Archive for ‘Lucasfilm’

Interviewing George Lucas

J.W. Rinzler | July 24, 2012

This would be the fifth or sixth time I’d be asking George about the making of one of his films. In this case, we’d be talking about The Making of Return of the Jedi. The first official interview was back in 2004 for a book on The Making of Revenge of the Sith. Then we went back in time to Star Wars, the Indiana Jones films, and Empire, for their respective books. For each I always bring lots of backup: extra batteries, a second recorder, notes, laptop (optional)… and of course the questions. (The last thing I want to be doing is scribbling frantically—though that’s what I had to do on set, as it wasn’t practical otherwise.)


Introducing… Jonathan Rinzler

J.W. Rinzler | July 23, 2012

Editor’s Note: Even though it has been 35 years since Star Wars was released in theaters, and almost 30 since Return of the Jedi, we remain fascinated with untold stories and unseen assets that take us inside the production of the movies. Few people are more devoted to unearthing and telling these stories than Lucasfilm’s J. W. Rinzler. With an unprecedented level of access to the Lucasfilm archives, and to the cast and crew who helped create Star Wars, Rinzler has authored definitive accounts about The Making of Star Wars and The Making of Empire Strikes Back, and is now hard at work on The Making of Return of the Jedi. And, with all of his spare time, Rinzler has agreed to join us a regular contributor to the blog. Read on as he introduces himself and shares more about what you can expect in his future posts!

With the signed photo that ILM gave George Lucas upon completion of their first ever visual effects shot for Star Wars, in front of the Main House, SR (we reproduced this in the Making of ESB book).With the signed photo that ILM gave George Lucas upon completion of their first ever visual effects shot for Star Wars, in front of the Main House, SR (we reproduced this in the Making of ESB book).


From hard-bitten reporter to unabashed geek: A fan’s tale

Steve Sansweet | July 3, 2012

SW column May 1987 (c) Dow Jones & Co.

People often ask how I got involved with Lucasfilm. There are several answers, some less embarrassing than others.

In 1987, just a few months after I had become Los Angeles Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, and well aware of the upcoming Star Wars 10th Anniversary, I proposed an editorial page column looking back at and assessing the amazing cultural phenomenon and Lucas’ career. I had never written for the edit page before, but the New York editors said yes. Then I—a fiercely independent, hard-bitten journalist who had once spent two years tracking down and reporting on multinational corporate bribery scandals—began fantasizing about my first visit to the fabled Skywalker Ranch and a chat with George Lucas. Oh, the cruelty of daydreams that dissipate as quickly as a cold front during an Orlando summer!


Red Tails Red Carpet Premiere Recap Team | January 18, 2012

Red Tails at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC

Underdogs fighting evil against all odds! Heroes overcoming adversity to save the day! Sound familiar? The hero’s journey isn’t just part of Star Wars, it’s part of American history thanks to George Lucas’ new WWII film about the Tuskegee Airmen — Red Tails!

Red Tails comes out in theaters on January 20, but attended the Red Tails NYC premiere with cast, crew and special guests including executive producer George Lucas.

Red Tails actors Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelley, Leslie Odom Jr., Method Man, Lee Tergesen, Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo, Ne-Yo, Marcus T. Paulk, Michael B. Jordan, Andre Royo, Kevin Phillips came to the premiere, as well as executive producer George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, producer Charles Floyd Johnson, director Anthony Hemingway, film composer Terence Blanchard, and screenwriters Aaron McGruder and John Ridley.

Special guests James Earl Jones, Spike Lee, Francis Ford Coppola, Kimberly Locke, Al Roker, and more attended to show their support for Red Tails..

Here’s a glimpse of our Red Tails red carpet premiere with George Lucas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terence Howard, and the cast, as well as the heroic Tuskegee Airmen!

George Lucas poses with the cast of Red Tails and the original Tuskegee Airmen.

“It’s a great story about young people who overcome a lot of adversity. I thought this was a perfect subject, especially for young people, to understand part of their history.” – George Lucas on why he made Red Tails.


Lucas Remembers Star Wars Sword Master Bob Anderson

Pete Vilmur | January 9, 2012

The world lost a key contributor to the Star Wars saga last week in sword master Bob Anderson, who coordinated the lightsaber duels of Episode IV: A New Hope, and even donned Darth Vader’s armor for the high-intensity dueling with Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

The man who established how “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age” should be wielded in the Star Wars universe passed away on January 1 in West Sussex, England. He was 89.

“Bob Anderson was essential in defining what a lightsaber duel would look like,” says George Lucas. “He was the Jedi Master of the original trilogy, training the actors to duel with a new kind of weapon. In Empire and Jedi, Bob donned Darth Vader’s cape and helmet to battle Luke Skywalker in all of the amazing lightsaber battles. It was pure movie magic that Bob became Vader.”

Fortunately for Star Wars fans, Bob Anderson’s legacy will forever survive through the signature fighting styles of Jedi and Sith alike. He will be deeply missed.

Tron’s “Rinzler” Has Lucasfilm Connection

| December 17, 2010

With Tron: Legacy opening wide today, we thought we’d share a little-known Lucasfilm connection to one of the film’s characters recently revealed by director Joseph Kosinski in a visit to LFL’s Presidio headquarters. Rinzler, a character introduced early on as one of the film’s chief villains, was apparently named after Lucasfilm Executive Editor J.W. Rinzler, author of several books including The Making of Star Wars, The Complete Making of Indiana Jones, and the recent Making of The Empire Strikes Back, among others.

