Friday, May 09, 2014

Star Wars Actor John Morton (Dak) Clarifies Recent Star Wars: Episode 7 Rumors and Talks About Star Wars: Rebels and TESB.

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Teddy Durgin, a Maryland-based journalist, who is also friend of John Morton (Luke’s snowspeeder co-pilot Dak in TESB), sent us a really cool interview where the Star Wars actor sets the record straight on his recent comments that have become Internet fodder. He also discussed his involvement with TESB and how he played Boba Fett for 2 days…


Earlier this month, Morton was a featured guest at three “Star Wars”/sci-fi conventions in England and Wales. Some of his speculative answers to fans’ questions were picked up by various “Star Wars” and entertainment websites and given the weight of an official announcement from Disney or Lucasfilm. 

If you missed Morton’s comments about Episode 7 click here.
 
Here’s a clarification interview with Morton. It’s really a great read and all the credit goes to the East County Times:

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TD: OK, let’s get you on record right here. Are you a part of “Star Wars Rebels” at all at this point?

JM: I am not a part of “Rebels” at all.

TD: So, you have not been hired to supply the voice of Boba Fett as has been reported online?

JM: I am definitely not the voice of Boba Fett. I don’t know where that came from.

TD: But you were on a panel, and you WERE Dak in “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Star Wars Rebels” is set in a time where Dak is still alive. So, you theoretically at some point could be involved, yes?

JM: Yes. I think the timeline for “Rebels” is running about five years before the Battle of Yavin in “Star Wars” to Hoth and Echo Base in “Empire,” which is something like four years after. It would be the time of Dak’s backstory.

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TD: So, naturally, you’re hopeful that there could possibly be an episode where we see Dak becoming a “Rebel.” And I think the fans are hopeful that all of those smaller characters, the X-wing fighter pilots, that we met in the Original Trilogy films like Biggs and Porkins and Wedge could possibly be worked into the series somehow.

JM: That was definitely the expectation of many of the fans who were aware of “Rebels” as it was being gestated. It was certainly my interest in pursuing everything I could and trying to find out what this series would be all about. Well, of course, it isn’t. They’re developing a storyline that is coincident with the storyline of “A New Hope,” the original movie. And none of these characters appeared in “A New Hope.” What “A New Hope” gave us is characters and their stories that brought about the end of the Empire. But there were obviously things going on elsewhere in the galaxy on the Core Worlds and the Outer Rim. This just happens to be a story they are developing that is about a completely different aspect of the Rebellion. 

TD: Now let’s clarify some of the things that you said and speculated on during your Q&A with regards to “Rebels” that a number of “Star Wars” fan sites and other sources have picked up on and run as though you have insider knowledge. You said, “The characters they are creating in ‘Rebels’ will be seen in ‘Episode VII.’”

JM: Yes, but it may not be THE characters they are featuring right now, the main ones like Ezra Bridger and Sabine. I have no idea if they are going to be killed off or if they’ll survive the series. But if you look back at the various pronouncements of the people involved, they are talking about other characters coming in that may be animated representations of characters we’ll see again. When I was talking to the folks at Bernley, that’s really what I was talking about. The question was: “Which characters?!” Well, it’s ones that have not necessarily been discussed.

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TD: And let’s be clear here. You don’t really have any official knowledge of what is going to be in “Episode VII.”

JM: No, absolutely not.

TD: Could you then clarify your previous statement that “‘Rebels’ will set up and point the direction of ‘Episode VII?’”

JM: The point I was trying to make there was there is a continuity. We are now being told that there is going to be a canonical through-line from the Prequels to “The Clone Wars” to “Rebels” to the Original Trilogy to “Episode VII” and the Sequel Trilogy. So I think obviously “Rebels” is going to be a key bridge to “Episode VII,” because it’s going to be an active bridge. It’s also, in terms of the Disney rollout timeline, it’s going to tee up “Episode VII” and give us all something to focus on and prepare us for “Episode VII” in the intervening period between now and December 2015. And in terms of the casting and character issues, I still strongly feel based on what has been said by the filmmakers themselves is that characters from “Rebels” will be in “Episode VII.” I don’t want to pretend to know which ones they will be. But I think I can say, with some certainty, that it will be ones we haven’t see discussed yet. An example could be Wedge Antilles [the Rebel pilot played by Denis Lawson who survived all three Original Trilogy films].

TD: Or it could be a droid character or an alien character that they don’t have to age.

JM: It’s entirely possible. It’s just my informed opinion, reading the tea leaves. It’s not an official opinion.

