Archive for 2009



Comic-Con 2009: Best Costumes

StarWars.com Team | August 4, 2009


(Superman says, “See you next year!”)

What makes San Diego Comic-Con International so much fun is seeing all the fans come out every year dressed up as their favorite superheroes, video game characters, TV show characters, and a bunch of weird mashup costumes you’d be lucky to see at Halloween.

We’ve already profiled our favorite Star Wars costumes this year, but here’s a list of some of the other costumes we loved.


Star Trek:
As much as my allegiance is to Star Wars, I have to admit this was a great year for Star Trek. The new Star Trek movie re-ignited that Vulcan pride many of us had buried deep inside. Plus fans seem to be embracing the retro love for Star Trek characters and uniforms. Live long and prosper indeed!


Lady Deadpool:
The Merc with the Mouth just got sassier! Various Deadpool costumes were roaming around Comic-Con, but it was Lady Deadpool who got the most attention. Stormtroopers, Batman, and even Darth Vader kept looking her way. No word on what Wolverine thought, but we have a feeling that he might rethink his issues with Marvel’s only Bea Arthur-loving mercenary.

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Comic-Con 2009: Robot Chicken/Titan Maximum

StarWars.com Team | August 4, 2009


(Writer/actor Breckin Meyer discusses the benefits of the Robot Chicken Skate Party with co-creator Seth Green.)

As a fan-favorite panel of San Diego Comic-Con International, Robot Chicken has plenty of laughs, inside jokes, unexpected disruptions (one by me), and exclusive clips. This year was no exception. The cast and crew were on hand to chat about the Robot Chicken Skate Party, upcoming skits, as well as give fans a sneak peek at their new sci-fi show, Titan Maximum, which debuts on Adult Swim this September.

On the Robot Chicken/Titan Maximum panel: Doug Goldstein (co-head writer), Chris McKay (director), Breckin Meyer (writer and voice actor), Seth Green (co-creator, writer and voice actor), Matthew Senreich (co-creator of Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum), Tom Root (Robot Chicken writer, producer, director and voice actor and co-creator of Titan Maximum), Kevin Shinick (Robot Chicken writer and director), Mike Fasolo (Robot Chicken writer), Dan Milano (Robot Chicken writer and voice actor; also puppeteer of Greg the Bunny)

Here’s a few highlights from the panel:

On Robot Chicken Skate Party:
Seth and Breckin gave their infomercial attempt at talking up the awesome Robot Chicken Skate Party which is coming to a town near you. It’s a free, all-ages party that’s first-com, first serve. But if you purchase the Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode 2 DVD there’s an early entry voucher in every one that will get you into the line that gets you into the skate party an hour early.

On Titan Maximum:
Titan Maximum is their version of a giant robot fighting force. It’s an intergalactic police force of five components that form into one large indestructible component called Titan Maximum.
Tom Root: “We’ll have these characters flying these ships that look as stupid as possible, and then they’ll form into a giant robot and be as destructive as possible.”
Matt Senreich: “It’s about these teenagers who are defending the universe. And what would that really be like if we told Paris Hilton to defend the universe?”
Seth Green: “You have a princess, you have an animal, you’ve got an overweight dude, you’ve got a nerd. How are these people going to defend the galaxy against super robots and monsters?”
Tom Root: “Tune in and find out.”

On censored skits that never aired:
During Season 1 of Robot Chicken, the writers came up with the Tooth Fairy sketch and the network was convinced it would be the sketch that shut the whole network down. But once it aired, it was so awesome that they said they would never question us again.

On the chance of doing any spoofs on games like Gears of War:
Seth: “Maybe.”

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Comic-Con 2009: Best Star Wars Costumes

StarWars.com Team | August 3, 2009


(Photo by Bonnie Burton)

You can’t walk through San Diego Comic-Con without running into a stormtrooper, Jedi or bounty hunter. As usual, the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion were out in full force, as were the lovely Slave Leias, and some rather unusual and new Star Wars characters.

Here’s a recap of some of the best Star Wars costumes we spotted.


(Photo by Pablo Hidalgo)

Lounge Lords:
There’s something rather satisfying about seeing two of the biddest baddies in Star Wars dressed up in their leisure wear, ready for a cocktail and a good time. These two characters roamed Comic-Con with a certain swagger that only Darth Vader and Boba Fett could pull off. Bravo, gentlemen. Bravo!


