Sunday, December 21, 2014

The SWU Podcast LIVE | Holiday Special Commentary

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It's our...er...Christmas present to you, the listener!  Join Chris, Ben, and Dominic as they watch the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978, complete with commercials!  Much like the special itself, the commentary is long, poorly thought out, uncomfortable at times, and contains several out of place musical numbers (ok, I may be lying about some of those).  So sit back, relax, and try to enjoy as we relive one of the darkest days in Star Wars history!

>> Watch along with us, download The Holiday Special here


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In Case You Missed It: December 13th - 20th, 2014

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By: Benjamin Hart

The Holidays are upon us and another week draws to a close... it's time for another edition of of In Case You Missed It! This week we've got more details about The Force Awakens, words from the cast & crew, exclusive reveals, the return of Anakin Skywalker, comics galore, Christmas goodies, Yoda on Rebels, Captain Phasma & much more! Read on to get caught up...


Films

Mark Hamill Talks About Avoiding Drones on the 'The Force Awakens' Set
It seems all of the awesome set photos we got a few months ago caused quite the stir on set, and the crew had to go to extreme measures to protect their secrets.

Andy Serkis Answers Ten Questions About 'The Force Awakens'
The motion capture legend opened up(slightly) about Episode VII and his role in it.

Oscar Isaac Got His Uncle a Role as an Extra in 'The Force Awakens'
Episode VII is all in the family!

Maisie Richardson-Sellers Confirms Her Role In 'The Force Awakens'
Filming has been over for a while now, but that hasn't stopped more actors

Thank You Message From 'The Force Awakens' Cast & Crew
Get a glimpse behind the scenes in this video, which features the filmakers showing the appreciation for the Force For Change campaign.

Video: Disney XD's Inside 'The Force Awakens' Trailer
The short special gave us a few interesting tidbits of info about the now infamous trailer.

EXCLUSIVE: More Details About Lupita Nyong'o's Role in 'The Force Awakens'
This week we have some more info about what type of character the the Oscar winner will be playing.


Television

Yoda to Appear on 'Star Wars Rebels'
Joining the Rebellion the grand master is. And by Frank Oz, voiced he will be be. Exciting this is.

Matt Lanter Reveals He Recorded New Anakin Skywalker Lines Today
More Clone Wars? Rebels? Battlefront? What could he be recording for?


Literature

Marvel's March Slate of Star Wars Comics Preview
Marvel is going to hit the ground running next year with a plethora of new Star Wars comics!

StarWars.com Previews 'Star Wars: Princess Leia #1' Comic
Marvel unveiled a fascinating, and chilling preview of their comic focusing on Leia.


Pop Culture

Star Wars References on 'The Colbert Report' Finale
Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central program has come to a close, but he couldn't help but squeeze in some Star Wars references before the end

Jason Reitman to Re-Stage 'Empire' Starring Aaron Paul and JK Simmons
How about that cast?!


Holidays

Lucasfilm Sends Holiday Greetings Via Animated Short
Holiday shenanigans ensue as Artoo and Chopper try to spread some Holiday cheer.

Check out the Awesome 'Star Wars Rebels' Crew Christmas Card
Ezra and Zeb are back to their old ways in this greeting card for Lucasfilm employees.

Video: A Most Impressive Star Wars Themed Christmas Light Show
Prepare to be amazed as a collection of John Williams' scores are set to an awesome light show.


Rumors

New 'The Force Awakens' Character Name Revealed?
Who is "Captain Phasma"? And is Gwendoline Christie playing the part?

'The Force Awakens' "SIE" Fighter Concept Art Description
More details on new Starfighters we might be seeing in Episode VII!

Episodes VIII and IX to Focus on Luke and Leia?
The Sony email hack may have revealed the plot of the next two films in the Sequel Trilogy.


Also Check Out...

  • The newest SWU Podcast, which features a great discussion about Star Wars collecting, as well as the latest news, rumors & more!
  • Darth Daddy's latest Customizing Corner, showing off the works of Brandon Jackson!



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Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Star Wars References on 'The Colbert Report' Finale

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By: Dominic Jones

Comedy icon Stephen Colbert aired the final episode of his show The Colbert Report last night ending a nine year run of comedy gold.  Colbert went out with a bang and, of course, a few Star Wars references!  

First Colbert joked that this was not actually the end of his show and that JJ Abrams would be rebooting the series in ten years, promising to "wreck some s**t with one of those new lightsabers."
The during his celebrity filled sing along of the 1939 song We'll Meet Again, both Star Wars creator George Lucas and The force Awakens director JJ Abrams appeared.  Lucas was in studio singing along with the likes of Bryan Cranston, James Franco, and Cookie Monster, while Abrams appeared via satellite, sitting in front a screen with the lyrics to We'll Meet Again in Star Wars crawl form.  Both Abrams and Lucas had been guests on The Colbert Report at one point or another over the past nine years (you can see part of Lucas' appearance in the Star Wars Parodies documentary on the Star Wars Complete Saga blu-ray).


From everyone here at the SWU, congrats Stephen "the original Star Wars fan' Colbert on your incredible run and May The Force Be With You when you take over for Letterman this May!

You can watch the Colbert finale in the US here and in Canada here


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DARTH DADDY's CUSTOMIZING CORNER: BRANDON JACKSON

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by: Darth Daddy


Although Brandon Jackson will tell you that he still considers himself to be a noob when it comes to customizing, everyone else will tell you that he's way too hard on himself. Truth is Brandon is super talented.  

Brandon Jackson hails from Los Angeles California, and has been serving in the military for 18 and a half years.  He has loved Star Wars as long as he can remember and he has collected Star Wars throughout most of his childhood. Although he stopped collecting for many years, he got back into collecting in 2012. He now has a pretty large Star Wars collection and 1:6 Scale figures are his main focus. At the point when he started customizing he pretty much owned almost every Sideshow Collectible 1:6 scale figure that they made. He got into 1:6 costumizing because there were so many characters from Star Wars he loved, but no company made in 1:6 scale. 

He joined a group on Facebook called One Sixth Republic ran by the creator Mark OSR. There he saw so many people from all over the country, kitbashing and customizing figures, that it made him want to create some of his own figures. He had never done anything artistic before, but Brandon wanted to give it a try. So earlier this year he did his first custom, a 1:6 scale figure he called Agent 47 - Mandalorian Bounty Hunter. He used the Agent 47 headsculpt from the awesome videogame series Hitman and custom painted a 12 inch Hasbro Jango Fett. At the time, he felt like he had no idea what he was doing until he posted it up on Facebook, and everyone loved it. 

Shortly after that he got into painting head sculpts. Brandon uses brushes to paint his figures, but he hopes to start airbrushing in the near future. As far as supplies go, he uses a variety of different paints, mainly acrylic paints, but he stresses the importance of using the right brushes. He'll admit that he was a little cheap when he first started painting, but he later invested in better equipment and supplies. 

He also recommends using a head set magnifier with a light. It really helps when doing the eyes.  Brandon says his two biggest challenges are painting the eyes and sewing. All customizing artists will tell you that the eyes are the most important and also the most challenging. 

When it comes to sewing the soft goods, Brandon's lucky to have a wonderful and supportive wife that not only supports his hobby but she also sews very well and has been showing him how to make some really killer threads for his custom figures.


































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Oscar Isaac Got His Uncle a Role as an Extra in 'The Force Awakens'

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By: Dominic Jones

Oscar Isaac is quickly becoming a favourite of ours here at The SWU.  Isaac spoke with Vulture recently about how he comes from a family of Star Wars "super fans" (and is one himself) and how he was able to get his uncle as surprise role as an extra in the new film.

Via Vulture,
"My family couldn't even believe it, it was the most amazing thing that ever could have happened," Isaac told us on Sunday at a Peggy Siegal–hosted reception for his most recent film, A Most Violent Year. "My uncle, my brother, my cousin are all Star Wars geeks. They're like the biggest Star Wars fans of all time. My uncle almost passed out when he found out." So Isaac arranged for his uncle to visit the set, where Abrams surprised him with an offer he couldn't refuse. "He asked him, 'You want to be in the movie?' And so he put him in as an extra!" Isaac said. "Isn't that the most amazing thing?" What his uncle gets to do, or, for that matter, everything he gets to do, Isaac can't reveal just yet — "I can't tell you any of that stuff!" — but he will admit to being a fan of the new-and-improved lightsabers. "They do look very cool." Isaac's never been to Comic-Con, but with his his first trip there on the horizon, as he'll surely go to promote Star Wars and X-Men: Apocalypse, he's contemplating whether or not to go in costume. "Maybe I'll go as a gonk droid. Then I can observe anonymously."

