Posts Tagged ‘star wars’



The Galactic Academy Costumers: Judge Them By Their Size, Do Not!

Albin Johnson | March 27, 2014

Ask yourself a question. Why do kids like Star Wars so much? One theory is that it’s filled with so many characters that are larger than life: cool bounty hunters, powerful Sith Lords, noble Jedi warriors. Kids are built to imagine growing up to be something bigger than they are. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, a lot of us were kids and you better believe we got it. And dressing up in Star Wars costumes? We did it old school — moms made our outfits and we wore them proudly!

Star Wars Halloween costumes

Left to right: Jeff Parks and sis as Vaders ‘78, Anthony Day and family in ‘83, Sean Carmichael, Lorri King in ‘78, and Brian and Laura Robertson in ‘80.

It occurred to me after 15 years of building a Star Wars costuming fan club that something was missing. We didn’t allow kids as members. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, Mando Mercs, and the other clubs love kids. We all do this for the kids. Nothing thrills us more than to visit a hospital and to see the smiles on children’s faces when we troop. But having kids as part of our group? It wasn’t practical. But it wasn’t impossible.

So by 2008 the 501st was a well-oiled machine and I started posing the question: was it time to finally have a separate costuming group for kids? Their very own cool group to join? I mean why not? The costuming community had evolved to the point where logistics of events and organizing were well in hand. So why not a costuming group with kids as actual card-carrying members?

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Star Wars-Inspired Music Guide (Including, Yes, Pipe-Organ Albums)

Mark Newbold | March 20, 2014

Star Wars vinyl albums

I’m going to take you on a journey. A stereo journey. Back to the mid 1970s, when a little fancied sci-fi film called Star Wars changed the world of cinema and exploded into popular culture like Bazooka Joe’s bubble gum. It was a world of 7″ and 12″ vinyl, cassettes, and 8-tracks, when your dad’s music setup was often housed within a sideboard the size of a Morris Marina and when the Walkman was still a long-distant dream. So for kids of the day, desperate for as much Star Wars as they could get their hands, eyes, taste buds, and ears on the music of the film was an evocative and much-prized treasure.

Today the music of Star Wars is as iconic as any aspect of the film, weaving its way into the cultural subconsciousness and launching a thousand imitators. The original soundtrack, a double album with booklet released in May 1977 by 20th Century Records, sold in millions and revived not only the popularity of the orchestral soundtrack but also the mass appeal of movie soundtracks in general. It made a global star of the already Oscar-laden John Williams and, completely incidentally, gave a plethora of artists and labels — some non-licensed — the impetus to go out and record some of their own versions of the films score. In these far savvier days, when a cursory glance at the internet would tell you instantly whether or not you were buying the “real thing” the thought of picking up one of these albums might seem crazy, but when kids were clamoring for anything remotely related to the galaxy’s greatest film these releases sold well.

Here then is a look at just a few of those unique releases, some reasonably well-known (MECO hit number #1 on the Billboard Top 100 with his “Star Wars Theme” and today can be heard over the end credits of all RebelForce Radio shows and some not so much (“The Sounds of Star Wars” by The Sonic All-Stars anyone?)

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Top 10 Star Wars Moments of 2013

StarWars.com Team | January 8, 2014

Celebration on Coruscant

2013 was a very, very big year for Star Wars. From movies to video games, there were milestones, announcements, and revelations galore, all of which made one thing very clear: the future of a galaxy far, far away is very bright. The StarWars.com editorial staff has huddled together and picked the biggest and best moments of the year — check out the list after the jump!

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Star Wars in the UK: Action Transfers!

Mark Newbold | December 20, 2013

swintheuk_logo_1

actiontransfers_collage_lg

Back in the late ’70s in the UK the word “transfer” evoked three things. It brought to mind the musical stylings of Manhattan Transfer, the record-breaking sale of Trevor Francis from Birmingham to Nottingham Forest, and Star Wars. Why Star Wars?   Because back in the day for kids raised on Grange Hill, Madness, Pot Noodles, 2000 A.D. and Secret Agents the chance to rub your favorite Star Wars characters onto anything and everything was almost irresistible.

Image via StellarX — 7 Wonders

The company that had the Star Wars licence in the UK was Ashford, Kent-based company Letraset. Formed in 1959, the company made its name manufacturing typeface for application to all manner of artwork, a requirement for companies and magazines in those pre-computer typeface days. By the ’60s they applied the dry transfer technique to a children’s game called “Action Transfers” and by the ’70s had branched out into buying licences including DC Superheroes, The Rescuers, and then Star Wars.

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Star Wars Celebration Europe: Your Favorite Memory Photo Book, Part 3

Mary Franklin | November 1, 2013

Not long ago on Twitter I asked for your favorite Star Wars Celebration Europe memories and photographs for Bantha Tracks, the Star Wars fan newsletter. You sent some beauties, and we thank you for that!

This “photo book,” the final installment of a three-part online series, is a great teaser for what will appear in the December edition of Bantha Tracks in Star Wars Insider.

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Star Wars Celebration Europe: Your Favorite Memory Photo Book, Part 2

Mary Franklin | October 2, 2013

Not long ago on Twitter I asked for your favorite Star Wars Celebration Europe memories and photographs for Bantha Tracks, the Star Wars fan newsletter. You sent some beauties, and we thank you for that!

This “photo book,” the second of a three-part online series, is a great teaser for what will appear in the December edition of Bantha Tracks in Star Wars Insider.

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10 Interesting Things I Learned from The Making of Return of the Jedi

Eric Geller | October 1, 2013

The Making of Return of the Jedi

Today sees the release of J.W. Rinzler’s The Making of Return of the Jedi, an epic tome chronicling the years of hard work that went into the last film in the original Star Wars trilogy. Rinzler, executive editor at Lucasfilm, had unprecedented access to the source materials, concept art, and handwritten notes in the Lucasfilm Archives, and his extensive research shines through in the pages of this book.

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Star Wars Celebration Europe: Your Favorite Memory Photo Book

Mary Franklin | September 25, 2013

Not long ago on Twitter I asked for your favorite Star Wars Celebration Europe memories and photographs for Bantha Tracks, the Star Wars fan newsletter. You sent some beauties, and we thank you for that!

This “photo book” is a great teaser for what will appear in the December edition of Bantha Tracks in Star Wars Insider. If you have read Bantha Tracks for more than five minutes you know that Star Wars Celebrations are my very favorite event to work on in my job at Lucasfilm. I started working on the Celebrations for Attack of the Clones (CII in 2002). Each has been exciting and memorable in different ways, but honestly, after we shut off the lights on Celebration III for Revenge of the Sith in 2005, I believed I would never produce another Celebration for a new Star Wars movie.

I love being wrong.

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The Cinema Behind Star Wars: War Movies and Westerns

Bryan Young | September 16, 2013

For a series with the word “war” in the title, it’s no wonder that war movies and Westerns would have an influence on the stories told inside the Star Wars universe.

We talk about the influence of films on the Star Wars movies and the cartoon so much, I thought it would be a nice break to discuss a few books in the Expanded Universe and the cinematic forces behind them.

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My Star Wars Celebration Europe Photo Scrapbook

Mary Franklin | September 3, 2013

Star Wars Celebrations are by far my most favorite, and all-consuming, work that I do as head of events for Lucasfilm. During the shows I’m usually running around from point A to point B to get something done, but sometimes I just must stop and take a picture of what’s going on at the show.

Celebration Europe was a joyful event. So many fans and families and people from all over Germany and beyond were smiling and having a wonderful time. I am very lucky to be a part of making the show happen. There were thousands of memories I wish I had captured, but of the photographs I did take, these are some of my favorites.

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