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

ARRIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS, FROM 30/9/17. BOOK NOW FOR THE ULTIMATE 'STAR WARS' EXHIBITION

Thursday, 31 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: RE-UNITED IN A TIME OF CRISIS


Within her triple-protected apartment on Coruscant, ex-Queen now senator, Padme Amidala, flanked by her aides Captain Typho and Handmaiden, Dorme, is re-united with her old friend, and new protector, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his "grown-up" Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker, in this intriguing green screen scene filmed at the FOX STUDIOS in 2000 for EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: SUPER-COOL LANDO!


New Star Warrior, Billy Dee Williams, poses for a James Bond-like image as the suave Lando Calrissian, Baron/Administrator for the Bespin mining colony, in a 1979 promotional shot for his upcoming characters premiere appearance in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: SPRINGING THE TRAP!


On the top level observation spire of General Grievous's command warship, The Invisible Hand, which is immersed in a huge orbital battle above the Republic homeworld of Coruscant, legendary Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker engage in their final (all too brief on screen) lightsaber duel with the evil Count Dooku, so as to rescue the captured Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.

It will be a conflict with tremendous consequences for young Anakin Skywalker...

Monday, 28 March 2011

BOBA'S DESTINY...


He may have been quiet this season, but we're sure that the disgruntled, hate fueled Bounty Hunter to be, Boba Fett, as voiced by Daniel Logan (pictured in the sound recording booth below), of whom both the character and returning actor made a big impression with fans last year in an enjoyable CLONE WARS Season Two three part story arc, will eventually resurface in Season Four-we assume he'll escape during some kind of prison break on Coruscant, once more alongside Aurra Sing. It will be intriguing to see just what happens next to bring him ever closer to wearing the bucket helmet and becoming the second most lethal badde in the universe after Darth Vader...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE CLUE!


In the dark alleyways and side streets of Coruscant's lower levels, the EPISODE II detective spree continues for Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, as he discovers the poisonous dart used by an unknown flying assailant to kill the bounty hunter Zam Wesell just as she/it is about to provide him and Anakin with critical information on who's behind the assassination attempt on Senator Amidala.

Friday, 25 March 2011

AHSOKA'S FATE?


The excellent artist Adriano Ticiano has sent us another splendid piece of work-this time a dark and disturbing image of what may possibly be Ahsoka Tano's future at the end of THE CLONE WARS animated series. I say possible, because only George Lucas and Dave Filoni really know what's going to happen with this popular character, who has become an inspiration to younger STAR WARS fans across the globe.

I personally don't want them to chicken out on what will happen with Ahsoka. When the series comes to its eventual conclusion, hopefully long past Season Five, she has to confront her former Master, Anakin Skywalker, now as Darth Vader.

CLASSIC IMAGE: READY FOR RACING!


Artoo, Threepio (note here the exterior use of the puppet version) and Padme assist young Anakin Skywalker with the final checks and adjustments to his newly painted Pod Racer, just in time for the next day's all-important Boonta Eve Classic tournament...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

AFICIONADO REVIEW: "WOOKIEE HUNT"


Please note: This blog contains a very mild spoiler...

I don't normally post advance reviews of CLONE WARS episodes (especially as US fans don't see the two part finale until April 1st), but I saw WOOKIEE HUNT yesterday and I'm happy to report that its an absolute winner which STAR WARS fans will love from beginning to end, and a real highlight of this season. Dave Filoni does a terrific job with this episodes direction, with its shades of PLANET OF THE APES, JURASSIC PARK and PREDATOR, and Chewbacca's introduction into the tale is cleverly handled. The much-loved iconic character, thoroughly immersed into the story (whch Expanded Universe fans will really get a kick out of), gets to show all of his best characteristics and works well with his new colleagues-in-arms. And boy is he a beast of action this time! As shown in the online documentary, the animators, alongside Peter Mayhew, have really done a fine job re-creating the character, and kudos to the sound design for resurrecting all the great Chewie barks and subtle language noises, too. My only complaint is that the episode, already tight and exciting, was too short. Another two or three minutes would have been even better-lets hope the eventual Blu-ray and DVD season release of this episode has extra material.

