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

ARRIVING IN LONDON, FROM 18TH NOVEMBER, 2016. BOOK NOW FOR THE ULTIMATE 'STAR WARS' EXHIBITION

Saturday, 30 April 2011

BLU-RAY NEWS: MAY THE 4TH BE WITH US!


So, it looks like May 4th is going to be the big STARWARS.COM news day for the Blu-rays. Here's hoping its a big trailer with some deleted scenes snippets!

Friday, 29 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: LOVE AND MARRIAGE!


This lovely and familiar looking couple tied the knot long before William and Kate. Though I think our modern reality Royals will have a lot better time of marriage than Padme and Anakin ever did! Still, Naboo was a lovely place to get secretly wed!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

BEHIND THE SCENES: IT'S FUN TO BE A JEDI!


Confident that is he isn't "going out like some punk" death-wise in EPISODE III, Sam "The Man" Jackson has some laughs in the Supreme Chancellor's main audience chamber during an on-set filming break for EPISODE II at the FOX STUDIOS in Sydney in 2000.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

FORD AND CRAIG: "COWBOYS AND ALIENS" PREVIEW


Working over-time to make sure the film gets some great advance buzz, the COWBOYS AND ALIENS publicity team should be congratulated for their fine achievements in this months EMPIRE UK film magazine, which has sensational coverage of the upcoming hit movie, with lots of great photos spreads. Its definitely worth seeking out. Let's hope the film really, really does live up to the hype and isn't the mild disappointment that director Jon Favreau's IRON MAN 2 was last Summer!

Here's the link to full details of the magazine: Empire Magazine | Latest Issue - Buy or Subscribe Today | Empire

CLASSIC IMAGE: DEPARTING FORCES!


Here's a shot that has only been shown briefly in one of the early CLONE WARS episodes opening narration moments and was, as far as I'm aware, not fully part of an actual story itself (I reckon its an unused shot from the first CLONE WARS theatrical movie from 2008), showing Republic Warships and fighter escorts leaving Coruscant and soon going into battle.

It's a fantastic image from a great series...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

BLU-RAY NEWS: STAR WARS INSIDER TO SPILL THE BEANS...


Its looks like the issue after next (out May/June) of STAR WARS INSIDER will be previewing the extensive range of special materials on the upcoming Blu-rays. Let's hope that the extras, and especially the deleted scenes, live up to expectations...

BEHIND THE SCENES: AN EVOLVING JEDI...


Here's an early in-the-works piece of costume design art by Nilo-Rodis Jamero for Luke Skywalker from RETURN OF THE JEDI. The dark cloak he wears would remain and become iconic, but the majority of the front layer of the costume, which is very Obi-Wan like, would be replaced with a much darker, deliberately more Darth Vader-ish ensemble, on the instructions of George Lucas, by the time of the movies filming in London in January 1982.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: STAR WARS COSTUMES: THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY

Friday, 22 April 2011

FLASHBACK: CELEBRATING THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF "STAR WARS"


John Alvin's spirited poster leads the Tenth Anniversary celebration charge for STAR WARS.

With the apparently imminent news from REED of their CELEBRATION VI convention, presumably planned for 2012 (the Thirty Fifth anniversary of the original STAR WARS, the Tenth for EPISODE II and the Fifth of THE CLONE WARS), there will soon be lots for fans to celebrate and for costume fans to get into their best Stormtrooper and Jedi outfits for!

Until then, however, I thought it might be nice to go back in time and do a mini flashback to 1987 and the very first major anniversary event of any kind linked to STAR WARS: the Tenth Anniversary. The period of STAR WARS inactivity between the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI in 1983 and the re-invigorated interest in the saga with Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy books in 1991 may have been a long one, but this bright spark of joy was the first signpost for a great many ambitious things to come.

As well as interview footage from the time, enclosed are some nice images and info on merchandise and events linked to that great and memorable year which was well celebrated by STAR WARS fans in the US.

Enjoy the CBS FOX VHS tape release celebration trailer: YouTube - Star Wars: The First Ten Years 1977-1987 Trailer

A Tenth Anniversary feature on US TV: YouTube - Star Wars Feature - Today Show 1987
Celebration 0: The Star Wars 10th Anniversary Convention | StarWars.com

Surely the highlight of the year had to be the massive STARLOG magazine organised convention-A Tenth Anniversary Tribute to STAR WARS and George Lucas- which took place in Los Angeles during the weekend of 24th May 1987, and saw participation not only from many of the films luminary behind the scenes talent and cast, but also had a very rare appearance from Lucas himself, who talked at length to the 9,000 plus fans crammed into the auditorium about the saga-past, present and future- and answered questions from the audience. Darth Vader returned, voiced by James Earl Jones, and he would also prior introduce Lucas's appearance on stage (check out this brilliant clip:  YouTube - REAL Darth Vader Standup Intro To George Lucas).

The much missed UK magazine STARBURST magazine had several reporters covering this historic and much beloved event. Check out this PDF for more information:STAR WARS 10TH ANNIV

If anyone out there has any further specific memories of the event, or has additional pics/info, please share them with us. And, beyond the US, if anyone else celebrated the Tenth Anniversary in their own countries please get in touch and tell us about it -we'd love to hear from you...

The lovely limited edition FIRST TEN YEARS poster.
The distinctive Vader cover for the then new OMNIBUS edition of the movie adaptations.
The limited edition BLACKTHORNE PUBLISHING three part STAR WARS 3-D comic, with a story written by comics legend Len Wein, and inside art drawn by Patrick Zircher.
Limited edition badge pin utilizing character drawings first done for JEDI in 1983
STARLOG magazine celebrated the saga in style with a fantastic special issue, packed with rare photos, artwork and behind the scenes info and quotes.
They also produced this lovely brochure for a special celebration convention that year which saw guests from the films and behind the scenes mix with the fans for a memorable event.
A look inside the brochure which contained may personal tributes from STAR WARS cast and crew members, as well as rare photos and then previously unpublished B/W artwork from EMPIRE's Vader/Luke duel by Ralph McQuarrie.

A selection of guests who attended the event, including George Lucas and Irvin Kershner, Peter Mayhew, Gary Kurtz and Charles Lippincott, Anthony Daniels signing for the fans and Ralph McQuarrie.

Back in his Threepio costume, Anthony Daniels (with Artoo), and George Lucas toast and unveil the enormous Tenth Anniversary card signed by the fans for the event. Image: Dan Madsen
When Great Makers meet! STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry makes a surprise appearance on stage and congratulates Lucas on the creation of the STAR WARS universe. Image: Dan Madsen

Celebration 0: The Star Wars 10th Anniversary Convention | StarWars.com
Starlog Salutes Star Wars: A Look Back | StarWars.com

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A FINE VINTAGE: CARRIE FISHER'S "WISHFUL DRINKING"!

The best and worst of Carrie Fisher. It can only be WISHFUL DRINKING. Image: HBO.

Don't forget, in the UK tonight on SKY ATLANTIC HD at 10.15pm is the first screening of Carrie Fisher's hilarious HBO show of her acclaimed stage tour/book: WISHFUL DRINKING.

Check out the KOOL TV review here: KOOL TV: LIFE WITH LEIA! CARRIE FISHER'S "WISHFUL DRINKING"

Interview: Doris McMillon interviews actress Carrie Fisher - YouTube

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE HIGHER GROUND!


Atop a hill overlooking a vast volcanic river on Mustafar, Obi-Wan Kenobi warns Darth Vader-the man/Jedi once known as Anakin Skywalker- to stop in his attempts at fighting him, and before he can initiate a dangerous move that will surely leave his opponent/once friend dead or disabled. It's that momentous scene from EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: HIGH SPIRITED REBELS!


Overjoyed with their first gargantuan success against the Empire: the destruction of the fearsome Death Star, our trio of heroes-Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Prncess Leia, followed close behind by Chewbacca- depart the fighter bay hanger of the Massassi Temple on Yavin IV, and get ready to par-ty!

Monday, 18 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: "THE BOY'S DANGEROUS"


On Coruscant, before their return to Naboo and partaking in its liberation, Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi has a frank and argumentative discussion with his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, about whether it is wise to look after and oversee the destiny of young Anakin Skywalker, a boy whose future is clouded with uncertainty and possible danger...

Saturday, 16 April 2011

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: BALANCE TO THE FORCE!


Here's a few great effects reference storyboards by David Russell, circa December 1982, that we weren't able to incorporate for space reasons in our MAKING OF RETURN OF THE JEDI issue of a few years back, showing some of the previously filmed classic scenes of Luke's conflict against Darth Vader when he discovers the truth about his daughter and uses the knowledge against his son, plus the all-time classic emotional moment where Vader, back to the good side as Anakin Skywalker (of which we're all now cheering him on), throws the Emperor down the shaft (referred to in the boards as "The Pit of Death"!).





Check out David Russell's interview about his work on JEDI here: Exclusive Interview: Star Wars Storyboard Artist David Russell - The Movie Blog

Classic material, and we look forward to seeing more storyboard goodies and incredibly rare and unseen pre and post production art of all kinds when J.W. Rinzler's MAKING OF book comes out in 2013.

