Saturday, May 19, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary Special - part 18

One of my favorite things about "Star Wars" is the wildlife that was created to give its worlds some veracity, as well as to add to the exotic nature of these various worlds. Each of the movies ended up having its distinctive beasts, but none of the others surpassed those moments in the first film, such as when C-3PO walked past that huge skeleton in the desert,

or the first appearance of the Imperial sandtroopers riding dewbacks. There was a charm to the original dewbacks that's lacking in the CGI "upgrades" that replaced them in the "special edition" released in the 1990s.

The Bantha's were my favorite, and were a great, if cumbersome costume for the poor elephant that had to wear it in that heat.

I continue to have a fascination with the jerba. I believe this pack animal (seen here with George Lucas, and his then wife, Marcia, and again right in front of the landspeeder outside the Mos Eisley cantina. There's another one standing in front of the dewbacks by the big dish to the left) was mentioned in the novel, and then pretty much ingnored ever since. In "Star Wars" one could be seen standing outside the window to Tosche station in the deleted scene, and there are two in Mos Eisley, hitched outside the cantina, but they are pretty difficult to make out. Allegedly one of the mounted heads bracketing the carbon frozen Han Solo inside Jabba's palace in "Return of the Jedi" is a jerba, but I've yet to see a clear image of it to be sure.
Even books such as the "Star Wars Encyclopedia" and "The Wildlife of Star Wars" fail to mention jerbas.

The dianoga also filled my young mind with speculation. in the movie, all we see is one vein and suction cup covered tentacle and a periscope like eye. What did the rest of it look like? I wasn't too convinced by the rubber incarnation that came with my Death Star playset. For one thing, it's tentacles, such as they were, were not nearly long enough to wrap around Luke Skywalker. Then along came the "Star Wars Holiday Special" which briefly showed a dianoga swimming around in a large body of water. That seemed more like it.

The final beast of "Star Wars" was one we never got to see at all; the Krayt dragon. This is the creature that Ben Kenobi impersonated to drive away the sandpeople after they'd knocked out Luke. I figured that whatever kind of animal could frighten of the sandpeople had to be impressive, and the name of it only lent credence to that theory. It was initially said that the skeleton that C-3PO encountered in the desert was from the Krayt dragon, but that has been altered with revisionist continuity, and the skelton now belongs to some unknown giant sand serpent.


Rozum said...

My apologies for the lateness of this post. Blogger had some technical snafu that prevented me from attaching any images to my posts.

Todd Franklin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Franklin said...

I wish there was a Star Wars Zoo!

Rozum said...

A Star Wars zoo would be such a great idea for a theme park.