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, 21 September 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: RED LEADER CALLS HIS SQUAD...


Approaching the Death Star for their attack, Red Leader has his pilots signal in their battle readiness for a classic scene. Stalwart British character actor, and no stranger to UK sci-fi TV appearances in the early seventies, Drewe Henley would give the brave Red Leader a mix of experience and hotheadedness (in agreement with George Lucas), with the character's later trusting his kinsman instincts about Luke in giving the boy command of the back-up trench run fighter flight adding weight to a small but important role.

Red Leader... in sandals!
Henley enjoying the good weather outside the Elstree soundstage, along with Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, then filming landspeeder scenes.

The British cast (mostly American redubbed in post) X and Y-wing pilot actors filmed their scenes during the then blistering record breaking Summer of 1976. So hot was it filming in the singular cockpit frame at Elstree, and against starfield lights and blue screens, that sweat could be seen on the pilot visors (resulting in cosmetic changes being made to them), whilst Henley got the chance to wear some comfortable sandals and sunbathe between studio calls!

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/behind-scenes-red-flight-at-elstree.html

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/DREWE%20HENLEY

CLASSIC IMAGE: WOOKIEE STAR POWER!


I think it unlikely that Wookiees have face lifts, but Chewbacca nonetheless has that youthful look about him in the Prequel era's EPISODE III, looking pretty good for his circa 180 years of age!

Before we get to see the world's favourite Wookiee pilot/sidekick in action for The Last Jedi, enjoy his starring role as a family favourite via the fun, busy, colourful and visually mind bogglingly full, yet eye-catching second volume of Where's the Wookiee? It's out now in the UK from EGMONT.


Here's the blurb:


The exciting sequel to the bestselling Star Wars book of the past 10 years, Where’s the Wookiee.
Chewbacca is back and on the loose across the galaxy, and this time he’s brought some Wookiee friends. Find the hairy hero and a host of favourite characters in another search and find adventure. All new locations from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars story, as well as scenes from throughout the Star Wars saga.
Join Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader and many more for another adventure. The perfect gift for Star Wars fans of all ages!

Get the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wheres-Wookiee-Search-Activity/dp/1405284188/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505948994&sr=1-2&keywords=wheres+the+wookie



Wednesday, 20 September 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: 'ANGRY MOSQUITOS'!


The small but determined force of Rebel X-wings close-in on the goliath that is the Death Star space station in this superb art by Howard Chaykin for the original STAR WARS Marvel comic series adaptation (issue 6). The X-wings are still referred to as Blue Squadron, with the change to Red happening whilst the comic adaptation was presumably already too far gone into production to make corrections.

Unlike the film version's fifteen minutes, the Death Star firing range point in the comics was thirty.

CLASSIC IMAGE: FUR POWER!


When you're friends with Ewoks, you're friends for life, as our Rebel commandos find when the furry critters become unlikely allies en masse in the battle against the Empire, during the climactic excitement of RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

EPISODE VIII: HEAVY DUTY SPACE WARFARE!


The First Order's space vessels are intimidating enough, but this must be their biggest, more brutal vessel yet in this so far unnamed dreadnought, a squatter and dagger-like redesign of what we've seen with the Empire, making its debut for The Last Jedi, and no doubt amidst much conflict against Resistance ships and fighters.

http://www.starwars.com/news/inside-two-deadly-new-first-order-vehicles-from-the-last-jedi

'STAR WARS' AT 40: PRINCESS OBSERVER!


Time is running out for the Rebels of Yavin IV, including Princess Leia and droid C-3PO, monitoring the battle plan and communications of their brave pilots over the dreaded, approaching Death Star space station, whose superweapon is minutes away from firing. A classic alternate image, and a classic scene, from the original STAR WARS.

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/behind-scenes-monitoring-battle.html

Monday, 18 September 2017

EPISODE VIII: COMPLETING HIS TRAINING...?

EPISODE VIII art of Kylo Ren by Brian Rood,

POSSIBLE SPOILERS!

He's arrogant, aggressive, and highly dangerous in a way that hasn't been seen since the worst examples of Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars, but Kylo Ren has proved far, far nastier and less forgiving in his youthful guise in many respects, especially in Patricide. Prior manipulated into the monster he has become, Ren's presence in the new sequel era has won much plaudits from fans and critics, deservedly so thanks to a strong and memorable performance from Adam Driver, giving us a character who looks set to build on his ability to wreak havoc and chaos once more as he continues his journey towards the Dark Side of the Force, and his deep and unsettling desire to be as powerful as his grandfather. (And watch out for rumoured trips to Vader's old haunts, like Mustafar, in this new adventure).

A revised costume and new cape for Kylo Ren in EPISODE VIII.

Previous abilities seen so eerie and effective in THE FORCE AWAKENS look set to reappear, too, as will a sequence involving him with his band of killers that are the Knights of Ren. The Resistance has never met such a greater challenge with his developing aura of evil, alongside the power of the First Order, threatening to swallow up the galaxy.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: SHEPPERTON FLIGHT!


The superb X-wing fighter prop takes to the air at Shepperton Studios, suspended by a crane wire support whose entry point above came via a specially created hole in the soundstage ceiling at Shepperton, supervised by John Stears and his team- the only way the scene could be realized practically. This iconic moment was also shot from numerous angles for the editorial process, in order to make it look as if more than one X-wing was actually taking flight.

John Stears (under the camera crane) confers on the Shepperton set.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

'BLADE RUNNER 2049': THE SIXTH EXTINCTION?


Load your pistol, unpack the Voight-Kampff test machine and ready yourself for the ultimate battle between human and synthetic realities, as Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling's BLADE RUNNER 2049 accelerates its publicity campaign towards worldwide cinematic release this 6th October, 2017. (It comes to UK cinemas from the 5th.)

Latest clips and publicity:

New trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hp0zDYWCUw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlkyCqAELYs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41YwCsjassk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiLKaU_n-gY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjmJjvuPg9M

Hunters now the hunted!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjxk6sIHbJk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=889Mnym8EhA

New BLADE RUNNER 2049 prequel, starring Dave Bautista: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAktiFSPXMY

Harrison speaks! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHMsPOxiYvU

Jared Leto speaks to GQ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_Vs4b0Exuk

SPOILER ALERT: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/sean-young-secretly-filmed-scenes-blade-runner-sequel-article-1.3498476

Official movie site: http://bladerunnermovie.com/

Starting on UK TV from September, 2017, a new anthology series on Philip K. Dick's work: ELECTRIC DREAMS. More info here: https://kooltvblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/sci-fi-shocks-back-philip-k-dicks.html

'STAR WARS' AT 40: "ALL PILOTS TO YOUR STATIONS"


As Luke slips into his fighter cockpit with ease and youthful anticipation, the final Rebel pilots get ready for flight. For this scene, filmed in May 1976 at Shepperton, the unknown pilots were played by background extras who wouldn't be used with the later filmed cockpit interior scenes at Elstree the following July.



Note that the very clean looking helmets they wear all have the Rebel insignia in the blue colour, part of the Blue Squadron of fighters. Due to ILM's worry about blue screen overspill during filming/optical compositing, however, Blue Squadron became Red Squadron several months later and the helmets were adapted to a wide variety of colours and designs instead. Intriguingly though, Luke's Red Five call sign pilot helmet at the Shepperton Studios clearly has the rebel insignia seperately in red on his helmet (as seen in all the production photos), but by the time of the Elstree cockpit filming another helmet must have been used for the actor- Luke's dirtied-up insignia helmet in HD clearly shows that it has been altered from blue to red.

Mark Hamill in the cockpit at Elstree. Note the back of the soundstage behind him.

The original ILM X-wing fighter models that had blue stripes indicating their squadron colours also changed with speed States-side... https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/rogue-one-blues-in-battle.html

One of the original Blue Squadron X-wing models at ILM.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

CLASSIC IMAGE: BOUNTY HUNTER PURSUIT...


Newly arrived in the Geonosian system, a deep in concentration Obi-Wan Kenobi continues his starfighter tail of Jango Fett, in this moment from EPISODE II.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: THE SECOND PILOT...


As the Rebels enter final launching stages from their hangar, a concerned Threepio and a technician help load Artoo Detoo into Luke's new X-wing fighter. Though we already see Artoo hoisted up in the original 1977 film, this angle/footage didn't appear, though similar still images to this from the moment would appear in numerous magazines and merchandise back in the day.

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/scenes-we-want-on-blu-ray-fighter-pilot.html

Friday, 15 September 2017

EPISODE VIII: INTRODUCING ROSE...


SPOILER ALERT!

We've seen the pilots, the generals and the main heroes of both the Rebel Alliance and the later born Resistance, but now Rian Johnson and The Last Jedi bring us an even more relatable hero for cinemas audiences and especially female fans to enjoy, with Rose Tico, as played by Kelly Marie Tran. Rose is a hard working, reliable and spiky mechanic/technician (with a more respected sister also a fellow Resistance member: a gunner and pilot working alongside Poe Dameron) whom we discover has a touch of the hero worship complex for the recently joined Resistance fighter Finn, unaware that he hasn't really gotten used to his status as 'Hero' with the destruction of Starkiller Base quite yet and finds his new friend's interest unnerving at first, to say the least!

Together on Canto Bight, for EPISODE VIII.

Supposedly after an awkward start, the two are sent on an away mission into the heart of First Order territory for a sequence that will see them cement their friendship and respect for each other whilst undercover, and have an explosive experience within the bizarre decadence of the Canto Bight gambling resort, all of which looks very STAR WARS meets James Bond visually experimental in its glamour, aliens and action, as revealed so far in behind the scenes footage.

Offscreen bubbly and clearly loving being a part of the STAR WARS universe, AFICIONADO sends out its best wishes and success to Miss Tran for EPISODE VIII and beyond.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htBi2tsGOTg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2f4isAo930
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxWQw3i_gUs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOAVwYWHqGo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR1iEq-pGnc

BEHIND THE SCENES: CREATURE OPERATING!


It's fair to say that the Tauntaun creatures of the ice planet of Hoth were an instant success with worldwide STAR WARS fans from 1979 onwards, and they were a hugely important part of the early marketing campaign for the premiere sequel adventure, too- who can forget the very first B/W publicity image for the film of Luke atop one of the cute and versatile beast creatures, shot on location in Norway using a life size version of the creature and a mock up for close-ups that would be crew operated, both concocted in London by Stuart Freeborn and his team, as seen in this great behind the scenes shot.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: A FARMBOY AND A PRINCESS!


He may have lost the friendship of the now departing Han Solo and Chewbacca, but Luke Skywalker has certainly gained the trust and hopeful affections of Princess Leia instead, who wishes him good luck with a much welcome kiss, during this sweet character scene in the Rebel hangar bay. After kissing Luke, Leia originally said, "May the Force be with you", but the line was cut, though it can be briefly heard during the filming of the scene shown in 1977's THE MAKING OF STAR WARS TV documentary.

Behind the scenes at Shepperton. Carrie Fisher wears a white coverall to keep her costume clean.
Between takes, Carrie with Alan Harris as a Rebel general with a soldier extra.




Thursday, 14 September 2017

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: CAPTURING THE CROWD!


ILM effects cameraman Marty Rosenberg makes adjustments to the camera in the expansive and impressive Mos Espa arena model, for EPISODE I.

This image is posted as a re-reminder that there was indeed a vast amount of model work created for that set of films alongside the CGI.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: DEPARTING FREELANCERS...


No longer willing to hang around with the suicidal Rebels and their attack on the all-too powerful Death Star, Han Solo and Chewbacca make ready to leave Yavin IV with their payment for rescuing the Princess, watched by a disbelieving Luke, who tries and seemingly fails to win them over to the cause of freedom fighting.

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/behind-scenes-ready-to-leave.html

"I know what I'm doing!" Image: STARWARS.COM
Lucas enjoys directing Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew at Shepperton in the early Summer of '76.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

EPISODE VIII: TWO DIFFERENT GENERALS AT WORK...


POSSIBLE SPOILERS!

On the bridge of the main Resistance command cruiser set at Pinewood Studios, Carrie Fisher is given some directorial words from Rian Johnson, in a scene laced with dramatic tension, for The Last Jedi. It will be an emotional experience for fans and cinemagoers alike to see Miss Fisher's last performance as the incredible Leia in a STAR WARS film, the screen heroine having gone through so much emotional turmoil and grief with the recent murder of Han Solo by the wayward son whom she asked her husband to bring back to her and the light side of the Fore. The repurcussions and Kylo Ren's continued descent to darkness will surely be the main dagger thrust leading to the character's leaving the heroic movement in some way by VIII's conclusion.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-wars-last-jedi-sends-carrie-fisher-an-amazing-way-john-boyega-says-1025999

ROGUE ONE: ON THE PILGRIM TRAIL...


Newly arrived on Jedha, Jyn and Cassian mix with a small party of religious pilgrims heading towards the city, in location footage shot in Jordan ultimately not used, though some behind the scenes filming of it did make its way to the recent Rogue One Blu-ray release extras.




'STAR WARS' AT 40: VADER'S DARK PREDICTION...

Image: via the Edit Room Floor blogsite.

As the Death Star enters the Yavin system, having followed the homing device stored on the Millennium Falcon, Grand Moff Tarkin's plan to annihilate the Rebels on the fourth moon is seemingly all part of a grand destiny for the Dark Side, as enthusiastically predicted by Darth Vader.

Rare behind the scenes image from this scene's filming in May 1976, alongside a maskless Dave Prowse: http://theeditroomfloor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/unseen-photos-from-star-wars-governor.html

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

EPISODE IX: WELCOME BACK, J.J.!


Great news for the conclusion of the saga. A logical and satisfying creative/business/audience move by Lucasfilm and the returning director.

Welcome back to the WARS, J.J. Abrams!

http://www.starwars.com/news/j-j-abrams-to-write-and-direct-star-wars-episode-ix

UPDATE: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/star-wars-episode-viii-release-date-1201684136/

EPISODE VIII: THE SUPREMACY OF SNOKE...

Image: TOPPS.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS! 

We may only have gotten the merest of glimpses of the deformed and highly dangerous Supreme Leader Snoke- leader of the First Order across the galaxy, with The Force Awakens, but his debut was certainly strong and memorable enough to get fans debating and discussing his origins and the full extent of his role in turning Ben Solo into the spiteful Kylo Ren.

We know Snoke was originally a senator or had some kind of political influence linked to the New Republic, but just how far back timeline-wise his political term/position went before ths and led to the First Order is unknown. We know Leia was aware of Snoke and his role in converting Ben, so we assume Han and Luke did, too. Another Palpatine type, hiding in the shadows until the time was right to strike, surely...? Does Snoke actually have any link/prior relationship to/with Palpatine and the original Empire? And just what is the full extent of his connection and abilities linked to the Dark Side...?

Seen as a towering and commanding hologram in IV, with terrific vocal work from Andy Serkis, VIII will now give us the manipulating, cruel and brutal Snoke in all his physically decayed flesh glory, wearing gold and grey chain-mail like costumes, and surrounded by lethal armoured bodyguards, operating from a throne room presumably located within an immense Star Destroyer dreadnought. It will be from there that Snoke's final training of Kylo Ren will be confirmed, as will a likely confrontation against our heroes, no doubt Rey and/or Luke...


CLASSIC IMAGE: FIGHTING SPIRIT!


Maz Kanata's pirate castle might be demolished and her various clientele now engaged in battle against overwhelming First Order Stormtroopers, but Han Solo and Chewbacca are never out for the count in any desperate struggle, as seen here in this great action scene on this EPISODE VII TOPPS card.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: STOPPING FOR LUNCH!


They've listened to the Death Star briefing and they'll soon be taking to their ships, but not before the British extras playing the Rebel pilots of Yavin IV enjoy a well deserved filming lunch break at Shepperton- May 1976.


Monday, 11 September 2017

CLASSIC TIME: DON'T PANIC!


Our golden droid Threepio is not very good at shutting up, and his voice can certainly carry itself within an open forest, as Princess Leia and Chewbacca know all too well, doing their very best to calm him down near the Imperial Bunker on Endor, in this fun moment from RETURN OF THE JEDI.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: ARTOO GETS A NEW FRIEND!


He's always been a rather sociable little Astro Droid with human 'friends', but Artoo Detoo is also a big hit with other droids of his ilk, as seen here in the Rebel briefing room on Yavin IV. I always thought this scene was very cute in the film- Artoo's got an admirer! One of those little editorial touches that makes the film such a continued and memorable standout.

Presumably, the other droid here was one of John Stears refurbished/repainted Artoo's from previous filming at Elstree. Whether it was operated by someone, or by remote control, is unknown.

EPISODE VIII: CRAIT CONFLICT!


On the once abandoned Rebel base world of Crait, Finn and other Resistance ski speeders traverse the white sands, billowing red dust in their wake, for an epic battle against the approaching bigger, stronger AT-M6 Walkers of the First Order, in a scene surely made for IMAX, for The Last Jedi.


http://www.starwars.com/news/luke-and-leia-star-in-star-wars-the-last-jedi-storms-of-crait-1

Sunday, 10 September 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: A 'WEAKNESS' IS DISCOVERED...


Trusty, brave and resilient to the finish line, Artoo Detoo has been synced up to the Rebel battle computers and his information disc on the Death Star schematics transferred. Now, in the briefing room, thirty brave pilots and ancillary officers, a farmboy, and a pair of rogue smugglers, assemble to join Princess Leia in watching General Dodonna give out the information needed as to how to destroy the approaching battle station.

Leia and Dodonna together for a specially posed dramatic image.


Unused angle seen in one of the early edit assemblies for the film.

Filmed at Shepperton Studios in mid-May 1976, this scene introduces us to Angus MacInnes as Gold Leader and Colin Higgins, cast as the original Wedge Antilles, talking to Luke in the scene. There's no sign of Red Leader and the other pilots as they were still being cast- Drewe Henley would join the main filming at Shepperton in the fighter bay, for an ultimately deleted scene, in Hangar Bay footage shot the next month, whilst the other pilots (John Does!) wouldn't be needed for the fighter cockpit filming planned until July, 1976, at Elstree.

Threepio with Luke and Wedge (Colin Higgins).

Colin Higgins/pilots filming info at Shepperton Studios in 1976: https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/COLIN%20HIGGINS

The cast watched the majority of Larry Cuba's specially computer created graphic design footage for the Death Star schematics projected as live on set.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMeSw00n3Ac

In the Alan Dean Foster novelisation based on 1976 pre-filming drafts, Rebel senators were to have been a part of the gathering watching Jan Dodonna talk about the Death Star 'weakness'. This was an idea that was firmly incorporated into the later prequel ROGUE ONE.