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ANH Death Star Assault

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by Lock_S_Foils, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    Let's talk one of the most iconic sequences of all time, the Death Star Assault in ANH. To say that this sequence just completely tore me up as a 12 yr old sitting in the theater in 1977 is an understatement. From the briefing room, through the Death Star exploding, just pure perfection.

    Remember, up until this scene we had never seen an X or Y-Wing EVER. Period. As a young kid I was (and still am) a huge fan of jet fighter aircraft - when Luke climbs the ladder and hops into his X-Wing with the canopy closing I was in complete awe......

    Not sure everyone understands how much of this sequence was groundbreaking and awe-inspiring. I remember the news media talking specifically about the famous scene where an X/Y-Wing peels off and dives into the trench, from the first person perspective of the pilot.....three shots below.
    snapshot-trench1.jpg
    snapshot-trench2.jpg
    snapshot-trench3.jpg
     
    #1 Lock_S_Foils, Feb 16, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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  2. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    Up to this day I find myself wondering "how did they do this VFX scene", still amazed every time I see it.

    Over the years the Alliance take-off preparation scene on Yavin IV has become my favorite in ANH. It's beautifully edited and conveys remarkably a sense of purpose and willingness to self-sacrifice for the Alliance's cause.

    The expression of uneasiness of the two actors (or is it one and the same?) below is priceless, IMHO.

    star-wars4-movie-screencaps_com-12278.jpg

    star-wars4-movie-screencaps_com-12322.jpg

    It's just too bad we never saw the "launch tube" catapult launch of the Alliance fighters. John Dykstra hijacked the concept for Battlestar Galactica, and although George Lucas could have visualized it in the Special Edition, he probably felt it would have then looked derivative and copied although the idea originated with A New Hope.
     
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  3. JediMasterRobert

    JediMasterRobert Rebel Official

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    This sequence, among so many others, was visually rendered in such a realistic and compelling manner.

    The imposing vastness of the Death Star juxtaposes wonderfully with the smallness of the X-Wings and Y-Wings here.

    What always elevates it, in my mind, beyond a mere "action sequence" is that, at the pivotal moment, it is neither technology nor might which reigns supreme in the end but spirituality -- specifically one's trust in the Force.

    At the right moment, Force Spirit Obi-Wan calls out to Luke from the netherworld of the Force: "Use the Force, Luke. Let go, Luke. Luke, trust me."

    And Luke switches off his targeting computer and goes on to conclude the "one in a million" moment just in time.

    The dire music works tightly with the visuals here: the compressed conditions in that trench, the tension of Vader closing in, drawing closer by the moment, and then the heroic reappearance of the Falcon all converging here, with Luke, Obi-Wan, the anxious faces of the Rebels, in such a grand crescendo, like the buildup to the final moments of an ultimately cathartic and triumphant symphony.

    And then...

    (epic fail)

    Death Star and minds blown.

    But, looking back for a moment: Jedha, Scarif, Alderaan, Yavin 4, and who knows what would have been next.

    I doubt the Empire would have stopped with Yavin 4, as it was truly hell-bent on pan-galactic domination and subjugation. With DS2 and the FO's SKB, it was evident there would be repeated attempts at such nihilistic oppression.

    So, to me, this final sequence in A New Hope also represents, in a grand Star Wars-defining symbolic fashion, the importance of recognizing pure evil -- how it would continue to grow and spread rampantly were it left unchecked -- the essential coming-to-terms with its real impending dangers against peace and freedom and life itself -- and, ultimately, a society, however small or seemingly insignificant, deciding to stand morally, and in clear action, against such obvious malevolence, even if the odds of success are thought to be one-in-a-million or impossibly higher.

