Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Solo Forever Team | August 2, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, Solo Forever won the Best Comedy Award. chats with Los Angeles-based filmmaker Trey Albright about his award-winning film Solo Forever.

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

I was prompted by the website. The fact that it’s out there for anyone to do. That’s pretty cool. George Lucas’ movies were my childhood. Star Wars and Indiana Jones where in constant rotation in the VCR. I remember climbing all over my parents car try to re-enact a scene in Raider’s of the Lost Ark. Climbing on the side of the car, opening the door and swinging in feet first. Kicking the hell outta some Nazis. I think that’s the kinda action hero I’d like to be. Really just wanted to be Han Solo and Indiana Jones rolled up into one. Maybe with a pinch of John McClane.

What is the back story regarding your film?

I’ve been creating sketches for about a year now and I was having a conversation with a writing partner about what he did with his action figures once he got too old for them. He said he lit them on fire. HA! I thought that was great cause I shot mine with a pellet gun. I remember shooting most of them and I kind of felt sad as I was doing it. But I was getting older and girls were interesting, and they didn’t play Star Wars. It was just a part of growing up; and who wants to do that?!


Death Star Cosplay Dress!

Bonnie Burton | July 29, 2011

When I first came across vlogger and craftster Jennifer Landa and her awesome Star Wars videos on Youtube I knew eventually she’d create an amazing cosplay Star Wars costume, and sure enough she did!

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, she debuted her fancy Death Star dress complete with galaxy tights and a TIE Interceptor hair accessory! chats with Jennifer about her Imperial couture that would make even Darth Vader smitten.

Why did you decide to make a cute dress of the Death Star?

For months I couldn’t decide what I wanted to cosplay as! I just knew I wanted to do a quirky take on someone or something from the Star Wars universe. I had seen a Death Star costume before and loved the idea of cosplaying as a thing instead of a person. I love personifying objects! So when I saw Robin E. Kaplan’s adorable print of a girl dressed as a Death Star, I freaked out. Her Death Star character was so cute and feminine and anything but a scary super weapon! After that, I knew I had to go as Miss Death Star.

How did you come up with the design?

I wanted the costume to have a space-age yet retro feel! So I decided to make the Death Star more like an exaggerated bubble skirt. I cut the skirt so it was a shorter length and chose a form-fitting bodice. For me, it was important to keep the whole look feminine and flattering. When I was designing the costume, I came up with the character “Miss Death Star.” I imagined her to be a cross between Ethel Merman and Judy Garland. I know, it’s a little strange but the fun part about cosplaying is really getting into character!


Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars: Unlimited Power Team | July 28, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars: Unlimited Power won the George Lucas Selects Award. chats with Los Angeles-based filmmaker Eliot Sirota about his award-winning film Star Wars: Unlimited Power.

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

Star Wars is what started me on my career path. From the moment I saw it at the tender young age of 5, I knew I wanted to tell stories, create special FX and make movies. So I suppose that’s one of many ways that George Lucas has influenced me! If I were to list all of them, I would have to write a book! The short and sweet version is that he made something no one else had imagined possible at the time and pioneered a whole new way of making movies, television and media. He saw that art and technology were two sides of the same coin and could be used together to create something that transcended both of them. Without “Uncle” George leading the way, many other great movies would never have been possible.

As far as what prompted me to a make a Star Wars film, the original trilogy films are still my all time favorite movies, and what Star Wars fan wouldn’t want to play in and expand on that world? I think I always wanted to make a Star Wars fan film, and maybe even someday have a hand in an actual Lucasfilm Star Wars project!

What is the back story regarding your film?

I had several ideas for what I wanted to explore. The background characters, creatures and vehicles in Star Wars are so amazing, and yet, to a character in the Star Wars universe, they’re just everyday things that are taken for granted. The amazing technology would have to be manufactured and advertised so that the intergalactic consumer could know what products were available and decide what to buy. That led me to the idea of doing a commercial. I just thought it would be funny to see how blue milk or evaporators would be advertised. But far more interesting than those items, to me at least, are droids.

I love the droids in Star Wars. They’re meant to be simple tools, but they all have their own personalities, quirks and even heroic qualities. We spend 6 movies getting to know two droids very well, but what about all the other unmentioned metallic masses? Especially the power droid we’ve all come to affectionately known as Gonk? And a commercial for a brand new power droid would have just been to clean and crisp and I found the idea of a used Gonk commercial particularly funny, like a bad used car commercial.

That’s basically where the idea came from. I suppose I was inspired a bit by Robot Chicken as well because they often explore similar “mundane” and yet hysterical ideas in fantastical worlds, especially Star Wars. Having the droid dance was based on the idea that it would be dancing to “The Power” by SNAP! but as the project moved forward I found it best to go another route.


Comic-Con 2011: Best Star Wars Costumes Team | July 27, 2011

Team Unicorn as the Nightsisters from The Clone Wars

Every year at San Diego Comic-Con International, it’s easy to spot a stormtrooper from The 501st Legion, a Jedi or Rebel pilot from The Rebel Legion, and the essential Slave Leia. But there are also those fans who go above and beyond to make some of the coolest, original costumes on their own — whether it’s a Death Star dress fit for the runway or a homemade Jawa costume or even an impressive group of Nightsisters.

