Tuesday, 24 November 2015


The new issue, out this week. I think the six limited edition covers speak for themselves, really...

Captain Phasma.

Poe Dameron.
Rey and BB-8.
Kylo Ren.
Threepio and Artoo. A special subscribers cover.

Empire's exclusive Star Wars: The Force Awakens covers revealed | News | Movies - Empire
For UK readers: Empire's limited edition Star Wars cover - with Kylo Ren figure | News | Movies - Empire


He'd given Jabba the Hutt an opportunity to release Captain Solo from carbinite, and now knows that Leia's alternate rescue plan has failed. Luke Skywalker has no choice but to enter the lion's den, soon facing incredible dangers. But this film isn't called RETURN OF THE JEDI for nothing!


Having suffered extreme nerves at auditioning for George Lucas- so much so that he was physically sick both times with worry, Hayden Christensen would win over the STAR WARS director with his edgy James Dean-esque looks and star-on-the-rise acting talent to become the new young adult Anakin Skywalker for the final two sequel films of the Prequel Trilogy. The annoucement of his becoming Darth Vader soon made him an international name and placed him squarely on the covers of many worldwide magazines.

Hayden Christensen Star Wars Extra: Trying To Do My Thing - YouTube

“I was so nervous! Arriving at the (Skywalker) Ranch, I sat down and George looked over my resume for almost four minutes and just said nothing. He was just sizing me up and looked at my resume. Then we talked about life, but nothing about acting.”

Hayden Christensen talking to the UK's Film Review Magazine about his first audition, before his second with Natalie Portman - 2002

Monday, 23 November 2015


Dedicated to the cause of the First Order!

SPOILERS ALERT! More THE FORCE AWAKENS trailers are arriving on the televisual airwaves. Here's a screenshot collection to enjoy!

A pensive Rey on Jakku.
The Falcon prepares for First Order entanglements!
Rey takes the helm!
Finn admires her piloting skills during some tense flying!
Maz Kanata's pirate castle takes a beating.
Kylo Ren admires the destruction.
Our first glimpse of Jessika Pava as Resistance fighter pilot Blue Three.
The return of Sullustan pilot Nien Nunb!
The Resistance X-wing's bring tidal power to the battle!
A Stormtrooper brings his weapon to bear on Finn...
... but soon discovers he's picked the wrong hero to fight against!

First major clip: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Movie Clip #1 - Escape (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube

Old and new droids meet:
Star Wars The Force Awakens C-3PO & R2-D2 meet BB-8 | official O2 Priority contest - YouTube

The new UK advert for the 02 phone service.

Latest trailers:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Finn TV Spot (Official) - YouTube
The Force Awakens TV Spot 5 HD - YouTube
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV Spot #9 (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube
Star Wars The Force Awakens | TV spot #7 (2015) J.J. Abrams - YouTube
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV Spot #9 (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV Spot #8 (2015) Epic Space Opera Movie HD - YouTube

Tsuneo Sanda's gorgeous new art for EPISODE VII.

More online news:

JJ Abrams Has Finished Star Wars: The Force Awakens And It’s Already Been Screened - Yahoo Movies UK
Google launches Star Wars promo for The Force Awakens | EW.com
2015 American Music Awards - John Williams Tribute - YouTube
Star Wars exclusive: new image of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren | News | Movies - Empire
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: Jon Hamm, Emma Stone, and More Audition for Roles on SNL - The Daily Beast
Mark Hamill on Luke Skywalker from Star Wars: The Force Awakens for Famous Monsters! | Making Star Wars
Star Wars Secrets: Mark Hamill Talks About The Force Awakens
Mark Hamill on returning to the role of Luke Skywalker | News | Movies - Empire
Removed: Maz Kanata revealed in Disney Channel Star Wars: The Force Awakens TV spot! | Making Star Wars
The folly of Empire: how Star Wars menaced Hollywood | Film | The Guardian

Keep checking out AFICIONADO for the best in EPISODE VII updates...


Before being forever known as Boston's out there mailman Cliff in CHEERS, John Ratzenberger would enjoy camaraderie of an altogether different kind with Peter Mayhew, in costume as Chewbacca, during a break between busy filming bouts on the newly opened STAR WARS Stage at Elstree Studios in Summer 1979, for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Interview: John Ratzenberger - Major Bren Derlin, Master of the Improv | StarWars.com

Sunday, 22 November 2015


He's been in tight spots before, but is this the tightest yet for our beloved hero, caught between a rock face and a Nazi tank, during a superlative action scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Having now been deemed worthy of his Jedi Knight status, especially after defeating a savage Sith Lord, young Obi-Wan Kenobi bows before Master Yoda in this great publicity image from EPISODE I. Presumably, Frank Oz was in command of the Yoda puppet for this moment, though in one barely glimpsed scene at the end of the film a certain Warwick Davis played the little green wonder when he was needed to walk alongside the Jedi Council after newly arriving on Naboo.

Davis recalled to STARLOG magazine in 2001: “I played walking Yoda. That was wonderful. They made me a Yoda outfit because I’m a little bit bigger than the Yoda puppet and a Yoda stick that’s a bit longer than Yoda’s original one. I was actually honored enough to wear Frank Oz’s actual puppetering hands.”

So far, no images of Warwick as Yoda have materialised in print/online that I'm aware of, presumably still waiting to be unearthed from Lucasfilm's vast Photo Archives...

Saturday, 21 November 2015


Outside Tosche Station, Luke Skywalker's prior wide-eyed innocence and thirst for adventure ruins his attempts to convince his young friends that a real-life space battle is indeed taking place high above Tatooine, in this now legendary deleted scene from the original STAR WARS.

Star Wars A New Hope Lost Scenes - YouTube

Here's a selection of UK Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's continuity Polaroids from the end of the Tunisian filming in April 1976, including costume reference images of Biggs (Garrick Hagon), Camie (played by Koo Stark) and Fixer (Anthony Forrest).

Intriguing shot from the shore-line towards the filming.
Garrick Hagon as Biggs.
Koo Stark as Camie.
Anthony Forrest as Fixer.

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI.


Unseen in the Prequel Trilogy movies, the creation of Jedi Guards patrolling the Temple proved an interesting idea for realisation during the later seasons of THE CLONE WARS animated series, giving us another indication of how life and structure within the order was changing, and not for the good.

Friday, 20 November 2015


Wayne Pygram poses in his special make-up visage as the ambitious Captain Tarkin, for a memorable walk-on appearance as the iconic character at the very end of EPISODE III. This further trilogies-binding idea was one incorporated quite late during the production process.

EPISODE III's top make-up creator Dave Elsey recalled to STARLOG magazine in 2006:

“This was a big movie and I wanted it to be as good as possible (with regards to the movies make up and aliens). I knew there was some disappointment with the other prequels, and I didn’t want that to be the case with this one-certainly not in my department.”

“When I read the script, I realized that this was the movie everyone had been waiting for. It was going to shock and surprise a few people, so I wanted everything to be beautiful.”

“There were things going on behind the scenes that Wayne (Pygram, playing the cameo of Grand Moff Tarkin) didn’t know about, including me having a crisis because I suddenly realized that I was re-creating in make-up, to some extent, a very good friend of Christopher Lee. I started to panic about what Christopher would think of it and what would happen if they met in a corridor. The whole thing began to freak me out, and it became this big thing that spiraled off in directions that I had never, ever contemplated when I first suggested it. But I’m happy with what ended up in the movie.

“We were shooting the London portion of SITH, and I was in the make up room with Ian McDiarmid. To pass the time we would listen to LAUREL AND HARDY or put on a dvd. This one morning, Ian and I were watching SHERLOCK HOLMES with Peter Cushing. So there I was making up the Emperor-and I hear somebody come in behind us. I turned around, and it was Christopher Lee. Here were Peter Cushing, Ian McDiarmid, and Christopher Lee, and I was standing there thinking, “Is there anybody with a camera? I was geeking out!”

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