Monday 31 October 2022


When you want to get a great seasonal fright party together, don't forget these great intergalactic rogues from the legendary Mos Eisley Cantina - then staying at Rick Baker's place during 1977 - to spice things up!

STAR WARS AFICIONADO wishes all worldwide readers a very ghoulish HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Saturday 29 October 2022


The deservedly ever-popular The Clone Wars animated series makes a welcome return via a distinctive new way of storytelling - Dave Filoni's innovative Tales of the Jedi series, now airing exclusively on Disney+. And well worth watching it is too, filling in the character/story gaps before, during, and after the Prequels, and most notably for an excellent Count Dooku arc.

All-in-all, it's a fitting end to a great year celebrating both the Prequels and the Twentieth Anniversary of Attack of the Clones.

A lovely batch of recently released episodic promotional images.


Friday 28 October 2022


On the bridge of a rogue Trade Federation vessel, the evil Count Dooku and his key associates in terror and carnage - Wat Tambor, General Grievous and Nute Gunray - plan their attacks at the start of the now infamous Clone Wars, in this great moment from the montage beginning to The Clone Wars animated movie of 2008.

Wednesday 26 October 2022


Filmed at Elstree Studios on Friday June 4th, 1976 (with an additional day of Second Unit work on Tuesday 8th), Obi-Wan Kenobi’s perilous mission to de-activate the chasm-facing Tractor Beam control access terminal is realized on a set (a redress of the previously filmed chasm area from April) that is built literally only three feet off the floor (with a higher up walkway set corridor/bridge behind and above it (with futuristic piping set decorations that were a combination of specially built props and cardboard photo blow ups previously used in the chasm sequence)). The looking down view of the Tractor Beam control set would be enhanced with a matte painting overlay added on in post production by P.S. Ellenshaw. 

The set would be the favourite of Continuity Supervisor Ann Skinner during filming.

Discovering the tractor beam power terminal.

Moving to the controls.

Either a specially posed dramatic image (most likely) by photographer John Jay, or a lost moment of Kenobi witnessing the long drop below.

At work on the controls.

Turning off the power.

Alternate B/W of the classic scene image.

As seen in the film.

Watching an alternate early edit of the film - famously and now incorrectly known back in 1999 as 'The Lost Cut' - Dr. David West Reynolds would recall to Star Wars Insider of the special effects-less sequence put together in rough form back in 1976:

"We see quite a few additional angles of the tractor beam coupling zone - more passageways, catwalks and bridges. Ben scurries around, hides, and sneaks past the guards in this dark lattice-work environment of strange tunnels and platforms, making his way to the tractor beam which here seems very hidden in the bowels of the Death Star, It is an interesting alternate feel for the scene- very similar, and yet the nuances are all different." 

ILM storyboard.

Harrison Ellenshaw working on the matte painting for the scene at ILM.

Matte and studio final combination.

Monday 24 October 2022


With escalated nightmare visions of his mother that can no longer be ignored, a deeply concerned Anakin, with emotional support from Padme, travels back to his former homeworld of Tatooine, arriving at the Lars Homestead just outside Mos Eisley, where former slave Shmi has now been living a life of freedom, and is happily married to the respected farmer Cliegg Lars.

With thanks to Chris Baker for selected images.

Arriving at the homestead.

Anakin and Padme are reunited with Threepio, who has finally been given his metal skin coverings.

“It was a very nostalgic experience (returning to the Tunisian Lars homestead). It was odd to be back in one of the places we shot the original movie, especially since it hadn’t changed much. It was strange to be standing in the same spot twenty-five years later.”


The newly created homestead igloo, as seen on location at the same salt flat location first used in Spring 1976.

Filming his original scenes operating the Threepio puppet from EPISODE I on location. In post production editing, Lucas decides that the puppet will be replaced with the Threepio suited version earlier in the film than originally planned.

Anthony Daniels is nostalgic for the location as he suits up to film a later scene in the shell costume.

Hayden Christensen ponders the incredible landscape prior to filming.

Thursday 20 October 2022


A sequence rich in action, suspense, danger, heroism and emotional humour, heightened by a terrific score from John Williams, the battle by Indy to rescue his father from the belly of a German tank was surely one of the indomitable physical highlights of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade back in 1989, filmed in Spain in spectacular and explosive fashion by an enthused crew led by Steven Spielberg, and a wonderful example of why the Indy franchise has endured and remains superior to so many action movies before and since.

Tuesday 18 October 2022


Tracking Jango Fett's Slave 1 to the Geonosian asteroid belt, the hunter soon becomes the hunted when the Fetts' surprise attack him, unleashing heavy weapons and a seismic charge against him. Believed dead, Jango now pilots his ship to a a rendezvous with the Geonosians, unaware that Obi-Wan has generated his own survival trick...

Behind the scenes, the menacing delayed blast sound of the seismic charge was originally developed but never used by sound designer Ben Burtt back in 1976 for A New Hope, and the destruction of Alderaan by the Death Star.

Slave 1 emerges at Geonosis.

Father and son head to Geonosis but soon realize they've been tracked.

Obi-Wan in pursuit!

Slave 1 attacks Obi-wan's Jedi Starfighter.

Obi evades missiles.

The devastating seismic blast!

Hidden, believed dead, in the asteroid field.

A heavy Trade Federation presence embedded on Geonosis is discovered.

Sunday 16 October 2022


They've rescued the Princess (or did she rescue them?) from the cell bay, but our heroes have now had to retreat to a place even Stormtroopers wouldn't go - a trash compactor, home to smelly rubbish, a creepy underwater Dianoga creature, and, worst of all, crush-deadly moving walls!

Filmed in late June, 1976 at Elstree Studios, UK practical special effects supervisor John Stears and Production Designer John Barry (with set decorator Roger Christian) construct the Garbage Compactor room on Stage 4 over a half-filled studio water tank, added with oil and specially selected rubbish (the material also includes many Styrofoam pieces selected for it’s lightweight ability to crush and collapse easily). The garbage room walls would be made from metal clad plywood, mounted on tracks and linked together by a series of wires and pulleys to a tractor. As the tractor winch picked up, the walls slid along the track to a certain point simulating the walls closing in to crush our heroes! 

Our heroes survey their new environment. 

The Dianoga attacks!

The Dianoga creature (originally derived from the First Draft of the Star Wars screenplay- being the name of the Galactic Warriors that would eventually become Jedi) was firstly conceived and designed as a transparent, Jellyfish-like creature with see-through vein/ tentacles that would shoot up at people (of which the effects men would eventually create, what Lucas called, “an eight foot high, twelve foot wide brown turd!”). When built, however, the creature turns out to be bigger than the actual set it was to reside in! Sadly not living up to Lucas’s effects expectations, a replacement, built with little remaining money, is used for the ELSTREE filming, this one being a long tentacle several yards long (operated from below water by a pair of divers), whilst the rest of it will be replaced, for a close up shot, with a model miniature by the effects people in Van Nuys, California only a few short months before the film's eventual US 1977 release date.

Saved by the droids! At last!

The principal actors would all wear rubber suits under their costumes which, after a couple of hours, would become uncomfortable when under the hot studio lights, and would shrink whilst working in water. The only person lucky to escape the rubber suit is Peter Mayhew as Chewie, who would walk along a partially concealed four-inch plank, located at the back of the set near the sealed exit door, so that the expensive mohair suit wouldn’t be damaged by his treading in the combined water and oil around him (though, after filming of the sequence, the costume would nonetheless retain an unpleasant odour from the set's overall dampness for a short period). For the shot-heavy sequence, extra filming time was cleared at Elstree, with one day’s shooting hours being extended until 21.42pm on Tuesday June 22nd, though a Second Unit crew were also required on the set for the 29th. 

Behind the scenes images in the grimy Trash Compactor....

Between takes where Luke is submerged by the Dianoga, Mark Hamill has to remove his costume, get blow dried, and then be re-suited in his Stormtrooper costume for the next take, only to be pulled under water again (of which, on one of the filming days, some scenes required Hamill having to be shot from a side angle due to the whites in one of his eyes having a burst blood vessel - from the results of having to be continually submerged various times and after staying underwater for too long. Then the filming of certain close-ups of Luke would be postponed and later cut from the filming schedule. The third time he goes under, Hamill, picking up a piece of slimy looking debris from his white armour, turns to a deep in concentration for the next take George Lucas, and sings “Pardon me, George, could this be Dianoga poo-poo?” (to the tune of “Chatanooga Choo-Choo”). Did Lucas find Hamill’s humour amusing? Certainly not, as, a few seconds later, the director apparently sends Hamill back underwater quicker than he anticipated!

Filming our heroes last minute rescue, as cameramen capture an unseen moment from Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.