Film Notes

Today we finally meet the adorable Threepio and Artoo!

Threepio in the tantive's corridor


Isn’t it wonderful when a filmmaker – and an actor get it so right? Could you make the world fall in love with a tin-can? This was yet another magical scene when I saw it as a youngster – and still is actually. There’s a wonderful quality to the imagery of the two droids shuffling along the stark white corridor.

The image quality and colour is beautiful. It was even impressive, following those dramatic opening shots in space – to behold the sparkling C-3P0 and his companion, and hear the unusual soft sound of his voice amongst the mayhem. Just terrific how once again, the young Lucas gives us the bare minimum that we need: a couple of droids, one speaking – the other beeping – simple tracking full-length and medium shots, a pure hospital-white set that lit the metallic characters beautifully. I also must praise young George for his use of gauze on the lens to soften the images. He decided to do this throughout the film to give it a lovely fantasy feel and it makes 3P0’s flashing gold surface look all the more magnificent.

artoo in the tantive's corridor


In a decade that gave some good but gritty, raw looking movies – and lots of appalling looking ones, this stuff really stood apart. And seriously, it must be said once again that it’s a marvel how the droids personalities are so charmingly conjured up in these few seconds of screen time.

Art Notes

rebels star wars trading card 1977

The most likely source of my wobbly drawing! [1977 trading card]

This is another early one from 1977 – so it’s one of my favourites. Far from being butler-like in the top panel Threepio is adopting more of a muscly Gangsta Rap posture “Yo yo, Vader! Don’t mess with me. ‘Got my Pistol Grip Pump across my Lap!”. If Samuel L. Jackson had been grown up back then he could have done the voice-over (And Artoo could have overlaid the many bleeps).

threepio gangsta rapper

Gangsta-Rap Threepio!

Art of Understatement

The Stormtroopers burn through the door and the the Rebel exclaims “UH OH!”. Surely that should that read “HOLY EFFING CRAP!”

Interesting speech balloon: jagged at the bottom.

Next: something stinks!

↓ Transcript
Panel 1
The droids Artoo Detoo and See Threepio are in the white corridor of the Tantive IV . Behind them are another cone-headed, R4-D4-ish looking astromech droid and a droid similar to 3PO but with a purple colour. "Come on - hurry!" says 3PO to R2-D2. "Bloop bloeep!" replies Artoo.

Panel 2
Smoke and flames fill the end of the corridor, where the entry hatch is - watched by increasingly anxious Rebel Soldiers. "Uh oh" says one.

The Imperial Soldiers burn through the starship!