Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Spooky Star Wars" Lego Contest


Over at Reasonbly Clever, the "Spooky Star Wars" Halloween Lego contest is wrapping up. The catgories are :

1. Spooky Vehicle

2. Spooky Scene

3. Spooky Impulse (limited to 50 pieces)

4. The Final Moments of Jar Jar Binks

The winner is expected to be announced soon. My favorite is "Order 67", pictured above. See all the entries at this link.

Help me, Wolf Blitzer, you're my only hope!

Here is a fun little video from Slate, making fun of CNN's election night hologram thingy.


Found via Ed Driscoll.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

My Little Pony-Trooper


Have you ever wondered what My Little Pony toys would look like if they were transformed into Star Wars action figures? Me neither. But now you don't have to wonder. Check out the photos at Coolbuzz. (Found via Slashgear.)

More Star Wars Steampunk, and Reservoir Dogs, Too


Very cool artwork from Gorilla Artfare found at Cinematical.com. Follow the links too see more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Large Hadron Collider Scientist Confuses Star Wars with Star Trek, Universe Doomed

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT. (Agencies) The scientific world is shocked today as Michael Zeller—a professor of physics at Yale who has been working at the Large Hadron Collider—reportedly misquoted the Star Trek tagline "Where no man has gone before" and, further shattering the Universe time-space fabric, attributed it to Star Wars:

“What did they say in ‘Star Wars’? We’re going where no man has ever been? Well, that’s where we’re going,” Zeller said in declarations to the Yale Daily News about the LHC first beam test last Wednesday. Professor Zeller helped create the zero degree calorimeter used in Atlas, one of the main experiments at CERN's multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider.

Read more...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"Star Wars Ren" Art Contest


Over at Worth1000.com, there is a contest in which classic works of art are Star Wars-ified. Check it out here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Star Wars Wisdom From My Wife, Episode III


My wife had another observation:

Her: If we had a droid, I'd want it to be C-3PO.

Me: Why?

Her: Because he's butleresque.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Darth Binks


video

Way back when, just after the release of The Phantom Menace, I made a stop-motion animated film called Darth Binks that explored what would happen if Jar Jar responded to all the resentment of him by turning to the dark side of The Force and becoming a Sith Lord. It is made with Lego minifigures and with audio clips found online. Enjoy.

You get bonus points if you can spot IG-88 in the background.

Director's commentary: It was originally going to be much more grandiose with Obi-Wan Kenobi in a lightsaber duel with a spaceship piloted by Binks, but do you have any idea how long stop-motion animation takes?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Star Wars Song of the Week: "The Palestinians Are Note the Same Thing as the Rebel Alliance, Jackass" by Atom & His Package


This week's Star Wars song is "The Palestinians Are Not the Same Thing as the Rebel Alliance, Jackass" by Atom and His Package.

Hear a sample at the Amazon link: Attention! Blah, Blah Blah by Atom & His Package

Here is how Atom described the song in the liner notes:

Explanation: It's disturbing how many people I've come into contact with who have blindly embraced the Palestinian side of the current (Sadly, I assume it will be current, even when this record comes out months down the road from when I write this.) Middle East conflict. Certainly, there are also tons of folks who blindly support the Israeli side of the issue. Those who blindly support the Israelis are are also disturbing, but these are not the folks who I come in contact with regularly at shows, etc., hence the title of the song. While I certainly have feelings on the issue, the situation is too complicated to go into here (especially while rhyming & singing. Holy #$%@!). The song is about certain people and
their willingness to latch onto a side of an issue without comprehending the
issue (NOT about those who do not agree with me who DO understand the issue). But suffice it to be said that it's frightening and trivializing when people simplify complex issues as if they're Star Wars-esque, and pick a side (either side) to root for as as if it were a football game. And yes, that is my dog, Books barking during the
youth crew shouts at the end.