Here’s some of our favorite Star Wars costumes spotted at this year’s Comic-Con.

Han and Leia make an Imperial friend.

The Rebel Legion guard The Rebel Base Experience at Comic-Con from pesky stormtroopers.

Don’t mess with Black Ops!

Star Wars vlogger Jennifer Landa shows off her Death Star dress.

Death Trooper hopes to find a snack amongst the crowd.

AJ shows off her Rebel Pilot dress made using a man’s Rebel Pilot costume as the material!

A Jawa searches for some broken down droids at Comic-Con.


Meet Star Wars Vlogger Jennifer Landa Team | May 23, 2011

Star Wars fan and vlogger Jennifer Landa entertains the Youtube masses with her witty, adorkable videos showing off her collectibles, interviewing young geek girls, and more. chats with Jennifer Landa about why she loves to make videos about why she’s proud to be a Star Wars fan!

Why did you decide to vlog about Star Wars?

Star Wars has inspired me ever since I was a kid and first watched A New Hope. I always dreamed of living in a world where I could have a Wookiee as my best friend and a lightsaber on my belt. To this day, every time I hear the Star Wars main theme song, I get chills. The original trilogy has had the biggest impact on me but I love all the new things that are happening in the Expanded Universe!

I first realized that I wanted to start vlogging when I went to the Savage Opress screening in LA last year. I left the theater feeling ecstatic about the new storyline and I really wanted to share my experience with other fans that weren’t able to attend. Unfortunately, I forgot my video camera!

After that, I realized that maybe I should give vlogging a try since it’s logistically easier to shoot and can be done after an event has already happened. Once I decided to start vlogging, the only things I wanted to talk about were always related to Star Wars.

I have to say, it’s been incredibly fun to connect with other fans and share my Star Wars adventures with them! For years people used to laugh at my obsession with Tauntauns and the Battle of Hoth. Now at least people are laughing with me!


Boba Loves Bunnies? Team | May 2, 2011

Artist Kelly Kerrigan shows off a soft spot of Boba Fett that we don’t normally see. Makes you wonder if the Slave I has a rabbit hutch. chats with Kelly about her Star Wars bounty hunter bunny art.

Why did you decide to pair up bunnies with Star Wars characters?

This new series of artwork is how my creativity has responded to the death of my husband, Paul. He died on December 18, 2010 after finding out in August the he had a rare cancer. We both loved Star Wars and he had a particular connection to rabbits as they are portrayed in movies, books and gaming.

He would often dress as a Pooka for LARP events. I started painting about 2 weeks after he died and the ideas for new work keep coming. I have always been a painter, but I think this is the best work I have ever done. I am certain that He is the inspiration for all of this and the reason I feel so good about what I am painting.

What is it about bunnies that make even the most ruthless bounty hunter look like a softy?

I think therein lies the answer. The softening of the ruthless: The unlikely care and cuddling that a hardened clone warrior would have to undertake to handle a delicate bunny seems as it would be an act of extreme patience on his psyche. Perhaps his trainers are putting him through an exercise to engage those parts of his brain that define the opposite of his purpose.


MythBusters Grant Imahara Inducted into the 501st Team | April 7, 2011

Amongst the cosplayers, droids, and comic book fans attending this year’s WonderCon in San Francisco, California, MythBusters Build Team member Grant Imahara was inducted as a 501st Legion Honorary Member by the Golden Gate Garrison (with special help from the Southern California Garrison.)

WATCH VIDEO: The 501st induct Grant Imahara at WonderCon

Grant is well-known on Discovery Channel’s hit show Mythbusters, but he started at THX then went on to make some amazing sets, droids and props at Industrial Light and Magic as a modelmaker. His robot-building skills are legendary — not only for his work on R2-D2 alongside ILM’s Don Bies, but for the lovable Energizer Bunny, his intimidating fighting robots, and his latest creation of first robotic talk show sidekick Geoff Petersen, for Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show.

In 2004, the ILM rock stars were asked to compete in Junkyard Mega-Wars: At The Movies. Grant and his ILM team made a gigantic, flame-throwing R2-D2, and of course won the competition.

You can see that awesome R2-D2 in action here:
WATCH VIDEO: Junkyard Mega-Wars: At the Movies

Grant has also been featured over the years on for Putting Star Wars to the MythBusters Test, for being a big fan of The Clone Wars and for his w00tstock spoken word performance about dressing up as C-3PO.

We chatted with Grant about his induction into one of the coolest Star Wars groups in the galaxy — The 501st Legion — and whether this means we can expect his droids to be moonlighting for the Empire…

Was it a complete surprise?
Actually yes! You kept hinting at a surprise during WonderCon, with a specific time and place that I needed to be. If you watch the video, I don’t actually realize what’s happening until they announce it! You know, I talk on camera all day long and I’ve done tons of public speaking, but I was so surprised and overwhelmed in that moment that I feel like I was a bit tongue-tied.

