Saturday, 30 March 2019
'SOLO': THE 'CHRONICLES' CONTINUE...
They're off from the seedy environs of Vandor with the promise of new challenges, new adventures and new rewards - that great team of smooth-talking, smooth-piloting Lando Calrissian and the droid that (mostly) keeps him honest - L3 - in this great cockpit image of the duo piloting the Millennium Falcon, from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Wednesday, 27 March 2019
EPISODE IX: THE LAST HURRAH!
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT!
This super composition has recently appeared online (possibly leaked via Russia, which we've heard had the earliest merchandise/poster work for Solo: A Star Wars Story) and seems to be the real deal - the first real exciting look - for the teaser or main poster for the upcoming EP IX. It has our heroes in their new costumes- linked to photos that were recently leaked online, alongside all new heroes, aliens and villains (including J.J. Abrams favourite Keri Russell, supposedly as a shady character wearing what the actress calls a 'very cool costume' (right of Oscar Isaac). Plus someone replacing the late Captain Phasma as Stormtrooper leader, Kylo Ren back wearing an all-new helmet and revised lightsaber, plus the welcome return of the Knights of Ren. In the skies, there are some formidable new First Order TIE ships ready for combat against the Y-wing fighters of the Resistance. Finally, how can we not mention Threepio, distinctively, and totally against protocol, hilariously wearing a bandolier and holding what looks like a bowcaster (another rumour that had been doing the online rounds now true, it seems).
Monday, 25 March 2019
BEYOND NABOO! COMING SOON TO THE UK: 'QUEEN'S SHADOW'
With Disney finally acknowledging its truly devoted world fan base, and the all-important profit potential Force-fully with them, now has never been a better time to be a devotee of George Lucas's epic Prequel saga of 1999-2005. Not only does the visually exciting and innovative The Phantom Menace, the launcher for so much more for fans to enjoy with the Star Wars universe, celebrate its milestone 20th Anniversary, there's also the return of the much beloved The Clone Wars animated series for its final loose ends wrap-up, and a plethora of new books and comic series celebrating that intense and fascinating time of the Old Republic, with its great heroes and even greater villainy. All that unleashed in 2019, with an early focus on the Prequel saga's key heroes.
Female heroes inspire female writers, so who better than E.K. Johnston - fresh from her success with the saga in prior charting the early destiny of Jedi Ahsoka Tano after the shocks of Order 66 - to bring the dedicated and determined Queen of Naboo turned Senator, Amidala, to satisfying life for a whole new adventure cleverly spanning the timeline of the three prequels. Queen's Shadow is available in paperback May 2nd, published by EGMONT UK.
Here's the book details:
The #1 New York Times best-selling author of Ahsoka takes on another iconic Star Wars hero!
When Padmé Naberrie, “Queen Amidala” of Naboo, steps down from her royal position, she is asked by the newly-elected queen to become Naboo’s next representative in the Galactic Senate. Padmé is unsure about taking on the new role, but ultimately cannot refuse the opportunity to serve her people.
Together with her loyal handmaidens, Padmé leaves her idyllic home for the glistening capital world of Coruscant, where she must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow…
Get the book here:
Saturday, 23 March 2019
EPISODE VIII: POWER GAMES!
But all things change, and, with EPISODE IX, Hux's position and power base will seemingly be more fragile than ever around the First Order's new leader in Kylo Ren, possibly with consequences that audiences might never expect. Just what will happen from this uneasy and volatile partnership will prove intriguing come December 2019.
Thursday, 21 March 2019
ROGUE ONE: FIGHTERS AWAY!
The sense of ominous darkness is building on Yavin IV, as one of the Rebel Alliance flights of X and Y-wing fighters launches into the windy night skies from the Massassi Temple. Their destination: the Imperial facility on Eadu, and a mission of destruction, in this lovely and atmospheric shot from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
EPISODE VII: INTRUDER ALERT!
Deep inside the bowels of Starkiller Base, the former son of Han Solo now brutal murderer for the cause of the First Order, Kylo Ren, begins his search for Resistance infiltrators, in this great on-set filming image for The Force Awakens.
Sunday, 17 March 2019
CLASSIC IMAGE: YODA, THE FUGITIVE!
His powerful battle with Darth Sidious may have come to failure, and the loss of his lightsaber, but at least Master Yoda survives to fight another day, planning his escape attempt from the Senate complex during the tense finale to EPISODE III.
Friday, 15 March 2019
CLASSIC IMAGE: PINNED DOWN!
The shield bunker backdoor now firmly closed, Han Solo and Princess Leia, with a trio of battle-hardened Rebel Commandos, hold fire against the enemy, in this great photo composition from Return of the Jedi filmed on location in Southern California.
