi Stigos and her Master, Hollan Fry, a Sauron Jedi. As Hollan attempts to chastise her padawan in responsible use of the force the Dropship is struck by a missile. Hollan is killed on impact. Howsi Stigos survives the impact into the sea and fights her way to shore only to find enormous resistance. The scene depicted here is the moment prior to Order 66 being granted, with Howsi trapped between two warring factions, both about to be hell bent on killing her.
I’m not completely happy with it as some of the layers are not fully incorporated into the image but as a starter I found it reassuring that I wasn’t entirely lost in the composition of the piece.
Man El Perio (Alan Mandel Butler) is a reliable and serious minded Padawan. While at times easily distracted when focussed on things less relevant to the immediate cause, Man El Perio focusses like a laser on the subject at hand when the situation requires it. During a Jedi incursion on a Separatist Communication Junker in Deep Space, Man El Perio is sent into the recesses of the hulk to identify the communications array and disable it. While hidden in the confined spaces of the cable ducts, the Clone Troopers turn on their Jedi Generals. Man El Perio is trapped and forced to watch as his Master and fellow Jedi are slaughtered. With the fall of the last Jedi, only three Clone Troopers remain. However, a vengeful Separatist Security Droid is haunting the halls too – looking for someone to blame for the destruction of his deep space home. Its a matter of who finish who off first – Man El Perio’s only advantage – they don’t know he’s there…. yet.
Star Wars: Clone Wars is the story of the Jedi led Clone army (later to be turned into the Imperials) and the technological industrial complex (no really) led by clanking cyborg reptilian Jedi Hunter General Grievous and Sith Lord Count Dooku. The latest (third in the CGI series and fifth overall) seems to be offering a long awaited character twist for Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, Ahsoka Tano (see base of post).
Genndy Tartovsky’s (Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack) take on the Clone Wars was a kick-ass, near-dialogueless set to between Clone Troopers and Droid armies with incredibly effective battle sequences thrown in. Genndy’s genius is his simple design work, allowing for cinematic sequences to be created by concentrating on movement, pacing and composition in every sequence. Its telling that the visually far more superior CGI series that arrived later is notably less exciting or interesting but it has its plus side – mainly that I was hooked by the 25 episodes of Genndy’s time on the project.
But the hooks are three fold. George Lucas skipped out the part we wanted to see in the films – namely the Clone Wars themselves as Episode II sees the beginning of the conflict and then dropped Skywalker and Obi Wan into the final days of the war at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith so it offers up the battles themselves. The second is the development of the design work – as these new series are continuing to push the boundaries of TV animation. But the third is the question as to why Anakin Skywalker, the central character fell to the Dark Side. The new series follows him as a Knight and has introduced a character notably absent in Revenge of the Sith. Ahsoka Tano; Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan. Anybody confused by Anakin Skywalker’s plummet into the Dark Side in the course of Revenge are watching this situation closely. And series 3 of the CGI series seems to be offering up the answer….
We’re just going to have to see what happens when it arrives on UK shores. But the development of design and detail are very welcome.