Tuesday, 22 July 2014

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: READY FOR DEPARTURE!


Boba Fett's intimidating vessel, Slave One, stands ready on the Bespin landing pad to transport its valuable cargo - the Carbonite form of Han Solo- to Tatooine, and Jabba the Hutt!

A superb matte painting by Harrison Ellenshaw. Rumours are circulating that this ship may be appearing in EPISODE VII, and not necessarily used by Fett!

CLASSIC IMAGE: DEFINITELY NOT THE JEDI WAY!


Consumed by grief, hate and revenge, Anakin Skywalker unleashes his true potential for the Dark Side as he begins his one-man slaughter of the Tusken Raider tribe responsible for the torture and ultimate murder of his mother, Shmi, in this all-too brief "heart of darkness" moment from EPISODE II.

Monday, 21 July 2014

EPISODE VII: BACK TO THAT 'USED UNIVERSE'


J.J. Abrams gives us another visual treat for fans to take part in the Force for Change/UNICEF initiative linked to EPISODE VII. And what a treat it is: a proper look at an old/new blue-striped X-wing fighter, ready for take-off from the desert planet outdoor set of Pinewood Studios...

▶ Star Wars: Force for Change - An Update from J.J. Abrams - YouTube

Other news:
Harrison Ford hobbles on to private jet as broken ankle continues to heal | Mail Online
STAR WARS EPISODE VII Follow-Up: John Boyega’s Character Is… | Badass Digest
Star Wars: Episode VII Plot Details Revealed? | Movie News | Empire
Time skipping on the streets of London: Dispatches from the Episode VII cast | Club Jade
Star Wars: Episode VII cast for Brit Christina Chong | Mail Online

BEHIND THE SCENES: GRAPHICS GENIUS


Respected, Oscar-nominated British illustrator/set decorator Harry Lange, no stranger to fantasy environments with the likes of 2001 and numerous James Bond movies (including Moonraker), works on creating control panels for the Millennium Falcon cockpit (note the rounded reference layout papers to his side), at Elstree Studios 1976/1977, for the original STAR WARS.

The upcoming EPISODE VII version of the Falcon cockpit interior will apparently closely resemble the work he did on the first two films.

EPISODE I AT FIFTEEN: THE GENUINE "MENACE"!


His cloaked hood defining his twisted Dark Side scorn, manipulating the key events for EPISODE I, this intriguing image properly reveals the true visage underneath of Darth Sidious, aka Ian McDiarmid. I have a feeling that this was an early costume reference test image rather than what was eventually seen on cinema screens in 1999...

▶ Star Wars Ian McDiarmid Interview LFCC 2014 - Episode 7, Emperor Palpatine Spin-Off Movie & Theatre - YouTube

Sunday, 20 July 2014

THE CLONE WARS: TOGETHER AGAIN!


An all-too rare scenario from THE CLONE WARS animated series: our core Prequel heroes all-together, reunited after their exhaustive battles against General Grievous on its immense Malevolence cruiser. From the early-on Season One episode: Destroy Malevolence.


Saturday, 19 July 2014

FORGING THE FUTURE! CELEBRATING TWENTY YEARS OF 'THE JEDI ACADEMY TRILOGY'


Timothy Zahn had gotten the new STAR WARS Expanded Universe off to an incredible, blockbuster start with The Thrawn Trilogy, now it was Kevin J. Anderson's populist turn to build on its solid foundations, creating a history-setting series of storylines and character developments that would equally make as an indelible a mark on the continuing book series as those carved out by Zahn, and generally satisfying its burgeoning and beloved fan base for the next twenty years. I would be very unsurprised if some of the ideas from this book, and Zahn's first trilogy, didn't make it somewhere into the story DNA, even if only at a subtly noticeable level, of EPISODE VII and beyond.

Jedi Search- Book One of Anderson's then all-new THE JEDI ACADEMY trilogy- is a fun and zippy affair, though, of all our STAR WARS heroes old and new featured within the book, it's Han and Chewbacca who have the best scenes and get into the most trouble: the Falcon severely crippled and the duo captured by a renegade force controlling the now famous Kessel spice mining system (mentioned several times in the original STAR WARS and finally realised here, in novel form), located near the dangerous Black Hole-parked The Maw, itself soon discovered as a home to a fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers (one of which later gets caught in the natural space and time devourer- an image I'd love to see translated to film or animation!) and a weapons research base with terrifying power for destruction rivalling the original Death Star, bearing operators and legions of Stormtroopers unaware of the Empire's prior defeat at the Battle of Endor. It's here that Imperial bitch Admiral Daala, originally trained and groomed by the Grand Moff Tarkin himself, makes her first embittered and revenge-fuelled entrance, staying in the EU right up to the FATE OF THE JEDI series.

Meanwhile, knowing that the Republic has never been in more danger and disharmony, Luke Skywalker, with help from Lando and trusty Artoo, travels the universe in search of new Jedi apprentices (including the soon discovered Kyp Durron), all to be trained in isolation on the fourth moon of Yavin- a nice idea/continuity exploiter, of which this first book also features a return visit to the wild clouds of Bespin and descriptively explores several other key environments created/expanded by Ralph McQuarrie for Anderson's popular The Illustrated STAR WARS Universe hardcover book, as well as the prior established Imperial Centre of Coruscant (named before it was officially given the title by Lucas for EPISODE I). And as for Princess Leia, well, she doesn't get any action duties yet-this first entry sees her confined to the New Republic's political centre, with the uneasy duty of dealing with a planet still sharing strong ties to the last remnants of the Empire, whilst poor old Threepio has the unenviable task of acting the Nanny to her two newly arrived, no longer in hiding young children- Jaina and Jacen. Golden Rod has his hands full there!

Friday, 18 July 2014

CLASSIC ART: A BEACON OF LIGHT AND HOPE!


A 1983 first release poster image that has gained more appreciation over time- the classic hands of a Jedi wrapped firmly around a lightsaber hilt- effectively symbolising the story of RETURN OF THE JEDI, here publicity translated for the Japanese cinema market.

This key art will surely prove just as relevant to the continuing story and release of EPISODE VII, too...

Thursday, 17 July 2014

CLASSIC IMAGE: OUT FROM THE FOREST...


A solitary but nonetheless powerful AT-AT Walker heads towards the docking gantry of an Imperial garrison installation on the forest moon of Endor, bearing an important prisoner for the attention of Darth Vader.

This may have been the last appearance of a Walker in the Classic Trilogy but they'll apparently be back in action for EPISODE VII.

DELETED SCENE: THE REPUBLIC'S NEXT MOVE?


Having heard of their crash-landing on Coruscant, Mace Windu immediately arrives to congratulate his Jedi comrades, and their rescued Palpatine, on their survival, whilst also discussing their next steps in the Clone War, now that Count Dooku is dead and General Grievous has fled.

This aftermath scene was ultimately deleted- instead, some of the dialogue was changed or redirected to a new sequence set at the Senate Landing Area, as members of the Republic greet Palpatine's return.
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