Suns News

The Suns Talk "Star Wars"

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars Night" invaded US Airways Center on April 11, 2010.
Josh Greene/Suns.com
Updated: Dec. 15, 2010

In advance of the Phoenix Suns' "Star Wars: The Clone Wars Night" in April 2010, Suns.com spoke with several players and Head Coach Alvin Gentry to get their thoughts on filmmaker George Lucas’ blockbuster Star Wars movie series. Blasting off in its initial release in 1977, the film has spawned its fair share of sequels, prequels and spinoffs, including the popular animated series on Cartoon Network, making it one of the most beloved film franchises of all-time.

The Suns will hold their second Star Wars: The Clone Wars Night -- call it episode 2 -- on Feb. 13, 2011, when they host the Sacramento Kings. Click here for more information


SUNS HEAD COACH ALVIN GENTRY

(On his earliest memories of Star Wars)
“I remember the first one. I saw it in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was one of those deals where you leave the theater and you just go, ‘WOW!’ My earliest memory is the bar scene, the cantina where they all have the bizarre looking people hanging out and drinking. That’s one of my fondest memories. And then, obviously, just Luke Skywalker all together, the hero that he was, and Princess Leia. It was one of those movies that stick with you your whole life. At that time, it was just so innovative, in the way the characters were. I mean, who could forget Darth Vader? That voice is so distinctive. James Earl Jones just creates characters.”

(On being a Darth Vader fan)
“If I was going to pick a favorite character from the first trilogy, it would be Darth Vader. He was the original bad guy. But when you get into the more recent ones, I loved Mace Windu. He was one of those cool hero guys. Everything that he did was cool, and his lightsaber was purple. No one else’s was that color, so that in itself made him unique. It was Phoenix Suns purple, too.”

(On the Force being with the Suns)
“I feel like the Force is with us right now. Sometimes we get a little bit out of the Force field, but for the most part I think we’re protective. Let’s hope as we go into the playoffs that the Force is with us.”

SUNS CENTER ROBIN LOPEZ

(On his favorite character)
“Everybody loves Han Solo. I liked Lando Calrissian a lot, too. He and Han are both rogues. They’re both kind of scoundrels, so I think people are kind of attracted to that. I think it’s kind of funny that Boba Fett was so popular. I guess it has to be his look, his visual design, because he only has a couple lines of dialogue. And in Return of the Jedi, the only line he has is his scream (laughs).”

(On his earliest Star Wars memory)
“My earliest memory is probably Return of the Jedi, the scene where C-3PO was going to Jabba’s Palace. I don’t know why that one sticks out. I was living in L.A., so I was 4 or 5 years old, I guess. It was in the early ‘90s, and I saw it at our house. They hadn’t been re-released yet. I saw them (Special Editions) in the theaters then, but the first time was on VHS.”

“I think anytime someone sees Star Wars for the first time it’s just a mind-blowing experience. It’s so different from other films. I think it just really opens a lot of people’s eyes.”

(On his favorite film from the original trilogy)
Jedi is my favorite, although Empire is getting closer. I know Empire is the general consensus, the most popular one. But I just like how everything comes together in Jedi.”

(On collecting the Star Wars comic books growing up)
“I never really got into the comics. I know Dark Horse put out a lot of them. I read a few here and there. But we definitely collected a lot of the toys. I got the first wave of figures when they re-released them in about 1995.”

(On whether he kept his toys in their packages or played ith them)
“Oh, we played with them, of course. My brother (New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez) and I played with them. We still have them. I think C-3PO is missing a leg, but we’ve got him. We probably had around a hundred, but as it kept going on, it was difficult to collect all of those figures on your salary as a child (laughs). You kind of had to pick and choose.”

SUNS GUARD STEVE NASH

(On the first time he saw Star Wars)
“I barely remember going to the movie, but I remember it was quite an experience… one of those early film experiences that was definitely special and kind of set the template for what it should feel like to go to a theater, with a packed house and have the whole place enthralled by film. I liked Luke Skywalker. I loved the movies, and they were a big part of our culture growing up.”

(On George Lucas' impact on the movie industry)
“It’s huge. He did a lot at the time for special effects, for universal blockbusters. Before that I’m not sure how many universal blockbusters with that type of effects and fantastical storylines there were. But I think he made a lot of new things possible.”

SUNS FORWARD GRANT HILL

(On the the first time he saw Star Wars)
“I remember I was at the theater waiting in line. I want to say I was I was under 5. I was in preschool and it was a big deal. It still is a big deal, you know, with the recent trilogy. It’s amazing how long that franchise has lasted and been relevant. It really kind of set the tone for space fighting or sci-fi, and really raised the bar at that time. It continues to raise the bar with the technology and graphics, and storylines and so forth.”

(On which movie was his favorite growing up)
“I liked the first one, but I really enjoyed Return of the Jedi. I liked the story of overcoming, of good vs. evil, and the whole Darth Vader (scene) with Luke before he died. That father-son relationship, it made the whole story complete.”

(On his favorite character)
“My favorite character, in the first one, was Luke, but as the stories and movies evolved it became Han Solo. I liked his personality and the banter between him and Chewbacca. He had that cockiness and arrogance. He was a good guy, but he had a chip on his shoulder.”

(On having Star Wars toys growing up)
“Oh yeah, I had the figures and the Millenium Falcon. I had the plane that Luke flew in, the X-Wing fighter. I remember my friend had the trash compactor. It was fun re-enacting the scenes. You’d get your stuff and your friends would get theirs, and you’d kind of create your own Star Wars.”

(On teammate Steve Nash having Jedi-like qualities on the court)
“Yeah, Steve uses his mind. Sometimes he pulls off things that only a Jedi with years of training could accomplish. There are some similarities between Steve and Luke Skywalker. You know… they’re both white (laughs). Yeah, I’ll be Billy Dee Williams. I’m Lando (laughs).”