Star Wars: The Hype Awakens | *Updated December 8*
Welcome to week seven of The Hype Awakens, PorchDrinking.com’s Star Wars-centric journal of one passionate nerd (me) who’s very excited for The Force Awakens to come out. If you’re new to the blog, you can catch up here:
And if you just want all the latest stuff, skip ahead here:
A link to the latest post from today (Tuesday)
Sunday, December 6
I’ve said before that it’s going to be a challenge for me to listen to Kylo Ren’s voice in The Force Awakens and hear anything other than Adam Driver, the guy from “Girls.” The trailers have him saying a few scary dark-side-y things, though, and it sounds as if the producers have been generous with the voice modulation for Kylo. It’s somewhat reminiscent of another Star Wars villain with a modulated voice.
The Darth Vader voice is iconic. His heavy breathing and deep baritone voice, coming out of a helmet which hides its occupant’s true face, was effective at terrifying audiences and intimidating characters in the Star Wars movies. But if you were on set for the first Star Wars film, you wouldn’t have imagined that was possible.
At first, the man inside that suit, an English bodybuilder named David Prowse, provided the voice of Vader. It was only after he’d shot his scenes – delivering all lines on set – that George Lucas hired a new voice. James Earl Jones worked for one day on the first Star Wars, and was paid only $7,000 for recording the lines.
But did they really need to replace David Prowse’s dialogue? Wellllll, here’s this clip of David Prowse reading Vader’s lines in A New Hope:
And here’s the voice of James Earl Jones in the same scene:
Got a bit more bite, huh?
And as if being replaced wasn’t bad enough for David Prowse… he was (according to legend) very upset to find out that Vader was Luke’s father only when he saw the completed Empire Strikes Back movie. On-set, in order to preserve the reveal of Vader and Luke’s relationship, George Lucas gave David Prowse fake dialogue for that scene. When Luke says “[Obi Wan] told me you killed my father,” Prowse said, “No, Obi Wan killed your father.” He didn’t know that Vader was in fact the real father until later, and was not too pleased.
At least Adam Driver won’t suffer that fate.
Monday, December 7
Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! Counting today and Friday, December 18, there are 12 days left until Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “Twelve Days of Christmas” references: here goes! (12 Sith revenging, 11 Jabbas choking, 10 wampas freezing, 9 Jedi training, 8 Jar-Jars screaming, 7 pods a’racing, 6 troopers storming, 5… goooooold… droooooids…. 4 emperors, 3 wookies, 2 Obi-Wans, and a Jedi in a tauntaun!)
I’m a sucker for Christmas. And there’s plenty of room to celebrate Star Wars and the birth of the Messiah in the Christian faith at the same time, right? Okay, maybe that’s blasphemous. But I don’t think Baby Jesus would be any MORE upset by the addition of a couple Star Wars ornaments to an already-co-opted-pagan-symbol like the Christmas tree, right?
My roommates and I have a couple dozen real ornaments before we just start incorporating toys to fill out the unoccupied branches. The resulting tree is a thing of beauty:
In case anyone is wondering, the “Days to (our) Christmas” sign atop this tree is not so much a countdown to The Force Awakens as it is a countdown to a dinner/gift exchange between roommates. The fact that it coincides with the new Star Wars movie is just a happy coincidence.
Ornament close-ups below. No idea what those planets are, but they’re Star Wars planets, really!
Tuesday, December 8
There’s one more “ornament” that was missing from yesterday’s Christmas tree post. In the past couple years, once the regular ornaments have all been hung, my roommates and I invariably include toys and tchotchkes to fill out the branches. One such “ornament” from years past was this Stormtrooper action figure, which actually has a much more significant backstory than it lets on.
For starters, that’s not really a Stormtrooper action figure. It’s a Han Solo action figure.
Kind of cool, right? It’s a depiction of that scene in A New Hope when Han & Luke don Stormtroopers’ armor to rescue Princess Leia aboard the Death Star. That scene freaked me out when I was six years old; for the first half-hour of the movie, I assumed that Stormtroopers were actually robots, not people. It was morally alarming for me, but still pretty cool to see Luke & Han dressed up in the cool white armor.
The action figure was difficult to get. As I recall, this wasn’t available in stores. To get it, I had to collect Proof-of-Purchase cutouts from 6 (or so) boxes of Kellogg’s cereal. I don’t remember the specifics, but I know I ate a crap load of cereal to get this action figure and waited for what seemed like years for it to arrive in the mail.
Finally the package arrived, and I was ecstatic. It was a two-for-one! A good guy and a bad guy! Trooper-Han was a staple in Star Wars action figure time. There were versions of playtime where Han even turned to the dark side and became a Stormtrooper. It was one of my favorite action figures.
Then one day I buried it.
Don’t ask me why I buried it. I dunno. I was playing with a friend at the park across the street from my house, and for some reason playing with action figures meant burying them. Maybe trooper-Han was getting swallowed by quick sand. Or the mulch by the trees was my stand-in for carbonite. Kids are stupid.
When play time was over and I had to go home, I went to go dig up my Han action figure. Problem was, it wasn’t where I (thought that I had) buried it. Or anywhere near the place where I thought I had buried it. I had lost Han. In a damn tree planter across the street from my house. I had to go home empty-handed (and probably crying) and apologize to my parents for not taking better care of my things.
Then I grew up, and got a job that gave me JUST enough disposable income to snag a replacement Stormtrooper Han off eBay. So he stands at attention on a shelf at the door of my bedroom, my daily reminder to take care of the things I value (and that even when something’s lost, it’ll work out in the end).
Also, if you find yourself at the Village Green in Terrace Park, OH… please bring a shovel and dig through the mulch, please. I think there’s a pretty rare Star Wars action figure down there.
I’d be very reluctant about trying this in my neighborhood. My neighbors might kick my ass.
Impromptu lightsaber duels on the street with strangers. Check it out!
This is weird, too:
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