Star Wars

Jan. 21, 2015 | 4:00 p.m.

George Lucas works ‘Strange Magic’ with new animated film

Bog King (Alan Cumming) is fiercely opposed to a powerful potion created by the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kristin Chenoweth) in "Strange Magic." (Lucasfilm)
Forget Joseph Campbell and “The Power of Myth.” The inspiration for “Strange Magic,” the new animated feature co-written and produced by “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas, was Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to make the movie using existing music and find lyrics from the songs to actually tell the story,” Lucas said recently during a phone conversation from New York City. “I was trying to take my archive of music that continues long after I did ‘American Graffiti’ and go through it.” Opening Friday, “Strange Magic” centers on the unpleasant Bog King (Alan Cumming), a tragic figure ruling over his dark forest with a foul temper and a distaste for anything related to love. That is, until he meets Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood), a fairy princess who has also soured on love, and many […]
Jan. 16, 2015 | 3:33 p.m.

George Lucas details plans to make, but not release, two new films

George Lucas co-wrote and executive produced the new animated tale “Strange Magic,” which arrives in theaters Jan. 23.  The musical romp, directed by Gary Rydstrom, takes very loose inspiration from Shakespeare, telling the story of a monstrous Bog King (Alan Cumming) who finds unexpected love in a magical realm of elves and fairies. But it isn’t the only new movie Lucas has on the horizon. The 70-year-old “Star Wars” creator currently is writing two new features, both experimental movies that hearken back to his student days at the University of Southern California. However, he has no plans to ever release either project publicly. “The way [the films] are, they’re not really movies that can be released,” Lucas said of his upcoming projects during a recent phone call from New York City, where he was promoting “Strange Magic.” “They’re movies more […]
Dec. 31, 2014 | 8:32 a.m.

‘Star Wars,’ ‘Avengers,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road': 15 must-see movies of 2015

Here's a look at 15 genre releases slated for 2015. (Handout)
The new year is shaping up to be a momentous one for genre entertainment. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” will reunite Marvel’s mightiest superheroes in the tentpole sequel; “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” —  the first film in a new trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away — will once again see Jedi and Sith battling on the big screen; “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a reimagining of the action-packed post-apocalyptic film that launched Mel Gibson’s career, will see Tom Hardy take the wheel; and dinosaurs will once again roam the silver screen in “Jurassic World.” Those are just a few of the sci-fi and superhero silver screen offerings for 2015. Hero Complex looks at 15 of the most exciting releases slated for 2015 in the gallery above and the list below. ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ Feb. 6, 2015 The latest venture from […]
Dec. 26, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens': The galaxy’s main event

J.J. Abrams speaks to fans from the desert movie set in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Lucasfilm Ltd.)
Chris Taylor headed to San Francisco’s AMC Metreon 15 on Black Friday for a 10 a.m. screening of “Fury,” but it wasn’t just the Brad Pitt tank drama that he’d come to see. Taylor was among the throngs of fans who made their way to 30 theaters across the country that day to be among the first to watch the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which will return the legendary space opera to the big screen in 2015. “There’s one guy in the theater in the back row already watching the trailer over and over again on his iPhone,” recalled Taylor, the author of the new book “How Star Wars Conquered the Universe.” Also, he said, “there were stormtroopers in the audience.” Nor was the excitement confined to cinemas; online, the clip was reportedly viewed more than 20 […]
Dec. 26, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

New book ‘Star Wars Art: Posters’ dives into a galaxy of rich visuals

Full-color painted concept treatment for "Star Wars" poster. (Wotjek Siudmak / LucasFilm)
Luke and Leia, Han and Chewie, Obi-Wan and Vader, TIE fighters and X-wings: Say the names of “Star Wars,” and a galaxy of imagery springs to mind — a visual language as colorful as Wookiee Speak. For fans who cannot wait an entire year (a whole year!) to see the coming spectacle of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” there is this from Abrams, the publisher: “Star Wars Art: Posters,” a 180-page book ($40) or 244-page limited edition ($400) loaded with more than 50 artists’ drawings, paintings and digital renderings promoting the “Star Wars” empire of films, TV movies, cartoon series, video games and more. It’s a nostalgic visual chronicle with a forward by Drew Struzan, one of the original “Star Wars” poster artists, and an introduction by Roger Kastel, poster artist for “The Empire Strikes […]
Nov. 28, 2014 | 8:24 a.m.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer includes X-wings, Falcon, more

