Special Effects in the 80s

Earlier this week, we featured a little infographic counting down the biggest movie sets in the history of cinema. This look into the practical sets from decades past shows both how impressive and large some physical sets used to be, and also just how few giant film sets are built today, in favor of digital effects. But even the world of special effects wasn’t so technologically advanced. And much like extensive practical set building, the use of less-sophisticated but still impressive special effects is something that seems to be missing from today’s movies.

So if you need to escape the present day for awhile, check out this vintage one-hour NOVA special that takes a look at the magic of special effects in the 80s, focusing on films such as Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Watch the NOVA segment on special effects below! Read More »


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George Lucas C-3PO

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is inspired by George Lucas‘ creations, but it is not itself a George Lucas creation. Lucas has stressed that he has “no idea what they’re doing,” and expressed his eagerness to “enjoy it like anybody else.”

But there was a time before the Lucasfilm sale when Lucas was developing his own Episode VII, going as far as to approach Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer, and Mark Hamill about reprising their roles. Now a new report sheds some light on what the George Lucas Episode VII would have been — and why it didn’t go forward at Disney. Get the juicy details after the jump.  Read More »

John Boyega Star Wars Force Awakens Jakku

We’ve got more Star Wars Celebration round-up items, as well as some cool Force Awakens info, in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Below, read the following:

  • Force Awakens star John Boyega is back on Twitter, and walked around Celebration in disguise.
  • Disney is recreating the Millennium Falcon cockpit on their cruise ship.
  • George Lucas says Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a “different” kind of story.
  • Marvel announced two new Star Wars comic books.
  • A new Del Ray book has been revealed: Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company.
  • Author Alan Dean Foster will write The Force Awakens novelization.
  • Watch a Lego version of the Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One trailer.
  • Listen to Peter on a podcast about Star Wars Celebration.
  • See where the X-Wing sequences in the Force Awakens trailer were filmed.
  • Ben Mendelsohn tiptoes around his potential Rogue One casting.
  • Want to see a Gonk Droid in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
  • J.J. Abrams takes the Twizzler Challenge.
  • Star Wars Celebration 2016 will be in London from July 15-17, 2016.

Read More »

George Lucas Daily Show

With his fondness for plaid and flannel, George Lucas projects a pretty laid-back image, but he’s not exactly known for his outrageous sense of humor. If we were going to cast a Daily Show spot making fun of Fox News, Lucas wouldn’t be among the first people chosen for the gig. Maybe that’s why his appearance on exactly such a sketch is pretty funny. That he’s having fun with his own creation (Star Wars, of course, along with American Graffiti) is part of the fun. Watch the George Lucas Daily Show segment below. Read More »

Joseph Nicklo Force Awakens poster

Lots of good stuff spanning the galaxy in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Below, read about:

  • George Lucas was spotted in a NYC comic book shop buying Marvel’s new Star Wars comics.
  • A synopsis for the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens novel Star Wars: Aftermath is now online.
  • John Williams will reportedly record The Force Awakens score this summer.
  • One Force Awakens crew member is auctioning off authentic merchandise for a great cause.
  • The identity of Sarah Michelle Gellar‘s Star Wars Rebels character may have been revealed if rumors are true.
  • See a preview of Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 by Marvel.
  • Cost and details on Star Wars Celebration autographs are now available.
  • What exactly happens in the big Star Wars: The Force Awakens IMAX sequence?

Read More »

Billy Dee Williams Lando Rebels

Lucasfilm is finally cracking down on Force Awakens leaks. That’s just one of the news bits in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Below, read about the following.

  • Lucasfilm has filed a lawsuit against an Internet user who posted images from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • British actor Aidan Cook may be in The Force Awakens as a creature actor.
  • George Lucas appeared at the Sundance Film Festival and didn’t have nice things to say about Hollywood.
  • Freddie Prinze Jr. Talks Star Wars Rebels Season One and Two, which will be nearly double the length.
  • Billy Dee Williams will return as Lando in Star Wars Rebels.
  • See a preview of Marvel’s Star Wars #2.
  • Oscar Isaac has some strong words about fan reaction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • How did Star Wars: The Force Awakens take over Toy Fair in Germany?
  • A huge batch of potential plot spoilers for The Force Awakens have made it online.
  • There are also some possible descriptions of Han, Leia and Chewbacca’s costumes in the film.

Read More »

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drew 06

When you think Lucasfilm, you probably think of two things: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Both creations of filmmaker George Lucas, those two franchises put Lucasfilm on the map and made the company what is today: an entity that cost Disney $4 billion. But Lucasfilm isn’t only Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Proof of that hit theaters this past weekend as they released Strange Magic, an animated fairy tale Lucas himself conceived and produced.

That got us thinking, what else has Lucasfilm done? What are they without their two big superstars? The answer is “a lot” and “something pretty special.” Below, read our ranking of the 10 best Lucasfilm movies, minus Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Read More »


The first Lucasfilm movie announced by Disney after the acquisition was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But the first Lucasfilm feature released by Disney is this weekend’s Strange Magic. First conceived by George Lucas over a decade ago, the animated musical delves into a fantasy world populated by lovelorn elves, feisty fairies, and embittered goblins.

During a recent press day in New York, I got the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Lucas himself, as well as Strange Magic stars Elijah Kelley, Evan Rachel Wood, and Alan Cumming to talk love, music, and of course, Star Wars. Watch the video interviews after the jump.  Read More »

George Lucas star wars 7

In the years to come, we’ll certainly learn more about the behind the scenes development of the new Star Wars movies. But, for now, the public narrative is as follows. George Lucas was quietly developing Star Wars 7 when he decided to sell Lucasfilm to Disney. He passed along his outlines and work on the movies, which screenwriter Michael Arndt began adapting. J.J. Abrams came on board as director, but he and the writer didn’t see eye-to-eye. Arndt left the project, Abrams took over writing duties with Lawrence Kasdan, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens went into production.

The rumored disagreement between Arndt and Abrams was over Lucas’ vision. Apparently, Lucas and Arndt wanted Episode VII to focus more on the younger characters, while Abrams wanted the younger generation to be secondary to the old guard like Luke, Han and Leia. We still don’t know precisely how that balance worked out. In a new interview, Lucas himself admitted Disney abandoned his Star Wars 7 ideas, adding fuel to this fire. Read More »