If you’re now in the 501st, does that mean all robots you build will be secretly working for Darth Vader?
Ha! I think all my robots secretly work for me! Think about it: the Energizer Bunny, Geoff Peterson (the robot skeleton sidekick from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson), my combat robot Deadblow, and certain R2 units… that would be a pretty formidable army!

Why are you proud to be part of the 501st Legion?
It’s a real honor to be inducted into a group that not only strives for accuracy in representing these characters from a saga that I love, but also does volunteer community service and is considered a part of Lucasfilm’s “extended family.”

Be sure to follow both Grant Imahara and The 501st Legion on Twitter.

“Super Sabacc Challenge” Art by Nathan Hamill Team | November 18, 2010

Art by Nathan Hamill

Artist Nathan Hamill recently blogged about a cool piece of custom Star Wars game-themed art he made for So Analog’s “10-DOH!” Show. chats with Nathan about his art piece and how it came about.

What is the So Analog’s “10-DOH!” Show all about?

So Analog is a series of resin figures made by Squid Kids Inc. that focus on “old tech items that everyone used to use,” such as video game cartridges, floppy discs and cassettes tapes. They asked several artists to customize these blank resins however we saw fit to be included in a show at Designer Con 2010 in Pasadena. Based on the pieces I’ve seen, I’m really looking forward to it.

What’s the backstory on your Super Sabacc Challenge art piece?

I love Nintendo. I’ve been a fan since I was five or six. The NES was a huge part of growing up for most people my age. We ate, slept and breathed these games. They permeated our psyches. I saw Tetris pieces falling from the sky and tried to arrange them correctly on the side of the school bus and school buildings. Star Wars was another childhood love so it seemed a good fit. Two great tastes…

What is it about “old school” gaming that makes it so cool?

There’s a certain charm in their design. The developers and composers had work with limitations in technology that made them extremely inventive. I enjoy modern games as well but 8-bit and 16-bit games have a purity and beautiful simplicity that I miss. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past and Super Metroid battle over the title of greatest video game of all time in a no holds barred arena in my mind. But there will never be a winner. The fight is eternal.

Be sure and check out Nathan’s official site at

1977 Star Wars Scrapbook Team | October 20, 2010

Many of us created scrapbooks of our favorite things as kids, but Star Wars fan and NASA contractor Michael Grabois’s Star Wars scrapbook from 1977 is downright Force-tastic. Michael scanned his scrapbook for all to see. It might be rough around the edges but it’s full of charm. chats with Michael about his scrapbook and how his love for Star Wars seeps into his work at NASA in unexpected ways.

Before we start chatting Star Wars, what do you do at NASA?

I currently work for a NASA contractor at the Johnson Space Center in Houston where I train astronauts and flight controllers how to operate the Space Shuttle. It’s the second coolest job in the world, behind actually being an astronaut.

What are your first memories of seeing Star Wars?

I grew up in Edison, NJ. My dad got transferred to Houston the summer when I was between 9th and 10th grade. I saw Star Wars and Empire in Edison (in a 2-screen theater that has long since been torn down) and Jedi in Houston.

What made you want to start a Star Wars scrapbook when you were a kid?

My best friend when I was a kid was Mark Bernard, and we were always in competition to see who had the best or the most of something at any given time. I was 3 months shy of my 11th birthday when Star Wars came out (Mark was 2 months younger than me). We were both nuts about Star Wars and we tried to one-up the other with how many times we saw the movie, or who had the most stuff related to the movie, things like that. In order to manage our collections, we each started a scrapbook.

My version mostly consisted of me cutting out movie theater ads, newspaper articles, trading card wrappers, merchandise ads, etc. Mark had more of the toys than I did, but we ended up blowing most of them up with firecrackers (I know, why did I blow them up when we could have saved them mint on the card?). Mark’s favorite character was Han Solo. I liked Han too, but Mark had called it first, and since we couldn’t both have Han as favorite, I chose Luke to be my next favorite. (It made sense at the time!)


Jabba and Leia Bots?

Bonnie Burton | October 19, 2010

Jenny and Tony Bot transform polymer clay, glass beads and wire to make crafty tributes to cinematic icons including Star Wars characters Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt.

In our final semester in college, Jennifer and I had the opportunity to create an entire class around our robots. The class known as “A Robot’s Life for Me”, was part of our Cinema Studies minor and cumulated in a book that portrayed some of cinemas finest moments in a more metallic form. Needless to say, the class was a blast and allowed us to explore our robots in a way that we never thought possible. Overall, it was hard work resulting in 60 plus robots, lots of mini props, many many photographs, and lots of patience.

We knew that it would have been ludicrous for us to bypass recreating a Star Wars film for a book based on American cinema. And while we didn’t initially know what scene we wanted to replicate what we did know is we wanted it to be as big of a challenge and as absurd as possible. Therefore, what better scene to tackle then the one you see above. In the end, we were very pleased by the results and it still makes us laugh every time we look at the photo. I mean it isn’t everyday that you get to make a robot into a virtual massive blob and then create a bot that is undeniably one of the nerdiest sex symbols known to man.

Check out all the photos here: