Tag Archives: Star Wars

Holiday Special Coming Back

New Holiday Special Still
Still from the upcoming Holiday Special

One of the black spots on the Star Wars timeline, the Holiday Special was released on November 17th, 1978. It is available to watch on Youtube, though this cannot, for culpability reasons, be recommended. It was the first appearance of fan-favorite character Boba Fett, and is something that even just this last year Harrison Ford denied being involved in. Along with much of the main cast, Bea Arthur, Art Carney, and Diahann Carroll play parts.

Incredibly, on April first of all days, it was announced a new Holiday Special will be filmed and released in time for the holiday season of 2016. While J.J. Abrams won’t be in charge, auteur “filmmaker” Zack Snyder, whose movie Batman v Superman: Maw of Justness came out recently, has been signed on to direct. Writer Colin Blythe is attached to the short project, whose three-hundred page script is in the process of being pared down to an acceptable length. “An hour will be a good length,” Snyder (who unsuccessfully tried to give Henry Cavill the lead roll) said in an interview with the New York Times. “It may be difficult getting Blythe’s intricate six acts down to ten minutes each, but we think it can be done.”

Actors John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), are contractually obligated to appear in the film. “The Disney said something about being frozen in Carbonite if we didn’t,” Ridley said in an interview. “I asked if it meant Rey. It thought for a few minutes and then nodded.” When asked if he would be joining the project, Harrison Ford brandished a number of exotic weapons, hidden throughout his person, and threatened to “go Ark of the Covenant on your a–!”

Not much has been revealed about the story or plot, but vague references to a “Last March of the Ents”-style scene featuring the Tree of Life, a gang of prohibition-era mobsters running the Mos Eisley cantina, and, of course, Chewbacca’s Wookiee family (Lumpy, Malla, and Itchy) going on wild adventures around the galaxy.

The Disney made only a few comments, other than acknowledging the project’s existence. “We are not afraid, we are on a high grade,” it said. “Paradigms being revised, pictures made stylized. The Snyder is sufficient for this task. We’re surprised you even have to ask.” It seems The Disney is confident Snyder will deliver.

We look forward to learning more about this new version of the Star Wars Holiday Special. Thanks for reading, and be sure to come back next week for more fun Star Wars information!

Scenes Recreated by Fans

Scenes made by fans
Action!

People make interesting things! The constant reader will know this thanks to our earlier post about incredible pieces of fan-art. There is so much more to show you. Today, we have compiled incredible recreations of Star Wars scenes and sets for your enjoyment.

The first is a set of images by Flickr user Boutros77, who designed and built his own sets for action figures – including a huge number of scenes from the Tatooine cantina, the Death Star, and a huge number more (plus, for extended Lucasarts pleasure, a number of scenes from Indiana Jones movies). Building and painting the sets him (or her) self, Boutros77 even uses action figures, playing out the scenes from the movies in still images with scenes from all three of the original trilogy, as well as the Return of the Sith.

Second, and perhaps the most expected, is massive minecraft creations. This page recounts some of the most amazing, including a life-size star destroyer with interior, and a version of the Naboo Royal Palace made in incredibly grand detail. Watch the videos, and be amazed.

One step down . . . or, maybe up? . . . from Minecraft is the brick-and-mortar version, Lego. It’s easy to make a great many things with these wonderful little bricks, especially since there are a great number of sets available based on the Star Wars movies. But enterprising builders have found ways to make things even better. One such example is this packed scene by Yatkuu, a member of the European Lego fans forum, made a scene depicting the makeup room, a green room, and an in-progress shot.

Finally, riding the geek-high that appeared when the first Star Wars trailer appeared last year, Youtuber “Snooperking” created a shot-for-shot version of the trailer using, yes, Legos. With stop-motion and a few layered shots, the whole thing appears in wonderful blocky form.

This is but a tiny sample of the scenes fans have wrenched from the silver screen and translated through their eyes and chosen art form. Thanks for reading – tell us your favorite recreations in the comments!

Gross Star Wars Episode VII Predictions (Sort of)

Box office gross
What will Star Wars VII gross?

Star Wars news has been slow in the past few weeks (The lone exception), but there’s still plenty of buzz, coming from the financial district instead of the entertainment quarter. Right now, analysts are talking about the gross. Thankfully, not the kind that comes from a porta-potty.

Benjamin Swinburne, working at financial company Morgan Stanley, ran the numbers and came up with the staggering figure of 1.95 billion dollars. The number had been $1.6 billion previously. Swinburne estimates $650 million in the U.S. box office, and $1.3 billion internationally. This number would land it as the third-place box office, behind Titanic and Avatar. But Myles Udland, from Business Insider, thinks that Swinburne’s estimate is too low!

