Star Wars actor Wariwck Davis has appeared in films across all eras of the franchise, from his first role as Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi bacon 1983, when he was just 11-years-old to Solo: A Star Wars story last year. Looking back on his various roles, he considered the biggest changes to working on the films over the years. “Obviously technology has come on so much in the decades,” he said.
“George Lucas would always push the boundaries of what was possible in movies.
“In terms of Return of the Jedi, that was very far ahead of what anyone else was doing at that stage,” the Star Wars star continued.
“But of course, since then, CG has become the way to make movies now and do visual effects.”
Davis went on to reveal the difference between acting in a predominantly green screen set versus one which is constructed prior to shooting altered what it was like to work on the movies, differentiating his experience on the prequel trilogy from, in particular, that on the more recent instalments.
“There was time around about Episode One and doing the prequel films where a lot less of the set was actually constructed. Most of it would be put in in post-production,” he recalled.
“So, as actors, we were working in environments which were literally just blue our green screens — we wouldn’t really see much of anything.
“But then, coming in to doing the later films, from The Force Awakens into Rogue One and Solo and The Last Jedi, they feel much more like the way that we shot Return of the Jedi in the sense that the sets fully exist again and more of the actual things are realised in reality once again,” he said.
“It’s just how movies are made and how trends go in moviemaking.”
While he admitted to a personal preference for having the set built around him, Davis emphasised the fact actors need the ability to project their imagination when working on movies heavy on the use of CGI.
“As an actor I’m very used to using my imagination, especially when you work in fantasy/science fiction genre films, because a lot of what we see on the screen in the finished product isn’t actually there, especially with characters,” he said. “A lot of it is put in in post-production — alien creatures etc.
“It was really exciting working on the newer films, Solo Rogue One, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi. To see these wonderful huge sets — very, very exciting stuff.”
Davis enthused about the spectacular Coronet Spaceport set constructed for Solo: A Star Wars Story, saying: “Just walking in there you become totally immersed in the Star Wars galaxy and, for me, as a fan, it was a really exciting moment. There have been many of the sets of the recent films that have done that for me.
“I think I prefer to have everything around me,” he continued. “Also, as a performer, it helps you because you’re immersed in the situation and it makes the whole performance a lot easier.
“In essence, the approach is the same with Star Wars: it’s about brilliant characters, brilliant stories and a lot of fun. I think those three elements combined are really what’s at the heart of Star Wars,” he added.
Elsewhere, Davis has teamed up with Argos to launch the brand new game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at London’s Old Street store today.
“I have been invited to Argos today and it’s quite exciting for me — I’ve become an employee for the day,” he explained. “I’ve been selling games to Star Wars fans, particularly Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
“It’s pretty fun and it’s great for me to be able to interact with the fans and talk about the game and talk about something that we all enjoy: Star Wars. Because, at heart I’m a Star Wars fan.
“I’ve had many boxes in my hands because I’ve been stacking shelves and working in the store.”
Davis also revealed his son is among the thousands of Star Wars fans keen to get stuck into the hotly anticipated game, saying: “My son Harrison is a big fan of gaming and has been waiting for this game for many months now.
“He’s very excited to get that box open when he gets home from school.”
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available to buy from Friday 15 November from agos.co.uk and all stores.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in UK cinemas December 19.