COMING TO UK BLU-RAY AND DVD FROM APRIL 18TH, 2016

LUKE SKYWALKER RETURNS TO THE GALAXY, FROM DECEMBER 15TH, 2017

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: THE STORY'S ON THE WALL!


In front of a wall covered in superb effects storyboards, STAR WARS creator George Lucas is in discussion with the ILM geniuses, in this great behind the scenes image from Return of the Jedi.

Monday, 25 July 2016

BEHIND THE SCENES: DESERT TALK!


Thankfully not alone in the blistering heat conditions of Abu Dhabi, Daisy Ridley enjoys some between takes company, support, and camaraderie from LUCASFILM boss Kathleen Kennedy, during early filming of THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

COMING SOON: 'RETURN OF THE JEDI - THE ORIGINAL TOPPS TRADING CARD SERIES' BOOK


Fans of TOPPS guru Gary Gerani and ABRAMS COMICARTS continuing celebration of the original and iconic STAR WARS Classic Trilogy TOPPS cards series will be pleased to hear that their lovely new mini-hardcover book on Return of the Jedi arrives next month (August 16th, 2016).

Here's the details:

Following the success of Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Topps released two brand-new sets of collectable trading cards in 1983 to coincide with Return of the Jedi, the final instalment of George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy. Now, for the first time, all 220 cards and 55 stickers are reprinted in one deluxe volume. As with the previous books in the Topps series, this collection features the fronts and backs of each card, including character profiles and puzzles featuring all of your favorite scenes from Return of the Jedi. Also included are four bonus trading cards, rare promotional images, and an introduction and commentary by Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Star Wars Topps series.


Also available from Topps: Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two, and Star Wars Galaxy: The Original Topps Trading Card Series.

Preview: Topps' Return of the Jedi Trading Cards from 1983! | StarWars.com

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Three (Topps Star Wars): Amazon.co.uk: The Topps Company, Gary Gerani, Lucasfilm Ltd: 9781419720925: Books

Look for more coverage of the book on STAR WARS AFICIONADO soon...

Friday, 22 July 2016

ROGUE ONE: WELCOME TO JEDHA!


Within the spiritual cities of the dusty planet Jedha, its peoples and culture celebrating the Force and the once Jedi Knights (as well as being an intriguing lead-in to the opening events of THE FORCE AWAKENS), simmering tensions are building against the occupying Imperial legions. A scenario that Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor will surely exploit to the full, during the middle explosive storytelling of ROGUE ONE.

Rogue One Director Explains Why Spiritual New Planet Jedha Is So Important - MTV

Forty-eight minute official STARWARS.COM version of CELEBRATION panel (minus the big unintentional spoiler): Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Panel | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 - YouTube

Other ROGUE ONE news:

Rogue One Opening Crawl Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 - YouTube
Star Wars: Rogue One creatures Pao, Bistan introduced | EW.com
EW Reveals Bios Of 'Rogue One' Alien Characters | The Star Wars Underworld
New 'Rogue One' Character Revealed At #SDCC | The Star Wars Underworld
John Knoll Interview | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 - YouTube

Thursday, 21 July 2016

CELEBRATION 2016: CARRIE FISHER CONFIRMED FOR 'EPISODE IX'


It's been a hectic week for SW fans coming down from their CELEBRATION fix, now catching up with all the things we missed via STARWARS.COM. Carrie Fisher's appearance on the STAR WARS SHOW LIVE Stage after her Sunday talk proved very interesting, the actress confirming near its end that she completed EPISODE VIII four days prior to the convention, and would soon be back as General Leia Organa for some part of the eventual EPISODE IX storytelling. Good news indeed, especially as we'd heard rumours that Carrie's role in VIII had been scaled back.

Carrie Fisher Interview | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 - YouTube

Carrie Fisher: The Princess Diaries | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 - YouTube

OUT THIS MONTH IN UK PAPERBACK: 'STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: TWILIGHT COMPANY'


We're still five months away from experiencing the gritty, hip-deep-in-the-action characters and camera work of Gareth Edward's Rebel versus Empire battle for the Death Star plans that is ROGUE ONE. Until then, and to get you fully prepared for that incredible and brutal conflict ahead, why not try out the densely atmospheric war tale that is Alexander Freed's acclaimed STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: TWILIGHT COMPANY, taking the world of populist and innovative video gaming and translating it to the kind of realism, of blood, sweat and consequences, and where people are transformed into heroes, that can only be found in novel form, out next week in UK paperback, courtesy of ARROW BOOKS. With such similar content and atmosphere, its no surprise to me that the author has been confidently commissioned by LUCAS BOOKS to handle the official novel adaptation of ROGUE ONE.

Excerpt: In Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company, Darth Vader Strikes - Exclusive Excerpt! | StarWars.com

Get it here: Star Wars: Battlefront: Twilight Company: Amazon.co.uk: Alexander Freed: 9781784750046: Books

AFICIONADO REVIEW: 'STAR TREK BEYOND'

The exciting universe of STAR TREK BEYOND arrives in cinemas from July 22nd, 2016. Images: PARAMOUNT.

Frantic action and visual spectacle are the main watchwords for the latest adventure in the legendary STAR TREK series re-imagining created for modern generation IMAX lovers. J.J. Abrams confident mastering of the sci-fi material via his two previous adventures in 2009 and 2013 has now been transferred to a new custodian, the at-first controversial choice of FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise director Justin Lin. I'm happy to report that Lin's status as a die-hard fan of the series, since its syndicated success in the early seventies, is clear to see within the entire structure of STAR TREK BEYOND, as he and writer/fellow fan Simon Pegg concoct a film that, despite a thinness of plot, has lots to recommend, with the odd surprise here and there thrown in, that most fans will be genuinely pleased with, bolstered by some equally worthy special references and celebrations (in this landmark Fiftieth Anniversary year) to those early ground-breaking adventures first realised on TV by William Shatner, the late, great Leonard Nimoy, and their other esteemed supporting cast mates. There's even some clever referencing to the later series franchises that's equally satisfying, especially the under-rated STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE, and a notable tribute to Abrams so well received re-launch film.

