Given everything that the Rebels had to go through to obtain data about the Imperial DS-1 Orbital Battle Station, you should consider yourself lucky. All you need to do is pick up a copy of the Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual!
Archive for ‘Books and Comics’
Welcome to the second of 12 articles revealing — for the first time ever — material cut from The Essential Guide to Warfare before its April 2012 publication. Each section will be preceded by brief comments from Jason Fry and Del Rey editor Erich Schoeneweiss discussing why the material wound up on the cutting-room floor.
In an earlier blog post I pointed to our new Legacy comic book series as an example of a story that I believe has all the classic elements of Star Wars. But there’s something else that I love about the series, too, that I didn’t mention at the time: the main protagonist, Ania Solo, is not a Force user.
Don’t get me wrong, the Force is an integral part of the Star Wars mythos, and I like the Jedi as much as anyone. But there’s an important role to be played in the galaxy far, far away by regular folks who get by without the help of mysterious powers. Not just because those characters bring their own set of skills to the table, but because they are the characters it’s often easier for us to relate to.
As Star Wars fans we like our celebrations. Not only the Celebrations that rock convention centers worldwide every few years, but anniversaries like the 30th anniversary of Star Wars in 2007, Empire in 2010 and Return of the Jedi this year. One of the things that accompanied these 30th anniversary events was the release of the three Making of books by Lucas Books executive editor Jonathan Rinzler and on Saturday, October 5, Star Wars fans here in the UK had the chance to not only celebrate the release of the magnificent Making of Return of the Jedi but also a unique opportunity to look back three decades to the film at the very heart of this years celebrations (and Celebration as well), Return of the Jedi.
About a year ago, Random House came to us with the idea of creating enhanced eBooks out of the three Making of books I’d written on the original trilogy. Odd as it may seem, a year is not a long time. When possible I made busy forays in the film archives on Skywalker Ranch, where archivist Monica Chin-Perez was invaluable in helping to dig up old reels of 16mm behind-the-scenes footage and 35mm dailies (actual scenes filmed on set by one of the main cameras and subsequently chosen to be “printed”/developed). We had the selected film digitized at Spy Post and then went through another selection period, during which I showed what I found to marketing and PR, and to experts Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee, for their feedback. We pretty much all agreed on what was the most interesting material.
Concept art has always played a huge role in the creation of Star Wars films, from Ralph McQuarrie’s original work on A New Hope, which brought George Lucas’ early ideas to life, to Iain McCaig’s designs of Darth Maul during the development of The Phantom Menace. Abrams’ new tome Star Wars Art: Concept, released this week, celebrates the concept art of a galaxy far, far away, with pre-production drawings and paintings from the films, TV series, video games, and more — and features a forward by filmmaker Joe Johnston, who served as a storyboard and concept artist on the original trilogy and designed Boba Fett’s costume, and an introduction from prequel trilogy (and future Star Wars films) artist Doug Chiang. Check out a special preview of selections from Star Wars Art: Concept after the jump!
Mythological creatures come in any shape and size, their appearance only limited by the boundaries of the human imagination. Earth’s history is full of mythological creatures and fabled monsters, some of which have found their way to the Star Wars universe, either in form or in name. While the best known creatures are probably from Greek mythology, the most prominently referenced specimens have their origin in the Old Testament. The behemoth and the leviathan are mentioned in the Book of Job and have become the metaphors for any large monster or sea creature, respectively. Star Wars knows several of these creatures. The Behemoth from the World Below and the Sith Behemoths were creations of Sith alchemy, as were several incarnations of the leviathan. Other leviathans lived on Dorumaa and Arrakan.
Since the Bible didn’t include too many clues towards the appearance of these monsters, the behemoths and leviathans featured in Star Wars and many other stories come in many different forms. Therefore, the link between Earth mythology and the creatures and sentients of the saga may not be as obvious as with some of the other fabled beasts that made their way into a galaxy far, far away…
See-Threepio once noted that he was “not very good at telling stories.” While the validity of that claim may be debatable, given his Ewok fireside chat in Return of the Jedi, it turns out that Threepio wasn’t the franchise’s real storyteller anyway. That distinction, it appears, goes to Artoo-Detoo.
More on that in a moment.
“R2-D2, where are you?” and “There’s one! Set for stun!” will probably be two of the best recognized quotes from the Star Wars movies by parents in the ’70s and ’80s. These phrases were among two of the six sounds produced by Kenner’s Imperial Troop Transport vehicle. It was announced recently during the panel of Star Wars Rebels at New York Comic Con that this iconic toy will appear in the upcoming animated television series. So it seems like a perfect timing to have a closer look at the Kenner vehicles that have not (yet?) made it into a Star Wars movie. But, be not mistaken. Several of these vehicles have already flown, hovered or rolled their way into other mediums of the Star Wars franchise.