Archive for 2009



Atom.com Launches Operation Olivia

StarWars.com Team | July 28, 2009

From the Atom.com community site comes this recap of Saturday’s Star Wars Fan Movie panel with host Olivia Munn, including details and links for further information regarding Operation Olivia, a new way to get involved with the annual Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge:

Olivia Munn joined Lucasfilm’s Bill Gannon and past Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge winners Trey Stokes (Pink Five), Robert Reeves (Padme), and Chris Crawford (Star Wars Gangsta Rap) on Atom’s fan film panel Saturday night at Comic-Con. And the audience followed, with nearly 500 fans packing the room, many of them “OMFG” members from Munn’s fan club, eager to get a close-up look at their idol, discuss Munn’s well-known love of pie, and find out what the Playboy cover girl is looking for in an Operation Olivia contest pitch.

One of the OMFG members in attendance was fellow panelist Reeves, who won last year’s “George Lucas Selects” award for his fan film “Padme.” Reeves presented Munn a pie before the panel, but (sorry Robert) Munn’s pregnant producer, Kristen Rutherford, was overheard saying she was going to eat it before the panel was finished.

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As expected, Munn dominated the panel with tales of her love of Star Wars, and pie. The multitalented actress-sex symbol even indulged in a little beat-boxing for the audience, displaying some highly impressive skillz, before Gangsta Rap’s Crawford one-upped her with a brief but professional-caliber burst of his own.

Read the rest here. Photos courtesy of atom.com.

A Lotta Leias at Comic-Con 2009

StarWars.com Team | July 25, 2009

One of the best parts of being at San Diego Comic-Con is seeing all the costumes — whether it’s a ’70s disco Boba Fett or Star Trek ladies with ’60s bouffants, there’s always something worthy of a Twitpic.

This year, as every year, the Slave Leia Photo Op took center stage. When they weren’t making fanboys drool over at the Gentle Giant booth, they could be spotted gathering together in the Star Wars Pavilion. Luckily for you, Starwars.com was there making sure this get-together wouldn’t be missed.

Check out the rest of the photos here:
Slave Leias at Comic-Con 2009

2009 Fan Movie Challenge Winners

StarWars.com Team | July 25, 2009


(The big winners of the night for Saber!)

Atom and Lucasfilm once again filled a massive Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con International with fans eager to see who would be taking home the coveted golden droid statuettes in the 8th Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge. Special guest presenters Olivia Munn (G4′s Attack of the Show) and Seth Green (Robot Chicken) entertained the crowd, while filmmakers showed off their cinematic tributes to Star Wars.

Out of the 22 finalists, who all had astounding films, here’s a list of the winners who walked away with a golden statue.

George Lucas Selects: Joseph Nicolosi for Star Wars Retold (Award introduced by Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni, and via video, George Lucas)

Audience Choice: Clare Grant, Rileah Vanderbilt, Adam Green and Mike Civitano for Saber (Award introduced by Seth Green)

Best Action: Clare Grant, Rileah Vanderbilt, Adam Green and Mike Civitano for Saber (Award introduced by Olivia Munn)

Best Comedy: Rich Scheirmann for Family Dysfunction (Award introduced by Director of Lucas Online, Bill Gannon)

Best Parody: Jeff Capone for Star Sports Theatrical Trailer (Award introduced by LucasArt Marketing Manager Matt Shell)

Best Animated Movie: Oscar Fabian Triana Mendez for Star Wars in a Notebook (Award introduced by Manager of Content Development at Atom Entertainment, Ian Friedman)

Spirit of Fandom Award: Joe Presswood for Star Wars Cinemagic (Award introduced by Lucasfilm Events Manager Mary Franklin)


(Seth Green presents Audience Choice Award)

Check out more photos of the winners and special guests at the Star Wars Fan Movie Awards here:
Fan Movie Challenge Awards 2009 Flickr Set

Behind the Scenes on The Old Republic

StarWars.com Team | July 24, 2009

At E3 this year, LucasArts and BioWare gave not only their first live demos of The Old Republic  to press, but also released what has quickly become a fan-favorite trailer for the game. The reception has been fantastic. And as more information came out, fans got more excited. It should be no surprise – Knights of the Old Republic is one of the better loved Star Wars videogames, and it came out of this same partnership. Today, Jake Neri from LucasArts moderated a panel to give fans even more insight into exactly what goes into making a game that continually breaks boundaries.

On the panel were some of the senior people from the development team -  Hall Hood (senior writer, BioWare), Alexander Freed (managing editor, BioWare), Dallas Dickinson (senior content producer, BioWare), and Jeff Dobson (art director, BioWare). Jake wasted no time jumping directly into the questions – starting with Dallas who didn’t shy away from a few jokes. “Star Wars: The Old Republic is a Story-Driven Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game – that’s SDMMORPG for those who are Twittering right now. It’s set 3,000 years before the movies and 300 years after the events of the original Knights of the Old Republic.”

