Saturday 30 June 2012


An ILM model making staffer (Paul Huston?) works on the support strut of a TIE fighter wing as further 1976 behind the scenes work continues on THE STAR WARS.


Just before it's Blu-ray release this September, the UK BBC ONE channel are handily sneaking in an always welcome HD screening of the original, and still the best, first adventure for the legendary Indiana Jones, who continues to keep the years and the mileage for fans old and new, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, today at 6.15pm.

UPDATE: Would you believe it! The film was postponed due to a Wimbledon tennis match. Doh!

Friday 29 June 2012


His old friend just carbonited, the captured Princess Leia and her comrades to be delivered to the Imperials, and somebody called Skywalker about to make a big-time appearance on Vader's dark and deadly agenda. Can the conscience filled thoughts of Bespin administrator Lando Calrissian be self-fuelled into turning the tide against such continuing tragedy?

Thursday 28 June 2012


Though the immense thunderstorms and rainswept world of Kamino hasn't yet been fully realised through the wonders of modern CGI, Obi-Wan Kenobi's sleek Jedi Starfighter, with accompanying loyal Astro Droid, touch down in Tipocca City.

Wednesday 27 June 2012


Jabba the Hutt's alien Major Domo, Bib Fortuna, tries to stop Luke Skywalker from entering his excellency's stronghold palace in this alternate/deleted scene from RETURN OF THE JEDI. Off-screen, Michael Carter, with his heavy prosthetics on, takes a break between filming.

Tuesday 26 June 2012


Pursuing his mission to the end, Darth Maul fights Qui-Gon Jinn on the ramp of the Naboo cruiser, in this deleted scene from EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, eventually witnessed in the recent Blu-ray release.


One of the weird and wonderful aliens devised for EPISODE III, as Eeusu Estonii, a member of the Separatists (played by behind the scenes staffer Jacquie Louez, of which the early character name was Senator Jacquito) poses for a publicity still/costume reference image. Intended to appear as a Senator attending Padme's funeral, the character (later named after LUCAS BOOKS Sue Rostoni) didn't make the final cut...

Monday 25 June 2012


Inside the spacious area of the Mos Espa Pod Race Hangar set at Leavesden Studios, stuntmen Ray Park and Andreas Petrides (Ewan McGregor's stunt double) go through some vital practice moves for the next round of epic lightsaber duelling to come...

As a side note, Petrides also played Darth Maul, and was the lightsaber duel co-ordinator, for the hilarious BBC FRENCH AND SAUNDERS comedy spoof on EPISODE I from the late nineties: French & Saunders: Star Wars Spoof/Parody [1999] (Complete, WS/HQ) - YouTube

Sunday 24 June 2012


Eyes for chaos! Darth Maul wants vengeance on everybody in THE CLONE WARS Season Five. Images: LUCASFILM ANIMATION.

Here's a few great images from the recent STARWARS.COM trailer release for September's US CARTOON NETWORK screening of the eagerly anticipated Season Five, with what looks like Savage and Maul galore, lots of Death Watch (and a take-over of Mandalore?), a major conflict on the EU world of Onderon and it's dragon riders, and some cool stuff with emerging classic bounty hunter Embo!

Space battles galore, and more Y-wings!
Our first glimpse of the Onderon people.
Those pesky bucket heads, the Death Watch, are back, with Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) in the front seat.
Our heroes Obi-Wan and Anakin on the hologram.
A new alien race resists the Separatist forces.
Our first glimpse of the dragons of Onderon.
Bounty hunter Embo returns, in an exciting ice chase against Anakin and Padme.
Two 'sabers Kenobi!
Fire-starter! Pre Vizsla strikes back.
Our first look at the criminal Black Sun cartel, and it's Falleen overlords?

Here's the link to the trailer: StarWars.com | Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 Trailer

Look out for more on THE CLONE WARS Season Five soon...


Boba Fett's distinctively nasty looking Slave One vessel powers through an asteroid field in lethal pursuit of his new target, in this interesting post EMPIRE composite image.

Saturday 23 June 2012


No longer comfortable with the turn of events that have unfolded within the political environs of Coruscant, Queen Amidala makes preparations to return to her captured people on Naboo, watched by a surprised Senator Palpatine, in this decisive scene from EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE set within the intriguing environs of Palpatine's office-note the creepy headless statue on the right!

