Friday 31 January 2020


In command of the Emperor's enormous fleet of Star Destroyers at Exegol, the evil Allegiant General Pryde is given surprising news on the Resistance's attack plans against them, in this critical scene from The Rise of Skywalker.

Thursday 30 January 2020


Luke had that classic encounter with 'himself' deep in the cave of Dagobah, now our sequel heroine gets a disturbing look at her own potential dark future, as captured in this great artwork by Rory Kurtz, which came as an art card poster with last year's EMPIRE film magazine covering The Rise of Skywalker.

Wednesday 29 January 2020


Renewing his determination to find and turn Rey to his side, and destroy the troublesome Resistance in the process, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, alongside his knights' followers, is witness to the rebuilding of his once smashed status symbol helmet, in another memorable scene from The Rise of Skywalker.

Tuesday 28 January 2020


They've been together to endure some very dangerous missions for both the Rebellion and the Resistance. Now, Artoo and Threepio must sadly uncouple as the latter begins his important new task with Rey and the others, but not before telling Artoo what good friends he and the Astro-Droid have been all these years, in a sweet little scene from The Rise of Skywalker.

Monday 27 January 2020


Chased across the desert climes of Pasaana, Rey quickly demonstrates just how far her strengthened abilities in the Force have become since the events of The Last Jedi, leaping to sever the wing of a speed-hurtling TIE fighter belonging to the ruthless Kylo Ren. A great moment particularly well showcased in an early trailer for The Rise of Skywalker.

Sunday 26 January 2020


In a secret vault on board Kylo Ren's First Order Star Destroyer, the plinth containing the burnt out Darth Vader helmet is caught in the clashing, destructive blades of both Ren and Rey's lightsabers, in a striking scene from The Rise of Skywalker captured for an officially-sanctioned fan-created poster series last year, showcasing the film's memorable moments.

Saturday 25 January 2020


Previously abused/damaged by his former master- a deadly Jedi hunter, and left for a deactivated demise within an abandoned freighter on Pasaana, the eventually rediscovered but shy droid D-O, voiced by writer/director J.J. Abrams himself, made for a sweet guest star counterpart to the vigorous antics of BB-8 in The Rise of Skywalker.

Friday 24 January 2020


Via savage fighting on the fiery world of Mustafar, First Order Supreme Leader Kylo Ren has traced the location of the hidden outer regions world of Exegol, now travelling there in his personal fighter, determined to cut off the head of the returned Sith threat that is Emperor Palpatine, during the highly-charged opening to The Rise of Skywalker.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Tuesday 21 January 2020


Now one of the key members of the Resistance in their finale battle against the First Order, Lt. Kaydel Ko Connix is ready for what lies ahead, as the character proves herself a worthy potential successor to General Leia Organa, whilst Billie Lourde, the actress bringing her to life onscreen, proves a worthy rising star successor to the legacy of her late, much-missed mother, Carrie Fisher.

Billie Lourd played Leia Organa and other visual effects secrets from 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'

Monday 20 January 2020


Returned from the Endor system, our Resistance heroes have suffered greatly whilst time runs out before the Emperor strikes. Now Poe, Finn and Chewbacca receive the worst news of all at their jungle Resistance base, in this poignant and emotional moment from The Rise of Skywalker.

How the Resistance fared in an altogether different EPISODE IX:

Saturday 18 January 2020


The legacy of Emperor Palpatine - specifically his mastery of the Sith's unnatural dark arts - continues with his incredible and shocking 'return' from the dead, and the opportunity for one of the saga's finest actors - Ian McDiarmid - to relish every moment of his on-screen alter-ego's nefarious and twisted evil. The saga started with his pulling the strings as 'The Phantom Menace', now Sidious/Palaptine's final bid for power is unleashed with The Rise of Skywalker.

Ian McDiarmid talks IX:

Earlier cuts of The Rise of Skywalker gave more backstory to Palpatine

Friday 17 January 2020


An incredible and frightening sight. Top pilot Poe Dameron's single Resistance X-wing fighter against a score of malevolent enemy Star Destroyers? I don't reckon the Empire/ First Order's chances, regardless, in this great teaser poster art for The Rise of Skywalker released in US Dolby Cinemas and Real D 3D Cinemas and IMAX this past Christmas and New Year.

'Final Battle' TV spot:

Wednesday 15 January 2020


The first hints of Rey's true background with the Force emerge as she and her friends pick up the mantle of a prior stalled search for the Sith Homeworld, via an important clue on the desert world of Pasaana.

A lovely specially posed image of Daisy Ridley as Rey in the striking Wadi Rum location in Jordan, during 2018 filming of The Rise of Skywalker.

Daisy Ridley/EPISODE IX related video:

Online interviews:

Sunday 12 January 2020


Photoplay magazine introduces Star Wars to UK readers!

Growing up as a seven-year old within a family of major-league cinema and Hollywood celebrity addicts, the regular issue of the UK/US magazine Photoplay was a must-have purchase event each month. It was with the September 1977 issue, bought one Sunday at the local newsagent, that I saw the first coverage (to me at least!) of the then eagerly-anticipated-in-the-UK movie that was Star Wars. The moment I saw the first marvellous B/W picture of the movie, used full page to promote its then current mega-success in America, and especially showcasing the unique droids themselves in the human-like C-3PO and the squat but strangely cute R2-D2 (what did those names of theirs truly signify, I wondered...?), then turned the next few pages after to see more incredible visual wonders the likes of which I'd never seen before, I knew I was totally, immediately hooked!

The full version of the classic 1977 publicity image.

This wasn't just one of a series of firsts for me linked to the soon-impact of Star Wars, though. With regards to the all-important man bringing Threepio uniquely, and so evocatively, to life in talented British actor Anthony Daniels, he would have the unique distinction of being the first actor officially hired to work on the film, and be the first actor making regular visits to the Lucasfilm/FOX-hired Elstree Studios at the unique start of the project's late 1975 post production cycle and the urgently needed creation of the droids. When "The Star Wars" started rolling on location in Tunisia by Spring 1976, it was also Daniels who had his first major scene filmed at the Lars Homestead Droid Auction- of which iconic cinema and cinema character history was made, and whose publicity images taken therein would soon make him (and comrade Artoo) the original, ultimate visual identity ambassador for the franchise...

Discover more about Anthony Daniels incredible involvement in the saga over forty-two unforgettable years, from extraordinary beginnings to satisfying closure with 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, via his hugely enjoyable new autobiography which reveals the on screen genesis of the protocol droid's life in the saga, and the many incredible life journeys and incidents that the man inside him has been involved with thanks to that golden alter-ego best friend of his. I am C-3PO - The Inside Story is out now from DK Books and has deservedly received rave reviews for its playful humour, candour and vintage reminisces, and it includes a lovely selection of accompanying colour imagery across his incredible contributions linked to the saga.

Anthony Daniels with his best friend.

Book audio excerpt:
(12) I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story, by Anthony Daniels Audiobook Excerpt - YouTube

Related interviews:

(12) Anthony Daniels: "I am C-3PO: The Inside Story" | Talks at Google - YouTube
(12) Anthony Daniels Extended Interview | The Star Wars Show - YouTube
(12) Anthony Daniels Shares His C-3PO Memories | Studio 10 - YouTube
(12) Anthony Daniels on C3PO’s Last Day on ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ - YouTube

Get the book here (also available in Kindle and Audiobook):
I Am C-3PO - The Inside Story: Foreword by J.J. Abrams: Anthony Daniels, J.J. Abrams: 9780241357606: Books

Saturday 11 January 2020


On set at Pinewood Studios in 2018, a happy J.J. Abrams goes through a scene with Joonas Suotamo, back in the wookiee suit for a fourth (and hopefully not last) time as the faithful hero Chewbacca. For me, Suotamo delivered one of the most genuinely well-played emotional moments in not just The Rise of Skywalker but also the entire sequel saga, when a heart-felt Chewbacca reacts to the devastating news of a loved one's passing. I certainly wasn't the only person getting teary-eyed in the cinema, that's for sure!

EPISODE IX character card image.

'Star Wars': New Details on Chewie's 'Force Awakens' Snub Revealed by Joonas Suotamo | Hollywood Reporter

At the London filming, Joonas has fun on set with his son. 

Video interviews:

(12) Joonas Suotamo On Playing Chewbacca In ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’ - YouTube

(12) Joonas Suotamo: Rise of Skywalker - YouTube

(12) Joonas Suotamo | Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - YouTube

(12) Joonas Suotamo talks about playing Chewbacca - YouTube

Friday 10 January 2020


A duel begins in the recently released Chinese poster for EPISODE IX.

As the combined forces of the First Order and the Empire prepare to take the galaxy, Rey and Kylo Ren square off on the remains of the second Death Star, in the memorable Asian/International territories poster for The Rise of Skywalker.

Behind the scenes info recently revealed for EPISODE IX:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Writer Chris Terrio on Major Spoilers | IndieWire

Intent Behind The Rise of Skywalker Opening Crawl Explained by Co-Writer

Star Wars 9 Editor Reveals 3 Scenes Added During Reshoots

Wednesday 8 January 2020


Rey faces her destiny, and what could also be her final battle, against the returned evil of Emperor Palpatine, preparing for the ultimate dominion of the Sith, in Dan Mumford's final poster art for worldwide IMAX/AMC screenings of The Rise of Skywalker.

Tuesday 7 January 2020


Always on the lookout for their next profitable exercise in salvage hunting (as seen with their splendid appearance in the second episode of The Mandalorian), the scavenger Jawas make a stopover in the desert environs of Tatooine for this great post-Classic Trilogy release created painting from the much-missed Ralph McQuarrie. A lovely scenescape homage to it recreated in live-action - a special tribute to the important artist and his cherished SW work by Lucasfilm/ILM/J.J. Abrams - during the emotional Lars Homestead finale to The Rise of Skywalker.

