Wednesday, 20 June 2018
The Separatist enemy is approaching their position in one of the vast jungle scapes of Felucia, but the true 'enemy' is actually behind Jedi Knight Aayla Secura, as her once loyal Clone Troopers, whom she'd fought alongside for years in a supposed battle for peace, suddenly turn and murder her in a hail of blaster fire. A shocking but not unexpected moment from Revenge of the Sith.
The ominous, almost religious toned and apocalyptic Battle of the Heroes theme for the finale lightsaber battle between Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, set on the fiery climes of Mustafar, is regarded by fans as the finest track of the John Williams composed and conducted 2005 released soundtrack for EPISODE III. But Anakin's Betrayal, featuring the stabbed-in-the-back slaying of the Jedi heroes across the galaxy as part of the Emperor's Order 66, must also surely be of consideration as one of the great tracks of the entire Prequel Trilogy, loaded with sadness and grim inevitability as the Clone Trooper slayers begin their work, heightened once more by the established class of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Relive this entire skillfully operatic score of tragedy but eventual hope for the future in remastered format, as Revenge of the Sith, alongside the other Prequels and the entire Classic Trilogy, get welcome re-releases from Walt Disney Records, available in stores/online at nice prices, and each containing a collectible mini-poster.
Get it here:
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
|Art by Colin Cantwell.|
Predating by a year Ralph McQuarrie's design, and Alex Tavoularis's storyboard sequence ideas, Colin Cantwell, another of the earliest people to have been importantly involved States-side with the visual ideas creation of The Star Wars universe for George Lucas, came up with this superb potential design for the Imperial Star Destroyer. Though never used, it has over the years continued to inspire future designers partaking in the saga universe's evolving cinematic creation, and was to have made an appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story as a new vehicle: the Imperial Arrestor Cruiser. Linked to the release, it was made a sure-fire collectible Hot Wheels toy vehicle, too. Though lost in that film's eventual re-shaping and re-development with the welcome arrival of Ron Howard, Cantwell's design is too good for it to not eventually appear somewhere on the big screen. So let's keep an eye out for it...
With thanks to Chris Baker.
Monday, 18 June 2018
A brave Ewok flees pursuit from two lethal blaster cannon wielding AT-ST 'Chicken' Walkers in this great concept art by Joe Johnston for Return of the Jedi circa 1981, where the brave furry heroes of the Endor forest moon were finally visually locked into as being Teddy Bear-like creatures. But Teddy Bears who could formidably crack Imperial Stormtrooper skulls open when they needed to!
Their popularity may have changed with the seasons across 35 years but Star Wars legendary composer John Williams and The London Symphony Orchestra gave the little critters a suitably grand, lovably rumbustious and inspiring main theme in Parade of the Ewoks, one of the main tracks of the original 1983 soundtrack album for Return of the Jedi that's now getting a well deserved remastering and re-release via Walt Disney Records, along with the rest of the Classic and Prequel Trilogies. Each CD comes at a nice price, and with a collectible mini-poster.
Get it here:
Sunday, 17 June 2018
On the Pinewood Studios Solo: A Star Wars Story soundstage housing the lavish sets of Dyden Vos's luxury cruiser, Lucasfilm Story Group contributor and longtime franchise expert Pablo Hidalgo enjoys his tour of that fearsome crime bosses' unique museum collection, housing such rarities as a complete set of Mandalorian warrior armour and the creepy death's head skull of Xim, previously seen on the cover of the classic Star Wars Expanded Universe/Legacy novel Han Solo and the Lost Legacy.
|The skull of Xim!|
Follow the set video tour here:
|Image: DK Books © & TM 2018 LUCASFILM LTD. Used Under Authorization.|
Find out more about Vos's unique treasure trove of artifacts, weapons and all-round weirdness with the all-new The Office Guide to Solo: A Star Wars Story from DK Books, which, luckily enough, just happens to be compiled and written by Hidalgo himself. The book is an unmissable visual/info treat packed with great spread images, colourful layouts and terrific detail. It's out now in stores and online.
Get it here:
Saturday, 16 June 2018
Amidst the stunning natural beauty of Italy's elitist millionaire playground Lake Como location, Hayden Christensen (enjoying his first journeying time beyond American shores) and Natalie Portman add their youthful appeal to the then in-filming Attack of the Clones of 2000, playing the ultimately doomed lovers Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala for this posed publicity image aimed deliberately at the younger pin-up side of fandom, in an attempt to hype up the film's romantic aspects.
At first, the duo's onscreen love story was to have been the main crux of EPISODE II, as writer/director George Lucas first told many of his behind the scenes team in 1999, but this idea eventually gave way and was soon reduced in ambition so as to realize the bigger in scope and equally plot important launch of The Clone Wars - the dark shadow lead-in to the brutality ahead with Revenge of the Sith. Nonetheless, stalwart composer John Williams once again delivered the goods in composing a spectacular piece of courtly, tragic love for these star-crossed lovers: Beyond the Stars, a hauntingly beautiful piece very reminiscent to the work that Williams had previously created for that little seventies-made television movie gem, Jane Eyre. Enhanced further by the ever-talented London Symphony Orchestra, this evocative theme is one of many in the newly re-released and remastered original soundtrack for EPISODE II, out now on nice-priced CD from Walt Disney Records, alongside the rest of the Prequel and Classic Trilogy albums. Additionally, each volume comes with a collectible mini poster.
