Nov 28, 2013

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

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

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

x wing trench run concept picture

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

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

Nov 24, 2013

She gets a gold star for trying...

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

Nov 20, 2013

Star Wars references found in the Mass Effect game trilogy

asari darth maul cross over

Star Wars references found in the Mass Effect game trilogy

Are there any Mass Effect fans out there? 

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

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

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

Nov 19, 2013

Here's the Star Wars films as gifs.

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

 The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

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

Return of the Jedi

return of the jedi as a gif

Nov 18, 2013

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

Han Solo concept art design

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

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

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

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

Nov 17, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 13, 2013

Everything you need to know about Greedo

greedo accosts han solo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 11, 2013

The se7en best Star Wars easter eggs

Star Wars Easter Eggs

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

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

Nov 10, 2013

Nov 5, 2013

Nov 2, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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