Friday, 6 March 2015


Newly arrived Imperial Snowtroopers prepare their heavy laser cannon for firing at the Millennium Falcon, in a tense moment, and impressive photo composition (note Han in the Falcon cockpit), from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Looking forward to seeing what new scrapes the specially re-built freighter will get into for EPISODE VII.

BBC News - A long time ago... when Pembroke Dock made the Millennium Falcon


Some people will do anything to get out of being in a STAR WARS spin-off movie!

Seriously, after much worry last night, the news is in that Harrison Ford is in fair to moderate condition after his very scary aircrash in Santa Monica- so unlucky these past ten months.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO and fans worldwide send our best wishes for a swift recovery...

'May all his future flights be green-screen!' Mark Hamill leads well wishers after Harrison Ford plane crash | Daily Mail Online

Harrison Ford hospitalised after crashing his plane on golf course | Film | The Guardian

Thursday, 5 March 2015


The best talents for the best heroes, as Luke, Leia and Han take shape. Images: MADAME TUSSAUDS.

Those imagineering waxwork-making talents at MADAME TUSSAUDS, London, have sent us another exciting behind-the-scenes update on their eagerly awaited STAR WARS exhibition (which opens its box office up from today), giving us our first superb look at the heads of our main Classic Trilogy heroes: Luke, Han and Leia- surely some of the finest work the company has ever done. We can't wait to see more updates! 

German fans- the second most popular SW community in Europe after the UK- must be equally delighted with the news of a separate all-new exhibition opening in Berlin, with different figures and recreated scenes. 

First glimpse of Star Wars waxworks | London - ITV News Madame Tussauds London - Star Wars


Thursday March 5, 2015. It is a period of great excitement. A group of talented sculptors and set designers are continuing work on a project of galactic importance, the recently announced, major new Star Wars experience at Madame Tussauds London. The multi-million pound expansion, being created in collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm, is due to open on Saturday May 16, 2015 and work is now well underway bringing to life 16 of the movie’s favourite heroes and villains including Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. 

As the first tickets for the new experience went on sale today, Madame Tussauds London released images of early work in progress of these three figures, revealing startlingly accurate, perfect clay sculptures of some of the best-loved characters in movie history. The clays will be used to make the moulds to create the figures’ final wax heads and when complete the likenesses will feature in a series of atmospheric walk-in sets, inspired by iconic moments from Star Wars Episodes I-VI.

Han Solo is portrayed in his trademark maverick style with a relaxed expression and lopsided grin. His finished figure will feature in a scene from the famous cantina bar as he faces down bounty hunter Greedo. Princess Leia is portrayed as Jabba the Hutt’s prisoner, her head sculpted in accurate detail complete with massive gold hoop earrings, swept up hair and an expression of muted fury. Luke Skywalker’s expression is one of intense concentration, as his figure will feature in the pivotal final battle scene with his father.

The team creating the experience understands they have a responsibility to get it right, and Senior Sculptor, Dave Burks, who is creating Luke Skywalker’s figure is a massive Star Wars fan. “I know if I get any aspect of this figure wrong, a generation of fans will have a lot to say about it, so it is a huge responsibility,” Dave commented. He continued: “I have loved the films since I first saw them as a child and would certainly describe myself as a major fan. I was delighted to be asked to sculpt Luke and to be involved in such a unique project is awesome. Luke has a great face for a sculptor - big eyes and very expressive - but we are aiming to inject a sense of the character too, so I’ve got to ensure there’s a certain intensity to him. His figure is featured in the final duel with Darth Vader when he’s a bit older and battle worn.”  
These three heroes will be joined by many more including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Qui-Gon Jinn from Episodes I-III and villains like Darth Vader, Darth Maul and sinister Stormtroopers. Guests will be able to get close to their favourite film heroes as wax figures BUT they will also be able to star alongside them as the experience recreates some of the most iconic scenes from some of the most famous films ever made.  
The experience is a significant new expansion at Madame Tussauds London, opening up an entire new area across two floors of the iconic Baker Street site to provide a spectacular finale to the current visit.

