Monday 30 November 2015


The small but dedicated model making team at ILM in Van Nuys are hard at work during 1976/77, whilst the completed Rebel Blockade Runner and a miniature of Luke's landspeeder (needed for the arrival into Mos Eisley scene, superimposed over Tunisia-shot footage of what was originally supposed to be Anchorhead) stand ready for filming.

Lucas on 40 years of 'Star Wars,' ILM
The Untold Story of ILM, a Titan That Forever Changed Film | WIRED


In an early script and James Kahn's novelisation for RETURN OF THE JEDI, that gross slug Jabba the Hutt tells Luke Skywalker of its time spent slaying Jedi Knights in days gone by. It was a dialogue line cut from the finished film, but that didn't stop this unknown artist from giving us their exciting idea of what that era of Jedi versus Hutt might have been like, for a card that, due to LUCASFILM's then stringent policy of not treading on the Prequel era being worked out by George Lucas, never ultimately made it to the first STAR WARS GALAXY set series back in 1995. Its interesting that the Jedi shown here wear similar black outfits similar to the ones conceived early on by Doug Chiang on for EPISODE I, whilst the combative Hutt collects lightsabers as trophies the way General Grievous would later do.

Sunday 29 November 2015


A lovely book that has seemingly not quite gotten the publicity it rightly deserves (not even a mention on the official STARWARS.COM site that I could find!) - presumably due to the merchandise storm build-up that has exploded for other areas linked to THE FORCE AWAKENS - is the newly released in the UK STAR WARS TREASURY, from Egmont Books. A great modern storybook for young readers and Kidults to enjoy, the STAR WARS publishing universe's respected Ryder Windham and the equally celebrated talents of entertainment illustrator Brain Rood have joined forces to present a lovingly crafted adaptation of the first three blockbusting, cinema re-defining STAR WARS movies - From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker - as of their post 1997 Special Edition guises.

Alongside Windham's efficient scene-conveying prose, Rood gets the chances to illustrate the saga's greatest scenes in 120 pieces, adapting/enhancing classic photographic images to artistic form (some of which he improves on), as well as providing his own stunning new works and interpretations of beloved moments in film and pop culture history, the majority of which are used to their best as lavishly-printed full spreads. Standouts for this reviewer are many: STAR WARS (A NEW HOPE) - a lovely shot of Han meeting Jabba and his goons in Docking Bay 94, and the classic chasm swing of Luke and Leia, EMPIRE- Chewbacca's watching out for the Probe Droid on the cold surface of Hoth, the dreaded dinner at Bespin with Vader, and Luke's Falcon rescue, plus JEDI's thrilling speeder bike chase and the Ewoks slugging it out with beleaguered Stormtroopers!

Its a lovely book for fans, especially delightful for younger readers new to the saga who will want to bedtime read catch-up on the heroes of George Lucas's original universe before they see them matured within the all-new galactic action and excitement of THE FORCE AWAKENS. It also makes for a lovely Christmas gift for all ages, currently available online at a good price.

AFICIONADO rating: 3.5 out of 5

Front and back cover, though the book's title has since changed.

Get the book here: Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy: Amazon.co.uk: Brian Rood, Ryder Windham: 9781405280228: Books

Website: The Art of Brian Rood

Saturday 28 November 2015


As the galaxy goes amok, so too does the once friendship and trust between Jedi Master and former pupil- the fires of Mustafar the perfect setting for a battleground of hatred shown by Anakin Skywalker towards Obi-Wan Kenobi during the closing section of EPISODE III, as represented in this great promotional artwork (which I personally hadn't previously seen) for the Playstation 2005 video game.

If anyone knows who the artist is, please get in touch.

Thursday 26 November 2015


Poe Dameron and BB-8 fight on!

SPOILERS ALERT: A worldwide Thanksgiving present from LUCASFILM: a new THE FORCE AWAKENS TV teaser: "All the Way".

Star Wars - Star Wars: The Force Awakens "All the Way" TV Spot...

Enjoy these screenshot images.

Kylo Ren watches the destruction of star system Hosnian Prime.
First Order Stormtroopers attack the populace of Jakku.
Resistance X-wings attack Starkiller Base.
Chewbacca makes a stand against First Order forces on Takodana.
First Order troops try to stop Finn and Poe's TIE fighter escape.
Kylo Ren deflects Rey's blaster fire!
Direct hit?
A casualty of war?
Is this the end of the Resistance?

Other THE FORCE AWAKENS related news:

Three Retro 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Posters Remember a Long Time Ago - Spinoff Online - TV, Film, and Entertainment News DailySpinoff Online – TV, Film, and Entertainment News Daily
'Star Wars': Who Is Supreme Leader Snoke? - Hollywood Reporter Daisy Ridley and John Boyega of 'Star Wars' on Their Close Friendship - The Hollywood Reporter
How Daisy Ridley went from bit parts to lead in Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Film | The Guardian Legit Track Listing for The Force Awakens Soundtrack Star Wars The Force Awakens' John Boyega hasn't seen the film yet | EW.com
Secrets of BB-8: An EW 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' video | EW.com
Has Mark Hamill just revealed his big Star Wars secret? SPOILERS | GamesRadar
Star Wars 7: “Rey is nothing like Princess Leia” | SciFiNow - The World's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Magazine
Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley talks about nerves to Glamour magazine | Daily Mail Online
Why R2D2 is one of Star Wars' most beloved characters (Includes interview)
Carrie Fisher on the Importance of Princess Leia Aging | TIME
J.J. Abrams, Stephen Colbert Talk ‘Star Wars’ at Celebrity Nerd-Off | Variety
Exclusive: Empire reveals names of new Star Wars planets | News | Movies - Empire
Harrison Ford discusses Chewbacca reunion in Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Daily Mail Online

Tuesday 24 November 2015


The new issue, out this week. I think the six limited edition covers speak for themselves, really...

Captain Phasma.

Poe Dameron.
Rey and BB-8.
Kylo Ren.
Threepio and Artoo. A special subscribers cover.

Empire's exclusive Star Wars: The Force Awakens covers revealed | News | Movies - Empire
For UK readers: Empire's limited edition Star Wars cover - with Kylo Ren figure | News | Movies - Empire


He'd given Jabba the Hutt an opportunity to release Captain Solo from carbinite, and now knows that Leia's alternate rescue plan has failed. Luke Skywalker has no choice but to enter the lion's den, soon facing incredible dangers. But this film isn't called RETURN OF THE JEDI for nothing!


Having suffered extreme nerves at auditioning for George Lucas- so much so that he was physically sick both times with worry, Hayden Christensen would win over the STAR WARS director with his edgy James Dean-esque looks and star-on-the-rise acting talent to become the new young adult Anakin Skywalker for the final two sequel films of the Prequel Trilogy. The annoucement of his becoming Darth Vader soon made him an international name and placed him squarely on the covers of many worldwide magazines.

Hayden Christensen Star Wars Extra: Trying To Do My Thing - YouTube

“I was so nervous! Arriving at the (Skywalker) Ranch, I sat down and George looked over my resume for almost four minutes and just said nothing. He was just sizing me up and looked at my resume. Then we talked about life, but nothing about acting.”

Hayden Christensen talking to the UK's Film Review Magazine about his first audition, before his second with Natalie Portman - 2002

Monday 23 November 2015


Dedicated to the cause of the First Order!

SPOILERS ALERT! More THE FORCE AWAKENS trailers are arriving on the televisual airwaves. Here's a screenshot collection to enjoy!

A pensive Rey on Jakku.
The Falcon prepares for First Order entanglements!
Rey takes the helm!
Finn admires her piloting skills during some tense flying!
Maz Kanata's pirate castle takes a beating.
Kylo Ren admires the destruction.
Our first glimpse of Jessika Pava as Resistance fighter pilot Blue Three.
The return of Sullustan pilot Nien Nunb!
The Resistance X-wing's bring tidal power to the battle!
A Stormtrooper brings his weapon to bear on Finn...
... but soon discovers he's picked the wrong hero to fight against!

First major clip: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Movie Clip #1 - Escape (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube

Old and new droids meet:
Star Wars The Force Awakens C-3PO & R2-D2 meet BB-8 | official O2 Priority contest - YouTube

The new UK advert for the 02 phone service.

Latest trailers:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Finn TV Spot (Official) - YouTube
The Force Awakens TV Spot 5 HD - YouTube
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV Spot #9 (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube
Star Wars The Force Awakens | TV spot #7 (2015) J.J. Abrams - YouTube
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV Spot #9 (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV Spot #8 (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube

Tsuneo Sanda's gorgeous new art for EPISODE VII.

More online news:

JJ Abrams Has Finished Star Wars: The Force Awakens And It’s Already Been Screened - Yahoo Movies UK
Google launches Star Wars promo for The Force Awakens | EW.com
2015 American Music Awards - John Williams Tribute - YouTube
Star Wars exclusive: new image of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren | News | Movies - Empire
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: Jon Hamm, Emma Stone, and More Audition for Roles on SNL - The Daily Beast
Mark Hamill on Luke Skywalker from Star Wars: The Force Awakens for Famous Monsters! | Making Star Wars
Star Wars Secrets: Mark Hamill Talks About The Force Awakens
Mark Hamill on returning to the role of Luke Skywalker | News | Movies - Empire
Removed: Maz Kanata revealed in Disney Channel Star Wars: The Force Awakens TV spot! | Making Star Wars
The folly of Empire: how Star Wars menaced Hollywood | Film | The Guardian

Keep checking out AFICIONADO for the best in EPISODE VII updates...


Before being forever known as Boston's out there mailman Cliff in CHEERS, John Ratzenberger would enjoy camaraderie of an altogether different kind with Peter Mayhew, in costume as Chewbacca, during a break between busy filming bouts on the newly opened STAR WARS Stage at Elstree Studios in Summer 1979, for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Interview: John Ratzenberger - Major Bren Derlin, Master of the Improv | StarWars.com

Sunday 22 November 2015


He's been in tight spots before, but is this the tightest yet for our beloved hero, caught between a rock face and a Nazi tank, during a superlative action scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Having now been deemed worthy of his Jedi Knight status, especially after defeating a savage Sith Lord, young Obi-Wan Kenobi bows before Master Yoda in this great publicity image from EPISODE I. Presumably, Frank Oz was in command of the Yoda puppet for this moment, though in one barely glimpsed scene at the end of the film a certain Warwick Davis played the little green wonder when he was needed to walk alongside the Jedi Council after newly arriving on Naboo.

Davis recalled to STARLOG magazine in 2001: “I played walking Yoda. That was wonderful. They made me a Yoda outfit because I’m a little bit bigger than the Yoda puppet and a Yoda stick that’s a bit longer than Yoda’s original one. I was actually honored enough to wear Frank Oz’s actual puppetering hands.”

So far, no images of Warwick as Yoda have materialised in print/online that I'm aware of, presumably still waiting to be unearthed from Lucasfilm's vast Photo Archives...

Saturday 21 November 2015


Outside Tosche Station, Luke Skywalker's prior wide-eyed innocence and thirst for adventure ruins his attempts to convince his young friends that a real-life space battle is indeed taking place high above Tatooine, in this now legendary deleted scene from the original STAR WARS, shot in the last days of location filming at the fishing village island of Djerba, Tunisia.

Star Wars A New Hope Lost Scenes - YouTube

Here's a selection of UK Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's continuity Polaroids from the end of the Tunisian filming in April 1976, including costume reference images of Biggs (Garrick Hagon), Camie (played by Koo Stark) and Fixer (Anthony Forrest).

Intriguing shot from the shore-line towards the filming.
Garrick Hagon as Biggs.
Koo Stark as Camie.
Anthony Forrest as Fixer.

Ann Skinner's advance script/character notes for Biggs from early 1976:

BIGGS DARKLIGHTER: Slightly older than Luke. Sc(ene).9: dressed in flashy city attire.

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI.

Blast it Biggs! Where are you?! - By @jamieswb on Vimeo