It seems we will see a burned Anakin!

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Jedi Priestess
These are cool and new today at in the freebie section. Judging by part 1 we WILL get to see Anakin after the lava plunge WITHOUT the helmet! AND Sideous without the hood it loks like!

part 1

A Rather Hot Topic
From his fantastical creatures in "Farscape" to his plant-wrangling skills in The Little Shop of Horrors, Creature Shop Creative Supervisor Dave Elsey is very familiar with transforming foam, latex and a hodgepodge of materials into beloved characters within the sci-fi cinematic universe.
Elsey's resume reads like a cult film dream list. He did creature effects in Alien 3, worked as a special makeup effects artist on Hellraiser, Mission: Impossible, M:I 2, and Waxwork (in which he also played "Zombie #6."wink He honed his animatronics skills in the cult classic of The Little Shop of Horrors. He is perhaps most well known by genre fans for his role as the creative supervisor on the sci-fi TV series "Farscape" where he designed and maintained up to 50 different creatures.

For his latest role as the Creature Shop Supervisor for Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Elsey and his team are responsible for "anything that has any appendage, horns or unusual contact lenses, to full suits and Animatronic puppets," but also for revamping a few characters who are nothing less than iconic in the minds of Star Wars fans worldwide.

"We're also recreating a lot of characters from the earlier movies, such as the Emperor and of course, we show how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader," says Elsey

Transforming a handsome actor like Hayden Christensen into a gruesomely tragic Darth Vader isn't easy, and Elsey had his hands full trying to create a ravaged Sith Lord fans have only seen glimpses of sans-helmet.

"At the end of Return of the Jedi, when his helmet comes off and we see what he looks like, we've had to kind of do the earlier version of that and we've had to really research that," Elsey explains. "There are very few photographs of how everything actually looked." Anakin's injuries revealed in Episode VI have been extensively analyzed and documented by fans throughout the web, and Elsey was able to supplement what few pictures were available with in-depth fan analysis. "Fortunately the Internet is full of that sort of stuff and that helped us," he recalls. "The fans have actually helped us find the materials we needed because they've written endlessly about it."

Elsey describes the work of recreating previous makeup effects as a form of archeology. "We've basically been retracing the steps of other makeup artists," he says. "We've had to get every scar in the right place and kind of make sense of everything."

In puzzling through years-old makeup processes that weren't extensively documented, Elsey had to figure out the cinematic reality that dictated his decisions. The unmasked Anakin from Episode VI didn't seem to line up with what the Episode III storyline demanded.

"I'm a big fan of all the original trilogy makeup, but the appearance of Anakin's face at the end was very confusing because it didn't really look like he had been burned," Elsey says. "He had a kind of big gash down one side of his face and he had some kind of gash on the top of his head; but no real burns as far as I could see. Plus you really only see Anakin/Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi with the bottom half of his mask still on. We figured that all the real damage was under the chin."

The makeup design also had to conform to the glimpse of the helmet-less Vader from The Empire Strikes Back. "There, you see a very, very quick shot of the back of his head that shows real specific scarring. We just had to make sure that we got that stuff in the right place," he says. Darth Vader spends over two decades encased in the dark armor. These intervening years allowed Elsey and his team some flexibility in designing Vader's Episode III look. "Basically we figured he's had loads of surgery and skin grafts and everything that you can possibly do to make him look as good as he does... which is not that good at the end of Return of the Jedi. That way we were able to go a lot rawer in Episode III," he says. "I've actually done a lot of work with burns so I wanted it to be really quite accurate," Elsey says. "In fact, even if you stylize the wounds a little bit, you still have to make them quite graphic in order to make it really look like a fresh burn, which is extremely difficult to accomplish in film like this."

Once Elsey came to a conclusion about filmic "reality" versus forensic accuracy, he consulted with Director George Lucas about the final look.

"When I went back to George I asked, 'Look, how much can we get away with here? How nasty can we make it?' And he basically just said, 'Do what you have to,'" Elsey recalls. "This is some very dark imagery for a Star Wars film, probably making it the darkest Star Wars film out of all of them. So I'm also quite excited to see it because I think it's a really strong makeup that manages to blend everything together with what we saw before."

