Wars of the Mind or of Star Wars?
A long time ago in a drug-fueled animators imagination…
Pure terror has consumed the creative animator for Return of the Jedi. Reckless with his own personal well being, or the amazing artistic talent that was being incorporated into the third installment of the Star Wars franchise, artist Phil Tippet had set upon a strange yet spiritual journey to unveil the marvels that exists in that galaxy far, far away…only to discover that maybe he may had indulged just a bit too much on the Jawa Juice. Truth be told, there are many things about the Star Wars Universe that seem overtly fantastic. Amazing worlds. Tales of grandeur that seem to stem from the greatest of literary classics like King Arthur and the Knights of Round Table. A whole assortment of blasters and cannons and bizarre aliens lifeforms that inhabit this cinematic universe while noticeably mirroring our own.
Now it doesn’t take Jedi to explain to you how destructive the dark side of narcotics can be. It has to be assumed that while working as a creative consultant on Episode VI, Phil Tippett had a good understanding of what the peculiar effects he was feeling were not a result of the force, but unfortunately, of a mind-altering trip produced by the illegal toxins that he willingly took between sessions on the sets of Star Wars. In a recent interview with the magazine, Vice, Phil willingly explained in detail how he would sneak in a few tabs of LSD before venturing back to work, an illegal endeavor that not only could have cost him his job, but delayed production on one of the most anticipated movies of its time. In the interview, Phil was quoted with saying:
“I took LSD when I was working on RETURN OF THE JEDI, and
it’s fine. It’s was, like, very calming. And so I decided to go back to work.
When I walked into the blue-screen stage, it was like, ‘Ahh’ I took too much.
Imagine the fear Phil must have felt. Sideways on Acid, staring with a frantic fascination into the black, soulless eyes of an Ewok and wondering why the bastard refused to blink. That was a dangerous game you played Mr. Tippett. I makes one wonder how differently our Galaxy Far Away might have been had Phil been replaced, or did his insanity, just this once, serve him well. It’s hard to say. What can be said, is that Phil went on after Star Wars to create many more classics, such as Jurassic Park, Robocop, and Indiana Jones. Strangely, it sort of feels like there might have been some additional illegal substance used in spicing up his work for those films as well. Who am I to judge?
Phil puts it all on the line: