It’s Wednesday, which means one thing: new comic books! Check out a preview of new Star Wars comics available today after the jump!
Welcome to The StarWars.com 10, a feature where StarWars.com’s editorial staff huddles to discuss — in a committee — various topics relating to a galaxy far, far away. Today, as it’s that time of year, we pick the best creepy crawlies (big and small) of Star Wars.
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.
As one of the original and longest standing Star Wars licensees, Topps trading cards have always been a part of the Star Wars experience. So much so that, even today, it seems strange to me when I see a Star Wars photo and it doesn’t have a distinctive colored border.
By the time I’d discovered these fantastic collectables, they’d done the rounds and were largely absent from candy stores. So the hunt began! Regular visits to jumble sales, school fetes, and the occasional charity shop (remember this was pre-ebay!) occasionally resulted in a solitary warped card or even a selection held together by a rubber band that bent these little artifacts even further. Slowly, I built up a small but cherished image library. I’m still missing card #109 (Ben turns off the Tractor Beam) but I’m still searching…
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.
My name is Scott Hamman, and I’ve been with The Tech Museum of Innovation for a little over three years. Currently, I’m employed as a Membership Specialist. I’m one of the people you might meet when our museum proves itself so inspirational that you decide a membership would be a good purchase. I work for The Tech because I believe in our mission, to inspire the innovator in everyone, and because the corporate culture draws people of a similar mindset: creative, fun, and sometimes a little geeky.
We’ve hosted several traveling exhibitions since I started with The Tech, including ones about Genghis Khan, the history of science in the Islamic world, the human body, and the MythBusters. Though I have enjoyed them all, when word came that we were to present “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” I flashed back to my childhood, to the previews I saw for Star Wars a few months before the movie was released in 1977.
The exhibition hall has been strictly off-limits to all but a few key people during setup. I would occasionally hear stories about certain artifacts being unpacked, or about how cool the Millennium Falcon Experience is. Yesterday, our project manager and three of his assistants treated me to a tour of the exhibition. The four of them kept a close eye on me while I walked through, not because they were worried I’d try to touch one of the artifacts, but in order to monitor my reactions.