Ever heard of Roger Christian? No? Well you're familiar with his work I'll tell you that. Mr. Christian started his career as a production designer and worked on the original Star Wars movie. Among the items Mr. Christian designed is that iconic prop at the head of this post; Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber.
Mr. Christian is interviewed on the Rebel Force Radio podcast this week, download that here, and he has some very interesting stories. He starts by telling Jimmy Mack and Paul Bateman how he created the lightsaber using elements from a Graflex camera flash.
Mr. Christian single handedly designed the hold of the Millennium Falcon. The area with the chess board, and dressed it with reclaimed aircraft parts.
He also helped design and build the original R2-D2, which was built of marine ply and a lamp shade at the concept stage and later modelled in aluminium.
One thing Mr. Christian let slip during the interview is that we can expect new versions of the Star Wars movies in November. We've known for some time that the saga would be released on a digital format, but one has to wonder whether that implies further alterations to the original movies! George Lucas is famous for going back and tinkering with his movies, will he change more effects, make Han shoot first (again!) or will we see the original, pre-special edition versions of the films finally restored and released as we remember them from childhood?
Update: on this weeks Hollywood Babble On, host Ralph Garman also mentioned that the original versions of the movies can be expected at some point. I wonder if Disney have the rights to do this. Let's hope so!
Mr. Christian also mentioned that he is in possession of a batch of Graflex flash handles that he is currently developing into lightsaber hilts. Why would he be doing that I wonder? Perhaps for a certain movie currently in production? That'd be really interesting, if a bit of a long shot. The Lightsabers on the prequel movies were made in a very different way and looked very different form the classic Lightsabers that ran through the original films. So a return to the classic style would be welcome.
Mr. Christian also directed second unit on some of the original Star Wars films and went on to direct the short film Black Angel, which is due to be released in iTunes very soon.
You can pre-order Black Angel here. If the film is successful Mr. Christian hopes to be able to make a feature version. So go and pre-order the movie, we owe him that much!
By Marc Godsiff