Sunday 5 January 2020


Following on from the success of their 2018 released examination of the saga's beloved creatures and aliens, Abrams Books for Young Readers releases the second of its highly-detailed, visually immersive Cinemagic books devoted to The Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars, this time focusing on the many ingenious and iconic Ships + Battles across the franchise's entire filmic landscape. New to the range author Landry Walker goes to town charting the incredible and inspiring behind the scenes developments and landmarks that would change the face of cinema and pop culture history forever, alongside many very rare images, storyboards and art pieces from the Lucasfilm Archive that are effectively showcased. The detailed tome even gets to include a brief, picture-focused sneak-peek at some memorable moments from the newly-released The Rise of Skywalker.

Here's the official book blurb:

Go behind the scenes on the Journey to The Rise of Skywalker in this interactive book to see how favorite vehicles from the Millennium Falcon to Imperial AT-ATs were created and used in legendary scenes like the Battles of Endor and Hoth
Go behind the scenes of the biggest movie franchise of all time in this immersive and interactive book to see how the most iconic vehicles in the galaxy from the Millennium Falcon to X-Wings and TIE fighters to AT-ATs and the Death Star were created and used in the films of the Star Wars saga. This collectible book includes special interactive elements, including six-page booklets, accordion folds, and flaps that reveal the magic behind the movies with concept sketches, molds, digital imagery and more! Plus, get a sneak peak at some of the vehicles from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

Get The Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars: Ships + Battles here:

Also available: The Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars: Creatures + Aliens:

Saturday 4 January 2020


Our on-a-quest young heroes face dedicated pursuit across the Pasaana landscape by high-speed, high-flying First Order forces, as seen in the penultimate art piece from Dan Mumford celebrating the IMAX/AMC cinematic release of The Rise of Skywalker.


Friday 3 January 2020


Forty-three years ago this month, the accomplished American composer John Williams began conducting the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra at Anvil Studios, Denham for the original scoring/recording sessions for what was then known as the singular Star Wars, from which an amazing, rousing and iconic set of emergent musical themes would soon be unleashed into the world by the following Summer. The grim realist movies of the early to mid-seventies had seen the loss of the great musical scores, but Star Wars would redress the balance- and then some! This was the music score that generations of people had been subconsciously waiting to listen to and enjoy all their lives, as millions of fans celebrated the glorious movie's soaring spirit with the must-have purchase of its resultant two-disc record set. A legend, and a franchise, was born. Now, in December 2019, after his further work on seven previous highly-successful sequels, Williams returns to 'a galaxy far, far away...' one final time, for the last epic journey/adventure of the Skywalker saga. And the listening results of this new contribution are simply splendid, as The Rise of Skywalker debuts in CD and online form from Walt Disney Records this December 20th, 2019.

Sequel Trilogy characters old and new bring closure to the nine-film saga.

Wrapping up the saga more efficiently than the overall highly satisfying movie to which its work is such a symbiotic part, Williams mastery of composing and his clear love of the universe created by George Lucas shines through with every track - his musical verve having been magnificently reawakened with the arrival of the sequels from 2015. All of the rich themes of love, passion, inner and outer adventure, foreshadowed eerieness and thrilling battles he has lyrically created are encapsulated perfectly within EPISODE IX, notably in tracks like The Old Death Star and Approaching the Throne, with its ominous stirrings of the Dark Side of the Force, counterbalanced by the memories of its light and good side champions, especially brother and sister Jedi Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, in Destiny of a Jedi, We Go Together and A New Home. Of the sequel trilogy, the haunting theme for the lone heroine Rey continues to be used for both courage and darkness, whilst the operatic composition for galactic brat Kylo Ren takes on extra nuances, especially by the film's important game-changing finale - The Force Is With You. But despite the important, mythic grandeur there's also some fun, jaunty new tracks to make the most of, as Williams highlights the overall zippy nature of the film, especially during its first half (notably for The Speeder Chase and Fleeing from Kijimi).The all-new highlight for the film and the overall soundtrack must, however, be the genuinely emotional main theme - The Rise of Skywalker, which will bring tears to the eyes when you hear it/see it in relation to the arc completing heroism onscreen (and the way it concludes the overall nine-film arc), as well as in its separate soundtrack existence.

John Williams, bringing the musical magic with him.

So now the saga is complete. And so too is John Williams' musical odyssey for it - a richly diverse and rewarding listening experience that will never die, for which we can all collectively, deservedly applaud his incredible, unbeatable contribution as the genuine emotional heart and centre of Star Wars. A forty-three year generational tapestry from an incredible, nuanced talent whose work will always bring out the adventurous, romantic spirit stirring deep inside us...

AFICIONADO RATING: Thank you, John Williams! 4 out of 5

Get the score here:

Williams talks EPISODE IX:

Wednesday 1 January 2020


It's had very little release fanfare, but the second of Dan Mumford's great art pieces celebrating The Rise of Skywalker in IMAX/AMC cinemas worldwide has now arrived online, and its another gem, showcasing the against-the-odds rush of the Resistance fighter squadrons against the overwhelming combination of the First and Final Order Imperial forces near Exagol...