Nov 28, 2013

All you need to know about X wings, A wings, B wings and Y wings

Star Wars is famous for many things and the ships piloted by the rebels are one of them. If you asked a casual fan to name a ship from Staw Wars you'd find many of them would offer the X-wing as their first offering. And why not? The X-wing was the star fighter that Luke Skywalker was flying when he launched a couple of torpedoes into the bowels of the Death Star!

Here's a brief description of some of the fighter ships that the rebels flew in the movies, starting with some of Ralph McQuarrie's early concept designs for the X-wing:

x wing trench run concept picture

Depicted as the primary interceptor and dogfighter of the Rebel Alliance and the New Republic, the craft is a fan favourite. It has has been merchandised as a variety of toys and models and licensed for use in games, novels and comics. The X-wing PC game was hugely popular in the early 1990s!

He came from behind!
While the trench run from A New Hope is a famous scene, the X-wing features in a key part of The Empire Strikes Back when it is stuck in the swamp. Yoda chooses to show Luke what the Force really is about and after uttering his famous "do or do not, there is no try" he lifts the ship out of the watery swamp and into the air and thus inspiring Luke.

Nov 24, 2013

Here's the first Star Wars 7 set shot leak!!!

green screen

Yep, this is it. The first set leak from Star Wars 7. I bet JJ is pissed!

She gets a gold star for trying...

This text exchange between a couple attempting profess their love for each other using Han Solo's "I Know" quote is very cute. Despite all going wrong, she definitely gets a gold star for her effort with Flowers in the Attic slip up!

Nov 20, 2013

Star Wars references found in the Mass Effect game trilogy

asari darth maul cross over

Star Wars references found in the Mass Effect game trilogy

Are there any Mass Effect fans out there? 

The Mass Effect trilogy is well known for making reference to all kinds of popular culture mediums such as the film The Hunt for Red October and the television series, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. Star Wars however would appear to have taken the award for most references and easter eggs being placed in the three games. 

Here's all the references made to Star Wars that we could find. 

Original ME
  • There are several instances of the classic line "I have a bad feeling about this."  being uttered by nervous characters.
  • The Krogan Wrex say's "It's a trap" after being ambushed by Geth. Which kinda makes sense as he looks a little bit like Admiral Ackbar.
  • Upon seeing the Sovereign appear over the Citadel, the line "Look at the size...", is dropped, and is a likely nod to A New Hope when Luke Skywaker sees the Death Star for the first time.
Mass Effect 2
  • Miranda's loyalty mission takes leads you to docking bay 94, which is the same number for the docking bay the Millennium Falcon was found in A New Hope.
Mass Effect 3
  • When Commander Sheppard assists the Cerberus scientists escape the attacking soldiers the line "The first transport is away.." is cheerily announced and is a reference to the Rebels escaping the planet Hoth in Empire Strikes Back
  • A lot of the characters that can be found in the Docks on the Citidel have the costumes and colours that appear to be inspired by the Star Wars universe - such as the orange jump suit Luke Skywalker wears in Empire Strikes Back.
  • If you look at the Rachni ravagers (the ones with sacs) side on, they kind of look like those Droideka robots that 'roll' around in The Phantom Menace, this might be a bit of a stretch though:

Nov 19, 2013

Here's the Star Wars films as gifs.

Here's some sweet gifs file versions of the Star Wars movies.

 The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Very clever. They are also largely Jar Jar redundant which makes it awesome.

Return of the Jedi

return of the jedi as a gif

Nov 18, 2013

Concept art of Han Solo drawing pistols with a tailed green goblin called Greedo

Han Solo concept art design

Everyone knows that Han Shot first, despite what George Lucas did in the Special Edition of A New Hope but it may have been even more different than the first film based on this artwork!

Regardless of that controversy it's cool to know that Han Solo and Greedo's famous exchange was captured by concept artist Ralph McQuarrie as part of the development of A New Hope.

Note that Greedo was envisaged as a more menacing figure with a pointed tail!

This creature design was eventually used in The Force Awakens - he was briefly scene in Maz's Cantina / Castle.

Nov 17, 2013

J.W.Rinzler's' Storyboards' obviously features the story boarding for the original Star Wars trilogy.

J.W.  Rinzler is continues to mine the archives at Lucasfilm and turn the notes and pictures and drawings he finds into some great books. His latest is Storyboards - The Original Trilogy.

Abrams Books describes the work "For the first time, Lucasfilm has opened its Archives to present the complete storyboards for the original Star Wars trilogy - the world-changing A New Hope and its operatic sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi - as well as never-before-published art from early conceptual and deleted scenes.

From the opening chase above Tatooine in A New Hope to the Battle of Endor in Jedi, this book presents the visual inspiration behind now-iconic moments. Readers can finally see a full set of storyboards by legendary artist Joe Johnston, as well as early boards for Episode IV by Alex Tavoularis and for Episode V by Ivor Beddoes, rarely seen Episode VI boards by Roy Carnon, and Ralph McQuarrie’s never-before-seen storyboards for Episode V."

Order Star Wars Story Boards - The Original Trilogy from Amazon , including the Storyboards - The Prequels

Nov 14, 2013

Looks like JJ Abrams just confirmed R2D2 is in The Force Awakens? Update - Yes, yes he did.

production shot from bab robot star wars 7

JJ's production company Bad Robot tweeted this picture off JJ, Kathleen Kennedy, two dudes I don't know and of course one of the bravest little robots you'll ever meet R2D2. 

This picture would appear to be the first thing we've actually seen in terms of production of the new film, it's great to kick off with the droid - does this mean he's in it? You'd imagine so as there's no Star Wars without the little astromech that could!

We hope this tweet is a sign of things to come. Fans like you and me are hanging our for any detail about the film so if JJ has taken a leaf out of Sir Peter Jackon's book of keeping the fans in the loop, all credit to him.

Update: That's apparently a fan made R2D2 by Oliver Steeples who is pictured.

Update 2. While the above update was correct, Steeples and his pictured colleague Lee Towersey actually have turned their hobby into a gig with the Star Wars production - so this is a genuine R2D2 in the sense these two men are now official robot makers. Says Steeples on the official Star Wars blog:

“It all started when Kathleen Kennedy toured the R2-D2 Builders area at Celebration Europe this past summer in Germany,” says Steeples, who finished his first R2-D2 in 2007, after 10 years of collecting parts and researching. “She posed for pictures with us, looked at all the droids we’d built and was very complimentary. I mentioned that the R2-D2 Builders in the UK were available if required, as a semi-joke. When I was contacted to work on the film by [executive producer] Jason McGatlin, it was on her recommendation.”

“What we do need to do is improve on the mechanics,” says Towersey. “We’re currently in a research and design phase where we’re looking at drive options for reliability on all possible terrains, whether it be a one-motor-does-all, or a system which is easily adjusted depending on terrain. We have a few mocked up ideas which we hope to road test very soon.” And while they’re now on the inside of Star Wars moviemaking, the two remain fans at heart.

“It’s fascinating to see the whole process of filmmaking as Star Wars: Episode VII grows around us,” says Towersey. “I feel very privileged to be in the working environment I’m in at the moment. It’s something I will never take for granted.”

“It’s a dream come true,” adds Steeples, “and I hope I can live up to the expectations of the thousands of R2-D2 Builders around the world, let alone the millions of Star Wars fans.”

Nov 13, 2013

Everything you need to know about Greedo

greedo accosts han solo

Going somewhere, Solo? And with that seeming casual question, Greedo stepped into Star Wars infamy as the bounty hunter that got close but no cigar in his attempt to claim Jabba the Hutt's bounty that rested on the head of space pirate Han Solo.

After some light banter in the Cantina, Solo shot Greedo establishing that Han Solo was a bad ass and was probably the pilot Ben Kenobi needed to help him haul Luke's ass to Alderaan.

But who was Greedo? Where did he come from? And how did he find Solo? What makes the green fellow tick? This concept art below from Ralph McQuarrie suggests that Greedo was intended to be a tall lizard like fellow that sported a green tail and an animal like demeanor.

greedo cantina concept art
"Oota goota, Solo?"
In the end Greedo became an over cocky leathery green fellow that was Gorn like but with out the scary factor. Greedo was certainly not a foe that Captain Kirk would have been scared of, and as we know, neither was Han Solo.

Greedo was a bounty hunter from the planet Rodia. Although his Greedo's father had been reknown for his bounty hunter abilities, the younger Greedo had little of his father's talents.

His legacy to Star Wars was heightened when George Lucas changed the Special Edition of Star Wars to make it appear that Greedo shot Han first but missed. Arguments have raged across the interwebs ever since. The change made Solo's turn from an anti-hero to the guy that saves the day seem less important as he was no simply just a good guy with no moral abuity. Fans argued this diminished the character.

Here's the often quoted exchange between Greedo and Han Solo:

Greedo: [In Huttese to Han] Going somewhere, Solo?
Han Solo: Yes, Greedo. I was just going to see your boss. Tell Jabba I've got his money.
Greedo: It's too late. You should have paid him when you had the chance. Jabba's put a price on your head so large, every bounty hunter in the galaxy will be looking for you. I'm lucky I found you first.
Han Solo: Yeah, but this time I've got the money.
Greedo: If you give it to me, I might forget I found you.
Han Solo: [stealthily going for his blaster held at his side] I don't have it with me. Tell Jabba...
Greedo: Jabba's through with you! He has no use for smugglers who drop their shipments at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser.
Han Solo: Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?
Greedo: You can tell that to Jabba. At best, he may only take your ship.
Han Solo: Over my dead body!
Greedo: That's the idea... I've been looking forward to this for a long time.
Han Solo: Yeah, I'll bet you have.
[Han blasts Greedo, shooting first, then heads out, tossing the bartender a coin]
Han Solo: Sorry about the mess. 

Actually that's all you need to know, the rest is expanded universe bollocks....

Nov 11, 2013

The se7en best Star Wars easter eggs

Star Wars Easter Eggs

There are plenty of Easter Eggs to be found in Star Wars and in other films that give a nod to the series. Here's seven of our favourites.

  • George Lucas made his first Star Wars cameo in Revenge of the Sith. He dressed as a Pantoran senator, Baron Papanoida. You might not have recognised him as he all dressed up in blue body paint! His daughter also cameoed with him at the same time.
  • A few of Steven Speilberg's E.T. characters appear as senators in Revenge of the Sith.
  • The popular 'Pod Race' video game that was a tie in the the Phantom Menace showed up on a VDU in Attack of the Clones.
  • The Millenium Falcon is spied landing on Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith. This was prior to Lando or Han Solo owning it!
  • R2D2 had a wee moment in Star Trek Into Darkness where he was spied being flung into space in an explosion. This also happened in Abram's first Star Trek movie. How did this happen? A certain company called ILM may have done the special effects CGI on both films!
  • The little droid and his golden friend also appear in Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Ark
  • When C-3PO is initially activated by Anakin, a nod is made to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Golden Rod's first words are “I am completely operational, and all of my circuits are functioning perfectly.” This is a direct quote used from the infamous HAL 9000.

Nov 10, 2013

Nov 9, 2013

Why everybody needs to chill the heck out about the production of Stars Wars The Force Awakens

People are seriously getting freaked out about the 'reports', the rumours and the ACTUAL FACTS that are coming about about the development of Star Wars The Force Awakens. One can understand why they are concerned - they love Star Wars and they don't want another repeat of The Adventures of Jar Jar.

But everybody needs to chill the heck out because the right people have the right motives for making the right movie. It just takes a lot of time and there are always bumps along the way.

Let's start with the concerns about the film not coming out in May. People have been committing hari kari on the internet's message boards about it, suggesting that Star Wars is ruined now that it's not coming out in May as the other movies traditionally have. Seriously, calm the heck down people! The date does not matter. Not one bit. Get over yourself internet.

The internet also totally lost it's shit when it was announced that JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were taking over writing duties from Micheal Ardnt. It was seen as a sign that all the work Ardnt had done was simply being redone as it wasn't good enough! It was all wrong! Star Wars was delayed!

The reality is that Arndt had done his dash with Star Wars (over a year's work) and wanted to move on. JJ and Kasdan are both so close the project it seems natural that they would continue his work - they of course will have been talking and working with Ardnt for over a whole year. This is also a normal thing in Hollywood - many people have many hands in many scripts - a lot of efforts also go uncredited - a famous example is that Quentin Tarantino did some work on The Crimson Tide but never received a screen credit. So everyone needs to chill the heck out, this event is not a sign that that the Titanic is sinking.

The fact we now have an extended release date than first announced means the producers of the film understand this film has to be cooked just right. It cannot be done under a forced pressure cooker, it needs to be baked in a great kitchen (Lucasfilm) by a great cook (JJ Abrams) following a great recipe (Lucas).

Every one should also bear in mind that a great production team has been assembled and Lucasfilm know how to make Star Wars movies. Katherine Kennedy has produced some of the greatest films ever. JJ freaking gets it,

Yes some things will change. The famous Fox trumpets will not ring out prior to the theme music starting but who know's maybe they'll come out with something else...

So in summary, NOTHING has come to light that shows the The Force Awakens movie is in trouble. There's nothing wrong with the production crew. JJ Abrams in not on the verge of quitting and Kennedy and Iger are not having fisticuffs in the boardroom.

Star Wars is on trek track...

Nov 7, 2013

Looks like I'll be taking the day off on December 18, 2015

With pre-production in full-swing, a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015, has been set for Lucasfilm's highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens

"We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday film going season but also ensure our extraordinary film making team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture," said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

Of interest is the Mortal Engines movie release date.

Nov 5, 2013

How cool would it be if Ahsoka Tano turned up in Episode VII?

Ahsoka Tano
Don't call her Snips!
How cool would it be if Ahsoka Tano turned up in Episode VII? Presumably she survived the Clone Wars...

This steak is so burnt

This steak is so burnt,


Luke thought it was Uncle Owen!

Nov 2, 2013

JJ muses that a whole generation of kids actually loved the Prequels.

I'm starting to wonder about how far this so called 'hate' for the Star Wars prequels actually spreads. Since In a Far Away Galaxy has been in existence, I've been playing close attention to the Star Wars online realm I'm fast thinking there's been a very vocal minority who seem to have taken over (I think those people need to pour themselves a tasty cold beverage and watch the prequels again).

Lucas made Star Wars for kids, and I think the haters forget this.

So it was great to read today that JJ Abrams has shared his views on the prequels, in terms of how a younger generation of kids actually love the prequels:

"A lot of kids who saw all the prequels when they were young really do identify with those movies as much as my generation identified with the originals."

Which means he totally gets the Star Wars world in which he's about to add to with his new film. Hopefully a whole new generation and the existing fan bases will be talking 30 years later about Star Wars films and going, ah yes, Empire's good but number seven is the one you want to watch!

Best child's Darth Vader costume you'll see this Halloween

child cosplay vader no helmet
The Force is strong with this one!
This excellent Darth Vader cosplay was apparently the result of a school's 'No Helmets' policy for Halloween. Which kinda make sense I guess if you hate Star Wars. Maybe wearing a helmet in class prevents learning, who knows!

Either way, this kid's loving parent came up with a great solution - Vader's masked removed as per the final scene with him in Return of the Jedi. We say great job!