Steven Spielberg May Have Saved Babu Frik’s Life in Rise of Skywalker

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Steven Spielberg May Have Saved Babu Frik’s Life in Rise of Skywalker

Fans were divided over Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and yet many of those same fans were unanimous in their love for Babu Frik, the tiny little alien guy who tweaks C-3P0 in a pivotal scene in the film. Well, according to some of Frik’s creators, namely creature effects creative supervisor Neal Scanlan, concept artist Ivan Manzella, and actor Shirley Henderson, that cute creature might have died off in the finale if it weren’t for Steven Spielberg.

“It could be a rumour,” Neal Scanlan told Empire, “but I believe J.J. screened the movie for Steven Spielberg, and at the end Spielberg said, ‘What happened to Babu?’. Everybody thought, ‘Oh God, what did happen to Babu?'” Ivan Mazella added, “I think he was going to die originally – I think the AD shot that. When the planet [Kijimi] was blown up, he was on it.” 

Luckily, Frik pops up on Zorii Bliss’ ship alive and well courtesy of some trickery by ILM, who took earlier footage of the little guy and repurposed it to the later scene.

“We shot several other sequences. The ILM guys found one, lifted out Babu and put him into Zorii’s ship at the end.”

Sure, this might simply be a fun little rumor, but this wouldn’t be the first time Spielberg lent his hand to Star Wars. Spielberg was present during George Lucas’ initial presentation of the original film and was the one who introduced his buddy to John Williams, who went on to score the entire series of films. Spielberg was also considered for Return of the Jedi, but that ultimately didn’t work out — oh, what could have been. Though, he did direct some animatics for Revenge of the Sith.

Returning cast members for The Rise of Skywalker include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast are Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), and Keri Russell (The Americans), who will also be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. The role of Leia Organa is once again played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In addition to directing, J.J. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio (ArgoJustice League). Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, and Abrams will produce, with Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin executive producing. Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Rise of Skywalker.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available for digital purchase now and can be picked up on 4K UHD and Blu-ray.