Archive for ‘Around the Web’

Minnesota Trench Run Team | January 19, 2011

Fan Mike Nelson filmed this short clip to make the most of the Minnesota Hoth-like blizzard. FX artist Aaron Dabelow turns Mike’s snowy “Minnesota Trench Run” into an impressive fan film.

WATCH VIDEO: “Minnesota Trench Run”

SOURCE: Great White Snark

Nao Robot Recites Star Wars Team | January 5, 2011

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

TIE Fighter Spotted During Eclipse!? Team | January 5, 2011

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

Shogun Stormtrooper Travels Back to the ‘70s

| December 22, 2010 recently posted a great set of photos that magically capture the retro-inspired Super Shogun Stormtrooper toy in settings decades before its release. Well, “magically” if you’ve never heard of Photoshop.

From Wired:

In Super7’s Christmas-themed ad campaign, the 2-foot-tall toy — which is a mashup of classic Star Wars action figures and vintage Japanese Shogun Warriors robots — makes an appearance in a series of warm-and-fuzzy photos supplied by Star Wars fans. The images pack the same vintage vibe as the “lost” ’70s-style Stormtrooper Super Shogun TV commercial that Super7 produced earlier this year.

For the postcard series, photographer D. Martin Myatt, who also works at, asked fans from the collectibles site to donate actual ’70s and ’80s photos of themselves holding Star Wars toys. (The names used on the cards are the names of people in the pictures.) With a little Photoshop magic, the Stormtrooper Super Shogun became a part of the memories.

Check out the pseudo-retro Shogun goodness at

Super 7 is also hosting a charity auction that will award the winning bidder a SUPER SHOGUN STORMTROOPER Engineering Test Prototype – get the details here.

Century-Old Rescue Masks from a Galaxy Far, Far Away?

Pete Vilmur | December 15, 2010

Recently, Collectors Weekly posted a pair of striking century-old “rescue masks” that share a passing resemblance to our favorite Sith Lord and protocol droid. Undoubtedly a coincidence — concept designer Ralph McQuarrie’s designs and inspirations for the pair have been well documented – their Star Wars steampunk look is amusingly effective.

From the article:

This pair of early rescue masks, shown above, dates from between the mid-1800s and World War I. They look a bit familiar, right? Almost 100 years before Darth Vader and C-3PO hit the big screen in “Star Wars” in 1977, these two smoke helmets were worn by firefighters carrying out rescues in smoke-logged buildings. The buzz among collectors is that George Lucas’s designers must have found inspiration in these smoke helmets and others like them. In fact, one well-known 19th-century manufacturer was named Vajen-Bader—you could easily get the name Vader from that.

For a measure of symmetry, we’re sharing an image from Steve Sansweet’s Star Wars: 1,000 Collectibles book of two post-Star Wars knock-off water game heads from a New Jersey Shore arcade. Looks like Star Wars-inspired faces can be found on both sides of 1977 if you look hard enough.

Vader Wants To Be Facebook Frenemies! Team | December 14, 2010

The Facebook friends icon just got a lot creepier.

SOURCE: Eject blog

Real Technologies Inspired by Star Wars Team | November 24, 2010

We might not all have jetpacks or lightsabers yet, but Star Wars has in fact influenced technology that benefit us all whether it’s entertaining us in our home or turning us into functional cyborgs. Yay! reports:

In 1977, the idea of chopping down the bad guys with a beam of light, or playing a game with 3D aliens, or even sending a holographic e-mail to a mysterious recluse on Tatooine seemed like futuristic concepts. Yet, these concepts are now becoming a reality -– real products that serve a useful purpose, research projects meant to show how the tech works, and games that fulfill the Star Wars dream.

One of the most interesting of the technologies includes the advances in body prosthetics.

Touch Bionics has developed the i-LIMB Pulse bionic hand, which reads myoelectric signals (tiny electric pulses in your arm) and sends them to a mechanical hand. The latest version, released this summer, even works with your computer and Bluetooth wireless signals, so you can tweak the algorithms for sensitivity and control five fingers independently for grabbing objects.

Read more about this and more here:
8 Star Wars Technologies That Are Now Reality

Major Empire Spoiler Actually Dropped in 1977

Pete Vilmur | November 15, 2010

Little Shoppe of Horrors #4

A lot of buzz has surrounded a recent post at concerning an alleged major spoiler leak made two years before The Empire Strikes Back was released. The article, which we’ve identified as having appeared in the July 24, 1978 issue of The San Francisco Examiner, relays comments made by Dave Prowse (Darth Vader) claiming that the sequel would reveal that Darth Vader is in fact Luke’s father. Actually, it turns out, this little rumor had been dropped several months earlier in a fanzine called Little Shoppe of Horrors #4 (April 1978), which featured an exclusive (and lengthy) Prowse interview (reprint copies can be found on eBay, which is where we picked up ours thanks to a tip from SW bibliographer Bob Miller).

Among the passages of the interview, which, according to the author, were collected between October and December, 1977 (including a public discussion at the Horror Elite Convention in October), were these sentences, which seem to mirror the comments made in the SF Examiner interview:

“In the next film, there is going to be a confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader and they then discover that Darth Vader never killed his father, that Darth Vader IS his father. So son can’t kill father, and father can’t kill son — so Darth Vader lives into the next sequel.”

Excerpt from LSOH #4

So, it would appear the original Retroist post title – “Yes, They Did Have Star Wars Spoilers Back in 1978” was almost correct. Actually, they go as far back as October, 1977.

Dogs That Look Like Chewbacca Team | November 9, 2010

Everyone who’s ever owned a scruffy-looking shaggy brown dog has claimed one time or another that their lovable mutt looks like Chewbacca (or Wicket for the smaller lap dogs).

Here’s a collection of photos featuring 18 dogs that could double as everyone’s favorite co-pilot!

Check out more dog photos here:
18 Dogs That Look Like Chewbacca (via Buzzfeed)

Making of Empire Author Shares Film Favorites Team | November 3, 2010 just posted a cool list of film and director favorites by Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back author J.W. Rinzler. From Suvudu:

Since Mr. Rinzler has written numerous behind-the-scenes books about film Suvudu thought it would be interesting to find out what movies have inspired him throughout the years. Grab a snack and have your Netflix account ready, this post just might inspire you to watch a movie or two tonight.

Check out the full list of movies and directors, along with several film clips at