Monday, 4 May 2015

EPISODE VII: THE 'VANITY FAIR' COVER IS HERE!

Image: Annie Leibovitz for VANITY FAIR.

Continuing the fine tradition set down with their Prequel coverage, VANITY FAIR magazine have the first exclusive magazine coverage of THE FORCE AWAKENS, courtesy of their finest photographer/icon Annie Leibovitz. More to come tomorrow, for May the Fourth day.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Cast Poses for Vanity Fair's June Cover | Vanity Fair


UPDATE 1: BTS video footage: ▶ Watch the "Star Wars" Cast on Set for "Vanity Fair's" Cover Shoot - YouTube

UPDATE 2: A selection of intriguing images: Star Wars The Force Awakens' Characters Revealed | Vanity Fair

Other EPISODE VII and sequel/spin-off related news:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: As Rey emerges, so does newcomer Daisy Ridley | EW.com
Carrie Fisher on protecting the 'Star Wars' legacy: 'I'm the custodian of Leia' | EW.com
J.J. Abrams & Chewbacca took the Twizzler Challenge on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' | EW.com
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Forget the clones… Meet John Boyega, the one-of-a-kind stormtrooper | EW.com
▶ Top Ten Things Never Before Said In A "Star Wars" Film - David Letterman - YouTube
C-3PO Actor Demanded 2 Things Before Signing On For 'Star Wars: Episode VII' - Business Insider
Domhnall Gleeson talks Star Wars Episode VII - NBC News.com
in-cumbria | Home | Latest Star Wars trailer showcases Cumbria
Star Wars Episode 7 News | Updated with Photos! Japanese Press Conference for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Josh Trank Departs Star Wars Anthology Film | StarWars.com
Star Wars Episode 7 News | Star Wars Episode VIII Gets Cinematographer.
Disney asked fired Star Wars director to not show up at Celebration
May the 4th be with you. Star Wars VIII to be filmed in UK, Osborne to announce | Film | The Guardian
Star Wars director JJ Abrams reveals he was 'terrified' of working with Harrison Ford on The Force Awakens - Mirror Online

HAPPY 'MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU' DAY!

Classic EPISODE IV poster art by Dan Goozee.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO wishes fans/readers worldwide a very happy MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU Day!

All Seven Star Wars Teaser Trailers - YouTube

A Brief History of 'Star Wars' Celebration May The Fourth - MTV

In the UK, SKY MOVIES have once again reclaimed the screening rights to the STAR WARS films, and the entire backlot catalogue for transmission from later 2015 onwards, firstly with a two-day event screening of all (so far) six movies on SKY SHOWCASE this 4th and 5th May:
Star Wars Marathon on Sky Movies
Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Sky Movies

STAR WARS REBELS continues to air in Bank Holiday batches on DISNEY XD.

Other UK events for this special day:

LOCK 17 CAMDEN Star Wars Day: London, May the 4th

LEGO® Star Wars™ Days (2 - 4 May 2015) - LEGOLAND

Jeremy Bulloch will be signing today at the London DISNEY store, Oxford Street.

Before unleashing their screenings of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK next month, SECRET CINEMA's REBEL X division will be having a special top secret location dance party: Buy tickets for REBELX - MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU at Secret Location, London

Win the superb US version of STAR WARS: BLUEPRINTS with DeAgostini.

Take part in the DeAGOSTINI quiz/prize draw to win one of the special limited editions of the US version of the STAR WARS BLUEPRINTS book (worth £350!): Build the Millenium Falcon

The Star Wars Trilogy Quiz | ShortList Magazine

▶ Star Wars - The Force Awakens Trailer (Top Gun Re-edit) - YouTube
Star Gun / Top Wars T-shirt by Milo Firewater | Society6

Sunday, 3 May 2015

'STAR WARS' AT MADAME TUSSAUDS: UPDATE 4

We're getting ever nearer to that magical May 16th opening date at MADAME TUSSAUDS, London, to what must surely be the greatest collection of character figurine and scene recreations ever put together for a STAR WARS saga project. Here's the latest special sneak-peek at some of the concept art for four of the upcoming sets. With thanks to MADAME TUSSAUDS.

"I am your father!"
Duel of the Fates.
Chewie in the Falcon.
In the Mos Eisley Cantina.

Previous AFICIONADO updates: STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: MADAME TUSSAUDS STAR WARS EXHIBITION

TUSSAUDS Facebook page: Madame Tussauds London
TUSSAUDS photos and behidn the scenes footage: Madame Tussauds London - Star Wars
Book now: Buy tickets online for Madame Tussauds™ London


THE CLONE WARS: WAS THAT HAN SOLO?

More well-known faces would have been seen from THE STAR WARS universe in The Untold Clone Wars. Image: LUCASFILM ANIMATION.

The Untold Clone Wars Panel at CELEBRATION ANAHEIM, featuring Dave Filoni and Pablo Hidalgo, now on STARWARS.COM, revealed lots of mouth watering gems that we deeply wished had come to fruition in Seasons Seven and Eight: a variation on The Searchers with the Tusken Raiders, Boba Fett and his new mentor in Cad Bane; the Wookiees and the Bad Batch Clones on Kashyyyk, Dooku battling Boba Fett, Embo and the bounty hunters; Ventress and Vos in the upcoming Dark Disciple novel, and an early idea for a potentially lethal First Contact scenario between the Expanded Universe's popular Yuuzhan Vong and the Jedi. But it would be the return of Ahsoka Tano prior to REBELS that proved the most interesting, seeing her on a speeder bike entering the shady Level 1313 on Coruscant. When her clip was completed, not much was said about who the character was with the goggles watching her misadventure. To me, it looked like a young Han Solo, not yet having garnered his famous chin scar. And don't forget, in an early script draft, he was almost in EPISODE III on Kashyyyk, where he would have been around fourteen years old. The clip was also given some introduction by Dave Filoni, who said that this particular Ahsoka episode had a storyline conceived by George Lucas with a very intentional Indiana Jones-esque vibe to it. Potential hint, there!?

Anyone at LUCASFILM want to confirm this?

▶ The Untold Clone Wars Panel - Star Wars Celebration Anaheim - YouTube

THE CLONE WARS: MEETING THE 'BAD BATCH'!

Cody and his squad encounter the Bad Batch squad. Images: LUCASFILM ANIMATION.

With the prior success of the web released uncompleted story arc reels for the Utapau saga from THE CLONE WARS: The Lost Missions initiative, STARWARS.COM has now released a new four-part set for the Brent Friedman written, Clone Trooper highlighted adventure that is Bad Batch, where a quartet of irregular war-loving, genetically enhanced clones joins forces with Anakin, Rex and Cody to liberate a stolen war algorithm and uncover the mystery of whether the previously MIA clone trooper Echo might still be alive after the fiery conclusion of the Season Three adventures set within The Citadel.

Anakin fights a new type of Battle Droid.

Also featuring the return of notable villains Wat Tambor and the spider-cyborg General Trench, this action-heavy, planet-trotting tale is a must-see, especially for Clone Trooper fans. Let's hope that it gets enough web hits to see-in even more animatic story reels being released for the not too distant future...

Watch the episodes here: The Clone Wars Legacy | StarWars.com

▶ The Untold Clone Wars Panel - Star Wars Celebration Anaheim - YouTube
▶ Bad Batch Star Wars: The Clone Wars Panel - Star Wars Celebration Anaheim - YouTube

Saturday, 2 May 2015

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 35: HAN AND THE SPACE SLUG!


The truth about the asteroid "cave" they've been hiding in now finally revealed, our Millennium Falcon heroes race to escape the jaws of death, in this slightly different out-take image from the one originally used in so much 1980 publicity for The Empire Strikes Back.

Friday, 1 May 2015

'THE CLONE WARS: THE LOST MISSIONS' - COMING TO SKY TV UK

Yoda meets the Force Priestesses, in the upcoming UK screening of THE CLONE WARS: The Lost Missions. Image: LUCASFILM ANIMATION.

Great news for all UK STAR WARS fans, and particularly dedicated UK fans of THE CLONE WARS TV series who have so far not gotten to see the final sixth season- The Lost Missions. SKY MOVIES has purchased the entire back catalogue of movies and TV series, plus the all-new STAR WARS REBELS series, for exclusive screenings later in the year.

Here's the exciting press release:


This summer, Star Wars arrives on Sky Movies, giving Sky Movies customers exclusive broadcast access to all six Star Wars Saga feature films, alongside a wealth of additional features and programming; kicking off with UK TV’s first ever 48 hour Star Wars marathon on May the 4th.

The collection will see the six feature films - Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi ­­­-  sit alongside the two animated Star Wars series, Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as a number of Lucasfilm specials and featurettes.

Sky Movies will celebrate with a 48 hour Star Wars marathon on May the 4th (also known as international Star Wars Day) and 5th, where customers will be able to watch them in episodic order, as well as release order on both days.

This marks the first time this Star Wars content will be broadcast all in one place. It offers Star Wars fans an unrivalled opportunity to experience the films via Sky Movies’ comprehensive movie service.  Non Sky customers will also be able to enjoy the Star Wars content through Sky Movies NOW TV.

I am delighted that we can offer the Star Wars saga to our customers,” comments Ian Lewis, Director Sky Movies. “As a huge fan of the saga, it gives me great personal pleasure to be able to offer my fellow fans a unique Star Wars experience. No-one will do Star Wars like Sky Movies.”

Dayna Donaldson, General Manager, Media Distribution, Disney UK and Ireland adds: “The Star Wars saga is universally loved by fans for its rich storytelling and compelling characters and we’re thrilled that Sky Movies customers will be able to enjoy it in the run up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens theatrical release at the end of the year. This will be without doubt this year’s unmissable TV marathon”. "

We are thrilled to be part of this remarkable opportunity which will give customer access to the original Star Wars," said Gina Brogi, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Pay Television and SVOD, Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. She added, "May the Force be with you."

