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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Darth Vader






Here are some images of MPC's 1/8 scale Darth Vader. Need I say more?
From Wikipedia "

Darth Vader, also known by his alter ego Anakin Skywalker, is a central character in the Star Wars saga, appearing as the chief antagonist in the original trilogy and one of the main protagonists in the prequel films. He is first depicted as Darth Vader, a Dark Lord of the Sith in the first of the three original films. He is then revealed in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and in the subsequent prequel films to be originally a Jedi Knight called Anakin Skywalker who falls to the dark side of the Force; he is also revealed to be the father of both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa, the two main protagonists of the original trilogy. Luke ultimately redeems his father in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and Anakin sacrifices himself to save his son.

The character was created by George Lucas and numerous actors have portrayed him. His appearances (in one form or another) span all six Star Wars films, and in the expanded universe such as the spinoff film, television series, video games, novels, literature and comic books. He has also gained a cultural impact in popular culture such as politics and television, being commonly regarded as a synonym of evil (as Darth Vader). Psychiatrists have even considered him as a useful example to explain borderline personality disorder to medical students.

The first draft of Star Wars includes a tall, grim general named Darth Vader; the character came closer in line with his final depiction in the second revision. A character named "Anakin Starkiller" also appears in an early draft of Star Wars, playing a role similar to Luke Skywalker's, as the 16-year-old son of a respected warrior. Vader's menacing mask was originally designed by Ralph McQuarrie as part of Vader's spacesuit, and not intended to be part of the regular costume. After Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was successful, Lucas hired science fiction author Leigh Brackett to write Star Wars II (later retitled Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) with him. They held story conferences and, by late November 1977, Lucas had produced a handwritten treatment called The Empire Strikes Back. The treatment is very similar to the final film, except that Darth Vader does not reveal he is Luke's father. In the first draft that Brackett would write from this, Luke's father appears as a ghost to instruct Luke. George Lucas was disappointed with the script, but Brackett died of cancer before he could discuss it with her. With no writer available, Lucas had to write his next draft himself. In this draft, he made use of a new plot twist: Darth Vader claiming to be Luke's father. According to Lucas, he found this draft enjoyable to write, as opposed to the year-long struggles writing the first film.

This new story pointing out that Darth Vader being Luke's father had drastic effects on the series. Michael Kaminski argues in his book that it is unlikely that the plot point had ever seriously been considered or even conceived of before 1978, and that the first film was clearly operating under an alternate storyline where Vader was separate from Luke's father;there is not a single reference to this plot point before 1978. After writing the second and third drafts of Empire Strikes Back in which the point was introduced, Lucas reviewed the new backstory he had created: Anakin Skywalker had been Obi-Wan Kenobi's brilliant student and had a child named Luke, but was swayed to the dark side by Emperor Palpatine (who became a Sith and not simply a politician). Anakin battled Kenobi on the site of a volcano and was wounded, but then resurrected as Darth Vader. Meanwhile Kenobi hid Luke on Tatooine while the Galactic Republic became the tyrannical Galactic Empire and Vader systematically hunted down and killed the Jedi. This change in character would provide a springboard to the "Tragedy of Darth Vader" storyline that underlies the prequels.

For Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the first film in the prequel trilogy, Lucas made Anakin nine years old to make the character's departure from his mother more poignant. Movie trailers for The Phantom Menace focused on Anakin, and a one-sheet poster showing him casting Vader's shadow informed otherwise unknowing audiences of the character's eventual fate. The movie ultimately achieved a primary goal of introducing audiences to Anakin, the saga's main character.

After deciding to create the prequels he indicated the series would be a tragic one examining Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side. He also saw that the prequels could form the beginning of one long story that started with Anakin's childhood and ended with his death. This was the final step towards turning the film series into a "Saga".

Michael Kaminski, in The Secret History of Star Wars, offers evidence that issues in Anakin's fall to the dark side prompted Lucas to make massive story changes, first revising the opening sequence of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith to have Palpatine kidnapped and his apprentice, Count Dooku, murdered by Anakin as the first act in the latter's turn towards the dark side. After principal photography was complete in 2003, Lucas made even more massive changes in Anakin's character, re-writing his entire turn to the dark side; he would now turn primarily in a quest to save his wife, Padmé Amidala, rather than the previous version in which that reason was one of several, including that he genuinely believed that the Jedi were evil and plotting to take over the Republic. This fundamental re-write was accomplished both through editing the principal footage, and new and revised scenes filmed during pick-ups in 2004.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Darth Vader is my anti-hero. Seriously....Nice paint job. Black is a hard color to do convincingly and you were able to pull it off with this figure.

Dave

Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Dave - Actually I used 4 different blacks for this model.