Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bantha Fodder

I haven't taken that viral personality test that's been going around where you find out which Star Wars character you are, as  I suspect I already know which overweight, hairy and slow thing that shuffles around that I resemble best.

Image: Peter Mayhew

This dovetails with another popular series of behind-the-scene imagery where we get to see the real stars of the show:
“In the original version of A New Hope, the bantha was played by a trained elephant named Mardji in a fur costume. In some cases, Mardji's trunk can be barely visible beneath the bantha costume. Re-releases and the prequel trilogy featured digital banthas. Their vocalizations were also done with a slowed-down bear's roar.”
Image: Peter Mayhew

The Banthas were created by George Lucas, though a costume designer and/or the special effects people actually created the prop. It strongly evokes the work of puppeteer Jim Henson (particularly the gait of the Mystics in The Dark Crystal) who consulted with the Yoda character in the next Star Wars film - presumably they were part of the team at Industrial Lights & Magic (most likely Stuart Freeborn).

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