Archive for ‘News’

Rancho Obi-Wan’s Grand Re-Opening!

Pete Vilmur | November 10, 2011

If you’re a fan who frequents any number of Star Wars collecting forums, Facebook pages or twitterfeeds, you probably picked up some heightened chatter starting last Saturday around 4:00pm PST. No, George wasn’t announcing the release of a seventh Star Wars episode, and no, a Blu-ray release of the Holiday Special (which looks bad in any resolution) isn’t imminent – rather, it was the grand re-opening of Rancho Obi-Wan, an enormous museum celebrating the merchandising legacy and fandom inspired by our favorite space saga. Its original — and far quieter — opening occurred way back in 1998, and has since served as a resource and spectacle for those lucky fans who have received a tour.

Around 200 guests file in to the new Rancho Obi-Wan (photo by Victoria Webb)

Rancho Obi-Wan – which houses the personal collection of Star Wars super-collector Steve Sansweet – was unveiling a spacious new addition to display Sansweet’s ever-expanding collection of Star Wars goodies, including full-size arcade games, bicycles, life-size droids, and fan-created artwork. What’s more, Steve announced Rancho Obi-Wan’s new nonprofit corporation status, which will “serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts” (check out and Rancho’s official Facebook page ).

Lightsabers Spotted on Japanese Trains

Pete Vilmur | September 22, 2011

Lucasfilm associate Ken Ogawa recently sent us a handful of snapshots from Japan depicting the lightsaber handrails being used to promote Star Wars on Blu-ray in the Land of the Rising Sun. And just in case riders didn’t get the not-so-subtle hint that something Star-Wars-y was afoot, several transit posters promoting the Blu-ray release were also displayed throughout the train cars.

For more images of Star Wars Blu-ray related promotions seen throughout the world, check out our ever-expanding Flickr series here.

Wookiee Protestor Wants “Chewy Justice” Team | February 17, 2011

(Photo by Mark Moran / The Citizen’s Voice via AP)

Protestor Bill Clark of Wyoming County, Pa., holds a sign outside the William J. Nealon Federal Building and United States Courthouse, Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011 in Scranton, Pa.

Read more about this here.

Celeb Fans Celebrate Director Irvin Kershner Team | November 29, 2010

(Actress Carrie Fisher & Director Irvin Kershner)

This week marks the sad passing of Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner. The beloved director not only inspired his former student filmmaker George Lucas, but also other future directors, actors, screenwriters and more, not to mention the millions of fans worldwide who still proudly comment that The Empire Strikes Back remains their favorite in the Star Wars film saga.

We asked some of our favorite celebrity fans what Kershner meant to them, as well as gathered the best celebs tweets that celebrated this one-of-a-kind director.

“He brought motion and maturity to the most grown up chapter of the Star Wars saga. His decisions are inextricably woven into its success.” – Simon Pegg, actor/author

“One of my earliest film memories is of The Empire Strikes back. Still one of my favorite movies. A truly sad day.” — Milo Ventimiglia, actor/director

“I heard just recently about Irvin Kersher’s passing. It’s hard to put into words how much the work he did on Empire meant to me. It’s not only my favorite film in the Star Wars universe hands down, but it’s one of my most favorite films of all time. The introductory shots of planet Hoth alone resonate so clearly in my mind, regardless of how long it’s been since I’ve seen TESB. In fact, there are so many iconic visuals in that movie it’s mind blowing. This was probably the darkest film of the original trilogy. It had crazy twists and finished with one of the best cliffhangers of any film I’ve ever seen. I know I will always remember and appreciate Kershner for making a film that shaped who I am today.” – Joe Trohman, Fallout Boy guitarist

“Since his passing I’ve been thinking what was the most masterful part of Empire Strikes Back? And it comes back to Yoda. He was funny then disturbing and scary and then wise. And it was a puppet. Irvin made less with more. He focused on the characters and less on the fact they were in space. Lawrence Kasdan and Frank Oz gave us Yoda but it was Kershner that made it so real, so frightening, so important. And again, it was just a puppet.” – mc chris, rapper

“Kersh was one of the lucky ones — he found his passion and followed it. He absolutely loved movies. He was an amazing mentor to my father, a great friend to our family, and an inspiration to fans all over the galaxy. I have absolute faith that his legacy will live on for centuries. He’ll be greatly missed.” – Katie Lucas, The Clone Wars writer

“Farewell to Irvin Kershner – a true cinema legend. With The Empire Strikes Back, Kersh took an absolute phenomenon and somehow made it even better, creating perhaps, the greatest film of all time. An incredible feat indeed… and one that we still feel the impact of today! His contributions to the Star Wars Saga will never be forgotten. May he be one with the Force!” – Kyle Newman, director of Fanboys

“Han shot FIRST, but Irvin shot BEST.” – Jane Wiedlin, The Go-Go’s guitarist/vocalist

“Firstly, most of us can only hope to live to the ripe age of 87. Irvin outlived most people in years. However, out living people is nothing compared to directing not only one of the greatest movies of all time, but in my opinion, the BEST Star Wars movie EVER made. Having experienced acting and being married to an actor, I know it is up to a director to coax emotions out of the cast. He did this splendidly, as we can all see (some of us over, and over and over!). Thank you Mr. Kershner, for helping deliver one of the greatest movies of all time for many generations to enjoy. gone, but never forgotten!” – Adrianne Curry, supermodel & reality TV star

“I had the honor of meeting Mr. Irvin Kershner at a few events we both attended. I was saddened to hear about his passing. Mr. Kershner helped bring to the screen one of the most beloved films of all times, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He will be missed, but through his work he will continue to entertain many generations to come. My thoughts are with his family at this time.” – Daniel Logan, Star Wars & The Clone Wars actor