Times Online: Return of the Jedi has Worst Ending Ever #17

From the Times Online:
It’s not the sickly ending, where Leia and Luke Skywalker find out they are siblings. It’s not the unlikely rehabilitation of Darth Vader, or even the way that George Lucas keeps digitally embellishing it with every rerelease. No, it’s those bloody dancing teddy bears. We fought an intergalactic war for this?

As a bonus, they have a link to their original 1983 review of ROTJ.

George Lucas in UK Articles


There are two good new George Lucas articles in the London Times and the Scotsman. The Times has as a special bonus a Star Wars review from 1977.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Stuff at Ralph McQuarrie's Site


RalphMcQuarrie.com has been recenlty updated with some new stuff, including a "new" 1977 poster that artist Lawrence Noble finished based on an original McQuarrie design. Too cool.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Steampunk Empire Strikes Back Figures


Over at Sillof.com, there are some most excellent photos of the steampunk versions of characters from The Empire Strikes Back. Also, if you have not seen them, check out the original steampunk Star Wars and the Star Wars: 1942. (Hat tip: Wanna Know.)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Splinter of the Mind's Eye

Now that over thirty-one years have passed and we have six Star Wars movies in the can and the Star Wars empire has been a huge success, it’s hard to imagine that it would have turned out any other way. But imagine if Star Wars had not been a huge hit in 1977. What if something went wrong in the production or editing or suppose the moviegoers weren’t in the right mood for it? What if it tanked? Or what if it was just good, but not great? What if it went the Planet of the Apes route, with sequels that explored more of the Star Wars universe, but didn’t have ever-increasing budgets and technology? Splinter of the Mind's Eye was originally written by Alan Dean Foster as a sequel to Star Wars that would have been used if the 1977 film was sequel-worthy, but not a huge hit. With its lack of the full cast of original characters, brief outer space action and setting on and beneath the surface of a dark, foggy planet, it was a sort of "Battle Beneath the Planet of Star Wars". But, just as the Ape movies have their own brilliance and high points, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is a fun read and had lots of items that showed up in later Star Wars Movies:

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye:
Luke Skywalker and Artoo crash land on Mimban, a dark, swampy, foggy planet.
The Empire Strikes Back:
Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 crash land on Dagobah, a dark, swampy, foggy planet. Leia and C-3PO crash on the same planet at a different site.

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye:
Luke meets Halla, a seemingly crazy person who is actually a minor user of the Force.
The Empire Strikes Back:
Luke meets Yoda, a seemingly crazy person who is actually a major user of the Force.

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye:
Luke fights a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. Luke cuts off Vader’s right arm and then Vader falls in a deep hole, but does not die. Luke uses the Force to sense Vader’s survival.
The Empire Strikes Back:
Luke fights a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. Vader cuts off Luke’s right hand and then Luke falls in a deep hole (the shaft in Cloud City), but does not die. Vader uses the Force to sense Luke’s survival.

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye:
The rebels join forces with the primitive Coway, who use their home turf advantage to defeat a technologically superior Imperial force.
Return of the Jedi:
The rebels join forces with the primitive Ewoks, who use their home turf advantage to defeat a technologically superior Imperial force.

So, there is a lot of good material in the book, partly due to its place in the primeval “expanded universe”. It is also just plain fun.


On a final note, check out the cover of the book (featuring an excellent painting by Ralph McQuarrie). Note that it claims to be “From the Further Adventures of Luke Skywalker”.

Nowhere on the cover do the words “Star Wars” appear. It was added on later printings, but it is just not there on the early editions. Hmm.

Star Wars Song of the Week: Droid by Selby Tigers

This week's Star Wars song is Droid, by Selby Tigers. Download the MP3 here, buy the album here and find out more about the band and watch the video here.

More Star Wars Wisdom From My Wife


As I said before, my wife sometimes comes up with deep insights into Star Wars. Today's installment is:

Droids are like cars.

