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Archive for 2011
Star Wars undoubtedly owes the Western gunslinger for helping to shape the characters that populate its universe (see Five Westerns Every Star Wars Fan Should See) — a debt that artist figure customizer Sillof has paid in spades.
A recent update to Sillof’s Workshop includes five entries to his “West Wars” series of custom figures, which marries the Star Wars universe with the design sensibilities of the Old West. From the site:
West Wars is a line of custom figures that continues my experiment of breaking down Star Wars many elements and emphasizing them individually. The original trilogy, especially A New Hope, were influenced by westerns. The dusty small frontier towns, the seedy cantina, the quick draw shootouts, etc. This line is intended to be fully western with no other elements. For further authenticity all the names are actual combinations of historical lawmen and outlaws of the American West.
As an addendum to our original post about the “Vader is Luke’s father” spoiler appearing in the April 1978 issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors, Star Wars author Ryder Windham recently sent us a heads-up on another instance of this spoiler showing up in early 1978:
“Earlier today, I found myself perusing the first issue of Future magazine, cover date April 1978,” says Windham. “The issue has a ‘Databank’ feature for ‘News Items from the World of the Present’ on pages 6-7, and includes this entry for Star Wars…”
“In the realm of the Wars, George Lucas has approached all of the original film’s principals, including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Dave Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker. Noted SF author Leigh Brackett has been approached with the task of writing the screenplay for the big-budgeted sequel. One of the key elements in the second script may be the origin of the Dark Lord, Darth Vader. One version of his life being considered for the forthcoming production will reveal a young, handsome Darth turning rogue Jedi, killing Luke Skywalker’s father and being pushed into a pool of molten lava by avenging angel Ben Kenobi. Darth is so badly scarred that he dons his black armor forever. It serves as a combination exoskeleton and walking iron lung. The second version portrays Darth as being, in reality, Luke Skywalker’s father. After a psychological trauma, Luke’s father succumbs to the darker nature of The Force and allows all that is good within him to die. And rising from the ashes of his soul is Darth, the arch-foe of all that is righteous. Whatever Vader’s fate in the as-yet-embryonic script, the film began pre-production in London in January.”
The first scenario mentioned – the one where Vader is pushed into molten lava by Kenobi – was likely lifted from a Rolling Stone interview with George Lucas in 1977. The source for the second scenario – the father one – is uncertain, unless the reporter was within earshot of Prowse’s comments recorded at the October 1977 Horror Elite Convention (and referenced in our original post).
In any case, that cat was out of the bag by April ’78, although it fortunately didn’t get picked up by the mainstream media, allowing the Dark Lord’s identity — as Kenobi says — to remain safely anonymous until 1980.
In the episode “The Twisted Bones in the Melted Truck” in the hit crime drama Bones, a murder investigation is cracked wide open thanks to someone buying Star Wars collector cards for way more than they are worth. Great to see Star Wars collecting being used to solve a murder case!
This isn’t the first time Dr. Sweets has dropped some Star Wars references on Bones, but it’s the coolest!
WATCH FULL EPISODE: Bones: “The Twisted Bones in the Melted Truck”
Dr. Sweets: “I see you bought Star Wars trading cards.”
Suspect Kathy Lyford: “Yeah, growing up me and my brother were all fans of the Force.”
Sweets: “I understand. I’m a Star Warrior myself. (In C-3PO’s voice) Don’t you call me a mindless philosopher you over-weight glob of grease.
Suspect: “Excuse me?”
Sweets: “C-3PO. I sounded just like him…from Star Wars. It’s like the most quoted line in the movie.”
Suspect: “Yeah. Of course.”
Sweets: “Can you explain to me why you spent $500 on a Jedi Knight trading card with a red border when it’s value is less than a dollar?”
Suspect: “I don’t know. I guess I made a mistake.”
Sweets: “What about The Clone Wars card you bought last month? Again you spent $500 but you could probably find it right now online for 50 cents.”
