Posts Tagged ‘Retro’



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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1977 Star Wars Celica: Have You Seen This Car?

Pete Vilmur | September 23, 2011

With today’s auction for the 2012 Star Wars Volkswagen Passat ending soon, another legendary auto will soon join the ranks of Star Wars custom cars, which already includes a 1997 Special Edition Hummer and 2005 Vader Viper. And so the time feels right to once more question the whereabouts of the first officially-sanctioned Star Wars custom car, one 1977 Star Wars Celica Liftback GT awarded in a sweepstakes a few months after Star Wars‘ release that same year.

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Back to Space-Con Premiere

Pete Vilmur | March 14, 2011

Anyone who’s followed my articles on StarWars.com knows that I’ve got a soft spot for Star Wars’ first fandom – that is, those early fans who pre-empted the official costumes, books, and other merchandise in the months following A New Hope’s May ’77 release and created their own homespun papier mache masks, fanzines, bumper stickers and buttons to share their enthusiasm for the newfound faraway galaxy.


Luke Skywalker costume from a ’70s Space-Con

The appeal of those often clumsy, awkward early days lead me to a small premiere screening at Michaan’s Theater in Alameda this weekend, a somewhat forgotten early century movie palace nestled along the edge of San Francisco Bay near Oakland, California. A new documentary was debuting on DVD celebrating the history of Space-Con, a series of Star Trek/science fiction conventions that got their start at a Bay Area high school in 1975 and made seven more successful runs through 1980, becoming a fondly-recalled facet of Bay Area fandom thereafter.

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A Galaxy of Misfit Toys

Pete Vilmur | March 2, 2011

Joe Yglesias collects Star Wars bootlegs — that is, quasi-Star-Wars-related merchandise that sports names like “Star Force”, “Star Battle”, “Space Gambler”, and “Star Knight” — which bear more than just a passing resemblance to characters, hardware, and weapons from our favorite faraway galaxy. Most of this stuff has been ignored, or even shunned by collectors — until now. Star Wars bootlegs and knock-offs have begun taking on a novel appeal among a growing number of fans, especially those who recall spying the stuff on their local dime store shelves back in the ’70s.

“When I started getting into bootlegs it was just for the novelty factor,” says Yglesias, who recently devoted an entire room of his house to display his Star Wars knock-off collection. “As I delved deeper into bootlegs, they took over as my prime interest. I was intrigued by them, partially for the cheese factor of the badly made, oddly-colored toys, and partially for the history of the items and how/where they were made. Now, easily 15 years later, I’ve sold or traded the majority of my licensed items and turned my collection area into a shrine for misfit Star Wars toys from around the world.”

Check out Yglesias’ Flickr set of over 130 pics from “Mos Yglesias”, a motley, expansive collection of Star Wars knock-offs from the US to Yugoslavia (and in some cases, even the molds that made them!).

Another 1978 “Father” Spoiler Discovered

Pete Vilmur | January 11, 2011

As an addendum to our original post about the “Vader is Luke’s father” spoiler appearing in the April 1978 issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors, Star Wars author Ryder Windham recently sent us a heads-up on another instance of this spoiler showing up in early 1978:

“Earlier today, I found myself perusing the first issue of Future magazine, cover date April 1978,” says Windham. “The issue has a ‘Databank’ feature for ‘News Items from the World of the Present’ on pages 6-7, and includes this entry for Star Wars…”

“In the realm of the Wars, George Lucas has approached all of the original film’s principals, including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Dave Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker. Noted SF author Leigh Brackett has been approached with the task of writing the screenplay for the big-budgeted sequel. One of the key elements in the second script may be the origin of the Dark Lord, Darth Vader. One version of his life being considered for the forthcoming production will reveal a young, handsome Darth turning rogue Jedi, killing Luke Skywalker’s father and being pushed into a pool of molten lava by avenging angel Ben Kenobi. Darth is so badly scarred that he dons his black armor forever. It serves as a combination exoskeleton and walking iron lung. The second version portrays Darth as being, in reality, Luke Skywalker’s father. After a psychological trauma, Luke’s father succumbs to the darker nature of The Force and allows all that is good within him to die. And rising from the ashes of his soul is Darth, the arch-foe of all that is righteous. Whatever Vader’s fate in the as-yet-embryonic script, the film began pre-production in London in January.”

The first scenario mentioned – the one where Vader is pushed into molten lava by Kenobi – was likely lifted from a Rolling Stone interview with George Lucas in 1977. The source for the second scenario – the father one – is uncertain, unless the reporter was within earshot of Prowse’s comments recorded at the October 1977 Horror Elite Convention (and referenced in our original post).

In any case, that cat was out of the bag by April ’78, although it fortunately didn’t get picked up by the mainstream media, allowing the Dark Lord’s identity — as Kenobi says — to remain safely anonymous until 1980.

Rare “Holiday Special” Backstage Photo Found

Pete Vilmur | January 4, 2011

AP Photo by George Brich

As someone always on the lookout for rare old Star Wars photos, I was pleased to discover Forbes.com’s Geek Beat columnist David M. Ewalt had unearthed a cool old gem from the vaguely-documented “Star Wars Holiday Special” of 1978, which we actually lent a bit of coverage to a couple years ago.