(Photo by Robert Casipe)

Fan in Carbonite:
Wearing full stormtrooper armor is constraining. Slave Leia costumes are drafty. But this Fan in Carbonite costume wins for most likely the hardest Star Wars costume ever to navigate through swarms of Comic-Con goers. Color us impressed.

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Comic-Con 2009: Family Guy Spoof Empire

StarWars.com Team | August 3, 2009

Always putting on a show wherever they go, the cast, creator, and writers of Family Guy invaded San Diego Comic-Con with a lot of laughs and some exclusive sneak peeks at their next Star Wars special — this time spoofing The Empire Strikes Back — called Something, Something, Something Darkside.

Here are some of the highlights from the panel.

COMIC-CON PANEL HIGHLIGHTS:


(Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane answers fan questions)

  • The original title of the upcoming Return of the Jedi spoof that they are already working on was originally titled Episode VI: The Great Muppet Caper, but they thought it might be too confusing for people who might be trying to buy the actual Great Muppet Caper. So the title is now We Have a Bad Feeling About This.
  • Something, Something, Something Darkside comes out in Christmas 2009, if they get it done in time.
  • Dominic Polcino is the director, who also directed the Star Wars spoof Blue Harvest.
  • Fan-favorite actor James Woods is returning to Family Guy in an hour-long whodunit Clue episode coming up, and he also has a cameo role in Something, Something, Something Darkside.
  • During Q&A a fan asked if they all enjoy working together. Show creator Seth MacFarlane answered, “We actually do enjoy working with each other. This is a really closely-knit group and we all socialize at lot more than most would on a TV show.” Then the voice actors Seth Green, Mila Kunis, and Alex Borstein agree with MacFarlane by tackling each other with hugs and kisses for the crowd’s enjoyment.


(The voice actors show that they really enjoy working with each other.)


(Family Guy cast members Mila Kunis and Seth Green have some fun.)


Check out all our Family Guy coverage on Starwars.com and on the Official Star Wars Blog.

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Sports

StarWars.com Team | August 3, 2009

Photos/Artwork by Mike LoVerme, Mike Cirelli, and Jeff Capone

As the winner for the Best Parody in the Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Sports ponders what would happen if your favorite Star Wars characters fought against each other through dodgeball, baseball, hockey, basketball, football, soccer and other high school sports.

Starwars.com chats with New Hampshire-based filmmaker Jeff Capone.

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

As a teenager I worked in a video store, and while I was in college I managed a movie theater, so I suppose you could say I was involved with “The Industry” at the distribution level for many years. When I was growing up, digital video technology wasn’t as accessible as it is today so I didn’t get my hands on actual movie making equipment until I attended film school at Emerson College.

Appropriately enough, my first short film was a crudely animated, farcical sequel to Return of the Jedi starring my vintage action figure collection entitled Star Wars: Episode VII: The Rebel Empire. After graduating with a B.S. in Communications, I then went on to earn my master’s degree in Education. Shortly thereafter, I landed my first teaching job in Technology Education and Video Production at Merrimack High School in New Hampshire where I’ve been working since 2003 to build and expand the MHS Videography program.

MHS Videography is the television production program at Merrimack High School in southern New Hampshire. Since 2004 we have been creating everything from feature length movies to promotional videos for the high school as well as for Merrimack TV’s Community and Education Channels. Our continuing goal is to help students develop professional communications skills and gain real-world experience in media production at the high school level.

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

George Lucas’ vision demonstrated, for me, the power of imagination above all else. Films like American Graffiti and Star Wars tapped in to what younger generations were really feeling and experiencing, then and now. They captured the wonder and the potential for adventure inherent in every apparently “ordinary” life.

Lucas’ filmmaking process also proved that groundbreaking and lasting movie experiences like these can be created with limited resources. Books and documentaries about the making of Star Wars and his other movies instilled me with a mindset for innovation from the moment first I got my hands on a 16mm Bolex camera, to the present with my supercharged MacBook Pro.

