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

Saturday, 31 December 2011

'THE CLONE WARS" - THE AFICIONADO TIMELINE GUIDE

THE CLONE WARS epic story and characters so far...

For all THE CLONE WARS fans out there old and young waiting for the second half of Season Four to begin States-side (from January 6th on CARTOON NETWORK), I thought it might be nice to do an up to date timeline list of the series episodes so far, especially as Seasons One to Three have many adventures set at varying stages of the galactic conflict.

Here's the AFICIONADO's take on the series viewing order:


CAT AND MOUSE (the start of the Christophsis plot)


THE HIDDEN ENEMY (introduction of Asajj Ventress to the animated series)


THE CLONE WAR THEATRICAL MOVIE/PILOT (end of Christophsis arc and introduction of Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano)


CLONE CADETS (first extra battalions join the fight)


SUPPLY LINES (invasion of Ryloth begins, the King of Toydaria asks to meet the Jedi)


RISING MALEVOLENCE


SHADOW OF MALEVOLENCE


DESTROY MALEVOLENCE


AMBUSH (Yoda meets with Toydarian King Katuunko and a new alliance is forged)


ROOKIES (attempted Separatist invasion of Kamino enters its early stages)


ARC TROOPERS


DOWNFALL OF A DROID


DUEL OF THE DROIDS


BOMBAD JEDI


CLOAK OF DARKNESS


LAIR OF GRIEVOUS


DOOKU CAPTURED (introduction of pirate Hondo Ohnaka)


THE GUNGAN GENERAL


JEDI CRASH


DEFENDERS OF PEACE


TRESPASS


BLUE SHADOW VIRUS


THE MYSTERY OF A THOUSAND MOONS


BOUNTY HUNTERS (Felucia not yet under Separatist attack. Hondo returns and has already met Anakin and Obi-Wan)


STORM OVER RYLOTH


THE INNOCENTS OF RYLOTH


LIBERTY ON RYLOTH (Ryloth finally re-taken by the Republic)


DEATH TRAP


R2 COME HOME


LETHAL TRACKDOWN (Boba Fett captured but will obviously escape in an unseen plotline, and returns for either Season Four or Five?)

ASSASSIN (Aurra Sing back from the dead, then captured but obviously busts out of jail in an unseen story to join forces with Cad Bane, prior to the events of the episode HOSTAGE CRISIS)

EVIL PLANS 


HOSTAGE CRISIS 


HUNT FOR ZIRO


THE HOLOCRON HEIST (Felucia under invasion-first stage of Jedi counter-attack fails)


CARGO OF DOOM


CHILDREN OF THE FORCE


SENATE SPY


LANDING AT POINT RAIN (the Republic battle to re-take Geonosis begins)


WEAPONS FACTORY


LEGACY OF TERROR


BRAIN INVADERS (Geonosis story arc ends)


GRIEVOUS INTRIGUE


THE DESERTER


LIGHTSABER LOST


THE MANDALORE PLOT


VOYAGE OF TEMPTATION


DUCHESS OF MANDALORE


HEROES ON BOTH SIDES


PURSUIT OF PEACE


SENATE MURDERS


THE ZILLO BEAST


THE ZILLO BEAST STRIKES BACK


SPHERE OF INFLUENCE


CORRUPTION


THE ACADEMY


From the Season Three NIGHTSISTERS episode mid-point onwards, the series continues in chronological order leading up to the events of the movie EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH...


The first three seasons of THE CLONE WARS are now available in complete series format (as seen in the above image) or individual season box sets on both DVD and Blu-ray formats from WARNER BROTHERS. 

Saturday, 24 December 2011

A BOONTA EVE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE!

A Podracer Christmas from LUCASFILM/Troy Alders.


STAR WARS AFICIONADO wishes its worldwide readership a HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a PROSPEROUS 2012! 

AFICIONADO REVIEW: "COWBOYS & ALIENS" EXTENDED EDITION ON BLU-RAY

Defending the Earth, Cowboy style. COWBOYS & ALIENS, now on Blu-ray and DVD. Images: PARAMOUNT.

