Art Notes

rainbow's long live rock and roll cover art

Compost Heap

Uncle Owen looks so shabby in this that I’m surprised that I didn’t go so far as to draw stink fumes and flies buzzing around him.

Reminds me of what my wife Gabrielle said about Rainbow‘s‘Long Live Rock & Roll’ album cover, “when I was little, I thought that drawing looked like a compost heap!” Owen in that first panel though, reminds me even more of a Battle Comic character called Johnny Red – a WWII fighter pilot with the Russian airforce. I wouldn’t surprised if I was reading it around this time – c.1982.

star wars comic page detail

This artists – John Cooper, and Joe Colqhuoun who did Johnny Red early on but then more famously, the amazing Charley’s War strip greatly impressed me. Cooper however, drew the noses on every single character exactly the same way – with a horizontal crease across them. I suppose that was his thing.

johnny red

Johnny Red – in Battle Comic

This page is surprisingly well put together for an early teenager. I must have been absorbing something from all those comics I’d been reading.

Film Notes


It seems that the whole on-location experience in Tunisia was a nightmare. They didn’t shoot as much as George wanted to. They had the first violent storm in months – which carried away half the sets – shades of Terry Gilliam‘s experiences on the ill-fated Don Quixote, and the animatronic droids kept on breaking down.

Temperamental Droids


Maybe Kenner should have built it?

It’s ironic that the red and whiteR5-D4 droid that was actually supposed to break down didn’t even perform properly. It seems that the tech fellows put the controls that made the droid move – into the exploding head!

Gary Kurtz recalled, “The script says that the robot is rolling along and the head blows off. Now you guys are supposed to know better than this. You designed this stuff.”

In fairness, perhaps the tech guys thought: “The head blows up and it stops. Let’s do it realistically.”

Kurtz: “We ended up taking the fibreglass backup robot, putting it on a piano wire, and putting the exploding head on that. Les Dilley ran off and repainted it to match the red one.”

Chest Pains

When shooting ended months later and the the crew enjoyed their wrap party, Lucas just went back to his hotel – depressed. He’d later rush to hospital because of chest pains. Maybe if he’d blown a few small gaskets along the way himself, it would have been better for him. But it seems that he was always calm, quiet, holding it in.