ARRIVING IN TOKYO FROM 8TH AUGUST, 2019. BOOK NOW FOR THE ULTIMATE 'STAR WARS' EXHIBITION

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

'HAPPY HALLOWEEN!'

Image: via Rebel Scum website.

He's fought all manner of dark and disturbing foes since joining the Rebel Alliance, but Jedi-to-be Luke Skywalker is almost felled by the evil powers emanating from the most weirdly unusual of alien/droid hybrids - Reist - in the obscure and twistedly nasty little horror gem from September 1981 written by then rising star UK comics talent Alan Moore- the bizarre yet original Death Masque for the original The Empire Strikes Back Monthly comic magazine- a story that never appeared in any US Marvel comics until 2013, and a perfect tale to consume during Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! to all worldwide readers, from STAR WARS AFICIONADO



Tuesday, 30 October 2018

EPISODE VII: A TIME TO KILL!


There's only one thing on the fearsome Kylo Ren's mind right now as he moves through the destroyed Jakku village and his troopers massacre its inhabitants- to find the map that will lead to the discovery and eradication of former teacher Luke Skywalker, in this great behind the scenes image from The Force Awakens.

Monday, 29 October 2018

CLASSIC ART: THE SKY'S AFIRE!


In a battle unlike anything seen before by the people of Coruscant since the starting reign of the Old Republic, the Jedi and the Clone space fleet engage sneak-attack enemy Separatists who have achieved the seemingly unthinkable- capturing the noble Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, as seen in this great fan art evoking the heady atmosphere space dogfights that will start EPISODE III.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

OUT THIS WEEK: 'STAR WARS: WOMEN OF THE GALAXY'

Rey- the orphan who'd change the direction of a galaxy far, far away forever. Cover art by Jen Bartel.

In the realms of the modern Star Wars saga, across all its diverse areas, sisters really are doing it for themselves, as the song once famously declared. Find out how via the ultimate celebration of the incredible women of that galaxy far, far away, arriving this month in beautiful artistic form from Chronicle: Star Wars - Women of the Galaxy, written and compiled with affection and detail by rising star pop culture writer and die-hard fan Amy Ratcliffe, fused with stunning art from all-female talents linked to 75 memorable characters (several illustrated for the very first time) working in relation to both the good and dark sides of the Force. It's a worthy tome for a target audience that has grown demonstrably this past ten years, launched with a striking introduction from the no less formidable prime mover of the franchise herself: Kathleen Kennedy.

Princess Leia Organa - the capable young senator who fought a tyrannical Galactic Empire. Art by Jen Bartel.

More info on this gorgeous Christmas coffee table treat:

They are heroes and villains, Sith and Jedi, senators and scoundrels, mothers, mercenaries, artists, pilots… The women of the Star Wars galaxy drive its stories and saga forward at every level. This beautifully illustrated, fully authorized book profiles 75 fascinating female characters from across films, fiction, comics, animation, and games. Featuring Leia Organa, Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Iden Versio, Jyn Erso, Rose Tico, Maz Kanata, and many more, each character is explored through key story beats, fresh insights, and behind-the-scenes details by author Amy Ratcliffe. Also showcasing more than 100 all-new illustrations by a dynamic range of female and non-binary artists― with some characters illustrated for the first time. STAR WARS: WOMEN OF THE GALAXY is an inspiring celebration of the characters that help create a galaxy far, far away. Also includes new characters from Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Resistance!


Padawan no more: Ahsoka Tano brings a new type of spunky heroism to the animated TV adventures. Art by Sarah Wilkinson.

Contributing artists:

Alice X. Zhang, Amy Beth Christenson, Annie Stoll, Annie Wu, Christina Chung, Cryssy Cheung, Eli Baumgartner, Elsa Charretier, Geneva Bowers, Jennifer Aberin Johnson, Jen Bartel, Jenny Parks, Karen Hallion, Little Corvus, Sara Alfageeh, Sara Kipin, Sarah Wilkinson, Viv Tanne 

About the Author: Amy Ratcliffe is the managing editor of Nerdist and a contributor to StarWars.com, and has written for outlets such as Star Wars Insider and IGN. She’s a host at Star Wars Celebration and cohosts the Lattes with Leia podcast. When she's not visiting a galaxy far, far away, she lives in Los Angeles. 