His ongoing commitment to technological innovation at the professional level has resulted in the creation of tools I and my students use to make our movies today. His endorsement of fan films and their creators has paved the way for now-classic projects like Troops, Pink Five, and Ryan Vs. Dorkman. These pioneers of fan filmdom showed that amateur filmmakers could also make effective and entertaining movies with a great idea and a minimal budget.

With Lucas’ support, fan films have emerged to find larger audiences and a renewed sense of value and legitimacy. It’s become a respectable art form that takes creators who are typically found in the “outer rim territories” of the filmmaking world and suddenly thrusts them into the galactic core of the Star Wars magic. All of these factors were monumental in motivating us to develop our own brand of Star Wars fan film.

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Milo Ventimiglia Inducted By 501st Legion

StarWars.com Team | July 31, 2009

In addition to the 501st Legion uniting Star Wars fans worldwide, it also likes to recognize those people who contribute their time and talents to the Star Wars community in special way. 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, one such person was recognized by the Southern California Garrison for his continual support of the 501st Legion as well as for his undying love for all things Star WarsHeroes actor Milo Ventimiglia.

Already well-known as a hardcore Star Wars fan as well as a fan of the 501st, Milo also supports real-life troops fighting overseas by working with the military veterans organization Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

Southern California Garrison XO Lesley Farquhar, who sponsored Milo’s induction, had this to say about their newest Friend of the 501st:

“Milo Ventimiglia has been a great Star Wars fan for years. Not only does he have fun with the lightsaber battles and props, but another similarity we have is our devotion to charity work. The 501st Legion is noted for its charity work for soldiers around the world, and this is something Milo has a passion for as well. Anyone with that kind of passion for charity and love for the genre fits right in! Now we just need to get him in armor!”

Milo was presented a custom plaque, coin and custom name badge commemorating his “Friend of the 501st” relationship with the 501st Legion. Keeping with tradition, the induction was a complete surprise to Milo who was ambushed by the Southern California garrison, and myself, at the end of his Top Cow comics panel at Comic-Con where he was promoting the two new comic titles his production company DiViDe Pictures is supporting — Rest and Berserker.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Saber

StarWars.com Team | July 30, 2009

As the winner for the Best Action and Audience Choice awards for the Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and Atom, Saber depicts a Cantina dream come true for many fanboys and fangirls alike. Starwars.com chats with Los Angeles-based filmmakers and stars of Saber — Clare Grant and Rileah Vanderbilt.

What is your background in film?

Clare: I actually studied theater in college at the University of Memphis, where I met a local director, Craig Brewer who encouraged me to gravitate more towards film by casting me in small roles in his local Memphis indy films.

Rileah: I never studied film in college, but I was very active in plays and sketches when I was younger. I’ve always wanted to be an actor as far back as I can remember!

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

Clare: Rileah and I met waiting tables at the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. We were stunned when we realized we shared a deep love for Star Wars and many other geeky things. We would serve drinks and pasta to folks all night and daydream together about how awesome it would be to actually fight with lightsabers on film. Ya know, just for us, so we could watch it whenever we wanted to make ourselves happy.

George Lucas made the most influential movies for me and Rileah. I’m pretty sure she, like I, walk around narrating our daily lives with Star Wars and Indy theme music.

Rileah: Yes, this is true! Clare and I have always been very much into sci-fi and fantasy. When we first sat down and decided to do an online project together, Los Angeles was in the middle of a writers’ strike, there weren’t any movies or TV shows getting made. Clare and I were very frustrated and fed up with waiting around for people to give us opportunities.

So we decided to produce and act in our own project. Saber was a way for us to not only be in charge of our own destiny, but hopefully also a calling card to lead to other opportunities. When deciding what really spoke to us, Star Wars was a logical choice since we both have such a love for that universe.

Thanks to George Lucas, I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since the first time I watched the movie back when I was a kid! Movies like Star Wars and Indiana Jones are what really prompted me to want to become an actress. I’ve always wanted to do movies that had the same action, adventure and fantasy that Star Wars had. On a more nerdy level, I named my cat Chewbacca (aka Chewie) after everyone’s favorite Wookiee, and I have a pretty nice replica Princess Leia slave costume.