With a last ten minutes where fans of all ages will be cheering at the screen a lot, WOOKIEE HUNT brings Season Three of THE CLONE WARS, after a mixed start, to a very successful and very satisfying close.

Episode rating: a worthy 5 out of 5

With thanks to SKY MOVIES HD.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

CLASSIC ART: "AMAZING STORIES" - "RUNNING THE BELT"


Here's a terrific spaceship art cover for a very hard to get hold of issue of the US published AMAZING STORIES sci-fi anthology tales magazine, issue no 597 (Summer 1999), which featured a special one-off STAR WARS story- RUNNING THE BELT- from EPISODE II adaptor/NEW JEDI ORDER devised writer R.A. Salvatore (who is also interviewed in its pages), and concerning the Solo children in a coming of age story. As well as STAR WARS being a major selling point, its probably even harder to get hold of because of the also unique BABYLON 5 after-series tale specially written for the magazine by it's creator, J. Michael Straczynski.

If anyone has the cover art as a better quality scan could they please send it through so I can update the Blog.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

"WOOKIEE HUNT" - BEHIND THE SCENES


In anticipation of next weeks exciting Season Finale of THE CLONE WARS: "Wookiee Hunt", featuring the return of Chewbacca, SKY MOVIES HD, showing the episode in a world exclusive this weekend, have kindly sent me a couple of great behind the scenes pics relating to it- one of the Chewbacca CGI animation maquette reference (above), and the other of original Wookiee costume incumbent Peter Mayhew with Series Supervising Director Dave Filoni, joining forces in bringing Chewie to life in the animated medium.

Monday, 21 March 2011

OUT NOW: THE CLONE WARS: NEW BATTLEFRONTS - THE VISUAL GUIDE


Season Three of THE CLONE WARS may almost be over but you can relive all the excitement of the previous Season Two action with the recently released DORLING KINDERSLEY large format Visual Guide: NEW BATTLEFRONTS, compiled and written by Jason Fry, another gorgeous book taking up charting the epic storytelling set between films II and III in animated form, and from where the previous DK VISUAL GUIDE title left off, now charting all-new spectacular conflicts in colourful style and striking visual centrefolds, most notably the second Battle of Geonosis, and the birth of the Deathwatch army on the volatile world of Mandalore.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

RETURNING TO "JEDI"


I don't think there was any doubt that it wouldn't happen, but the great news was officially announced yesterday by J.W. Rinzler on TWITTER that THE MAKING OF RETURN OF THE JEDI book is a "go" from DEL REY for publication fall 2013 (the 30th Anniversary-so I'm sure we'll see CELEBRATION VI that year, too!). Of all the three Classic Trilogy films, JEDI probably has the most intriguing behind the scene material yet to be revealed, and there are many thousands of photos on the film and its making in the LUCASFILM archives that have never been published. It has the potential to be the best book of the MAKING OF saga...

In the meantime, though, check out how to get AFICIONADO's own exhaustive publication on the making of the film here: http://www.starwarsaficionado.com/catalog/item/6975337/8512430.htm

Here's to 2013!

P.S. Having deliberately stolen acclaimed film-maker Jambe Davdar's title for his hugely successful MAKING OF JEDI documentary, if you haven't seen it, its well worth checking out here: YouTube - Returning to Jedi - Part 1 - By Jambe Davdar

Friday, 18 March 2011

OUT NOW ON UK DVD: "THE CLONE WARS" SEASON TWO - VOLUME TWO


The latest of the individual volume releases of THE CLONE WARS series, Season Two: Volume Two, comprising six super episodes (the epic re-taking of Geonosis and the return of General Grievous), are available from LUCASFILM ANIMATION and WARNER BROTHERS from March 21st, and are perfect for fans of all ages who love the animation and excitement of the all-new TV STAR WARS universe, especially parents with youngsters who'll be thoroughly entertained by the daring, fast paced exploits of our Jedi and Clone Trooper heroes during the upcoming Spring and Summer holidays.

