Wondering what’s been happening at StarWars.com? Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed this week!
Rebels and Imperials converged on Gotham earlier this month for the New York Comic Con at the West Side’s Javits Center. The convergence from both Core World and Outer Rim gave evidence of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe as we continue moving into the new century and another generation.
As Star Wars fans we like our celebrations. Not only the Celebrations that rock convention centers worldwide every few years, but anniversaries like the 30th anniversary of Star Wars in 2007, Empire in 2010 and Return of the Jedi this year. One of the things that accompanied these 30th anniversary events was the release of the three Making of books by Lucas Books executive editor Jonathan Rinzler and on Saturday, October 5, Star Wars fans here in the UK had the chance to not only celebrate the release of the magnificent Making of Return of the Jedi but also a unique opportunity to look back three decades to the film at the very heart of this years celebrations (and Celebration as well), Return of the Jedi.
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…