Author Archive



Wil Wheaton Talks Star Wars Board Games

Bryan Young | March 31, 2014
The X-wing Miniatures Game from Fantasy Flight Games

The X-wing Miniatures Game from Fantasy Flight Games…

Last year, Wil Wheaton started a little thing called “International TableTop Day.” It’s his goal that we all play more board games and it’s an ideal many of us in the world of Star Wars fandom share. And even though Wheaton is inherently linked to his role on Star Trek, we know he’s really a Star Wars guy at heart. (He even talked to us about it last year.)

With “TableTop Day” coming back this week for 2014, I got a chance to talk to Wheaton about what Star Wars board games he’d recommend we check out. And maybe I had a recommendation for him, too.

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Indiana Jones and The Lost Missions

Bryan Young | March 18, 2014

Club Obi Wan in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Like most people reading this, I spent a whole Saturday binge-watching the Netflix premiere of the Lost Missions of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. We were rewarded for our patience with 13 episodes of a show we loved, which might have been 13 of the best produced. They were action packed, beautifully animated, thrilling, and, at times, heartbreaking.

But for some reason I really, really wanted to watch the Indiana Jones movies after this batch of episodes. It should come as no surprise that the Indiana Jones films might creep their influence into Star Wars projects as they have George Lucas in common, but there were three episodes of The Lost Missions that paid pretty blatant homage to everyone’s favorite archeologist.

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Orlando Jones Talks Star Wars

Bryan Young | March 7, 2014

Orlando Jones has been a mainstay in the world of geekdom from his time on Mad TV, through his turns in movies like Evolution and The Time Machine, and currently with his work on the hit show Sleepy Hollow as Captain Frank Irving.

We had him on the Full of Sith podcast to talk about his work and his Star Wars fandom and he treated us to the story of the first time he encountered Star Wars in 1977 as a nine-year-old boy.

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: The Guns of Navarone

Bryan Young | February 18, 2014

Han Solo at the shield bunker in Return of the Jedi, a scene similar to The Guns of Navarone

The Guns of Navarone came out in 1961 and, to my mind, is one of the greatest World War II films to ever come out of the 1960s and it seems to me that it must have been influencing Star Wars since the beginning. It tells the story of Keith Mallory (played by Gregory Peck) and a group of allied soldiers (including David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, and James Darren) as they work to destroy a pair of the biggest and well-fortified ship-destroying guns the allies have ever seen. If the guns aren’t destroyed within a few days, all of the allied soldiers being ferried through that channel for a rescue mission will be killed.

The story is entirely invented, there’s no island of Navarone, there were no British soldiers stranded on the isle of Keros, and the actors were all too old for the roles they were playing, but that doesn’t negate the charm and suspense of this effects laden picture.

Both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi have echoes of the plot. In the original Star Wars picture, the Rebel fleet must destroy the Death Star before it makes it within range of Yavin IV and it works out well. It inverts the tension with the bad guys attacking instead of passively hiding on an island. But Return of the Jedi is where the influence is felt the most.

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Travis Beacham, Pacific Rim Screenwriter, Talks Star Wars

Bryan Young | February 3, 2014

Luke Skywalker versus rancor

Easily one of my favorite movies of the summer was Pacific Rim. It had everything a big summer blockbuster needed and, thanks to a carefully written script and first-class direction from Guillermo Del Toro, it was one of the smartest and most fun summer movies I’ve ever seen. And let’s face it, giant robots punching giant monsters is a lot of fun.

Over the summer my Full of Sith co-host Mike Pilot and myself were able to interview the screenwriter of Pacific Rim, Travis Beacham, about the movie and his love of Star Wars.

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Battle of the Bulge

Bryan Young | January 20, 2014

The Rebel Base from The Empire Strikes Back

I’m a fan of old-school war movies and it’s pretty clear that George Lucas is, too. For me, Battle of the Bulge, directed by Ken Annikan is a movie that I hadn’t seen prior to the recommendation of Dave Filoni, the supervising director on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. During one of the many times I harassed Filoni about movies they were watching behind the scenes of The Clone Wars to inspire themselves and the show, he told me that this was a big one I needed to watch and he wasn’t kidding.

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Art Spiegelman: Comic Book Legend, Star Wars Trading Card Creator

Bryan Young | January 7, 2014

Vintage Star Wars trading cards

I never pass up an opportunity to ask people whose work I idolize about Star Wars. And I recently had the chance to speak to Art Spiegelman about his art, the Pulitzer Prize he won for his anthropomorphic tale of the holocaust, Maus, and the rest of his career. He has a show of his work going on in New York at the Jewish Museum, though it contains nothing from the Star Wars saga.

Spiegelman worked at the Topps card company for a long time (he even came up with the idea of Garbage Pail Kids) and I thought he might have an interesting take on Star Wars, since Topps produced my favorite collectible from the ’70s, the Star Wars bubblegum trading cards.

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: The Dam Busters

Bryan Young | December 9, 2013

The Dam Busters is a 1955 British film set in World War II. It tells the daring true story of an Royal Air Force raid to destroy a trio of German dams, deep in enemy territory.

Conventional weapons simply wouldn’t do the job, so scientists had to develop a new way of delivering a bomb: skipping it across the water so it would wedge up against the dam. In order to hit the target, the pilots had to fly exactly 60 feet from the surface of the water and every bomber in the mission had to drop their bomb at exactly the same spot.

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Wil Wheaton Talks Star Wars

Bryan Young | November 11, 2013

One of my favorite things about Star Wars is that it’s the sort of thing you always remember where you were and what was going on in your life the first time you saw it or connected to it. Just about everyone has a very personal story about their early days in Star Wars. For my part, I was a young boy of three years old when I first saw Return of the Jedi in a darkened movie theater.

That moment changed my life forever and for the better.

It wasn’t just my first experience with Star Wars, though. The more I think back, I’m positive it’s my first visceral memory.

That’s the power of Star Wars. We all have that moment.

And that’s one of my favorite things about talking to people on the Full of Sith podcast. I get to talk to all kinds of amazing people about their first experiences or vibrant memories with Star Wars and how it affected them. And it’s a question everyone can answer.

I’ll be bringing you some of the best answers we’ve had on the show here to this space, but I wanted to start with a special one.

I spoke to Wil Wheaton and he agreed to do this segment for Full of Sith, discussing his most vivid memory of Star Wars from his youth and it’s quite a touching story. You can listen to it here (as long as you don’t mind listening to my co-host, Consetta Parker, talk about loaning her Boushh costume to The Big Bang Theory‘s Johnny Galecki for San Diego Comic-Con).

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Lawrence of Arabia

Bryan Young | October 14, 2013


It’s no secret that the generation of filmmakers that produced George Lucas love the work of David Lean. Lean produced brilliant works like Bridge on the River Kwai and Doctor Zhivago, but none more so than the masterpiece of Lawrence of Arabia.

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