Get the book here (available from 30th October, 2018):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Galaxy-Amy-Ratcliffe/dp/1452166315/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540466617&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=stra+ars+wome+of+the+galaxy


A gorgeous accompanying three character showcase, 64 page Notebook Collection is also available from November 6th, 2018:

Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy Notebook Set by compiled by Lucasfilm LTD.

This inspiring trio of notebooks celebrates three iconic heroes of the STAR WARS galaxy: Leia Organa, Rey, and Ahsoka Tano. Each notebook features lightly ruled interiors with notable quotes from each character, along with bonus artwork on the inside and back covers.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars%C2%AE-Galaxy-Notebook-Collection/dp/1452173737/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1540466617&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=stra+ars+wome+of+the+galaxy

Friday, 26 October 2018

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: FULL SPEED AHEAD!


Racing fast across the surface of the second Death Star to its reactor core, the surviving Rebel fighters are too much for the Imperial ground cannons to catch their fire on, in this great ILM storyboard from Return of the Jedi of 1982/83 that we wish had made it to the screen.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: BACK TO THE BEGINNING!


The new sequel trilogy may be getting all the praise for their marvellous reconstructions of Classic Trilogy era sets and props, but the Prequel era did it just as well too, as seen here with the superb 2000 reconstruction of the Lars Homestead of Tatooine for EPISODE II, out in the same salt flats location in Tunisia originally used back in 1976.

Tatooine's legacy was to have continued in future films:

https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2455795/star-wars-production-designer-confirms-tatooine-was-part-of-an-upcoming-spin-off-film

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES: EMPIRE-MAKERS!


On the Star Destroyer Bridge set at Elstree, circa April 1979, Robert Watts confers with the principal photography team- notably a seated First Assistant Director David Tomblin and opposite him a deep in script/storyboard examination director Irvin Kershner, as The Empire Strikes Back continues filming, and the world awaits their results.

2018 Robert Watts interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uRTQjUdEyg

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

'SOLO': THE FUTURE OF CRIMSON DAWN!

Their destinies now fully intertwined- Qi'ra and Maul, in this great fan composition.

It was quite the surprise on original release, wasn't it?! The shocking yet intriguing return of Ray Park as an older but no less bloodthirsty (former Darth) Maul (voiced by his regular TV animated voice man in Sam Witwer), back from the dead a la the established The Clone Wars series timeline events, and now a continued part of the Anthology/Prequel era. Though it's hugely unlikely that there will be any more young Han Solo sequels, there is every reason to believe that both Crimson Dawn leaders Qi'ra and her Dark Side employer will return somewhere in a future film or live-action TV series, hopefully in the projects being conceived by David's Benioff and Weiss...


More on Maul's return:
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/how-solos-most-shocking-star-wars-cameo-happened/1100-6459200/

Expanded Universe connections:
https://www.starwars.com/news/how-darth-maul-son-of-dathomir-connects-to-solo-a-star-wars-story


A different point of view:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/solo-darth-maul-cameo-undermined-qi-ra-character-arc-1117058?utm_source=twitter

Ray Park returns:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lukethompson/2018/09/07/darth-maul-robot-legs-revealed-solo-a-star-wars-story-stills-ray-park-clone-wars-rebels-phantom-menace-sam-witwer-blu-ray-4k-dvd-the-last-jedi-ron-howard/#2282bf7719c3


Sam Witwer on Maul's return:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdRgY2gtxgk

Monday, 22 October 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES: HERO FROM THE HOLD!


Whatever the obstacles, whatever the dangers, you can always rely on that lovable hero Astro Droid R2-D2 to come and save the day (and deservedly win a cheer from the audience), as seen here in his Prequel 'introduction' of EPISODE I, within the Naboo Royal Cruiser hold. These scenes were shot at Leavesden Studios, London with the three-legged remote control version of the beloved character, though Kenny Baker would also be back in the two-legged construction.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: TESTING BLADES, TESTING SKILLS...


In the Death Star corridor linked to the hangar bay housing the captured Millennium Falcon, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi continues to lock lightsabers with his ominous former pupil Darth Vader, whose strength over him in the Dark Side of the Force adds pressure to their duel. A great photo angle, presumably taken by the on-set lens man John Jay.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO has always, always loved the first lightsaber duel of the original Star Wars, and certainly commends Frazer Diamond, son of the film's famous and much-respected British stunt coordinator/duel choreographer Peter Diamond, on a recent comment/opinion to those fans that have unfairly criticized the classic sequence over the years, as shown below.