Friday 22 June 2012


Though bashed about a bit by the Wampa, a bloodied Luke Skywalker, as played by Mark Hamill, still has time to pose for a publicity photo on the set of the Hoth Rebel Base interior at Elstree Studios during Summer 1979 for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Thursday 21 June 2012


Things are looking pretty grim for our band of heroes, as Luke, Han and Chewie are about to become a new snack for the multi-teethed Sarlaac within the Great Pit of Carkoon, but our young Jedi has a few aces up his sleeves yet, as well as growing powers and abilities within the Force, that will soon be the undoing of the tyrant crime lord Jabba the Hutt.

Another rare B/W reference image supplied by LUCASFILM to KENNER for the making of toys and figures for the then REVENGE OF THE JEDI.

Wednesday 20 June 2012


Atop the heads of their dug in ground forces, Rebel Snowspeeders-Rogue Flight, led by Commander Luke Skywalker- accelerate into battle against the oncoming menace of the Imperial Walkers, in this classic scene from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Monday 18 June 2012


The Lucas time capsule that is MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI-out now on Blu-ray. Images: UNIVERSAL PICTURES.


Starring Paul Le Mat, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Charles Martin Smith, Bo Hopkins.

Written and Directed by B. L. Norton

Produced by Howard Kazanjian

Executive Produced by George Lucas


Reviewed by Scott Weller

In 1973, everyone went to see George Lucas’s AMERICAN GRAFFITI for it’s big screen nostalgia celebration and colourful music look back at 1962 small town Southern California, amidst the life and times of a charmingly realised core group of young characters about to be let loose on the world. But with its sequel, MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI, originally in cinemas in 1979 (I vividly remember the movie poster outside the Croydon ABC cinema as a nine year old!) finally and deservedly released on Blu-ray after years in the wilderness from UNIVERSAL HOME ENTERTAINMENT, that same innocence and lively sense of the past evolves, bringing with it a darker, more grown up taste to the mouth against the backdrop of an often heady and tumultuous period of late sixties America which, I think, audiences weren’t quite prepared for, or, at that particular time of the late seventies, didn’t quite want to see. And it’s a shame, really, as the film, though no classic, is hardly the cinematic dud I’d expected in my re-visitation.

Terry (Charles Martin Smith, left middle) is having a bad, and darkly comic, time in Vietnam! 

Beyond UNIVERSAL’s commercial need to make a hit sequel to GRAFFITI (after having made so much money on what had once been considered a very small indie film), I genuinely think that Executive Producer George Lucas and writer/director Bill Norton (considered a safe pair of hands for the project by Lucas, who grew up within the same kind of backdrop that he had) wanted to make a decent, entertaining, slightly different sequel to what had been gone before, giving us a further interesting slice of history/comedy that was also, perhaps, a little bit more thought-provoking and responsible, representing the changing times and the changed characters seen here in the mid to late sixties, in a time of Vietnam, student uprisings, the birth of the drug culture and the emergence of flairs, hippies, peace and free love.

Unfortunately, Norton just doesn’t have the cinematic touch here to make a whole film that’s sustainably good (Lucas himself not being available to write and direct due to his heavy behind the scenes commitments to another LUCASFILM sequel then in the works: the rather more successful, and ultimately less frustration inducing, STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), though there are some bright flashes of humour and visual panache dotted throughout, including some colourful drag racing moments that help break the gloom. The aforementioned time frame, of which the film's closing moments reflect a distinctive melancholy seriousness, must have come across as pretty grim to late seventies audiences after the sweetness of AMERICAN GRAFFITI: the sequel's real-life events probably too fresh in their mind’s eye to enjoy- especially with the lingering bitterness of Vietnam lying at the main centre of the movie-at a time when people really went to the cinema to get away from all that- noticeably with the fantasy environs Lucas himself had reawakened with the first of the Classic Trilogy STAR WARS movies!

Additionally, unlike the innovative and ground breaking way that Lucas and co. effectively used music to convey the fun, angst and comedy of AMERICAN GRAFFITI, the selections here, though again well chosen (including the likes of Percy Sledge, Donovan and Simon and Garfunkel amongst others), ultimately feel muted in their collage use in comparison to the brilliantly loud and emotive mixing and matching that helped make the original such a successful enterprise.

