Kashyyyk – Guilin, China & Phuket, Thailand.
Guilin, a city named after its lovely osmanthus, is hailed by many as being the most beautiful place in China with its exotic terrain of freshwater lagoons and tree-covered mountains.
There is an old Chinese saying that explains the beauty of this city – ‘Guilin overshadows all other cities of China for scenery’
Its shapely rising limestone towers and its crystal clear waters are portrayed in many works of Chinese art.
The city which has inspired many is located in the Northeast corner of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region.
Not much has been revealed about the filming that took place here for ROTS, however we do know that both the Guilin and Thailand locations were combined to provide the much anticipated planet of Kashyyyk, first glimpsed in The Star Wars Holiday Special, shown on CBS November 17 1978, bearing the odd name “Kazzook”.
The Wookiee homeworld dates back to Lucas’ rough draft of Star Wars in 1973 – originally the planet was called Yavin!
Plate photographs of both the locales shot by Ron Fricke and Carl Miller were integrated with ILM.
Miniatures, a series of digital matte paintings and costumed actors directed by Rob Colman in May 2004.
The Wookiees themselves were shot against bluescreen during two days of pick-ups in the Sydney studios where mostly basketball players were used. (see photo of Michael Kingma, note I am 6ft 2in).
Chewie & Tarrful (Michael Kingma)
Michael Kingma & I
Kashyyyk part 2- Phuket, Thailand.
Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand, located in the Andaman Sea, southern part of Thailand.
The island is mostly mountainous with a mountain range in the west of the island from the north to the south. The mountains of Phuket form the southern end of a mountain chain, which ranges for 440 km from the Kra Isthmus. The highest elevation of the whole Phuket chain is the Khao Phra Mi with an elevation of 1138 m, however the highest elevation on the island itself is Mai Tha Sip Song (Twelve Canes), at 529 m above sea level.
70% of the island is covered by forest. The western coast has several sandy beaches, while on the east coast are more muddy beaches.
As with most of Thailand, the majority of the population is Buddhist, but there are a significant number of Muslims (5%) in Phuket, mostly descendants of the island’s original sea-dwelling people.
Plate Photography was once again used from around the Phang Nga Bay / National Park area.
On December 26 2004, Phuket and other areas on Thailand’s west coast suffered extensive damage when struck by a tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Waves destroyed several highly populated areas in the region, killing as many as 5,300 people nationwide, and tens of thousands more throughout the wider region. As many as 250 people were reported dead in Phuket, including some foreign tourists. Almost all the major beaches on the west coast, especially Patong, Karon and Kata, sustained major damage, with some damage also being caused to resorts and villages on southern beaches.
However, by February 2005 most undamaged resorts were back in business, and throughout 2005, life slowly returned to normal for the people of Phuket. As of November 2005, following stenuous recovery programs, there is very little obvious tsunami damage remaining other than at more remote beaches, and the tourist business which drives the Phuket economy appears to have almost fully recovered.