Sunday 31 December 2017
SPOILER ALERT! Their ideologies and strengths may be firmly rooted at different and divisive ends of the Force, but Rey and Kylo Ren soon have common ground against an enemy they must fight together, in a spectacular scene from The Last Jedi that maintains and builds on the epic lightsaber duels legacy of the past previously created by Peter Diamond, Bob Anderson, and Nick Gillard. Surely one of the jaw-dropping and spectacular stand-out sequences from VIII, which got much rousing audience applause from the packed cinema audiences I've so far seen the film with...
Great fan art by Ila Fox. Her Twitter page: https://twitter.com/ila_fox
|Leaked publicity art for the film?|
With the first teaser imminent, here's a small amount of recent news for the next cinematic adventure of the Star Wars Story series:
|2017 filming of Lando in the Falcon, making the jump to lightspeed.|
|Ron Howard with a US cinema teaser poster for Solo.|
Sunday 24 December 2017
Still the only icon droids of the Star Wars universe in our book, we join a very festive Threepio and Artoo in wishing all STAR WARS AFICIONADO readers...
Happy Christmas and a very prosperous New Year!
He killed his father with requisite hatred, yet the Dark Side of the Force is still not strong enough within Kylo Ren to win the full favour of his master in Supreme Leader Snoke. Equally, Ren's fascination with the mysterious girl Rey clouds his mind yet also fuels his anger. All of these elements of emotion and anger satisfyingly combine in numerous memorable scenes during The Last Jedi, part of a layered film story that truly plays to Adam Driver's intense acting skills- still one of the very best characters/actors of this new and evolving saga.
Saturday 23 December 2017
In the darkened main deck of the Millennium Falcon on Ahch-To, the weary Luke Skywalker contemplates the loss of Han Solo and the tragedy of Kylo Ren. Thankfully, his old and trusty friend in Artoo Detoo is able to provide sprightly if somewhat ripe argumentative support and encouragement.
Lovely art from Brian Rood for a lovely moment from The Last Jedi.
New Mark Hamill online chat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juUXM5EnXOY
The last news and interesting features gathering for this year on The Last Jedi.
Kelly Marie Tran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFxZb-GHbrQ
Mark Hamill answers random questions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqpmIzjkoUY
Hamill, Ridley, Boyega, Christie on The Graham Norton Show UK (contains some adult humour):
Additional US premiere interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlhU5d-qMN4&feature=youtu.be
|Hamill and company on the UK Graham Norton chat show.|
Mark Kermode review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F24byGT3rlI
SPOILERS: Hamill talk: https://www.onenewspage.com/video/20171221/9436338/Hamill-Talks-About-Last-Jedi-Ending.htm
Cameo list: www.eonline.com/news/900441/star-wars-the-last-jedi-celebrity-cameo-guide
Deleted scenes for Blu-ray: http://www.slashfilm.com/star-wars-the-last-jedi-deleted-scenes/
Rian Johnson interview: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-star-wars-last-jedi-spoilers-20171218-htmlstory.html
Rian Johnson BBC Radio talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuCcm3SUwU0
People TV article: http://people.com/peopletv/video/bs/00000160-126d-df90-a7e0-567d141d0000/star-wars-the-last-jedi/
Additional US premiere interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlhU5d-qMN4&feature=youtu.be
|The Battle of Crait as portrayed in new IMAX US promo art for The Last Jedi cinema release. Art by Dan Mumford.|
More on the enigmatic Snoke: ew.com/movies/2017/12/17/star-wars-last-jedi-spoilers-snoke-killed-theories/2/
Hamill talk: http://collider.com/george-lucas-star-wars-sequels-the-last-jedi/
Controversy with the new film: https://www.cnet.com/news/star-wars-the-last-jedi-was-upsetting-heres-why/
Costume design: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/last-jedi-costume-designer-his-inspiration-1068776
Entertainment Weekly additional articles link: http://www.jedinews.co.uk/film-music-tv/articles/last-jedi-ew-snoke-finnphasma-battle-hamills-second-role/
Friday 22 December 2017
A striking and memorable female character beyond the colour of her hair and distinctive costuming, Laura Dern certainly made an impact onscreen as brave and considered Resistance leader Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, for the vital middle act of The Last Jedi.
|Audiences gather for the London cinematic arrival of Star Wars.|
With the original theatrical release of Star Wars in 1977, it had felt as if the entire western world had seen the movie before the peoples of the UK, who didn't get to immerse themselves into its epic excitement in full release until early 1978, and then only after a special exclusive engagement in West End London venues (including the Leicester Square Theater and the Dominion Theater) that started on 27th December, 1977. Whilst the snobily elitist critics pretty much derided the film as well made but ultimately childish hokum that was beneath them, the general punter UK audiences were blown away by Star Wars, finding that it was truly worth the wait and had fully lived up to months of prior expectations, and via a building publicity machine that knew something big was on its transatlantic way back in the Summer.
|Outside the Dominion Theater, Tottenham Court Road.|
Star Wars had come to the UK. And it was here to stay...
