Makeup artist Rick Baker is all about practical effects over computer-generated effects, as he should be. The man is the most decorated makeup artist in movie history, in terms of Academy Awards, having been nominated eleven times, winning seven of the golden statues. He’s even (finally) gotten his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
So when the man says he wants to work on the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII for Disney, it’s probably something they should get on making a reality as soon as possible.
Baker, who actually worked on some of the creatures for the cantina scene in the original Star Wars as one of his earliest jobs, says he fantasizes about getting to work in that world again, and touched on why he doesn’t think people approve of digital effects:
“So much of the stuff I did in the first Star Wars was very quickly done. Nobody knew that Star Wars was going to be Star Wars.
I think the problem that people have with the digital stuff is the problem I have: Just because you can do anything doesn’t mean that you should. Instead of having a spaceship battle with three spaceships, they have 3,000 spaceships. Everything is so big and there’s so much going on, you lose reality. It takes you out of it.”
The new Star Wars movie is obviously going to have its fair share of digital effects—that’s to be expected—but bringing Baker on board can only lead more practical effects, and a better final product.
For those who may not be familiar with Baker’s specific work, his resume is full of great movies, and when you think of a lot of the makeup work in those movies that still very much stand up to this day, you can better understand how legendary the man is.
His credits include but aren’t at all limited to: An American Werewolf in London (Oscar winning), Harry and the Hendersons(Oscar winning), Ed Wood (Oscar winning), The Nutty Professor (Oscar winning), all three Men in Black movies (Oscar winner for the first MiB), The Grinch (Oscar winning), Planet of the Apes (perhaps the only good thing about that movie), Hellboy, Tropic Thunder, and The Wolfman (Oscar winning).
In other news, Ewan McGregor, who starred as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, was asked if he’d be interested in returning for the new movies. McGregor said he’d be up for reprising his role, though it’s uncertain how serious he was. Either he or the folks over at TMZ asking the question may have forgotten that Kenobi died in the original trilogy, meaning his appearances in the new trilogy can only be flashbacks, the voice in someone’s head, or ghost cameos with Yoda and Hayden Christensen. Then again…there were those Darth Vader rumors.
What do think about Rick Baker handling makeup work on the new Star Wars, and would you like to see Ewan McGregor brought back for some kind of appearance/cameo?