CELEBRATING FORTY GLORIOUS YEARS OF 'THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK' AT STARWARS.COM

OUT OF HYPERSPACE AND ONTO HOME ENTERTAINMENT FROM MARCH 2020

Sunday, 25 October 2020

EPISODE VII: THE LANGUAGE OF TRUST AND FRIENDSHIP

 


With our vulnerable heroine Rey unsure of her destiny and now hiding in one of the forests of Takodana, it's up to the ever-loyal BB-8 to provide some support and friendship to her in a dark time. Rey returns the favour to once more fix the droid's always bending antenna wire in this sweet moment from The Force Awakens.

The trusting and often charming relationships between Humans and Droids in the Star Wars films is an important part of the saga's underlying popularity with audiences of all ages. Not all humans onscreen necessarily understand the Astromech language though, so how about a handy and fun new guide from Chronicle on how to successfully navigate such a unique form of communication: How to Speak Astromech with BB-8, joyously illustrated by popular UK artist and lifelong saga fan JAKe, alongside enlightening text by I.M. Rollin.
 

More official info on the book:

Featuring one of the most popular characters from the new Star Wars films, How to Speak Astromech with BB-8 collects 10 essential BB sounds alongside tongue-in-cheek translations and playful illustrations.

Ten droidspeak audio clips, translation and conversation tips, and funny illustrated scenarios help readers understand and get the best out of their own droid companion in a galaxy far, far away.

This sound-driven operator's guide demonstrates the many amazing qualities of the BB-series of astromechs—including bravery, resourcefulness, curiosity, comedy, and more—all through the entertaining adventures of BB-8.

• New insights on a beloved character that will delight Star Wars fans of all ages
• Follows the success of the sound books How to Speak Wookiee and How to Speak Droid with R2-D2
• Packed with inside jokes

BB-8's (frankly adorable) ball-droid construction, spherical mobility, handy tool bays, dedication and loyalty to their owners make them great mechanical allies and friends.

This sound book celebrates the Star Wars droids and all their quirky traits.

• A celebration of the fan favorite BB-8 and fresh fun from the new trilogy and beyond
• A perfect gift for Star Wars fans of all ages
• Add it to the collection of books like Solo: A Star Wars Story Sound Book by Erin Rose Wage, Star Wars: The Force Awakens Flashlight Adventure Book by Phoenix International Publications, and BB-8 on the Run by Drew Daywalt

© & TM LUCASFILM LTD. Used Under Authorization.

Get the book here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Speak-Astromech-BB-8/dp/1797201778/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2JSY9R159K5UW&dchild=1&keywords=how+to+speak+astromech+with+bb-8&qid=1603453781&sprefix=how+to+speak+astromec%2Caps%2C204&sr=8-1


Saturday, 24 October 2020

'THE MANDALORIAN' - SEASON TWO NEARS...


With the new series about to explode with the ferocity of a thermal detonator onto Disney+ from October 30th, 2020, here are the latest character posters (featuring visual 'Easter Eggs') and an all too brief recent trailer release...






Friday, 23 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: TO CRUSH A SPEEDER!

The weighty issue of an AT-AT foot destroying Rogue Leader's crashed Snowspeeder is filmed at ILM, with Art Director Joe Johnston being one of the key supervisors of the scene, and whose model filming had to match the previously shot live-action footage at Norway, earlier that year...

Readying the Snowspeeder model for the weighty AT-AT foot drop on the ILM filming stage.


Crunch-time!



More ILM behind the scenes of this sequence.

Joe Johnston adds detail to the giant Walker leg.

Model maker Ease Oweyung checks the Walker legs. 

The ILM model makers clown around!


Thursday, 22 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: CRASH-LANDED, AND INTO GREATER DANGER!

 


He's survived the crash-landing and now Luke Skywalker must escape his near-totalled Snowspeeder (and recover important battle equipment from its interior) before it's ultimately trampled upon by an approaching Walker, as seen in this location footage filmed in Norway, on a very cold day, with Mark Hamill. It's believed that a Norwegian extra filled in for the body of Dack. 

Scene plate filmed on location, with approaching Walker added by ILM in later Post production.

The UK built wrecked Snowspeeder.


Detailed look at the cockpit interior,


A very cold Hamill on location.


Hamill and Gary Kurtz in a filming break.


Escaping the Snowspeeder.



Wednesday, 21 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: ROGUE LEADER GOES DOWN!


Rogue Two has been taken out by the Walkers firepower, now its Luke's turn as his Snowspeeder is critically damaged, soon careening onto the snowy surface, in this great storyboard by Joe Johnston,

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: A BRUTAL WAR!


In memorable on location photos that definitely captured the sense of hardship, comradeship and brutality of war seen with our very own real-life conflicts in the trenches of World War One, exhausted and injured Rebel soldiers gather whilst their comrades fight on against the walkers, Such near-realistic images weren't ultimately seen in the completed film (alongside shots of dead dummy Rebel soldiers littering the snowscape), perhaps considered too adult and realistic for the fantasy film, despite the overall darkness prevalent in this first sequel.


The above posed location photo would clearly be an inspiration for one of the rarer-seen Ralph McQuarrie production paintings for the film. 


Monday, 19 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: BREAKAGES AT BREAK TIME!


Suffering unrelenting attacks from Imperial Walkers, the Hoth Rebel base's command centre has fallen to pieces around Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, the actress seen here in a filming break- note Jerry Harte (playing a Rebel Force Head Controller) in the background getting in a quick snack! A great behind the scenes image at Elstree, from The Empire Strikes Back.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE SITH'S SLIPPERY SERVANTS!


In the best filmic tradition of slippery secondary baddies- crafty and duplicitous alien versions of Peter Lorrie and his noir ilk, if you will - the mysterious Sith's accomplices in Nute Gunray and Rune Haako are in this blockade of the peaceful Naboo purely for the promises of power and greed beyond anything seen with their Trade Federation heritage. But watch out for those two Jedi!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES: POP CULTURE VADER!


Back in 1977, as far as Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox were concerned, Dave Prowse was not Darth Vader, much to the actor's chagrin, as another man wore one of his character's costumes for the many toy/publicity engagements needed throughout the US with the surprise success of Star Wars. That other man would be Don Posts Studios employee Kermit Eller, who'd soon put as much gusto and enthusiasm into becoming the Dark Side Sith Lord for thousands of adoring young fans as Prowse would do on screen in his three cinematic appearances.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65wM3nfCgbw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkeHD0Kdno8



An TESB related Vader costume was also showcased at a 2019 Bonhams US auction:

Kermit Eller discusses his promotional work as Darth Vader at a 2019 sci-fi auction. Image: Bonhams US.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7025889/Star-Wars-Darth-Vader-costume-Empire-Strikes-expected-fetch-1-2-MILLION-auction.html

Friday, 16 October 2020

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: IMPERIAL GROUND FORCES AT WORK!


Now released onto the Hoth surface, the Imperial Snowtroopers recce the enemy power generators in this great production painting idea for The Empire Strikes Back that sadly never made the film, as the Walkers vs ground troops instead became the singular focus of the ground conflict. Though approved by George Lucas in the film's pre production stage, the final design of the Snowtroopers was ultimately on screen- realized differently, surely due to the later influence of director Irvin Kershner, working with UK costume designer John Mollo.

McQuarrie's approved design for the Imperial Stormtrooper from George Lucas.

As seen on the battlefield in this other McQuarrie art.