TimeLine : The Making of Star Wars

Star Wars: 1944-1974 . 1975 . 1976 . 1977
The Empire Strikes Back: 1978 . 1979 . 1980
Return of the Jedi: 1981 . 1982 . 1983
Credits



    April 12, 1914

  • Director of Photography Gilbert Taylor is born.

    December 7, 1915

  • DScreenwriter Leigh Douglass Brackett is born.

    April 29, 1923

  • Director Irvin Kershner is born.

    October 16, 1924

  • Director of Photography Alan Hume is born.

    June 13, 1929

  • Artist Ralph McQuarrie is born.

    February 8, 1932

  • Composer John Williams is born.

    August 25, 1934

  • Special Effects artist John Stears is born.

    May 10, 1937

  • Screenwriter Jonathan Hales is born.

    September 22, 1937

  • Director Richard Marquand is born.

    June 28, 1940

  • Editor Richard Chew is born.

    July 27, 1940

  • Producer Gary Kurtz is born.

    July 25, 1941

  • Director of Photography Peter Suschitzky is born.

    July 26, 1942

  • Producer Howard G. Kazanjian is born.

    May 14, 1944

  • George Lucas Jr is born and raised in Modesto, CA. As a young man, Lucas develops an interest in comic books, fantasy stories and sci-fi magazines like Amazing and Astounding Tales.

    October 4, 1945

  • Goerge's first wife Marcia Griffin (Lucas) is born. Marcia would go on to edit Star Wars, for which she would also win the Academy Award for Best Editing in 1977.

    November 14, 1945

  • Editor Paul Hirsch is born.

    November 1, 1946

  • ILM's Dennis Muren is born.

    July 12, 1948

  • Sound Designer Benjamin "Ben" Burtt is born.

    January 14, 1949

  • Writer Lawrence Kasdan is born.

    May 13, 1950

  • Special Effects Artist and Director Joe Johnston is born.

    November 17, 1952

  • Editor Duwayne Dunham is born.

    June 5, 1953

  • Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy is born.

    1954

  • At the age of ten, George's family purchased a television set, which quickly became a new obsession. His interests on television included stories about World War II, John Wayne westerns, Adventure Theater, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers .

    August 22, 1954

  • Producer Rick McCallum is born.

    1958

  • Lucas attends Downey High School in Modesto, CA.

    June 12, 1962

    (Excerpt from the Modesto Bee, Modesto, CA. June 13, 1962)

  • As a teenager, Lucas' attention turned to automobiles, with dreams of being a race car driver. The day before graduating high school, Lucas was involved in a near fatal car accident. He rolled his Fiat Baincina, ejecting his body through the window. The car eventually came to an end, wrapped around a walnut tree. Lucas has no memories of the crash itself, but does remember waking up in the hospital several days later.
    George: "They thought I was dead. I wasn't breathing and I had no heartbeat. I had two broken bones and crushed lungs."

    1963

  • George Lucas enrolls at Modesto Junior College with a major in Anthropology.

    1964

  • George Lucas applies and is accepted into the University of Southern California's film program.

  • While working as a mechanic, Lucas was hired to work on a race car for Haskell Wexler. Wexler began to influence Lucas into the direction of cinematography and documentary film making. Early filmmaking interests included Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress, which became a major influence in the early days of creating The Star Wars story.

    It is said that the early ideas of Star Wars and Indiana Jones began at this time.

    1966

  • George Lucas graduates from USC with a Bachelors of Fine Arts.

    June 27, 1966

  • Director J.J. Abrams is born.

    1967

  • George Lucas re-enrolls at USC as part of their graduate program and working as a teaching assistant for night classes where he taught Cinematography. During his time in this class, Lucas films THX 1138.4EB.

  • Lucas meets Steven Spielberg around this time. Spielberg had been a fan of Lucas' THX 1138.4EB.

    1968

  • Lucas' friend Hal Barwood meets artist Ralph McQuarrie while working for an industrial film company. One of the clients for the film company was the Boeing Aircraft Corporation. McQuarrie was doing concept paintings for Boeing's Supersonic Transport, the SST.

    Fall 1968

  • George Lucas works as a production assistant on Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People. Lucas was simultaneously hard at work on the feature-length script for THX 1138. While Lucas hated writing, Coppola encouraged him to do write the script himself. When Lucas turned in his first draft, a professional writer was hired to creates a second draft. Lucas hated the process of having another writer interpret his vision and ended up writing the final draft himself.

    1969

  • George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola found American Zoetrope, an independent film company based in San Francisco.

    February 22, 1969

  • George Lucas marries Marcia Lou Griffin.

    Early 1970s

  • Lucas attempts to purchase the rights to remake Flash Gordon. King Features asked for more money than Lucas had available, so he decided to create his own fantasy universe.
    George: "I wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie, with all the trimmings, but I couldn't obtain the rights to the characters. So I began researching and went right back and found where Alex Raymond (who had done the original Flash Gordon comic strips in newspapers) had got his idea from. I discovered that he'd got his inspiration from the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs (author of Tarzan) and especially from his John Carter of Mars series books. I read through that series, then found that what had sparked Burroughs off was a science-fantasy called Gulliver on Mars, written by Edwin Arnold and published in 1905. That was the first story in this genre that I have been able to trace. Jules Verne had got pretty close, I suppose, but he never had a hero battling against space creatures or having adventures on another planet. A whole new genre developed from that idea."

    Early 1970

  • George Lucas and Walter Murch edit THX 1138 in Lucas' Mill Valley home.
    Walter Murch: "We got hold of some improv actors, and among these was Terry McGovern who was also a radio DJ. We would sit them around the table and give them each an identity, and in the middle of this dialogue, you can hear Terry McGovern say 'I think I just ran over something back there, I think I ran over a wookie.' This is the first emergence of the word Wookiee as we know it today. And the small wookiees in THX who lived in the shell of this environment became the large wookiee that we all know in Star Wars. And later on after the recording I asked Terry 'What's the Wookie?' and he said 'Oh that's a friend of mine who lives in Texas, Ralph Wookie, and I just threw his name in there as I always want to stick it to him and thought he'd get a kick out of hearing his name in a film.' Little did Terry know what kind of thing he was creating, this off-hand phrase has since become a character that literally billions of people probably know about." (Source: Artifact From the Future: The Making of THX 1138 (THX 1138 DVD) Lucasfilm, 2004.)

    November 19, 1970

  • THX 1138 is screened for Warner Bros. executives who had financed the film. As Lucas predicted, the Warner Bros. executives did not like the film. Against the director's wishes, Warner Bros. cut five minutes from the film - sparking the beginning of a long and very difficult relationship between Lucas and movie studios.

    March 11, 1971

  • The feature-length version of THX 1138 is released. The films poor reception at the box office provoked Warner Bros. to defund American Zoetrope. The studio also requested that Coppola return $300,000 that they had put up for the development of several other films, including Apocalypse Now and The Black Stallion.

  • After completing his first full-length feature film THX 1138, George Lucas stated that he has an idea for a space fantasy film. Coppola had encouraged Lucas to try to make a happier, more accessible film than THX-1138, which led to Lucas considering a film based on his teenage years growing up in Modesto, CA.

    May 1971

  • George and Marica Lucas travel to Europe because THX 1138 was being featured at the Cannes Film Festival. On the way, the couple spends the week with Francis Ford Coppola, who was shooting The Godfather in New York. While in New York, Lucas was able to arrange a meeting with David Picker, President of United Artists, to discuss his ideas for American Graffiti.

    May 14, 1971

  • While at the Cannes Film Festival, Lucas calls David Picker, President of United Artists, whom he had spoken to earlier in the month. Lucas meets Picker at his hotel room and the two once again discuss American Graffiti. Lucas is given a development deal with United Artists for $5000 to write the script, $5000 when the script was finished and another $15,000 if the film was produced. The plan would be for a two film deal - the first film to be American Graffit, and a second film to be a Flash Gordon-esque space fantasy.

    1971

  • Darryl Zanuck leaves 20th Century Fox.

    Summer 1971

  • After trying unsuccessfually to hire his friends Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz to write American Graffiti, Lucas ends up working on the script for most of the year himself.

    Late 1971

  • George Lucas forms Lucasfilm Ltd, largely in name only, at the suggestion of Lucas' lawyer Tom Pollock.

    August 3, 1971

  • United Artists registers the title The Star Wars with the MPAA for George Lucas' vague plans of making a space fantasy film.
    George Lucas: "The title Star Wars was an insurance policy. The studio didn't see it that way; they thought science fiction was a very bad genre, that women didn't like it, although they did no market research on that until after the film was finished. But we calculated that there are something like $8 million worth of science fiction freaks in the U.S.A. and they will go see absolutely anything with a title like Star Wars."

    December 19, 1971

  • Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is released for a brief period in the United States. George Lucas sees the film and would later seek out David Prowse for his Star Wars project.

    December 28, 1971

  • Contracts were officially signed between Lucas and United Artists for the previously made verbal two-film deal.

    Early 1972

  • Lucas turns in his first draft of a script for American Graffiti and United Artists decides that the film is not for them.

    March 1972

  • Coppola's The Godfather is released and became a critical and box office success. Universal reverses its opinion of Graffiti - if Lucas could get Coppola involved. So, Coppola was brought on as the producer.

    April 6, 1972

  • Lucas signs a three picture deal with United Artists, giving American Graffiti a maximum budget of $775,000. Finally, Lucas' friends Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz were available to join the project to work on dialogue in the script.

    June 26, 1972

  • Principal photography begins on American Graffiti.

    August 4, 1972

  • Filming wraps on American Graffiti.

    November 1972

  • Gary Kurtz is sent to the Phillipines and Hong Kong to scout locations for Apocalypse Now, what Lucas had hoped would be his next film which was likely to be made with Columbia Pictures.

    January 1973

  • Columbia Pictures drops Apocalypse Now. Lucas shops the film to other studios - including Warner Bros. and Paramount, but none of them would commit to the Vietnam War film.

  • George Lucas begins creating lists of names that could be used in his story, including Emperor Ford Xerxes XII, Xenos, Thorpe, Roland, Monroe, Lars, Kane, Hayden, Crispin, Leila, Zena, Owen, Mace, Wan, Star, Bail, Biggs, Bligh, Cain, Clegg, Fleet, Valorum. A second list, became a list of locations that could be used in the story - Yoshiro and Aquilae are desert planets; Brunhuld and Alderaan are city planets, Anchorhead, Bestine, Starbuck, Lundee, Yavin, Kissel, Herald Square. Aquilae is where the Hubble and Beber people live; Yavin becomes a jungle planet, whose natives are eight-foot-tall Wookies; Ophuchi is a gaseous cloud planet where lovely women can be found; Norton II is an ice planet; and a Station Complex is noted among the space cruisers.

  • George Lucas begins compiling ideas for his new project in a two-page document entitled The Journal of the Whills, Part One. Writing eight hours a day, five days a week, Lucas collects an enormous amount of ideas - some of which would eventually make it into the original Star Wars trilogy, some that would make it into the prequels and others that would be scrapped. This original draft tells the story of CJ Thorpe as a "Jedi-Bendu" space commando, who is taught by Mace Wndy.

    "This is the story of Mace Windy, a revered Jedi-Bendu of Opuchi, as related to us by C.J. Thorpe, padawaan learner to the famed Jedi."

  • Alan Ladd, Jr, son of actor Alan Ladd, takes over the position of Vice President of Creative Affairs at 20th Century Fox.

    1973

  • George Lucas talks to artist Ralph McQuarrie about his as of yet untitled space fantasy film. Lucas had met McQuarrie through two former classmates from USC, Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins. The pair, who were attempting to create their own science fiction film, Star Dancing, hired McQuarrie to create some concept artwork. At the time, McQuarrie had worked mostly for Boeing as a technical illustrator. Lucas had went with his old USC friends to see some of McQuarrie's paintings for Star Dancing.
    Ralph McQuarrie: "[George Lucas] visited with his friends at my place and talked about a big space-fantasy film he wanted to do. It didnít have a title yet... Well, a couple years went by and George did American Graffiti. I never thought I'd see him again, and then one day he called to see if I'd be interested in doing something for Star Wars." (Source: Ralph McQuarrie on Designing Star Wars, The official Star Wars website, September 20, 2004.)

    April 17, 1973

  • Ultimately, it was decided that The Journal of the Whills was too complicated and confusing, so Lucas decided to start over - although he did keep certain story details and names in later drafts. On this date, George Lucas begins writing a 14-page treatment of his new project, now entitled The Star Wars. The story included an Imperial Commander known as General Vader. Lucas' early drafts drew heavily from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and John Ford's The Searchers.

    April-May, 1973

  • Universal re-cuts American Graffiti and, mirroring the earlier incident with Warner Bros. and THX 1138, trims 5 minutes from the film.

    May 7, 1973

  • Lucas' agent Jeff Berg meets with David Chasman from United Artists and presents Lucas' 14-page treatment of the story, along with 10 photos of NASA pictures of space, and a bunch of fantasy illustrations.

    May 14, 1973

  • Jeff Berg reaches out to Jeff Chasman from United Artists to find out if the studio was interested in The Star Wars after reviewing the 14-page treatment.

    May 20, 1973

  • The early treatment of the story began in April is finished.

    May 29, 1973

  • United Artists passes on The Star Wars.

    May 30 or June 1, 1973

  • George Lucas' new draft of The Star Wars is presented to Universal Pictures, who had of course recently financed American Graffiti and still had Lucas under contract. Although Lucas was not thrilled with the way Universal had handled American Graffiti, by contract, he had to give the studio ten days to decide on his next project. After ten days, he hadn't heard anything so he informed them that their time was up and he was looking into other options.

    June 10, 1973

  • Just ten days after Universal passed on the Star Wars idea, George Lucas meets with Alan Ladd, Jr to discuss his new project. Jeff Berg, Lucas' agent, had been in talks with Ladd for some time, and the film studio executive had expressed interest in the space fantasy film that the director had in development.

  • This was a cruicial and important gamble for the film studio, which was going broke. The only major source of income at 20th Century Fox was the television show M*A*SH*.

    June 13, 1973

  • Tom Pollock, attorney for Lucasfilm, sends an eight page letter to 20th Century Fox outlining the deal that they were looking for. This new deal with FOX would give Lucas $50,000 to write and $100,000 to direct the film. Gary Kurtz was given $50,000 to produce. The letter stated that Lucas would finish the screenplay by October 31, 1973. The deal would also bring in Marcia Lucas and Verna Fields to edit, and Walter Murch as production supervisor.

    June 15, 1973

  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes opens in theaters. The Planet of the Apes film franchise, which began in 1968 and was released by 20th Century Fox, had been a decent success for the studio which may have played a part in their willingness to take a chance on Lucas' space fantasy.

    Late 1973

  • George Lucas approaches writers Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz with an idea for a murder-mystery comedy set in a 1930's radio station. Lucas wrote a script treatment and gave it to Huyck and Katz to work on. The film would eventually become The Radioland Murders.

  • George and Marcia Lucas purchase a new home in San Anselmo, CA, a small town in Marin County.

    August 1, 1973

  • American Graffiti is released to theaters.

    August 20, 1973

  • 20th Century Fox responds to Pollock's letter with a few modifications.

    August 23, 1973

  • Tom Pollock responds to Fox's amendment with a few additional amendments including setting up Fred Roos as casting director. Both parties sign the agreement.

    Late August 1973

  • While Lucas had been growing broke only a few months earlier during negotiations for Star Wars, by this time he was in much better shape thanks to the success of American Graffiti.Had he waited just a short time longer to negotiate with 20th Century Fox, he would have been less desperate and could have worked out a much better deal.

  • Lucasfilm begins to make enough money to hire employees and become a functioning production company.

    September 1973

  • George Lucas begins writing a script for The Star Wars. The director would spend eight hours a day laboring over his script - even if it was not a productive day and nothing was written. Lucas would hang a calendar on the wall and mark off specific days that he needed to reach certain writing milestones, attempting to write five pages a day.

    Lucas also began collecting dogfight footage from movies based on World War II. He began editing fragments together to try to get a general idea of how his space battles would work in Star Wars. Films used in the process included Tora! Tora! Tora! and The Dam Busters.

    This draft includes the Jedi-Bendu warriors (as introduced in the Journal of the Whills), as well as the Sith. The older General Luke Skywalker character took on a smaller role and more attention was focused on the young Annikin Starkiller. At one point, General Skywalker was thrown off a thousand-foot cliff into a boiling lake. Skywalker was able to grab ahold of vines to survive. Annikin had a brother named Biggs, who was killed by the Sith at the start of the story. Annikin and Biggs' father, Kane Starkiller kills off the Sith. Luke and Kane lead a rebel alliance against the Empire to destroy the "Death Star." Prince Valorum, a black Knight of the Sith and commander of the Empire, is assisted by General Darth Vader.

    October 1973

  • Lucas begins making personal loans to the Star Wars corporation.

    Fall 1973

  • Lucas mentions his science fiction fantasy film project in an interview with Chaplin Magazine.
    George: "Star Wars is a mixture of Lawrence of Arabia, the James Bond films and 2001. The space aliens are the heroes, and the Homo Sapiens naturally the villains. Nobody has ever done anything like this since Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe in 1942." (Source: Chaplin Magazine, Fall 1973)

    January 1974

  • George Lucas purchases a one story Victorian home built in 1869 and began remodeling it to become the Lucasfilm offices. The home office would later be known as "Park Way." The home's carriage house would later become editing rooms. Eventually Lucy Wilson would begin to work there as the company's first employee. Hal Barwood and Matt Robins shared an office in the house and Michael Ritchie would occasionally work there as well.

    January 10, 1974

  • Lucas signs a legal agreement with himself. Lucasfilm is leagally loaning out "George Lucas, director" to "The Star Wars Corporation."

    1974

  • Lucas begins compiling ideas for his swashbuckling archaeologist story, at the time, entitled The Adventures of Indiana Smith.

    Early 1974

  • Marcia Lucas joins the production team of Martin Scorses's Alice Doesn't Live here Anymore in Arizona. George decides to join her, locking himself in a hotel room and agonizing over his Star Wars story.

    March 1974

  • George Lucas is interviewed by Larry Sturhahn for the Filmmakers Newsletter. In the interview, Lucas talks briefly about his new science fiction film project.
    George Lucas: "It is science fiction - Flash Gordon genre; 2001 meets James Bond, outer space and space ships flying in it."

    Spring 1974

  • The Star Wars is mentioned briefly by Lucas in Film Quarterly.
    George Lucas: "The Star Wars is a space opera in the tradition of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. It's James Bond and 2001 combined - super fantasy, capes and swords and laser guns and spaceships shooting each other, and all that sort of stuff. But it's not camp. It's meant to be an exciting action adventure film."

  • Lucas once again makes lists of names that could be included in his story - "Kane Highsinger/Jedi friend; Leia Aquilae/princess; General Vader/Imperial Commander; Han Solo/friend; Seethreepio and Artwo Deetwo/Two Workmen." Soon, Lucas began toying with the idea of the "two workmen" being robots.

    May 1974

  • George Lucas completes a rough draft screenplay of The Star Wars. Lucas consciously began reworking ideas he had for Apocalpyse Now into his new project

    For the first time in the evolving story, the phrase "May the Force of Others Be With You" is used - which of course is reminiscent of the more familiar "May the Force be With You," used in the final film. At this time however, "The Force" was not something that was defined and was merely used as a generic way of wishing someone good fortune.

    The plot focuses on cyborg Kane Starkiller, a Jedi-Bendi master, and his two sons Annikin and Deak. The three are in hiding on the fourth moon of Utapau when they are discovered by a Sith warrior who kills Deak. Kane and Annikin head to the Aquilae system to find Kane's old friend General Luke Skywalker. Luke becomes Annikin's teacher. Kane leaves Annikin with Deak and heads to the city of Gordon. Clieg Whitsun, a rebel spy on the emporor's planet of Alderaan, discovers that General Darth Vader ("a tall, grim-looking general"), Prince Valorum and their imperial fleet is about to conquer Aquilae with the "Death Star." Rebel fighters attempt to stop the attack, but the King of Aquilae is killed. A corrupt senator, who has connections to the Empire, maneuvers his way into taking control of Aquilae - instead of the rightful heir, Princess Leia.

    Annikin, Luke and Whitsun, along with their robots Artwo Detwo and See Threepio, escape from the Death Star with Princess Leia and her two younger brothers, and flee to the city of Gordon. Following a fight in the city's cantina, where Luke must use his laser sword to protect the group, they meet up with Kane and his alien friend, Han Solo (described as a large, green-skinned monster with gills.)

    The rebels narrowly escape the planet with Imperial forces in hot pursuit. Love begins to develop between Annikin and Leia on the journey. Whitsun dies when the ship explodes after being damaged by an asteroid field - the others abandon ship and find refuge on the jungle planet of Yavin. Annikin attempts to rescue Leia after she is captured by alien trappers but fails. Annikin does however manage to free a group of "Wookees" (one named Prince Chewbacca). Leia ends up in the hands of the Empire.

    The rebels, along with their new Wookee friends, attack the Imperial outpost. After learning that Leia is not at the outpost but instead is held captive on the "Death Star," General Skywalker begins training the Wookees to fly spaceships so they can attack the space fortress. Annikin and Artwo secretly board the space fortress (Annikin dressed as a "Skyraider") to rescue Leia, but instead, he is soon captured by General Vader. Prince Valorum, after witnessing Annikin being tortured by Vader, has a change of heart and frees Annikin and Leia, who escape down a garbage chute. Valorum, Leia, Annikin and Artwo escape from the trash compactor, and flee the Death Star just before the Wookees destroy it (along with Vader and Governor Hoedacck). One Sith Lord went by the name of "Banta Four."