Is there any way I can join his family?  All kidding aside, its great to hear that Isaac and Abrams were able to arrange this for a fellow fan!


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EXCLUSIVE: More Details About Lupita Nyong'o's Role in 'The Force Awakens'

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By: Dominic Jones

Continuing our run of revealing new, exclusive inside information about Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens on the SWU Podcast we have something new for you about Lupita Nyong'o's character.  It was previously reported that Nyong'o's character was code named Rose and was portrayed through motion capture.  Now we can tell you that here character is an elderly, female alien with orange skin.

You can hear us reveal the information and give our thoughts on it during the latest episode of the SWU Podcast!  Check it out below,

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The SWU Podcast LIVE | 19/12/14

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On this episode Chris, Ben, and Dominic are joined by Mark Bellomo, author of The Ultimate Guide to Vintage Star Wars: 1977-1985, to talk about his new book, the state of Star Wars collecting, and how collection has changed since the 70s.  They also break down the latest news, including comments from Mark Hamill and Andy Serkis about The Force Awakens, plus Yoda's coming to Rebels, and which Clone Wars voice actor has reprised their role.  Also, new exclusive info about Lupita Nyong'o's character in The Force Awakens.  All this and much more!  

Episode Break down:
0:00:00 to 0:58:45 Intro + Interview with Mark Bellomo
0:58:45 to 1:30:41 News + Inside Info
1:30:41 to end of show: Rumors + Wrap Up

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Matt Lanter Reveals He Recorded New Anakin Skywalker Lines Today

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By: Dominic Jones

Matt Lanter is returning to Star Wars.  The actor who provided the voice of Anakin Skywalker for six seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars posted a surprise on his Facebook Page today, revealing that he had recorded something new as Anakin Skywalker.  Lanter posted a picture of a microphone with the caption "Recorded a little Anakin today...man that felt good! #clonewars @starwars"

The question is, what did he record?  Could it be more Clone Wars lines for another story reel arc?  Is there going to be a flashback to the clone wars on Rebels?  Or something completely different?  Hopefully we'll find out soon.  Regardless, it will be great to hear Lanter back as Anakin, one more time!


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Thank You Message From 'The Force Awakens' Cast & Crew

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By: Benjamin Hart

A few months back Lucasfilm and Omaze partnered to launch the Star Wars: Force For Change initiative to benefit UNICEF. The program offered up tons of awesome rewards for donating, and even gave one lucky fan the chance to be in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Force For Change has since ended, but today The Force Awakens crew are back to give us an update on the campaign's triumph's, and to give us a message of thanks. In the video below, Director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and many members of the production crew, as well as Chewie and Artoo, appear on set to say "thank you".



I often say that Star Wars fans are among the best People on the planet, and things like this certainly reaffirm it. It's awesome that everyone at Lucasfilm and Omaze have rallied fans together in support of this great cause. Big thanks to them as well!

Source: YouTube

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lucasfilm Sends Holiday Greetings Via Animated Short

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By: Benjamin Hart

After working all year to bring us new Star Wars, the good folks at Lucasfilm have set aside some time to send us all some Christmas cheer in the form of a 2D animated short. The minute long film features R2-D2 and Chopper from Star Wars Rebels using paper cut outs to create various Star Wars ships & characters, as well as Snowflakes.

Click here to watch it!

Happy holidays to everyone at Lucasfilm and special thanks for all their hard work, past, present and future! I think the only thing this short was missing was a cameo by BB-8 from The Force Awakens.

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StarWars.com Previews 'Star Wars: Princess Leia #1' Comic

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By: Dominic Jones

Lucasfilm has released a special two page preview from the first issue of the upcoming Marvel Comics miniseries 'Star Wars: Princess Leia.'  The preview takes place during the medal ceremony at the end of A New Hope  and hints that all may not have been as it seemed.  Check it out below,

'Star Wars: Princess Leia' hits shelves in March 2015.

