Nov 30, 2015

BB-8 concept art

This is apparently some genuine concept art for BB-8 from The Force Awakens. It looks like the design was well advanced prior to the artist getting to work on this set of robot design.

Nov 29, 2015

How the test launch of the TIE Fighter prototype for filming of A New Hope went terribly, terribly wrong.

It’s not a very well known fact but in the pre-production for the very first Star Wars movie Lucasfilm actually made a working Tie Fighter prototype which they thought they would use to film the dog fights with X-Wing’s that were intended to take place in the Battle of Yavin, the climax of the movie. 

 The idea was that TIE would be filmed by way of it chasing a small light aircraft which was rigged with cameras. The light aircraft would make steep banking maneuvers with sharp twists and turns so as to mimic what film director George Lucas thought the X-Wings would fly like when being chased in a dog fight.

tie fight test pilot ejection
Eject! Eject!
This was a great idea until the very first test flight of the TIE fighter which was undertaken over the Bonneville Salt Flats in February 1975 some two years before the film's release. The TIE’s launch was an epic fail. Obviously the TIE doesn't have wheels for a standard take off so a vertical take off was required. This entailed the ship being launched by way of two small rockets that would fall off when the TIE was 50 feet in the air at which point, the single main thruster rocket would engage for flight.

The first part was successful, the TIE made it into the air however the main thruster failed to ignite properly. With no propulsion available, the TIE pilot (Ex US Army Test Pilot, Gilbert Taylor) had no choice to immediately eject.

The TIE disintegrated on impact with the Earth and George Lucas was forced to use models to create the famous end battle of Star Wars. 

And if you've read this far without getting the joke, I've got a Star Destroyer that's parked on Jakku to sell you! 

Nov 22, 2015

Everything you need to know about plant D’Qar

The planet D'Qar is where the Resistance is located in the The Force Awakens.

The base was first strongly hinted at in the Star Wars novel, Lost Stars:

“We should list this planet as a potential base in the future. The Empire’s not interested, not much space lane traffic in this area, plus there’s plenty of water.

This time round, the Resistance is lead at D'Qar by Princess Commander Leia. If you think of it as the equivalent of the Rebel base on Hoth or or main miltary base on Yavin, you'll get the drift.

Here's the official description:

A lush world in the Outer Rim, D’Qar is the principal base of General Leia Organa’s Resistance. Rebel pilots first surveyed the planet before the Battle of Endor, and D’Qar housed a small Alliance outpost that went largely unused in the New Republic’s war with the Empire. The planet’s obscurity and lack of native intelligent life made it a perfect choice when General Organa’s new group needed a hidden base of operations.

Nov 21, 2015

Lor San Tekka quotes from The Force Awakens

Lor San Tekka quotes from The Force Awakens

Played by the wondrous actor Max Von Sydow of The Exorcist and Minority Report fame, Tekka is the old vicar residing on Jakku that has a dark secret in the Force Awakens, a secret that Kylo Ren wants badly enough to kill him for. It's the map that leads to where Luke resides. How and when he got the map, no one knows.


"This will help make things right again".

"Without The Jedi, There Can Be No Balance In The Force."

Nov 8, 2015

Does TFA really have a reference to Apocalypse Now?

With the release of the international / Japanese trailer for The Force Awakens there has been some new material to check out - including this awesome shot of Tie Fighters flying with Jakku's fiery sun to their backs. I saw someone suggesting it had an Apocalypse Now vibe to it.

And you know what, it kind of does....

If this is indeed a deliberate reference, it would have been done with the knowledge that Harrison Ford had a small role at the start of the movie. His character was called Lucas - a nod to the director's friendship with George Lucas. Apocalypse was shot before Star Wars but not released until after.

It should be totally stated for clarity that the Apocalypose film does not have an exact like for like shot as found in the TFA, hence the use of the word reference in this post. 

Nov 4, 2015

Carrie Fisher's 'solo' promotional poster for The Force Awakens

This official poster of Carrie Fisher to promote The Force Awakens is grace personified. We're betting those silver earrings become must have accessories!

carrie fisher force awakens poster

Nov 3, 2015

Anakin Skywalker quotes - the good ones before he became Darth Vader anyway.

Love him or hate him, Anakin Skywalker was an integral part of the Star Wars prequel films.

We guess there's almost a 50:50 split amongst the fandom.

While some moan about how he doesn’t 'like sand', others revel in his massacre of the Younglings in the Jedi Temple.

Either way, both the child and adult versions of the Chosen One had a lot to say!

Here’s a selection of Anakin’s best quotes from the prequel movies – all before he became Darth Vader – which we count as when Anakin first steps out in his new & shinny black costume after getting his legs handed to him by Obi-Wan at the conclusion of their epic lightsabre duel.

The Phantom Menace

Anakin was played by Jake Lloyd, the kid who had made his name as the kid in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shocker of a Christmas movie, Jingle All the Way. He attracted a lot of hate for his acting and having to say lines such as “are you an ange?l” but anyone who dismisses his “now this is pod racing!” moment during one of the most thrilling chases in Star Wars, simply doesn’t like Star Wars. Haters are gonna hate but they need to chill out.