When it came time to subject Hayden Christensen to the lengthy makeup session, Elsey found a more-than willing victim. "Hayden obviously wants this to be as great as it possibly can be," Elsey says. "He saw a lot of the designs that we did early on. We were trying to describe the processes, but he hasn't actually worn prosthetic makeup before this, so it was all very new to him. He was very concerned that everything be authentic and that it look really exactly the way he saw it in his mind as well. I obviously wanted him to be happy with what he was looking at in the mirror.

Continues Elsey, "The longer that he was in the chair, he would close his eyes for a little bit and then he'd open his eyes again and look at himself in the mirror. Every time he did that, another few more stages had been done. I could see him getting happier and happier. Which is very good, because I have had the situation before where people open their eyes and they're getting less and less happy the more alien-looking or deformed they're getting."

Jedi Priestess
part 2

The Ultimate Evil

Vader wasn't the only puzzle that needed piecing together. The Emperor also needed Elsey's skilled touch to bridge the gap between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi.
"We've never really seen the Emperor without his hood on, and now for Episode III we're going to see what he looks like," Elsey says. "And as with Vader, there just aren't a lot of Emperor pictures about."

Once Elsey and his team tracked down enough useful reference photos, they began the arduous task of creating plaster casts of the actors.

"The plaster casts have to be very, very detailed for what we're doing, like literally every skin pore has to be in the right place," Elsey explained. It's because the plaster casts form the foundation of the sculpted latex pieces that are added to the actor. The plaster becomes the stand-in for the actor as the makeup is developed. "Then we sculpt it and mold all these things. And the next time we meet the actors we actually have the rubber pieces and we'll sit down and do our first makeup test."

When actor Ian McDiarmid arrived for his makeup test, Elsey made sure that the veteran Star Wars star approved of the completed look.

"When we did Ian's makeup as the Emperor, it was really the first time the look has come together properly with the contact lenses, the teeth and everything else," Elsey recalls. "It's good for him because he gets to sit there and watch the whole thing develop from the makeup chair, right from scratch because he has no idea really what's going to happen up until that point. It's been a lot of fun watching him go into the makeup again, because it's been so many years since he was in that makeup before. Aside from George he's really our best reference if what we're doing is right or not." The prosthetic makeup application process much must be repeated each time its used. Pieces cannot generally be re-used. At the end of shooting, the makeup must be torn off, and then reapplied and painted the next time. "Every time we put it all on an actor, it's really the only time that that makeup can be used because the pieces are very, very delicate," explains Elsey. "The prosthetics are made of foam latex, which is a very soft, spongy material. The edges are as thin as we can possibly make them so that we can lose them into the skin. When the makeup is removed at the end of the day, the whole piece is destroyed. That includes every piece that we stuck on that was meticulously artworked and detailed with highlights and shadow."

In order to compensate for any makeup emergencies that may arise, Elsey and his team constructed backup prosthetics for the actors.

"We'll have 10 faces ready for an actor, and they'll all be painted exactly the same," Elsey says. "Every skin pore, every dot, every broken blood vessel, every single thing is all perfectly painted on there. When we stick it on we know it's going to be exactly the same every single day, because obviously continuity is a big issue. It's quite easy to do continuity on real people because their faces don't change. Their nose stays where it's going to stay and the colors all kind of stay the same.

"What we do is actually the opposite of what most makeup artists do," Elsey continues. "Most makeup artists spend all their time taking away all the broken blood vessels and taking away the reds and the veins and things, and making everything perfect. But because we're trying to convince people that this stuff is really the actor's face, we meticulously put all that stuff in like an artist would paint an oil painting. Because skin is translucent and foam latex is opaque you have to trick the camera into thinking that it can actually see all the blood beneath the surface of the skin, and all the veins, freckles and so on. To the naked eye it actually looks a little bit sort of strange. But on camera it reads perfectly."

Jedi Priestess
part 3

Building a Better Wookie

In addition to Anakin's tragic transformation into Darth Vader and the unveiling of the Emperor, a certain rampage of Wookiees kept Elsey on his toes.

