If ‘Star Wars’ characters were Imperial Chinese warriors, they’d look something like this.
It began, as many great adventures do, with an unexpected glimpse of something fantastic and the sickening sound of breaking glass.
Red and Jonny Evans were on their honeymoon, eyeing the many geeky delights at a toy show, when something caught his eye.
“I had just bought a complete set of Star Wars drinking glasses when I saw the helmet,” Jonny said in an e-mail to Raw File. In his excitement, he dropped the bag holding his recent purchase, breaking two of the glasses. Embarrassed, he asked his new wife to talk to the dealer, and she returned triumphant, the proud owner of a stormtrooper helmet.
The white headgear, one of the most recognizable icons of Star Wars fandom, turned out to be an ideal vehicle for the Canadian couple to explore their mutual love of art and science fiction. They took turns wearing the stormtrooper helmet around the toy show, photographing each other to make themselves laugh, and they’ve been doing it ever since: In hundreds of their photos, you’ll see Red (usually wearing a dress) and/or Johnny (often sporting a suit) wearing a stormtrooper helmet while engaged in some totally down-to-earth pursuits.
[More @ Raw File]
Yes, Princess Leia was a smart, resourceful woman who had action hero chops of her own. She wasn’t just a princess waiting around in a castle for men to save her — despite the infamous scene where she ended up in a metal bikini as a sexy slave to a giant space slug.
But the fact remains: If you count up all the significant female characters who appear in the original Star Wars trilogy, the list reads as follows … Princess Leia.
Read more from Leia is not enough: Star Wars and the woman problem in Hollywood
How did the Galactic Empire ever cement its hold on the Star Wars Universe? The war machine built by Emperor Palpatine and run by Darth Vader is a spectacularly bad fighting force, as evidenced by all of the pieces of Death Star littering space. But of all the Empire’s failures, none is a more spectacular military fiasco than the Battle of Hoth at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back.
From a military perspective, Hoth should have been a total debacle for the Rebel Alliance. Overconfident that they can evade Imperial surveillance, they hole up on unforgiving frigid terrain at the far end of the cosmos. Huddled into the lone Echo Base are all their major players: politically crucial Princess Leia; ace pilot Han Solo; and their game-changer, Luke Skywalker, who isn’t even a Jedi yet.
The defenses the Alliance constructed on Hoth could not be more favorable to Vader if the villain constructed them himself. The single Rebel base (!) is defended by a few artillery pieces on its north slope, protecting its main power generator. An ion cannon is its main anti-aircraft/spacecraft defense. Its outermost perimeter defense is an energy shield that can deflect Imperial laser bombardment. But the shield has two huge flaws: It can’t stop an Imperial landing force from entering the atmosphere, and it can only open in a discrete place for a limited time so the Rebels’ Ion Cannon can protect an evacuation. In essence, the Rebels built a shield that can’t keep an invader out and complicates their own escape.
When Vader enters the Hoth System with the Imperial Fleet, he’s holding a winning hand. What follows next is a reminder of two military truths that apply in our own time and in our own galaxy: Don’t place unaccountable religious fanatics in wartime command, and never underestimate a hegemonic power’s ability to miscalculate against an insurgency.
When Star Wars was released in May of 1977, it took another six months for it to reach Finland. The historic Savoy theater in downtown Helsinki, where the film premiered, is now closed, but it’s forever associated with George Lucas’ epic. Finnish illustrator and designer Vesa Lehtimäki was 10 years old when he saw it on the Savoy’s big screen.
“Two of the great moments of my childhood were the first two original Star Wars movies,” says Lehtimäki. “As a kid I wanted to become a movie director. I made some Super 8 movies but it did not work out that well.”
Lehtimäki’s fanboy nostalgia for the franchise of all franchises, in combination with an itch to create his own worlds, led him to conceive Lego On Hoth, a make-believe series of photo-vignettes in which he describes the downtime, hijinks and rigamarole in the daily lives of Imperial and Rebel forces.
“With my photography, I’m revisiting an unfulfilled career path, I guess. With the attached little stories my photos are like tiny one-frame movie scenes,” he says. “And I get to direct Star Wars!”
See more @ Raw File!
Not very long from now in a theater not very far away …
It is a time of hope in the galaxy. In late December, Disney completed its purchase of Lucasfilm and announced that it would be making new Star Wars movies. Soon a director was found — JJ Abrams! The next episode is due in theaters in just two years. Suddenly the Saga is again full of possibilities. New Jedi! New Darths! And a new chance to return the faded franchise to its former glory. But listen up, JJ: As you try to restore order to everyone’s favorite universe, you must beware—the forces of mediocrity, silliness, and CGI overkill never rest. To help ensure your success, our band of rebels searched from Alderaan to Tatooine to find the 74 Things Every Star Wars Movie Needs.
It’s official: J.J. Abrams will be the director of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII film.
As rumored earlier in the week, Abrams will be taking over the reins for the newest installment of the Star Wars film sequel, which was announced in late 2012 after Disney’s $4 billion acquisition of the sci-fi franchise.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said producer Kathleen Kennedy in a press release Jan. 25. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
Read more @ Underwire!
The Millennium Falcon was originally supposed to be made from a golf cart.
When Ryan Ballard and his Mardi Gras parade organization Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus first set out to raise money on Kickstarter for a parade float to carry the original Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew and his wife, they thought a humble golf cart was the only vehicle base they could afford with their pledges. The plan was to create an amazing DIY centerpiece float on which the Mayhews — their king and queen — could ride in style during the group’s parade this Saturday.
“Right when we hit the goal I started shopping,” Ballard told Wired. “I knew that I wanted one of these Taylor-Dunn B-248s. … That was like the dream machine, but those are like 12 grand. It was out of budget, we needed to get a golf cart for like $2,000 and build on that.”
Then Ballard went on Craigslist — and hit the jackpot. He found a B-248 that someone was selling in Pearl River, Louisiana for less than $1,500. He called his Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus co-hort Brett Powers and the two headed out of New Orleans. When they came back, they had the basis for what might be the nerdiest Mardi Gras float ever built.
Ballard came up with blueprints and diagrams scaled up from a model of the Falcon from the Star Wars movies. Other members of Chewbacchus offered ideas and concepts and soon enough they were building — a process that’s taken some four months to complete.
See more photos of the Star Wars-themed float @ Underwire!