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Secrets of the Special Editions 




20 YEARS EXPLORING SCIENCE FICTION 





q o; 



DANTE'S PEAK XENA 

& volcano warrior 
Hollywood's lava disasters sidekick 



FcOLLECTOR'S 
W LIMITED 
t EDITION! 



MORE 
PAGES! 




Bonus: 

Gatefold 
Poster 

Jedi, 



and 
Empire 
evils 

j 



FIRST 
CONTACT 

Borg Queen rules! 




It's the end of your social life. 





N T I E N T 



ent ev 



Sentient: the adventure of a lifetime — everytimc. In Sentient, you're a space 
station engineer with some major problems on your hands. Solving them 
requires interacting with over 60 characters in over 200 unique 
locations. And with sophisticated artificial intelligence, Sentient's never 
the same game twice, which means you better say all your goodbyes before 
you turn it on. Sentient. It*s a sci-fi adventure of infinite proportions. 





www.psygnosis.co 



UILD AMUATE0 



Coming soon for PC CD ROM 



Playstation and the Playstation logo are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Psygnosis, the Psygnosis logo and Sentient are trademarks of Psygnosis Ltd. © 1996 Psygnosis Ltd. 

The ratings icon is a trademark of the interactive digital software association. 



Specially designed 
24K gold border 

Limited to a total 
of 28 firing days 



Captain Picard™ & Th 

bi 



ower of Command 



The If 
7a, Hamilton * 
i Col lection 




e U.S. 5. EiMT 

y Keith Birdsont 



"Set a course.. .engage!" With those words. Captain Jean-Luc 
Picard™ boldly takes us to the farthest reaches of the universe 
sooard the galaxy-class starship, U.S.S. ENTERPRISE™ NCC-1 701-D. 

Now, acclaimed cinematic artist Keith Birdsong has created a masterful 
portrait of this legendary Starfleet Captain and the amazing starship he 
commands, for his newest limited edition collector plate, "Captain Picard & 
u~-e U.S.S. ENTERPRISE NCC-I 701-D. " 

It's a work that sizzles with detail and drama, and premieres The Power 
of Command Plate Collection, availaPle exclusively from The Hamilton 
Collection. Limited to a total of 28 firing days, each plate will be hand- 
-_~oered and accompanied by a same-numbered Certificate of 
Authenticity. As an owner, you'll have the right — without obligation — to 
preview subsequent issues in the collection. 

Our 30 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee assures you order without 
n*. So don't delay. Order this landmark collector plate today! 

TM, ® a © 1996 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. 
STAR TREK and Related Marks are Trademarks of Paramount Pictures. 

The Hamilton Collection Authorized User. 



^ Shown smaller than actual 
size of 8Vs" in diameter 

Officially Authorized By 

1 IXICC-1701-D 



Respond by: March 31, 1997 

Please accept my order for "Captain Picard & the 
U.S.S. ENTERPRISE NCC-1701-D," payable in 
two monthly installments of $17.50* each. Limit: 
One plate per collector. 

I need send no money now. On acceptance, I 
will be billed for my first installment when my 
plate is shipped. 6441-249 
Ms./Mrs./Mr. 

Address 



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-Zip. 



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Signature 

"Add S1.74 per installment for shipping and handling. Deliveries 
to FL will be billed 6% sales tax. All orders must be signed and are 
subject to acceptance. 

The Hamilton Collection 

4810 Executive Park Ct., P.O.Box 44051, 
Jacksonville, FL 32231-4051 




ESSENTIALS 



27 TARZAN LIVES 
AGAIN 

This time, Joe Lara 
swings through jun- 
gles & lost cities 

32 WARRIOR SIDEKICK 

Renee O'Connor 
walks into 

adventure alongside 
xena 

36 VOICES OF THE 
WARS 

Twenty years 
later, they 
remember the 
Star Wars saga 

43 MARK HAMILL 
SPEAKS 

Armed with a light- 
saber, he writes comics 
& voices toon heroes & 
villians 

48 A NEWER HOPE 

George Lucas makes the 
trilogy he always wanted 
to see 

55 BEING THREEPIO 

Anthony Daniels explains 
whyhe likes that 
golden droid 

59 IMAGES OF THE WARS 

Catefold pin-ups of the 
Rebel heroes & Darth 
vader, too 



NUMBER 236 
MARCH 1997 
THE SCIENCE FICTION 
UNIVERSE® 



LIFE WITH MOLE 
PEOPLE 

as Cynthia Patrick 
recalls, it can get weird 
underground 

THE BORG QUEEN 
RULES 

Seductively evil, Alice 
Krige offers great 
temptations to the 
android officer Data 



80 BUILDING A 
BETTER BORG 

it's easy when 
you know how to 
unite man & 
machine 



84 INSIDE 
DANTE'S PEAK 

When this volcano 
erupts, Roger 
Donaldson directs 

OUTSIDE THE 
VOLCANO 

When lava flows in LA, 
it takes a right onto 
wilshire Boulevard 



Admiral Ackbar leads 
readers into STARLOG's 
special 20th anniversary 
salute as the Star Wars 
Trilogy: Special Edition 
films storm theaters. 



Art: Tom Holtkamp 



STARLOG- The Science Fiction Universe is published monthly by STARLOG GROUP, INC., 475 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016. STARLOG and The 
Idence Fictfon UniSIrsfare reg stered trademarks of Starlog Group, Inc. (ISSN 0191-4626) (Canadian GST number: R-124704826) This is ifsuejNumber 
236 M^rch 1997 Content is © Copyright 1997 by STARLOG GROUP, INC. All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction in part or in whol»- 



-including the 

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Dept., P.O. Box 430, Mt. Morris, IL 61054-0430. Printed in U.S.A. 




KOLCHAK & THE 
CAPTAINS NEMO 

Battles against the plagues 
continue. UPN has renewed 
The Burning Zone for the rest of 
its first season. However, there 
are cast changes — with Jeffrey- 
Dean Morgan and Tamlyn Tomi- 
ta exiting. Michael Harris and 
James Black remain with the 
series. 

Genre Television: Fox has 

renewed Millennium, ordering 
nine more segments to complete 
this season. 

The Sci-Fi Channel 
meanwhile, has renewed 
Sci-Fi Buzz, Trailer Park 
and The Anti-Gravity 
Room. 

Joining the very crowd- 
ed syndicated action hour 
series road race this fall is 
a new variation on the 
Knight Rider saga: Team 
Knight Rider. Universal 
will produce the 22- 
episode run. This time, the 
focus is on several heroes, 
all of whom have their 
very own talking cars. 

The alien funsters at 
3rd Rock from the Sun are 
planning a very special 
show to serve as the season 
finale: an episode to be 
broadcast in 3-D. 

Character Castings: 
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald 
Sutherland and William Baldwin 
are starring in Virus, based on 
Chuck Pfarrer's Dark Horse 
comics title. Script drafts have 
been written by Jonathan (Die 
Hard with a Vengeance) 
Hensleigh, Dennis (Species) 
Feldman and Pfarrer. It's about 
an alien killer run amok on a 
Russian research ship. 

Daniel J. Travanti is back in 
the genre again. Decades after 
his guest role as a space biker in 
Lost in Space, the Hill Street 
Blues star is joining the cast of 
Poltergeist: The Legacy as a reg- 
ular. 

Legend's Richard Dean 
Anderson will star when Star- 
Gate becomes a TV show. 

The lovely Catherine Zeta 
Jones — who enlivened The 
Phantom — will next romance 
another classic hero, Zorro 
(Antonio Banderas), in the cur- 
rently shooting The Mask of 
Zorro. 

Comics Scene: The Crow is 
also on his way to TV. Crow 



movie producers Ed Press- 
man and Jeff Most are plan- 
ning a 13-episode series 
version. 

Stephen Dorff will play the 
arch-villainous vampire Frost in 
the movie adaptation of the vam- 
pire hunter Blade, created by 
Marv Wolfman in Marvel 
Comics' Tomb ofDracula. 

Looks like Bryan (The Usual 
Suspects) Singer will direct 20th 
Century Fox's live-action film 
version of The X-Men. Unfortu- 
nately, it seems the focus will be 
on the characters' origins — 
rarely the most interesting story 
to tell about any comic book 
hero. 




Highlander's Adrian Paul is 
once again behind the camera 
to direct a pivotal episode in 
his fantasy series. 
"Revelations" airs this month. 



FILM FANTASY 
CALENDAR 

All dates are extremely sub- 
ject to change. 
February: Dante's Peak. 
The Empire Strikes Back: Spe- 
cial Edition. 

March: Return of the Jedi: 
Special Edition, Crash. Cats 
Don't Dance, Gattaca. 
April: Deep Rising. 
May: The Fifth Element, 
The Lost World: Jurassic 
Park. Volcano. 

June: Men in Black. Bat- 
man and Robin, Hercules. 

July: Starship Troopers, 
George of the Jungle. Titanic, 
Contact, Dark City. 

August: Alien: Resurrec- 
tion, An American Werewolf in 
Paris. Steel, Space Cadet 
Mortal Kombat 2. 



Sequels & Remakes: Dan 

Curtis is planning a theatrical 
version of The Night Stalker 
(scripted by Richard Matheson 
from a Jeff Rice novel). That hit 
1972 TV movie, of course, led to 
the Kolchak TV series starring 
Darren McGavin. Curtis will co- 
script (with Steve Feke) and 
direct this remake for Morgan 
Creek Productions. There's no 
casting yet. 

The script's in for the remake 
of Mighty Joe Young. It's by 
Superman TV's Larry Konner and 
Mark Rosenthal. Ron (Tremors) 
Underwood is directing this pro- 
ject, which Disney hopes to have 
in theaters in summer 1998. 

Although not quite a 
sequel, Interplay Produc- 
tions' new interactive fight 
simulation CD-ROM 
game is notable for return- 
ing familiar actors to well- 
known roles. Teaching 
new cadets how to become 
officers at Star Trek: 
Starfleet Academy are 
William Shatner, Walter 
Koenig and George Takei 
as, of course. Kirk, 
Chekov and Sulu. The 
script's by Next Genera- 
tion vet Sandy Fries, Trek 
novelist Diane Carey and 
writers Dan & Andrew 
Greenberg and Bill 
Bridge. Trek TV composer 
Dennis McCarthy provid- 
ed the score. This CD- 
ROM game — which 
lensed in the winter — is 
targeted for a late spring bow. 

Michael Caine is Captain 
Nemo in the four-hour ABC-TV 
mini-series version of Jules 
Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under 
the Sea, directed by Rod Hardy. 
Also in the water-logged cast are 
Patrick Dempsey, Bryan Brown 
and Mia Sara. Still in production, 
it's due for May broadcast. 

A rival two-hour CBS-TV 
movie of 20.000 Leagues— 
which may air at any time — stars 
Ben Cross as Nemo. Filming has 
wrapped on it. 

And the other 20,000 
Leagues is a $40 million theatri- 
cal feature version from Davis 
Film, intended to begin lensing 
this fall in Florida and the West 
Indies. Christophe (Crying Free- 
man) Gans directs. 

With a mini-series, a TV 
movie and a theatrical feature all 
in the works, can the inevitable 
Broadway musical and animated 
film versions of 20,000 Leagues 
be far behind? 

— David McDonnell 



president/Publisher 
NORMAN JACOBS 

Executive Vice President 
RITA EISENSTEIN 

Associate Publisher 
MILBURN SMITH 

VP/Circulation Director 

ART SCHULKIN 

Executive Art Director 
W.R. MOHALLEY 

Editor 

DAVID MCDONNELL 

Managing Editors 

MARC BERNARDIN 
MICHAEL STEWART 

special Effects Editor 
DAVID HUTCHISON 

Contributing Editors 

ANTHONY TIMPONE 
MICHAEL CINCOLD 
SICRUN WOLFF SAPHIRE 

Consultants 

TOM WEAVER 
IAN SPELLING 
KERRY O'QUINN 

Senior Art Director 

JIM MCLERNON 

Designers 

YVONNE JANG 
LUIS RAMOS 
ERIC ZHANG 

West Coast Correspondents 

MARC SHAPIRO 
BILL WARREN 

Financial Director: Joan Baetz 
Marketing Director: Frank M. Rosnei 
Circulation Manager: Maria Damiani 
Staff Assistants: Debbie Irwin, ta 
Erwine, Katharine Repole, Jose Sob 
Arwen Rosenbaum, Simon Cote. 
Correspondents: (west Coast) icyij 
Counts. Bill Florence, Pat Jankiewig 
Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier. Bd 
Miller; (NYC) David Hirsch, Michad 
McAvennie, Joe Nazzaro, Ste* 
Swires, Dan Yakir; (Chicago) Jea 
Airey Kim Howard Johnson; (Bosto^ 
Will Murray; (NM) Craig Chrissinga 
(FL) Bill Wilson; (VA) Lynne Stephen* 
(Canada) Peter Bloch-Hansen, Mad 
Phillips; (interplanetary) Georgi 
Kochell, Michael Wolff; (Booklo^ 
Scott schumack; (Cartoon) KevDj 
Brockschmidt, Mike Fisher, TdJ 
Holtkamp, Bob Muleady. 
Contributors: Mary Anne Allaj 
Kenny Baker, Charles Bareil, Ba 
Burtt, David Carson, Amy Cucchiat? 
Anthony Daniels, Les Dilley, Roga 
Donaldson, Mary Alice Greene, Lyrai 
Hale, John Hall, Mark Hamill, Pern 
Kenny, Irvin Kershner, James Kests 
Kathy Krantz, Leah Krantzler, Alio 
Krige Joe Lara, Eva Marie Lopez, Tod 
Masters, Rick Mccallum, Renee O'Ca 
nor, Cynthia Patrick, Tom Phillips, WJ 
Pope David Prowse, Alex Selden, J 
Beth Taylor, Dirk van Tillborg, Je 
Walker, Mike Wright, 
cover Photos: Star Wars: Copyrig? 
1977 1997 Lucasfilm, Ltd./20th Cent) 
ry Fox; Star wars FX Photos: ILM. 
For Advertising information: 
(212) 689-28S0. FAX (212) 889-79S3 
Advertising Director: Rita Eisenste 
Classified Ads Manager: Tim Clark 
For Ad sales: Dick Faust, The Fau 
Co 24050 Madison St. Ste. 101. Tc 
ranee, CA 90505 (310) 373-9604 or 8? 
International Licensing Rep: Robs 
j Abramson & Associates, inc., 7 
post Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583 





I 



1 





NEW! 




1 

i.-s . > : a . 4 ■; :■; ; . t, s 



TOY TRIUMPH 

Toy Story swept the 24th 
Annual Annie Awards, held 
November 11, 1996 at the 
Pasadena Civic Auditorium, pre- 
sented by ASIFA-Hollywood and 
hosted by Leonard Maltin. 

Toy Story won every category 
in which it was nominated, for 
Outstanding Music (Randy New- 
man, score), Writing (Andrew 
Stanton, Joel Cohen, Alec 
Sokolow and Joss Whedon), Pro- 
ducing (Bonnie Arnold, Ralph 
Guggenheim), Directing (John 
Lasseter), Production Design 
(Ralph Eggleston) and Anima- 
tion (Pete Docter). In the Ani- 
mated Feature category, Toy 
Story beat two other Disney con- 
tenders: Hunchback of Notre 
Dame and James & the Giant 
Peach. 

PIXAR won a Technical 
Achievement Award, for Toy 
Story being the first feature- 
length CGI film. Sadly, ASIFA 
overlooked the technical superi- 
ority of Dragoriheart's CGI ani- 
mation, evident when you 
compare the performance of the 
flesh-and-blood Draco to the 
robotic movements of Toy 
Story's plastic cast. 

For the fifth year in a row, The 
Simpsons won for Outstanding 
Television Program. This season, 
the show will pass the 
166-episode record 
set by The Flintstones 
for longevity in 
primetime animation. 

Rob Paulsen won 
the Voice Actor honor 
for his role as Pinky, 
while Barry Caldwell 
won for his story- 
board work on the 
Pinky & the Brain 
Christmas Special. 

Other winners: 
"Cow & Chicken in 
No Smoking" (Ani- 
mated Short Subject), 
The Land Before Time 
III: The Time of the 
Great Giving (Home 
Video) and J.J. Sedelmaier for 
the Speed RacerfVolkswagen ad 
(Promotional). 

The second annual June 
Foray Award was presented to 
Bill & Fini Littlejohn (Bill pro- 
duced the Peanuts specials), 
while the Winsor McCay Awards 
went to Disney designer Mary 
Blair, Disney producer/director 
Burny Mattinson and veteran 




Toei's original Street Fighter //TV series hits the street on video 
this month from Manga Entertainment. 



Hanna-Barbera character design- 
er Iwao Takamoto. 

Street Fighter II is 
unleashed to home video begin- 
ning February 25. This is Toei's 



ume per month, until the final 
tape in November, which will 
contain two episodes. The tapes 
are $19.99 dubbed, $24.95 subti- 
tled. 




Triumphing at the 1996 Annie Awards, Toy 
Story's legion of honorees include animator 
Pete Docter, production designer Ralph 
Eggleston, producers Ralph Guggenheim & 
Bonnie Arnold, director John Lasseter, 
technical director Bill Reeves and PIXAR 
co-founder Ed Carmull. 



original 29-episode Japanese 
series (not the version currently 
airing on the USA Network), the 
1995 prequel to the animated 
feature Street Fighter II. The TV 
series has martial arts rookies 
Ken and Ryu contending with a 
tough U.S. Air Force officer, 
Guile. Manga Entertainment 
plans to release three episodes 
(70 minutes) per tape, one vol- 



Voiceover virtuouso June Foray poses 
with Winsor McCay Award winner Iwao 
Takamoto, a veteran Hanna-Barbera 
character designer. 



Toon Ups: John Kricfalusi 
has agreed to do three Ranger 
Smith cartoons for the "What a 
Cartoon!" shorts program. 

Due to a lack of artists willing 
to work on Don Bluth's Anasta- 
sia, Fox has moved its release 
date from spring to fall this 
year — which will put it in com- 
petition with The Quest for 
Camelot from Warner Bros., 
Rugrats — The Movie from Nick- 
elodeon Movies and possibly 



The Legend of Mulan or a re- 
release of The Little Mermaid 
from Disney. 

Space Jam grossed $27.5 
million in its opening weekend, 
the third biggest non-summer 
opening for an animated fea- 
ture, behind The Lion King and 
Pocahontas. This prompted 
Warners executives to develop 
another Looney Tunes feature 
team-up with a live-action 
celebrity — which may or may 
not be Michael Jordan — and 
another possible TV spin-off. 
Surprised? 

Fred Flintstone is now a 
Warner Brother: In October, 
Time-Warner and Turner 
Broadcasting merged into the 
world's largest media compa- 
ny — which means that the 
entire Looney Tunes library is 
now owned by a single corpo- 
rate entity, where previously 
Turner had owned the pre- 1948 
shorts. It also means that 
Hanna-Barbera is now under 
the control of Warner Bros. TV 
Animation. 

Fred Seibert, president of H- 
B for four years, resigned and 
left the studio in November. His 
administration reinstated the 
unit productions system, which 
gives the director more control 
over the cartoon. Seibert 
brought viewers SWAT Kats, 2 
Stupid Dogs, Dumb & Dumber, 
Cave Kids and Jonny Quest: 
The Real Adventures. In tandem 
with the Cartoon Net- 
work, he began the 
"What a Cartoon!" 
program that devel- 
oped new talent and 
new cartoon stars, 
from which sprang the 
series Dexter' s Labo- 
ratory, Cow & Chick- 
en and Johnny Bravo. 

Now presiding over 
Hanna-Barbera: Jean 
MacCurdy, president 
of Warner Bros. TV 
Animation, who over- 
sees the development 
and production of WB 
Network cartoons and 
the classic Looney Tunes char- 
acters. 

To eliminate redundancies 
within the corporation's staff, 
H-B's Orbit City merchandis- 
ing wing has been eliminated, 
and its administrative staff is 
being trimmed. Largely unaf- 
fected are the artists and cre- 
ative personnel because, after 
all, someone has to make all 
those cartoons. 

— Bob Miller 



8 STARLOG/Ma/r/! 1997 



I 



Wage war between St 



CHRISTINA RICCI 



* TRICKY * POEjHJMM 



Exclusive video interviews with 
& the cast of TNG 
. plus Kevin "ClerKs 5>m 
noted Star Wars guru. 



'tetter it 
Mad! 



TEST YOUR 
ALLEGIANCE! 

morph o-matic personality quo! 



best of the bunch... is about 
'ih-quality. original places 
-Entertainment Weekly 

j - muz 



10018 




TO INFINITY & 
BEYOND 

Since Day One, Marathon has 
been one of the hottest com- 
puter game series out on the mar- 
ket, and the major focus for 
organizations, fan clubs, even 
web sites. Its amazing graphics, 
exciting story and painstaking 
detail and workmanship have 
been hard to beat, so hard that 
even the game's creators at 
Bungie Software Products Corp. 
are no doubt hard-pressed to do 
so. Of course, they're not likely 
to rest on their laurels; in fact, 
they've even come up with the 
latest in the saga for the Macin- 
tosh — Marathon Infinity 
($39.99), which promises tons 
more options than its two pre- 
decessors. 

The premise is fairly sim- 
ple, and picks up where 
Marathon and Marathon 2: 
Durandal left off— you've 
been one busy security officer, 
having repulsed the Pfhor 
attack on the colony ship 
Marathon, uncovered and 
reawakened the fabled 11th 
Clan of the S'pht and their 
ancient Al Thoth, rescued the 
stranded human survivors on 
Tau Ceti and halted the Pfhor 
ad-vance on Earth (and if you 
haven't, then whattaya doin' 
here? Go play Marathon and 
Marathon 2 first!). You've also 
taken down the rampant A.I. 
Durandal, though you can't 
keep a good opponent down 
for long. 

Infinity begins with "Blood 
Tides of Lh'owon," a 20-level 
scenario sporting new textures, 
weapons and aliens. If that 
weren't enough for you to con- 
tend with, then consider the fact 
that reality around you is in an 
extremely fragile state, with the 
physics surrounding you altering 
drastically with every level. With 
luck, you'll discover just how 
you play into the scheme of 
things, and just what common 
thread puts the whole puzzle into 
place. Just take nothing for grant- 
ed in this Marathon, 'cause that's 
exactly when Infinity changes 
the rules. 

Of course, this particular CD- 
ROM game allows you to change 
some of the rules, too. Bungie 
Software has included its power- 
ful "Forge" map-making tool in 
Marathon Infinity, allowing 
players to create their own 



Marathon worlds. In addi- 
tion to using a simple 2-D 
perspective to create lines, 
polygons and place objects, 
sounds and lights, Forge features 
a 3-D perspective for texturing, 
adjusting heights and fine-tuning 
the map's look and feel. For 



real solid Mac computer to play 
this game alone, since require- 
ments specified include a 68040 
or faster processor, six 
megabytes of RAM and a 13- 
inch, 256-color monitor. (If you 
want 16-bit graphics or ambient 
sound, you'll need even more 
memory.) Not only that, but the 



those seeking even more chal- 
A close look at an Imperial Stormtrooper's blaster reveals 



why they're such crummy shots 



■ 

Looks like a gun 




sight, but is really 
a stamp holder 






{OW THE REBEL FLEET REALLY FELL INTO 
THE ElAPEROR'S TRAP 



lenges, physics, shapes and 
sounds files in the game can be 
created and modified thanks to 
the game's "Anvil" editing capa- 
bility. Therefore, once you get 
past the original game, you can 
make it harder on yourself next 
time by creating new weapons, 
monsters and wall textures. You 
can also edit files from Marathon 
and Marathon 2: Durandal and 
cut-and-paste into Marathon 
Infinity. 

Like the previous Mara- 
thons, Infinity is a winner. The 
graphics and atmosphere are 
more mind-blowing than ever, 
and the action is intense through- 
out. The Forge and Anvil features 
are a great bonus, allowing you 
to keep playing once you're past 
the initial adventure (that's if you 
get past it). Of course, it does 
have its drawbacks. You'll need a 



game surprisingly has its share of 
bugs, and will occasionally 
"freeze" in mid-game. That's not 
a good thing unless you don't 
mind having to start from 
scratch. If you're gonna play, 
leave off RAM Doubler and cus- 
tomize your computer in your 
Extensions Manager to help 
accommodate this game, or you 
run the risk of not being able to 
go through Infinity, or beyond. 

Assembled Forces: For PC 
fans with an affinity for CD- 
ROM games, you'll be happy to 
know that the folks at Lucas Arts 
Entertainment Company have 
put together a second compila- 
tion of four award-winning Star 
Wars titles called The LucasArts 
Archives Vol. II: The Star Wars 
Collection. Purchased separately, 
the games would have retailed at 
more than SI 50. However, this 



compilation is at a suggested 
retail between $49.95-54.95. 

Three classic Star Wars 
titles— Rebel Assault, Rebel 
Assault II: The Hidden Empire 
and TIE Fighter Collector's CD- 
ROM — plus Dark Forces Super 
Sampler Edition make up the 
four games in this collection. 
Rebel Assault is a 15-level 
delight which puts you — "Rook- 
ie One" — through intense train- 
ing missions through Beggar's 
Canyon on Tatooine to the trench 
run on the Death Star. Rebel 
Assault II: The Hidden Empire is 
an action-arcade style game with 
3-D graphics and live-action 
video, all of which you need to 
best your enemies in hand-to- 
hand combat, flight maneuvering 
and cockpit combat. 

In addition to offering 
enhanced versions of the original 
TIE Fighter and its add-on 
campaign, Defender of the 
Empire, TIE Fighter Collec- 
tor's CD-ROM includes a 
challenging new campaign for 
all you Imperial Navy Acade- 
my trainees. Thanks to the 
game's 3-D graphics, 
enhanced sound and more 
than 5,000 lines of studio- 
recorded dialogue, playing the 
bad guy's never been so much 
fun. Meanwhile, the Dark 
Forces Super Sampler Edition 
lets you play on the other 
side of the fence for three 
levels. As Rebel special agent 
Kyle Katarn, you get to infil- 
trate the Empire and battle all 
the forces it can muster 
against you. all in richly 
detailed 3-D. 

Perhaps the most exciting 
CD-ROM in this collection, 
however, is the fifth — Making 
Magic: A Behind-the-Scenes 
Look at the Making of the Star 
Wars Trilogy Special Edition. 
Chronicling the digital enhance- 
ments and all-new shots appear- 
ing in the theatrical re-release of 
Star Wars, The Empire Strikes 
Back and Return of the Jedi, the 
interactive CD-ROM takes fans 
on a multimedia journey, offer- 
ing commentary by George 
Lucas and a glimpse at Lucas- 
film production. Also featured is 
footage of the meeting between 
Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt on 
Mos Eisley, as well as various 
storyboards, historical photos 
and production stills from the 
Star Wars Trilogy. Truly, The 
LucasArts Archives Vol. II: The 
Star Wars Collection is a Force to 
be reckoned with. 

— Michael McAvennie 



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IWDIOLOG 



NEW STUFF 

Fortunately, TVT Records has 
had such success with their 
first two Mortal Kombat albums 
(TVT 6110-songs/TVT 6410- 
score) that they decided to follow 
the platinum-plus award-win- 
ning vocal compilation with 
the newly released Mortal 
Kombat: More Kombat (TVT 
8031). Many of the 15 new 
songs featured were expressly 
recorded for this new CD. 
Though none of the material 
appeared in the first live- 
action film, Pyskosonik's "It 
Has Begun" does feature dia- 
logue from the movie. 

Silva America has Daniel 
(Hellraiser: Bloodline) 
Licht's delightful score for 
that "Lassie vs the Werewolf 
tale, Bad Moon (SSD 1068). 
The composer somehow man- 
aged to rise above the materi- 
al, producing lyrical melodies 
and dark orchestral passages. 
Critics have described The 
Ghost and the Darkness (Hol- 
lywood HR-62089) as "Jaws 
with paws," but Jerry Gold- 
smith^ score doesn't evoke any- 
thing scary. Reminiscent of his 
work for Congo (Epic EK 
67266), the music on this new 
album is filled with splendid 
African-inspired rhythms and 
also includes five authentic songs 
performed by the Worldbeaters. 

