LUKE SKYWALKER RETURNS TO THE GALAXY, FROM DECEMBER 15TH, 2017

ARRIVING IN LONDON, FROM 18TH NOVEMBER, 2016. BOOK NOW FOR THE ULTIMATE 'STAR WARS' EXHIBITION

Thursday, 23 February 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: HEADING TO THE CELL BAY


The disguised Han and Luke with their unique "prisoner" in Chewbacca stop at a lift shaft junction en route to the cell bay, watching a hive of people and the odd droid coming and going on a set at Elstree that was literally built next door to the chasm area and filmed in the first week of May, shortly after Luke and Leia's swing across. At least twenty extras in various specially made or adapted Bermans and Nathans rented-in costumes appeared in the scene, whilst the black/green droid was likely played by Anthony Daniels stand-in, Harriet Colville.

Our heroes arrive at the lift shaft area.
Reference image featuring Imperial extras, later used as reference at ILM.
Ralph McQuarrie's lovely production painting for the scene.
Ralph McQuarrie plans out the matte painting dimensions at ILM.
The side area matte painting as credited to Peter Ellenshaw. Note that the middle empty black strip actually made it into the finished film!

The set was extended and the chasm area concealed in post production by a matte painting from ILM that added further size and depth, planned out by Ralph McQuarrie but ultimately credited in final execution to DISNEY matte artist Peter Ellenshaw (as named in 'THE ART OF 'STAR WARS' book), aka Harrison Ellenshaw, who came in to help with the matte painting work load by 1977.

With thanks to Chris Baker for selected images.

ROGUE ONE: OFFICIAL BLU-RAY AND DVD ANNOUNCEMENT

Available on UK Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Digital Download from April 10th, 2017.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | official Blu-Ray trailer (2017) - YouTube

The Mission Comes Home: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Arrives Soon on Digital HD and Blu-ray | StarWars.com

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: WHEN A 'MOUSE' MET A WOOKIEE!


They're on their way to rescue a Princess, but challenges to our heroes come in all shapes and sizes on the Death Star, primarily a little "Mouse Droid" soon sent packing to another destination on the space station by the intimidating "prisoner" in Chewbacca. A charming comedy moment.

A close-up look at the droid from 1976.

This unique type of little droid, originally conceived by UK practical effects chief John Stears, would go on to background appear in the next two Classic Trilogy films, as well as EPISODE III (en masse on Mustafar), THE FORCE AWAKENS, and, more recently, in ROGUE ONE.

BEHIND THE SCENES: ATTACK AND COUNTER-ATTACK!


Watched by George Lucas, some unforeseen and very last minute lightsaber moves are hurriedly choreographed by Nick Gillard for Ian McDiarmid and Samuel L. Jackson, now fighting within the Supreme Chancellor's office set at FOX Studios, Australia, for EPISODE III.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

THE 'HAN SOLO' MOVIE: FALCON GREETINGS!


Principal photography is now underway at Pinewood for the Han Solo standalone movie (aka "Red Cup"), and cast and filmmakers pose for this lovely image direct from the Falcon cockpit. Great to see Chewie there, too, and with a new 40 years younger face!

STAR WARS AFICIONADO has no doubts that this will be a more than successful shoot in the UK and worldwide.

Han Solo - Smuggler. Scoundrel. Hero. A New Star Wars Story Begins | StarWars.com

'STAR WARS' AT 40: DROID FELLOWSHIP!


"Lock the door" and "Hope they don't have blasters" are not the reassuring words C-3PO and R2-D2 were hoping to hear from Luke and Han, especially now that they're about to leave them in the control room alone in order to go out and rescue Princess Leia. A priceless little moment from STAR WARS.

Reunited for a special commercial in 1978.
On set filming in 1978.
The American poster image for the campaign.

This particular set, originally filmed on during early Summer 1976, would be resurrected (and expanded) from storage at Elstree Studios two years later, for a special commercial shot for American audiences, with the lovable droids telling viewers of the important need for children to have immunization against whooping cough. The April 1978 shown informercial, featuring Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, directed by British filmmaker Peter Shillingford, was a big success, cementing the power the characters had with family audiences.

Star Wars 'Childhood Immunization' PSA - YouTube

STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends Birthday Greetings out to Anthony Daniels.

CLASSIC IMAGE: TARGET: KENOBI!


It's not a sight you see everyday- that of a Jedi hanging onto the underside of a flying droid zig-zagging the city skyline, but bounty hunter Zam Wessel couldn't care less as she aims her weapon at the approaching and equally dangerous Obi-Wan Kenobi, in a memorable EPISODE II scene on Coruscant.

Monday, 20 February 2017

OUT THIS WEEK: 'EMPIRE'S END'


Arriving in UK bookstores from the 21st February, 2017, with the explosive storytelling power of a thermal detonator, comes Chuck Wendig's final novel in the official post JEDI/pre THE FORCE AWAKENS trilogy saga that is AFTERMATH, and the spectacular battle between heroes and villains that will decide an Empire's End, from CENTURY PUBLISHING.

6 Reasons to Be Very Excited for Aftermath: Empire's End | StarWars.com

Here's the latest cover blurb: 

Following Star Wars: Aftermath and Star Wars: Life Debt, Chuck Wendig delivers the exhilarating conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy set in the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. 