In that they have different models and paint options, it seems correct to me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Star Wars Wisdom From My Wife


My wife is not as big a Star Wars fan as I am, but she sometimes watches the movies with me. She also occasionally has some simply stated but deep observations. Such as:

What good is stormtrooper armor? It doesn't keep them from getting killed.

Indeed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

George Lucas on Capitol Hill

George Lucas showed up on Capitol Hill this week to talk about free interwebs for schools. Both parties took the opportunity to make cringe-worthy Star Wars jokes. Lucas' visit also injected Barack Obama (I can't shake him!) back into Star Wars news. When asked if Obama would be a Jedi, Lucas responded, "I would say that’s reasonably obvious.” The full articles are over at /Film and Examiner.com.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eight Things That Were Made Up Between Movies

When watching Star Wars sequels and prequels for the first time, did you ever notice some things that just didn't feel right and jarred your sense of continuity? Yeah, me too. So, here is my list of eight things that were made up between movies. Enjoy.
  • Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. (between episodes IV and V)
  • Under the Old Republic, Naboo was a democracy with royal titles given by election. (between I and II)
  • All the Sith Lords, not just Darth Vader, are called “Darth”. (between VI and I)
  • Darth Vader is C-3PO’s father. (between VI and I)
  • R2-D2 can fly. (between I and II)
  • Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is the central character in the series, not Luke Skywalker. (between VI and I)
  • The word “younglings” exists. (Between II and III)
  • Midichlorians. (Between VI and I)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Winnie the Pooh vs. Luke Skywalker


Barack Obama has shown up in Star Wars news again. This time one of his advisers got stuck in wacky metaphor mode and suggested the United States should be more like Winnie the Pooh in order to fight terrorists, who want to be like Luke Skywalker. Umm... OK. Read the whole atricle over at the Telegraph.

Graffiti AT-AT


Over at /film there is yet another juxtaposition on Star Wars imagery and pop culture, this time in the form a graffiti-tagged AT-AT.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

31-year-old Star Wars mystery solved?


From an article by Jennifer Moody in the Albany Democrat-Herald:
I first saw “Star Wars” at the Capitol drive-in during the summer of 1977. I was 8. I went on to see that movie in the theater four more times, something I’ve never done before or since (I had understanding parents and gullible babysitters, I suppose).
This was, of course, before cable movie channels and pay-per-view and VCRs. When Showtime first aired as a channel, it spent a week or so giving free broadcasts to entice people to buy in. One of the movies shown was “Star Wars.” Happily, I settled down in front of our TV to watch my favorite movie, only to find myself spluttering, a few minutes in: “They cut it! They cut my movie!” The scenes with Biggs, the scenes I remembered on Tatooine and on the Rebel’s moon base, weren’t there.
What happened and how did she see those "cut" scenes? Read the article and find out.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A New Hype

From AFP:

George Lucas has created legendary film heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, but the US director says that in real life, his hero is Barack Obama.
Lucas was in Japan on Wednesday to promote his latest film, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," as Obama clinched the Democratic Party's nomination for president.
"We have a hero in the making back in the United States today because we have a new candidate for president of the United States, Barack Obama," Lucas said when asked who his childhood heroes were.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cut and Paste


On May 25th, 2007, I was on vacation in Hyannis, Massachusetts with my family and we were surprised to see Darth Vader and a stormtrooper outside the post office on the main street. It was, of course, the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars and the release date for the Star Wars postage stamps. (The photo in my profile was taken that day!) We went in and bought some that day.
Now that a year has gone by and postage has gone up, we're going to see less and less of the Star Wars stamps, which is a little sad. I just used the last stamp on the sheet a few weeks ago and it seemed a shame to throw away the background image sheet. So, I cut out the few pictures that remained and gave the DIY stickers to my three and a half year old daughter to make a Star Wars collage and the results are below.
The black ink shape in the lower left is Darth Vader. She also put the letter D close to Vader. I asked her if the D was for Darth Vader and she said it was a D for Dada because she was making the picture for me. I'm the red ink figure just below Darth Vader. She put me in there because I, as she said, "love Star Wars". The little red guy in the extreme lower left is Obi-Wan Kenobi holding a lightsaber and the green crayon figure on the left side about halfway up is a stormtrooper. I asker her what the red ink lines were in the center and she said they were "crazy squiggles". I should have known! She also put a red circle sticker in the center to finish it off. The circle is now complete. Or, the circle now completes it, or something like that... Anyway, my kid made a Star Wars picture! I'm so proud!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Drunk Driving Public Service Announcement from 1979


