Archive for ‘News’

Director Richard Kelly Visits Skywalker Team | October 29, 2009

The week director Richard Kelly visited Skywalker, as well as the Lucasfilm-ILM San Francisco campus, to screen his latest film The Box, as well as indulge staff as they asked uber-geeky questions about his new movie, his breakout hit Donnie Darko and about filmmaking in general.

Richard blogged about his visit on the MTV Movies Blog:

The good people of Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic hosted a screening of The Box an invited me to stay at the legendary Lucas ranch for the night and tour the facilities.

The property itself is everything a fanboy could dream and more – as an alumni of USC and an acolyte in the church of Lucas – I was speechless when I was granted access to the Sergei Eisenstein apartment, a spacious lodge with a vaulted ceiling and fireplace.

It was then on to visit the wonderful folks at ILM in San Francisco. We did a post-screening discussion on The Box (opening November 6th!) which was moderated by Kate Shaw – Director of Training and Education – who asked a series of insightful and thoughtful questions about the film.

It was an honor to be among fellow artists and technicians who appreciate the art of science-fiction and open to exploring the themes of the film. I have to say it was probably my favorite Q+A that I have ever done.

Read the full blog entry here:
Richard Kelly’s Latest Guest Blog Takes Us To Skywalker Ranch! (via MTV Movie Blog)

Be sure to follow Richard Kelly on Twitter.

Report from the Clone Wars Season Two Press Junket Team | September 22, 2009

Photos: Jocelyn Knight

Note: Stay tuned to the Official Star Wars Blog today as we update with news straight from Lucasfilm’s Big Rock Ranch where the Clone Wars Season Two press junket is currently underway…

This morning, members of the press were given a sneak peek at a three-episode story arc from season two that returns the Republic heroes to the planet of Geonosis introduced in Attack of the Clones. Without revealing any plot points, we can report what supervising director Dave Filoni said upon introducing the episodes:

Filoni: “Across this series of episodes we’ll see Anakin’s relationship with his Padawan, which is something I’m very keenly interested in developing as the series moves forward. Ahsoka’s one of the big question marks, especially if you’ve been a fan of Star Wars for a long time. Originally people said ‘I didn’t know Anakin had a Padawan’, and so we dealt with that question last year. Now the impression is, ‘Dave, where are you going with this and what’s going to happen to this girl?’ The kids that I run into all the time are very concerned for Ahsoka, because she’s not in the third movie — ‘and why is that Dave?’ We’ll find out. I’m very well aware of what the answer to that is.”


Pegg & Frost: Filming New Sci-fi Movie Team | September 8, 2009

Star Wars fan and actor Simon Pegg is hard at work with fellow actor and best pal Nick Frost filming their next movie (which they also wrote) called Paul. They play two comic book geeks who go on a road trip to Nevada’s infamous Area 51. While in the middle of that desert, the two friends encounter a fugitive alien by the name of Paul.

Of course, it makes sense that in many of the behind-the-scenes video blogs, Simon is wearing an Empire Strikes Back t-shirt.

Watch their behind-the-scenes videos here:
What is Paul?

Report from the Star Wars Spectacular 2009 Team | July 24, 2009

This Star Wars Spectacular report may be quite different from others because the Star Wars Spectacular is quite different this year. Joining Lucasfilm’s Head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet on the stage to showcase some of the most exciting upcoming developments this year holds for Star Wars are G4’s Kevin Periera and Olivia Munn from “Attack of the Show.” This Hall H presentation will be broadcast on G4 tomorrow (Saturday, July 24, at 2pm), so those who want as thorough a recap as possible had best catch that show. Still, we want to keep you up to speed on the big beats, so here goes…

Star Wars: In Concert


The panel presentation started “cold” — with no preamble, no vocal introduction. Just the lights going down, and the massive screen coming to life with a video introduction of Star Wars: In Concert (see the video here).

A surprise presence then took the stage — Anthony Daniels, known to legions of Star Wars fans as C-3PO. “Star Wars [music] has always been one of the key characters in the Star Wars Saga,” said Daniels. “As key as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. We’ve all loved John Williams music as an integral part of the movies. And so I was thrilled to be asked to host what I thought would be a concert, with film clips.”

