Saturday, June 5, 2010

Star Wars Revisited

Last weekend, Spike showed all the Star Wars Movies. Although I've seen all of them, I'd never seen then all in order right straight through, so I recorded them and watched the first three on Monday, and the second trilogy on Tuesday.

This took me down memory lane to just before the first Star Wars movie came out. I can't ever remember Star Wars without thinking about my friend, John. You can see a picture of him here on the tall ship that we went on with the whole WSFA crew.

I met John at the first August Party I ever went to. We were introduced by Jackie Lichtenberg, and at the end of the con, he asked me out.

August Party was a long-running Star Trek convention. Each year that the original Star Trek was filmed, they'd finish filming and have a wrap party in August, and that's where the con got it's name. That, and it was in early August each year.

By the time World Con came along that year, John was definitely my boyfriend, and he had been invited to World Con as a guest (all expenses paid). I, however, didn't have the money to go along, and couldn't have gotten a ticket at that late date, anyway.

So, John went off to World Con, and came back with lots of stories about all the fabulous things that happened to him there.

One of them was about how the person who was supposed to be MC for the con was sick or something and couldn't do it. So John was the master of ceremonies for the World Con that year because they couldn't find anyone else who was willing to get up in front of 3,000 people and speak.

One of the people he met because of this was a guy about his age, with blond hair like his, blue eyes like his, and a lot of the same interests. They both liked comic books, stage fighting, acting, and many other things in common. Also, his new friend, Mark Hamill, had been filming a movie, and the studio had sent him to World Con to do some advance publicity for the first Star Wars movie. They had also sent many, many heavy costumes, including ones for storm troopers, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, etc. They also sent a truck and driver, but the driver was only intended to drive, and the costumes were heavy, and Mark couldn't move everything from one presentation to the next without help, so John helped him. And they went to lunch together, and did a bunch of fun stuff at the con.

He came back all excited about Star Wars! This is how John and I came to do some advance publicity for the first Star Wars movie at some science fiction cons. Mostly, John did the publicity and I went along and helped.

While we were doing this, John wanted some drawings of characters from the movies, and he asked me to do some. I did a number of drawings, including the ones here. I had planned to put more  drawings into this post, but my scanner wasn't doing them justice, and there was a lot of PhotoShop clean-up work to do, and it wound up being more time consuming than I had expected. So there are only a few of the many drawings I did at that time. They're just pen-and-ink sketches.

First, I'm sure you'll recognize these Jawas.

Here's Chewie with Han and Luke, who are posing as storm troopers.

Princess Leia

And one more drawing that has a very odd story attached to it.

I did a sketch of Luke and Leia, and I was very annoyed that I didn't make Luke look like Mark. So, I mashed up the drawing and did it again. And it still looked like the first one. So I tossed that one, too, and did another, which came out looking like the other two. After a few tries, I was totally annoyed and frustrated. Just then, John came home and had an interesting story.

He had been trying to contact Mark through the studio for a few days, and wasn't able to get through to him. That particular day, the person he spoke to at the studio told him that he wasn't there because he was visiting his grandmother in Florida. John told the guy that he really was a friend of Mark's and that he knew the guy wasn't telling the truth because his mother in Florida was dead! He also told they guy enough about Mark that they guy finally believed that he knew Mark, and told him the truth.

Mark had signed a contract to be on a show, which I think was Eight is Enough, but I couldn't swear to it. He did the pilot for the show, and then found out what a huge success Star Wars was turning out to be, and wanted to get out of the contract for the show. After an argument about it, Mark went home. But he was angry, and speeding, and went off the road, and smashed his car and himself.

John couldn't talk to him because he was in the hospital. My understanding of all this was that he needed extensive surgery to put him back together. Part of the damage was to his face. I have to say that the plastic surgeon did a great job on his face, but if you look at him in the first and second movies, his face, particularly his upper lip is slightly different.

John said to hold onto the last drawing I did, which I was ready to wad up and throw in the trash.

Eventually, we got to see him on TV, after he was recovered, and found out that I hadn't been drawing him the way he looked in the first movie, but the way he looked after the accident!

I really do strange things sometimes.

Anyway, here's the sketch I did of Luke and Leia.

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

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