Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Star Wars: A New Hope - Part 2 - (1977)

Lets look back at Star Wars IV (The first one)  I keep trying to re-watch it to capture a little of the excitement I once felt about it as a kid but it's just not there anymore. I find this very odd because I watch all sorts of other old stuff from back then and get right into it again but not this.  ?
Ah well!

Anyway lets look at the few remaining spacesuits on view in the cantina scene.
As well as Bo Shek in his black Windak, which we looked at ages ago, there are a few others.

Unfortunately it's hard to get really good images of them so we'll just have to settle for these.
There are three spacesuited characters in this background scene.  Some of them may well have inherited character names in the intervening years but clearly at the time they were just there to make the place look sufficiently sci-fi.  And they were there to do it within a budget as well which is why they are all existing suits and helmets.  What we have to do now is identify them...well we don't have to but it's a fun game to play.

lets do the easy one first.
That's the yellow Windak, the twin of Bo Shek's black one.  The two suits have had something of a career but their most famous previous appearance will be in the 1964 film; The First Men in the Moon.
Sitting next to him is Danz Borin who's suit has that distinctive black patch that suggests it's from the same place as Duros (?) Ellors (?), the blue skinned, red eye'd chap below.  The helmet is from somewhere else and I know I've seen it before but I just can't place it.  If anybody wants to chip in with an idea or two, feel free to post a comment. I thought it would come to me but it's not happening.
Not sure about the silver suit above. It's been suggested elsewhere that it's from the TV series Lost In Space but I can't be sure.  The helmet however is from Escape from the Planet of the Apes, 1971 and has also done the rounds in a series of film and TV shows prior to this. 
This image, if you've the eyes of a hawk and look into the top left hand side seems to suggest that there might have been two of these identically clad spacemen, both with their back to us while talking to Borin.  Mr yellow Windack, is sitting down by this point, on the very edge of the picture trying to pull some space floozie
And that white suit there, identical to Borin's above, is one of the actual spacesuits from the 3rd of the Ape movies although like the helmet it started life in the early 60's, featuring in a number of films and TV shows.  It used to be a classic silver colour too, like the Gemini suits.


  1. This is a great post, mate! Tops! Those spacemen in the background of the famous cantina scenes have always made me wonder, and there were no figures made of these background players.

  2. It's odd but I feel the same way about Star Wars--when I was a kid it was absolute magic, but now I really couldn't care less. All I see is bad acting and clunky dialog! Doctor Who, on the other hand still entrances me...and unlike the abysmal attempts to reboot Star Wars with those dreadful, wooden prequels, new Who has managed to surpass the original (largely by respecting its origins--something of which George Lucas knows nothing). I also definitely recognize that mystery helmet and I somehow think it may be Who related, either pre or post its appearance here. I'll have to poke around a bit and see if I spot it.

  3. As ever, thanks for the thoughts and feedback and compliments It's hard to explain how I feel about Star Wars without rubbishing it which I don't especially want to do but I do aggree with everything you said above, Brad. But getting back to the cool bits; ie the borrowed spacesuits. I've seen other sites that suggest there are even more spacemen in the cantina but I think they move around quite a bit, being relocated into different shots to fill out the background. And also with the Apes helmet, its seen open and closed and looks quite different either way.

    I'm wondering if the mystery helmet was previously seen as a environmental/protective suit rather than a space suit, such as Andromeda Strain or Phase IV ?

  4. I think I might just have solved the origin of Borin's helmet - see Men into Space.

    I'm also going to contradict one of my comments above about there not being any other spacemen in the cantina. I've an image that suggests there were x2 Escape from Apes helmets with Lost in Space suits. I'll edit the blog to include it.

  5. So it seems I'm not the only one who experiences Star Wars fatigue, I tell you what though, "Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father..." still sends a tingle to the right place, just seems to get better, even though you know what's coming. A bit like: "I know what you're thinking, did he fire six shots..."

  6. Not even a little tingle in the wrong place...
    And yet Dirty Harry remains everybit as cool as it ever was.

  7. Perhaps it's that Lucas went out of his way to alter our childhood memories ("special editions" indeed!), perhaps the prequels have tainted the well or perhaps our tastes have simply grown up a bit. I know that my obsession with myth and folklore has probably blunted the impact of the films over the years, as real myth is far more mind-blowing than the manufactured variety, however closely Lucas studied Joseph Campbell (to be fair Lucas did, at least in the original trilogy give us a textbook classical hero's journey). The fact remains that the only film of the six I can stomach anymore is Empire, which is far more thematically substantial than the others and subsequently far more interesting. You're too diplomatic, Steve! Go ahead and trash 'em up a bit--it'll make you feel good! <>

    1. I quite like the confrontation stuff between Luke and Darth in Return... Darth seems to reach the depths of Depravity when he threatens Leia and his change of heart, prompted when confronted with the reality of his son's torment, seems real for a person who lives his life behind a mask. Trouble is, Lucas filled in the blanks with the prequels in way that doesn't really gel for that relationship to still work.

  8. No. There's a ten year old inside of me that would cry.

  9. I gotcha. Never spank your inner child.