Reissues: 2007/ A Space 
Odyssey (R2 72562) is Rhino 
Records' latest addition to their 
Turner Classic Movies series. 
This is the film soundtrack's 
third CD incarnation, but what's 
different this time is that the orig- 
inal film score recordings are 
used. The previous albums used 
re-recordings. Included for the 
first time is Gyorgy Ligeti's 
"Adventures," a piece altered for 
the film without the composer's 
approval. He successfully sued 
the film company as a result. 
Both the original and altered ver- 
sions are included, along with the 
alternate tracks from the initial 
MGM soundtrack album. A suite 
of HAL 9000 voice clips 
(singing "Daisy," too!) round out 
the package. 

Compilations: GNP Cres- 
cendo's long-delayed Fantastic 
Television (GNPD 8051) is final- 
ly out. Previously released single 
versions of the Deep Space Nine. 
Voyager and "V" — The Series 
themes are interpolated with new 



recordings such as Joe Har- 
nell's "Lonely Man" solo 
piano theme from The 
Incredible Hulk, John Deb- 
ney's seaQuest, TekWar and War 
of the Worlds by composer Fred 
Mollin. 

The budget-conscious will 
enjoy the three specially priced 
multiple-CD anthology sets now 
out from Silva. The first is The 



for release later in the year. Both 
feature liner notes by this colum- 
nist. 

Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the 
Los Angeles Philharmonic 
Orchestra performing suites 
based on eight classic Bernard 
Herrmann Film Scores (Sony 
Classical SK 62700). Recorded 
in Dolby Surround, this CD con- 
centrates mostly on the compos- 




When the stormtroopers began to laugh, Vader had to trash 
his inclement weather attachment. 



Cult Files (two CDs. SSD 
1066/FILMXCD 184) with 40 
popular film and TV themes, 
including Red Dwarf, Knight 
Rider, Airwolf, Babylon 5 and 
"V" — The Series. Cinema Cen- 
tury (four CDs, STD 5006/three 
CDs, FILMCD 180), noted here 
when first released in England, 
has at last hit these 
shores. From The 
Bride of Frankenstein 
to Jurassic Park, this 
lavish collection high- 
lights the best from 
the first 100 years of 
motion picture enter- 
tainment. 

Space and Beyond 
(two CDs, SSD 
1065/FILMXCD 190) 
boasts several pre- 
miere recordings of 
unreleased music and 
a dazzling array of 
sound effects. Among 
the new material is 
Christopher Young's 
theme from Species, 
Ron Jones' "Tasha's 
Farewell" from The 
Next Generation and 
Vedek Bareil's death 
scene from the Dennis 
McCarthy-scored 
DS9 episode, "Life 
Support." A second 
set in the series has 
already been recorded 



er's work for Alfred Hitchcock, 
but also includes Fahrenheit 451. 
It's the same suite that was 
recorded in 1994 for the Varese 
Sarabande album conducted by 
Joel McNeely (VSD-5551). 

Star Trek VI composer Cliff 
Eidelman has recorded The 
ALIEN Trilogy for Varese (VSD- 



PRODUCTS WE'D LIKE TO SEE: 

It's R2 D2 UNDERARM 
DEODORANT AND GLUESTICK! - 
two products in one! 




5753) with the Royal Scottish 
National Orchestra. Of the seven 
cuts from Goldsmith's score for 
the first film, "Main Title." 
"Hyper Sleep" and "The Door" 
are presented here for the first 
time as they actually were heard 
in the final film. Three cues each 
were selected from James 
Horner's ALIENS and Elliot 
Goldenthal's ALIEN^ scores. 

Imports: Horner's under- 
stated score to the frightening 
1983 nuclear holocaust 
drama Testament (Vivo 
Music VMCD 607) is one of 
two soundtracks emerging on 
CD from Romania. The other 
is yet one more version of the 
Blade Runner soundtrack 
(Gongo Music GM-003), 
which doesn't contain dia- 
logue. This album appears 
similar to the limited-edition 
Off World Music CD (OWM- 
£9301) which was released 
Efour years ago and quickly 
1 became a $150 collector's 
item, according to Robert L. 
< Smith's U.S. Soundtracks on 
Compact Disc price guide. 

Silva Screen UK has 
added Mark Ayres' imagina- 
tive electronic score to Shake- 
down: Return of the Sontarans 
(FILMCD 718), another Doctor 
Who spin-off video starring for- 
mer cast members from that 
series and Blake's 7. 

Full soundtracks of Akira 
Ifukube's work for Rodan 
(Futureland TYCY-5498) and 
The Mysterians (TYCY-5499) 
are now available from Japan. 
These albums not only contain 
the film scores, but unused 
music, the theatrical trailer audio 
tracks and all the sound effects. 
The CD booklets are fully illus- 
trated with fascinating behind- 
the-scenes photos. Both can be 
obtained from Screen Archives. 
P.O. Box 5636, Washington D.C. 
20016-1236. 202-364-4333, E- 
Mail: nippersae@aol.com. Web 
site: http://writemoore.com/st- 
cafe. 

Promos: Both Christopher 

Young's U nfo rgettable 
(CD96004) and Basil Pole- 
douris' first promotional Honor 
and Glory are bound to become 
highly sought-after collectibles 
thanks to their extremely limited 
distribution. Of the 16 tracks on 
the Poledouris album, six are 
unreleased, including music 
from the mini-series Amerika 
and Disney's White Fang. 

Got Questions?: Contact us 
at dhirsch918@earthlink.net. 

— David Hirsch 



J D 1* J jVj 




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r j r: y 9,1,11 WU-ajyi/.lJ 




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J Luke Skywalker $24.99 

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on A Christmas Carol, and a 
lively one it is, too. Some 
might call this derivative, but 
it's no less so than the count- 
less adaptations with actors rang- 
ing from Alistair Sim to Mr. 
Magoo. Elizabeth Ann Scarbor- 
ough has flawlessly updated this 
classic tale of redemption with a 
protagonist whom even Scrooge 
himself cannot initially win over. 
Sure, there's a certain streak of 
syrupy earnestness that seeps 
through Carol for Another Christ- 
mas, occasionally threatening to 
overwhelm the narrative with its 
mawkishness, but only a true 
humbug wouldn't enjoy this heart- 
warming novel. 

— John S. Hall 



The Other End of Time by Fred- 
erik Pohl (Tor, hardcover, 350 
pp, $23.95) 

This novel starts like a 
cyberthriller in which the hero, a 
secret agent, is dispatched to 
investigate mysterious goings-on 
at a research center. The future 
depicted here is both chaotic (the 
U.S. has split apart) and hi-tech. 

The book shifts gears as the 
action moves to a space station 
that has been invaded by mysteri- 
ous aliens. Then, we are in Carl 
Sagan or Arthur C. Clarke territo- 
ry, as we follow the protagonists' 
mind-boggling odyssey as they 
try to escape from their alien cap- 
tors. 

Frederik Pohl knows how to 
keep the reader glued to the pages. 
In addition to the rollercoaster 
ride, he also sprinkles some inter- 
esting ideas about the aliens' view 
of the universe. As was the case 
with Pohl's Gateway, one is left 
with the sense that we've seen 
only a glimpse of a larger picture, 
and that there is more to come. A 
sequel will be eagerly anticipated. 
Highly recommended. 

— Jean-Marc Lofficier 

Carol for Another Christmas by 
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough 
(Ace, hardcover, 208 pp, $18) 

Monica "Money" Banks could 
give the Grinch lessons in heart- 
lessness. The former IRS agent, 
now president of her late brother's 
software company, is making her 
contracted employees work 
through Christmas Eve to deliver 
a new, unfeasible product on 
deadline. But before the night's 
over, Monica will know the true 
meaning of Christmas, courtesy 
of computer technology and a 
ghost named Ebenezer Scrooge. 

Yes, Virginia, it's a '90s take 



Chaos Come Again by Wilhelmi- 
na Baird (Ace, trade paperback, 
330 pp, $12) 

Chaos has never been more fun 
than in Wilhelmina Baird's latest 
novel, a faster-than-light romp 
through some very bizarre worlds. 

Rescuing a young man who 
has been changed into a female 
baboon from a brothel puts Desi, 
roving agent of an interstellar 
medical agency, on the trail of her 
adversary, Ice, a powerful and 
charming maniac. This leads Desi. 
her whiny spacecraft and a stow- 
away journalist through parallel 
universes where they encounter 
nascent gods, a grotesque retelling 
of Sleeping Beauty, nanotechno- 
logical plagues and some really 
vile elves and dragons. Humans 
have merged with alien symbionts 
that endow them with psionic and 
metamorphic powers; anything is 
possible, as Desi and her compan- 
ions learn in alternately hilarious 
and horrifying adventures. 

While the secret of Desi's rela- 
tionship with Ice is an effective cli- 
max, it doesn't have much to do 
with the bulk of the story. Readers 
might wonder why Desi's path 
takes so many detours. The answer 
could be that detours are splendid- 
ly entertaining, and that makes 
Chaos Come Again a winner. 

— Scott W. Schumack 

Ferman's Devils by Joe Clifford 
Faust (Bantam, paperback. 320 
pp, $4.99) 

One night, after one drink too 
many at his favorite bar, hotshot 
ad writer Boedekker wanders into 
gang territory. How does he elude 
becoming the next meal of Fer- 
man's Devils? Why, by promising 
to create a TV ad that they'll star 
in, of course. 

Set in a not-too-distant future, 
Ferman's Devils takes place in a 



Manhattan where technology and 
consumerism have run rampant. 
Corporation conglomeration has 
been taken to a ridiculous 
extreme, and it's up to folks like 
Boedekker to make sure that their 
advertising companies profit from 
it all. 

As a sly and biting satire on 
our materialistic excesses, Fer- 
man's Devils is diabolically- 
delightful, with its franchised, 
sanctioned street gangs and paper 
classified as a Class VI Pollutant. 
A struggling Everyman with a 
Chandleresque wit, Boedekker 
makes a winning protagonist, even 
during his less-than-heroic 
moments (which is most of the 
time). While some may find this 
possible future's relentless hetero- 
sexism a bit much, overall the 
book is fiendishly good. 

— John S.Hall 

Fair Peril by Nancy Springer 
(AvoNova, trade paperback, 256 
pp, $12) 

Once more the conventions of 
classic fairy tales are dragged into 
modern America, but Nancy 
Springer aims beyond parody, and 
Fair Peril is a touching affirmation 
of the power of storytelling. 

Buffy Murphy, a fortyish and 
frumpy divorcee and would-be 
storyteller, ekes out a living mak- 
ing plastic food. She has given up 
on happy endings, and when she 
finds a talking frog ("Kiss me!"), 
she dumps it into an aquarium to 
share her misery. When Emily, her 
estranged daughter, and the frog- 
tumed-hunky-prince run off to the 
magical land of Fair Peril — actu- 
ally the local mall — Buffy and her 
one ally, a homosexual biker 
librarian wizard and part-time 
frog, must brave ogre-cops, giant 
ex-husbands, an evil fairy-god- 
mother-in-law and the merciless 
Fairy Queen to save Princess 
Emily from an awfully ever after. 

Through adventures funny and 
terrifying. Buffy's strength is her 
knack for telling stories, and her 
triumph is the realization that 
she's telling her own story, happy 
ending and all, a wise lesson from 
a fine novel. 

— Scott W. Schumack 

The Golden Key by Melanie 
Rawn, Jennifer Roberson and 
Kate Elliott (DAW, hardcover, 
784 pp, $24.95) 

Fans of the three writers who 
have collaborated on this novel 
will be ecstatic, and even readers 
who normally avoid huge, multi- 
generation romances might be 
pleasantly surprised. 



In a land recalling feudal and 
Renaissance Spain, the Grijalva 
clan is cursed and blessed with 
artistic and magical power. One 
young painter, Sario, dares to 
plumb the Grijalva heritage and 
become the greatest artist-mage of 
all, an immortal who roams the 
centuries manipulating the for- 
tunes of his land and family for his 
own glory, content that the one 
soul that might stop him, his 
adored cousin, Saavedra, is 
trapped body and soul in the paint 
and canvas of his greatest master- 
piece. 

After a weak opening, The 
Golden Key becomes a gripping 
blend of historical saga and fanta- 
sy. The mix of art and magic 
spawns some genuinely eerie 
moments; besides Saavedra's 
nightmarish plight, there is Sario's 
disturbing version of the Pyg- 
malion myth, for example, and the 
large cast of artists, commoners 
and nobles combines with the 
alternate European history to pro- 
duce a rich, entertaining novel. 

— Scott W. Schumack 




Sky Trillium by Julian May (Del 
Rey, trade paperback. 400 pp. 
$12.95) 

Completists will want to read 
this latest installment of the 
shared-world Black Trillium 
series, but others should avoid it 
until they've read the previous 
books. 

The fragile World of Three 
Moons is in danger. Its ecosystem 
is failing, the result of one too 
many magical battles. Three mag- 
ical talismans could save it if used 
in one of two ways. One: the 
princesses Kadiya, Anigel and 
Haramis unite the talismans into 
the Sky Trillium. Two: give all 
three talismans to one magician, 
an enemy with his own agenda. 
The whole point could be moot 
because one talisman is missina 



16 STARLOG/Ma/r/i 1997 



ORLANDO^™ 8 -J f FLORIDA 

( MARCH 15th &16th - ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER ) 





INCLUDING 



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Greg Capullo 
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Joe Madureira 



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and one has lost its potency. Can 
the world be saved? 

The way Julian May tells the 
story instead of showing it makes 
Sky less than the best. Back- 
ground information that should 
be given in small expositional 
chunks is provided in forced, 
unnatural-sounding dialogue. It 
detracts from this otherwise good 
story. 

— Penny L. Kenny 

King's Dragon by Kate Elliott 
(DAW, hardcover, 544 pp, 
$22.95) 

This first volume of the 
Crown of Stars series concerns 
itself with identity. Is Alain the 
son of a nobleman, a half-elfin 
creature or a prostitute? Who is 
Liath, the non-magical daughter 
of sorcerer parents or a young 
woman with power that could 
change her world? Though these 
questions of identity have very 
personal answers, Kate Elliott 
ties her characters' quests for 
answers to a kingdom's civil war, 
which itself is only a small battle 
in an even greater war between 
two forces seeking to control the 
world's destiny. 

This volume focuses mainly 



on the civil war and the part Alain 
and Liath play. Elliott's pacing is 
good, with a nice balance of 
action and reaction scenes. She 
has created a large but individual- 
ized cast, and proves very adept 
at turning readers' expectations 
on their heads. 

— Penny L. Kenny 



Dragonseye Art: Eric Peterson 





Dragonseye by Anne McCaf- 
frey (Del Rev, hardcover, 368 
pp,"$24) 

After the disappointing Dol- 
phins of Pern, Anne McCaffrey- 



returns in good form to the world 
of Pern and her Dragonriders. 
Chronologically, Dragonseye 
takes place in the past of the 
series, 257 years after First Fall, 
when the Red Star is about to 
return to threaten Pern for the 
second time. 

Dragonseye features the typ- 
ical McCaffrey confrontation 
between her heroes and those 
who refuse to believe them — in 
this case, an evil, mean-spirited 
Lord Holder. As always with the 
series, the plot moves briskly 
and the characters are lots of 
fun. 

McCaffrey also uses Drag- 
onseye to explore previously 
unseen facets of Pern's life: the 
hero is an apprentice painter, 
there is definitely a harder edge 
to the story as we are shown the 
consequences of a rape trial. 
These innovations are welcome, 
and contribute to making Pern 
more real. 

— Jean-Marc Lofficier 

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett 
(Harper Prism, hardcover, 256 
pp, $20) 

After 16 books, Terry Pratch- 
ett's Discworld series has 



become more than a fantasy par- 
ody. The books are still funny, 
but Pratchett has transcended 
puns and slapstick to craft point- 
ed, often melancholy, comments 
on human and divine nature. 

Feet of Clay, a sequel to Man 
at Arms and the earlier Guards! 
Guards!, is no exception. 
Strange deaths plague the vast, 
odorous city of Ankh-Morpork. 
and the City Guard, led by 
crusty, misanthropic Vimes and 
incurably noble Carrot, must foil 
assassins, monsters and a truly 
odd labor movement. 

Amid the wordplay and prat- 
falls is a real murder mystery 
(which won't puzzle Edgar 
Allan Poe fans), some genuine 
adventure (the exploits of 
Sergeant Colon and Wee Mad 
Arthur on, under, and above the 
streets are terrific action-come- 
dy), and Pratchett's musings on 
sexual and civic politics, human 
perversity and, in his inspired 
use of the golem legend, the 
plight of the voiceless. 

The Discworld books are for 
all who like their humor laced 
with benign — though still 
potent — wit. 

— Scott W. Schumack 



START CiCr/Mnrrh 1997 



17 



UPGUHBf 



JURASSIC LARK 

Though virtually everyone on 
the planet knew Jurassic Park 
would be a monster hit, Laura 
Dern swears she wasn't quite so 
sure. "Everybody said to me, 
'It'll be the biggest movie,' and 
'Oh my God, dinosaurs! Every- 
one will freak out! ' But you don't 
know until the movie is out," she 
argues. "We had no thought 
process about what it was going 
to be when we were making it. 
We just had a blast doing it. We 
were like kids in a candy shop, 
but we were running around with 
dinosaurs all day." 

Steven Spielberg returns as 
director for the sequel, which is 
now shooting. It's based on 
Michael Crichton's follow-up 
novel, The Lost World. "Jeff 
[Goldblum, Dem's husband who 
played Ian Malcolm in Jurassic 
Park] is in it because his charac- 
ter is in the book. My character is 
talked about a lot, but Ellie wised 
up enough to know that the place 
is not safe and she should never 
go back to Jurassic Park." 

— Ian Spelling 



COSMIC IMPROBABILITIES #7: 
A KINPER, GENTLER EMPIRE 




TOOMS' RETURN? 

Doug Hutchison played liver- 
eating mutant killer Eugene 
Tooms in two memorable X-Files 
entries. "Squeeze" and "Tooms." 
And despite his character's 
apparent death in the show's first 



season. Hutchison would still 
like to return to the series. 

"Absolutely!" he exclaims. "I 
think maybe Tooms is lurking 
somewhere, like in some mall 
somewhere, probably fusing 
himself together again. You saw a 
little bit of blood on the escalator, 
you never saw me dying, so I 
think Tooms is alive. 



"Many fans would like to see 
Tooms come back, and I would 
do it in an instant. But they 
would have to figure out how to 
do it, because if I emerge every 
30 years, where am I in that 
cycle? I already got my quota of 
livers." 

— Kathy Krantz 

SAAVIK S ROLE 

Kirstie Alley has a succinct 
explanation as to why she 
only plaved Saavik in Star Trek 
II: The Wrath of Khan. "They 
actually offered me less money 
for Trek III than they paid me for 
Trek II. I felt that was a definite 
insight into the fact that they 
really didn't want me in it. There 
was monkey business going on 
about it, but I wasn't privy to any 
inside information. They didn't 
try very hard at all to get me in it. 
and they made it very clear that I 
was replaceable. The only person 
who didn't think I was replace- 
able was Gene Roddenberry. 
And Gene lost that battle. I 
guess. He told me afterwards, T 
can't believe you're not in [Trek 
III]. It's breaking my heart. I 
loved you in Star Trek II.' I 
thought that was very sweet." 

— Ian Spelling 



I 




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NEW & IMPROVED?? 

...I'm really beginning to wonder about the 
term "new & improved" meaning better. Such 
as the new effects added to the new version of 
the Star Wars movies. I watched them in the- 
aters and they were perfect. I've seen them on 
video and they were perfect. I've watched 
them with my six-to-nine-year-old cousins, 
and they thought they were perfect. So, I ask 
myself (and others) why tamper with them? 
I'm still a little hesitant at the idea. 

It's like adding something to the Mono 
Lisal But, I wonder, what if Leonardo Da 
Vinci wanted to add something? Would we 
argue with him? So. I will be in line to see the 
"improved" Star Wars stuff, but I still have 
the originals that I can always watch too. 

B arry_King@ trdigtal.com 

Atlanta. GA 

WISDOM OF SOLOMON 

...COMICS SCENE, you will be missed. For 
nine years, I looked to you for the latest news 
on the comic book, movie. TV and animation 



front. It was in you that I first saw 
I glimpses of The Flash, The Shadow and 
Val Kilmer's Batman. It was in you that I 
read Carr D'Angelo's Sam Hamm inter- 
view, which showed me that the first Batman 
film would be a masterpiece. Heck, your let- 
ters page was practically my own column. I 
will miss you. COMICS SCENE. Who the 
heck else would publish all my letters? 
Lee Solomon 
Sterling Heights. MI 

Indeed, Lee was that magazine's most prolif- 
ic letter writer. And COMICS SCENE— also 
produced by the STARLOG editorial team — 
is on hiatus. Relevant animation! comic book 
movie/TV material now appears in STAR- 
LOG, as does Bob Miller's popular Anima- 
tion Scene column (known here as Toonlog). 
COMICS SCENE has had two separate 
incarnations (1981-83) and (1987-96). We 
do hope that someday the "magazine that 
could not die" will return with yet a third 
incarnation. Our thanks to all who supported 
COMICS SCENE. 

IN CONTACT 

...Despite the great reviews and fantastic box 
office opening, Star Trek: First Contact is a 
pretty average film. Yes, it's superior to Star 
Trek Generations in almost every way, but 
not nearly as much fun as the other even- 
numbered Treks with the original crew. 

My biggest complaint with First Contact 
is the same complaint I had with Generations 
— it still looks like a TV episode on the big 
screen. I wasn't impressed with the special 
FX any more than I was last time around, and 
the sets (especially the new Enterprise) were 
very cheesy-looking. 



~$SORGE LUCAS PUSHES THE 
CONTINUITY ENVELOPE A&AlNH 



0.K..O.K., THE 4-th ' STA z WARS" AOVIE WILL NOW 
SB EPISODE- Z'A WHERE WE'LL START HALFWAY 
THROUGH THE 'CLONE WARS] THEN WE'LL JUMP 
TO THE ENP OF EPISODE 3, THEN MOVIE 5 
WILL- START SOMEWHERE IN EPISODE 7 BUT 
WILL SE&US QUICKLY TO EPISODE 1 WHICH IS 

ACTUALLY EPISODE H IN A PARALLEL 
PIIAENSION WHERE LUKE IS PARTH VADBR, 
VADER IS CHEWIE'S FATHER. OBI WAN IS A 
SUSHI CHEF. AND RZ-PZ IS THE EMPEROR/ 
WE'LL SKIP MOVIE 6 AND DO A PRE&UEL TO 
MOVIE <?, THE 'PREAM SEQUENCE' EPISODE 





The story itself is basically divided into 
two tales: the Borg infesting the Enterprise 
and the action down on Earth. I thought the 
scenes on Earth were the best part of the 
movie, and wished more screen time had 
been devoted to them. The Borg, on the other 
hand, were just plain Borg-ing...err, that's 
boring! At no time did I feel that they were 



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V£St%m"t&Eg, BEFORE SEEK' Fa5W(5E'TO 
THE 0EI61MAL STAR WARS WASNTSUCH 4 QOdD IP&A! " 

really a threat to the crew, at least not the way 
they were a threat in the old episodes. The 
only scene on the Enterprise that had any real 
emotional punch was the scene between 
Patrick Stewart and Alfre Woodard where she 
compares him to Captain Ahab. This movie 
needed a lot more of those kinds of moments, 
and a lot less of the crew ripping Borg bodies 
to shreds. 

With all that said.. .there were some won- 
derful moments: Troi getting drunk. Bar- 
clay's cameo, the launching of Cochrane 's 
warp ship, and the fantastic ending scene 
w ith the Vulcans. I also might add that I real- 
ly enjoyed the score by Jerry Goldsmith, who 



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CA residents add 8.25% sales tax. 
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wrote a very passionate opening theme that 
really set the tone for the movie. 

Jonathan Frakes must also be applauded 
for taking the script that he had and making 
something salvagable out of it. The movie 
was paced very nicely, and a story that could 
have been confusing to follow wasn't. 

Still, one wonders what the need for all 
the violence was when there was such a nice 
story with Cochrane to be told. Were the 
Borg even needed at all to tell this story? 
What made Star Trek IV so great was that 
there was no real enemy to fight, except time 
itself, and that movie was a joy to watch. Star 
Trek: First Contact tries to recapture some of 
that magic, but only manages to obtain about 
half of it. sacrificing good drama for mind- 
less action. 

Perhaps I expected too much after all the 
hype, but I certainly hope someone involved 
with Star Trek realizes that despite the nice 
reviews and box office returns, their film was 
not as good as it could have been. 

Shannon T. Nutt 

shannon9@ greenepa.net 




IpARTH VAPBR PRACTICES FOR 
'THE BICr PAY" 



...I would like to say that Star Trek: First 
Contact is one of the best features (of the 
eight Star Trek films) so far. Jonathan Frakes 
and company succeeded in capturing the 
essence unique to the Next Generation cast 
and series. The pace was steady and the tran- 
sitions smooth. The performances were 
great, although I was a bit dismayed that Dr. 
Crusher and Counselor Troi's roles were 
slim. Finally! The Federation is shown as 
intelligent, tactical and aggressive as well as 
moral! Also, the Enterprise £ is a beauty! 
The cameos were a pleasant surprise. How 
about Q in the next feature? 
jvccs@mail.idt.net 

...I went to see First Contact with some 
friends, and I'm happy to say that it is the 
first Trek movie in a loooonnnnggg time that 
I really liked, the other two being The Wrath 
of Khan and The Voyage Home. The only 
quibble I have is the inappropiate casting of 
James Cromwell as Zefram Cochrane. His 
portrayal was totally off from that of the late, 
great Glenn Corbett. and it doesn't fit well in 
the Star Trek history. 

Another thing I didn't like is the charac- 
ter. According to the Worlds of the Federation 
book. Cochrane was the first Alpha Centau- 
ran physicist that Terrans encountered, and 
the first warp engine prototype was devel- 
oped by him. So, the movie's timeline that 
Cochrane was a drunken scientist whose 
warp drive experiment caught the attention of 
Vulcans which caused the "First Contact" 
was totally wrong. 

As for DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations." 
it was excellent! The insertion of the DS9 
crew into that classic story fit perfectly. The 
re-creation of the orginal Enterprise models 
and sets was uncanny! It was a memorable 
episode, especially for the boringly pre- 
dictable DS9. and one worth watching over 
and over again. Sisko's meeting with Captain 
Kirk was about as good as Forrest Gump 
shaking hands with President Kennedy. 

Christopher Krieg 

ckrie327@neors.cat.cc.md.us 





STAR WARS: THE /MUSICAL 



ON THE VOYAGE 

...It's not often that I bother to take the time 
to respond when someone trashes Star Trek: 
myager. I figure people are entitled to their 
opinions, blah blah blah, leave it at that. 
However. Dayton Kitchens' letter in STAR- 
LOG #234 bugged me so much, I felt com- 
pelled to write. 

Since he obviously wrote the letter before 
this season, I will not mention that the Voy- 
ager crew has been involved twice in events 
which affect the Federation: the future 
demise, now averted, of millions of Federa- 
tion members ("Future's End"), and the end 
of the Q Continuum war ('"The Q and the 
Gray"), which would have eventually affect- 
ed everyone in the universe. I'll also ignore 
his sweeping statements about the ship, crew 




and cast. He hates them, I love them. Enough 
said. But let's assume, for a minute, that 
Kitchens is right, that nothing the Voyager 
crew does matters to the Federation or Earth. 
To this I say. so what? 

After all, did everything that happened to 
the original series crew have meaning for 
Earth or the Federation? How about the Next 
Generation folks? The gang on DS91 No. In 
fact, I imagine that if someone were to count, 
they would find that what happens in a num- 
ber of episodes, probably over half, doesn't 
have any bearing on Earth or the Federation. 
The things that happen only really have an 
impact on the crew involved. 

Yes, sometimes things happen in episodes 
that have a larger bearing on Earth, the Fed- 
eration and the other folks in the Alpha 
Quadrant. Well, guess what? Sometimes the 
actions of the Voyager crew have an impact 
on the quadrant they're in. As for all these 
aliens he says will never ''come marauding 
through the Federation," all I can say is, if the 
Borg could figure out how to do it, odds are 
someone else will too. 