“Friends told me about the fact that there’s this character Rinzler in the new Tron movie,” says Rinzler. “So I went online to see if I could figure out where they got the name. But I couldn’t find anything. There aren’t many Rinzlers in the States and it’s not a name that means anything, as far as I know… Then when Joe Kosinski came as a guest speaker I was actually on my way to the event before I realized this might be a chance to ask him. So I waited till after the q-and-a, went down to the front, and said I had a strange question but had to ask where he got the name, or where the writers got the name. And he said that he was sitting with the two writers working, and there was a book on the table ‘a Making of’ he said… ‘Oh yeah, it was Making of Star Wars by someone named Rinzler.’ So I said ‘that’s me’, thanked him, shook his hand and said I had to go out and buy a few action figures — needless to say, my kids are thrilled.”

Check out the official Tron: Legacy website here.

Clone Wars Screening Recap: San Francisco Team | December 15, 2010

A clone trooper checks in at Lucasfilm HQ.

Last week fans flocked to digital theaters for a very exclusive screening on the big screen of an all-new Clone Wars villain –- the monstrous Savage Opress!

The Clone Wars screenings began in Los Angeles at the Egyptian Theatre with the voice actors, director Dave Filoni and writer Katie Lucas in attendance, along with celeb Clone Wars fans.

Screenings continued in Seattle, NYC, Philly, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, among others.

Cast, crew and fans alike came out in full Force at Lucasfilm’s Presidio headquarters in the San Francisco to watch this epic screening of The Clone Wars introducing Savage Opress. was there to report and live tweet the event. Check out the article below for quotes from Clone Wars actor Daniel Logan, CG/FX/Lighting Supervisor Joel Aron, and more!

Joel Aron has some fun with the 501st.

Why is this story arc amazing to see on a big screen?

Joel Aron: We work on it cinematically. When you’re watching it on television you’re actually seeing just a crop of what we’re doing. Every little inch of the screen we think about — the lighting, the composition, the balance, the shapes, etc. To see it on a big screen you actually feel the cinematic pulse of the show. It’s very different when you watch it at home.

Supervising Director Dave Filoni, voice actor/sound editor Matthew Wood, and CG/FX/Lighting Supervisor Joel Aron.

Why do you think fans will get a kick out of this story arc in particular?

Joel Aron: We’re introducing a character that hasn’t been seen on the show before, and it’s a direct tie to the feature films. When that happens people automatically start to associate. There’s something connecting us to Star Wars here. And you’re seeing a long thread. In the past on the show, we’ve had just little segments, but now we’re getting an entire story arc. We have three episodes that are so seamless, you don’t even realize they’re separate episodes.

Why is it important for you to watch something like this with the fans?

Joel Aron: You get to hear what they really like, and what they react to. What Dave [Filoni] and I both do is we listen to what everybody tells us and we put it back into the show. Everything that happened at Celebration V — all the conversations — the fans really drive us to do more.


Stache Wars for Charity! Team | November 19, 2010

Clone Wars Producer Cary Silver’s mustache!Lando Calrissian isn’t the only one with a righteous mustache! Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound are on a mustache mission of the best kind — to fight cancer in kids!

The Mustaches VS Cancer is a 2-month mustache-a-thon where each participant brings in donations to help fight cancer, benefiting Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound are in a friendly competition to see which team can raise the most money during the mustache-a-thon. Donate money to support your favorite team below.

Lucasfilm Animation Team Name:
Landos Disciples

Skywalker Sound Team Name:
Sound People… or Worse

The idea behind Mustaches vs. Cancer is to have an event in which many people can participate with a minimal amount of commitment (a mustache in no way hinders your daily life, it can only enhance it). Essentially all anyone needs to do is grow a mustache and take a picture of it every week (or everyday if you’re really enthusiastic) and upload it on our web site to track your progress and your Magnum P.I. likeness. All the donors need to do, is pick their favorite mustachioed face(s) via our web site, and sponsor their efforts.

So, if you can convince one of your nearly-facial-hairless friends to get started, you can make sure that the seven surprisingly colored hairs on his upper lip grow to a surprisingly disgusting length by donating to their efforts and encouraging them to keep going. What happens if they shave even though their bringing in money? They will no longer have any friends, family, or pets that like them. Because that’s just crazy.

Read more about this here:

Kids Can’t Grow Mustaches and They Shouldn’t Have Cancer Either

Let the Stache Wars begin!

Jon Favreau Tweets His ILM Visit Team | March 2, 2010

Last week director Jon Favreau came up to Lucasfilm in San Francisco to meet with Industrial Light & Magic about Iron Man 2.

As he took a tour of ILM, Favreau tweeted about who he ran into (Hey is that a Wookiee?!), some of his favorite props and a cup of Joe at Javva the Hutt. Check out all his photos here.


Lucasfilm Chimes in on Ackbar Mascot Team | February 26, 2010

Earlier in the week we blogged about University of Mississippi hoping to replace their old school mascot with none other than Admiral Ackbar, and now finally we’ve given an official statement about our beloved Mon Calamari as a possible mascot.

New York Times reports:

While a student committee to propose a new mascot is still in the early stages of formation, Lucasfilm, which produced the Star Wars movies, has given a (tongue-in-cheek) endorsement to Ackbar’s candidacy. In a statement, the studio said:

Lucasfilm is flattered that our Star Wars fans at the University of Mississippi are considering electing Admiral Ackbar as their mascot. The last time we checked in with Admiral Ackbar he was leading the Rebel Alliance Fleet on a critical mission so it will be difficult for him to show up for the games!

Read the full article here:
College Campaign for Star Wars Mascot Is Fully Operational

Read more here:
Ole Miss Mon Calamari Mascot?