Thursday 30 June 2022

'OBI-WAN KENOBI' - NEWS UPDATE (6)


The series ended with an emotional and exciting duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader that lived up to its potential. And it looks like a second season for the pair may be on the cards at some point in the future after having been such an overwhelming success story for Disney+.

Here's the final batch of related news and clips (for now...)


Darth Vader's return in Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally even scarier, says head writer | GamesRadar+




Darth and Hayden at a special series cinema screening for Canadian fans.





The full line-up of official character posters for the series.








Sunday 26 June 2022

OUT THIS WEEK: 'SHADOW OF THE SITH'


Its dramatic and dangerous events mysteriously referred to during the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker, Adam Christopher's eagerly awaited novel features a pre-The Force Awakens Luke Skywalker, back to being a Jedi Knight in fully heroic, determined protectorate mode, notably teamed once again with that old smoothie and former Rebel Alliance hero, Lando Calrissian. Together, this formidable, likeable duo must search for a vicious and clever Sith Assassin who many know the path to the secret, hideous Sith planet of Exegol! 

Although the book is a tad too long, Christopher does a fine job of building up plotlines and events to The Rise of Skywalker, with the Luke/Lando combination working well. Plus, lots of great Easter Eggs and links/nostalgia references to all kinds of prior types of saga media buried within its storytelling. There's also the all-important task of bringing depth to the origins of Rey's previously elusive parents, which is done in a more than adequate way and how their beloved young daughter Rey had to be separated from the evil forces pursuant to them.

Shadow of the Sith makes an exciting debut in UK Del Rey hardback from June 28th, 2022, and, with its unique timeline setting, looks like another publishing winner.

Official book publicity information:

Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian return in this essential novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

The Empire is dead. Nearly two decades on from the Battle of Endor, the tattered remnants of Palpatine's forces have fled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But for the heroes of the New Republic, danger and loss are ever-present companions, even in this newly forged era of peace.

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is haunted by visions of the dark side, foretelling an ominous secret growing somewhere in the depths of space, on a dead world called Exegol. The disturbance in the Force is undeniable...and Luke's worst fears are confirmed when his old friend Lando Calrissian comes to him with reports of a new Sith menace.

After his daughter was stolen from his arms, Lando searched the stars for any trace of his lost child. But every new rumor only led to dead ends and fading hopes—until he crossed paths with Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl.

Ochi's true motives remain shrouded to Luke and Lando. For on a junkyard moon, a mysterious envoy of the Sith Eternal has bequeathed a sacred blade to the assassin, promising that it will give him answers to the questions that have haunted him since the Empire fell. In exchange, he must complete a final mission: return to Exegol with the key to the Sith's glorious rebirth—the granddaughter of Darth Sidious himself, Rey.

As Ochi hunts Rey and her parents to the edge of the galaxy, Luke and Lando race into the mystery of the Sith's lingering shadow and aid a young family running for their lives.

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith - Exclusive Book Excerpt | StarWars.com

'Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith': Exclusive excerpt shows Rey's parents

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith - Exclusive Excerpt From the Episode IX Prequel Novel - IGN

Get the book here:

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith (Audio Download): Adam Christopher, William DeMeritt, Penguin Audio: Amazon.co.uk: Audible Books & Originals

'VADER WEEK': DAY 7 - THE UNSTOPPABLE FORCE OF DARKNESS!


Our week-long celebration of Darth Vader ends full circle, leading into A New Hope: the Dark Lord's arrival on the damaged Profundity cruiser and his quickly unforgettable massacre of its brave Rebel troops buying escape time for a certain Blockade Runner to slip its moorings, during the superb and genuinely brutal ending to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This last-minute sequence (in which stuntman Daniel Naprous was in the suit), shot and added to the film in its post production phase, would cement Vader's reputation anew as one baddie you don't want to run into!

Saturday 25 June 2022

'VADER WEEK': DAY 6 - PT 2: KNIGHT vs MASTER!


Deep within the still lethally environs on the forbidden Sith world of Malachor, fugitive Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano is locked in tense battle - in a thrilling and brutal lightsaber duel - against her former master whom she once believed dead, Anakin Skywalker, now very much alive and well in his intimidating and shocking-to-see identity as the evil Darth Vader. 

Dave Filoni's superb Burbank Office board illustrations for the scene, which everyone on staff was reluctant to rub out, including Rian Johnson.