This is fun.

Lucas: No post-Vader flicks

Over at the LA Times, George Lucas is quoted as saying the strories he wanted to tell ended with Darth Vader.


Thanks to CGI animation, the "Star Wars" saga is coming back to theaters this summer -- but George Lucas said fans shouldn't get their hopes up about any future films that take the epic beyond the point of Darth Vader's death at the end of "Return of the Jedi."

In other words, it ends with the Ewoks.

"Whatever it is that happens afterward," the 63-year-old filmmaker said, "that isn't the core 'Star Wars' story that I like to tell."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mom Wars


My wife read me a fun Star Wars article from Wondertime magazine on our road trip to Las Vegas. It's by a Alice Bradley, a mom-blogger from New Jersey:

In the living room, my husband and son are killing each other. "Zat!" cries Henry. "Zat zat zat! I got you with my lightsaber!" "But I am your faaather..." Scott gasps, clutching his stomach. It's too late. Henry, 5, has gone over to the dark side. There's a lot of killing going on in our house. Most of the carnage occurs on Saturday mornings, although occasionally there's time for a duel or two before school. This can be problematic, since once Henry has his dad's attention, he doesn't want to let go. "But we haven't played at aaaall," Henry will moan, even after they've been whapping at each other for the past hour. It's never enough for Henry — if he could play Star Wars with his dad every minute of the day, he would. He recently told me his idea of the Best Weekend Ever: "Dad and I would play Star Wars," he said, "for two days without stopping. We would go to sleep and wake up and still be playing Star Wars." "That does sound great," I said. I pictured Henry nudging Scott awake with his lightsaber at 6 a.m., his Darth Vader mask affixed to his face. "We meet again," he would intone, while Scott whimpered. Maybe I could go away for the weekend while the boys enjoy their quality time? This might be the Best Weekend Ever for me too...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Star Wars logo, Wal-Mart style


Low prices will be with you. Always.
Click on the picture for a larger version.

Boba Fett-ish


Way back in 1980, Military Modeler magazine, which normally ran articles on 1/35 scale dioramas of World War II German tanks and the like, did a neat little feature on a modified Boba Fett action figure. Because there wasn’t much known about Boba Fett at the time, the modeler assumed there were other Fetts and made up “Deta Fett” so he could take some liberties with the model. I must have read that article ten times in my older brother’s copy of the magazine, which was lost, tossed or sold long ago. Thankfully, Erikstormtrooper.com has kept a record this proto-mod. Check it out here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Coffee with Darth Vader

I've always loved the Death Star conference room scene. It helps introduce us to the capabilities of the Death Star, but more importantly it shows us how wicked bad Darth Vader is when he comes within an inch of killing Admiral Motti using only the Force. The giant-size Marvel Comics version captures it very well.





But wait a minute, what is Darth Vader doing with that piping hot beverage that he levitates across the room? How the heck is he supposed to drink that? Even if he could pour it through his mask, wouldn't it just pour down his chin and his chest, drip into his suit and mess with his electronics?
Interestingly, this little detail was actually included in an early version of the script according to Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays. Since the comic was published before the movie was released, the guys at Marvel had to work with the material they had available.

Welcome to Evil Galactic Empire

Welcome to Evil Galactic Empire. This blog is all about Star Wars - movies, toys, books or whatever I feel like writing about. Enjoy.