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  1. #11
    Insects don't have lungs. Their oxygen-delivery mechanisms aren't sophisticated enough to allow them to become particularly large. Anything larger than a huge tarantula would need a respiratory system like a vertebrate's.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  2. #12
    What do you think of man sized aliens with XO skeletons such as in the Sigourney Weaver series with aliens?

    Those movies are classics. Geonosians are similar but made less threatening for audiences including children. But the Mustafar lava flea is a better example for what I was talking -about creatures that the figures can ride
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    What do you think of man sized aliens with XO skeletons such as in the Sigourney Weaver series with aliens?
    As cool as the first two of those movies were, those aliens could never exist in reality. You'd be talking about a couple hundred pounds of nothing but exoskeleton.

    I personally hope that the creature designers for the new trilogy are a little more creative than just making giant insects. What made most of the OT creature designs so great was that they might have suggested certain animals that exist on our planet, but they rarely ever copied those animals directly.

    The OT designers put a lot of effort into creating creatures that audiences had never seen before, but still somehow felt familiar and were firmly grounded in reality. For instance, Tauntauns and Banthas feel familiar, but we don't have a single animal on earth that looks anything like those creatures.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  4. #14
    How about the rancor and Sarlaac? A giant hairless gorilla and a huge venus fly trap? The space worm in ESB? (EXOGORT)

    Yeah sorry to bug you but we need bugs ;')

    They could go to Mon calamari and do more sea creatures though. But wait for it... It's a trap!

    However riff Tamsen's people brought to life would be cool.

    Wait. They briefly show the cancell on kashyyyk in episode 3. But no major characters used it for any significant amount of time like the dewbacks.

    But maybe after the Battle of Endor The New Republic has chained ewoks and they ride them with harnesses
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    But maybe after the Battle of Endor The New Republic has chained ewoks and they ride them with harnesses
    If this happens, I will personally clone George Lucas so I can murder him millions of times.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by El Chuxter View Post
    If this happens, I will personally clone George Lucas so I can murder him millions of times.
    Can I please help. Pretty please.

    But I am with Big B on this one. I definitely would like a return to the more familiar types of creatures and aliens. Sure an odd one thrown in the background here or there is fine, but I certainly want them to be very heavily used.
    "Roger Nasty Butler!"

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    How about the rancor and Sarlaac? A giant hairless gorilla and a huge venus fly trap? The space worm in ESB? (EXOGORT)

    Yeah sorry to bug you but we need bugs ;')

    They could go to Mon calamari and do more sea creatures though. But wait for it... It's a trap!

    However riff Tamsen's people brought to life would be cool.

    Wait. They briefly show the cancell on kashyyyk in episode 3. But no major characters used it for any significant amount of time like the dewbacks.

    But maybe after the Battle of Endor The New Republic has chained ewoks and they ride them with harnesses
    Other than long arms, what about the Rancor design suggested a gorilla to you?

    The Special Edition Sarlacc might have evoked a Venus Flytrap... barely.... but I'm talking about the original design for the ROTJ. The Special Editions and the Prequels showcase some of the lazy and uncreative design work that I hope the new trilogy is able to rise above.

    The spaceslug... well technically I guess that could be classified as a giant bug, but it made sense within the context of that specific scene. Plus, there was no exoskeleton and it existed in a low atmosphere environment.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  8. #18
    I dunno if the prequel concept design work is lazy and uncreative, I think it largely lacks the discipline to know when not to do something just because it is new or unique, or is what the boss says he wants. Also that Lucas and/or McCallum may have picked the wrong people to put the focus of concept artwork on, putting the wrong types of artists in charge of certain things. Doug Chiang isn't untalented, he's just focused on an aesthetic that is too experimental, too many flights of fancy, too much insectoid detailing and impossible/improbable machines, lots of complexity... IMO that means not cinematic - it may be undisciplined in that regard, but I don't think it's uncreative and lazy. You're the artist though, you're more qualified to make an objective statement in that regard - stuff like overly complex without sense to why it'd really operate, that's where I suppose we should defer to your opinion.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  9. #19
    But that's the thing about art, it's purely subjective. I might look at a specific design and say, "it's great" and you might look at that same design and say "it sucks." Which one of us is right? We both are.