Meanwhile, in the long two year wait for the official book, head over to our back issues area and find out how to get out pretty exhaustive, and reader acclaimed, MAKING OF RETURN OF THE JEDI issue: BACK ISSUE PDF CATALOG

Friday, 15 April 2011

BEHIND THE SCENES: A PERFECT MATCH


On location in Tunisia circa March/April 1976, George Lucas confers with Sir Alec Guinness as he arrives at one of the areas being used to represent the desert planet of Tatooine. Guinness considered Tunisia an inspired choice as a locale for the film, which he thought gave the project some believability, and was equally impressed with the young director, once telling an interviewer his view that Lucas was so immersed in the medium he probably went to sleep covered in film!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: QUEEN OF ALDERAAN!


Here's a nice posed shot of the lovely actress Rebecca Jackson Mendoza as Breha Organa, the wife of Bail, Queen of the peaceful and important world of Alderaan, and loving, caring adopted mother to the baby Princess-to-be, Leia. Sadly, Breha Organa had very little screen-time in the finale of REVENGE OF THE SITH, but lets hope she gets a chance to one day appear in THE CLONE WARS animated series, or even, here's wishing, the eventual live-action TV series set between EPISODEs III and IV.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: A SMUGGLER'S SEARCH


From his vantage point astride a Tauntaun, things don't look too good for Han Solo in the search for his missing friend Luke Skywalker, somewhere trapped in the deadly snowy wastelands of the ice planet of Hoth, in this classic scene from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: CHASM CHALLENGED!


Here's a great shot from one of my favourite scenes of STAR WARS: the exciting, and classic, chasm swing with Luke and Leia. This image has an interesting composition, presumably taken during rehearsal, and, as you can see, it shows our heroes at the other end of the junction they've just swung to (or has photographer John Jay gone round the other side of the set so as to shoot from a differing angle?).

Though used for several pieces of pre-release promotion (including a lavish FOX colour brochure spread within their FILMS FOR 77 booklet (presumably, at the time the booklet was being formulated in mid to late 1976, this was one of the very first colour images released for the blockbuster that no one really saw coming), you don't really see this pic used much nowadays, and I'd like to see it appear in the future by way of an official magazine or book in a much higher res, and in a nice double page spread, too!

With thanks to Chris Baker for the image.

Monday, 11 April 2011

CARRIE FISHER: MEMOIRS OF A HOLLYWOOD SURVIVOR IN "WISHFUL DRINKING'!


Carrie Fisher's acclaimed one-woman stage show about her life and family, through good times and bad, life affirming and disturbing in equal measure, and often presented with the blissful psychoanalytic raw-ness of a hunters blade: WISHFUL DRINKING, also based on her equally successful, and critically loved book, is coming to the UK's SKY ATLANTIC HD channel on Thursday April 21st 9pm, and will surely prove a real, and very adult, comedic hoot to anyone already within her legion of worldwide fans and to those who haven't yet experienced the wit and darkly absurd wisdom of Carrie's brilliant comedic flair. Oh, and I believe STAR WARS gets a little mention in there as well. She was in that, y'know...

Saturday, 9 April 2011

THE CLONE WARS: SECRETS REVEALED


Our synopsis/review guide to Season Three of THE CLONE WARS has been completed. Head over to the link below and enjoy some of our best opinion and notes on the current series.

THE CLONE WARS YEAR 3 EPISODE GUIDE

THE TRUTH ABOUT POGGLE!


AFICIONADO contributor Ian Trussler recently got in touch with me about an EPISODE II related behind the scenes mystery relating to who played and voiced Poggle the Lesser. Here’s what he has to say:

“There has always been some confusion as to what Australian actor Marton Csokas did in relation to the role of Poggle the Lesser in AOTC. He is not credited on the movie itself but a couple of official publications do mention him in the role (as wel as in pre-production on STARWARS.COM in 2000) and it was generally considered that he did the voice.

This was all thrown into further doubt and confusion when Ben Burtt said in the Sounds of SW book that he used Ernie Foselius (from HARDWARE WARS) as the voice of Poggle by reording him speaking backwards and modifying it.

Well I finally got to the bottom of it when I recently met with Marton Csokas at the theatre where he was performing in TWELFTH NIGHT. Marton, who can also be seen in films like blockbuster movies like XXX, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN and THE BOURNE IDENTITY, told me that he did actually perform the role of Poggle on set in Australia at the FOX STUDIOS with the other actors, much the same as Ahmed Best did for motion capture/reference purposes. He spoke the lines on set but it seems he did not record the dialogue separately.

Therefore it would seem that Marton is the embodiment of Poggle and that Foselius is the voice.

He was a very nice guy and happy to talk about the role, although he personally feels that he doesn't really know what is left of his performance on screen.”


Thanks for getting in touch and clarifying things, Ian…

Friday, 8 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: CARBON CONFLICT!


Within the smoke filled, heat fuelled scenario of the Bespin Carbon Freezing Chamber set at London's ELSTREE Studios, here's a terrific shot from EMPIRE of Mark Hamill showing his exhaustive sword fighting/training skills in action (Note the un-rotoscoped carbon rods attached to the lightsabers) against Darth Vader (presumably played by Bob Anderson, though Dave Prowse did do a small part of the epic action sequence), in what many fans still regard as the ultimate STAR WARS lightsaber duel of choreography and dramatic impetus.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

CLASSIC ART: TOONAMI JEDI!


Here's a great piece of UK bus stop/terminal promotional art for the superb animated CLONE WARS series from 2005, shown on CARTOON NETWORK, and brought to life by Genndy Tartakovsky and his talented team of writers and animators.

Somebody PLEASE release this fantastic micro-series and its epic EPISODE III related sequel onto Blu-ray!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

SPECIAL EDITION CLASSIC IMAGE: DEATH STAR APPROACH!


Before the onslaught of the love them or hate them Prequels, I recall that wonderful and nostalgic brief period in 1996-1997 when the world received the return of the STAR WARS Original Trilogy, restored and souped up with CG and other then digital trickery as THE SPECIAL EDITIONS, with bated breath and a great euphoria of excitement and joy that, after twenty years, it was finally coming back to the cinemas. STAR WARS destiny had come full circle, returning to the big screen where it rightfully belonged, and it looked like it was now never going to go away into limbo ever again, and we were all happy for that. Since the original releases, however, and going into the 2000's, there has been an upsurge in fan grumblings and moans about the changes made to Lucas's new visions of the film (some opinions I fully agree with: I always consider that Han shot first! It's in the original scripts!), as well as anger and frustration at the lack of Anamorphic versions of the original unaltered, pre-SPECIAL EDITIONS, being being released on DVD and, so far, Blu-ray, and a general mild but growing dissent, criticism and hatred of the SPECIAL EDITIONs in all forms, especially with the further changes made to them with the first DVD releases of the Trilogy in 2004. It seems that Lucas, considering the most recent versions of the Original Trilogy to be definitive in his eyes (surely until the Blu-rays in September!), can't win any artistic respect these days with a lot of the fans whatever he does linked to the originals.


With next year being the fifteenth anniversary of THE SPECIAL EDITIONS, I thought it might be nice, instead of talking about the things that don't work (as everyone else seems to do online), for AFICIONADO to do an occasional series on the moments, large or small, considered improvements by Lucas to the films, that do actually work and which should be applauded and appreciated, starting off with this terrific image of the Rebel X and Y-wing fighters in space heading towards the Death Star. This new shot is great (I love the original 1977 scenes, too) and I particularly liked the faster movements of the ships and the camera panning with them, adding to the excitement of the film's final decisive conflict.

Look for more great SPECIAL EDITION shots in the not too distant future...

10 Star Wars Changes That Were Completely Justified - YouTube

Monday, 4 April 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: IMPERIAL TAKE-OVER!


Now aboard the captured Blockade Runner, the ever threatening Darth Vader (Dave Prowse) cannot control his anger at Captain Antilles (Peter Geddis) for his stubborn refusal to co-operate regarding the location of the stolen Death Star data tapes, in this classic image from the opening scenes of STAR WARS.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

OLD FRIENDS, NEW ENEMIES. "THE CLONE WARS" SEASON FOUR


A young Admiral Ackbar, joined with Ahsoka, leads his underwater forces into battle. 
Anakin captured by Dooku!


Padme (in her EPISODE ONE Naboo battle outfit) to the rescue?
Dooku wants revenge on Naboo and the Senator.

The battle re-joined. Anakin versus Dooku part three.
The attack on Naboo continues as the Gungans and Captain Tarpals (?) takes on Grievous... 
And it looks like the General may get his butt kicked!
A mighty space battle above Naboo.
Another dangerous mission to come for our Clone Trooper heroes...
And Rex takes on a dangerous new opponent.

Friday, 1 April 2011

BEHIND THE SCENES: GREEDO'S THREAT!


In January 1977, Lucas and a small Los Angeles Second Unit would film additional scenes for insertion into the evolving cut of STAR WARS, including many cutaway shots featuring Rick Baker's new menagerie of monsters. Stuart Freeborn's originally used Greedo mask would receive some practical design improvements by Baker for additional sequences also shot at the same time, where the trigger happy Rodian would be played by Maria De Aragon.
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