CELEBRATING FORTY GLORIOUS YEARS OF 'THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK' AT STARWARS.COM

Saturday, 31 July 2021

CLASSIC ART: THE A-WINGS LAUNCH!


The call to action is initiated, as sleek Rebel A-wing fighters, seen here in original Expanded Universe action, recently returned to the Star Wars saga with The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, speed out of a cruiser's hangar, acting as escort to smaller vessels. 

Great cover art by John Nadeau for the X-wing- Rogue Squadron: Family Ties comic series from Dark Horse, of 1998.

Friday, 30 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: NO RECEPTION COMMITTEE?


The overall atmosphere seems way too quiet for Luke and Artoo, the pair having touched down at Bespin's Cloud City. Luke's visions of danger to his friends have brought him here, and he's so far armed and ready as he pulls back a screen door, in this deleted moment from Empire.

Where is everybody?

Luke makes his way further into the city. This image would also be used for the Kenner action figure character card in 1980.

Continuity Polaroid for Luke's more weathered fatigues - April 1979, that will have to match with the eventual Dagobah filming costume/s in the Summer.


Thursday, 29 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: IN PERFECT HIBERNATION!


Lando inspects the carbon frozen form of Han Solo and announces that he has indeed survived the freezing process. Against his wishes in seeing Han taken by Boba Fett to Jabba the Hutt. Lando's other plans to keep Leia and Chewbacca under friendly house arrest at Cloud City are swiftly obliterated by Darth Vader, once more altering the deal, now planning to have them taken to his ship, with the news that his real prey, Luke Skywalker, has arrived. It soon proves a deal-breaker too far for the Baron Administrator...  


In the Marvel Comics Super Special adaptation of Empire, instead of having his prisoners transferred to his ship, Vader instead orders a Stormtrooper garrison to be stationed at Cloud City to keep watch over Leia and Chewbacca with Lando.

Kershner with Williams, whilst David Tomblin prepares for filming.



Wednesday, 28 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: SOLO'S NIGHTMARE FACE!


With the carbonite body frame previously sculpted from British supporting artist Alan Harris, Harrison Ford's face for the frozen visage of Han Solo would be separately moulded and attached to Harris's body by Stuart Freeborn at Elstree Studios at least a month prior to the studio filming at Elstree.


Graham and Stuart Freeborn apply some mucky business to Harrison Ford!



Back-up moulds later created by ILM.



Tuesday, 27 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: CARBON HELL!


Our shocked heroes are witness to the living death inflicted on Han Solo by Darth Vader, in this memorable specially created cover for one of the UK issues of The Empire Strikes Back Weekly comic, from famed classic comics artist Carmine Infantino, himself a regular artist on the US Marvel Comics Star Wars monthly colour comics for the previous two years.

Monday, 26 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: THE CARBON NIGHTMARE!


Later described as 'a big wide awake nothing' nightmare by Han Solo, the smuggler's carbon frozen form is finally revealed -  its grim visage making for an eerie and unnerving sight to Star Wars fans as actor Harrison Ford's future participation in future sequels now seemed uncertain...

Sunday, 25 July 2021

CLASSIC IMAGE: A TIME FOR TRUTH...


Their dinner at the Varykino lake house on Naboo had been one of quiet delight, but now, retreated to a nearby fireside, Anakin Skywalker can hide his feelings for Padme Amidala no more, in this emotion-building and future consequences-filled scene from EPISODE II.

Friday, 23 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: OUR HEROES DEFEATED?




Their situation within Imperial captivity has never been grimmer for Chewbacca and Princess Leia Organa as they watch their loved one in Han Solo withdrawn from the Carbon Freezing pit within his new locked-in frozen visage now cruelly revealed.

Interestingly in an early draft, writer Lawrence Kasdan thought it would be an interesting idea if Chewbacca early-on showed some mild jealousy towards Leia for her building relationship with Solo. Ultimately, on screen, Chewbacca would become her devoted protector in many ways, a scenario enjoyed by actor Peter Mayhew by the film's final act.




Filming of the scene would prove quite intense for all the actors, especially Carrie Fisher who was unhappy with last minute script changes being made without her knowledge, and whom needed careful emotional handling in her direction from Irvin Kershner, with additional assistance from Gary Kurtz. No matter the problems offscreen, the onscreen results of Miss Fisher's dramatic work are outstanding.

Going through the dramatic scenes with Irvin Kershner whilst a mask-less Peter Mayhew and background stormtroopers take a break on set.


The carbon frozen Han block is moved into position on set.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: DARK WITNESS!


The near demise of the talented rogue smuggler Han Solo in his carbonite trap, and the emotional effects such a brutal act has on his rebel friends now prisoners, ultimately means nothing to Darth Vader, as his obsessive quest to finally capture Luke Skywalker nears completion.  To him, deep beneath the mask and the iron lung breathing methodically, and to the Dark Lord of the Sith's mind, Solo is a necessary means to an end, and that is all.

Dave Prowse in character posing for the on set photography.

A few superbly atmospheric images of Dave Prowse as Darth Vader on the Carbon Freeze Chamber set, taken during Summer, 1979.


A soon classic image used in many magazines publicising the movie during 1980.


Tuesday, 20 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: A WAKING NIGHTMARE!


The time has come, of which darkness looks set to win against the powers of light, in this memorable moment for Harrison Ford's Han Solo, from the classic Carbon Freezing Chamber sequence filmed on or around the 21st June, 1979.