CLASSIC CHEWBACCA: WOOKIEE WORLD!


I found this scan online a while back of a pre-production drawing of the Wookiee civilisation on Kashyyyk (love the mountain climbing Wookiee in the bottom right corner!), but I'm not sure who did the art or whether it was done in post production in 1978 for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (when there were early plans to have the Wookiees involved), THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL, or, much later, in 2002-4, for EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH.

If anyone out there can help with any info, please get in touch.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: POWERLESS TO HELP!


Investigating the raging fires and laser volleys emanating from the chaos of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Alderaanian Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) is prevented from finding out the truth behind whats happening by a force of 501st Clone Troopers, in this dramatic scene from EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A SUMMER OF FUN! THE RETURN OF "AMERICAN GRAFFITI"

One of the lovely and nostalgic posters for George Lucas's pre-STAR WARS triumph: AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Image: LUCASFILM/UNIVERSAL.

George Lucas's first "feel good" movie of the seventies, the low budget but soon worldwide commercial hit AMERICAN GRAFFITI, which, on its first release, quickly made stars out of Ron Howard (who would go on to be the main lead of the GRAFFITI-esque series HAPPY DAYS), Richard Dreyfuss, Paul Le Mat and Candy Clark, is on late tonight/early morning on the UK's ITV 1 channel (and coming to Blu-ray States-side in May of this year), and if you've never seen it, with its life story loosely based around George Lucas (who was apparently reminiscent of the film's glasses wearing lovable nerd Terry the Toad (played by Charles Martin Smith)) and all the youngsters that went out car cruising late-night in Modesto, California in the late fifties and early sixties, its well worth catching-its a lovely film (produced by Gary Kurtz), beautifully made (and very documentary style in places-a real Lucas trademark even then), with great performances from everybody (including a young Harrison Ford as a cowboy hat wearing drag-car racer), plus a fantastic, then revolutionary, music soundtrack compendium from all the greats of the time.

Want some cheering up as we approach Spring-time? Then catch AMERICAN GRAFFITI and you'll find it certainly hits the spot!

CLASSIC CHEWBACCA: THE BOWCASTER.


Continuing our celebration of our favourite Wookiee's return to the STAR WARS saga with THE CLONE WARS, here's a great behind the scenes reference image of the Bowcaster, the distinctive crossbow/laser weapon hybrid which Chewbacca has but ultimately doesn't use in the first STAR WARS, though he soon proves an excellent shot with it in a very cool moment from RETURN OF THE JEDI, skillfully taking down an accelerating Speeder Bike pilot within the forests of Endor.

The Bowcaster was an adapted weapon by the original STAR WARS Set Decorator Roger Christian, rented in 1976 from a British armourers.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

"THE ANATOMY OF "STAR WARS""

Image: KURTZ/JOINER ARCHIVE

Great news for UK STAR WARS fans in the celebrations run up to the Blu-ray launch, as the website Lightsaber Rattling has this great news on a new event taking place in May- THE ANATOMY OF STAR WARS weekend- involving Producer Gary Kurtz (above, in 1976, with Kenny Baker as Artoo) and 20TH CENTURY FOX executive, Sandy Lieberson.

Check out the details here:


If any UK readers get a chance to attend the event, please get in touch with AFICIONADO and tell us about all the info learnt from it!

UPDATE: 20/5/2011. Ian Croft sent a detailed synopsis of the event to THEFORCE.NET. Read it here:
TheForce.Net - Latest News - The Anatomy of Star Wars Class - Reviewed

CLASSIC CHEWBACCA: ONE MAN AND HIS WOOKIEE!


In his workshop at ELSTREE, legendary British make-up artist Stuart Freeborn brings the Classic Trilogy Chewbacca mask to reality.

With thanks to Chris Baker for the image.

Fans of Stuart's work on the three STAR WARS films, and the rest of his spectacular career, including such notables as 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and the SUPERMAN films, fans were able to check out AFICIONADO's exclusive interview with him and his wife Kay in an exhaustive MAKING OF "RETURN OF THE JEDI" special issue from 2008, available only in PDF format.

