Category: In Pop Culture

  • Tough Talk from a Jedi Master in This Is Madness

    A narrow victory for a princess over her mother. Best (droid) friends torn apart. And a Sith Lord commanding citizens to support him via holographic transmission. This Is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament has featured many intriguing storylines, and with today’s start of Duel of the Eights, the conference semi-finals, more epic battles are coming. Vaunted Jedi Master Yoda takes on Obi-Wan Kenobi today, but has already defeated two tough opponents, including his pupil, Luke Skywalker, a.k.a. the galaxy’s new hope. The Emperor’s “little green friend” is very satisfied with his victory, it seems.

  • Demanding a Recount: Why Lando Deserved Better in This Is Madness

    What if I told you a man piloted the Millennium Falcon through the second Death Star and (along with Wedge Antilles) destroyed the Empire’s ultimate weapon? What if I told you the same man surrendered the Cloud City sabacc card game tournament, knowing his friend Han Solo would need the battered Millennium Falcon? What if I told you the same man was the first to infiltrate Jabba’s palace in the rescue mission to save Han Solo and remained the only one to keep his cover? What if I told you the same man introduced Colt 45 and lustrous moustaches to […]

  • 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 interviews about the impact Star Wars has had on his life and career.

  • Celebrating E.T.

    Thirty years ago today, Variety magazine posted a full-page advertisement from George Lucas congratulating Steven Spielberg for surpassing Star Wars at the box office with E.T. the Extraterrestrial. The ad, featuring an illustration by artist Kazo Sano, is a fitting tribute from one friend to another — playful, honest, celebratory. Everything that makes E.T. and Star Wars special. Many years later, after both films had been re-released theatrically, Star Wars would once again surpass E.T.. Today, Star Wars holds the number two all-time domestic box office gross record (adjusted for inflation) and E.T. ranks fourth. Whatever their ranks, both films […]

  • Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Skywalker Sound & ILM Receive Oscar Noms

    Lucasfilm congratulates all of this year’s Academy Award nominees, including ILM’s Jeff White who is nominated for Visual Effects for The Avengers and Skywalker Sound’s Gary Rydstrom, nominated for Best Sound Mixing for Lincoln. We also congratulate our very own Kathleen Kennedy on her Best Picture nomination on Lincoln. Lincoln received 12 nominations — the most for any film this year.

  • Black Milk Star Wars: Fan Fashion

    I grew up in the ’80s. I’ll never forget when I was a kid, going down to the store with my loose change to get the latest bubble gum cards from my favorite movie — Return of the Jedi. I would spend hours pouring over all the classic cards in my collection, looking at all my favorite characters. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said “Han Solo.” As it turned out, when I grew up I didn’t become a galactic smuggler — I became a fashion designer.

  • Speculation Season Starts: Let the Sequel Trilogy Rumors Begin!

    Did you hear? They’re going to do a digital model of Bea Arthur from the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special and make her a bartender in Episode VII! Did you know? The next Star Wars trilogy was actually fully plotted out in 1966 before George Lucas even graduated from the University of Southern California! Do you believe it? In Episode IX, Princess Leia and Han Solo finally get married after previous multiple marriages to other beings, and the combined families of 27 children and 36 grandchildren live with them in a crowded tree house on Endor! Ahem. What do Star […]

  • Star Wars Thanksgiving Weekend Deals and Coupon Codes

    For those hoping to save on Star Wars merchandise this Black Friday, Thanksgiving weekend, and Cyber Monday, you’re in luck. There will be sales and savings on almost everything Star Wars-related, from comics to toys, and has compiled a guide to some of the best discounts available. Check out the list below and consider your search over: These are the deals you’re looking for.

  • Star Wars Meets Ink Master

    Watching the Star Wars trilogy was one of the defining moments in my childhood. Up until that point, I had been raised in a strict, religious household: no TV, no secular friends. I identified with Luke — no control over his life, wanting to escape, trying to make a difference in the world (or universe). With Star Wars, I became caught up in the music, the imagery, in the possibility of other worlds and space! I fell in love with all the characters and their struggle against the Empire, and even when all hope seemed lost, they kept going and […]

  • A Padawan’s Journey…All Roads Lead Back To Disney!