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Report from the Star Wars Spectacular 2009

StarWars.com Team | July 24, 2009

This Star Wars Spectacular report may be quite different from others because the Star Wars Spectacular is quite different this year. Joining Lucasfilm’s Head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet on the stage to showcase some of the most exciting upcoming developments this year holds for Star Wars are G4’s Kevin Periera and Olivia Munn from “Attack of the Show.” This Hall H presentation will be broadcast on G4 tomorrow (Saturday, July 24, at 2pm), so those who want as thorough a recap as possible had best catch that show. Still, we want to keep you up to speed on the big beats, so here goes…

Star Wars: In Concert

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The panel presentation started “cold” — with no preamble, no vocal introduction. Just the lights going down, and the massive screen coming to life with a video introduction of Star Wars: In Concert (see the video here).

A surprise presence then took the stage — Anthony Daniels, known to legions of Star Wars fans as C-3PO. “Star Wars [music] has always been one of the key characters in the Star Wars Saga,” said Daniels. “As key as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. We’ve all loved John Williams music as an integral part of the movies. And so I was thrilled to be asked to host what I thought would be a concert, with film clips.”

Daniels described the premiere at the O2 Arena in London, where Star Wars: In Concert first took shape. “I stood on the empty stage looking at the thousands of seats that would soon be filled by fans and music lovers. It felt magical. It felt like home. I felt good.”

Continued Daniels, “This thing was not ‘a concert with clips.’ It was indescribable. It was massive. Not only was I going to retell one of the greatest stories ever. My words would cue all this overwhelming technology.  And all live… no retakes.  Of course being on stage I sort of missed the whole thing. It wasn’t until later, when I saw a recording of the show that I realized just how good it is. I knew it was different but not that it was so extravagantly spectacular and thrilling.”

Star Wars: In Concert begins its Worldwide Tour in Anaheim on October 1. Daniels pointed audience members to www.StarWarsinConcert.com for more information and ticketing.

Welcome Your Hosts

Steve Sansweet next took the stage, a familiar fixture to the Star Wars fan community and the Comic-Con experience. Welcoming the fans, Sansweet quickly described how this Spectacular was different this time round.  “This is the first time ever that a San Diego Comic-Con panel will be televised, but we like being first—just as Lucasfilm was the first film company to bring its story directly to fans with details and photos of a little space fantasy—way back in 1976!” Sansweet teased that next year is the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, and that it’s the perfect opportunity for a Star Wars Celebration. “We don’t have yet have an exact date or place, but we are in the planning stage of Star Wars Celebration V, coming to your galaxy next summer.”

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He invited his co-hosts on to the stage, handing the baton to Kevin and Olivia (who had their hands filled with lightsabers as they dueled their way into stage). To show their devotion to Star Wars fandom, both showed up in costume. Olivia was decked out as sexy (but not Jabba’s slave) Princess Leia. “Now, nothing shows commitment more than strapping yourself into a metal bikini,” quipped Olivia. “But that outfit is – let’s call it: drafty. So I went in a different direction – what do you think?”

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Expanding the Design of The Clone Wars

StarWars.com Team | July 24, 2009

Over the scope of 22 episodes plus a feature film, The Clone Wars series has visually expanded the scope of the Star Wars galaxy immensely. We’ve gone to about 20 planets in the whirlwind that was the first season, and met a variety of alien cultures and creatures. Season two promises to be even richer, and Comic-Con International hosted some of the key members of the artistic team that help put that together at a panel early on Star Wars Day. On hand were Dave Filoni, Supervising Director; Joel Aron, CG Supervisor; Kilian Plunkett, Lead Designer; Danny Keller, Story Artist and Animation Consultant; and moderating the panel was StarWars.com’s own Pablo Hidalgo

“The goal was to create 22 minutes of the best movie to you each and every week,” said Filoni, describing how creator George Lucas kept pushing the envelope on the scope of the story. “If there are 10 clones on the screen, he wants 20. We put 20, he wants 100. Once we get around 100, he wants a thousand. It’s a goal that you simply don’t see every week on an animated series.”

Filoni contrasted the leaps and bounds made by the production team. When the feature film and season one began, Lucasfilm Animation was still being constructed from the ground up. “One simple way to illustrate it very easily, we had Plo Koon — a new character we had built for that. We had three clones that we redressed with different formats. That was largely all we had to build for that episode. No, for the season finale, we had new models of Cad Bane, Aurra Sing, Robonino, a modified pirate for a bounty hunter, a whole bunch of new Senators and background characters. So, just as far as character models, we’ve multiplied what we’re capable of.”

Pablo chimed in – “With that said, is there any temptation to revisit any of the designs done for season one?”

“It’s unavoidable,” said Filoni. “Just because we built Anakin Skywalker, he’s was the first model we built, so he’s needed some of the heaviest redesign that we’ve had to do. The Anakin you see now in Clone Wars, even though he looks relatively the same, is not the same model we used in the movie. In fact, he’s substantially better than the one. We redid the rigs, we redid some of the surface textures.”