Monday, 14 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: TWO JEDI - ONE ARMY!


One of the very first images released by LUCASFILM in their then 1998/1999 press promotion of EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE, and its still one of my favourites. In this nicely framed shot showing lots of detail and very scene evocative of the Jedi action to come, Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson have never looked better or formidably heroic in the film than as they are here as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, surviving a sneaky assassination attempt on their lives by the the once cowardly Neimoidians and now trying to break through to the bridge of their shield door protected Trade Federation cruiser, though their noble attempts, almost unstoppable, are ultimately interrupted by the notorious Droidekas, soon rolling onto the scene and unleashing their heavy laser artillery against them. Its all a great action packed start to the first chronological movie of the STAR WARS saga, and the invasion of the friendly and beautiful world of Naboo is just one portent of worse things yet to come...

I can't wait to see the epic adventure and grandeur of the Prequel Trilogy films, as well as their Classic counter-parts, back on the big screen again, starting next year, where they belong!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

CLASSIC CHEWBACCA: THE RUSS MANNING ADVENTURES


In the UK, STAR WARS fans get to see the new two-part Chewbacca/Ahsoka CLONE WARS episodes on SKY MOVIES HD a few weeks prior to their US cousins, so, in celebration, this week I'll be putting up a few more blogs linked to our favourite Wookiee species, and their number one son.

First up, here's a few scans of a classic 1979 Russ Manning Los Angeles Times Syndicate Wookiee related strip: THE DEPTHS OF KAZHYYK. I loved Manning's colourful tales set just after the first STAR WARS (I wish LUCAS BOOKS could have collected all of them in their original state and put them up as a glossy set of hardcover books rather than the DARK HORSE comic compilations of the nineties)- look out for the use of Ralph McQuarrie's Wookiee tree dwellings from THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL, and, long before the CLONE WARS, and like early MARVEL SW comics, see the Stormtroopers without helmets: as individual soldiers rather than Clones. Let's hope that some of the Kashyyyk environments and creatures seen here make it into the animated series...




Check out our archive on another classic 1979/80 STAR WARS Russ Manning adventure, THE FROZEN WORLD OF OTA, guest starring Boba Fett, here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B80ITjM31EVRamJsWW1rb3dIb3M/view

Friday, 11 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: DARK SIDE IN TRAINING!


Arriving in Australia several weeks ahead of EPISODE III's filming so as to develop the best fighting skills possible in his duel role of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader, Hayden Christensen gamely goes through some exciitng Nick Gillard choreographed moves with Count Dooku fencing stand-in Kyle Rowling. A top class Aussie fencer/stuntman, Rowling had previously appeared in EPISODE II as a pony tailed Jedi in the Geonosian Arena battle and was Lee's fighting/body double in that film, too.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

PREQUEL BUILDING. GEORGE LUCAS: THE 1983 "TIME" INTERVIEW


AFICIONADO contributor Linda Pellerito recently reminded me of a great 1983 interview with George Lucas that TIME magazine conducted with him just before JEDI's release. Lucas outlines his future plans- that he is pretty much burnt out from making the Classic Trilogy- and that he'll be taking a two year break from it all. He then talks about the Prequels and we discover how a lot of the elements he discusses in the interview would eventually make it in to those final films by the time of REVENGE OF THE SITH.

It's well worth checking out, or re-reading again if you haven't seen it in ages.

Here's the link. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,953916-3,00.html

Thanks again, Linda!

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE UNAVOIDABLE TRUTH...


Still in hiding on Coruscant, Obi-Wan Kenobi, now aware of Padme's pregnancy by Anakin, also knows that she's hiding the truth about Darth Vader's location on Mustafar, in this nicely played scene between Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman from EPISODE III.

With thanks to Chris Baker for the image. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

STORMTROOPER WARS: THE CASE CONTINUES...


The seemingly never ending and complex legal/copyright battle between the UK's SHEPPERTON DESIGN STUDIO and LUCASFILM over the Stormtrooper masks rages on...



With thanks to Veronica Weller for the heads up on the article...


UPDATE: 27/7/2011. In the High Court today, SHEPPERTON DESIGN STUDIOS won their ruling against LUCASFILM so as to commercially produce Imperial Stormtrooper costumes in the UK merchandise market. Here is the YAHOO!/SKY NEWS story with video link: Empire Strikes Back In Stormtrooper Row - Yahoo!

CLASSIC IMAGE: LITTLE GREEN WARRIOR!


One of the last surviving Jedi, and one of its greatest, Master Yoda, enters into fierce lightsaber battle with the evil Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, within the Republic's mighty office for the Supreme Chancellor on Coruscant. It can only be a moment from EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH...

Monday, 7 March 2011

SETH'S UNIVERSE: THE RETURN OF "STAR WARS: ROBOT CHICKEN"!

Vader goes 1978 MECO in STAR WARS: ROBOT CHICKEN EPISODE 3. Image: ADULT SWIM.

Good news for UK Fans: Seth Green's latest STAR WARS: ROBOT CHICKEN, EPISODE 3, has a DVD only release date of July 2nd from REVOLVER ENTERTAINMENT. Let the laughter return to a galaxy far, far away...

Brilliant clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx8bZLwRyJo

"How come no one says "Wizard!" anymore?!"

Saturday, 5 March 2011

AFICIONADO REVIEW: "FATE OF THE JEDI: BACKLASH"


The fourth book in the popular Expanded Universe STAR WARS: FATE OF THE JEDI series, BACKLASH, by Aaron Allston, is now available in paperback in the UK from ARROW BOOKS.

Check out our previous review here: STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: BACKLASH

Friday, 4 March 2011

CLASSIC ART: A LEGEND RETURNS...


I love this super artwork by the late, great John Alvin that was used for in-store/magazine promotions in America and Australia for the unaltered Classic Trilogy's "one last time" final release on VHS tape circa 1995 (Alvin did the VHS tape sleeve art for the individual films that year, too), before the onslaught of the love 'em or hate 'em SPECIAL EDITIONS in 1997. If anyone has this image in better res quality, please send it through so I can re-post.

I wish LUCASFILM would release this terrific image as an official poster. It'd make a great Blu-ray sleeve cover for EPISODE IV!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: PETER DIAMOND - MULTI-PART STUNTMAN!


Here's a great shot of legendary stuntman/swordsman, the late Peter Diamond, in one of his many action packed supporting roles in the original STAR WARS. He was the Stormtrooper who fell down the chasm, the Tusken Raider who attacked Luke in the wilderness of the Jundland Wastes, and numerous other Stormtroopers and black uniformed commanders on the Death Star and Mos Eisley on Tatooine. In this autographed shot he's the doomed Imperial soldier Corporal Prescott, killed by Luke and the gang as they begin their rescue attempt for Princess Leia in Detention Block AA-23.

A much respected gentleman of the stunt industry, and a veteran of numerous films and TV series, his work on all three STAR WARS Classic Trilogy movies remains unforgettable.

Image from the KURTZ/JOINER ARCHIVE.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: KI-ADI MUNDI


Here's a great close-in shot showing the detailed make-up on Silas Carson whilst playing the noble Jedi Master Ki-Adi Mundi, filming on the set of EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES, at the FOX STUDIOS in Australia in 2000.

THE WINNING WOOKIEE!


Love that exclusive cover. Well done, INSIDER!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

OF BATTLES AND JEDI! NEW 'STAR WARS' DK BOOK TITLES...


Two lovely new picture packed DORLING KINDERSLEY published STAR WARS books are released later this month in the UK: BATTLES FOR THE GALAXY (charting the death of the Republic and the birth of the Empire through its many galactic conflicts and characters) and MYSTERIES OF THE JEDI (full of info on our lightsaber wielding heroes and the challenges they face with the return of the Sith), packed with info and imagery from across the six films in a handy new size for younger readers to enjoy.