Friday 28 February 2014


The heroism and villainy of our favourite Classic Trilogy icons continues to resonate, in this fine artwork from Felipe Massafera, done for the film's 2007 Thirtieth Anniversary.

Continuing to frustrate the worldwide fan community, apart from the knowledge that the trusty space faring vessel the Millennium Falcon is returning somewhere down the line (either in EPISODE VI or a spin-off movie), as deliberately revealed via a recent conceptual painting on the revised LUCASFILM website, there has still been no official confirmation of the return of our main hero stars- Hamill, Fisher and Ford. With the disappointing rumours that a new Princess Leia was apparently being searched for by casting directors in London this week, the omens aren't looking good...

Message to LUCASFILM: analyse the Internet vibe. This is getting a very annoying situation now for worldwide fans. If they're in it, what's the problem in telling us, especially as we're so near principal photography? If they're not going to be in it, or are indeed being replaced with different actors (a la J.J. Abrams recent TREKs), get the news out of the way so we can adjust to it sooner rather than later...

Thursday 27 February 2014


Awoken from sleep, a worried Padme watches silently as her nightmare plagued husband, Anakin Skywalker, departs their bed chamber. The true beginning of the end for our hero lovers starts here - the first couple bedroom scene in a STAR WARS movie - from EPISODE III...

“No, I didn’t see her that way (as a victim in SITH). Not necessarily. I mean, yeah, she died after all she went through, but everybody dies. Not everybody is a victim! I think Padme was strong. And what was great about the STAR WARS movies was that I got to play that character at three different ages; she was a little bit different each time. I also felt fortunate to be around George, who is one of the great minds of our time.”


Wednesday 26 February 2014


Alec Mills at the camera, with Mike Frift, Richard Marquand and friend. Image: via STAR WARS ARCHIVES FACEBOOK page.

Camera Operator Alec Mills and Associate Cameraman Mike Frift get ready to film a 1982 shot from RETURN OF THE JEDI on the immense Death Star II hangar at Elstree, supervised by director Richard Marquand with, we assume, Dave Prowse behind them as Darth Vader.

The guys over at The Bearded Trio website have set up a very worthy petition. With the busier than ever PINEWOOD STUDIOS, the new home of the upcoming STAR WARS Sequels, getting ready to build further soundstages in Wales - the late Richard Marquand's birth place - they think that one of the upcoming studios should be named after him in tribute. We at AFICIONADO thinks its a great idea and a lovely testament to the film-makers work on STAR WARS and his career in general. Please pass this link on and add your name/s to the petition, here: Petition | Name one of the stages at the new Pinewood Studios Cardiff after the late Richard Marquand | Change.org

Tuesday 25 February 2014


In the aftermath of the grim Geonosis hangar duel, a lightsaber slashed Obi-Wan Kenobi staggers to his feet, whilst Padme rushes to console the decapitated Anakin, in this brief scene that didn't make it to the final print of EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Note Hayden Christensen wearing a long blue glove that was to have been filled in with a digital stump.

Monday 24 February 2014


Cameras roll soon on the next STAR WARS movie- news circa 1987.

I always enjoyed reading STARBURST MAGAZINE growing up. It was a poor man's STARLOG in many respects by the time new ownership had assumed its publishing mantle in the mid-eighties, after a prior dip in circulation led to MARVEL quitting the title, but there was still lots of cult film and TV to be enjoyed within its pages. The Things To Come news section was always a firm staple of the magazine and the majority of the time the info they printed on upcoming projects was excellent. It's just a shame they got this one so wrong in their May 1987 issue 105 (especially putting up a teaser on their bottom right corner cover!) - still they were only off by eight and a bit years, and it at least put the saga back on the publicity radar for a little bit longer!

I continue to enjoy imagining/speculating how EPISODEs I to III would have looked had they been made with pre-CGI effects technology, and with Irvin Kershner or Richard Marquand possibly directing one each...

Sunday 23 February 2014


Hard to believe, but its the 30th Anniversary of a certain fortune and glory seeking archeologist's entering that nightmare labyrinth The Temple of Doom this May. Controversial with the film-makers and the public at the time of release due to its violence and often grim subject matter, I've always thought it was a terrific and very satisfying sequel- regardless of the criticisms.

▶ Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom Trailer - YouTube

Being the first sequel for Indiana Jones, though actually set before the events of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, TEMPLE OF DOOM proved that our intrepid hero was here to stay with audiences, featuring lots of ambitious sequences that the film-makers originally planned to used for the first film but had to cut out for various reasons. Future INDY sequels would prove a lot harder to satisfyingly conceive. Check out this great feature here: The Indiana Jones films that never were | Den of Geek

And look out for more of AFICIONADO's visual celebrations of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM in the coming months...

Saturday 22 February 2014


During Spring/Summer of 1979 on the backlot of Elstree Studios, a high up on a scaffold Second Unit filming team capture a Bespin exterior scene of Princess Leia and co. racing to rescue the carbon frozen Han Solo from Boba Fett. As far as we're aware, the finished shot, like several other planned outdoor scenes on the streets of the floating city, was either never completed/abandoned or cut/replaced. Instead, the sequence that appeared in the finished film was set indoors, though this was later changed to a partially outdoor environment by the time of 1997's THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: SPECIAL EDITON, perhaps because George Lucas, who wanted the locale to be opened up more visually second time around, remembered that original outdoor shot that wasn't used.

Image: via Dave Stewart.

Check out Dave Stewart's superb visual list of TESB: SPECIAL EDITION changes here: Empire Special Edition Changes HD

Friday 21 February 2014


A different kind of war for Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in ENDER'S GAME. Image: MOMENTUM PICTURES. 

Playing an altogether more different and grouchier character than Han Solo, our favourite Hollywood film star icon Harrison Ford returns to the sci-fi genre that launched his career in the space war epic with a moral centre that is ENDER'S GAME, based on the popular eighties book series by Orson Scott Card, finally brought to the screen with a visual passion by South African director Gavin Hood, who assembles a solid and intriguing cast of equally top raters, including Asa Butterfield (playing the gifted young hero of the story, Ender Wiggin), TRUE GRIT's fiercely independent and determined Mattie Ross- Hailee Steinfeld, and, fresh from his huge success in IRON MAN 3, Sir Ben Kingsley as the tattooed warrior Mazer Rackham.

Trailer: ▶ Ender's Game Official Trailer #2 (2013) - Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford Movie HD - YouTube

iTunes - Films - Ender's Game

FACEBOOK page: Ender's Game


The effects showcase movie hits DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from March 10th 2014, and is available to download States-side now. Watch out for AFICIONADO's review of the DVD release in the not too distant future...

Ender's Game [Blu-ray]: Amazon.co.uk: Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld, Gavin Hood: Film & TV


"Where are you taking this... thing?!"

Famous words from the original STAR WARS, as spoken by British actor Malcolm Tierney in 1976 playing the suspicious commander of the Death Star cell bay. Tierney sadly passed away last week at the age of 75. Beyond his now infamous STAR WARS contribution, he was a popular character actor in all types of popular UK based series, including a notable appearance in eighties DOCTOR WHO, plus stints in the popular comedy drama series LOVEJOY and the soap opera BROOKSIDE. Film work continued, especially a key role in Mel Gibson's Scottish revolution epic: BRAVEHEART.

Malcolm Tierney, RIP...


Thursday 20 February 2014


Here's the next generation of animated STAR WARS heroes fighting the Galactic Empire, for DISNEY audiences of all ages to enjoy, starting later this year...

First look: 'Star Wars Rebels' rustles up a cowboy Jedi
BREAKING: Ezra joins Star Wars Rebels | The Star Wars Underworld
'Star Wars Rebels': Meet Sabine, the 'Feisty' Weapons Expert
▶ Star Wars Rebels - Introducing Zeb - YouTube
'Star Wars Rebels': Final hero revealed plus all the new characters | Inside TV | EW.com
Star Wars Rebels: Meet Chopper, Grumpy Astromech Droid | StarWars.com


The destinies of the Jedi and the Sith entertwine and collide, of which a galaxy falls under perils anew, in this great art used for American T-shirts back in 1999. Was it really fifteen years ago this year that EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE was first unleashed? Whose force-ful arrival was at first met with joy by worldwide STAR WARS fans then increduously went on to polarise so many of them? Personally, I think its aged pretty well and is probably the best structured and most STAR WARSy in feeling of the noughties Prequel Trilogy. Vitally, it has story and characters, which so many modern blockbusters try but fail to present.