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To show an example of how confidence in execution has changed the approach of designing the characters, Kilian showed an image of the original concept maquette of Anakin Skywalker next to the concept maquette for Bail Organa. Whereas the original explorations of Anakin were hard and geometric, Organa was a much more subtle yet still stylized design.

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Panel Report: Star Wars Collectibles

Pete Vilmur | July 24, 2009

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The Star Wars Collectibles panel just wrapped at Comic-Con and the main site has just updated with a video from Gentle Giant and slideshow presentations from eFX and Sideshow Collectibles. Head on over now to check them out!

Panel Report: Hasbro

Pete Vilmur | July 24, 2009

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The much anticipated Hasbro panel just concluded at Comic-Con, and we’ve got the entire presentation available on the main site in a slideshow format — click here to go to the story…

Snapshots from the Fan Club Breakfast

StarWars.com Team | July 24, 2009

This morning marked the seventh not-so-annual Fan Club Breakfast, hosted by Official Pix at the Marriott at the bleary-eyed hour of seven in the morning. This makes for a long day of activities — it’s Star Wars Day at Comic-Con International — but it’s also a great way to start. More than just eggs and sausage, it’s an informal place for fans to gather with representatives from Lucasfilm, Hasbro, Uncle Milton and more.

Here are some snapshots. For a set of pictures from the Breakfast, see this Flickr set here.

Among the guests present is James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon in The Clone Wars.

Supervising Director Dave Filoni.

Dave was on hand to give out raffle prizes to lucky fans, including a set of Mimobot drives.

Perhaps the most coveted prize was an extremely rare autographed George Lucas card, handed out by Doug Yates, Lucasfilm’s Vice President of Marketing, Distribution and Online.

Another highly prized  raffle item: an original 1984 Droids A-wing in excellent condition. Steve Sansweet gives away the prize.

The LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary: From Bricks to Books

StarWars.com Team | July 23, 2009

lego_cov.jpgHard to believe it’s been 10 years since Lucasfilm and LEGO entered into a partnership to feed the world’s astonishing appetite for Star Wars-themed LEGO bricks. When that deal, brokered around the release of The Phantom Menace, came to light, it felt like a natural to many — a match made in collector and kid heaven. But it’s doubtful anyone would have predicted a future filled with smash hit video games, animated shorts and now, a book dedicated to LEGO Star Wars, due out from DK Publishing on October 10, 2009.

Due out in October, the LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary may seem like an odd venture at first, given that previous Star Wars Visual Dictionaries have explored the in-universe details of the saga, applying names and histories to the various bit players, widgets, greeblies and what-have-yous of the visually dense props and costumes. This LEGO edition serves a visually rich guide to the fantastic sets and figures produced by LEGO, a sort of plussed out collector’s bible of the past ten years.

On-hand to discuss it at Comic-Con International were Jonathan Rinzler, Executive Editor at LucasBooks; Rob Johnson, Art Director for the LEGO Group, and Simon Beecroft, author of the book and Publishing Manager for DK Publishing.

“I’ve been championing some kind of LEGO book for years,” said Rinzler. “And finally it all came together… Putting it all together was in many ways a puzzle piece.”

lego03_sm.jpgBeecroft clarified that the book is not merely a catalog of LEGO products, though every set to date is indeed included. “It does follow along the lines of our Visual Dictionaries, in that it attempts to explain things from the universe it occupies. So this takes the point of view from within the LEGO Star Wars universe of sorts.” This is best expressed through themed spreads within the book that often explore a character or faction and its evolution across multiple LEGO sets.

Rinzler explained the narrative voice does switch gears from in-universe, to our universe, occasionally breaking the wall to explain the history of a set or its features as a product. The book includes a timeline of LEGO works, a look behind-the-scenes on the development of sets and mini-figs, as well as a look at LEGO fans. In fact, it was through the generous contributions of one fan, Jeremy Beckett, that the book ended up being as well illustrated as it is.

“We did get a lot of photos. Many from LEGO, but Jeremy also provided so many as well,” said Beecroft.

lego02_sm.jpgJohnson, from LEGO, fielded questions from fans eager to pry any details of future sets, though he remained tight-lipped on specifics. He did say that more Expanded Universe sets — like the Rogue Shadow from The Force Unleashed – were a possibility. He stated that sets dedicated simply to mini-figs were not a possibility due to licensing restrictions — the license to produce Star Wars figures is owned by Hasbro, while LEGO focuses on construction sets. “But, that said, we look to include as many figures as we can in our sets,” he said.

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LEGO Designer Rob Johnson (left); Author Simon Beecroft (Right)

At the end of the presentation, DK Publishing was able to reveal the mini-figure that will be included in the book. “Early in the project, there were a lot of emails flying back and forth between LEGO, Lucasfilm and DK, and one of the subjects that came out was including a mini-figure,” said Rinzler. Of the many suggestions, one stood out as perfectly fitting; click the image below to play the reveal video.

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