Both lassoing and blasting its way past the $100 million dollar worldwide box office, the western/sci-fi blend of COWBOYS & ALIENS makes its exciting debut on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK from PARAMOUNT DVD on December 26th-the perfect Boxing Day/Christmas aftermath family action/adventure movie to settle down with, to be accompanied, of course, by tons of mouth immersive popcorn. Put your mindset purely into cinematic blockbuster entertainment mode and you'll have a dependably great time, headed by two of the movie industries most popular stars of the adrenalin kind: Han Solo/Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, and continuing James Bond star Daniel Craig, who make a fine pairing of character opposites ultimately going way beyond their lives in the American West in helping the town of Absolution survive an onslaught attack of aliens from another universe, in this criminally under-rated movie from Summer 2011 and which I strongly recommend purchasing in its Triple Play edition.

Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) takes on the aliens in this cool poster art.

Check out STAR WARS AFICIONADO's original theatrical review here:STAR WARS AFICIONADO MAGAZINE: AFICIONADO REVIEW: "COWBOYS & ALIENS". The new extended cut of the film (available only on Blu-ray, whilst the original version is on the DVD) adds nearly twenty minutes of material to the film and improves it greatly, giving the story much more subtlety and room to breathe. Most welcome is the fact that we also get to see a bit more of the film's fine supporting actors, like Clancy Brown, Adam Beach and Sam Rockwell, whilst action and gore buffs will enjoy the extended, and more violent, action scenes of man versus alien.

Lonergan and Dolarhyde prepare to confront the alien menace.

Harrison Ford is as good as ever as the crusty hero Woodrow Dolarhyde.
Olivia Wilde continues her impressive film career playing the mysterious Ella.

Originally made on film-a deliberate choice by Favreau-as all classic westerns are made in the format-and mercifully not released in 3-D (although several tests scenes were shot in the format), COWBOYS looks absolutely fantastic in its digital Blu-ray transfer, with sharp detail that brings the dedicated production/costume design and gorgeous cinematography to life, alongside crisp and terrific sound design that really comes out to hit you on your sofas. This is the best you'll ever see the film: the bigger the television you have the better the experience. There's also some solid, if hardly comprehensive extras, including a nice behind the scenes look at the film (split into five different sections) involving all of the films main stars and behind the scenes talent-all of whom clearly enjoyed making the film, interviews by Favreau with the cast and crew (including producers Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg and Brian Grazer) conducted after the movies completion, and an intriguing audio commentary from the IRON MAN director who lives and breathes movie knowledge across all genres, especially sci-fi and westerns, and loves to use the advanced film-making tools and special effects at his disposal to aid rather than hinder character on the ambitious hybrid genre movie. The only shame is that the film's skillful trailer campaign and the 2011 cast/crew footage from COMIC CON (which famously had Harrison Ford escorted onto the stage in handcuffs by the police) don't make inclusion.

Director Jon Favreau with the COWBOYS & ALIENS cast at COMIC CON.
Ford, Wilde and Craig pose for publicity at COMIC CON.


AFICIONADO OVERALL RATINGS FOR TRIPLE PLAY EDITION:

Extended Movie 8.5 out of 10


Special Features: 7 out of 10


Check out our previous comprehensive COWBOYS & ALIENS coverage here: STAR WARS AFICIONADO MAGAZINE: COWBOYS AND ALIENS

Friday, 23 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: SECRET SKYWALKER!


Filmed under top secret conditions at ELSTREE STUDIOS, and referred to on certain 1982 behind the scenes call sheets as "The Man", respected British actor Sebastian Shaw dons a Darth Vader costume for his filmed scenes playing the dying Anakin Skywalker opposite Mark Hamill. Within that brief shooting period, Sebastian Shaw would also be filmed wearing Jedi robes and later superimposed onto a separately shot sequence with Sir Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan and the Yoda puppet for RETURN OF THE JEDI's final celebratory scenes.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: "IT'S WORSE!"


