Sunday 31 December 2023

A NEW HORIZON, A NEW HOPE...


A new hope to save the galaxy from the Galactic Empire has been safely delivered by his Jedi protector into the loving arms of the Lars family, at their faraway desert homestead on Tatooine. And now the long wait for the prophesied Balance of the Force begins. The subtly moving finale to EPISODE III, beautifully enhanced by the always-brilliance of composer John Williams.

A worthy final entry honoring the more respected in recent years Prequel Trilogy, and concluding the diverse entries comprising the Twentieth Anniversary celebrations for Star Wars Aficionado during 2023.

Friday 29 December 2023

GOODBYE, BARRIE HOLLAND...

Barrie Holland, in one of two Imperial roles for Return of the Jedi's filming at Elstree Studios.

Sad news for the end of the year, and the closing celebrations of Return of the Jedi's landmark 30th Anniversary, as the announcement was made today of British background artist legend and cult favourite Barrie Holland's passing, at the age of 85. Holland played the now legendary Jedi Imperial figure Lt. Renz, who captured Han and Leia inside the Imperial Shield Generator bunker on Endor and delivered to them the classic, nay infamous, line that was, "You rebel scum!" Though his voiced line was later dubbed in post production, it was nonetheless a moment that the artiste was thrilled to do and which enjoyed an hilarious on-set response from Harrison Ford in one classic 1982 scene outtake that surfaced onto Blu-ray in 2011. 


Lt. Renz confronts the now captured General Solo and Leia Organa.

Especially a lover of classic films and selected TV, Holland enjoyed his background artist career to the full, and was to appear within a wide variety of classic films made in the UK, including the likes of The Shining, Batman (1989), Chariots of Fire, several James Bond adventures, Superman III and Raiders of the Lost Ark, amongst many other greats. He always enjoyed telling lots of anecdotes to fans about his time in the industry (plus the many luminaries he met along the way) and would certainly be quite the signing attraction of the Official Pix autograph table at the Los Angeles Celebration IV event when making his first surprise convention appearance there in 2007, followed by further success a few months later at London's Celebration Europe, followed by a smaller 2008 German event, Jedi Con, that proved to be enormous fun for fans and guests. Further conventions worldwide would follow for years to come, of which Holland's autograph was always a must-have for fans.


Holland's often-seen portfolio image.

R.I.P., Barrie. If there is indeed a heaven (or Force netherworld), we hope you're having a helluva good time up there chatting with all the classic stars of Hollywood and beyond...

Lieutenant Renz Actor Barrie Holland Dies, Aged 85 - Jedi News

EPISODE II: MEETING THE NABERRIES!

Outside Padme's family home, Pooja (Hayley Mooy) and Ryoo Naberrie (Keira Wingate) enjoy the company of R2-D2 in a noted deleted scene from EPISODE II.

Taking a much welcome respite from both the darkness and important political decision-making surrounding her, Padme Amidala lets her true self show when she brings her Jedi protector Anakin Skywalker along with her to a peaceful suburban area of Naboo to meet her parents, sister and her nieces. A charming sequence, ultimately cut for ongoing problematic time and pacing reasons (filmed at the Australian FOX Studios and with location scenes at Lake Como, Italy in 2000), this would have helped further develop Padme's character whilst solidifying her own secret affection for the handsome Anakin, a fact that doesn't go unrecognised by her loving family, nor the potential building danger of her current in-hiding situation...

Arriving at the district house containing Padme's family, on the outskirts of Theed City on Naboo.

Despite their roles being cut, kudos to Prequels casting director Robin Gurland for the choice of fine local Australian talent playing Padme's family. Bar Claudia Karvan's character, the rest of the onscreen family would briefly return for their daughter's onscreen funeral on Naboo, at the end of Revenge of the Sith

Padme enjoys a warm reunion with her older sister.

The duo watch as Anakin enters the dining area.

Anakin meets the intrigued Naberrie women.

The playfully inquisitive Sola (Claudia Karvan) soon teases her sister Padme about the handsome young man in her life.

Anakin enjoys the family atmosphere he wishes he could've had as a child, in a lovely moment adding further nuance to his character.

Padme's father Ruwee Naberrie (Graeme Blundell) readies dinners at table.

