- "Oh my goodness! Shut me down! Machines making machines?! Hmm... How perverse."
The Geonosian droid factories were a massive subterranean battle droid factory on Geonosis. Located near the Petranaki Arena, the foundries were completely automated and hazardous to anyone entering them.
These gigantic factories mass-produced droids, weapons, and vehicles to shadowy clients. The underground factories were cut off from the surface and maintained by flightless Geonosian worker drones who tinkered around the clock to reach maximum efficiency. Many drones were maimed or killed as a result of this mad desire to produce. Speed and reliability were the only concerns.
In between shifts, the workers rested in storage alcoves located in warm corridors. These workers did not actually sleep, but merely rested their eyes and it did not take much to wake them. Geonosian rulers realized the value of having many watchful, but disposable eyes.
Process and production
The Geonosian factories were excavated by large amounts of worker drones and were more than a kilometer deep. In order to supply the minerals required, Geonosians went into orbit and mined rich asteroids in the belt of Geonosis. These were then smelted down using lasers and distributed to the factory to fit molds.
During the late Galactic Civil War, New Republic Special Forces Sergeant major Jom Barell flew a gunship through an electrical storm to stop remnants of the Galactic Empire from reactivating the old droid foundries.
Behind the scenes
The droid factory was a late addition in production, conceived and written into the story well after principal photography had wrapped. In the original shooting script, Anakin and Padmé crept into the Geonosian spire, and simply encountered Count Dooku. In this version, the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO never left the Naboo starship. The addition of the droid factory not only provided a new action set piece, but also gave a visual clue as to the size of the growing droid army. Elements of Anakin, Padmé and the droids were shot during additional photography in 2001, mostly against bluescreen with very minimal sets. The Animatics Department filled in the bluescreen areas with very detailed temporary versions of the droid factory, previsualizing the environment that Industrial Light & Magic would generate.
Ben Snow, one the film's Visual Effects Supervisors, took reference footage of a Northern California automobile factory and foundry, to get visual starting points for the motion of automated machinery and the extreme heat and steam atmospheric effects his crew would recreate.
Though much of the environment was computer-generated, certain machines and the surrounding walls of the droid factory were realized as detailed and dramatically lit miniatures.
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