Friday, August 16, 2013

I Would Love to Have One of These

I'm missing out on so many wonderful collectibles anymore. Oh, well.

I went to see Return of the Jedi probably more times than I have ever gone to see any movie in the theater. (Especially with re-releases.) When I was six, something about it really captured my imagination like no other movie.

See, as I may have mentioned before, when I was a kid, I was all about creatures and comics and special effects and Muppets. So the scenes in Jabba the Hutt's throne room really just pulled me in and fascinated me. I tried to recreate it as much as I could. I had so many of the action figures from Jabba's palace, as many as I could ask for that people would gift me with. I had a model kit of the throne room with all the various figures. I used other toys to create elaborate set-ups with Jabba at the center, Salacious Crumb always by his side.

There was also a TV special that I watched repeatedly: Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi. It was all about making the creatures in the movie and about how they were created and operated. I was fascinated by it, the same way I would later be fascinated with gigantic books about Industrial Light & Magic or the Muppets.

When I was a kid, I really envisioned being some kind of creature maker. I wanted to do something in special effects. I loved to draw as a kid, and I really wanted to do creature conceptual designs. Or maybe I would build models for special effects shots. Or create sound effects. Or do cartoon voices. Or be a Muppeteer. Or something, anything to do with that whole world. That was my passion, and that's why I still get so high on fantasy movies, even today when it's all computers. Computer effects are less interesting to me, but when someone (like Peter Jackson) uses them to just free the imagination, I do enjoy them.

So seeing this Salacious Crumb up here just makes me think how much I wanted that guy in my collection when I was a kid, and how much I wanted to do that kind of work, making kids' eyes light up with wonder or laughter or even terror at special effects wizardry and puppet magic. The guy makes me smile every time.

(As you can guess, I'm hugely looking forward to The Making of Return of the Jedi coming out this year.)


DrGoat said...

I watched an old episode of Farscape this weekend, about a creature who extracts DNA from other people and aliens to incorporate into himself to augment his DNA, and at the end gets turned into a little creature exactly resembling Salacious Crumb. Hensen was involved so it makes sense.

SamuraiFrog said...

That was the first episode of Farscape I ever watched, and what hooked me into the show. My favorite trivia about that, just because I find it weirdly charming, is that the mad scientist is called Namtar, which is Ratman spelled backwards.

Richard said...

I would not fret too much about missing out on this. I was very gung-ho about getting one when I went to Star Wars Weekends this year and was very disappointed with what the actual product looked like. The painting was inconsistent and there were obvious mold leaks. It really looked like a cheap Chinese knock off.

SamuraiFrog said...

Ah, I'm sorry to hear that.