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Feb 27, 2017

La La Lando? #oscars

La La Lando parody of La La Land

“Hello, what have we here?” Lando in action. He know's what the ladies like.

Feb 25, 2017

Han Solo movie trivia and facts and Easter eggs

emilia clarke han solo movie


Facts and trivia about the untitled Han Solo anthology movie

  • The script was written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. This means that Lawrence has had a hand in writing four Star Wars films (Empire, Jedi, TFA and this one).
  • This film is the first Star Wars movie where Chewbacca is not played by Peter Mayhew. Due to ailing health and frankly age, Mayhew was only able to close up work for Chewbacca in The Force Awakens. Actor Joonas Suotamo did the 'heavy lifting' as the official double and has been given the chance to play the character in full for this movie.
  • Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are the first film makers to co direct a Star Wars movie. They jumped ship from writing The Flash movie to take the opportunity. Beware folks who claim George Lucas also directed with Richard Marquand...
  • This is the second Star Wars anthology movie to be made, following the release of Rogue One. It was intended to be the third but Josh Trank's supposed Boba Fett movie was delayed after he left the project.
  • Is the fifth Star Wars prequel.
  • Emilia Clarke made her name as the 'Mother of Dragons' in Game of Thrones - her appearance in this film means she is the tenth actor from that series to have a part in Star Wars - many of those roles were cameos, however Clarke's role is a starring part.
  • The working title of the movie was Red Cup, a play on the popular red plastic drinking cups, known as 'Solo' cups.
  • It spans 6 years, making it the longest time frame of any Star Wars movie (The opening scene from Rogue One excluded...)
Want to know more facts and trivia about Star Wars movies? Try out those of Rogue One, Jedi and The Force Awakens!

13 lucky facts about the making of the Return of the Jedi

leia kissing a guard
Don't ask about what's happening here.

13 lucky facts about the making of the Return of the Jedi


For this writer, Jedi was the first Star Wars movie I ever saw on the silver screen.

I must have been 6.

It was awesome.

I was given a book where you played a cassette along at the same time and I duly memorised it.

I also recall borrowing the novelisation (with pictures) a million times from the school library.

And now too many years later here I am blathering on a facts and trivia about the making of the movie....


Here's 13 awesome bits trivia and facts about the effort that when into the making of Return of the Jedi:

  1. Ewoks were a late addition to the Star Wars mythology. 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.
  2. Yoda was to sit this one out, but he was added after consultation with child psychologists helped George Lucas decide he needed an independent character to confirm Darth Vader's claim that he is Luke Skywalker's father. Now you know why Yoda doesn't do much for the rest of the movie. That and the fact he died of old age.
  3. "It's a trap," which is arguably the most famous line in the movie, 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.
  4. Admiral Ackbar's backstory is that he was once the slave of Grand Moff Tarkin, as well as his personal pilot. This is no longer canon. 
  5. Ben Kingsley, who played the title role in the 1982 movie Gandhi, read for the role of Emperor Palpatine and “was considered ‘very English.’ That said, Palpatine was eventually played be Englishman Ian McDiarmid...
  6. David Lynch was originally offered the chance to direct this episode of the series. He turned it down because he believed it was "Lucas' thing." He went on to direct the Dune movie instead.
  7. In the DVD 2004 release, Sebastian Shaw (older Anakin Skywalker) is replaced in the celebration scene by Hayden Christensen. Many fans did not understand, nor appreciate this.
  8. Darth Vader's funeral pyre was added at the very last minute, long after principle photography and pick-ups had wrapped. The scene was thrown together and shot near the hills of Skywalker Ranch.
  9. It took six people to work the full-sized animatronic of Jabba the Hutt.
  10. This is the first Star Wars film to show a lights saber combat something other than another light saber. Luke on the Sail Barge fights guards with staffs and blasters. This perhaps a call back to the original movie where Luke wears a blaster helmet and tries to anticipate shots from the Remote on the Millennium Falcon. This shows the progress Luke has made as a Jedi Knight.
  11. 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.
  12. After appearing in this film, Wedge becomes the only X-wing pilot character (apart from Luke) who survives all three major battles in the films.
  13. The film 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. 
This was just a taste of the vast amount of ROTJ trivia out there - if want more try this book, The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi by J. W. Rinzler.

Bonus fact - Alan Rickman auctioned for the role of Jer Jerrod

Bonus picture of the Death Star II being built:

building the death star

Do you want more Star Wars trivia? Check out these 101 intriguing facts about Star Wars

Feb 23, 2017

How 'Robby the Robot' from Forbidden Planet influenced Star Wars

Robby the Robot's influence on Star Wars

How Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet influenced the development of C3PO 


We've covered many of the influences that films and novels have had over George Lucas but Kitbashed found a great one in the form of the classic movie Forbidden Planet. I particularly enjoyed discovering how the famous 'Robby the Robot' had an influence on the robot that became C3PO.

While we have previously discussed how Ralph McQuarrie's design for C3PO was inspired by the Maschinenmensch from Fritz Lang's famous film, Metropolis and that his comedy duo act with his foil R2D2 came from The Hidden Fortress, it's Robby the Robot that sets the tone of the golden rod.

Early C3PO design sketch
Early C3PO design sketch
How many times in the Star Wars movies does C3PO mention that he is a protocol droid that is capable of speaking some 6 gabillion languages? A thousand? Robbie the Robot did it first as he was being introduced to the human space travelers:

"If you do not speak English, I am at your disposal with 187 other languages, dialects and sub-tongues"

Kitbashed cleverly notes that this example means that Robby the Robot is effectively a proto-protocol droid. C3PO's introduction to Padme in The Phantom Menace shows how he is modeled on this concept "Hello, I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations "

Word on the street has it that George Lucas has stated that the lumbering robot was not a direct inspiration for C3PO. This is not wholly true. In the documentary about science fiction films of the 1950's, Look at the Sky! discussion is had with the directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas about Forbidden Planet.

Spielberg suggests that Lucas must have been inspired by Robby as he developed C3P0′s character. Lucas naturally suggested he was more influenced by Metropolis. That may be so for the 'look' of C3PO but Lucas totally stole the protocol droid idea whether he admits it or not!

There's a further reference to Robby in A New Hope. At a point in Forbidden Planet the character Alta tries several times to summon Robby with her remote control, he excuses his absence with having been busy taking an 'oil bath'.

What does C3PO do when he gets to Luke's moisture farm? He has an oil bath and he exclaims "Thank the maker! This oil bath is going to feel so good."

And as we know Darth Vader is C3PO's maker, the line is doubly clever.

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. The late and great John Wayne's voice was used in ANH - an old recording was manipulated and used for the Imperial spy Garindan - that's the guy with the big black nose that informs the Stormtroopers as to Luke and company's whereabouts. It's quite a cool bit of trivia when you understand that Wayne's The Searchers had a strong influence on the movie.
  13. 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. 
  14. George Lucas at one stage considered using the great Orsen Welles as the voice actor for Darth Vader.
  15. 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. 
  16. 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...
  17. 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. 
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. E.T. made a cameo appearance in The Phantom Menace.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.

He's also lined up for a voice over part in Season Four of Star Wars Rebels as Rukh, Thrawn's body guard.

So that will make 11 canon 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: