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, 30 June 2016

'RAIDERS' AT 35: "NOW YOU'RE GETTIN' NASTY!"


You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies, of which our heroic Indy has certainly had some of the best cinematic adversaries to enter into conflict with these late thirty-five years, starting off with Paul Freeman's Rene Belloq- a true rival in archeology to Indy, just as passionate in his quests as the American adventurer, but allied squarely with the Germans in the race to find the lost Ark of the Covenant. Certainly, one of their best scenes was in the Cairo bar, sizzling with Indy's anger towards the smarmy Belloq after the supposed death of Marion.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

BACK IN PRINT: THE PREQUEL COMIC ADAPTATIONS


Finally, slow but sure movement on the under appreciated Prequel universe within the MARVEL publishing empire, as hardcover comic adaptation collections of The Phantom Menace (out now), Attack of the Clones (6th Sep) and Revenge of the Sith (29th Nov) arrive via the US, repackaged with some pleasing new cover art. Now then, recent Anakin and Obi-Wan mini-series aside, how about some more all-new story material from that era, please.

Trilogy cover art by Mike Mayhew.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace: Amazon.co.uk: Henry Gilroy, Rodolfo Damaggio: 9781302900748: Books


Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones: Amazon.co.uk: Henry Gilroy, Jan Duursema Jr.: 9781302900755: Books


Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: Amazon.co.uk: Christopher Cerasi, Doug Wheatley: 9781302901066: Books

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

STAR WARS REBELS: BATTLE OF THE BABES!


Determined to prevent the continued theft of Jedi power sensitive children from the grip of the Dark Side, Ahsoka Tano displays her mature skills in the Force against the slinky and dangerous female Inquisitor, the Seventh Sister, in a dramatic duel from STAR WARS REBELS Season Two episode: The Future of the Force.


STAR WARS REBELS Season Two arrives on Blu-ray and DVD this Summer: The Battle to Defeat the Empire Continues in Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two | StarWars.com

Monday, 27 June 2016

A JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN! 'STAR TREK BEYOND' TRAILER 3 DEBUTS

New worlds, new adventure in STAR TREK BEYOND. Image: PARAMOUNT.

"Let's make some noise!"

The unthinkable has happened. The U.S.S. Enterprise, pride of Earth and the United Federation of Planets, finds its gallant and peaceful exploration of "The Final Frontier" turned upside down when an alien aggressor brings chaos and destruction to the command of James T. Kirk, Science Officer Spock, and their loyal crew. A bumpy landing on a new world, the discovery of a new species, and an epic struggle for survival, escape and adventure begins, in STAR TREK BEYOND, a welcome tonic of sci-fi blockbuster-ness for the Summer from J.J Abrams and Justin Lin, and hopefully a worthy tribute to the late Anton Yelchin.

The latest (third) UK trailer is here: Star Trek Beyond | Trailer #3 | Paramount Pictures International - YouTube

Official site: Star Trek Beyond | Trailer & Movie Site | July 22, 2016

FACEBOOK: Star Trek

EPISODE VII: ESCAPE TO WHERE?


She's used her Force abilities to set herself free, now Rey navigates the corridors of Starkiller Base to find a means of escape, but not before she has also has to outmanoeuvre a legion of mobilised, searching First Order Stormtroopers, in an unused angle from THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

CLASSIC ART: BROTHERHOOD OF THE FORCE!


Our favourite family heroes and villains pose, lightsabers ready, against the backdrop of intergalactic war and emerging tech firepower, in this fine saga bridging art by Matt Busch for a STAR WARS GALAXY card series from a few years back.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

EPISODE VIII: BACK AT PINEWOOD...

A Jedi and a new droid friend. Mark Hamill and BB-8.

Apart from some fun and deliberately vague imagery posted by Rian Johnson recently (including a mystery cavern with Luke Skywalker's Jedi cloak inside it), things have been (again deliberately) pretty quiet at Camp LUCASFILM as the next sequel nears principal photography completion. So here's a few images we hadn't previously posted from the UK Royal brothers set visit to Pinewood last April, to keep all the expectant EPISODE VIII fans reading this happy, with hopefully a snippet or two more bits of new material to be revealed at CELEBRATION EUROPE next month.

Screen grabs from SKY NEWS and FIVE News.

Prince William explores the creature workshop and meets Neal Scanlon.
Taking a break from filming, John Boyega joins Daisy Ridley at Pinewood.
Prince Harry gets into the A-wing fighter, on a set believed to be the hangar of a new to the screen Rebel Cruiser.
Kathleen Kennedy and Mark Hamill want to keep EPISODE VIII a continued surprise.
John Boyega and Joonas Suotamo as Chewie confer with Prince Harry by an X-wing fighter.
The cast, with Rian Johnson, pose for a group photo.
Chewie and BB-8. Such a wonderful duo.

More from that previous April 2016 visit here: STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: EPISODE VIII: WHEN ROYALTY MET JEDI!

Friday, 24 June 2016

ROGUE ONE: WELCOME BACK, LORD VADER!


As if there was any doubt that the Emperor's right hand servant for darkness wouldn't be in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY! Vader may ultimately be in it for one specific sequence, hopefully in a mask/costume in continuity with EPISODE IV, but we're sure it'll be a great one.

Darth Vader: Star Wars film Rogue One will feature Sith Lord | EW.com

Welcome back, Lord Vader!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

ROGUE ONE: THE FIRST 'ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY' COVER!


Official confirmation of the new characters and the eagerly awaited return of Darth Vader to the film saga. If there's a new trailer reveal at CELEBRATION EUROPE, you can bet Vader will be teasingly seen for at least five seconds of screen time!

On the beach but ready for battle! Imperial Death Troopers are revealed in EW.

Star Wars: Rogue One: Exclusive preview of new stand-alone film | EW.com
'Rogue One' rundown - Star Wars - Rogue One characters details - EW.com
Star Wars: Rogue One: Forest Whitaker's character revealed | EW.com
Star Wars: Rogue One creators address reshoot concerns | EW.com
Star Wars: Mon Mothma role in Rogue One revealed | EW.com

New images: 'Rogue One': 16 New Photos from the 'Star Wars' Film | 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' exclusive images | EW.com

ADDITIONAL IMAGES: 'Rogue One': Even MORE New 'Star Wars' Photos! | 'Rogue One' Burning Questions | EW.com

Other ROGUE ONE news:

In-Depth With Disney CEO Bob Iger on China Growth, 'Star Wars' Reshoots and Political Plans: "A Lot of People Have Urged Me to [Run]" - Hollywood Reporter

Mads Mikkelsen says Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reshoots are “the final polishing”

EPISODE VII: OUT NOW - THE COMIC ADAPTATION BEGINS


Heroes of flesh and automata look to the sky, remembering the past and thinking of the future, in this lovely cover (one of many variants, obviously!) for the first issue of the eagerly-awaited new MARVEL six-issue mini-series adaptation of THE FORCE AWAKENS, by writer Chuck Wendig and artist Luke Ross, beginning from 22nd June, 2016.

EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Announces "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Adaptation | Comic Book Resources
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Comicbook Adaptation
Look Inside Marvel's New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Adaptation | StarWars.com

CLASSIC IMAGE: SPINELESS VILLAINY!


No question about it, Nute Gunray, Rune Haako and their Trade Federation allies blockading Naboo are certainly the slimiest and most treacherous aliens seen in the Prequel Trilogy- an attempt by Lucas in EPISODE I to do something creatively different involving STAR WARS saga villainy, and proving an intriguing counterbalance to the powerful heavies seen with the Sith and the later introduced bounty hunter, Jango Fett.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

BEHIND THE SCENES: BEFORE THE HOLOGRAM!

Inside the Lars Garage with cast and technicians. Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.

Anthony Daniels is back in his Threepio costume, getting ready to be lift manoeuvred in (then out) of an oil bath, watched by Artoo whilst young Luke Skywalker plays with his Skyhopper model, for a soon important scene set within the Lars Homestead garage, filmed at Elstree in one of the earliest studio-shot sequences in April 1976.

Anthony Daniels as Threepio.
The moment before Leia appears!
Reference shot of the droids. Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.
Artoo awaits his next filming. Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.
George Lucas checks out the T-16 Skyhopper model that Luke enjoys.
A proper look at the T-16 model.

Two of Script Supervisor Ann Skinner's continuity Polaroids not seen in a UK BFI exhibition from 2014 are colour shots: a three-quarter length of Threepio out of his bath, and another featuring the back left, rear side of the garage, showcasing the other landspeeder (previously used on location in Tunisia for the Mos Eisley scene, albeit with a different colour scheme) and a far corner filled with various technical parts.

A great shot of the Lars Garage set.
Angle looking towards parked T-16 Skyhopper.
Owen Lars' landspeeder.

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI. Additional thanks to Chris Baker.

Monday, 20 June 2016

THE 'ADVENTURES IN WILD SPACE' CONTINUE...


The relaunch and re-imagining of the STAR WARS universe featuring all new characters and situations via DISNEY and its publishing partners continues apace. Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and BB-8 may be the iconic bright stars of the Sequel Saga, but in the expanding galaxy of young children's storytelling, let's not forget much-liked newbies Milo and Lina Graf- unique siblings experiencing unknown worlds, and meeting characters good and evil, with wise beyond their years bravery and loyalty to each other within the continuing ADVENTURES IN WILD SPACE series, set in the years of Rebellion, Empire and Bounty Hunters leading up to EPISODE IV. The latest two journeys, following on from the huge success of the top-selling prelude The Escape, arrive via EGMONT paperback from the 30th: The Steal by Cavan Scott, and The Dark by Tom Huddleston.


The Steal


It is a dark time in a galaxy far, far away….

When the parents of Milo and Lina Graf are abducted by agents of the evil Empire, the children must undertake a perilous journey across the unknown reaches of Wild Space to rescue them – and to discover hope for the future.

In this third full-length adventure, Milo and Lina arrive on the planet Lothal, source of a mysterious transmission promising help against the Empire. With a bounty hunter on their tail, and a ruthless crime boss to contend with, can they pull off a daring heist?


Look out for the other books in the series: The Escape, The Snare, The Nest and The Dark.




The Dark



In this fourth full-length adventure, Milo and Lina find themselves adrift in a starship that is spiralling towards disaster. A dangerous criminal is on the loose, the Empire is closing in – and something even deadlier awaits them in the darkness … 


Sunday, 19 June 2016

GOODBYE, ANTON YELCHIN...


From one respected and beloved fan base to another, STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends its deepest condolences out to the family and friends of the late Anton Yelchin, who played the spirited whizz-kid Ensign Pavel Chekov in the three STAR TREK movie re-imaginings directed and/or produced by J.J. Abrams for PARAMOUNT, who sadly left us today at the tender age of 27, dying after a tragic freak car accident outside his home. AFICIONADO was truly shocked, genuinely numbed, to hear the news of this fine young man's passing, having been equally impressed with his other work, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Alpha Dog and Terminator Salvation. AFICIONADO also sends out separate, no less heartfelt condolences out to Abrams and the cast and crew of STAR TREK BEYOND in this difficult and sad time, especially during what should be a great celebration of the new film's upcoming release, within a franchise uniquely celebrating its Fiftieth Anniversary year in 2016.

May the Force, and the Great Bird of the Galaxy, be with you, Anton... always!

J.J. Abrams on ‘Star Trek’ Actor Anton Yelchin’s Death: ‘You Were Brilliant’ | Variety
Star Trek Remembering Anton Yelchin, 1989-2016
Anton Yelchin dead: 8 memorable roles | EW.com

FLASHBACK REVIEW: 'SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE'

Beware the SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE! Art: Drew Struzan.

The rescue of carbonite frozen smuggler hero Han Solo from the clutches of Boba Fett and his paymaster Jabba the Hutt isn't just the opening catalyst to the events of RETURN OF THE JEDI but also the danger and intrigue that came before it, with the ingenious and fun middle ground bridging adventure between EPISODE VI and the prior THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK conceived by Howard Roffman and LUCASFILM back in 1996: Steve Perry's fun and genuinely fast moving SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE, now celebrating its Twentieth Anniversary this year.

Reptilian baddie Prince Xizor makes his debut.

I remember the building excitement of this book's premiere release back in the day, and all the subsequent spin-offs around it (all designed to keep the SW brand in the public consciousness with the run-up to the SPECIAL EDITIONS: SHADOWS saw new figures, a comic series, cards, a classy soundtrack, and a video game, though an animated movie of this would have been the icing on the cake!). I quickly picked up an author pre-signed copy on release at BORDERS bookstore whilst vacationing in Orlando, Florida. It was a perfect summer read, for sure. At the time, however, and upon quickly consuming it, I kinda remember thinking it felt rather wisp-ish compared to the big and lengthy tomes of the epic first Timothy Zahn saga, but, over the years, and especially now with the return of our old characters with THE FORCE AWAKENS, I've appreciated and cherished this unique adventure a whole lot more- Perry's interpretations of the heroes is very good, especially Lando and Leia (who gets to show her mettle against the evil Prince Xizor and his lustful hormones!), though the author, for continuity sake, clearly has to be careful not to make Luke Skywalker's persona too much siding towards the confident and resourceful end of his Jedi development seen in action against Jabba's empire at the start of EPISODE VI. The majority of Perry's linkages between V and VI work well (i.e. where Leia got her Boussh bounty hunter costume, some rushed but fun scenes with the Bothan spies, and an interesting build-up to Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker's need to be re-acquainted with son Luke (which gets an all-new depth with the Sith "Rule of Two" established with the later Prequels). There's also other worthy tributes from all around the Classic Trilogy (a "I have a bad feeling about this" here and there, and even a "1138" reference), plus some genuinely cool, wish we could have seen that on screen, sequences (the swoop bike chase predicting the Pod racing, and the final dizzying space battle above Imperial Centre/Coruscant, also featuring the building-in- popularity Wedge Antilles and his Rogue Flight X-wings. Only the aforementioned Fett's absence is felt- though he gets his part of the story covered in the subsequent comic series, brought to life magnificently in that specialised arena by writer John Wagner (no stranger to crafting charismatic anti-heroes via his UK work on Judge Dredd for 2000AD), alongside later THE CLONE WARS animation artist Kilian Plukett's eye-capturing visuals.

Another capable STAR WARS female: the cyborg assassin Guri. Art by Greg and Tim Hildebrandt.

The idea of developing the underworld of STAR WARS, notably the galaxy-spanning Black Sun organisation seen here ultimately proved a good one (Prince Xizor's daily operations very much in the realms of Mario Puzo or THE SOPRANOS at times), and has blossomed creatively ever since in books, comics and via things like THE CLONE WARS, which would ultimately use the Falleen race in its fifth season. Xizor, introduced early and literally into the events of EMPIRE with SHADOWS opening chapter, is a worthy participant in this unique phase of STAR WARS history: calculating, controlled, and hateful of Darth Vader, out to get revenge on the Sith Lord via Luke's death, in payback for the demise of his family years earlier. Xizor's female cyborg assistant, Guri, is an interesting foil to him, also, and certainly a better and sexier aide to anything Lando had at Bespin with Lobot! Also on a shady path, but working more to the heroes side of things, let's also not forget the young rogue smuggler, following in the best swaggering Corellian/Han Solo tradition, that is Dash Rendar: cocky, talented and egotistical, and also one of the galaxy's best pilots, who speeds his way in and out of the storyline in ways that are never bothersome- indeed, its a shame that his character at the time was "killed off" by book's end.

Dash Rendar and his Outrider ship.

Definitely worth re-reading, SHADOWS is genuine nostalgic fun, harkening back to the kind of lively days enjoyed early on within the Expanded Universe, and at a time when we truly savoured the Classic Trilogy, thinking we'd never see its characters ever return to the big screen again.

AFICIONADO RATING: 4 out of 5

Get it here: Shadows of the Empire: Star Wars Legends (Star Wars - Legends) eBook: Steve Perry: Amazon.co.uk: Books

HAPPY UK 'FATHER'S DAY'!


He's not yet old enough to procure some Wookiee scalps, but I'm sure that the despicable unaltered Clone Boba will surely get Jango Fett something equally macabre and brutal present-wise this UK 'Father's Day'!

HAPPY UK 'FATHER'S DAY' FROM STAR WARS AFICIONADO!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

EPISODE VII: A LINK TO THE PAST!


"The garbage'll do!"

Their primary mode of Quad Jumper escape transport now blown to smithereens before them, Rey, Finn and trusty BB-8 rush to an abandoned deactivated wreck lying about the Niima Outpost. A wreck from the mists of time once known as the Millennium Falcon!

The reveal of the Falcon was a truly great moment for fans old and new, given further weight by the reprise of John Williams classic and emotionally rousing STAR WARS theme. Intriguingly, behind the scenes, however, much debate ensued in post production editing about whether that theme should be used for the sequence. Sorry, but that surely should have been a no-brainer!

CLASSIC IMAGE: A SENSE OF DREAD


Aided by co-pilot Threepio, a tense Padme Amidala touches down on the lava ravaged world of Mustafa for a dark rendezvous, concerned about the revelations and actions of her husband Anakin against the Jedi Order and the Republic, in this scene from EPISODE III.

Friday, 17 June 2016

CLASSIC IMAGE: BUNKER STRUGGLES!


A classic image from RETURN OF THE JEDI used back in the day for publicity, and its certainly a great one too, showing all hell breaking loose as the Ewoks join the fight against the Empire. Lots to see in this shot: Rebel Commandos rushing to join Han at the bunker (one aiding him with cover fire), whilst others are wrestling with fallen Stormtroopers, there's an Imperial Commander racing off to the trees for safety, and in the far left corner a Speeder Bike pilot is readying for take speedy flight. To make the shot even more exciting, laser blasts would be painted onto the publicity image, emanating from the Scout Walker.

Original version of the image without re-touching.

Don't forget to head over to the all-new site dedicated to REVENGE OF THE JEDI: STAR WARS AFICIONADO ARCHIVE - 'REVENGE OF THE JEDI'



Thursday, 16 June 2016

'CELEBRATION EUROPE' SPOTLIGHTS 'EPISODE VII'


Acclaimed genre artist, and one of my personal favourites, Jerry Vanderstelt knocks it out of the park once again with his latest STAR WARS piece for sale at CELEBRATION EUROPE in London next month, part of a mostly EPISODE VII-centric gallery collection that can be found here:

Celebration Europe Art Show Revealed! - Star Wars Celebration • July 15 - 17, 2016

Other event news:

Star Wars Movie Screenings - Star Wars Celebration • July 15 - 17, 2016

Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew & More Headed To London For Star Wars Celebration | The Star Wars Underworld

http://www.starwarscelebration.com/RNA/RNA_StarWarsCelebration_V2/2016/docs/SWC-Floor-Plan.pdf?v=636015113142977811

BEHIND THE SCENES: WEEQUAY'S WAITING!


Waiting to resume their background roles in the Coruscant sports bar, two distinctive Weequay extras, bearing equally distinctive Aussie accents, compare filming notes in this fun behind the scenes image from EPISODE II.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: THE ICE GODS OF ILM!


At ILM's new facility in San Francisco, Denis Muren, Phil Tippett and matte/background artist supremo Michael Pangrazio pose with a certain stop motion puppet combo atop a Hoth plateau range, in this great image from 1979/80 for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

ROGUE ONE: TACKLING A LIVING WEAPON!


In a city on a so far unnamed world, amidst the shocking site of a crash-landed X-wing fighter, film action hero/martial arts icon Donnie Yen's mysterious spiritual warrior character of Chirrut Imwe makes a stand against a squad of old school Imperial Stormtroopers, for what will surely be one of many memorable and unique scenes from December's ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY- be they intact from the original Gareth Edwards shoot, or from the additional photography lensing now at Pinewood Studios.

Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 Key Art - First Look! | StarWars.com