Ron Howard returns as Steve Bolander.

Set over four New Year’s Eve’s from 1964 to 1967 (with various back and forths between the years that ultimately proves easy to follow), pretty much all the original cast, with the exception of Richard Dreyfuss, slip effortlessly back into their character roles after a six-year absence (including Ron Howard as moustached square Steve Bolander, Cindy Williams as his life frustrated wife Laurie, Paul Le Mat, as need for speed drag car racer John Milner, Charles Martin Smith as geeky Vietnam solider-to-be Terry (The Toad) Fields, the amiable Candy Clark as his once bee-hive haired girlfriend, Debbie Dunham and, often heard in the background, the unmistakable voice of iconic DJ Wolfman Jack), though sadly for us there’s only one main reunion scene bringing them together at the film’s start. Of our stars, Charles Martin Smith has some of the films best and funniest scenes, his character stranded in Vietnam with ex-Pharaoh’s gang member Joe (Bo Hopkins) for helicopter gun duty company amidst a band of incompetent gung-ho military men and incompetent politicians, and trying desperately hard to injure himself in order to escape on medical grounds. Additionally, Ron Howard and Cindy Williams renew their volatile relationship, now married family life, with some creditable comedy. But those are just about the best moments, really. There’s also occasional pleasure to be had here and there seeing the movies other rising stars, including Scott Glenn, Delroy Lindo, and Rosanna Arquette, as well as character acting stalwarts like Richard Bradford, in their prime and mixing in.

Officer Falfa (Harrison Ford) makes an arrest!

For all STAR WARS fans, though, how could we not mention Harrison Ford’s ultra brief, uncredited cameo in MORE, once more as Bob Falfa, now cowboy hat free and instead wearing the helmet and leathers of a motorcycle cop. The actor's late seventies winning and cocky Han Solo half-smile making a welcome showing here!

Additionally, there’s also an appearance from the mysterious, almost Luke Skywalker, Will Selzer: the other actor who would have been with Christopher Walken and Terri Nunn had Lucas decided to go in a more different way with his heroic trio casting choices. Here, Selzer plays Andy Henderson, Shirley’s peace activist student brother, who gives a competent performance throughout the film, though I couldn’t really imagine him in the role of Luke-Mark Hamill would prove just too well cast, too good and deservedly iconic, and I doubt STAR WARS would have had anywhere near the impact it eventually had with audiences without his serious but kind-hearted presence.

Old-time VHS tape release trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjOPtMoROoA

Dragster racer John Milner (Paul Le Mat) wins another award!

Capably produced by later RETURN OF THE JEDI's Howard Kazanjian, MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI has fine cinematography from Caleb Deschanel, solid sound design from the reliable Ben Burtt (of which he includes the all-important Wilhelm scream at one particular point!), and some noteworthy experimental editing from Tina Hirsch (backed up by later Lucas regular Duwayne Dunham and Marcia Lucas, following an aborted conceptual idea originally thought up by George for the first film), with the kind of inter cutting, differing frame points and changing aspect ratios for the various years and characters that wouldn’t be out of place in TV’s 24 years later, alongside other psychedelic switcheroo’s. The inclusion of real life Vietnam War footage mixed in with the specially graded material of Charles Martin Smith’s Terry Fields is also well handled. (Most of which ended up being shot by Lucas himself, having always been fascinated with the conflict, alongside a second unit.)

The picture and sound transfer for this Region Zero release is excellent, and, as usual, full marks to the UNIVERSAL STUDIOS behind the scenes team for their great transfer work. Sadly, the lack of any good extras on the disc, not even a trailer or commentary from the likes of someone like Kazanjian (which could have been intriguing), is disappointing.

Debbie (Candy Clark) and Rainbow (Mackenzie Philips) enjoy the late sixties.

Available at a decent price, MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI finally emerges from its once movie vault limbo status in pristine quality, and, above all else, is definitely worth seeing for its curiosity value-as shown by its very brisk sales on the likes of AMAZON UK since its release earlier in the month. An interesting look back to a time when LUCASFILM was still young and developing it’s cinematic output (oh, and it’s great to see the original green block LUCASFILM logo at the start of the film, too! Welcome back!), the sequel is certainly a more interesting and experimental movie than the likes of some recent projects to have come out from the Presidio Ranch.

AFICIONADO RATING: Movie: 6 out of 10. Extras (none): 0 out of 10. Overall picture and sound quality: 9

With thanks to UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT UK for all their help with the preparation of this feature.


About to meet her demise, Corde, in the guise of Senator Amidala, descends the steps of the Naboo Royal Cruiser to attend a critical meeting on Coruscant. Though Veronica Segura played the role in EPISODE II for the death scene, one brief exterior wide shot showed the character played by Natalie Portman, so as to lure audiences into a false sense of security before the decoy's assassination.

Does anyone out there know the name of the handmaiden actress/character with her in the above photo?

Sunday 17 June 2012


Luke and his Pa- RETURN OF THE JEDI-style! It all worked out okay... eventually!


Firmly entrenched in political office on Coruscant, and with strong support from Jedi Knight bodyguard/council liaison Anakin Skywalker, Supreme Chancellor Palapatine continues to press on with the war against the Separatists, despite objections from his closest allies in the Republic, in this tense deleted scene moment from EPISODE III, which eventually made its way onto 2005 DVD but not yet on Blu-ray...

Saturday 16 June 2012


A goggle hatted Mark Hamill has fun with Garrick Hagon on the Anchorhead set during the early April 1976 Elstree Studios filming of the original STAR WARS. Originally one of the first released images on the STAR WARS.COM's now no longer existing Hyperspace section circa 2003, linked to a then rare deleted scene, it's also one of my favourites...

This image was likely from an improvised and filmed moment, with Hamill's Luke humorously responding to a salute from Biggs that's mentioned in the film's Revised Fourth Draft script of March 15th, 1976. If it was filmed, and we think it was, it was a moment that didn't make the very rough cut assemblage footage later revealed on the Behind the Magic CD-ROM, nor the Blu-ray in 2011.

Friday 15 June 2012


George Lucas with some familiar faces...

Just wanted to let you all know about some interesting stuff that has appeared in this month’s issue of the UK cinema magazine TOTAL FILM (May 2008-the SPEED RACER cover). To tie-in with the release of INDY, and the upcoming CLONE WARS animated film as well, the magazine has an excellent interview with George Lucas which goes into lots of details for the future, including their asking him something mega-important. The all important: what would happen with new STAR WARS tales after his demise?

Here’s the reply-and you can see he’s very protective of his baby!!

“I’ve left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no EPISODES VII-IX. That’s because there isn’t any story. I mean, I never thought of anything! And now there have been novels about the events after EPISODES VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The STAR WARS story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn’t come back to life, the Emperor doesn’t get cloned and Luke doesn’t get married…”

So there you have it-straight from the horse’s mouth-STAR WARS movies beyond EPISODE SIX are a no go area. Risk making them at your peril!!!

This is sad news to me. In my eyes there had been a glimmer of hope that perhaps Jett Lucas, a keen STAR WARS fan who made an impressionable impact as a young Jedi in the ORDER 66 scene in REVENGE OF THE SITH, might have taken up the mantle one day and perhaps make STAR WARS films himself, the ultimate passing of the torch. The idea seemed very comfortable to me, but now even that seems to have been shot to pieces!!

Lucas has been saying there WON’T BE ANY MORE FILMS for ages, anyway, but I’m still not sure-with him you really never know (and not even Lucas’s closest friends are really sure- that he’ll do a Connery “never say never” on us all!!). Even when he was making RETURN OF THE JEDI, and even though by the end of the filming he was exhausted and couldn’t even guarantee when, or even if, the Prequels would get made, they did eventually get made, with Lucas at the helm. And in April 1982, talking to the Yuma Daily Sun newspaper during the Sail Barge filming, he hinted about the Episodes to come after those, telling them that they would be set thirty to fifty years after JEDI.   

