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the Star Wars Saga

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Darth Maul
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« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2007, 05:01:36 pm »

During this time, actors Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor rehearsed extensively with stunt coordinator Nick Gillard to memorize and perform their climactic lightsaber duel together. In addition to performing the scenes as actors, they rehearsed each fight scene together for months on end. Like the previous two prequel films, all lightsaber battles featuring Obi-Wan and Anakin were performed by the actors themselves without the use of stunt doubles.[7] As a result of months of practice, the speed at which Anakin and Obi-Wan engage in their duel is the speed at which it was filmed, and was not digitally accelerated. However, there are instances where single frames were removed to increase the velocity of particular strikes. An example of this occurs as Obi-Wan strikes down on Anakin after applying an armlock in the first half of the duel.[1]

Although the first scene filmed was the final scene to appear in the film (shot during the filming of Attack of the Clones in 2000),[8] principal photography on the film occurred from June 30 to September 17, 2003. The film was shot entirely on sound stages at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, although practical environments were shot as background footage later to be composited into the film. These included the limestone mountains depicting Kashyyyk, which were filmed in Phuket, Thailand (they were later damaged by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami). The production company was also fortunate enough to be shooting at the same time that Mount Etna erupted in Italy. Camera crews were sent to the location to shoot several angles of the volcano that were later spliced into the background of the animatics and the final film version of the Mustafar planet.[6]

Revenge of the Sith eventually became the second Star Wars film in which Anakin Skywalker and the suited Darth Vader were played by the same actor in the same film. As Hayden Christensen recounted, it was originally intended to simply have a "tall guy" in the Darth Vader costume. But after "begging and pleading" with George Lucas, the Vader costume used in the film was created specifically to fit Christensen. The new costume featured shoe lifts and a muscle suit.[9] It also required Christensen (who is 6 ft 1 in or 1.85 metres, while David Prowse is 6 ft 7 in or 2 meters) to look through the mouthpiece of the helmet.[10]

While shooting key scenes, Lucas would often use an "A camera" and "B camera," or the "V technique," a process that involves shooting with two or more cameras at the same time in order to gain several angles of the same performance.[6] Using the HD technology developed for the film, the filmmakers were able to send footage to the editors the same day it was shot, a process that would require a full 24 hours had it been shot on film.[6] Footage featuring Mustafar was given to editor Roger Barton, who was on location in Sydney cutting the climactic duel. All other footage was forwarded to lead editor Ben Burtt at Skywalker Ranch in California.

The post-production department began work during filming and continued until weeks before the film was released in 2005. Special effects were created using almost all formats, including model work, CGI and practical effects. The same department later composited all such work into the filmed scenesóboth processes taking nearly two years to complete. Sith holds the world record for most special effects used in a single film: 2,151 shots.

As the DVD featurette Within a Minute illustrates, the film required 910 artists and 70,441 man-hours to create 49 seconds of footage for the Mustafar duel alone.[6] The film was produced with a budget of US$113 million, making it the least expensive of the three prequel films.[11] Members of Hyperspace, the Official Star Wars Fan Club, received a special look into the production. Benefits included not only special articles, but they also received access to a webcam that transmitted a new image every 20 seconds during the time it was operating in Fox Studios Australia. Many times the stars, and Lucas himself, were spotted on the webcam
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