Saturday, 20 October 2018

CLASSIC INDY: A DIFFERENT TYPE OF SOLDIER OF FORTUNE!


For herself, and for Mother Russia, dedicated soldier and psychic powered Irina Spalko must discover the truth and power of the captured Crystal Skull currently held at America's legendary Area 51, in this great image of the ever-excellent Cate Blanchett, from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Friday, 19 October 2018

THE CLONE WARS: SPEEDY KILLER!


Recently mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the legendary female bounty hunter Aurra Sing shows her considerable skills as a speeder pilot against Ahsoka Tano, in the lively The Clone Wars Season Two finale: Lethal Trackdown.

One of the ever-excellent Dave Filoni sketches linked to potential future animated episodes of TCW.

With Aurra having been partnered previously with Cad Bane, let's hope the duo are reunited with a young Boba Fett (getting ever closer to the character we know and hate) for at least one of the thirteen episodes of the upcoming closure season of the hit animated series.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

ROGUE ONE: THE 'OTHER' TARKIN...

The new/old Tarkin. Image by Jonathan Olley.

The mystery of whether Rogue One would feature an appearance from Grand Moff Tarkin himself was kept under wraps for as long as possible by the film's production team, but all the key creative players knew that the cruel Imperial leader had to be involved somewhere in the storytelling. The top secret pressure must equally have been felt by actor Guy Henry, stepping into the late Peter Cushing's boots (or should that be his 1976 on-set slippers) to bring the evil, twisted character back to (past) life.

Guy Henry on set at Pinewood filming his Tarkin scenes

Full credit to the popular British actor for his painstaking visual/audio research and his inspired job at capturing the 'essence' of Tarkin and Cushing. Plus, of course, full kudos to ILM for their painstaking CGI face work, which was consistently excellent.

Monday, 15 October 2018

MONSTER DELIGHT! 'STAR WARS- ALIEN ARCHIVE' - OUT NOW IN THE UK


Ever since its genuinely interstellar debut in 1977, one of the most popular facets of the Star Wars saga created by George Lucas (and a tradition continued by his successors) must surely be the diverse and truly unique inhabitants populating its galaxies. They have been memorably fascinating, humorous, scary, thrilling, chilling, whilst some have even looked visually unlike anything we've ever seen before captured on sci-fi/fantasy celluloid. They've all had that feeling of reality and believability of sorts operating in their own galactic eco-systems and as part of the visual storytelling (all adding an important extra layer to Lucas's concept of a 'used universe' that would prove so pioneering and copied for years to come), in ways they have related to our main and supporting characters both working for good or evil.

The mystery and magic of Yoda and his species.

With the success of his gorgeous artistic Star Wars Atlas, artist Tim McDonagh builds on that special achievement, returning to a a galaxy far, far away for the gorgeous all-new beautiful tome that is the Star Wars Alien Archive, published by EGMONT UK, and another sure-fire hit on the publishing front. It's a visual tour de force (forgive the pun!) continuance, of which McDonagh brings a fresh and satisfying visual angle of detail and greater realism to a veritable creature confectionery emergent from both the entire film saga (including the recent Solo: A Star Wars Story), animated series, and its official Expanded Universe. Not only is the book a terrific encapsulation of these classic creations, it's also a fine tribute to the innovative artists, craftsmen, special effects geniuses and acting talents who continue to bring them to such glorious and unforgettable life.

A lovely showcase for the many distinctive beasts of the new saga films.

Charting creatures evolved from harsh 'Frozen Lands'.

Here's the book's press info:

Wookiees, wampas and Weequays; Biths, banthas and bogwings; porgs, puffer pigs and Pau’ans; this is the ultimate species guide for Star Wars fans aged 7 to 70! This comprehensive collection will tell you all you need to know about the aliens of the galaxy.
Deep in the stacks of the Graf Archive, an old traveller's journal has been discovered and restored for public viewing. A long time ago this unknown traveller documented his stories about the many creatures found in each destination he explored, and includes famous movie locations such as the Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine, Maz's Castle and the holy city of Jedha.
The archivist restored this journal and added facts and stats about the cultures, legends and famous members of over 200 species, including famous characters such as Chewbacca, Ahsoka, Wicket and many more.
Alien Archive is beautifully illustrated with full colour artworks, sketches and diagrams by Tim McDonagh, illustrator of Galactic Atlas.
A look at the incredible Wookiees of Kashyyyk.

