Archive for 2009

Pete Wentz Ponders Darth Vader Team | October 11, 2009

Fans already know that the Force is strong with Fallout Boy’s Pete Wentz, and these tweets about his thoughts regarding Darth Vader just add to the rock star’s geek cred.

You can follow Pete Wentz on Twitter here.

Star Wars in Concert: San Jose

Bonnie Burton | October 11, 2009

(Photo by Matt Martin)

Now that Star Wars in Concert is in full swing, touring around the United States, we’re excited to see what fans are saying about the spectacular show.

During the Star Wars in Concert performance in San Jose, Lucasfilm’s own Matt Martin showed fans images during the performance as well as of the Star Wars props and costumes on display.

(Photo by Matt Martin)
“Across the Stars at Star Wars in Concert!”

(Photo by Matt Martin)
“Imperial March at Star Wars in Concert!”

(Photo by Matt Martin)
“Leia’s theme at Star Wars in Concert!”


Star Wars in Concert: Los Angeles

Bonnie Burton | October 11, 2009

(Photo by Rob Sheridan)

As the Star Wars in Concert tours around the United States, it’s always fun for us to see what fans are saying about the spectacular show.

During the Star Wars in Concert performance in Los Angeles, George Lucas and a few other celebs came to be wowed by the show.

Below are some of the comments and photos from director/photographer Rob Sheridan, director Kyle Newman and C-3PO himself Anthony Daniels.


Jabba Jam?

Bonnie Burton | October 9, 2009

The next time you’re looking for the perfect topping for your Darth Vader toast, consider using Strawberry or Mandarin Orange Jabba Jam. Of course, you’ll have to make your own jam because it’s no longer on store shelves.

Novelty story Archie McPhee tried to make a jam as a worthy add-on to their Jabba toys, but it never really took off.

Archie McPhee Blog writes:

In the early 1990s, we found some musty boxes of Jabba the Hutts on the third floor of an open air parking garage in downtown Chicago. We haggled down to ten cents each for the Jabba heads and slightly more for the whole Jabbas. We had greedy visions of rabid Star Wars fans beating down our door for this rarity. Once we offered them up for sale, the whole Jabbas sold quickly, but the pieces didn’t move at all. What were we supposed to do with thousands of Jabba heads and arms?

We decided to match them with plastic fruit slices that didn’t sell and turn them into jam! This was back in the days when anyone with Print Shop considered themselves a graphic designer, so it took no time at all to print out the labels and bottle Jabba.

We never sold a single one. Like Boba Fett in the belly of the almighty Sarlacc, they sat on the store shelves and in our warehouse gathering dust for years. No one is entirely sure what happened to them. Some think they went in Surprise Bags, others think they were sold to the Science Fiction Museum at vastly inflated prices. The only thing we know for sure is that we wish they were in that warehouse fire and we had never seen them at all.

Click to see the image bigger here:
Jabba Jam

Darth Vader on the National Cathedral Team | October 7, 2009

If you picked up Dan Brown’s new best-selling thriller The Lost Symbol, you might have noticed a very interesting tangent in the mystery about the hidden carving of Darth Vader on the Washington National Cathedral.

In the 1980s, while the west towers were under construction, Washington National Cathedral held a decorative sculpture competition for children. Word of the competition was spread nationwide through National Geographic World Magazine. The third-place winner was Christopher Rader, with his drawing of that fearful villain, Darth Vader. The fierce head was sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter, carved by Patrick J. Plunkett, and placed high upon the northwest tower of the Cathedral.

First, bring binoculars! Darth Vader is very difficult to see by the naked eye. Leave the building through the ramp entrance at the northwest corner of the nave, through the double wooden doors of Lincoln Bay. Go down the ramp, and step into the parking lot. Then, turn around and look back up at the tower closest to you. Near the top of the tower is a gablet, or small peaked roof, located between the two huge louvered arches. At the bottom of each slope of this gablet is a carved grotesque. Darth Vader is on the north, or right-hand, side. There is a carved skull situated on a gablet much closer to the ground that many people often mistake for Darth Vader. From this skull, Darth Vader is up and to the left.

Download a PDF of the self-guided tour here.

