Star Wars

May 20, 2015 | 3:06 p.m.

‘Star Wars Epic Yarns’: Jack and Holman Wang reconstruct the classics

'Star Wars Epic Yarns'
The original “Star Wars” film trilogy is given a new spin in the word book series “Star Wars Epic Yarns.” Created by twin brothers Jack and Holman Wang, “Star Wars Epic Yarns” breaks down each of the first three “Star Wars” films into 12 words, depicted by 12 scenes crafted in needle felt. The all-ages board book series features images of handmade needle felt versions of Luke, Leia, Han and other familiar characters staged on custom-built sets and in on-location photo shoots to reenact some iconic scenes. The brothers, who are the team behind the “Cozy Classics” series of board books, answered a few questions over email to discuss their process, the most difficult elements in creating “Star Wars Epic Yarns,” and their favorite “Star Wars” film. Obviously, the felt figures and scenes were not easy to craft. But how […]
May 07, 2015 | 11:22 a.m.

D23 Expo: Marvel, ‘Star Wars’ films to be showcased at Disney convention

The ever-expanding portfolio of Team Mickey Mouse will be showcased at this year’s D23 Expo, the all-things-Disney convention presented by its official fan club, D23. Disney confirmed Thursday morning that upcoming films from the Marvel and “Star Wars” universes will be previewed at the August convention. Additionally, fans will get a peek at what’s to come at Disney theme parks, no doubt a look at the “Avatar”-inspired land under construction in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom but perhaps some news on a much-anticipated Star Wars land (Hero Complex’s fingers are crossed). Tickets for the D23 Expo are currently on sale, with single-day passes for adults starting at $67 (cheaper for D23 members). A three-day pass for the Aug. 14-16 convention at the Anaheim Convention Center currently runs $196 for adults, with prices set to rise after June 30. The D23 Expo was last staged in Anaheim […]
May 05, 2015 | 7:00 a.m.

Updated: ‘The Force Awakens’ details, Captain Phasma revealed in Vanity Fair photos

(Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair)
Aliens, droids, dark lords and pilots — all captured by the camera of legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. That’s what the latest issue of Vanity Fair has on display, featuring key interviews and revealing exclusive on-set images of the J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Watch the video at the top of the post for a behind-the-scenes peek at Leibovitz’s shoot. Here are some of the juiciest tidbits for fans dying to know more about the mysteries of “The Force Awakens”: — Abrams promises that “Episode VII” will “return to the franchise’s roots with a newfound commitment to practical effects,” including a Millennium Falcon set that inspired tears of joy from the crew and an actual working X-Wing (OK, maybe it doesn’t really fly, but it looks as if it could). — Among the film’s potential practical elements? Jar Jar Binks’ bones. His […]
May 04, 2015 | 2:44 p.m.

Star Wars Day: The Force is still strong in comics

'Star Wars'
Happy Star Wars Day! With 2015 marking the return of the “Star Wars” comic license to Marvel, consider celebrating May the Fourth by delving into the new world of canon “Star Wars” comics. Publication of “Star Wars” comics dates back to 1977, with Marvel launching the initial series that started with Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin’s adaptation of the first film before continuing on with original stories. The two subsequent films were also adapted during Marvel’s “Star Wars” run, which lasted through 1986. While the success of the “Star Wars” comics helped Marvel through some tough times, all of Marvel’s “Star Wars” related comic titles were canceled by 1987. The hiatus didn’t last long, with “Star Wars” jumping back onto comic book pages with Dark Horse’s release of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s miniseries “Star Wars: Dark Empire” in 1991. […]
May 04, 2015 | 11:11 a.m.

Yoda, Space Hefner and ‘amorous sweats’: Read the original ‘Empire Strikes Back’ review

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker furthers his Jedi training with Yoda in "Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back" (AP Photo / Lucasfilm ltd )
May the fourth — “Star Wars” Day — has arrived. With that in mind, we thought it was an ideal date to continue our look back at the Los Angeles Times’ original reviews of the first “Star Wars” trilogy. Today brings us 1980’s “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back,” which had some very big shoes to fill after the original 1977 film ruled the box office, won a slew of major awards and ultimately altered the filmmaking landscape in Hollywood. Times film critic Charles Champlin gave the 1977 original a sterling review, but saved his best compliments for “Empire,” while also looking beyond the first sequel to the series’ “grand design,” which will continue this December with the release of “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.” With his only gripe being the film’s slight over-length (a full […]
May 02, 2015 | 9:30 a.m.

‘Star Wars’: Director Josh Trank exits standalone anthology film

Josh Trank, who was attached to direct a “Star Wars” standalone film, has exited the project. “I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path,” Trank said in a statement Friday. “I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities.” Trank was set to direct the second of several standalone “Star Wars” movies Lucasfilm has planned to exist alongside the existing trilogy, the prequel trilogy and the upcoming sequel trilogy. Few details have been unveiled about the film, which is expected to be released in 2018. Trank had been working on the project for a year. His absence from a planned presentation at last month’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim raised eyebrows, though Trank blamed the flu. Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s vice president of […]
April 28, 2015 | 11:27 a.m.

‘Star Wars’: Mark Hamill shares family photos from ‘Return of the Jedi’

Mark Hamill's photos
“Star Wars” is a family affair. While the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer that premiered during the film’s panel at Star Wars Celebration pays homage to a memorable family moment from “Return of the Jedi” between Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia, Hamill’s on-screen family was not his only one in the spotlight during the fan convention earlier this month. During a backstage interview for with voice actor James Arnold Taylor, Hamill shared some family photos that were taken during the filming of “Return of the Jedi.” Hamill’s photos capture behind-the-scenes moments on the set of “Jedi” with his wife Marilou and son Nathan, who is the biggest “Star Wars” fans out of Hamill’s three children, the actor reveals during the interview. The images show young Nathan hiding inside of R2-D2, sitting on the Emperor’s […]
April 23, 2015 | 4:11 p.m.

Star Wars Celebration complete coverage: Every video, image and story from the fan expo

Peter Mayhew, left, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Anthony Daniels at Star Wars Celebration. (Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for Disney)
J.J. Abrams, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Gareth Edwards joined an estimated 60,000 “Star Wars” fans in Anaheim last weekend for Star Wars Celebration, a four-day convention for all things past, present and future of the iconic franchise. Some fans camped out overnight for a first look at the new movie, some donned Jedi robes and others even got “Star Wars” tattoos while at the Anaheim Convention Center. Hero Complex was at ground zero during the event, where some highlights included the unveiling of the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer, news about “Star Wars: Rogue One” and “Star Wars Rebels,” and various panels with “Star Wars” stars. Here is a look back at our coverage of the weekend’s events. ‘STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS’ Fandom’s force awakens at Star Wars Celebration, and Disney knows it Star Wars Celebration: […]
April 20, 2015 | 7:04 a.m.

Star Wars Celebration: Princess Leia fans praise her strength and femininity

Princess Leia
The love for Princess Leia Organa was strong among the “Star Wars” professionals, fans and professional fans attending the “What Princess Leia Means to Me” panel on Sunday at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. Panelists and audience members took the occasion to share the many ways the iconic character has influenced their lives. The panel, moderated by Jennifer Heddie, a senior editor at Lucasfilm, featured actress Catherine Taber, artists Cat Staggs and Katie Cook, author Christie Golden and Lucasfilm creative executive Rayne Roberts. ———— For the Record April 21, 1:37 p.m.:  This story lists the “What Princess Leia Means to Me” panel moderator as Lucasfilm senior editor Jennifer Heddie. Her name is Jennifer Heddle. ———— For a number of the panelists Princess Leia was the first example they encountered in media that showed women could have agency. Princess Leia […]
April 20, 2015 | 4:30 a.m.

Star Wars Celebration shows the Force remains irresistible

Star Wars fans gather in costume for photos during the Star Wars Celebration held April 16-19 at the Anaheim Convention. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Some came dressed as Stormtroopers. Some got R2-D2 tattoos. Some underwent Jedi training or stood in long lines for autographs ($125 for Mark Hamill but just $50 for Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca). But like the Millennium Falcon in the grip of the Death Star tractor beam, the estimated 60,000 fans who attended the four-day Star Wars Celebration that ended Sunday were inexorably drawn to the Anaheim Convention Center for the same purpose: to share their passion for all things “Star Wars” and catch an early glimpse of the franchise’s next chapter. Before the event, “Star Wars” fans had many more questions than answers about the future of the nearly 40-year-old franchise, with the first new “Star Wars” film in a decade, “Episode VII: The Force Awakens,” due in theaters Dec. 18. “We’re really in uncharted waters,” said Eric Geller, […]
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