The meal begins as curiosity about Padme and Anakins's friendship and his protectorate status are asked.

A lovely shot of Natalie Portman from the scene.

Jobal (actress and singer Trisha Noble) is worried when she hears that her daughter's life is in danger, which Padme tries to play down... 

... yet Anakin must ultimately convey the seriousness of the situation to the family to her father.

A seasoned former diplomat, Ruwee confers with Anakin about Padme's situation with Anakin, in a scene filmed on location at a luxury house and its gardens at Lake Como, Italy.

Sola sees Padme's clear affection for her Jedi protector.

A brief moment that appeared in one of Episode II's first trailers.

Natalie Portman has fun being directed on set by George Lucas in 2000.

Natalie Portman's deleted scene wardrobe as Padme.


Thursday 28 December 2023

REVISITING THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF 'SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY'!

Solo awaits entry into the lair of crime boss Lady Proxima, in an unused shot from Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Never has a Star Wars film deserved to do better box office success than Solo: A Star Wars Story when it debuted in cinemas during mid-2018. The film is great fun and Ron Howard and his cast and crew did a splendid job of crafting the young Han Solo's first rogue adventure. The amount of re-filming needed for the movie beyond what was originally shot by ultimately replaced original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord has never been fully pinned down (sources vary between sixty and eighty per cent!), and photos of certain intriguing scenes cut or revised are unlikely to ever see the light of day post release (especially related to the late Michael Kenneth Williams leonine alien version of Dryden Vos), but we can at least sample a small amount of the originally planned material showcased through the film's media and publicity build-up and in selected tie-in books released during 2018. 




Enjoy this compendium celebrating the alternate version (and deleted scenes) of the film... 

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'SOLO': CORELLIA RECRUITMENT!

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'SOLO': REVISITING A CANTWELL CLASSIC!

 STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'SOLO': CHEWIE'S WINTER BREAK!

Alternate scene by Lord and Miller linked to Lady Proxima's crime den.


STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'SOLO': RIDE 'EM, CHEWIE!

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'SOLO': GOING UP!

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'SOLO': THE KESSEL PLAN...

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: 'SOLO': BAD HAIR DAY!

Other related info:

‘Solo’: Phil Lord & Chris Miller Scenes Still in the Movie – IndieWire

Does This 'Solo' Deleted Scene Give Us a New Glimpse at Lord and Miller's Version? - TheWrap

'Star Wars' Deleted Scenes: How Cut 'Solo' Scenes Connect to 'Lego' Directors

This deleted scene from 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' shows how different the movie could have been

Wednesday 27 December 2023

'JEDI' AT 40: SUMMERTIME SPECIAL!


Remembering, but importantly celebrating, the very-much missed Carrie Fisher on the day of her sad passing back in 2016, these rarer images from the Rolling Stone magazine shoot taken at Stinson Beach. California in Summer, 1983 by Aaron Rapoport, show the talented actress/writer/singer and all-round gorgeous star in her lively, imaginative and exuberant, sexy prime alongside some old friends from the Original Trilogy, and Return of the Jedi... 

Rare photos of Carrie Fisher's 'Star Wars' beach photo shoot

More images here:

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: CLASSIC IMAGE: SUMMER FUN!















Sunday 24 December 2023

"MERRY CHRISTMAS!" (2023)


The BB-8 droid community knows how to enjoy and share some festival fun in this lovely fan composition, from StarSoulArt, that truly captures the seasonal spirit linked to the Sequel Trilogy, of which BB emerged as one of that saga's greatest success stories.

Star Wars Aficionado wishes all its worldwide readers a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a happy and prosperous 2024!


Saturday 23 December 2023

'JEDI' AT 40: A JEDI REDEEMED...


The faith that Luke Skywalker had in his father Anakin, that he could indeed be turned back to the good side of the Force, ultimately pays off, with the late Darth Vader's destroying of the cruel Emperor Palpatine leading to the former Jedi's deserved redemption, alongside Anakin's happy reuniting with his once friend Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda within the netherworld of the Force.

A lovely art pin-up piece for the Marvel adaptation of Return of the Jedi from 1983, by one of the modern comic era's greatest artists', Bill Sienkiewicz.



Friday 22 December 2023

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE MARCIA LUCAS FACTOR!

 

George Lucas, needing morale support, with then wife Marcia, perched against a Djerba beast background player, during the final days of Tunisian location filming for Star Wars in March/April, 1976.

Behind ever great man, there has to be a great woman, as the song goes, and back in 1976 as writer/creator George Lucas developed, and filmed the original, difficult to make Star Wars he had the thankful support and backing of his wife Marcia Lucas during many affecting times, herself a much in-demand and trusted filmmaking talent withing the world of editing, and known for her strong creative instincts and flair. She was and is a gregarious person who recognised peoples' talents and how to bring them out to the benefit of everyone, especially in Hollywood circles, where she was much admired by the likes of director friends including Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma, who used her editing talents for their own groundbreaking projects. Both George and Marcia would prove to be a popular couple during the period they were together, whose chalk and cheese natures seemed to blend perfectly in the early to mid seventies era of innovative and unforgettable movie production.

Marcia Lucas's Star Wars-related postcard from Tunisia to Lucy Autrey and the Parkway team in 1976.

During Star Wars production she favoured the casting of Hamill, Ford, and Fisher, was key to the development of the Force in the movie's original script, which she found fascinating (even writing some of the extra dialogue needed during Kenobi and Vader's duel), helped her husband realise that Kenobi's death was indeed vital to keep the film's drama in the final script (and not leave a great actor like Sir Alec Guinness with nothing important to do), and, in the editing, was key to making the final Death Star space battle as tight and exciting as possible (creating the idea of the Death Star preparing to fire at the Rebel Base, alongside fellow editor Paul Hirsch's idea to bring in an edge of your seat countdown to the finale). She even recognised the value of small unique moments of humour, like the Mouse Robot sequence showcasing Chewbacca, which was almost entirely excised from the film before she put her foot down.

Fondly known by the 1977 Lucasfilm family as 'the smartest pair of hands in the galaxy', Marcia was sadly not able to work on the editing for The Empire Strikes Back due to other commitments (though she clearly saw and/or gave opinions during the film's post production process, and visited the London Elstree Studios filming at least once in mid 1979, alongside her then husband), though she was able to come back to help for a short period on Return of the Jedi when it's original edit (by director Richard Marquand and his own editor Sean Barton), needed a major creative boost in key dramatic area's linked to Mark Hamill scenes as Luke Skywalker, and his eventual destiny as a Jedi.



Earlier this year, Marcia Lucas was a key contributor to a documentary series linked to the making of the Original Trilogy, which aired on Vice TV (July 12th): 

Vice TV-Nacelle ‘Star Wars’ Series Lands 1st TV Interview With Lucas’ Ex-Wife – Deadline


Filming at the top of the Sidi Driss hotel in Tunisia with Mark Hamill looking down into the sinkhole, and watched by the crew (including Marcia Lucas, centre, with Gary Kurtz). Image: the Ben Ageros Collection.

Visiting the location specifically to bolster her husband's low spirits with the problematic start of filming Star Wars, Marcia watches George direct a Landspeeder motion sequence.


 Marcia, at bottom left of image with Gil Taylor, and Meredith Kurtz, as the crew (including George Lucas, Anthony Waye and Ann Skinner), from a small scaffold, film the Landspeeder entrance into Mos Eisley at Djerba, Tunisia, at the end of March, 1976.

Conferring with, and enjoying the company of, Garrick Hagon and Mark Hamill, watched by George, on the last day of location principal photography at the Djerba fishing village, Tunisia- April, 1976.


Both Marcia and George had a natural passion for the craft of film making and editing and were much respected for their successes in the 1970's.

A proud Oscar winning Marcia with her husband at the 1978 Academy Awards, enjoying the success of the original Star Wars.

Going through some footage of The Empire Strikes Back in late 1979, alongside respected director Irvin Kershner.

As seen in a recent Star Wars related 2023 documentary on the US Vice TV channel.


https://www.indiewire.com/2021/09/star-wars-editor-slams-disney-films-jj-abrams-1234666134/?fbclid=IwAR14fJW4wZuyQHxak_GpAa7a81Ce3NuXArGI2vG0-a6p-wTzjs4XQB3bDS8