A scene from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." (Lucasfilm / Disney)
The debut trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is out, offering fans a glimpse of the first new live-action footage of the “Star Wars” universe in nearly a decade. The trailer, which was released on iTunes on Friday in addition to screening in select theaters, is 88 seconds long and features new characters (including “Attack the Block” actor John Boyega in Stormtrooper gear) and familiar settings, like Luke Skywalker’s desert planet home Tatooine, where actress Daisy Ridley rides some sort of speeder bike. “There’s been an awakening,” a deep voice narrates as the trailer begins. “Have you felt it? The dark side, and the light.” The trailer, below, reveals an updated Millennium Falcon, several X-wing fighters piloted by men in battered uniforms reminiscent of Rebel Alliance gear, a new kind of droid that travels using a ball and, most […]
Nov. 24, 2014 | 11:46 a.m.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens': See the 88-second first trailer this weekend

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' JJ Abrams Tweet
[This post has been updated to include the complete list of 30 theaters screening the trailer. Scroll to the end for the complete list.] The first trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is debuting this weekend, and according to director J.J. Abrams, it will reveal 88 seconds of footage from the highly anticipated seventh installment in the sci-fi mega-franchise. On Monday morning, Abrams tweeted a picture of a handwritten note, complete with Star Wars doodle, wishing fans “a most excellent Thanksgiving” and teasing the trailer. “A tiny* peek at what we’re working on — this Friday in select theaters,” Abrams tweeted. “*88 seconds.” THANKSGIVING pic.twitter.com/46811BgWiF — Bad Robot (@bad_robot) November 24, 2014 “Select theaters” could include nine Regal Entertainment Group venues; the movie theater operator announced on its website that the trailer would screen before each film playing Friday […]
Nov. 21, 2014 | 2:52 p.m.

‘Star Wars': Vader is triumphant in Lego’s ‘New Yoda Chronicles’ video

Darth on Disney XD
“Star Wars” headlines are in no short supply these days. The Star Wars Celebration will be in Anaheim next year, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions” was just released on video, and fans are salivating over any tidbit offered about J.J. Abrams‘ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” But for those who want a fun fix of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and the rest, Lego Star Wars has been offering up a different take on George Lucas’ vision under the title of “The New Yoda Chronicles.” Above is an exclusive clip from “Clash of the Skywalkers,” the final chapter in the four-part “Yoda” series. The comedic tales are set in the prequel universe and feature Jedi Master Yoda in new adventures. The Emperor sends Vader to destroy Luke, while Yoda leads Jedi and padawans in a fight to stop […]
Nov. 17, 2014 | 12:24 p.m.

‘Star Wars Celebration': Watch exclusive first-look video for fan expo

Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are expecting April’s gathering in Anaheim to be the biggest yet — thanks in no small part to the anticipation surrounding the release of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The 2015 Celebration rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19, with interactive programming including diorama building, Jedi training and “Star Wars” tattooing. A new session of “Star Wars University,” a classroom-style presentation that in the past has featured a lesson in storyboarding with “Star Wars Rebels” executive producer Dave Filoni, also is set to take place during the semi-annual event . Last week, Hero Complex exclusively debuted the poster for the 2015 event; today readers can check out a new promotional video for the Celebration above. The Celebrations […]
Nov. 13, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.

Star Wars Celebration: Exclusive first look at poster for Anaheim show

"Star Wars Celebration" will be held in Anaheim from April 16-19, 2015. (Lucasfilm)
For many fans, J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” looms on the 2015 release date calendar like a most eagerly anticipated holiday gift that can’t be unwrapped quickly enough. Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are hoping to capitalize on that enthusiasm, looking to build attendance for the 2015 gathering, which rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19. (Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at the poster for the 2015 event above.) “It’s going to be really interesting, because we are way ahead with ticket sales from where we usually are this far out,” said Mary Franklin, senior events and fan relations lead for Lucasfilm. “I feel safe saying this is going to be the biggest one yet.” The Celebrations date […]
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