Monday 30 April 2018


Taking us to classic worlds now finally getting onscreen reality (Mimban and Corellia, most notably), Ron Howard's work on Solo: A Star Wars Story looks more exciting and confident than ever, with Alden Ehrenreich surely proving himself as a worthy successor to Harrison Ford.

New featurette/footage:

New TV spots:

Latest news:

Excellent interview with Alden Ehrenreich, confirming his three-film commitment:

A look at the US touring Millennium Falcon interior:

The Kasdans talks about Solo:

Another of the great new TOPPS cards featuring Donald Glover as Lando.

Other bits:

Sunday 29 April 2018


Having just escaped the First Order with the evacuation of D'Qar, the main hangar of the Resistance heavy crusier Raddus is alive and buzzing with activity as X-wing and A-wing fighters return home, during the opening to The Last Jedi. Sadly, it won't be long before the enemy retaliation is swift and numerous desperately needed fighter pilots and technicians are lost forever...

ILM effects showcase:

A look at the film's production design:

Saturday 28 April 2018


On location in the intense heat of Abu Dhabi, for early filming of The Force Awakens, the production team readies the enormous detailed/damaged First Order TIE fighter prop for its soon investigation by Finn.

Friday 27 April 2018


Having worked at Docklands early in his visual effects career, filmmaker Gareth Edwards always told himself that one day he would film a sci-fi film at the futuristic environs of London's prestigious and very futuristic Canary Wharf Tube Station. Years later, that dream, one of many, became a reality for him when the site became part of the interior Imperial base settings on Scarif for Rogue One, as seen in the above now iconic behind the scenes image of Stormtrooper costumed extras, taken from 2015.

Behind the camera at Canary Wharf.

Thursday 26 April 2018


The Supreme Chancellor, in the guise of stuntman Michael Byrne, makes swift work of popular Jedi Master Kit Fisto (aka Ben Cooke) in an insert scene filmed against blue screen for EPISODE III's later reveal of Palpatine as Darth Sidious.

Wednesday 25 April 2018


Like a threatening version of a Force ghost, the iconic image of Darth Vader conquers space in this lovely rare Japanese poster art for Return of the Jedi, from 1983.

Tuesday 24 April 2018


Image: Ron Howard/TWITTER.

Though he's always thrived on the challenges of movie-making, I bet even Ron Howard, pictured here having fun in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, is breathing a huge sigh of relief in completing Solo: A Star Wars Story in record time and against the kind of odds our smuggling hero would enjoy breaking, alongside the tireless and equally enthused help and dedication of his team, for what will surely be an accomplished Summer blockbuster.

A gorgeous look at the clean Falcon interior.

Latest TV spot:

Here's a fun look at Ron's acting brother legend Clint in the film, presumably playing a grubby smuggler within what looks like a spaceship hold area.

Image: Ron Howard/TWITTER.

Monday 23 April 2018


More colourful character posters for the newly post production completed Solo: A Star Wars Story, including one for Paul Bettany's villainous role.

He may not be a well known name compared to his colleagues, but I have to say that I'm disappointed with Disney/Lucasfilm that Joonas Suotamo is not credited here- a fine successor to Peter Mayhew, Mister Suotamo more than deserves a proper acting credit on his poster, having now done three STAR WARS films and especially based on the scene-stealer teaser footage for the film shown so far! To me, this echoes the dismal time in 1977 when Anthony Daniels, Dave Prowse and Peter Mayhew were never named for their roles in marketing/publicity photos.


A perfect instrument of war for the exclusive use of the evil First Order, who found her, or more a case that she found them, on a far-off world in the mysterious Outer Regions. A resourceful warrior woman who was not the primitive originally indicated, 'Phasma' soon became the malevolent focal point for the new Stormtrooper forces building in strength to fight the New Republic and its Resistance, ash she effectively drummed obedient loyalty, fear and murderous efficiency into the men and women under her command. And, with her past banished away, she'll let nothing stand in her future path to power and control...

Find out more about this unique female villain, sorely underused in the modern STAR WARS films, in the paperback release of Delilah S. Dawson's popular Phasma, available in UK paperback from Arrow on 24/4/18.

Read our review here:

Get the book here:

Sunday 22 April 2018


Personally, AFICIONADO feels that Ahsoka Tano should never have survived her lightsaber duel conflict against Darth Vader, as seen in Star Wars Rebels, and that writer/producer Dave Filoni gave in to fan pressure with the eventual timeline time travel 'get-out clause' that saw her return post EPISODE VI, with that series animated finale. Still, Ahsoka's popularity, as personified by  the ever enthused actor/business woman Ashley Eckstein, continues to radiate like a bright star for her dedicated fan base worldwide.


Inside the colourful and meticulously decorated inner chamber of the alien space ship set at Universal Studios- a visual marvel from Guy Hendrix Dyas - Steven Spielberg goes through the destructive finale ahead for the Crystal Skull holding Russian villainess Irina Spalko, as played with gusto by Cate Blanchett, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Saturday 21 April 2018


The past and futures of our favourite smuggling heroes converge in Daniel Jose Order's tie-in novel to Solo: A Star Wars Story, out now in the UK from Century.

Character promo images for the release in the US.

Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are reunited on the Millennium Falcon in a galaxy-spanning novel inspired by Solo: A Star Wars Story. But even the fastest ship in the universe can’t outrun the past. . . .

The hardcover edition includes a reversible jacket, with one side featuring Han and the other featuring Lando!

It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize—first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge. . . .


It’s been ten years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando—and all life on Cloud City—will be annihilated.
With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars—and into the past—before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.

Get it here: 


Rey and Leia have the lion's share of attention these days when it comes to Star Wars female heroism, but let's not forget Padme Amidala of the Prequels- Senator, Queen, protector of Naboo and the Republic, and just as good with a blaster and blessed with a fiery spirit as her daughter will be.

Acclaimed artist Tsueno Sanda admirably captures the heroine's spirit and Natalie Portman's beauty across three innovative films in this great art.

Friday 20 April 2018


Clearing snow and braving the worst weather conditions thrown at them, the Swedish built Snowcat Aktive vehicles used during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back would prove stalwartly efficient and persevering during March/April 1979. And, when not snowed over, their fronts would bear the brilliant Ralph McQuarrie 'Vader in Flames' logo. Very cool, indeed!

Ready for another challenging day on location.

Crew members escape the cold. Image: Prop Store.

Harrison Ford always drives to work!

Mark Hamill gets in some sun tanning quality time.

Visit the fan shrine to the original filming location in Finse, Norway, and a look at an ambitious celebratory event that was staged there:

Wednesday 18 April 2018


New international cast poster.

Latest TV spot footage:

Character info:

On the press tour circuit. Ron Howard, the Kasdans and core cast. Image: Ron Howard/TWITTER

New UK EMPIRE magazine Solo special:

Lawrence Kadan and Jonathan Kasdan talk Solo:


Comes a wookiee! Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca on a planet that could be Kessel.

Capably and brilliantly taking over the mantle of wookiee-dom from the now retired Peter Mayhew, Joonas Suotamo will be showing us all-new facets to the legendary pilot/technician Chewbacca when Solo: A Star Wars Story comes to cinemas in May, 2018. We'll witness the origin of Chewie's friendship with Han Solo in unexpected ways, linked to an adventure on the brutal spice mines of Kessel, and their teaming up effectively on a surely spectacular heist on the planet Vandor. Plus much more, as their unique kinsmanship builds towards events seen by the time of EPISODE IV.

On to new adventures with the new Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich).
Saying goodbye to an old life and family?

Joonas interview:

Watching the playback footage.

October 19th, 2017. Joonas celebrates the end of filming with co-star Woody Harrelson. Image: Joonas Suotamo/Instagram.

Even Wookiees like bow ties, as Solo gets its European premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Tuesday 17 April 2018


The Naboo's Theed City lake looks serene and peaceful as a Gungan sub containing Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and hapless Jar Jar Binks, rise to the surface, its party unaware that the planet is now fully in enemy hands. A lovely visual moment of models and matte work from EPISODE I.

Monday 16 April 2018


In their primary conference room on the Death Star, Darth Vader and Governor Tarkin discuss the current situation linked to Princess Leia and the Rebel Base, in a scene from the original Star Wars.

Though equals in service to the Emperor, the former Expanded Universe history suggested that Vader was sent by his Master to act as a kind of watchdog on Tarkin in case he got too big for his boots in commanding the ultimate weapon. In the original film, however, you never get that feeling- Vader and Tarkin are comrades in evil, and Vader in some ways takes order from Tarkin. But, in a March 1976 pre-filming draft script for Star Wars released a few years back by Peter Mayhew (online via Twitter), they have one scene in the conference room where Tarkin briefly outlines his idea to Vader of eventually wrestling control of the Empire from the Emperor. Some of the dialogue from this Scene 97 eventually carried over into the revised final draft shooting script (notably the dialogue linked to the return of Obi-Wan), but some didn't...


Darth Vader paces the room as Governor Tarkin sits at the far end of the conference table.

TARKIN: This operation will secure my place on the Emperor's council. With the right maneuvering I could be Emperor. The rebel base will soon be destroyed. I've sent a scouting unit ahead, we should get confirmation soon. What's bothering you?

VADER: A tremor in the force. A slight thing, but it's almost like being in the presence of my old master.

TARKIN: The Jedi, Ben Kenobi? He must be dead by now?

VADER: Perhaps, it's just a feeling.

TARKIN: The Jedi movement is dead. You, my friend, are all that's left of their wizard ways.

Their is a quiet buzz on the comlink and Tarkin answers.

There was a further additional line filmed but not used once Tarkin discovers that Leia has lied about Dantooine. He chillingly says to Vader:

"I'll find that hidden fortress if I have to destroy every star system in the sector!'

The line is also present in the Alan Dean Foster novelisation.

Intriguingly, the Brian Daley radio adaptation of the film has a scene where Admiral Motti plants the idea of further ambition for control in Tarkin's mind. Perhaps Daley had seen the earlier draft script and incorporated the idea, as he would so successfully in expanding other scenes and character moments for the eventual thirteen-part drama.

Sunday 15 April 2018


The heroism and sacrifice of the noble Luke Skywalker. Art by Steve Anderson.

The Last Jedi was certainly a game-changer for fans of Luke Skywalker, as Rian Johnson pushed the character, and Mark Hamill, into a new direction and arc after the icon's prior heroism for the light side of the Force during the Classic Trilogy.

More international character poster variations for the return of Luke Skywalker.

Here's a selection of great imagery of the character and Mark Hamill in the film, behind the scenes and in posed costume/publicity imagery that I hope you enjoy. We hope that this isn't truly the end of the road for the entire saga's finest hero, and that he'll return somewhere to close the Skywalker story for EPISODE IX via writer/director J.J. Abrams input.

A publicity image of Mark in the run-up to EPISODE VIII filming. Image: STARWARS.COM.

Hamill with Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman on the film's Blu-ray release:

On location at Skellig Island for the official start of filming in 2016 with Ram Bergman, Rian Johnson and Daisy Ridley.

Filming the lightsaber handover that has now become highly controversial.

Friends of the Force: Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley in a 2018 magazine shoot.

More on Luke's aftermath in VIII:

The Last Jedi wins big at the UK EMPIRE magazine awards ceremony in March 2018.

Another great merchandise art poster by Steve Anderson.

Friends not enemies: Hamill and Adam Driver on the worldwide publicity tour, in China - late 2017.

A truly emotional farewell on and off screen.

On VIII's final Luke/Leia scene:

The tragedy of Luke Skywalker's fallen apprentice.
And an uneasy return to the Millennium Falcon.

The original Lucas storyline plan for Luke in IX:

Clean background posed image of Hamill as Luke.

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of STAR WARS with Ford, Kennedy, Lucas and Billy Lourde. Image: DISNEY.

On the upcoming Episode IX:

Luke returns back to the dominion of the Force.
On set as Rian Johnson secretly reveals EPISODE VIII's ultimate title.

A final lesson from Master Yoda.

A tireless supporter- Hamill greets the fans, with Kathleen Kennedy and friends.

The 'last' Jedi?

On future 'past' adventures for Luke Skywalker:

Hamill and his family talk:

A crowd pleasing 'return' for Luke during the Battle of Crait.
More than earning his Hollywood Star in 2018.