Makeup artist Rick Baker is all about practical effects over computer-generated effects, as he should be. The man is the most decorated makeup artist in movie history, in terms of Academy Awards, having been nominated eleven times, winning seven of the golden statues. He’s even (finally) gotten his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
So when the man says he wants to work on the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII for Disney, it’s probably something they should get on making a reality as soon as possible.
Baker, who actually worked on some of the creatures for the cantina scene in the original Star Wars as one of his earliest jobs, says he fantasizes about getting to work in that world again, and touched on why he doesn’t think people approve of digital effects:
“So much of the stuff I did in the first Star Wars was very quickly done. Nobody knew that Star Wars was going to be Star Wars.
I think the problem that people have with the digital stuff is the problem I have: Just because you can do anything doesn’t mean that you should. Instead of having a spaceship battle with three spaceships, they have 3,000 spaceships. Everything is so big and there’s so much going on, you lose reality. It takes you out of it.”
The new Star Wars movie is obviously going to have its fair share of digital effects—that’s to be expected—but bringing Baker on board can only lead more practical effects, and a better final product.
For those who may not be familiar with Baker’s specific work, his resume is full of great movies, and when you think of a lot of the makeup work in those movies that still very much stand up to this day, you can better understand how legendary the man is.
His credits include but aren’t at all limited to: An American Werewolf in London (Oscar winning), Harry and the Hendersons(Oscar winning), Ed Wood (Oscar winning), The Nutty Professor (Oscar winning), all three Men in Black movies (Oscar winner for the first MiB), The Grinch (Oscar winning), Planet of the Apes (perhaps the only good thing about that movie), Hellboy, Tropic Thunder, and The Wolfman (Oscar winning).
In other news, Ewan McGregor, who starred as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, was asked if he’d be interested in returning for the new movies. McGregor said he’d be up for reprising his role, though it’s uncertain how serious he was. Either he or the folks over at TMZ asking the question may have forgotten that Kenobi died in the original trilogy, meaning his appearances in the new trilogy can only be flashbacks, the voice in someone’s head, or ghost cameos with Yoda and Hayden Christensen. Then again…there were those Darth Vader rumors.
What do think about Rick Baker handling makeup work on the new Star Wars, and would you like to see Ewan McGregor brought back for some kind of appearance/cameo?
yes PLEASE. Ohh how I hope and pray they focus more on story and characters than CGI. Lucas ALWAYS had that wrong. He always thought we just wanted eye candy. From constantly destroying his original trilogy with stupid retouches and of course…………………….the prequels. Now that it’s out of his hands I think we can finally see a REAL star wars movie again.
Comment by disqus_h0tazFD7tn — December 1, 2012 @ 6:21 pm
Let’s hope they stick to the formula of the other 6 movies. If they do that, they can do digital or old school effects, or a mixture of both. The prequels and the original trilogy were both fantastic movie making fun, and we can only hope Disney can continue George Lucas’ outstanding storytelling. I’ve got an idea…get Rick Baker to do makeup effects to make Ewan McGregor look like Alec Guiness for Force Ghost appearances. :)
Comment by Bryan — December 1, 2012 @ 9:51 pm
“…we can only hope Disney can continue George Lucas’ outstanding storytelling.”
Please tell me you’re trolling or there’s a sarcasm tag that just doesn’t appear. Anyways, that was a good laugh regardless.
People are more likely to drown in the middle of the Sahara Desert than George Lucas is capable of coming up with a good story without nauseating dialogue.
Revenge of the Sith:
“You’re so beautiful.”
“It’s only because I’m so in love.”
“No, it’s because I’m so in love in you.”
Seriously, when SW is outdoing Twilight in the “who in the hell acts/talks this way” dept, there is indeed a serious disturbance in the Force.
Comment by burning_chrome — December 2, 2012 @ 2:47 pm
Dialogue in the Star Wars movies has always been that way. Those who find it fashionable to bash the prequels just don’t see that the dialogue in the OT was exactly the same. All 6 movies are the most entertaining saga in the history of movies, and if you don’t believe that yourself why are you on message boards for Star Wars?
Comment by Bryan — December 2, 2012 @ 4:23 pm
Wait, is there a George Lucas approved Star Wars Mindwarp Koolaid that got released along with the Jar-Jar Binks kids vitamins that I didn’t hear about?
None of the original SW movies were as atrocious as the lines written for the prequels. And since when did Geeks of Doom become an all SW board?
Simple Fact: Lucas turned to the dark side with RotJ and focused on pushing merchandising at any and all costs and got immensely lazy as writer and director with no one in his camp to call him out on the BS that went into the prequels.
Comment by burning_chrome — December 3, 2012 @ 10:17 pm
I just want the new SW to be as good as IV, V, and VI. GL turned to the dark side, not for selling SW, but for selling it to Disney. P.S. GE can go *@#! themselves :)
Comment by Mr47sDragon — December 4, 2012 @ 8:36 am
I admit I just had a nerdgasm at the idea of my hero Baker working on this, but the article is simplistic and doesn’t even know Baker or his work. He’s NOT completely against CG. What he’s talking about is the “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” thing of undisciplined storytelling. Baker DOES do digital, and his zBrush work is AMAZING, because of his design skills and anatomical knowledge. Shortly after he began using CG his work was better than pretty much everyone out there, precisely because of his bedrock of knowledge. He’s said he would have liked MORE cg in The Wolfman – but a mixture of cg and practical. Unfortunately he was precluded from any input on the cg side – when they really could have done with his unmatched eye.
This article also forgot he was one of the very first to mix the oldest of techniques with the very young CG back in The Frighteners. He’s always pushing the boundaries and doesn’t have the simplistic hate of CG this article implies, in my opinion. “Movie God”, do your homework.
Comment by white vader — March 17, 2013 @ 10:10 pm