The Star Wars Holiday Special celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The show aired in the US on November 17, 1978, on CBS for the first and only time. The 97-minute special would also air in other countries. It’s safe to assume that it probably wasn’t what most fans had expected it to be. It featured Leia singing lyrics to the Star Wars Main Theme, it featured Luke who apparently hadn’t visited a Sullustan Barber (and with a lot of make-up), and it showed a bunch of strange (musical) intermezzo’s that were more than awkward. Since its initial release, there hasn’t been much love and appraisal for the Holiday Special. Therefore it has never been officially released on any medium by Lucasfilm.
Archive for ‘Behind The Scenes’
Today sees the release of J.W. Rinzler’s The Making of Return of the Jedi, an epic tome chronicling the years of hard work that went into the last film in the original Star Wars trilogy. Rinzler, executive editor at Lucasfilm, had unprecedented access to the source materials, concept art, and handwritten notes in the Lucasfilm Archives, and his extensive research shines through in the pages of this book.
Nothing like killing two birds with one stone: Joe Johnston drew this concept sketch to go with early drafts of Revenge of the Jedi. But it also illustrates something from the very first draft of Star Wars, which George wrote back in 1974. In the “Revenge” scripts, Princess Leia has various run-ins with some vaguely described “Imperial trackers,” who are also causing problems with the Ewoks and Yussem. Given that Johnston has added forearm guards and a head mask, it’s possible that George Lucas had already envisioned these Imperials seated on rocket bikes (later, speeder bikes). They also had “T-bombs” and a garland of (Ewok? Yussem?) teeth.
For a series with the word “war” in the title, it’s no wonder that war movies and Westerns would have an influence on the stories told inside the Star Wars universe.
We talk about the influence of films on the Star Wars movies and the cartoon so much, I thought it would be a nice break to discuss a few books in the Expanded Universe and the cinematic forces behind them.
How do we get from a scene in George Lucas’ rough draft to a page in The Star Wars comic book? By transcribing its key visual “frames” and its most essential dialogue (feeling, plot, character, not necessarily in that order) to the comic book format. Fortunately, cinema and comic books tell stories visually (usually).
Issue #1, however, was difficult for all: for me, editor Randy Stradley at Dark Horse, and artist Mike Mayhew. Mike had a whole lot to design, from characters and locales, to ships, to props, and so on — before he could even start on his layouts. For my part I sort of naively jumped into my first professional comic book gig (I guess we can’t count the many I did as a teenager and before), but fortunately Randy took the time to explain some of the finer points (and some of the basics).
When Luke Skywalker stared out at the twin Tatooine suns at the beginning of Star Wars, he had no idea the adventure he was about to embark on, where it would take him, and what legacy he would leave behind. Little did he know he was exactly where he was supposed to be and his “first step into a larger world” was about to be taken. My name is Steve Sabellico and I work in the Business Affairs department at Lucasfilm Ltd. on productions including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and a little film called Star Wars: Episode VII. Like Luke, my quest was triggered by an event — not the dropping off of droids for sale, but a delivery of a different sort.
Cue fanfare and “Main Title” theme…
I told you ’bout the dino and me. You know that we’re as close as can be. Well, here’s another clue for you all…
While no man has ever seen a dinosaur from the mesozoic era, other animals from the Star Wars universe are actually very familiar to us. The absence of Earth is an important element in Star Wars‘ status as fantasy and space opera. Jocasta Nu would say: “Earth simply does not exist.” But several elements from our own planet have nevertheless slipped into that galaxy far, far away. Indigenous lifeforms from Earth (humans for example) are one of these elements.
Saturday was certainly the busiest day at Celebration Europe if you were intending to visit different panels. I’ve known Gerald Home (Tessek, a Mon Calamari Officer) for many years and he said that Return of the Jedi Creature History was going to be a panel that I would enjoy — knowing I’m a fan of trivia and uncovering the smallest details from the movies. I had been able to speak to Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo after the Holocron panel, and Pablo also said I was really going to enjoy it. So I couldn’t wait.