Star Wars Publications Cover Felucia, Javva the Hutt, Lorne Peterson and ILM Summer 2006

by malducin

The official Star Wars site has an article detailing the creation of the planet Felucia from Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith. On the other hand issue 167 of the Star Wars newsletter profiles Michael Smith, who runs the Javva the Hutt cafe, while issue 168 mentions how the ILM Model Shop built the Princess Leia bikini costume from Return of the Jedi.

You can read the Felucia article here:

Building Felucia

Here's the Javva the Hutt article:

Look closely in the end credits of the Star Wars prequels and you might spot an unusual tribute. Listed amongst the cast and crew is Javva the Hutt, the employee-adopted cafe that has been fueling artists at Industrial Light & Magic since May 23, 1997. Since relocating from the Marin County facility to the new San Francisco campus, Javva proprietor Michael Smith brews coffee not only for ILM, but for employees at LucasArts and Lucasfilm, as well as George Lucas himself.

"George's preferred coffee drink is a large mocha," Smith smiles. "But most people here live for their lattes."

While working at Skywalker Ranch 1989 to 1992, Smith became friends with corporate facility manager Ralph O'Rear who asked him if he'd like to officially caffeinate the visual effects artists responsible for the prequels. Smith jumped at the chance and has been the ILM barista ever since.

"My daughter Lily actually came up with the name Javva the Hutt," Smith recalls. "She was six years old at the time. It took about three months to get approval from Lucasfilm to use the name and image of Jabba."

Since then, fictional Javva the Hutt cafes have popped up in comics, cartoons and even films. But Smith doesn't mind a bit. "I don't care because I know there is only one real Javva the Hutt."

Having the cafe immortalized on the big screen wasn't too shabby either. "Along with all the great support I received over the years from ILM employees, one of my biggest patrons is producer Rick McCallum," Smith says. "He was the one who pushed for me to be put in the end credits."

When the company relocated to the Presidio, Lucas made sure Javva the Hutt was part of the move, much to the employees' delight. Smith warns, however, that you probably shouldn't thank the filmmaker by insisting on a free cup of Joe. "One time someone who had ordered a drink told me to put it on George's tab," Smith laughs. "The guy didn't realize that George was standing right behind him. I don't think I've ever seen anyone turn red so quickly."

Here's the Princess Leia bikini costume writeup:

It was Princess Leia's Organa's most memorable wardrobe choice -- albeit chosen by Jabba the Hutt -- the brief brass bikini worn while chained to the bloated gangster in Return of the Jedi. Developed in sketches by Nilo Rodis-Jamero, it was actually the ILM Model Shop that was tasked to construct the real costume worn by actress Carrie Fisher.

"Nilo was doing sketches, and I had seen what he was planning," recalls Lorne Peterson, veteran ILM modelmaker who has worked on all six Star Wars films. "Incidentally, at the same time, someone I went to college with happened to sit beside me at a café who I hadn't seen in something like 18 years. In striking up an old friendship, I realized that he was a sculptor, and many of his own private sculptures were very much like Princess Leia's outfit."

That sculptor, Richard Miller, joined ILM for Jedi, and stayed on to work on many other films, including the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

"An interesting aside is that one of the moldmakers, when he realized he was going to get to do the body-casting of Carrie Fisher... he talked about it every day," recalls Peterson. "And somewhere in Production, at the last minute, they changed and had another moldmaker do it, much to his chagrin. If he had just kept his mouth shut and not been so enthusiastic, they would have let him go through with it!"

Issue 89 of the Star Wars Insider has an article of modelmaker Lorne Peterson and another article covers ILM's VFX work in Mission: Impossible III, Poseidon and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest with supervisors Roger Guyett, Kim Libreri and John Knoll:

Explore the Underworld in Star Wars Insider #89