Tuesday 5 December 2023


All cover arts by Timothy Bradstreet.

The Phantom Menace's critics may often have complained that the film didn't have much plot for our main heroes to be involved in, but the drama taking place on Tatooine with our stranded heroes looking for a hyperdrive generator, and the introduction of Anakin, would open the doors to exciting side story potential that would be adeptly explored in comics via a special one-shoot, four-issue set of Dark Horse Comics. 

Released in Summer 1999, each separately showcased Queen Amidala, Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in some impressive work filling in the story gaps on the aforementioned desert planet, executed by a fine team of writers (including Ryder Windham and Henry Gilroy) and artists (including Martin Egeland and Steve Crespo). It's no surprise to me that the series was so well received by fans and later reprinted as part of Disney's Expanded Universe merchandise, via Marvel Comics.

Original Dark Horse Comic cover that would be re-used by Marvel.

A fifth mini-story also appeared exclusively for Wizard magazine.

Monday 4 December 2023


One of the last US poster releases, for Fandango.

The final Indiana Jones film has now arrived on all Home Media formats from December 4th, 2023 - alongside a brand new feature-length documentary on Harrison Ford in Timeless Heroes, airing exclusively on Disney+ - of which I'm sure its fans will be delighted to add it to their collection.

These further updates and links conclude Star Wars Aficionado's coverage for The Dial of Destiny.

Sunday 3 December 2023


As Stateside news comes that a Lando Calrissian mini-series is finally going to happen with Donald Glover (and possibly Billy Dee Williams) returning to the charming smoothie role for more entrepreneurial cosmic comedy adventure, here's a taster of what that 'old smoothie' has been up to as seen within the realms of talented artist Peter Stults interpretation of the Star Wars Expanded Universe...

Saturday 2 December 2023


Now liberated from droid guards by her new Jedi protectors in Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, the young Queen Amidala, flanked by her trusted handmaidens, must make a brave decision that will see her removed from her world, her people, her society, as a phantom menace makes its powerplay via the Trade Federation's unforeseen invasion of Naboo. From this worsening scenario playing out, Qui-Gon's instincts also reveal that she will be killed if she stays. 

A great scene from Episode I, and an important moment for the series key female heroine/s.

A brief look back at the film from actor/writer/director Sofia Coppola, who played the handmaiden Sache, who can be seen in the above image second to the far right.

Sofia Coppola Looks Back at Forgotten Star Wars Cameo, Relationship With George Lucas

For more on the invasion of Naboo linked to Queen Amidala and her enigmatic Handmaidens, check out last year's popular hardback release from E. K. Johnston, Queen's Peril.

Get it here: Star Wars: Queen's Peril: Amazon.co.uk: Johnston, E K: 9781368057141: Books

Friday 1 December 2023


The classic scene that set the standard for future science fiction/fantasy storytelling and blew audiences away worldwide with its truly epic special effects work- the opening to the original 1977 Star Wars involving an Imperial Star Destroyer chasing the Rebel Blockade Runner above Tatooine.

But it's not. Instead, this is an equally impressive moment from the sequence specially re-shot from scratch (using a more-detailed meter long Star Destroyer model from The Empire Strikes Back) for the equally incredible and ground-breaking IMAX screen format, as part of legendary sound designer Ben Burtt's pleasing 1996 documentary Special Effects: Anything Can Happen, shown exclusively in IMAX and OMNI MAX cinemas in the US and Canada.


Wednesday 29 November 2023


The surprise attack on the heart of the Republic is ongoing, and brutal Separatist droid leader General Grievous has already launched his fiendish plan to kidnap the Supreme Chancellor from Coruscant, audaciously partaking in the scheme himself, now planet side and armed with the lightsabers of dead foes as he takes on Palpatine's current steadfast Jedi bodyguards in this truly dark time.

Super Expanded Universe art linked to the opening of EPISODE III from the ever-reliable Chris Trevas

Monday 27 November 2023


Since the galactic takeover by the First Order, Rey's skills and latent abilities as a Jedi are needed now more than ever as her training, under the tutelage of former Jedi General Leia Organa, continues within the expansive forests of Ajan Kloss. Making sure that her opponent remotes are not in safe mode, Rey proves confident, yet she is so far unable to contact any of the Jedi who have passed into the nether world of the Force...

A great scene from The Rise of Skywalker filmed in Black Park, Buckinghamshire, nearby to Pinewood Studios, and used in many classic blockbuster films (including previous Star Wars films) and sci-fi/horror TV series.

Saturday 25 November 2023



Out on the cold, snowy frontier of Vandor, its time for the likeable criminal rogue Tobias Beckett to reveal his risky but necessary heist plan against an Imperial Cargo Train, not just to his beloved and comrade Val, but also to a new recruit in the world of shady entrepreneur-dom: soon-to-be space pilot Han Solo, in a scene shot on location in Italy for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Thursday 23 November 2023


They're outgunned, outmatched and almost out of resources, nonetheless, the spirited Resistance forces, now manning their ski speeders towards a mass of First Order Walkers, will fight to the end as they desperately await help from other heroes from across the galaxy. 

A striking (and colourful!) sequence of action and drama from The Last Jedi

Wednesday 22 November 2023


In tribute to the superb movie poster art talent Roger Kastel, who sadly passed away on November 8th, 2023, we celebrate his greatest work for the Original Trilogy's The Empire Strikes Back with this special look at the many effective and memorable variations of his stellar piece, and the first worldwide released poster art for the film. A 'romance' poster, deliberately conceived by George Lucas in the 'Gone With the Wind' style, likely to potentially lure in more female/generic audiences, that would be loved and admired for decades to come...  

Roger Kastel with an Empire art variation and the classic Jaws image motif.

Roger Kastel, ‘Jaws’ Poster Artist, Dies at 92 - The New York Times

RogerKastel.com - The Official Website of Artist Roger Kastel - JAWS Movie Poster Artist

Sketch print idea.

Concept idea.

Concept idea.

Artist's 'practice sketch'.

Presumed Kastel art. Another variation piece heavy on character and incident elements.

Early art that would be revised. Lando, Boba Fett, Rebel weapons turret and Cloud City buildings would be removed from the first poster art released after numerous Lucasfilm meetings. Note Han's different costume in image.

Key release art used in selected magazine advertising, like Starlog magazine, in 1980. Cloud City is missing from this early poster, replaced by X-wing fighter images.

Spanish/Latin America variation poster. with Yoda added, presumably from 1981?

Revised horizontal version.

UK quad poster variation, with additional elements originally removed in concept planning then returned, including Cloud City.

Revised and rare UK quad movie poster, with the droids and Chewbacca's position altered and enhanced, that appeared on London Underground stations in May 1980 before being replaced with later poster art by Tom Jung.

Bannerless revised UK variation. Image via Matthew Shaw Collection.

Limited publicity New York Subway theatre listings poster release - May 1980.

Unknown publicity release or concept idea, possibly for planned subway advertising? 

Advertising/media poster of some kind, most likely for the UK, with revised art that strengthen Vader's background presence, May 1980.

American release listing.

American release listing using softened variation art.

US newspaper advert/ release listing info.

The image as used as part of the official fan club merchandising in 1980.

Another bannerless, lengthened variation.

International poster including Boba Fett, Lando and a Rebel turret.

French variation poster.

Reversed image for unknown magazine.

1980 Hong Kong poster, now with added AT-AT Walker firepower!

Yoda is added to the poster, with Lando, Boba and Rebel gun turret disappeared. Presumably a US re-release poster from 1981?

Yoda added to poster, as seen with banners.