139: “Then it’s a wonder you’re still alive.”
c.early 1979? | age 10/11? There’s not much in this incomplete page today readers, but that’s how it goes at Star Wars age 9. What’s done is done. I can’t go back and change it now. Or at least: I won’t.
(Written Dec 2016) I’m still reeling a little from Carrie Fisher’s untimely death—and the sudden death of her mother, Debbie Reynolds one day later. What a horrible extra twist the story has taken. That family must be just devastated. I can’t even begin to imagine how it is for them right now.
I went for a second viewing of Rogue One an couple of hours ago and it was quite moving, to say the least, when we saw Leia in the the film. And do you know what? My feelings about the film has really changed now. I’ve gone from ambivalence and not being sure whether I enjoyed it or not—to really really enjoying the hell out of it! This time around, I knew the characters, so I cared. I can see this film and its characters growing and growing in our consciousness, a bit like the classic ones. Rogue One actually packed an emotional punch with me. The most emotional moment of mine in a Star Wars film has always been the Throne Room scene, when they turn to face the assembled rebels—and us. But Rogue One—once I had got to know and care about its characters—did it over and over. I got chills, I got breathless, I got choked up. Highly recommended. Definitely bringing my son to see it again.
It’s hard to pin a date on this page. I’m guessing it’s late 1978/early ’79. On the reverse of the paper, my dad had marked his document as July 1978, so I know that it’s after that. I also looks very like the ALIEN movie adaptation that I made in 1979.
Leia looks funny in it, Hey Leia, why the long face? Luke has some funny looking marks above his eyes. I don’t know if it’s shading, or if they’re like flashes of some kind, to indicate surprise perhaps?
I wonder if stopped drawing this page because I might have got bored drawing teeny Stormtroopers? You know those Death Star cleaners should have laid off the floor wax, one of the troopers slips on it, mid-shot.
I love the way I’ve used one of those hackneyed adventure genre lines, so common in comics and films. The trooper shouts, “Stop or we fire” but then proceeds to fire anyway! Almost as if I just threw the line in there without a thought about what was actually happening in the pictures. The other explanation though, is that I added his laser beam much later, without a care, in coloured pencil. I’d done these multi-coloured lasers before. I’m sure that I’d sometimes think of a new way of doing some effect and would go back over the whole comic and add it to any artwork that might call for it.
Like when I discovered highlighter pens and could embellish all instances of:
- spaceship jet-exhausts
- tractor beams etc.
Or when I got a nice red marker and I could:
- put blood everywhere—no matter how small the injuries
- outline all instances of Threepio’s speech balloons
Or when I got a yummy brand new black marker and could:
- Add black to Darth Vader
- Add black to bits of Stormtroopers
- Add black to blasters
- Add black to Han Solo’s waistcoat
The black markers revisions were the worst, because they obscured and obliterated old drawing. Actually, that’s not entirely true, the worst revisions where when I removed pages, threw them in the bin and drew new ones. I’ll never get used to that. Such a loss.
To be perfectly honest, when it comes to irreverent and mismatched revisions, George Lucas has nothing on the young me!
(The reverse of this paper contains my dad’s handwritten estimate in words and symbols of the scheduling for work that would be done by the Liebherr crane company who were based in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. He was one of his firm’s management consultants who was sent down there 5 days a week to work on a project with them—for many months. It was hard for me at the time, because he was away all week. He recalls that the first Sunday night that he left to go down there, I cried. It was hard for him too. He never knew when we moved to Ireland that he’d have to spend so much time away from his family)