As for the whole "Voyager will make it 
home some day, so why bother worrying" 
argument, please. How often is the outcome 
of any episode of Star Trek in doubt? That's 
not the point of this or any show. It's always 
about the journeys these characters take, not 
spatially, but mentally and emotionally. The 
Voyager crew not only faces the same types 
of challenges that the other crews do, but 
they don't have big daddy Federation just 
waiting to help them out of a jam, hold their 
hand or assure them that they're doing the 
right thing all the time. They don't have a 
port where they can dock, meet some new 
faces and get a hot fudge sundae. So, instead 
of curling up and whining, or doing the sen- 
sible thing and setting up camp on some 
deserted planet for the rest of their lives, 
they're sucking it up and forging on. They're 
exploring strange new worlds, seeking out 
new life and new civilizations, and going 
where no one has gone before. Without a 
safety net, but with the same wit, fun, adven- 
ture and depth that Star Trek is known for. 
This crew is living out the essence of Star 
Trek. They're just not doing it in the same old 
neighborhood. 

I like this show. I like this crew. Voyager 
is not perfect, but what show is, episode after 
episode? This season is showing some real 
promise and improvement, and I think it 
would be a shame to pull the plug and con- 
sider Voyager a failure just when the cast, 
characters and writers are really starting to 
gel and figure out what they want to do. Star 
Trek has never been about the aliens, distant 
planets, the Federation or even Earth. It's 
about a vision of the future, ideals that are 
worth living up to and exploring the human 
heart and mind. In that regard, the Voyager 
crew truly is adding to the Star Trek Uni- 
verse. Not the one in the TV set, but the one 
watching it. I would hate to see their voyage 
come to an end. 

Sara Wilcox 

wilcox@sover.net 



• --CZSPSSAHim" OILCAH- OIL CAti'?!" 




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SF DIRECTORY 

Please note: Inclusion here does noi indicate en- 
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LOG. And STARLOG is not responsible for 
information and spelling errors or changes in fees. 
Always write first to any organization, including a 
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write to SF Directory. STARLOG. 475 Park 
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SPACE READY RESERVE 

Fans supporting the return of 
Space: Above and Beyond. 
Sanctioning: Glen Morgan and 
James Wong. 

Address: Space Ready Reserves 

P.O. Box 3662 

Boulder, CO 80307-3662 
E-mail: http://planetx.com/ 

space 
Dues: None at this 
time. 

Membership 
Includes: Informa- 
tion on renewal 
efforts, local organi- 
zations and activities, 
future convention 
activities. 

THE ACADEMY 

Ex Astris, Cogitatio. 
based on Star Trek's 
Academy. 

Sanctioning: The Federation. 
Address: The Academy 

7026 Veering 

Burke, VA 22015-4443 
E-mail: 

sOdjmoody@hibbs.vcu.edu 
Membership includes: All 
members are offered a computer 
database programmed with per- 
tinent Federation facts and fig- 
ures. The Academy offers a wide 
variety of courses with two 



types of degree as well as 
five areas to major in. The 
first degree requires a two- 
month crash course and 
leads to enlistment into the Fed- 
eration, complete with a degree 
thereof. The Academy's full 
graduates undergo a six-month 
program of self-paced courses 
before receiving their burlwood 
framed degree from the Federa- 
tion. To apply or for more info, 
please send us your address via 
E-mail for a membership appli- 
cation packet. 

I.S.S. MONITOR NCC-2040 

Connecticut's first chapter of the 
Mirror. 

Sanctioning: None. 
Address: I.S.S. Monitor NCC- 
2040 

P.O. Box 651 

Bristol, CT 06011-0651 
Dues & Membership: Send a 
L.S.A.S.E. for information. 

DRYDOCK— 
STARBASE 416 

The oldest fan club created for 
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. 
Sanctioning: The Federation. 




gc« fefnsrtes 

Art: James D. Kester 

Address: Drydock 

ATTN: New Membership 

7026 Veering 

Burke. VA 22015-4443 
E-mail: 

sOdjmoody@hibbs.vcu.edu 
Dues: S5-S35 depending on 
level and division. 
Membership includes: All 
members are offered a computer 
database programmed with per- 
tinent Federation facts and RE- 



CONVENTIONS 

Questions about cons listed? Please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address listed for 
the con. Do NOT call STARLOG. Note: Con guests listed may not always appear and conventions 
may be cancelled without notice. Conventioneers: Send all pertinent info no later than four months 
prior to the event to STARLOG Con Calendar. 475 Park Ave. South. NY. NY 1001 6 or c/o commu- 
nication s@starioggroup.com (no hyphen in E-mail address). You must provide a phone number and 
[if one's available) an E-mail address. STARLOG makes no guarantees, due to space limitations, that 
your con will be listed here. This is a free service; to ensure a listing in STARLOG — not here, but 
elsewhere— contact Tim Clark (2 1 2-689-2830 x2 1 5) for classified ad rates & advertise there. 



FEBRUARY 

CALLIFREY '97 

February 14-16 
Airtel Plaza 
Van Nuys, CA 

Gallifrey Conventions 
P.O. Box 3021 

North Hollywood. CA 91609 

(818)752-9656 

E-mail: GalieyOne@aol.com 

Guests: Elisabeth Sladen. 

Caitlin Brown, Anneke 

Wills. John Levene, Randy 

& Jean-Marc Lofficier 

CON-DOR 

February 21-23 

Town and Country Hotel 

San Diego, CA 

C.A.A.S.M./CON-DOR 

RO. Box 15771 

San Diego. CA 92175 

E-mail: dkeais@aol.com 

Guest: Lois McMaster 

Bujold 

JAXCON '97 

February 21-23 
Ramada Inn 
Jacksonville. FL 

JaxCon 
Box 14218 

Jacksonville. FL 32238-421S 
E-mail: jaxcon@aol.com 

CREATION 

February 23 
Civic Plaza 
Phoenix, AZ 

Creation 

4 1 1 North Central Avenue 
Suite 300 

Glendale.CA 91203 
(818) 409-0960x225 
Guest: Jason Carter 

MARCH 

VULKON 

March 1-2 
Sheraton Cleveland 
Center Hotel 
Cleveland. OH 

Vulkon Conventions 
c/o Joe Motes 
12237 SW 50th Street 
Cooper City FL 33330-5406 
(954) 434-6060 
htrp://astonline.com/startrek/ 
Guests: Jennifer Lien. Patri- 
cia Tallman 



KATSUCON 
THREE 

March 7-9 

Holiday Inn Executive 
Center 

Virginia Beach. VA 

Katsu Productions 
P.O. Box 11582 
Blacksburg, VA 24062 
E-mail: 

katsucon@vtserf.cc.vt.edu 




^ WOW.' iH GLATP I BRpUGrFT 
ffi VIOEDCAHERAI* 



CREATION 

March 8-9 
University of New 
Hampshire 

See above address 
Guest: Walter Koenig 

VULKON 

March 14-16 
Sheraton Hotel Towson 
Baltimore, MD 

See above address 
Guests: Robert Belrran. 
Patricia Tallman 

MEGACON '97 

March 15-16 

Orange Co. Convention 

Center 

Orlando, FL 

Skyline Promotions, Inc. 
53 1 Cocoa Lane 
Orlando. FL 32804 
(407) 599-0905 
Guests: Peter David. Moe- 
bius. Julius Schwartz. John 
Romita Sr.. George Perez. 
William Tucci. Brian Pulido 



CREATION 

March 16 

Meydenbauer Center 
Believue, WA 

See above address 
Guests: Avery Brooks. 
Michael Dom. Nichelle 
Nicholls 

VULKON 

March 21-23 
St. Petersburg Hilton 
St. Petersburg, FL 

See above address 
Guests: Robert Picardo, 
Patricia Tallman 

MIDSOUTHCON 
16 

March 21-23 
TEA 

Memphis. TN 

MidsouthCon 16 

P.O. Box 11446 

Memphis, TN 381 11 

http://w w w. waterval ley. net/ 

midsouthcon 

Guests: John DeChancie. 

Paul Darrow 

STAR TREK 
GRAND SLAM 

March 21-23 
Pasadena Center 
Pasadena, CA 

Creation 

See above address 
Guests: William Shatner. 
Leonard Nimoy. DeForest 
Kelley. Avery- Brooks. Kate 
Mulgrew, Michael Dorn. 
Majel Barren Roddenberry. 
Nichelle Nicholls. George 
Takei. Walter Koenig, Grace 
Lee Whitney, Rick Stembach, 

STELLARCON 21 
& NORTH CAR- 
OLINA COMICS 
FAIR 

March 21-23 
Holiday Inn. Market 
Square 

High Point. NC 

Science Fiction Federation 
StellarCon 21 
Box 4. EUC 
UNC6 

Greensboro. NC 27412 



ures. Drydock produces a 40- 
page newsletter containing mis- 
sion stories and other member 
contributions. All members also 
receive the Starbase 416's fre- 



quent newsletter updates as well 
as crew journals: lifetime mem- 
bers receive blueprints of the 
station as well. $5 rebates 
offered for special members. To 



WEBLOG 

This lists the various E- 
mail addresses and 
Web page sites for SF, 
fantasy & animation cre- 
ators and their creations. 
Web site operators may- 
add their sites to this list 
by sending relevant info 
via E-mail (no calls 
please) to communica- 
tions@ starloggroup.com 



GONZAGA BRITISH 
COMEDY & SF PAGE 

Doctor Who. Red Dwarf 
and Monty Python. 
http://achilles.gonzaga.pv 
t.kl2.dc.us/misc/british/ 
mine.htm 

NEAL STEPHENSON 

Web page dedicated to 
the author. 
http://ww\v- 
user.cibola.net/ 



~michaela/diamondage/ 
stephen.htm 

MAX HEADROOM 

Dedicated to the show. 

http://jean-luc.ncsa.uiuc. 

edu/People/Andy/max 

DARK CARNIVAL 
ON-LINE 

Online SF magazine. 

http://www.darkcarni- 

val.com 



UNTO-MYSTICA 
FANTASY PAGE 

Fantasy-based art, book 
reviews and articles. 
http://www.best. com/ 
-wooldri/fantasty.html 

FUTUREMALL 2050 

Universe of the future. 

http://www.waterw.com/ 

-scott/index.html 

SF GALLERY 



Looking at science fic- 
tion's growth in the 
media throughout history. 
http://www.scifig.com/ 
scifi 

MYLANDERS 

For readers and writers of 
science fiction/fantasy, 
complete with a message 
board. 

http :// www. pmgi.com/ 
wboard 



22 STARLOG; March 1997 



apply or for more info, please 
send an SASE. 

BC CENTRAL 

The international Bruce 
Campbell fan club. 
Sanctioning: Bruce Campbell. 
Address: BC Central 

8205 Santa Monica Blvd. 

#1-287 

Los Angeles, CA 90046 
E-mail: janholbrk@aol.com 
Dues: $10 (U.S.) S12 (else- 
where) 

Membership includes: Photo 
and membership certificate, 
both autographed; membership 




* I SAUK MS LIFE SAV/IN6S IMTD A 
THE WIT SWiMSUTT C&ENPAR. " 



card; bio and filmography; six 
issues of Stay Tuned newsletter. 

FANDERSON 

The official Gerry Anderson 
appreciation society. 
Sanctioning: Gerry Anderson. 
Address: Fanderson 

P.O. Box 93 

Wakefield 

West Yorkshire 

WF1 1XJ 

England 
Dues: £25 (U.S.), £18 (UK), 
£22 (Europe), £28 (elsewhere) 
Membership includes: Six 
issues of FAB magazine, exclu- 
sive merchandise, aift. 



IMPERIAL KLINGON 
FORCES 

A Star Trek fan associa- 
tion of Klingons. 
Sanctioning: None. 
Address: Imperial Klin- 
gon Forces 
P.O. Box 8084 
Grand Forks, ND 58202 
Dues: None. 
Membership includes: 
Membership package, 
complete access to club 
information, helpful tips 
on makeup construction, 
etc. 



KOLCHAK: 
THE NIGHT 
STALKER 
NEWSLETTER 

Includes episode 
guide, synopsis of 
unused scripts, 
interviews & news. 
Sanctioning: 
None. 

Address: Mark 
Schulz 

P.O. Box 4000 
Center Line. MI 
48015 
Subscription 
Rates: $8 for one 
year (four issues). 



THE GAYLACTIC 
NETWORK 

A non-profit umbrella organiza- 
tion of local affiliates dedicated 
to the alternative sexualities in 
science fiction, fantasy and hor- 
ror. 

Sanctioning: None. 
Address: The Gaylactic 

Network 

P.O. Box 127 

Brookline, MA 90046 
E-Mail: www. gaylaxians.org/ 
Gnetwork or 
leo@gaylaxians.org 
Dues: S10-S20 per year (varies 



Sflf HAJ4 ,T>WS<3RQSr YOU ft-ffl 1VK 
(MtU*WWN\ fPsucohi,.. B^T DID 
Vou 66T r*e s?AR€ PAftfS r/p. 




by local affiliate). 
Membership Includes: Write 
to the above address for infor- 
mation on an affiliate near you. 

OBELISK 

A high-quality SF/cult TV 
fanzine. 

Sanctioning: None. 
Address: Obelisk 

J.A.D. Middleton 

12BeulahHill 

London SE19 3LS 

England 
Dues: £2.50 per issue (U.K.). 
£4 (elsewhere). 



Mi 



II! HI! Li 



STARL0G Photo Guidebook 



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According to Joe Lara, there's a little bit of Ape Man in all of us. 



A funny thing happened on the way to 
Joe Lara's second appearance as 
Tarzan. Years, literally, went by 
between loincloths. Lara first played the leg- 
endary hero in the 1989 TV movie/pilot 
Tarzan in Manhattan, but when an ongoing 
>eries didn't materialize, Lara presumed he 
-as finished with the Ape Man. Neverthe- 



By KIM HOWARD JOHNSON 

less, he got a second chance at jungle action 
as part of the hour-long syndicated Tarzan: 
The Epic Adventures. 

"I was actually coming back from South 
Africa after doing another show, and when I 



got back to Los Angeles, the executive pro- 
ducers, Max and Michelle Keller, called me," 
says Lara. "They said, 'Look, we've been 
trying to cast this guy for months now, and 
we keep coming back to you. We would like 
you to come in and talk.' We got together, and 
I asked them about how they were structuring 
the show and who they wanted to appeal to. 



STARLOG/Ma/r/j 1997 27 




One thing led to another and here I am back 
in South Africa!" 

Tarzan the Veteran 

Returning to the role six years later 
improved his approach to Edgar Rice Bur- 
roughs' classic hero. "This time around, I 
really feel like I'm more ready to play the 

The jungle is a wild place, but Tarzan is 
more than man enough to master its 
untamed creatures. 



"This time around, I really feel like I'm 
more ready to play the part," says Tarzan: 
The Epic Adventures' Joe Lara, who 
originally playedTarzan in the 1989 TV 
movie Tarzan in Manhattan. 

part," Lara explains. "Not that I didn't have 
a fervor for it when I made Tarzan in Man- 
hattan — I just think I understand more 
about Tarzan and more about myself. I know 
that it's something that's within me, and I 
feel comfortable playing it. The bottom line 
is. I now have the ability to handle every- 
thing that comes along with 
playing the role, and play- 
ing the role itself. It's the 
lead in a show, and there's a 
certain amount of responsi- 
bility encompassed by that. 
You have to be ready to take 
those things on and make 
them work for you, rather 
than let them handicap 
you." 

Lara is the latest in a 
very long line of film and 
TV Tarzans stretching from 
Elmo Lincoln to Wolf Lar- 
son, but he's reluctant to 
compare his portrayal to 
those who have gone 
before. "I generally don't 
like to compare my perfor- 
mances with other guys," he says. "Tarzan 
has been played by 18 or 20 different people 
now, and I think everyone who has played 
the role brought something unique to the 
character. In my portrayal of Tarzan, I'm 



trying to bring a greater latitude of emotion- 
al range. I'm trying to play on that duality in 
his life between the call of the wild and the 
call of the civilized, secular world, where 
his lineage encompasses this noble back- 
ground and family line. He thinks about 
both, and it's this dichotomy that keeps him 
searching for himself. That's what motivates 
me. I'm trying to dig into Tarzan's heart and 
mind, and bring those things to the surface 
in some of the situations and storylines." 
In addition to exploring the character's 
nuances, Lara was 
intrigued by the prospect 
of the South African 
locations. "I really start- 
ed getting excited about 
playing this part when 
we concluded that we 
would come to Africa to 
film," he reveals. "This 
is the fifth project I've 
shot here, and it's really 
the ultimate place to film 
this series. I mean. 
Tarzan is based in Africa 
in the Burroughs stories, 
and I think we have an 
African feel and flavor to 
the show that we would 
not be able to replicate 
back in the States. 
"You don't get culture shock when you 
come here, but at the same time, they really 
have a heart and soul in this country. In the 
States, there are big dollars and big technol- 
ogy, but here they don't have as much of 



"Tarzan is 
the fourth 

most- 
recognized 

fictional 
character in 
the world!" 





that. It's coming, but they don't have it yet 
and they're not used to applying it here. 
There's a grass-roots feel about the things 
that people do here, and it's not so much a 
money-oriented motivation. It's a real heart- 
felt thing. I'm so proud to be working with 
these people, and I'm very happy to be here 
filming. It's one of the most exciting things 
about the show for me." 

Tarzan the Traveler 

Lara is conducting this long-distance 
interview as he walks around a bookstore in 
Johannesburg, South Africa with a cellular 
phone, a feat of '90s technology undreamed 
of by Tarzan, but which might not have sur- 
prised creator Burroughs. "We shot 15 
shows in Sun City, South Africa, which is 
like a mini-Disneyland entertainment park 
with hotels," he explains. "It was the ulti- 
mate shooting location, because we had 
rremendous jungle settings right next to hi- 
:eeh buildings, and we had some spectacular 
sets involving animals. They built all of 
"iiese animal structures around the Sun City 
lot. and we filmed in many of those places. 
It really brought a great feel to the show. We 
had a couple of soundstages about 10 miles 
away where we also shot. Now we're in 
Johannesburg, and we'll finish up the [20- 
episode] season here with location stuff." 

As Tarzan. Lara has worked alongside an 
assortment of wild animals, some more dan- 
gerous than others. Still, one stands out in 
ais mind, a big cat that made it difficult for 
aim to concentrate. "This season, the most 
>«ctacular thing was working with a chee- 
~sh. I had to lay down and let this cheetah 



walk around me, and I had to pretend I was 
asleep. It was the hardest sleeping I've ever 
done! I had to act like I was calm, act like 
my heart wasn't beating a mile a minute! I 
could hear this cheetah walking in circles 
around me. Ultimately, though, I do enjoy 
that stuff, and it makes it worth it to me." 

While growing up in Southern Califor- 
nia, Lara was a fan of the '60s Tarzan TV 
series. "I grew up watching Ron Ely, and he 
really gave me my first impression of 
Tarzan," the actor says. "I remember really, 
really liking that show. I didn't think I 
would ever play Tarzan, but it's really ironic 
that I was into him so much when I was a 
young man. I definitely relate to the charac- 
ter!" 




Likewise, if any previous Tarzans influ- 
enced his portrayal, Lara says it would have 
to be Ely's, even more so than Burroughs' 
original novels. "He was the Tarzan I saw 
the most of, and the one that I recognized as 
Tarzan while growing up," Lara says. "I've 
read several of the novels, but once you've 
read the original Tarzan of the Apes, the 
novel series gets very science fiction/fanta- 
sy-oriented, and takes Tarzan to all kinds of 
lost worlds and underground civilizations." 

In fact. Burroughs' lost worlds and other 
civilizations, including Opar and locations 
from the Venus and Pellucidar (the land at 
the Earth's Core) books, are among the sell- 
ing points of the new Tarzan: The Epic 
Adventures, as Burroughs' greatest creation 
visits the writer's other major fantasy land- 
scapes. 

"We're using some of the Burroughs sto- 
rylines in our scripts," Lara explains. "The 
show's original direction was going toward 
fantasy, but I think they've realized along 
the way that people also want to see Tarzan 
in his natural environment. There's a nice 
balance between both. I certainly see Tarzan 
in the jungle, but I know that to appeal to the 
marketplace and to sell the show and get it 
out there, we also have to throw a commer- 
cial aspect into it and create some fantasy. I 
don't think Edgar Rice Burroughs would 
have a problem with that." 

The 6-foot-2-inch Lara, who was also 
featured in Hologram Man and American 

"His call to the wild was stronger than 
his call to the secular world," Lara 
points out. 



Though Lara prefers to stick 
to character-driven shows, 
all the tost civilizations 
dreamed up by Edgar Rice 
Burroughs will be explored 
in the series. 




Cyborg, works out with weights and boxes 
nearly every day. "I train, but I don't think 
I'm a tough guy or anything. I just do it for 
the workout. It's a really intense workout, 
but it's part of the job for me. because I want 
to look good for the role. We can't have 
some dumpy, oafy Tarzan 
bumping into trees with 
his beer belly. There's no 
costume to hide behind, 
it's all up there on the 
screen. I have to be fit and 
ready to go." 

Despite his excellent 
physical condition. Lara still doesn't do 
many stunts on Tarzan. "Today, I had to go 
up in this tree and jump from a pretty high 
branch," he says. "I actually felt a little ner- 
vous about it. I did it. but I know there's a 
limit to where I want to take the stunt thing. 
I just go up there and feel it out. If it feels 
good, I do it; if not, I step away! We have a 
really good stunt team, Stunt South Africa. 
These guys are as careful as can be. I've 
never seen anybody get hurt over here, and 
they do some pretty great stuff!" 

Aside from staying in shape, Lara didn't 
have to do much to prepare for Tarzan: The 
Epic Adventures. "I studied pretty hard with 
the script, and I talked with Edgar Rice Bur- 
roughs' grandson. Danton." he says. "I got 
some good morale-boosting from him. I told 
him I wanted to do his grandfather right, that 
I feel a real sense of responsibility to do 
Tarzan properly and to make it worth it for 
the Burroughs Estate." 

Tarzan the Man 

All of the shows thus far have been chal- 
lenging in one way or another, says the 
actor. "They all have their tough parts. I 
think my favorite show is 'Rites of Man- 
hood.' That was written and directed by 

Lara's vision for the series is "an 
adventure-type show that has guts and 
comedy and the ability to play on the 
heartstrings." 



Mark Roper. It's a very raw, exposed look at 
Tarzan finding his manhood and himself, 
Tarzan searching his life to find his true 
identity." 

With the character of Jane written into 
the background for this series, the only other 



"Tarzan should be on a deep 
search for the truth in his life." 



major supporting player in Tarzan: The Epic 
Adventures is Themba. played by Aaron 
Seville. Lara feels they've managed to 
develop a great relationship. "We have a 
good repartee," he says. "In the series, 
Themba is trying to find his lost tribe, the 




Wagambi tribe, and we run into our scenar- 
ios through his search. I'm still trying to find 
myself, and so we run into our little prob- 
lems on the way." 

As the series develops. Lara hopes to see 
the shows veer from the fantasy elements 
currently being highlighted. "I would like to 
possibly get away from the 'Monster Mash' 
type of things," he notes. "Tarzan should be 
on a deep search for the truth in his life. 
And, Tarzan should be among the animals 
more. People really enjoy seeing him in his 
environment. Basically, I would like to cre- 
ate an adventure-type show that has guts and 
comedy, and the ability to play on the heart- 
strings of the people watching to create a 
catharsis." 

Tarzan: The Epic Adventures also fea- 
tures some lighter moments, and Lara 
admits that he enjoys playing comedy. "You 
have to balance out the storylines," he 
explains. "Tarzan can be kind of a stoic 
character, and you must be careful to show 
the more humorous, prankster side of him. 
Burroughs made Tarzan into a practical 
joker in many ways, so we're always careful 
to add some kind of enjoyable, laughable 
qualities to the show." 

While Lara isn't 
intimidated by portray- 
ing a genuine legend like 
Tarzan, he does realize 
the responsibility of 
being true to a cultural 
icon. "It has been an 85- 
year legacy now," he 
notes. "Tarzan came out in 1912, the first 
character of his kind. Many other comics 
and cartoon characters were inspired by 
him. So, I feel a tremendous responsibility 
to do a proper job. There's something to be 
said about doing it right, and I really want to 
do justice to the character. That's why 
showing who Tarzan is on the inside 
and doing a respectable job of por- 
traying the character is very important 
to me. I don't want Edgar Rice Bur- 
roughs turning over in his grave!" 

Lara recognizes his role in the 
Tarzan legacy with Tarzan: The Epic 
Adventures, and says there is some- 
thing about Burroughs' creation that 
strikes a chord in us all. "Tarzan is the 
fourth most-recognized fictional char- 
acter in the world!" he marvels. 
"Tarzan isn't like a comic book char- 
acter. He's a real person that people on 
every level can relate to. That primal 
place in all of us can relate to how this 
man must have lived, being raised by 
the apes. It's about evolution and 
Tarzan's place in it. Tarzan has this 
tremendous dichotomy in his life. 
He's primitive, yet he comes from 
royalty, and he's well-educated. His 
call to the wild was stronger than his 
call to the secular world, and I think 
that's very intriguing for many peo- 
ple. To a greater or lesser degree, I 
think Tarzan lives in all of us." -a*? 



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There are countless adventures ahead 
for xena's sidekick Renee O'Connor. 



By JOE NAZZARO 



fter spending the last year battling 
mythological demi-gods, warriors 
and monsters, one might think that 
Renee O'Connor would spend her 
mid-season hiatus from Xena: 
Warrior Princess doing something compara- 
tively restful. Instead, the actress is going to 
Kenya on safari, followed by a trip to Tanzania, 
where she plans to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. "I 
thought I might as well do something safe!"' 
she jokes. 

"Safe" is a word that scarcely applies to 
O'Connor's role as Gabrielle, Xena's (Lucy 
Lawless) plucky traveling companion and 
closest friend. While Gabrielle would prefer 
talking her way out of a difficult situation 
rather than fighting, her proximity to the war- 
rior princess means trouble usually lurks just 
behind the next tree. 

Despite the physical demands of her role. 
O'Connor says most of her bruises aren't actu- 
ally work-related. "'I seem to get mine more 
outside of work these days because of the 
extracurricular activities I've been taking up. I 
want to learn as much as I can while I'm here 
about martial arts, but my character doesn't do 
too much. She's just working with a staff, so 
my bruises are only from play. I have a compe- 
tition with Lucy to see how many bruises she 
can get in real work while mine are for fun." 

Of course, it's still easy for an actor to get 
hurt on set even if not directly involved in a 
fight scene — sometimes it's just a matter of 
standing in the wrong place. "That's true, but 
our stunt guys are pretty good; they're spot on. 
So, it's usually the other way around, where 
I'm hitting them accidentally, or the crew 
members are getting black eyes! When the 
sticks are flying, it's usually my stick that's out 
of control." 

One of the biggest adjustments for O'Con- 
nor was getting used to living in New Zealand, 
where the series is shot. As the actress recalls, 
it took about a month to get settled into her new 
home. "It's funny, but the whole concept of liv- 
ing is tough enough, so you learn to take things 
as they come. We work outdoors quite a bit. so 
sometimes we must deal with rain, mud and 
cold weather and sometimes, animals and chil- 
dren. You just learn to take things as they come 
ind go with the flow. But it's good, that's the 
concept of New Zealand. They never com- 
plain, they're used to roughing it up and work- 
ing. Coming from America, we're a little 
Tampered sometimes. I've never really 
believed in all that superficiality of treating 
people with all the goods and all the silly 
things of LA, but I guess I definitely had more 
luxuries there than I do here in New Zealand. 
That's good, because everyone works together 
and it's more of a family feel." 

Reflecting on the first season of Xena, 
O'Connor considers it a learning experience 
: n several levels. "When I look back at the first 
episodes, I really appreciate all the special FX, 
ad the amazing stunt work; how many people 
who look like Gabrielle in terms of body dou- 

When she's not battling evil on Xena: 
Warrior Princess, O'Connor enjoys sedate 
activities — like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. "I 

thought I might as well do something 

safe." 





Even the mighty Xena needs a hand every now and again, and < 
for help goes out, it's Renee O'Connor who comes to her aid. 



rion call 



bles are involved in this one character, and the 
effort that goes into creating this fantastic piece 
of work — it's so surreal and exciting to see. I 
really appreciate all the stunt work that went 
into those first few episodes. 

"I also liked seeing the Gabrielle and Xena 
relationship as it developed. In 'Callisto,' there 
was a scene with us sitting next to a campfire 
just talking. Seeing two strong women being 
close and intimate, as friends, is a nice change 
in television." 

The key to Xena's success is the off-screen 
relationship between O'Connor and Lawless. 
"Renee is the best friend I could possibly have 
professionally," says Lawless of her co-star. 
"We work in completely opposite ways. Renee 
and I are diametrically opposed in our 
approach to acting, so by tacit consent we 
never discuss acting anymore. But somehow 
on screen, it really clicks. She's also a very fine 
human being. But we don't go out to ball 
games on the weekends; she's a single young 
woman and I'm a mum." 



According to O'Connor, she and Lawless 
got along from the series' beginning. "I actual- 
ly met Lucy in Los Angeles, when I was still 
auditioning for the role. She has such an amaz- 
ing sense of humor that I hoped I would be 
coming out to work on the series. But I knew 
that whether or not I was involved, that Xena 
would be still be a successful show. When I 
came out here, we just clicked right away and 
became good friends. She took me under her 
wing and showed me the city, made sure I was 
comfortable and really brought me into the 
atmosphere and the family environment of the 
crew here. 

"Of course, as the work became more 
intense, we would find our niche in terms of 
our working techniques — giving each other 
space, or rehearsing if we needed to. We've 
just come so far now that we're like sisters. We 
each know what the other is going to do, and 
she's definitely the person I prefer to work off 
of in the show, because she's so comfortable to 
be around." 





ctadi nr./A^f^^f, ;nnv 11 




That light-hearted chemistry is something 
the writers have picked up on, adding some 
much-needed comedic moments to the series 
and its main character. "They're starting to use 
it." agrees O'Connor, "because Lucy has quite 
a talent for humor and for musical comedy. 
She's such a character on set that she'll just 
start singing and dancing. Then, the cameras 
will roll and she'll snap right into Xena. It's 
very amusing to watch. I remember we were 
dressed as vampires for one episode this sea- 
son written by Nora Kay [Foster] and Adam 
[Armus], where we become Bacchae. There's 
quite a twist this season, and you'll see us deal- 
ing with different roles. We're going to stretch 
a bit and play different characters, to try and 
give a little more energy and comedy to the 
show." 

Mythic Origins 

The Texas-born O'Connor actually began 
studying acting at age 12, at Houston's Alley 
Theater and High School of the Performing 
and Visual Arts. She made her professional act- 
ing debut in 1989 in the "Teen Angel" serial 
featured on the Disney Channel's Mickey 
Mouse Club, followed by the "Match Point" 
serial. That same year, O'Connor moved to 
Los Angeles and quickly landed a role in the 
Tales From the Ciypt episode "The Switch," 
which also marked Arnold Schwarzenegger's 
directorial debut. "It's so long ago, but I 
remember his thick accent and the line read- 
ings he would give me, and I would try to con- 
trol myself and not mimic him as I said my 
lines. I was playing this young girl on the 
street, selling flowers to William Hickey, so it 
was a small part, but I found it all so amusing. 
Arnold had such a good sense of vision, of 
people's movement and physical action, and 
the flow of the camera. I guess from working 
on so many different action films." 

O'Connor's involvement with Xena began 
with a guest-starring role in one of the two- 
hour Hercules movies, Hercules and the Lost 
Kingdom, playing Deianeira. a proud young 
woman who fulfills her destiny by joining Her- 



cules in his search for the lost city of Troy. "It 
was an audition where I went in at the last 
minute one afternoon. I love Greek mythology 
myself, so anything that correlates to those 
areas piques my interest. I remember standing 
up on a chair for the casting director and recit- 
ing lines with all the romantic energy that I 
could muster, and just enjoying myself com- 
pletely. I think my enthusiasm might be one of 
the reasons why I got the part." 

Producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi were 
so impressed by O'Connor's performance that 
they signed her for a major role in their direct- 
to-video Darkman sequel The Return of 
Durant. According to the actress, "Rob attracts 
such good people, and I think he tends to use 
them over and over again, develops a personal 
relationship with them and gives them oppor- 
tunities that maybe they would never have in 
any other situation. For me, playing a spirited, 
sidekick slave girl in Hercules and then going 
on to play a stripper in Darkman was quite a 
change from playing the all-American, 16- 
year-old high school girl next door, so that was 
a great opportunity. Rob is very good about 
dealing with people on a personal level, and 
changing them into different characters. You 
can also see that with Lucy, who has played 
quite a few characters in Hercules'' 

When the team behind Hercules was 
preparing a spin-off series featuring Xena, a 
character introduced in a well-received trilogy 
of episodes, they decided to create a spirited 
sidekick for her. O'Connor was one of many 
actresses who auditioned for the role of 
Gabrielle. "I remember going in on several 
occasions and seeing a different handful of 
girls each time. I'm very fortunate to have Rob. 
Sam and everyone treat me so well, because 
they were very encouraging and supportive, so 
I had that going in. On the other hand, they 
were up front in saying, 'We are looking at 
other people, and we're not quite sure what we 
want at this point, so just hang in there." It gave 
me a sense of acceptance either way." 

Whether it was a case of life imitating art or 
vice versa. O'Connor was able to settle into the 




role almost immediately. "You have to give the 
writers credit for that. They've been wonderful 
in the sense of giving Gabrielle such an elo- 
quent use of speech. It's great for me. because 
I can let the words fly out, and they keep sup- 
plying them over and over again. It's definitely 
their concept and characterization of Gabrielle. 
which I think is great. She's very romantic and 
sentimental about poetry and storytelling, 
which is also a definite interest of mine." 

That's not to say the character hasn't con- 
tinued to evolve in episodes like "Hooves and 
Harlots." in which Gabrielle learns how to 
defend herself, or "The Greater Good," in 
which she must face the prospect of going on 
without Xena. "You're seeing more of that this 
season." hints O'Connor. "She's much more 
independent and confident of herself physical- 
ly, but the moral aspect of Gabrielle is that she 
would choose to talk thinss through first and 



34 STARLOG/Ma/r/i 1997 





always use her wits and the spoken word 
before resorting to violence. That's something 
hat definitely defines the second season." 

While numerous episodes deal with fairly 
teavy emotional themes. Gabrielle isn't about 
o become a prophet of doom anytime soon. "I 
iefinitely love the comedy. We have quite a 
ew deaths in the second season. Just recently, 
begged [co-executive producer] R.J. Stewart 
■■ er and over again. 'Please, no more crying! " 
"he funnier the better for me; I love to play 
.umor much more than antipathy." 

Another area that may be downplayed is 
aving Gabrielle romantically involved with 
ome of the men she encounters in her adven- 
ares. "There was a common thread we all saw 
a the last season, having different male actors 
'laying romantic roles for Gabrielle. Now. 
ou'll see that she's much more focused intro- 
pectively, and so is Lucy's character, so you 



won't be seeing as many romantic relation- 
ships." 

Nevertheless, there are a few relationships 
where O'Connor wouldn't mind a follow-up, 
such as Gabrielle meeting up with Hercules' 
sidekick Iolaus. whom she last encountered in 
"Prometheus." "I love Michael Hurst. I think 
he's one of the most knowledgeable actors I've 
ever seen. He's incredibly talented, and we had 
this chemistry that clicked right from the 
beginning. I guess because of the demands of 
the two shows and our age difference too, it's 
probably something that won't be developed. 
Too bad!" 

Stewart, who wrote "Prometheus." agrees. 
"I just saw that episode again recently and 
thought. 'Gee, I would like to get those guys 
back together for an episode.' I was wonderful- 
ly pleased when I saw how well Renee played 
it, and how well it was received. That was 
another exploration point for the series." 

Mythic Relations 

Another, less romantic relationship that 
O'Connor enjoyed playing was between 
Gabrielle and fellow storyteller Orion in 
"Athens City Academy of the Performing 
Arts." "I already had a couple of romantic 
interests, and then that particular role came up 
with that actor so there was a choice on how to 
play it. whether it should be another quest for 
an experience in life romantically that 
Gabrielle would have, or someone who would 
just be a friend. I thought it would be a great 
way to show that men and women could have 
relationships, be friendly and compete with 
each other on an equal basis, so that created 
another aspect to Gabrielle." 

With the first half of Xena's second season 
now finished, and Lawless slowed by her 
recovery from a broken pelvis. O'Connor has a 
little breathing room to think about the series, 
and what she would like to see in future 
episodes. "On a general note, in terms of the 
show's style, I would like to see us travel to dif- 
ferent countries; maybe some Eastern coun- 
tries like Japan or China. I would like to see 



more of the martial arts and the John Woo type 
of fighting — the visual aspects that he carries 
in his movies — put into Xena. I would just like 
to conquer new regions, and have different 
types of people and different cultures come 
into the show. I would like to see us go to dif- 
ferent cities and have our version of a slice of 
ife, in terms of what these people are like, 
especially in that era." 

On a personal level, the actress hopes to use 
the series as a means of learning more about 
her craft, both in front of and behind the cam- 
era. "I want to continue my education over 
here, in learning things behind the scenes as 
much as possible." O'Connor says. "I've been 
assling all the directors, who are wonderful 
when I ask them. 'What lens are we using on 
this shot?' I'm trying to learn as much as I can 
while I have the opportunity. There's so much 
information you can receive working 14 hours 
a day, and I want to make sure I get as much as 
possible and retain it. Xena is definitely the 
main aspect of my life right now. It's quite con- 
suming." 

Having spent so much time in New 
Zealand, O'Connor admits the occasional feel- 
ing of homesickness, but "My mother has 
come over a few times, and people are coming 
over to see this exotic land. That's quite a 
blessing, because who would have thought that 
my friends and family could come to another 
part of the world and take a vacation? I've real- 
ly learned from the people who live here. 
Because it's such a small country, you can 
travel a lot. It's encouraging to see that they can 
just pack up and leave and live in another coun- 
try, another culture." 

The success of Xena: Warrior Princess has 
meant an increased visibility for its cast mem- 
bers, but O'Connor hasn't let her newfound 
celebrity faze her. Bring up the subject of fan 
mail and her response is strictly tongue-in- 
cheek. "Lucy and I were talking about that, 
because we receive these letters from prisons. 
Somehow I keep getting all the guys who are 
murderers and convicts and Lucy laughs about 
what it is about my character that might attract 
them. Actually, I get many letters from young 
girls who really like the show, and I'm glad 
that they might see Gabrielle as some sort of 
role model they can look up to. 

"I don't think of that as pressure at all, 
because the writers are so good about making 
Gabrielle quite heroic, almost unbelievably so. 
She has so many morals and she's so senti- 
mental that I don't think there's any pressure at 
all trying to keep her as an ideal hero. I would 
actually like to see her have another, more 
human side, where she isn't as perfect as she's 
written to be. so young girls, as they experi- 
ence life, can see some of the choices that 
Gabrielle had to make and whether they were 
right or wrong." 

As Renee O'Connor gets ready to brave 
the real-life slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, she's 
also delighted with the heights her character 
has reached in Xena: Warrior Princess. "I'm 
very happy over here," she says. "It took a 
while to make this a home, but I'm extremely 
happy now. I have a wonderful circle of 
friends, and I love this country, so I couldn't 
ask for more!" 



STARLOG/Marc/j 1997 35 





eorge Lucas (cre- 
ator): "Several years 
ago, we all began to wonder what 
we were going to do for the 20th 
anniversary. And I suggested that 
we try to release all three films as 
a trilogy, one right after the other, 
within a few weeks of each other, 
so that people could experience 
them like the Saturday matinee 



36 STARLOG/Majr/2 1997 




STARLOG/Mmr/; 7997 37 





serials they were originally meant tobe. I said 
that it would be a very appropriate way of 
celebrating the 20th anniversary." 

Mark Hamill (Luke Sky walker): "Let's 
face it; Luke is not gonna be as interesting as 
Darth Vader or any of the more fantastic 
characters. The 'stalwart protagonist' is not 
an easy thing to do. Luke is not for me to 
claim as my own; he's a composite. George 
came to me and said, 'This is what Luke 
Skywalker is,' and then I brought what I 
thought was right for the character. He liked 
that and the costumer costumed me. 

"Star Wars has an amazing shelf life. It 
never died. For people who like it and want 
to keep experiencing it, there has never real- 
ly been a time when it hasn't been popular in 
some segment of its afterlife: novels, comic 
books, video games, even trick-or-treat 

costumes of Luke and Leia." 

Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia): •'With Star 
Wars on cable TV about every 20 minutes, I 
see myself regularly and it's almost like it's 
not me anymore. I'm not as recognizable as 
Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford, so I only get 
a sense of Star Wars' importance when a 
child recognizes me and becomes speech- 
less. Kids don't think I'm on this planet. 
Very little children even believe Princess 
Leia is a real human being — that I live in 
outer space." 

Harrison Ford (Han Solo): "It does seem 
like a long time ago. ..and very far away. 
[The new Star Wars films] are not likely to 
include the three of us [Ford. Hamill. Fisher] 
so I don't feel involved with it at all. I'm 
sure I'D see the new films with my kids." 

Gary Kurtz (producer, Star Wars, The 
Empire Strikes Back): "Certain kinds of 
movies just work better — or seem to work 
better — when you come in in the middle. I 
know that was the case with many of the 
low-budget films I made with Roger 
Corman. When you arrive in the middle, you 
miss all the tedious exposition and jump 
right into the action. We wanted that effect 
with Star Wars — the feeling that you had 
come in after the movie started." 

David Prowse (Darth Vader): "George 
Lucas saw me in A Clockwork Orange and 
rang me up one day. He said, T would like to 
offer you one of two parts in this movie I'm 
doing called Star Wars. I asked him what the 
parts were. George said, 'One is a character 
called Chewbacca, he's like a hairy gorilla 
who fights on the side of good.' I didn't 
fancy that, so I asked, 'Who's the other 
one?' He said, 'He's the big villain of the 
film — ' I said, 'Don't say any more, I'll take 
the villain!' " 

James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader) 

"I was special effects. Kids don't give a hoot 
about my having played King Lear. But 
Darth Vader enables me to relate to a whole 



other generation. George Lucas took a 
Mississippi-born black American, who was 
raised on a farm in Michigan and trained as 
an actor who loves Shakespeare, and used 
him to get a voice from outer space. I would 
not pooh-pooh that sort of recognition for a 
minute." 

Sebastian Shaw (Anakin Skywalker): "I 

enjoyed the whole experience [Return of the 
Jedi] very much. Now I know that you can 
buy me [as an action figure] in a shop. I tell 
people. 'Why don't you go and buy me?' " 

Ralph McQuarrie (production illustra- 
tor): "If it wasn't my set of drawings for 
Star Wars that got people excited, it would 
have been somebody else's. Many people 




could have done them. I happened to be 
available and capable of doing the stuff 
when it was needed — and I did it." 

Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin): 

"When I play villains. I try to be villain- 
ous — which I don't think I am in real life. 
After all. I don't go around murdering peo- 
ple. On the other hand, when I played 
Sherlock Holmes. I read Sir Arthur Conan 
Doyle's stories to get the character. But 
Tarkin was a brand new character, created by 



38 STARLOG/Mard! 1997 



George. Naturally, he had his own ideas 
about how I should play him. I told George. 
'In this get-up, I look like a chaffeur.' " 

Ben Burtt (sound designer): "Once I saw 
the Star Wars art and read the script, I real- 
ized that it wasn't 2001 , it was a fairy tale, a 
fantasy, and therefore, we could do almost 
anything we wanted for dramatic effect. And 
so, right from the start, we decided the 
spaceships would have specific, characteris- 
tic sounds and that we would have lasers and 
explosions in space." 

Anthony Daniels (C-3P0): There is 
always a new audience discovering Star 
Wars. They come to me, and probably to all 
of us, from seeing the movies on television 




and video. That's extraordinary to me. that 
the longevity of the movies is promoted 
through the films' re-releases, through the 
toys, magazines and so on. You have kids 
besotted by the toys who haven't seen the 
movies yet. So, I wonder what more will 
happen when they re -release the movies this 
year." 

Kenny Baker (R2-D2): "Sometimes, the 
crew would forget that we weren't robots — 
they would walk away to lunch and leave me 
in the costume! I was also an Ewok in the 
third movie, but I preferred Artoo. Forget the 



Ewoks! I didn't really get on with [director] 
Richard Marquand on Jedi and I don't know 
why. George told him to use me because I 
gave R2-D2 personality, but I don't think he 
wanted to! He told me, 'I'm using you 
because George wants me to.' " 

Les Dilley (art director): "Star Wars came 
to me in 1975. I was working on the Burt 
Reynolds/Liza Minnelli Lucky Lady for 20th 
Century Fox in Mexico as Assistant Art 
Director. The writers were good friends of 
George's and they recommended he use 
Lucky Lady's production designer, John 
Barry, to do Star Wars. John got Star Wars 
and I became the art director. The only peo- 
ple on that movie at the beginning were 
George, Gary Kurtz, the late John Barry, 
myself and Roger Christian, who has since 
become a film director himself. 

"George is a terrific, friendly guy with a 
great eye for filmmaking. I worked with 
George every day on the shooting of Star 
Wars. We developed it from scratch. We 
developed R2-D2, C-3PO and the Land 
Speeder. I ended up doing R2-D2 and 
Norman Reynolds, who joined us, was 
doing C-3PO and between us all, we did the 
Speeder. 

"R2-D2 was essentially developed from 
Ralph McQuarrie's illustrations. In building 
R2-D2, we started with a cardboard drum, 
added cardboard arms and tried to walk it. 
He was developed from the drawing board. 
It took months to make the whole thing 
work." 

Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca): "I liked 
Chewie; the character was so easy to do. 
Chewbacca developed in each film, but orig- 
inally, his role was going to be much small- 
er. Chewie was only in three or four pages of 
the original Star Wars screenplay, but they 
saw the potential he had in the first few 
weeks of shooting and his part just grew and 
grew. He went from a four-page character to 
one of the heroes when they saw he was a 
big teddy bear who would have a lot of 
appeal. He's based on George's dog! 

"I just loved his personality. Chewie is 
very loyal to and protective of his friend. 
Han Solo. He's also not afraid to show his 
reluctance in doing something. This was 
taken up by the sound designer, Ben Burtt. 
who did something really interesting with 
Chewbacca's voice. When he's happy, his 
grunt is very high but when he's miserable, 
angry or unhappy, it's very low." 

Denis Lawson (Wedge Antilles): "I find it 
very surprising that people should get so 
involved — especially to write to me. 
Because, to tell the truth, my contribution to 
the Star Wars films is minimal." 

Irvin Kershner (director, The Empire 
Strikes Back): "When George asked me to 
direct it, I was reluctant. I thought, 'Who the 
hell wants to follow Star Wars?' It was the 
most successful motion picture of all time at 




STARLOG/Mtf/r/; 1997 39 




that point, but my fearless nature came true 
to form. I decided, 'What a mountain to 
climb!" 

"I asked George why he wanted me to do 
it and he said, 'Because you know every- 
thing a Hollywood director is supposed to 
know, but you're not Hollywood!' When I 
took the job. George said. 'Remember — 
nothing's going to work.' And he was quite 
right! I spent over a year just doing story- 
boards. I did them and refined them and the 
storyboards were the basis of communica- 
tion with California, where George was. 
George stayed with the special FX staffers 
and the editors and I stayed in London to 
shoot Empire, but we had total communica- 
tion because of the pictures." 

Lawrence Kasdan (screenwriter. Empire, 

Jedi): "I felt that my responsibility was to 
understand the Star Wars galaxy, not the 
basic concepts of science fiction. Star Wars 
doesn't have all that much to do with SF or 
what its fans are interested in." 

Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian): 

"It's strange. People ask me what I think of 
all that [Star Wars mania], and I'm not sure 
whether I can pinpoint it. It's like an absur- 
dity to me, an incredible kind of absurdity. 
It's an excitement which goes 
beyond acting in a movie, real 
ly. That character, that 
movie, isn't so much me. 
I'm only part of the Star 
Wars saaa." 



Jeremy Bulloch (Boba 
Fett): "I walked on the set. 
My first meeting with 
Georae Lucas was 



actually in the costume. He said, 'You look 
fantastic' Everybody was on the set because 
they were actually in the 
middle of doing something 
with the snow creature. 
Everything seemed to stop and 
there was this marvelous feeling of a 
presence of somebody else. All the crew 
looked around at this new character. I 
thought. Boba Fett obviously looks good. 
And now. I'm a cult figure." 

Frank Oz (Yoda): "The more you 
know about a character, the more com- 
fortable you can be when you are 
actually shooting, since there are so 
many technical things to think about then. 
For Yoda, I must be more of an actor and a 
technician because I rely on interpreting the 
script in doing Yoda. I interpret the script as 
an actor: there is no performing. There is a 
difference, to me, between performing and 
acting. Miss Piggy is a performer. She's larg- 
er than life. Yoda is much more naturalistic. 
Yoda requires acting." 

Richard Marquand (director, Return of 

the Jedi): "I felt an enormous surge of plea- 
sure when I discovered there was going to be 
another one [another Star Wars film]. It was 
as though a group of long-lost members of 
my family had phoned to say they were stop- 
ping by my house. I don't think it would 
have been possible to do what I have done 
on Jedi for two years of my life so intensely 
without being a total fan." 

Howard Kazanjian (producer, Jedi): "I 
wasn't bothered by coming in for the conclu- 
sion of a trilogy with many details already 
determined, down to the look of an entire 
universe. I was a Star Wars fan — we all are — 
and I knew exactly what happened in those 
first two pictures. You're not going to take 
Darth Vader and change his character." 

Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine): 

"Doing it was a fantasy for me. As a kid. I 
had always wanted to play vil- 
lains, since they're always the 
most interestina charac- 




ters. But I never imagined I would play one 
of the villains of all time!" 

Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok): 

"When you've got the costume on, you turn 
into the character. The costume really makes 
you move like that, because it's so bulky and 
heavy. So. it's quite easy. You talk as well 
[mumbling gibberish]. They don't mind 
about that, they can dub it over afterwards." 



Correspondent Pat Jankiewicz began this 
salute. Also contributing: Alan Brender, 
James H. Burns, Lee Goldberg. Robert 
Greenberger, David Houston. Daxid 
Hutchison. Randy & Jean-Marc Lofficier, 
Adam Pirani. Ian Spelling. Steve Swires & 
20th Century Fox. # 




0° 

o 



a, 



"s. 



A. 




40 STARLOG/Af arc/! 1997 



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As incredible as 
it may seem to 
those who 
were among 
the first generation to 
watch Mark Hamill grace 
movie screens as dashing 
"nterplanetary swashbuck- 
ler Luke Skywalker, Star 
Wars is now 20 years old. 
Although Hamill was the 

central figure of the Star Wars trilogy, he won't takj 
a major part in the hoopla surrounding the twg 
decade milestone, nor will he likely be involved in 
ihe next movie, set to lens late this year. These days, 
Hamill doesn't need StarWars to keep a high profile. 
The actor is busy with a prolific career that includes 
animation voiceovers, interactive CD-ROM games 
and comic books like his current Black Pearl. 

But don't jump to conclusions. Hamill does have 
:id memories of his Star Wars experiences (exten- 
sively discussed in past STARLOG interviews). "I 
don't mind talking about Star Wars. Everybody 
makes too much out of my not wanting to talk about 
iL 1 love Star Wars. Going off and seeing places like 
Africa and England for the first time and working; 
with idols like Alec Guinness, it was quite an adven- 
tmre, which is all I can say," recalls the soft-spoken 
actor. "You know, I find it amazing that so many 
tears later, people find it as new as it was all those 
jearsago." 






Twenty years later, Mark Hamill is 
succinct: "I love Star Wars." 

Star Warrior 

As for why the Star Wars films 
continue to have a lasting appeal for 
countless generations of fans. Hamill 
says, "The first Star Wars was just a 
pure fairy tale in a space opera kind 
of setting, with a wizard and a 
princess, a farm boy and a pirate. We 
knocked people over with that film 
because it was kind of a fresh take on 
elements that have been part of enter- 
tainment since the beginning of time. 
The second film, The Empire Strikes 
Back, was deeper and more cerebral, 
more mythic and challenging. Like 
the second act of an opera, it had a 
tragic ending. 

"If I have any quibbles about 
things. I feel it was set up in the 
wrong way. I was under the impres- 
sion that the third film. Return of the 
Jedi, would have the conflict of Luke 
turning to the dark side of the Force 
and reaching a point where he could 
dispose of the antagonist. I had pre- 
conceived notions going in of what 
the third film would be. But when I 
read the script. I thought. 'Well, this 
is awfully pat.' I was disappointed 
with the third one. I was always 
offering my ideas and criticisms to 
George Lucas. But he told me that 
Star Wars is a fairy tale. It was meant 



for young children, and fairy tale 
are all tied up neatly. I saw his pour- 
As for the future of the saga. :; 
possibly involve six more film 
(three set before the existing film 
and three after). Hamill doesn" 
expect to be a part of them — at leas 
not as the familiar Luke Skywalkea 
"I know very little about the upcom 
ing three films. I like it that «3; 
because the less you know, the mem 
of a fresh experience you'll have 
I've been contacted by George, bu 
not about being in this next series I 
films. He mentioned if I would t> 
interested in playing the Obi-Wan 
type character in the last three films 
I thought, 'Well, it's nice to have 
job lined up after the turn of the cen 
tury.' " 

Hamill hasn't totally dismisse< 
the idea of putting his memorabL 
movie experiences on paper for thi 
20th anniversary occasion. It's jus 
that he hasn't really come to term 
with the fact that it has been tha 
long. "I've thought about it. I alway 
feel like, 'Gee, it's too soon.' It's ; 
shock to me. I prefer looking I 
what's in the future. Really, thoa 
movies have a life of their own. I 
seems to me that they're all in 
league of their own and will continu 
to be so. For me, The Black Pearl i 
my immediate future — also, o 
course, the enormous amount o 
voice work I'm doing these days. 




>as thrilled to play the Joker [on Batman: 
lie Animated Series], but I didn't expect it to 
Tack open a whole career for me in 
oiceovers like it has. The Joker was high- 
Tofile enough in such a quality series that it 
stablished me in a way I didn't expect. It's 
tunny how you can be as typecast in anima- 
tion as any other field. I would say a good 75 
csrcent of the stuff I do is villains.'' 

Clown Prince 

The actor has indeed become quite the 
ocal impresario, providing the voices of 
Gargoyle on The Incredible Hulk. Hobgoblin 




rtie first Star Wars was just a pure fairy 
le in a space opera setting," Hamill says. 



*ected Photos: Courtesy 20th Century Fox 




Laughing it up as the animated 
Joker has catapulted Hamill into 
a new voiceover career, mostly 
as a villain. 

on Spider-Man, Dr. Jack on Phan- 
tom 2040 and Maximus on Fantastic 
Four. He's also heard in Bruce 
Willis' cartoon Bruno the Kid. "I do 
three voices a week, but the one I 
love most is a guy named Harris, 
this wacky spy. The voice is a mix- 
ture of Harvey Fierstein and Jerry 
Lewis. He has really taken on a life 
of his own. He's a cult character. 
The cast loves him," says Hamill. 

Another show benefitting from 
Hamill's vocal talents is UPN's 
upcoming prime-time animated 
series The Blues Brothers, which 
stars Jim Belushi and Peter Aykroyd. 
'"I'm working with lots of idols in 
there," he says, "like Don Novello — 
Father Guido Sarducci. Taj Mahal's 
in it. And Peter's amazing. He 
sounds just like his brother Dan." 

Contrary to popular belief, 
Hamill's stint as the Joker wasn't 
actually his introduction to anima- 
tion voiceovers. "I had done one as a 
teenager, back when I was doing a 
soap opera. It was a cartoon, a teenage ver- 
sion of / Dream of Jeannie, and I did the 
teenage Larry Hagman part. I enjoyed it a lot. 
I didn't do voiceovers again for nearly 20 
years. I'm a big animation fan, so it's not a 
great leap to think that I should have been 
doing this a while back. I love doing voices. 
mgm^m Whether I'm imitating someone or 
;i just fooling around, I've always 
enjoyed it." 