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Comic-Con 2009: Clone Wars Voice Actors in Action

StarWars.com Team | July 30, 2009


(L to R: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, James Arnold Taylor, Dave Filoni)

At San Diego Comic-Con International, Lucasfilm Director of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet chats with Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice actors James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon), Dee Bradley Baker (all the clone troopers), and Tom Kane (Yoda, Clone Wars announcer) — as well as supervising director Dave Filoni — about their process, character building and why it’s so much to act like more than two characters at once. The cast also talks a little about their support of the original voice cast of Futurama reprising their roles during salary disputes.

How important is it to cast the right voice for an animated series?

Dave Filoni: At the end of the day we need actors to bring the characters to life with dimension and emotion. We’re not trying to mimic previous actors, but instead take nice notes of things from Ewan McGregor or Alec Guinness, but ultimately you have to be Obi-Wan Kenobi. For Dee with the clones, he had to invent how you do that kind of role and not just mimic a certain sound or tone.

What’s harder to do — voicing an established character like Obi-Wan Kenobi or coming up with a voice for a character that’s never spoken before like Plo Koon?

James Arnold Taylor: Well, there’s more pressure because you’re doing Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness and you combine them both and hopefully get something that the fans like. And if I’m doing it right, you’re not hearing me, or Ewan or Alec, you’re hearing Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Plo Koon was great though because it’s Dave Filoni’s favorite, and he was great to do the voice for. And I have to give Matt Wood a lot of credit too because he takes it and turns it into this whole other thing. There’s also more freedom in playing Plo Koon.

Dee, your clone voices are all alike and yet they’re not alike. You have to come up with individual personalities. An excellent example of this is in the season one episode “Rookies.” How do you make all of these characters seem different?

Dee Bradley Baker: It was very important for us to try and maintain distinct personalities and feel for each of the clones — which is something we try to do in all of the episodes. So we recorded each of the clones, straight through on their own — giving them different status, different ages, personality quirks. Giving them slight adjustments from the basic voice — a little younger, or a little gruffer. Then when you piece them all together they feel like they are distinct humans — which adds humanity to these heroic soldiers.

James Arnold Taylor: I always wonder if the clones sit around and do imitations of each other. Or have them talk to each others’ girlfriends. (laughs)

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Comic-Con 2009: The Empire Muggs Back

StarWars.com Team | July 29, 2009

If you were at San Diego Comic-Con International this year then you may have spotted our display cases featuring customized Star Wars Mighty Mugg art pieces for The Empire Muggs Back — a charity art show to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The cases showed off Mighty Muggs from toy designers, graffiti artists, tattoo artists, comic book artists, Star Wars artists, Robot Chicken model makers, puppeteers, and artists, and even a few celebrities like Clone Wars director Dave Filoni, Fanboys director Kyle Newman, actress Jaime King, and The Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin.

In addition to checking out the display, fans were able to pick up info cards and limited-edition pins (a different pin passed out each day of Comic-Con). All participating artists get pins and an Empire Muggs Back t-shirt.

Here’s some photos of The Empire Muggs Back at Comic-Con:


(The Clone Wars director Dave Filoni poses with his Aurra Sing and Cad Bane Mighty Muggs.)


(Robot Chicken and Shadow Machine’s Rebecca Van Cleve poses with her Ackbar cereal art.)

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Comic-Con 2009: Robot Chicken Skate Party!

StarWars.com Team | July 28, 2009

Boba Fett and Princess Leia on roller skates? Imperial Slow Skate? A dancing Robot Chicken? Now your spicy food-triggered dreams have come true thanks to the Robot Chicken Skate Party, which launched off their Robot Chicken on Wheels Tour at San Diego Comic-Con International.

Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, other Robot Chicken cast and crew, Clone Wars director Dave Filoni, members from Rebel Legion and the 501st Legion, roller derby girls, RC fans and Comic-Con attendees laced up their roller skates and danced the night away to an ’80s soundtrack that would put any John Hughes movie to shame.

VIDEO: Robot Chicken San Diego Skate Party!

In addition to roller skating, party goers could get their photo taken with a bigger than life-sized Robot Chicken mascot, as well as in front of the Robot Chicken backdrop with lightsaber props!

Here’s a few snapshots from the party:


(Seth Green in the house!)


(Robot Chicken‘s co-creator Matthew Senreich and Lucasfilm Animation’s Meagan Finnerty.)

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