NOW ARRIVED IN AUSTRALIA, UNTIL JUNE 10TH, 2019. BOOK NOW FOR THE ULTIMATE 'STAR WARS' EXHIBITION

Thursday, 25 April 2019

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: THE GREAT ILLUSION!


The epic lightsaber conflict on Bespin between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader gets that little bit bigger thanks to those matte artist geniuses working at ILM in 1980, as demonstrated with this great piece which atmospherically opened up the last part of the duel between heroes and villains into one of the main deep core shaft settings of the mining colony.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: INTRODUCING ANAKIN SKYWALKER


'What if dreams came true. And you could be who you wanted to be. You could do what you wanted to do. And you could help who you wanted to help.

What if dreams came true, and the world opened up. And you were never, ever afraid.

What if dreams came true. But dreams do come true. Don't they?'

From the tone poem 'One Dream':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TodHWgzPlUc

Sunday, 21 April 2019

EPISODE IX: RETURN OF THE BARON!


POSSIBLE SPOILERS! 

Once more blessed with the radiant smile of a blazing sun and the pop culture charisma of an exploding supernova, Lando Calrissian, as played by his real-life alter-ego in Billy Dee Williams, is back aboard his beloved Millennium Falcon, on hand to help a new generation of Star Wars heroes as they engage on a perilous galaxy-spanning mission, during EPISODE IX. Including ties to Donald Glover's performance as Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story (including the wearing of his distinctive yellow /black costume), watch out for several other references/links to that film, including a special mention of his former droid confidante, L3-37.

Welcome back, Lando!

Friday, 19 April 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES: THE EVOLUTION OF THE 'TONNIKA TWINS'

The Tonnika Twins (centre) were a memorable part of the original Star Wars Cantina scenes.

If there was ever a sequence in the original Star Wars that fans assuredly signify as a space-age western homage, it has to be what took place in the smoky den of inequity that was Mos Eisley's Cantina, where a veritable host of unusual creatures gathered together to share laughs, share anecdotes, make business deals, and get drunk in between watching blaster (or lightsaber) brawls. Adding to the diverse mix were the two 'Space Girls' (as referred to in the call sheets for the mid-April 1976 filming on this busy Elstree Studios soundstage), to be played by classy, and tall, top British models/ supporting artists Angela Staines (green outfitted) and the late Christine Hewett (blue outfitted). They were definitely considered at that time the typical Western 'saloon girls'-type for the film, but handled in a subtle family audience way, with their striking beauty on display for several atmospheric background scene moments only (not all of which made the final cut). Off set, the near all-male UK film crew adult-humorously and cheekily referred to the characters, not the actresses (though they were certainly aware of the attention they were getting), as 'Star Whores'! By the time the Classic Trilogy's events and characters were being exhaustively archived and referenced by Lucasfilm and fans during the 1990's with the era of home media, the girls officially became known as 'The Tonnika Twins', with a reputation firstly as clever con artists then as lethal warriors from The Mistryl Shadow Guard, whilst their original 'occupation' in the Cantina was quietly brushed under the carpet. By 1997 onwards, the saga was now creating more aspiring and influential female characters to attract its momentous and inspired fanbase...

Angela Staines and Christine Hewett as the "Space Girls'. Note the subtle referencing to the Saloon girls of the American West with the almost holster belts and the futuristic garter ornamentation worn by Miss Staines. 

Contact sheets for the 'Space Girls' costume reference photography.


Reference image linked to the BTS documentation 'naming' of the Mos Eisley duo by the late seventies, as presented on STARWARS.COM.

Angela Staines and Christine Hewett go through a scene with an unknown crewman.
A deleted scene from an early rough cut assembly, as they confer with a Mosep (Eileen Bellson).

Angela Staines having fun on the backlot. Image: Angela Staines.