This is AFICIONADO's final entry celebrating the original 1977 release of Star Wars in its Fortieth Anniversary. We hope you've enjoyed this highly informative journey of love and nostalgia...
Thursday 21 December 2017
Finally, a main Star Wars movie heroine gets to man one of the Millennium Falcon's quad gun turrets: Rey hitting back hard at attacking enemy forces on Crait, in a crowd-pleasing moment from the near-finale to The Last Jedi.
|Tiffany Kurtz and Jawa colleague inspect Anthony Daniels as Threepio, on location in Nefta for the original Star Wars.|
To go on holiday with your parents and watch them working on a cinematic endeavour that will soon become legendary must have been exciting enough for Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz's two daughters Melissa and Tiffany, as well as mixing with old and new greats like Mark Hamill and Sir Alec Guinness, but then to actually appear in the film playing such iconic alien characters as the scruffy Jawas must have been a total blast for them back in March/April 1976, most notably during the shooting of the Jawa Sandcrawler sale start of filming at the Salt Flats of Nefta, and also as background extras in the streets of Mos Eisley (in reality, the small Tunisian Djerba fishing village) a sort time later.
|Playing the Chief Jawa, Jack Purvis gives acting advice to Melissa and Tiffany Kurtz at the location.|
|Behind the scenes with mum Meredith Kurtz.|
|Gary Kurtz helps make an adjustment to one of his daughter's (presumably Tiffany) Jawa costumes, as Anthony Daniels is unmasked (background).|
|The sisters on location.|
|Tiffany with Mark Hamill and Sir Alec and Lady Merula Guinness in a filming break.|
Youtube interview with Gary and Meredith Kurtz, with Tiffany in Jawa costume:
Wednesday 20 December 2017
|To us, she will always be royalty. Art by Joe Corroney.|
Next week (the 27th December, 2017) sees the first year of our Star Wars life without Carrie Fisher's incredible presence, and her tragic passing still feels like a raw and very open wound for all of us emotionally. Thankfully, we have her terrific performance as General Leia Organa in The Last Jedi to savour, and we can enjoy Leia/Fisher's legacy for years, decades, to come- their work not just to be enjoyed by the current generations of fans, but by the many more generations who will watch it on Blu-ray, HD, streaming, VR, or on TV screens- and be equally smitten, influenced and enthused by a character and actress so formidably fused together and integral to the franchise's success and legacy.
There are no plans to have a CGI version of Fisher/Leia with the upcoming EPISODE IX, despite the character's ultimately successful youthful CGI appearance pre-EP IV in Rogue One, a scenario approved of by Carrie Fisher, which happened amidst still continuing controversial debate about the use of CGI likenesses in Hollywood - especially those of film star icons no longer with us, of which Miss Fisher had only just passed away with Rogue's release- a tragic situation that then added further fuel to the fire in the war against CGI which Lucasfilm and ILM were caught up in. Yes, Leia can now be effectively written out of the saga with the way that writer/director Rian Johnson has forged the ending of The Last Jedi- indeed, she can be elsewhere when the final battle between the Resistance and the First Order plays out, but I think that it's unfair to fans of Leia, fans of Carrie, and fans of the Classic Trilogy in general, to end it that way full stop- that Leia will not have a part to play somewhere, even if briefly, in ending the First Order with the Resistance she so so vitally set-up to fight it.
I can't believe that the brilliant technicians at ILM can't find outtake filming footage from the past two Star Wars films and put her in IX somewhere (even if on a viewscreen to talk to the other Resistance heroes, for one last important moment and/or farewell scene). With so much recorded talk with Carrie over the years, the idea that sound design talents like Matthew Wood and his team can't get some dialogue together, alongside mild CGI lip movement superimposition, seems crazy in this kind of film-making technological age that George Lucas and STAR WARS helped revolutionize. The work done by Sony to put the late Paul Walker into the seventh The Fast and the Furious film proved nothing short of brilliant. I can't believe that Lucasfilm/Disney can't do the same for one final cameo appearance for Leia/Fisher.
STAR WARS AFICIONADO asks Disney, Kathleen Kennedy, and J.J. Abrams to reconsider their decision of not having Leia in the sequel trilogy finale, so as to give the character and Miss Fisher's contribution a more unique and special final send-off to fans. One that will end the Skywalker family plotline more efficiently whilst also being even more emotionally satisfying for 2019.