    When the original designers started to work on Star Wars, they obviously had very little to draw from, so they needed to cull their ideas from several different sources: Flash Gordon, WW2, westerns, pulp sci-fi, comic books, high-fantasy, mythology, etc. For Empire Strikes Back, they didn't have a lot freedom to explore new ideas since studios didn't think that "Star Wars 2" was going to be a success. Plus, I'm pretty sure making Yoda actually work onscreen probably took up the lion's share of ILM's special effects budget.

    By the time ROTJ came around, Star Wars was officially a phenomenon and the designers finally had all the money they needed to create all of the creatures that they wanted to create. Having over 80 different aliens/creatures/monsters in ROTJ was considered totally revolutionary at the time. So, what we saw in ROTJ were the results of a group of artists who had had their hands tied creatively for several years, because of limited budgets, finally cut loose to create whatever they could imagine. But they weren't interested in repeating themselves, they wanted to surpass ANH and ESB in every possible way; so they went back and started drawing all of their inspiration from the real world again.

    As a result, I think the mass of creativity and the level of polish that each design showcased in Return of the Jedi has yet to be matched even today.

    When it came time to start designing for the Prequels, ILM had some massive hurdles to overcome since, not only did they have to outdo Return of the Jedi, but they also needed to outdo the 16 years of sci-fi films that had also tried to outdo ROTJ. Basically, Star Wars had inspired so many copycats, that the Prequels were in great danger of looking like just another copycat.

    I was actually very encouraged by that first Ep1 trailer because everything looked so different from anything we had seen before and I think that's why I still believe Ep1 is the strongest of the Prequels from a design standpoint and is the one that feels the most like a Star Wars movie. What I think made the design work so well was that they "went back to the drawing board" and took most of their inspiration from non-Star Wars sources.

    However, I think Lucas started to seriously second-guess himself during the concept stage of Ep2 and we got designs that no longer drew their inspiration from the real world, but drew their inspiration from the previous Star Wars films. Lucas tried to justify it by saying that we needed to see "transitionary forms" in the vehicles, but I believe that was just an excuse to play it safe. Instead of taking another risk on new ideas, ILM decided to start eating their own feet (figuratively of course). Because of that the pool of creativity started to shrink more and more. By Ep3, we were getting old designs broken apart, mashed-up and passed off as new designs (Commander Cody, I'm looking at you).

    There are a few great Prequel designs that I still believe surpass some of the OT designs, however. Queen Amidala's outfits from Ep1 (that kind of thing made sense for a queen, but just became a tired joke with no punchline by Ep2 and 3), Sebulba and Dud Bolt (my two favorite Prequel alien designs), and the AT-TE (which is like an AT-AT that seems like it would actually be practical on the battlefield).

    For the most part, though, I think the Prequels suffered from just too much stuff and very few designs could be polished to the level that we had become used to in the OT.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  10. #20
    Art for art's sake is subjective, but this isn't only for its own sake, that's what makes it concept design. This art has a specific purpose which gives it some level of objective slant. Art here is serving a different medium (and one could well argue, a lower common denominator-oriented medium), it's conveying a story's ideas through a cinematic medium to a mainstream audience. It's not serving a Warhol film that would be meant to challenge the very notion of cinema and of storytelling.