Source: StarWars.com

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Video: A Most Impressive Star Wars Themed Christmas Light Show

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By: Benjamin Hart

The Holidays are upon us, and that means more opportunities for Christmas light enthusiasts to do more crazy/awesome things with their decorations. This year, one of the latest stand outs comes from Tom BetGeorge in Newark, California. His display was featured on a recent episode of ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight and features hand built props such as a giant Guitar, Piano and drum set lit up with 100,000 lights. BetGeorge's YouTube channel hosts several videos showing the lights blinking and changing colors in tune with different songs, but by far the most impressive show is one that features a fantastic medley of Star Wars music with tracks from all six films. From The Phantom Menace's Duel Of The Fates" to Return Of The Jedi's "Victory Celebration", it's a thrilling tribute to the Saga. You can check it out below:



You can also watch this video to get a look behind the scenes of the production:


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at the SWU!

Source: YouTube

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Rumor: 'The Force Awakens' "SIE" Fighter Concept Art Description

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By: Dominic Jones


Our friend Jason Ward from MakingStarWars.net has posted another one of his famous descriptions for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  This one deals with a new design for the Imperial TIE Fighter, or rather "SIE" fighter in this case.  As usual, there is a chance that this may not be true so if you're trying to avoid all The Force Awakens spoilers then stop reading now!  This is your official SPOILER ALERT!  If you're cool with spoilers, then keep reading.
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Today I’m going to tell you about the weirdest TIE Fighter design of all time. I have no clue if it actually appears in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My sense would be that it does not appear in the movie because it seems like a radical experiment by the daring artist who drew it. TIE stands for Twin Ion Engine. So technically, this is a SIE Fighter; a Single Ion Engine. Sounds kind of depressing, doesn’t it? SIE FI? This piece doesn’t have a title, so I don’t know what they would officially call this behind the scenes (I just want to make that clear).
 The SIE Fighter is facing us. The SIE Fighter’s hull is very much what you would expect from a TIE Fighter’s. Its the classic design. However, the right side of the fighter is painted red. It appears red denotes Special Forces Imperial crafts. The top hatch has no red on it, just the body of the hull.

The wing we see to our left is very much like a TIE Interceptor’s wing. However, imagine its a little shorter and nearly twice as long, almost emulating the shape of the Star Destroyer’s triangle shape. However, you know how the TIE Interceptor wing has a fork in it? Well another wing is placed inside it, connecting to the fork. This wing is red. It almost looks like an airplane wing and the flat side connects into the fork of the wing. Near the tip of the red wing is a small laser gun.

Here is a very crude image of how the red wing fits in as it is nearly impossible to describe right now. Remember, the wing is about 50% shorter, and 100% longer. Also, the space between the fork area is very thin unlike the TIE Interceptor:
StarWars_Imperial_Tie_Interceptor
This design only has one wing. The opposite wing is totally missing. The mount for a wing is there but instead of a wing, it has a small laser gun there. Some of the gun’s mount also had red on it, but its mainly dark grey like the rest of the SIE Fighter.

If I were a betting man, I would say we’re not going to see this design on screen. But that’s just my guess. The point is, they experimented with lots of TIE designs. I still hope I get to blow this ship up in a video game one day. Since its special forces, in theory, it could make a one time appearance on a special mission, right? Probably not.

That's a very interesting design, though it sounds like we won't be seeing it in the actual film.  It's definitely a new take on the TIE fighter, but I feel like it might be too different to appear in the film.  I would rather they added the third red wing on both sides of a TIE interceptor, that would look cool.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters December 18, 2015 and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac.

Source: MakingStarWars.net 

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Andy Serkis Answers Ten Questions About 'The Force Awakens'

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By: Dominic Jones

Ever since we heard his voice in the trailer, Andy Serkis has become one of the most vocal cast members of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  Not that we're complaining at all.  Serkis sat down with Entertainment Weekly recently and answered ten questions about The Force Awakens.  Granted he does give some non-answers, but he also confirms and denies several rumors.  


1.) His voice was unaltered for the trailer.
We know now that the narrator of The Force Awakens teaser was Serkis’ unspecified character, but at first no one was sure which actor was speaking. Was his voice being deliberately masked? “That is the character,” Serkis says, adding that the gravelly, ominous voice is entirely organic. “There’s no digital manipulation. That’s just me.”