Despite the “Anakin is dead. There’s no more story” we’ve always known in interviews before the Prequels were made, that, despite his “wouldn’t it be great to get the gang back at sixty” musing to Mark Hamill, there were some notes for Episodes Seven to Nine-not many, but just a couple of pages in that infamous binder of his. This begs the question-what’s on those pages-just what other shattering events in the STAR WARS universe might happen to our favourite characters? In my opinion, now’s the time for those questions to be answered. C’mon George, if you’re not going to make Seven to Nine-if you really are totally resolute and won’t hand them over to anyone else at all-then please hand your notes over to LUCASBOOKS whilst you are still here to entertain the world-lets get some great storytellers like Alan Dean Foster and Terry Brooks to work with you in turning those notes/ideas of yours into terrific adventures-surely your very name with the words “Based on a Story by” are guaranteed to make it of worldwide interest to fans/media/ book lovers, and become a worldwide success. We know with LUCASFILM that it’s not all about profit to keep the company going, it’s also about quality-and the idea of new “Based on a Story by George Lucas” books is quality enough for me and, I’m sure, legions of others-it could be absolutely fantastic. I’ve dipped in and out of the Expanded Universe, but to me it’s not official stuff- I want to know from you, the saga’s creator, what happened to Luke and our other heroes after JEDI, especially, George, as you’ve pretty much said in that quote that much of what has happened to them in the EU books is not what you would have done with the Saga anyway!!

So, George/LUCASFILM, please, finally, free those stories for the real EPISODES SEVEN to NINE and let us enjoy the saga as you once officially wanted it to be...


Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford meet the late, great Arthur C. Clarke in 1983.

Late yesterday evening (8th March 2008), the news came through on the television that celebrated British science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke died at his home on Sri Lanka, at the age of 90 (alongside the equally tragic passing of British film-maker Anthony Minghella). As a big fan of Clarke’s work, I was very sad to hear of his passing-not only has the world lost a literary giant in the greatest sense- an expert not only in the field of science fiction, but in writing in general, but we have also lost someone who was a great fan of science fiction in other mediums as well, especially relating to film and, like the equally acclaimed late author Isaac (I, ROBOT) Asimov, was a huge fan of the STAR WARS films (of which Clarke’s own prior work on his short story, THE SENTINEL, would later become expanded and filmed as the movie generally regarded as Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and a movie which, in itself, would inspire George Lucas in the creation of the STAR WARS SAGA that we know and love today (and also using many of the talented behind the scenes personnel who helped Kubrick bring his epic vision, from Clarke’s original words, onto the screen).

As a little dedication and tribute to Clarke, I have enclosed the late author’s own nice little personal message to George Lucas, congratulating him when STAR WARS celebrated its Tenth Anniversary in 1987. This appeared in the celebratory STARLOG TRIBUTE magazine that came with the Anniversary convention event held I Los Angeles-the inside pic with the dedication, used opposite, shows Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford with the author at his Sri Lankan home during a 1983 filming break for INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.

Here is the full tribute:

“First, let me join a few million of you out there and thank George for enriching my life. You did what most of us thought was impossible-you brought our visions to the screen, and so created a new universal myth for our times, with heroes and villains the whole world now recognises. Of course, you were tapping the pre-existing SF culture-but if anyone criticises you for that, George, point to the excellent precedent of W. Shakespeare, Esq., and remind them: “Talent borrows-but genius steals.”

I don’t want to dampen the festivities by ending on a serious note, but much as I’ve enjoyed your marvellous trilogy, my pleasure has often been alloyed with a subsequent sense of guilt (St.Augustine, I think, once said something like that in a slightly different context).

The very week you celebrate the 10th Anniversary of STAR WARS, I’ll be receiving the 10th Charles A. Lindbergh Award in Paris-and the title of the address will be “Star Peace.” I’d like to quote briefly from it.

“We have already met Darth Vader-and he is us. If we are to survive, we must exorcise the demons of our haunted childhood, and grow out of our fascination with “technoporn”-gleaming weaponry and beautiful explosions. Whatever armaments may be needed to preserve peace in the immediate future, in the long run only political solutions can save us… The real problem is not military hardware, but human software...”

No one is in a better position to create that software than we science fiction fans. Let’s get on with the job!!”

Funny, isn’t it-twenty one years on, and Clarke’s final words of his tribute still hold much resonance today…

If anyone out there hasn’t had a chance to read any of Mister Clarke’s work, we seriously do recommend them, especially CHILDHOODS END (whatever happened to the movie version to have been done by David (FIGHT CLUB, SEVEN, ZODIAC) Fincher? Oh, what a terrific movie that would have been), RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA, his many excellent short stories, and, of course, THE SENTINEL/ 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. All of these were groundbreaking works of literature and science fiction literature, and still hold up well today.