    Looking over the concept art for Star Wars and ESB, it's clear that there were several schools of thought and several philosophies, some more based on Lucas' words and some more based on '70s sci-fi magazines. McQuarrie worked most closely with Lucas in the formative era and was concerned more with art as an expression of designs and ideas than of itself, and I think that gives it more objectivity on which to draw from. The Flash Gordon stuff got tossed pretty early, you don't see it in Joe Johnston's ANH work much because by then they had moved past it, Lucas and McQuarrie worked out an aesthetic that moved away from that limited look (the costumes are the biggest shift IMO, they go from very Flash Gordon comic book era to something more lived-in and thought out; Lucas also tossed the Flash Gordon industrial style early on, no gleaming rocketships with fins and flames and portholes. Once you get to Yoda concept work, there's almost an agony over how to express the idea with a myriad of ideas, Johnston, McQuarrie, and even Stuart Freeborn have many different avenues explored on the character - some of those changes were needed from technical perspective, and some were just Lucas and Kasdan working the character out as a concept on the page.

    I dunno how financially free Lucas was for ROTJ, he had to take out a huge loan from Bank of America to make the film on his own, and he was going through an expensive divorce. It seems like just with ANH and ESB before, bringing in new blood and then those eyes were bigger than the stomachs, fabrication and design wanted to do any- and everything and thought they could get away with it because the money was coming in from somewhere else, from an unseen mom and dad. If anything, I'd say the variety of aliens in ROTJ served Lucas' bruised ego after feeling pummeled during the disaster that was the need for a cantina scene reshoot, another situation where a lot of money went into realizing a lot of alien designs, only this time Lucas put more effort into ensuring the myriad of aliens weren't cinematically-unusable. Yet ROTJ is the first film in Star Wars where you can see actors eyes inside the eyeholes of the alien masks - the Gamorrean, red Nikto, and Barada masks fall short here. So money was certainly anything but no object. Ideas however, in ROTJ, were in no short supply, and for every piece of concept art that succeeds you have a piece that looks torn from the pages of a '70s-era Heavy Metal magazine - Jabba alone has some of the most unusable and visually offensive ideas sketched out.


    For TPM, I think Lucas tried so hard to look "old and elegant" that he got wrapped up in trying to be different. TPM is like Alex P. Keaton, he's a young Republican mainly because his parents are hippies, without them his identity would seem entirely foreign, TPM's aesthetic serves primarily to exist as a rebelling act against Star Wars, to make a universe that wasn't Star Wars rather than to be its own take on Star Wars. Eps 2 and 3 clumsily attempt to backpedal, as you said, into a 'bridge' that it compromises the aesthetic. There was also a lack of thought on how things would evolve to how they were, from creatures to equipment to buildings to vehicles, and then taking those ideas and THROWING A THOUSAND MORE OF THEM ONTO THE SCREEN AT THE SAME EXACT TIME just because the digital tools gave them the power to do so. How does the Kaadu become a thing that's just 2 legs and a head, no arms? Lucasfilm's answer seemed to be "who cares, it's not the tauntaun!" Nothing has a past in the prequels, it seems like it's just about getting different ideas up there, either derived from Star Wars or the polar opposite of Star Wars.


    Dud Bolt, really??? Sebulba is a relatively straightforward design with the challenge of "front to back jobs for limbs", but Dud Bolt is just a warthog crossed with a platypus to me, he's just seems silly and cartoonish, second in that scene only to Ben Quadinaros. Like, how does Dud Bolt keep that head supported, how does he get those clothes on over that giant noggin and beak, how does he see anything ahead of him (you know, kinda important for a racer)? Whenever I see him those things jump out at me first thing, I can get past some aliens like Sebulba and Jar Jar and Gasgano, but Dud Bolt stops me in my tracks. What about him appeals to you so much, if you can put it into words?

    Funny you should say that, in my collection so far, the AT-TE in real life is actually less stable than the AT-AT. When you look at industrial equipment and designs that inspired those two vehicles, the AT-AT is based on big stuff like elephants and cargo cranes, while the AT-TE is based on tiny stuff like bugs. My AT-TE has dumped itself once and flipped itself over once, my AT-AT has never fallen.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

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