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

Monday, 31 August 2015

EPISODE VII: INTO THE STARS!

Toy line images: HASBRO/LUCASFILM/DISNEY

The return of familiar beloved STAR WARS "Legacy" vessels will surely prove one of the many key factors ultimately contributing to THE FORCE AWAKENS sure-fire box office dominance this Christmas, including that fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, and the new/old-look X-wing fighters used by Poe Dameron and the Resistance in lightning strikes against the evil First Order.


Lots of adults and kids will be wanting the new HASBRO releases in their holiday season stockings, that's for sure, starting from this Friday!

The EPISODE VII Millennium Falcon, with new sensor dish.
Image: Curtis Reynolds.
A Resistance X-wing fighter.
Image: Curtis Reynolds.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

EPISODE VII: FOREST OF THE DAMNED

Image: David James/LUCASFILM/DISNEY

The beauty of a tranquil fantasy forest is disrupted by the presence of the lethal Kylo Ren, his unique flame-like lightsaber activated, his mind in the Force attuned, as his quest begins to find and slay the youngest, newest members of the Resistance against the First Order, in a tense confrontation from THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Following the tradition of the Sith and Jedi, the Knights of Ren build their own lightsabers. Kylo Ren's clearly and deliberately echoes Darth Vader's, whilst also having a distinct medieval/"steampunk" look about it.

Kylo Ren's lightsaber, as seen at STAR WARS CELEBRATION 2015. Image: Curtis Reynolds

Saturday, 29 August 2015

EPISODE VII: JAKKU SMASH-DOWN!

Image: David James/LUCASFILM/DISNEY

That old pilot's saying of "any crash you can walk away from is a good one" certainly rings true here for the on-the-run First Order fugitive Finn, newly arrived on Jakku and escaping what's left of his near-pulverised TIE fighter, in an early sequence from THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Friday, 28 August 2015

EPISODE VII: LEGACY OF EVIL...


Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker had thought he'd finally destroyed the legacy of the fearsome Sith Warrior Darth Vader, what with his resurrection into the good side of the Force, back to being his once noble and heroic father: Anakin Skywalker. Decades later, however, Vader's evil past and that once ambitious thirst for power, alongside what's left of his fire-ravaged armour, have now become an unwelcome and ominous figurehead for a new emergence of evil: the Knights of Ren, practicers of the Dark Side, in firm allegiance with the growing-in-power cell dedicated to completing the work of Palpatine and the Galactic Empire: the First Order.

JJ Abrams Spills Details On Kylo Ren | Movie News | Empire

Thursday, 27 August 2015

EPISODE VII: 'EMPIRE' MAGAZINE BEGINS ITS COVERAGE...


The UK EMPIRE film magazine's special collectible covers for their advance EPISODE VII coverage have been revealed- the massed army of evil that is the First Order, and the new trio of galactic heroes that will oppose and defy them.


Note the Classic Trilogy Stormtroopers and the round dish on the Millennium Falcon. Magazine Art Department errors, or something specifically requested by the approval required LUCASFILM?

The issue becomes available on August 27th, 2015...

UPDATE: 27/8/15

EMPIRE have released an additional cover available to its magazine subscribers only, featuring the ultra-cute BB-8.



FACBOOK PAGE: Empire Magazine

THE 'SITH' AT 10: A FILMIC JOURNEY ALMOST COMPLETE


With principal photography on EPISODE III almost completed in Australia during Summer 2003, Ewan McGregor has a brief moment to gather his thoughts on nearly seven years playing Obi-Wan, in between filming the climactic duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Note Stunt Coordinator Nick Gillard in similar pose and reflection behind him.



Wednesday, 26 August 2015

CLASSIC IMAGE: SLUG REPELLANT!


She's come to the end of her slave tether, literally, as Princess Leia fights back against the repulsive Jabba the Hutt, determined to (Force-fully) end his cruel reign as Tatooine's most evil gangster. A great image from RETURN OF THE JEDI, originally sent to KENNER back in the day as photo reference for their upcoming toy line.

Image: MADAME TUSSAUDS.

Don't forget, if you're in London, travel to MADAME TUSSAUDS and see the superb recreation of Jabba and Leia forming an intrinsic part of their excellent STAR WARS EXPERIENCE.

Madame Tussauds London - Star Wars
FACEBOOK: Madame Tussauds London


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

CLASSIC IMAGE: DESCENT INTO DARKNESS


Returning to vote on the critical and controversial issue of the creation of a Grand Army of the Republic, and ignoring building, troubling death threats to her life, Senator Amidala of Naboo's cruiser and fighter escort prepare to enter the heady atmosphere of Coruscant, during the opening scenes of ATTACK OF THE CLONES.

Monday, 24 August 2015

AN 'EMPIRE' AT 35: REPORTING FOR DROID DUTIES...


With the first STAR WARS sequel gearing up in London post-production during early 1979, Kenny Baker gets to check out the new and improved evolving Artoo "suit", and one of his three-legged remote control doubles developed by Brian Johnson and his team, in this great behind the scenes image at Elstree Studios.

Happy Birthday today to the one and only Artoo, Mister Kenny Baker!


Sunday, 23 August 2015

CLASSIC IMAGE: A FOE UNLIKE ANY OTHER...


Fans may be raving about and anticipating the emergent new villain of the STAR WARS sequels, Kylo Ren, but let's not forget the huge worldwide impact that Sith Lord and assassin Darth Maul made with his original debut back in the days leading up to the equally built-up publicity of EPISODE I. To say that early footage of Maul, and that double lightsaber activation, had fans buzzing after the first trailer would be an understatement.

Personified with hatred and physical prowess by Ray Park, Maul still remains one of the best characters to have been introduced within the entire saga.

STAR WARS: The Complete Saga auf Blu-ray: HD Clip Episode I: DARTH MAUL - YouTube

HAPPY BIRTHDAY today to the the man who made such a mark as Darth Maul, Ray Park!


Friday, 21 August 2015

AFICIONADO REVIEW: 'DARK DISCIPLE'

Two of a kind? Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos team-up for STAR WARS: DARK DISCIPLE- an unproduced THE CLONE WARS story now making an impact in novel form.

STAR WARS: DARK DISCIPLE

By Christie Golden

Based on unproduced episodes of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS

Foreword by Katie Lucas

Available now from CENTURY PUBLISHING


Reviewed by Scott Weller


Enough is enough.

Truly appalled by the latest murderous act specifically masterminded and wrought by their once friend, Count Dooku in a war against the Separatists that seemingly looks unending, Master Yoda and the Jedi Council take a momentous and far-reachingly dangerous decision to assassinate the corrupted Dark Lord of the Sith and end his reign of terror across the galaxy. But who to send on the mission? Only someone experienced or touched by the nature of evil and the Dark Dide of the Force will surely be accomplished enough to destroy his insidious power. One who knows Dooku, his methods, motivations and potential weaknesses. Someone who has faced him in combat and almost defeated him: his once Sith assassin now exiled bounty hunter Asajj Ventress!

A mission to kill! Asajj Ventress duels her old master, Count Dooku.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend is the old adage for this latest adventure from STAR WARS author Christie Golden, as she adapts eight ground-breaking unmade episodes from the axed way before its time THE CLONE WARS series- Dark Disciple, a tale which would effectively being back popular Expanded Universe hero and Outer Rim-based occasional rogue Jedi, Quinlan Vos, in a striking way far removed from his prior seen devil-may-care efforts with Obi-Wan Kenobi tracking down the fugitive Ziro the Hutt. Very much the maverick, beyond anything seen with Qui-Gon Jinn, and with more than the roguish dare and happy scoundrel Han Solo-ish touch about him, Vos is the perfect choice to recruit the beautiful but deadly Ventress into the Jedi's most daring and ultimately out of character by necessity plan. Undercover as a bounty hunter he soon becomes her sparky rival, her concerned and passionate lover, then her enemy, as the adaptation unfolds efficiently and speedily over its highly readable 336 pages. Developed behind the scenes by writer Katie Lucas- who saw her potential for character growth across the series run, and whom she shared a certain amount of creative kinswoman-ship to, Ventress has come a long way since those early bitter days taunting and fighting the Jedi she once swore to annihilate. Falling from grace with Dooku and abandoned to death, she has had to survive by any means necessary now that her beloved Witch Sisterhood of Dathomir have been annihilated, whilst her more recent, often irregular activities and life as a bounty hunter has seen her in a far more melancholy and reflective mood. But that doesn't mean her instincts and Force potential have dried up- far from it- especially when she recognises what her new friend and lover Vos is up to, and whom she strikes up the perfect, almost empathic partnership with. Over the course of the planned eight episodes split across Season Seven or Eight, it would have been interesting to see how this unique relationship of trust, anxiety and violence would have been realized in the animated episode medium, especially as the story moves into dark betrayal and shocking revelations. On the printed page it certainly works well, and not in the MILLS & BOON tradition when it comes to STAR WARS! Things here will surely not end well!

Early teaser artwork for DARK DISCIPLE showing the new-look Ventress.

Planned as major arc episodes of the series that would also bring specific closure to events and characters introduced way back from Season One, the story also features what would have been memorable appearances from the likes of the always loathsome General Grievous, once more in multi-lightsaber duelling action, and a now approaching the sequels attired Boba Fett and his small bounty hunter posse. Meanwhile, Count Dooku's evil-dom reaches new heights of depravity and viciousness once he is aware of Vos and Ventress's plans against him-his interactions with this unique duo of assassins proving particularly noteworthy during the book's concluding chapters. Thought by many Prequel haters as boring characters within the actual live-action films, our Jedi heroes of the animated series have been given far more thought-provoking and challenging material to explore, with added shades of grey layerings particularly given to Mace Windu (the main initiator of the assassination plan) and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the latter soon worried about the potential of Vos going astray to the Dark Side in Ventress company, as their time grows together in locating Dooku. Later in the book, seeing the influential likes of Yoda and Windu interact with their once enemy in Ventress proves an additional highlight and history-making moment for the STAR WARS saga- destinies crossed in a situation now making our noble warrior monks more vulnerable that ever, of which, despite their best intentions, they are now truly committed to travelling the road to their own self-destruction, soon enough cemented by the vengeance of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and the manipulations of Darth Sidious.


AFICIONADO RATING. A very creditable adaptation from the well-selected for the task Miss Golden, further developing Ventress and her complex relationship with Vos, whose dark romance is a strong showcase for the author's talents but those of the series original writers (Katle Lucas, Matt Michnovetz and Dave Filoni ). With the success and overall acclaim for this novel endeavour, let's hope that we get more adaptations of unseen episodes of THE CLONE WARS Seasons Sevens and Eight for the future. We deserve them. 4 out of 5.

Get hold of STAR WARS: DARK DISCIPLE here: Star Wars: Dark Disciple: Amazon.co.uk: Katie Lucas, Christie Golden: 9780345511539: Books

Telling the Untold in Dark Disciple | StarWars.com

Thursday, 20 August 2015

THE CLONE WARS: THE TRUTH REVEALED!


The truth behind the mystery of the late Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas and the creation of the Clone Army, as well as the identity of Tyranus, is finally, shockingly revealed to Anakin and Obi-Wan in a classic scene from THE CLONE WARS: The Lost Missions episode, The Lost One.

The final thirteen episode batch of the series will receive its exclusive UK digital TV premiere on SKY MOVIES this weekend (22nd August), as part of their epic STAR WARS screening season.


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

CLASSIC IMAGE: HELLO UP THERE!


Breaking the often monotony of blue screen filming, Jake Lloyd and Ahmed Best were known on the EPISODE I set for keeping the mood light and boisterous, separately or together. We're not sure if this is a casual behind the scenes image or part of a deleted scene, but its great nonetheless.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends out the happiest of Birthday Greetings to Ahmed Best today!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

VIVA REBEL X! 'SECRET CINEMA - STAR WARS' CONTINUES...


If you haven't already been a part of the superb and unique STAR WARS experience in London that is SECRET CINEMA's evocative tribute to The Empire Strikes Back, or if want to go and immerse yourself in the fun all over again, then time is running out as the event heads towards its conclusion at the end of September. REBEL X still has much work to do in defeating the Empire, and they need you!

The dream made real. Image: SECRET CINEMA.

The SECRET CINEMA experience: Rebel X

Get your tickets here: Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars Tickets
FACEBOOK page: Secret Cinema presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: SECRET CINEMA: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Sunday, 16 August 2015

EPISODE VII: THE RETURN OF DREW STRUZAN!

The new poster for THE FORCE AWAKENS, revealed at the DISNEY 23 EXPO in California.

There might not be any more new footage for the movie yet, but that doesn't mean that other areas of THE FORCE AWAKENS publicity can't be explored in the meantime, like this lovely new teaser poster for attendees of the DISNEY 23 EXPO, courtesy of the legendary talents of movie poster icon/artist Drew Struzan, clearly out of retirement for this very special piece unveiled today (15th August, 2015) States-side.

Thanks for coming back, Drew!

▶ Star Wars: The Force Awakens D23 Panel Presentation (HD) J.J. Abrams, Harrison Ford 2015 - YouTube

John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac - Disney D23 Expo 2015 Celebrity Portrait Gallery - EW.com

▶ Star Wars: The Force Awakens Interviews - Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar Isaac - YouTube

A radiant Daisy and the new poster.
The man with the lightsaber. John Boyega and the work of Drew Struzan.

Other vital STAR WARS news revealed at DISNEY EXPO 23:

#D23Expo Legends Ceremony - George Lucas acceptance speech. - YouTube
George Lucas Says He Loves Jar Jar Binks; Character Was Inspired By Goofy | Comicbook.com
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Daisy Ridley Interview - D23 2015 - IGN Video Lupita Nyong’o promotes Star Wars, Jungle Book at D23, posts photos on Instagram | EW.com
Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Daisy Ridley posts first Instagram at D23 Expo | EW.com
BREAKING: Star Wars Lands Announced For Disneyland/World | The Star Wars Underworld
Colin Trevorrow to Direct Star Wars: Episode IX | StarWars.com

STAR WARS - ROGUE ONE: THE FIRST OFFICIAL CAST IMAGE

Image: LUCASFILM/DISNEY

As the Empire plans its final measures to control the galaxy once and for all, a do-or-die mission emanating from a small and struggling against the odds group of rebels, from a fledgling alliance of systems, will undergo the most incredible of missions: to steal the plans to the greatest weapon for evil and tyranny ever created: codenamed Death Star!

This is the journey of Rogue One and her team - some battle hardened, some raw recruits - each contributing their own vital talents to one of the greatest never before fully revealed stories from the STAR WARS saga.

Rogue One—The Daring Mission Has Begun: Cast and Crew Announced | StarWars.com

Prepare for a new year announcement of the return of several classic characters, in varying roles, to the upcoming film, from both the Original and Prequel Trilogies. And not just the rumoured cameo of Darth Vader!


Saturday, 15 August 2015

THE CLONE WARS: FEMALES OF THE FORCE!


An inexperienced Padawan learner she may be, but young Ahsoka Tano proves she's got what it takes to be a Jedi when standing her ground against the ruthless Sith assassin Asajj Ventress on the far off world of Teth, in this great international poster art for the one and only THE CLONE WARS movie, celebrating its original release anniversary today.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

EPISODE VII: 'THE FORCE AWAKENS' AT 'ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'

Images: LUCASFILM/DISNEY for ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

Soon unbundling at US newsstands, the August 21st, 2015 issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY - featuring the first major photographic coverage of THE FORCE AWAKENS since VANITY FAIR magazine - is here!

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/08/12/star-wars-luke-skywalker-hooked-jj-abrams
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams explains origins of character names | EW.com
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Inside Harrison Ford's return as Han Solo | EW.com
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams on fans, spoilers, puzzles, and the value of fear | EW.com

Domhall Gleeson as the cruel First Order's General Hux.
Old friends are back, but there's some new red jointage for Threepio (Anthony Daniels)!
Down but not out, a crash-landed Finn (John Boyega) is lucky to be alive!
The mysterious Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie). A warrior woman with unexpected origins behind her name.
Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn try to avoid Imperial capture on Jakku.
Hot-shot pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), presumably on Yavin. Note the stealth X-wing behind him.
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order wreak havoc on a small Jakku village at the film's opening.
On Jakku, Rey frees BB-8 from Teedo's (Kiran Shah) scavenger's net. Note the Luggabeast wearing part of a Walker on its head.
Kylo Ren with his homemade lightsaber, and a secret reason for his masked visage.
On location with J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley.
Fine tuning the script with Lawrence Kasdan in England.

Now, the next biggie pictorials should be the UK's EMPIRE and TOTAL FILM magazines... Watch this space!

With thanks to Chris Baker for the early heads-up.


The First Order gathers en masse for their next attack on the universe.

Overseas TV commercial for THE FORCE AWAKENS: ▶ [스타워즈: 깨어난 포스] 30초 예고편 공개 - YouTube

▶ J.J. Abrams Answers All Our Yes Or No Questions About ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ | MTV News - YouTube
Rumor: Iconic Character to Receive a Surprise 'The Force Awakens' Action Figure | The Star Wars Underworld
Disney chief on 'Star Wars' box office: Don’t get cocky | EW.com
‘The Force Awakens’ Scoring Session: “Beyond Anything I Have Experienced” | JOHN WILLIAMS Fan Network - JWFAN
ILM and London's creative VFX wizards behind Star Wars, Gravity and Interstellar | ES Magazine | Lifestyle | London Evening Standard
Star Wars to return to Kerry's Skellig Michael to shoot footage for Episode VII: The Force Awakens - Irish Mirror Online
First Photos of Stormtroopers on set from Star Wars: Anthology – Rogue One! | Making Star Wars

CELEBRATING 35 YEARS OF 'HAN SOLO AND THE LOST LEGACY'


Original cover art by William Schmidt.

Having fought and escaped the tyranny of the evil Corporate Alliance in two previous adventures, daring and charismatic space smuggler and dedicated believer of free enterprise, Han Solo, with his trusty furry friend and co-pilot Chewbacca, are now just about carving out a living for themselves, and getting in and out of a few scrapes, within the far Outer Rim areas belonging to the ominous Tion Hegemony, a sector long ignored by the grasp of the Empire. But when another yet deal goes pear-shaped, it isn’t long before the duo join forces with an old friend and his small band to locate and acquire the thousand years lost ancient treasure of space pirate Xim the Despot, believed to be located on a now legendary missing ship in the depths of space. But getting to all that fortune and glory surely isn’t going to be easy, especially when they’re pursued by a fearsome trio of mining colony rogues- a lethal brother and sister combo, encounter a race of primitives worshipping alien technology and are forced to battle a generations deactivated army of robots now given a new purpose in destruction!

The third and final adventure in the late, great Brian Daley’s Han Solo Trilogy may be the weakest overall, but it still satisfies as a conclusion, especially with its lead-in to the pair’s fateful meeting with the rebellion. And there’s still more great material to be found and enjoyed here than in many of today’s STAR WARS novels. It certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome at a briskly moving 180-page count. The characterizations of our often luckless but resilient heroes, whom the author clearly has such a genuinely soft spot for, continue to be on the money, once more accompanied by the Daley created, story driven necessity characters of droid Bollux (now name changed and known as “Zollux” in the UK edition) with his super computer with attitude symbiote, Blue Max, for a story whose elements celebrate genres like the heist-thriller and the kind of chases and action hearkening back to the classic films of Steve McQueen, sprinkled with more than a little bit of the 1930’s cliffhanger serials that would inspire RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK- right down to a scene not too dissimilar to the opening scenes of TEMPLE OF DOOM- where our heroes travel down a snow-capped mountain!
 
Hungarian cover art for the HAN SOLO AND THE LOST LEGACY paperback.

Links to the aforementioned EPISODE IV appear in other parts of the book, too: the zippy seeker weapon used by Luke for lightsaber training, plus a kind of foreshadowing of Threepio and the Ewoks as Zollux becomes an almost God-savoured figure by a group of primitives worshipping wreckage belonging to Xim the Despot.

There are also some intriguing new planetary environments, whilst the villains, including a wily and fast-on-the-trigger-finger bounty hunter- Gallandro- hired to find Solo by the Corporate Alliance, are many and varied. The emergent robot army, sinister and bulky in firepower to anything seen with the Battle Droids of the Prequels, provide a memorable and action-packed finale. And let’s not forget the obligatory plucky heroine that scoundrel Solo gets to flirt with in his pre-Leia days. Oh, and there’s a unique alien historian resembling a centipede. What’s not to like!
AFICIONADO RATING: Tightly constructed, crisply written and a great read. 3.5 out of 5.