The Making of a Jedi
It takes more than the robes to make a Jedi, but the dark hooded cloaks
are an important visual cue to audiences as to a character's connection
to the Force. Originally, when sketching out concepts for Episode I,
the Art Department tried different directions for the Jedi, but George
Lucas insisted on a design that would be instantly recognizable.
Now, Episode II promises a showdown involving a huge number of Jedi --
more noble Knights than have ever before been assembled on the big
screen. That means an awful lot of cloaks, most of them made from
scratch as opposed to Phantom Menace hand-me-downs.
"The wool fabric from Episode I, we bought bales of it," says Biggar.
"We discovered after we bought the fabric that it had been Second World
War utility fabric, so it was made very heavy." Too heavy, it would
seem, for Obi-Wan Kenobi's water-logged fisticuffs with Jango Fett. "On
this Episode, we had that fabric recreated at a quarter of the weight.
I know [Stunt Coordinator] Nick Gillard had his doubts about how it's
going to be when it's wet, but I don't think it was as bad as
Light enough for rain-soaked pugilism, but still too heavy for speeder
bike use. "There are always little problems," says Biggar. "One day we
had Anakin on his speeder going through the desert, and there's a wind
machine. Because we had bluescreens up, the wind machine couldn't get
close enough to him. We ended up having to wire the end of the cloak so
that it would be pulled with the wind's help."