Tuesday 28 February 2023


The Jedi (including Seasee Tiin) charge into arena battle in an unseen angle.

The Jedi have arrived on Geonosis, and battle against the enemy's legion of droids begins within the death arena. But overwhelming forces soon take their fateful toll on the skilled lightsaber warriors...

A selection of notable images from the original Australian filming of the sequence at Fox Studios during 2000, featuring second unit photography of singular Jedi in various action poses directed by editor/sound designer Ben Burtt, working in tandem with dedicated Stunt Coordinator Nick Gillard. To say that the final, sometimes jarring in flow cinematic sequence would be a combination of photography mixing deleted scenes (in and out of the arena), CGI enhancements and replacements, as well as further reshoots/additional action moments incorporated a year later, would be an epic understatement! 

“I heard of one group (of Kendo experts) that had been banned from the national competitions because they were way too aggressive. When I heard that, I knew they could be right for us.” 

Nick Gillard - Dreamwatch magazine - June 2002 

“I guess we did that one (the arena fight) for four to five days. We put everybody in there separately and then we put Ewan and me in there. And then we put me, Ewan and Hayden in. Then they bought in all the Jedi extras, which was kind of hazardous. They didn’t exactly go through all the training we did, so you had to watch your back, when they were in there and just kind of waling.” 

Samuel L. Jackson - DVD Review magazine - Issue 44 - 2002

Selected BTS information from Pablo Hidalgo's Twitter page.

Kit Fisto, Luminara Unduli, Shaak Ti and an unknown Jedi in arena battle. Image via Paul Duncan/Facebook.

One of the two hundred Jedi in action.

Exciting moves from the Byron Bay Kendo Club, well cast as trained Jedi.

A Jedi tends to fallen Padawan Tan Yuster in an unseen moment.

Sarrissa Jeng (Karen Wilson, an Australian Kendo student) in action for the deleted droid control ship raid sequence. She would be instead transplanted in the film's post production editorial into the Geonosis arena, where her character, whose hair was mostly later CGI shaved off, would be killed in a further deleted moment.

Jeng lies dead with other Jedi in an unseen moment.

Nick Gillard, ever the funster on set.

Sunday 26 February 2023


Two of the rarer explored alien bounty hunters of the live-action Star Wars Original Trilogy, though they have thrived in comics and book adventures over the years, the insect head-like droid 4-Lom (Chris Parsons) and the more humanoid Zuckuss (Kathy Munro aka Catherine Munroe) assemble with the rival likes of Boba Fett and IG-88 on the Star Destroyer Executor's bridge, awaiting instructions from their new potential pay master in the notorious Darth Vader, a fearsome individual not afraid to use the scum of the universe for his own means. 

The Empire Strikes Back not just got a whole lot nastier and darker with this scene, but also opened up a much wider universe full of shady evil beyond the Emperor's dominion...

Wearing the 4-Lom mask at Elstree.

One of Stuart Freeborn's studio team works on the Zuckuss head.

Behind the scenes in April, 1979 at Elstree Studios, the two alien's heads would be created by Stuart Freeborn's dedicated team, though the costumes and weapons were adapted from stock, or rented items from costumers/armourers.

Saturday 25 February 2023


A voyage to the bottom of the sea and through Naboo's planetary core soon turns into a perilous adventure for our Jedi heroes, and the hapless Gungan known as Jar Jar Binks, when they encounter a deadly, and very hungry to eat them, Colo Claw Fish. A memorable aquatic moment from EPISODE I, and a sequence George Lucas was keen to keep in the film as it was set within a kind of environment not previously explored in the Star Wars saga.

Friday 24 February 2023


Forced to land on the swamp world of Mimban, our young heroes Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa must face the wrath of the pursuant Darth Vader, and unlock the mystery and power of a legendary Kaiburr Crystal, in Alan Dean Foster's seminal story, officially conceived with George Lucas, set after the events of the original Star Wars, Splinter of the Mind's Eye.

Lovely Dark Horse comic adaptation art by Chris Sprouse, and a perfect image to celebrate the original Del Rey hardback's 45th Anniversary this month, the adventure that launched the Expanded Universe fiction range into everything its become now...

Wednesday 22 February 2023


Darth Vader confers with an Imperial officer (actor/stuntman Andy Bradford) about the X-wings attack.

Thirty rebels ships, so small and so fast at evading the Death Star's turbo lasers, are causing disruption and damage to the battle station, of which Lord Darth Vader initiates ship-to-ship combat. As alarm sirens blare, TIE fighter pilots scramble to their launch stations amidst the explosions and chaos around them.

Shot towards the near end of Star Wars filming at Elstree studios in the Summer of 1976, some unused footage of the pilots rushing the corridors would ultimately end up appearing in Return of the Jedi.

Alternate unused footage of Vader and TIE pilots rushing to their ships. B/W images from the Ben Ageros Collection.

Other action shots of interior explosions and chaos...

Explosions rattle key parts of the station.

More damage as Imperial officers recover from the fighter assault.

A rotating laser cannon station soon overloads and detonates. 

Monday 20 February 2023


The birth of a war, and the emergence of a Clone Army in the millions luckily ready for use - a force of efficient soldiers impressively and ominously assembled for inspection and orders instruction on the core world of Coruscant by the Galactic Republic's trusted, total overseer Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, with guidance from his Jedi colleagues Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

 A brief and memorable visual moment from the original The Clone Wars animated movie of 2008.