Udland takes Jurassic World – the billion-dollar box office hit – and saw that it was ranked as the fifth-most anticipated movie of 2015; Star Wars Episode VII was the first. Even the unexpected box office star Furious 7 gives credence to the thought that such a highly anticipated film such as the rejuvenated Star Wars is more than deserving of a higher box office take – even if the original number is almost two billion dollars.

Even Morgan Stanley thinks their estimate is low. They foresaw a scenario where SW VII brought in a gross of $2.25 billion, including a titanic $1.5 billion international gross. The institution maintains what is called an “Equal-Weight” outlook for Disney, meaning shares are more expensive relative to other media companies’ now, than they have been for six years.

The gross has been rising as time goes on. In 2013, the expected gross was a mere $1.2 billion thanks to John Carter and The Lone Ranger’s poor showings, thinking that Disney’s star was falling, and big-budget science fiction was on the decline. In 2014, the words “$3 billion” were bandied about by a number of sites. This very year, in April, Daily Mail suspected that it might get all the way to $500 million. Way to break the big news, Daily Mail.

Fans are adamant that the movie will shatter all and any preconceived notions of silly “records.” They are convinced all monetary units will be given to the Star Wars in December. Do you agree? Tell us what you think!

Episode VII trailer #2, Digital Download

Episode VII
Episode VII

This week, more information about an upcoming Episode VII trailer and today, Friday the tenth of April 2015, the six Star Wars films are now available for digital purchase and download. From retailers such as Xbox, Playstation, iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu, with some taking pre-orders of the full set or individual movies. They movies are still the special edition, but come packaged with extensive extra features, including featurettes for each movie, conversations between contributors about things such as special effects, props, and discarded ideas, deleted scenes, and more. To add to this excitement, information about the next Episode VII trailer has been released – though it is unsure how accurate this information is. We know this: The next trailer will first be seen before the upcoming Avengers movie, released May first. However, two groups have come forward with differing information about the trailer.

The earlier version, as reported by Umberto Gonzalez of Latino Review (a publication well-known for breaking leaks). Includes a voice-over by a character thought to be played by Lupita Nyong’o, a cloaked Luke Skywalker, a shot of Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) and a blue alien as Finn ignites a green lightsaber. A large city, TIE fighter zoom shots, established characters like Han, Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2, and another voice-over by who is thought to be Andy Serkis, as well as a few other shots.

This information is contradicted by a new source, Making Star Wars. This version of the new Episode VII trailer is less detailed, but still gives us a run down. Shots include: the planet Yavin, Finn with a blue lightsaber, a shot of Captain Phasma the chrome stormtrooper, Kylo Ren’s helmeted face, multiple shots of the characters in a base, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader’s helmet sitting on a podium, and a number of short shots of TIE fighters or X-Wings. No Nyong’o, Serkis, or Luke is present/heard. Making Star Wars has been derided as a rumor mill without substance, but it’s clear we won’t know the truth until we see the trailer for ourselves.

J.J. Abrams has locked down any information coming from the production and filming of Episode VII, but his personal history means we may see an intended leak in the future. We’ll be waiting.

The Force Awakens New Information

The Force Awakens fan-made poster
The Force Awakens fan-made poster

We’ve recently become privy to some new information about the upcoming Star Wars Movie “The Force Awakens,” and we’re here to dish out the juicy details. Read and be amazed at the wonder that is this upcoming movie:

Characters revealed!

An interview with Director J.J. Abrams late in March revealed that an unexpected character will be joining the cast of The Force Awakens. He is quoted as saying “Meesa very excited about it.”

We also know that Former Director and series runner George Lucas will be making an appearance. Abrams was similarly tight lipped about it, but he revealed that the cross guard lightsaber held by the five-foot seven, seventy year-old Kylo Ren was Lucas’ idea.

Interesting animation choices

In an attempt to bring in fans of traditional Disney films, Producer Zippy Filmeister said that slightly less than half of the film will be done in classic animation techniques, similar to movies like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. With voice work done by Anne Hathaway and Brad Garrett, filmmakers harkened back to Disney’s origins in an attempt to turn The Force Awakens into a greater media experience.

The Crossover event of the Century

Script assistant Ferdinand Wolfgang Imhotep, M.D., stated that while the team attempted to get the most recent Peter Capaldi, only Matt Smith was available for the intended Stinger scene that shows The Doctor, from long-running BBC Series Doctor Who. Imhotep was reluctant to say if the Doctor has a hand in guiding the plot, or if his presence is for little more than an after-credits scene. We’re looking forward to Smith’s unique style of portraying the time-traveling adventurer, though we don’t know how he will fit into the Star Wars universe.