Articles from Nov 17, 1978

While researching a couple of those pieces, I came across a rare Associated Press image of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in photocopied articles from 1978, but couldn’t locate the original in Lucasfilm’s expansive Image Archives (apparently, wire photos were not automatically sent to LFL for approval and/or cataloging). Enter Ewalt’s Geek Beat column, which appears to have located the original shot of Ford and Fisher in a rare backstage moment captured by AP photographer George Brich.

Ah, to be a fly on the wall to hear what Ford is sharing with Fisher before their next Holiday Special take…

Century-Old Rescue Masks from a Galaxy Far, Far Away?

Pete Vilmur | December 15, 2010

Recently, Collectors Weekly posted a pair of striking century-old “rescue masks” that share a passing resemblance to our favorite Sith Lord and protocol droid. Undoubtedly a coincidence — concept designer Ralph McQuarrie’s designs and inspirations for the pair have been well documented – their Star Wars steampunk look is amusingly effective.

From the article:

This pair of early rescue masks, shown above, dates from between the mid-1800s and World War I. They look a bit familiar, right? Almost 100 years before Darth Vader and C-3PO hit the big screen in “Star Wars” in 1977, these two smoke helmets were worn by firefighters carrying out rescues in smoke-logged buildings. The buzz among collectors is that George Lucas’s designers must have found inspiration in these smoke helmets and others like them. In fact, one well-known 19th-century manufacturer was named Vajen-Bader—you could easily get the name Vader from that.

For a measure of symmetry, we’re sharing an image from Steve Sansweet’s Star Wars: 1,000 Collectibles book of two post-Star Wars knock-off water game heads from a New Jersey Shore arcade. Looks like Star Wars-inspired faces can be found on both sides of 1977 if you look hard enough.

Marooned in Space!

Pete Vilmur | November 30, 2010

Replica Prop Forum recently posted a pretty cool find that sheds light on a little-known corner of Star Wars behind-the-scenes history. According to a post by “GKvfx”, A New Hope’s TIE fighters once donned maroon paint, at least in some recently unearthed test shots revealed in the post. The find is further bolstered by supporting images of the TIE pod in The Making of Star Wars book by J.W. Rinzler, also cited in the post.

It’s unclear if the paint scheme was abandoned for practical or aesthetic reasons, but the thought could send shudders down the spine of color-scheme snobs —

Fuchsia paint and chartreuse lasers? Puhleeeeze.

Be sure to check the second page for some rare test shots of the TIEs’ ion engines too.

Major Empire Spoiler Actually Dropped in 1977

Pete Vilmur | November 15, 2010

Little Shoppe of Horrors #4

A lot of buzz has surrounded a recent post at retroist.com concerning an alleged major spoiler leak made two years before The Empire Strikes Back was released. The article, which we’ve identified as having appeared in the July 24, 1978 issue of The San Francisco Examiner, relays comments made by Dave Prowse (Darth Vader) claiming that the sequel would reveal that Darth Vader is in fact Luke’s father. Actually, it turns out, this little rumor had been dropped several months earlier in a fanzine called Little Shoppe of Horrors #4 (April 1978), which featured an exclusive (and lengthy) Prowse interview (reprint copies can be found on eBay, which is where we picked up ours thanks to a tip from SW bibliographer Bob Miller).

Among the passages of the interview, which, according to the author, were collected between October and December, 1977 (including a public discussion at the Horror Elite Convention in October), were these sentences, which seem to mirror the comments made in the SF Examiner interview:

“In the next film, there is going to be a confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader and they then discover that Darth Vader never killed his father, that Darth Vader IS his father. So son can’t kill father, and father can’t kill son — so Darth Vader lives into the next sequel.”

Excerpt from LSOH #4

So, it would appear the original Retroist post title – “Yes, They Did Have Star Wars Spoilers Back in 1978” was almost correct. Actually, they go as far back as October, 1977.

1978 Star Wars Ballet

Pete Vilmur | October 8, 2010

This video of a Star Wars ballet was making the rounds a few days ago, posted first at Cinematical and described, surprisingly, rather positively:

When it comes to things that don’t seem to go together, Star Wars and ballet would be pretty high up on my list. Sure, lightsaber duels have a certain choreography to them, but full on ballet?

That’s what viewers are treated to in this old clip featuring performers Galina and Valeri Panov dancing an elaborate tribute to Star Wars accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra — conducted by none other than John Williams. I’m not sure when this event happened, exactly, but you know it was in the distant past because once the segment ends they toss it to George Burns.

Thanks to our resident Star Wars bibliographer Bob Miller (who never fails to amaze us with his extensive collection of Star Wars media mentions dating back over 30 years), we were able to determine the Star Wars ballet was part of a two-hour special on ABC, “The Stars Salute Israel at 30,” which was broadcast on May 8, 1978 at 9:00 p.m. PST. It was held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A., taped on May 7.

So there you have it. Check out Cinematical’s original post to watch the video.