Hamill also played the Trickster 
on the short-lived live-action series 
. The Flash. The malevolent masked 
menace with a cape was a prankish 
amalgam of the Riddler and the 
Joker. While the role involved much 
dramatic and theatrical gesticula- 
tion on Hamill's part, the creaky 
and campy vocal characterization 
seemed to lend itself to cartoon 
voiceovers. Notes Hamill, "It was a 
prelude to the Joker certainly, and I 
wonder how much that had to do 
with my being chosen as the Joker. 
But the animation side of Warner Bros, real- 
ly doesn't pay attention to what the TV side 
is doing. One person on the staff had seen it. 
but it was the audition that they judged me on 
for the Trickster." 

A high degree of contrast exists 
between working in animation and 
working in film and television, but 
Hamill embraces voiceover work 
for its own uniqueness. "The anima- 
tion field is one that's exciting 
because you're experiencing a kind 
of entertainment form that you've 

"Like the second act of an opera," 
Hamill says of The Empire Strikes 
Back, "it had a tragic ending." 




Initially, Hamill and Eric Johnson created 
The Black Pearl as a screenplay. Then, it 
became a comic book from Dark Horse. 

never experienced before, where the audi- 
ence doesn't see you at all and you must ani- 
mate with your voice to make up for the 
sometimes limited animation. It's very much 
like radio acting in the sense that they don't 
care how you look, they care how you sound. 
There's certainly a freedom to go very big 
and put a lot of color and nuance and highs 
and lows into your performance, and since 
you're not seen, you're liberated in a way 
because you can just let it fly, and you're not 
inhibited by the way you look at all." 

And Hamill will keep laughing it up as 
the Joker. "They're going to do 20 Batmans 
over the next two years. And they're also 
going to do a World's Finest team-up 
between Batman. Superman, the Joker and 
Lex Luthor. So, that's fun." 

Hamill is pleased by his newfound status 
as a voiceover virtuoso. "I imagine I'm prob- 
ably in the second tier of the animation 
world." he confesses. "There's a top tier of 
people who do the lion's share of the work, 
and these are incredibly talented people. 
With Bruno, I've really arrived in terms of 
what they call a utility player. I've done Ger- 
man, I've done Australian, I've done little 
boys, I've done construction workers. When 
you reach the point where you can be hired as 
a utility player, you've been accepted on 
another level rather than just coming in and 
doing a guest shot." 

Wing Commander 

Interactive game players may remember 
Hamill's on-screen role as a fighter pilot in 
two Wing Commander CD-ROMs, which 
also featured Malcolm McDowell. Tom Wil- 

STARLOG/Mmr/? 7997 45 




Commander Art: Copyright 1996 Universal Cartoon Studios, Inc. 



The tale of The Black Pearl isn't over yet. 
Using lessons learned in the comic, 
Hamill and Johnson are revising the 
screenplay — which Hamill would still like 
to direct. 

son and the late Jason Bernard. These 
weren't entirely new experiences for Hamill 
either. He recalls, "I had done one interactive 
game called Gabriel Knight with Tim Curry, 
which had won a few awards. If it was a film, 
it would have been R-rated because it was 
more adult-themed. about an investigation of 
grisly murders in New Orleans. So, the con- 
cept of an interactive piece was not new, but 
the live-action part was, because Gabriel 
Knight was computer-generated. When Chris 
Roberts brought me in — he's the creator of 
the game — we sat and talked awhile about 
the concept, and he asked me if I would be 
interested in being a part of Wing Comman- 
der. And I was, but I had my work cut out for 
me because if you're in a studio and you're 
just reading the lines, you have them in front 
of you. I was wondering if you could memo- 
rize that much dialogue. And there's the 
usual anxiety of whether or not you're going 
to be able to pull it off. It turned out to be not 
only one of the more memorable experiences 
I've had, but both the CD-ROMs did more 
than $100 million in business, so they were 
wildly successful." 

Wing Commanders enormous popularity 
prompted USA Network to develop the car- 
toon spin-off Wing Commander Academy. 
''We go back 20 years to the young Wing 
Commander people . What is it I have of pick- 
ing these franchises where they go back in 
time?" laughs the actor. "I'm doing a voice, 
and so are Malcolm and Tom. and Dana 



Funny, Carrie Fisher and Hamill don't look 
like siblings in Star Wars. "It was quite an 
adventure," Hamill observes. 

46 STARLOG/Marc/i 7997 




A veteran of the Wing Commander CD-ROM games, Hamill also portrays the 
same character in the cartoon spin-off Wing Commander Academy. 



Delany is in the cast now." Hamill 
plays the same character as in the 
games, but at age 20. "The writing 
strikes just the right tone. There's 
action and adventure, but there are 
also life lessons — though not heavy- 
handed ones. It's set in a military 
academy, so there's a great deal in 
that kind of lifestyle that's helpful 
and ennobling for the young people 
watching it for adventure and action. 
It's just part of the cadets' makeup that they 
have personal responsibility, honor, integrity 
and all of that." 

As if Hamill wasn't already busy enough 
in animation, he has co-created his first 
comic book with his cousin, Eric Johnson. 
The Black Pearl, a five-issue series from 
Dark Horse Comics, premiered last fall. "I 
had this idea," Hamill explains, "and it was 
based on the fact that I looked back at comics 
I read as a kid and thought, 'Well, what was it 
that made me so readily accept the idea of a 
guy putting on a costume and fighting 
crime?' I did it time and time again, whether 
I watched Zorro on television or read Batman 
in the comics. Black Pearl is the story of a 
tabloid TV show that turns an unstable young 
man into an overnight media sensation. It's 
looking at tabloid television and many other 
different issues, hopefully all tied up in what 
we call a tabloid thriller. 



"We wrote it as a screenplay. I wanted to 
direct it, which is not easy because no mati 
what I've done. I'm considered someone 
with no track record as a director. Very early 
on. we sent Black Pearl to a few studios 
knowing full well that not only was it an 
independent film, but it's defiantly indepen- 
dent in the sense that we tried to avoid for- 
mula. People love the fact that they didn": 
know on page four what would happen 
page 94. Dark Horse Comics read the scree 
play and understood what we were trying to 
do, taking responsibility for our violence- 
and everything else, for that matter. We'i 
showing certain aspects of why it wouldn": 
be as easy as it looks to go off as a hero and 
have a dual identity." 

The Black Pearl concerns itself with the 
heroic exploits of Luther Drake. As HamiL 
explains, "He's a court stenographer who"! 
fixated on a woman. Luther seizes an oppor- 
tunity, feeling as though he's destined to take 
up the mantle created for him. You don"! 
know exactly what his agenda is. but bl 
means well. After having worked as a coun 
stenographer and seeing how often the jus- 
tice system is manipulated, he feels tha 
maybe he can be of some assistance. 

"There's also a news reporter who works 
in the TV studio where this shock-jock-like 
character puts the match to the fuse and realh 
stokes the fires of the mania. She's a responsi- 




-loto: Albert Clarke 



All Empire Photos: Copyright 1980 Lucasfilm, Ltd, 




Hamill had hoped that in Jedi, a more Forceful Luke Skywalker might 
nave personally disposed of the antagonist, the Dark Lord of the Sith, 
lis Dad, Darth Vader. 



The actor doesn't expect to be in the next three Star Wars 
films, but there may be a job opening for a Yoda-like Jedi 
master in the final trilogy. 



ble journalist, a character struggling with the 
blur between news and entertainment and all 
of those issues that confront journalists every 
day. It's based in reality for me, everything 
:rom Bernie Goetz and Tonya Harding to O.J. 
Simpson and Michael Jackson." 

His experience on The Flash was instru- 
mental in helping Hamill develop these 
Ihemes. "The Flash was a perfect example," 
he says. "Here I am, a supervillain, and it 
took me three or four helpers to get out of the 
costume just to go have a pee. It was a one- 
piece spandex bodysuit that zipped all the 
way up the back. Some of the conventions of 
comic books are so silly. But there is fun in 
silly things. Believe me. Black Pearl is not 
Wert comedy. We consider it a thriller with 
black comedic overtones. Dog Day After- 
noon or Bonnie and Clyde were both basical- 
ly tragic stories, but there were enormous 
iaughs in them." 

Comics Scribe 

According to Hamill, the world of The 
Black Pearl is very different from those of 
traditional comics. "The truth of the matter 
is, those comics are set specifically in a 
comic-book world, a world that accepts 
Superman and Spider-Man or whoever. If 
there really was a news report that someone 
did a benevolent type of Robin Hood act and 
left money at an orphanage, but was dressed 
Id a costume, it would be quite the tabloid 
story. To some, he would be a Robin Hood, to 
others, a frontier justice vigilante and to still 
others, some nutcase in a costume. The hook 
is it's all meant to be happening now right 
across town. 

"So, the irony of having The Black Pearl 
presented as a comic book is not lost on us. 
It's a two-dimensional page with dialogue 
balloons. There were certain things that we 
had to change. It's not like we just illustrated 
the screenplay. We tried to translate what 
worked into comics. Comic books are like a 
slide show. You show various images pro- 
gressing the story, but it's frozen. So much of 
the feeling of cinema verite and hand-held 
cameras and docudrama that I wanted for the 
movie is lost. It has been an interesting expe- 



rience to see whether it holds up as a story in 
the very medium it's scrutinizing." 

The process of ironing out the comic- 
book storyline has produced changes in the 
movie script. "We're very pleased because 
the comic also revealed many things about 
the screenplay, both good and bad." Hamill 
admits. "So, we're taking another pass at the 




According to Hamill, The Black Pearl 
shows why it wouldn't be as easy to be a 
hero with a dual identity as comic books 
say it is. 



screenplay and reflecting the changes that 
we've learned from adapting it as a comic 
book. It's more concise, it's more focused, 
it's simpler, which I like." 

Hamill likens the process of playing with 
the screenplay in comic-book form to pre- 
production storyboarding. "That's one of the 
things that occurred to me when my partner 
Eric, who doesn't have a deep background in 
comics, was taken aback by the offer to adapt 
Black Pearl as a comic book. And I was very 
enthusiastic. Not only did I mention the sto- 
ryboarding idea, but I said it's almost like 
being able to take a play out of town, instead 
of opening right up on Broadway. You can let 



the audience guide you and show you what 
works and what doesn't before you take it 
into previews. It's a blessing in disguise. I 
mean, we were anxious to get the movie 
made when we had the script finished, but 
this might be the best thing that could have 
happened to us." 

The comics scene isn't altogether new for 
Hamill. "When I was growing up, I had this 
book called Learn to Draw by Walter Lantz. I 
loved comic books and the Sunday Funnies 
and I loved trying to copy styles of various 
artists. During all my vacant time in school. I 
would be doodling and working on cartoon 
art. I don't read comics regularly now. The last 
time I was actually buying books off the 
stands was 10 years ago during that whole 
Dark Knight/Watchmen period. The reason I 
stopped was time. For me, reading comics is 
casual time. Nowadays, I don't have any. But 
I'm really big on reprints. I love what Kitchen 
Sink does with things like Li'l Abner. 

"My love and appreciation of comics is 
established in the comic-book world. This is 
the first time I've ever created characters in a 
storyline. I wouldn't rule out working in this 
medium again." 

As to whether he prefers animation 
voiceover work to performing in film, televi- 
sion and stage. Hamill's enthusiasm regard- 
ing his choice is unmistakable. "I'm 
constantly confronted with that attitude of, 
'Well, gee, you're no Harrison Ford,' and I 
say. 'Well, who is?' He's one of the great 
actors of all time and I'm very grateful to 
make a decent living. I feel like a working 
stiff. I'm working in animation and comics. 
And I absolutely love it. I take them as seri- 
ously as I took Broadway, movies. TV or 
anything else. After more than 20 years in the 
business, your desire is to finally step up to 
the plate and say, 'Can I do more than just 
show up and hit my marks and do my lines? 
Can I work with the wardrobe people and the 
set designers and be a part of the overall pro- 
ject?' And that's what is so heartening about 
this project, because things so far are going 
very well. Now, we're going to try and do a 
full-court press to see if we can't get a movie 
made of The Black Pearl." 0% 



STARLOG/Ma/r/i 1997 47 





History is remade as George Lucas revises the Star Wars trilogy. 



By DAVID HUTCHISON 



It all began simply enough. A few 
years ago, George Lucas and 20th 
Century Fox thought it would be a 
great idea to do a 20th anniversary re- 
release of the Star Wars trilogy. None of 
the films had played in a theatrical set- 
ting for years, plus, Lucas was interest- 
ed in presenting the films to a whole new 
generation of viewers. Additionally, 
Lucas saw the chance to go back to his 
original script and fill in a few scenes 
that — due to money, technology and 
time — were never completed. Certainly, 
Industrial Light & Magic had made 



enormous strides since those early Van 
Nuys, CA warehouse days in the late 
'70s, and surely a little free time could 
be squeezed in here and there to fix up a 
few shots that had always bothered 
Lucas. 

"It started out as a fairly simple and 
straightforward process," begins Rick 
McCallum, the Lucasfilm producer 
assigned to the project. "We've always 
known exactly what the problems were, 
because George has always been com- 
plaining about the same things. 
Basically, he never had an opportunity 
to show Mos Eisley as a sprawling city, 
and he had this original Jabba sequence 
which he wanted in. There is also a 



missing bit when the robots, R2-D2 and 
C-3PO, arrive on Tatooine. Because the 
dewbacks didn't move and due to vari- 
ous other production problems, the 
original location footage couldn't be 
used. And then, there are some scenes 
with cheesy matte lines and other opti- 
cals that needed to be fixed. That was 
the easy part. 

"As we started to pull elements for A 
New Hope from storage, we noticed that 
the negative that surrounded each 
effects shot was not in very good shape. 
And, in fact, the original interpositive 
was completely gone. So, we started to 
call in all the outstanding IPs from 
around the world and the prints. When 



48 STARLOG/Marc/i 7997 



3 

\jL„ ... 




91 





I 




»e got everything together, we realized 
rhat we did not actually have a complete 
negative that we could make a print 
from, one which would be presentable in 
a big-screen theater. That's when it 
became complicated." 

Polishing Effects 

Realizing that nothing was going to be 
easy or routine about this restoration, 
McCallum reached for the phone and 
started calling some big guns with a lot of 
experience in restoration. First on board 
was a freelance editor, Tom Christopher, 
with whom ILM and Lucasfilm have 
worked on various projects; Leon Briggs, 
a film restoration consultant; optical 



supervisors from Pacific Title; the expert 
services of YCM Laboratories in 
Burbank, CA, who have restored many 
films for Disney and the UCLA Archive; 
and negative cutter Bob Hart. 

"This team, together with Ted 
Gagliano, the head of Fox post-produc- 
tion, has taken two-and-a-half years to 
get to this point," recounts McCallum. 
"Now, I have just six weeks to go before I 
have to have a finished print ready, and 



ILM staffers Paul Hunt and Steve Williams 
become citizens of Mos Eisley for a day 
under the direction of effects supervisor 
Alex Seiden, while Jensing new shots for 
the busy spaceport sequence. 

* 




Shot SB-1 was 
newly created by 
the artists at 
Industrial Light & 
Magic, using CGI 
technology to help 
fill out the space 
battle shots near 
the end of A New 
Hope as the Rebel 
fleet attacks the 
Death Star. 



STARLOG/ March 1997 49 




50 STARLOG/ Man it 1997 




Effects supervisor Dave Carson (left) with Ed Hirsh checks the ice cave sequence on 
Hoth for the new Empire shot of the wampa, which has dragged Luke home for supper. 



Pacific Title still has another 100 opticals to 
run through their negative re-washing 
process." 

With many of the opticals re-composited, 
nearly four-and-a-half minutes of new 
footage and a newly re-mixed soundtrack 
from sound maestro Ben Burtt. the biggest 
problem facing McCallum and his team 
after the two-and-a-half years of labor was 
color timing the final print. "We're trying to 
make the film look as if it was made just last 
week, and yet, fulfill the audience's percep- 
tion of how it looked when they first saw it 
20 years ago. 

"We looked at a lot of prints," sighs 
McCallum. "Think of the opening sequence 
aboard the Leia's consular ship, Tantive IV. 
I've seen that white corridor in every color 
of the rainbow from pink to lavender — 
everything except white. Fortunately, 
George had, stored away in the basement of 
his house, a mint IB Technicolor print of A 
New Hope that was made before Technicolor 
shut down their dye imbibition process in 
Europe. Tom Christopher and I retrieved the 
print and ran it for George and Dennis 
Muren, who both agreed that this is what the 
film should look like. So now we had a stan- 
dard for color density and contrast. It has 
been our basic master and guide. It will be 
interesting to see how people react to the 
new prints, because most people today only 
know the film at its best on laserdisc, and the 
response to the test reels we've shown has 
been extraordinary. 

"I think what we've been able to do is re- 
create the experience." sums up McCallum. 
"It is just as alive and beautiful and seamless 
and extraordinary as it was 20 years ago." 

Alex Seiden, an ILM visual FX supervi- 
sor for A New Hope, remembers, too, how 
things started out so simply. "When we first 
sat down with George. Dennis and ILM 
president Jim Morris back in '93, it was only 
supposed to be about 12 or 14 shots. But we 



found that as soon as you fix one thing, two 
other shots cry out for work. So, it wasn't 
long until we had over 100 shots to re-do for 
the first film alone. 

"Of those, I would say that 30 percent are 
pure re-comps, where we aren't adding any- 
thing new. John Knoll, the other effects 
supervisor, generated a lot of new space- 
ships to fill out the battle scenes. The rest are 
either entirely new shots or re-dos of old 
shots — sometimes with old elements and 
sometimes without. 

"The shot that started it all was the scene 
of Luke's landspeeder driving to Mos 
Eisley," Seiden remembers. "There's a shad- 
ow underneath the vehicle that looks just ter- 
rible. It looks totally fake: it's chattering all 
over the place and it's way too dark. It just 
stuck out like sore thumb and it really got to 
George. You see it and you just cringe. Now, 
many things in the original film were great 
for their time — a lot of them are still great 
for any time — but there are some shots 
which, when they were doing that volume of 
work under the immense pressure of getting 
the first film out, were never finished satis- 
factorily." 

Once ILM started to digitally re-compos- 
ite shots, the temptation to use digital tech- 
nology to solve the problems that faced 
Lucas on location in the desert — droids, 
aliens and creatures — became irresistible. 
What could be used to create dinosaurs for 
Jurassic Park could likewise create dew- 
backs and rontos for the deserts of Tatooine. 
Additional CGI elements busied up the 
streets of Mos Eisley with various alien 
beasts of burden, strolling droids and assort- 
ed repulsorlift vehicles. 

The single longest sequence that was 
originally scripted for A New Hope but never 
properly completed was the confrontation 
between Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt inside 
Docking Bay 94. Both the original negative 
for the unfinished scene and the quarter-inch 



STARLOG/Mcw/; 1997 51 



All Special Edition Photos: Copyright 1997 20th Century Fox 




tape of the dialogue recorded on set were 
still on hand, so it was not necessary to call 
in Harrison Ford to loop in his lines. Jabba. 
of course, was digitally created and inserted 
into the scene. Sound designer Burtt is the 
official Huttese translator, so he wrote out 
Jabba 's dialogue in Huttese and the English 
translation for the subtitles at the bottom of 
the screen — just the way it was done in Jedi. 

"We had to go through some 
special processing to get Jabba's 
voice sufficiently deep and reso- 
nant." explains Burtt. "We also 
created some interesting Foley 
effects for Jabba's movements. 
He crawls like a big caterpillar, 
you know, so I was up to my 
armpits sloshing some very 
muddy, wet towels in the bottom 
of a trash can for the basic 
sound. The sound effect helps 
give him a sense of weight as he 
moves in the scene." 

Adding images 

There are several minor 
inserts, not much more than 
sight gags really, that Lucas has added 
throughout the film to spice up the action for 
the many fans who know every frame by 
memory', For example, a shot which came 
towards the very end of JJLM's schedule is 
the scene in which Han Solo is chasing some 
stormtroopers down a hallway in the Death 
Star, while screaming and waving his arms. 
"He goes running after them." explains Dave 
Carson, the ILM effects supervisor for the 
restoration of Empire and Jedi. "In the cur- 
rent film. Han encounters five stormtroopers 
who raise their guns and fire at him, then he 
turns around and runs back. George thought 
it would be more humorous if Han ran into a 
^^ large docking bay with dozens and dozens 



of stormtroopers. So, we had this shot of 
Harrison in the hallway: we had to rotoscope 
him out of the background and create a 
background painting of a docking bay. Then, 
we had to shoot new stormtrooper elements 
and re-composite the whole thing with a 
moving camera. We also had to line-up and 
match the smoke that was generated when 
the actor on the orisinal set fired his laser 




Sound designer Ben Burtt pauses in the 
search for the original 20-year-old sound 
elements used for the new digital re-mix. 

gun, and then build in some new laser blasts. 
That was a challenging shot. It's extremely 
short in the film — literally just a couple of 
seconds. But it was fun, and a good example 
of having almost nothing left from the orig- 
inal shot except the actor." 

Near the end of ,4 New Hope, the estab- 
lishing shot of the Rebel base on one of 
Yavin's moons was completely redone. At 
first, it was thought the shot could be fixed 
simply by digitally re-compositing it, but a 
number of people soon expressed dissatis- 



faction with the matte painting of the 
Massassi outpost. "It always looked like w 
insurance company headquarters," laughs 
Seiden. "The new version looks way cooler- 
Little transport carts were added and an 
mated in 3-D. Now that it's much sharper. 
you can actually see Luke and Leia as am 
figures standing in the entrance way talking. 
The original composite is so fuzzy that j 

don't realize that it's them, but 
when we looked at the original 
elements, there they were. It's a I 
nice bonus to the shot." 

Of course, it isn't just the firs 
film in the Star Wars trilog 
that's receiving all the attention. 
There are additional shots and 
quite a few digital re-comps in 
Empire and Jedi as well. Carson 
supplies the official count lis 
"There are 109 shots on A 
Hope, 158 shots for Empire and 
70 shots in Jedi. The shot coun: 
is lower on Jedi. but Jedi also J 
has a very much expanded , 
Jabba's Palace performance 
number which includes somej 
computer-generated characters." 

In Jedi. Jabba now has three new danc i - : 
girls and five or six new band members 
Entertainer Sy Snootles has been given new 
mobility courtesy of the ILM CGI artist 
Look also for Sy 's furry sidekick Joh Yc 
the Yuzzum. 

Considerable scope is being added to the 
celebration which marks Jedi's finale. Lucas] 
wanted to suggest that the defeat of the j 
Imperial forces was being celebrated across 
the Empire, so shots are being added show- 
ing the festivities on Cloud City, Tatooinel 
and Coruscant as well. "Coruscant is a city J 
that plays significantly in the new films, s 
this makes a nice bridae over to that." I 



52 STARLOG/Mfi/r/; 1997 



The streets of Mos Eisley are now far more treacherous as a 
fast-moving swoop cuts off a pair of Jawas and their ronto. 



reveals Carson. "Originally. George. Dennis 
Muren and a few others sat down with the 
first film and generated a 'wish list' of shots 
that warranted additional work, and those 
shots which would probably have to stay as 
they were," Carson continues. "'As the work 
progressed, George continued to add shots 
here and there. It seems simple, but once we 
would improve a scene either by simply re- 
compositing or fixing an 

unsteady element, and cut the 
new footage into the film, there 
w as the constant temptation to 
fix the next one. and the next 
one and the next one..." 

In Empire, one of the major 
sequences to receive close 
scrutiny was Cloud City on 
Bespin. In the original film, 
the exteriors were established 
with not much more than a 
series of very nice matte paint- 
ings by Ralph McQuarrie. 
while the interiors were sever- 
al soundstage sets. Now, we 
follow a CGI Millennium 
Falcon as it trails behind a 
twin-pod cloud car through the towers of 
Cloud City to the landing platform. Later, 
the static exterior shot of Leia pacing in the 
window has been replaced by a moving 
camera shot through the towers eventually 
culminating in Leia at the Cloud City win- 
dow. For the interiors. Lucas has opened up 
the claustrophobic feeling of the endless, 
all-white corridors by having ILM add win- 
dows to several shots that reveal the exteri- 
or city. 

The big key to this restoration is the now 
almost total reliance on digital compositing. 
"The old. workhorse optical printer that saw 
so much action here, especially during 
Empire, is now on display in the lobby of 



one of our buildings," admits Carson. "As 
we re-scan the original film elements for 
new digital composites. I'm constantly- 
reminded what a feat it was to composite all 
of those elements with an optical printer the 
first time around. There would be so many 
elements in some shots, and often not shot 
under ideal circumstances, that it would 
take all of the computer tools we currently 




V 



Visual effects producer Tom Kennedy 
prepares two Jawas for the revised Mos 
Eisley scene. 

have to re-combine them into a seamless 
shot. Along the way. you would renew your 
respect for the folks who did it the first time 
with basically what was nothing more than 
a camera pointing at a projector. Pretty 
amazing." 

Fixing Sounds 

For sound designer Built, sitting down 
with Lucas again to work on the new digital 
mix for A New Hope was every bit as excit- 
ing and challenging as it was 20 years ago. 



"The basic challenge was to go back and 
locate the original sound mix of Star Wars 
and use that as the base to which we would 
be adding some new scenes," he says. "Also. 
George wanted to add some things to the 
mix that he thought were missing." 

The first problem facing Burtt was the 
fact that there were three slightly different 
sound mixes in the vaults. "We had three dif- 
ferent versions of the film in 
release," he explains. "One 
was the Dolby stereo optical, 
one was 70mm magnetic six- 
track and the last was conven- 
tional optical monaural. In 
some versions, there's a line of 
C-3PO missing, or in some 
versions, the stormtroopers 
may say slightly different 
things. None of these were dif- 
ferences that changed the 
story; they were strictly details 
that the filmmaker might feel 
one way about one day and 
differently about the next. It 
was part of the process of 
making the tracks for the dif- 
ferent sound systems. For example, we 
might make the four-track first, then when 
we started the six-track, we would put that 
up, play it back and then start adding to it 
and making changes to suit the six-track for- 
mat. And then you would get a six-track 
master: left, center and right across the 
screen, and a single surround track in the 
house; tracks two and four — the baby boom 
tracks — were used for low frequency effects 
to enhance the low end — great for explo- 
sions or the rumble of star destroyers. 

"This was very innovative. It was the first 
film in wide release to go out in Dolby 
stereo. And there was also the 70mm six- 
track maanetic and the monaural. Oddly 



STAR LOG March 1997 S3 



enough, at the time. George considered the 
mono mix to be the most important, because 
stereo in theaters was still very rare then. 
Although it was great for us in the studio, 
the vast majority of the audience was going 
to see a mono film. And so. he put his real 
effort into the mono mix. Of course, that 
mix has long been forgotten because it 
doesn't appear anywhere anymore unless 



Photo: Sean Casey 




The wampa in the ice cave on Hoth gets a bit more 
abominable in The Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition 
due out later this month. 



you happen to have a 16mm print of the film 
stashed away." 

Explains Burtt, "I studied that mono mix 
very carefully to find what material was in 
that mix that wasn't in the stereo. So, for 
me, the restoration process involved putting 
all of the sound into the picture that was 
ever intended, and making all of the 
changes that George originally wanted but 
we were never able to get around to doing. I 
still had a long list from 20 years ago of 
things which he had said, 'Well, if there's 
time, fix these things in the mix.' It was 
mostly things like making explosions 
stronger or dialogue clearer. The third part 
of the restoration is that we had to entirely 



re-do the film's surround track, because 
nowadays theaters do not run with a mono, 
single-track surround; the surround sound is 
split between left and right. 

"Now, you can pan the sound of a space- 
ship from the far right-hand rear of a theater 
all the way across to the front, for example. 
We also extended the frequency range of the 
soundtrack a great deal, because the new 
theaters have digital playback, and there's a 
much greater guarantee 
today that what we hear in 
the studio, you will hear 
in the theater. We extend- 
ed the low-frequency 
range, beefed up the 
explosions, more low-end 
rumble for the spaceships, 
more high-fidelity ele- 
ments to the TIE fighter 
fly-bys. I didn't want to 
alter the style of the origi- 
nal film, but we had to 
take advantage of the new 
digital sound systems. All 
of the new prints are 
35mm anamorphic, com- 
patible with all three digi- 
tal formats: SDDS. DTTS 
and SRD. An attempt is 
being made to have the re- 
release play only in digital 
theaters. 

