Friday 31 July 2015


Making more of an indelible mark in film history with every passing year, soon coming up to the 20th Anniversary of filming of EPISODE I in 1997, the characters of George Lucas's Prequel Trilogy are starting to get some well deserved respect and even some re-evaluation in certain quarters. So its apt, then, to celebrate this with a selection of great art from the late talent John Alvin, which also fuses-in some of the beloved Classic Trilogy stars.

Wednesday 29 July 2015


Two of the mysterious bat-like looking digniataries of the Utapaun system, colleagues to Tion Medon, pose for the publicity cameras, in this behind the scenes image for EPISODE III.

Tuesday 28 July 2015


A critical component to the behind the scenes success of the original STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, producer Gary Kurtz was, and still is, a fine photographer and cameraman, seen here preparing to catch some surely invaluable stills for reference and potential publicity out in Tunisia at the end of the difficult location filming of STAR WARS, in April 1976. It was great to recently hear that Kurtz was invited to the EPISODE VII set and see the original Millennium Falcon recreated in all its glory.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends out its warmest Happy Birthday Greetings this week to Gary Kurtz.

Monday 27 July 2015


He's thought about her every day for the last ten years since the aftermath of the Battle of Naboo, now Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker finally reencounters the girl of his dreams, Padme Amidala, determined to protect her from new threats to her life, even if it means skirting around his Jedi mandate, during the opening scenes of EPISODE II.

Sunday 26 July 2015


When chased by the Imperial Navy, the unexpected is always best, as Han Solo uses his deft piloting skills to manuevere the Millennium Falcon through a lethal asteroid field in order to escape pesky TIE fighters. A scene not from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, but one of Van Ling's excellent CGI graphics menus for the STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITIONs eventual debut on DVD in 2004.

Saturday 25 July 2015


He may not be entirely stable, but the reconstructed protocol droid C-3PO is nonetheless on dutiful hand to help his young master, Anakin Skywalker, as much as possible. Back in 1997, the world's STAR WARS fans were intrigued to see how golden rod would figure into the Prequels. The Phantom Menace gave us a first little taster, and proved surprising.

Tuesday 21 July 2015


They have supposedly brought order and peace to the universe from the ashes of the devastating Clone Wars, but in the process deliberately stripped planets of its peoples, technology and raw material to feed its burgeoning Imperial war machine. The First Galactic Empire's near twenty-year reign is no cause for joy or celebration to the people it supposedly protects, spreading its terror- enforced control and oppression across the stars like a virulent plague- its harsh and xenophobic ruling laws, decreed by the isolated and unchallenged Emperor Palpatine, initiated through thousands upon thousands of ambitious enforcers. The Empire's latest and ultimate information propaganda tool/doctrine compiled for its planetary and space command divisions will, surely, become not just a showcase for the continuance of Empire's evil means and the implementations of their long-term tactics/ ideologies. But should its valuable information fall into the wrong hands, it could also unintentionally become part of a unique and vital rallying call-to-arms by those pockets of isolated yet growing in strength resistance cells working against the odds in defying their rule of. Whoever holds this handbook in their hands may ultimately prove key to either the Empire's continuance or it's ultimate destruction!

Daniel Wallace's latest instalment in his detailed and acclaimed handbook series exploring key aspects of the STAR WARS universe- this one dedicated to the evil-doing of the Empire, and packed with a glittering array of fantastic illustrations, schematics and tactical illustration work via some of LUCAS BOOKS most accomplished artists (including Chris Trevas and Russell Walks) - is another must-have book for fans, arriving in the UK from 7th August, 2015.

You dare oppose us?! Art by Russell Walks.

Here's TITAN BOOKS publicity blurb:

Set in-world, Star Wars: The Imperial Handbook shares the knowledge of a newly promoted Commander in the Imperial Military, providing a comprehensive overview of the Imperial war machine.
 After the Battle of Endor, the guide fell into the hands of the Rebel Alliance who provide handwritten annotations. Writers and annotators include Emperor Palpatine, Admiral Yularen, Wedge Antilles, and Han Solo.

Star Wars: The Imperial Handbook Brings You Inside the Empire |

Get the book here: Titan Books - Star Wars - The Imperial Handbook - A Commander’s Guide - Daniel Wallace

Sunday 19 July 2015


"Stop right there!" A Stormtrooper deals with a runaway Jawa, in a scenario where anything's possible in the surroundings of the SECRET CINEMA. Image: Olivia Weetch/SECRET CINEMA.

As Alice Cooper wickedly declared, "School's out for Summer!", and if you're a UK STAR WARS fan, or an incoming overseas STAR WARS visitor, now has never been a better time to visit London and enjoy its two spectacular celebrations to George Lucas's classic universe in the run up to the all-new THE FORCE AWAKENS.

A multitude of environments to enjoy, from Tatooine to Mustafar, at MADAME TUSSAUDS.

MADAME TUSSAUDS evocative STAR WARS Experience is well on its way to reaching the half a million special visitors mark, what with its superb recreations of classic sequences showcasing memorable icon heroes and villains in stunning likenesses from across five of the six newly christened "Legacy" films, and also highlighting the dedication and artistry of TUSSAUD's hard-working behind the scenes teams, in conjunction with LUCASFILM, who have pulled out all the stops to thrill and delight fans of all ages and make them eager for return visits.

Main page and booking: Madame Tussauds London - Star Wars
FACEBOOK: Madame Tussauds London

Death Star alert! Image: SECRET CINEMA.

And, from a top secret location somewhere in the city, sign up for one of the most enjoyable experiences yet into the world of Rebellion versus Empire, light versus dark, with SECRET CINEMA's years-in-the-planning, exciting and beautifully staged immersion/recreation of the Classic Trilogy, alongside a sparkling special screening of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, featuring surprises that will have you cheering and holding back a nostalgic tear or two. Certainly the best SECRET CINEMA so far, this is a rich experience of sights, sounds and atmosphere to make the most of until 27th September 2015.

Fabien Riggall Talks Star Wars Secret Cinema
It's back! 'Star Wars' strikes again - CNN Video

Site and booking: Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars Tickets
FACEBOOK: Secret Cinema presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Friday 17 July 2015


We may not have had spin-off anthologies, amazing graphics-packed computer games like BATTLEFRONT, nor the veritable flood of books and comics that are prevalant now, but STAR WARS fans of the seventies had their imaginations truly inspired by the movies themselves, notably the original 1977 release, and especially through the domain of the original TOPPS bubblegum card sets, which showcased superb photos of our favourite scenes and characters, as well as all the incredible worlds, planets, droids and technology around them.

Coming 29th October, 2015 will be a terrific celebration of that glorious time of innocent and enthusiastic card collecting, courtesy of Gary Gerani, Robert Conte and ABRAMS BOOKS: STAR WARS- The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One.

Here's the jacket blurb:

Star Wars—the original trading card series from Topps first published in 1977 and 1978—is reprinted here in its entirety for the first time, featuring all five sets of collectible cards and stickers. This deluxe compilation includes the fronts and backs of all 330 cards and 55 stickers (originally sold one per pack), including movie facts, story summaries, actor profiles, and puzzle cards featuring all your favorite characters and scenes from the very first Star Wars movie. Also features four bonus trading cards, as well as an introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Star Wars Topps series. A special afterword by Robert V. Conte spotlights the rare Star Wars Wonder Bread trading cards, also reprinted for the first time.


Gary Gerani is a screenwriter, author, noted film and TV historian, and children’s product developer. He is best known as the cowriter of the film Pumpkinhead; the author of the book Fantastic Television; and creator, edi­tor, and writer of literally hundreds of Topps trading card sets since 1972. He lives in California.

Robert V. Conte is a pop-culture consultant who, armed with his vast memorabilia collection, utilizes his expertise on a myriad of officially licensed products, including Godzilla, Kiss, and Sesame Street. He has three children and is the subject of a forthcoming documentary film, Rebuilding Robert. He lives in New York.

The Topps Company, Inc., founded in 1938, is the preeminent creator and brand marketer of sports cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery.

Get hold of it here: 
Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One: 1: Lucasfilm Ltd: 9781419711725: Books
Look out for AFICIONADO's review in the not too distant future.

Tuesday 14 July 2015


To Fox 29 News Philadelphia with love, from Princess Leia (in Slave Girl Outfit), one of the greatest role models in feisty heroism, intelligence and pluck for women and young girls everywhere, and STAR WARS AFICIONADO... Now go and get something more news-worthy to report!

Jaw-Dropping Star Wars Doll Has Parents Outraged - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Archive feature on costume (2015): The Mystery of the Princess Leia Costume |

Monday 13 July 2015


Fear turned to anger. Anger turned to hate. Darth Vader challenges the STAR WARS REBELS! All images: DISNEY/LUCASFILM ANIMATION.

Well and truly sending us into excitement mode for the return of everyone's favourite super Sith in Darth Vader, DISNEY UK have kindly supplied us with these great animation stills from the extended STAR WARS REBELS Season Two opener: the ambitious, format-changing The Siege of Lothal, airing this Saturday, 18th July on DISNEY XD as a welcome prelude to a longer episode run coming this fall.

Prepare for shocks, surprises, tons of action, and plenty of Dark Side vengeance.

"Fulcrum" no more. Ahsoka Tano joins STAR WARS REBELS in Season Two.
Kanan shows doubt as to whether he wants to part of the bigger picture of rebellion.
A foe like no other. Kanan takes on Darth Vader.
Ezra's help is turned against him!
Another Jedi Padawan about to become extinct?
Sinister swordplay. The duel continues.
Can the rest of the Ghost crew help?

▶ Star Wars Rebels Season Two Trailer (Official) - YouTube
▶ The Dark Side Rises: Inside Season Two | Star Wars Rebels - YouTube
Dave Filoni Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Interview
Star Wars Rebels Videos & Movie Clips | Official Disney UK


Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.

A great 1976 costume continuity Polaroid of Harrison Ford as Han Solo, not yet chasing Stormtroopers for a potential kamikaze run through the Death Star, courtesy of STAR WARS first script supervisor, Ann Skinner. Skinner's handwriting on the Polaroid says "No sweat", referring to Han/Harrison not yet having been filmed in action, though it could just as easily be in character for Solo to say these words when caught in troublesome situations!

In early 1976 character filming notes, compiled from a pre-shooting script, Skinner's reveals: "HAN SOLO. 30 years old. Starship mercenary. Up to Sc(ene). 81: has his own gun. Sc.82-188: STORMTROOPER OUTFIT and gun- with similar attachments on his belt to Luke. Comlink- to speak to Threepio. Zapper. Lights on his gunbelt. Does not use cable. Sc.91 or about- loses helmet of his Stormtrooper's outfit." Underlined in heavy red capitals beneath the typed info, she's added, "MILLENNIUM FALCON".

STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends its warmest Happy Birthday greetings out to Harrison Ford on this day!

Saturday 11 July 2015


Our beloved "Legacy" Trio at the evening Symphony gathering.

The Ewoks might not be around to roast a few dead Imperial Stormtroopers and bang on their helmets, but we can still celebrate the STAR WARS love with some great images from yesterday's epic panel for THE FORCE AWAKENS at San Diego Comic Con, courtesy of the kind people of DISNEY UK (images by Jessie Grant, Michael Buckner/Getty Images for DISNEY publicity).

Script problems? Nah, it's STAR WARS!
Our new heroes enjoy themselves.
Having a blast at Comic Con.
Our evildoers have time for some fun.
Harrison Ford- coming back at ya!
Here's where the fun begins!
The Star Warriors reunited.
Kathleen Kennedy at the front of the STAR WARS relaunch.
Gwendoline Christie and Carrie Fisher share a laugh.
Our trio gathers at the harbour side with 'sabers ready.
The future's so bright, they gotta wear shades!
The San Diego Symphony begins its concert tribute, launched by a message from John Williams.
Fireworks and STAR WARS.
A fine end to the evening.
The Force Awakens Footage Shown at Comic-Con Star Wars Panel! -
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' cast and creative team: 4 EW Exclusive Comic-Con portraits | Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, 'Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens' |

Where were you in '15? A high school yearbook photo- STAR WARS style. Image: via TWITTER.
Clipping from the UK's SUNDAY EXPRESS newspaper of July 12th, 2015.


The legacy of STAR WARS continues. Image: STARROARZ Facebook page.

The second phase of Disney/LUCASFILM's THE FORCE AWAKENS marketing has begun, and the San Diego Comic Con panel yesterday proved great fun - bright, breezy, occasionally mad, and delivering the goods for expectant fans, who were then treated to a special surprise concert gig afterwards.

For me, and I'm sure everybody reading this, the highlight was to see Harrison Ford reunited with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, which I don't recall having happened since 2007. And three cheers for Lawrence Kasdan, too!
Star Wars Comic-Con 2015 live blog: The Force Awakens - The Verge
Harrison Ford reveals he WALKED to Comic-Con at Star Wars panel | Daily Mail Online
‘Star Wars,’ Harrison Ford Bring the Force to Comic-Con | Variety
Comic Con 2015: Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel |
Comic-Con 2015: Harrison Ford Makes Surprise Appearance at Star Wars Panel :
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visited Comic-Con and We Can Die Happy Now - Today's News: Our Take |
The Force Awakens Footage Shown at Comic-Con Star Wars Panel! -
Secret 'Star Wars' concert held for fans at San Diego Comic-Con - Business Insider
▶ Star Wars The Force Awakens Comic Con Panel - YouTube
Star Wars The Force Awakens Interview - Harrison Ford - YouTube
▶ Star Wars The Force Awakens Interview - Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley & John Boyega - YouTube
▶ Star Wars The Force Awakens Interview - Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson & Adam Driver - YouTube
▶ Star Wars: The Force Awakens Interviews - Lawrence Kasdan and Kathy Kennedy - YouTube
▶ Star Wars: The Force Awakens Interviews - JJ Abrams - YouTube
▶ The Star Wars: The Force Awakens San Diego Comic-Con Sizzle Reel - YouTube

The enigma of Mark Hamill's contribution to EPISODE VII continues...
Leia Organa, previously a vital part of the Rebellion, and now with the Resistance against The First Order.
Time for Han Solo to re-enter the frame.

And, bar the nauseating appearances of Simon Pegg, a splendid and still not revealing anything look at things to come with THE FORCE AWAKENS▶ Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Comic-Con 2015 Reel - YouTube

The next trailer comes this Fall.