Staines and Hewett at Elstree with an unknown crew member-likely Peter Diamond's informant character (middle), Marcus Powell ('Little Flash Gordon', from a deleted Mos Eisley street scene) and Gilda Cohen during April 1976.

2000's visual production information compiled for STARWARS.COM from original reference materials.

Both Staines and Hewett were no strangers to playing intriguing alien beauties in sci-fi, having prior been psychedelic-costumed people alongside the iconic Christopher Lee in an excellent episode of the then first-time-aired Gerry and Sylvia Anderson series Space: 1999, a show which, only the previous year (1975), had already altered the visual destiny of George Lucas's famed smuggling ship, the Millennium Falcon, due to early visuals of the vessel being too close to that TV show's memorable Eagle Transporters.



Hewett (left) and Staines (middle) as they appeared in SPACE: 1999, alongside Barry Morse. Image: ITV Studios.

Christine Hewett signing at Celebration Europe, London, during 2007. Image: FACEBOOK.

Angela Staines at a recent US convention signing event. Image: FACEBOOK.

Though Christine Hewett would go on to attend SW events and signings up to her sad passing, it would seem that long-term Lucasfilm behind the scenes legal/merchandising disputes may have prevented Angela Staines, now a successful businesswoman in her own right, from becoming as immersed in her convention participations/meeting the fans as she would have liked. Thankfully, things have changed for the better, and Miss Staines has already attended several signing events this past year.

Angela Staines video interview: https://vimeo.com/26840820


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

THE CLONE WARS: AN HONOURABLE INSPECTION!


Back because you demanded it, The Clone Wars Season Seven, arriving later this year in the US, finally wraps up the exciting animated prequel adventures set between EPISODEs II and III, revealing the legacy of the fateful galactic conflict for our key heroes and villains.


CELEBRATION 2019 panel and trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0XlB2EJZuA&t=3252s

Monday, 15 April 2019

EPISODE IX: THE SERPENT RETURNS...


POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT!

Last seen on live action screens defeating Yoda, seeing in the demise of the Jedi order and corrupting/manipulating Darth Vader into being, Ian McDiarmid's performance in EPISODE III, indeed the entire Prequel trilogy, was nothing short of excellent. And now Sidious returns, seemingly from death in his own unique way, for the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker? But how, after his pit thrown demise with EPISODE VI?

We can only imagine these possibilities. Firstly, a clone (a bit too much of an audience cheat). That the Sith somehow discovered a way to come back to our physical realms as some kind of ghost-being, not unlike Yoda or Obi-Wan. That the Palpatine of VI was a physical projection in the same way Luke appeared on Crait in EPISODE VIII. That he entered or fell through the doorway between times and universes seen in REBELS. Or, finally, that Palpatine/Sidious will be seen in flashbacks only - possibly with McDiarmid having replaced the rumoured presence of Matt Smith on the IX set, the former DOCTOR WHO star who was apparently to have played a young Palpatine/Sidious in sequences that were likely re-thought during principal photography.

One thing is certain, Darth Sidious has a key role in the new film- his return planned in advance some time back in the Kennedy/Abrams storyline masterplan for the sequel trilogy. And don't forget, before things changed in 1983's Return of the Jedi, he wasn't apparently to have been in the original nine film saga until the ninth, final episode as The Emperor (according to a magazine interview back in 1997 with Gary Kurtz), so this creative decision actually, and rather eerily, matches what had once been planned around 1979/80.

We can't wait to welcome the supreme super baddy back to the Star Wars saga one last (?) time...

Ian McDiarmid on The Emperor at the CELEBRATION 2019 event:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1-o47Y70lM

Saturday, 13 April 2019

EPISODE IX: THE BONDS OF REBELLION!


On an unknown world of diverse geographical regions, our friends old and new in the Rebellion get their first sight of a deadly location, in this surely momentous scene from EPISODE IX, linked to the past (or future) of the saga's greatest machiavellian enemy.

A powerful legacy that must not fall into enemy hands.

