Today is Monday so it’s time for a new interview at the Jedi Lounge, this time with Andy Peachey (@Andy_peachey).
1. Which Star Wars movie did you see first?
I first saw “A New Hope” on the Special Edition VHS’s in 1998 when staying over at a friend’s.
2. What Star Wars means to you?
That’s a big question, on the one hand it definitely lends a feeling of escapism as some of the great fantasy stories do, but on the other hand it’s given me characters that I look up too such as Obi Wan Kenobi, Padme Amidala, Ahsoka Tano or Depa Billaba and as a creative person has provided as a huge well of inspiration for me.
3. What’s your favourite part of the Star Wars saga and why? (It can be one of the six movies or even one of the TV shows)
I really love all different aspects of the Saga for different reasons but if I had to choose, it would have to be the Prequel Trilogy. Although my introduction to Star Wars was the Original Trilogy, the prequels were really what made me the fan I am today, I remember even while reading the novelization’s for the original trilogy, it was the back-story of Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi and even Anakin referencing his then unknown wife at the end of “Return of the Jedi” that intrigued me the most. There was a sense of history of this once great Republic with their noble Jedi Knights that even now is the core of my fandom and acts as the lens to which I view any Star Wars story.
4. If you wanted a subtitle for the Star Wars movies what would it be for you?
“The Feels are strong with this one”
5. How important do you think it was to have the Prequels telling this story of the rise and fall of Anakin, the fall of the Republic … and why do you think it was important to tell this story? For you, how does it connect to the First trilogy?
Well you can probably tell from my last answer that I feel they’re pretty important if not absolutely integral. I really do see that trilogy as very much the backbone of Star Wars. Whilst the Original Trilogy was hyper focused in its heroes journey story and was fantastic for that, there was so much in those films that was left vague at best and the Prequels really filled in so much of that, from what the Senate that Tarkin mentions in “A New Hope” actually was to giving us a much better understanding of the Jedi. I’ve always said that no matter if you like or dislike the films, you have to respect them. Every Star Wars story from ‘Star Wars Rebels’, Marvel’s Star Wars comics to “The Force Awakens” has and will have benefited from that trilogy.
6. What do you think of Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman’s performances in the Prequel trilogy for their respective roles?
I’m very much a big fan of each actor. I think they brought a lot of depth to the already established characters of Anakin Skywalker & Obi Wan Kenobi or in Natalie’s case of establishing just what kind of character the Mother to Luke & Leia was and what she was all about.
7. Do you think starting the Star Wars story with Anakin as a boy was a good choice and why?
Personally I would have preferred if Anakin had been a little older, perhaps around the age of Ezra Bridger in “Star Wars Rebels”. Ian McCaig did some wonderful storyboards of an Anakin around this age where he flirts a little with Padme which I thought were just fantastic. However having said that, I do understand why George Lucas went with a younger Anakin so he could better portray the sense of innocence Anakin started out with and how that was twisted into the “More machine than man” character we see in the Original Trilogy”
8. What’s your view on the use of CGI, Practical Effects and how they fit into a story? Do you think the special effects were at the service of the story in the Prequel movies?
I always say, whichever production technique works, is fine to use. I do believe special effects were always in the service of the story in the Prequels, just as they were in the Original Trilogy.
9. What’s your favourite aspect of the story in the Prequels and why?
I think my favourite aspect of the story in the prequels is the rise & fall of Anakin Skywalker & how those he loved around him were ultimately his downfall (through for the most part, no fault of their own)
10. Do you think it was important to tell the story of The Clone Wars and do you think animation was the right medium to tell it?
I do, as the story within the Prequels was very much focused on telling the story of Anakin Skywalker & the fall of the Republic, there were many story points & characters just like in the Original Trilogy that were only hinted at or didn’t get the screen time or space for development that GL would have perhaps liked and telling the story of the Clone Wars was definitely a great way to tell this. I’m a huge animation fan so perhaps I’m a little biest but I think animation was a great medium in which to tell this story & was ultimately the only way to tell this story with the amount of characters & different locations they had, not to mention actor availability. (Though I get the feeling Hayden Christensen would play Anakin Skywalker forever if he could)
11. What impact did The Clone Wars leave on the six movies for you? How did it change your way of watching the six movies?
The Clone Wars gave me a much better understanding what this important event in Star Wars lore was really all about, how it was a war the Jedi really shouldn’t have been fighting, how Palpatine was able to discredit the Jedi to the extent that he could brand them traitors in episode III and not only get away with it but convince the Galactic Senate that he was right.
12. What’s your favourite aspect of the story in The Clone Wars and why?
My favourite aspect of “The Clone Wars” was definitely meeting the Padawan we never knew Anakin had in Ahsoka Tano. We really got to see her journey through the Clone Wars and as she matured as a character it seemed like the show matured along with her. I think that through her, we got a better understanding of some of Anakin’s motivations for ultimately betraying the Jedi Order in Episode III. I’d also always wanted to see a female Jedi in a central role within a Star Wars story on the screen and Ahsoka most definitely filled this role for me. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her in “Star Wars Rebels” & hopefully more Clone Wars era stories in the future.
13. George Lucas said about the six movies “It’s ONE movie and it’s meant to be seen I through VI.” Do you agree with this statement and why?
Absolutely I do. The saga is one story, telling tale of the fall & redemption of Anakin Skywalker. His story arc is very much told across the saga chronologically and for the full experience of that, it has to be seen from episode I through to Episode VI
14. How do you feel concerning the promoting of The Force Awakens in a kind of Prequel hate atmosphere (I’m especially making reference to what happened on SDCC this year)?
I’m not the biggest fan of the route the marketing department at Disney has decided to take. It’s very much seems to be a case of, “Well we can’t say much about the movie, so let’s just talk about how different these films are from the Prequel Trilogy” & it seems like they’re using practical effects as a way to do that. At the end of the day it feels like pandering to a lot of the older folks who aren’t really the franchise’s core audience anymore anyway.
15. Final question: What is your level of anticipation for the upcoming Star Wars movie – The Force Awakens?
I would say I am excited for the potential this film has but I do have to remind myself this is going to be a very different Star Wars, this is going to be JJ Abrams’ Star Wars and while I certainly do like his films a lot, he’s no George Lucas. So I do bare that in mind, however from what I have seen of the film within the trailers looks very promising.
May the Force Be With You and see you next Monday for another interview at the Jedi Lounge!