Truly a lovely Christmas gift that will be poured over and enjoyed for a long time to come, get Star Wars Alien Archive here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Alien-Archive-Species/dp/1405288477/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539187652&sr=8-1&keywords=star+wars+alien+archive

Sunday, 14 October 2018

'SOLO': HAN'S IN CHARGE!


It's the moment that Han's been waiting for all his adult life so far, though its currently not in the greatest of times, as he leaps into the pilot's seat of the Millennium Falcon and speeds it away from the dangers of the Kessel spice mines, in a great image from Solo: A Star Wars Story, out now on home entertainment release and doing very well indeed...


Saturday, 13 October 2018

EPISODE VII: HER FIRST STEPS...


Newly arrived on the lost and mythic world of the original Jedi on Ahch-To, the bold yet nervous Rey prepares to ascend the main island's nearby monumental steps, so as to find the one man capable of helping her training and the Resistance fight back against the First Order- the self-exiled legend Luke Skywalker himself, in this great concept art by veteran Star Wars Prequel talent Ryan Church for The Force Awakens.

Friday, 12 October 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: INFERNO DAY!


They've been evenly matched against each other from the start, though Obi-Wan Kenobi momentarily has the upper hand during this stage in this lightsaber duel against former pupil Anakin Skywalker. Meanwhile, the Mustafar control collection centre around them starts to disintegrate, in another striking image of fiery oblivion and conflict from EPISODE III.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES: BACK TO 'BLUE HARVEST'!

Image: via STAR WARS ARCHIVES site.

Near the end of their exciting and spectacular April 1982 location shoot for the short screen time but epic and complex Sail Barge battle being filmed in Yuma, Arizona, an ILM effects plate shot is about to be captured before the camera for Return of the Jedi, under its location filming secret cover name of 'Blue Harvest'.

Howard Kazanjian on the filming:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbgYrLFFn0Q&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

CLASSIC IMAGE: A LEGACY FROM MANDALORE!


In the beginning there was a bounty hunter named Jango Fett, the man, the warrior draped in the glistening combat armour of a legendary race, who then became the template for a clone manufacture of near perfect soldiers seemingly loyal to the Republic of whom they were created to serve in war, but with a hidden agenda for murder buried deep within their DNA.

Then there was Jango's non-life accelerated 'son' whom his Kaminoan paymasters gave him on his special request: the boy with the cruel smile and callous laugh who'd become the most notorious and feared bounty hunter in the galaxy: Boba Fett.

The mystery of The Mandalorian begins...

And coming soon will be the next mythos-building iconic rogue (or anti-hero)wearing very familiar armour, travelling within the heady darker areas of the Star Wars galaxy, in an unsettled universe and timeline set between the events of EPISODEs VI and VIII: The Mandalorian.

https://www.starwars.com/news/the-mandalorian-revealed


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: BEWARE THE GROUND POUNDERS!


The battle to buy time for the Rebel evacuation is over, and now the cause's valiant survivors must retreat from intense enemy fire in this great and very early ILM animatic moment conceived in pre-production for The Empire Strikes Back.

Monday, 8 October 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES: RACING FOR DEPARTURE!


On the EPISODE I Theed hangar bay set at Leavesden Studios in Summer 1997, George Lucas and the film crew get set up for a scene involving Jake Lloyd and Celia Imrie (as fighter pilot Bravo Four) rushing to her ship with her trusty Astro Droid, as the Battle for Naboo begins. The completed brief scene ultimately ended up being deleted for timing and pace reasons.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES: BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS!


They were the fresh and bright young stars of tomorrow embarking on an epic filmic journey above and beyond the release of the original Star Wars- Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.








Enjoy a lovely London-based photo shoot session from 1976, presumably taken by either David Steen or Terry O'Neill, of our favourite actors/icons having fun and enjoying each other's company, with genuine superstardom for them merely a year away...





Saturday, 6 October 2018

'SOLO': WHEN FATE LEADS TO OPPORTUNITY!


The stakes have never been higher for either herself or Han Solo, as Qi'ra goes into battle against her former sadistic criminal employer Dryden Vos in the main audience chamber of his cruiser- her practice and use of ancient weapons soon brought to the fore in this great crowd-pleasing scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story, and one which I'm sure actress Emilia Clarke, looking very cool as Qi'ra, thoroughly enjoyed training for.

This superb image is part of many new released images from the film that can be purchased over at the STAR WARS Authentics site: https://www.starwarsauthentics.com/