Within the grotty and foul smelling domain of the Death Star Trash Compactor, Han, Leia and a previously submerged Luke survey the watery floor looking for the Dianoga creature, whilst Chewbacca continues his attempts to pierce the locked door, in this slightly different out-take image from the original STAR WARS.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

CLASSIC ART: BEFORE THE FALL...


The powerful, battle scarred Jedi- also know throughout the Galactic Republic as "the hero without fear"- Anakin Skywalker is embraced by his devoted, equally brave wife Padme Amidala in this lovely piece of art from Alexandre Tuis, linked to EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: "EMPIRE" BUILDING....


A happy Dave Prowse, a bleary Harrison Ford and a playful Carrie Fisher promote THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK to the world press during Summer 1980. I love the Ralph McQuarrie painting backdrop behind them. If anyone knows exactly where and when this conference took place, please get in touch.

Monday, 19 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE OTHER LUKE!


Art mirrors (screen) life in this great image from the FAMILY GUY RETURN OF THE JEDI celebration/parody IT'S A TRAP!, where Luke (Chris Griffin) finally gets to show his kick-ass Jedi skills and rescue his friends. I love the blooded limb on the floor-where would STAR WARS be without one in each film!

STAR WARS FAMILY GUY episodes will be airing over Xmas on FX HD in the UK.

BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGE: IN STORAGE!


A group of classic creature heads from RETURN OF THE JEDI lay ready to be used for upcoming studio filming at both ELSTREE and for location work in Yuma, Arizona between Jan and April 1982.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

DELETED SCENES WE WANT ON BLU-RAY: MOTEE THE HANDMAIDEN...


Seen but briefly in the finished film, Australian actress Kristy Wright would play one of Senator Padme Amidala's loyal and dutiful handmaidens (and presumably occasional decoy), Motee, during the critical events of EPISODE III. One of her main deleted scenes would occur within Padme's apartment veranda: just before Anakin arrives to sit down with her to discuss the current Republic turmoils, both Motee (alongside other handmaiden Elle) and Captain Typho leave their leader in peace, whilst Threepio goes off to turn on the security droids (pictured below). This deleted scene section has yet to appear on any DVD or Blu-ray release, which is a shame...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: CARBON CUSTODIAN!


The STAR WARS equivalent of the western gunfighter, aka the man with no name: deadly bounty hunter Boba Fett, cooly guards the carbon frozen form of Han Solo as it makes its way through the Bespin city corridors en route to his Slave One vessel.

A classic scene from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Friday, 16 December 2011

BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGE: CAN YOU READ MY MIND?


Rehearsing the Rebel heroes escape on the Millennium Falcon, Harrison Ford as Han Solo and writer/director George Lucas exchange intriguing thought processes on the enormous Death Star hangar bay set of the original STAR WARS, filmed during the long hot summer of 1976 at London's ELSTREE STUDIOS.

With thanks to Chris Baker for the image.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: GAMORREAN GUARD DUTY!


On the staircase leading down to the underground Rancor chamber from the hell-hole that is Jabba the Hutt's Throne Room, a lone Gamorrean Guard stands obstructively firm in this great image from EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

CLASSIC ART: DISCO "WARS"!



Here's some fun 1978 front and back cover record sleeve art (illustrator unknown), based around the classic Hildebrandt Brothers US poster for another musical interpretation of John Williams classic score for the original STAR WARS. This one - titled the STAR WARS COLLECTORS DISK- created and produced by Japanese talent Osamu Shoji, is an intriguing electronic mix for the Warner-Pioneer label.



Listen to some of the albums lively disco funk tracks here:  Osamu Shoji - Star wars | Mista Tibbz

CLASSIC RAIDERS: CEREMONY OF DEATH!


Harrison Ford and Karen Allen-their characters of Indy and Marion now captured by the Nazis, and finding themselves on an unknown island- prepare to film the classic finale to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK at London's ELSTREE STUDIOS, in this fun panoramic shot from 1980, where the Ark of the Covenant is finally opened and a mysterious and deadly force is unleashed!

Beyond RAIDERS, as for any chances of seeing a new INDY movie, there's still no concrete news behind the scenes, though Spielberg recently talked about the controversies that have dogged THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. Head over to the link here: Spielberg blames Lucas for Indy 4's story sucking so hard | Blastr

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGE: PURPLE IS THE NEW BLUE!


They've fought against blue screen, they've fought against green screen. Now, actors Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor continue filming their lengthy and ambitious, climactic and history-making lightsaber duel as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi against the willful colour purple at FOX STUDIOS Australia, in this charged fighting image taken behind the scenes for EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH in 2005.

The co-ordinator of the Prequels super lightsaber duels- the one and only Nick Gillard- is continuing his lightsaber master classes for fans in the US next February, at the New Orleans Comic Con. Check here for more details: Sith Sabre Class VIP Experience @ New Orleans Comic Con 2012 : Wizard World Comic Cons : NEW ORLEANS COMIC CON JANUARY 28-29, 2012 SAT-SUN New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center : New Orleans Comic Con 2012 Wizard World Convention JANUARY 28-29, 2012 SAT-SUN

AFICIONADO REVIEW: "OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN"



OEUVRE- DREW STRUZAN

By Drew and Dylan Struzan

Published in the UK by TITAN BOOKS


Reviewed by Scott Weller


The power of the written word should never be underestimated, nor that of the intrinsic value of the artistic form, especially in the intriguing and diverse world of commercial entertainment. Within that realm one man reigns supreme in his artistic career as a top illustrator of movie posters and commercial art: Drew Struzan. 

It's rare that people can achieve personal, professional, artistic and commercial success all in one go within their continuing lifetime and experiences, but then Struzan is no ordinary talent, clearly enjoying the best of all worlds in the perfect job, and perfect life, he was meant to have, as shown in his latest compendium of iconic artwork- OEUVRE – DREW STRUZAN- written and compiled by both the artist and his wife Dylan, and which proves a fine and fitting testament to his incredible and well deserved achievements so far in the commercial illustration business, and whose beautiful and impressive work
past, present and future, before Photoshop sadly killed the fine art of movie conception and realisation, would create an important visual channel into the hearts and minds, young and old, of the general movie going public, especially in the all dominant American cinema-going market.

Some readers may not necessarily know Struzan’s name but they will certainly recognise his incredible artistic skills as being amongst the forefront of some of the most evocative and beautiful movie poster art ever seen for some of the world and for some of Hollywood’s greatest films over the last forty years. From STAR WARS to INDIANA JONES, and other enduring cinematic masterpieces like BLADE RUNNER, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and E.T.: THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, as well as populist hits like the early HARRY POTTER movies, etc., to right up to the present day, including promotional art for ambitious hit television series like the atmospheric new classic THE WALKING DEAD, Struzan’s work spans all genres and is much beloved and trusted by actors and film-makers: beloved by fellow visualists including pioneers like Frank Darabont, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and iconic actors like Harrison Ford-of whom Struzan is the only artist the film star likes handling his movie poster art, especially when it concerns the adventures of the legendary Indiana Jones. Struzan is certainly one of the most collectible artists of his generation, too; Darabont regards him as one of the top three greatest movie illustrators of all time, whose gorgeous and involving work has in some places proved better than the film’s they’ve promoted!

From undeserved impoverished conditions and regular isolation as a child, Drew Struzan found his love of illustration a natural way of garnering life skills and worked hard to make ends meet. Soon finding his independent feet within the music industry at the right time and place, his career rainbow quickly blossomed into his love and natural flair for movie poster illustration, coming to the fore in the mid to late seventies, of which an artistic legend and integrity fuelled personality was born...

With the previous THE ART OF DREW STRUZAN collection having been such a critical and commercial success, this new selection contains his most defined and beloved work yet, OEUVRE shows us a wonderful world of love, colour, and excitement, youthful spirited innocence, mystery and danger, as you explore the books vast thematic range and cross a wide variety of genres: from comedy, to drama, to action and adventure. There’s a beautiful style and epic quality to Struzan’s work that captures the films so well and resonates strongly with the eye.