This was the sequence, he dramatic post Order 66 scene, the personal conflict between such gifted friends and Jedi, that all fans of The Clone Wars animated series had been waiting years for, and whose onscreen realisation, carefully planned for by producer Dave Filoni. they were not disappointed by, during the extended Star Wars Rebels Season Two finale: Twilight of the Apprentice.



Friday 24 June 2022

'VADER WEEK': DAY 6 - McQUARRIE'S DARK LORD UNLEASHED!

The special rare cover variant of Vader, menacingly gracing Star Wars Insider back in 2015.

His return to live-action villainy may have been a a year or two in coming back in 2014/15, but Darth Vader nonetheless made an impressive full debut in animated form opening the second season of Star Wars Rebels in spectacular style in 2015, the series' artists celebrating/refining the original visage concept design for the character first launched by Ralph McQuarrie in 1975 - note the proper red eyes for the helmet that were also seen with the original 1977 movie!

Vader's immoral and unceasing actions in evil made him a truly formidable and lethal force against the saga's latest Jedi in Kanan Jarrus and his young Padawan, Ezra Bridger. Plus, we got to see Vader pilot his prototype TIE fighter once more into fierce battle!

The animated Vader in character poses.


Thursday 23 June 2022

'VADER WEEK': DAY 5 - FAMILIAL COMBAT!


With the now confirmed revelation that Darth Vader was once his father: Anakin Skywalker, Luke has come to terms with the fact, despite it nearly destroying him psychologically and physically during The Empire Strikes Back. Knowing that there may yet still be some kind of good present in such a dark soul, the young Jedi is determined to free his father from the grip of the Emperor/Darth Sidious, even if it means the cost of his own life.

The core dramatic and emotional struggle linked to Vader, as well as the superb father/son lightsaber duel rematch ahead between him and Luke, make for exciting elements in Drew Struzan's now classic teaser poster for Return of the Jedi, released in late 1982, of which the above image is a concept piece. 


Wednesday 22 June 2022

'VADER WEEK': DAY 4 - 'I AM YOUR FATHER!"


Young Luke Skywalker has recklessly travelled to Bespin's Cloud City in an ultimately futile attempt to save his captured friends from Darth Vader. Now Vader has unleashed the full power of the Dark Side, and his considerable lightsaber duelling skills, against the boy, slowly diminishing his confidence and strength, crippling him, then delivering a shocking revelation to the young Jedi-to-be that will change Luke's life and destiny forever, during the exciting, genuinely dark and often chillingly unnerving finale to the outstanding first sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.

A superb modern piece by Vincent Hie.


Tuesday 21 June 2022

'VADER WEEK': DAY 3 - A DARK LORD'S DOMINANCE!


Despite looming large in all of the original Star Wars publicity and merchandise of 1977/78, Darth Vader had spent a lot of time in the original first film operating his evil-dom alongside that of another notable villain, Grand Moff Tarkin, as played so effectively by Peter Cushing. But with Tarkin's demise on the Death Star, The Empire Strikes Back would go on to solidify Vader's superstar icon platform as the central antagonist chasing the ongoing rebellion (as captured in this great unused concept poster art from film industry legend Tom Jung), and most notably its top Jedi-to-be hero, Luke Skywalker. 

This search by the Dark Lord for the young hero would soon become an obsession, the reason for which would soon be shockingly revealed by Empire's grim conclusion...

'OBI-WAN KENOBI' - LATEST NEWS (UPDATE 5)


The hopefully thrilling wrap-it-all-up finale of Obi-Wan Kenobi is almost upon us, tomorrow exclusively on Disney+. Here is the latest news/footage linked to the overall series.



Monday 20 June 2022

'VADER WEEK': DAY 2 - "NOW I AM THE MASTER!"


Once friends, now deadly enemies working at opposite sides of the power of the Force, Obi-Wan Kenobi duels with his old and still powerful nemesis ultimately to buy escape time for the rescued Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker to escape the Death Star and find the Rebels' 'Hidden Fortress'. It will be a situation that will see the noble Jedi, no longer in nomadic hiding, make the ultimate sacrifice that will anger and thwart Darth Vader's plans at murderous revenge.

Sunday 19 June 2022

'VADER WEEK': DAY 1 - MAKING AN ENTRANCE!


With guile, cunning, and ferocity, he has traced the Rebel spies who captured the top secret plans to the Death Star project, now Darth Vader and his Stormtrooper legion have attacked and boarded a Rebel-serving Blockade Runner bearing influential senate markings trying to escape his Star destroyer's pursuit over the outer rim world of Tatooine. The plans will finally be retrieved by Vader - whatever the cost!

The still-magnificent moment that introduced Darth Vader to the world, from the original Star Wars, as captured in modern storybook art form by Brian Rood

James Earl Jones Was Paid Only $7K to Voice Darth Vader in 'Star Wars'


Saturday 18 June 2022

WELCOME TO 'VADER WEEK'! IN THE BEGINNING....



With his superb return in the Obi-Wan Kenobi mini-series exclusively airing on Disney+, in what should be a spectacular finale duel in its possibly feature-length running time concluding episode, Star Wars Aficionado begins a week-long celebration of the enigmatic mystery, danger, power and unequalled villainy of the saga's ultimate super-baddy, Darth Vader.

And what better to way to start than at the beginning, as the disfigured form of once Jedi hero gone dark, Anakin Skywalker, is fatefully entombed in the life support system that will rule and unleash his hatred across the galaxy for the next twenty five years: as Darth Vader, unnatural servant of Darth Sidious!

If anyone knows the name of the artist of this great work, please get in touch...

Thursday 16 June 2022

'ATTACK' AT 20: DANGER ON CORUSCANT!

A disguised Padme tends to her dying 'decoy' bodyguard, Corde.

Someone is out to murder Senator Padme Amidala!

Despite all security precautions, secretly returning to Coruscant to vote on a critical Republic bill linked to the creation of the controversial Army of the Republic, Padme is soon in the crosshairs of the clever Bounty Hunter Zam Wesell, of which two trusted Jedi, past known to the Senator (the noble Obi-Wan Kenobi and his love-smitten-for-Padme Padawan Learner, the youthfully edgy Anakin Skywalker) are soon in pursuit of both Wesell and the so-far elusive paymaster who will ultimately kill the shape-changing alien before she can talk to her captors.

The mystery continues, and deepens...

The 'decoy' Padme makes her way off the Naboo vessel...

... but is soon slain by a mystery enemy!

The fiery assassination attempt on the Coruscant landing pad.

Deadly poisonous Kouhun creatures are used in a soon-stopped second murder attempt.

As Obi-Wan crashes onto a remote droid, Dorme (Rose Byrne) tends to Padme.

Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi follows the trail to the bounty hunter above Coruscant.

The mysterious Zam Wesell (Leanna Walsman) takes aim in this publicity image.


A new target for Zam: Obi-Wan Kenobi!

Rescued by a timely arrived Anakin, as the speeder chase begins..

Power couplings prove a danger!

Then Anakin goes spectacularly solo to bring Wesell's speeder down!

Obi-Wan finally apprehends the shape-changer in a local sports bar.

Taken out for questioning in a side alley.

The shape-changer is killed before revealing the person who hired her.




Tuesday 14 June 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES: FUN ON THE 'STAR WARS STAGE'!

Image: Mark Sennet via the Star Wars Archives website.


Forty-three years ago this Summer, the legendary and expansive Star Wars Stage was built exclusively for use with The Empire Strikes Back at Elstree Studios, and proved an enormous asset not only for the all-important first Star Wars sequel (for sequences set on Hoth and later Dagobah), but for all other future blockbuster films made there (including the Indiana Jones trilogy), right up until its eventual and sad demise by the nineties - the space now enjoyed by a Tesco's shopping centre!

Enjoy this great image selection of Empire's main cast (and crew) taken on set during filming of critical Rebel Base hangar scenes for the movie in 1979...

Underneath the Falcon.


Mark Hamill in a Snowspeeder.


Threepio hides out by an X-wing engine pod!

He loves her. She knows!


Fisher always enjoyed frolicking with Anthony Daniels in his Threepio costume.





The various UK and US art department talents pose for a group shot by a transport vehicle.


Sunday 12 June 2022

ROGUE WARRIORS! 'THE BAD BATCH' SEASON TWO - COMING SOON...


In their saga timeline, several years have passed since the uniquely mis-matched Clone Wars troopers known as the 'Bad Batch' escaped the grip and power of the first Galactic Empire to become loyal brothers and free agents working across the Outer Rim and beyond. In this era of danger and criminal enterprise, more trouble, danger, action, and thrilling animated adventure awaits them during the fan-awaited, subtly game-changing Season Two, airing exclusively on Disney+ from January 4th, 2023.