Thursday, 28 August 2014

OUT TODAY IN UK PAPERBACK: 'KENOBI'


Krayt dragons, the nomad terrors of the Sandpeople, ambitious and corrupt farmstead owners and a young girl with a devoted crush- just some of the creatures and characters that the self-exiled Jedi pariah and fugitive Obi-Wan Kenobi will encounter whilst settling in and coming to terms with his new "home" on that farthest corner of the galaxy planet, with its harsh and dangerous desert climes and searing temperature twin-sun accompanying satellites, that is Tatooine. John Jackson Miller's deservedly acclaimed, well-researched and written original novel, now part of the all-new Legends series, KENOBI, arrives in weighty UK paperback from ARROW this August 28th, 2014.

STAR WARS meets the classic western SHANE, with Kenobi in the enigmatic stranger mode previously occupied by Alan Ladd, was how I originally observed this tale when it first appeared in hardback. Check out that original review: STAR WARS AFICIONADO MAGAZINE: JOHN JACKSON MILLER

Get the book here: Star Wars: Kenobi: Amazon.co.uk: John Jackson Miller: Books

Also available on audio book download - though what a shame that they couldn't get James Arnold Taylor to voice Kenobi for such a special project: Kenobi: Star Wars Unabridged (Audio Download): Amazon.co.uk: John Jackson Miller, Jonathan Davis: Books

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

POWERING UP! 'EPISODE VII' FILMING RESUMES...


It may have been a dreary, rain-soaked Bank Holiday in the UK this weekend, but things are getting brighter. As of today, EPISODE VII's filming "hiatus" is over, and its back to work for J.J. and co. at the dream-making factory that is Pinewood Studios, England. Surely it won't be long now before a certain Corellian Space Smuggler returns to on-set action...

Harrison Ford seems over his ankle injury as he grabs coffee in Los Angeles days before filming resumes on Star Wars | Mail Online

Harrison Ford hangs onto his trusty crutches despite making a swift recovery from Star Wars injury | Mail Online

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love STAR WARS Again | Badass Digest

Rian Johnson Says Next 'Star Wars' Will Have Less CGI, More Practical Effects - Hollywood Reporter

Star Wars 7 News Recap - Where Do We Stand Today?

Rumor of the Day: Disney's Star Wars plan is even more ambitious than we thought | Blastr

Sunday, 24 August 2014

STAR WARS REBELS: PAYBACK TIME!


They've taken quite a bashing in seventeen years- their ecologically symbiotic world of Kashyyyk has suffered unnatural damage and numerous attacks from bounty hunters and Stormtroopers, whilst large families have been separated and put into vicious hardship and life-draining slavery. But now, within the harsh environs of the Kessel spice mines, a small group of Wookiees are free of their bonds to bring some physical chaos and punishment to their Imperial enslavers. Witness the revolt in an upcoming episode of STAR WARS REBELS this November.

Star Wars Rebels | Home | Official Disney UK


The recently Internet released, interesting character shorts for the series get their first UK digital TV airing tomorrow, Bank Holiday Monday, on the UK's DISNEY XD channel. Time details here: Star Wars Rebels (First Look) on Disney XD, Mon 25 Aug 7:45am - Your UK TV Listings at TVGuide.co.uk

BEHIND THE SCENES: ENCLOSED WORLD!


In Star Wars Canyon, Tunisia, during March 1976, a slightly wary looking Kenny Baker is strapped/installed within the Artoo Detoo shell, still getting used to its operation, for an upcoming scene with Sir Alec Guinness. Thankfully, by the time he's in the small fishing village of Jerba, Kenny looks a lot happier, continuing to be a lively presence for cast and crew during EPISODE IV's filming, as seen in this pic below.


STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends the merriest of Happy Birthday greetings out to the one and only Kenny Baker today!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

EPISODE I AT FIFTEEN: A STAR IS UNLEASHED!


The moment he appeared activating that double lightsaber in the first teaser trailer of 1998, if there was one surefire element that everybody was going to love in the then oncoming EPISODE I it would be sinister new Sith Lord, Darth Maul - a mysterious, athletic and savage new opponent for our Jedi heroes, especially Obi-Wan Kenobi. And when Maul graced his premiere magazine cover soon after- on the quickly sold-out issue of the US STAR WARS INSIDER- his popularity was further cemented and assured...


Happy Birthday today to the man who made the character so worthy and so evil in the STAR WARS Prequel Trilogy universe- Ray Park.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

GUERILLA WAR! REMEMBERING 'DARK APPRENTICE' - BOOK TWO OF 'THE JEDI ACADEMY TRILOGY'


Book Two of Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy Trilogy- Dark Apprentice - speeds along as AFICIONADO celebrates both its place in the Expanded Universe and as an ambitious action successor to Timothy Zahn's opening trilogy- quite big shoes to step into!

Whereas Han and Chewie had the most action in Book One, this time out the adventure feels much more of an ensemble piece, particularly continuing to show us more of the mentioned but previously unexplored realms of the STAR WARS film universe. Now removed from the Maw sector of Kessel, wannabe Imperial tyrant Admiral Daala, thirsting revenge on the New Republic for the defeat of Tarkin and the Empire as a whole, begins her series of hit and run guerilla assaults alongside her remaining Star Destroyer fleet- first on a Rebel transport, then on the newly seeded colony world of Dantooine (literally massacred by spacial bombardments and AT-AT's). Then comes the big attack: on the undersea realms of the Mon Calamari (realised by the author in 1994 in a subtly different, but no less effective way to how it would eventually appear in THE CLONE WARS animated series). This is easily one of Book Two's highlights, where Admiral Ackbar, disgraced after almost prior killing Leia in a B-wing shuttle crash (later discovered as sabotage), gets to show his mettle as leader and strategist, whilst also saying a new variation on his classic line from ROTJ: "It's a Trap!" Meanwhile, other Imperial fractions on the training world of Carida gather strength in their plans to wrestle control from the New Republic: firstly, secretly poisoning Mon Mothma with a unique wasting virus, then planning to use an elite Stormtrooper squad to capture Leia and Han's third child, Anakin, from the safety of his secret location on the planet Anoth. More on this to come in Book Three.

Things aren't getting any easier for Luke in his setting up of the new Jedi Academy, either. Firmly settled on the Fourth Moon of Yavin (where Anderson reveals more about the planets history and its abandoned Massassi temples),  he has gathered his first twelve students, plus an inquisitive Mara Jade (a bit more friendly now towards her once enemy), but one- Gantoris- is soon murdered in mysterious circumstances (before his demise, linked to a fateful prophecy, he wields an impressive, extendable lightsaber blade weapon to Luke in a show of Dark Side strength), whilst the Master's most powerful star pupil, 18 year old Kyp Durron, previously rescued from Kessel by soon friend Han Solo, equally turns (perhaps too quickly in novel time) to evil, caught in the temptations and machinations of the reappeared spirit of one of the early Sith Lords: the formidable Exar Kun- leader of The Brotherhood of the Sith. Luke, previously resisting Kun's temptations (having used the appearance of the Sebastian Shaw version of Anakin Skywalker), soon has no choice but to battle both Kun and Durron. But will he be powerful enough?

In between all these events, Han and Lando are sidelined, engaged in constant friction, and Sabaac match battles, over ownership of the Falcon, General Wedge Antilles, on numerous assignments for the New Republic, gets to fall in love with one of the alien designers of the Death Star, whilst Chewbacca wants to free some prior prison-held wookiees from slavery on the Kessel Maw Imperial installation. Finally, young Jedi offspring Jacen and Jaina Solo get to show their Force powers after getting separated from Threepio and Chewbacca, going off to explore the underbelly of Coruscant/Imperial Center, in what is ultimately one of the weakest parts of the book.

Keeping the EMPIRE tradition, Dark Apprentice ends on an intriguing cliffhanger note, as Dark Forces of evil build: Durron, bordering on final Dark Side capabilities, salvages the Sun Crusher weapon and uses it against Daala's fleet, with catastrophic results, whilst Luke Skywalker's previous attempts to stop Kyp, and the corrupting influence of the immensely powerful spectre-like Exar Kun,  prove dangerously ineffectual. Soundly defeated, his mind separated from his body in Force limbo, it seems that his Jedi colleagues are now seemingly powerless to help him!

AFICIONADO RATING: A solid enough mixture of old and new from Anderson. 3 out of 5


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES: FACE TO FACE!


Taking a break between on screen political antics as the distinctive Jar Jar Binks, a visor wearing, practical suit wearing Ahmed Best enjoys working with his alter-ego, in this behind the scenes image from Australian filming for EPISODE II.

A very Happy Birthday greeting goes out today to Mister Best, from STAR WARS AFICIONADO! 

Monday, 18 August 2014

HEROES AND VILLAINS! MORE 'EPISODE VII' GOSSIP!

Mark Hamill, and friend, returns to Pinewood Studios for filming. Image: Nathan Hamill.

Lots of interesting and exciting rumours on EPISODE VII's story, characters (especially villains), costuming and action. But, with the exception of a possible Luke or cyborg villain's mechanical hand (courtesy of J.J. Abrams), still very little confirmed facts. Regardless, enjoy...

A galaxy faraway, so close: Adam Driver on 'Star Wars: Episode VII' | Inside Movies | EW.com
Exclusive: Domhnall Gleeson Says What He Can About Star Wars: Episode VII - ComingSoon.net
Rumor: Description Of Daisy Ridley's Episode VII Costume | The Star Wars Underworld
Indie Revolver EXCLUSIVE: No One Expects the Sith Inquisition |
Exclusive: We Know Whose STAR WARS Hand JJ Abrams Showed Us | Badass Digest
More Information Star Wars: Episode VII's Stormtroopers & Incendiary Stormtroopers. - MakingStarWars.net
“It’s Not the Years, It’s the Parsecs.” |
New Star Wars: Episode VII Image Reveals Potential Plot Clue
MintInBox.net - Star Wars Episode VII

Is the mystery of the Lucasfilm publicity's chief's intriguing Twitter image about to be revealed? 

Finally, if the news is true (still no official confirmation, and have the distribution rights and remastering issues been sorted out?), a wonderful 2015 present for original, unaltered Classic Trilogy lovers: 

Report: Disney To Release Unaltered Original Trilogy On Blu-Ray | The Star Wars Underworld

Saturday, 16 August 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES: IN WITNESS TO THE FALLEN!


Mark Hamill and Bob Anderson get ready to film a vital scene on the massive set of the Emperor's Throne Room, at Elstree Studios in March 1982. Considering how RETURN OF THE JEDI had such a need for trilogy-ending plot secrecy, it's surprising to see so many crew on set watching Luke ultimately defeating Darth Vader! Supervised by director Richard Marquand, getting the camera ready is seasoned British cinematographer Alec Mills, a veteran of blockbuster movies, with a number of Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton era James Bond films to his past and future credit.


Out now from THE HISTORY PRESS, Mills has a brand new autobiography- SHOOTING 007 AND OTHER CELLULOID ADVENTURES - detailing his incredible and diverse time in the film industry, covering a vast range of behind the scenes experiences and memories on worldwide film sets and in exciting locations, with Bond and ROTJ getting some noteworthy attention.

Purchase SHOOTING 007 here: Shooting 007 | 9780750953634

And look out for our book review in the not too distant future...

Friday, 15 August 2014

THE CLONE WARS: FLYING PERILS!


Still trying to escape the Citadel prison world, Anakin and Even Piell make a bold aerial STAP assault against enemy forces, in this derring-do scene from the classic Season Three episode Counterattack.
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