J.W. RINZLER - SAD NEWS AND A REQUEST FOR HELP...

Image: StarWarsNewsNet.

SWA is deeply, deeply saddened to hear the news that acclaimed author/film historian and all-round nice guy J.W. Rinzler's pancreatic cancer condition has become grave. His daughter Sarah recently went online to thank fans worldwide for their continued support and has opened up a GoFundMe account should anyone out there be able to kindly help with a donation towards his medical expenses...

https://www.gofundme.com/f/h2qw7z-jonathans-medical-expenses?member=12531375&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer


Monday, 19 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: THE KISS, AND 'I KNOW'...


Exchanging a passionate but emotionally haunted final kiss, Han Solo is finally separated from his lover and placed in the carbon freeze chamber pit middle, as Ugnaughts prepare him for the freezing process.

Despite the dangers and the fear of losing his life to the carbon freezing process, the familiar Han Solo magic is evident when, after Leia declares her love for him, he replies with the unexpected but sincere return of 'I know', a line that, worrying to Lucas since the unscripted Ford contribution was filmed in June 1979, got laughs from 1980 cinema audiences watching the tense scene play out. But thankfully not in a negative way - we were all simply enjoying the confidence of the hero.

Harrison Ford: As I pass by her, I think Leia ought to say very simply, " I love you."

Irvin Kershner: (Tries it out) "I love you." And you say, "Just remember that, Leia, because I'll be back." You've got to say, "I'll be back." You must. It's almost contractual."

HF: If he says "I love you," and I say "I know," that's beautiful and acceptable and funny.

Behind the scenes on the Carbon Freezing Chamber set, captured by publicist Alan Arnold for Once Upon A Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back - 1980

"I hated the line, 'I love you too,' because it gives her (Leia) the advantage, and whenever anyone says, 'I love you,' 'I love you too,' you're at a disadvantage- the other person said it first. We shot 'I love you too,' and (I said) 'Let's come up with another line.' Well, I came up with lines, Harrison came up with lines, and we shot for another half hour, on lunch penalty. And I just went crazy, because they wanted their beers - which they drink in England during lunch - and I wanted, you know, to get the right line. After half hour, we gave up and I said 'Let's do one more take. Don't think about it, shoot!Action!' And Harrison pulled back and said, 'I know,' and 'I said, okay, that's it. Lunch!'

Irvin Kershner- The Empire Strikes Back DVD commentary - 2006 

"When Kersh presented his cut, he used the line, 'I know,' and George (Lucas) said, 'well that's gonna get a laugh.That's not good.' And Kersh and I both said it could be a good laugh at that moment. I remember being at the test screening in San Francisco sitting next to George - Kershner on the other side - and he went in predicting this was going to be a bad laugh, but I think the audience convinced him it was not so bad. But I take no ownership (of the line). If Kersh hadn't thought it was a good idea, we wouldn't have shot it. So there you are. It is a collaborative process. "

Harrison Ford - 2010

Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan was not happy with the changes made to the dialogue but seeing the final improvised results on screen proved ultimately accepting of it.


Sunday, 18 July 2021

'INDY V' - LATEST NEWS (JULY 2021)

The chase is on for Indy in 1960's New York!

Harrison Ford's injured shoulder may be temporarily keeping him off the Indy V set until September, but action filming with doubles and stunt doubles continues apace in Glasgow, Scotland, what with several of its streets transformed into New York during a critical action sequence also involving co-stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Thomas Kretschmann. 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is revealed during filming.

Great to see Antonio Banderas also officially joining an already excellent guest cast

dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9784831/Harrison-Ford-79-cuts-casual-figure-birthday-stroll.html

https://variety.com/2021/film/news/antonio-banderas-indiana-jones-5-harrison-ford-1235021085/

https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/gallery/pictures-indiana-jones-filming-turns-20991696

https://www.digitalspy.com/movies/a37032867/indiana-jones-5-phoebe-waller-bridge-first-look/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9784831/Harrison-Ford-79-cuts-casual-figure-birthday-stroll.html?ito=social-facebook-celeb&fbclid=IwAR2QqjuzjK_pzVommGyW6R3VPIxcLX3JmoFBra0U25CibiXM3GJSUsMj9WA

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/7398887/indiana-jones-glasgow-filming-road-closures-harrison-ford/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9790951/Harrison-Ford-visits-Imperial-War-Museum-Cambridge-look-vintage-planes.html

https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/glasgow-indiana-jones-filming-watch-21123011?fbclid=IwAR0uhVcPIU32ksYfamGxfS1DQmVpq1yZnIZxd-4okTUq595L24m-YTwBUyI

Saturday, 17 July 2021

CLASSIC IMAGE: THREEPIO IN GENESIS!


The Prequel Trilogy behind the scenes news filters slowly but surely revealed that Threepio would return to the saga in one shape or form, but his final visual reveal, and historical storytelling place at the saga's beginning, proved both surprising and intriguing, as seen in this great concept/production art by Doug Chiang from 1995. 



Friday, 16 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: DOOMED LOVERS?



Han Solo and a haunted. emotionally strained Leia part ways in the most horrific of circumstances during this classic scene of dramatic intensity.

Conferring with Irvin Kershner.



Thursday, 15 July 2021

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 40: GOODBYE HAN SOLO?


Han Solo is prepared for his potential demise, and readied to the middle of the chamber by the Ugnaughts in this great selection of images from in front of and behind the camera.