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TD: Now, when you were an insider and filming “The Empire Strikes Back,” there wasn’t the Internet. But speculation and interest was still rampant. How was it put to you back then not to spoil anything? As Dak, you couldn’t have seen a whole script, right?

JM: You saw, what is a term in the trades, “sides.” I had my “sides” which were just the script pages of the scenes I was in. But Mark Hamill had the whole script. In the four weeks that I worked on the film, I had lunch with Mark almost every day. There were times where Mark and I were not working when he was disappearing and going off and filming other scenes. And I remember very vividly him coming back and saying, “Oh, I just did a scene with this new character.” And we would ask, “Oh, who is it? Tell us about the character.” And he said, “No, I really can’t.” By the time we were having this conversation, I thought I had come to know him pretty well. We formed a friendship for that period of time, both of us being Navy Juniors [their fathers were both in the Navy]. So, he eventually said, “Look, the only thing I can say about this is that it’s a scene that’s over there in that stage.” “Is it another planet?” “It’s another planet.” “What’s it like?” “I can only tell you it’s like a big swamp. And there is this Kermit-like frog.” And that was an example of the layer of security back then. Hamill was only able to go that far even with someone he knew. If he had said, “His name is Yoda, and he is a Jedi, and he lives on Dagobah,” he would have been in big, big trouble.

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TD: And because you were able to hang around due to productions delay and such for four weeks at the studio, you were able to play Boba Fett for a couple of days?!

JM: One reads about the awful pressures on George Lucas. There were conflicts he and they were dealing with 20th Century Fox and even amongst themselves. We didn’t see any of that. What we saw was an incredibly upbeat high morale on the set. It was fantastic to work on. It really was. An example of that was when [Boba Fett actor] Jeremy Bulloch was booked to do two days on another film, the company was nice enough to say, “We’ll make this happen for you.” And then they said, “Well, Morton’s about the same size. He’s a good guy. We’ve worked with him before. Hey, John. Do you want to play Boba Fett for a couple of days so Jeremy can go off and do this other film?” And I was like, “Sure!” As far as I was concerned at the time, Boba Fett was just another stormtrooper. I wasn’t going to be seen. I didn’t know what I was doing.

TD: And so, in the finished film, which scenes was it you in the Boba Fett armor?

JM: I had two days. One day, they rolled film and it was a print, and it was the scene where Darth Vader comes out of the room where he’s torturing Han Solo and says, “He’s no good to me dead!” Then, there was another day where I was suited up and I was standing around in the carbon freezing chamber with Billy Dee [Williams], and they were having troubles making it work. We were there for a long time, and I don’t think they shot film. But I got to know Billy Dee. We had a great chat. I don’t remember seeing Carrie [Fisher] or Peter [Mayhew] or Harrison [Ford].


For the full article go to East County Times

37 comments

  1. Maybe Biggs Darklighter is in Rebels. An Imperial that turns rebel.

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  2. Biggs is a farm boy like Luke… he ain’t no Imperial dude… You’re getting carried away with ridiculous notions.

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    1. Obviously someone didn’t pay attention to the scene in A New Hope when Luke and Biggs were reunited!

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    2. Listen to the Star Wars Radio Drama. Biggs was in the Imperial Space Academy. Luke wanted to join, too. Biggs tells Luke at the beginning that he and a bunch of others are going to jump ship and try to find and join the Rebel Alliance.

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  3. “Well, Morton’s about the same size. He’s a good guy. We’ve worked with him before. Hey, John. Do you want to play Boba Fett for a couple of days so Jeremy can go off and do this other film?”

    Oh, for the days when people still payed attention to these details! One of the most baffling things to me about the prequel trilogy is that no one seemed to care that if Jango Fett was supposed to be this origin of both Boba and the Stormtroopers, then shouldn’t they at least cast someone who was of the same stature– Especially when you have a famous line where Leigh criticizes Luke for being too short to be a stormtrooper? Temuera Morrison is well under six feet (like Luke) and stocky and it shows even when he wears the armor. It just doesn’t work visually. Then add the consideration that Lucas is touted as being so visually oriented. Again, baffling and not a little frustrating.

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    1. Leigh? You mean Leia? “Oh, for the days when people still payed attention to these details!”

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    2. Stormtroopers are not all the same height (they are also not all clones by ANH either. Possibly no clones left at all). There are places in A New Hope where you can clearly see short stormtroopers that stand out next to the others. Leia was just messing with him by saying he was too short. Just like Tarkin probably doesn’t actually give off a “foul stench,” nor does Vader require an actual leash.

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    3. “Leigh? You mean Leia?”
      HA! Got me!

