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Bob Anderson, the Man Behind Vader's Lightsaber, Dies at 89

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the sad-news-for-the-new-year dept.

Canada 99

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Australia's ABC News: "Bob Anderson, an Olympic swordsman who staged fights for films including the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogy, has died at the age of 89. ... Anderson donned Darth Vader's black helmet and fought light-saber battles in two of the three original Star Wars films, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but his role was not initially publicized." The accompanying video clips are great; I never thought about anyone being in the Vader suit besides David Prowse.

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Obligatory Family Guy (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571416)

What would Star Wars have been like if James Earl Jones also did the stunts? [youtube.com] RIP, they don't make guys that can do all the special effects without green screens like you anymore.

Meanwhile... (0)

o'reor (581921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571472)

... the real guy behind Darth Vador [rollingstone.com] is still alive and kicking. Oh, and he likes the comparison, too.

Re:Meanwhile... (5, Funny)

paintballer1087 (910920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571600)

the real guy behind Darth Vador

-5 Nerd points

the real guy behind Darth Vader

FTFY

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Interesting)

JigJag (2046772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573572)

Fun tidbit: in French, Darth Vader is named "Dark Vador", R2D2 is "D2R2", C3PO is "Z6PO"

JigJag

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Funny)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38576112)

Fun tidbit: in French, Darth Vader is named "Dark Vador", R2D2 is "D2R2", C3PO is "Z6PO"

JigJag

With the strict language laws, shouldn't it be "Vader noir" ?
(And all the other main characters un-postable on ASCII centric /. )

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Interesting)

JigJag (2046772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38584432)

I see the invisible wink at the end of your question; true, there are very strong language laws... in Quebec! Other french-speaking countries are way more relaxed about it. For instance (one amongst thousands), Toy Story is called "Toy Story" in France but "Histoire de jouets" in Quebec.

Translation is a challenge. When and how do you translate proper names? Why is the country whose capital is Berlin called Germany by the English, Allemagne by the French and Deutschland by its natives? And then why isn't Berlin translated three ways too?
I recently did some independent translation for a popular '90s computer game (very heavy in dialog), and that was a serious question we asked ourselves. Do we translate names of places and people? We agreed that not all names ought to be translated but it was almost always based on a personal feeling.

When it comes to movies, there is an added impetus: since the movies are dubbed and not voiced-over (like it was the case in Poland for so many years), the name chosen as a translation must be easy to pronounce yet they more or less must match the lip movements. The french can't pronounce "TH" properly, so DarTH is right out. On the other hand, the target audience is sufficiently sophisticated to know the word "Dark" and even have an idea of what it means (paradoxically, they get it wrong since they think "noir", like you pointed out, instead of "sombre"). Since his wardrobe matched the name, it made sense to use Dark in this case. So, there is aggregate of: 1) pronunciation, 2) ability to relate, 3) mental imagery that led to choosing "Dark Vador".

Translation is more an art than a science. You need flair, inventiveness along with technique and rules.

To me, the absolute best translation was that of Lady Jessica Atreides in Dune when examining the servants with Dr Yueh. In English, she says "When you said Harkonnens, I didn't know you had so much reason to hate them." In French, the translators used a verb tense rarely used in speech amongst commoners, but that perfectly embodied an educated and noble person like Lady Jessica: "Quand vous avez dit : 'Harkonnens'.. j'ignorais que vous eussiez tant de raisons de les haïr."
You have to know French to be floored by that rendering. Not only the meaning was properly conveyed but as an added touch they established her rank through her language and it also coincide well with the lip movements. Grandiose.

JigJag

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38583622)

VINCENT: ...You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

JULES: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?

VINCENT: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.

JULES: What'd they call it?

VINCENT: Royale with Cheese.

JULES: Royale with Cheese. What'd they call a Big Mac?

VINCENT: Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.

JULES: What do they call a Whopper?

VINCENT: I dunno, I didn't go into a Burger King.

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Interesting)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572156)

Youknow I think that Dick Cheney is more like Palpatine than Vader

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575946)

And Joe Biden is more like Jar Jar.

No, Jar Jar was racist... (1)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582920)

GOOGLE: jar jar racist [google.com]

Which means that Jar Jar could only possibly be, uhh, well, um, ah, gosh... oh, wait, I know - Herman Cain!!!

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38576126)

Youknow I think that Dick Cheney is more like Palpatine than Vader

Except for the breathing.

Only the second two films (3, Informative)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571498)

Anderson donned Darth Vader's black helmet and fought light-sabre battles in two of the three original Star Wars films, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

The epic duel between Vader and Obi-Wan was apparently so bad they had to hire an Olympic swordsman just to make things 'OK'.

Re:Only the second two films (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571638)

In all fairness, that was probably due way more to Alec Guinness' age and lack of swordsmanship than David Prowse's.

Re:Only the second two films (4, Informative)

lord_mike (567148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572700)

That and the fact that the Ep IV sabers were so brittle, they weren't even allowed to make full contact with each other. The actors were told to keep it as gentle as possible 'cos the sabers kept shattering. The original light sabers actually emanated... you know... light. They wee made of real light bulbs in them illuminating a lucite-type material. You can actually see the power cord on Obi-Wan's wrist in one of the shots. Later on, they decided to colorize them after the fliming, It was only in later films that they decided to just use sticks and draw all of the effects in post production. The episode IV's fight scene's "lameness" is partially a result of the actors having to be gentle and play nice with their fragile props. Alec Guinness was actually an accomplished swordsman himself, but he was forced to "tone it down".

Re:Only the second two films (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573178)

Actually they didn't "Emit" light, they were covered with front projection screen material and a beamsplitter was used to bounce light off it and back into the camera. Low tech optical effects, but complex. Then they tinted the film. Later they just painted it in. They couldn't hit them very hard because it would knock off a big cloud of the coating. Look at the old films to see that.

correction on the sabers (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577510)

The power cord was not for illumination - It powered a small motor that spun the blade, which was not round but triangular in shape. The wooden 'blade' was covered with 3M reflective material similar to what is used on road signs. The blades reflected available light from the studio key lights.

And yes, they broke like crazy. Beginning with Empire they used aluminum rods that could take more contact.

Did some great work (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571524)

I loved the lightsaber fights in the original trilogy (particularly RotJ). They were perfectly paced; fast enough to be exciting, but slow enough that you could read a pace and flow to them. They were supported by those wonderful sound effects and music that matched the action perfectly.

By contrast, the lightsaber battles in the prequels left me absolutely cold. It felt like Lucas had watched the Matrix and decided that he wanted that bullet-time wire-fu in his film whether it actually worked or not. The Darth Maul fight in Ep 1 gets a better press than it deserves on the basis of Duel of the Fates (which is a great piece of film music), but other than that, I couldn't see any of the Ep 1-3 battles as anything but soul-less exercises in camera trickery. They're too fast and there's no drama to them. There's just a lot of flailing about and then somebody wins.

Bottom line, talented performers and traditional effects outperformed modern CGI and wire-fu.

I disagree. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571614)

The light saber fights in the first 3 (eps 4,5,6) were clunky and slow and looked planned. It looks like they rehearsed once and then filmed.

Whereas the last 3 (eps 1,2,3) were wonderfully choreographed - they looked real - the choreographed "mistakes" looked great. The last 3 actually looked like the actors spent many many hours practicing (they did) and it showed.

The first part of the Trilogy did the saber fighting much better than the second part of the Trilogy (eps: 4,5,6)

Re:I disagree. (2)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571936)

I'll only agree with you on ep 3. The Vader/Obi Wan fight was painfully poor. And notice this guy didn't work on that one. I think that Lucas had no idea that his little creation would take off like it did and that his light saber concoction would turn into what it did, so not a great deal of effort was put into it.

Re:I disagree. (3, Interesting)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573630)

It's worth thinking about it a different way perhaps. In episodes 1, 2 and 3, we find the Jedi in their prime, so naturally they'd be quick and good etc. In episodes 4, 5 and 6 though, there's Obi-Wan and Vader who are very old and Luke who is a complete newby, so their light-sabre skills will be somewhat less than say Darth Maul in episode 1.

Just my 2c.

Re:I disagree. (3, Insightful)

Kurt Granroth (9052) | more than 2 years ago | (#38575304)

I hear this theory quite a bit and I believe that Lucas himself has said this to be the case. I don't buy it. The entire Jedi mythology holds that it's the Jedi's mastery of the Force that gives him the ability to fight with a light saber. They made it very explicit with Yoda's fight with Dooku -- Yoda was hundreds of years old and practically disabled, but his immense mastery of the Force gave him incredible fighting abilities. If anything, Obi-Wan and Vader's age should have increased their skills, not decreased them.

Re:I disagree. (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38575404)

That's fair, I suppose.

Re:I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38597040)

You're sort of confusing how it works. The Force lets Jedi move faster, but it doesn't grant them automatic mastery of a complex skill. They still have to start from scratch (The scene in Episode 2 where Obi-Wan walks into the room where Yoda is teaching the younglings basic saber techniques) and practice regularly (Obi-Wan: If you spent half as much time practicing your saber skills as you do your wit you'd rival Master Yoda as a swordsman.) to be as good as they were.

Obi-Wan spent the 20 years between Episode 3 and 4 getting old in solitude. Vader wasn't using his saber much after he killed the last of the Jedi. It stands to reason their skills would be pretty crap compared to back in their respective primes.

Disclaimer: Obviously part of the reason the scenes in Ep. 4 are so lame are because Star Wars lore wasn't well developed at the time, but you can cut them a little slack on this basis.

Re:I disagree. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575590)

There are a few chinese movies where the two swordsmen stare at each other and fight the duel in their minds. I don't remember the names of the movies and they flashed to pieces of the mental fighting to keep the movie interesting. I always thought in the originals that Obi and Vader were doing much the same. Neither really moved because they knew the other would block it so what was the point. That the real fighting was more zen like and unseen through the force.

Re:I disagree. (2)

DarKnyht (671407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577734)

There was also the fact that originally the lightsabers were supposed to be difficult to hold/control. They were told in episode 4 specifically not to fight in a traditional fencing style because they needed both hands to control the power of the blades. Then there were the also mentioned issues with the props themselves breaking.

I am sure when Lucas gets around to re-shooting the original trilogy using obi-wan from the first one (hey, there are only 10 more years to go more or less), the lightsaber fights will be much more involved.

Re:I disagree. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572018)

have to agree.

The Anakin/Dooku duel in AotC was my favorite by far.

elegant and powerful.

Re:I disagree. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573834)

I'm gonna go with Yoda v Dooku ... watching Yoda being a kick-ass was just awesome.

Re:I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577208)

Indeed but the intro was what made it for me, the noise of the walking stick and the realisation that we are about to see yoda actually fight.

Re:I disagree. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38581384)

and the annoyed look on his face that he's going to have to fight? priceless.

Re:I disagree. (4, Insightful)

Morty (32057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572020)

The light saber fights in the first 3 (eps 4,5,6) were clunky and slow and looked planned. It looks like they rehearsed once and then filmed.

Whereas the last 3 (eps 1,2,3) were wonderfully choreographed - they looked real - the choreographed "mistakes" looked great. The last 3 actually looked like the actors spent many many hours practicing (they did) and it showed.

The first part of the Trilogy did the saber fighting much better than the second part of the Trilogy (eps: 4,5,6)

As a former fencer, I completely agree on the fight quality. During the lightsaber battles in the original three movies, the actors' movements were relatively slow and often didn't actually threaten their opponents. They're somewhat painful to watch: I keep thinking "stop thrust, stop thrust!" The actors in the newer trilogies look like they're mostly actually trying to fight each other. Although even in the new series, there still are plenty of moments when someone leaves themselves open to do something showy (i.e. swing their saber backwards) and their opponent doesn't press the advantage.

That said, in terms of fight choreography, what looks good isn't always what's most realistic.

