Monday, December 31, 2012

Yavin Base

Yavin Base is a fantastic modular set. The production team built a partial Y Wing (just an unconnected cockpit and engines) an X Wing, and a slew of flat cutouts for the background. They dressed the set with a few flight-deck looking floor modules, built sets of tapering faux-stone and faux-steel columns, and basically called it a day. The team used one sound stage and just those few details, rearranged a number of ways for different shots, as well as a composite shot with a matte painting, to give a sense that the Rebel Base was stronghold of fighters ready to take on the Empire.

( a preliminary plan of the soundstage.)

 (in the foregound, the Full Scale Y Wing, and X-wing, and flat cutouts beyond that.)

A few other items were holdovers from other sets. The gantries suspended from the ceiling are recycled from the Death Star Docking Bay set. In the scene where Han Solo is carrying off his reward for rescuing the princess, there's a background prop from Tatooine suspended from the ceiling. The rampant prop recycling that happened on the first Star Wars movie has become one of favorite features of the film. In a way it was a form of cutting corners, but the end product was put together such that you never notice, until you scrutinize every last detail. So in effect, their economy becomes an art from in itself.

Here's a video of a model Yavin Base I built to see what all the different shots of the Elstree Sound Stage all composited into one place. In the future, I'd like to build this model up to include the exterior of Yavin Base as well, from the matte painting of the exterior structure, to the shooting location in Tikal, Guatemala.

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