A new world, a new peril, awaits Captain Kirk (Chris Pine).

The special friendship and rivalry between Bones (Karl Urban) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) continues.

The cast of the re-invigorated U.S.S. Enterprise are ultimately as hip and fun as ever, though STAR TREK BEYOND starts off on an interesting and slightly somber note: Chris Pine's James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto's Vulcan science officer Spock's maturing figures more melancholy as their ship and crew enter the third year of their incredible space exploration mission at the Final Frontier- for the most part totally on their own in its dark wilderness. That broodiness soon disappears into a massive adrenaline fight for survival when our beloved vessel is rapidly torn to shreds by an unknown swarm force whilst responding to a far-off distress call, for what becomes a superb and genuinely thrilling sequence, a crucial part of a movie with absolutely superb effects work at their biggest scale yet. As the splintered crew, now trapped ashore on a craggy and hostile world, are captured by the 'unique' alien warlord Krall (underused but played with charisma by Idris Elba), Gene Roddenberry's diverse heroes show their mettle through the story both separately, in duos, and together, whilst fighting back, aided by the mysterious and charming new alien heroine that is Jaylah (a standout Sofia Boutella). This time out, John Cho's Mister Sulu and the much-missed Anton Yelchin's Chekov thankfully get more to do than the previous INTO DARKNESS, but the lovely presence of Zoe Saldana's Lt. Uhura is wasted yet again.

Singular resistance fighter Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) is a plus for the movie.

Overall, and to its credit, STAR TREK BEYOND has the kind of series episode feel that viewers will remember and enjoy. Let your brain skip over the self-indulgent technobabble present, and the vital lack of a clearly defined morality message that was always such a key strength to the original version of STAR TREK, and just swim in the cinematic fireworks and surrounding enthusiasm so warmly present across two hours.

AFICIONADO RATING: 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

CLASSIC ART: THE McQUARRIE COVER LEGACY!



Darth Vader looms large and ominous above the main heroes of the classic STAR WARS novelisation cover from 1976- artist Ralph McQuarrie's personal and unique vision of this iconic character, seen here, as enduring as ever through all kinds of continuing medium linked to the franchise.

CELEBRATION 2016: RE-INTRODUCING 'HAN SOLO'!

Rising star for STAR WARS: Alden Ehrenreich. Image: STARWARS.COM

It was the worst kept secret in Hollywood for months, but London ultimately became the place where STAR WARS fans were finally give the official LUCASFILM confirmation that Alden Ehrenreich had beaten out thousands of hopefuls and been selected to play Han Solo in the so-far untitled action adventure with humour/origins story for Han Solo's early years, and the start of his unique friendship with Chewbacca, from the pen of Larry Kasdan and his son. As the pre-production phase begins, STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends out congratulations to Alden and the movie team and wishes them success with what's to come- all of them must surely feel a huge weight and responsibility to get this one dead right story-wise and tonally.

An early teaser shot on the Falcon set, presumably from the screen test. Image: Chris Miller/TWITTER.

Introducing Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo at Star Wars Celebration 2016 - YouTube
Alden Ehrenreich welcomed to role of young Han Solo with Star Wars Celebration Europe appearance - YouTube
Han Solo Movie Directors Chris Miller & Phil Lord Interview - Star Wars Celebration 2016 - YouTube

At the Celebration 2016 event's Future Filmmaker's Panel.

Star Wars Celebration Future Filmmakers Panel Part 1 Highlights (Episode VII & Han Solo Movie) - YouTube
Star Wars Future Filmmakers Panel Part 2 Highlights - Star Wars Celebration 2016 - YouTube
HAN SOLO MOVIE Panel Highlights - Star Wars Celebration - YouTube
The Han Solo Movie Script Is "By Far The Best Star Wars Script"

CELEBRATION 2016: 'STAR WARS REBELS' SEASON THREE DEBUTS


Elevating the term "The Art of War" to a whole new plain, the animated debut of the calculating alien Grand Admiral Thrawn into the animated universe of STAR WARS for REBELS Season Three, back on DISNEY XD later in the year, has been most welcome and appreciated by two generations, and beyond, of excited fans.

Just as exciting this year, look out for more links to ROGUE ONE, and the return of Darth Maul, Cham Syndulla, Mandalorians of all kinds and armour colour schemes, and comedy scoundrel Hondo, plus the debut of an Empire defecting Wedge Antilles, and former DOCTOR WHO Tom Baker as the Bendu alien, an important creature with unique ties to the Force.

Coming soon...

Star Wars Rebels Season Three Trailer (Official) - YouTube
Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Panel | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 - YouTube
Tiya Sircar Interview | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 - YouTube
SWCE 2016: 11 Things We Learned from the Star Wars Rebels Season Three Panel | StarWars.com
Enter Thrawn: A Q&A with Timothy Zahn | StarWars.com
New Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Clip! - YouTube
New Darth Maul Clip - Star Wars Rebels Season 3 - YouTube
Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Panel Clip Sabine In Action With New Look - Star Wars Celebration 2016 - YouTube
Star Wars Celebration 2016: Maul Originally Was Going to Die in Rebels' Season 2 Finale - IGN
Doctor Who News: Tom Baker joins Star Wars Rebels
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