We’re looking forward to finding out more news about this much-awaited movie. The Force Awakens is gearing up to becoming the ultimate movie of the year, and this information only seems to make it better!

The Worst Star Wars Video Games

Bad Star Wars Video games
Star Wars Demolition

We love Star Wars; we love video games. We love when they come together, but it doesn’t always work out. So, we’re going to list some of the worst Star Wars video games that have come out, much to our displeasure.

Star Wars: Rebel Assault

Trying as hard as it possibly can to beat Rogue Squadron to the punch, “Star Wars: Rebel Assault” is one of the original X-Wing piloting games to come out. Sadly, it has none of the charm, graphics, fun, or control that the far-superior game possesses. A boring plot put a cap on this stinker.

Star Wars: Yoda Stories

Adventure games are a thing from the old days of video games, but have mostly fallen away from the popular eye. Too bad “Star Wars: Yoda Stories” didn’t know that! Set during Luke’s training with Yoda, this game has Luke travel around Dagobah and gather items. Each time you play is different, but far from being a rogue-like unique experience, the game is boring and stagnant.

Star Wars: Demolition

Vehicle battles like Twisted Metal were getting popular, and a company that had experience making rip-offs tried their hand at a Star Wars version, and “Star Wars: Demolition” was born. The controls are sluggish, and the battles are maddening, but the worst part of this Star Wars game is its surprising lack of Star Wars. There are a few vehicles from the series, but they have strange designs, and other vehicles have never been seen before.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan

Not without its good points, this early Xbox title, released along with the first prequel movie, falls to a painful experience with terrible camera control, poor graphics, and uninspired level designs make this game a mediocre play at best, agonizing torture at worst.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Bad Star Wars video games
Attack of the clones gameplay

Released soon after Episode II, This GBA game had decent graphics but nothing else. With headache-causing controls, strikingly bad level design, and enemy spawns that came out of nowhere to smack you in the back of the head, even having the willpower to get to the end of this game only rewards you with an insanely difficult boss battle against Count Dooku – after which there is little more than credits.

It’s okay, it’s over. Let the bad memories sink back down. Did we forget some of the worst out there? Is anyone brave enough to stand up and defend some of these games?

Fan Films for Star Wars

Fan Films
Fan Films

To no one’s surprise, a film series as famous and well-loved as Star Wars has attracted many to the idea of creating their own movies set in the same universe. “Fan films,” as they are simply known, are independently-developed creations made from a love of Star Wars and cinematography. There is, in fact, an official Star Wars Fan Film Award in different categories such as audience choice, best comedy, best original concept, and the “George Lucas Selects Award.” Since there are a lot of ways to point at one certain film and say “that is the best,” we’ll be collecting a number of highly-regarded or famous films for your enjoyment:

Star Wars Uncut

Perhaps the most famous fan creation, Star Wars Uncut is a novel idea that requires, from the filmmakers themselves, only the position of editor. The movies (so far, A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back have been released) are split into fifteen-second segments, segments are claimed by contributors, and then those segments are filmed in any manner they choose: live-action, action figures, Legos, animation, and more. That’s just in the first five minutes! The fifteen-second segments will be compiled and re-made into the feature length film! Enjoy the films here

Troops

One of the earliest fan films, Troops is a mash-up of the Star Wars universe – specifically the Stormtroopers – and the classic television show Cops. However, instead of the subdue-and-arrest method featured on Cops, the law enforcement in Troops has a shoot first, ask questions later approach. The film was first featured at the San Diego Comic Con in 1997, and not only has the classic look and feel of Cops, but features special effects and easter eggs about sections of Episode IV. You can watch it here.

I.M.P.S. The Relentless

Short for Imperial Military Personnel Stories, I.M.P.S. shows a number of troopers that are part of missions across the galaxy. Including some of the cast and crew of Troops, the filmmakers went a more serious route, instead filming as if it was a documentary about military forces and not a TV show. The first chapter is approximately forty-one minutes, the second is twenty-one, and the third has yet to be released. With original music, special effects, and characters, I.M.P.S. is one of the most impressive fan films to date. Watch the first episode here.

Star Wars Retold

In a very different form of fan film, Star Wars Retold is the story of Star Wars . . . as told by someone that hasn’t seen the movies. Joe Nicolosi recorded his friend Amanda trying to tell the Star Wars story, having only seen bits, of all three original trilogy movies. Aided by hilarious photoshop magic and a little bit of banter, this film will have any fan laughing out loud. Watch it here.

