By Steve Daly
Updated August 16, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), arriving on the mining planet geono- sis with Anakin (Hayden Christenson) to rescue Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, inadvertently disturbs a horde of beelike workers in their sleeping chambers, falls onto a droid-factory assembly line, and nearly gets boiled by molten metal. before Writer-director George Lucas decided to add the 10-minute sequence late in production, but hey, he’s the boss. That meant that ILM effects supervisor Ben Snow had to figure out the facility’s parameters fast. ”It was scary,” says Snow. ”I thought, This will be very complicated.” So it was. For a shot of the Geonosians sneaking up on Amidala and Anakin (above left), the actors were shot against an easily removed blue screen on a soundstage in Australia. But Lucas didn’t like how he’d positioned them, so back in California, ILM artists would have to shift the composition, moving Amidala and Anakin to the right — the better to draw the audience’s eyes to the Geonosians waking up behind them. For the conveyor-belt scuffle (top left), Portman grappled on a set in London with a stuntman who was later digitally Genosianized. after The Geonosian chamber (above right) is in fact a miniature set, and the beepeople are computer-animated. And all those subsequent shots of the droid-making machinery (bottom left)? They’re partially models (background) and partially computer-animated (foreground), with designs inspired by a visit to a real car factory near the ILM offices.