Suspect: “When I get stressed, I shop. You don’t have to make it into a big deal.”
Sweets: “I’m not making this into anything it’s not. I assure you.”
IEEE Spectrum Editor Erico Guizzo writes:
Last month I posted a video of Bruno Maisonnier, founder and CEO of Aldebaran Robotics, showing off the newly enhanced Nao humanoid robot. Then several people asked me to see the full sequence of Nao doing its Star Wars act, with hilarious impressions of Darth Vader and R2-D2.
WATCH VIDEO: Nao Robot Does Star Wars
More info here:
Nao Robot Does Star Wars – via IEEE Spectrum
In the recent partial solar eclipse, astrophotographer Thierry Legault took an epic snapshot of all the action. But wait, what is that tiny little thing to the left….?
Here’s a closer look:
Yup. Clearly a TIE fighter.
Read more here:
INSANELY awesome solar eclipse picture – via Discover magazine
Cambridge University head librarian for the university’s Judge Business School Andy Priestner recently blogged about his perspective on Jocasta Nu and the Jedi Archives.
It’s entertaining and informative, to say the least, to read a real librarian’s take on what it would be like to run the Jedi Archives.
I was fascinated by its incredibly old-fashioned approach to the electronic library with shelves upon shelves of what appeared to be e-books and very few computer terminals.
Apparently they were known as the Stacks and they are ‘holobook’ shelves (thought so) each containing ‘trillions of datatapes and datacards, carefully sorted and arranged into categories and subcategories’. So yes, Jocasta Nu in her infinite Jedi wisdom bought trillions of ebooks and decided that the best thing to do is to file them away on physical shelves (presumably cases with datachips in them?). Which is precisely what I think some librarians would love to do now if they had the chance!
I’m assuming that the lack of terminals is is to do with the proliferation of hand-held Jedi devices, but Wookiepedia is silent on this, although we are told that the few computer terminals that are there are linked to the main index catalog. Which leads me on to muse that it would be a very brave LAS vendor who would take on the huge Jedi Archives! Apparently the Library catalogue is touchscreen, so I hope there are plenty of monitor-wiping droids about.
Read more here:
As someone always on the lookout for rare old Star Wars photos, I was pleased to discover Forbes.com’s Geek Beat columnist David M. Ewalt had unearthed a cool old gem from the vaguely-documented “Star Wars Holiday Special” of 1978, which we actually lent a bit of coverage to a couple years ago.
While researching a couple of those pieces, I came across a rare Associated Press image of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in photocopied articles from 1978, but couldn’t locate the original in Lucasfilm’s expansive Image Archives (apparently, wire photos were not automatically sent to LFL for approval and/or cataloging). Enter Ewalt’s Geek Beat column, which appears to have located the original shot of Ford and Fisher in a rare backstage moment captured by AP photographer George Brich.
Ah, to be a fly on the wall to hear what Ford is sharing with Fisher before their next Holiday Special take…
French dance music duo Daft Punk (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) have been doing a lot of press lately for their work on the soundtrack for the Tron sequel. This interview with Los Angeles Times caught our attention mainly for their awesome shout out to Star Wars and how it influenced their iconic helmet costumes.
Of course, we knew of Daft Punk’s love of Star Wars thanks to their cameo in last year’s Force-tastic adidas Originals commercial.
So it had to be asked: Are those robot helmets (without which Daft Punk is never photographed) an implicit homage to Tron?
“It’s closer to a Star Wars vibe,” said De Homem-Christo. “It’s very ’70s, but very relevant to me. We are robots, because we think it fits.”
Bangalter added: “We liked the idea of these robot personas — the concept that robots, that technology can connect people or help you integrate on a daily basis but also scare people. That’s what we created instead of showing us. We find it more stimulating and entertaining.”
Read the full interview here:
Daft Punk discusses the inspiration behind the robot helmets: More ‘Star Wars’ than ‘Tron’ — via LA Times