Category: Behind the Scenes

  • The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, and The Fugitive

    If you’ve watched the final arc of the fifth season of The Clone Wars, you might have noticed something interesting about each of the episode titles. (And if you haven’t watched the final arc of the fifth season of The Clone Wars, why in the world not?) Each of the episode titles, “Sabotage,” “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much,” “To Catch a Jedi,” and “The Wrong Jedi,” correspond to a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Sabotage, The Man Who Knew To Much, To Catch a Thief, and The Wrong Man all deal with themes and situations similar to those faced by […]

  • Leigh Brackett and Small Town Star Wars

    On the town square in Kinsman, Ohio, you’ll find a bank, a veteran’s memorial, and a used bookstore with an owner who will unhesitatingly volunteer the assertion that Yoda was born here. And he’s right — from (yes, you know what’s coming next) a certain point of view. Because rural Kinsman — which is almost 19 miles from the nearest Interstate and surrounded by the expansive fields and woods of the state’s northeast corner — boasts ties to a pair of science fiction legends as well as the classic middle chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy. The Empire Strikes […]

  • E-Mails Between Master & Padawan About Ahsoka’s Decision

    By now, I’m sure you’ve all had a chance to digest what happened in the Season Five finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was very emotional and like I teased all season long, I’m sure you now have more questions than answers about what happened and what’s going to happen next. Imagine being in my position, having to keep this a secret for so long! The suspense has been killing me! We recorded these last four episodes a year ago and I was definitely shocked when Dave Filoni told me that Ahsoka was going to walk away from […]

  • Star Wars Mysteries: The Rebel Commando That Wasn’t

    This installment’s hunt for answers wasn’t sparked by any long-burning question. It probably won’t turn your world upside-down like the Max and Wedge posts did. But if I were the kind of guy who really enjoyed photo-supported Star Wars esoterica (and I am), I’d be all over this (and I am).  I stumbled upon this latest discovery while researching the Max Rebo entry. For years now, there was a reference photo in our image archives that had been labeled a Rebel commando. Based on that keyword, this reference photo saw print in a couple of sources like, until a few […]

  • ILM’s Model-Making Masters of the Universe

    There was a panel at a relatively small model show Saturday in the community center of my relatively small town, Petaluma, California, population 57,941. That’s not nearly as small as most semi-rural towns in wine country, but for a guy born in Philadelphia it sure is. There were about 2,000 people who filled the center all day. The display we had at the Rancho Obi-Wan table attracted folks for the length of the show. There were babies in strollers and grizzled granddads whose lifelong hobby has been building exquisite scratch-built and model kits.

  • The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Kagemusha

    It was never any secret that George Lucas was a fan of Akira Kurosawa’s. In the first installment of this column, we looked at the inspiration of The Hidden Fortress on Episode IV, but that’s not where the influence between Lucas and Kurosawa ended. By the late seventies, Kurosawa was a legend, but couldn’t get the money to finish his epic film, Kagemusha.

  • Star Wars Mysteries: Hunting for the Fake Wedge

    Longtime readers of StarWars.com will already know this story. Parts of it were recounted in the official Homing Beacon email newsletter back in September 2004, and then a few months later on the ol’ user blogs that used to be hosted on this site. But since neither of those archives are readily available, and since I’m overdue for a blog post, I figured I’d retell the story of how I found the enigmatic briefing room Wedge Antilles from Episode IV. Also, this is an excuse to launch a semi-regular series of blog posts that have to do with little mysteries I’ve […]

  • Director J.J. Abrams and His Lifelong Appreciation of Star Wars

    Photo by Joichi Ito (Creative Commons Attribution Licensed) Photo published with photographer’s permission. Director J.J. Abrams will be directing Star Wars: Episode VII, but he’s been a lifelong fan of the saga. In fact, his common appreciation for Star Wars led him to working with his regular collaborator Damon Lindelof, not to mention the endless homages to the films in his various projects such as Lost and Fringe. Here’s a selection of quotes from Abrams from previous StarWars.com interviews about the impact Star Wars has had on his life and career.

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