What's the intersection between Star Wars and the Muppets? Chances are you'll think of Yoda
. Maybe you knew that Jim Henson & his creature-makers had nothing to do
with the original Star Wars movie. And sure, you probably knew that some of the Star Wars cast were featured on the Muppet Show
(watch on YouTube
). But wait, there's more. [more inside]
In a suprise move, a "bombshell" even, Disney and Lucasfilms have announced that Rian Johnson will write and direct the next two films in the Star Wars franchise
, Episodes VIII and IX, taking the reins from JJ Abrams after Episode VII
. Copious previously
Johnson has previously directed Brick
, and three episodes of Breaking Bad
. Johnson responded thusly
In honor of May the Fourth, I present to you more information about Ewoks than you ever cared to know: The Return of the Subaltern (Part One
and Part Two
As a thank you gift for his work on "Star Wars", George Lucas gave art director Roger Christian 25,000 pounds in 1979 to make a short film. Christian used the money to shoot a 25 minute medieval fantasy titled "Black Angel"
. Lucas liked the film so much that he had it precede theatrical showings of "Empire Strikes Back" in the UK, Australia and Scandinavia. In the intervening years, the film was thought lost until a negative was discovered at Universal Studios in 2011. The film was restored and given a premiere
at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Marin County last October. It will be shown again later this month at the Glasgow Film Festival and will eventually find its way to a streaming services like Netflix later this year. The BBC recently talked to Christian about the film and its rediscovery.
THE FRIEND ZONE: STAR WARS EPISODE 2.
Anakin Skywalker is a Nice Guy™, stuck in the zone
, but at least Obi-Wan has some some dope bass
. Related: Dance of the Fates
. (Auralnauts previously
.) Language NSFW.
the first, student, film of one George Lucas (staring Randal Kleiser, who later went on to direct Grease
"[Lucas] understood the nature of play—and games—but we didn't have the time with him that we needed," said one person familiar with high-level meetings at LucasArts.
“It never felt like people at the top cared about making great games,” said another person connected to LucasArts. “A lot of awesome projects never went anywhere because, ‘it’s not gonna make enough money.’”
How LucasArts Fell Apart
(SLKotaku article) [more inside]
...Though the poster contained no painted imagery, it did introduce a new logo
to the campaign, one that had been designed originally for the cover of a Fox brochure sent to theater owners….Suzy Rice, who had just been hired as an art director, remembers the job well. She recalls that the design directive given by Lucas was that the logo should look “very fascist.” (via
Joseph Campbell was well-known for his exploration of the monomyth, or the hero's journey, which posits that worldwide myths that have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure. Campbell's work inspired George Lucas to create the first Star Wars trilogy.
In the mid-1980s, Bill Moyers spent many hours interviewing Campbell at Skywalker Ranch. The result was a now famous documentary called "The Power of Myth
." The series has been available on DVD
since 2001, but Moyers has just made the full series
available for streaming and download on his site.
The Best Of Star Wars: Clone Wars
- The CGI Star Wars spin off that made the franchise fun again
for young and old
reached it's 100th episode
Disney has purchased LucasFilm
, including the Star Wars movies, for a shade over four billion dollars in cash and stock. Also in the Sydney Morning Herald
"It is with great sadness that Skywalker Properties has decided to pull its application to build a studio facility on the old Grady Ranch
." (PDF) George Lucas' neighbors don't want him building a movie studio on his Marin property
; after fighting for years, he's working
with the Marin Community Foundation
to develop low-income housing
George Lucas sits down with The Hollywood Reporter:
"The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down." [more inside]
So you've come to terms with it: George Lucas doesn't give a shit about you
. Maybe it was the minor edits to the re-releases, like Han shooting second
, or one of the recent Blu-Ray additions with Darth Vader shouting Nooooo
at the end of Return Of The Jedi
, or maybe you liked the movies, except for silly characters like the Ewoks
or Jar Jar Binks
. However it happened, you are pining for the early version of Star Wars you remembered before all those changes
, or maybe you're dreaming of a version without some of the schmaltzy stuff. Dream no more, the Fan Preservers
and Fan Editors are making your wishes real
. [more inside]
Many would agree that the advent of CGI has made movies worse, not better. Blogger Gin and Tacos makes the argument eloquently
"The fundamental problem is that CGI, rather that being a tool that allows directors to explore new creative possibilities, just enables laziness."
George Lucas Strikes Back
the truth behind the prequels at last (SLYT)
Star Wars Begins. Fan documentarian Jambe Davdar
has completed has completed his third documentary about the original Star Wars trilogy. He's re-cut all three films, editing in alternate takes, deleted scenes, original audio, with quotes from various interviews and commentaries and recordings playing over the footage like the ultimate DVD
] [more inside]
Travis Stevens has created the ultimate guitar for Star Wars fans.
