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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

ROGUE ONE: ON LONG PATROL!


On one of the rocky desert outcrops of the planet Jedha, a lone Imperial Sandtrooper keys an eye on the horizon and a look out for any hidden Rebel fighters, in this deleted scene moment shot early on during location filming for Rogue One - A Star Wars Story.

Concept art of the Jedha Camel creature.

In the original version of Rogue One, Stormtroopers were to be seen riding long-legged camel aliens, indigenous creatures of the planet. It was a sequence concept designed and the troopers were filmed on location for later digital insertion of the beasts, but the sequence was ultimately cut.

Images of the creatures and their mounts would also appear in the STAR WARS Galactic Atlas book that came out with the cinema release.

Unused live action filming with rough concept art overlay by Matt Allsopp.


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

EPISODE VIII: A 'ROSE' BY ANY OTHER NAME...


Dedicated in her duty to preserve the remnants of the Resistance, mechanic now heroine Rose Tico joins former Stormtrooper Finn on an on important and perilous mission undercover aboard the enemy's immense flagship, the Supremacy, posing as a top ranking First Order officer, where, on and off camera, she'd impeccably wear a military outfit for The Last Jedi in a way that impressed the film's legendary costume designer, Michael Kaplan.

Finn takes the lead navigating the Supremacy.

The original sequence of Rose and Finn on the Supremacy was ultimately truncated down for time and pacing reasons from the The Last Jedi's final cut, but you'll be able to see the deleted scenes (part of fourteen assembled) on next month's Blu-ray/DVD/release from Lucasfilm/DISNEY. Before that, however, you can read all about it, and so much more great adventure besides, within the eagerly-awaited novel from SW stalwart Jason Fry, presented in a special 'Extended Edition' novel adaptation containing all-new material officially sanctioned by writer/director Rian Johnson and the dedicated Lucasfilm Story Group. The CENTURY hardcover release in the UK is March 8th, 2018.


Get The Last Jedi - Expanded Edition here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Jedi-Expanded-Star-Wars-ebook/dp/B075MSKLS3/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1519655077&sr=8-2&keywords=the+last+jedi+book


Monday, 26 February 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: TURNING THE TIDE...


Two seemingly hapless droids lost in the forests of Endor? No problem in apprehending them, or so the Imperial Stormtrooper squad thought. Of course, that was before they had their heads clubbed in by a surprise force of intent-on-violence enthused Ewok warriors, in this fun scene from Return of the Jedi.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

EPISODE VIII: RESISTANCE RED ARROWS!


Old and clunky their latest speeder vehicles may be, but the heroism of the Resistance against the First Oder continues, as seen in this gorgeous piece of aerial art from the Battle of Crait, during the sweeping finale to the The Last Jedi.

Though the sequence was a tour de force for ILM's visual effects, its accompanying sound was as equally important, and no less striking. Find out more about its conception for the film, here:

http://comicbook.com/starwars/2018/02/17/star-wars-documentary-the-last-jedi-sound-effects/

http://www.starwars.com/news/abc-news-nightline-explores-the-force-of-sound

Image: Vanity Fair magazine.

Though looking forward, this brief featurette also looks back to the work for the original STAR WARS saga pioneered by sound designer Ben Burtt. Sadly, this great talent, always enthused about the importance of sound in all types of films, has seemingly been poorly and disappointingly treated by Disney/Lucasfilm since the franchise takeover of recent years, if this recent Vanity Fair article is anything go by:

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/12/ben-burtt-star-wars-sound

With thanks to Chris Baker for the feature link.

CLASSIC ART: DARKNESS FALLS!


The George Lucas cinematic STAR WARS saga may have ended in 2005 but its legacy continues to resonate and attract all-new fans, especially linked to the Prequels. Despite that trilogy's all-too-harsh critics, there still exists a massive and healthy fan base inspiring fierce loyalty and commendable celebration of its best aspects, and especially linked to its most popular entry, the epic finale that was Revenge of the Sith, the film's heroism and darkness so well captured in this great poster art by Jerry Vandersteldt for one of the Celebration conventions a few years back.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: INTRUDER IN THE SNOW!


The snowy, freezing plains of Hoth are deadly enough, now a new foe has entered the environment: the all-seeing, all-searching Imperial Probe Droid on its silent and creepy surveillance mission, as seen in the Norway-filmed opening to The Empire Strikes Back.


CLASSIC INDY: UNFRIENDLY E.T.s!


The latest 'Mcguffin' created by George Lucas for the most recent (so far) Indiana Jones adventure, which saw our older hero's timeline shift to the late 1950's and a return to an unsolved mystery from a decade earlier- one that soon sees him incredibly experiencing beings from beyond our world - the emergence of the Crystal Skull, as seen in this spooky teaser poster/merchandise art mixing science fiction and primitive etchings, for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!

Friday, 23 February 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES: IN TWI'LEK COMPANY


In the corridor outside the Supreme Chancellor's office set at the Fox Studios, Australia, Matt Rowan as Senator Orn Free Ta enjoys the company of some of his fellow Twi-lek companions, in a fun moment shot by the EPISODE II documentary team during filming in 2000.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

'SOLO': INTRODUCING THE OLD/NEW 'FALCON'!


Back in the old days of the original Expanded Universe, acclaimed author James Luceno wrote a great backstory scene for his legacy tie-in novel Millennium Falcon where a young Han Solo discovered the Millennium Falcon for the first time, and knew that he had to have her - that his destiny lie with the magnificent yet beaten-up ship. With the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, let's hope we get to see an on-screen moment that's both similar and subtly emotional.


Paying tribute once again to Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston's 1975 evolving designs for the ship. the original version of the Falcon, owned by Lando Calrissian, looks more gleamy and new than we've seen before, alongside a back history that will surely be interestingly revealed.


More on the design here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZAryCaRE3k&index=3&list=PL148kCvXk8pBjG-JOhlIU6rWzLyA2O2an&t=0s

The design history of the Falcon:

https://kitbashed.com/blog/a-complete-history-of-the-millennium-falcon

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

EPISODE VIII: COMING TO BLU-RAY, DIGITAL AND DVD - MARCH/APRIL 2018!



It's almost here- The Last Jedi's arrival in the US market, on enough viewing formats 'to fill a space cruiser'!

More details and various exclusives artwork: 
http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-the-last-jedi-comes-home

Let's hope the combined extras are better here than the all-too-short batch created for the Rogue One Blu-ray release- which only came to a miserly hour and a bit, and no sign on the horizon whatsoever of the kind of 'Special Edition' release treatment it so thoroughly deserved!

UK cover art -Resistance sleeve- for The Last Jedi on Blu-ray.

They may have openly and positively declared the spectacular London premiere of The Last Jedi their best event staging yet, and box office receipts were certainly huge, but when it comes to releasing the film in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD, Lucasfilm/Disney are either lacking in interest or certainly short-changing the territory and its dedicated buyers with its longer release date of April 9th. The kind of lavish promotion and publicity will once more be minimal, with little innovation or thought to great exclusives for fans- so far, the best we can hope for is the 'Resistance'/'First Order' style alternate covers for online purchasers, and, perhaps, the odd exclusive cover for HMV and its affiliates. A pretty poor showing...

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: COMES THE DAWN...


Padme looks to the awoken dawn of Tatooine, as young Anakin and Artoo prepare to make the final adjustments to his pod racer for the day's upcoming race- a deleted scene moment from EPISODE I that appeared in only partial form on the eventual DVD release.


Monday, 19 February 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: UNFRIENDLY GESTURES!


He said things 'could get a little rough', and Ben wasn't kidding, as Luke finds out during an unfortunate incident with wanted criminals 'Ugly Human' (aka Doctor Evazan) and 'Walrus Man' (aka Ponda Baba), in an intriguing Cantina scene angle not seen in the finished Star Wars.

Alfie Curtis's original UK UGLY agency showcase advert from the seventies.

I was sad to hear of the recent passing of Alfie Curtis, who played Evazan, at the end of last year:

https://www.fanthatracks.com/news/film-music-tv/alfie-curtis-dr-evazan-passed-away/

A look at the human characters of the Cantina: http://www.starwars.com/news/meet-the-humans-from-the-mos-eisley-cantina

EP VIII: ROUNDY'S RETURN!



From breaking out jailed heroes to saving human buddy Poe Dameron, then formidably controlling an AT-ST Walker into battle, ever-lovable, ever-cute BB-8's scene-stealing talents continued to an even greater degree during events of  The Last Jedi. 'Roundy' even got to utter a now classic STAR WARS line:

comicbook.com/starwars/2017/12/16/star-wars-the-last-jedi-bb8-i-have-a-bad-feeling-about-this/

He's now a unique culinary cover star, too - for an all-new family breakfast cookbook linked to the heroes of the new sequel trilogy, part of Chronicle Books' continuing SW themed series:


Out now, here's the info:

Awaken your inner Force with 29 intergalactic breakfast recipes. Fuel up with Hans Soloatmeal, battle hunger with Admiral Ackbars, and so much more! These easy-to-make, mouthwatering recipes feature characters and scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And photographs featuring Star Wars figurines re-creating epic moments from the films provide an extra helping of humour.
Recipes include: 
C-3PO at Pancakes
Parfait de Resistance
Maz Kanata Frittata
Luggabeast of a Quiche
Reysin Bread
Breakfast Poe’Boy
Kanjiklub Sandwiches
Breakfast Tako-danas

Get The Star Wars Cookbook here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Cookbook-BB-Ate-Breakfast/dp/1452162980/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519042742&sr=8-1&keywords=star+wars+cookbook 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

SKULL-DUGGERY! 'INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL' AT TEN!

European teaser poster.

As top secret pre-production gears up for the next installment of the Indiana Jones series, STAR WARS AFICIONADO celebrates on and off through 2018 the Tenth Anniversary of Indy's prior globe-trotting box-office success adventure, which sent him on a quest to find a missing friend, get reunited with an old flame, and discover the joys of parenthood! Yes, it's time to go back to the fifties, and wearily tread the misty jungles leading to The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!

THE CLONE WARS: AN UNLIKELY LEADER, INDEED...


The Clone Troopers are getting used to their new 'leader' in Jar Jar Binks, as their mission to negotiate and release the captured Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan from pirates continues, during the memorable The Clone Wars episode, The Gungan General.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

EPISODE VII: IN FIGHTING MODE!


Soon getting the hang of Han Solo's blaster gift, an angry Rey proves a fine shot at felling enemy Stormtroopers within the forests of Takodana, in this great image from The Force Awakens.

COMING SOON: 'SOLO - LAST SHOT'


He's been an important and enduring part of the Expanded Universe of STAR WARS original novels since 1978/79, so it's great to see an all-new prequel era adventure for Han Solo, with lovable Chewbacca and smooth-operator Lando Calrissian tagging along: Last Shot, coming out just in time before the cinematic release of Solo: A Star Wars Story in May 2018.

Here's the latest press info on Last Shot from UK STAR WARS book release giants Century:

Han Solo and Lando Calrissian star in an action-packed novel that ties into the new Han Solo film - due to release May 25, 2018.

Han Solo and Chewbacca team up with the galaxy’s most charming rogue, Lando Calrissian, in an epic novel that spans decades – set both around the events of the new Han Solo film and years later, after Return of the Jedi.


Read the full announcement here: 



Get Last Shot in UK hardback (from April 19th, 2018) here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079VVP9GX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518873328&sr=8-1&keywords=STAR+WARS+LAST+SHOT+SHOT

Friday, 16 February 2018

'STAR WARS' BEGINS! A LOOK BACK TO 'MIDAMERICON' 1976

Mark Hamill wearing the classic McQuarrie The Star Wars T-shirt in 1976.

Superb footage has recently materialized online via FANAC Fan History from the now legendary MidAmeriCon II - World Science Fiction Convention 34 event in Kansas City of 1976, featuring a high-spirited Mark Hamill, informative producer Gary Kurtz and the film's dedicated publicist Charles Lippincott talking about the upcoming Star Wars. It's a wonderful look back to an innocent and fascinating time when the film had to be sold, yes sold, to American sci-fi and fantasy audiences, a lot of whom seemed jaded by genre films since the enlightening 2001: A Space Odyssey.

A year later, things were to prove a lot different...

Lippincott, Kurtz and Hamill.

Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmhjvkj8_aw

Charles Lippncott interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoKK-aFcQIg

With thanks to Chris Baker and starwarsarchives.com for the heads-up

Thursday, 15 February 2018

ROGUE ONE: FIGHTING DIRTY!


Right from the film's earliest promotion online and at one of the Star Wars Celebration events back in 2015, it was clear that Rogue One - A Star Wars Story was going to be a tough and gritty action-adventure lead-in to the original 1977 movie that started it all. And, from this early cast publicity shoot (by LUCASFILM UK's in-house Chief Photographer, Brit talent Jonathan Olley) taken at the filming location of Cardington Hangar, London, our main heroes (led by Felicity Jones ultimately noble Jyn Erso), minus the being kept under wraps K-2SO, were also going to look a lot grubbier from their resultant conflicts!







This image from the shoot would be held back until the film's release.