CELEBRATION 2019 stage and interviews:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL148kCvXk8pDbF6fs3PUYRcVaqx7Z2Z3r

Latest EPISODE IX news: 

http://www.jedinews.co.uk/film-music-tv/articles/entertainment-tonight-interviews-daisy-ridley-oscar-isaac-kelly-marie-tran/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/12/star-wars-trailer-episode-ix-rise-of-skywalker-biggest-takeaways-review-

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6916653/Star-Wars-Episode-IX-Rise-Skywalker-teaser-trailer-shared-showing-Rey.html

https://uk.ign.com/articles/2019/04/12/star-wars-jannah-lando-calrissian-daughter-episode-9


https://www.digitalspy.com/movies/a26844875/star-wars-episode-9-oscar-isaac-leia-doesnt-fade-away-unused-footage/

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-wars-rise-skywalker-why-death-star-is-trailer-1201883?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Cast interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaZpMI1-lHY

More on the trailer: SPOILERS! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08QR9DNYk50

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-12/star-wars-movies-will-take-a-break-after-episode-ix-disney-says


Wednesday, 10 April 2019

OUT THIS MONTH: 'INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC PRESENTS: MAKING SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY'

Celebrating the on and off screen storytelling magic, charting the adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca, within the all-new Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo: A Star Wars Story. Image: Rob Bredow.© & TM LUCASFILM LTD Used under authorization.

Giving us an unparalleled photo documentarian look into the top-secret, closed-set universe that is today's on-the-floor making of a modern Star Wars film (post-Disney takeover), in ways not seen or documented since 2005's The Making of Revenge of the Sith, albeit this time from the perspective not of a then rising star journalist (as in the esteemed J.W. Rinzler) but of a key member of the film's creative/production team, instead - top ILM veteran/coproducer Rob Bredow. Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo: A Star Wars Story, from Abrams is surely going to be the highlight coffee table book of the year, building on (yet going beyond in so many ways) 2018's 'Art of' book coverage for the film in uniquely charting the epic teamwork and dedication needed for one of the riskiest, most ambitious and challenging productions so far conceived within George Lucas's originally created universe, and a busily turbulent filmmaking time by late 2017 heightened with positivity and a fresh pair of eyes with the fortuitous arrival of popular blockbuster imagineer Ron Howard, a trusted veteran boldly taking the creative reins of Solo: A Star Wars Story and steering the once-troubled production to new heights of cinematic enjoyment, whilst recognising and respecting the vital talents aided to him by Bredow (whose striking colour and B/W photography is used here to maximum reference impact) and his essential teammates at ILM.

Rob Bredow at the controls of a familiar ship. Image: Lucasfilm/STARWARS.COM

Official book preview/interview:
https://www.starwars.com/news/rob-bredow-making-solo-book-interview

Available from April 16th, 2019, here's the full blurb on the book release:

Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making Solo: A Star Wars Story is an eyewitness account of the film’s production from visual effects supervisor and coproducer Rob Bredow. The book gives readers an intimate glimpse into the journey that Solo took from pre-production, production, and post-production, fully documenting how this film came to the big screen.
Making Solo gives a chronological overview of how this multiple-Academy-Award-winning visual effects company created new worlds, aliens, droids, and vehicles for a galaxy far, far away, including insights into how the train heist on Vandor, L3-37, the Kessel Run, and the reimagined Millennium Falcon were brought to life. A must-have for Star Wars fans, this authorized, all-access book will be an indispensable work for all movie fans and devotees of popular culture.


Tuesday, 9 April 2019

THE CLONE WARS: TESTING TIMES!


Another exciting and dangerous The Clone Wars comic adventure awaits our troubled and persevering Jedi heroes, as The Starcrusher Trap is unleashed by the Separatists, and the respected and formidable Mace Windu gets an action showcase with that purple lightsaber of his!

Cover art for Dark Horse Comics by The Fillbach Brothers.