Archive for August, 2012



SWCVI: We Call Her Roxy

Matt Paisley | August 13, 2012

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As a member of the 501st Legion’s Florida Garrison since 1999, I’ve been fortunate enough to take part in dozens of trooping events throughout the Sunshine State. And out of all of those memorable dates, none has stood out so much in my mind as Star Wars Celebration V two years ago. When I found out that Celebration would be returning to Orlando in 2012, my mind immediately shifted into overdrive as I began to think of what the 501st could possibly do to top the biggest Star Wars fan gathering of 2010.

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SWCVI: Bring on the Star Wars Costumes!

Ryder Windham | August 13, 2012

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“That’s got to be the worst Darth Vader costume I’ve ever seen,” said my friend who shall remain nameless because I wouldn’t want anyone to think Jason Fry was ever mean-spirited.

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SWCVI: Packing up the Rancho and taking it on the road

Steve Sansweet | August 13, 2012

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To say that we’re excited about the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience at Star Wars Celebration VI (Booth # 1235) is a real understatement. To say that we’re completely ready and that everything has gone smoothly falls into that same category.

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SWCVI: Your Guide to the Celebration VI Tattoo Pavilion

Shane Turgeon | August 12, 2012

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After 4 incredibly successful Celebration tattoo events, I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to help bring the biggest and best Celebration Tattoo Pavilion ever hosted to CVI! Marc Draven and I have pulled out all the stops for this one and there’s a lot going on in our little area. We know that trying to navigate your way around all the incredible Celebration events can be daunting and trying to remember exactly what’s going on in every area is no easy feat. So, to help make your Celebration tattoo experience the absolute best possible , we’ve put together this handy guide detailing all of the Star Wars tattoo-tastic goodness you can expect to find in Orlando!

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SWCVI: So you want to build a droid…

Michael McMaster | August 10, 2012

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SWCVI: Looking Ahead to Day 1 at the Behind the Scenes Stage

Pablo Hidalgo | August 9, 2012

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With the release of the Star Wars Celebration VI programming schedule this week on the Celebration VI Mobile App, fans everywhere have begun sketching out their plan of attack for the biggest Star Wars party of the year. Planning my schedule is easy: I’m going to enjoy the show from the Behind the Scenes Stage, W414, since I’ll be hosting about 20 panels this year. Here’s what my first day (Thursday, August 23rd) will consist of … I hope some of it becomes your first day as well!

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An Interview and a Box

J.W. Rinzler | August 9, 2012
Director Richard Marquand, Harrison Ford, visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund

Director Richard Marquand, Harrison Ford, visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund

In writing these making of Star Wars books, I’ve become more or less adept at interviewing people: actors, heads of department, producers, directors, craftspeople, visual effects supervisors, et al. I’ve had a few people determined not to say a single thing, for fear of offending someone or of letting a secret out of the bag. I’ve spoken to others where all I needed to do was to ask a single question—and then lean back and listen to the stream of consciousness.

There are two things I’ve learned: You don’t need a lot of questions to fill up your time allotment; and, two, it’s important to follow the conversation, regardless of what your questions might be. If Carrie Fisher says something interesting, but doesn’t quite complete the story—and I’ve seen this in lots of published interviews—you can’t just skip to the next question. Simple rule, but it’s important to get to the root of whatever it is they’re talking about. It helps the conversation flow and those tangents often lead to the interview equivalent of El Dorado: an emotional moment or incident heretofore unknown.

And you don’t want to ask so many questions that they get bored or you run out of time. A good interviewer will sense how things are going and tailor their questions accordingly.

In these archival projects, like Making of Jedi, I still prefer interviews done back in the day, preferably while they’re making the film. Under duress people are more honest, in general. I’d say the single most important moment of research occurred about a year ago. I was rummaging through the boxes in the Skywalker Ranch research warehouse—and stuffed on the side of one banal box was more than a hundred pages of interview done with Richard Marquand. After reading it and a little sleuthing, I’ve dated it to November 1982, a few months after principal photography wrapped.

Producer Howard Kazanjian, Marquand, George Lucas, and costume designer Nilo Rodis-Jamero

Producer Howard Kazanjian, Marquand, George Lucas, and costume designer Nilo Rodis-Jamero

John Philip Peecher wrote the first Making of Jedi book and, as far as I can tell, did only two long sit-down interviews: one with the director, Richard Marquand, and one with the producer, Howard Kazanjian. But when I started researching I didn’t know of the existence of either. Only thorough rummaging, examining every freaking bunch of papers, brought the documents to the light of day—and into the book! Luckily for all of us. Only a fraction of these interviews made it into the first book.

Here’s a fragment from Marquand’s, where he talks, amusingly, about Star Wars and his first meeting with George Lucas:  “What I liked about STAR WARS at that point was that it was a totally believable, but absolutely all encompassing myth. It was unlike science fiction where you can always cut holes in it. Also, I just adored the way the story was told. I just loved that way George told the story as the director. If I hadn’t liked it, I would have not said I didn’t like it, but I certainly wouldn’t have told him that I liked it, which I did.”

So a big thank you to whoever stuffed these interviews into a box nearly 30 years ago. At least they weren’t thrown into the trash.

Next blog: I have no idea…

Lucasfilm executive editor J. W. Rinzler is the author of The Making of Star Wars and The Complete Making of Indiana Jones. He is now writing The Making of Return of the Jedi (and really looking forward to finishing it) for a fall 2013 release. You can visit jwrinzler.com for more info.

SWCVI: “The Imperial Dogs” Prop Crew Mission Report

Stefan Cembolista | August 9, 2012

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“Many Star Wars fans will come to Celebration VI? … Personally?? … THEN we will DOUBLE our efforts!!!” For us, It doesn’t take an emperor visiting his Death Star construction site as motivation, we just do our very best for all the fans!

Today I’ll take you with me, to the very heart of our team… the prop workshop. Dusty hangars which many of the crew have almost called ‘home’ for the last couple of months…

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SWCVI: The Art of Ralph McQuarrie

John Scoleri | August 9, 2012

It sounds like a cliché, but when it comes to The Art of Ralph McQuarrie, preparations for the next Star Wars Celebration pretty much begin on the flight home from the last one.

Despite having exhibited at all seven prior Star Wars Celebrations, Celebration V was a particularly challenging undertaking for us. For the first time ever, we curated a gallery exhibit with more than 100 pieces of Ralph’s original Star Wars art — the majority of which had never been seen before.

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SWCVI: The As You Wish Helmet Project: Boba Fett

Art Andrews | August 8, 2012

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I could talk for days about Boba Fett, his popularity in modern culture, his mystique and his infamy, but my true passion for Boba Fett, as with so many things in Star Wars, is not so much the character of Boba Fett (after all, he was little more than a minor background figure with only seconds of screen time) but the care, attention and detail put into his design.  In the entire original Star Wars trilogy, there is no other costume that is as detailed and complicated as Boba Fett.  His helmet alone is a masterpiece, merging the aesthetic of ancient Corinthian hoplites with futuristic technology.  The design provides an inspiring canvas and we were fortunate to have twenty amazing artists step up to take on the world’s most famous bounty hunter!

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