Beyond the incredible poster work-containing many items/projects I wasn’t previously aware of his association to- there’s also a look at other areas of Struzan’s prolific and sumptuous artistic career: his work in books, trading cards, special comic book covers, stamps and plates devoted to classic inspirational heroes of celluloid music and real life, from film stars to royalty, alongside an intriguing look at the artists life and career so far, his thought processes and how he handles and enjoys his craft as an artist, alongside his loyal wife Dylan.

There's also a personal look at the artist beyond the movies: his imagery and interpretation of the beauty of a life in all its facets. From the joy of being with his wife and family, to friends and children, and to the mystery and fulfilment of the human body, and the incredible wildlife of planet Earth. All of this proudly and justifiably part of the overall rich tapestry of a true one/off talent at the very top of his game...

The creative joy of all these pieces coming together will be shared by the reader as they peruse its nostalgic and celebratory image selections, where Struzan’s spirit, imagination and Joie de Vivre will continue to resonate wherever good art is appreciated…

The book may be called Oeuvre but Struzan is not saying goodbye with this volume. Think of it as the most ambitious of his collected works so far. The visual language of his stunning work, alongside his integrity, depth of humanity and emotional resonance, will continue to make its mark and flourish long after we’re gone…

Beautifully published by the UK’s TITAN BOOKS, OEUVRE – DREW STRUZAN is truly a coffee table book/portfolio to savour, as well as one that friends and family will surely be fighting over to look at and admire during the holiday season.


AFICIONADO RATING: 4 out of 5


Check out our gallery selection of classic Struzan poster art here: STAR WARS AFICIONADO MAGAZINE: DREW STRUZAN

Order your copy of OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Books

Monday, 12 December 2011

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: TO LIGHT A STAR DESTROYER...



At the US Van Nuys based warehouse/garage sometime in late 1976/ early 1977, ILM technician Doug Smith puts a light meter to the upside down filmed small Imperial Star Destroyer model built for use in the opening sequence of the original, classic STAR WARS. Incredibly, despite its size, and through clever camera photography and optical compositing, the space vessel would look huge, menacing and bristling with firepower in its onscreen theatrical debut- the "Wow" shot successfully realized to launch the timeless adventure!

OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. AN AFICIONADO GALLERY TRIBUTE: NUMBER TEN


Our final celebration of Drew Struzan's incredible movie poster works brings us back to the world of Harrison Ford, this time alongside current James Bond Daniel Craig, as the formidable hero duo take on fearsome extra terrestrial aggressors threatening the Earth, in Jon Favreau's recent sci-fi/western action hybrid: COWBOYS & ALIENS. Sadly, for reasons not fully known, this fine art was ultimately not used in the film's final poster campaign-presumably because it showed the alien creatures appearance too far in advance for the audiences? Regardess of what the ultimate reasoning was, it's still another fine addition to the creative genius that is Drew Struzan.



Struzan's latest compendium of superb art: OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN, written by Drew and Dylan Struzan, and beautifully published by TITAN BOOKS, is now available as the perfect Christmas gift. Get it here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Film & TV


COWBOYS & ALIENS is available on Blu-ray and DVD in the US now. It's out in the UK from December 26th. Cowboys & Aliens - Triple Play Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Region Free: Amazon.co.uk: Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell, Keith Carradine, Jon Favreau: Film & TV

Sunday, 11 December 2011

OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. AN AFICIONADO GALLERY TRIBUTE: NUMBER NINE


Our ninth gallery image celebration of iconic illustrator Drew Struzan needs very little introduction. It's one of the most recognised and beloved images of all time linked to the original movie: the classic 1978 Style "D" re-release poster for the film, commissioned when the film continued its incredible summer theatrical run across the United States, and shown here in its Spanish form. On this special image, Struzan worked with another famed illustrator: Charlie White.

It's beautiful. Nuff said!



