Folks that attended Celebration VI got their first chance to snatch up Star Wars Insider #136. But for those who missed out, the latest issue is now hitting newsstands and subscriber in-boxes. I helped put together this issue alongside JW Rinzler and Jonathan Wilkins at Titan Magazines, and here are 10 highlights of what you’ll find inside.
1. 10 Years of Attack of the Clones. You didn’t think we’d let this milestone slip past, did you? In time for the Celebration issue – and the announcement that Episode II in 3D is coming to theaters next year – is this commemoration of Episode II, 10 years later, filled with a mix of new and archival interviews from the cast and crew of Attack of the Clones. Those quoted include Temuera Morrison, Daniel Logan, Anthony Daniels, Jesse Jensen, Rick McCallum, George Lucas, Rena Owen, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee, Nick Gillard, Veronica Segura, Samuel L. Jackson, Ewan McGregor and Bonnie Piesse. The Celebration exclusive edition of the magazine included bonus interviews from The Clone Wars cast and crew (including Catherine Taber, Matt Lanter, Keith Kellogg, Joel Aron, James Arnold Taylor and Sam Witwer) on what Episode II meant to them, and how it shapes the show that continues what that movie started.
2. Exclusive Storyboards. Star Wars storyboards are a dying art, as advancements in previsualization make the static, paper-based boards obsolete. But there were plenty created for Episode II, and unlike the other films, few Episode II storyboards have ever been published. A six-page spread shows the 14 boards of the scene where Padmé tumbles from a Republic gunship in the midst of the Clone Wars.
3. Keep Calm and Carry On! JW Rinzler’s discoveries in writing his classic trilogy “Making of” books continue to pay off. Among the troves uncovered were previously unpublished interviews. What makes this one with Carrie Fisher so unique is that it was done in January 1977, before Star Wars changed everything, so it’s a very interesting read.
4. Reputation. This was one of the last short stories I had to read for inclusion in the Essential Reader’s Companion, and it came as a breath of fresh air. Newcomer Ari Marmell brings a new voice to Star Wars fiction, a terse edginess suited to Cad Bane, who has never headlined a prose piece before. Tom Hodges is the perfect artist for this piece. Based on my past experience with him doing some older Clone Wars online fare, no one quite nails Bane’s deadliness like Tom does. This story takes place very early in Bane’s career, and we find out how he adopts his distinctive approach.
5. Arc by Arc: Inside Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Four Tour. I got to put together this article for Insider. By virtue of my position here, I get to dive very deeply into Blu-ray projects in development, making suggestions, reviewing content, copy-editing text, and basically being as nitpicky as I can be when there’s still time to make changes. So, as a I result I’ve been lucky to see all of the material that’s on the Season 4 set months before it comes out, including the most deeply buried Easter Egg. I tried to be as thorough in recapping the disc content as these allotted pages allowed, and provide a tour of what’s on the set, including some of the never-before-published concept art that will be found in the Jedi Archives on Blu-ray.
6. Back to the Drawing Board. The tribute to Ralph McQuarrie continues, as this never before published archival interview with the artistic legend – done by Thomas G. Smith in 1984 – explores his collaboration with Lucas, Joe Johnston, Michael Pangrazio and others.
7. Joe Johnston: A Design for Life. Along the same lines is an never before published interview from Joe Johnston, also from 1984 by Smith. Joe had already made a name for himself as an amazing art director, but this interview comes from before he had moved on to helm such feature films as The Rocketeer, Hidalgo, and Captain America: The First Avenger
8. Rogue’s Gallery. Oh yes it’s ladies night! This issue’s photo line-up features Who’s Who on the Coruscant Party Scene by Leland Chee. This one collects several already named (but rarely showcased) Outlander nightclub extras, and adds a new name here and there. Tuckerisms abound – I’ll admit to coining one here. I am not a fan of obvious Tuckerisms (I was not responsible for “Seib Nod,” for example), but I have done it in the past. Usually, I prefer inventing names that sound phonetically appropriate. For instance, I named Immi Danoo at the Outlander Club, only because it sounded poppy and light (like “Kimmy”), and there is no real person’s name lurking in those letters. Not so much for Dyemma Reel, which I also came up with. That one’s is an outright Tuckerism.
9. Celebration Thru the Lens. Among the many shutterbugs snapping pics at previous Celebrations was Joel Aron, the CG and Lighting Supervisor on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He is an amazing photographer, and has actually started teaching photography classes as part of the Star Wars University programming at the event. This issue of Insider has a special photo-essay on Celebration V featuring Joel’s distinctive photos. I hope this becomes a regular retrospective series for Celebrations going forward.
10. The Perils of Being Indy. With the Indiana Jones Blu-ray set, and limited IMAX release, and Marathon screenings coming soon, it’s time to talk about the Man with the Hat. (Oh, and it’s Man with the Hat. Not Man in the Hat. One of the nits I’ve been picking a lot lately). Insider talks with legendary stunt man and director Vic Armstrong about his time with the bullwhip.
I’m still playing catch up from Celebration VI, and I’m pretty sure my next post will be about some of behind the scenes shenangins on the Behind the Scenes stage. Till next time!
Pablo Hidalgo is paid to know the difference between Romba and Lumat and dies a little bit inside when you misspell Wookiee or Lucasfilm. He lives in San Francisco.