Video: "Episode I Teaser Trailer" | StarWars.com

Tuesday 18 February 2014


On the Docking Bay 94 set at Elstree Studios, circa April 1976, the veteran British extras and stuntmen playing Imperial Stormtroopers complete a heavy pyrotechnics action scene, for the scene where the Millennium Falcon makes its emergency blast off from Mos Eisley spaceport...

 A rare image that appeared in an Italian sticker set from 1977/78.


Back to his Jedi ways, Kanan prepares to fight The Inquisitor in STAR WARS: REBELS. Images: LUCASFILM/ DISNEY.

Coming to the US's DISNEY XD channel this Summer with an hour launcher, news on the STAR WARS REBELS animated series, starring 24's Freddie Prinze, Jr. as the new urban freedom fighter Jedi: Kanan, is picking up the pace...

First trailers: ▶ Star Wars Rebels: "Ignite" Teaser - YouTube
▶ Star Wars Rebels: "Spark" Teaser - YouTube

Kanan checks on his new Empire-fighting ship, the Ghost, in this lovely concept art for the series.

'Star Wars Rebels': Meet Sabine, the 'Feisty' Weapons Expert

▶ Star Wars Rebels - Introducing Zeb - YouTube

First look: 'Star Wars Rebels' rustles up a cowboy Jedi

Greg Weisman Talks Star Wars Rebels and Showing the Beginning of the Rebel Alliance - IGN

Star Wars Rebels: Meet Chopper, Grumpy Astromech Droid | StarWars.com

Star Wars Rebels Imperial Propaganda Posters Hit Online | StarWars.com

BREAKING: Ezra joins Star Wars Rebels | The Star Wars Underworld

Monday 17 February 2014


"I found them. Repeat, I found them!" Christopher Malcolm as Zev in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Playing the role of Rebel pilot Zev Senesca, Scottish actor Christopher Malcolm's presence in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK was a memorable one, in both the scene where he finds the missing Luke and Han in the snowy wilderness of Hoth, then proving his courage in battle alongside the rest of Rogue Squadron against the immense threat of the Imperial Walkers. Two worthy sequences in an altogether terrific movie...

Christopher Malcolm RIP.

Much liked in the industry, with a vast range of film and TV credits under his belt including the likes of SUPERMAN II, appearing with Harrison Ford prior to TESB in FORCE TEN FROM NAVARONE, and HIGHLANDER, as well as a continuing role in the iconic hit comedy series ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, the sad news has come in of his passing at the all too young age of 67. The STAR WARS AFICIONADO team had the chance of meeting Christopher several times and he was always very pleasant and enthusiastic with us and the fans. You will be missed - thank you for your vital contribution to the fantasy climes of Rebellion against Empire, and to the entertainment world in general...


Saturday 15 February 2014


Retrieving their lightsabers from a surprised General Grievous, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker's formidable pairing springs into action on the Trade Federation Bridge, in this exciting scene from EPISODE III.

Friday 14 February 2014


Stellar illustrator Chris Trevas delivers another slam dunk piece of official STAR WARS art, bringing together younger, pre ESB versions of Han and Princess Leia for a tense meeting scene, from the recent EMPIRE and REBELLION Trilogy's opening novel: Razor's Edge.

Great work from one of my all-time favourite commercial STAR WARS artists...

Will Star Wars Be Your Valentine This Year? | Star Wars Books

The Trevas Illustration Portfolio: Star Wars



Their love may ultimately have been symbiotically joined with death and destruction on a galactic scale, but the young heroes of the Prequel Trilogy-Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala- did at least get to share the occasional romantic smooch in between clashes of light and darkness.


Thursday 13 February 2014


Young Jedi hero Luke Skywalker takes his rightful place in the pantheon of iconic sci-fi and fantasy heroes, between Britain's unique 1950's "Space Pilot of the Future", Dan Dare and Alex Raymond's eternally popular Flash Gordon (as played by Buster Crabbe), in this lovely illustration (artist unknown) for the B/W and colour photo and info-packed, long since out of print eighties book from Bill Harry, exploring the Heroes of the Spaceways...

Wednesday 12 February 2014


A battle scarred Weequay surveys the Tatooine desert, prior to the battle above the Sarlaac, in this atmospheric image from RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Monday 10 February 2014



By Joe Schreiber

Published in hardback by CENTURY PUBLISHING

Reviewed by Scott Weller

Joe Schreiber pulls us back to his darker interpreting of the STAR WARS universe, utilizing the Prequel saga’s most formidable Sith apprentice- the anti-hero hero we all love to root for- Darth Maul, in his biggest and boldest book adventure yet, sending the horny little devil into the firing line, infiltrating a disturbing and deadly prison base- Cog Hive Seven, under orders from his Sith masters, to locate a powerful and secretive arms dealer residing there, but the price in finding him is having to participate in the prison satellite’s main form of “entertainment”: the ultimate form of bloodsport, watched and wagered on by gambling spectators from all corners of the galaxy. Physically primed he may be, but could even Maul be out of his depth in this dangerous environment?

The red and black icon was the perfect killing machine in THE PHANTOM MENACE, but here, undercover as a freelance mercenary, he gets to use his brains alongside his brawn, especially as he is not allowed to use his Force powers or have his trustily efficient double bladed lightsaber in case his Sith identity be revealed. This time, in this seemingly escape proof prison, he truly has to adapt to survive, turning the tide to his favour where possible in a series of events that prove challenging and page turning for the reader. Maul soon manipulates through strength and power, prime requisites of being a member of the Sith, putting himself in a unique position to find a Iram Radique, the key to bringing further chaos to the Galactic Republic and help the Sith’s takeover plans blossom further.

Using all kinds of prison drama scenarios and characters we’re used to in film and television (shades of PRISON BREAK and 24 are thrown in to the mix, alongside a little bit of that ingenious nineties indie sci-fi film CUBE) but with far darker shadings and twists, overall adding a new kind of barbarity within the STAR WARS fiction envelope that we haven’t seen before. Schreiber makes sure that Maul is aided and hindered by a genuine diverse variety of scum and villainy, as well as the luckless and the unfortunate who have ended up locked away alongside him in the farthest reaches of space. 

Characters whose destinies will change upon meeting Maul, mostly for the worse, include an ambitious prison boss whose control of the enclave and its many depraved inmates has so far proved successful, alongside her profit-inducing run of bloodsports. Sadiki Blirr thinks she has it all under control, but is actually sitting on a powder keg waiting to explode- thanks to Maul, who soon begins a prison break out and lights the fuse for a final escalating gang war. Alongside her is her technical wizard brother, constantly analyzing the prisoners and their abilities for the continuing sport, and now fascinated by the charismatic, horned Zabrakian that has newly arrived in their domain.

A secrets hiding, burnt out pit fighter and his son launch the rest of the colourful and crude band, including a slimy Banking Clan official with ties to Maul’s masters, shady and corrupt jailers, untrustworthy financiers, a dangerous religious cult and several bizarre creatures residing inside the dark and restrictive areas of the prion facility, all with a taste for blood, including one nice surprise from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK that fans will raise a smile to. It’s all quite the party!

But the most important new character in the book is Radique- a genuine challenge for Maul, his identity mostly unknown to the inmates and fully immersed within the prison community, even having a small legion of eyes gouged out servants to follow his orders, and clawbirds to guide them and pass on messages whilst proving useful attack beasts.

