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Post Posted: September 21st 2004 6:13 pm

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In the latest issue of Star Wars Insider, Pablo Hidalgo features the following Spotlight Question:

In Episode V, Han Solo appears to be wearing his black Episode IV vest in the close-up shots as he's about to be frozen in carbonite. Why is this?

Pablo answers:

I'll resist the urge to make a wardrobe malfunction joke (that is so eight months ago), but it was indeed an error. Continuity can be a nightmare in filmmaking, given all the other pressures and concerns that a director and crew must juggle. If you have a copy of Once Upon A Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back, the unique blow-by-blow authorized behind-the-scenes account of Episode V, author Alan Arnold does an impeccable job of describing the strenuous conditions on the carbon-freezing chamber set.

In a transcription of the actors and director Irvin Kershner talking (see page 132 in the book), there’s a very telling passage:

Harrison Ford: And you’ve got one other problem. I tried to tell the art department about it some weeks ago. My shirt is wrong.

Irvin Kershner: That’s no problem. They’ll take that shirt off you when you go down into the carbon freeze.

Harrison Ford: But this shirt has no sleeves.

Irvin Kirshner: [says something that, while printed in the book, isn’t printable in this magazine]

Given that Han wasn’t meant to be shirtless in this scene, the “shirt” that Harrison and Irvin are referring to is the outer jacket. The wardrobe department delivered a sleeveless vest that day. For whatever reason, takes of Harrison wearing that vest were shot and selected for the edit. Undoubtedly, this error was caught in the editing room, but in the predigital days of the original trilogy, there was nothing that could be done to correct it. The filmmakers had to hope that the audience would be fixated on Ford’s performance and that the haze and lighting would help obscure the continuity error of the vest.

With today’s modern digital tools, an error like that could be corrected. In fact, the DVD edition of Episode V has done just that. Digital artists at ILM have painted out the black vest and dressed Han’s shoulders in the correct white shirt, thus preserving continuity with the rest of the sequence.

So there you have it. I've got some left over crow. It's like fine wine, actually: Aging only improves it. ;)

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 6:24 pm

Join: September 20th 2004 10:11 pm
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But on VH1's "When Star Wars Ruled the World" they showed that scene being filmed, and Han was not wearing any sort of vest. As soon as they turned on the lighting for the scene it made it seem like his white shirt was black.

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 7:08 pm

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I haven't seen the VH-1 special, but I'm guessing that the scenes they showed were likely long shots. Pablo is referencing closeups. My theory is that the closeups were shot first, due to the wardrobe department's mess-up. It would make sense to film shots that would do the least amount of damage to the image, thus shots focussing on Ford's face would be the logical choice. The production would then move on to film other scenes and/or shots while the wardrobe department corrected their error. Like I said, this is just my theory based on an official source's confirmation.

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 7:11 pm
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Ommigawd, like, who carez.

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 7:17 pm

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[Luke Skywalker] I care...[/Luke Skywalker] :mrgreen:

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 7:37 pm

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That shot proves that Pablo was wrong. That's all.

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 10:04 pm

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Largeman wrote:
Was the Pablo, isn't that the name of a Ewok, around during the filming of ESB?
You might be thinking of "Paploo" or "Teebo."

Seriously Mods, feel free to lock this one up at your pleasure. :oops:

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 10:21 pm

Join: August 6th 2004 6:29 am
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I think Pabs is freely (mis)interpreting Alan Arnold's description. The "shirt" Ford and Kershner are discussing is most certainly NOT the outer jacket. There'd be no reason to have a sleeveless outer jacket, and it most definitely isn't something the director wouldn't have noticed until the actor pointed it out.

OTOH, it's perfectly logical that Ford might be wearing a sleeveless shirt under the jacket, if wardrobe were under the impression that Ford would never be taking the jacket off. Obviously this scene caught everyone a little flat-footed. And just as obviously, they fixed it before rolling (in fact, it looks a lot like those armbands on his upper arms are there to hide the fact that his sleeves originally ended there)...only to end up with a shot that looked for nearly 25 years like he was wearing something completely different anyway.

God save us all. What a horrible, horrible, WRETCHED disaster this might have been, if not for VH-1 and CGI.



Post Posted: September 21st 2004 10:33 pm

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No, he's not. He just fell down a little too heavily on the side of LFL Apologist with this one.

Post Posted: September 21st 2004 10:42 pm

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tlbauerle wrote:

You're right...I'm sorry

No harm done. To be honest, I thought you might be joking (I generally think that calling a complete stranger a fucking moron is pretty funny, especially if it makes them cry), but I wasn't sure. And there are a lot of impressionable youngsters around here lately.

Post Posted: September 22nd 2004 1:57 am
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Location: Malmoe, Sweden
Seriously though, if Van Ling gets dragged into the black hole of misinterpretation on the Vest thing - and actually seems to enjoy "explaining" the issue in detail - then I guess I shouldn't be all that embarrased for indulging in the matter myself.

Also, I would just like to point out that I may have overreacted to some of the banther in the other Vest-thread. So, sorry if I derailed anything there.

With that said, some things are fun to speculate on. The vest thing was a bit like archeologi, and someone finally dug up evidence to prove a point. I like that. I don't think I'm alone. Well, maybe.

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