Bravery-Bypass Circuits

One of the nice things about reading this comic is that it makes the actual film feel fresh and new again. Not because this one looks old and crappy and smells of damp (it does) – but rather, that this comic is so filled with inaccuracies and so often misses the point of the original plot, that it misleads you – clouds your memory of the real thing. Maybe it causes temporary senility? Well, some manner of brain damage at any rate.

“Do you think they’ll melt us down?”

ralph mcquarrie's painting of the sandcrawler

Ralph McQuarrie’s terrific conceptual painting. In that draft of the script, the Droids actually escaped!

For example in today’s fancy-pants-better-drawn page of c.1982 or 1983Threepio is shown sat by himself at the outset of the scene, wallowing in self-pity. Cowardly self-pity is of course the absolute pure-genius this character. But what’s completely wrong is that it misses the point of the film theory lesson my 4yr old son and I «forced on you last week. Johnny had complained that we never saw 3P0 get captured and I tried to tell him that it was all left as a bit of a mystery – until we get to the inside of the sandcrawler and all is revealed. “Ah yes, 3P0 met the same fate as R2!” And they’re back together again. Lovely.

But here he is, whinging and moaning to himself – when up rollsR2. It still works, but not as effectively as George’s version. Fantastic though; a cowardly droid, afraid of death.

in the sandcrawler clipping

Check out the badly- glued-in press-clipping!

Threepio and HEL

McQuarrie concept painting of threepio and artoo

An early 3P0 by artistRalph McQuarrie. Hugely influenced by ‘HEL’ of Metropolis.

Originally it was expected that Anthony Daniels‘ voice would be removed and overdubbed in editing and George was considering 3P0 being a sort of Noo Yawker Used Car Salesman. Terrible idea. As it happened someone else on the team suggested they stick with Daniels’ voice and his anxious and fussy English Butler styling. George listened – and went with it. Just think, we probably came within a hair’s breadth of Han Solo smoking cigars and wearing a cowboy hat.

Anthony Daniels also tells the story of catching sight of Ralph McQuarrie’s painting on the wall when discussing playing the role. Suddenly something about the face of the character just ‘fixed him’ there – ‘spoke’ to him. He felt a great-sympathy with that face. There and then, he realised he had to play the character.

Art Notes

This page is much more mature. I wouldn’t be surprised if I did these – secretly – whilst in secondary school. Agh!

I learnt – too late – that you shouldn’t express an interest in nerdy things like Sci-fi when everyone around you in ‘Big School’ is desperately pretending to be into Rock Music. I eventually conformed and grew to love AC/DC.

But… until then I was branded “Spacer”. Ohhhh, the humiliation…

Bonus Fact:

Did you know that when Metropolis was brought to the US in the 40’s, edited down and re-scripted they actually removed HEL, the robot. Know why? Purely because of the name!

Next: We end Pt.II with a ‘not in the original’ weird scene!’