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
EXPANDED UNIVERSE! FORTY YEARS OF THE RUSS MANNING 'STAR WARS' NEWSPAPER STRIPS
|Russ Manning's lovely Mediascene magazine cover promoting the debut of the 1979 Star Wars newspaper strip.|
Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi may not be allowed to crave these things, but Star Wars fans couldn't get enough of those elements in the galaxy-spanning adventures of our bold rebels led by Luke Skywalker and company. And in 1979, the storytelling realms of the saga got a lot bigger thanks to the debut today, forty years ago, of the superb Star Wars newspaper strips from the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, brought to life in its first sumptuous and innovative year by the specially selected Russ Manning, no stranger to iconic heroes having been the long-time master of the visually impressive Tarzan newspaper strip, and having enjoyed the realms of science fiction action with his own creation in Magnus Robot Hunter, 4000 A.D.. Manning really was the perfect choice to helm the strip, his enthusiasm for the George Lucas saga and the characters prevalent on every panel of work he did before illness sadly saw him retire from strip creating duties.
|Manning with his first gorgeous colour strip page. Image: John May.|
In his memorable near two-year run, Manning (and assisting writing colleagues/artists) took us back in greater exploratory detail to the Wookiee planet of The Star Wars Holiday Special, helped cement Boba Fett's popularity further before the bounty hunter's debut proper in The Empire Strikes Back, brought in dark clad Deathtrooper-types long before the cinematic arrival of Rogue One, introduced the 'sinister agents' of Darth Vader (including the elusive Blackhole), and even showcased the equally vindictive wife of the late Grand Moff Tarkin!
|The very first art panel for the series.|
Four decades on, the visually captivating work, and Manning's overall legacy, lives on to inspire all-new generations of fans, whilst further inspiring the creative talents now shepherding the saga into all-new storytelling avenues.
|Advertising preview showcasing saga icons.|
Sunday, 10 March 2019
CLASSIC ART: WHEN 'SPECTRUM' MET 'SPLINTER'!
Finally adapted to exciting comic form, Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye, part of The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, was well worth the wait in 1997, from Dark Horse. An event celebrated in the US sci-fi/cult media magazine Spectrum via this great exclusive art by the mini-series co-artist Chris Sprouse. Note that Leia adorns a different hairstyle here to the one shown in the comic adaptation.
Friday, 8 March 2019
CLASSIC IMAGE: MACE WINDU - 'BMF'!
With a specially inscribed 'BMF' ('Bad Motherf++ker') on his unique one-of-a-kind lightsaber hilt, and a blade emitted to the colour purple (his favourite colour, and designed so that the actor could single himself out in an action sequence), Samuel L. Jackson IS Mace Windu- his turn in the Star Wars action spotlight finally 'good to G-O' for EPISODE II.
|Pride and joy. Image: Samuel L. Jackson/ Twitter.|
Wednesday, 6 March 2019
DELETED SCENES: MAKING A DARK ENTRANCE!
|Echo Base receives an unwelcome visitor!|
In the Fifth Draft shooting script for The Empire Strikes Back (20-28th February 1979), the mighty Darth Vader was to have entered the wrecked Rebel base of Hoth through an ice blockage in one of the corridors. The Snowtroopers push the blockage back and Vader enters (part of overall scene 205).
|Note that this is the same hole entrance Vader comes through in the above top shot.|
This scene was ultimately changed for a more explosive scenario where the Snowtroopers instead blew in an ice hole - the scene was filmed in some form as seen with the above two pics. One take filming the scene caused some hilarity following the opening explosion, as Dave Prowse/Vader's cloak was apparently snagged by a Snowtrooper's foot resulting in the actor/muscleman soon falling directly on the two mask-blind stuntmen ahead of him that had themselves been felled by the blast wreckage. Oh, to have that for a blooper reel! Some have suggested the two shots above are part of the Vader blooper, but if so, why isn't Vader, who had six other Snowtrooper actors behind him (according to Prowse in an interview around 1979/80), in the shot also?
The action was re-shot and ultimately changed to a new location - the Command Centre, with two stunt Snowtroopers (one likely played by uncredited agile gymnast/stuntman Stuart Fell) leaping through a pyrotechnics burst (detonated from floor level upwards), followed by Vader and other troopers - a much better and exciting entrance for the saga's greatest bad guy.
|Searching for the Rebel leaders, and Luke Skywalker.|
Scene 205 continues from the Fifth Draft- Imperial Snowtroopers then rush through the empty and wrecked Command Centre. As Vader surveys the remains of the centre, an ice chunk falls almost hitting him. No evidence suggests this sequence was ever filmed for the Command Centre, but it may have changed to another location - one of the ice corridors before Vader enters the hangar to witness the escaping Falcon (the ice chunk collapsing behind Vader is captured as an art image in the film's original pop-up book of 1980/81, though the background setting may have been used from referencing the image below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_KRxCWhi2s). If completed, this scene was likely deemed unsuccessful and re-shot, instead replaced with a long shot of an unobstructed Vader ominously striding down the steamy cold corridor with his troopers behind him.
If anyone has any more info on the Classic Trilogy deleted scenes, please get in touch.
Monday, 4 March 2019
THE 'PHANTOM' AT TWENTY: A QUEEN'S COURAGE!
|Image via Fit for a Queen website.|
"There are things I cannot do. I cannot watch while people suffer. I cannot sit when something must be done. I cannot judge those who are different. There are things I cannot do. But there are certainly things I will do."
Queen Amidala - EPISODE I tone poem character commercial - 'One Will' - 1999
Saturday, 2 March 2019
BEHIND THE SCENES: EVOLVING 'WARS'!
More compelling than ever, the genesis of the original Star Wars resonates in all areas, especially with regards to official cast and crew apparel and logo related materials used for day-to-day business during its 1975-1977 origins, and that intriguing time when our hero Skywalker was a Starkiller.
A lovely piece of collected photo nostalgia from the original MovieBits website of eight or nine years ago.
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