Re:I disagree. (4, Interesting)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573666)

One thing that's always amused me about the SW saber fights: almost all sword swings are dodged, parried, or blocked. But a punch or kick (or carbonite exhaust pipe to the face)? Connects 100% of the time! Bonus points if the hit happens on a ledge.

Re:I disagree. (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573824)

As a former fencer, I completely agree on the fight quality. During the lightsaber battles in the original three movies, the actors' movements were relatively slow and often didn't actually threaten their opponents.

On the other hand, they didn't stop using the Force and become sword fighters with flashy swords. I mean they could stop blaster shots with those, so why aren't the light saber battles lightning fast? I always felt that Jedi vs Sith was a battle of minds as much as swords, like two mind readers trying to surprise each other where the rules are different and where the obvious moves are anticipated moves so they do no good. I'm not saying the sword play was great, I'm just saying I'm not sure it'd make the movies any better to me if they'd been master swordsmen. At least my mind made up a perfectly good explanation of why they spend most their duels doing silly and flashy moves.

Re:I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38578536)

As a former fencer, I completely agree on the fight quality. During the lightsaber battles in the original three movies, the actors' movements were relatively slow and often didn't actually threaten their opponents. They're somewhat painful to watch: I keep thinking "stop thrust, stop thrust!"

As a current fencer, I completely disagree on the fight quality. Episodes 1, 2, and 3 were poorly choreographed. Gymnastics, wide movements, and wire work do not make a good sequence.

Through-out Episodes 1 and 2, I could have beaten all of the combatants in moments. That includes the horrific fight with the CG Yoda. When I saw that on the big screen, I just started laughing. The scrap with Jango Fett was even more stupid, more of a fortunately-unfortunately story. The Battle on Geonosis? Try watching the background sometime, watch the lightsabre twirling. There's one laughably bad moment, where one Jedi deflects three or four laser blasts, but only two of them are actually there.

The actors in the newer trilogies look like they're mostly actually trying to fight each other. Although even in the new series, there still are plenty of moments when someone leaves themselves open to do something showy (i.e. swing their saber backwards) and their opponent doesn't press the advantage.

What are you talking about? The prequels are all show. Try re-watching Episode 1 sometime. There's a scene where Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are fighting Maul, with Qui-Gon in the foreground and Obi-Wan in the background. First, Obi-Wan is doing ridiculous spins and doing nothing other than attacking Maul's blade, and second, there's a parry that doesn't even meet the blade.

Episode 3 is much better, unfortunately the only things it has going for it is how tightly rehearsed it is, and they've got rid of a few of the stupidly wide movements. It basically means they can work through their choreography much faster.

:

If you still think you're right, then can you explain why you think a tennis forehand shot with a lightsabre is good sword technique?

Re:I disagree. (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572092)

Ep 4 is a bit clunky, yes. As other posters have noted, that was made before they brought in the expertise they needed - so you get a fight which is basically two untrained old(ish) men taking swings at each other.

But what you get in Eps 5 and 6 is a sense of story to the fight. In 5, when Luke fights Vader, he's clearly lost the fight before it even begins. He's distracted and off-balance. Vader's the older, smarter and more skilled fighter. Luke tries gamely enough to begin with, but every swing he takes is turned against him. Vader's not going all out; he doesn't want to kill, so he bides his time and breaks down his opponent before going for a disabling blow.

In Ep 6, the battle in the throne room begins much the same way. Luke is, once again, at a disadvantage (though he's more aware of it this time). However, once he "snaps" and charges Vader (culminating in him chopping Vader's hand off), his style changes completely. He leaves himself wide open and goes for all-out attack. To use an analogy from fighting games; he's button-mashing. And it catches Vader off guard. Vader's probably still more skilled, but he's also older and slower. He can't keep up with Luke, let alone counter-attack.

In Eps 5 and 6, the fights help to tell the story. The genius of the choreography of the fights is that it takes place at a pace which allows the average viewer to actually pick up on that.

By contrast, the eps 1-3 fights have very little sense of story to them. They're more concerned with "wow factor" and, to put a cynical hat on for a moment, with making sure that everybody gets a chance to look cool to boost the toy sales. I never got a sense that a character's emotional state is being reflected in how they fight.

Re:I disagree. (5, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572430)

Wish I could mod you up.

So many people seem to forget that Star Wars (original trilogy at least) wasn't action film, nor sci fi - it was space opera. The drama is the real point of the films. Realism in small details is pretty much irrelevant. That's what they lost in the prequels, which is why so many Star Wars fans despise them.

Re:I disagree. (2)

aitikin (909209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572954)

This is one of the best analyses of some of the finer points of Star Wars that I have ever read. For the first time in five years, I'm going to have to get back my copy of the original trilogy and re-watch it just to get that awe that you re-instilled in that post.

Thank you.

Re:I disagree. (4, Interesting)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574162)

But what you get in Eps 5 and 6 is a sense of story to the fight. In 5, when Luke fights Vader, he's clearly lost the fight before it even begins. He's distracted and off-balance. Vader's the older, smarter and more skilled fighter. Luke tries gamely enough to begin with, but every swing he takes is turned against him. Vader's not going all out; he doesn't want to kill, so he bides his time and breaks down his opponent before going for a disabling blow.

You need to watch the fight more closely. At the beginning of the fight, yes, Vader is toying with him. He holds his saber loosely with one hand. He simply sizes Luke up as being no threat at all. "All too easy. Perhaps you're not as strong as the Emperor thought." Shortly after this, however, Luke escapes the Carbonite chamber, gives Vader a face full of exhaust gas, and kicks him off the platform. By the time we reach the gantry, Vader is going 'balls out' in his fighting. Even then, Luke connects a swing with Vader's shoulder, which is only saved by his armor.

By contrast, the eps 1-3 fights have very little sense of story to them. They're more concerned with "wow factor" and, to put a cynical hat on for a moment, with making sure that everybody gets a chance to look cool to boost the toy sales. I never got a sense that a character's emotional state is being reflected in how they fight.

You had your "prequel blinders" on. :) Episode 1: Recall the scene where Obi wan, Qui gon, and Darth Maul were separated by the force fields. Obi wan stood pensively and anxiously. Separated from his master, he's unsure what to do next. Darth Maul paces in his chamber like rabid animal locked in a cage. Qui gon... sits down and _closes his eyes_ in meditation. Everything you need to know about what these three characters think of this fight is right _there_.

Episode 2: Obi-wan versus Dooku - Watch the look on Christopher Lee's face as he mocks and taunts Obi wan. He clearly has the upper hand, and isn't afraid to show it. Dooku vs. Anakin - I liked this fight because it spent more time focusing on lighting and shadow than it did on the swordplay. Very indicative of the blurry line that Anakin is walking between the light and dark sides. It's the outcome of this fight (Anakin's dismemberment) that feeds his growing desire for revenge that he'll unleash in the next film. Yoda vs. Dooku? Come on! What fanboy who saw ESB when he was 6 in 1980 _didn't_ feel it was worth the 22 year wait to see him kick some ass. Best of all, as soon as the fight was finished, he reached for his walking stick. This simple act shows the nature of how a "true" jedi uses the Force.

Episode 3: You get _five_ saber battles here. Pick your favorite. My favorites were Mace Windu vs. Sidious (Come on! The head of the Jedi Order vs. a Sith Master? How much more "story" do you need to fill in the blanks here? Plus, as the event that finally pushes Anakin "over the edge", it's importance to the narrative cannot be overstated) , and Obi wan vs. Anakin. What needs to be said about it? Obi wan busts Anakin joining Sideous, murdering hundreds of Jedi (including children), and nearly murdering his pregnant wife. How much more motivation does Obi wan need at this point to turn to fisticuffs? Plus, you have the entire mythological narrative involving the Descent to Hell, eternal damnation, and attempted redemption. This fight, more than any other, shows two combatants who are pretty much evenly matched throughout the whole fight.

Re:I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38576376)

But eps 1,2 and 3 sucked. They did. Just stop it. They are bad movies and the "stories" in them do not hold up. I'm not just romancing my childhood, Eps 4,5 and 6 are better stories and better movies. The ONLY reason 1,2,3 got made is because 4,5,6 were so good. If 1,2,3 had been made first, there would have been no 4,5,6 and probably no 2 or 3. The light saber battles in the prequels might have had their moments, but it's rearranging chairs on the Titanic.

Re:I disagree. (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38583504)

So....you still don't got a balls to say it without cover of AC? :)

I agree with parent post - while first three eps weren't cinema's finest hour, to say that they all sucked completely is emotional overstatement completely related with sentiment. Sorry, someone must say it.

There was interesting story telling, there was truly engaging stuff. However, editing and acting were weak due of Lucas insistence to shoot and script movies himself - he has eye for a cinema candy though. He is world creator, but floppy director. First came out as unbalanced kid movie (watch children how our hero wins, never mind that he will turn evil later) just because Lucas didn't trust that such serious material as Darth Vater storyline will fly without such commercial stuffing. In the end he overfed us with kiddy stuff and it shows. Still, with right mindset I can enjoy ep 1. Second was actually much more interesting, but uneven, as lot of characters were introduced but improperly fleshed out. Third was very promising at the beginning, but Anakin's fall didn't stick with me properly, something in the script was missing. There were more of nice cinema moments than in previous two eps (moody pieces, etc.) - and final battles actually resonated as true for souls, hearts and life and death.

In overall, as I more of story guy, these eps tells very important story of fall of Jedi. Maybe not perfectly, but I still enjoy it.

Re:I disagree. (1)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595564)

I wrote it. I stand by it. However, I can't waste anymore time arguing prequel merits (or lack thereof).

Re:I disagree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38578222)

You need to watch the fight more closely. At the beginning of the fight, yes, Vader is toying with him. He holds his saber loosely with one hand. He simply sizes Luke up as being no threat at all. "All too easy. Perhaps you're not as strong as the Emperor thought." Shortly after this, however, Luke escapes the Carbonite chamber, gives Vader a face full of exhaust gas, and kicks him off the platform. By the time we reach the gantry, Vader is going 'balls out' in his fighting. Even then, Luke connects a swing with Vader's shoulder, which is only saved by his armor.

No. Just... NO.

All the way through the fight, you can see that Vader is good with a lightsabre, easily deflecting Luke's attacks or even turning them against him. As the duel progresses, Vader is clearly holding back. He's not trying to kill Luke, he's trying to capture him so Luke can be used to kill the Emperor.

Going "balls out" on the gantry? Really? Is that why he had such easy in knocking Luke over? The only reason Luke landed a single blow on him, is he became too cocky and gave Luke his lightsabre. One desperate beat on his blade, and Vader's open for a strike. You'll notice how easily Vader took Luke's hand off? If he were really going "balls out" to beat Luke, then he wouldn't have been able to do that so easily, would he?

Re:I disagree. (1)

Flere Imsaho (786612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38580596)

I found the end of the Obi-Wan vs Anakin fight to be trite. Anakin couldn't attack because Obi-Wan held the high ground? Pffft.
And that whole fight went on for far too long. What little investment I had in the outcome was long expired by the time Anakin got sliced and diced.

Re:I disagree. (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586240)

Mad fanboi is mad.

This is a fight that first generation fans had been waiting for for nearly 30 years, and you complain that it was "too long"? Sorry, if you're so jaded in old age that you can't enjoy this, then it might be time to turn in your geek card.

And don't blame your lack of knowledge about the characters on how the fight ended. Anakin was the more "powerful" swordsman, while Obi-wan was more "experienced". Obi-wan took a tactical advantage (the high ground). In Anakin's overconfidence and arrogance, he pressed the attack anyway.

Re:I disagree. (1)

Flere Imsaho (786612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38615492)

Wow, and I'm the fanboi? Too funny.

