The Story Behind This Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Photo of Me and Tory Belleci

By Adam Savage

The photo of Tory and me is actually one we call a "model shop reach." These models are completely done, yet it looks like Tory and I are still doing model-making with tools.

As many of you know, I worked on Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. This photo is of Tory Belleci and me working on Attack of the Clones, and I thought I'd explain it a bit.

This job, the making of the buildings of Tipoca City, was super fun and difficult. It was staffed by maybe one of the best teams of model-makers you could wish for: John Duncan, John Goodson, Tory Belleci, Dave Fogler, supervised by Brian Gernand. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone. If that's so, I'm sorry.

The big hero tower building I'm working on here was a mad three-week dash to finish. I came in late to the project but had the same end-date as everyone else, so I had to scramble. Once I was done, and all the buildings were finished, the incredible painters had their way with the models for a couple of weeks. The photo of Tory and me is actually one we call a "model shop reach." These models are completely done, yet it looks like Tory and I are still doing model-making with tools. In reality, we were asked by the ILM photographer to come back over to the set and make it look briefly like we were working on the models, when in reality our job was done two weeks before the painters did their thing.

Courtesy of Adam Savage

My model was also used as background for the Obi-Wan/Jango Fett fight scene on the landing platform (as known as the "Rumble in the Rain"). It was amazing seeing my work blown up -- and holding its scale -- across a big movie screen. It still gives me chills.

Courtesy of LucasFilm

I had a bunch of wonderful Doug Chiang sketches and drawings to work from. But I also got to make up much the detailing as I saw fit. Doug Chiang was a fantastic art director to work for -- once he saw you knew what you were doing he'd let you fly and make your own calls as to many of the aesthetic points. Nothing is better.

Courtesy of Adam Savage

Getting to work at Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic for five years was like dying and going to heaven.

I'd wanted to work on Star Wars since I was 10, when the first film came out, and I'm honored to have had that opportunity. And I'm also happy to say that The Force Awakens, which I saw twice within a week of its release, has rekindled the child in me for the universe that got me into this business to begin with.

Funnily enough in researching pix for this story I found a photo of me in a meeting where George Lucas comes to look at the outside of Padme's apartment building! A job that Fon Davis, Aaron Haye and I and a host of others slaved over for a few weeks. That's me over the apartment with my head turned away. I'm sure I'm saying useful things, but in my head all I'm thinking is: "Hey, 10-year-old Adam! Someday you'll get to be in a meeting with GEORGE LUCAS!"