    (x-wing)
     
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  4. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    @Lt. Hija Great post! Always great to find someone as passionate about this scene as I! Totally agree on the Yavin-4 hangar sequence. This scene really gets to me several ways. First I agree the editing and grim sense of purpose is outstanding. Second, my job for many years in the Air Force was out on the flightline with such aircraft as KC-135s and F-15 fighters, so anything aircraft-spacecraft-maintenance related is really cool! Really loved that Lucas focused on this aspect. Finally I just love the exchanges over the radio during the build up and also execution of the mission over the Death Star. There is a certain way fighter pilots talk, kind of a "clipped professional" tone that I think Red and Gold Leader really did well.....I spent 3 years in an F-15 fighter squadron and interacted with pilots every day. Here are some more "maintenance" pictures. I think @Trevor might appreciate these as well.

    snapshot-DSA7.jpg snapshot-DSA6.jpg snapshot-DSA5.jpg snapshot-DSA4.jpg snapshot-DSA3.jpg snapshot-DSA2.jpg snapshot-DSA1.jpg
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 16, 2018, Original Post Date: Feb 16, 2018 ---
    @JediMasterRobert Awesome analysis! You bring up another aspect of this sequence -- JW's score is just absolutely perfectly synchronized with what is happening. It is pure perfection. I have heard this portion of the score so many times I can just listen to the score and tell you exactly what moment it is in the scene. There is also one portion where the score goes silent - from when Gold Squadron starts their trench run until when Red Leader crashes......
     
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  5. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    This thread is a good place to discuss this line by Vader: “the force is strong on this one”

    What are everyone’s thoughts on this? Do more rebel pilots have force sensitivity? Did Lucas ever explain this?
     
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  6. Boushhdisguise

    Boushhdisguise Jedi General

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    The force is in all living things.
     
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  7. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    Plot hole!

    AnimatedOpenGuanaco-size_restricted.gif
     
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  8. Pobody's Nerfect

    Pobody's Nerfect Jedi General

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    This scene works well today but to really appreciate it in its original context you have to remember the 1970s.

    A bunch of young hippies(luke)(leia)(han)(chewbacca), guided by the wisdom of ancient mystical warriors(obi-wan 4)(yoda 2), take on the full might of the Galaxy's military-industrial complex(star destroyer)(tie)(death star).

    Star Wars came out two years after the end of the war in Viet Nam. I was too young to understand the parallels back then but the movie was very much a political statement in its day. It wasn't just awestruck fanboys like me that loved the trench run, it was everybody in the theater who had protested the war(amidala), who lost a loved one in a war they didn't agree with, or who spent time in Canada or behind bars because the military-industrial complex wanted to make soldiers out of them(stormy 3).

    Great topic and absolutely great replies on this thread. I freakin' LOVE the Cantina :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    As a huge Red Leader, Garven Dreis fan, have to discuss his unnecessary death, all because of the freaking targeting computer.....the most useless device ever created.....

    Here is what Red Leader saw when he fired.....target locked!! Why didn't his shots go in????? We will never know....

    snapshot-red leader targeting computer DID NOT WORK.jpg

    As an aside, did you notice the smoking crater to the left of the exhaust port? That was Red Leader's shot.....(during the shot of Luke's torpedoes doing the "90 degree down turn")

    snapshot-garven dreis miss of the targeting shaft.jpg
     
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  10. Ruralfarmboy

    Ruralfarmboy Jedi General

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    Yeah Buddy !
    Yep, Noticed. Over an' over an' over an' over. Every time.
    Why ??
    'coz Garvin Was That good, so he was.
    Off by a fraction.
    Even in a GFFA = ain't technology Grand ?

    I'm Late to ... again.
    Love (so much) this part of ANH .
    I Ain't got not Near the 'real world' experience you got @Lock_S_Foils (outside of growin' up watchin' war/WW II films and aerial 'dog fights') .
    But I get and Understand and Love it, none the less.
     
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  11. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    Because he wasn't an overpowered Gary Stu despite being a well trained military pilot vs being a hick farm boy who's never been off planet nor flown more than his speeder.
     