While the Cargo Bay
shows an impressive list of Star Wars
-inspired musical gear manufactured by Fernandes Guitars
, Stevens' one-of-a-kind instrument is... slightly different. [more inside]
Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details
. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler
, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch
." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug
, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
Did 'Star Wars' become a toy story? Producer Gary Kurtz looks back
“The toy business began to drive the [Lucasfilm] empire. It’s a shame. They make three times as much on toys as they do on films. It’s natural to make decisions that protect the toy business, but that’s not the best thing for making quality films.” He added: “The first film and ‘Empire’ were about story and character, but I could see that George’s priorities were changing.” (via
) [more inside]
Impressive. Most impressive.
Thirty years ago today, one of the most popular films of all time
was released to theatres.
Often described as "dark" and "moving," it has had its own cultural impact from commonly-misquoted quotes
to introducing an entire generation of moviegoers to the concept of a plot twist
That film? The Shining
. [more inside]
Lucasfilm Animation is currently developing an all-new animated Star Wars series
. Not that one
, a new series. And no relation to the holiday special
) or Ewoks
, the animated series
), or even Droids
: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO
). The new new
series is set to feature creative involvement from Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, creators and executive producers Robot Chicken
, writing from The Daily Show's Brendan Hay, produced by Jennifer Hill (The Backyardigans
), and directed by Todd Grimes (Back at the Barnyard
). Unlike the Clone Wars animated series
, the latest venture into animation will be one more humorous in tone and aimed at younger kids.
Pre-School to Kindergarten aged kids young, and the working title is believed to be "Squishies"
"George Lucas made "Star Wars"; but it was the fans who turned it into a seemingly undying worldwide phenomenon
. So I thought it appropriate to give them a prominent voice in the documentary
." The People vs. George Lucas premiered
at this year's SXSW
. Official Site
. FB page
The Architects' Journal
(home of British architecture) has recently listed their top 10 architectural features of Star Wars
. The article cites the Sandcrawler
of Tatooine (possibly inspired by
the Hôtel du lac
in Tunisia, and in turn may have influenced Casa da Música
, requires Quicktime] ), gave Bright Tree Village an honorary rating of BREEAM
Excellent (top marks for environment-friendliness and sustainability
), then embrace the Ecumenopolis
that is Coruscant
. This is not the first discussion of the architectural styles of the Star Wars universe. George Lucas once said "I'm basically a Victorian person
," referring to his love of "all kinds of old things," including sort of Art Deco or Art Moderne-type
. The retro-futuristic styles of Star Wars has gone on to inspire others
“Until the recent Great Rebellion, the Jedi Bendu were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of Jedi perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor. They were the chief architects of the invincible Imperial Space Force which expanded the Empire across the galaxy, from the celestial equator to the farthest reaches of the Great Rift.
Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed as enemies of the New Empire by a ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, the Knights of Sith.”
- The first draft of Star Wars... was awful
Star Wars Influence Map.
Thank God Jar Jar Binks led to nowhere . . .
Watch The Skies!
Directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ridley Scott and James Cameron discuss the science fiction movies of the 1950s that influenced them. 1
:: 1 hour.
The "Raiders" Story Conference
In 1978 George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Lawrence Kasdan spent five consecutive nine-hour days hashing out the characters and plot for Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The 125-page transcript of their meetings, unreleased before now, details their insane
talent and techniques for populist storytelling. (It also makes one wonder what happened to George Lucas, a man who once had a math formula
for exciting cinema.) via Ain't It Cool News, unfortunately
A look at
the (likely terrible) CGI Star Wars
prequel hitting theaters this autumn. The "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" movie
is expected to run around 100 minutes and pick up between episode II and III. Anakin Skywalker is not yet Darth Vader. The story will then continue in 30-minute smallscreen installments.
Keys to the Kingdom. Vanity Fair
profiles George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and previews Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
[minor spoiler on page 5]; Q&A with Spielberg
. [more inside]
Animated via a cut-out stop-motion process creator/director John Korty
, the lewd
and luminous Twice Upon a Time
ran for two weeks in a single Westwood, CA theatre in August, 1983. Airing 12 times on HBO in 1984, the film
wasn't seen again until a director-approved, bowdlerized
VHS version was released in 1991.
Ward Jenkins discusses the film with writer Taylor Jenson
, who commemorated TUaT's 20th anniversary in 2004
, and presents a series of shorts
Korty produced for Sesame Street in the 1970s.
Indiana Jones and... the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls?
Actor Shia LaBeouf announced the title of the new Indiana Jones movie
at the MTV Video Music Awards. But what was George Lucas' inspiration
? Where did these Crystal Skulls
come from? These ancient objects have been referenced in many places
, including an episode of StarGate SG-1, imaginatively titled "Crystal Skull"
. There is also a Festival
and a not-for-profit Foundation
dedicated to researching these artifacts.
is a short film from Arthur Lipsett that has been discussed before