Experienced Artists

August 15, 2007

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If you caught the Tantive IV Experience story we recently posted on starwars.com, you saw one of the videos shot and edited by the crew on-site while an audience watched. Well, Star Wars artists Adam Hughes, Allison Sohn, and Cat Staggs also got in on the Tantive IV action at Celebration Europe and even had some nifty effects added to their footage (courtesy of Ryan Wilcox).

What Brings You Out This Far?

August 7, 2007


One of the cooler pieces of Star Wars-related swag to be found at Celebration Europe was a poster depicting the actual Mos Espa filming site from Episode I that reads “In a land not so far away…” and “Come and Feel the Force: Tunisia”.

Yup, a travel poster promoting tourism to Star Wars fans, with a breathtaking sunset image of Tatooine to boot. This one’s getting a frame.

Anyway, there are actually tours dedicated to Star Wars fans offered by at least two travel agencies — Tunisia First and Wigmore Holidays — which appear to hit several of the Star Wars shooting sites, such as Mos Espa (Ong Jmel), Anakin’s Slave quarters from Episode I (Tataouine), and the Lars Homestead interior (Matmata).

Be warned that Dewbacks will cost you extra.

Celebration Europe Lightsaber Battle

July 18, 2007

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(video shot by Jan Lomona)

No party is complete without a full-scale lightsaber battle, and at Celebration Europe that’s just what fans got to see. At the Saturday Night Star Wars Party on the Waterfront, fans took over the bridge at the ExCel Center in London, with glowing lightsabers waving for action — the dark side versus the light side. The only thing missing is an angry Acklay!

You can also watch another video of the battle on TheForce.net here.

Force Unleashed Story, Characters, and Clues Revealed at CE

July 15, 2007


Saturday, fans witnessed some rare insights into the story, characters, and development of the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, LucasArts’ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game. Set during the “dark times” between Episodes III and IV, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed portrays the previously untold story of Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice, and is due for release in 2008.

On hand were Project Lead Haden Blackman and Producer Julio Torres along with Secret Apprentice actor Sam Witwer. The panel featured the debut of a new Force Unleashed trailer, the first time actual game play footage has been revealed. The trailer can now be viewed on starwars.com.

Here are some edited highlights from the panel:

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Celebration Europe: Battle of the Bands

July 15, 2007

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It’s not every day fans get to see an Elvis impersonator take on a death metal band as they sing songs about the Empire. Darth Elvis and Anchorhead hit the stage to compete for the coveted Bith trophy in the Battle of the Bands at Celebration Europe. While both rocked the stage and entertained the audience with their own renditions of Star Wars tunes, only one would be chosen as the fan favorite.

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Jedi, Sith and Queens: CE Costume Pageant

July 15, 2007

One of the best parts of attending a convention like Celebration Europe is to see all the fans wander around in costume. There’s Darth Vader eating some fish and chips on the entrance stairs. Tween Princess Leias are waiting in line to see the Vader Project. And look, Chewie just got some gum stuck in his fur!

And while many fans wear costumes for fun, a few dedicated folks put a lot of time and effort into their wardrobe so they can compete in the Celebration Europe Costume Pageant. Categories included Light Side and Dark Side for adults and kids.

Revenge of the Sith Creature and Makeup Supervisors Lou and Dave Elsey and Original Trilogy costume designer John Mollo acted as pageant judges, while surprise celebrity guests Darth Maul actor Ray Park and Original Trilogy Boba Fett Jeremy Bulloch did the honors of handing out the award prizes of various Star Wars collectibles. Wicket actor Warwick Davis presided over the pageant as host and read notes to the audience about the making of each costume.

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Rick McCallum Talks Live Action TV Series and Star Wars 3-D

July 14, 2007

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Today, Warwick Davis welcomed prequel producer Rick McCallum to the Celebrity Stage at Celebration Europe for an update on projects he’s been involved with lately, such as the Star Wars live-action TV series, the Young Indiana Jones DVD series, and the yet-to-be-started Star Wars saga in 3-D.

Check out the audio presentation above (edited for brevity) or read the list of highlights below.

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Celebration Europe Opening Ceremonies

July 14, 2007

Fans from all over the world descended on London’s ExCeL Center Friday to kick off a weekend full of Star Wars events, photo-ops, parties and more. Starting things off, the opening ceremonies snuck through a cloudy afternoon that promised rain, but was spared. Low-flying planes overhead, however, brought their own style of drama to the event.

Host and Lucasfilm Head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet introduced prequel actor Jerome Blake, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Warwick Davis (Wicket, Wald), and the unmatchable Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) to an electric crowd, gathered to watch A New Hope outdoors for a pleasant, and thankfully dry, evening.

Check out the video short of the evening’s events.

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On the Way to Celebration Europe…

July 12, 2007

After about 2 days of packing and unpacking endless electronic gear and Star Wars shirts, I’m making my way across the Pond to merry ‘ol “red alert” England! I’ve been dreaming about visiting the UK ever since I lay sprawled across on our living room carpet transfixed by the TV featuring the intergalactic adventures of “Dr. Who.” Growing up in Kansas, I think I was convinced all aliens had British accents. Between “Dr. Who” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” I probably had good reason to believe it. Even the villains had British accents in Star Wars. Which brings me to why I’m headed to London.

Lucasfilm is sending myself and fellow starwars.com reporter and Star Wars Poster Book author Pete Vilmur to Celebration Europe — the biggest official Star Wars convention in the UK. We’ll both be reporting here for Starwars.com — more specifically here on the Official Starwars.com Blog.

As you may already know, in May we were at Celebration IV (our gigantic Star Wars convention in Los Angeles and that was one heck of a Fanstock, and we had a blast. I chatted with Jane Wieldlin from the Go-Go’s, geeked out with the “Robot Chicken” gang, became an honorary member of the 501st, solved mysteries with Holmes Trooper, videotaped tons of footage of droids and slave Leias, photographed everything I saw and directed my first action film (technically I just ask a nice Lucasarts guy to pretend to run away from an Acklay.) So who knows what kind of trouble/fun/craziness myself and Pete will get into this time around?

Stay tuned to see what happens as we blog Celebration Europe.

Saturday Advance Tickets for CE Sold Out

July 11, 2007

Advance ticket sales for Saturday at Celebration Europe are now sold out (some walk up tickets may be available) – however, there are still tickets available for Friday and Sunday, and there will be a limited number of three-day passes as well. Order now!