Avoiding spoilers: 1977 v 2015

Star Wars Poster

Like a lot of people I spent quite a bit of 2015 both anticipating the new Star Wars movie and trying (successfully as it turns out) to avoid any spoilers.

And it amazes me no end, considering the times we live in, that the film makers managed to keep one of the biggest secrets away from the vast majority of us. (Obviously I won’t say what it is – even thought the film has been out for a couple of weeks, there’ll always be someone who hasn’t seen it – I still lower my voice if ever I mention the big reveal in The Empire Strikes Back).

Compare this with 1977 and the release of the movie that started it all, Star Wars (back then, no ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’ in sight).

The film was previewed at the 34th World Science Fiction Convention and here’s what attendees got to see:

An hour-long slide presentation, made up of 35mm slides of the film’s production artwork and on-set production photos, was narrated live in the Muehlebach’s Imperial Ballroon, the hotel’s largest, to a standing-room-only crowd; this was presented by Lippencott. He outlined in great detail the entire plot of the film from scene one through to the final scene.

An hour! The movie’s only about twice that… Fast forward nearly 40 years and the most you get is a few carefully edited split-second shots.

Star Wars Battlefront and the art of retro sound design

Star_Wars_Battlefront_and_the_art_of_retro_sound_design___The_Verge

Interesting article on the sound design of the Star Wars movies and the recent Star Wars Battlefront game. Did you know, for example that:

The screech of the original TIE Fighter, for example, was the sound of an elephant, slowed down, and mixed with the sound of car rolling on wet pavement as recorded through a long tube.

There’s a scream that is featured in all the Star Wars films (so far as I know) and crops up as a bit of an in-joke in movies and cartoons everywhere. It’s called the Wilhelm Scream and there’s a compilation here.

Yes – it even shows up in Battlefront…