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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

THE 'HOLIDAY SPECIAL' AT 40: A WORRYING COMMUNICATION!


At their current Rebel base location, Artoo Detoo and his master Luke Skywalker stop their in-progress repair work to soon discover that Han and Chewie are in potential danger, having not arrived for the latter's Life Day celebrations, in this moment from The Star Wars Holiday Special.

Smoking up the studio taping stage!

Returning as Luke Skywalker in a special favour to George Lucas, Mark Hamill now has short hair (presumably linked to his 1978 duration filming for the war flick The Big Red One) that's also made made blonder for the special, presumably in an unsuccessful attempt by the behind the scenes team to try and match his first film appearance in character.




Hamill reminisces about the special:
http://www.factfiend.com/carrie-fisher-copy-star-wars-holiday-special/

Hamill quote from Reddit AMA interview Jan 2014:

Oh yeah. I thought it was a mistake from the beginning. It was just unlike anything else in the Star Wars universe. And I initially said that I didn’t want to do it, but George said it would help keep Star Wars in the consciousness and I wanted to be a team player so I did it. And I also said that I didn’t think Luke should sing, so they cut that number. And now, I think we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. They should put on the extra of the DVD’s – it shows how incredibly fallible we are! At that same time, it did introduce Boba Fett in an animated sequence, so it’s significant in that respect. Plus Art Carney was in it, who is one of my favorite comedic actors of all time.

Monday, 19 November 2018

THE 'HOLIDAY SPECIAL' AT 40: MORE SCUM, MORE VILLAINY!


Casting top television personalities of their time for The Star Wars Holiday Special, one notable example was popular actress and comedy star Bea Arthur, best known for her roles in Alice and The Golden Girls. Here she played Ackmena, the kindly but strict owner of one of the top Cantina's on Tatooine, often prone to singing with her clientele of very familiar aliens created or adapted from stock by Rick Baker and his team for Star Wars just a year earlier. (Alongside several still intact creations from Stuart Freeborn's UK side of the shoot, too.)


Here's the great rogues gallery listing that originally appeared in Star Wars Insider magazine a few years back. This great collective image also memorably graced the cover to the classic Starlog magazine that covered the 'event' TV special back in the day.

http://starlogged.blogspot.com/2012/09/1978-star-wars-holiday-special-in.html

Sunday, 18 November 2018

THE 'HOLIDAY SPECIAL' AT 40: FALCON FLYING BUDDIES!

Image from the personal collection of Miki Herman.

Though lots of key props for the original Star Wars (filmed at the UK's Elstree Studios during 1976) had been retained in a London warehouse for potential sequel use (for the never ultimately made, potential cheapie sequel Splinter of the Mind's Eye) the original Millennium Falcon cockpit interior had long since been destroyed by the time The Star Wars Holiday Special was green-lit for production. So, for its brief appearance launching that programme's story, a very basic reproduction was constructed for TV studios videotaping involving Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew, flying once more as Han Solo and Chewbacca. Both are seen here having fun with much-liked Lucasfilm liaison/consultant Miki Herman, who also was a key figure for the Making of Star Wars TV documentary shown on US TV the previous Summer.



Saturday, 17 November 2018

THE 'HOLIDAY SPECIAL' AT 40: A WOOKIEE FAMILY PORTRAIT!


Celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary milestone of the much-maligned but enjoyably kooky The Star Wars Holiday Special, AFICIONADO kicks off its seven-day coverage with this lovely art. It's time for our Wookiee legend Chewbacca to gather with his memorable family for their planet's ecological and spiritual Life Day on Kashyyyk, in this warm-hearted composition by Jeff Carlisle.

Happy Fortieth Birthday, and Happy Life Day!





Friday, 16 November 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: BIRTH OF AN ICON!

Rare image from a classic Harrison Ford publicity shoot as Han Solo, for the original Star Wars, taken at Elstree circa Summer 1976.

In the thirty years leading up to the debut of the original Star Wars of 1977, most of the heroes we'd seen in film and TV science fiction/fantasy were of the clean-cut, square-jawed, saving the galaxy variety. But George Lucas's supreme saga, though following some of the genre's past traditions with his central hero of Luke Skywalker, would also cleverly introduce a vital 'rogue element' to compliment yet clash with such noble ideals, crafting an altogether different yet relatable for-our-times figure caught in those larger-than-life adventures of the young farm boy Skywalker and his pained transition from gosh/golly wide-eyed innocent to eventual Jedi Knight. That figure in question: Han Solo - self-made man of the galaxy, a top pilot and often in-over-his-head smuggler for the major crime cartel controlled by super-slug Jabba the Hutt on that far-off desert world of Tatooine where we'd first memorably encounter him, negotiating a new charter with a bizarre duo that wants to 'avoid any Imperial entanglements' via a necessarily speedy trip to the Alderaan system. Solo must have subtly smelt potential trouble with that 'damn fool' Kenobi, but with so much debt to pay off, there'd be no choice but to take the money and fly like a thief.

Soon and sure enough, the smuggler, and his trusty wookiee partner, Chewbacca, would be caught up in an intergalactic struggle beyond anything they could prior imagine!

Played with cool authority, alongside a John Wayne-esque swagger of confidence and an air of not suffering fools gladly, Harrison Ford's contribution to the life and birth of this incredible icon character of pop culture in Solo is not to be under-estimated.


Find out more about Solo's creation and development over forty years, plus Ford's film history-making part in the Star Wars saga, inside the truly gorgeous and comprehensive new Ilex Press book release gloriously celebrating the franchise's number one favourite character, and his unique and exciting life and times: Star Wars Icons: Han Solo.

Here's the advance book release information:

Smuggler. Rogue. Hero of the Rebellion. Scruffy-looking nerf herder. 
Han Solo has been called all these things and more since making his debut in the original Star Wars film back in 1977. Four decades later, the irrepressible Solo continues to be one of the most iconic and enduring elements of the saga.
Star Wars Icons: Han Solo covers the character's entire journey, from his genesis in George Lucas's first drafts of Star Wars to Harrison Ford's iconic performances in the original three films and The Force Awakens, and the character's rebirth in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The book also takes an in-depth look at Solo's role in the Star Wars universe, through novels, comics, video games, and more, and the indelible impression the character has made on pop culture.
Illustrated with a treasure trove of rare and previously unseen imagery, including candid on-set photography and stunning concept art, this deluxe volume also features exclusive new interviews with Harrison Ford, Alden Ehrenreich, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew, Ron Howard, J. J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Jonathan Kasdan, and many more key creatives.
Comprehensive and revelatory, this is the definitive book for Han Solo fans across the galaxy.

Get the book here (available from November 27th, 2018)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Icons-Han-Solo/dp/1781576971/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542378341&sr=8-1&keywords=star+wars+icons+han+solo


Thursday, 15 November 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES: TO DUEL A SITH!


After a prior brief but busy period of stunt rehearsal with coordinator Peter Diamond, Sir Alec Guinness commences his filming duties with Dave Prowse, playing the intimidating opponent in Darth Vader, for the first and now classic lightsaber duel of the original Star Wars, watched on-set at Elstree Studios by writer/director George Lucas. Here you can see Guinness holding one of the many lightweight (and all too easily broken) lightsaber-handled rods used for the duel.

This previously unseen image is part of an incredible compilation of rare materials (photos/documents/conceptual art) to be savoured within Taschen Book's eagerly awaited and supremely lavish all-new 600+ page hardcover The Star Wars Archives: 1977- 1983, available next month, gloriously focusing on the making of the beloved Classic Trilogy of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, collated and written by Paul Duncan.


Check out our original preview of the book:
https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.com/2018/05/coming-soon-star-wars-archives.html

Get the book here:
https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/film/all/01170/facts.the_star_wars_archives_19771983.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1bbpk8jW3gIVSrDtCh0z6wi3EAAYASAAEgLewvD_BwE

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

ROGUE ONE: REBEL MOVER!


Rebellion corvette vessel five speeds alongside the recently crippled Star Destroyer orbiting above Scarif, ready to initiate a bold plan for Admiral Raddus, in a memorable moment from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

EPISODE VII: THE SHIELDS OF STARKILLER!


The Stormtroopers inside deflector shield control have been taken out by our heroes, now the captured Captain Phasma must shut Starkiller Base's protection down once and for all, in this deleted scene moment from The Force Awakens.

Monday, 12 November 2018

GOODBYE, STAN LEE...


Very sad to hear the news of the passing of the great comics creative genius, legend, showman and all-round nice guy Stan Lee- the man who gave us so many memorable heroes and villains to discover and enjoy within his MARVEL publishing empire, and whom importantly made worldwide kids of all ages (and those successors-to-be talents in his company) read and indulge in fantasy and adventure, whilst also giving us some very cleverly hidden morality tales to think about within his stories.

One of the classic MARVEL comic adaptation tie-ins to the original Star Wars

And, of course, he was the man who launched the original Star Wars saga into comic book form in the US. As many of the fantasy and sci-fi titles MARVEL had released at that time in the early seventies hadn't always performed so well, Lee wasn't at first apparently willing to do a tie-in comics adaptation of the upcoming space movie then in production in the UK. But the acclaimed Roy Thomas, then working for his comic empire with the likes of the popular Conan the Barbarian, managed to persuade him, helped along by the film's casting news of Sir Alec Guinness in a lead role. Lee had always liked and admired Guinness work and, because of that casting, took a chance. A chance that paid off nicely, launched a sell-out first issue and a glorious original reign for the title for nearly ten years, whilst saving Lee's company from potential bankruptcy at one point.

http://www.comicbookschool.com/marvel-star-wars-1977/

At the 2015 Emerald Comic Con, Lee was presented with a superb piece of new MARVEL Star Wars art.

Thank you, Stan Lee. Your work in storytelling and entertainment work will live forever! Excelsior!

CLASSIC IMAGE: DROID PURSUIT!


In his wheel bike, General Grievous proves more slippery to catch than ever, as Obi-Wan, astride the noble Boga, pursues the droid general through the depths of curving Utapau's road system. Another memorable action moment from EPISODE III.