The Book of Boba Fett just changed everything Star Wars fans thought about Rancors. “The Streets of Mos Espa” features more than one surprise cameo that deepens their place in the lore. *Spoilers for Book of Boba Fett Episode 3 incoming.* That’s right, Danny Trejo ambles into the galaxy as a Rancor keeper. But, it’s what fans learn about the beasts that might change your perspective about the creatures. The Fett Twins make an attempt on the bounty hunter’s life and gift him a Rancor as an apology. They bond to the first person they see like a parent. Also, the animals actually only get violent when provoked. So, Luke killing that Rancor back in Return of the Jedi was probably pretty traumatic for the keeper. A lot of the allure of the Disney+ shows so far is giving certain corners of the Star Wars universe a little more depth. (Or injecting it back in according to some fans.) Just add this Rancor to the list.
Series cinematographer David Klein spoke to Kevin Smith about another iconic Star Wars creature on Fatman Beyond recently. It turns out the Banthas are pretty complex too.
“No my man, we don’t have elephants. We have one Bantha that’s filled with about four puppeteers and another four people on little remote controls and the other three or four or five (Banthas) are CG. And it’s on a Motion Base and it does this (moves hands) and it goes across the backlot and we shoot it….It’s on track and its motorized but a Motion Base can be programmed to animation. So you animate it in the pre-viz to do its little walk and they program that into the Motion Base and it does its little walk.
This of course raised the question of why they don’t just make all the Banthas CGI. Klein revealed a core philosophy that might make Star Wars purists feel a bit more at ease in response.
“Our methodology always goes back to ‘How would George have done it in ’77?’ and that’s where we start,” Klein revealed. “Of course he didn’t have Motion Bases and things like that so we cheat a little bit obviously, but he also didn’t have VFX like we, so we cheat a lot actually. But it always needs to start with that in mind and even when we’re doing visual effects work and CG work it starts with that, it has to feel real.
“You can’t just put the camera anywhere you gotta to put it where he could have put it in ’77, you have to move it like he would have moved it in ’77. So that’s why it’s puppets, it’s practical shit everywhere,” he continued. “We always try and do it real until it becomes financially ridiculous. So, Bantha, it’s just four guys in a Bantha.”
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