Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’



Interviewing George Lucas

J.W. Rinzler | July 24, 2012

This would be the fifth or sixth time I’d be asking George about the making of one of his films. In this case, we’d be talking about The Making of Return of the Jedi. The first official interview was back in 2004 for a book on The Making of Revenge of the Sith. Then we went back in time to Star Wars, the Indiana Jones films, and Empire, for their respective books. For each I always bring lots of backup: extra batteries, a second recorder, notes, laptop (optional)… and of course the questions. (The last thing I want to be doing is scribbling frantically—though that’s what I had to do on set, as it wasn’t practical otherwise.)

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Inside How to Speak Wookiee

StarWars.com Team | October 21, 2011

Art by JAKe

Ever wonder how to order a Bantha Burger or talk about Picasso with Wookiees? Now you can learn how to flirt AND conduct business meetings with Chewbacca’s friends. The new book How to Speak Wookiee from Chronicle Books shows you how to do this and more with chapters like “At the Restaurant” and “On Public Transportation!” Plus the book has handy sound files so you can sound like a Wookiee in no time!

Star Wars artist JAKe illustrates the book with his unique and whimsical style. Born in Hull, England, JAKe was raised by Wookiees from a young age. He speaks the Wookiee language fluently, but with a strong Northern accent. He now lives and works in London, and would never use a cheap Jedi mind-trick to make you visit his site Jake-art.com.

StarWars.com chats with JAKe about his illustrations for the book, his favorite scenes and if his Wookiee roar has improved.


How did you decide what Wookiee scenes you wanted to draw?

The script for the book came in and some scenes like the restaurant and art gallery, where already in the text. Some of the others scenes just specified “Wookiee Scenario” so I could come up with my own scene. I thought it was important to have a holochess scene.

I love the restaurant scene… though shouldn’t a Wookiee chef wear a hair net?

He IS wearing a hair net. It’s just that it’s a barely visible full body hair net. That particular chef specializes in rural Wookiee cuisine. In some remote parts of Kashyyyk, it’s considered good luck for visitors to eat a dish containing Wookiee chef hair. Coughing up the furballs at the end of the meal is the Wookiee equivalent of the dessert trolley.

Wookiees in a Meeting is another one of my favorite scenes! What kind of things do you think Wookiees talk about in meetings?

Wookiees discuss many subjects in meetings, but mainly, discussions start with “Is the air-conditioning actually on in this building?” (“Arrrrrwrrrrrronnkkk raarrh”) and continue in this vein, until someone mentions the topic of lunch. Wookiees have a distinct low tolerance for management-speak like “Blue sky thinking,” “Going Forward” and “Singing from the same hymn sheet” and subsequently, the sound of arms being ripped from sockets is a common sound throughout the intergalactic business community.

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Meet Bones the AT-AT Dog!

StarWars.com Team | October 19, 2011

photos: John Nolan

This adorkable AT-AT dog costume made the rounds last week online. As a craftster, I am always curious how fans make their elaborate cosplay costumes, especially for their pets.

StarWars.com chats with artist and photographer Katie Mello — who works as a Character Fabricator at LAIKA/house, an animation studio (Coraline) in Portland, Oregon — about how she made the AT-AT costume for her dog named Bones!

What is the back story of these photos? Why dress up your dog as an AT-AT?

I have been a Star Wars fan forever. When I was younger, I wanted to work for Industrial Light & Magic when I grew up. I studied everything I could about “special effects.”

By the time I got into college it was clear that everything would be done with computers and I was more interested in making tangible artwork. Lucky for me I discovered stop-motion animation. Now I build puppets for stop-motion productions, and have developed the skills that I need to make just about anything I want.

From the first time we saw Bones, an Italian Greyhound, my husband and I thought he looked like an AT-AT. He has such an unusual shape. Three years later, I finally made him this costume. I also used this opportunity to improve my patterning and sewing skills.

What did you make the costume out of?

First I made a costuming dummy out of upholstery foam, so I could minimize the amount of fittings that I would have to do on Bones. His comfort is important to me. To make the form, I carved the foam into Bones likeness and made sure it matched his measurements. This made the whole process much easier, and I can make other costumes for him very easily now.

The main body is a super-stretchy cotton/spandex, which I patterned for Bones using a shirt that he wears to keep warm. I also made a stretchy cowl to go over his head. I airbrushed this while it was on the costume dummy using airbrush paint.

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Robert Kirkman: Growing Up with Jawas and Zombies

Bonnie Burton | October 14, 2011



(Photo by Megan Mack)

Interview by Bonnie Burton

You can’t be a fan of zombies and not know the name Robert Kirkman. As the creator of the award-winning comic book series The Walking Dead for Image Comics and the hit TV show The Walking Dead airing on AMC with a new season starting Oct 16, Kirkman is making us all a little more nervous when we hear something go bump in the middle of the night. Kirkman’s talents have also extended to other comics such as Invincible, Haunt, Guarding the Globe, Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies, just to name a few.

StarWars.com chats with Kirkman about why The Walking Dead needed to give zombies and the people fighting them a story worthy of both comics and television. Kirkman also geeks out about Jawas, George Lucas and why Boba Fett would be great at fighting off hordes of zombies.

ON THE WALKING DEAD:

What was the genesis for your wildly popular comic book series, The Walking Dead?

The main idea that resulted in The Walking Dead is the fact that I do not like the way most zombie movies end. I’m a fan of zombie movies; they’re always entertaining; but they only have only one of two endings — everybody dies or the people who survive run off into the sunset and you never see them again. It always occurred to me that the most interesting stories could be told after that point. How do they continue to survive? Where do they go? How do they find food? How do they build shelter? How do people interact in a world like this one or two years later? Is society rebuilt or is civilization lost for good? These are the kinds of questions that I would always think about.

At the time I was trying to come up with a new comic book series and I just thought, “Wow, that’s a story that I could really kind of dig into and tell for decades. My main goal in life is to create a comic book series that I’ll be able to write for years and years for as long as I wanted and be able to control it and tell the stories I wanted. And that became The Walking Dead.

How has the experience differed for you working on The Walking Dead TV series on AMC of your own comic?

It’s been easy because the comic book still exists; I’m still writing every month — that’s what I do and I do whatever I want with those stories; and nothing has changed at all in any way in as far as how the comic is made. When it comes to the television show… I don’t know how to make a television show. I don’t act, I don’t operate a camera, and I don’t know any of the things that go into making a TV show. So it hasn’t been difficult at all to go, “Okay, this is a completely different medium that I know nothing about, let’s work with 5,000 very talented people to try to come up with how this works.”

A lot your comic book fans have been debating why certain characters and story lines have gone in a different direction on the TV show. Has it been strange seeing The Walking Dead morph into something else on TV? Is the writers’ room like a zombie battlefield where you are fighting to keep certain elements from your comic in the show, or are you more flexible with the adaptation?

Being in the writers room is actually really fun because we’re delving into stories that I told years ago. The material that we’re adapting into the show now is stuff that I wrote 8 or 9 years ago. Being the guy who wrote that stuff, I look back on it and think about how I might do something different or better. I don’t look at that stuff and demand that things don’t change. I’m actively excited about changing things and adapting it and making it better by doing different things with it. If anything, I’m the guy i the room saying, “We don’t have to do that! What are you talking about?”

Other people are actually trying to convince me to keep things in the show from the comic. It’s a fun process and it hasn’t really been that hard for me to let go on the TV show just because I’m surrounded by such talented people.

ON GROWING UP WITH STAR WARS:

You’ve been quoted in your most recent bio, that you wore out your VHS copies of Return of the Jedi, what were some of your childhood memories of Star Wars?

I actually saw Return of the Jedi first. I watched that VHS copy so much that I didn’t even know it was the third movie in a trilogy. I didn’t see Star Wars until I was in ninth grade. I lot of people debate whether or not to see the prequel trilogy first because if spoils the reveal that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. I don’t think I ever didn’t know that Vader was Luke’s father. I guess I came across Star Wars in a weird way, but I guess that’s just how it happened.

As child of pop culture, you were a fan of G.I. Joe and Transformers as well as Star Wars. When you started drawing at a young age, did you ever merge your fandoms into one comic?

I don’t still have the drawings, but I know I drew Spider-Man and Batman with lightsabers and stuff like that.

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The Complete Vader Author Interviews

StarWars.com Team | October 6, 2011

Star Wars: The Complete Vader – a 192-page tome that explores the history, costume, merchandise and cultural impact of cinema’s most iconic villain — finally hits the street October 18th, and we’ve got the low-down on this all-things-Vader tribute directly from authors Ryder Windham and Pete Vilmur (click here for a preview of several spreads from The Complete Vader).

Who conceived The Complete Vader, and when did you begin working on it?

Ryder Windham: Kjersti Egerdahl, an associate editor at becker&mayer!, first contacted me about the project in the fall of 2007. I eventually learned that the idea for a big non-fiction book about Darth Vader came from J. W. Rinzler at Lucasfilm, who conceived it as a natural follow-up to becker&mayer!’s previous project, The Star Wars Vault by Steve Sansweet and Pete Vilmur. After talking with Kjersti, I realized how much I wanted a Darth Vader “coffee-table book” of my own, so the opportunity to write the book was quite a thrill. Because I’m not an expert on Star Wars merchandise, I knew the book needed a co-author. I was both glad and relieved when I found out Pete Vilmur had signed on.

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Washington Square Park Lightsaber Flash Mob!

StarWars.com Team | October 3, 2011

On Saturday, September 24, Star Wars fans in New York City invaded Washington Square Park for a massive lightsaber flash mob organized by Newmindspace.

StarWars.com chats with New Yorker Lisa Reid about her experience as a Jedi for the night at the Washington Square Park Lightsaber Flash Mob event.

How did you find out about the lightsaber flash mob?

I’ve lived in the Washington Square Park area for about 7 years now. Back in 2008, I came across this — pretty much a bunch of college kids in the park with lightsabers, dueling amongst themselves. A few weeks ago, I saw an event posted on Facebook for a lightsaber duel in Washington Square Park and I was like, “There is no way I’m going to miss this!”

Who organized it and why?

I don’t know too much about Newmindspace — the guys who organized the event. I do know they’re the same guys who organize the huge pillow fight in Union Square every year. The lightsaber battle is more my speed.

Did people bring lightsabers or did they give them out?

A lot of people brought their own, but the organizers did make lightsabers available for sale — reserve them prior to the event, pick them up at the event, and if you didn’t, they sold them first come, first serve. The girl next to me had a one of those retractable/antenna lightsabers that you can get at Toys ‘R Us for $10.

Have you ever been involved in a flash mob before?

Of course! Via YouTube, like 99.5% of people out there.

Describe what it was like seeing all those lit lightsabers waving in the air?

It was cool. You really have to hand it to all of the people who made it out that night. I’m guessing there were about 500 to 600 people wielding lightsabers on Saturday night. I mean, you see a lot of things in the park. But it was really nice to see all of that positivity — people just out to have a fun time.

What was the best costume you saw?

I’m so sad! I saw Twitpics of some pretty cool costumes but unfortunately none of them were near me so I didn’t get any pics of them! Most of the people around me were decked out in robes — I think one of the sponsors was giving them out. My kid flirted with a Princess Leia, so I guess she gets best costume in my book.

Why do you think Star Wars fans rock?

Star Wars fans are awesome. There was a grand mix of college kids, young kids, people with kids, kids at heart. I fall into the People with Kids camp. When the Star Wars fans were touching their lightsabers in the air together, one guy was sweet enough to give a lightsaber to my one-year-old son to hold up. Made his night.


