Hier der ganze Artikel des neuen SW Insiders. Ganz besonderer Dank an Sith Happens von unserer Schwesterseite EPX. When the Insider last talked with producer Rick McCallum from his office at Skywalker Ranch in mid-November, he had just returned from working on a non-Star Wars project and was preparing to head to Australia. In between, he gave us a few tantalizing reports about the earliest work on the sixth and final installment of the Star Wars saga, Episode III. It was clear that there were a few key pieces of intelligence McCallum might have shared if the timing were just a little better. Like all good commanders, however, he knows the value of keeping a lid on top-secret plans until just before the attack. Grand Moff Tarkin could have taken a lesson from this guy. Assembling the Troops What McCallum can tell us is that the artists who began work months ago now have some reinforcements. "We have a production art department in London that's started, feverishly," he reports. "We have a costume department that starts next week in Sydney, and then the production art department moves to Sydney in the beginning of 2003. So all systems are go, and I leave tonight for Sydney. So it's moving." Once in Australia, McCallum planned to hit the ground running. "We'll be locking up all of our stages and start bringing in all of our rigging gear. We start our basic construction of the things that are needed in each department. We had our production coordinator begin about two weeks ago. It's like moving a small army in." Reinforcements are scheduled to arrive shortly after McCallum lays the groundwork. "In about two weeks, we'll have our new set director, Richard Roberts, come into Sydney to scout locations and service companies. We have our prop manufacturing team coming in. This is just the beginning of pre-production on the film." Perfecting the Plan As the conceptual art effort moves forward, the art department at Skywalker Ranch has been adding new talent to its already formidable roster. "We have a huge art department now," says McCallum. One of its more recent additions is an artist from Industrial Light & Magic. "His name is Sang Jun Lee. He's working with Ian McCaig on costumes. He's a really good guy, a really talented artist." About twenty artists now work on Episode III, and as of November 2002 they had already created about 1,500 illustrations. If that seems like a great number, McCallum points out that they've only just begun. "We'll reach 10,000 before we start shooting." This far out in the process, most of the illustrations are for elements of the film that can be locked down early. McCallum lists some examples: "Paintings and sketches for all the costumes--of which there'll be about 1,200 different ones--and the rest is props, vehicles, silverware--every aspect of set construction." Star Wars movies require far more invention than other productions because of their epic nature, taking place in a wholly imagined setting. While the fantasy world delights audiences, it makes the production challenges greater. "We can't go to anyplace and rent or hire stuff. We have to make it all. Everything has to be designed. Everything has to have a logic for each universe and each planet." So much invention seems liberating to the artists, but it doesn't spare them from the need for research. They must always been aware of the designs of the previous two movies, says McCallum, "and what comes after." "We have the classic trilogy available to everybody. We have all the images, planets--the icon references from every single planet from IV, V, and VI is always around us in the art department. It's always there, because it has to be one seamless film by the end of it." The next big milestone for graphic design was scheduled for December 2002, when McCallum expected his team to begin creating animatics based on the first script pages. Honing the Weapons The marketing campaign for the Attack of the Clones home video release touted it as "a perfect clone" because of the groundbreaking digital capture that makes the DVD the truest representation possible of the filmmaker's movie. Not content to rest on the laurels of the previous episode, the Star Wars crew continues to push the limits of digital photography with new technological advances. "We won't have a completely new camera," explains McCallum. "We'll have a much more sophisticated, hot-rodded camera. When we shot Episode III, it was like the Jurassic period of digital capture. It's much more sophisticated now." He can't give us details just yet, because the advances are so new that they haven't even been publicly announced. Still, he says, the improvements will provide "better resolution, better picture quality, better color imagery. It just takes it straight to the next level." Just before the home video release, Attack of the Clones hit movie screens for the second time this year, this time on very, very big screens. McCallum was delighted with the results. "I thought that IMAX did a brilliant job converting it to a 70mm print. I'm very happy with the result, and I'm very happy to know that fans like it and that people are going to see it again." Part of the fun of the release was in seeing how the movie was changed to fit the two-hour format of the IMAX platters. "There's no bending the hardware," says McCallum, "so we had to bend the film. For anybody who hasn't seen it, it isn't going to make a big difference. For anybody who has, it's interesting just to see where the cuts were, but it still contains the same story arc." Awaiting Further Orders McCallum would love to tell us more about Episode III, but just not quite yet. Many of our questions are met with a polite but firm, "I can't talk about that yet." "This is a bad month [for news]," he explains. "Everything is about to happen." Join us again next issue, when the Insider checks in with Rick McCallum for a new update on pre-production of Episode III. Until then, tell us what questions you'd like to see answered by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The moment the answers clear security, we'll transmit them in the very next issue of Star Wars Insider.