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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

Who's the Bossk?

Who's the Bossk?
Who's the Bossk?

Feb 15, 2017

Why Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie.


Clone Wars concept art by Ryan Church
The end of the Clone Wars concept art by Ryan Church

Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie


I used to think Return of the Jedi was my favourite Star Wars movie.

Yeah, everyone loves Empire, but I love Jedi.

I love the attack on the Death Star. I love how Luke saved Vader. I love the primitive Ewoks beating the Storm Troopers.

I love that bikini.

And then there were three more movies! And I watched them. I enjoyed them. I didn’t go crazy for them but then something happened, I found Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) being my go to movie.

It's now my favourite Star Wars movie.






"Why?!" I hear you scream at me. "

Why would you say that? The prequels sucked".

"We hate them" you say.

"You’re a moron for saying this! You’re not fit to write about Star Wars! You're not a real Star Wars fan!".

Let's be clear. Haters need not apply.

Let's talk this through, it's so more civilised... Here's my points on why Sith is the fave.

Revenge of the Sith had the best opening scene of any Star Wars film


Yeah, Return of the Jedi was awesome when Luke rescued everyone on Jabba's sail barge but it was a slow build. Revenge of the Sith featured an epic space battle over Coruscant where hundreds of ships were taking part in an epic space battle.

We were thrown instantly into the action with Anakin and Obi Wan flying around, dodging missiles, crashing ships and getting rid of metal hungry droids that were trying to eat their ship while on a frantic mission to rescue the Chancellor from the many clutches of General Grevious.

This was the fabled Clone Wars finally truly before our eyes on a grand scale.

Featuring some of the best CGI ever done at the time, great camera work, amusing banter between the leads and some zippy music, this opening Stanza of ROTS was epic Star Wars magic.

The story arc


Being the third movie in the trilogy, we finally get to where the lava hits the road.

This is Anakin’s movie.

Or it’s Vader’s movie.

Yes, ever since we first met Vader capturing Princess Leia he has been the bad guy we loved and we wanted to know who the hell he was and what made him tick. It turns out it was his love for Padme that turned him to the Dark Side.

Ewan McGregor shone as Obi Wan Kenobi


Obi Wan Kenobi had a lot to do in this movie. Rescue the Emperor, take down Grevious and leave his best friend for done. You can say what you like about the earlier films but you cannot deny how good McGregor was as he ran about taking the higher ground.

We saw Vader as truly evil when he massacred the Younglings


Fans of Vader were used to see him Force choking some impertinent officer or torturing Han Solo but until Sith came along, they had never seen Vader as truly evil. But they did when he killed Yoda's young students.

This was the first true moment when we knew Anakin had well and truly turned to the Dark Side.

Yes, he’d massacred the tribe of Sand People who had beat and mistreated his mother so badly that she died of her injuries but these were the kind of students that had been introduced to us back in Attack of the Clones. 

It was a brilliant set up that actually.

Whilst Yoda teased Obi Wan about losing a planet, these Jedi kids were the back drop with an air of charm about them. For Anakin to come and murder them all (or the next class) in ROTS, it was a chilling, chilling moment and perhaps was one of the darkest moments in all of the saga.

How can you hate such great story telling?

It's all about the hands


Revenge of the Sith featured 4 hands being cut off in the film.

Anakin loses one to Obi Wan, Mace Windu loses one to Anakin and Obi-Wan cuts two of General Grievous' hands off. Vader was actually the only Star Wars film character to lose an arm three times! And both his legs as well. Count Dooku got Anakin's arm in Attack of the Clones before Yoda stepped in and saved the young Jedi.

Obi Wan Kenobi then got 3 of Anakin's limbs in Revenge of the Sith! (He had the higher ground...).

Lucas does a Hitchcock


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. And let's not forget Jett as the Padawan Jedi that tried to escape with Bail Organa.

Some of the thinking that went into the movie was truly awesome film making


Moff Tarkin's cameo


A quick character cameo occurs when Vader and the Emperor are standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, overlooking the initial construction stage of the Death Star. In a blink an you'll miss it moment, a young Moff Tarkin quietly sidles up to the Sith Lords. Tarkin was also brought back to the silver screen in Rogue One.

The suggestion Plagueis and Palpatine may have conspired to cause Anakin to be born


During the opera scene, Palpatine tells Anakin about how Darth Plagueis was so powerful he could create life. While it's never made explicit, the film could have been suggesting that Darth Plagueis caused the 'immaculate conception' of Anakin Skywalker.

The Expanded Universe novels show that Plagueis certainly was capable of such an amazing act...

light and dark star wars

The 'goodbye, old friend' farewell between Anakin and Obi_Wan


As General Kenobi is about to depart to track and take down the robot General Grevious, he shares a nice moment with Anakin which ends with a very loving, 'Good bye old friend' from Kenobi. This is the last time in the movie the two Jedi converse as friends. But what's so special here? Check the lighting that casts over the players  - Anakin resides in the dark and Obi Wan is awash in the light - it is a literal case of foreshadowing what was to come for each character.

An eye for detail 


After Padme dies as a result of her 'broken heart', her body is returned to the planet Naboo for ceremony and burial befitting a former queen. - her body has been altered to make it appear like she was still pregnant - this is all part of the ruse to kept the existence of Leia and Luke a secret.

The epic sword fight between Vader and Obi Wan


For this writer, the duel on mustapha is Lucas's crowning glory as a CGI whiz and story teller. It goes back to the truth/lies that were spun by Obi Wan to Luke on Tatooine. Vader killed your father? Not quite kid, I actually cut off his arm and legs and left him to die.

mustapha concept art from revenge of the sith
Concept art by Ryan Church
But the sword fight was epic.

It was fast and furious and nothing like the duel the two had in A New Hope (this wasn't because they were old hacks, it was because of the era in which the movie was made).

The fight meant everything to the movie and it had to be good because everybody new that both swordsman lived so it had to end very well. And Lucas delivered with Anakin's arrogance leaving him missing his limbs bar his mechanical arm.

So those are the reasons that Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie, my go to movie if you will.

Maybe I'll fall in love with A New Hope again or get lost in the darkness of Empire but for the moment, I can't get enough of Sith!

Feb 14, 2017

Ralph McQuarrie design sketches including the original C3PO and Chewbacca drawings

The artistic work of Ralph McQuarrie of turning George Lucas’ written ideas into concept artwork is the stuff of legend. His many works have shaped the Star Wars universe like no other, other than Lucas himself.

His famous drawings are fully realised, coloured and designed. But MacQuarrie didn't simply just start and finish that body work as a single piece. Like many artists, he had to plan his work and he did this by doodles and sketches – here’s some of his pencil works!

Let's start with C3PO as robots are awesome.

For C3PO, McQuarrie had pretty clear design brief from Lucas:

"Back when I was doing the initial concept artwork for Star Wars, George had photographs of the Metropolis robot, which he said he'd like C-3P0 to look like, except that I should make it a boy”.

Here’s an initial sketch, a template of sorts through to the concept art (which legend has it convinced Anthony Daniels to accept the role). That's the stuff of legends.


original c3po design sketch


This is the celebrated concept art that was McQuarrie's final design:

How did Han Solo and Chewbacca Meet?


How did Chewbacca meet Han Solo? 


In the expanded universe books, Han Solo and Chewie first meet on an Empire slave ship while Lt. Solo is employed an Imperial pilot.

Their connection begins when Solo boards a derelict slaving craft to find that its cargo of Wookiee children had escaped and all that was left on board was a severely wounded Wookiee in the pilot’s seat.

Han was ordered to skin the helpless Chewbacca alive but refused. A court martial and an escape ensued as a result of this insubordination. Chewbacca later swore that he owed a life debt to Han and wouldn’t leave his side.

And that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

But that touching story is no longer official canon and is now shelved under the Legendary

So the question is, will the Han Solo anthology story cover how Han and Chewie became best mates? It certainly will cover Han and Lando's friendship.

Feb 12, 2017

How many cameos has Warwick Davis had in Star Wars films?

How many cameos or parts has Warwick Davis had in Star Wars films?


Warwick Davis ’s first run at Star Wars was as the Ewok known as Wicket in Return of the Jedi. Apparently he was subbed in at the last minute for a a sick Kenny Baker thus bring him to the fore as a child actor. It was a featured role, you could hardly call it a cameo. 

Davis played Wicket twice more in the spin off films, Caravan of Courage and Battle for Endor.

Davis’s next turn came in The Phantom Menace where he had 4 minor appearances which are true cameos. 

In that film he played Wald, the young green Rodian friend that plays with young Anakin. He had a brief turn as Weazel who was a gambler that was watching the podrace that young Anakin won. Davis also appeared as a street trader on the Tatooine streets and he was used as a double for Yoda in some of Yoda’s walking scenes.





Warwick’s latest role in the Star Wars realm was as 'Woolivan' who could be found lurking having a pint of a bitter English ale at Maz Kanata’s Castle.

In 2016, Davis also turned up in Rogue One as Weeteef Cyubee. The name weeteef references the character's teeth. He's a solider in Saw Gerrera's squad.

Weeteef Cyubee cameo by Warwick Davis

Weeteef Cyubee

In all, Warwick has played 7 characters in Star Wars films and appeared 9 times in them as well!

Davis has also confirmed he will have a part in Star Wars The Last Jedi - so that will make 10 appearances.

Eagled eyed fans will also note that Warwick’s name begins with W, as do the names of many of his his characters…

Feb 11, 2017

5 myths about Star Wars and the actual truth behind them

wampa from Empire Strikes Back
Excuse me, do you have any gum?

5 myths about the Star Wars movies


A film franchise with such a long history as Star Wars is sure to have acquired a few myths and urban legends about the development and production of the films. Here's 5 myths that are now forever debunked!

Myth: George Lucas actually directed Return of the Jedi instead of Richard Marquand


The reality is that Marquand directed Jedi. Which is not to say it was a smooth process. It was speculated that due to many of the technical elements of product Marquand was out of his depth and this caused several issues.

It has even been whispered that Lucas asked the Director's Guild of America to get himself a directing credit for Jedi. This seems fanciful however as Lucas had a famous falling out with that group! In reality, Marquand was the director of the film and was clearly very crucial to some very successful elements of it!

Myth - George Lucas secretly filmed a horror film Blue Harvest but never released it


Blue Harvest was the working / filming title of Return of the Jedi. It was so named as to try and put off of the now fervent fans who might other wise have visited the film sets and let some secrets out of the bag. The film production was heavily into the joke and lots of caps and t-shirts were made to put people off.

blue harvest logo
The 'official' logo, note the Star Wars font!
While it was rumoured that Lucas wanted to actually make a horror film with the Blue Harvest name, no filming ever took place. The name has since become the stuff of legend - so much so that the Family Guy Stars Wars spoof was named for it.


Myth - Splinter of the Mind's Eye was the scripted sequel to A New Hope



The book ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’ was commissioned by Lucas as a potential sequel to Star Wars. The myth is that the novel was written based off a script written by George Lucas. There was no written script at all -  Alan Dean Foster was writing the novelization of Star Wars and also a second book.

He was as simply instructed by Lucas to write the book based off some ideas and film treatments that George threw at him.

Lucas could then turn it into a film script down the line, if he so chose. The reality is that when Star Wars 'went global' Lucas changed gears and the sequel script was first drafted by Leigh Bracket, which after her death from cancer, Lucas refined further with help from Lawrence Kasdan. 

Interesting side note - the novel was interesting in that Luke cuts off Vader's arm with a saber in the climax, an action which became common theme in the Star Wars movies.

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.

He did apparently get a black eye when filming the famous 'Dianoga' attack in the Trash Compactor' scene from A New Hope which meant he was filmed from one side only for the rest shooting that scene.


Myth - Lucas had 12 films all mapped out before the first Star Wars was released


handwritten plan for star wars episodes
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 ofWhills”, 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. 

So there you have it, some Star Wars myths and the truth behind them. It's amazing how much history Star Wars really has!

Extra for Experts:

11 bits of trivia about R2D2 and C3PO


Trivia about C3PO and R2D2


The droids everyone are looking for are the odd couple of the Star Wars franchise.

One's a cheeky astromech, the other a golden protocol droid whose a stickler for the rules. R2D2 and C3PO have been there from day one since they were given some secret plans by Princess Leia with a mission to get them to Obi Wan Kenobi -  in fact they were around when Anakin Skywalker was an idealistic cherub who was into pod racing.






This is to say these androids have had many adventures and given viewers many laughs! Here's some cool facts and trivia about them, the actors that fit into the tin suits and how they came to be the most heroic robots in the galaxy.
  • George Lucas took a lot of his inspiration from a film called The Hidden Fortress. It featured a pair of bickering sidekicks who served as comic relief and crucially managed to help keep the plot ticking along. Lucas adopted this concept and applied it to the robots. This is quite amusing as it appears in real life that Kenny Baker and R2D2 didn't get on too well - it's well documented that Daniels has been quite vocal about Baker's attitude.``
  • Anthony Daniels, who voiced C3P0 and climbed into the tin suit, is the only actor to appear in all 7 Star Wars films - you have to count The Clone Wars animated film of course! Kenny Baker did not actually film anything for Revenge of the Sith, his parts were a mix of CGI and footage recycled from Attack of the Clones.
  • C3PO's most famous quote is perhaps "I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: let the Wookie win." which pretty much speaks for itself!. As a side note, that game between Chewbacca and R2D2 was never finished. When Finn bumps the table in The Force Awakens, it's the same game of Dejarik from A New Hope!
  • A lot of people miss it, thinking the C3PO is totally golden but his right knee down is silver. In The Force Awakens, he had a red arm for most of the film. 
  • R2 stands at 96cm tall. 
  • Ralph McQuarrie designed C3PO by taking liberty with the Maschinenmensch the film Metropolis:


  • R2D2 was infamously given the ability to fly in the prequel films which bugged many fans (despite the fun he had on screen). This was rather roughly explained in other fiction that after the Clone Wars the company responsible for the development of his boosters went out of business. When his rocket boosters were damaged they were unable to be repaired.
  • R2D2 and C3PO were snuck into a scene in Indianna Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark as well as JJ Abrams' two Star Trek films.
  • The characters were so popular they had their own animated television series for a short time and once appeared in episodes of The Muppets and Sesame Street where R2 oddly appeared to fall in love with a fire hydrant!
  • R2D2 served several masters - starting with Padme, Anakin, Bail Organa, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker and for a time, Jabba the Hutt... In the expanded universe R2 accompanies the decendants of Skywalker on many adventures.
  • The two robots are the subject of Obi Wan's most famous quote, "These aren't the droids you're looking for". This line has became a common phrase used to indicate that the issue or matter being discussed is not relevant, often said with a knowing wave of the hand...
  • When Obi-Wan finds General Grievous on the planet Utapau, his first words are, "Hello, there." This is exactly what said when he first met R2-D2.
  • Here's some early concept art which focuses on the Cantina scene in A New Hope. Check out  the design of our robots to the left and that green guy in the middle is Gredo, the guy who shot second:


Did you think this was a good list? Here's 101 facts about Star Wars!

Why are there photos of Luke with a bandage on his face from The Empire Strikes Back but there's no bandage in the movie?

Why is there a picture of Luke with bandages on his face in Empire?


We came across this cool picture on Star War’s Instagram page.

It’s Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of Empire and Jedi (and 7!) inspecting the bandage material on Mark Hamill’s face.

This is from the scene at the end of Empire where  Luke is recovering from his assault by Darth Vader.

The images of Hamill being covered in bandages were eventually not included in the final version of Empire.

Lawrence Kasdan on the set of Empire with Hamill
Face... off!
As an aside, it has been suggested this bandage scene was designed to accommodate Mark Hamill's face being re-arranged following a car accident however, that myth has been busted.

And anyways if it were true, you would need to explain the change at the start of the movie, not the end (queue the Wampa attack rumours....). 

The scene was originally intended to allow and Leia have an intimate conversation that lead them toward a kiss but before they are able to do so, R2-D2 and C-3PO enter.

But what kind of kiss?

A loving one leading to a budding romance or two friends who’ve been though some trauma hugging it out?

Obviously that could have muddled things up with the whole Leia loves Han thing so it makes sense the scene was edited in the way it was released – original script ideas did however have a great love triangle between the three main players.

Indeed, the second draft of Empire had lines like Vader addressing Luke in this manner “You're in love with Leia. You don't want to lose her to Han Solo... But you will, if you lack the courage to use the strength that's in you. A strength as great as mine, Luke”.

Go figure but remember, “I know” ultimately became one of Star Wars’ best ever lines.

Feb 9, 2017

How did the Millennium Falcon get its name?


How did the Millennium Falcon get its name?


If you ever had occasion to think that www.inafarwaygalaxy.com was the best Star Wars site ever, you wouldn't be wrong.

Coming in at a distant second however is Kitbashed. They have done an amazing job of telling the story of how Star Wars became Star Wars.

Their latest article traverses the conceptual design of the Millennium Falcon.

Seriously go read it, they bust the whole half eaten burger with an olive stuck on myth quite well...