    One could say that I “grew up Disney.” My Dad started working for Disney when I was two years old and my earliest childhood memories revolve around Disney. Growing up in Orlando, Florida, with a parent that was a Disney “cast member” definitely had its perks. I got to go to the Disney parks all the time for free, I got in to advance screenings for Disney movies, my summer camps were at the Disney resorts, and I had special opportunities like going to live tapings of The Mickey Mouse Club. I bring this up because Disney was and always […]

  • The Cinema Behind Star Wars : Notorious

    Back in Season Two of The Clone Wars, there was a fantastic episode named “Senate Spy.” It told a story of intrigue among Senators when the Jedi Council asks Padmé to spy on a fellow senator (and former lover) who is working with the Separatists. To spy on him, she’ll need to rekindle their relationship. And they assign Anakin as her liaison. If the story sounds familiar, it’s because it shares the same rough story as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 masterpiece, Notorious, starring Cary Grant (as Devlin, the liaison) and Ingrid Bergman (as Alicia, the reluctant spy). While this movie might […]

  • How Star Wars  Inspires Real Scientists and Engineers

    Let me give you a little bit of a background on myself: My name is Holly Griffith and I’m from southern Louisiana. For seven-and-a-half years I was a flight controller for the Space Shuttle’s Electrical Power System. Once Shuttle ended I transferred over to work on the International Space Station doing maintenance and mechanisms. I recently did a panel at Celebration VI with Dennis Bonilla from NASA HQ and Eric Geller of Two other JSC colleagues were there as well and we had a packed house! The panel was Science and Science Fiction and how the two influence each […]

  • World Space Week: When Star Wars Meets Reality

    (Photo credit:official WSW website) Last Thursday, scientists and space geeks all over our little blue-and-green speck began observing World Space Week, “an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.” The Star Wars saga opened our imaginations to the possibility of life on exotic and fascinating planets and galactic conflicts utilizing incredible technologies. Since 1977, many of humanity’s accomplishments in space have been measured against the galaxy far, far away. While we still don’t have hyperspace travel, lightsabers, or proton torpedoes, we have been learning more and more about the universe we […]

  • Happy World Space Week: Life Imitates Star Wars

    I felt like I was sitting in the Imperial Senate. Kofi Annan stepped up to the podium at the United Nations with a planetary orbits logo behind him surrounded by the U.N. Olive Branches and addressed the national delegations about the importance of space exploration. The delegations sat behind their country’s nameplates, in traditional dress, some with headphones offering translations into other languages.

  • The Cinema Behind Star Wars: The Hidden Fortress

    As someone who has made films and written stories, it’s almost impossible for me to completely contain the influences of the cinematic art I consume. Some might shy away of such influence and homage, worried too much about words like “originality,” but others have embraced those influences and created truly breathtaking works of art. When I was young, I always thought Star Wars was created in a vacuum. Something so impressive had to be completely new, fresh, and original, right? I had no idea about the long history of films that helped shape it into what it became as it […]

  • How sweet it is! Being in the right place at the right time can sometimes pay BIG dividends!

    There are a bunch of people who assume that I’ve built my collection over the years through the generosity of Lucasfilm or licensees. “You mean they don’t automatically send you one of everything?” Nope. I go out hunting at retail or online and pay full price for nearly everything. Oh, now and then over the years a licensee that I’ve built a strong relationship with or helped with some project will be very kind and send me product or give me a healthy discount. I appreciate that a lot, because being a collector who likes nearly everything produced worldwide doesn’t […]

  • Facing Off in the Star Wars Cantina

    I have been a fan of Star Wars since the beginning, so this challenge was very exciting for me for numerous reasons. First and foremost, it was a Star Wars challenge! It was also the first challenge of the competition. As we were standing there as a group I remember thinking to myself “Not only did I make it on Face Off, but our first spotlight challenge is creating a Star Wars inspired alien? Wow! How many people would love to be in my place right now?” What made it the most exciting for me though, was that in some […]

  • Creating a Star Wars Creature on Face Off

    When Roy and I were asked to write a guest blog to be featured on, we were given the option to write it together or on our own. We decided to write something up on our own, then e-mail it to each other and see what we could come up with together. Well, Roy just e-mailed me his draft, and it cracked me up because we both basically said the same thing about our experience working with each other. It’s that synchronicity that worked so well for us as a team.

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