Glee’s Harry Shum Jr. shows off his lightsaber skills against Stephen Boss in this short film directed by Ross Ching.
WATCH FILM HERE: 3 Minutes
As someone always on the lookout for rare old Star Wars photos, I was pleased to discover Forbes.com’s Geek Beat columnist David M. Ewalt had unearthed a cool old gem from the vaguely-documented “Star Wars Holiday Special” of 1978, which we actually lent a bit of coverage to a couple years ago.
While researching a couple of those pieces, I came across a rare Associated Press image of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in photocopied articles from 1978, but couldn’t locate the original in Lucasfilm’s expansive Image Archives (apparently, wire photos were not automatically sent to LFL for approval and/or cataloging). Enter Ewalt’s Geek Beat column, which appears to have located the original shot of Ford and Fisher in a rare backstage moment captured by AP photographer George Brich.
Ah, to be a fly on the wall to hear what Ford is sharing with Fisher before their next Holiday Special take…
French dance music duo Daft Punk (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) have been doing a lot of press lately for their work on the soundtrack for the Tron sequel. This interview with Los Angeles Times caught our attention mainly for their awesome shout out to Star Wars and how it influenced their iconic helmet costumes.
Of course, we knew of Daft Punk’s love of Star Wars thanks to their cameo in last year’s Force-tastic adidas Originals commercial.
So it had to be asked: Are those robot helmets (without which Daft Punk is never photographed) an implicit homage to Tron?
“It’s closer to a Star Wars vibe,” said De Homem-Christo. “It’s very ’70s, but very relevant to me. We are robots, because we think it fits.”
Bangalter added: “We liked the idea of these robot personas — the concept that robots, that technology can connect people or help you integrate on a daily basis but also scare people. That’s what we created instead of showing us. We find it more stimulating and entertaining.”
Read the full interview here:
Daft Punk discusses the inspiration behind the robot helmets: More ‘Star Wars’ than ‘Tron’ — via LA Times
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
Actors from the hit British sci-fi Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood pose with lightsabers and puppets from Avenue Q.
Of course, with the next season of Torchwood coming to the States, we’d love to see the Scooby gang catch aliens at Skywalker Ranch. Capt Jack already has his Jedi pose down pat! HINT HINT.
Recently, columnist and mom Carrie Goldman wrote an essay in Chicago Now about bullying in schools and why parents should start teaching their children as soon as 1st grade how to deal with being bullied. She spoke from the heart, not just because it’s an issue all parents must grapple with, but because her own young daughter Katie was being bullied FOR LIKING STAR WARS!?!
Here’s the excerpt from her article Anti-Bullying Starts in First Grade:
She wailed, “The first grade boys are teasing me at lunch because I have a Star Wars water bottle. They say it’s only for boys. Every day they make fun of me for drinking out of it. I want them to stop, so I’ll just bring a pink water bottle.”
I hugged her hard and felt my heart sink. Such a tender young age, and already she is embarrassed about the water bottle that brought her so much excitement and joy a few months ago.
Is this how it starts? Do kids find someone who does something differently and start to beat it out of her, first with words and sneers? Must my daughter conform to be accepted?
As any Star Wars fan worth his or her weight in midichlorians can tell you, there is no one single “type” of Star Wars fan. Star Wars fans are both genders, all ages, all races and all nationalities.
And not only are there millions of women who love Star Wars, there famous, talented women who love Star Wars like pop star Lady Gaga, country/pop singer Taylor Swift, actress Megan Fox, actress/producer Drew Barrymore, actress/producer/writer Tina Fey, actress Michelle Ryan, comedian/actress Margaret Cho, award-winning actress Helen Mirren, MTV’s own Liz Lee, 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord, supermodel & reality TV star Adrianne Curry, actress & gamer goddess Felicia Day, Jane Wiedlin from The Go-Go’s, singer Tanya Donelly, Jenny Conlee from The Decemberists, MSNBC news host Rachel Maddow, not to mention all the cool gamer gals in Team Unicorn! And that’s just to name only a few!
Let’s not forget our awesome female actresses in our films & The Clone Wars animated TV series who also love the franchise such as Ahsoka Tano actress Ashley Eckstein (who loved Star Wars so much she started her own sci-fi themed fashion line Her Universe), Aurra Sing actress Jaime King, Padmé Amidala actress Catherine Taber, Barriss Offee actress Meredith Salenger, Asajj Ventress actress Nika Futterman, Shaak Ti actress Tasia Valenza, Duchess Satine actress Anna Graves… just to name a few.
My point is, ladies love Star Wars too, and we should all support their right to geek out just like the guys. Little girls need to know they have every right to pick up a lightsaber as the rest of us.
Star Wars itself is full of strong, independent female characters who wouldn’t have taken any guff from 1st grade boys who clearly don’t know their Star Wars characters.
It’s these female characters like Ahsoka Tano, Princess Leia, Senator Amidala, Aurra Sing, Asajj Ventress, Mon Mothma, Aayla Secura, Barriss Offee, Luminara Unduli, Mara Jade, Darth Talon, Sy Snootles, Zam Wesell, Jocasta Nu, Ackmena, Jaina Solo — and many MANY more — who little girls (and us big girls) can learn a lot from when it comes to being ourselves and fighting for what we believe in.
Kids can be cruel. They’re just trying to figure who they are and the friends they want to hang with. They want to be themselves, but they don’t want to be made fun of for being different. Sometimes standing up for what you love isn’t as easy as it looks when you have a gang of little girls snickering at you or a bunch of boys calling you names for liking something they think is just for them.
I should know. Not only was I bullied all through school for loving Star Wars, Doctor Who and anything else with an awesome robot in it; I decided to write a book about it for other girls who have to deal with bullying called Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change.
But here’s how WE as Star Wars fans can help RIGHT NOW:
UPDATE: So many people are leaving supportive comments so they made a second page to leave comments here.
May the Force be with guys AND girls…. always.
Grant talks about what’s like dressing up as Golden Rod to shoot car commercials in Japan, meet Oprah, and to open an amusement park in Australia with Hugh Jackman. He also describes other highlights while dressed as C-3PO like meeting Carrie Fisher & Magic Johnson.
Read more about Grant Imahara on StarWars.com:
Be sure to follow Grant Imahara on Twitter.
Actor, comedian and Star Wars fan Simon Pegg, best known for his Brit slacker role in Spaced as well as a reluctant zombie killer in Shaun of the Dead and a younger Scotty in the Star Trek reboot, recently published his autobiography Nerd Do Well.
In his book, Pegg talks about his childhood, teenage years, family life, the happenstance meeting of his wife and his friendships with actor Nick Frost, director Edgar Wright and Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin. Anyone who reads interviews with Pegg, follows him on Twitter and reads his blog knows how much Star Wars inspires/angers/entertains him on a regular basis. So it’s no shocker that his autobiography is scattered with Star Wars memories.
Tom Lamont from The Guardian interviews Pegg about his new book:
Star Wars has been the most consistent supplement and tonic, Pegg an impressionable eight-year-old when George Lucas’ epic arrived in his local cinema in 1977. “I was the exact demographic for that film,” he says. “I was a **** 1m-high target, and it got me right through the eyes. I can mark out my life from that point in terms of my relationship with that film.”
No exaggeration. A game of Jedi re-enactment in Gloucester’s woodlands helped a youthful Pegg and his peers get over the death of a friend in a car accident. A socio-historical interpretation of the film with Ewoks as Vietnamese militia was his thesis subject as a film student at Bristol University. On one occasion, in hospital after an operation, Pegg awoke from his anaesthetically induced coma an hour too early, confounding doctors until it was realized he must have overheard a fellow patient on the ward watching Star Wars on VHS, jealously aroused by the sound of R2-D2’s clicks and beeps.
Read the full article here:
Simon Pegg: “I measure my life in terms of my relationship with Star Wars“
Be sure to check out Simon Pegg along with Nick Frost in the new sci-fi comedy Paul.
Read more about Pegg and his thoughts on Star Wars here:
The California State Parks Foundation is hosting their second annual Film Series the first weekend in November and will include a screening of Return of the Jedi and post-screening audience Q&A with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and David Barclay, Yoda puppeteer.
Held at Paramount Studios, the Jedi screening is just one of several attractions being staged for the “California State Parks Starring in Hollywood Films” event, which will also include a public hike at nearby Malibu Creek State Park (the historic site where TV’s “M*A*S*H” was shot).
For a full list of screenings, related events, and tickets, check out the official site here.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, IMDB.com is interviewing actors and directors about their favorite movies. This week, IMDB chats with one of our favorite celebrity Star Wars fans — Milo Ventimiglia.
In this video, Milo mentions the entire Star Wars saga as part of his long list of favorite movies, as well as Darth Vader’s reveal to Luke that he is his father being one of his favorite movie dialog moments. Thanks Milo!
WATCH VIDEO: Milo Ventimiglia — IMDB 20th Anniversary Interview
More Milo on StarWars.com: