Tuesday, February 5, 2013
If you are not a complete moron, then you already now that The Empire Strikes Back is probably the strongest and best-made film of the entire Star Wars canon. A New Hope started it, Return of the Jedi made it teddy-bear friendly, and the prequel trilogy almost destroyed the adventure in a galaxy far, far away. But in one defining move prior to its’ 1980 release and before his yes-men green-lit The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull , George Lucas made the perfect call in hiring former mentor and teacher Irvin Kershner to helm directorial duties on his sequel to Star Wars. Kershner was more interested in the character’s relationships and growth than the special effects of the film, which Lucas and ILM handled with considerable success. His patience with the acting and his guidance on how the Han and Leia romance should be handled and how Luke would evolve further along the Jedi path made for a science fiction fantasy that took itself seriously. What he produced was the most mature and grown up film in the series, which has made it all the more entertaining and enduring since its’ debut almost thirty years ago.
When James Cameron had a feverish dream of a metal endoskeleton rising from the flames of destruction, little did we know that he would craft this vision into the terminator franchise and redefine what an action and science fiction series could be. Legend has it that Arnold Schwarzenegger auditioned for the role of Kyle Reese, human soldier sent back in time to protect one very important mother, due to his rising stature in Hollywood with the success of the Conan the Barbarian in the early 80’s. Upon meeting, both Schwarzenegger and Cameron secretly thought that the role of the terminator would fit Arnold perfectly, with his unnatural build fitting the nightmarish image of an unstoppable cyborg killer from the future. Cameron initially wanted the terminator to be a machine that looked like a completely normal man in order for it to blend in with the crowd. Lance Henriksen (See also Aliens) was initially going to play the terminator and although he would have provided a unique and original interpretation of a machine with no remorse, fate gave the world Arnold in what could arguably be called his most memorable and iconic role of his career.