While one could argue that Revenge of the Sith is more computer animated than live action (the first thing on screen in this documentary is Ewan McGreggor fighting a guy in a suit made out of leftover blue-screen), the light-saber fights, excluding Yoda, were actually all done by real live people, most of them actors. To prove this we see the stunt process from the rough previews shot by Nick Gillard and his men on half constructed sets (or less), past George Lucas commenting on them in the editing suite while Ben Burtt provides most of the voices to the finished product (digitally enhanced). Some of these stunt men would actually do quite well acting in internet fan films.
Gillard briefly mentions the nine levels of light-saber fighting, but does not get the chance to explain them all (this featurette is only about 10 minutes long). Lucas seems to dislikes wire work, and the two of them have a slight disagreement over the (message board controversial). Palpatine/Windu fight. Nick originally planned to use doubles, but on the day of shooting George decided to film the two middle aged actors in close up (and it shows). By contrast Ewan and Hayden did not need any stunt doubles during their duel, only for potentially dangerous jumps and falls. Obi-Wan was replaced by Uncle Owen's brother (Nash Edgerton). Good thing they could past Ewan's face over him with the Knoll brother's Photoshop, for it would really get too confusing if Owen rescued the Chancellor.
Talking about DVD extras, people often complain about the lack of action scenes in the deleted scenes categories. They seem to forget that action scenes never get cut, only boring dialog. In "It's all for real' however, there are a few fleeting glimpses of action cut from the first reel. Originally, Palpatine's rescue was much more elaborate (and time consuming), with them balancing on poles, sliding down chutes and crawling through revolving cabins. We also see Ewan McGreggor swimming under water (he should have known better, his swimming scenes from The Phantom Menace were cut too). Part of this last one is shown as an annimatic in the deleted section, but since there was not time to complete all the effects, the bulk of this action stuff remains deleted. If only they had listened to Nick Gillard and done it all for real.
7 out of 10
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