This is just a tiny sample of some of the fan films that have risen to fame. Let us know which one is your favorite!

Mara Jade Character Corner

Mara Jade
Mara Jade

Every few weeks we highlight one of the many characters from the Star Wars universe to talk about, and detail their history. This month, we’ve elected to talk about Mara Jade, The Emperor’s Hand and eventual wife of Luke Skywalker, a character from the Extended Universe, not present in any of the movies.

History

Mara Jade was born seventeen years before the battle of Yavin, during the Emperor’s initial reign. It was a time of struggle in the galaxy, and the few Jedi remnants were fighting to go into hiding or against the Empire. Mara was taken from her family due to her force attunement – she would have likely been taken by the Jedi council had it not been destroyed – and put through an intensive training regiment to develop her physical, mental, and force skills.

At the age of fourteen she became the Emperor’s Hand, one of his personal assassins. She was first tasked to uncover information about Jedi that had gone into hiding, though she soon switches to finding more about the rebel alliance. During the events of the third movie, Mara Jade was ordered by Palpatine to disguise herself as a dancing girl in an attempt to kill Luke Skywalker. She was kept from boarding the barge Jabba took to the sarlacc pit by his slave overseer, who believed she meant to kill Jabba.

With the Emperor dead and the Death Star destroyed at the end of Episode VI, Mara Jade’s tenure as the Emperor’s Hand ended. Moments before his death, the Emperor handed her her final mission: Kill Luke Skywalker. With the Emperor dead, however, her resources had dried up. She was consumed with hatred for Skywalker thanks to the Emperor’s presence in her mind.

She finally ran into Skywalker while working for a smuggling operation run by Talon Karrde. She at first intended to kill him, but was forbidden by Karrde. Soon after, Mara was attacked by a bounty hunter and left drifting, quickly discovered by Skywalker, who saved her from death by exposure. She was helped by Skywalker, who removed Palpatine’s presence from her mind. She eventually rebuked the dark side and joined the Jedi, becoming a padawan.

During this time – and, of course, numerous dangerous adventures – her relationship with Luke grew until the two were romantically attached. The days leading up to the wedding (in grand Star Wars fashion) were fraught with danger, including: a bar fight, angry formal imperial guardsmen, and a separate Imperial plot that included a Moff and Stormtroopers.

It was during the Yuuzhan Vong war that Mara Jade Skywalker became a Jedi Master, a time that also saw her infected with comb spores, a deadly Yuuzhan Vong poison that killed everyone it infected save her, thanks to her connection with the force. However, she was severely weakened, culminating in a collapse into unconsciousness during a critical battle. Afterward, and with care, she experienced a gradual return to health. Some time later, after a period of good health, Mara detected a change in her body’s chemistry. Thinking her disease was returning, she probed her body with the force. Instead she discovered, to her surprise, that she was pregnant.

The child was named Ben, after Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Tatooine alias. After the end of the war, Mara Jade remained an important operative for the New Republic. In the years that followed, Mara fought enemies new and old, and helped her husband keep the growing new Jedi council alive. When their nephew Jacen Solo fell to the dark side and became Darth Caedus, Mara believed him too dangerous to leave alive, engaging him on the planet Kavan. After a lengthy battle in the sewers he killed her with a poison dart. Her final words to him were that she found him more vile and more cruel than even Emperor Palpatine.

Behind the Scenes:

Mara Jade first debuted in Timothy Zahn’s Expanded Universe book Heir to the Empire. She has become a very popular character, even ranking 20th in a character poll, the highest-ranking character that wasn’t in a movie. She was one of the first Expanded Universe characters to receive an action figure. Mara Jade has been portrayed by several models, most often by Shannon McRandle, who first portrayed her in the Star Wars customizable card game.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Mara Jade character corner. Come back often for more fun fan information!

Star Wars: Under-Appreciated Characters

We talk about a lot of the characters from Star Wars, but are there some that could use more talk? Five under-appreciated characters follow, and why we should think better of them.

Mon Mothma

Mon Mothma
Stately

Played by British actress Caroline Blakiston, Mon Mothma was on screen for all of twenty-six and a half seconds, in a scene where she describes the plan to take out the second Death Star and Palpatine, she nevertheless is important for a simple reason: She is one of the few female characters that doesn’t get unceremoniously murdered by Jabba in the original Trilogy. In the Extended Universe, she’s an influential character that leads the Rebellion, and later the Renewed Galactic Republic, through trying times.

Wedge

Wedge
Ace

We’ve already given Wedge Antilles some time in the limelight, but consider this: Wedge is the only fight pilot for the Rebels, besides the main characters, that survives all three movies. He ends up leader Red Squadron and Rogue Squadron, and is the also the character to find Han and Luke on Hoth, saving them from a slow, cold death.

Shmi Skywalker

Shmi Skywalker
Caring

Despite the confounding metaphysics of the midichlorian-induced virgin birth, Shmi remains one of the prequel trilogy’s most important characters due to her effect on Anakin. It was her motherly care that created Anakin’s fear of losing her, gave him his first step to the dark side when he slaughtered the Tusken Raiders that had captured her, and provided the perfect way for Palpatine to turn Anakin fully – his fear of losing loved ones.

 

 

 

Count Dooku

Count Dooku
Dangerous

Count Dooku’s screentime in Episode II set him up as a powerful villain, able to defeat even the surprisingly spry Yoda in a one-on-one match. And, in Episode III, he is ultimately defeated by an angered Anakin. His ignoble end may be depressing to those who wanted him to do greater things, but nobody can deny the power that Christopher Lee gave this Sith Lord. This would be the same Christopher Lee who is currently ninety-two, descended from Charlemagne (That’s Emperor Charlemagne to you), and has recorded several metal albums.

Ewoks

You heard me.

Ewoks
You heard him

A lot of people don’t like the Ewoks – they call them childish, stupid, or worthless. These people are wrong. Ewoks were stone-cold, black-hearted killers, who not only planned to eat the main cast (including Chewbacca), but successfully fended off the Empire, taking down battalions of soldiers and AT-ST walkers.

Ewok
You won’t get out alive

Kids love Ewoks. They’re Teddy Bears that will fight to protect their home . . . and you best not get on their bad side.

Ewok
No escape

Are there any other characters you think are under appreciated? Some on this list you think don’t belong?

Star Wars
You watch yourself

Top 10 Halloween Star Wars Costumes

Halloween is fast approaching. If you’re still trying to find the perfect costume, you may be feeling the pressure at this point. Don’t fret! We have collected for you the top ten costumes from our Star Wars Costumes site:

Chewbacca Infant Costume
Chewbacca Infant Costume

#10: Standard Chewbacca Infant Costume

The first of our Star Wars costumes is of Han Solo’s dependable co-pilot! Your little furry friend is here for a fun time in this soft outfit, and he’ll love being the center of attention while he’s shooting through the galaxy in the Millennium Falcon and gathering candy.

#9: Sexy Slave Princess Leia Womens Costume

Are you surprised this costume is on the list? From the first time it was seen in 1983, this outfit has become one of the most enduring elements of Star Wars’ pop-culture impact. Show your favorite smuggler exactly what he means to you with this incredible look!

#8: Deluxe Queen Amidala Womens Costume

Queen Amidala has some of the most finely-designed outfits in the Star Wars universe, and now you have a chance to become this famous queen and senator when you dress in this wonderful costume!

#7: Standard Jedi Adult Robe Costume

Devise your own outfit when you use this item, and become any of the Jedi of the series like Luke, Obi-Wan, or Anakin, or you can come up with an original character using this and other great items.

#6: Deluxe Clone Wars Captain Rex Kids Costume

Your child will be ready to lead his company of clone warriors when he dresses as this popular character from the Clone Wars television show! With the Jedi at his side, the droids will never succeed!

#5: Deluxe Boba Fett Kids Costume

What child wouldn’t want to be this cool bounty hunter? Whether he’s capturing the smuggler Han Solo or fighting off Jedi at Jabba the Hutt’s Palace, his Halloween is going to be a blast when he dresses as this famous Star Wars character!

#4: Deluxe Darth Vader Kids Costume

The Lord of the Sith is here for Halloween. No force-user has more power than you child will when he gets this dark and dangerous outfit. Luke Skywalker and the rebels will never have a chance against him in the costume contest!

#3: Deluxe Princess Leia Girls Costume

It’s up to your daughter this Halloween to get to Tatooine and find the people that will help save the rebellion this Halloween! The greatest female character in Star Wars has always been a key Halloween tradition, and there’s no reason to stop it now!

#2: Standard Yoda Infant Costume

Even the young ones can join in the Star Wars fun this Halloween when you get this infant costume! The ancient and wise Jedi Yoda is the perfect size for a young fan of these classic movies to go out on the town as a little green alien.

#1: Deluxe Luke Skywalker Kids Costume

Luke Skywalker Kids Costume
Luke Skywalker Kids Costume

Our number one outfit for Halloween is one of the most popular Star Wars characters ever: Luke Skywalker! Bring the Jedi order back to life and defeat the Empire this year as one of the greatest movie heroes of all time. Get this and many other astounding costumes and accessories from Official Star Wars Costumes!