'There's a lot you real- 
ly can't change. The 
soundtrack was recorded 
21 years ago. There is 
some distortion in the dia- 
logue, but we didn't bring 
any of the actors back to 
loop them. We didn't 
record any new music. 
Ken Wannberg, who was 
John Williams' music edi- 
tor back then — and still 
is — made the changes in 
the music for us. For 
example, there is a piece 
of music that wasn't in the 
original film that we use 
for the new entrance into 
Mos Eisley. It was a cue 
written for a later 
sequence, but never used. 
Fortunately, all of the original tracks and cue 
sheets had been saved. We had all of the 
original music, which had been recorded on 
16-track, so we were able to get mix-downs 
and transfers from the original sources. And, 
of course, I had all the reels of sound effects 
material that I used for the original release." 

This treasure trove of recorded sound 
material dates all the way back to Burtt's 
early fascination with sound while still a 
youngster. Burtt has always professed a lik- 
ing for "organic" sound — that is. interesting 
sounds made by real objects or pieces of 
machinery that happen naturally in the back- 
ground rather than creating artificial sound 
with a synthesizer. "For example, during the 



Death Star trench battle, there are neat little 
sound cuts from shot to shot. When you cut 
to Grand Moff Tarkin's control room, yoi 
get this wonderful hum of telemetry and 
stuff, which is actually a sound made by my 
grandfather's old 1935 Heathkit radio. There 
is always a distinct sound for every environ- 
ment which creates a texture to the sound- 
track. Luke's ship sounds different from 
Vader's; a TIE fighter cockpit is different 
from Tarkin's control room, and so on." 

And then, after all this is done, Burtt still 
has the foreign-language versions to tackle- 
In addition to English, the Star Wars Trilogy 
Special Edition will be going out in Frencl 
German. Italian and Spanish-dubbed ver- 
sions. "For the original, I think we did nine 
different languages including Lanr. 
American Spanish, Castilian Spanish. 
Catalan and Persian. I got to travel around 
the world doing the mixes for those. Of 
course, characters like R2 and Chewie 
remain the same , but for each language \ c [ 
have to cast a Vader and a Ben Kenobi. and 
so on. and search for the right voice quality . 
The French version was really very good: it 
has a particularly poetic sound which is true 
to the film's spirit." 

For Lucas, the decision to release an 
altered Star Wars trilogy has present;:, 
something of a dilemma. On the one hand. 
Lucas has made no secret of the fact that 
since day one. he was frustrated and in some 
instances embarrassed by what made it to 
the screen in 1977. On the other hand, Lucas 
is now a member of the Artist's Right? 
Board, which seeks to protect films from 
being changed. Its goal is to protect films 
from changes after the fact, such as col- 
orization, different aspect ratios, re-editing, 
etc. But, Lucas has proclaimed the Star V. . 
trilogy to be similar to an unfinished canvas 
that the artist has left hanging on the wall of 
his studio — unfinished, at least in terms of 
what the artist envisions, but still on public 
view. Even 20 years ago, Lucas pubiich 
stated that the first film only met 60 or 7C 
percent of his vision, and that time, money 
and technology had limited him. 

Over the intervening two decades, Luc. • 
has invested enormous energy and money in 
research and development. One of his basic 
goals with II M after the first film was to 
move filmmaking out of its roots in 19th- 
century photographic techniques and into a 
new age of computer tools. Basic effect; 
and filmmaking technology really hadn't 
evolved significantly since the pioneering 
days of the Lumiere brothers and Thomas 
Edison: it was long past time to explore new 
horizons. Freed from the constraints of 
physical reality, George Lucas no longer 
has to rely on actors in suits to create unusu- 
al characters, alien creatures are no longer 
limited to puppeteering and Yoda can actu- 
ally walk through a scene. Finally, he 
admits that the trilogy now stands at closer 
to 95 percent of his original vision, and that 
the new horizon, one truly offering A New 
Hope, is at hand. $f 



54 STARLOG/Marc/7 1997 




.vith Return of the Jedi 
on audio, Star Wars is 

still a big part of 
Anthony Daniels' life. 

By IAN SPELLING 



et me guess," laughs Anthony Daniels. 
A question has just been prefaced with 
the comment. "You've probably been 
si asked this a million times, but..." 
£0 and Daniels is now doing his best to 
nticipate the query. "Was it hot in C-3P0's 
ostume?" Nope. "Can I still fit in C-3PO's 
cstume?" Unh-uh. "Was I an actor before 
tar Warsl" Nyet. "Did I have to do any act- 
ig in the Star Wars movies or did the cos- 
nrie do it all for me?" Good question, but 
'Tong nevertheless. "Am I best friends with 
ny of the other actors off-screen?" Incorrect. 
Can I get you Harrison Ford's autograph?" 
^rong again, but that's not such a bad idea. . . 
OK, then, what's the question?" 

Is it hard to believe that almost 20 years 
ave passed since Star Wars first burst on the 
Dene? Daniels laughs. "Oh. that's not one 
iit I've been asked all that much." he says. 
I have the grey hairs to prove that those 
tars have passed. I try to be practical about 
I But it's strange. I sometimes wonder 
■ here the 20 years have gone, because they 
~o seem to have gone fairly quickly. What is 
sange. and I have continual proof of this 
bo, is that there is always a new audience 
iscovering Star Wars. They come to me, and 
robably to all of us, from seeing the movies 
o television and video. That's extraordinary 
a me, that the longevity of the movies is pro- 



in 




moted through video and television, through 
the films' re-releases, through the toys, mag- 
azines and so on. You have kids besotted by 
the toys who haven't even seen the movies 
yet. So. I wonder what more will happen 
when they re-release the movies this year." 

Daniels insists that he's at a loss for words 
when it comes to explaining the secrets 
behind Star Wars' enduring appeal. In fact, 
he even says, "I am probably the wrong per- 
son to talk to about all of that." Then, a 
thought hits him and suddenly the actor, who 
is now 50 years old. embarks on a chat-streak 
that would make the ever-talkative C-3P0 
proud. "It's true, many movies have been 
made that are popular, extremely popular. A 
number of movies have become trilogies, 




STARLOG/March 1997 55 





As for The Empire Strikes Back, Daniels found C-3P0 (whether altogether or 
dismembered) "slightly redundant" and not "particularly well written." 




have become franchises with spinoffs and 
such. But Star Wars is something different. 
The reason I say that I'm not the right person 
to talk to." he notes, "is because, like mam 
people originally involved. I thought Star 
Wars was going to be pretty hokey. It was a 
job. So. I didn't go along with the hype. I J 
wasn't even a science fiction person then. 

"I just took Star Wars as a role that was 
different from anything else I had been 
offered. I think that what I've picked up from 
the fans, rather than me to them, is that we all 
have been exposed to myths and legends and 
fantasy. We've read it as children, seen it in 
our movies and on television. So. there are all 
sorts of ideas floating around. We hear them 
from our parents, grandparents, great grand- 
parents, our teachers and our friends. There 
are myths, preoccupations, superstitions. 
There are fears that are pretty basic to 
mankind. There are taboo areas for children 
and parents. There is love and hate; fear and 
bravery. And. I think. George Lucas some- 
how culled all of these things into a particu- 
lar mixture, shoved a little magic in as well, 
and the result was Star Wars and everything 
that sprang from it 20 years ago." 

Robotic Radio 

Star Wars and that golden droid, C-3P0 
have been a part of Daniels' life for all 
those 20 years. He has been called upon to 
play the character over and over again. Thus. 
C-3P0 has been on view in The Muppet Slum 
and Sesame Street, and in TV commercials 
and public service announcements, not to 
mention an animated series. Star Wars: 
Droids and Special Effects, a documentan 
about movie magic. Daniels has portrayed 
the android in Star Tours, the Star Wars thrill 
ride at Disneyland and Disney World. And, in 
France, he even provided the French transla- 
tion of C-3P0's dialogue for EuroDisney's 
version of Star Tours. 

Recently. Daniels assumed the android": 
voice anew for Return of the Jedi, a three- 
hour radio adaptation (now available on 
audiocassette) of the third film in the Sta, 
Wars trilogy. Joining Daniels in the Nationa 
Public Radio project are Josh Fardon as Luke 
Skywalker and Ed Asner as Jabba the Hun- 
Other familiar voices included John Lithgov. 
(as Yoda), Ed Begley Jr. and Yeardley Smith 
"I quite enjoyed doing Jedi for radio," says I 
Daniels, who also participated in the earlier 
radio versions of Star Wars and The Empir, 
Strikes Back. "I only had about 20 minutes of 
dialogue in the movie, and in this, an awful 
lot of dialogue had to be added because it's 
three hours of radio. There are added scenes, 
more background details about the charac- 
ters, and that meant I had more to do. Thai 
was nice. 

"It's actually rather easy for me to ge: 
back into character. As you know, I've fre- 
quently done work in character over the las: 
20 years, whether it was on film or radio, i 
animatronics or commercials. I've done ston 
readings and the like. So, the voice is there 
and it has been there for 20 years. Given tha: 
I didn't want the job originally, 20 years of 
work is not bad. I have to admit that I don": 



56 STARLOG/Ma/r/7 1997 



sit down every night and watch the videos or 
listen to the tapes, but I do need to pull those 
things out at times. I write a column for the 
official Star Wars magazine [of England] and 
occasionally I need to find a line or two from 
one of the movies. So, I'll go back to the 
films. I regard it slightly as homework." 

Daniels explains that the process of 
recording Jedi was quite simple. All of the 
actors were assembled in an ordinary Los 
Angeles recording studio, then sectioned off 
as needed. In some cases, actors could stand 
next to one another because no tricks were to 
be done with their voices. In other cases, the 
actors were individually stationed in private 
Booths. Daniels belonged in the latter group. 
"My voice has a very slight echo added to it, 
so I needed to be set off by myself. The 
Emperor was in a broom cupboard. I'm 
iff aid, because that was the only space avail- 
able for him. Everybody," he explains, "was 
.istening through headsets. We would have a 
quick rehearsal and then have a go at it." 

Performing as C-3P0 without actually 
miting up in his gold outfit wasn't a big deal, 
says Daniels. "Frequently, while rehearsing 
in the movies. I would feel very strange. It 
was bad enough saying some of these rather 
odd lines in character on the set before I got 
iressed up. It felt equally strange inside the 
suit," he recalls, "because I could see Harri- 
son Ford looking at me with a raised eye- 
brow, watching this poor fellow, me. 
ielivering this bizarre line in this bizarre cos- 
tume. I just had to say my lines like I really 
relieved them. In the radio projects, there's a 
rroup of people watching you, whether 
they're behind or beside you. You have to put 
iway feeling silly. The silly thing is that I 
stand there a bit like C-3P0, because he has 
his own stature, his own physical presence 
r.at I adopt even without the costume on. 
That way, the voice always comes out the 
same." 

Star Wars fans who glance at the cast list 
of the Jedi radio show can't help but notice 
that Daniels is the only actor from the movies 
■ivolved in this radio version, although Mark 
Hamill was in the first two and Billy Dee 
Williams was in Empire. Daniels laughs 
--.comfortably and says. "Pass." A few sec- 
onds go by and Daniels begins to talk. "Har- 
rison would probably sue you if you asked 
r_rm to be in a radio play. He has moved on to 
rtgher things. I guess Carrie [Fisher] is doing 
aer own thing," he states. "Billy Dee wasn't 
- salable and Mark was busy. What can you 
I thought losh Fardon was a wholesome 
■ ?ung Luke. I don't think audiences will be 
-^appointed that some of the other actors 
~-ev're familiar with are not in it." 

Daniels had a good time from beginning 
a end on the project. "Oh, yes, I did. I had a 
rrettv good view of everybody, which was 
-• ery entertaining, actually. Of course, much 
ft the time your eyes are looking down at the 
<ript. But you can have eye contact, you can 
have a relationship with the other actors. I 
rarticularly enjoyed Ed Asner." he notes. 
"He's a figure from my youth, watching him 
on television. He came into the studio and 
*T\iy commented on how he wasn't entirely 



sure about taking a role in which there was 
not a single word of English for him to deliv- 
er. We were all wondering how he would cre- 
ate labba. especially since he hadn't seen the 
movies. But he went ahead and did a remark- 
ably disgusting facsimile. Ed was particular- 
ly entertaining. I was glad I was separated in 
my own booth because I could laugh and 
enjoy his performance. The whole thing was 
really a lot of fun and I think it came out quite 
well." 

Metallic Appeal 

With Jedi finished, it's onto other subjects 
of interest — among them C-3P0's enduring 
appeal, Daniels' reflections on the three Star 
Wars films and his thoughts on some of his 
favorite non-film outings as C-3P0. "What is 
it about Threepio? I don't know, really. He's 
so dreadful. He has this sadness, which is 
what actually appealed to me in the original 
conceptual work that [production illustrator] 
Ralph McQuarrie did of him. He has a sort of 
pathetic personality," Daniels opines. "It's as 
though he needs understanding and forgive- 
ness from people. He needs to be accepted. 
He longs to be a human, obviously. He has 
the intelligence to know he's slightly missing 
out on something. He also has the vulnerabil- 
ity of a child and a child's lack of guile. 

"Threepio finds the truth easier to say 
than not. He'll say he's afraid because it's the 
truth, and it's easier for him to say it than to 
not say it. He also has a slightly un-human 
way of reacting to things and of speaking, 
and he's just a bit quirky. He also has very, 
very good qualities. He's tremendously fond 
of people. And one of the things I think I like 
most about Threepio is that he's completely 
loyal to whoever deserves his loyalty." 

Looking back on Star Wars, The Empire 
Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, 
Daniels — who discussed the saga in STAR- 
LOG #69 & #99 — agrees to assess them in 
terms of their ultimate quality and how they 
ranked as filmmaking experiences for him. "I 
supposed I liked Star Wars the most, as a 
viewer. It seems to me to be an encapsulated, 
complete story. It worked better than the 
other two films in that sense," he states. "I 
also disliked it the most because it was the 
most uncomfortable one to shoot. The cos- 
tume's technology was difficult. It was not a 
relaxing experience. The suit got better to 
work with during the other two films. A lot of 
work and expense was put into it, and it 
became much more comfortable. 

"I felt that Threepio's role in the second 
movie wasn't particularly well written or 
thought out. He was slightly redundant. The 
wonderful Irvin Kershner [the director] 
would tend to plop Threepio into scenes if he 
felt they needed a bit of a lift. But that didn't 
always leave Threepio with anything particu- 
larly useful to do. In the third movie, I was 
most comfortable in the costume, but things 
didn't always go smoothly on the set. It was 
nice having George [Lucas] back all of the 
time. He wasn't around much on the second 
one. Some things that looked great in the 
script didn't translate as I imagined them, 
like when Threepio becomes a hero, or the 





hi 



The actor is looking forward to the next 
set of Star Wars chapters: "I do expect to 
be involved in them in some way." 




Being C-3PO has presented Daniels with 
countless unique opportunities — to work 
with actors like Alec Guinness, Harrison 
Ford and of course, the Muppets. 



STARLOG/iWarc/; 1997 57 




king of the tribe. It looked slightly better on ing the fresh footage, others, particularly film 

paper than it did on screen. It was fun, lots of purists, worry that Lucas is tampering with a 

fun, but it got a bit too cutesy in places for classic. "Well, I think it's OK. providing you 

me, I'm afraid. I hated the fireworks at the don't go too far," says Daniels, offering his 

end, and you can quote me." opinion on the issue. "The person whose 

movie it is has the right to do it. Also, right 

COldSII ACJ6S from the word go, right from Star Wars first 

Star Wars, of course, is being re-released being released and becoming a success, 

in a revised Special Edition format along George always said he wanted to go back and 

with new versions of Empire and Jedi. While fix the bits that weren't so neat. Now, George 

some Star Wars fans are excited about view- has become powerful enough to say, T want 




to do it.' Heck, who's going to stop him?"' 

As for those other projects as C-3P0? "1 
think The Muppet Show and Sesame Street 
vie with working with all the Imagineers 3 
Disney who did Star Tours as my favorites. 
I'm also very proud of a commercial I did. 
which was designed to promote childrea 
being immunized against diseases." he com- 
ments. "Somebody recently wrote me to say 
that they only agreed, as a child, to be vacci- 
nated because C-3P0 said it was OK, that he 
shouldn't be afraid. I thought that was a ter- 
rific thing. I also wrote and produced an anti- 
smoking commercial in which R2-D2 hi- 
found a cigarette and. naturally, he wants to 
try it. I explain it's not a good thing to do. So. 
those things were all quite nice." 

While Daniels still receives sacks of fan 
mail and attends the occasional Star Wars or 
SF convention, he does have a life beyond 
Star Wars. He played a pathologist in tm 
1995 episodes of the popular British TV 
drama Prime Suspect and turned up in "The 
Flight of the Hawkmen" entry in The Young 
Indiana Jones Chronicles. "I've mostly been 
doing television stuff. I did Young Inch in 
Prague and that was great fun," he enthuses. 
"I don't seem to be doing stage work any- 
more, but I have been doing a lot of 
voiceovers. I also got very interested in spe- 
cial FX from having been around them so 
much during the Star Wars films. So, I've got 
a company and I do some consulting for 
another company." 

Of course. Star Wars looks likely to stay a 
major part of Daniels' life. Not only have 
20th anniversary celebrations begun, but a 
new Star Wars trilogy is in pre-production 
with filming to begin this fall. Since C-3P0 is 
an android and doesn't age in the way 
humans do. there's every reason in the world 
to think that he might appear in the upcoming 
films. "I do expect to be involved in them in 
some way," Daniels says coyly. Pressed for 
details, he adds, "I talk to Lucasfilm on a 
pretty regular basis, as you might imagine, 
and let's just say messages get through. It's 
too early to talk about it and nothing is 
signed, but I think it will happen." 

All in all then, does the actor believe his 
life is better with Star Wars, and everything 
that encompasses, in it than it would have 
been without Star Wars" "That is an impossi- 
ble question to answer, which is probably 
precisely why you asked it. Star Wars cer- 
tainly changed the direction of my career. To 
that point. I had mostly done theater. I hadn't 
been out of work for the two years I had been 
acting before Star Wars happened. I actually 
started as an actor late in life. So, I have no 
idea where I would have gone without Star 
Wars," concludes Anthony Daniels, who is 
also collaborating with Ryder Windham on a 
C-3P0-fhemed comic book for Dark Horse. 
"I sometimes wonder if I would have been 
happier being a penniless repertory company 
actor. Most actors don't make a bean any- 
where, apart from waiting tables. I have a 
really comfortable life, but I may not have 
done some of the arty sort of things I might 
have gotten into. But I guess you can't have 
everything. Certainly. I'm not complaining." 



58 STARLOG/Ma/r/; 1997 




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Sumerian slave girl Cynthia Patrick remembers 
playing with mutants & monsters. 



here has never been another movie 
quite like The Mole People, a fun 
'50s fantasy/adventure romp. In it. 
a party of explorers discovers that 
below an Asian mountain range 
exists an ancient civilization filled 
with albinos, curvaceous slave 
girls, human sacrifices and Mole 
People — hulking monsters who burrow 
underground with their victims. It may be 
the only movie in history where the heroes 
ward off an advancing army with a 
flashlight. 

As plucky slave girl Adal. Cynthia 
Patrick is the woman who shares the adven- 
ture. Running around in a skimpy toga, 
she saves the explorers, falls for their 
he-man leader John Agar, wit- 
nesses the Mole People' 
revolt against their cruel 
masters — and convenient- 
ly dies in the film's final 
minutes. 

A charming redhead 
with a lilting voice. 
Patrick muses about her jjjjj 
life with The Mole M 
People. "The film was jjj 
exciting for me: the jm 
Moles were great." she Jjjj 
smiles. "They could not wm 
see in their masks and *f| 
had to take them off 1 
because it got so hot. The \ 
Mole People were all 
played by stuntmen who 
were real comedians. They 
would joke around with me 
so much between shots. 
You'll notice that there are 
scenes where my lips are 
crooked because I'm trying to 
keep from cracking up! I had 
to keep a straight face after 
they teased me." 

In fact. Patrick brought 
out the maternal instincts in 
the Mole People. "I was their 
baby, their little girl, so they 
looked out for me on the set 
and took care of me. They 
would joke about my lines 



so much that, when I went to say 
straight. I couldn't!" 

She was excited to work alongside fellow 
Universal contractee John Agar, already a 
veteran of the studio's Revenge of the 
Creature and Tarantula (STARLOG#164). 
"I had seen a lot of his films, so it was a big 
thing to work with him. John was a darling; 
it was my first co-starring part and he took 
me under his wing. [Co-star] Hugh 





Cynthia Patrick 
(seen here in a 
current shot), 
has worked 
in real estate 
and as a 
movie 
stand-in 
in recent 
years. 




"The Mole 
People were all 
played by 
stuntmen who 
were real 
comedians," 
Patrick 
recalls. 



STARLOG/Ator/; 1997 69 



MM 



The Mole People were very dingy-look 



Beaumont was funny. He said to me. 'Too 
bad you don't have a clean face.' I was still 
a teenager and my face was a little pudgy. It 
hurt my feelings, because it was one of my 
first days on the set. And we did the whole 
thing on the Universal lot.'' 

Patrick really got to know the Mole 
People. "'I just loved the stuntmen who were 
the Mole People. I would ride horses with 
them every morning. Jocko [Tarzan] 
Mahoney would meet us and we would 
ride around the backiot; Jay [Tonto] 
Silverheels would also join us. The 
guys playing the Mole People 
were excellent stuntmen, 
sweet guys who did 
. everything at Universal, 
working as monsters, 
Mole People and cow- 
boys. While shooting, 
thev always said, 'Don't 



move if I grab you.' because their outfits 
were like a stucco wall. It wasn't a furry 
jacket, it was burlap covered with stucco. I 
didn't have much on. so when they grabbed 
me, it wasn't comfortable !'" 

When the spunky actress first met the 
"menacing" Mole People, she broke into 
laughter. "I thought they were funny. Every 
time I saw them. I laughed. I found them 
very entertaining. They were not the best of 

Mole People star John 
Agar took teenage 
actress Patrick 
under his wing 
for her first (and 
only) starring 
movie role. 




costumes. One day, we had to stop shooting 
because the Mole People were dropping 
newspapers out of their humps! 

"The Mole People were very dingy-look- 
ing in person; they looked like tapioca. The 
suits were uncomfortable for the stuntmen. 
Their head and hands were latex rubber. 
They had eyeholes to see out of but couldn't 
see well; it's too bad the eyes weren't mov- 
able." 

Mole Holes 

One of the movie's most shocking 
sequences occurs when a Mole Person pulls 
Patrick into the ground. Creating the action 
was just as startling. "Because I'm claustro- 
phobic, [director] Virgil Vogel didn't tell me 
I was going to go through that mole hole." 
she laughs. "They had a double ready to go 
under and didn't tell me I was going instead. 

"The mole hole was really a hydraulic 
lift lined with cement. They had a lift under 
the dirt to pull us down while dirt came on 
top of us. When they pulled me through, a 
rough edge cut off my left little toe. The 
whole side of it was gone and it's still mis- 
shapen to this day. I bled all over the place 
I and the stuntman almost cried. He 
said, 'Oh my God, I've hurt my 
girl!' They were protective of me. 
They bandaged up my toe and 
off we went! After that, Virgil 
didn't put anyone through that 
hole without telling them." 
Despite living in a cavern. 
Patrick looks great in the 
film. It's as if there were a 
jLf phalanx of handy hair- 

Jf? 3 dressers and dutiful dress- 
makers around just to fit 
her out in the finest of 
primitive haute couture. 
"My outfit was beautiful, 
like a silk nightgown. I 
was the well-dressed 
slave girl," she giggles. 
"That's all I wore. The set 
was dusty and damp. 
They had a bunch of ver- 
sions of my dress to put 
me into because it was 
- such a dirty set. I was 

barefoot, so the prop- 
i^HH master, Eddie Keyes, 
put ;;io/eskin on my 
feet. I guess that 
was the movie to 
wear it on." 

Patrick recalls 
Mole People pro- 
ducer William 
Alland wanti- 
■SpF ng her to, she 
squeaks. "RAISE 
MY VOICE in the 



■g in person. They looked like tapioca 



WW 



film! He said to me. 'You're 
fine, the only problem is that 
your voice is too low for an 
ingenue!' To solve that, he 
wanted me to raise my voice 
an octave. It made me sound 
a little funny because I could- 
n't keep my voice up that 
high. I also had to really learn 
to play the lute. They gave 
me lessons so I could play 
that little tune I do in the 
film." 

In the tragic ending of The 
Mole People, Patrick heads to 
the surface with John Agar 
and Hugh Beaumont, only to 
be crushed by a giant pillar. 
"I didn't die the first time we 
shot that scene," she reveals. 
"I didn't die until two weeks 
later. Universal was such a 
moral studio, they decided 
that they couldn't have 
Sumerians running around 
marrying John Agar and hav- 
ing children! I took a vaca- 
tion after making it. I was up 
in Marin County. They called 
to have me come back and 
die. I said, 'Again?' because I 
thought I died making The Mole People." 
she jokes. 

"The worst part was, when I came back, 
they had a double of me running in the 
snowsuit. It was a man with a huge rear end! 
When I saw him move, it looked like a bear 
running from danger — that wasn't me\ 

"I did go under the column. It was made 
of plaster. Instead of walking with John into 
the sunset. I turn around and run back so I can 
die. I thought I died beautifully. My niece was 
five and saw Mole People in a theater. Her 
parents had to call me because she wouldn't 
sleep until she knew I was still alive. She 
didn't want anyone hurting her auntie!" 

Mole Horrors 

Soon, Patrick quit acting. "My husband 
didn't like anything about the film business," 
she admits. "I found out later that he w ould 
tell producers, 'Don't give her any work, I 
don't want her to work.' So. we're not mar- 
ried now. I also had a car accident when I 
was 26 and I was badly injured. I started out 
as a dancer in films — I'm in Daddy Long 
Legs and I danced with Fred Astaire and Ray 
Bolger on a TV show, but I gave it up after 
the accident. 

"It took me a long time to recover, so 
after that I went into real estate. A few years 
ago, they asked me to do stand-in work, so I 
did. I was a stand-in for Wes Craven. He's a 
fun guy, but I didn't tell Wes I was in The 
Mole People." 




Appearances to the contrary, Patrick and the Mole People are "old pals" now. 



Back in those days, Patrick was in the 
Universal "stable" with other soon-to-be 
famous contract players. "The young acting 
sroup was very compatible. Clint Eastwood 
was a wonderful guy. I've done some stand- 
in work in his movies. And David Janssen 
was there with his wife-to-be, Dani. Other 
members included Mara Corday. Dick Long. 
John Gavin, John Saxon, Grant Williams 
and Gia Scala. Many of these people passed 
away young. I have no idea why, but it's 
really scary. John and I are the only ones still 
alive from The Mole People 1 ." 

As a contract actress, Patrick wasn't given 
a choice about making The Mole People. "It 
isn't what you wanted to do," she laughs. "I 
knew I was doing a 'B' movie, because 
Universal was doing mostly 'B' movies. 

"I was 19 when I did Mole People. I was 
thrilled with my first big co-starring part, but 
I was hoping for a more 'regular' part — 
something in color! I never did anything in 
color and I couldn't understand why. I had 
red hair and green eyes, but I never did a 
color film. I only had small parts in color 
films like The Benny Goodman Stoiy, Four 
Girls in Town and Kelly and Me. You could 
just see a flash of my red hair." 

Her horror movie past later came back to 
haunt her. "My son Michael was so into 
monster movies as a kid, his teacher thought 
there was something wrong with him," she 
laughs. "I said to her, T starred in them,' and 
I showed her a Life magazine which had an 



article on how studios were making millions 
off horror. I told the teacher. 'There are a 
million other kids with something wrong 
with them!" She was rather chagrined 
because they were making a fortune off 
these children. Michael was my biggest fan. 
He used to have me sign pictures from The 
Mole People — 'To Michael. Love Mom' — 
and put them on his school locker. 

"I remember that R. Wright Campbell, 
who wrote Man of a Thousand Faces for 
Universal, said, 'The Mole People could 
have been a classic monster picture if they 
had taken a little more money and made 
these animals more animated.' But it is a 
classic today," Patrick says, smiling tri- 
umphantly. "It's in video stores now and that 
makes me feel great. I don't get residuals 
from it, though. No movies prior to '62 give 
out residuals. It has played on TV for years, 
but we don't get a dime. 

