Dr. David West Reynolds is one interesting character. He's well known as the author of the Star Wars Visual Dictionaries and as a contributor to the Star Wars Insider magazine, but he interests me for another reason. He's an archeologist, and he's a Star Wars fan. It's like Indiana Jones meets Star Wars!!!! (Hrmm... come to think of it, Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones, and he's in Star Wars!!! LOL. Must be why I adore him aside from the fact that he's an attractive guy! LOL.) Anyhoo, Dr. Reynolds has what must be my dream job. If I had been given the opportunity, I would've studied archeology in college.
Dr. Reynolds went on a very interesting archeological expedition in 1995. He went to Tunisia to find "Star Wars canyon", or the original location of the Star Wars sets in Tunisia. As we all know, the Tatooine scenes were filmed there, but according to Dr. Reynolds, Lucasfilm never kept records of the location because they never thought the film would be this huge a hit. In 1995, he went to Tunisia with two colleagues, and guided mostly only by images from the Original Trilogy Topps trading cards for visual reference, he went on to find the Skywalker homestead, the Mos Eisley cantina, the Bantha location, the overlook where Obi-Wan and Luke looked down upon Mos Eisley, and the place where R2D2 was ambushed by Jawas. The Skywalker homestead is in use by locals as a hotel, though. (You can stay there for $2.80 a night! LOL.) His crew also found the krayt dragon bones we saw while the droids were walking around the Tatooine desert. They even flew the fiberglass bones back to the US to do a "reconstruction of the beast"! Heheh.
Prequel Trilogy producer Rick McCallum recruited Dr. Reynolds to serve as a guide for the location scouts when they were filming The Phantom Menace. He also located some granaries called "ksours" that GL wanted to use for the prequels.
It must be interesting to apply archeological techniques to the Star Wars universe. After all, it is a unique culture in itself. :) The prospect excites me. Archeology and Star Wars. Two of my very favorite things. :D
(Info about Dr. Reynolds taken from reports from Celebration II from TheForce.Net)
David West Reynolds on Star Wars from an interview by The Nando Times in 1999:
"You take a well-crafted myth, a well-crafted drama and you clothe it in very well-executed art direction - that's the candy coating. That's not what it's about. The candy coating, brilliant as it is, would not make this resonate around the world the way it has. It's what went into the conception of the story and the characters that makes it so successful..... All of this stuff that I work into it, the added technicality, the work that others put into it to make it a consistent universe - that's terribly enjoyable to the fans, because it allows you to enjoy that fantasy more deeply without ever coming to the wall. It's like being on 'The Truman Show' and you keep exploring and there's never any end."
Speaking of droids, Oneal was just telling me about Interactive R2D2, which was just delivered to him. I didn't expect the little guy to be like a foot and a half tall! Wow! Boy, do I want a real astromech droid. They may be a little suicidal at times, but they are really useful and, well, at least they aren't as irritating as protocol droids tend to be.
I wonder how Luke Skywalker was able to communicate with R2 outside of the X-Wing fighter though. I remember scenes on Dagobah where he talked to R2 without a translator of any sort. Maybe it's like Han talking Wookiee with Chewie... they just have a.... connection. :D
But until I can turn into a genius like Anakin Skywalker, Interactive R2D2 will have to do. I'm putting that on top of my Christmas wish list. I hope Santa Claus is reading this blog. :D