Tag Archive: Star Wars


Anovos helmet

ANOVOS, the company known for its attention to detail in costumes from Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and more, is offering a discount this weekend for attendees at San Diego Comic-Con and–even better–for those who are unable to attend this year’s show.

Just use the code SDCC2016 when ordering, but it’s only available through July 24, 2016.

Find out more information at the ANOVOS website here.

ANOVOS x-wing pilot

ANOVOS has costumes and costume accessories for different price ranges, from full Stormtrooper armor kits, to Han Solo’s belt, to Starfleet apparel from Enterprise to the new movies.  Costumes and helmets are screen accurate and made from studio sourced designs.

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John Williams conducting Star Wars

Few individuals have stood apart from their peers in their professional endeavors as much as maestro John Williams.  Last week the American Film Institute presented Williams with its life achievement award, the 44th awarded and first for a composer.  It’s certainly about time.  With five Academy Award wins and 50 nominations, Williams holds the record for the most Oscar nominations of any living person.  Three of his scores, for Star Wars, Jaws, and E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, are on AFI’s list of the top 25 scores of all time.  This Wednesday night the AFI award event will be televised, and guests honoring Williams include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg–both who owe the most to Williams for their individual successes–as well as Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Drew Barrymore, Tom Hanks, Itzhak Perlman, J.J. Abrams, Bryce Dallas Howard, Will Farrell, Steve Martin, Seth McFarlane, and Daisy Ridley.

You may not remember the first time you heard a familiar tune from Williams, but for those more than 40 years old it was no doubt the theme from television’s Lost in Space series, featuring an end credit to “Johnny” Williams.  He also provided the piano music for the Academy Award winning, and AFI recognized comedy Some Like it Hot.  For everyone since then you can define your generation by your earliest familiarity with his music, whether it’s the Main Title to Star Wars, the Jurassic Park theme, or the theme to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Those whose introduction to Williams was Star Wars: The Force Awakens have plenty of great music to discover.

Williams is of a rare breed of American composer whose songs stick with you forever.  He’s in an elite club with the likes of musicians Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin.  For more than 60 years Williams has set the bar for–and defined worldwide for moviegoers’ ears–our expectation for modern programmatic movie music.

John Williams

Stepping aside from his success at major memorable themes, one of his greatest skills is his juxtaposition of opposites.  Just listen in the Jaws soundtrack to the busy streets of Amity in the “Montage” and the cheery adventure theme from “The Great Shark Chase” among his well-known bass horror cues.  Some of his most brilliant compositions are tucked away behind giant, epic scores, like “The Asteroid Field” from The Empire Strikes Back and “Escape from Venice” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  And would modern audiences even know a march beyond nationalistic music if not for “The Superman March,” “The Raiders of the Lost Ark March,” “The March from 1941,” and “The Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back? 

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PH-left-angle

Last week Disney and Lucasfilm released information on a new line of Star Wars: The Force Awakens replica props and helmets from PropShop Studio Editions for sale at this link.  These are high-end replicas taking advantage of current 3D scanning imagery, an idea I suggested in an article on 3D printing posted here at borg.com four years ago.  The new line of Star Wars generated plenty of press because the new costume pieces are fairly pricey:  a melted Darth Vader helmet is selling for $3,500 (limited to 500 units), a Kylo Ren helmet is $2,000, a Finn Stormtrooper helmet is $1,750 (limited to 500 units), and Poe Dameron’s X-Wing pilot helmet is $1,500.  The props are similarly priced: Chewbacca’s crossbow is $2,500, Rey’s staff and lightsaber and Kylo’s lightsaber are each $1,500.

VH-stand

Sound like the holy grail for cosplayers?  Hold that thought.  Here is the description for Finn’s helmet:

  • Created using the original 3D digital data from the actual FN-2187 Stormtrooper Helmet featured in the film in combination with advanced digital manufacturing processes, and then hand-finished by a highly skilled artisan. The original blood marking has been laser scanned and projected onto this helmet, and a special paint effect process has been applied to identically recreate the surface texture pattern.
  • Made of a composition of 3D printing materials, forged items, and cast items
  • Includes a chip to authenticate the serial number that is printed on the Certificate of Authenticity
  • Delivered in an exclusive, custom wooden crate inspired by the packaging used for the original prop
  • Limited Edition of 500
  • Certificate of Authenticity and Authenticity Medallion included

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TFA var cover Phil Noto     TFA var cover Joe Quesada

Are you a fan of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?  How about a comic book adaptation whose quality is nearly as good as that of Marvel’s original trilogy adaptations in the late 1970s and early 1980s?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a Marvel six-issue adaptation is coming your way later this month and we have a preview of not only some great variant covers, but previews of interior artwork by Luke Ross.  Chuck Wendig provides the script adaptation for the story.

Variant covers include some beautiful interpretations by Phil Noto and Joe Quesada (above), and John Cassaday and Esda Ribic (below).

TFA var cover John Cassaday    TFA B&W Esad Ribic var

After the break, take a look at some interior pages from Marvel’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Issue #1:

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SW Battlefront

Review by Alec Jessen

Many of us know and love Star Wars, especially the video games.  The Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront 2 video games from back in the earlier 2000s were some of the best Star Wars games available, and here in 2016, we’re taking a look at a recent update of that video game released at the end of 2015 to quench our thirst for more Star Wars.  Star Wars Battlefront is a First and Third person shooter game that takes place in the Star Wars universe.  The game has much to offer, from the iconic Star Wars heroes to a variety of weapons to use.

Graphics

The graphics of Star Wars Battlefront are absolutely astonishing.  The lighting, animations, and the smallest of details create something magnificent, from the brush and trees on Endor, to the grains of sand on the Jundland Wastes.  When playing in Third person, the walking and running animations are perfectly smooth.  When a player is harmed, the character will flinch, adding to the effect of actually being in the battle.

STb 5

Gameplay

Almost all of the game modes in Star Wars Battlefront have a teamwork factor, meaning that it can be difficult in this game to be successful unless you have some teammates to back you up.  This is represented by the partner system as well:  Each player has his or her own partner, which they can “respawn” (coming back to the game once the player has been defeated) onto, and partners know where each other are at all times.

Skill is an important part of Star Wars Battlefront.  The developers of this game, DICE, did a great job of evening out weapons, vehicles, and first and third person.  Accuracy is the same for both first and third person, so those who prefer playing in third person do not have to worry about being at a disadvantage.  Players can also switch between the perspectives mid-game, by the push of a button.  The weapons of Star Wars Battlefront have great balance.  For example, if a weapon has a high rate of fire, it may not be very accurate, and if a weapon has a low rate of fire, it could be very accurate.  Players have to choose what they think will go best for their fighting techniques.

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hansolo1_bespin

Hey, it’s the annual Star Wars celebration–May the 4th or May the Fourth Be With You.  So if you see a stormtrooper patrolling your town today you know why.

We found some fun collectibles you may want to check out beginning with John Tyler Christopher’s variant cover for Han Solo, issue #1 (pictured above).  Many Marvel Comics Star Wars monthly series since January 2015 have been producing variant covers to simulate the classic Kenner Star Wars action figures, and Christopher’s is the latest.  Check out his website today for more information on how to pick up your copy.

Toy company Gentle Giant has some cool offerings this week.  Gentle Giant is the company that re-created classic Kenner Star Wars 3 3/4 action figures in a large sized 1:6 scale format.  We discussed the best of these here at borg.com back in 2012. Gentle Giant has great discounts on its Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia in Hoth outfit, Biker Scout, Wicket Warrick, and the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot.

Biker Scout Gentle Giant

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returnofthetril_800_600_81_s

Alamo Drafthouse announced it will be bringing the original Star Wars trilogy to cities across the country this August with an epic “Return of the Trilogy” theatrical event.

The original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi will screen back-to-back-to-back as one triple feature.

While many dates and locations are still to be announced, “Return of the Trilogy” screenings will take place at venues in more than 20 cities throughout the month of August.  All three of the films will be presented in their 1997 re-release format. Tickets for most markets will go on sale at ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com on May 4th, otherwise known as Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You.

star-wars-trilogy-triple-bill-quad-poster

More than just an epic triple-feature, each “Return of the Trilogy” show will be in its own unique celebratory event, featuring specially curated video content before and between films, contests, props to bring the power of the Force to life, and other special surprises.  And coming dressed as your favorite Jedi, scoundrel pilot, or rebel scum will be very much encouraged.

Here is the initial list of cities:

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Topps Empire Strikes Back Abrams

Coming next week is the latest volume from the partnership of Abrams ComicArts and Topps Trading Cards as they document some of the greatest non-sports trading cards ever released.  Complete with a photo of the famous stick of bubble gum on the cover, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back–The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume Two reproduces–for the first time–all 352 cards and 88 stickers in a single deluxe hardcover volume.

It’s the next book in the now long line of great trading card books from Abrams.  It includes four bonus trading cards made exclusively for this edition, and a wax pack-style book jacket like the similar excellent releases Bazooka Joe and His Gang reviewed here at borg.com, Mars Attacks 50th Anniversary Collection reviewed here, and Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series reviewed here.  Abrams ComicArts and Topps released the first compilation of Star Wars trading cards just last year–Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One, reviewed here at borg.com.  An introduction and commentary throughout Volume Two is provided by Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Star Wars Topps series who worked with Lucasfilm to select the photographs for the sets and wrote the card titles for The Empire Strikes Back series, too.

Yoda Topps card    ESB Topps title 2 card

Gerani recounts reading the script for Empire in advance of the release, and learning the real #1 secret that Lucasfilm was trying to keep under wraps.  And it wasn’t about Luke Skywalker’s parentage or a bounty hunter with little actual screentime.  Hint: It may be related to a certain spectacular new “muppet from space”.

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Troopers in the hall

Written and directed by Jon Spira and funded via Kickstarter, a new documentary about the making of the original Star Wars is coming your way, and it’s not anything you will find in the special features of your twelve editions of the original trilogy in your home video collection.  Elstree 1976 is a time travel trip to visit some of the more obscure actors who portrayed characters who, except for one, would not make either the poster credits or, for some, even the movie’s end credits.

Yet each of the characters they portrayed became famous because of the historic success of Star Wars, and the fact that so many have seen the film so many times that every frame of the film has taken on its own life in the annals of sci-fi/fantasy cinema history.  Remember the stormtrooper who uttered the line “these aren’t the droids we’re looking for… move along”?  What about Luke’s friends from the deleted Tatooine scenes?

Elstree 1976 poster

Spira selected ten actors to be featured in his film.  The documentary includes interviews with actors who filmed scenes at Elstree Studios in England in 1976.  The most well-known are David Prowse (Darth Vader), Jeremy Bulloch (The Empire Strikes Back’s Boba Fett), and Garrick Hagon (Biggs Darklighter), whose scenes were cut by director George Lucas, only to be re-inserted into the Special Edition in the 1990s.

Comic Con with Boba Fett Jeremy Bulloch Bunce

Your Editor with Jeremy Bulloch and the character he made famous a long, long, time ago.

Other actors included are Paul Blake (Greedo), Anthony Forrest (Luke’s friend Fixer and the Jedi-tricked Sandtrooper), Laurie Goode (Stormtrooper and cantina patron Saurin), Derek Lyons (temple guard/medal bearer), Angus MacInnes (Gold Leader), Pam Rose (cantina patron Leesub Sirln) and John Chapman (X-Wing pilot Red 12).

Here’s the trailer for the documentary Elstree 1976:

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Mayhew Attack of the Clones    Mayhew Revenge of the Sith

Mike Mayhew, illustrator on The Star Wars series for Dark Horse Comics and an incredible cover and interior artist on many major sci-fi and superhero titles, has created new cover artwork for the Star Wars prequels.  Much like the original trilogy received last year, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith will see their own hardcover editions of their comic book adaptations for your comic book library.

If you couldn’t imagine getting interested in the prequels again, just check out these three beautiful covers.  Mayhew nails both the look and feel of the Star Wars universe and he gets the characters, like Yoda and General Grievous, and the actors behind the characters, all spot-on.

Mayhew Episode 1     Mayhew Vader DownWe’ve also included some other recent cover art by Mayhew (above and below).  You can meet Mike Mayhew this weekend at WonderCon at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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