"Jurassic Park was kind of a '50s 
Universal-type film. I loved it. I'm amazed 
at what they can do today. Too bad they 
couldn't do The Mole People like that. It 
would have been sensational." 

As for the future. Patrick's life is taking 
another turn. "I am doing very well. I'm 
about to marry a younger man, Robin, who 
has made me very happy." she smiles. Of 
course, there will always be a spot in her 
heart for The Mole People. "Oh sure." 
Cynthia Patrick laughs. "I'll always love the 
Mole People: we're old pals!" » 



STARLOG/Ma/r/; 1997 71 



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Cinerama: Thrilling Again! 

I felt that I had made "a deal with the Devil." I agreed to sit through a St. Louis Cardi- 
nals game that my brother wanted to see in order to attend a movie that I wanted to 
see. I have always been bored by professional sports (my friend Joan describes sports 
as ''better than crime"). I didn't even know that the Cardinals played baseball, but I knew 
that Cinerama was a spectacular new process launching wide-screen war with an invader 
called television. 

The year was 1954, and I was a young SF fan on a family vacation, starved for thrills 
not available in my hometown. Two years earlier. This is Cinerama had opened in New 
York and spread quickly to other cities — including St. Louis. Life magazine called it "the 
biggest new entertainment event of 1952," and Bosley Crowther. in an unprecedented 
front-page New York Times movie review, said Cinerama "produces sensations that are 
rousing, intoxicating and unique." 

Cinerama technology was invented by Fred Waller, former head of Paramount's spe- 
cial FX department. Seeking to break free of the small, flat movie rectangle. Waller 
mounted three 35mm cameras at 48-degree angles, so that one photographed straight 
ahead, and the other two photographed left and right. The result was an extremely wide- 
angle picture that approximated human vision. When synchronized projectors showed 
these three films, blended into one image on a giant, deeply-curved screen, the audience 
was engulfed in the picture. 

A fourth strip of 35mm film contained seven magnetic soundtracks, bright and pow- 
erful, channeled to five massive speakers behind the screen and more along the side 
walls and rear of the theater. Never before, and never since, has such a convincing 
motion picture reality been created. 

I'll never forget sitting in that magnificent St. Louis theater to see This is Cinerama. 
The movie opened with a black-and-white prologue on a standard-sized screen, in which 
journalist and world traveler Lowell Thomas traced human attempts to capture motion, 
from cave paintings to silent movies. Then, with dramatic intensity, he announced, 
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is Cinerama!" 

The crimson curtains parted, revealing a floor-to-ceiling Technicolor picture that 
wrapped around the audience. The sound exploded with frightening power. I found 
myself sitting in the front seat of the Atom Smasher, a rollercoaster that climbed omi- 
nously to the summit, then plunged into a screaming rush of sound and fury. 

My mother was so terrified by the opening sequence that she couldn't watch. ;i I had 
to look away," she later confessed. "It was too real." 

Sadly, most STARLOG readers have never seen one of the seven movies made in the 
original, three-camera Cinerama process. Later features, including 2001 : A Space 
Odyssey and Ice Station Zebra, were billed as Cinerama but actually filmed with a single 
Panavision camera. The only theater in this part of the world where original Cinerama 
movies can still be seen is in Dayton, Ohio. I just returned from there. 

Theater manager Larry Smith is a major movie fan. Several years ago, he met projec- 
tionist John Harvey, who had salvaged three Cinerama projectors from dusty oblivion 
and torn his house apart to create a magical little theater. Harvey enjoyed inviting friends 
over to amaze them with nothing more than a few minutes of Cinerama footage. Soon, 
word spread, and fans began calling with tips on more film and more equipment. Today. 
Harvey has the only two prints known to exist of the first and last Cinerama movies: This 
is Cinerama (1952) and How the West Was Won (1962). an epic drama featuring James 
Stewart. Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Debbie Reynolds. Robert Preston. Richard Wid- 
mark, George Peppard. John Wayne, more than 12.000 extras and a stampede of buffalo. 

Smith and Harvey moved the elaborate projection equipment downtown to New Neon 
Movies. They removed the first rows of seats and part of the ceiling, installed the huge 
screen and speakers, built two additional projection booths — and created a public showplace 
for Cinerama. It was an expensive labor of love, but every SF fan can relate to such passion. 

"Build it. and they will come." And they did — from all over the world, for the intoxi- 
cating artificial reality. Weekend screenings were scheduled only for fall 1996. but have 
been extended for a limited time. When I told friends that I was flying to Dayton for the 
weekend, just to see a few movies, they rolled their eyes big time, but those who have 
seen Cinerama understand. 

Twenty years before STARLOG appeared, a young SF fan made "a deal with the 
Devil" for the thrill of flying across America on a magic carpet. Last weekend that same 
thrill-seeking kid still tingled from head to toe when Lowell Thomas once again 
announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Cinerama!" 

— Kerry O'Ouinn 

Info: New Neon Movies. 130 E. 5th Street. Dayton, OH 45402 (513) 222-8452 




• ■ • 



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I t 





Alice Krige doesn't lead the Borq r she is the Borg, 



BV IAN SPELLING 




he is evil. She is absolutely 

evil. It's actually very rare 

that I would say something 

like that about a character 

I've played,'* explains Alice 

Krige of Star Trek: First 

Contact's formidable Borg Queen. "I generally 

tend to take the character's point-of-view. but the 

Borg Queen is a being without compassion. 

There is a wonderful Judaic saying which says 

that evil is judgment without compassion. Things 

like kindness and compassion, which humanity 
holds so dear, mean nothing to her and are of no 
use to this creature. She may use them, but she'll 
use them only as tools. They will be part of doing 
whatever is necessary to acquire power, which is 
what drives her." 

Krige, of course, makes quite a memorable 
and powerful impression as First Contact's 
sweaty, sexy and Data-baiting villainess. The 
actress may be best known to audiences for such 
films as Chariots of Fire, Ghost Story. See You in 
the Morning and Stephen King's Sleepwalkers, but 
it was First Contact that provided Krige with her 
most commercially viable role in more than a 
decade. "I was very happy to get this. Jonathan 
Frakes and I had worked together [in the 1980s 
mini-series Dream West], but I don't know if that 
was a factor," she notes. "I don't know how they 
came to bring me on. but they did. I went in to 
meet with and read for Rick [Berman, executive 
producer'. Jonathan and some other people at the 
studio. There w as a long silence, then some- 
one called me and asked if I would 
come in again. The second time. 
Jonathan said, "Try it this way 
We did the scene in various 
ways and they then offered 
the role to me. Why they 
asked me to come in, 
though. I still don't know." 




"It's interesting to 
see where power 
and sexuality 
intersect," Krige 
explains. "These are 
two energies that 
are very close to 
each other." 




It took a certain kind of woman to 
transform Star Trek: First Contacts 
cold, cruel Borg Queen into a 
seductive, sensual beast, and that 
woman was Alice Krige. 



Seductive Visage 

Once she accepted the part of the Borg 
Queen, Krige had plenty of work to do. First, 
she got her hands on several tapes of old Next 
Generation episodes featuring the Borg. She 
carefully watched each one several times. 
She studied how the Borg moved and spoke, 
and how Picard (Patrick Stewart), after being 



ber. I must have a good internal thermostat, 
because I didn't get too hot in the suit. I also 
decided not to drink anything because, 
around tea time on the first day I spent in the 
suit, I had to go to the bathroom badly. It 
took me 45 minutes to get out, then 45 min- 
utes to get me back in it, and the whole crew 
sat there with folded hands while I peed. It 



was a disturbing enough experience for me 
not to want to do that again, so I didn't drink 
very much after that." 

Applying the Borg Queen's makeup was 
a daily, six-hour process. Krige would arrive 
at the Paramount lot, usually well before the 
Sun peeked over the Los Angeles skyline, 
then settle into a chair in a trailer where 



'The Borg Queen doesn't reproduce. She just consumes. She jus: 



assimilated in "The Best of Both 
Worlds," was restored to his normal 
state in "The Best of Both Worlds, 
Part II." She exercised with a trainer 
to build up her stamina. Then, it was 
time to don both the costume and the 
elaborate makeup that would trans- 
form the tall, fair-skinned and long- 
haired Krige into the bald, body-suit 
clad, oily-faced Queen. 

After something of a false start, 
the costume proved little trouble. 
"The days were very long and very 
tiring, but the costume people went 
out of their way to make sure I was 
not in any pain," Krige says. "The 
first costume they made me really 
was excruciating to be in, and I think 
that became apparent to everyone 
after one day, when they thought I 
was going to fade away. So, that 
weekend they made me another one. 
They went into the shop in relays and 
made me a second suit that was more 
subtle. They really went out of their 
way to be sure I wasn't damaged at 
all. 

"The new suit was made of foam rub- 
ber, which was much more malleable than 
the first one, which was made of hard rub- 




According to Krige, Data (Brent Spiner) was 
the Borg Queen's key to getting what she 
wanted. "She does it through sexuality and 
by tempting him with flesh." 



makeup artist Scott Wheeler per- 
formed his magic. "The makeup was 
really an amazing tool to be given. I 
had no idea when I was offered the 
role that I would be wearing prosthet- 
ics," Krige asserts. "I discovered that 
when they asked me to come in for a 
live cast of my face. I was astonished 
and asked if I could watch it grow. I 
watched as each piece came together. 
We had various trial runs matching the 
body to the head and then the day 
came when we put it all together. The 
very last step was always to put in the 
contact lenses. 

"Finally, we were all in the makeup 
trailer together waiting for Rick to 
arrive. I put in the lenses and looked 
up, and I felt at first a surge of power 
because what I saw was so frightening. 
Then, I was overwhelmed with grati- 
tude for what they had all done and 
how well it had been conceived. I cer- 
tainly wanted to try to accomplish a 
character that was at once attractive 
and repulsive and frightening, yet you 
were obliged to look at her. I wanted 
something that made the audience feel as 
great a degree of dissonance as possible. If 
that's how she came out, then a great deal of 



76 STARLOG/Ma;r/i 1997 




•<vv.-. 



In case you were 
wondering how the 
Borg Queen's 
astonishing 
entrance (where 
her disembodied 
head was lowered 
down to her body) 
was shot, this 
should help yo 
figure it out. 





In Ghost Story, Krige played a spirit who returns to 
haunt Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Melvyn 
Douglas and John Houseman. "They were so gallant, 
so wonderful," she recalls. 



had a ball on 
Sleepwalkers" 
Krige raves of 
her experience 
on the Mick 
(The Stand) 
Garris-directed 
Stephen King 
horrorfest. 




the credit must go to the look they created 
for her." 

Alien Evil 

Much has been made of what the Borg 
Queen is and how she oversees the Borg 
Collective. Early on, the character acknowl- 
edges that she is not just the Borg Queen, but 
is the Borg. She even delivers the line, "I am 
the Borg." Several members of the produc- 
tion team suggested to Krige that thinking of 
the character like a queen bee or queen ant 
might help her more fully understand the 
character. "The ant analogy was useful to a 
certain extent for me," says the actress. "The 
queen ant's function, mainly, is to repro- 
duce. That's what she's there for. The Borg 
Queen doesn't reproduce. She just con- 
sumes. She just colonizes. She just takes 
what she needs. The analogy stopped being 
useful at that point. What animates her is 
different. What animates her is the acquisi- 
tion and exercise of power. 

"What was very interesting to me was 
something that Brent Spiner pointed out. We 
ere talking one day. while I was starting off 
and trying to peel off the layers of the role 
and get to the bedrock, and he said, 'It seems 




to me that what is motivating her is revenge.' 
She wanted to hurt Jean-Luc for not falling 
in love with her. But I ultimately decided 
that wasn't the case. At the very end of 'Best 
of Both Worlds, Part II,' the key to Picard's 
escape from the Borg was really Data. That 
got me thinking. She's not really mad at 
Data; she's fascinated by him. His is an 
intellect equal to her own. It's the only intel- 
lect she has encountered that she hasn't been 
able to crack. She cannot get the encryption 
codes from him in the way she has dealt with 
everyone else. She must get his cooperation. 
So, she does it through sexuality and by 
tempting him with flesh. 

"I found that all quite interesting to 
play. It's interesting to see where power 
and sexuality intersect. These are two ener- 
gies that are very close to each other and go 
in and out of each other. I found that fasci- 
nating to explore," Krige continues. "She 
knows that Data's Achilles' Heel is his pas- 
sionate desire to be human. That's the hook 
she uses to catch him. Sexuality is one of 
the most intense human experiences. Of 
course, she gets hoisted on her own hook. 
She falls for Data and lets down her guard. 
Were she not so intrigued by him, she 



would likely have finished what she set out 
to accomplish. 

"It was hugely satisfying to play her. It's 
very interesting to be allowed to break all the 
rules, to use that kind of energy. You don't 
really get to do it in life. As far as I was con- 
cerned, what she is is a pure intelligence that 
just colonizes whatever she needs to in order 
to move forward in her pursuit of power." 

Beyond her trainer and makeup artist, 
Krige credits three men — namely Frakes, 
Spiner and Stewart — for helping her flesh 
out the Borg Queen. "Jonathan did a terrific 
job. He knew the characters from the show 
inside and out, and he was very good about 
guiding me and helping me find the charac- 
ter, which was a new one to the franchise. 
Brent was just wonderful, which was great 
because the Borg Queen's relationship was 
largely with Data," she notes. "Brent was 
just tireless. It's wonderful that he has 
played the role for so long and hasn't gotten 
bored, doesn't feel as if he has done it all. He 
was still searching, looking and expanding 
the horizons of his character. There was a lot 
of backstory with Picard, but there was only 
that one big scene with me and Patrick. And 
Patrick was just marvelous. All the really 

STARLOG/Atoc/i 1997 11 



"There was a lot of backstory with Picard, but there was only that one big scene with 
me and Patrick [Stewart]," says Krige. "And Patrick was just marvelous." 



wonderful actors that I've 
worked with have a kind of focus 
and concentration on the floor 
that just grabs you and sucks you 
in there. The energy that Patrick 
brings is amazing." 

Fearful Ghost 

That same word, amazing, 
can also be used to describe 
Krige 's introduction to the enter- 
tainment industry. Born in South 
Africa, Krige relocated to 
London at 22 to attend the School 
of Speech and Drama. It wasn't 
long before she began landing 
acting assignments on British 
TV. In 1981, at age 27, she scored 
a remarkable coup by making her 
professional stage debut in a West End pro- 
duction of Arms and the Man and earning 
international acclaim for her performance as 
the opera singer Sybil in her first film, Hugh 
Hudson's Oscar-winning Olympics drama 
Chariots of Fire. 

Though she has since appeared in numer- 
ous other stage, screen and TV productions, 
few of Krige 's films have been major com- 
mercial successes — including the genre 
movies Ghost Story, Haunted Summer and 
Stephen King's Sleepwalkers. Krige 
explains that she carries fond feelings for all 
three pictures and agrees to share them. In 
the John Irvin-directed adaptation of Peter 
Straub's Ghost Story, the actress was cast as 
a spirit who returns from the dead to haunt 
Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Melvyn 
Douglas and John Houseman, as well as 
Craig Wasson. "I suppose she was a sinister 
character, but I'm not sure she was getting 
revenge," notes Krige. "I just thought of her 
as someone who had been terribly wronged. 
What she does is just a way of freeing her- 
self from what happened to her. It was a 
tough film to make. The weather was 
against us every step of the way. Fred 
Astaire was astounding. The day we started 
shooting, his sister Adele died. He went into 



"I certainly wanted to try and accomplish 
a character that was at once attractive 
and repulsive and frightening, yet you 
were obliged to look at her," Krige states. 



his hotel room for a day, then came out and 
started working. 

"The conditions were severe. It was 32 
degrees below zero and there was no snow. 
They had to bring in snowmakers. It was 
very grueling, but what a group of people to 
have worked with. We were in the Saratoga 
Springs Hotel [in upstate New York] and it 
was empty except for us because it was the 
dead of winter. We all used to sit at a big 
round table at night and Craig Wasson and I 
just sat there with our eyes as big as saucers 
listening to these gentlemen tell stories 
about all the work they had done. They were 
so gallant, so wonderful. I also loved work- 
ing with Craig. He was totally there for me 
as an actor. It's great when you feel an 
exchange and are keeping pace with another 
actor in a scene. He's a lovely man. I haven't 
spoken to him in a long time, but I under- 
stand that he recently did an episode of Deep 
Space Nine. It's funny how these things hap- 
pen sometimes." 



In 1988, Krige joined Eric Stoltz, Philip 
Anglim and Laura Dern for Ivan Passer's 
Haunted Summer, which told the bizarre 
saga of a summer spent in Italy circa 1816 
by Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, John Polidori 
and Frankenstein author Mary Godwin 
(Shelley). "I loved making that picture," 
says Krige, who portrayed Godwin. "I 
remember that the movie got postponed for 
three months, so Laura and Eric and I read 
everything, every letter, every diary, every 
piece of poetry. Later, Laura came to 
London en route to Italy, and we went to 
Byron's apartment and Mary's grave and did 
stuff like that. Then, we shot the picture. 
Ivan was a special guy and it was a very tight 
group. We got to feel as if we were inside 
these people's skins. There were these kinds 
of ghosts everywhere we went. We stayed at 
one hotel and right across the street was the 
front door of an apartment where Mary 
stayed. It was a wonderful experi- 
ence, and it was so sad that so few 
people saw the picture. It's a 
flawed film, but it's well worth 
seeing." 

Another flawed but entertain- 
ing picture was Sleepwalkers, 
directed by Mick Garris. Krige 
portrayed the sly, feline-like Mary, 
a creature who joins her son 
Charles (Brian Krause) in sucking 
the lifeforce from innocent virgins. 
"I actually had no intention of say- 
ing yes to that when they offered it 
to me, and I auditioned for it sev- 
eral times," she says, laughing. 
"Then, I got to thinking about it. 
So often people have said of me, 
'She's an English rose. She can't 
be tough or ballsy.' I started to 
think, 'OK, I'll show them! ' and I did it. I'm 
glad I did. Mick is a lovely man and he kept 
that set so bright and light. When you play 
very strong characters, it's very high-ener- 
gy, and I had a ball on Sleepwalkers and, for 
the same reason, on First Contact. Even 
though it wasn't a big box-office hit, many 
people have seen Sleepwalkers and most of 
them like it." 

Since completing First Contact, Krige, 
who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, 
has been working steadily. She was seen in 
the recent Showtime drama Hidden in 
America and completed the feature Amanda 
with Dennis Haysbert and Kieran Culkin. 
It's quite likely that First Contact will result 
in an increased demand for her talents. 

"Obviously, you hope it will generate 
more work, but I really try not to think 
about that. First Contact was a wonderful 
experience and I'm glad I did it. I've been 
working in England again lately, and that's 
nice. I just want to keep working," Alice 
Krige says. "That's all I've ever wanted to 
do, and I have been doing just that. If First 
Contact leads to bigger roles and better 
films, that would, of course, be wonderful 
and nice. I hope it happens, but I'm actual- 
ly quite content." ^ 



78 STARLOG/Marc/i 7997 



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1 



Ever since the Borg made 
their first appearance on 
Star Trek: The Next Gener- 
ation in 1989, they've been 
a fan favorite. In Star Trek: 
First Contact, they're back, 

once again with makeup designed by Michael 
Westmore and sets devised by Herman Zim- 
merman. But a relative newcomer to the Star 
Trek Universe got the nod to fashion Locutus 
and the pivotal Borg Queen, as well as the 
rank-and-file Borg soldiers. 

"It was a very fast and furious show," says 
Todd Masters, creator and producer of special 
characters for First Contact. "We dove in feet 
first and went for it. The first script I got was 
called Star Trek: Borg, so you would think the 
producers would have put some thought into 
how the Borg were going to be made. But 
they didn't. They called us up and said, 'Want 
to do these Borg suits?' We had done some 
work for them on Star Trek: Voyager that they 
liked, so we met with them and broke it 
down." 

At that time. Masters had little idea who 
the Borg were. "I'm not a Star Trek fan," he 
hastens to make clear. "I knew they were guys 
in some sort of mechanical suits, but that's as 




far as it went. Working with their costume 
designer. Deborah Everton, we created the 
look, then started manufacturing the suits. 
One thing led to another and they said, 'Here, 
design the Queen Borg.' So, we did that. 
Then, they asked us to do all these weird 
mechanical gizmos for the Borg arms, and it 
just grew and grew. We did all the film's space 
helmets, too. It was all packed into just a cou- 
ple of months, an incredible onslaught of 
work." 

Masters delighted in his opportunity to 
create a new, sleek look for the half-flesh, 
half-machine race. "We scrapped all the old 
stuff." he reports. "At first, the producers 
thought we should be sticking to the old Borg 
design. But we did some new designs for 
them, showing what we thought the Borg 
should look like. They pretty much bought it 
and loved it right off the bat." 

What didn't Masters like about the Borg 
as they appeared on The Next Generation! 



"They looked like actors in black long-johns 
with model parts and foam core stuck to 
them," he replies. "On the big screen, we 
couldn't get away with that. For First Con- 
tact, I thought the Borg should have a 
mechanical substructure coursing through 
their bodies, working in conjunction with 
their anatomy. So, I wanted to sculpt the fea- 
tures of the Borg and all their mechanical 
aspects into the human form. By sculpting it 
and doing a molded suit, we created an illu- 
sion where you only see half the mechanical 
element; the rest kind of burrows into the 
skin. This kept the suit from getting bulky and 
awkward." 

The Borg, says Masters, look chaotic, but 
not so much as to be a distraction to viewers. 
"We made sure the design had simplicity in 
some areas, so your eyes wouldn't go crazy 
looking at two hours of these things." 

As for the Borg Queen, Masters' company 
designed and created the head and shoulders 



80 STARLOG/Ma/r/; 7997 



Design & Layout: Marc Bernardin 



seen in her distinctive body-connecting intro- 
duction, plus the suit into which she is 
clamped. "We designed the head and shoul- 
ders in a way for Alice Krige to be as much of 
herself in that sequence as humanly possible," 
explains Masters. "ILM did some quick com- 
puter cleanup, too." At the film's end, the 
Queen is reduced to a skull and a chrome 
spine, also courtesy of Masters. 

When it came time for Patrick Stewart's 
Locutus outfit. Masters faced a difficult situa- 
tion: The production essentially ran out of 
money. That's when Masters was told to haul 
the old Next Generation Locutus getup out of 
mothballs and make do. After a few days of 
tinkering with the original suit, Masters 
pleaded for a chance to make a new one. 

"I said, T can't do this, it just won't work 
for your film!' " he remembers. "The whole 
picture was surrounded wall to wall with 
these great-looking Borg, and then the star of 
the show was going to be in this thing that 
wasn't holding together too well anymore. 
They kept saying it would be dark and the 
audience would never see it clearly, and I kept 
saying the Star Trek fans would be disap- 
pointed. Locutus would look like some sort of 
weird Halloween outfit." Finally, Masters 
made the new Locutus suit for practically 
nothing, as a gift to Stewart and the produc- 
tion. "We just did it, and we had to do it pret- 
ty much overnight," he says. 

Masters' duties required him to spend a 
great deal of time on the set. "We worked 
with Alice a lot, and we worked with all the 
principal actors to a certain extent. We shoved 
them into space helmets and space suits. We 
worked with the Borg actors, too. I learned 
every Borg by his first name. I could never 
remember their last names, so it was always 
'Monty Borg' or 'Patrick Borg' or 'Louie 
Borg.' " 

To Masters' chagrin, the producers initial- 
ly tried stuntmen in the Borg suits. The result 
was less than satisfactory. "They walked liked 




they had been riding motorcycles and horses 
all their lives," explains Masters. Looking at 
the dailies, director Jonathan Frakes and pro- 
ducer Rick Berman wondered what was 
wrong. Masters tried to explain. 

"The stuntmen didn't have what we felt 
were good 'Borgisms,' " he says. "Once the 
producers realized how important the Borg 
were to the film, they realized they needed 
actors. They needed people who understand 
movement. To us, it was obvious; we work on 
monsters all year long. You have to set the 
mood through lighting, photography, and 
especially movement. If you saunter across 
the floor like a normal guy in a monster outfit, 
you're going to look like a normal guy in a 
monster outfit. It doesn't matter how good the 
rubber is. So, they started studying move- 




Makeup maestro Michael Westmore creat- 
ed the Borg Queen's seductively evil face 
while Masters and company designed her 
head-and-shoulders suit so that actress 
Alice Krige could be "as much of herself 
as humanly possible." 



ment, and suddenly we had some great mov- 
ing Borg." 

Shadouj of me Greys 

Besides First Contact, Masters' 10-year- 
old company has created aliens, monsters and 
makeup effects for such films as Nightmare 
on Elm Street 5, Look Who's Talking and 
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. The 
company currently produces the alien "greys" 
and "ganglions" for the NBC SF conspiracy 
series Dark Skies. 

"We do pretty much all the critter effects 
on Dark Skies," he says. "The greys are your 
classic aliens with large almond eyes and 
thin, gaunt bodies. Those are animatronic 
puppets, mostly. The ganglions, which con- 
trol the greys as well as some 
humans, are made out of a lot 
of stuff." 
Stuff? 

"Well," says Masters, "the 
main ganglions are made out 
of silicone, and they have a 
network of cables in them 
which make them whip and 
contort." He begins to speak of 
the props almost as pets. 
"There are a couple of gan- 
glions that are not as active, 
called Betas, which are smaller 
versions of these critters. 
They're made of foam rubber." 

Still other ganglions are 
vinyl, and for some scenes, 
Masters supplies ganglions 
made out of flavored gelatin or 
edible slime. "Sometimes the 
actors have to expel these 
things out of their mouths," he 
explains. "In those cases, we 
make a couple of devices lead- 
ing up to this effect where the 
ganglion slowly comes out of 



STARLOG/Ma/r/j 1997 81 



the mouth. We use various contraptions that 
we hide inside the actors' mouths somewhere. 
Then, when they actually expel the prop, it's 
an edible ganglion just in case they happen to 
get hungry and chew off a little bit." 

The original intention for the ganglions in 
the Dark Skies pilot was to prevent them from 
ever being seen clearly by the audience. "To 
do that, we wanted to make sure they were 
always changing and flipping inside out or 
growing legs and expanding," notes Masters. 
"It has gotten a little simpler since then." 

In one episode, John Loengard (Eric 
Close) experiences an alien-induced glimpse 
of his own future. The scene required Close to 
don extensive old-age makeup — a task the 
actor embraced. "Eric was integral with that 
makeup," Masters says. "Instead of just wait- 
ing for the day in the schedule when the 
makeup arrived to be slapped on his face, he 
wanted to be involved step by step. It was his 
character being made to look old, and he 
wanted to make sure it was being done to his 
liking. That's part of the reason why we did a 
computer image first. We wanted to be sure 
that Eric was working on the same character 
we were. That way, we don't show up on the 
set and discover he has created a voice for a 
mousy, gaunt guy while we've made a big, fat 
figure. 

"So, I started off with a photo of Eric, and 
I sat down and noodled on the computer. 
Eventually, I came up with a design we were 
all happy with, and from that we built the 
makeup. Eric took it seriously and profes- 
sionally, and his performance when he had 
the makeup on was pretty fantastic." 

Megan Ward, who plays Kim Sayers, is 
even more enthusiastic when it comes to Mas- 
ters' creations. For "Dreamland," Masters 
made the "buzz worms" that crawl over her 
chest, shoulders and face. The actress took it 





These Borg are not just folks in black long-johns wearing model parts and foam core. 
Masters went with a sleek new biomechanical look. 



all in stride. "Megan has had more gook on her 
[than Close]," laughs Masters. "She has been 
slimed and wrapped and abducted and invad- 
ed by a ganglion. But every time something 
like that comes along, she's very gung-ho for 
it. She'll come up to me with a big grin on her 
face and say, 'Did you read what we get to do 
next?!' We're happy to have that attitude." 