Here's little Ani's quotes

Anakin: Are you an angel?
Queen Amidala: What?
Anakin: An angel. I've heard the deep space pilots talk about them. They live on the moons of Iego, I think. They're the most beautiful creatures in the universe.
Queen Amidala: You're a funny little boy. How do you know so much?
Anakin: I listen to all the traders and star pilots who come through here. I'm a pilot, you know, and someday I'm going to fly away from this place.

Anakin: Mom, you said that the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other.

Perhaps the most cringing moment in the whole movie, it however served to show that Anakin started out with a pure heart.

Anakin: You're a Jedi Knight, aren't you?
Qui-Gon Jinn: What makes you think that?
Anakin: I saw your laser sword. Only Jedi carry that kind of weapon.
Qui-Gon Jinn: Perhaps I killed a Jedi and took it from him.
Anakin: I don't think so. No one can kill a Jedi.
Qui-Gon Jinn: I wish that were so.

A nice piece of foreshadowing what was to become of Anakin.

Anakin: What are midi-chlorians?
Qui-Gon Jinn: Midi-chlorians are a microscopic life form that resides within all living cells.

A lot of Star Wars fans hated this exchange as for them it removed some of the mysteriousness of the Force.

Anakin: Now this is pod racing!

Anakin: I will come back and free you mom, I promise

Anakin did eventually come back to free Shimi however it was from the Tuskens who had treated her so poorly, she was too die shortly afterward.

Anakin: Qui-Gon told me to stay in this cockpit, and that's what I'm going to do!

And the boy that could, did. He was drawn into the space battle above Naboo and helped break the so called blockade by destroying the Droid Control Ship.

Attack of the Clones quotes by Anakin Skywalker

Nothing to do with Anakin, it's just cool concept art!
In this film Anakin was played by Hayden Christensen who at the point of his casting was probably most well known for his part in Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides and various television roles.

Christensen is often scorned for his acting in this movie however many people ignore or where ignorant that George Lucas wanted his actors to deliver their lines in a deliberate manner to pay homage to the movies that inspired Lucas AND you could actually argue his efforts are no worse than Mark Hamill's whinny Luke, "But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!"

Any ways, here's some Anakin quotes from Attack of the Clones:

Padmé Amidala: You're not all-powerful, Ani.
Anakin Skywalker: Well, I should be.

Anakin: I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.

This quote is most often used to highlight how terrible Attack of the Clones is due in part to the apparent poor scripting and bad acting. In his defence, George Lucas has consistently said that he specially wanted this style of voice acting as that’s how it was in the good old days of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

Padme: You're making fun of me!
Anakin: Oh, no, I'd be too frightened to tease a senator!

Anakin: I've got a bad feeling about this.

A famous line uttered by every major character in the film franchise.

Obi-Wan: Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me?
Anakin: Don't say that, master. You're the closest thing I have to a father.

A light moment for the film but for those who know how the relationship played out, a dark reminder. It was some nice foreshadowing their by Lucas. There's a lot of that in the prequel films.

Anakin: I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals. I hate them!

Anakin raged this quote after he had returned from rescuing his mother from the Tusken people. It’s seen as one of the first times that Anakin went astray from his Jedi training and strayed to the Dark Side of the Force.

Revenge of the Sith quotes by Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker: Obi-Wan, may the force be with you.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Goodbye old friend. May the force be with you.

This was a telling moment in the film – it is the last time that Obi-Wan and Anakin talk as friends. Lucas deliberated filmed the scene as Anakin standing in the shadow, Obi-Wan the light, thus signalling the path each was about to taken

If you want to read what Anakin said in the later movies, check out these Darth Vader quotes.

The rest of these quotes occur during and after Anakin and Obi-Wan's epic light saber duel.

Obi-Wan: You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: You have allowed this dark lord to twist your mind, until now, until now you've become the very thing you swore to destroy.

Anakin Skywalker: Don't lecture me, Obi-Wan! I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side as you do. I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new Empire.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Your new Empire?

Anakin Skywalker: Don't make me kill you.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy.

Anakin Skywalker: If you're not with me, then you're my enemy.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Only a Sith deals in absolutes.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: I will do what I must.

This is a most talked about moment between our two jedi friends. George Lucas used this scene as a comment of sorts on American politics. During the so called War on Terror, George Bush used the with us or against us argument – to the frustration of many people, Lucas included.

Obi-Wan: It's over Anakin, I have the high ground.
Anakin Skywalker: You underestimate my power!
Obi-Wan: Don't try it.
Anakin Skywalker: I hate you.
Obi-Wan: You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.

Return of the Jedi

You thought we forgot this movie didn't you?

It's very arguable that at the moment Darth Vader chose to save his son Luke's life by throwing his Sith Master down the shaft, he became Anakin Skywalker again.

Here's the conversation that the redeemed Anakin has with his son. 

Darth Vader: Luke... help me take this mask off.
Luke: But you'll die.
Darth Vader: Nothing... can stop that now. Just for once... let me... look on you with my own eyes.
Anakin: Now... go, my son. Leave me.
Luke: No. You're coming with me. I'll not leave you here, I've got to save you.
Anakin: You already... have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister... you were right.
Luke: Father... I won't leave you.

Want to read some more sweet things about Darth Vader? 

Try this click bait on for size:

7 tragic things about Darth Vader.
Why did Darth Vader turn to the dark side of The Force? (if you were living under a rock).
10 Darth Vader quotes that show he was the worst Sith Lord ever (but possibly the greatest Jedi)