It's been a death-defying (literally!) adventure for Indiana Jones and his weary travelling companion Willie Scott, but the smiling faces of the liberated Indian slave children running towards their loving parents more than makes up for their past harrowing troubles, in this memorable finale to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Sunday, 27 February 2022
Friday, 25 February 2022
ROGUE ONE: REBEL ARRIVAL!
High above the tropical realms of Scarif, Admiral Raddus' newly arrived Mon Calamari cruiser, the Profundity, and his small fleet, stands defiant against the Empire and the prior Rebel council's unwillingness to help Jyn Erso's penetration of the Imperial data centre, in this great image from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Wednesday, 23 February 2022
EPISODE VII: TAKODANA FIRE FIGHT!
Han and Chewie emerge from the ruins of Maz Kanata's destroyed home on Takodana and are quickly immersed in a running battle against newly arrived First Order forces, in this great image from The Force Awakens.
Action-packed private art commission by unknown artist.
Harrison Ford video chats about his career to Vanity Fair:
Monday, 21 February 2022
'SPECIAL EDITION' CLASSIC IMAGE: RETURN OF THE WAMPA!
Celebrating today's Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back - Special Edition, here's a behind the scenes look at the biggest new scene/revision made to that film- an expanded version of Luke's capture and escape from his Wampa captor on Hoth. The scene would feature a new cave set build at ILM, with Harold 'Howie' Weed playing the creature (in a newly built suit/facial head based on early concepts art), and directed by George Lucas, who would excitedly make the film's original director, Irvin Kershner, aware of the upcoming cinematic changes.
|The Wampa enjoys his first course. Storyboards by George Hull.|
|Planning the set, built at a reduced height to make the monster look bigger on screen.|
|Testing the in-progress new Wampa costume at ILM.|
|Howie Weed gets hungry as the old/new Wampa.|
|Don Bies and colleague Mark Siegel make a costume adjustment during filming at ILM.|
|Lucas confers with Bies and Howie Weed (who has oxygen being fed him his mouth).|
Celebrating today's anniversary:
Saturday, 19 February 2022
EPISODE III: A SITH LORD VANQUISHED?
Anakin's no-choice return to the Supreme Chancellor's office is rife with surprise and shock as he witnesses the apparent defeat of his once friend now confirmed Sith Lord in Palpatine, and from the experienced lightsaber duelling hands of Mace Windu, no less.
Thursday, 17 February 2022
ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: NO BEAUTY FOR THIS BEAST!
They're mean, ugly and intimidating. The perfect protection/attack monsters and bodyguards for Jabba the Hutt's expanding criminal enterprise. A great maquette of one of the evolving Gamorrean Guard creatures from the ILM workshop during late 1981, captured in reference polaroid form for Return of the Jedi. It was great to see several younger creature versions turning up recently in The Book of Boba Fett.
Tuesday, 15 February 2022
'ATTACK' AT 20: CRAFTING THE SECOND ACT...
George Lucas enjoying the company of his co-stars Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen on location in Lake Como - Summer, 2000.
“The next film is a love story and I don’t know how that is going to be taken by fans. They think of Star Wars as one kind of movie. And it’s drifting a little more-by the nature of it being a love story, it’s less of a kids’ movie because they don’t like to sit through all that yucky stuff. But it’s still aimed at the same age level, so it’s going to be a real challenge for me to get through that part.”
GEORGE LUCAS- EMPIRE MAGAZINE- SEPTEMBER 1999
"I've used co-writers a lot. The first one I wrote myself, but the other two were co-written. Phantom I wrote myself, but when I finished it I was tired and burned out and I took a vacation for about a month. As a result of that I did four or five drafts (of EPISODE II). It was to the point where I could show the script to the crew and they could start working on things, but it was one week before we started shooting. I knew I wanted to do more work on it, but I was about to direct the movie. So I brought in Jonathan (Hales), whom I'd worked with before on Young Indy and who I trusted. We sat down and I said, 'This needs to be fixed, this needs to be fixed.' I turned into a director and I let him be the writer."
GEORGE LUCAS - BBC ONLINE INTERVIEW - 2002
Sunday, 13 February 2022
CLASSIC ART: WHEN DARTH MET THARG!
|Art by Brian Bolland.|
The arrival of the original Star Wars in cinemas by December 1977 onwards, alongside the then recent debut of the superb and highly imaginative British sci-fi weekly comic 2000AD, proved a match made in heaven for myself and thousands of other kids around the country. And 2000AD (then fused with Tornado comic) always enjoyed promoting the right-up-their-street saga with each Original Trilogy film, alongside lots of great competitions. Who didn't want that Electronic Battle Command Game seen on the above cover?!
The start of a well researched and highly enjoyable history of Star Wars in the pages of 2000AD:
Friday, 11 February 2022
CLASSIC IMAGE: DANCE OF THE SABERS!
