The Cinema Behind Star Wars: The Guns of Navarone

Bryan Young | February 18, 2014

Han Solo at the shield bunker in Return of the Jedi, a scene similar to The Guns of Navarone

The Guns of Navarone came out in 1961 and, to my mind, is one of the greatest World War II films to ever come out of the 1960s and it seems to me that it must have been influencing Star Wars since the beginning. It tells the story of Keith Mallory (played by Gregory Peck) and a group of allied soldiers (including David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, and James Darren) as they work to destroy a pair of the biggest and well-fortified ship-destroying guns the allies have ever seen. If the guns aren’t destroyed within a few days, all of the allied soldiers being ferried through that channel for a rescue mission will be killed.

The story is entirely invented, there’s no island of Navarone, there were no British soldiers stranded on the isle of Keros, and the actors were all too old for the roles they were playing, but that doesn’t negate the charm and suspense of this effects laden picture.

Both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi have echoes of the plot. In the original Star Wars picture, the Rebel fleet must destroy the Death Star before it makes it within range of Yavin IV and it works out well. It inverts the tension with the bad guys attacking instead of passively hiding on an island. But Return of the Jedi is where the influence is felt the most.

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Toy Fair 2014: LEGO Star Wars Toy Gallery

StarWars.com Team | February 17, 2014

lego-star-wars-toy-fair-2014-021714

The brick-based Star Wars galaxy is expanding! New minifigures, vehicles, and playsets in the LEGO Star Wars line have been unveiled at Toy Fair 2014. Check out our gallery after the jump.

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Toy Fair 2014: Star Wars Hasbro Toy Gallery

StarWars.com Team | February 17, 2014

STAR-WARS-BLACK-SERIES-DELUXE-SPEEDER-BIKE-BIKER-SCOUT-A6588

The Force is strong — with action figures and plastic lightsabers — at Toy Fair 2014. Hasbro has unveiled new toys and vehicles for several major Star Wars lines, including Star Wars Rebels, the Black Series (including deluxe-size creatures and vehicles in the 6-inch collector’s line!), the brand-new Star Wars Command, and lots more. Check out our gallery after the jump!

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The StarWars.com 10: Best Han and Leia Moments

StarWars.com Team | February 14, 2014

The StarWars.com 10: Best Han and Leia Moments

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 we’re looking at the top moments between a certain scoundrel and princess.

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A Star Wars Love Story, Mandalorian Style

Tom Hutchens | February 14, 2014

 Mandalorian Mercs fan group trading card

Series-0 MMCC trading card.

Ten years ago, a silver haired male Zabrak in a dirty black desert coat stumbled into Mos Eisley Cantina. While enjoying a mug of Jawa beer at the bar, out of the corner of his eye he noticed a green female Twi’lek on the dance floor. She wore black CorSec issue trousers while waving a staff around haphazardly as she danced, which immediately caught attention of the Zabrak at the bar. Should he shoot, duck for cover, or attempt to rescue her from herself? Noticing the Zabrak staring at her, she turned around and said “Hello!”

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Win an Amazing Star Wars Experience and Help Make-A-Wish

Jessi Langsen | February 13, 2014

The Skywalker Ranch Main House - win a visit and meet George Lucas in Omaze's new contest

This is the house that Star Wars built. Technically it’s the house, soundstage, vineyard, observatory, and Lake Ewok that Star Wars built, but you get the idea.

This is the place where every bit of legend George Lucas has and continues to produce comes to life. Not many people have walked through the gates at Skywalker Ranch and those people include mere mortals like Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron.

You’re on the verge of joining their ranks.

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Fully Operational Fandom: Looking for Love in Aldera-right Places

Amy Ratcliffe | February 13, 2014

Star Wars fan wedding

It’s been just about a year since I started this column, and I kicked things off by talking about how a mutual adoration for Star Wars can bring two people together. Since Valentine’s Day is almost here, it seemed appropriate to highlight more love stories from fandom. In some cases, couples saw one of the films on their first date and others had big, fat Star Wars weddings (the best kind of weddings). Just like the Force, love surrounds us and binds the galaxy together.

The story can begin with a date to the movies. Troy Pichelman’s first outing with his now wife was seeing The Phantom Menace a week before it was released to the general public. Since her parents owned a movie theater, an early screening wasn’t a problem. If someone got me in to see a Star Wars movie early, I might propose to him on the spot. Troy’s wife made a creative callback to the date by giving him a framed original of an Episode I teaser poster for Christmas.

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Why Valentine’s Day Is Better with Star Wars

Tricia Barr | February 13, 2014

Star Wars Valentine's Day chocolates

With the new year well underway, specialty chocolate boxes and hearts of red, white, and pink on display signal that February has arrived. Valentine’s Day is often thought of as a day for romance and lovers. While talking about the mid-month event on the latest episode of Fangirls Going Rogue with my co-host Teresa Delgado and special guest Amy Ratcliffe, we recalled how we celebrated the holiday in our youth. For children, giving Valentine’s cards isn’t so much about romance, but rather a way to remind others of our friendship. In an age of social media friends, when connections are often electronic, the three of us all decided that the holiday provides a good incentive to express not just romantic feelings, but also to reach out and remind our friends that we were thinking about them too.

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Star Wars Celebration Questions I Love to Ask

Mary Franklin | February 12, 2014

A few weeks ago I was in Anaheim meeting with members of the Reed Expo team, reps from the Anaheim Convention Center, and a few audio/visual companies. We are more than a year out from what will likely be the biggest Celebration we’ve ever done, but planning is well underway.

Now is when we get to ask questions that I’m frankly quite passionate about answering: “Where are the best places for parties?” “How large a screen can we fit in this room?” “Where will the fans naturally gather and meet up?” “Where do we queue up the overnight line folks?”

It’s all about making sure we do the absolute best for the show, and it starts now — before we sign all the guests, before we create and schedule entertainment, and before we sell a single pavilion to a licensee, or create the first exclusive merchandise.

I LOVE this stage of planning. I might be alone in this affectionate obsession, but hopefully some of my site photographs and questions get you wondering too, and looking forward to April 16-19, 2015, in Anaheim. We’ll start the announcements soon at www.starwarscelebration.com.

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Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author’s Cut, Part 5: Zenith of the the Republic

Jason Fry with Paul Urquhart | February 11, 2014

5-hutts

Welcome to the fifth of 12 articles revealing – for the first time ever — material cut from The Essential Guide to Warfare before its April 2012 publication. Each section will be preceded by brief comments discussing why the material wound up on the cutting-room floor.

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