For more on Drew Struzan's stunning work, his latest specially selected compendium of classic art, spanning nearly forty years, is now available: OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN, written by Dylan and Drew Struzan, and lavishly printed by TITAN BOOKS. Get hold of your copy for Christmas here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Books

AFICIONADO REVIEW: " SHADOW GAMES"





AFICIONADO REVIEW: "SHADOW GAMES"


A novel by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff


Published in the UK by ARROW BOOKS


Reviewed by Scott Weller


It's STAR WARS meets THE BODYGUARD in this new literary confection from popular Expanded Universe authors Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, as that popular and cocky Corellian smuggler from the early nineties SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE multi-platform storytelling arc, Dash Rendar, returns for a spirited new adventure: SHADOW GAMES, published in paperback in the UK from ARROW BOOKS.

And this time, Rendar really has got his hands full in a shortly before A NEW HOPE set storyline that sees him and the crew of his Outrider smuggling ship- the wisecracking smart arse droid with a touch of FRASIER's Niles Crane about him: Leebo, and the mysterious and talented Nautolan co-pilot Eaden Vrill- having hit bad fortune from the prior blasts of an Imperial Star Destroyer chase, soon find themselves in the unlikely commission of a galaxy popular music star, Javul Charn, whom they quickly have to protect from the clutches of a deadly, and so far untraceable, stalker. The only problem being that said menace has a motus operandi so sophisticated and clever that he/she/they could be working either inside or out of the colourful and persuasive singers universe: and a killer whom could be lurking/operating from within her key staff and entourage located inside her expansive universe travelling private yacht, or being safely embedded within the millions of fans-human and alien- who flock to her ambitious concerts and relentlessly adore and pursue both her and her music career. Even the Galactic Empire itself, alongside the seedy underworld of the Black Sun criminal organisation, the latter of whom she seemingly has unseverable and life-threatened links, may have ties to this unrecognised foe. Dash may have the skills to unravel and remove the complex strands of lies, deceit and attempts on Javul's life- a woman of whom he is now well and truly under the beguiling spell of- but can even he ultimately guarantee her safety?

Authors of recent STAR WARS books have hit or miss incorporated elements from our own modern times into their series (I'm assuming so as to try and capture new younger readerships who have previously stayed away from the saga in its printed form). There has previously been a look/focus at the way news has been reported and manipulated in the FATE OF THE JEDI series, and here we have under the spotlight the life, times and world of a singer whose presence and popularity is Beyonce-like: Javul Charn is sassy, beautiful and consistently under the spotlight. Throughout the book, her position as a popular music star is certainly well explored amidst the drama and action of George Lucas's universe, where she comes across as a mostly well-developed character: feisty and possessing brains and absolute beauty, soon proving a fine, if secretive, sometimes elusive, foil for the big-headed, but ultimately big-hearted Dash Rendar in their journey of life, death and the entertainment industry. As for Rendar himself, with the prior SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE set between the important events of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI, his appearance at that then point in the saga saw him as an almost replacement for Han Solo, what with Harrison Ford's popular smugger now taken away to Jabba's palace on Tatooine, life-binded in Carbon Freeze. Now SHADOW GAMES presents us with a fun situation where both Rendar, having escaped Solo's limelight, has no choice, and despite some intense bitterness, but to call upon his old smuggling rival, pre-EMPIRE, for help, resulting in the character fireworks soon flying as they work to save Javul's life. Ultimately, theirs a fun pairing- an intriguing combination of Lucas and Expanded Universe creations, and the writers obviously have a lot of enjoyment creating their traded insults and oneupmanship as they take on all manner of weird and wonderful creatures, a recurring nuisance bounty hunter and the wrath of Black Sun's evil Falleen leader, Prince Xizor. The lovable Chewbacca the Wookiee, co-pilot of Solo's trusted Millennium Falcon, may not be in the tale, but his absence explanation is well thought out, especially if you like The Holiday Special! The authors interpretation of Solo, not always easy to bring to life on the written page (or Kindle), also works for the most part, and there's fun referencing/ linkages to future events and very familiar characters, as well as the usual mixing of worlds from across the three separate strands of STAR WARS universes: films, expanded and animation.