Read more about it here:
Darth Vader: Star Wars Villain on the Northwest Tower

Yoda: See Lee Strasberg

Bonnie Burton | October 7, 2009

The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is world-famous as the place to learn Method Acting. Some of the greatest actors on film studied there such as Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Harris, Paul Newman and Al Pacino.

At the institute, Lee Strasberg was a respected and beloved teacher whom the actors nicknamed Yoda for his wisdom, humor, and stature.

It’s easy to see the comparisons between Yoda and Strasberg when he would tell his students: “Don’t plan. Be.”

So when reading her best-selling memoir Official Book Club Selection, we were excited to learn that comedian and actress Kathy Griffin mentioned the affectionate Jedi Master nickname in her book.

Strasberg would come to the Institute, too. We called him Yoda (his looks had a little something to do with it.)

Found on Ebay: 1978 Star Wars Knock-offs

Pete Vilmur | October 6, 2009


I have to admit, I have a weakness for early Star Wars knock-off items, as my sporadic posting of such pieces here will prove. It’s pretty rare to come across early examples of toys that were directly inspired by Star Wars but unsanctioned by Lucasfilm, and even more rare to come across toys I’ve never seen. Happily, in the rich universe of Star Wars collecting, you never know what you’re gonna find on the dark side of Yavin’s fourth moon.


What makes this set so interesting, aside from its obvious flirtation with infringement, is the accessories each figure comes packaged with. In addition to “Vader’s” space sword, gun, and shield, he gets an interchangeable mechanical arm. Ok, not a stretch. But how about the C-3PO knock-off — a “TV Camera” and “TV Walkie Talkie”? The quasi-Wookiee is also endowed with a mechanical arm and TV walkie talkie, along with a somewhat pointless “Space Pack”. Don’t even get me started on the space sword and pistol the astro-quack gets.


Kaiser Chiefs Use the Force on Set Team | October 5, 2009

Behind the scenes hi-jinks on a music video set are always fun when you add a few Star Wars fanboy moments. Here the lads from the Kaiser Chiefs have a laugh while making their music video “Good Days Bad Days.” Watch them throw virtual logs and large prop rocks at each other while doing their best Ben Kenobi impressions. Bravo boys, bravo!

WATCH VIDEO: Kaiser Chiefs: On the set of Good Days Bad Days, Part 2

Star Wars: In Concert Opens

Pete Vilmur | October 2, 2009


While The Clone Wars second season premiere debuts tonight, a second major Star Wars event is also making a debut of sorts, although it had a one night head start on Clone Wars — yup, Star Wars: In Concert opened its US tour last night at Anaheim’s Honda Center in California, and continues with a second performance tonight (that’s a double-hit for fans attending the concert and taping the Clone Wars premiere at home!)

Last night, thousands of audience members got to witness a brand new Star Wars experience for the first time in the US, one that included not only a live orchestra and choir conducted magnificently by Dirk Brossé, but also synchronized footage from all six Star Wars movies beaming from a huge high-def LED super-screen, a recorded intro by Vader voice actor James Earl Jones, and a brilliant series of introductions for each musical piece performed live by actor Anthony Daniels, who was able to thread the sequence of scores into a singular narrative spanning Episodes I-VI (in that order). Oh, and there were a few lasers and pyrotechnics thrown in for good measure.

Photo by David Iskra

While the narrative unfolded in episode order, the selected musical pieces roughly followed chronologically as well, but not exactly. For the Star Wars audiophiles out there, here’s the themes in the order played:


Star Wars: In Concert — Rehearsal, Exhibit, and Merch

Pete Vilmur | October 1, 2009


The rehearsals for tonight’s performance of Star Wars: In Concert at the Honda Center in Anaheim have concluded, and we’ve updated our Flickr series with a bunch of fresh imagery straight from the stage, exhibit, and merchandise booth!

Even in rehearsals, the stage presentation is awesome — brilliant, sharp imagery, live orchestra, synchronized lighting effects — a fully-immersive experience. The prop exhibit includes a few gems we’ve never seen on display before — can you pick them out? And there’s a whole bunch of new merchandise available exclusively to concert-goers at this event, many of which we’re sharing in the Flickr series — so what are you waiting for? Head on over now!



Be sure to check back tomorrow for a full write-up on tonight’s performance of Star Wars: In Concert — it is stacking up to be one unforgettable night!