Saturday 18 February 2023


First introduced in Rogue One - A Star Wars Story, the fabled planet of Jedha was shown to us onscreen as a wrecked, troubled world of diverse chaos and dissident action, whose holy temples were continually ransacked and its natural resources mined by the evil and tyrannical Empire for use against the galaxy. Now, with the latest adventure in the all-new world popular The High Republic multi-media event series, we go back in time to discover the once spiritually enlightened world as it was before the dark times were prevalent, when many of its people, and other pilgrims, worshipped the Jedi and their spirit of Force goodness working to benefit peoples across the galaxy, in an all-new adventure script from George Mann - The Battle of Jedha, available now in the UK from Century Publishing.

The official release info:

After the events of The High Republic: Convergence, the Jedi travel to Jedha in this full script for the Star Wars audio original The Battle of Jedha.

Jedha, The worn streets of this ancient world serve as a confluence for the galaxy. Visited by all, yet owned by none. Here, the Jedi are but one creed among many worshipping and studying the Force. From the Guardians of the Whills to the Path of the Open Hand, countless beings come to learn, and to share, in peace. 

As all of Jedha prepares for its Festival of Balance, the galaxy still reels from the violence on Eiram and E'ronoh. But after foiling a plot to escalate the war between the two planets, the Jedi believe that a lasting peace may be within reach. Master Creighton Sun and Jedi Knight Aida Forte arrive on Jedha with delegations from both planets to formally end the 'Forever War." The Jedi hope that the harmony of Jedha's many factions, along with the signing of a peace treaty, will create a symbol to the rest of the galaxy of what can be accomplished through unity. 

But not all are happy with the Jedi's involvement or ready to concern themselves with peace. Rumours begin to swirl that the Jedi bring war in their wake. The distrust and anger that for for so long fuelled he Forever War now threaten to corrupt the communities of Jedha. When violence breaks out on the sacred moon, the war that was meant to end on Jedha may soon engulf the entire world . 

Get it here: Star Wars: The Battle of Jedha: Amazon.co.uk: Mann, George: 9781529907803: Books


The sleek Imperial Shuttle carrying its important lone occupant arrives at the Death Star II and one of its primary hangars, whilst a trio of always visually impressive Star Destroyers stand sentinel distant above the forest moon of Endor.

Special image by ILM for publicity/merchandising use.

Model reference images.

Though a barely visible Imperial shuttle was briefly seen in The Empire Strikes Back (a model likely hurriedly put together from various existing Imperial vehicle parts), this new iteration for Return of the Jedi, having more important screen time, proved a great realisation success, and was one of the most popular new model vehicles created for the effects-ambitious movie. Supervisor Ken Ralston particularly liked the Imperial shuttle, noting that "it had nice lines, was fun to light, and photographed well."

Early concept design, The art on the right would later be adapted for use as the Emperor's shuttle in Revenge of the Sith.

Kit-bashing at its finest.

Bill George and colleague at work on the model.

The unpainted version of the model which would impressively boast internal wing mechanics.

Bill George adds more fine detailing to the model.

ILM talent Rob Bailey with the model.

Don Dow is one of the key ILMers overseeing of Imperial shuttle model shooting scenes used by the Empire and, later in the film, the Rebels.

Thursday 16 February 2023


On the streets of the First Order controlled capital city of Coruscant, Finn leads a revolution against the evil oppressors and their legions of Stormtroopers, with the help of loyal friend Rose Tico, defector Stormtroopers and an assortment of droids, towards the spectacular end of what might have been Episode IX: the abandoned Colin Trevorrow vision that was Duel of the Fates, as seen in this intriguing concept work.

Leading the charge!

More on the abandoned film here:

Duel of the Fates Animated Short Film - Star Wars Fans Turned Colin Trevorrow's Leaked Script Into a Film

Tuesday 14 February 2023


Red Squadron's X-wing fighter diversionary attack on the Death Star surface is underway and our bold Rebel pilots, especially newcomer Red Five (Luke Skywalker), soon prove uncompromising in their adept talents for bringing fiery destruction to their chosen targets- deflection towers, heavy armament placements and other critical areas, whilst also proving difficult for the enemy to destroy, evading turbolasers thanks to their crafts' improved speed.

Avoiding the surface heavy cannons.

Zooming over the surface.

Biggs and Porkins' attack on the surface.

Luke Skywalker goes into full-on attack mode!

Prime attack spots made by Red Five.

A surface target area is destroyed by a crashed X-wing fighter in a filmed but unused sequence. The surface model was created by effects talent Mike Minor (best known for his mid seventies work on Star Trek), who worked briefly on the film, and, for reasons not fully known, was ultimately uncredited. The pyrotechnics representing the X-wing were handled by veteran Joe Viskocil.

Unused early composite shot of X-wing speeding across the surface.

A selection of behind the scenes filming images taken at ILM during late 1976/early 1977 at Van Nuys, California....

Superb aerial composition shot of the Death Star surface.

At work on one of the many modular panels.

Various combinations to create a surface likely not seen in the finished movie. 

A panel combination forming the Death Star surface.

ILM coordinator Jim Nelson has fun by the surface panels.

Steve Gawley makes some adjustments to the panels surface configuration.

Another great surface interior image at ILM by Chris Casady.

Simulating the X-wing cockpit viewpoint of a surface attack.

Close-up model filming at ILM.

Preparing the model pyrotechnics on a wall panel surface selection.

Filming the detonation, supervised by Richard Edlund.

Company group shot outside the ILM car park.

Richard Edlund makes some preparations for filming.

A side angle detonation covered by vehicle and camera.

Alternate angle from the ILM car park.

Edlund (on crane) and with colleague detonate an explosion on the outside surface set configuration.

More outside detonations.