2.) Serkis, a pioneer of performance-capture technology, will not play multiple characters in the movie.
The rumor that Serkis will take on more than one part is “not true at all,” Serkis says. “I can say I only play one character.”

3.) Can we safely assume, from that weary voice, that the character has seen some harsh action in the galaxy over the years?
Serkis laughs, and considers what he can reveal. “I have to be very careful about how I answer these questions. The character …” he says, followed by a long pause. “He’s been through some stuff.”

4.) The actor knew those lines would be in the trailer.
It’s true—though Serkis simply didn’t know how large a role his voice would play in those 88 seconds. Apart from the background muttering of droids, his is the only voice that we hear. “Director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] told me, ‘You’re all over the trailer,’ but I didn’t know what that meant,” Serkis says. “I thought, ‘Oh great, they’re using the voice of the character I play for the trailer. That’s fantastic.’ Not thinking what that would actually translate into.”

5.) Will we see Serkis himself onscreen, or will his character be rendered through performance capture?
“I can’t say a single thing about that. I’m sorry!” Serkis says with a massive grin. “These things will all come out in the fullness of time, I promise.”

6.) Will Serkis’s character lead a “group of unbelievably athletic and acrobatic motion capture characters”?
This report from Jedi News also gets a big laugh out of Serkis – along with a sustained eyeball-roll. “I’m not leading a band of gymnasts or acrobats,” he says.

7.) Did the movie have a different subtitle at one point?
Citing multiple inside sources, Ain’t It Cool News reported over the summer that the title would be The Ancient Fear. Obviously, that proved to be incorrect–but did the title perhaps change? “No, no, it’s always just been called Episode VII to this point,” Serkis says. “Then I knew it was called The Force Awakens. It’s very pertinent.”

8.) Serkis wasn’t present when Harrison Ford broke his leg when a door on the Millennium Falcon malfunctioned.
“No, I wasn’t,” Serkis says. “But I talked to him about it, and it was all dealt with very seamlessly, so it’s all cool. And he’s fully recovered now. And he came back pretty quick.” Were people more cautious around the Corellian freighter after that? “I would think so!” Serkis said.

9.) Spies were all over the set, trying to catch a glimpse of the film.
“People were flying drones over the walls to see what’s going on,” Serkis says. The secrecy is not about wanting to withhold from fans, he added—“it’s about not wanting to spoil anything for anyone. The expectation is massive, and nobody wants to ruin it in any way. I think that’s right. No one wants to, by saying the wrong thing or being misleading, you don’t want to dilute it.”

10.) He’ll be getting an action figure (unless they want an unhappy actor on their hands).
“That, I hope,” Serkis says, crossing his arms. “I’d better.”

It was cool of Serkis to tackle these questions, and he does give us some interesting tidbits to go on.  He says he's character has "been through some stuff," which backs up our report from a few weeks ago.  He also puts to bed the idea that he's playing two roles.  But we can still speculate about if he's playing a motion capture character.  I wouldn't be surprised if his role wound up being a mix of live action and mo-cap, sort of like Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, but that's just speculation on my part.


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Marvel's March Slate of Star Wars Comics Preview

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By: Dominic Jones

It may only be December, but the folks at Marvel are looking ahead to March and have released previews for their comics coming out in the third month of 2015.  There will be three Star Wars releases in March, 'Star Wars # 3,' 'Darth Vader #3,' and 'Princess Leia #1.' 

'Star Wars #3' will feature our heroes facing off with the Empire at the battle of the battle on Cymoon-1.  Check out the preview page from it,

'Darth Vader #3' will introduce a new character to the galaxy, Aphra.  Aphra is apparently "foremost raider of lost weaponry" and is featured on the cover of the issue with her two droids.  Check it out below,

And finally, the 'Princess Leia' mini series will kick off in March with Issue #1.  The series will feature Princess Leia dealing with the loss of her home planet Alderaan.  Marvel revealed that there will be ten(!) variant covers (still nothing compared to the over 60 covers for 'Star Wars #1').  They released one of the covers as well as haunting teaser, check them out below,



All issues will be 32 pages and will cost $3.99 each.

Source: Coffee With Kenobi
 
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