Good question from Michael- my favorite project on the TPM gig..
The Podrace is inside my top 5 if not #1. It was the ideal intersection of sci-fi, kit-bashing, vehicle and aeronautical design and racing. Doug and George had established the parameters of the podrace/ podracer design before I even got the job ..
I recall losing my mind over one of John Goodman’s concept models of a Doug chariot and engine design: and I believe the same engines became Anakin’s. So I came into that particular project having the luxury of populating a field of racers inside a defined envelope ..
which was pure joy: to just start kit-bashing a variety of shapes .. some literal kit-bashing parallel with sketches. It was Anakin’s chariot and Sebulba’s racer that were the greatest fun. At an art meeting one day GL started talking about his own love of racing-
specifically the cars from his youth he admired: a Maserati Birdcage typo 67 surfaced as inspiration for Anakin’s chariot. The large front fenders of the Maserati becoming a framing device when shooting Anakin from the front. An early (and less successful, I think!) sketch ..
of mine (page 114, image 2.204 in Paul’s book) attempted to illustrate those fenders .. and, thankfully, met with George’s approval as, I believe, it portrayed that dynamic framing He was looking for. It was the side view illustration of Anakin’s chariot that really defined ..
the shapes, mechanisms and overall kit-bash affect I was going for. Along with kit-bashing an approx. 4-5” model of it I also put together a working styrene and foam-core prototype of its cable tether and steering system .. I remember shaking with excitement presenting it to GL
as he randomly walked through the third floor one day. It was minute detail that didn’t necessarily make it into the film- but it was a thought process, nonetheless, that substantiated the design. Such fun- and one of my happiest moments in the making of Ep.1.

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