Gone, but never to be forgotten:
|The special memorial earlier this month to Carrie at the Chinese Theatre.|
On their way to attack the newly arrived First Order fleet above D'Qar, the brave heroes of the Resistance bomber squadron, and their fighter support, are brutally attacked by TIE fighters and heavy enemy cannon fire, in this superb poster conceptual art by James Clyne for The Last Jedi, later used as part of a US exclusive limited run art collection for the US Toys 'R' Us chain.
Capturing the essence of STAR WARS legendary space battles as well as visual inspirations from the very real World War II era that George Lucas first transplanted into a galaxy far, far away back in 1977, this all-new conceptual art, featuring other superb pieces by James Clyne (and his distinguished colleagues), can be seen in all their lavish glorious within the newly released The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a true celebration of dreams and creativity compiled with love, pride and informative awe by Phil Szostak, out now from ABRAMS.
Get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515500480&sr=1-6&keywords=the+art+of+the+last+jedi
Out in Tunisia in late March 1976, the droids' escape pod (which looks very similar, if smaller, to one of the pod vehicles seen in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey) is positioned in one of the sand dunes by the original Star Wars primary UK practical special effects supervisor John Stears (bearded) and an unknown colleague, soon dirtied up with crash impact sand and other prop dressings, even if the end results are barely noticeable on screen during the finished film.
Find out more about John Stears involvement in the original film here:
Tuesday 19 December 2017
|The Last Jedi - now playing in cinemas worldwide!|
Anyone who's so far seen the spectacular visual feast that is The Last Jedi will know that there are still lots of questions and mysteries about the story, characters and its overall continuation from The Force Awakens that haven't yet been answered. Hopefully, those creative people at the Lucasfilm Story Group will be given extended reign to explore and reveal at least some of the missing pieces of this intriguing puzzle through the continuing officially licensed book ranges delving deep into the evolving STAR WARS legacy, especially for this Christmas, most notably with Pablo Hidalgo's Visual Dictionary book for the new movie, alongside a whole host of other terrific DK BOOK goodies successfully and strikingly closing out this year's satisfying merchandising aspect of the film with style, via their unique, across ages publishing program of four books.
Here's the details:
THE VISUAL DICTIONARY
Star Wars: The Last Jedi™ The Visual Dictionary is the definitive guide to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, revealing the characters, creatures, droids, locations, and technology from the new film. Packed with 100+ images and information as penned by Star Wars™ scribe Pablo Hidalgo, it's a must-have for all fans who want to go beyond the movie experience.
Get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-JediTM-Visual-Dictionary/dp/0241281091/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513686508&sr=1-2&keywords=the+last+jedi+visual+guide
INCREDIBLE VISUAL DICTIONARY
This beautiful hardback book reveals the inner workings of 13 key vehicles from Episode VIII of the Star Wars™ saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi™. Each vehicle is shown as an intricately detailed, full-colour cross-section artwork, complete with callouts to the important features of each ship. Clear, comprehensive text makes this an indispensable reference guide for the new craft in the Star Wars galaxy.
Get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-JediTM-Incredible-Cross-Sections/dp/0241281075/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513686508&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+jedi+visual+guide
HEROES OF THE GALAXY (DK READER - LEVEL 2)
Follow the exciting adventures of Rey, Finn and Rose in the highly anticipated new film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi™! This 48-page book is aimed at helping young readers develop their reading skills, and will introduce them to brand new heroes, villains, vehicles and locations, as well as featuring children's much-loved favourite characters.
Get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/JediTM-Heroes-Galaxy-Readers-Level/dp/0241281024/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513686738&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+jedi+HEROES+OF+THE+GALAXY
ULTIMATE STICKER COLLECTION
This 72-page sticker book includes more than 1,000 stickers of main characters, locations, vehicles and props. Featuring all-new content from the highly anticipated film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi™!
Get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-JediTM-Ultimate-Sticker-Collection/dp/0241281083/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513686942&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+jedi+ultimate+sticker+collection
To say the original Star Wars didn't have the greatest of starts during early filming in March and April 1976 would be a colossal understatement. There was all-changing weather conditions (from rain to snow to heat), flooding, ropey accommodation, poor food leading to dysentery at the Tunisian location, and the production itself had malfunctioning robot props alongside barely tested and complex costumes (notably for C-3PO), plus early disagreements between George Lucas and his second choice cinematographer Gil Taylor. Yet, despite all this, the presence of Sir Alec Guinness, intrigued by the film and assured by the quality of its director in the young and shy visionary Lucas, brought with him a welcome sense of relief and trust. Always down to earth and a veteran of many difficult location shoots, the wise actor, playing the wise Jedi of Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi, inspired people, especially his young co-star Mark Hamill, already in awe of the acting legend but nonetheless striking up a great friendship that ultimately lasted beyond the completion of the Classic Trilogy...