Daniels described the premiere at the O2 Arena in London, where Star Wars: In Concert first took shape. “I stood on the empty stage looking at the thousands of seats that would soon be filled by fans and music lovers. It felt magical. It felt like home. I felt good.”

Continued Daniels, “This thing was not ‘a concert with clips.’ It was indescribable. It was massive. Not only was I going to retell one of the greatest stories ever. My words would cue all this overwhelming technology.  And all live… no retakes.  Of course being on stage I sort of missed the whole thing. It wasn’t until later, when I saw a recording of the show that I realized just how good it is. I knew it was different but not that it was so extravagantly spectacular and thrilling.”

Star Wars: In Concert begins its Worldwide Tour in Anaheim on October 1. Daniels pointed audience members to for more information and ticketing.

Welcome Your Hosts

Steve Sansweet next took the stage, a familiar fixture to the Star Wars fan community and the Comic-Con experience. Welcoming the fans, Sansweet quickly described how this Spectacular was different this time round.  “This is the first time ever that a San Diego Comic-Con panel will be televised, but we like being first—just as Lucasfilm was the first film company to bring its story directly to fans with details and photos of a little space fantasy—way back in 1976!” Sansweet teased that next year is the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, and that it’s the perfect opportunity for a Star Wars Celebration. “We don’t have yet have an exact date or place, but we are in the planning stage of Star Wars Celebration V, coming to your galaxy next summer.”


He invited his co-hosts on to the stage, handing the baton to Kevin and Olivia (who had their hands filled with lightsabers as they dueled their way into stage). To show their devotion to Star Wars fandom, both showed up in costume. Olivia was decked out as sexy (but not Jabba’s slave) Princess Leia. “Now, nothing shows commitment more than strapping yourself into a metal bikini,” quipped Olivia. “But that outfit is – let’s call it: drafty. So I went in a different direction – what do you think?”


R2-D2 in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Team | June 24, 2009

Our beloved astromech seems to be popping up everywhere. First R2-D2 shows up in Star Trek. And now the film’s visual-effects supervisor, who also worked on Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, and the same screenwriting team who wrote him into Star Trek, are saying Artoo is in their new movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

MTV News reports:

“There’s an R2-D2 flying around in there somewhere,” revealed ILM’s Scott Farrar, the film’s visual-effects supervisor, who also worked on the Star Wars episodes Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. “There’s a little bit of space junk thrown in there; see if you can find it. It’s a scene in the desert.” Interestingly enough, George Lucas’ charismatic droid also had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in Star Trek, which shares the same writing team as Transformers. Is it a coincidence? “Perhaps,” screenwriter Alex Kurtzman grinned mischievously. “Perhaps not.”

Read the full article here:
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know (via VH1/MTV)

R2-D2 Easter Egg Revealed in Star Trek

Bonnie Burton | June 11, 2009

Now that the Paramount contest to spot R2-D2 in the new Star Trek film is over, here’s where our beloved astromech can be found:

From the Star Trek Easter Egg Sweepstakes Facebook Page:

During the Drill Machine sequence as the Enterprise comes out of its barrel role amidst destruction of the other Federation ships above Vulcan, we cut to an interior Enterprise bridge over the shoulder of Kirk that is looking out through the front viewscreen. In space, R2-D2 is floating in the debris from about the top middle of the screen to the bottom right.

He’s very tiny, but alas there he is floating in space — poor fella.

Read more about other Easter Eggs in this interview with one of the Star Trek screenwriters:
Trek Writer Roberto Orci Talks Writing, Reboots and Star Wars

Update on Patrick Read Johnson’s Film ’77 Team | June 7, 2009

Actor John Francis Daley and the rest of the ’77 cast.

Imagine if you were an amateur teenage filmmaker who stumbled upon Star Wars while visiting the ILM film studios before the film ever hit theaters in 1977. That’s the kind of magic that Patrick Read Johnson’s autobio picture 5-25-77 — recently renamed ’77 — captures.

If you were lucky enough to see a special screening of the film at Star Wars Celebration IV in 2007, you already know how endearing this film is.

It’s been awhile since we heard anything new about the film since it’s preview. So we were delighted to get an update from Starlog magazine when they sat down to have a chat with director-screenwriter Patrick Read Johnson.

STARLOG: What’s the current status of ’77?