  • Francis Ford Coppola was one of the first people to be given a copy of Lucas' first draft. Others given a copy included Matthew Robbins and Hal Barwood, Bill and Gloria Huyck, John Milius, Haskell Wexler and Phil Kaufman.
    Coppola: " I thought it was terrific. And then you (Lucas) totally changed it! And I kept saying 'Why are you changing it?'"

  • After he finished various drafts of the story, Lucas would often read parts of the script to other writer and filmmaker friends - including Francis Ford Coppola, Matt Robbins, Bill Heiken, Gloria Katz, Phil Kaufman, Martin Scorses, Steven Spielberg and Brian de Palma. Generally, most of his friends didn't understand it but Lucas would still ask them for suggestions and ideas.

    July 1974

  • George Lucas creates a full first draft of his May 1974 screenplay rough draft. At this time, Lucas continued to play with the names of characters - changing Kane Starkiller to Akira Valor, Deak Starkiller to Binks Valor, Annikin Starkiller to Justin Valor, Prince Valorum to General Dodona, Owen Lars to Hu Tho, Biggs and Windy to Oeta and Puck, Princess Leia to Princess Zara, Artoo Detoo and Threepio to A-2 and C-3 and Wookees to Jawas. The Jedi-Bendu were renamed the Dai Noga and the Sith were known as the Legions of Lettow. All of these changes would be soon be changed back to their previous state as Lucas would begin working on his second draft.

  • Writers Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz turn in their first draft of Lucas' The Radioland Murders.

    Late 1974

  • Lucas becomes increasingly frustrated with 20th Century Fox dragging their feet to provide a Production/Distribution contract, which would generally follow the initial agreement by only two or three months.

    August 23, 1974

  • Lucas' agent Tom Pollock began discussions with 20th Century Fox executives Immerman and Jeff Berg in an attempt to get things movie with the new film.

    September 4, 1974

  • As discussions and negotiations continued between Pollock and FOX, George Lucas was granted control of the The Star Wars name in conjunction to merchandising. It also gave Lucas sequel rights - as long as he started his next film within two years.

    November 1974

  • Lucas hires artist Colin J. Cantwell as a model builder.

  • The Legendary Ralph McQuarrie is brought in to create sketches (and eventually, paintings) of key scenes in Lucas' story. Lucas had first mentioned his space fantasy film idea to McQuarrie a couple of years before filming American Graffiti
    Ralph McQuarrie: "I'd sit with a pencil and dream about whatever I could imagine, sort of grotesque imagery. George would come by every week and a half or two weeks, look at what I'd done, and talk to me about what he'd like to see. I was reading the script to start with, but the script sort of got waylaid - the story was changing in his own mind - so George would just come and talk to me about what he wanted to see." (Source: Ralph McQuarrie on Designing Star Wars, The official Star Wars website, September 20, 2004.

    Ralph McQuarrie: "For R2 I was looking for something different from the little robots that were done for Silent Running, that Doug Trumbull had done. They were square, and I knew that our robots would be compared to their robots; because George had talked about that, you know. He said, 'well, you know the little robots in Silent Running?', he wanted a little worker robot like that for R2-D2.

    And I thought, well, I'll make him, instead of a box, I'll make him a can, you know, a cylinder with a dome on top. That was my first thought, just strictly in the sense that I didn't want him to look like Silent Running almost. They had two legs, so I thought, 'I'll give R2 three legs'.

    The first one I did, I think he had a spherical bottom, like a ball bearing that would roll around; he had gyroscopes in him, so he didn't fall over, and he just leaned in whatever direction he wanted to do, and spun his single wheel, which is really a sphere. Which sounded pretty interesting, but very difficult to do in reality.

    And I put little pedals on him and places for arms to come out, I knew he had a lot of little gadgets that, he was kind of like a swiss army knife, you know. And he had to have lights, and he had to have lenses to see through. He had to have color, to distinguish him from another robot, so I found places to put blues." (Source: Ralph McQuarrie, Star Wars: Episode IV blu-ray commentary, 2011)

    December 17, 1974

  • After more frustrating silence from FOX, Pollock sends another letting the company know that they need to settle the agreement immediately.

    December 27, 1974

  • FOX's Immerman replies to Pollock and agrees to begin drawing up a formal contract.



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All material used on these pages are used for illustrative purposes only under Fair Useage terms of copyright law.)
Research and written documentary Copyright © 1997-2016 Eric Townsend All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or publish without permission.




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