Saturday 31 December 2016


New and old themes merge successfully within the accomplished ROGUE ONE soundtrack.

There's an old saying in Hollywood that remains more relevant and prescient than ever to the pressures of film and TV production: "Do you want it good, or do you want it tomorrow?" That Michael Giacchino, replacing Alexandre Desplat as the original composer of the eagerly awaited ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, after Desplat and Lucasfilm's so-called "scheduling problems", could take over at a difficult time to deliver such a fine and accomplished score for a STAR WARS film, within a tight time frame of less than a few months, is no mean feat and one that must be heartily applauded.

Reckless but vital to the Rebels: scavenger Jyn Erso, newly arrived at Yavin IV.

Recognising more than most modern film composers the true and emotionally rewarding values of thematic structure, its Giacchino's work for ROGUE ONE's diverse and emotionally damaged main characters in which he triumphs, showing his capable talents in continuing to celebrate and build on the incredible work still evolving in the STAR WARS trilogies series by uber composer John Williams. Main heroine Jyn Erso's theme must be Giacchino's standout here- an emotional piece revealing a brave yet vulnerable, haunting and tragic layering to the young Rebel icon, and a composition that's a welcome addition to the the previous female heroine themes created for the saga for Leia and Rey. Another standout is the Guardians of the Whills Suite, beautifully concocted for those brave warriors of mystery and firepower in blind monk Chirrut Imwe and his revenge fuelled protector Baze Malbus: an impressive and genuinely lovely standout piece celebrating their friendship and brotherhood linked to the mystery and power of the Force. In counterbalance, the might of the Imperial war machine is told through a a dizzyingly perverted theme of power and twisted majesty, The Imperial Suite, clearly designed by Giacchino as a lead-in to the eventual Williams Imperial March in musical force by the time of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, combined with some some clear referencing to the kind of Wagnerian motifs also used through the Classic Trilogy. Only the film's Rebel Alliance theme feels a little weak in comparison to what had been previously established by Williams barnstorming saga main title, though it does work in conveying the kind of spirited music we've come to enjoy opening the likes of many classic against-the-odds World War II action films over the years.

Vader knows how to keep Krennic in line.

Beyond the admirable themes, there are some equally good incidental music to attract the ears over this twenty one track release from DISNEY MUSIC. With He's Here for Us: a sudden musical jolt effectively captures our attention, followed by a subtle build up to the arrival of the evil Orson Krennic and the Imperial powers at his command as his shuttle glides towards the peaceful and solitary world of Lah'mu, resulting in a desperate race by scientist Galen Erso and his family to escape capture - a strong opening prologue, with a hint of Jyn's theme echoing her often lonely destiny ahead, whilst the sequences set on the tense powder keg occupied world of Jedha make intriguing use of evocative and exotic instrumentation. As the older Jyn tries to rescue her father from the enemy, Confrontation on Eadu proves a tense and exciting mix of Giacchino themes and very subtle referencing to EPISODE IV...

Stormtroopers go flying in battle on Jedha.

Tributes to the original Williams music are indeed welcome and vital to the soundtrack, with clever partial usage of the Force theme where required, presumably following in the tradition of CASINO ROYALE, and composer David Arnold's building use of the recognisable James Bond theme in its satisfying entirety by that film's conclusion. There's also some notable links to EMPIRE's percussion frenzy Battle of Hoth with AT-ACT Assault, and a brief but lovely link to a certain much-missed female senator from Alderaan in Rogue One. And as Rebellion strengthens, an old enemy is revealed, as all-time great villain Darth Vader makes his presence felt subtly from his home on Mustafar, in Krennic's Aspirations.

Jyn brings new hope to Cassian and the Rebel Alliance.

The score's final three incidental tracks are certainly the best of the film. The Master Switch is tense and exciting as Jyn and Cassian retrieve the Death Star plans from the perilous vault on Scarif, whilst also under attack in their climb up to the citadel transmitter. This is followed by sadness, as our two heroes, despite their success and finding emotional redemption, prepare for their ultimate demise from the newly arrived super weapon, in the moving 'last sunset' of Your Father Would Be Proud - genuinely affecting and teary stuff. The onslaught of the enemy continues above the ravaged beauty of Scarif with an operatic choir signalling the return of Vader, bringing with him his macabre and truly savage dance of dance against the Rebel forces as they ultimately, though barely, escape with the transferred Death Star plans to a recognisable blockade runner, and the data card schematic now coming into the possession of a certain bold and beautiful princess. The Hope of the final title track resolutely ends the film and our enjoyment of the overall score on a spirited high.

AFICIONADO RATING: Okay, so unavoidable hints of LOST and his STAR TREK movie work may find their way in at times, but the ROGUE ONE soundtrack is regardless a genuine and rewarding triumph for Giacchino, and certainly ranks amongst his finest pieces of work so far. John Williams remains the one and only composer for the STAR WARS saga but this is a welcome addition to any fan's collection and proof that the new standalone anthology films can work musically with the right talents at the helm. Indeed, I'd be more than happy for Giacchino to do all the standalone scores for the foreseeable future. 4 out of 5

Get the soundtrack here: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Amazon.co.uk: Music

Michael Giacchino Caps a Busy Year With ‘Rogue One’ Score | Variety

Friday 30 December 2016


Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa- custodian of the stolen Death Star plans that will save her people and bring freedom to the galaxy...

She hated her onscreen hair buns, was frustrated that there was no underwear in space, was constantly fearful that she was too chubby, as well as being plagued with doubts and nerves about her performance in what was her first starring role- that George Lucas would ultimately replace her with another actress (having prior used her soon British friend Koo Stark in a salary negotiating fee with her US agent). Yet Carrie Fisher managed to find the strength to overcome all these problems during the 1976 shooting of the original STAR WARS at London's Elstree and Shepperton Studios to become much beloved by the cast and crew- camaraderie's shaped, and always the lifeblood of the party: funny, intelligent and sublimely quirky, and a one of the boys presence across four months partying hard as a night-time animal with lots of Diet Cokes, Fanta and copious amounts of pot to keep her going during the challenging and action fuelled events/work of making the space fantasy in the daytime, and, as recently confirmed, enjoying a compelling yet tinged with regret liaison with her handsome older and rugged co-star Harrison Ford that proved life-changing.

1975 dual auditioning for STAR WARS and CARRIE for directors George Lucas and Brian De Palma. Carrie is wearing the blonde wig for the latter.

Loving the original script she auditioned for, enjoying acting it out at home with her friends (including Jose Ferrer), making the most of the training she'd prior received at London's Central School of Speech and Drama to shape Leia's voice and regal poise, the potential of STAR WARS and the popularity of Leia was suddenly cemented when she saw the film take its final shape alongside John Williams vital and affirming score, and loving the theme he'd composed eagerly and happily presented to her by Lucas. Often cruising down past the Los Angeles cinemas to see the incredible lines waiting to see the film in its blockbuster box office smashing opening weeks of May 1977, Fisher was blown away by the ultimate destiny of STAR WARS and her position in it, especially as a cultural icon and as a sometimes unsettling merchandise opportunity that she had signed her likeness away to. Audiences and critics alike loved her portrayal- an icon and role model to girls and women and an all-time crush for boys and men who enjoyed her sassiness yet warmth, and all of whom loving her relatability as a person/actress, and as the heroic yet vulnerable character she played on screen...

Arriving in London, April 1976, to inherit those legendary "buns"!
Filming her first scenes within the Death Star corridors and sets with Dave Prowse as Darth Vader.
Enjoying a blooper with Peter Cushing.
Beware the Princess and her blaster!
Joking with Mark Hamill at the chasm set.
Scary but fun filming on harnesses for the chasm scene.
Corridor problems for our heroes on the Death Star.
Posing for a publicity session as filming continues at Shepperton in May 1976.
Make-up artist Kay Freeborn makes this beautiful Princess even more stunning.
Our heroes receive applause from their comrades in this rehearsal image. Image: STAR WARS ARCHIVES.
In the middle of filming, the STAR WARS cast pose for a publicity image.
Iconic shot of Leia at the Yavin IV base.
Comforted by General Dodonna (Alex McCrindle) in the Rebel War Room. Image: STAR WARS ARCHIVES.
Keeping her costume clean in between takes on the Rebel Hangar set at Shepperton.
Almost like brother and sister off set during filming. It's no secret that Hamill had a crush on Fisher.
A kiss for luck.
Lucas goes through the escape scene with Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew listening.
Carrie enjoys Mark's company on the Death Star hangar set at Elsree.
Always a tonic on set. Image: STAR WARS ARCHIVES.
Clowning about on the Millennium Falcon!
Another day wearing a wet suit under her outfit during the Trash Compactor scenes. Image: STAR WARS ARCHIVES.
Shooting her hologram scene against black backing.
Filming with Kenny Baker as R2 on the Blockade Runner set at Elstree, in July 1976.
One of Carrie's last major scenes to be filmed as Leia for STAR WARS -ironically the start of the actual movie!
The young stars of STAR WARS in Hamill and Fisher. Image: Ian Trussler.
Enjoying some sweets during one of the US publicity rounds for the film.

Thursday 29 December 2016


A lovely shot to celebrate Debbie Reynolds with Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd, for the book Hollywood Mums. Image by Joyce Ostin.

We'd already been kicked in the heart and guts with the sad passing of our Carrie, now we've truly been unfairly and miserably brought to the ground with the awful overnight news that her mother Debbie Reynolds, a screen legend in her own right, has also passed on, from stroke complications and obvious shock, just one day from her daughter's tragedy. The two had become an inseparable pairing these last few years- that they're gone is a true end of an era and a rotten conclusion to an horrendous 2016 that took so many people in the world of entertainment and life away from us so cruelly. On a positive note, I'd like to believe in one all powerful Force for good out there that they've gone to, and that Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds are happily together, warmly locked in both its loving embrace and its positive, all-prevailing enlightenment.

R.I.P., Debbie and Carrie, and truly sincerest condolences from STAR WARS AFICIONADO and fans worldwide to Billie Lourd, Todd Fisher and all their family and friends in this devastating time.

Carrie Fisher's mother Debbie Reynolds dies a day after her daughter | Daily Mail Online
Debbie Reynolds dead: Hollywood legend dies at 84
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher Through the Years
Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds: See their joint Oprah interview

Tuesday 27 December 2016


You left us all too soon. We'll miss you so much... R.I.P.

Carrie Fisher dead: Star Wars' Princess Leia dies at 60
[PHOTOS] Carrie Fisher’s Life and Career: Star Wars to Harry Met Sally | Variety
The best of Carrie Fisher on Twitter
Carrie Fisher Mourned by Debbie Reynolds, Billie Lourd | Variety

Carrie Fisher, Our Princess, Passes Away | StarWars.com
George Lucas praises 'powerful princess' Carrie Fisher
Mark Hamill Remembers Carrie Fisher in Touching Facebook Post
Carrie Fisher dead: Star Wars cast pays tribute
Carrie Fisher, Our Princess, Passes Away | StarWars.com
Carrie Fisher Remembered by ‘Star Wars’ Co-Star Harrison Ford | Variety
C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels: Carrie Fisher was 'a joy' - BBC News
Actor who played Chewbacca shares memories of Carrie Fisher | WFAA.com
Roger Christian Remembers Carrie Fisher - Jedi News
Carrie Fisher's former assistant shares tribute

A lovely tribute from Dave Filoni.

These Will Be Carrie Fisher's Final TV and Movie Roles | Vanity Fair
Carrie Fisher Had Finished Star Wars 8 Filming
Carrie Fisher tribute from J.J. Abrams
Carrie Fisher: Daisy Ridley pays tribute to Star Wars costar
Carrie Fisher: Adam Driver pays tribute
John Boyega on Carrie Fisher's Death: My Heart Is Heavy | E! News

Lovely tribute cover to Carrie Fisher for the US ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY magazine.

UPDATES and new footage/tributes - 5/1/2017

Carrie Fisher and George Michael: EW Pays Tribute

Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds to be buried together on Friday

Airing Jan 7th, 2017 on the US HBO channel: Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (HBO Documentary Films) - YouTube

Mark Hamill Remembers the “Crazy Things” He Did to Impress Carrie Fish | Vanity Fair

Carrie Fisher Emotional Tributes Around The World (Compilation) - PART 1 - YouTube
Carrie Fisher Emotional Tributes Around The World (Compilation) - PART 2 - YouTube
Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Tributes Around The World (Compilation) - PART 3 - YouTube
Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Tributes Around The World (Compilation) - PART 4 - YouTube

FLASHBACK EXCLUSIVE: Carrie Fisher and Daughter Bille Lourd's Cutest Moments Together - YouTube

Billie Lourd On How She Got A ‘Star Wars’ Role Without Help From Mom Carrie Fisher | TODAY - YouTube

UPDATES (10/1/17)

Debbie Reynolds Carrie Fisher Tribute The Golden Globes 2017 - YouTube

Golden Golbes 2017: JJ Abrams on Carrie Fisher

EXCLUSIVE: Joely Fisher On Golden Globes Tribute to Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds: 'I'm Proud and Sad'

Sunday 25 December 2016


Keeping with the ROGUE ONE theme whilst celebrating the Festive Season, the superlative Tsuneo Sanda strikes back (forgive the pun!) with this terrific art!


Let us also continue to send the most positive of vibes and best wishes out that we can to Carrie Fisher and her loved ones at this time...

STAR WARS AFICIONADO wishes all its worldwide readers a Merry Xmas and a prosperous 2017!


"None of this. None of this would be happening if it wasn't for George Lucas."

Complimentary words indeed from STAR WARS Anthology movie director Gareth Edwards about the original and unique "Rogue One" who beat the Hollywood system, and words that are more relevant to the saga and its creator than ever as it approaches its amazing Fortieth Anniversary in 2017. A franchise, a universe that all started when Lucas sat down in 1973, got his favourite pencils and writing pad out and started writing a fun little adventure that families could enjoy at the cinema.

And look what that has become...


At Pinewood Studios circa March/April 2016, Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy and EPISODE VIII producer Ram Bergman discuss an upcoming scene set on one of the Resistance control room sets, presumably in one of their space cruisers, what with events continuing straight from EPISODE VII, and our heroes fled into space whilst being pursued by the First Order.


Star Wars 8 is so secret, Mark Hamill says it's like working for the CIA | GamesRadar+

John Boyega: "The next Star Wars will be bigger and darker."

Rumor: First Tidbits About Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran's Characters in 'Episode VIII' | The Star Wars Underworld

This is when we'll finally get a Star Wars: Episode VIII trailer — moviepilot.com

Kathleen Kennedy Speaks With The BBC About Episode VIII And Han Solo Movie - Jedi News

Kathleen Kennedy Confirms Part of Episode VIII will be Filmed in Mexico and Reveals Two Actors who will Reprise Their Roles! | Star Wars News Net

Star Wars 8 Director Defends the Prequel Trilogy

Rian Johnson's teasing shot for EPISODE VIII, and a certain Jedi.

Details on New Star Wars Episode 8 Aliens

Star Wars 8: Did Lucasfilm accidentally reveal the title of Episode VIII? | The Independent

Star Wars: Carrie Fisher’s Daughter Has A Larger Role In Episode 8

Star Wars 8: Why Adam Driver doesn't want you to see new trailer | The Week UK

News - Talk Star Wars

Star Wars Episode VIII leak: Has Supreme Leader Snoke revealed he is related to Luke Skywalker?

Star Wars Episode VIII secrets emerge | Warwick Davis confirms role

J.J. Abrams Regrets Not Directing the Next Star Wars Films

Star Wars 8 set photos | GamesRadar+

Saturday 24 December 2016


STAR WARS AFICIONADO was mortified to hear the terrible news of Carrie Fisher's heart attack yesterday. As with all STAR WARS fans worldwide, our hopes and prayers go out to her and her loved ones during this awful time, and we truly wish Carrie a full recovery - we want to see you back to your own inimitable style of wit and wisdom, alongside superpooch Gary, for next year's Fortieth Anniversary, and the return of Leia for EPISODE VIII.

Carrie Fisher in 'intensive care' after heart attack on flight to LA | Culture | The Guardian

Friday 23 December 2016


She may have had a tragic and isolated childhood, but Jyn Erso would eventually strike back against the dreaded Empire as a bold resistance fighter, becoming mentor Saw Gerrera's finest combat protege in the process. Her courage and faith in a rebellion built on hope is heavily tested but ultimately shines through during the dramatic and explosive events of ROGUE ONE.

Follow her emotional life journey and mission to rescue her father and retrieve the Death Star plans from Imperial hands in the striking novel adaptation of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY by Alexander Freed, out now in hardback from CENTURY.

Go beyond the film with a novelization featuring new scenes and expanded material.

As the shadows of the Empire loom ever larger across the galaxy, so do deeply troubling rumors. The Rebellion has learned of a sinister Imperial plot to bring entire worlds to their knees. Deep in Empire-dominated space, a machine of unimaginable destructive power is nearing completion. A weapon too terrifying to contemplate . . . and a threat that may be too great to overcome.

If the worlds at the Empire’s mercy stand any chance, it lies with an unlikely band of allies: Jyn Erso, a resourceful young woman seeking vengeance; Cassian Andor, a war-weary rebel commander; Bodhi Rook, a defector from the Empire’s military; Chirrut Ïmwe, a blind holy man and his crack-shot companion, Baze Malbus; and K-2SO, a deadly Imperial droid turned against its former masters. In their hands rests the new hope that could turn the tide toward a crucial Rebellion victory―if only they can capture the plans to the Empire’s new weapon.

But even as they race toward their dangerous goal, the specter of their ultimate enemy―a monstrous world unto itself―darkens the skies. Waiting to herald the Empire’s brutal reign with a burst of annihilation worthy of its dreaded name: Death Star.


Gareth Edwards and cast attend the stylish ROGUE ONE premiere in China. Image: STARWARS.COM.

Rounding out the year with more ROGUE ONE goodness!


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "Locations" Featurette - YouTube

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Official Chinese Trailer - YouTube

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS China Premiere - Donnie Yen Interview (2015) - YouTube

Alan Tudyk: K-2SO Almost Had A Cockney Accent @ TeamCoco.com

Conan O'Brien Presents: Team Coco @ TeamCoco.com

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Diego Luna exclusive interview - YouTube

This Dramatic New Trailer For Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Features 46 Shots That Didn't Make The Film

Miss Jones and friend in Tokyo for its premiere.

Online articles:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Is All About the Death Star Plans, Which Are Terrible | WIRED

Did Rogue One Make a Mistake By Leaving Out Star Wars's Opening Crawl? | Vanity Fair

'Rogue One' Is Actually a World War II Movie

'Rogue One': How Admiral Raddus was created - Business Insider

Rogue One Droid K-2SO Is Taking the Star Wars World By Storm | TIME

You’ll Never Guess Which Actor Had a Sneaky Rogue One Cameo | Vanity Fair

Rogue One Reveals Rebel Military Tactics Need Some Work | WIRED

How The Rogue One Scripts Were Different From The Movie


Three High Resolution Images Of Star Wars Rebels Cameos In Rogue One - Jedi News


In the densely packed underground realms of the Ring of Kafrene, Cassian Andor's contact from Jedha, Tivik, aware that his life is on the line, reveals shocking news about the Death Star, in a tense scene from ROGUE ONE that effectively introduces both the hardened Rebel Captain and his infiltration techniques to viewers, and sets up the gritty nature of the story and characters ahead.

Tivik would be played by Daniel Mays, a popular British actor, no stranger to science fiction with the likes of the BBC's DOCTOR WHO and OUTCASTS, as well as an appearance of the animated kind in Spielberg's TINTIN.

This whole sequence was added on in reshoots, making Cassian a tougher and edgier character, and at a time when the character of Bodhi Rook was additionally being reworked into the story. With the exception of the new Visual Guide and book, very little imagery or mention of this sequence/planet is in the ROGUE ONE merchandise/books to have been released so far...

Thursday 22 December 2016


At the backlot of Pinewood, on the specially created village of Jakku, J.J. Abrams and his crew prepare to film the ultimately deleted moment where John Boyega's conflicted FN-2187 raises his weapon against a terrified villager holding a baby but ultimately lets her go- a scene available to view once more within the Deleted Scenes package of THE FORCE AWAKENS' all-new Collector's Edition set.

The deleted scene from the Jakku Village.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Deleted Scenes Teaser - YouTube

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Collector's Edition Blu-ray 3D Region Free: Amazon.co.uk: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, J.J. Abrams: DVD & Blu-ray