Mister Clarke, we shall miss your journeys into the unknown, the pursuit of discovery in the worlds of science fiction and the exploration of the human, and alien, spirit. May the Force be with you..always, and God speed!!!


"Red Ten standing by..."

For thirty years we have thrilled to the daring exploits of the X and Y-wing fighter squadrons taking part in the final battle over the DEATH STAR in STAR WARS. Numerous magazines over the years have gone into depth about the brave characters in their fighter planes, and the majority of the surviving speaking part actors who have played those roles in the original July 1976 filming have been tracked down and interviewed…except one major contributor.

Red Ten.

In my research over the last fifteen years, no one has ever found out who the British actor was that played the recently Expanded Universe named Theron Nett. Internet forums have incorrectly listed him as the US actor Maury Chaykin. Considering he has several lines in the film, and plays a key part in Red Leader’s trench run, he is one of the only main pilots not credited in the movie-the result of a 1976/77 UK production office mistake when the titles were being put together by the US optical teams in Post Production.

Now, STAR WARS AFICIONADO, with the kind help of Red Four actor Jack Klaff, whom myself and Ian Trussler met at the Birmingham MEMORABILIA show this weekend (2008), can reveal the name of the actor who played the brave Red Ten, who died at the hands of Imperial forces whilst shielding Red Leader (Drewe Henley) in the DEATH STAR trench run.

His name (for atmospheric purposes, please pretend there is an exciting drum roll…)

Robert O’ Mahoney.

A British actor, Robert (Bob) O’ Mahoney was a theatre/ acting buddy of Klaff’s, whom he hasn’t seen in years-he doesn’t know if he is still alive or not. He is listed on IMDB and his last screen credit was in 1990 for the TV production BLOOD ROYAL: WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

And that is pretty much all we know about him. But at least it’s a start…

This information helps complete the documented list of on-screen dialogue speaking Rebel fighter pilots seen in the finished movie (at least eighteen to twenty pilots were filmed in the original cockpit scenes shot in the blistering hot summer 1976 of Elstree UK, many of which were not used in the final edit and whose names remain unknown (with the possible exception of actor John Chapman, who says he played the pilot call signed as Red Twelve-Gil Vilray. Until we see film or photographic proof that he shot his scenes, I’m afraid we don’t yet count him)).We also don’t count Red's Seven, Nine and Eleven, who call in off-screen, as the X-wings bear on the DEATH STAR as they are US actors voice overs only (their names also unknown) who were added on in the film’s 1977 Post Production.

If anyone out there can help with more info please get in touch...

A look at the classic pilots of STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE: THE REBEL FIGHTER PILOTS OF 'STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE' - 102362154648182938349 - Picasa Web Albums


Chewie, Luke and friends board the Millennium Falcon ramp and prepare to escape the Death Star in this early post-production 1975/76 storyboard from Ivor Beddoes for THE STAR WARS.

Thursday 14 June 2012


Getting ready to film their next scene set within the blue screen environs of what will become the watery confines of Naboo's Otoh Gunga, Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best and Steven Spiers, playing Captain Tarpals, are on set at Leavesden Studios, during the 1997 filming of EPISODE I.

Wednesday 13 June 2012


With his Imperial fleet's search of the dangerous Hoth system asteroid belt- for the missing Millennium Falcon- continuing, Darth Vader is forced to take a pause in his personal mission to receive a transmission from his master, the Emperor, in another classic scene from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Monday 11 June 2012


Here's a great promotional image shot in Tunisia in 1976 of the three Sandpeople/Tusken Raiders who form that memorable attacking party on Luke Skywalker and his Landspeeder, before Ben Kenobi makes his first appearance with a Krayt Dragon noise scares them off (the original, and still the best, sound design version from 1977, and not the inferior re-trys heard from the DVD release onwards). British Stunt coordinator Peter Diamond was the main creature that made a shocking launch at Luke, the others we assume were Tunisian extras.

A side angle of the Tuskens being photographed on location.

THE CLONE WARS animated series producer Dave Filoni recently hinted that the Sandpeople will make their first appearance in the hit show in the not too distant future. Can we expect a return to Tatooine? Or will we see a flashback to an enraged Anakin, devastated by the loss of his mother Shmi, killing one of their nomadic tribes from EPISODE II?