"The difficult part with the Wookiees, is that they have a much bigger role in this movie than they've ever had before," Elsey explains. "We've basically body-casted every single actor who is playing a Wookiee; which means not only full body-cast, but full head-cast, hand-cast and feet-casts. Then we've had to produce fiberglass versions of those so that we can build up the muscle structure, and then build all the hair suits and everything that sort of goes on top of that as well as the mechanical heads. That's been quite difficult because I don't think anybody's ever attempted to do this many mechanical masks on screen before. This is quite a big thing."

Even though Elsey and his team had to come up with more than one Wookiee, the designs for the group of Walking Carpets don't stray too far from the original sidekick Chewbacca.

"They're basically being built exactly the same as the original Chewie, so the actors have control of their own mouths," Elsey explains. "So when they open their jaws the lips move and the eyes are theirs, so you're basically looking into the eyes of the actors who are inside the Wookiees."

However, Elsey wanted to make sure that each Wookiee still maintained his own personality and slightly different appearance to avoid any confusion on screen.

"With the other Wookiees, we wanted to make them as individual and striking as we possibly could," Elsey says. "George had already collected a whole bunch of fur samples together and colors that he had approved and he knew exactly what these things were going to look like. It then became a sort of jigsaw puzzle for us to put together." Piecing together the Wookiee puzzle was an extension of a childhood hobby for Elsey. When I was a kid, I did it all the time," he recalls. "I'd see a creature from Star Wars that Stuart Freeborn did and I'd try to sculpt it. In fact, one of the very first masks that I ever made as a kid was a Wookiee mask. And it's quite nice to be able to do it again, and with much better results this time, actually."

Making sure Chewbacca could still be spotted in a crowd of Wookiees became a personal quest for Elsey, who's favorite character has always been the furry warrior of few words.

"Chewbacca has to look like Chewbacca," Elsey explains. "Nobody wants to do a character from Star Wars and get it wrong, especially one that's so cherished by so many people -- myself included. We had the original mask here as well as the whole original suit so we were able to work out what the fur looks like and what the colors of the fur look like. But the face was covered in fur. It's covered in like an inch of fur or more over a great majority of it. We didn't really have much reference of what it looked like without the fur. I found a couple of very, very rare pictures, in fact Peter brought in one of those pictures. It gave us some idea of what it looks like, but it's quite difficult to gauge how to sculpt a Wookiee without the fur."

The original Chewbacca costume, though in excellent archival condition, was in no condition to undergo the rigors of filmmaking. In order to recreate and revamp Chewbacca's suit, the Creature Shop took extensive measurements of everything -- including his teeth, and the shape of his mouth, and measurements from the sides of his head -- to translate it into a new sculpture.

"We're doing all sorts of things to Chewie. The head was in good condition but we added extra hair to that and then combed and curled the hair -- trying to get everything as perfect as we can so that when everyone sees him, there can be no doubt who it is. Because there's going to be a lot of other Wookiees about, we don't want anybody to be confused which one is Chewbacca."

Once Elsey and his team finished all the adjustments on Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew donned the outfit that made him a fan favorite. "Peter kind of is Chewbacca without the suit and the makeup, actually," Elsey says. "It's just the way he moves, he's got long hair and you can see the silhouette. If you squint your eyes a bit you can still see Chewbacca standing there. It was an amazing moment to be a part of. Since the Droid Department is in the same building, at one point R2-D2 trundled on and met him, and he was really pleased to see the little droid. It was a fantastic fanboy moment," beams Elsey.

Enjoy smile

Jedi Priestess
there 40 edits later I think I finally got it all right! laughing

damn JP!!!!! big grin
well thats alot of reading, i think ill put it off for tomorrow. the confirmation of deep-fried anakin is quite enough to get me throgh the night though.

thanks for the info wink

Jedi Priestess
I thought so at first and I typically HATE huge assed posts like these but after I read it I felt it was worth it since it lets us in on 2 things I didnt know for sure beforehand. wink And you are welcome.

Jedi Priestess
Hmmm I find it hard to believe no one has a comment on this therefore I am going to assume most are too lazy to read it! wink

Darth Cain
Actually, as a Sith who hasn't yet been horribly disfigured, I found these articles fascinating. Oh yes, disturbing also.

Hey JP, do you have any pics of the makeup on the actors because I can just picture what the Emperor will look like with his hood off, with all the veins and blood vessells as you described ,but I want to see it...

.....Also the makeup artist said that in Return of the Jedi we didn't get to see Anakin/Vader with a lot of burns. But after 20 something years wouldn't the scars heal...

Jedi Priestess
A-MAN.......these are the pics with the article not much to see Im afraid sad ........and your name cracks me up everytime I see it! laughing

on the anakin part

on the palp part

I've already seen the dummie of burned anakin for now may force be with you.

Thanks JP those will do just fine..

* Chuckles in the distance *

Good good. Very good, JP. Very good indeed.

Sith Master X
Thanks JP. Nice one of the Emperor,

notice that alien at the back?

bleurgh, too long posts there JP... I'll just pretend I know it too, and do some smiling and nodding yes

How do u send those pictures without doing the "add attachment " thing?

you use the img-tags

Nice, I hope the emporer looks like rotj and not like the new esb though.......

Jedi Priestess
Yerssot! ya lazy dog.....I know it looks huge but once you start its good stuff. NOMEN thanx for blowing up the pics.

Wow nice posts!! fans used for reference oh yes!!! Happy Dance

Us wookies are big indeed!! smokin'

nice one JP smile nice to see the good stuff is starting to come out nowwink


Found this amongst a glut of ep3 pics that i've seen before but this one??, a rodian jedi???looks fake but you never know, hense not opening a thread on it.

Lol maybe its the new greedo cantina scene, swipes first instead of shooting smokin';f=2;t=002495

NO! I will not give in to your deathsticks! eek!

yum yum deathsticks yes smokin'

perhaps he got burned from using too much deathsticks wink

Jedi Priestess



Jedi Priestess
most generally am! stick out tongue

LOL! ITS 100% fake. dont you notice, that pic is from TPM. its obiwan! lololol

\Hey dont get excited ok?? smokin'

:-P its so obvious

he did mention he thought it looked fake, followed by a sarcastic joke....i'd never seen it before fake or not, so it was worth bringing to attention imho....

Thank you guiro, i hadnt seen it b4 is all, even my han solo line didnt ring home, maybe my powers of darkside sarcasam are not in balance!!!
sad embarrasment embarrasment blink smokin'

to get back on topic though, i'm hyped to have official confirmation of burnt anakin finally, and the description does match with the original pictures that leaked ages ago, making them just that tiny bit closer to official.....and so much other cool information at the same time....

thanks jp....really cool stuff....

my original question got lost in the post before....does anyone have an opinion on whether the palpatine makeup looks rotj-style or more of an in-between version?....

Good question, from what i can see its hard to say, will he look the same from ROTS onwards or is there more ageing????

It doesnt seem like he will have to use a lot of his power till luke shows up so maybe he looks the same for 20 odd years smokin'

very possible, although we don't really know what he's been up to all that time....he could have been working very hard doing, erm, evil things....

i kind of like the idea that his appearance will be shocking in rotj when the films are watched in order...."woah, he's REALLY let himself go"....

plus it's all been gradual so far (for most characters, not just palpatine)....

Yeah lucas has been careful on the continuity front when it comes to ageing and blending, i like the way he has styled obi more in the alec look in ep3, as far as palps/sids its hard to imagine what the prophectics will look like but from JP's posting they certainly have the right team on it smokin'

Sith Master X
See I like Obi-Wan's style for ROTS but my fav was his style in AOTC.

Yeah his heavy metal years!!

This has been known for a few months now....Theres a picture floating around if u look....kinda looks like a younger Davros !

Apparantly Sidious gets his looks after having a fight with someone and due to all the 'Dark' energy he uses it gives him that 'face like a smacked a**e' look !!

don't like obi wan's aotc doesn't bother me, but i'm not a fan...

yeah, i've seen the pic of sidious from ages ago....but i don't allow myself to believe anything until it's confirmed (this is half a step closer)....burnt anakin is one step closer thanks to this report....still waiting for something more solid on those tarkin shots....

and again, nigeyo2000, you don't remember wher that info came from originally?....i think i remember it too....

would you like your anakin original or extra crispy?

...thank you drive through
big grin

I cant remember where, i think it was a post on, but not sure. Could have even been here !

but im not believing ANYTHING till i see it !

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