I just watched ROTS this past weekend because I felt like I had begun to forget moments when I ended up with a Scene it on Friday from this movie. I was going to post about my thoughts, but then I wasn’t really inspired. But now I’m more prepared for when I land a ROTS Scene it on Friday!
Even though this short scene is part of a grander moment, it can’t be denied that the colors and CGI of Mustafar was amazing. If you’ve ever watched the Behind the Scenes stuff on the ROTS DVD, you really get a good look into how shots like this were made and the hours it took. Not only hours, but many, many different people worked together to create this one composite. When I see that, I always think, “Why do these folks just get a small line in the credits of the film? They did all the hard work!”
I did find this interesting tidbit on the Mustafar page of Wookiepedia that reiterates what I just mentioned:
Mount Etna was scouted for Revenge of the Sith, to capture plate photography for backdrops in the Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader fight on Mustafar. Conveniently, Etna erupted during the making of the film, so Lucas sent a team to film it. The resultant moving image of lava flows could be used as backgrounds for the duel. These images could have been done by CGI, in theory, but it would have been more difficult and expensive than sending a few people to Sicily with cameras, as Lucas states in the audio commentary to Episode III.
The Mustafar scenes took a lot of work and time from the many special effects workers. The lava was made of a food additive with bright lights shining underneath it for the glow. The overview scene was built with a scale model in a pitch black studio. During filming, the room was filled with fog to create the steam effect. The actors were filmed on a green screen and the special effects artists brought it all together.
One thing I noticed in this small scene – look at the line “Main collection plant – day”. Daytime? I don’t remember getting any feeling that this scene took place in the daytime. I looked at Wookiepedia for some answers and didn’t find much. My only guess is that it could be the black soot and gas from the lava/eruptions constantly filled the atmosphere and blocked the light.
EXTERIOR: MUSTAFAR-MAIN CONTROL CENTER BALCONY, PIPE ACROSS LAVA RIVER, MAIN COLLECTION PLANT – DAY.
ANAKIN, following OBI-WAN, jumps down onto the flexing pipe, lands, and resumes fighting.