Star Wars Sets / Yorkshire Lore

Star Wars Sets / Yorkshire Lore

Date

HostRichard Syrett

GuestsRoger Christian, ​Charles Christian

In the first half, Roger Christian, set decorator and prop master for the original 1977 Star Wars, joined Richard Syrett (Twitter) to discuss how he redefined the look of sci-fi film in his quest to make George Lucas's vision for the film a reality. Unlike the sets and weapons of conventional sci-fi, which lacked authenticity in Christian's view, Star Wars' visual elements reflected a vision of high tech that was gritty and patched together, yet intricate and futuristic looking. Fortunately for the production team, this aesthetic was a perfect match for the extremely limited budget they worked under, Christian related. He was forced, for example, to fashion the film's iconic weaponry and even its droid characters out of metal scraps and various mechanical parts, including those from old cameras and WWII rifles.

But, Christian elaborated, his choices for Star Wars weren't merely the result of clever improvising and luck. He attributed many of his ideas and inspirations to the creative energy that came from meditation and lucid dreaming. And at a deeper level, the direction given to him by George Lucas was rooted in Lucas's devotion to timeless storytelling archetypes and the film genres modeled after them, such as Japanese samurai films and Westerns.

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A former journalist and barrister turned writer and podcaster on paranormal and supernatural topics, Charles Christian joined the show in the latter half to talk about the fantastical world of Yorkshire, England. In 1790, for example, a large meteorite crashed in the area, inspiring a number of superhero stories and ushering in an era of strange occurrences. The wolds (low-lying hills) of the area are also home to a werewolf legend that goes back to the Middle Ages and persists until today. Various accounts of the creature have been recorded, with its most recent incarnation earning it the nickname "Old Stinker" for its foul breath.

Among the other creatures reported in the area is a "dragon" that allegedly inhabits its lakes, as well as a Sasquatch-like entity that has also been reported by locals. According to local legend, a skull belonging to a servant woman screams and causes chaos any time it's disturbed. Christian also claimed to have discovered skeletons with stakes driven through their hearts, which, he said, confirms the belief of local people in vampires.

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