The experience is due to open on Saturday May 16, 2015 - tickets are now on sale at, where you can also find all the latest news and updates.

A similar experience will also open at Madame Tussauds Berlin in May featuring 11 Star Wars characters, but in different specially recreated scenes. 


It's hard to believe, but its been eighteen years since the young Jake Lloyd started filming his important scenes as precocious but kind-hearted pilot and adventurer Anakin Skywalker in London, for a film which he then thought had a budget of $50,000!

STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends the best of Birthday Greetings to Jake!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Art by Alex Ross.
Spurred on by the destruction of her home planet and the continued tyranny of galactic oppression, the Rebel Alliance couldn't have a better leader to fight their cause than Princess Leia Organa. The plucky and resolute icon character's all-new comic book adventures begin this month in a five-issue limited series from MARVEL.

Open Terry Dodson's Princess Leia Sketchbook | News |
Princess Leia gets her own 'Star Wars' comic
Marvel previews Princess Leia solo comic (Wired UK)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Unwilling to be taken prisoner by any "Jedi scum", the hideous leader of the droid armies, General Grievous, makes ready to bring destructive chaos in his escape wake, during this exciting scene from EPISODE III.

Monday, 2 March 2015



by Kevin Hearne

Out now in UK hardback from CENTURY PUBLISHING

Reviewed by Scott Weller

Before J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan cinematically unleash a different, harder edged and more powerful Luke Skywalker than we've ever seen before this coming December with The Force Awakens, STAR WARS fans get a welcome opportunity to return to a more innocent time for the character when he was still a raw, occasionally fallible, fledgling member of the Rebel Alliance, scoring his first incredible hope-rousing victory for them, and for Princess Leia, by destroying the dreaded Death Star battle station. Kevin Hearne's eagerly awaited book, unfolding early on from these incredible events, Heir to the Jedi, originally once part of the EMPIRE AND REBELLION trilogy before instead becoming a solo vehicle made officially canon by the LUCASFILM Story Group, intriguingly puts our young hero from Tatooine front and centre of the action via a unique and well sustained first-person narrative- a first in STAR WARS Classic Trilogy book history post prequels. Overall, what follows within that structure is a brisk and entertaining read, if hardly classic, benefiting from showing us the youngster's continued efforts to understand his role as a Jedi-to-be, wanting to master its unique and spanning powers but proving a vulnerable widow to it nonetheless, especially now that he's without the guiding help of his great friend and father-figure- the recently departed into the ether Obi-Wan Kenobi, with whom he has had no more in-thought communication since the Battle of Yavin. In a case of small steps leading to bigger things, alongside lots of trial and error in his abilities (an encounter with a Rodian leads to a fun referencing to Qui-Gon and Watoo from EPISODE ONE), Luke is thankfully not without support for too long, primarily via the enthusiastic encouragement and friendship of a new rebel sympathiser, Nakari- daughter to a wealthy bioengineering magnate, pilot/custodian to a top-of-the-line starship, and talented markswoman in her own right, whom, being roughly around Luke's age, reveals a lively and instinctual personality that he can instantly relate to- the makings of their good teaming, along with the ever trusty Artoo Detoo, quickly established as they make their way across the galaxy to encounter numerous perils on planets old and new, negotiate with lifeforms large and small (whose loyalties to the heroic cause vary in scale), and face continued Imperial pursuit, unceasing bounty hunters and biological horrors from the odd lethal ALIEN-esque lifeform or two, whilst on their mission to liberate a unique hacker, capable of giving STAR TREK's Mister Spock a run for his money in the logic stakes, from enemy control and into the rebellion.

Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi Audiobook - Exclusive Preview! |
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi - Exclusive Excerpt! |
Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars by Kevin Hearne - Book - eBook - Audiobook - Random House

Heir's story feels more likes a series of incidents strung together rather than having one plot, but Hearne's overall grasp of the STAR WARS universe, and Luke in this awkward and evolving time for him between A New Hope and Empire, is often excellent- at times I could imagine the character saying the dialogue, brought to youthful "gosh and golly" life by Mark Hamillcicra 1978- something that's no mean feat and not always the case with some of the other STAR WARS books I've read over the years. Luke's abilities at this point, paired with his wanting to know more about his father (he'd regret it later!), whilst on the cusp of entering a larger, more powerful world in the Force, ring true- his confident, crack-piloting skills particularly showcased/paired alongside his less confident, genuine inexperience around attractive, strong-willed females like Nakari (a pleasing enough one-off addition by the author) and Princess Leia (who makes the odd guest appearance alongside other notable Rebels). The adventure, which also bears celebratory shadings to some of the seventies classic MARVEL comics here and there, ends on a satisfying note with some well structured action (special kudos to Hearne for giving Artoo a portable ion cannon to play with!).

AFICIONADO RATING: It may have the notoriety of being the first official Classic Trilogy character canon title to come our way, but Heir to the Jedi retains the intimacy and downsized plot engineering of previous Expanded Universe books. Those seeking another big action Shadows of Mindor type affair for Luke will be disappointed, but Heir, notably at its best during its second half, is a deserving enough confectionery of STAR WARS storytelling that die-hard fans will appreciate, initiating an author whose talents are certainly deserving of a return visit to George Lucas's playground. Not top ten SW book material then, but a fine holiday read warm-up to to the eventual EPISODE VII. 7 out of 10.

Get hold of Heir to the Jedi here: Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi: Kevin Hearne: 9781780892610: Books

Sunday, 1 March 2015


Critics (notably the UK's Antonia Quirke, whose self-serving and patronising EPISODE I 1999 review for ITV still lingers in my memory) saying that the first Prequel didn't reveal enough of the Jedi Order, nor their powerful connections to the Force, would eventually be rewarded by expansive scenes within their vast and stylish temple on Coruscant for EPISODE II, notably this early one, where Anakin Skywalker's destiny is discussed by Masters Yoda (atop his cool levitation pod!) and Mace Windu, along with a concerned Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Saturday, 28 February 2015


Bringing dark side tyranny and terror in his wake, the world's favourite baddie, Darth Vader, returns for a hopefully exciting in-the-armour cameo within the final explosive episode of STAR WARS REBELS first season- Fire Across the Galaxy - airing in the US this March 2nd on DISNEY XD, and coming to the UK soon after. Known as the place where Jedi go to die, will our small band of heroes survive the fiery realms of Mustafar and its Imperial guardians?

Star Wars Rebels: "Fire Across the Galaxy" Trailer | Star Wars Rebels |
▶ Star Wars Rebels | He's Alive | Fire Across the Galaxy - YouTube
Interview: Dave Filoni on Star Wars Rebels, Part 1 |

Friday, 27 February 2015


Between being caught in battle with Imperial Stormtroopers, and before his new bargaining with Jabba the Hutt (played in human form by Declan Mulholland), our space pirate hero Han Solo had one more problem leaving Docking Bay 94 with his Alderaan-bound charter. Trouble in the form of a snidey Imperial bureaucrat, Montross, and two of his armed officers. In the original shooting script for STAR WARS, Montross would be thankfully foiled by the smuggler's quick thinking skills, during what would have been an inconsequential but fun character showcase for Harrison Ford and Han Solo. Sadly, the Falcon interior scene, of which Bill Bailey (a friend of the late Richard Le Parmentier-originally considered for the role of Montross before being Motti) had been cast in the role and was ready on the day, apparently in costume, was ultimately cut because the Elstree filming on the Docking Bay set with Jabba had encountered problems, causing delays which were already pushing the film over schedule and costing money.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO proudly presents a PDF of this rare deleted scene exclusive in its scripted entirety, part of Ann Skinner's original continuity script for the movie, via the BFI SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Original STAR WARS AFICIONADO PDF feature on Montross:

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