So, like all of Reaves prior tales in a galaxy far, far away, the ingredients are there for an interesting side road STAR WARS yarn. It may not be in the ambitious mega-league of Timothy Zahn-like books, but its strongly structured, full of wit and well described action (some of which feels a little James Bond-like, too), making it a perfect holiday read.


AFICIONADO RATING: 3.5 out of 5

Saturday, 10 December 2011

BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGE: TWO TYPES OF MASTER!


Man of many talents Frank Oz, still in the heyday of his Muppet work, gets down and dirty on the Dagobah floor set at ELSTREE STUDIOS, alongside one of his puppeteering assistants (Kathryn Mullen), to operate the Stuart Freeborn created Yoda for a key dramatic scene of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Prior to the ultimate puppet creation being realized, a very basic idea of what Yoda would ultimately look like had been constructed, primarily for reference use by the various department heads working on the film. Despite its age, this incredible early puppet, made of polyfoam, filled with buckwheat and possessing a burlap coat, has recently been put up for online auction. Check out the full info here (with thanks to Chris Baker for the heads-up): Yoda on-set rehearsal puppet from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. AN AFICIONADO GALLERY TRIBUTE: NUMBER EIGHT


Sandwiched between his audience appealing heroic portrayals of space smuggler Han Solo and archaeologist Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford's intriguing, world weary and often emotionally cold replicant tracking detective Rick Deckard-forced out of retirement in aiding the Earth's Blade Runner units- on the beat within the incredibly dark and rain consumed world of 2019, marvellously brought to stylised life by visualist supremo Ridley Scott in the movie BLADE RUNNER (based on "an incident" from Philip K. Dick's classic novel DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?), may not have originally won the hearts and minds of the American public in its first screenings in 1982, but the film has since gone on, thankfully, to prove itself as a masterpiece of not only pure science fiction but of art house cinema as well. STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES may have become instant icons adored the world over, but by the nineties BLADE RUNNER would nobly join them in the ranks of movie fans and critics appreciations the world over, and often going on to appear in the many "Top 100 films you must see before you die" type of lists you always see in print and online form these days!

In its strikingly fascinating and morally complex storytelling world of human and android, where its often difficult to determine whom belongs to which category, celebrated artist/movie poster creator icon Drew Struzan brings us his superb take on the films marvellous and diverse characters- heroes, villains (of a sort) and underdogs- amidst a portion of the films miasma clashing cultures and environments, headlined by Ford in ultimately one of his career best performances.



For more on Drew Struzan's incredible film and television work, his latest beautifully published portfolio of work, OEUVRE- DREW STRUZAN, written by Drew and Dylan Struzan and published by TITAN BOOKS, is out now and contains a stunning body of evocative work that will make you fall in love with Cinema, and its greatest movies and characters, all over again...

Purchase OEUVRE: DREW STRUZAN via AMAZON here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Books

Check out this fun Harrison Ford 1982 interview about BLADE RUNNER here: Harrison Ford 1982 on Letterman, Part 1, promoting Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark - YouTube and KOOL TV's blog on the BLADE RUNNER behind the scenes documentary DANGEROUS DAYS: CREATIVE FORCES: HARRISON FORD AND RIDLEY SCOTT- TOGETHER FOR "DANGEROUS DAYS" MAKING "BLADE RUNNER" | KOOL TV

Friday, 9 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: "SANDPEOPLE...OR WORSE!"



Atop a canyon, and with rifle ready, a careful Luke, with the Protocol Droid See-Threepio behind him, surveys the valley below looking for the fearsome Sandpeople. The young farm boy, however, in unaware that they have already found him!

OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. AN AFICIONADO GALLERY TRIBUTE: PART SEVEN


Our celebration of the iconic artwork of Drew Struzan, and his recently released book OEUVRE,  continues today with the second beautiful cover for the 1997 re-print/update of the book GEORGE LUCAS: THE CREATIVE IMPULSE, by Charles Champlin. The highly successful work, and its wonderful use of STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES and THX 1138 characters, would also be used as a poster for American readers of the long running STAR WARS INSIDER magazine.


OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN, by Drew and Dylan Struzan, and stylishly published by TITAN BOOKS, is available from AMAZON here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Books

Thursday, 8 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: SHELL-SHOCKED!


In the garage of the Lars Homestead of Tatooine, and watched by Owen Lars, Padme Amidala looks at her handiwork in successfully putting on the shell frame of C-3PO, in this sadly deleted sequence from EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES: a classic moment which frustratingly appeared only in brief clips on the COMPLETE STAR WARS SAGA Blu-ray and in behind the scenes footage on an earlier 2001 VHS video release.

With thanks to ADYWAN for the screen capture.

OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. AN AFICIONADO GALLERY TRIBUTE: PART SIX


Within the exciting and evocative canvas world of movie poster art, no one manages to capture Harrison Ford's unique and iconic portrayal of the bold and adventurous archaeologist Indiana Jones quite like Drew Struzan. So much so that the equally iconic artist/painter is the only person that the actor specifically trusts to handle poster work for both himself as an actor and Indy as a character: the ultimate personal accolade and sign of confidence and trust that one could ever hope to receive from the legendary film star-who, over the years, has proved himself both a professional, hard-working actor and a very private person.


The superb image above is but one of many iconic pieces of movie related art to be found in OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN, written by Drew and Dylan Struzan, and beautifully published by TITAN BOOKS. A perfect Christmas present, order your copy here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Books

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: A LEADER OF COURAGE AND TENACITY


The original Mon Mothma (as played by British actress Caroline Blakiston, who recently announced her sad retirement from attending/signing US STAR WARS conventions), speaks to her assembled Rebel forces- both Human and alien, and from all parts of the galaxy-about the daring new mission to destroy the Death Star II and The Emperor, in this not often seen image from RETURN OF THE JEDI.

OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. AN AFICIONADO GALLERY TRIBUTE: PART FIVE


The best of both STAR WARS universes are on proud display in our next gallery image celebrating the superb artistic achievements of artist Drew Struzan during his incredible entertainment career, and as illustrated in his newly revised book OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. This image was originally done as a cover for a US role playing book, but, outside of that arena, it has gone on to become a fine and wonderful testament to the history durable heroes from both of George Lucas iconic STAR WARS Trilogies- Classic and Prequel- whose varied and timeless battles of good and evil continue to excite, enthuse and spellbind audiences worldwide.


OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN, written by Drew and Dylan Struzan, and lavishly published by TITAN BOOKS, can be obtained via AMAZON here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Books

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

CLASSIC ART: THE LIGHTSABER THAT BINDS...


Here's another splendid and original piece of STAR WARS art from Adriano Ticiano, showing the complex and conflicted Jedi bonds between Father and Son- Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, and Luke Skywalker- as the drama reaches its epic conclusion in RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Great work, Adriano!

BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGE: TAUNTAUN TEST


Two ELSTREE technicians become Luke and Han atop a Stuart Freeborn team created Tauntaun prop, for a costume/reference test prior to the film's ambitious and weather hostile Norway location shoot in March 1979. Note that Han Solo's costume was originally created for use by Harrison Ford within a studio and later proved completely impracticable in sustaining heat in Finse.

OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN. AN AFICIONADO GALLERY TRIBUTE: NUMBER FOUR


Our gallery tribute to the incredible career of artist Drew Struzan continues with a non STAR WARS image this time, but one which had certainly carried the affection of the saga's fans for thirty years: Steven Spielberg's timeless and unforgettable 1982 classic E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. With the famous finger and its touching "phone home" catch line, the little alien, big google eyes as part of a lovable face, would capture and melt the hearts and minds of children and adults the world over, and whose memorable scenes with young human Elliott would forever become a part of film history. Struzan's poster work, showing an enchanting E.T. in the front of his friends bike as it flies into space, perfectly captures the thrill and wonder of the now timeless classic.




OEUVRE - DREW STRUZAN, written by Drew and Dylan Struzan, and published by TITAN BOOKS, can be obtained via AMAZON here: Drew Struzan: Oeuvre: Amazon.co.uk: Drew Struzan, Dylan Struzan: Books
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...