EVERY END IS A NEW BEGINNING. 

As the final showdown between the New Republic and the Empire draws near, all eyes turn to a once-isolated planet: Jakku. 

The Battle of Endor shattered the Empire, scattering its remaining forces across the galaxy. But the months following the Rebellion's victory have not been easy. The fledgling New Republic has suffered a devastating attack from the Imperial remnant, forcing the new democracy to escalate their hunt for the hidden enemy. 

For her role in the deadly ambush, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane is the most wanted Imperial war criminal--and one-time rebel pilot Norra Wexley, back in service at Leia's urgent request, is leading the hunt. But more than just loyalty to the New Republic drives Norra forward: Her husband was turned into a murderous pawn in Sloane's assassination plot, and now she wants vengeance as much as justice. 

But Sloane, too, is on a furious quest: pursuing the treacherous Gallius Rax to the barren planet Jakku. As the true mastermind behind the Empire's devastating attack, Rax has led the Empire to its defining moment. The cunning strategist has gathered the powerful remnants of the Empire's war machine, preparing to execute the late Emperor Palpatine's final plan. As the Imperial fleet orbits Jakku, an armada of Republic fighters closes in to finish what began at Endor. Norra and her crew soar into the heart of an apocalyptic clash that will leave land and sky alike scorched. And the future of the galaxy will finally be decided. 

'STAR WARS' AT 40: THE QUICKEST OF BATTLES...


It's now become classic art used in countless areas of STAR WARS related media- Jerry Vandersteldt's superb painting of Obi-Wan Kenobi, lightsaber raised, within one of the Death Star corridors after having dispatching Imperial Stormtroopers- a scene that never happened onscreen that would have been cool to see, before the old Jedi Master's ultimate struggle with former pupil Darth Vader.

And intriguingly, back in 1976, a scene like that very nearly happened- it was certainly in one of the fourth draft shooting scripts (dated 1/1/76) that was changed before principal photography at Elstree Studios from April onwards, as Peter Mayhew revealed in 2015 on TWITTER via his fascinating weekly page scans of his earliest script for what was then known as THE STAR WARS.

Here's the scene:

SCENE A106. INT. MAIN PASSAGEWAY - DEATH STAR

Ben moves swiftly down the Death Star passageway to where four troops are guarding an intersection. Ben walks right up to the officer in charge.

OFFICER: Your sanction.

The guards start to lower their weapons, but before they can fire, Ben has moved through them swinging his deadly blade, cutting the troops to ribbons. The old Jedi swiftly continues along the passageway and disappears.

What a shame it never made it to filming, though Ben was certainly adept at ducking in and out of corner alcoves!

Artist's website: Vanderstelt Studio

1987 Sir Alec Guinness interview on STAR WARS: BBC Arts - BBC Arts, Sir Alec Guinness talks Star Wars in 1987

Sunday, 19 February 2017

EPISODE VIII: LATEST NEWS (FEB 2017)


The first EPISODE VIII promotional art for our main three saga heroes of Rey, Finn and Poe has arrived, and more goodies await unveiling at the US CELEBRATION event in April 2017.

Until then, here's this month's crop of news:

Rian Johnson On The Last Jedi's Progress, Influences, And Surprises, Feature | Movies - Empire

5 things we learned about the new 'Star Wars' from director Rian Johnson

The most must-see films of 2017, from 'Beauty and the Beast' to 'Star Wars'

'Star Wars': Lucasfilm Confirms A Mysterious Rey & Kylo Ren Connection NEWS— eastcoastmovieguys

'Star Wars: Episode 8': There will be two trailers; One for Celebrations and the other online

Star Wars has dropped a big clue about Episode VIII - BBC Newsbeat

Rey Hairstyle Star Wars Episode 8 - The Last Jedi Daisy Ridley Hair

General Leia's Scenes In Rian Johnson's 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Revealed NEWS— eastcoastmovieguys

Star Wars 8: Leaked trailer description reveals Luke Skywalker and Snoke scenes in Last Jedi

Adam Driver on 50-Pound Weight Loss, 'Girls' Finale and the Next 'Star Wars' - YouTube


The latest teaser image from Rian Johnson via his cryptic Twitter account. And that's not Tom Hardy!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Super Star Destroyer and Finn's curious outfit - Making Star Wars

Laura Dern says as much as she can about 'Star Wars'

EXCLUSIVE: Laura Dern Opens Up About Carrie Fisher & 'Star Wars: Episode VIII': 'What an Incredible Gift'

How Lupita Nyong’o Feels About Keeping Star Wars Secrets - CINEMABLEND

Star Wars Force Friday II Coming September 1, 2017 | StarWars.com

'Star Wars: Episode 8' spoilers: An exciting new weapon

Star Wars 8 The last Jedi Guess whose son Benicio del Toro is playing? | Films | Entertainment | Express.co.uk

Star Wars 8 news Rey will lose her hand in The Last Jedi | Films | Entertainment | Express.co.uk

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Spoilers: Judi Dench Interrogates 'Episode 8' Plot (Aereon RIP)

Star Wars: Episode 8 Is Likely To Feature A Force Tree; Luke Skywalker’s Screen Time Revealed
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