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  12. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    LOL Yes!!! Thanks @RoyleRancor , of course how could I forget that that young kid who bullseyed womp rats in his T-16 (equivalent to a Cessna) would know exactly how to fly a T-65 X-Wing (equivalent to an F-15 fighter)
     
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  13. Star Dude

    Star Dude Jedi General

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    … because INCOM used in both of their vehicles the same cockpit controls – or so the story goes. ;)
     
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  14. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    Yes, add to this Biggs' comment about Luke Skywalker being the best bush pilot of the Outer Rim territories. Yet Brian Daley felt that wasn't enough, so in the ANH radio drama he took Luke to the flight simulator and Luke scored above the other, average pilots.

    Which reminds me of something. I think it's also fascinating how they repositioned that one X-Wing and one (half completed) Y-Wing along with the fighter cardboards on Stage H to create the Illusion of many different fighters.

    Back in 2015 I tried to make some sense out of it:

    Great Temple interior plan view (Great Hall detail) with annotations and images.jpg
     
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  15. JediMasterRobert

    JediMasterRobert Rebel Official

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    Thank you! And you said it: pure perfection.

    What John Williams manages to achieve in this sequence goes so beyond the standard action movie soundtrack fare. Every note, every passage, supporting precisely what it happening here.

    His modulations, pacing, use of percussion, his contrasting of themes -- and suddenly the beautifully mystical Force theme right in the middle of it all -- is truly amazing.

    And to think John Williams did this not once but so many other times in this saga is simply incredible to me.

    It's one of the reasons I tend to rewatch Star Wars on high-def headphones, so I can really appreciate that most integral aspect of these films.

    Yes! His music is particularly memorable, scene by scene, and not simply in the Wagnerian leitmotif sense (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leitmotif).

    There are so many great examples in the saga...

    the slower Imperial March theme returning when Vader faces Luke again on Cloud City, reigniting his lightsaber but then Force-throwing objects at Luke...

    the sweepingly epic adventurous roller coaster ride of symphonic excitement as Han flies in the face of impossible odds and navigates the asteroid field while pursued by TIE fighters...

    the Duel of the Fates scene with Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Darth Maul...

    Yoda's theme....

    the opening theme of every episodic saga film....

    And so MANY MORE fine examples!

    The Death Star trench run is such a perfect example of the enchanting and essential artistry of John Williams, and I'd even say I think that music should be considered a "textbook" for anyone interested in composing soundtracks of any scale.
     
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  16. Star Dude

    Star Dude Jedi General

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    Ah @Lt. Hija, so glad to have you back with your profound knowledge of all the SW background history!
     
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  17. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    Woah....hold on a minute..... @Lt. Hija is that attachment your own work? Wow that is incredible! Tremendous dedication, thanks. My sons and I are huge Yavin-4 fans, we screamed like schoolgirls in R1 during the Yavin hangar sequences.
     
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  18. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    @Lock_S_Foils

    Yes, it's my own work. Did this in 2015 and forwarded it to Lucasfilm and DICE (SW Battlefront), hoping they could perhaps use it for Rogue One. Since you apparently liked the rough inner temple overview, here's the ground plan of the inner temple main building according to the set reuses and suggestions in ANH:

    inner temple phase 9 (annotated plan view).jpg

    IMHO production designer John Barry was a genius. The actual (small) set is illustrated in the above left corner. But through clever editing and set reuse the conclusion I arrived at was a rather impressive building.
     
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  19. Star Dude

    Star Dude Jedi General

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    You should see the other things he has in his desk… see your profile posts. If I’m not totally mistaken, back then he was the head(?) of both the Star Wars and Star Trek fan magazine or club (?) over here. Sorry @Lt. Hija if I might have messed things up in my memory…
     
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  20. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Rebel Official

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    @Star Dude

    No problem, that would have been Dan Madsen. I merely contributed to Star Trek and Star Wars fanzines in the 1980's and my own SW fanzine newsletter in the late 80's (where the Imperial rank badge overview was the first article). But I'm on the same page as Dr. David West Reynolds - http://www.rebelforceradio.com/news/2017/6/28/support-dr-david-west-reynolds-return-to-tataouine - "approaching the world of Star Wars like ancient Rome or Egypt, considering it a culture from another time and place to explore."
    (how I wished he were still working for Lucasfilm... :()
     
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