Editorial: On the accuracy of set reports (spoilers)

Anyone who has been following the Star Wars rumour mill recently knows about the “Jedi Hunters” post at Making Star Wars that set fan sites alight a couple of days ago. Since then, Eric at TheForce.Net has posted twice on the subject, first that the Oyelowo portion of the original report (which I didn’t run with) was inaccurate and then second that the entire “Jedi Hunters” rumour was “completely wrong”. Indeed, Eric writes that “Nothing in the report is accurate.”

Let me say at the outset that I believe everything I’ve posted on Star Wars Always regarding the Jedi Hunters insofar as they were most certainly witnessed by crewmembers:

  • There are characters being referred to on set as “Jedi Hunters”—they may have a different name in the finished film, but obviously their role is to hunt Jedi
  • These Jedi Hunters wear black and chrome costumes with troops in a similar colour scheme

Eric’s second post hints that his source has read the script and that nothing in the Making Star Wars report lines up with the script’s story. I don’t think this is enough to discount the entire report, however. Maybe the crew are putting bits and pieces together and drawing the wrong conclusions from a story perspective, but if several crewmembers are all reporting similar observations, you can usually trust those observations at the very least.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let me give an example. I visited the set of Revenge of the Sith in 2003 and I knew the following details when walking out of Fox Studios in Sydney: Anakin was asked to spy on Palpatine, Tarkin would make an appearance, there would be a planet called Mustafar, Anakin was worried about Padme dying, the Tantive IV corridor would appear, a new TIE-like starfighter would be featured, Anakin would kill Mace Windu and Palpatine would use a lightsaber. I still had no idea regarding the plot or how any of these pieces related to each other or the larger story.

That’s the position that these crewmembers are in now. It’s quite plausible, for example, that a crewmember working on The Empire Strikes Back in ’79 could have reported that Luke was on a quest in a jungle or swamp and ends up surviving by being put in a tank of liquid, but Han is held prisoner in Darth Vader’s Cloud Palace. Would that report have been “completely wrong”? Once you strip away the conjecture, you’re left with several accurate observations: Luke is looking for someone/something in a swamp, Luke heals in a tank of liquid and Han is held prisoner by Darth Vader in a location in the clouds.

I think there’s something similar going on in the case of the Jedi Hunters: the bigger picture may be way off but the small details are, in my opinion, accurate.

In any case, this is all meant to be in good fun. Let’s not get caught up in a battle of “Who has the best connections”. This is all about tickling the imagination and savouring the anticipation, and personally, I like the idea of Jedi Hunters no matter the accuracy of the story.

Addendum: Latino Review are saying that, while they haven’t specifically heard of any “Jedi Hunters”, they have heard of “mercenaries” (which I’ve heard as well) while two of the villains are “vaguely Sith”. The costumes they’ve heard about also line up with the Making Star Wars report. Badass Digest are also hearing similar things. It seems very clear to me now that the bare facts of the original report were accurate.

Addendum #2: Eric has largely retracted his earlier statements, sticking to only one very specific claim. The implication is that many of the details are, in fact, accurate, and that this comes from someone who does know the story. So there you go.

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