      “Stormtroopers are not all the same height…”

      I agree about Leia, but none of that belays my main point about the relation of Morrison to Boba Fett and how when all you know of a character is his visual appearance and then you go and change it with an actor who doesn’t fit and say it’s the same person and people blow it off like it’s no big deal just makes no sense.

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    4. “just makes no sense.”

      It makes perfect sense when you take into consideration that Boba Fett was not a perfect clone of Jango, unlike the troopers.

      Jango specifically asked for a special version of himself that he could raise as his son, that was NOT tampered with in any way, shape or form.

      Therefore, while a clone, Boba was just like any other ordinary human being. He could end up being slightly taller, wider, shorter or thinner that his “dad”.

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    5. No, that would only make perfect sense if it were common for identical twins to be so extremely different. But unfortunately it is the exception and not the rule and I don’t think Lucas intended–or Lucasfilm will consider–the exception if Boba Fett were to be cast in a future movie. Also the fact that Lucas changed Fett’s voice is further evidence of his intention of Jango to be physically indifferent to his son. I wish you were right though.

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    6. Anon@4:18 PM,

      Notice I said “slightly” different. The key being the “slightly” part. And that is dependent on many outside factors (sleep, nutrition, oxigenation, etc.). So it *is`* perfectly normal for Boba to be slimmer and taller than Jango, even if SW was fantasy, which it obviously is.

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    7. It doesn’t matter. There is nothing “slightly” about the difference in stature between Temeura Morrison and Jeremy Bullock and it showed when they wore the costume and is well beyond the scope of expectation for a twin or clone especially when it is obvious that Lucas is expecting us to buy into the notion or normal expectation of the physical similarities of identical twins which is also why the cop out of implying it’s just a fantasy doesn’t apply in this case.

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    8. Yeah, well, that’s your opinion and you’re obviously entitled to it. Just don’t try it to shove it down my throat, b/c we can only agree to disagree here. I do agree w/u on one thing, though. Since SW is all about the story to me, and since I couldn’t care less about petty, irrelevant details such as this, it doesn’t matter at all, indeed.

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    9. That’s quite an ironic statement you make there.

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  4. In other words, Morton got carried away trying to impress people by phrasing his speculation as if he was in the know and now he has to backpedal. This is why you don’t get your news from old cast members, people.

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    1. @ John ‘Dak’ Morton
      Thanks for the clarification and the great interview. I really hope to see your character and hear your voice in Rebels.
      By the way on your tweet you misspelled the site. It’s not Jedi News but ‘star wars 7 news’. :)

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    2. Oh, and it’s a real honor to have a real Star Wars celebrity in our comments!

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    3. Bespin Boba corrected the malfunction immediately with a reply. Mea Culpa.

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    4. Maybe you should have “cut in the auxiliary” John. :)

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    5. Great to have you jumping in here and posting with us, John! Sounds like you’re as excited about the upcoming SW projects as the rest of us. ;^)

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  5. IT’s good to hear from any ot cast members though. I’m really looking forward to rebels and getting to know the new characters, but I do hope we get some ot characters in there to, like the pilots wedge, biggs, porkins, numb! It will be a shame if we don’t get some back stories

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    1. I too want back story. I don’t want things to be too gratuitous (we know Filoni has a habit of that), but seeings Wedge, Biggs, Porkins, Numb would be a thrill to me.

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    2. I agree. And also, it’d be cool to see some of the Rebel leaders (Ackbar, Madine, Dodona, etc.) and how they reached their positions within the Alliance’s structure. Like how the Alliance came together and became well-organized and such.

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    3. Yes you are spot on, if the new characters start the alliance we gotta see it evolve into what it was in ANH

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    4. I would like to finally see the academy that Luke wanted to go to so badly where the Empire would draft student pilots into the navy.

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  6. Just like all the EU rumors were BS it looks like the Rebels rumors are BS. Rebels is 35 years before Episode 7, Characters would be older then Luke and Leia. I can’t believe how many people post rumors that are not even close to be correct, they are just made up.

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    1. Boba Fett is Han Solos uncle

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Leah’s first child is actually fathered by Jabba the Hutt. Some terrible things happened to Leah while she was captive that we didn’t get to see. So the first child won’t be a Solo at all.

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    4. why do so many not know how to spell “Leia” ?

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    5. Because we now live in the texting age when spelling and grammar are believed to have less value than once before.

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    6. So Jabba had a lover called Leah, huh? Interesting little tidbit. Why, she’s almost named the same as Anakin and Padmé’s daughter, LEIA!

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    7. Spell correction modes cause these slight spelling varients to become debates, not everyone proof reads a text, although we should, we don’t always do this. So people need to chill on pointing out such slight flaws.

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