With thanks to Chris Baker for the behind the scenes image.

Sunday 10 June 2012


The moment we'd all been waiting for since 1977, where, in the confines of the Bespin Carbon Freezing Chamber, Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader and finally plans to kick his butt for murdering his father, the eventually named Anakin Skywalker, and mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi. As we soon discovered, and admired scriptually, however, the events emerging from this classic encounter didn't turn out anything like Luke, or the audience, expected. Instead, our poor young hero, eventually having to be rescued by his friends, got his ass whooped by the Dark Lord, lost a hand and found out that Darth Vader was his actual papa!

Not a good day by anyone's standards!

Saturday 9 June 2012


Lucas at Lee Studios in late 1975 with one of the early Roger Christian initiated/co-built test Artoo shells, made from wood.

The UK's DAILY MAIL newspaper website has a fascinating article which presents rare behind the scenes documents linked to the making of the original STAR WARS from 1975 to early 1976 that are about to be going under the auction hammer. It's an intriguing look back at the detail and hard work that would be undertaken by the likes of Lucas, Gary Kurtz, John's Barry and Stears to make the film a reality, especially linked to the movie's Tunisian location filming.

Check out the feature here and it's huge variety of scanned pages: A Datsun, an ostrich and anaesthetised rats: The humble beginnings of the special effects behind Star Wars are revealed in production notes up for auction | Mail Online

2022 UPDATE: All-new interview: Star Wars Insider: Roger Christian | StarWars.com

Friday 8 June 2012


Back in the space lanes of the STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS universe, Anakin Skywalker and his trusty Artoo Detoo stand ready for the next wave of gripping adventures in the coming soon Season Five, with its recently revealed and intriguing umbrella title of A WAR ON TWO FRONTS- we assume building up to the pre-EPISODE III Outer Rim Sieges and a lot more episodes of brewing discontent on Coruscant and other major Republic worlds, linked to Padme and the forming of the eventual Delegation of 2000.

Trouble brews once more with Senator Rush Clovis in Season Five.

Other episode titles in the eagerly anticipated new year include Front Runners, The Soft War, Tipping Points, An Old Friend, The Rise of Clovis, which surely means the return of Padme's old flame from Season Two, Senator Rush Clovis (still heavily in league with the Separatists, we assume), and Crisis at the Heart.

UPDATE 10/6/2012: Check out this exciting new clip from one of the Clovis episodes, also featuring Bounty Hunter Embo, recently shown at a Florida STAR WARS WEEKEND: Clone Wars Season 5 Embo Clip - YouTube

More news on the series as and when...


Nate Parker in the driving seat as Marty "Easy" Julian in RED TAILS. Image: MOMENTUM PICTURES.
Based on the true story of the Tuskegee airmen of World War II, George Lucas and Anthony Hemingway's action drama RED TAILS is now in UK cinemas.

UK release trailer (after the ad!): * News Site / Ads / 618


Thursday 7 June 2012


Let's give a hearty Birthday shout out to Liam Nesson, who shined brightly as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in EPISODE I, turning 60 today. Hard to believe, eh?

Here's a fun clip of Liam Neeson and STAR TREK's Patrick Stewart on the UK GRAHAM NORTON chat show recently...

LIAM NEESON & PATRICK STEWART: Real-Life Beavis & Butthead?! (The Graham Norton Show) - YouTube

LIAM NEESON & PATRICK STEWART: Battle of the Action Figures (The Graham Norton Show) - YouTube



Its a deleted scene we've always wanted to see, and, surprise surprise, it was one of many that still didn't make it into the Blu-ray release, our favourite gold-bikini clad Princess Leia takes out the second deck gunner on Jabba's Sail Barge whilst Luke presses his surprise attack on the rest of the Hutt's forces.

Some recent behind the scenes location footage has been unearthed by fan Jeff Broz, who was at Yuma in April 1982 for REVENGE OF THE JEDI when this sequence was being filmed-and you can catch the action scene in long shot within his recorded cine-footage here: A Documentary By Jeff Broz - YouTube  It's not new footage-some of it was included in fan Jambe Davdar's acclaimed unofficial documentary RETURNING TO JEDI a few years back, but it's great to finally see the material in its entirety.