Tag Archives: Star Wars

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The Storms of Crait

As with media tie-ins for The Force Awakens, comics and novels dressed with “The Road to The Last Jedi” have been popping up in bookstores and comic shops over the last few weeks to set the stage and build anticipation for this season’s Star Wars blockbuster. This week’s one-shot The Storms of Crait, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, and Mike Mayhew, shuttles us back to the original trilogy for some backstory on that visually arresting salt-coated planet from the latest movie.

The book picks up immediately following Episode IV, and the Battle of Yavin, with the Rebel forces in dire need of a new command headquarters. As we know from Empire Strikes Back, Hoth housed the Rebellion until the probe droids tracked them down. What we didn’t know, until now, was that other remote planets supposedly “devoid of human forms” were vetted as well. In this case, the dead world of Crait.

Continue reading Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The Storms of Crait

New Comics: Han Solo

This week, New York Times bestselling author Marjorie Liu makes her return to Marvel Comics, partnering with veteran artist Mark Brooks to debut the most highly anticipated Star Wars series since, well, since the last Star Wars series.

Han Solo takes place just after A New Hope and the Battle of Yavin, opening with the titular character hustling the smuggling beat, looking for jobs to help pay off that Jabba debt (we all know how that works out, however). When a pair of Rebel agents proposition him to “borrow” the Falcon, Han Solo finds himself, once again, selling his unique talents and services to Princess Leia and The Rebellion for another no-questions-asked, top secret, fast-as-hell operation.

Leia is looking to rescue three Rebel spies, and the only way to do that is if a ship – and pilot – unaffiliated with the Rebellion participates in the Dragon Void, a legendary space race that draws the most well-known and well-trained pilots in the galaxy. Han Solo’s job is to simply recover the agents at each of the three requisite refueling stops. Of course, nothing could possibly be that simple…

Since the Star Wars license made its expected return to its new in-laws at Marvel,  the creative teams have been knocking out one outstanding series after another. Liu seems to have an excellent grasp of Solo’s character post-ANH, and Mark Brooks seems like he was born to draw aliens and spaceships. Hang on, Your Worship. We’ve got a very good feeling about this.
Continue reading New Comics: Han Solo

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – The 3D Breakdown, Part 2

Continuing the original Star Wars Trilogy breakdown, 10 mins at a time – starting with the first 10 minutes of A New Hope and ending with the last 10 minutes of Return of the Jedi. Each segment will include a brief synopsis, some truly nerdy trivia, thoughts about the scenes, as well as the moments that were Good, Bad, and Bantha Poodoo. All this leads to the premiere of the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens!”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 01:00:01 – 01:10:00

No disintegrations.

• Han shoots the floor of the cave which causes an asteroid-quake, which in turn causes Han, Leia and Chewie to reenact an old episode of Star Trek: “Okay, now everyone fall to your right! Now fall to your left!
• “I am not a committee!”
• “This is no cave.” You’re right Han, it’s not a cave, its a exogorth, or “space slug.” The space slug was developed in sketches by artists Ralph McQuarrie and Nilo Rodis-Jamero before being realized as a puppet seventy-nine centimeters in length and twenty-eight in diameter. The puppet was covered with an exterior designed by visual effects supervisor Phil Tippett and was operated by special effects artist Jon Berg for more than fifty takes over a period of one week. The space slug was a heavy puppet whose jaws were closed by a return spring mechanism. Gag footage was shot by night shift camera operators involving an alternate space slug puppet made out of a sock.

this space slug prop sells for a mere £4,245

Industrial Light & Magic chief model maker Lorne Peterson created a four-and-a-half foot long model of the creature’s hinged jaws for the shot of the Millennium Falcon racing out of the asteroid tunnel, casting the five-inch-tall teeth from a plastic urethane that possessed a translucent ivory quality. Additional teeth were later given as gifts to celebrities or industry guests to the model shop. The set of the interior of the space slug was created by the laying of black Visqueen plastic on the floor of the Echo Base hangar set, draping black curtains around the Millennium Falcon, and releasing a fog of dry ice. Visual effects supervisor John Knoll called it “undoubtedly the least expensive set built” for the film. To create the sound and feeling of slime when the film’s characters were walking on the slug’s tongue, Foley editors Scott Hecker and Robert R. Rutledge used nearly twenty-five pounds of pure beef fat in large slabs, as well as dozens of raw eggs, which they then walked on with various pieces of footwear to create the sounds of the characters’ footsteps.
• I like Luke’s Yoda Backpack. You can get one at Disneyland.
• Luke enters the cave that is powerful with the dark side. But how did that place get that way? welllll……Hundreds of years before the Clone Wars, the Jedi Minch battled and killed a powerful Bpfasshi Dark Jedi leader, and his energies absorbed into its surroundings, first tainting the passage with the dark side.
• Darth Vader shows up and fights Luke. This is what you call foreshadowing.
• “Bounty Hunters. We don’t need their scum.” No, but I do…
Hailing from Corellia! Dengar, AKA Payback, is one of the galaxy’s most efficient bounty hunters. And just look at the way he rocks that head-scarf.
Next up we have what looks like a demonically possessed C3PO, but no, that’s just 4-Lom, an ambitious protocol droid who overwrote his own programming in order to embark on a life of crime! Well done, 4-Lom.
His friends know him as “The Uncanny One” but we just call him Zuckuss, the bounty hunter from Gand with a renowned ability to discover hidden quarry, Never play “hide-and-go-seek” with this guy.
Weighing in at 113 kilograms, Bossk is one heavy-hitting bounty hunter. This Trandoshian’s name means “Devours His Prey.” You don’t have to convince us of that, we believe it Bossk!
Designed by Holowan Laboratories, this Assassin Droid has made a name for himself as one of the deadliest bounty hunters out there. Ladies and Gents, IG-88!

Boba Fett from The Holiday Special
Boba Fett from The Holiday Special

From his first appearance on September 20, 1978, at the San Anselmo Country Fair parade, and on television two months later, animated by Nelvana Studios for The Star Wars Holiday Special as a mysterious figure who betrays Luke Skywalker after saving him along with Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 from a giant monster, this bounty hunter has become number one on everyone’s list. I give you Boba Fett! I’m sure we can look forward to many, many, many more years of Fett.
The Good: Boba Fett
The Bad: The “Star Trek” like flopping around during the space slug scene.
Bantha Poodoo: Dengar just looks like Bantha Poodoo. Continue reading Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – The 3D Breakdown, Part 2

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – The 3D Breakdown, Part 1

Continuing the original Star Wars Trilogy breakdown, 10 mins at a time – starting with the first 10 minutes of A New Hope and ending with the last 10 minutes of Return of the Jedi. Each segment will include a brief synopsis, some truly nerdy trivia, thoughts about the scenes, as well as the moments that were Good, Bad, and Bantha Poodoo. All this leads to the premiere of the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens!”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 00:00:00 – 00:10:00

I’d just as soon kiss a Wookie.

• Here we go! The opening crawl, this one written by screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and not Brian De Palma.
• According to the crawl, Darth Vader now knows it was Luke Skywalker that blew up the Death Star. I betcha Luke bragged WAY too much about “Oh man, did I tell you about that time I blew up The Death Star?” and eventually he ended up telling the wrong dude and it got back to Vader.
• The Imperial Probe Droid’s beautiful design was courtesy of comic book artist Moebius.
• The stop-motion used in this film holds up remarkably well. Phil Tippet had come up with a new technique called “Go Motion” and for all intents and purposes it was the CGI of its day. This shot of the Tauntaun running through the frozen landscape of Hoth is superb.
• Wampa attack!
• Luke’s all messed up. Mark Hamill was in a car accident before filming Empire and had to get reconstuctive surgery. There is a legend that the writers wrote in the Wampa attack to explain why Luke’s face looks different. But after reading some article on the subject, it’s clear that the Wampa scene was written before Mark even had his car wreck. Just chalk it up to luck.
• The full size set of the Millennium Falcon is amazing.
• Princess Leia was cute in A New Hope but now she’s hot, and don’t think Han hasn’t recognized that.
• I want Han Solo’s winter jacket.
• Okay, the scene where Han is getting ready to go out on his Tauntaun to find Luke, there is a dead Tauntaun on the ground. When Han says, “That’s right, and my friend is out in it.” you can see a big blood splatter on the wall behind him. This came as a result of a Wampa attack inside the Base. There was a whole side plot about Wampas inside the base and the rebels having to deal with them that got edited out of the movie. If you do enough searching on the Internet you can find footage and stills and storyboards of these scenes. Pretty cool stuff.
• There is not a Star Wars fan alive that hasn’t tried to move an object into their hand by using the force.
• The Hoth exterior scenes where filmed in Norway. No fake snow here; this is the real deal.
The Good: Han and Leia’s exchange in the hallway.
The Bad: Harrison Ford’s over-reliance on “the pointy finger” acting technique.
Bantha Poodoo: The Wampas scene getting cut. Continue reading Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – The 3D Breakdown, Part 1

STAR WARS: The 3DChain Breakdown!

He’s back, folks. The Ghosty Orb awakens.

If there was ever anything capable of getting the hyperbolic pop culture blogmachine revving again, it’s the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, opening worldwide on December 18th. Ticket presales have already busted the internet, toys are flying off shelves coast-to-coast, and both comic book and novel tie-ins have a chokehold on the NY Times bestseller list.

Since the new movie was announced in 2013 you’ve probably re-watched the original trilogy, what? Two or three times by now? At least once with the commentary track enabled? Well howsabout once more. Another thorough dive into episodes IV, V, and VI like only 3DChain can provide.

Beginning this weekend, he’ll be posting minute-by-minute breakdowns of the most revered space opera in human history. (Prequels need not apply.) So queue up those original edition VHS tapes* and give ’em one final viewing before seeing The Force Awakens, this time guided by the biggest repository of Star Wars trivia in the Idle Time faculty. It’ll be like on-demand live Tweeting, without annoying hashtags.

Episode IV: A New Hope | Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back | Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi

*you can watch the Special Edition BluRays if you want, but, seriously, were you expecting 3D to get into the whole Greedo-shooting-first thing?

Force Friday, Take Our Money

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the horizon, it seems only appropriate that Disney and Lucasfilm create their very own holiday. How to celebrate? Empty your wallets.

As Mel Brooks is wont to remind us, it’s all about the merchandising. For the nerd in all of us, regardless of age or generation, no single property has generated more games, toys, and random bullshit than Star Wars. And of course, there’s an incredible amount of new crap to buy. In honor of Force Friday (as if we needed any more prompting to spend money in the name of The Force) all manner of new swag has obligingly awakened.

Assuming money were no object, we, Idlers, have compiled a list of our top-five must-haves from a galaxy far, far away. Shop wise, you must.

Han Cholo
Stormtrooper Ring
SS: I’d buy this if I wasn’t still planning on having sex in the future.

From the website: “Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, ‘Han Cholo’ designer Brandon Schoolhouse grew up immersed in the sub culture of Hollywood’s music and art scene… the line has become the “it” accessory among Hollywood fashionistas and celebrities alike.” Continue reading Force Friday, Take Our Money