Culture | Star Wars Tatooine bar takes center stage at Tokyo Comic Con
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    A Spiderman fan at the Tokyo Comic Con. Photo: Asia Times
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    A fan dressed as his favorite Star Wars villain, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Photo: Asia Times
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    Fans dressed as Star-Lord and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy. Photo: Asia Times
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    A Captain America fan poses for the cameras at the Tokyo Comic Con. Photo: Asia Times
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    Newt from Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter. Photo: Asia Times
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    The "bat suit" worn by Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises. Photo: Asia Times
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    A T-800 model used in the Terminator movie series. Photo: Asia Times
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    Two girls pose for a shot. Photo: Asia Times/ Liu Hsiu Wen
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    Light sabres flght at Cosplay Fashion Show. Photo: Asia Times
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    Don't mess with me. Photo: Asia Times
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    A kid dressed as Kekit from Star Wars. Photo: Asia Times
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    Fans dressed as Joker from The Dark Knight and Suicide Squad. Photo: Asia Times
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    Mini ghostbuster. Photo: Asia Times.
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    Fan dressed as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Photo: Asia Times
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    Iron Man, Hulk and Thor. Marvel characters at Tokyo Comic Con on December 3rd 2016. Photo: Asia Times/ Liu Hsiu Wen
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    "I'm a huge fan of Ninja Turtles. It took me two weeks to create the outfit," she said. Photo: Asia Times/ Liu Hsiu Wen
  • A model of Joker from The Dark Knight. Photo: Asia Times
    A model of Joker from The Dark Knight. Photo: Asia Times
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    Family weekend at Tokyo Comic Con. Photo: Asia Times
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    Analyze this? Participants of Cosplay Fashion Show. Photo: Asia Times
  • A participant of Cosplay Fashion Show. Photo: Asia Times
    A participant of Cosplay Fashion Show. Photo: Asia Times

A man walks into a bar — not just any old bar

Co-creator of the infamous Star Wars 'Cantina' reminisces at Tokyo Comic Con about making the first movie 40 years ago

December 3, 2016 4:19 PM (UTC+8)

The Chalmun’s Cantina in Mos Eisley has to be one of the most famous watering holes ever. If it doesn’t ring any bells, that’s because you probably know it better as “the Star Wars bar.”

The fictitious drinking haunt of space pirates on the planet Tatooine has become one of the movie franchise’s iconic scenes since resident band Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes first struck up a few chords in 1976.

The original “cantina” set was fondly remembered by its co-creator Alan Roderick-Jones on Saturday.

He was talking at the Tokyo Comic Con, a celebration of all things comics and pop culture which kicked off at the weekend with real-life Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee in town along with actor Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye in Marvel’s Avengers films.

The convention held just outside of Tokyo was jammed with superhero wannabes such as Spiderman and characters from blockbuster movie franchises like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Guardians of the Galaxy and, of course Star Wars.

Roderick-Jones was interviewed on stage about that famous set that he created with the late production designer John Barry for the first movie, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

“I still remember when the costumes came in for the first time. I was 36 back then and my job was all about construction and fabrics. Then all of a sudden I saw all these people with alien costumes coming in,” said Roderick-Jones whose production design work spans five decades across multiple industries.

He said the film’s director, George Lucas, had everything planned in his mind. “People working in different departments often wouldn’t know the big picture — people working on music, sets, costumes and so on. We just put our heads into our jobs.”

Of the latest Star Wars movies, Roderick-Jones said: “Now we have the technology to make anything we want. But John came up with all the original designs, so I think now people try to reproduce the look we achieved in the first film.

“You just don’t feel right if you don’t see the scene in a star wars movie,” he said.

Asked how he dealt with all the nostalgia that surrounds the movie, Roderick-Jones said: “I’m afraid that after 40 years Star Wars has become part of me. What hits me the most is the force.

“I think what George is trying to tell us is that that is who we are; we are the force, and we just gotta let go.

“It’s very simple, just let go. Like what Ben’s voice says in the 1977 Star Wars movie: Luke, let go.

“In this business, if you are to design something, most of the time you just go with the flow. The director wants something green, you pull out 30 different kinds of green.”

At the end of the question and answer session Roderick-Jones said: “I don’t have any regrets except for one: make sure your name is on the unit list. I was unable to receive an Oscar because I forgot that.”

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