October 18, 2016

Obi-Wan Kenobi Actor Alec Guinness ‘Saved’ Original Star Wars


Alec Guinness’s contempt for the original Star Wars was so complete that he dismissed it in his memoir as a “fantasy world of second-hand, childish banalities”. But fresh evidence suggests he was the film’s saviour.
A memoir by the 1977 movie’s set decorator, whose duties included inventing lightsabers and creating the model for the droid R2-D2, declares that Guinness’s presence saved the production from collapse as senior crew members mutinied against the director.

Roger Christian says the actor’s loyalty to George Lucas was pivotal as 20th Century Fox considered pulling the plug.

“He held the production together,” he says. “Science fiction was at its lowest ebb at the box office. When Alec turned up — always on time, always polite — it gave a credibility to George that he might not have had without someone of Alec’s stature.”

Christian, 72, who also designed the sets for Alien and Life of Brian, writes in Cinema Alchemist that Guinness’s loyalty was in contrast to backbiting by some of the senior crew members.

Crew complained to the studio, prompting 20th Century Fox to fly an executive to Elstree Studios near London for a crisis meeting.

Christian, who won an Oscar as part of the creative team for the film that has since been retitled Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, recalls that Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi inspired the cast and crew with his “complete mastery as an actor” and refusal to speak badly about anyone. “The first shot ever was in the valley when Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 have been zapped. Alec rolled in the dirt before his first scene because he wanted the patina on his costume to be real. No one asked him to do that.”

Guinness privately scorned the film, which he told friends he was doing only for the money. “New rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wodges of pink paper — and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable. I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me keep going until next April …”

Christian also says there was a mistake in Star Wars that no one spotted. Han Solo’s ship, Millennium Falcon, had a patch of rough material on its side that was mistakenly copied from an unfinished model. “(The builders) had used aircraft model kit parts and one part was a mistake, but it had become part of the exterior forever.”

By Jack Malvern

With many thanks to The Australian 

In spite of all that it is still going strong.The latest film is due for release later this year.

The official second trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which Jyn Erso leads a group of unlikely heroes to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters December 16, 2016.


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