The key take away for us is how the Falcon got its name. While not absolute fact, this below is some damn good reasoning:


So there we have it - the Millennium Falcon's name was probably inspired by a combination of talking Falcon from The Maltese Falcon and combining it in a round about way with The Eagle space ship from Space 1999.... 

Feb 7, 2017

The Rebels' Princess - street graffiti memorial to honour Carrie Fisher

The Rebel's Princess Mural by the Artful Dodger

The Rebels' Princess

This graffiti mural celebrates the life of Carrie Fisher - by way of a nod to the late Princess Diana who was often referred to as 'The People's Princess'. 

It's a great piece of work by the Artful Dodger.

Feb 6, 2017

How awesome is this Futurama / Star Wars crossover tattoo?



Futurama Star Wars cross over tattoo

My mate Zac loves his tattoos and decided to get a new one recently. Some Futurama crossed with Star Wars! Zac kindly agreed to answer some questions about how this tattoo came into being.

Q. Hey Zac, we heard you like Star Wars. Care to explain that Futurama / Star Wars crossover tattoo we spied on your leg this week?

You’re probably going to hate me for this, but I’m much more into Futurama than Star Wars haha! I’ve still only seen the first 3 movies (as in Episodes 4,5,6) and these when I was quite a lot younger! I did re-watch A New Hope the night before the Tattoo started and apart from all the horrible new CGI that was crammed into it, it was still an amazing movie and we loved watching it. 

I am a huge cartoon nut, and after re-watching all the seasons and movies again, decided that I needed a Futurama tattoo of some kind! 

Q. Who designed the work, where did you get it done and who drew it? 

My artist's name is Simon Morse, he owns Dr Morse Tattoo Studio here in Wellington, New Zealand. 

After deciding I needed another tattoo, and that it needed to be big, detailed, amazing, sexy and about Futurama, I went down to see Simon. He has done a whole bunch of other Tattoos for me and I knew he would be able to do something amazing, I had 100% faith and trust in him to really hit this one out of the park.

Bender as Darth Vader tattoo
Darth Bender
Simon is a huge Star Wars nut, his studio is packed full of Star Wars Lego, Figures, Books and even a Storm Trooper Helmet. It didn’t take us too long to settle on the Star Wars meets Futurama Cross-over. We started off with Darth Bender, he had drawn up a scene of Bender over the handless Luke “Frywalker” beckoning him to join the Dark Side. 

We managed to smash out most of the Bender Tattoo in the first sitting, and when I went back 4-5 weeks later to chat about the next steps, Cam (one of the other artists) mentioned “It’d be cool if you had professor Farnsworth in there as the Emperor” we laughed about it a bit then talked of having Princess Lela in the slave girl outfit somewhere as well and didn’t think much more of it.

The next morning, Simon had come up with the perfect finish to the Tattoo, Emperor Farnsworth looking over the others and framing it all nicely and a view out of the Death Star window onto a nebular of blues and purples to make the oranges really pop. 

The tattoo took 2 and a half sessions, around 17-18 hours total.

Q. How does Star Wars fit into your life?

Star Wars Futurama tattooHaha, I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, I love space and sci-fi movies and I know it has definitely influenced so many other movies down the track. My next plan is to re-watch Episodes 5 and 6, and then definitely check out the new one! 

I don’t really get around to watching movies a lot but two of my favourite movies I watched last year were about the horrors of space, Event Horizon (1997) (it takes me a long time to get around to movies obviously) and Europa Report (2013). 

Q. How many tattoos do you have and how many does your mother know about? 

Depending on how you count them, 11 in total I think! And yeah, Mum knows about all of them!
Q. What are your thoughts on The Force Awakens trailers?

The first one: “This looks insanely awesome”, very much like the recent Star Treks, hopefully they don’t have as much pointless lenses flare, oh and confusion over what the new robot thing is supposed to be

The second one: Had even more action, a spooky possibly evil Luke voice over, less new robot and the last scene with Chewbacca and Han just got me really pumped up to see this one!

Q. What’s your favourite Star Wars moment?

I love all of the light sabre fight scenes, the huge space battles and all the scenes with the Ewoks and speeders crashing into things, oh and the AT-ATs stomping around in the snow battles, those things are awesome.

A massive thanks to Zac for sharing his tattoo and what went into it! Follow the link if you'd like to see some more Star Wars tattoos.

Futurama tattoo of star wars