Monday, 30 May 2016


Danger at the Tractor Beam terminal, in this scene from the original STAR WARS.

Having finally found his way to one of the Tractor Beam power terminals within the Death Star, a sneaking in and out Obi-Wan Kenobi deactivates the power source that has previously ensnared the Millennium Falcon, in this posed image specially taken for publicity purposes. The two Stormtrooper guards seen in the film that block one side of the Tractor Beam bridge area would be transplanted to the higher level for reasons of dramatic license for the image capturing. This famous shot would appear in many publications of the day but by the nineties would also have an animated power beam added/airbrushed to it.

The Tractor Beam terminal lights are turned on. Note the misty special effect not seen in the film.
On an upper walkway, Kenobi discovers the Tractor Beam terminal, in this deleted moment.
Filming of the scene, as shown in The Making of Star Wars.
Graham Freeborn was Sir Alec Guinness's primary make-up artist on the film.
Great high-up angle showing the filming on the set, prior to post production matte overlay.
Just a few feet off the floor, Guinness prepares for filming.
Rehearsing the moment when Kenobi distracts the Stormtrooper duo.

Filmed at Elstree Studios, the set was mostly a redress of the chasm area that Luke and Leia swung across. A prior scene of Obi-Wan Kenobi on the higher bridge walkway seeing the Tractor Beam level below was filmed but didn't make the final cut. According to Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's continuity script, having deactivated the beam and avoided the Trooper's gaze, Obi-Wan moved back into the corridor and walked briskly past a grey "dustbin droid".

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI

With thanks to Chris Baker

Sunday, 29 May 2016


In the Theed City hangar on Naboo, Queen Amidala's loyal troopers, and members of an established resistance cell, gather together to take the fight back to the Trade Federation, in this action scene from EPISODE I.

Saturday, 28 May 2016


June 11th, 2014- an amazing filming day for the STAR WARS saga.

It was the classic moment- "the money shot". The one that brought floods of tears to captivated fans at the American CELEBRATION convention of April 2015, and got everyone else worldwide joyfully enthused and enthusiastically ready for the return of the Classic Trilogy heroes Han Solo and Chewbacca with THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Han and Chewie check the Falcon.

Having been watched by over 150 people all cramming in and around the lovingly recreated Falcon interior set, the emotionally resonant scene, shot with different line deliveries by Ford and given an important full day to film (alongside special unit publicity photography), was "in the can", thankfully, before the frightening accident 24 hours later that saw the ship's hydraulic door fall on the icon and suspend his involvement on the production for several months whilst he recovered from very serious injuries. Originally, Han and Chewie entered the Falcon and moved forward, turning a corridor corner to see Rey and Finn having emerged from the darkened and inoperative cockpit. However, with Harrison temporarily out of the picture, and principal photography at Pinewood Studios now shut down for three weeks, it was decided by J.J. Abrams and his editors in this enforced downtime to reassess/rework the pivotal scene, partially re-filmed on Ford's return (the actor described by his colleagues as being like a "new man" with his ignited enthusiasm for the project) and beefed up dramatically- Rey, Finn and BB-8 now being discovered under the technical grill by the duo as they try to gas the "intruders".

First day's publicity shoot for the old and new icons.

Friday, 27 May 2016


Partaking in some later blue screen photography, Christopher Lee's venomous Count Dooku (aka Darth Tyranus) locks two lightsabers against his former master, a not yet digitally created Yoda, in a scene from their EPISODE II duel that didn't ultimately make it to the final cut.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO remembers Christopher Lee on what would have been his Birthday.

Thursday, 26 May 2016


It should have been the war to end all wars and see-in long term peace and stability- instead, it sent out ripple aftershocks in its wake affecting worlds both Imperial and Rebel controlled for decades to come. Acclaimed novelist Chuck Wendig reveals the consequences of that infamous Battle of Endor: consequences not just for the band of fighters led by Princess Leia Organa but also an all-new band of heroes coming together on a far-off world that, at first glance, seemingly has no significance, yet bourns secrets soon threatening what peace has been established, as the best selling Aftermath, Book One of a briskly paced new trilogy linked to the all-new sequel universe, arrives on UK paperback courtesy of ARROW.


Get it here: Star Wars: Aftermath: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Chuck Wendig: 9781784750039: Books

And look out for Book Two: Life Debt, this Summer in UK hardback, from CENTURY PUBLISHING. 


Smelling of "linen and lavender", rather than the "foul stench" of evil, was how Carrie Fisher affectionately remembered and described the kind and gentle acting legend Peter Cushing back during May 1976, when she enjoyably worked with the screen icon during Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin's memorable confrontation within the Death Star battle station. One of Britain's finest cinematic exports in the realms of horror and sci-fi, Cushing was a formidable and bankable star name presence as Tarkin in the original STAR WARS, alongside Sir Alec Guinness' heroic older Jedi in Obi-Wan Kenobi- both wonderful in roles completely at the other end of the spectrum.

Mike Mitchell has perfectly captured that presence of evil and cruelty that is Tarkin, and his defining portrayal by Cushing, in the excellent art above, now available here: STAR WARS: Grand Moff Tarkin & Bossk by Mike Mitchell Now Available! – Mondo

STAR WARS AFICIONADO remembers Peter Cushing on his Birthday today!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


STAR WARS Fan Club art by Ralph McQuarrie.

Today is the 39th anniversary of the original STAR WARS, yet 2016 is also the 40th amazing anniversary year in which the film started filming, under (mostly) snobbishly ignorant gazes, little press attention or studio enthusiasm, at London's Elstree Studios, and transatlantically via George Lucas's in-development effects house ILM, at what many thought was a shoddy but now iconic building/garage located at Van Nuys, California.

Here's a taster of the amazing work being undertaken in that incredible and now history-making time- some great, very rare B/W images which previously appeared on mega-fan Kevin Burton's now seemingly defunct UK website:, which once dealt in rare props and imagery selling.

R5-D4 gets a close inspection from Luke, in one of the first scenes filmed for the movie in Tunisia. March 1976.

Mardji the Elephant is costumed to become a Bantha for additional California filming in January 1977.

UK crewman Jim Marlowe dons a Threepio suit for costume assembly reference photography.

"I think we took a wrong turn!"

The original, ultimately unused shot of the Jawa Sandcrawler filmed on location in Tunisia, replaced by additional footage at Death Valley, and with a further matte painting enhancement.

A shot of the Tusken Raider view of the canyon soon traversed by Luke's Landspeeder.

The droids wait in an alcove of the Death Star Hangar.

"What a piece of junk!"

The classic Lars Homestead location, as the sunset occurs.

The Jawas acquire Artoo on location in Tunisia- March 1976.
A close-in look at Luke's Landspeeder.

The missing Artoo is found as filming continues at the now famous STAR WARS Canyon in Tunisia.
Anthony Daniels and Mark Hamill film their soon deleted Landspeeder scene against back projection at Elstree, near the end of the film's UK shooting.
Peter Cushing's Tarkin watches a graphic-less view screen on the Death Star overbridge.

Troopers at Tunisia prepare to see the to-be-added Falcon blast off from the spaceport.

Nice shot of a droid and human extras at Ajim, Tunisia, during April 1976.

More of the Tunisian extras for the Mos Eisley spaceport scene.

Sir Alec Guinness film the tractor beam scene, in this great above the studio image.

Another image- the Death Star elevator section -  that will be enhanced with a McQuarrie matte painting

Filming at the UK's Cardington Airbase hangar for the Massassi Temple arrival on Yavin.

Han Solo blasts a TIE fighter. Storyboard: Joe Johnston.

Blue Leader is ready. Note the lost of kills!

At the Death Star equator. Storyboard:

The Death Star is approaching...

Point of view within the Death Star trench.

"All wings report in." Storyboard: Joe Johnston.

Soon a classic image on film. Storyboard: Joe Johnston.

Y-wing commander Red (later Gold) Leader is killed.
X-wing fighters almost ready for paint detailing at ILM.

Closer shot of an X-wing.

Another closer shot.
Darth Vader's striking persoanl TIE fighter.



"That sci-fi thing" from George Lucas, which virtually had little support with its backers at 20th Century Fox, was causing no end of problems by late 1976 going into 1977: the early trailer had had few ready special effects/opticals within it and would receive a lukewarm response and very few advance bookings from the general US theatre chains it had played to, there was worries that the title might be thought to be about warring Hollywood celebrities, and a return to the science fiction genre was seen as a costly risk, especially after the long term woes of getting profit returns back from Kubrick's 2001. To cap it all off, this film, this STAR WARS, had already been delayed since the previous December, there was to be no press-catching premiere, and by Spring no teaser poster could be figured out to sell it to the wider public, resulting in the wordy, weighty promising example shown above.

Thankfully, a little thing called "word of mouth", coupled together with a truly staggering and marvellous final film, defied all the odds and turned things around BIG TIME from May 25th, 1977...

Release trailer: Star Wars A New Hope 1977 Trailer - YouTube

Of the time footage and the legacy of STAR WARS ahead:

This is what critics thought of Star Wars back in 1977 | ShortList Magazine STAR WARS ORIGINAL TV SPOTS TRAILERS PLUS RECREATIONS 1977 - 1985 - YouTube
Mark Hamill Original Star Wars BBC Interview 1977 - YouTube
17-Minute 1977 'Star Wars' interviews w/ producer Gary Kurtz, Mark Hamill & Carrie Fisher - YouTube
Star Wars ultimate franchise supercut |
EW's 'Star Wars' Covers Through the Years - See All of EW's 'Star Wars' Covers -
Star Wars Saga Trailer -The Force Awakens Music - YouTube
James Corden surprises Chewbacca Mom |

Carrie and Mark fight for the celebration cake fork!


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