Monday 18 December 2017
He may be the fastest and most skilled pilot of the Resistance, but even Poe Dameron needs the help of his trusty X-wing mechanic sidekick and loyal friend BB-8 to get him out of tight spots from time to time, as seen in the exciting opening to The Last Jedi.
BB-8 gets the classic saga line:
On a hastily built set within a downtown Los Angeles studio, George Lucas and fellow film-making chum Carroll Ballard (later director of the children's classic, The Black Stallion) as his director of photography, prepare to film a 24th January, 1977 shot of a Hammerhead creature for an aliens insert scene set in the Mos Eisley Cantina, for the original Star Wars.
Sunday 17 December 2017
Some more great artwork for The Last Jedi, several pieces of which were used for the American IMAX promotional tickets campaign...
Certainly blessed with two of the nicest smiles you could ever see, it was a pleasure to watch Daisy Ridley and John Boyega being introduced to the STAR WARS saga, bonding as characters and friends on and off screen, with The Force Awakens, and now witnessing the actors developing as icons in their own right for The Last Jedi.
Happy UK release Anniversary today to The Force Awakens!
The classic space fighter craft of the original STAR WARS, most notably Darth Vader's unique TIE fighter, are locked in fierce combat around the Death Star, as seen in this special composition work that was used for various promotional/poster items in 1977 going into 1978, especially for Coca-Cola and in the later Japanese marketing.
Having done much of the laser blasts/engine airbrushing to effects composite publicity shots at that time, we assume artist Ralph McQuarrie was involved in this great poster too...
Saturday 16 December 2017
As darkness rises to meet the challenge of light within a galaxy far, far away, fans can discover the next phase of the STAR WARS saga's artistic genesis with the newly-released The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, out now in gorgeous hardback, courtesy of those luminous talents at Abrams Books.
From the shorelines of the ancient islands of Ahch-To, to the pursued Resistance forces out in deep space, then on to the wacky races Casino realms of Canto Bight, completed by the red salt world visitation of the remote Crait, home to one of the most spectacular good and evil confrontations ever, this book, written by Phil Szostak, is your lavish personal gateway to how writer/director Rian Johnson and his magnificent ensemble artists brought us such a wondrous and epic new chapter of the franchise, playing in cinemas worldwide as you read this...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered box-office records as one of the highest-grossing films of all time, and its eagerly awaited sequel, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is sure to do the same. Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, The Brothers Bloom, Brick) and production designed by Rick Heinrichs (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Captain America: The First Avenger), this chapter, like every chapter before it, owes its visual language and fully imagined cinematic landscape to an incomparable art department: the Lucasfilm visualists. The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi explores their vision and illuminates their creative process in stunning detail. Featuring concept art and costume sketches, storyboards, and blueprints, fans will take a deep dive into the development of the fantastic worlds, characters, and creatures both old and new of The Last Jedi. Featuring unforgettable art and exclusive interviews with the filmmakers, this visual archive highlights moviemaking magic at its finest.
Get the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1513443102&sr=8-4&keywords=the+art+of+the+last+jedi
|Original TV Guide advert for The Making of Star Wars.|
With the incredible production design, special effects, monsters and droids on display which caught the imagination of the world, it wasn't long before audiences wanted to know more about the smash-hit movie and how such cinematic magic came to be made. Knowing a ratings winner when they saw one, ABC Television were quick to have a special 'Making of' documentary, airing September 16th, 1977, that went behind the (Panavision) camera of the landmark epic, specially interviewing George Lucas, Gary Kurtz, and the three main youthful leads, as well as featuring lively all-new linking material/interplay featuring Anthony Daniels as C-3PO alongside the three-legged remote controlled Artoo. One of the many other pluses for the show was seeing deleted scene footage for the first time, like Biggs and Luke together on Tatooine.
The Stormtrooper body count is always going to be high with freedom fighter Jyn Erso about, as this image from the now legendary Battle of Scarif shows (linked to an ultimately deleted sequence). Great art, from Brian Rood, which would be used for all kind of 2016 merchandising.
Happy UK First Anniversary to that opening anthology film success that is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!
Friday 15 December 2017
The two-year wait is over for US fans. Enjoy The Last Jedi!
Movie preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v-nld9nlu4
Hamill interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve6BHUGikHY
Ridley interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HwylTrT4LU
Driver interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojhO2pF5vCo
Domnhall and Serkis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y76ulH49gH8
Johnson interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl1ZuOmXVns
Johnson, Isaac and Dern interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_Y9oTZJG0c
Christie and Daniels on Alan Carr chat show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tH7i8Ri7A8
Marie Tran talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8CshkZuzDk
Cast talk deleted scenes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3g2dWNBqU4
UK Graham Norton show preview:
|As Mardji appeared in the film- a still linked to the film's international release.|