Poisonous gas may work its deadly effects on normal human beings, but Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are beyond that, as they launch into attack mode against the Trade Federation's surprised Battle Droids during this action-packed scene from EPISODE I.
Wednesday, 9 February 2022
'STAR WARS' AT 45: DARK AGENTS CONSPIRE!
|Image: STAR WARS ARCHIVES website.|
Striding through the hallway of Princess Leia's captured consular vessel, Darth Vader, the infamous Dark Lord of the Sith, confers with his arrogant aide, Commander Daine Jir (played by Al Lampert), about the dangers of keeping the Alderaanian princess and key Rebel Alliance operative alive. In a filmed but unused take, there is some alternate dialogue in which Jir tells Vader that "she must be destroyed immediately," to which Vader responds, "No, my first duty is to locate that hidden fortress of theirs."
|Unused angle, adding to the often documentary style visual feel.|
The "hidden fortress' of the original Star Wars is clearly another affectionate Lucas homage to the Akira Kurosawa classic of the same name- The Hidden Fortress, an important movie to the rising star director during his formative film school/university days, what with its memorable story and characters.
Monday, 7 February 2022
SOLO: BLINDED BY THE LIGHT!
In their bid to escape the gloomy heavy-industry world of Corellia and their underground existence of controlled slavery, it's now or never for Han and Qi'ra, captured and brought towards their underground 'guardian', Lady Proxima, in this great opening moment from the still under-appreciated Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Saturday, 5 February 2022
AFICIONADO REVIEW: 'THRAWN - ASCENDANCY: LESSER EVIL'
|Will the chains of duty weigh heavily on Senior Captain Thrawn? Art by Magali Villeneuve.|
As the building enemy forces of the powerful and manipulative alien allies the Grysk and Kilji Illumine prepare to attack/invade the prior weakened Chiss Ascendancy from both within and without, battle and tactical genius Senior Captain Thrawn of the Expansionary Defence Fleet, a dutiful and patriotic hero respected and feared by his friends and enemies alike, must play the ultimate gambit of his life and career in defending his species. The Battle of Sunrise awaits, needing all of Thrawn's knowledge and skills like never before in his biggest, boldest battle yet, and whose aftermath will irrevocably change and challenge his destiny in unexpected (?) ways...
Clocking in at a mammoth 500 plus page content, the 'Grand Master' of Star Wars' Expanded Universe fiction, Timothy Zahn, returns with another fan-pleaser. The final book in the Thrawn: Ascendancy saga, Lesser Evil, has lots, a lot of lots, to wrap-up with regards to plot strands and character arcs-wise. And, as usual, with the utmost expert efficiency, he does a splendid and absorbing job of dotting all the I's and crossing all the T's whilst also delivering a separate satisfying story full of building plot, space battle action and dramatic conflict/resolutions. This time out, Thrawn's backstory (and even family revelations) are opened up for exploration, whilst his battle comrades amongst the Chiss Expansionary Defensive Fleet also get a lot more to do in the story/action stakes before all are ultimately sent their separate ways by the books' highly satisfying and bittersweet ending, with an intriguing coda leading into what will be the resourceful alien tactician's new life in the service of the Galactic Empire. Or is he? They say things are not always what they seem...
|The complete Ascendancy saga, available in the UK from Century.|
A fine and fitting conclusion to this experimental trilogy of Star Wars yet not Star Wars science fiction adventure storytelling that only Zahn could have pulled off with his considerable flair. There is still much potential to be mined beyond Thrawn within the Chiss Ascendancy universe of heroes, villains and unusual species (like the Magys and their mysterious abilities within 'the Beyond') that the respected author will surely return to with positive zeal.
AFICIONADO RATING: 4 out of 5
Get the book here:
Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: (Book 3: Lesser Evil): Lesser Evil (Thrawn Ascendancy, 3): Amazon.co.uk: Zahn, Timothy: 9781529150087: Books
Thursday, 3 February 2022
THE CLONE WARS: A MURDEROUS MYSTERY CLOSED?
In his expansive office on Coruscant, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine puts an end to the matter of the mystery Clone Soldiers turning on their Jedi Masters, in this superb animation image from The Clone Wars Season Six episode four, Orders, whose story perfectly leads into the live-action realms/continuity of Revenge of the Sith, and its still-shocking Order 66 sequence...
Tuesday, 1 February 2022
EPISODE IX: PREPARING FOR EXECUTION!
Their mission to rescue Chewbacca has succeeded but also failed, as Finn, Poe and our Wookiee legend are captured and await execution from a seemingly eager General Hux, in another fun moment from The Rise of Skywalker. The revelation that Hux was leaking info to the Resistance was inevitable, though, after the finale events of The Last Jedi involving the rise of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren.