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Feb 22, 2017

Well well, what have we here? My predictions for The last Jedi. Some serious, most fanciful...



Here’s my plot predictions for The Last Jedi


These are just predictions and guesses of mine for Episode 8. Some serious,  most fanciful. They are made before anything leaks from the set so I’ll be interested to come back and see how they play out in 2017.

  • Rey’s staff will contain a lightsaber
  • Rey’s lightsaber will be double-bladed and blue
  • Poe will do bugger all but fly around looking pretty in his X-Wing
  • Leia will demonstrate some real force action. She will be er... Forced to make a terrible decision - save Rey or someone else...
  • The end of TFA made it clear Luke and Rey had made a connection. Luke has the 'oh damn, all my troubles have literally climbed up this hill to say 'allo guv' look. 
  • Luke must thus train Ray as the Force has demanded it. 
  • This training will mirror and echo the training that Luke recieved from Yoda. He will import everything he can into Rey but the lingering flaw that nags Luke will set Rey on the wrong path
  • Luke is probably Rey's father.
  • We'll learn what happened at the Jedi Academey. 
  • Kylo Ren will have matured into a bad ass.
  • He will go head to head with Luke and we'll see his green saber flash for the final time.
  • That's right, we think Luke might die, leaving Rey to be The Last Jedi.
  • General Hux will die but before that he will do something evil to one of our fan favourite characters.
  • Billie Lord will have a bigger part.
  • Benico Del Torro's character will die at the conclusion of the film.
  • There will not be a Darth Vader flashback.
  • Lando Calrissian will turn up.
  • We will learn of Snoke's broader motives.. like dur
  • Unkar Plutt will have some kind of revenge on Rey. Or he will completely turn around and help her. He will only have one arm....
  • We will learn about Finn's back story. He will not be the son of Lando. 
  • Rey will have Skywalker lineage. Possibly Shimi's sister had a daughter who had a daughter... 
  • The film will be dedicated to Carrie Fisher

Which Star Wars film did Treat Williams take a turn in as an extra?

treat williams star wars cameo

Treat Williams had a sweet cameo in ESB 


It turns out that actor Treat Williams made a cameo of sorts on Empire Strikes Back as an Echo Base rebel in one of the Hoth ice base attack scenes.

Treat is never intended to be in the movie, it happened by a chance set visit. He was just visiting Carrie Fisher and got caught up in it all.

Treat has said  in an interview:

"I’ll tell you the story: I went over to London and I was visiting Carrie [Fisher]. She said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to run through a shot?” And, I said, “Sure. All right.” And, she said, “We’ll dress you up and you’ll run through the soundstage a couple of times and that’ll be it – it’ll be fun.”

"I didn’t mention it for like fifteen years after that. Then, once I did in some interview a few years ago, all of a sudden I got more fan mail than I ever have in my entire life! I mean, people sent little dolls and little paratroopers – they still do! It’s crazy. "



You won’t find Treat William's name anywhere in the credits but some people claim he played the part of Jess Allashane. This is misinformation as Treat made a set visit in England whereas the scenes for Allashane were filmed in Norway. 

So how's that for a bit of random trivia? Here's 101 more bits of interesting facts.

Click the link if you want to see who else has done some cameos in Star Wars.

Jawas - They're gonna need a bigger barge

jawas-jaws-poster-star-wars

Jawas - that's a pretty good remake of the classic Jaws poster. They're gonna need a bigger barge though...

A brief design history of Darth Vader, Nazi inspiration and all.

Early concept of a young Starkiller dueling Vader

A brief history of the design of Darth Vader


Kylo Ren may be obsessed with Darth Vader but the rest of the world got there well before him.

It was in 1977 to be exact when Vader stepped into the Tantive IV and threw a few Rebels about.

As he did so, he stepped into movie infamy as one of the greatest villains ever.

We have a theory that one of the key reasons why that happened was the look of Vader.

He was like a caped black knight, spewing evil from that robotic face. Not to mentioning that terse, measured breathing that was utterly terrifying.

It was just sinister. Vader was a big deal, even before the most infamous reveal of his fathering Luke Skywalker.

Indeed Pierre Christin, a noted comic creator who had some influence over Star Wars, had this to say on why we love Vader, “A villain like Darth Vader is simply a cinematic flash of genius, destined to be a great film icon forever. The reason we fear him so much is because he partly reflects ourselves.”

So we love Vader because we fear him.

Got it, thanks French dude.

So what were the elements that went into the design of Darth Vader? Who came up with him and his look?

And the meaning of his name?

Read on, Star Wars fan, read on.


How did the concept of Vader come to being?


George Lucas is the father of Darth Vader.

When Lucas was throwing around ideas for his ‘Journal of the Whills’ concept he wrote down the name of ‘General Vader’ who he noted was an imperial commander.

The character was described as a “tall, grim looking general”. Lucas also wrote down ideas for 'Knights of the Sith', a character called 'Kane Starkiller' who was a cyborg.

Eventually Lucas fashioned the character as a 'Black Knight of the Sith' who served the 'Master of Sith'.

Initially Vader did not have his famous helmet. Lucas had suggested his face be obscured by a black silk scarf.

This was during 1975 at which time Lucas asked Ralph McQuarrie to turn this concept into a drawn character.

When McQuarrie learned that Vader (as it was then in the script) was to cross through the cold vacuum of space to enter Leia’s spaceship, he added the mask.

Obviously the reasons for Vader needing the mask were made more interesting later on.

McQuarrie delivered duly delivered some concept art:

Early Darth Vader concept designs
Early Darth Vader concept designs
A costume designer by the name of John Mollo was given these sketches and told to get to work. He was inspired by samurai influences (which would have pleased Lucas given his penchant for Akira Kurosawa movies) and Nazi uniform and armour that was used in the trench battles of World War I.

In keeping with this minor Nazi influence, Stormtroopers were named after specialist German soldiers from the same era.

Brian Muir made the actual helmet and mask, fashioning early sculptures out of clay. He did his sculpting over a plaster head of David Prowse.

Here’s a great interview with Muir explaining the process.

Fun fact: Vader’s armour was given the serial number E-3778Q-1M.

That voice


During filming, David Prowse did the actions and also voiced the character believing he would be doing the final recordings as well.

Lucas had other ideas and tried to hire the great film maker Orson Welles (speaking or Welles, check out our Theory About Director Krennic's name) with no success.

This was just as well for James Earl Jones got the gig and Vader’s final ingredient was found. Jones recorded his lines in 2 and half hours.

Jones also chose to not receive an on screen credit as he thought his role was too small.

This was eventually rectified when Star Wars become a global smash again with Empire Strikes Back.


That breathing


Ben Burtt invented the sound by recording him using a scuba breathing apparatus.

The microphone was placed in the regulator.

To get the sound just right, these recordings were played in empty rooms and re-recorded to get that ‘from the helmet’ sounding effect.


Who was that guy that played Vader in Jedi?


During ANH and TESB, David Prowse did the body work for the character. Bob Anderson did the heavy lifting. Come time for the finale of Jedi, there was a need to show Vader’s face.

It was the big reveal moment, father and son eyeballing each other for the first, and last time in their lives.

Veteran English actor Sebastian Shaw was hired. His scene was filmed in secret so as to hold off on the ‘surprise’ as long as possible.

It is Shaw who stands as a Force ghost with Yoda and Obi-Wan in the original form, replaced by Hayden Christiansen in the Special Edition.

Coming back to Kylo Ren for a moment – When Luke Skywalker ceremonially cremated his father's armour on the moon of Endor in Jedi, Vader’s helmet featured on the pyre.

In the real world specific prop was an old promotional mask that was used from the promotional touring that took place after the premiere of A New Hope.

In the movie realm, the mask and helmet that Kylo Ren is holding when he talks to his grandfather Vader in The Force Awakens has been retrieved from the pyre.

By whom?

We'll probably never find out.

Feb 21, 2017

Punch it!


HAN SOLO – SMUGGLER. SCOUNDREL. HERO. A NEW STAR WARS STORY BEGINS

STRAP YOURSELF IN. PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE UNTITLED HAN SOLO STAR WARS STORY IS UNDER WAY.

Cameras are rolling on the adventure-filled past of the iconic scoundrel and everyone’s favorite Wookiee; principal photography on the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story officially began February 20 at Pinewood Studios, London.
The movie will explore the duo’s adventures before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, including their early encounters with that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directors co-piloting the movie, with a cast that includes Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.
“Watching such inspired people from all over the world, with such unique voices, come together for the sole purpose of making art, is nothing short of miraculous,” Lord and Miller said. “We can’t think of anything funny to say, because we just feel really moved, and really lucky.”
han-solo-cast-photo
Written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, it will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, Simon Emanuel, and co-produced by Kiri Hart, Susan Towner, and Will Allegra. Lawrence Kasdan and Jason McGatlin will executive produce.
Crewing the ship will be some of the industry’s top talent, including Academy Award nominee for his work on Arrival, Bradford Young (Director of Photography), Chris Dickens (Editor), Dominic Tuohy (SFX Supervisor), Rob Bredow (VFX Supervisor) and Brad Allan (Action Designer).
They will be joining returning Star Wars veteran crew members Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Neil Lamont (Production Designer), Dave Crossman and Glyn Dillon (Co-Costume Designers), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Lisa Tomblin (Hair), Amanda Knight (Make-Up) and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).
The untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story is slated for release on May 25, 2018.

Feb 20, 2017

We need to talk about Darth Vader's eye brows

Yes, we absolutely need to have a quick chat about Darth Vader's eye brows.

Recall your last viewing of Return of the Jedi. 

Maybe you watched the Special Edition on DVD


Still with me? 

What colour were Darth Vader's eyebrows?

Can't recall? Or are you of the recollection that Darth had no eyebrows to speak of? And you would be correct. Darth Vader didn't have eyebrows in Jedi. 

Here's the proof:

Vader with no eyebrows in Return of the Jedi

Or is this fake news? 

No, not really just a minor change that George Lucas made to the film. See, the first cinematic release of Return of the Jedi actually had Vader featuring eyebrows. 'Face actor' Sebastian Shaw's eyebrows were on full display.

Like two little worms have a dance. 

Here's the proof:

Vader without eye brows in Return of Jedi

So why did this happen? What did George Lucas have Darth Vader's eyebrow's removed by the magic of CGI. 

Because of this moment in Revenge of the Sith. 

Annakin's eyebrowns burnt off

Did you notice anything? 

That's right, Vader's eyebrows and (general face) were burnt off after he caught on fire in the lava following Kenobi cutting him down. No way given those burns that Vader's eyes would have grown back. 

A minor change indeed but one of the better ones made!
 

15 cool facts and trivia about actress Carrie Fisher and a character she played called Princess Leia Organa

princess leia slave bikini long pose

15 cool facts and trivia about actress Carrie Fisher


Princess Leia is one of the quintessential Star Wars characters, one of the so called 'Big 3' characters. 

Every epic adventure needs a princess to be rescued and Leia was that damsel in distress.

Or was she?

Carrie Fisher was one of Hollywood’s more interesting creatures. 

Made a world wide star by Star Wars, her private life has maintained her legendary status amongst the fans, what with her coke addition and mental health challenges. And the marriage to Paul Simon, her affair with Harrison Ford, and of course her role in the classic movie, The Blues Brothers. 


So given Leia is Carrie and Carrie is Leia, here’s 15 facts and trivia about the actress and character.
  • Princess Leia never actually gets to 'meet' Obi Wan Kenobi. She sees him from afar when she's escaping the Death Star and Obi Wan is about to let Darth Vader kill him but that's it. Unless you count Obi Wan being present for her birth in Revenge of the Sith...
  • As Adele would say, rumour has it that Carrie Fisher had a massive drug problem during the filming of Return of the Jedi. Cocaine was apparently her powder of choice. Apparently. OK, there is no apparently, in Jedi you can see she wears and extra long finger nail which is just a perfect instrument to assist with the distribution of nose candy up the nose.
  • Carrie Fisher has spoken many times of her struggles with bipolar disorder. You wouldn't wish this on any anybody. Watch this interview she did with the great Steven Fry.
  • Princess Leia was subject to one of the most famous ad libs in cinema history - that being Han Solo's response to her declaration of love - "I know". Harrison Ford apparently made it up at Irvine Kershner's suggestion. Leia got to return the line in Jedi during the Battle of Endor. After Han Solo grabbed her breast....
  • According to Fisher in her novel, The Princess Diarist, she and Harrison Ford had a three month fling during the making of A New Hope.
  • Carrie Fisher appeared as nun in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. This movie was a weird Kevin Smith homage to Star Wars and featured an appearance by Fisher as a nun and Mark Hamill as a parody of himself. Carrie's cameo was the one that got the laughs...
  • A lot of people forget this but Fisher appeared in the classic movie When Harry met Sally. She was the 'friend' of Sally who ended up marrying Harry’s best friend.
  • Carrie Fisher wrote an actual bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and screenplay for the film based on her writing. The book was about her drug addiction and her relationship with her mother. Fisher has managed to parlay her writing talent with a few turns at playing script doctor for a few Hollywood movies, most notable Dustin Hoffman's Outbreak. Her appearance in Scream 3 was apparently scripted by herself. Beauty and brains eh?
  • Speaking of mothers, Carrie Fisher's mother is actually a famous actress in her own right, Debbie Reynolds
  • Fisher was once married to one half of Simon and Garfunkel. It was Simon.
  • Fisher delivered some classic quotes:
    • Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope
    • Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.
    • Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
    • Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder. 
    • I'd just as soon kiss a wookie!
  • If you asked the average Star Wars fan what was Leia’s home world, they would be correct in answering the planet Alderraan and they could go to the head of the class. If you asked the most hard core fan, they might also quickly add that Leia and Luke were actually born at a medical facility on Polissa Massa – if you’ve seen Revenge of the Sith you might recall that is where Obi Wan Kenobi took the injured Padme for medical assistance.
  • Leia's character has her own musical theme titled "Princess Leia's Theme". It is represented by the musical leitmotif method which is famously used across the films. The piece was composed by John Williams and was used several times. It first appeared in A New Hope, heard when Princess Leia is captured by the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Later, it surfaces as R2-D2 plays her holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The also theme plays when Kenobi is killed by Vader and it makes an appearance in the credits of the movie. It also is used in the two follow up movies and the Revenge of the Sith prequel when her adoptive father Bail Organa introduces her to her adoptive mother. 
  • Leia's golden metal bikini that she wore while strangling the slug Jabba the Hutt in Return of Jedi is perhaps one of the most famous bikini in the history of bikinis. Its iconic status in film history is perhaps only rivalled by Ursula Andress’s exit from the beach in James Bond’s Dr No. Many women (and the odd male!)  like to dress as Leia and attend conventions dressed in the bikini. Bless. Bless them all…
  • In a New Hope, Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year that the Lucas directed film THX 1138, was set. 
  • Leia says the last line of the movie Rogue One "What Is It They've Sent Us? Hope." It's a clever set up for the title of A New Hope and ties in thematically well. In saying this last line, that takes Leia's tally of saying the final line of a Star Wars movie to three - the other two being The Force Awakens and Return of the Jedi.
  • The Last Jedi was Carrie's last Star Wars movie, meaning Leia appeared in a total of seven Star Wars films (Remember the Revenge of the Sith appearance!).
And there you have it! 

Do you have any thing else to add? If so, leave a note in the comments. 

RIP Carrie.

Feb 17, 2017

The best (and only) Ello Asty cosplay we've seen

He's Beastie Boy approved, it's Allo Asty - one of the pilots that accompanied Wexley and Dameron in the assault on the Star Killer base i The Force Awakens.

Fantastic costume by this cos player, full marks for going with a non mainstream character for Star Wars Celebration.

allo asty cos play star wars




Feb 16, 2017

21 great facts, myths and trivia about the original Star Wars trilogy



21 great facts, myths and trivia about the original Star Wars trilogy


There are many cool things about the original Star Wars trilogy. Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt and the Millennium Falcon are but three. The lore and legend of Star Wars goes beyond what you see on the screen as these twenty one pieces of triva and myth show....
  1. In A New Hope, Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year that the Lucas directed film THX 1138, was set. 
  2. Ewoks were a late addition to the Star Wars mythology in Jedi. Their part in the story was to be played by the Wookiees, but by the time Lucas and his production partners sat down to write Return of The Jedi, they realized that, because Chewbacca could fly the Millennium Falcon, repair the ship and operate pretty much any weapon or machine in the known universe, they'd made the Wookiees too technologically advanced for the plot.
  3. Is Wedge Antilles really Obi-Wan Kenobi's Uncle? Yes, from a certain point of view
  4. In Jedi, listen very carefully as Darth Vader picks up the Emperor and throws him down the Death Star shaft. This is the only time the Jedi theme music plays over a shot of Vader, reflecting his return to the light side of the Force.
  5. Myth - The Wampa was created to allow for Luke's rearranged face after a car accident. Mark Hamill was injured prior to the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. This is fact. The myth is that due to his face being rearranged, Lucas had to re-write the Hoth events to include the Wampa attacking Luke to account for his injury. The truth is that no accommodations were made for Hamill’s face.
  6. After appearing in Jedi, Wedge becomes the only X-wing pilot character (apart from Luke) who survives all three major battles in the films.
  7. Anakin Skywalker really is the ‘Chosen one’. While Yoda and Obi Wan may have thought a mistake had been made in the reading of the prophecy, Anakin was the one who actually killed Sith Lord Palpatine by throwing him down the Death Star’s reactor shaft in Jedi and thus restored balance to the Force. 
  8. The famous reveal of the father and son relationship between Vader and Luke in The Empire Strikes Back is often misquoted as "Luke, I am your father". The line is actually "No, I am your father".
  9. Admiral Ackbar's "It's a trap," which is arguably the most famous line in the ROTJ, was, incredibly, not in the screenplay. The line was scripted as "It's a trick!" and was later changed post-filming after a test screening because, let's face it, "it's a trick" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
  10. While Return of the Jedi saw Luke return the favour to Vader and cut his arm off, the idea for it actually came from the expanded universe novel, ‘Splinter of the Mind's Eye’. This book was intended to be turned into a sequel to Star Wars but when that movie became so popular, the idea was abandoned. Vader was actually the only Star Wars film character to lose an arm three times! And both his legs as well. Obi Wan Kenobi got 3 of his limbs in Revenge of the Sith!
  11. James Earl Jones is famed for providing the voice for Vader however he didn't do the famous breathing effect. This was done by Ben Burt placing a microphone inside the mouth piece of a breathing apparatus and recording it being used. 
  12. Leia's character has her own musical theme titled "Princess Leia's Theme". It is represented by the musical leitmotif method which is famously used across the films. The piece was composed by John Williams and was used several times. It first appeared in A New Hope, heard when Princess Leia is captured by the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Later, it surfaces as R2-D2 plays her holographic message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. 
  13. George Lucas at one stage considered using the great Orsen Welles as the voice actor for Darth Vader.
  14. Myth - Lucas had 12 films all mapped out before the first Star Wars was released. That’s the legend but the mythology of it has grown over the years. The nutshell is that Lucas wrote a great deal of material when he was developing his little sci-fi adventure. Based around the so called “Journal of Whills”, Lucas script eventually was cut up and Star Wars as we know it was filmed. It was not until Empire Strikes Back came out that the term Episode 5 was mentioned officially. Lucas’s grand vision was actually pieced together over several years in very broad strokes. The 12 or 9 films as most people know of were never fully scripted but were largely imaginings of Lucas that were eventually firmly realized well after 1977. The story about the novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye effectively confirms this. Well this hand written vision by George totally proves it (to the right). Indeed he had A New Hope at 6. 
  15. Princess Leia never actually gets to 'meet' Obi Wan Kenobi. She sees him from afar when she's escaping the Death Star and Obi Wan is about to let Darth Vader kill him but that's it. Unless you count Obi Wan being present for her birth in Revenge of the Sith...
  16. Jedi was originally going to be called Revenge of the Jedi until Lucas decided that Jedi do not seek revenge. This was quite late in the production so there was a lot of promotional gear with the title already printed on it. 
  17. As Adele would say, rumour has it that Carrie Fisher had a massive drug problem during the filming of Return of the Jedi. Cocaine was apparently her powder of choice. Apparently. OK, there is no apparently, in Jedi you can see she wears and extra long finger nail which is just a perfect instrument to assist with the distribution of nose candy up the nose.
  18. Darth Vader was referenced in the film Back to the Future by Marty McFly as being from the planet Vulcan. No one was sure who was more upset - Star Wars fans or Trekkies!
  19. Princess Leia was subject to one of the most famous ad libs in cinema history - that being Han Solo's response to her declaration of love - "I know". Harrison Ford apparently made it up at Irvine Kershner's suggestion. Leia got to return the line in Jedi during the Battle of Endor.
  20. E.T. made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace.
  21. If you asked the average Star Wars fan what was Leia’s home world, they would be correct in answering the planet Alderraan and they could go to the head of the class. If you asked the most hard core fan, they might also quickly add that Leia and Luke were actually born at a medical facility on Polissa Massa – if you’ve seen Revenge of the Sith you might recall that is where Obi Wan Kenobi took the injured Padme for medical assistance.
  22. Bonus fact - Darth Vader has only 12 minutes of screen time!
Did you think this was a good list? Here's 101 facts about Star Wars!

This is quite likely the best Leia cosplay ever. Or the most disturbing...

Leia bikini cosplay by a man!

Is this the sexiest Leia costume ever?


I'm pretty sure Leia didn't wear a watch in Jedi? Other than that this Leia bikini costume is spot on. Oh, this isn't the bikini you were looking for? Try here then