#359 – Yoda Fight

#359 - Yoda Fight
#359 - back
sent from: London, UK. destination: Wandsworth, London, UK

We were well underway on production of Star Wars Episode II. The centrepiece of our digital character work – Yoda – was looking great. I knew that there were worries about the transition from puppet to CG (myself included), but it was looking great and the whole team was approaching it with care and love for the character. We hadn’t yet seen the rumoured fight scene between Yoda and Count Dooku – it was one of the last sequences to be turned over to us. The day we got it the word went around the ILM campus swiftly – have you seen it? Can you believe it? No one knew what George was thinking but we didn’t anticipate this bouncy, whirling dervish of a creature, spinning and jumping. It went on for minutes and minutes. We had all the same questions the fans had – how?? why?? It was too much, too manic, too crazy. The audience had no time to invest in the fight, so Yoda’s sudden physical prowess had no context. Over the next few weeks, a few key people talked to George and convinced him to cut it down to the 30 seconds or so that’s onscreen, and precede it by the ‘Wizard’s Battle’ – the lightning, the use of the Force, building the tension to the moment when they finally go hand-to-hand, Yoda’s pulling out of his lightsabre (a shot I did the clothing for and my proudest moment professionally to date) and fighting was a release of tension, everyone cheering, clapping and laughing

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