Between 1999 and 2009 Lightsabre.co.uk brought news, fanfic, podcasts and much, much more to the masses. Our thirty-sixth guest is a fan film and documentary maker, artist and all-round Star Wars mover and shaker – David Guivant.
Lightsabre – David, welcome to Lightsabre.
DG – Hi Mark, always a pleasure.
Lightsabre – Star Wars has had a profound effect on all of us – it’s why we’re here talking about it, but what was it that started you off on your Star Wars journey?
DG – Well the fact that when I saw it on the big screen for the first time in 1984, it blew me away, I have never seen anything like it in my life, and I can’t find anything that come close to it at the moment. I have been a fan since and I have been collecting Starlogs, trading cards, art books as I am an Illustrator and designer most of my Star Wars collection is based on artwork. Which means I have loads of expensive books and trading cards.
Lightsabre – You’ve been involved in Star Wars fandom for years through your work on Prime of the Jedi and the hilarious George Lucas – Legend of the Force. How does it feel to have carved yourself such a prominent niche in the Star Wars fan community?
DG – I am happy that the fans are able to have a great laugh looking at the cheapest films ever made and that these films were screened in France during the official Star Wars Convention and in other countries as well including Singapore as part of the Art of Star Wars Exhibition. I am really excited about it and hope that these will reach the eyes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Lightsabre – Which of the six episodes stands out as your favourite?
DG – Episode V of course, the darkest and the best.
Lightsabre – There are fan films made all the time, but Prime of the Jedi really seems to have caught hold of people’s imaginations, and no less than Stephen Sansweet himself has seen Legend of the Force. What do you think sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill fan film?
DG – Well I’ve always wanted to do production art for the real Star Wars, since I am not officially working for George Lucas, I think all fans want to do is make their dream come true and work on their own Star Wars film. With or without budget. Well, George Lucas (Legend of the Force) was a little screenplay I wrote and wanted to submit to Mad TV but didn’t end up submitting it, so I decided to shoot it myself with practically “No Budget”.
This short film is truly unique because it explores George Lucas’s belief in what he has created and of course it has two special people in there: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
Watch out for all the easter eggs and movie references I have included in this comedy and feel free to read Times Magazine 1984, you’ll be surprised on how authentic our little movie is regarding George Lucas’ dialogue.
Prime of the Jedi was what I wanted to do with Star Wars for a long time, I read an old Starlog which George Lucas states that he also came out with the idea of Indiana Jones while exploring the roots of the Jedi and how the Force was discovered, the early days of Jedi being a peacekeeper throughout the galaxy and explorer at the same time.
From that day I have always envisioned the prequels to be a mix of adventure and sci-fi, sort of Conan meets Flash Gordon and Indiana Jones.
But I decided to make my story twenty years after the Solo twins were born. Thus my little teaser project is very close to an 1980’s kinda film which has only 2-D animation, natural landscapes, very rich interior backgrounds, extensive use of models and toys. The cheapest project but it brings nostalgia to the 1980’s sci-fi film.
Lightsabre – As a fellow fan you must have many golden Star Wars memories. Tell us about some of them.
DG – I was shooting the Prime of the Jedi teaser at Fort Tereka in New Caledonia. That was 2004. A bunch of Australian tourists were watching us filming with a Stormtrooper helmet and the Dewback. They were asking us what we were doing. I said “We’re shooting Episode III.” Everyone kinda burst into laughter. I am sure the tourists still think about it now.
Lightsabre – Which of the Star Wars characters is the closest to you?
DG – Luke Skywalker, he is a very kind person, he’s not invincible but he has lots of courage as well.
Lightsabre – What would you change about Star Wars if you could go back in time and make alterations?
DG – I would put back the sequence where you get to see Sebastian Shaw instead of Hayden Christensen. Edit out the Gungans and the Naboo sequence from the Special edition DVD of Return of the Jedi. Cancel the sequences where you get to see the silly robots and dinosaurs in Mos Eisley from Episode IV. The rest of it is perfect.
While the special effect of the prequels were fantastic, I would re-shoot the entire Episode I, II and III, which were very disappointing plot wise and lacked the magic of Episodes IV, V and VI. I’d keep the Pod race sequence and the Jedi Starfighter which was the only thing that was appealing to me. I’d redo it based on what George Lucas had stated in the 1980’s Starlog about the prequels.
Lightsabre – You had the opportunity to show your two films, Prime of the Jedi and George Lucas – Legend of the Force at the Singapore Star Wars Exhibition. How thrilled were you to have your work shown to rabid Star Wars fans?
DG – I was thrilled to screen it there and was excited about the fans ‘ response, who have been able to compare the work that was done on theforce.net and mine. They acknowledged about the no budget but admired the fact that I have pushed the limit far beyond what can be accomplished with lots of imagination. Plus seeing Steven Spielberg and Lucas in the same film really pleased the audience.
I have also presented my Illustration work for G.I. Joe and Transformers and really showed that you need at least an artistic background in order to shoot a film as all artistic skills are cross-disciplinary and very useful in any projects.
Lightsabre – Where do you think Lucas will take us next on our trip through the Star Wars galaxy?
DG – Well based on some information I got from Singapore, production of The Clone Wars series will begin in April. Both Lucasfilm Singapore and the US team will be working on it.
Lightsabre – What do you foresee for yourself in the future?
DG – I hope that I will be able to work in the movie, comic and trading cards industry as designer and illustrator. I will begin pre-production of my latest project soon.
Lightsabre – A quick question about our site, Lightsabre. Any comments?
DG – Cool!! So is the webmaster!! Kindness and honesty is what makes those little sites the best there are on the net.
Lightsabre – It’s been a great interview, and thanks for being our guest on Lightsabre. Just one final question. The Motion Picture Association of Coruscant receives a request to show your fan films at the Coruscant Plaza HoloVid Festival, but they refuse to allow it. You are enraged, so what do you do to change their minds?
DG – Thank you Mark, it’s been a pleasure as well. I’ll call the union and see what they have to say about it now?