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10 dazzling Star Wars: The Last Jedi facts

2017-12-13 12:32

Cape Town – The much-anticipated instalment of Star Wars opens in cinemas Friday, 15 December. 

To celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi we’ve put together some fascinating facts about the flick that will puzzle your mind!

1. The inspiration

Some of the films writer/director Rian Johnson looked at for inspiration while developing Star Wars: The Last Jedi include 12 O’Clock High (1949), To Catch a Thief (1955) and Three Outlaw Samurai (1964).

2. On set paparazzi

Director Rian Johnson had his own personal 35mm camera around his neck constantly during the The Last Jedi shoot and enjoyed taking impromptu photos of anything he found interesting. Johnson also signed his name on the Millennium Falcon and, of course, recorded the moment with a photo!

3. A rogue appearance

Rian Johnson had a brief cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story aboard the Death Star as an Imperial gunnery technician.

4. 120 sets

Academy Award®–winning production designer Rick Heinrichs was tasked with designing and creating The Last Jedi environments. Construction was on a massive scale with 120 sets utilising all stages and backlots at Pinewood, as well as stages at Longcross Studios and two foreign filming locations, Dubrovnik, Croatia, and the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland. 

5. A combination of both old and new

Familiar sets include the Millennium Falcon, the Resistance Cruiser, the Fighter Hangar, the Mine Control Centre, the First Order sets, the Star Destroyer, the Mega Destroyer and Kylo’s Chambers. New environments and worlds created include the expanded Jedi Island Ahch-To, Canto Bight, the planet Crait and Snoke’s Throne Room.

6. The Jedi Village

The Jedi Village was designed to be built on a cliff top on the West Coast of Ireland, but practical, logistical and safety reasons made some filming impossible there, so the set, a series of beehive huts, based on the island huts where the monks had lived, were first constructed on the Pinewood Backlot. Once the scenes had been completed at Pinewood, the set was taken down, shipped and rebuilt on the cliff in Ireland. 

7. A 19-ton Jedi Tree

The Last Jedi team reconstructed the interior of the Millennium Falcon—which had been impeccably put together for The Force Awakens by art director Mark Harris—on a Pinewood Stage. This allowed The Last Jedi filmmakers to put the entire exterior of the Millennium Falcon, on its Landing Pad, at the base of the Longcross Studios’ incline, beneath the 19-ton Jedi Tree.

8.  Hundreds of costumes

The costumes for the Canto Bight Casino scenes were a massive undertaking for costume designer Michael Kaplan and his team. Hundreds were made, each one completely different to the next.  It took two thirds of the entire costume prep time.  Just finding all the fabrics alone was a time consuming effort—the team sourced the materials used from New York to Los Angeles and from London to Florence.

9. Creating new worlds

New worlds and new environments meant creating new creatures for creative supervisor Neal Scanlan. Tasked with making 130 creatures that play very specific roles in unique moments, the team had their work cut out for them. 
10. Everybody’s favourite

Scanlan and his team also created Porgs, which inhabit Ahch-To, the isolated island home of Luke Skywalker. The Porgs, which were very much an on-set favourite, are an adorable mix of a puffin, an owl and a baby seal. Everyone wanted to take one home!

(Photos: Disney)

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