Masters and his crew have been with Dark 
Skies since the pilot, which was a sometimes 
rocky shoot. "We're one of the few survivors 
of the pilot," he notes. Some of his work in the 
pilot didn't meet his own standards, or those 
of executive producer Bryce Zabel or director 
Tobe Hooper. "Some stuff was hastily shot, 
but that was filmed by a completely different 
group. I wish the whole sequence of Kimber- 
ly's abduction was shot as we originally 
planned it. It was supposed to be shot over a 
period of several nights with a lot of second 
unit work, but it was done very hastily and 
Tobe and I were never really satisfied with it. 
Ultimately, it turned out fine for the viewers, 
but personally I don't think the aliens came 
across as well as they should have." 

The difficulties, he says, stemmed from "a 
different way of thinking. We fell for an age- 
old trick. They told us from the beginning we 
would have all the time we needed, so we 
went in thinking we could shoot the abduc- 
tion sequence in a specific way. We made 
detailed alien puppets. They were translucent, 
and they had all sorts of inner membranes that 
you can't really see in the final version. We 
painted the skulls rather than the skins, so 
they had a very unusual gelatinous quality to 
them. It was our attempt at getting away from 
the usual grey that we've already seen." 

Unfortunately, the realities of a tight 
schedule got in the way. "We got stuck shoot- 
ing the aliens in three hours when it should 
have taken three days," Masters sighs. Since 
then, he has modified the alien designs to 
improve their performance. "We went back 

Masters' crew also haunts Megan Ward 
and Eric Close on TV's Dark Skies, devis- 
ing the show's classic grey aliens and 
other effects. 



and reformulated the original concepts. We 
streamlined the system, so now we just wheel 
the grey on the set, turn it on, puppeteer it and 
we're done. It's a very production-friendly 
critter. It no longer has this beautiful, translu- 
cent skin, but it's very well-painted and 
designed. And," he quips, "it works faster 
than actors." 

Or monkeys, for that matter. The monkey 
sequence in the pilot posed its share of chal- 
lenges as well (although in most of the shots, 
the monkey was fake). "That was really one 
big magic trick," Masters reflects. "We made 
sure the rigging was hidden in the appropriate 
places all the way through the sequence. 
Every time we came to a new angle, we 
changed the place where the tubes and cables 
were hidden. It was a pretty successful 
sequence. Many people who saw it thought 
the ganglion was a real squid." 

These days, Masters' only complaint 
regarding Dark Skies is that he doesn't get to 
do enough. "I've been trying to push the pro- 
ducers to let us to do more stuff," he says. "In 
many meetings, I find people aren't familiar 
with this kind of medium — the feature-quali- 
ty FX work we do for TV. They back off and 
don't want to try new things." 

Masters worked extensively for HBO's 
Tales from the Crypt, where every week 
afforded him the opportunity to create some- 
thing new and unusual with limited time and 
money. "My crew and I got comfortable with 
this pace, and our attitude is always 'Bring it 
on!' We're more interested in the end product 
and in really good entertainment than in get- 
ting sleep. So, we push the Dark Skies writers 
to write more stuff with aliens and ganglions 
in the show." 

He cites The X-Files as an example of the 
frustration he feels. "As a viewer. I always 
wish there were more visual goodies on that 
show, but there's only so much and you never 
get a chance to see them up close and personal. 

"But we have the goodies," says Todd 
Masters, "and in fairness, they're starting to 
let us do more. So watch out: Our alien mon- 
ster is coming back soon." 



82 STARLOG/Marc/i 7997 



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By KIM HOWARD JOHNSON 



For director Roger Donaldson, filming Dante's Peak 
was a volcano lover's dream come true. 



Very few geology students have utilized their studies 
like moviemaker Roger Donaldson. And very few 
films are as well-suited to their directors as Dante's 
Peak. The former geology major, known for Species and No 
Way Out, is at the helm of this new action-adventure FX 
spectacular. Pierce Brosnan stars as a scientist investigating 
a long-dormant volcano near a small town, with the aid of 
its mayor, played by Linda Hamilton. In fact, Donaldson's 
background had a great deal to do with his decision to take 
on the fiery challenge of Dante's Peak. 



"It goes back to my days as a geology stu- 
dent," he explains. "I worked for a while as 
an assistant geologist. I always had a fascina- 
tion with geology and volcanology. and I 
lived for a long time in New Zealand, where 
there are active volcanoes. So, I was very 
aware of what volcanoes are. I also thought 
the script [by Daylight's Leslie Bohem] had 
great potential to make a really big. exciting 
movie." 

Donaldson believes many 
people share his fascination with 
volcanoes. "It's the red-hot lava 
coming up out of the Earth, and 
the awesome quality of a vol- 
canic eruption, and the scale of 
devastation." he observes. "It 
reminds us that the center of the 
Earth is molten, and we are sit- 
ting on this little thin crust, and 
the whole middle of it is liquid 
rock." 

Dante's Peak involves plenty 
of human drama in addition to 
the natural disasters. "It's the 
story of a group of volcanolo- 
gists who are trying to predict a 
volcanic eruption, and internal 
conflict within the group as they 
disagree about what will really 
happen, when it will happen and what their 
responsibilities are to the general popula- 
tion," Donaldson relates. "The characters 
also get involved with the town they're work- 
ing in, which is located next to Dante's 
Peak." 

Lava Flows 

Unlike filmmakers in the past, the direc- 
tor says his team is creating their lava digital- 
ly. "Because it moves like a slow, viscous 
liquid, it's very difficult to create something 
that looks convincing, and we've been work- 
ing on it for 10 months. We had been experi- 



menting with every possible substance you 
can think of. Just within the last week, we 
finally got some very convincing results! 

"Everybody thinks of volcanoes as lava, 
but there are many other things that come 
along with volcanoes. Volcanoes herald their 
arrival with swarming earthquakes. As the 
lava moves its way up inside these moun- 
tains, it forms these earthquakes that indicate 




Finding adventure on Dante's Peak are plucky Mayor Li 
Hamilton and dauntless volcanologist Pierce Brosnan. 



that something dramatic 's going to happen. 
So, we have earthquakes in our movie. Then, 
we have lava bombs, which are thrown out of 
volcanoes. We also have big areas of ice and 
snow in the form of glaciers — if there's an 
eruption and there's a lot of heat released, 
then there's a very large quantity of water 
collected on top of this mountain which 
instantly gets melted, and you get mud slides 
and later rock slides. Water races down the 
mountainside to the lowest ground it can, so 
forests and bridges are wiped out. We've got 
all of that in our movie. We have a bit of 
everything!" 



Donaldson notes that the pace keeps 
building as they include more dangers in 
Dante's Peak. "The second half of the movie 
doesn't stop at all!" he exclaims. "We have 
yet another hazard that comes along, because 
bodies of water get very acidic — as acidic as 
battery acid — so we have a sequence which 
uses that as its focal point. There's also a lot 
of volcanic ash that creates hazards." 

Creating an exploding volcano in Holly- 
wood requires all sorts of help, notes the 
director. "You use a bit of everything — real- 
ism, big models, digital technology — and 
you combine everything you can put together 
into a big bang! And you can do it rather con- 
vincingly." 

Most of the digital volcanic FX were 
added after principal filming, resulting in sev- 
eral sequences that should literally blow audi- 
ences away. "I don't know if I've ever seen a 
volcano in a movie before, so I don't even 
know what has been attempted." says Donald- 
son of cinematic disasters past that include, 
among others. 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, 
The Devil at Four O'Clock, Journey to the 
Center of the Earth, Krakatoa. 
East of Java and Congo. "I just 
want the audiences for this 
movie to feel like they're in the 
middle of a documentary, but a 
documentary where the camera- 
man was crazy enough to get in 
this close to what was going on. 
Unfortunately, he would be 
unlikely to live to tell the tale!" 

Donaldson notes that he has 
known Brosnan for years, and 
was delighted to cast his long- 
time friend as Harry Dalton. 
"After the success of GoldenEye, 
I knew he would make a great 
leading man. Pierce comes 
across on screen as an intelligent, 
well-educated person. Obvious- 
ly, to be a volcanologist, you 
need to have gone to a university 
and studied for many years, and I thought 
Pierce could play a part like that one quite 
convincingly." 

Hamilton actually auditioned for the role 
of the mayor, who comes to support Dalton 
after overcoming her initial skepticism. 
"Actually. Linda wasn't originally on the list 
of actresses that I was considering for the 
part, but only because I hadn't thought of 
her," Donaldson says. "I knew how good she 
was in T2. and she was just awesome in her 
audition. Her enthusiasm to do the movie, 
her abilities and her star power all combined 
to make me very enthusiastic about her. We 



nda 



STARLOG/March 1997 85 




All the volcanic 
sh in the air 
ade it as diffi- 
as any 
ie I've ever 
done," notes 
Donaldson. 



very nearly didn't get her. though. She had 
committed to do another movie and had 
problems getting that postponed, but fortu- 
nately we did get her. Pierce and Linda com- 
bined to create a really special chemistry. I 
had hoped for that at the movie's beginning. 
But, I never expect or anticipate anything 
other than problems. If you hope for the best 
and expect the worst on a movie, you're 
never disappointed! 

"I always try to find actors who are person- 
ally enthusiastic about their work, actors I have 
seen right in front of me in auditions or seen 
their acting abilities in their body of work. 



Good actors bring a heck of a lot of stuff with 
them. Some of the best things that happen in 
movies happen from the input of talented 
actors. I like to create an atmosphere that gives 
an actor the room to be creative, so they can 
contribute as much as they want to contribute 
and have ideas that they can put into the movie. 
Both Pierce and Linda are very creative and 
really love to do their jobs. I must be honest, it 
was fun making the movie!" 

Donaldson reports that his stars were able 
to handle the FX challenges of working with 
non-existent objects in front of a blue screen. 
"It is difficult trying to create stuff where 



you're putting in key elements at a later 
stage, and the actors are trying to relate to 
key elements that don't even exist," he says. 
"So. the better the actor, the more likely you 
are to put together a bit of film that looks 
convincing in the end." 

Fiery Eruptions 

Even though the primary purpose of the 
film is to entertain. Donaldson believes audi- 
ences will learn plenty about volcanoes from 
Dante's Peak. "There's not going to be much 
left that they don't know about volcanoes!" 
laughs the director. "We had three experi- 
enced volcanologists who were advisors to 
the movie, and I must admit that I just had a 
ball talking to these guys, bringing back so 
many facts from the past that I had forgotten 
and learning many new ones, really under- 
standing what's involved in volcanic predic- 
tions and their chances of success." 

Dante's Peak has rekindled Donaldson's 
interest in volcanoes. "Like any subject, 
when you get close to it." he admits, "you 
realize that it's going on all around you. Now, 
I read every article about volcanoes that 
comes along, and it's amazing how much has 
been happening in the last year. There have 
been major eruptions going on in Iceland, the 
Caribbean, New Zealand — and those are just 
a few of them." A major real-world volcanic 
eruption just before the premiere of Dante's 
Peak "wouldn't hurt," Donaldson confesses 
with a laugh, "As long as nobody gets 
injured!" 

The film's creative team worked closely 
with the experts and used their knowledge to 
help finish the script. "One of the things 
about volcanology that's very real, that we 
made into a backbone of our movie, is the 
difficulties and responsibilities which come 
with trying to make predictions, because the 
science is not exact. It's dangerous, and many 
volcanologists have been killed. Our advisors 
had stories about friends who were killed 
during volcanic eruptions. These guys had to 
get right into the middle of it all to get to 
where they had to put their instruments to 
record and monitor the mountain. It was 
great hearing those stories first-hand and get- 
ting those elements into the movie," Donald- 
son says. 

After Dante's Peak was underway, the 
moviemakers discovered that another, differ- 
ent lava fantasy film, Volcano, was in pro- 
duction. The subsequent race to the box 
office has made things more difficult for 
Dante's Peak. 

"It affected our post-production time dra- 
matically, because our release date was moved 
up," reveals Donaldson. "In terms of making 
the movie, nothing changed. We were rolling 
on our movie before they started theirs. Our 
plan was in place six months before we rolled, 
and the picture was pretty well set in stone 
before I was even aware that theirs was a reali- 
ty. So far, we haven't compromised anything, 
and the studio has been very supportive of us 
making a great movie. We didn't cut back on 
our shooting time at all to do that. I'll just keep 
my fingers crossed and hope that our hard 
work pays off!" 



86 STARLOG/Marc/i 1997 



Ashen-faced, Brosnan, Hamilton 
and company face the disaster. In 
real life, anyone so close to an 
erupting volcano would be unlike- 
ly to survive the experience. 





The filming itself presented the unit with 
some unexpected challenges. "Much of 
Dante's Peak was difficult to shoot," Donald- 
son says. "All of the volcanic ash in the air 
made it as difficult as any movie I've ever 
done. Trying to shoot a movie in the middle of 
great clouds of dust and crap flying around — 
flying helicopters in that stuff — it makes for 
very unpleasant work. If you saw photos of the 
crew, you wouldn't believe it! As a director, 
you have to communicate with everyone, so 
you've got to keep talking, you can't 
wear masks like everyone else 
does. That was about as difficult as 
I've ever had it. I would get sick 
from all that stuff, but I couldn't 
say, 'I'm not coming to work tomor- 
row.' I had to be there! 

"The most pleasant surprise for me was 
seeing the whole thing cut together. It was all 
worth it. The story works, the stuff I put all of 
the effort into is still in the movie and not on 
the cutting room floor. Things look convinc- 
ing, the acting looks good. There are things 
that you don't know until you see it put togeth- 
er, and then you know what you've really got." 

On the other hand, even now, the Aus- 
rralian-born director really can't explain the 
success of his last genre film, the SF thriller 
Species (which he discussed in STARLOG 



#217). "We had a great cast. Natasha Hen- 
stridge was very appealing. The movie had a 
sense of humor. And I think it delivered what 
that audience was looking for," he says. 

Although there are two Species sequel 
scripts in the works as well as a potential TV 
series, Donaldson doubts he'll be seriously 
involved in any of them. "Contractually, I 
could be involved if I wanted to, but I think my 
real interest is in other projects and finding new 
thinas to become involved in." 



"This movie is three or four times bigger 
than anything I've ever attempted before.' 



As Dante s Peak explodes in theaters, Don- 
aldson — whose past films also include Smash 
Palace, The Bounty and Cocktail — has begun 
working on a project based on a real-life 
tragedy. "I'm focusing on a movie based on the 
events that happened on Mt. Everest in early 
1996," he reports. "There were several expedi- 
tions with guides taking people up to the top of 
Mt. Everest. They got caught in some terrible 
weather and eight people died. It's a terribly 
dramatic story. We've bought the rights to a 
number of people's stories and we're develop- 
ing a script." 



After years in show business, Donaldson 
says conquering Dante's Peak has been his 
greatest challenge. "This movie is three or 
four times bigger than anything I've ever 
attempted before, and the pleasure of it is 
doing things that I've never done before. I'm 
really immersing myself in areas of filmmak- 
ing that I had never really gotten to the bot- 
tom of before, things like filmmaking with 
models — some of them are spectacular and 
done on a very large scale, very real. They 
were done by Digital Domain, the 
people who did Apollo 13. 

"I didn't know it was going to be 
this challenging when I first agreed 
to do Dante's Peak. If I had known 
how tough it was, I might not have 
been as enthusiastic! But the truth is, I've 
enjoyed making this movie more than any I've 
ever done, though after working on it for a 
year, I did get a little worn down." 

Still, Roger Donaldson is confident that 
Dante's Peak will be as much fun for audi- 
ences to watch as it was for him to make. "This 
movie is going to deliver. It's a good story that 
will suck people in, and it has some real emo- 
tion. That part of it's all intact. And there are 
special FX on a scale that you probably 
haven't seen before. As the copyline says, it's 
the ultimate blast!" •&? 



STARLOG/Mmr/7 1997 87 



When lava flows, matters get hot in 
Hollywood for the makers of Volcano. 



U - here are two volcano movies poised to sink their lava- 
colored fingers into your movie money this year. But 
you know you've struck a nerve when you remind Vol- 
cano producer Neal Moritz that he does, indeed, have com- 
petition in the guise of Dante's Peak (out this month). 

making the impossible possible — at least on 



"I know the ideas for both movies came 
together about the same time," sputters 
Moritz, obviously annoyed at being asked 
about Dante's Peak when Volcano won't 
blast off in theaters until May (or possibly 
October). "But I really know nothing more 
about that other movie." 

Moritz quickly returns to the lighthearted 
tone of proud papa as he walks STARLOG 
through the heart and soul of Volcano, a 
three-quarters-of-a-mile, constructed-to- 
scale replica of Los Angeles' famed Wilshire 
Boulevard built on the outer rim of the 
McDonnell Douglas Aircraft plant in Tor- 
rance, CA. He proudly points to the burned, 
twisted, blasted and melted remains of such 
LA landmarks as the May Company depart- 
ment store, the Peterson Auto Museum, the 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the 
bubbling black vestige of the 
La Brea Tar Pits, where Moritz 
pauses to proudly proclaim, 
"And this is where it all hap- 
pens." 

He continues the tour over 
the cracked and buckling con- 
crete, through the charred 
remains of a fallen palm tree 
and the melted, tossed every- 
which-way-but loose remains 
of a bus, catering van and a 
fire truck which, in an earlier 
scene, were engulfed by rac- 
ing rivers of lava. The produc- , 
er stops before a multi-story] 
building, jutting some 75 feet 
in the air, that, during filming, 
has been constantly ablaze. 
Atop the building is a partially 
burned billboard of Holly- 
wood's real life, cleavage- 
heavy Angelyne, an ironic 
ode to a local legend who is 
famous for being famous — or having the 
money to put up obnoxiously ubiquitous 
billboards. 

"It all looks so real," enthuses Moritz. 
"And real is going to be the key to selling 
this movie." 

Brave words, at least according to Vol- 
cano's consultant, volcanologist Rick Hazlett. 
"The possibility of a volcano erupting in the 
middle of Los Angeles is so close to zero that 
you can consider it impossible." But that hasn't 
stopped 20th Century Fox from taking a stab at 



the movie screen. 

Volcano's storyline, based on an original 
script by Jerome D. Armstrong with touch- ups 
by Billy Ray and Barbara Benedek, chronicles 
a typical, tension-packed day in LA suddenly 
made more so by the unexpected forces of 
nature at work. A vent in the Earth's crust 
breaks open and pushes its molten matter to the 
surface in the center of the largest of the famed 
tar pits. A volcano forms and lava pours out, 
creeping through the streets and destroying 
everyone and everything in its path. 

Leading the seemingly impossible fight 
against this moving, fiery death are Emergency 
Services officer Mike Roark (Tommy Lee 
Jones) and seismologist Amy Barnes (Anne 
Heche), who, when not dodging lava bombs 
and blood-curdling brushes with death, are 




There's a fire down below for Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche in Mick 
Jackson's disaster opus Volcano. 

mobilizing people from all walks of life to stop 
the relentless, fiery destruction. 

Co-starring in Volcano are the usual dis- 
aster film suspects: kids, stalwarts and those 
with ulterior motives. They are played by 
Don Cheadle, John Corbett, John Carroll 
Lynch, Jacqueline Kim and Gaby Hoffman. 

Mick (The Bodyguard) Jackson is direct- 
ing. Executive producer is Ladyhawke's Lau- 
ren Shuler-Donner, while Moritz and 
Andrew Z. Davis are handling the producers' 
chores. Jackson DeGovia is responsible for 



the massive production design work while 
Marty (Escape From LA) Bresin and Mat 
(The X-Files) Beck have pooled their skills 
for all manner of visual and mechanical 
effects to set Volcano's fury into crimson 
motion. 

Fire Power 

"LA? I love it and I hate it," quips Jackson 
during a quick trip away from the set, where 
he is prepping a hot (literally) action 
sequence for later in the evening, to screen 
some rough footage of the film. "And this 
movie both loves LA and hates it. The city 
gets severely trashed, and I think that trash- 
ing will be a great source of entertainment." 

Jackson, a wry Brit whose tongue is never 
too far from his cheek, turns downright mys- 
tic as he couches his '90s disaster film in 
rather highbrow terms. "This movie is about 
the idea that LA is the volcano. In the first 
half-hour, we establish that Los Angeles is a 
city that's about to explode because of the 
economic, racial and other tensions within it. 
The magma is a metaphor for the chaos that 
lurks below the surface. Disaster strikes and 
we are all dragged kicking and screaming to 
unite to defeat this thing." 

The director — who 
offers that only recent 
advances in computer 
technology have made a 
film like Volcano possi- 
ble — claims he is going 
for "a gritty, documentary 
feel." He believes that his 
flesh-and-blood actors 
won't suffer in the face of 
tons of special effects. 

"There's room for 
actors," he insists. "We're 
using the first part of the 
movie to build up these 
people as real characters 
so, when they're in jeop- 
ardy, we will care about 
them. We automatically 
know that when Jean- 
Claude Van Damme or 
Arnold Schwarzenegger 
are in a film, nothing can 
touch them. But the people in Volcano are not 
supermen, so I think that slaps a fresh coat of 
paint on things." 

Jackson returns to the set as the first 
shades of evening begin to encroach. Huge 
lights flash on, giving extra dimension to the 
destruction of the Wilshire mockup. A fire 
truck backs in, followed by dozens of extras 
representing police and firemen as well as 
members of the press and just plain folks. 
Jackson begins the long blocking process, 
coordinating foot and vehicle movement 



START. OGIMnrrh 1997 



with the hot and very dangerous effects ele- 
ments that will be introduced into the scene. 
At the other end of the street, the propane 
tanks powering the flames are being turned 
on a multi-story building. The flames start 
small, lick higher and higher and eventually 
engulf the entire structure in an impressive 
show of real fire power. 

Hollywood Inferno 

With the merging of real and computer 
effects at the heart of Volcano, it's not sur- 
prising that both Bresin and Beck are on 
hand to observe the burn and offer their take 
on helping Los Angeles to blow its top. 

"There's a lot of everything, effects-wise, 
in this movie," yells Bresin over the roar, his 
face already sooty from earlier test burns. 
'There's lots of black powder, the computer- 
generated stuff and more than 20,000 gallons 
of propane to power it all. We're burning a lot 
of stuff. The other night we blew a fire truck 
across the street, dragged it down the street, 
dropped it in a pit we had dug and set it on 
fire to a degree that it literally melted away. 
We did the same thing with a car. The sub- 
way gag was also a wild one. We had fires set 
inside and outside a subway car and there 
were people running inside and catching on 
fire. It was something!" 

Beck, for his part, echoes the importance 
of real live heat in Volcano, but claims the 
flowing mass is a combination of many tech- 
niques. "Shots of lava sliding along the 
ground will be a mixture of propane, Sterno 
and rubber cement which are then put into 
the computer to enhance the look. The live 
shots will be primarily for inserts. Most of 
the other lava shots will be either computer- 
generated or done in miniature. It has to be 
done this way because our lava flows around 
and attaches itself to objects and basically 
has a lot of interaction with the real world. 
When you see this stuff in action, you'll 
believe it." 

Back on the portion of the Wilshire 
Boulevard set where the main action will 
take place this night, the actors are preparing 
to face the heat, "There's nothing really 



unusual about this acting job." coughs Jones 
as the heat and dust begin to fill the air. "I walk 
and talk and hang from ladders in mid-air. I 
burn and the smoke gets in my lungs and fills 
up my head. It's a piece of cake." 

As he is summoned back to the set, howev- 
er, the actor does note that "It's frightening. 
When you're dealing with as much fire as 
we're using, it's always frightening. The mar- 
gin for error and safety is small." 

Jones joins his co-star Heche, who is in 
conversation with director Jackson. In the 
background, assistant directors and stunt peo- 
ple are positioning extras and maneuvering a 
fire truck into position for a slow rollback into | 
camera. All is ready. 

"All right!" yells Jackson as the flame j 
shoots up through and surrounds buildings 
and artificial ash rains down. "Action!" 

The fire truck backs into camera, sur- 
rounded by dozens of screaming, running fire- 
men, police and TV news crews who | 
scramble for safety as a river of lava (to be 
added later) rushes toward them. In the midst 
of the chaos. Jones is shouting orders and 
attempting to marshal the forces in flight as 
glass and burning embers shower down. 
•'Cut!" yells the director. •"Let's back it up and 
try it again." 

"I'm really getting a kick out of this," 
chuckles Hazlett, an associate professor of 
geology, as he watches the action from a safe 
distance. "'I never expected to apply my sci- 
ence and training in this regard." 

Hazlett offers that while the "LA as a vol- 
cano ground zero" premise is highly improba- c 
ble. craters in the Nevada desert less than 200 ~ 
miles from Los Angeles (and ones w ith a his- s 
tory of eruptions) give credence to Holly- .| 
wood's latest stab at disaster magic. | 

"They're bending reality a little bit for the o 
sake of entertainment, but the idea of taking | 
volcanic activity known to have happened in 
the desert and plopping it down in LA is fairly 
realistic. I've followed the development of the 
script and tried to keep the storyline within the 
parameters of real science and. so far. it has | 
been fairly close. " 

Scientifically speaking, "the crust is a bit 
thinner and the mantle is a bit hotter" in the 
movie. The destruction and movement of the 
lava has been compressed in time. "In real 
life, there would be many more explosions 
and people as close to the epicenter of the 
explosions as they are in the film would not 
survive." 

And on the upside? 

"The suspense plays true because we're 
really not prepared to control such an event 
happening in the big city. The actors also | 
seem to have a pretty good handle on their 8 
characters and how they would function in $ 
such an emergency." I 
Hazlett speculates about what would -3 
occur if the events of Volcano actually hap- | 
pened. "If this scenario were to happen for £ 
real, many people would die because they 

| couldn't get out of the way of the lava. It 
would take days to evacuate a city like Los 
Angeles, and there just wouldn't be enough 
time. People would die in some pretty grue- 

; some ways." 




"We had fires inside 
and outside a subway 
car, and there were 
people running inside 
and catching on fire. It 
was something!" 
enthuses Bresin. 



The hero in Hollywood movies gets 
the girl. The hero of Volcano gets 
them out of the way of fire, lava and 
a host of other dangers. 




Jackson is finally ready for another take 
on Volcano's violent assault on Los Angeles. 
The actors and equipment are poised and 
ready. A voice crackles over a loudspeaker. 



"There are going to be lava bombs going 
off and glass flying. Let's get those fire extin- 
guishers ready. And if you're not in this 
scene... 



■4* 



STARLOG/ March 1997 91 



20 Years Ago in 
STARLOG 

Log Entries: George Pal has ten- 
tatively begun work on a sequel 
to The Time Machine which will 
include many of the elements of 
the original and also pay closer 
attention to the concept of time 
travel. 

It was recently disclosed that 
two Soviet hunter-killer satellites 
had been launched as a test. This 
kind of exercise would indicate 




the ability to maneuver close 
enough to a target vehicle to 
use a disabling laser. 

15 Years Ago 

Log Entries: Airport IV, 
rumored to be called Airport 
UFO. is being scripted by novel- 
ist Majorie Kellog. It's reported 
to lean more on character mys- 
tery than disaster epic. 

Carl Sagan. coming off the 
success of his PBS series and 
subsequent book. Cosmos, is 
working on his next project. 
Contact, a novel examining first 
contact between humans and 
aliens, is already being worked 
up for a major motion picture. 

"I guess if you analyze the 
SHADO set-up. it's kind of a fas- 
cist organization with a law unto 
itself... answerable to practically 
no one. Anarchic, despotic, but 
somehow, it was working for the 
total good." 

— Ed Bishop 

Interview: David Hirsch, #55 

10 Years Ago 

Booklog: Finally available in 
paperback is Carl Sagan's Con- 
tact. 




"For me, personally, a hero is 
somebody who will make sacri- 
fices for others without expect- 
ing a reward." 

— Christopher Reeve 

Interview: Clifford Meth,#115 

"The suspension of disbelief is 
very tricky, and when you try to 
hold on to it for too long, people 
tend to say, 'OK, so the guy can 
walk through walls, so what?' " 
— Buck Houghton, producer, 
The Twilight Zone 

Interview: Randy & Jean Marc Lofficier, 
#115 



Five Years Ago 



"I work in television. I don't 
know that I would want to spend 
the rest of my life controlling my 
characters." 

— Gene Roddenberry 

Tribute: Lee Goldberg, #175 

"When you get to my age. you 
have an entirely different atti- 
tiude to life. There's nothing in 
particular left to achieve. But 
what there's left to achieve is to 
try and just sort of appreciate 
what you have." 

— Patrick Macnee 

Interview: Karl Shook, #175 




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