Art (?) Notes


This most juvenile of all of the pages must have been drawn in December 1977 – or very early 1978.

I’m astonished at just how rudimentary the drawing is! You could be forgiven for wondering if they were even drawn beforeseeing the film. Not possible though. I don’t think the comic or the novel with its lovely full-colour photos were available in Ireland until early 1978.

Needless to say this is one of my faves.

ben kenobi close-up

Ben might originally have been drawn with ‘eyes in the back o his head’

Can you tell me reader: which way is that very undersized Obi-Wan supposed to be facing? I’m wondering if he originally had his back to the baddie and craftily activated his lightsaber backwards. Very cool. I’d seen those ‘Trinity‘ spaghetti westerns around that time and he did stuff like that with his pistol. Anyhow, I ask the question partly because of his oddly drawn body and because his head’s been redrawn later in blue biro.

ben kenobi close-up

Blue biro digitally removed (right). I think my re-do made it look even weirder!


Corrrrr… gruesome!

Yeah – that’s what 9 year old boys want isn’t it? But you know, this scene was very gruesome for a PG-rated film in the seventies. I don’t know how old you are, but I know that that sort of graphic violence is nothing nowadays. Kids can watch virtually anything – unfazed. I believe Lucas did have trouble from the studio over this scene because it might narrow the potential audience. But what was he originally intending to do? If you read the novel you might find some clues.

“…the man found himself lying prone againt the bar, moaning and whimpering as he stared at the stump of an arm.
…the rodent thing had been cleft cleanly in half down the middle, its two halves falling away in opposite directions.
The giant multi-ocular creature still stood staring, dazed, at the old human who stood motionlesss before it (…) the creature fired once, blowing a hole in the door. Then the torso peeled away as neatly as had the body of the rodent, its two cauterised sections falling in opposite directions to lie motionless on the cool stone.

– 1977 Novelisation, by Alan Dean Foster


Meet ‘Wuher’

Ted Burnett as the grumpy bartender

Above: the late Ted Burnett as the grumpy bartender. AndHoward Chaykin’s surprisingly faithful rendering of him!

Euckk. Did you know that the actor who played the bartender originally had a London accent? he was one of the many cast members that George would re-dub because of his fears that it was all sounding too British. I won’t fool myself that Ted Burnett felt gutted after he saw the final film – I wouldn’t be surprised if he never even saw it. For him, in such a minor supporting role he was possibly happy enough with his few quid at the end of the day. Job done, nice and quick. If so, he wouldn’t have been the only person involved who didn’t expect the film to turn out to be anything special. Carrie Fisher for example.

Kenny Baker actually often recals saying “We thought it was a load of rubbish. What’s it all about? It’s seems a bit straaaange.” But whether Ted recognised its greatness or not – whether he ever gave it much thought until his passing in 2001: this page is for you Teddy.