Radique is a shadowy figure that might not even exist yet runs the joint through quiet terror and whispered dread- he could easily give THE USUAL SUSPECTS Keyser Soze a run for his money as the author builds up Maul’s search for his elusive prey, soon on a timer to complete his mission before his own life is extinguished amidst some fast paced destructive chaos.

Never afraid to use some of the film series classic characters, either, Schreiber gives us a worthy cameo from vile gangster Jabba the Hutt- still slobbering over humanoid females and an interested party in the gambling affairs and profits of the facility. Not good news… He/it helps bring the book to a highly charged conclusion…

Meanwhile, back on that shining jewel of power that is Coruscant, the always fascinating, constantly scheming rivalry between Sith Lords Darth’s Sidious and his supposed mentor Darth Plagueis goes up a notch: the ultimate chess game for control of the universe-move and counter move. Enemies yet brothers in evil.

A further intriguing link to the authors STAR WARS past (and future) comes with an appearance from a certain Imperial prison ship not yet overridden by zombie hordes…

For the most part, Schreiber’s character interactions come together well- the only weak link being the arrival of a female Jedi outcast in charge of a legion of her own religious warriors, which, ultimately, proves a little dull. As does the tense attraction she and Maul share towards the books conclusion. It all feels a little bit too familiar and overdone in STAR WARS.

Another plus for the book: the interior of Cog Hive Seven is handled effectively: a grimy, metal barred, windowless world specially designed by its jailers to disorientate its inmates living above, between and below- all of them injected with small explosive detonators if they fail to obey the laws and curfew times, and primed for the savagery of combat that lies ahead…

You can imagine the blood, sweat, violence and claustrophobia in Shreiber’s descriptive passages-a perfect fit plot-vehicle wise for a Sith warrior of such intensity, and darkness, to be immersed in. Fan controversially, this is, perhaps, Schreiber’s most bloodthirsty action and violence tale. Not for the squeamish with its descriptions of ingeniously contrived deaths, mutilations and combat, MAUL: LOCKDOWN is a far more adult and brutal, less family friendly STAR WARS adventure than most people are used to, with much larger ambitions in comparison to his two previously well received, relatively smaller scale horror journeys with Death Troopers and Red Harvest.

AFICIONADO RATING: Prequel fan favourite Maul is effectively showcased here, though some of the violence and graphic descriptions may not be to everyone's tastes. 7.5 out of 10.

Sunday 9 February 2014


The scheming and observant Separatist tactician Commander Trench, a member of the spidery alien race known as the Harch, may have been beaten by youthful Anakin Skywalker's abilities above Christophosis first time out, but he survives for a rematch in an upcoming ORDER 66 related story arc, coming soon to The Lost Missions of THE CLONE WARS.


As the battle in the Geonosis arena intensifies and the Jedi become overwhelmed, Ki-Adi Mundi, Plo Koon and several other members of the order penetrate the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship in an attempt to neutralise the advancing war machines, in this deleted scene from EPISODE II that should have made it into the film.

Friday 7 February 2014


Image: via STAR WARS ARCHIVES website.

On the breathtaking Rebel Base hangar set built on the then recently opened STAR WARS STAGE at Elstree, circa Summer 1979, Irvin Kershner directs Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher by the Millennium Falcon, for a brief visual comedy moment/gag linked to the ship's in-repair lifters, which subsequently comedically stall, watched by a less than impressed and smirking Princess Leia-a further dig at lover-to- be Han Solo. This scene, which onscreen showed the one and only time that production Designer Norman Reynold's specially built prop could move, was an early casualty of scene rearranging in the editing room, and was later replaced by several other evacuation-related moments, including a bridging Second Unit moment directed by George Lucas, showing the back-to-health Luke talking/saying goodbye to a Medical Droid.

Echo Base on red alert with the arrival of the Imperial fleet in the system.

The deleted scene in question.

The scene appears on page 48 of the Warner Brothers 1997 printed edition of Donald F. Glut's movie adaptation, and, in the book's structure, was originally to have taken place after Leia had addressed the Rebel pilots on the evacuation.

Footage of the scene was released online by Lucasfilm in December 2020.

Two behind the scenes images of Carrie Fisher during the scene's filming.