Intriguingly, no solo image of the character of Bodhi Rook, as played by the inimitable Riz Ahmed, seems to have been released from that early posed location shoot taken by Olley. Interestingly, the character of Bodhi Rook had a different name, character personality, background (including a family) and motivations leading up to the start of filming on Gareth Edward's vision of Rogue One. Things later changed considerably - the character becoming the newly christened 'Bodhi Rook' during the film's reshoots phase, of which Ahmed's role was further expanded and integrated within the plot (most notably linked to Jedha). The closest we can find image-wise to that original look for Ahmed's early character interpretation are these shots below (photographer/s unknown).



Wednesday, 14 February 2018

THE MIMBAN ENCOUNTER! CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF 'SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE'!

Very cool early layout concept from Ralph McQuarrie, for what eventually became the dramatic cover of Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Love that prototype logo idea!

It was the book that showed Princess Leia piloting a Y-wing fighter, introduced the swamp world of Mimban (mentioned in The Clone Wars animated series and now about to be given reality in Solo- A Star Wars Story) plus the notion of 'Kiburr/Kiber' crystals (later seen for real with Rogue One), provided an excellent and quirky support character in Halla (who should come back one day!), and unleashed the Yuzzum beasts before they became a singular shrunken Muppet-like creation officially seen in Return of the Jedi. Additionally, we were witness to Luke getting early hots for Leia (before the bad news came along!), and saw the young duo partake in an epic finale lightsaber duel against a genuinely merciless Darth Vader- a conflict which would see the dark lord lose his arm. Plus the glorious image of Leia taking the saber against her former torturous captor: the kind of cool action moment/idea for our heroine we'll now be cruelly denied from ever seeing onscreen, what with the truly sad passing of Carrie Fisher.

Leia takes on Vader. A classic scene from Splinter made reality by Adam Hughes.

All that exciting material was in Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye- the first officially sanctioned adventure set after and beyond the original 1977 film, once planned as a cheap-to-make sequel by Lucasfilm should the first movie only be a moderate box office success. It was the beginning of a legend in science fiction/fantasy tie-in book publishing.

If you haven't already read this terrific adventure (originally published on this date (1978) in the US by Del Rey, and later in the UK by Sphere), or the 1995 four-part DARK HORSE comic adaptation, showing us a time before the STAR WARS universe/franchise was cemented, altered, then re-cemented, then go out and do so now!

Check out our original PDF archive on the story:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B80ITjM31EVRX3hFdUpvWFFyTk0/edit

Happy Fortieth Anniversary!

DELETED SCENE: MISTER MOTIVATOR RETURNS!


Angry that the Imperial war machine has once more failed to capture the elusive Millennium Falcon and its crew, Darth Vader administrates his orders to a group of diverse officers (including background artist Trevor Butterfield) for a deleted moment on the Star Destroyer Executor, set just after the Dark Lord has killed an apologetic Captain Needa, from The Empire Strikes Back.

Behind the scenes continuity Polaroid of the assembled British extras playing Imperials.
In this rehearsal/outtake image used for publicity, the extras can be seen behind Vader.
Irvin Kershner gets the scene ready for filming with Dave Prowse as Vader.

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE DEVIL HAS HORNS!


The intimidating and opulent-costumed presence of the Supreme Chancellor's shifty second-in-command, Mas Amedda, is enough to put anybody at ill-at-ease - be they senator or Jedi. For EPISODEs II and III, he would be played Australian actor David Bowers, in this posed publicity /costume reference image.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

'SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY': THE FULL CAST TEASER POSTER


The gang's all here: thieves, a scoundrel, an efficient droid, a mercenary role model, an old flame, and a new pairing of wannabe smuggler and wookiee pilot...

I loved the aged and folded corner wrinkles on the poster- like it was from the 1970's. A great and celebratory nostalgia idea similar to the one previously used by Drew Struzan with his first classic Star Wars 'circus' poster, circa 1977.

More movie news:

http://ew.com/movies/2018/02/12/solo-a-star-wars-story-influences/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2018/02/09/star-wars-5-reasons-to-be-excited-for-the-new-han-solo-movie/#1225495e1b4a

www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a849876/george-lucas-solo-a-star-wars-story-han-solo-movie-disney-lucasfilm/

https://www.inverse.com/article/41129-han-solo-boba-fett-star-wars-spoilers

BEHIND THE SCENES: UNDERCOVER FILMING...


Within an extras and alien creatures-heavy environment, also full of smoke and flu-stricken crew members, Carrie Fisher, masked as the bounty hunter Boushh, with Peter Mayhew as her 'captive' Chewbacca, film close-up scenes for Return of the Jedi at Elstree Studios during January 1982.