Alongside the six Star Wars Saga feature films, Sky Movies has licensed both series of Star Wars Rebels and all six series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as the feature film. In addition, a selection of special programming including Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy and Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed ­will be available.


EPISODE VII: DESTINY OF A SKYWALKER...



There was a time when all suddenly seemed right with the universe- brave young Luke Skywalker had cemented his place and destiny as a Jedi Knight, helped his father Anakin escape his iron lung prison as the evil Darth Vader and set him back on the path to good, away from darkness, to destroy the fearsome Emperor and his key technological might. Now, the return of the Jedi has seemingly been and gone, with a new intergalactic conflict that has likely ravaged and affected as many worlds as those originally hit by the cataclysmic shockwaves of the previous Clone Wars. A new force for evil- the First Order - now gains strength, momentum and destructive power against its bold resistors.

On a far-off world, an Astro Droid meets an old friend? Image: DISNEY/LUCASFILM

What has happened to Luke Skywalker during this time of terrible crisis? Did his likely plans for a new Jedi Order ever come to fruition ? And just how will he be involved in the next awakening of the Force during the Dark Times that lie ahead...?

We all can't wait to see Mark Hamill finally return as Luke Skywalker this December. Before then, though, word has come through to us via the US-based Charitybuzz of a special charity auction lunch that the actor/icon is giving. Here's the info:


With Star Wars Day (May 4th) around the corner, I am reaching out to let you know Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill himself, is inviting two Star Wars fans to lunch in LA, all while giving back to a great cause. Thought this auction might make for a fun piece or mention in anything you may be working on to celebrate the day.

With Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens set for a December release, fans are already asking if it’s possible that Darth Vader is still alive? Two winners lucky enough to dine with his hero son will have the unique opportunity to find out before the movie is released!

Mark Hamill has teamed up with global charity auction site Charitybuzz to give two fans the chance to have lunch with the Jedi Knight in LA. Bidding for this experience is available at www.charitybuzz.com/LukeSkywalker through May 6. The experience, valued at $10,000, is a steal with bidding currently stalled at only $1,850!
Hamill is so excited about lunch he even gave his Twitter followers a chance to get in on the auction:




And check out this lovely gallery recently posted by Hamill from the behind the scenes of RETURN OF THE JEDI: Mark Hamill's Return of the Jedi Family Photo Album | StarWars.com

Thursday, 30 April 2015

REMEMBERING THE 1983 HARRODS 'RETURN OF THE JEDI' EXHIBITION


Before they disappear into decayed oblivion, I thought I'd scan and post my Polaroids from my family's visit to the excellent RETURN OF THE JEDI costumes, props and artwork exhibition based for one month only at London's then prestigious HARRODS department store, during May 1983- packed with great items, a selection of that eagerly awaited first wave of PALITOY action figures with the new ROTJ logo on (Mum bought me a Royal Guard!), and a superb teaser trailer on a television loop that I just watched and watched gobsmacked alongside other kids (I'll always remember gasping when Han and Chewie were on the skiff as it overturns from laser fire, Leia getting wounded (I thought she was going to die!) and Wedge's X-wing and Falcon manoeuvring across the Death Star II landscape)- three years of waiting since TESB and I was finally seeing some new STAR WARS footage! Great times, of which I hope today's kids are just as excited now about THE FORCE AWAKENS as I was back then about JEDI.

Sorry about the overall quality, but I think you guys and gals will enjoy looking at them nonetheless. At the time, the newer characters/creatures got the most attention in front of the camera.

Love the McQuarrie diorama background, plus Endor Leia and Jedi Luke to the corner.
The UK's first proper look at the Royal Guards.
A Mon Calamari and those recognisable droids.
A special alcove recreation of Jabba's Palace, with Han in carbonite.
A Gamorrean Guard makes an ominous appearance.

Another fan has a more expansive set here: Return Of The Jedi Exhibition, Harrods, London, May 1983

LONDON'S 'THE FORCE AWAKENS' CELEBRATION!

Warwick Davis, some old friends, and very happy fans, welcome back STAR WARS!

Here's some more great shots we hadn't previously seen from the very special THE FORCE AWAKENS live streaming event from CELEBRATION ANAHEIM to London's EMPIRE Leicester Square IMAX cinema, hosted by Warwick Davis.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO's previous event report from 16/4/2015: STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'THE FORCE AWAKENS' TEASER TRAILER TWO IS HERE!

All images by James Gillham/Sting Media.co.uk for DISNEY UK.

"Utini!"
Warwick acts as a fine compere to events.
Old enemies enjoy popcorn and posters!
The live transmission has begun!
The new stars on the block!
A character-packed performance!
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