Get it here:
Friday, 15 June 2018
Return of the Jedi back in 1983 introduced us to the very cool Imperial Speeder Bike pilots operating within the forests of the Endor moon. Now, Solo: A Star Wars Story gives us a similar yet old/new variant on duty at the industrial climes of Corellia - the Imperial Patrol Trooper, of which one of its legion will soon (unluckily) find himself trying to catch-up with that rogue speed demon Han Solo and his partner Qi'ra, both on the run from the White Worm crime gang, during the film's exciting opening chase sequence.
|Image: DK BOOKS © & TM 2018 LUCASFILM LTD. Used Under Authorization.|
Find out more about the Imperial Patrol Trooper and his unique craft, as well as other new additions to the Empire's technological legacy, inside the all-new The Official Guide to Solo: A Star Wars Story. Out now from DK Books, Lucasfilm Story Group expert Pablo Hidalgo has delivered another fascinating exploration of the Star Wars universe's newest chapter, and a book packed with great photos, eye-catching colourful layouts, and information to devour.
Get it here:
Thursday, 14 June 2018
His co-pilot dead, his snowspeeder now crash-landed, Rogue Flight Commander Luke Skywalker is in trouble- caught in the cold climes of Hoth and now facing the awesome technological might of a hulking Imperial AT-AT Walker heading his way. A superb piece of merchandising art created by Ralph McQuarrie linked to the classic sequence from The Empire Strikes Back, celebrating an awesome sequence starting that film created with live action filming at Norway alongside the talents of the special effects geniuses of ILM.
|Pencil art by McQuarrie.|
This brilliant fusing of smoke and mirrors, the unfolding battle of Rebels vs Imperials, would be heightened further by John Williams dizzyingly thunderous and violent score for the sequence, which would feature incredible use of percussion within the London Symphony Orchestra. The Battle in the Snow is easily one of the all-time great tracks from EPISODE V, and now available in remastered form, as the film's original 1980 soundtrack gets an all-new release on CD from Walt Disney Records, alongside the rest of the Classic and Prequel Trilogies.
Get it here:
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
It's not exactly the greatest of ways to meet the being who will be your best friend and co-pilot for the next thirty-plus years, but the coming together of Han Solo with the chained, starved and angry 'beast' prisoner Chewbacca, on the swamp world of Mimban, was certainly unexpected, dramatic, fun and a well conceived/ executed idea for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Their soon leg-chained escape from the pit reminded me of a Star Wars version of that classic on-the-run drama The Defiant Ones, which starred Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. Though here it was clearly done in a much more humorous vein.
Very interesting information on the film's first draft and the original ideas pairing Han and Chewie for the first time:
|Image: DK BOOKS. © & TM 2018 LUCASFILM LTD. Used Under Authorization.|
Find out more about our ever-lovable Wookiee hero of the cinematic adventure Solo: A Star Wars Story via the colourful, informative and gloriously photo-packed The Official Guide to the film, comprehensively written and compiled by Lucasfilm Story Group expert Pablo Hidalgo, published by DK Books.
Get it here:
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
He told the Council that he was ready to take his trials, now Obi-Wan Kenobi really is in the thick of them as he locks lightsaber blades in battle against the shocking re-emergent threat of the Sith, primarily via its shadowy assassin Darth Maul, in this great image from the superb finale lightsaber duel closing EPISODE I.
Star Wars, created by George Lucas, had returned in a big way with 1999's The Phantom Menace, seeing-in the proper introduction of the dreaded Sith as well as more revealed on the fascinating Jedi heritage concurrent to their eventual demise from Padawan gone prophetic dark side warrior Anakin Skywalker. Returning saga composer John Williams, once more with the London Symphony Orchestra alongside him, would come up with a truly fitting, exciting and genuinely mythic new overarching music theme for this all-new and groundbreaking Prequel Trilogy: Duel of the Fates, a track whose intensity and foreboding would be backed up with memorable accompaniment from the London Voices Choir.
The original soundtrack to The Phantom Menace returns in remastered form via Walt Disney Records, alongside the rest of the Prequels and the Classic Trilogy soundtracks. Each CD is available at a great value price, and with individual free gift collectible mini-poster.
Get it here:
Monday, 11 June 2018
A glamorous party is in full swing aboard the luxury cruiser of gangster leader Dryden Vos (then played by Michael Kenneth Williams), as Han Solo and his colleagues arrive via central platform in its main reception area. A scene for Solo: A Star Wars Story that was ultimately re-filmed with Paul Bettany taking the role of Vos, and on a newly designed set, of which the lift was ultimately re-positioned outside of the reception area.
|Han is reunited with Qi'ra (note the different costume and look for her character).|
With lots of deleted or re-filmed scenes for the movie, as well as concept ideas that never quite made it to the final screenplay, here's a look at what to possibly expect on the upcoming Blu-ray release: