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, 23 November 2017

EPISODE VII: THE DROID SPYMASTER!


At the Resistance base on D'Qar, C-3PO gets busy contacting his unique droid spy network across the galaxy, as the search for the missing BB-8 continues. A deleted scene filmed at Pinewood, from The Force Awakens. It's a shame this never made the final cut, as Threepio would end up having so little onscreen time, and this would have been a nice sideline scene relevant to events on Takodana.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: WITNESS THE 'PIRATE SHIP'!


Inside Docking Bay 94 at Mos Eisley spaceport, our heroes get their first glimpse of Han Solo's much-boasted-about smuggling vessel, the Millennium Falcon, as seen in this conceptual painting by Ralph McQuarrie that was soon altered- the craft having been given a rapid, massive redesign in late 1975 by Lucas and ILM, due to its similarities visually to the Eagle craft of the then airing TV series SPACE:1999.

https://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/ilm-classic-image-first-falcon.html

Check out this great online feature about the creation of the Falcon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbFu0UNuf9Q

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

THE CLONE WARS: TRUSTED COMMUNICATIONS!


As the Banking Clan financial crisis escalates into a potential conflict affecting the Republic, Padme confers with her friend and leader Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, in a scene on Scipio from the three part story of The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions - An Old Friend.

EPISODE VIII: ARMY OF DEATH!


Their mighty footsteps felt all across the dusty realms of Crait, the First Order forces of darkness assemble, led by Kylo Ren's distinctive bat-like shuttle, heading towards our Resistance heroes, in this memorable effects shot seen numerous times in recent The Last Jedi trailers...

'STAR WARS' AT 40: DESIGNING A FUTURE FRANCHISE...


As well as his conceptual and matte painting work for the original STAR WARS, Ralph McQuarrie also brought his striking and exquisite artistry to development ideas for the film's logos (as seen above, featuring 'Luke Starkiller') and posters, which went through many iterations before things were locked down via outside advertising sources by late 1976.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

EPISODE VIII: BEWARE THE 'DJ'!


SPOILERS! Ever since first seeing him onscreen as the distinctive, bloodthirsty villain Dario in the gritty 1989 James Bond actioner Licence to Kill, I have continued watched Benecio Del Toro's career with, as Palpatine would say, "great interest". So it's been fun to see this often Indie film star delve into the realms of big-league science fiction and fantasy in recent years, what with his turn as the bizarre The Collector for the MARVEL franchise, and now as the quirky, mysterious and surely highly dangerous 'DJ', apparently a top information thief and broker working for whomever will pay him the most money, and the man needed by the Resistance for whatever secrets he currently possesses.

It will be great to see what delicious edgy spirit and bleak humour this fine and highly regarded actor will bring to the STAR WARS universe.

Friend...or foe?


Coming to the comic universe: https://screenrant.com/benicio-del-toros-star-wars-8-dj-comic/

Brief clip of 'DJ': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2jKQ-nwz5o

'STAR WARS' AT 40: "A LONG TIME AGO..."


The ten important words that set the tone for a unique galaxy of heroes and villains, settled an awaiting, unexpecting worldwide audience, and launched us into an unforgettable film series, from May 25th, 1977...

Monday, 20 November 2017

CLASSIC IMAGE: IN LOYALTY TO THE REPUBLIC...


An important member of the soon initiated Delegation of 2000 representatives of the Republic, Senator Bana Breemu would be played by popular Chinese character actress and model Bai Ling. Though her scene with Natalie Portman for EPISODE III was deleted, it did eventually make it to the 2005 DVD release. Enjoying the publicity, Miss Ling went on to do a memorable STAR WARS inspired portfolio for Playboy magazine.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: THE PLASTIC ODYSSEY BEGINS...


Though not technically a major part of the release year, there's no way we can't not include the first wave of STAR WAS figures from Kenner that were soon to become an intrinsic part of being a STAR WARS fan and seventies childhood. They didn't become fully available until 1978, okay, but you could advance order them in 1977 with the special 'Early Bird Certificate' promotion.

https://vintageactionfigures.com/star-wars-early-bird-certificate-package-1977.html

Sunday, 19 November 2017

EPISODE VIII: THE NEW 'ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY' COVERS (NOV 2017) AND PHOTOS


The updates from America's top entertainment magazine continue...

US only exclusive cover.




http://ew.com/movies/star-wars-the-last-jedi-new-photos/the-last-jedi-a-new-look?utm_campaign=entertainmentweekly&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&xid=entertainment-weekly_socialflow_twitter

http://ew.com/movies/2017/11/19/star-wars-the-last-jedi-ew-cover/

http://ew.com/movies/2017/11/19/star-wars-last-jedi-luke-millennium-falcon/

'STAR WARS' AT 40: BACK TO THE (USA) DESERT!

Mark Hamill returns to play Luke Skywalker in 1977.

Recovering from his car crash ordeal that occurred earlier in the year (January 11th, 1977), Mark Hamill's previously cancelled and rescheduled participation in US shooting of extra footage needed for STAR WARS is finally completed now that he is in recovery. At a dune in La Mirage, California, he joins Peter Kuran wearing the Threepio costume, and another unknown ILMer as the hooded Kenobi, for some required Landspeeder travelling shots that are supervised by Gary Kurtz, with a mirror attached to the vehicle's side to reflect the opposite desert and give the illusion of it travelling above ground.

Gary Kurtz with Peter Kuran as Threepio, and Joe Johnston.



Sadly, this footage is later discarded as, even from a distance, Hamill's facial scarring from the crash (soon involving the need for plastic surgery repair, confirmed by the actor by May 1980) is allegedly highly noticeable.

EPISODE VIII: A CAUSE TO FIGHT FOR!


Now out from his Bacta repair cocoon, Finn gets battle ready for the Resistance, in this great posed image of John Boyega for The Last Jedi.

Latest US TV spot: 'Heroes': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znKxu09P_H8

Latest International trailer compilation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42xEPLRnYFE

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: THE 'CHICKEN' GETS BATTLE READY!


Outdoors at the ILM facility at San Francisco during 1982, Paul Huston makes an adjustment to the AT-ST Walker for its next scene in the Battle of Endor, for Return of the Jedi.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: MUSICAL EXCELLENCE!


At the famous EMI recording studios of Anvil Studios, Denham, John Williams conducted score for the epic Death Star battle, brought to vivid, dizzying and exciting life by the renowned London Symphony Orchestra, is mixed and recorded, part of ninety minutes of music score recorded across fourteen intense and wonderful sessions in March 1977, that would surprise, thrill and delight George Lucas, now truly seeing his artistic entertainment vision come to life via Williams' superb themes and sweeping romanticism, watching and hearing alongside Gary Kurtz and Carrie Fisher (who attended at least one day of the recording and was notably played back the Princess Leia theme by a very happy Lucas).

John Williams winning his Academy Award in 1978. Image: OSCARS.ORG.

CLASSIC IMAGE: A FAMILIAR FACE...


Newly returned to Tatooine, her last visit to the outer rim desert world ten years earlier, Padme Amidala is swiftly reunited with the loyal Skywalker family droid C-3PO at the Lars Homestead, in a scene from EPISODE II.

Excellent overview Daniels interview linked to the Classic Trilogy and EPISODE VII: www.vulture.com/2015/12/anthony-daniels-c-3po-c-v-r.html

Friday, 17 November 2017

'HAPPY LIFE DAY!' 2017


We know its nearly Christmas at AFICIONADO when the pre-seasonal Holiday Special celebration image is needed, and this is a terrific one- great art by David Rabbittee for the Celebration VI event that makes the then singular (thankfully) TV special look more exciting and serious than it actually turned to be.

http://www.davidrabbitte.com/

HAPPY LIFE DAY! to all STAR WARS AFICIONADO readers worldwide!


'STAR WARS' AT 40: THE EMPIRE'S FIENDISH AGENTS...


On board the Rebel Starfighter (later cruiser), the evil Darth Vader and one of his Stormtrooper henchman are on the hunt for a Princess, in a memorable storyboard composed by Alex Tavoularis, one of the earliest visualists to work on the film alongside Ralph McQuarrie in 1975.

BEHIND THE SCENES: CRAMPED RESCUE!


Around July 1979, Billy Dee Williams and Mark Hamill have fun getting ready to film within the Millennium Falcon's outer shell lift, for the final part of Lando's rescue of the battered Luke Skywalker, during lensing of The Empire Strikes Back at Elstree.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

EPISODE VIII: LATEST NEWS AND TRAILERS (MID-NOVEMBER 2017)

New IMAX poster release for EPISODE VIII.

From the depths of space to the heady realm of Canto Bight, to an epic showdown on the far-off world of Crait, the story of The Last Jedi will surely be a terrific Christmas present/experience for STAR WARS fans of all ages.

Latest footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTIb5PXjXes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfzRjzv0ldo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT6xGuJUfRk

Latest news:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4rpZWeyEYo

http://uk.ign.com/articles/2017/11/17/the-last-jedi-will-be-the-longest-star-wars-film

http://time.com/5027043/new-last-jedi-characters-help-the-star-wars-galaxy-look-more-like-our-own/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2017/11/14/daisy-ridley-porgs-kylo-ren-and-more-star-war-last-jedi-teasers/851353001/

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2017/11/exclusive-first-look-starspeeder-flight-through-crait-on-star-tours-the-adventures-continue-at-disney-parks/

http://www.theweek.co.uk/star-wars-8/68360/star-wars-8-film-critics-protest-disney-ban-by-threatening-boycott

CLASSIC IMAGE: BEYOND A SMALL INCIDENT...


Supreme Chancellor Valorum's discreetly sent 'negotiators' arrive at the Trade Federation Blockade of Naboo, but difficult events will only spiral for the worse. More terrific concept art setting up the opening to EPISODE I, by Doug Chiang.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: THE TALENTS OF MARCIA LUCAS


Behind every great man there's a great woman, and back in late 1976/early 1977, that great woman to George Lucas was Marcia. And whilst George was a respected director and film editor in his own right, Marcia, very much the gregarious, artistic and spirited other side to her husband's quieter and shier persona, was as equally in-demand for her talents as film editor, most notably for Martin Scorcese. When STAR WARS needed urgent post production work, Marcia was available to help George with key sequences like the finale Death Star battle, shaping it and tightening it up, as well as adding/improving little character and humorous moments that ultimately helped to give the film a likeable and enduring resonance. It was also Marcia who convinced George to kill off Obi-Wan Kenobi, so as to give the film even more emotional impact towards its last act, and supporting her husband when its early minus effects rough cut was torn to shred by many of his closest friends. Alas, STAR WARS eventual and well deserved success (of which Marcia won an Oscar), and its leading to future time/personal life consuming sequels, was, sadly and ultimately, one of the key components to the breakdown of their marriage by 1983.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: HOLLYWOOD AND GALACTIC ROYALTY!


At Elstree Studios, June 16th 1976, a near 20 year old Carrie Fisher, a known name helpful in selling STAR WARS as the daughter of superstar Debbie Reynolds, sits down for an in-house filmed interview. As with Mark Hamill's talk on this set, we assume the interview was handled off camera by Gary Kurtz, and likely shot by documentarian Peter Shillingford.

Only a few brief moments of this interview have appeared publicly. With the upcoming first anniversary of Miss Fisher's sad passing, the 40th Anniversary of STAR WARS coming to an end, and her final appearance as Leia with The Last Jedi, it would be a lovely gift to fans if this interview could be released online to the fanbase, If you're reading this LUCASFILM/DISNEY, we hope you will oblige us with this continued tribute to a much-missed woman and talent. Thank you.

EPISODE VII: LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS!


Our heroes old and new gather around Maz Kanata as Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, later bequeathed to Luke by Obi-Wan Kenobi, is activated for the first time in decades, in this great conceptual art linked to an important The Force Awakens moment, courtesy of Matt Allsopp.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: (GOLDEN) COVER STAR!


You know you've made it in this world when you've become the cover star of either of the landmark American magazine's like Time or People, and Anthony Daniels as C-3PO certainly made his mark within STAR WARS in this startling instance, as the franchise's beginning swiftly became one of the greatest things ever to happen to Americana pop culture in 1977, and beyond...

ROGUE ONE: KRENNIC'S ULTIMATE VICTORY?


Imperial Director Krennic takes aim at Jyn Erso, determined not to let any further security breaches or Rebel incursions stand in the way of his Death Star's destiny as the ultimate power of the Empire, in this scene from Rogue One, set during the finale action on Scarif.

Monday, 13 November 2017

EPISODE VIII:A ONCE IN A LIFETIME ADVENTURE...


She never showed it, but Daisy Ridley was apparently nervous and unsure of herself playing Rey during the filming duration of The Force Awakens, so it's nice to see the actresses more confident and her fun side brighter than before during filming of The Last Jedi.

New TLJ TV trailer spot 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=TaFAyioYvk4

Miss Ridley gave some intriguing clues as to what we can expect from VIII in a recent magazine interview...



'STAR WARS' AT 40: DISCOVERING 'TATOOINE'...


On a recce with Producer Gary Kurtz in Tunisia (with assistant director Tony Waye), the late British Production Designer John Barry goes through locations he previously visited and used for the dream-like fantasy The Little Prince, now being even more effectively utilized for the original STAR WARS filming set on the desert world of Tatooine, during March/April 1976.

No one working on the film at that time will ever forget its spectacular and never seen anything like it set design and creation at London's Elstree and Shepperton Studios, with Barry getting deserved credit and an Academy Award, working well with Lucas and conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie. Most of the film's allocated budget was going on effects and production design, and Barry made sure every penny available to him was put up on screen, working miracles in a short time and often against the filming clock demanded by FOX, and defining a visual design style for our heroes and villains that continues to this day.


Sunday, 12 November 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: THE ETERNAL HEROES!


Another one of the all-time classic STAR WARS poster greats. Who didn't have this on their bedroom wall during 1977/78, either next to Farrah Fawcett-Majors or the stars of Grease- our four incredible galactic heroes assembled in an image by David Steen, used by the Scandicor poster company.

CLASSIC INDY: IN TROUBLE AGAIN!


Our hatted hero is escorted by two suited heavies (Graham Cole and Eugene Lipinsky) to a mysterious luxury penthouse apartment, and a sure mystery ahead, in an angle not seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

'STAR WARS' AT 40: BACK TO THE CANTINA!


Another one of the finest STAR WARS posters ever produced, as the Hildebrandt Brothers take us back into the atmospheric delights of the creature-packed Mos Eisley Cantina- nostalgically, I first remember seeing this image used in the UK/US STAR WARS souvenir magazine of 1977/78, whose faded pages and ripped corners are a fine testament as to how much I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover, both then and now.


CLASSIC IMAGE: THE JOYS OF FAMILY...


Despite dark and dangerous years ahead with the birth of the Empire, Bail Organa and his wife make the most of their time with the latest addition to their family in adopted baby Leia, during a beautiful moment from the closing scenes montage of EPISODE III, amidst the picturesque surroundings of peaceful Alderaan.

Alderaan and the Organa's last emotional and defiant days as the Death Star looms, during the later events of A New Hope, are effectively and hauntingly revealed in Madeleine Roux's Eclipse, one of forty short stories memorably created to celebrate EPISODE IV's glorious fortieth anniversary: From a Certain Point of View, out now in hardback from CENTURY.



Get it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Certain-Point-View/dp/1846056837/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510402306&sr=1-1&keywords=from+a+certain+point+of+view

Friday, 10 November 2017

NEWS: THE NEXT TRILOGY AND LIVE-ACTION SERIES


As previously indicated, Kathleen Kennedy and LUCASFILM are planning the next wave of STAR WARS adventures beyond 2020, with new input from Rian Johnson. But just what is going on with that seemingly-in-limbo third Anthology movie?

http://www.starwars.com/news/rian-johnson-writer-director-of-star-wars-the-last-jedi-to-create-all-new-star-wars-trilogy

https://www.screendaily.com/news/disney-rian-johnson-plot-new-star-wars-trilogy/5124139.article

'STAR WARS' AT 40: MORE DROID FOOTAGE REQUIRED!

Grant McCune and ILM colleagues prepare Artoo near a hastily built Rebel base control console for a needed insert scene for STAR WARS.

With STAR WARS' 1976 principal photography at Elstree having been cut several weeks short by nervous money conscious execs at FOX, later scenes needing to be completed for the movie as it was in its final editing shaping were handled either in a small downtown Los Angeles studio (as in extra Cantina creature scenes) or at ILM, as seen here, with insert scenes shot requiring several of the R2-D2 shell's, out of UK storage and soon dispatched States-side.

Artoo is plugged in by a Rebel technician, in this ILM filmed insert scene.

Joe Johnston makes an adjustment to the three-legged Artoo.

An extra shot of R2's restraining bolt being added by a Jawa was filmed.

CLASSIC IMAGE: IN HUMBLE SERVICE...


The time for the Emperor's arrival on the second Death Star has come, as Darth Vader and Moff Jerjerrod make their kneeling tribute to the Galactic Empire's formidable leader, who'll soon be ready to spring the ultimate trap on the unsuspecting Rebel Alliance, in this scene from Return of the Jedi.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

OUT NOW IN UK PAPERBACK: 'LEIA - PRINCESS OF ALDERAAN'


Having won acclaim for her excellent characterisation of a middle-aged General Leia Organa caught-up in political intrigue and danger during the build-up to The Force Awakens, in Bloodline, Claudia Gray returns to pen another eagerly awaited tale for the 'Legacy' heroine, this time taking her back to her Classic Trilogy days, when she was the younger, though no less spirited and capable Princess Leia Organa, for the new EGMONT UK title: Leia - Princess of Alderaan, out now in bookshops and online. And, as a book that's part of the new Journey to The Last Jedi series, expect several important links to the upcoming VIII in its storytelling.

Here's the story blurb:


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... there was a princess who became a legend.
Sixteen-year-old Princess Leia Organa faces the most challenging task of her life so far. To be named heir to the throne of Alderaan, she must prove herself in body, mind and heart; she's taking rigorous survival courses, practicing politics, and spearheading relief missions to worlds under Imperial control. But Leia has worries beyond her claim to the crown. Her parents, Breha and Bail, aren't acting like themselves; determined to uncover their secrets, Leia sets down a dangerous path that puts her right under the watchful eye of the Empire. And when she discovers what her parents and their allies are planning behind closed doors, Leia
is faced with an impossible choice: dedicate herself to the people of Alderaan - including the man she loves - or to a galaxy in desperate need of a rebel hero ...

'STAR WARS' AT 40: A HERO AND HIS MUSIC!


Most likely breaking records for the amount of press interviews done for a film release during 1977 and into '78, Mark Hamill is as fun and lively an interviewee as ever, here holding the then recently released, evergreen wonderful STAR WARS 2-disc soundtrack by John Williams, featuring the irreplaceable London Symphony Orchestra. An album that was a soon best seller for 20th Century Fox's record label, and as marvellous to listen to now as it was forty years ago!

http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-a-new-hope-soundtrack-vinyl-box-set-coming-december-1

CLASSIC IMAGE: A PLANET OF QUESTIONS...


Landing amidst the highly charged thunderstorms and epic wave crashes surrounding Tipocca City on the far-off world of Kamino, a lone Jedi arrives seeking urgent answers on the death of a bounty hunter, the assassin who ultimately killed it, and the mystery of who wants Padme Amidala dead? The investigation begins, during the middle act of EPISODE II.