PRJ: Though we had two fantastic screenings at the Hamptons Film Festival and won an award (The Heineken Red Star) and got a lot of nice press, Cassian and Phil and I all felt we needed to do some more work in the cutting room, which in turn required us to heavily revise our VFX shot list, choose some different songs from the era for certain sequences AND rework portions of the score by David Russo and Alan Parsons. Meanwhile, various members of the team were being picked off by other jobs, and the big financial meltdown was occurring, and investment dollars were suddenly very hard to come by… So we basically shut down at the end of the year to wait out the turmoil. By the time things started to calm down, my VFX team was off doing other work, my composers were on to other jobs, and I’d taken an offer to direct another film. But, thankfully, I’ll be done with that project right about the time we plan on restarting post on ’77, in order to have it ready for the American Film Market in November.


How Darth Vader Ended Up in Night at Museum 2

Bonnie Burton | May 20, 2009

Hank Azaria and Shawn Levy, the co-star and director of Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian, recently told reporters that they were surprised that their characters were given permission to face against both Star Wars‘s Darth Vader and Sesame Street‘s Oscar the Grouch.

Azaria and Levy spoke alongside screenwriters Ben Garant and Tom Lennon and cast members Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Ben Stiller and Amy Adams at a press conference.

SciFi Wire reports:

Ben Stiller: With Darth Vader, didn’t George Lucas have to say it was OK?

Shawn Levy: Oh, yeah. We literally had to go to the top of the food chain with both at Sesame Street and George Lucas, and they said yes. It was always this hilarious scene where Darth Vader was going to try the choking gesture [on Kahmunrah] from Star Wars, but then Hank riffed all the stuff about Vader being an asthmatic and wearing a cape. Are we going to the opera?

Ben Stiller: Did George Lucas have to approve the final version?

Ricky Gervais: There’s a lawsuit coming. [laughs] [Edit: We think this is a joke.]

Hank Azaria: Yeah, but all the Jar Jar [Binks] stuff was taken out. [This is also a joke.]

How’d Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch end up in Museum 2?
(via SciFi Wire)

Chris Pine Channels Han Solo for Star Trek

Bonnie Burton | May 20, 2009

Captain Kirk has always had a certain level of bravado, but for the new Star Trek film, so it’s no surprise that actor Chris Pine wanted to inject a little more personality from another beloved, sarcastic film character — Han Solo.

IGN reports:

When asked who he would like his incarnation of the Starship Enterprise captain to most resemble, Pine responded, “I would definitely say Harrison Ford in either Indiana Jones or Star Wars. What Harrison Ford is so great at doing is bringing that quality to his characters that if they could be anywhere else in the world they would be there, but he is not, he just is in the middle of s*** and he has to figure out a way of dealing with it so that he can go back to doing whatever the hell he was doing before the film started.”

“I’ve always loved that quality about him in Star Wars, this sense of absolute grumpy manner; the accidental hero. Not to say that I modeled my version of James T. Kirk on anything in particular but I think I definitely have wanted to bring that kind of Harrison Ford humor to Kirk.”

Read the full interview here:
Trek Star Reveals Captain Kirk Inspiration (via

Star Wars Actor Jay Laga’aia Joins the 501st Team | May 18, 2009

(Photo by Percy Ricaud)

Star Wars actor Jay Laga’aia — who is best known for his role as Captain Typho — can now be officially addressed as TK-6352 thanks to The 501st Legion. writes:

Although he’s been a Honorary Member of the 501st since October 2005, Star Wars actor Jay Laga’aia (Captain Typho) always had full intentions of becoming an armor-wearing member of the 501st. On May 14, Jay realized his dream and was approved as TK-6352 of the Terror Australis Garrison.

To preserve the surprise, local members were bound to secrecy even as they helped Jay acquire and assemble his stormtrooper armor, and the tongue-in-cheek alias of “Jasson Lagguinski” was used throughout the member application process.

Jay is the 2009 Star Wars Weekends celebrity host from May 22 to June 14 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, and hopes to don the armor for his first official troop sometime during his visit. Jay will be joined each weekend by other Star Wars Weekends mainstays such as Jeremy Bulloch, Warwick Davis, Dave Filoni, Peter Mayhew, Temuera Morrison, Ray Park, David Prowse and Matthew Wood and — of course — the 501st Legion.

Congrats Jay! We all look forward to see you suited up!