Re:I disagree. (1)

one cup of coffee (1623645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38581142)

"You had your "prequel blinders" on. :)"

I think most people after long consideration have come to conclude that the prequels really and genuinely did suck and suck hard, and that's with nearly all the fans heading to the theaters with a huge positive bias. I don't know if you've seen these already, but I think it's required watching for all Star Wars fans.
http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/

Re:I disagree. (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586122)

Yes, I have. Was at the theaters at midnight for each of them. My mom took me to see ANH in the theater for the '79 re-release (I was only 3 in '77). I had every action figure up until the last RotJ release. Some figure cards show a picture of Boba Fett with a "working" backpack. I was introduced to the concept of a "spoiler" prior to the release of RotJ, when a Topps Trading card let loose that Vader was, in fact, Luke's father.

Yes, I've been a Star Wars fan since my first memory. And guess what?

I like the prequels better. :P

Re:I disagree. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575364)

If I recall*, Alec Guiness was given instructions during the filming of Episode 4 that the lightsaber was intended to be a heavy weapon, more like a massive two-hander than a lightning-quick rapier; a weapon that required two hands to wield properly. And although the battles did become slightly more fluid in Episodes 5 and 6, you can still see this philosophy in the fights between Luke and Vader in Episodes 5 and 6; Luke frequently was filmed swinging the lightsaber with two hands, hacking at foes like a lumberjack slicing into a tree.The elegance of the weapon had little to do with how it was used in combat and more to do with the preference of single champions settling a dispute rather than relying on blaster-armed battalions waging war across star systems.

By the time the prequels were filmed, the lightsabers had become light enough to be wielded as one-handed weapons, leaving the second hand free for force powers or dual wielding. The style had entirely changed because the concept of the weapon had changed.

* citation needed, I know. Except all my Star Wars books are all back at home ;-)

Re:I disagree. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572912)

The light saber fights in the first 3 (eps 4,5,6) were clunky and slow and looked planned. It looks like they rehearsed once and then filmed.

Then you properly observed AS INTENDED but failed to understand its meaning. At this point Vader is supposed to be old and used up, more machine than man. Obi is an old man. Both are shells of their former glory. And as Vader even said, the student has become the master. What you saw was completely by intent. You just failed to understand what it very clearly communicated; especially in light of the wire-fu stuff presented in episodes 1, 2, and 3.

Such story telling is but one of endless examples of why 4, 5, and 6 are examples of good story telling and 1, 2, and 3 are examples of students who flunk out of film school. [redlettermedia.com]

Re:Did some great work (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571658)

I think the main problem with the duels in the new films was the decision to make the Jedi so cold and monk-like. With the exception of a very few choice moments from Ewan McGregor, there is very little emotion or soul in those fights. They come off as more academic exercises than "I'm fighting for my life here" battles.

Re:Did some great work (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573628)

To be fair, as I've watched more samurai films that same frantic pace has been present in most of the fights, except for the ones where someone is so completely outmatched as to not challenge their opponent. My impression has been much more that lightsaber combat is frantic and requires complete concentration, much as a real sword fight would. So, I can certainly see how showing relatively emotionless combatants works. It's not because the Jedi are cold that the fights turn out that way, it's that fighting well is a science that requires both discipline and concentration.

Re:Did some great work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38574308)

To me, when the swords were used to decimate what really amounted to soulless plastic oversized toys, the Jedi were made to seem like mere farmers cutting grain for the harvest. The lightsabers were no more than sickles. The marching soldiers were outmatched anyway; hardly any drama there.

Re:Did some great work (3, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571724)

I agree with AC. However, there seem to be good reason for the difference, just in story-telling.

In eps 1-3, there were dozens, if not hundreds, of jedi. Plenty to practice and hone your fencing skills with. I would expect fast swordplay if only because the goal of any military action (and that's what a sword fight is) is a quick decision, not a prolonged battle. The quicker you dispatch your enemy, the sooner you can move on to the next action, and the less likely an ambush.

Meanwhile, in eps 4-6, Vader, Obi-Wan, and Luke really don't have anyone to practice with, at least not in the previous 16-20 years (yeah, yeah, I don't really know what the timeline between 3 and 4 is). I would expect their actions to be a bit clunky. Especially Vader, being "more machine than man." And I'm not sure he ever really embraced his cyborg nature the way that General Greivous did, making it somewhat of an internal battle just to move.

That said, I agree that the sound effects are definitely key - they take good scenes and make them great.

Re:Did some great work (1)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571854)

I agree with your criticisms of most of the PT duels - I thought the Obiwan/Anakin fight was a big disappointment - but I actually enjoyed the Maul duel. It was more fast-paced than the OT duels, yes, but the scenes seemed to me to be much better directed and choreographed. Very fast, but without all the unnecessary lightsaber-swinging and twirling.

Re:Did some great work (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571892)

The Darth Maul fight was a joy to watch, but otherwise I agree with you; the rest of the fights were pretty ho-hum.

Re:Did some great work (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572294)

Am still bummed that they killed off two good characters halfway through the first movie. Qui-Gon woulda' made a great 'loose-canon' cop type of figure, that could have shown Anakin an alternative to the monkish, "stand back and watch" Jedi council. Anakin could have been the young guy who, following what he see's an older guy do, goes to far and then begins the slide to dark side.

And Darth Maul was the sickest villain since Vader. What a shame. Lucas really needed an story editor who could stand up to him.

Re:Did some great work (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574018)

Lucas really needed an story editor who could stand up to him.

I remember reading that at Lucasfilm George is referred to in hushed tones of awe. The feigned reverence for him that everyone gives off means that criticism is impossible. Which explains why the prequels are so full of incredibly bad ideas.

I watch the prequels to see the world of Star Wars properly rendered with the best technology, but they can't hold a candle to the first two films, which were the best. I had the experience years ago, before the prequels were done, of watching the first three movies sequentially in a theater. It was after sitting through the first five hours of this experience that I realized that Return of the Jedi was a terrible film and looked awful next to the other two -- even as it was evident they had more money to spend. But by then Lucas had split from the Director's Guild, and he had that awful schmuck directing who did a perfectly ham-fisted job of it. And the story of ROTJ was in large scale identical to the story of the original. Started on Tatooine with two robots, picked up Han, moved on to the big battle, blow up yet another Death Star, everybody cheers. There was not much introduced in ROTJ that was different or new except the damn Ewoks, who were for the kids.

Re:Did some great work (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574424)

Am still bummed that they killed off two good characters halfway through the first movie. Qui-Gon woulda' made a great 'loose-canon' cop type of figure, that could have shown Anakin an alternative to the monkish, "stand back and watch" Jedi council. Anakin could have been the young guy who, following what he see's an older guy do, goes to far and then begins the slide to dark side.

And Darth Maul was the sickest villain since Vader. What a shame. Lucas really needed an story editor who could stand up to him.

Sorry, these ideas suck. Qui-gon _needed_ to die. With him dead, there was no-one left among the Jedi who trusted Anakin. His own master didn't trust him until the beginning of Ep3, and Mace Windu took even longer. Yoda _never_ trusted him. If Anakin had a true advocate throughout the prequels, how the hell do you think he'd be so sweet-talked into buddying up with Palpatine? Palpatine used the jedi's distrust of Anakin to open up "another way" that he could follow. Qui-gon's "rebelliousness" towards the Jedi Council showed that there was weakness in the system. A Sith Lord moved in right under their literal noses. Dooku shows this rebellious streak, but corrupted.

Maul being a returning antagonist? Please! Maul's purpose to the narrative was to be the first sign of a resurgent Sith. He was little more than a disposable pit-bull to Palpatine. Do you honestly think Maul could've been the "face" of the Confederacy like Count Dooku was? Of course not. Sith Apprentices are, by nature, disposable.

Re:Did some great work (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577408)

Dooku was a pretty boring, on screen villain. Sure, manipulative, but in a tired drawn out kind of way. Utterly disposable.

Maul had an energy to him, a perversion, that told the audience he was really enjoying being a dick. If they'd kept that up in subsequent movies, he would have been a great bad guy, leading in to Palpatine.

I agree that Qui-gon shouldn't have been killed off in the first movie. I would have preferred to have seen him do half the training of Anakin, resulting in Anakin's somewhat rebelious nature against the council. I would have killed off Qui-gon in a manner that could be construed as the council not backing him up, to give Anakin enough motivation to start sliding. So by the time Obiwan got him as an apprentice ( and let's face it, a newly raised padawan taking an apprentice? Not exactly feasible. By this point in the second movie, Obiwan would have been a jedi for almost a decade. Much more workable ) he was already tainted. I would have then played their relationship off of Anakin's ego ( remember, he's strong in the force and was trained by Quigon ), resulting in a more friend/partner type of relationship instead of master/padawan, which would explain Obiwan's attitude in #4, along with the idea that Anakin was able to fall to the dark side.

The way they played it in the movie just sucked.

Re:Did some great work (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618544)

This. You explained it much better than I could.

For another movie series that needs help: Star Trek - First Contact

When the USS Defiant was sent back in time, it shoulda' had Cisco on it. He blamed Picard for his wife's death but with both of them back in time, there coulda' been some cool drama as Cisco and Picard have to get along to fight the Borg.

Re:Did some great work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572010)

Well, I seem to remember Lucas saying somewhere that, in the original trilogy (eps 4-6), the lightsaber usage was to be slower and mostly two handed, as the principals were elderly and out of practice (Obi-Wan), mostly machine (Vader) or barely an apprentice (Luke). By contrast, the prequels were to show the Jedi at the top of their form, with much more intricate and faster fight choreography. I thought Ray Park's Darth Maul was amazing to watch.

They're different styles, there is no best choice. (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572194)

The makes of the original episodes were doing what they could with what they had. I still enjoy the Luke/Vader fight in Ep 5, even though it's fairly slow paced and some of the moves are silly. ESB and RoTJ both have short clips during fights wherein someone is beaten (on the ground), yet the victor continues to pound away his lightsaber at the opponents lightsaber as if he hasn't won yet. This actually looks quite retarded to anyone who knows fighting, and should look so to anyone with critical thinking skills.

OTOH, the choreography in Ep 1,2,3 is much improved. With the huge exception of the Palpatine/Sam Jackson fight in Ep 3 (which was a f-ing disaster), they look much more like real fights.

BTW, have you ever seen a fencing match? They've VERY fast. Swordfighting isn't for grandma.

Re:They're different styles, there is no best choi (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573050)

When Luke is pounding on Vadar in Ep 6. he isnt thinking, hes filled with emotion and rage. This should be obvious to anyone with emotions.

Re:They're different styles, there is no best choi (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596660)

He's not pounding on Vader. He's pounding on Vader's lightsaber for no reason, which is the equivalent of kicking a wall next to the the guy you're really angry at instead of punching him. The emotion is lost in the stupidity of the action.

Re:They're different styles, there is no best choi (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574232)

With the huge exception of the Palpatine/Sam Jackson fight in Ep 3 (which was a f-ing disaster)

Just out of curiosity, what didn't you like about it? I can see how, from a technical sword fighting perspective, it wasn't that realistic - it was more of an "artistic" fight. But this did not cheapen the emotions of what was at stake during the duel.

Re:Did some great work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572862)

I had the same criticism regarding the Kung-Fu in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Phrasing is the most important thing, whether we're giving speaches, improvising jazz, or filming a martial arts fight. The human mind requires a spot to take a breath.

Re:Did some great work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573596)

You might enjoy this... http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/star-wars-episode-1-the-phantom-menace/

Re:Did some great work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573790)

By contrast, the lightsaber battles in the prequels left me absolutely cold.

What struck me the most about the Duel of Fates, was the visible difference in the skill levels of the martial artist who played Darth Maul, vs the two Jedi.

Ray Park's movements were so controlled and precise, that in comparison it made the two Jedi seem like they were flailing (despite themselves being parsecs ahead of the original trilogy in fight choreography).

Not just Star Wars (5, Insightful)

NorbrookC (674063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571560)

He was the swordmaster behind LOTR and the Princess Bride. His skill was not just being able to do it, but to teach others to do it so it looked right on screen. RIP, Bob Anderson.

Re:Not just Star Wars (3, Insightful)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571786)

The Princess Bride has absolutely some of the best swordplay I've ever seen on screen. Obviously the "famous duel" between Inigo and Westley gets a bit silly, but it's intended to be so (and is still really good anyway).

For reference, I'm pretty handy with a sword myself, so I do know what I'm looking for in "realism" when watching films - most do pretty woefully.

Re:Not just Star Wars (3)

netwarerip (2221204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572556)

Loved the Princess Bride swordfight, but my all-time favorite is Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn [youtube.com] in Robin Hood.

Re:Not just Star Wars (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573784)

I'll watch that once I get home.

Re:Not just Star Wars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38575730)

Okay, and be sure to post when you've watched it. So we know. Thanks.

Re:Not just Star Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573938)

Mine is Basil Rathbone and Tyronne Power in "The Mark Of Zoro" (1940)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VTyPWvyAF8 [youtube.com]

Re:Not just Star Wars (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574646)

Hear Hear, the swordfight there is so epic. It is my Dad's favorite, and he pointed out what real dueling swordplay was like, when that movie was shown on TV.

If there is one guy who would have taught how to 'laugh out loud, then swing from the chandelier', I believe Bob is the one.

Re:Not just Star Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38578770)

If there is one guy who would have taught how to 'laugh out loud, then swing from the chandelier', I believe Bob is the one.

Isn't that normally more of the DP's job? You know, given that, with the director, he decides what shots are needed.

Re:Not just Star Wars (1)

BattleApple (956701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573188)

I'm pretty handy with a sword myself

Ghyslain Raza? Is it really you?

Re:Not just Star Wars (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38587476)

I've done some fencing, and what always bothered me about that scene was their failure to keep their points on their opponents.

You should keep the point stable and move the wrist/arm to create a cone of defense.

Perhaps when using the blade to attack instead of the point, as in sabre, the technique is closer to the PB fight?

Re:Not just Star Wars (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38588622)

I've done some fencing, and what always bothered me about that scene was their failure to keep their points on their opponents.

You should keep the point stable and move the wrist/arm to create a cone of defense.

Perhaps when using the blade to attack instead of the point, as in sabre, the technique is closer to the PB fight?

Absolutely... fencing is fairly different to other forms of swordplay. While I'm fairly good with a sword, I've never quite got the hang of fencing.

It's not just that the blade attacks, but it also defends. A skilled swordfighter will only strike for two reasons:
1) An attempt to make the other fighter move his sword to a disadvantageous position or body to a disadvantageous stance
2) An attempt to hit the opponent
The rest of the time, the sword is used to block the strikes of the opponent, while seeking to keep yourself protected and not in a disadvantageous position/stance. And for this, you really want the whole blade available and not just the point. Keeping the point stable would be pretty counterproductive to this and the larger the blade (and therefore heavier and slower), the less inclined towards the opponent you generally hold it (i.e. a rapier will be held fairly much pointing towards the opponent whereas a broadsword you keep closer to the body and more or less diagonal across yourself)

Re:Not just Star Wars (5, Informative)

aslagle (441969) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571812)

He took the line in The Princess Bride that went something like 'they had the best swordfight ever', and turned it into the best sword fight on film I've ever seen.

Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin practiced constantly for that fight scene, during breaks in filming, and it shows. Nothing beats doing something for real. Saying "we'll fix it in post" using CGI has become a crutch, I think.

Re:Not just Star Wars (5, Informative)

DaViking (827886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572034)

The great thing about the "Chatty Duel" in the Princess Bride is how simple the blade work actually is. Besides the acrobatics and tossing of swords the fencing is relatively simple and well executed. That scene has generated more interest in fencing than any of our recent Olympic achievements can hope to. Nearly every student I've taught has been influenced to seek out the sport in part by that film and after 6 months or so I will tell them to re-watch it and see all the actions they just learned. As was said above, he was able to create such elegant choreography and able to teach the actors to perform it with such skill he was able to create so many of the great and memorable film duels.

Re:Not just Star Wars (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572336)

Was he also the guy who stood in for Basil Rathbone in The Court Jester with Danny Kaye or was that before his time?

Re:Not just Star Wars (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574862)

I was fortunate enough to have a couple of lessons from him here in the UK before he emigrated. A great coach, he will be sadly missed.

The Curse of Star Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571608)

No matter what your other achievements, if you appeared in Star Wars that is what gets talked about when you die.

I wonder if reports of Alec Guinness' death talked about "the actor who immortalised Obi-Wan Kenobi".

Re:The Curse of Star Wars (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571760)

You say that as if it were a bad thing. To have played a significant role in a universal epic of our time? Whether you liked the films or not, if you were born prior to ~1990, you have probably seen the films. Using that as a frame of reference allows of us who don't really pay attention to the credits to understand who this "Bob Anderson" person is and was, and thus understand his significance in our lives (even if that is "none, really").

Re:The Curse of Star Wars (1)

drb_chimaera (879110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572904)

No matter what your other achievements, if you appeared in Star Wars that is what gets talked about when you die.

I wonder if reports of Alec Guinness' death talked about "the actor who immortalised Obi-Wan Kenobi".

Yes, extensively the obits I read for Alec Guinness at the time of his death in 2000 focused on his role in Star Wars. I often wondered what he would have thought about that given his later distate for the role and the attention it brought on him.

Kermit Eller: The 2nd man in the suit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571622)

There is another man behind the suit. He did all the public appearances and its his prints that are at Mann's Chinese Theater. Starwars.com did a piece on him back in 2006 but its no longer there.

Here's a repost of the article: http://com2.runboard.com/bstarwarscollectorreplicapropboard.f7.t109

I work with him and he's a pretty cool guy. With a little Macallan he'll even reenact some of the scenes.

One's life's work (2)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571878)

It would be interesting to know what he considered to be his greatest professional achievement -- something he did in films, or representing Britain in the 1952 Olympics (where he finished around the median [wikipedia.org] in the Men's Individual Sabre competition, and was on Britain's Men's Sabre Team, which finished tied for fifth place [sports-reference.com] ). Or maybe something else.

Did he view his cinema work positively (e.g., in that he was "bringing fencing to the masses, who otherwise would never see it," or some such), or did he view the work as corrupting a purer art form, that he had to do to support his family? It would be interesting to have heard his thoughts on the matter.

Re:One's life's work (4, Interesting)

sackbut (1922510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573002)

He was very modest about his cinematic achievements and about all of his work. He was head of the Canadian Fencing Association/Federation when I was involved as an athlete at a national/international level. He very much viewed it positively and has been mentioned was a true 'champion' of the sport. He hooked many people on the sport of fencing, as a result of his choreography, teaching and administration he performed.

As to "corrupting a purer art form": competitive fencing and fencing that looks good on film (to non-fencers) are completely different animals.

Re:One's life's work (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38585654)

As to "corrupting a purer art form": competitive fencing and fencing that looks good on film (to non-fencers) are completely different animals.

Yes, but that's my question -- they are completely different animals. Did it bother him that he couldn't choreograph a competitive fencing example for the screen, but instead had to have people quite literally swing from the rafters to get the mass public to watch?

I only ask because there are many fields -- IT being one of them -- in which the cinematic version is markedly different from the "real" version. Many of us, I think, if asked by a Hollywood film director to establish an IT character for the screen, would be troubled by the changes from real life needed for the film -- white lab coats and nutty screen displays being just two that come to mind.

From your description, it sounds like Bob could do so without apparent effort; it would be nice to understand his reasoning so that I could, for example, enjoy the next Hollywood blockbuster without throwing my hands up in disgust part-way through at the technical inaccuracies.

Re:One's life's work (1)

sackbut (1922510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586224)

I only ask because there are many fields -- IT being one of them -- in which the cinematic version is markedly different from the "real" version. Many of us, I think, if asked by a Hollywood film director to establish an IT character for the screen, would be troubled by the changes from real life needed for the film -- white lab coats and nutty screen displays being just two that come to mind.

From your description, it sounds like Bob could do so without apparent effort; it would be nice to understand his reasoning so that I could, for example, enjoy the next Hollywood blockbuster without throwing my hands up in disgust part-way through at the technical inaccuracies.

Which field isn't different in the movies though? A large part of fight choreography is ensuring the actors don't get hurt - even using blunt swords, etc is not enough. "Pulling a punch' fencing does not look good or natural and if you can't pull it then it must be parried - if the other actor forgets to parry then he/she is hurt. Also generally fencing action happens so fast/quickly and often subtly that it really doesn't film well. It looks best from behind your mask and in your brain.

Like your IT example: much is subtle or only understood/appreciated by a small portion of the movie going population. More than looking at or discovering the technical inadequacies one would need to appreciate the production and direction aspects of film makers and how easy or difficult it is to portrait the 'real life' they are filming. Much of movies making is meeting or exceeding peoples (often) incorrect expectations of what can be done. So lets just inject a computer virus into the mother ship of the alien invaders...

Re:One's life's work (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591674)

My brother-in-law is a film director, and this subject makes up the bulk of the family Thanksgiving dinner discussions every year.

My position is that Hollywood alienates a large fraction of the potential movie-going public with such inaccuracies: The IT guys give up in disgust from the computer inaccuracies in the first scene, the airplane pilots from the aviation inaccuracies in the second scene, the gardeners from the floral inaccuracies in the third scene, until finally the only people left to watch the film are 12-year-olds, who don't know anything to be disgusted from. As proof of my position I note that the largest demographic of most major films is young teens.

My brother responds that the film industry is the perfect example of the Darwinian process of natural selection, and that if the studios could make more money from "accurate" films than from the kind they shoot today, they would in a heartbeat.

And he's probably right.

As are you.

Re:One's life's work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38582840)

His cinema work was certainly enjoyed (and appreciated) by many more, pure to the original art or not.

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38572160)

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! http://nooooooooooooooo.com/

Don't forget the man behind the mask (2)

Anti Cheat (1749344) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572674)

Bob was a gentleman in every way. A hard working individual that gave much to the Canadian Olympic teams and individuals. A modest man that taught more than sword play and contributed much to the growth/maturity of many young people. Forever his film legacy will entertain and be enjoyed by many, but also many will remember his other gifts.
My condolences to his wife and family. May he rest in peace.

Slow v Fast??? (1)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38573474)

First, RIP Bob Anderson.

Some of the critiques are justified for each side, old and slow v. new and fast.

I always saw Vader v. Obiwan as 2 masters greatly respecting/fearing the ability of the other (15+ years in the making), like two master samurai carefully testing one another near the end of their time. Jedi fighting driods and much lesser skilled foes should be faster paced, or an emotionally driven battle (not very Jedi). A "slower" fight between 2 equal combatants should not be too fast or have Michael Bay style cuts; there's more drama (appropriate for a climatic battle in a space opera) with a fight where the action is easy to follow and EACH strike can make you a bit nervous. However, there should also be modulation within the pacing of the fight; all one pace can make for a very flat, mediocre fight.

sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38573986)

He was a neighbor of mine in Largo Florida where he wintered.

Yes he owned the actual mask used on the Bespin catwalk.

He said he had to do the scene because an actor would not be precise enough to not get hurt or hurt the other actor.

I think his best work was on Lord of the Rings altho teaching Errol Flynn is up there too.

Used to say 'the dark side of the force was in Largo Florida'.

Special edition (2)

Sardaukar0 (541236) | more than 2 years ago | (#38574720)

Mr. Anderson's family was reportedly mortified when he reappeared at his own funeral as the blue sparkly ghost of Hayden Christensen.

May The Force be with him (1)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38579362)

RIP, and thanks for all the fun. He spent well his time.

Reclaiming the Blade (1)

Mad-Bassist (944409) | more than 2 years ago | (#38586152)

It's a little eerie: I just watched the documentary "Reclaiming the Blade" with my friends last night. Bob Anderson was very interesting in it.

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