Star Wars Art: Comics Interview: Carlos Garzón

StarWars.com Team | September 29, 2011

Original cover art by Al Williamson and Carlos Garzón for Marvel’s Star Wars #39

Star Wars Art: Comics, a new book from Abrams which showcases the best original artwork from the past three decades of Star Wars comic-book publishing, has just been released this week, much to the delight of Star Wars comic art aficionados. One of the artists prominently featured throughout the new book is comic legend Carlos Garzón, whose Star Wars illustrating career reaches all the way back to Marvel’s The Empire Strikes Back series in 1980. Friend, author, and StarWars.com contributor Ryder Windham caught up with Garzón during last year’s Celebration V to discuss his long and varied career in the world of comics —

The Star Wars Art of Carlos Garzón
by Ryder Windham

Longtime fans of Star Wars comics will recognize the name Carlos Garzón as the artist who worked with writer Archie Goodwin and artist Al Williamson on the Marvel Comics adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and several episodes of the syndicated Star Wars comic strip. I had the great pleasure of meeting Garzón and seeing his portfolio of original art at Star Wars Celebration V, and he graciously answered many questions about his life and work.

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Muppet Troopers!

StarWars.com Team | September 26, 2011

In honor of Jim Henson’s birthday, 501st members Mike Lica and Derek Lane-Waters paid homage to their favorite Muppets with these hilarious modifications to their armor while attending Detroit Fanfare!

StarWars.com chats with Mike and Derek about their Muppet-tastic Stormtrooper costumes!

What made you want to dress up as a Muppet Trooper?

Mike Lica: Before Star Wars there were the Muppets . I was 9 years old when the Muppets came out and the Muppets were still a big hit when Star Wars arrived. These were the two things all kids talked about and then it happened — Star Wars and the Muppets meet on The Muppet Show. This was great because back then you really looked forward to Star Wars characters appearing on shows like the Muppets, Donnie & Marie show etc. One day Derek and I were talking about this project and knew it would be possible if the right planning was done and after month’s of preparation we finally made it a reality. I look forward to the next time we can make another appearance as Muppet Troopers.

Derek Lane-Waters: I grew up watching Star Wars and the Muppets. I have always connected with both, especially when Frank Oz performed as Yoda. Plus my favorite episode of The Muppet Show was the Star Wars episode with Luke, Chewie, C-3PO and R2-D2.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Bounty Hunter II: Pit of Carkoon

StarWars.com Team | August 24, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, Bounty Hunter II: Pit of Carkoon won the Best Animated Feature.

Starwars.com chats with Nebraska-based filmmaker Jim Mehsling about his award-winning film Bounty Hunter II: Pit of Carkoon.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How has George Lucas and his films influenced your work?

This is actually my fourth Star Wars fan film. I’ve always been a huge fan of the series and the chance to do my own take on the characters and play around with some animated designs in the Star Wars Universe is a fun challenge.

What is the back story regarding your film?

The back story is what the audience did not see in the films but surely must have happened in Return of the Jedi. Luke and friends must have discussed a rescue plan at some point and treating the skiff guard job like a job orientation presented some gag opportunities, for example, Bib Fortuna mispronouncing Boba Fett’s name.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: The Tentacle Trap

StarWars.com Team | August 4, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, The Tentacle Trap won the Spirit of Fandom Award.

Starwars.com chats with Caribbean-based filmmaker James Austen about his award-winning film The Tentacle Trap.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How has George Lucas and his films influenced your work?

In Star Wars, George Lucas created the richest of universes. Since watching A New Hope at age 3, I found there’s little that’s more exciting in movies than roaring spaceships, lightsabers and laser guns going pow, and the adventure of it all. When I decided to make a movie, there was no question that it wouldn’t be in the Star Wars universe.

What is the back story regarding your film?

Originally, the idea to make the movie came out of an idea to create visuals for some music I was writing (which was the origin of the Electric Space Banjo the pilot plays). It seemed like it would be a fun project. I’ve always been rather taken with the how stop-motion animation can make real objects come to life, and Star Wars, music and LEGO have been my three lifetime loves. So the movie became a brilliant project to draw all my interests together. I though it might keep me occupied in the evenings for a few months; then I thought of the potted plants and tentacles and it grew into a beast. By the time it was all done somehow it was three years later!

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