Empire Strikes Back is the first movie I ever saw in a theater. Nothing has quite lived up to the experience since. Irvin Kershner was a cinematic master and a huge reason why I do what I do for a living.” – Amy Berg, TV Writer/Exec Producer for Eureka

“Getting the ‘I love you / I know’ exchange out of those actors is one of the finest moments in the history of film direction, and Empire is still the most important movie in my life. Today I am going to make some tea, wrap myself up in a blanket, and revisit Robocop 2.” – MC Frontalot, rapper

Empire Strikes Back was when I first got really excited about Star Wars. Took what was already great and made it a masterpiece….A great director, sadly missed.” – Jonathan Ross, UK TV show host

“Irvin Kershner’s contribution to Star Wars cannot be measured. If the second film in the saga had failed, we might never have seen the future of the galaxy that has become an integral part of our ongoing pop culture dialog. Kersh added humanity to characters we loved and helped us all believe a puppet could move a starship. His talents will long be missed.” – Chris Gore, G4TV Film Expert & Nerdlebrity

“By far, my favorite movie in the entire Star Wars pantheon is Empire and one of the main reasons was the direction of Irvin Kershner. His vision beautifully captured the darkness of the story he was telling and some of the greatest scenes of all-time were created under his watch-the Hoth battle, Yoda and Luke training in Dagobah, Bespin.
My biggest complaint about Irvin was that he didn’t direct one of the new trilogy movies as well.
Rest in peace Commander.” – Chris Jericho, wrestler/actor

“It takes guts of steel to enter another man’s empire and demand improvement — Irvin Kreshner had those guts. He expanded George Lucas’s ground-breaking vision, navigated the rough waters of audience expectation, complicated production and financial strife and propelled a narrative that had already become the face of popular culture into a new order of artistic magnitude. Also, he loved ‘the puppet,’ and that makes him a hero in my book.” – Javier Grillo-Marxuach, writer/producer of The Middleman and Lost

“I’ll never forget and always be thankful to him for exploding my young mind for my first epic battle scene. The battle of Hoth will stay with me always.” – Ben Templesmith, comic book artist/writer

“My favorite thing about Empire are the performances. The actors inhabit that extraordinary story with a relatable subtlety that borders on naturalism. I attribute this to Kersh’s deft and confident directing on the set and imagine he must’ve held sway in the cutting room. Kersh + Kasdan+ Lucas = best Star Wars ever. ” – Jesse Alexander, TV writer/producer


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

NMANews Animates Wicked Lasers Lightsaber C&D Team | November 16, 2010

NMANews has a cool way of making news even more entertaining with an animated reenactment. We blogged about their Steve Jobs Lightsaber Battle in Antennagate, and now none other than the Maker is the subject of their most recent video newscast about the Cease & Desist from Lucasfilm against Wicked Lasers.

WATCH VIDEO: Wicked Lasers defeats the dark forces of George Lucas (via NMANews)

Yoda the Bat? Team | October 6, 2010

It’s always exciting to see new species of animals, plants and insects discovered, but it’s even cooler when they look like our favorite Star Wars characters!

A nyctimene tube-nosed fruit bat with an appearance reminiscent of the Star Wars Jedi Master Yoda has been discovered in a remote rainforest. The bat, along with an orange spider and a yellow-spotted frog are among a host of new species found in a region of Papua New Guinea.

Read more here:
Feel the Force: Tube-nosed bat which bears striking resemblance to Yoda discovered as scientists find hundreds of new species

NASA to Send C-3PO to the Moon? Team | February 26, 2010

Is it just us or does NASA’s robot look a little like our favorite protocol droid C-3PO? Here’s hoping they give him better coping skills.

According to AmericaSpace:

Project M is a JSC Engineering Directorate led mission to put a lander on the moon with a robot within a 1,000 days starting Jan 1, 2010. “M” has significance in two ways. First, it is the Roman numeral for 1,000. And “M” is the first letter for “Moon.”


SOURCE: Gizmodo

Star Wars Fan Movie Winner directs Trenches Team | January 27, 2010

The directors, actors, screenwriters and additional crew who take the time, effort and money to make their own Star Wars fan films always hold a special place in our hearts. So when we see past winners of the Star Wars Film Movie Challenge end up making their dreams come true in the entertainment industry, we get excited.

Past fan film winner Shane Felux who made Star Wars Revelations, then won with Pitching Lucas, is now showing his talents on a new original online series called Trenches.

Set on a war-torn alien planet, Trenches is about a young soldier and his squad forced to team up with their enemies to fight vicious beasts. It features more than 400 effects shots, a huge number for an Internet show.

(Star Wars prequels producer) Rick McCallum himself told me to go and do my own thing, to go out and make my own story, and Trenches was that step forward.

Read the full article here:
‘Trenches,’ discarded Disney digital project, lands at Sony
(via Los Angeles Times)

California Hall of Fame Inducts George Lucas Team | December 2, 2009

Filmmaker George Lucas, gay-rights advocate Harvey Milk, comedian Carol Burnett, football legend John Madden, best-selling romance author Danielle Steel and other icons were among 13 individuals inducted into the California Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Tweeting live from the event, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger snapped candid photos of the inductees — including the one above of him shaking hands with George Lucas.

All of the inductees were chosen for being “remarkable individuals who embody the innovative spirit of the Golden State and who have changed the world by pursuing their dreams.”

The California Museum, located in downtown Sacramento, will display 13 exhibits showcasing the accomplishments of the inductees through October. George Lucas’ exhibit includes models of R2-D2 and C-3PO, as well as Indiana Jones’ jacket, whip and hat from the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Read the full article here:
Milk, Lucas among 13 inducted in Hall of Fame
(via San Francisco Chronicle)

Read more about the California Hall of Fame Exhibits here:
California Hall of Fame official site