Archive for 2009



Death Star Over San Francisco Wallpaper

StarWars.com Team | August 19, 2009

If you loved watching the Death Star loom over San Francisco (while often taking out a Star Trek ship) by filmmaker Michael Horn, you’ll dig this lovely wallpaper snapshot. Now you can leave your heart (and Star Destroyer) in the City by the Bay.

Download the wallpaper here:
That’s No Moon!

Even more desktop images here:
Star Wars West Coast Defense

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Family Dysfunction

StarWars.com Team | August 16, 2009

As the winner for the Best Comedy Award presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Family Dysfunction shows the story of Darth Vader’s illegitimate son who idolizes him as a child, hates him as a teen and thinks he’s an old, washed-up Sith Lord as he enters his twenties.

Starwars.com chats with Arizona-based filmmaker Rich Scheirmann about his fan movie.

What is your background in film?

I made my first film at the age of eight or nine. It was an 8mm stop-animation short staring Star Wars action figures. Since then, my love of film and video has matured. In college, I received three degrees all in the cinema realm. Performance wise, I’ve done everything from stand-up comedy to stage performances and television hosting. Over the years, I’ve participated or created well over a hundred videos.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? Have you made a fan film before?

I remember being a kid and watching a documentary on Star Wars. The one thing that has stuck with me over all the years was Mr. Lucas’ tenacity. Over the last few decades, his aversion to complacency has brought about the largest technical advancements in film. Where would we be without THX, ILM and Lucasfilm’s digital evolution? I know I’d still be making 8mm stop animation flicks.

Where did you get your idea for your film?

The Skywalker family is the poster child for dysfunction. My original idea was a mock reality show that would explore the inadequacies of the Vader clan. I wanted it to be The Osbournes in space — only with lightsabers. This was a test run.

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Star Wars Bedrooms: AT-AT Loft! Y-wing Bed!

Bonnie Burton | August 12, 2009

Star Wars fans are a crafty bunch, and when they make over a room to celebrate their love for the saga, they don’t mess around. Just this week, two separate extreme Star Wars rooms popped up on blogs inspiring us all to do something more with our ordinary living spaces.

Y-wing Bed:
Sure we’ve all daydreamed about flying in the cockpit of our very own Y-wing, but why not sleep in one? Check out more photos here.

AT-AT Loft:
Or perhaps you want to sleep knowing that your bed can take you to the far reaches of Hoth? Check out this video and tutorial on how to make your own Imperial Walker Loft Bed.

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SOURCES: Gizmodo, Instructables, Club Jade

Nathan Fillion Has Jedi Skills

StarWars.com Team | August 11, 2009

Actor Nathan Fillion is one of those actors who makes everything he touches awesome. He gave us the creeps as the evil preacher Caleb in the last epic season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He gave Han Solo a (parsec) run for his money as one of the hottest, most sarcastic heartthrobs in the galaxy as Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly and Serenity. He made us laugh as the egostical and dubious superhero Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

He won our admiration when he urged his legions of Twitter followers to vote in the Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge.

And now, most recently, Fillion snuck in a Star Wars reference into his new detective show Castle. Sure the writers wrote the dialog, but Fillion talking about Jedi skills is full of awesome.

Novelist Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett have a discussion about how long she dated her ex boyfriend who just so happens to be an F.B.I. agent on the current case.

Beckett: “Six months.”

Castle: “Six months, what?

Beckett: “We dated for six months.”

Castle: “I didn’t ask.”

Beckett: “Yeah, I know. You were not asking very loudly.”

Castle: “I know, I’m like a Jedi like that.”

WATCH Castle here

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars: Cinemagic

StarWars.com Team | August 10, 2009

As the winner for the Spirit of Fandom Award presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars: Cinemagic takes a look at the Star Wars saga as an exciting ride through cinematic history.

Starwars.com chats with Texas-based filmmaker Joseph T. Presswood III.

What is your background in film? Did you make films as a youngster/teen?

I started back into film about six years ago, I had wanted to study film in college but the cost of getting a degree and the chances of getting a job didn’t balance out in my mind. I ended up getting my degree in Advertising from Texas State. Later, I would take film classes at night at Houston Community College (HCC). As a child I played a lot with the camera. One of the first videos my parents have is of me opening one of my gifts and getting excited when I see it’s a plastic film camera. I looked at Dad and said, “Santa gave me a movie ejector!”

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? Have you made a fan film before?

I made Star Wars: Cinemagic three years ago for the 2007 Fan Movie Challenge but missed the deadline that year. The idea was to have something for the 30th anniversary of A New Hope. I thought it was a cool idea to do a short film that takes the audience on a trip through memory lane of the Star Wars universe.

I made a short called Pinball Wars back in 2004. The main difference is back then I didn’t make the short for the competition. I did Pinball Wars after I tried to make a film based on a George Carlin monologue for our class final at HCC. I spent a lot of time on that script and it didn’t work. The camera operator and lighting technician didn’t show and it was a disaster. So not to be embarrassed, I grabbed my brother and my dad’s camera and started filming Dave playing a pinball machine. I was watching a lot of Twilight Zone at the time and thought the man vs. machine angle on a Star Wars pinball machine was cool. My teacher liked it and told me about the competition. Was an amazing experience and I met a lot of talented directors at Comic-Con that year. Had a wonderful time!

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20th Century Faux

StarWars.com Team | August 10, 2009

xwing.jpg

io9.com recently posted a nifty set of crafted photos that depict an imaginary 20th century filled with various examples of Star Wars hardware — astromechs in World War I bi-planes, scout walkers storming a World War II beachhead, TIE bombers bombarding a seaborne destroyer and more. Here’s the description from io9:

Part-Star Wars homage, part-alternate history, If Star Wars Was Real retells the history of the 20th century with some added players, offering up a Photoshopped-fantasia of nerditry and “What If”s.

Check out the images at io9.com.

Star Wars Felt Finger Puppets

Bonnie Burton | August 10, 2009

We’re a big fan of Star Wars finger puppet crafts. So when we spotted these adorkable finger puppets made by Heather Mann from Make and Takes blog, we had to blog it!

Heather writes:

Tips: If you have specific characters in mind (like these Star Wars guys), I recommend doing a quick sketch in your sketchbook so you know what pieces to cut out. I glued additional pieces to the backs of the heads to reinforce the puppets, since regular craft felt is not very stiff.

Not confident in your drawing skills? No worries – just use basic shapes like triangles (body), ovals and circles (heads). You can always pre-cut shapes out to trace to make it easier. Don’t get too detailed in extra body parts (see how I simplified the faces and the arms/feet?).

Also, don’t be too critical of your art skills!! This is very important. Your child won’t care if everything looks perfect, and will learn a lot from seeing you create without criticizing yourself! This will not be graded!

Check out the full craft here:
Star Wars Felt Finger Puppets (via Make and Takes)

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars in a Notebook

StarWars.com Team | August 6, 2009

As the winner for the Best Animated Movie presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars in a Notebook captured the imagination of what Star Wars would look like recreated with paper cut-outs in a notebook.

Starwars.com chats with Columbia-based filmmaker Oscar Fabián Triana Méndez.

What is your background in film? Did you make films as a youngster/teen?

I studied Graphic Design on the National University of Colombia, and last year I finished the new specialization in animation program at the same college. My first animated short-film, UnoCero (One-Zero) was made on 2003 while I was studying. It’s an animated film about a student who must choose his studies or the last minutes of a historic soccer game — our national team against Germany in the Italia ’90 World Cup.

Later, I was working for several years “pioneering” video game development here, and from the last year, I just came back to the storytelling and narrative side of animation. On the specialization program, I made a couple of short films and experiments, from stop-motion to rotoscopy, and a main project called ImaGeForce. It’s not finished yet but it touches a lot of points that I developed later in Star Wars in a Notebook like kids, memories and spaceships.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How have George Lucas and his films influenced your work?

I have been following the fan films and the Atom site for a really long time — way back to high school. For years I wanted to enter the Fan Movie Challenge but I never had enough time to make a film until this year. I have always loved all things about heroes, robots, outer space, as any kid, and years later in college. Star Wars was, and is, the obligated reference as a key piece on the audiovisual medium.

My first contact with the films was halfway through middle school, a couple of years before Episode I. When I saw the original movies on VHS, and the new one in the cinema, I was blown way! I even made a pod racer model for a physics class. It was the time when I was thinking, “Hmm, what I’m going to do? What career fits best for me?” Watching the “making of” TV specials, and interviews with the artists behind the movies I said, as many people have been doing on the last 30 years, “This is something that I want to do; create amazing worlds, characters and adventures!”

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Kyle Newman Inducted By 501st Legion

StarWars.com Team | August 4, 2009

Photos: Lesley Farquhar

In addition to the 501st Legion uniting Star Wars fans worldwide, the group also recognizes those special people who contribute their time and talents to the Star Wars community. These people who support of the 501st and Star Wars fandom are called “Friends of the 501st Legion.”

During San Diego Comic-Con International 2009, the Southern California Garrison recognized Fanboys director Kyle Newman for his continual support of the 501st Legion as well as for his undying love for all things Star Wars.

Southern California Garrison XO Lesley Farquhar had this to say about their newest Friend of the 501st:

“We wanted Kyle Newman to be in the Legion for the simple fact that he’s as much of a fan as we are! His work on Fanboys shows his dedication to the Star Wars genre, and of course — by asking us to help out with various aspects of the film, he definitely made fans of us!”

Sponsored by garrison members Dan Wolsey and Kit Sovine, Kyle was presented a custom plaque, coin and custom name badge commemorating his “Friend of the 501st” relationship with the 501st Legion. The induction was a complete surprise to Kyle who was there just to take a fun photo with his favorite troopers.

Starwars.com chats with Kyle about his induction and why he’s honored to be officially part of the 501st Legion.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars: Retold

StarWars.com Team | August 4, 2009

As the winner for the George Lucas Selects Award in the Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars: Retold shows what can happen when someone who thinks they remember all the little plot points of Star Wars attempted to retell it, with hilarious results.

Starwars.com chats with Texas-based filmmaker Joe Nicolosi Jr.

What is your background in film?

I’ve been making films since the day my father brought home the first family camcorder. My first project was a stop-motion animation feature film done totally with LEGOs. Years later, I studied film at Ithaca College in New York where I continued exploring animation and live-action filmmaking as well as writing and theater.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film?

I made this film because I was inspired by how passionately someone who had never seen Star Wars thought she could tell the story. Star Wars was my favorite film growing up and is a big reason I make films today.

Where did you get your idea for your film?

My friend Amanda hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars films, so I was trying to convince her to watch them with me. She was reluctant and stubborn at first because she’d seen so much of the story in pop culture references, like through Family Guy and Kevin Smith films. She started telling me the story as she knew it and I told her to hold on while I got my video camera.

What are some of the technical aspects of your film?

I recorded Amanda’s retelling using my Panasonic DVX100a and cut the audio track in Apple’s Final Cut Pro. I used Adobe Photoshop to cut out all the characters and background and for the photo manipulation I did. I took all the elements back into Final Cut where I did my very crude animations.

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