April 11, 2013 | 12:04 p.m.
Harrison Ford is out on the promotion trail, talking up his role in the new Jackie Robinson baseball movie “42.” But what everyone really wants to discuss is his possible return as Han Solo in the new “Star Wars” movie. Everyone except Harrison Ford, that is. The star, who’s reportedly set to reprise his landmark role as the heroic cad, either doesn’t know much about his participation in “Episode VII” at this early date or he’s not allowed to share details. In any case, he’s opted to deflect “Star Wars” questions not with polite demurrals or stone-faced silence, but rather a grandfatherly sense of befuddlement. Witness how Ford handled David Letterman on Wednesday. Letterman, who uses confusion himself in order to draw answers out of his guests, met his match in Ford when the subject of “Star Wars” was raised. […]
April 05, 2013 | 11:44 a.m.
The Force is strong with Dark Horse Comics editor in chief Scott Allie. The Oregon-based company recently announced plans to publish George Lucas’ original screenplay for “Star Wars” as an eight-issue comic series launching in September, adapted by Lucasfilm executive editor and writer J. W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew. As first drafted in 1974, “The Star Wars!” told the story of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker, an alien named Han Solo and evil Sith Knights. Many had long speculated that the complete original version would never see the light of day, conflicting as it does with the saga’s mythic canon. But Allie said they found a powerful ally in Rinzler. “We ran some samples by him in order to show proof of concept, and now here we are,” Allie said. “We’ve had a great relationship with Lucasfilm for […]
April 04, 2013 | 5:15 p.m.
Film criticism lost a singularly significant voice Thursday with the death of Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Ebert, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 70. Earlier this week, Ebert had announced he would be taking a “leave of presence” from his writing, but the news of death shocked the film community, with many celebrities taking to Twitter to express their sad surprise and warm memories of the man who, with his longtime partner Gene Siskel, patented “two thumbs up” as a major cinematic endorsement. As a way to pay tribute to Ebert’s lasting legacy and influence, this seemed like a moment to reflect on his thoughts on five landmark fan-favorite movies, specifically, “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Matrix,” “Avatar” and “The Avengers.” Not all of them received an unqualified thumbs up. The following excerpts […]
March 19, 2013 | 12:28 p.m.
The destruction of the Death Star was an inside job! So says “Luke’s Change,” a video that’s racked up 680,494 views on YouTube. Video creator Graham Putnam describes the video as “an examination of some questionable events and circumstances leading up to the destruction of the Death Star, through the eyes of an amateur investigative journalist within the Star Wars galaxy. The focus is mainly on the connections between the people who created and operated the Death Star and those responsible for destroying it.” P.S. This is a satirical send-up of the 9/11 truther video “Loose Change.” PHOTOS: 10 best comic-book villains The seven-minute video documents “that fateful day” when “the terrorist organization known as the Rebel Alliance blew up the Death Star with a squad of single manned fighters … destroying the prominent political target. “But could the destruction […]
March 07, 2013 | 9:45 a.m.
Carrie Fisher has said “yes,” she will reprise her role as Princess Leia in “Episode VII” of the “Star Wars” franchise. Now, George Lucas says that, months ago, Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford were in “final negotiations” to return. They’d “already signed,” he told Bloomberg in an article published Thursday, or were “pretty much in final stages” of negotiations. Then, Lucas stopped short, seeming to fear he’d spoiled the surprise. There’s probably a plan to break the news with “some big whoop-de-do,” he said. Fisher hasn’t been shy with the news, though. “Yes,” she told Palm Beach Illustrated, she will reprise her role. When asked what Princess Leia is like today, she replied with a laugh that she’s in an “intergalactic old folks’ home.” In late January, as reported in Hero Complex, news broke that J.J. Abrams was set […]
Feb. 21, 2013 | 1:16 p.m.
If you ever watched “Star Wars” and longed to wield a light saber of your own, you’re not alone, young padawan. A San Francisco “Star Wars” fan has created a combat choreography class for the Jedi and Sith weapon. The class is the brainchild of Alain Bloch, a 32-year-old software engineer with a lifelong love of George Lucas’ epic space opera. “There are a lot of really awesome costuming groups in the Bay Area, but there was no one that was doing reenactments of the lightsaber battles that you find in movies, which I find to be some of the most exciting parts of them,” Bloch told Hero Complex. “So I went around and was actually looking for somebody who could possibly teach me how to do this sort of choreography.” Bloch found Matthew Carauddo, a fencing instructor and martial […]
Feb. 09, 2013 | 12:47 p.m.
Fans were relieved this week to learn that Lawrence Kasdan would be writing another “Star Wars” movie. After all, it was Kasdan who penned “The Empire Strikes Back,” the film that is almost universally regarded as the best in the series. It was partly for the fans, Kasdan said, that he decided to return to “Star Wars” — just not the fans you’d expect. “[My] kids are looking forward to it,” Kasdan said. “It’s a movie that my grandson, who’s not even 3, is already excited about. There are not many movies like that.” Indeed, and Kasdan wrote three of them. After 1980′s “Empire,” George Lucas recruited Kasdan to pen the “Return of the Jedi” — the final installment in the trilogy — as well as “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the film that began the “Indiana Jones” franchise. What […]
Feb. 08, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
If there’s a place for Yoda in the upcoming “Star Wars” movies, Frank Oz is game to return to give voice to the character. Oz, the former puppeteer and film director who has voiced the ancient Jedi Master in five of the six live-action “Star Wars” films, told Hero Complex in an interview this week that although he hadn’t heard a thing about the new feature projects being planned by Lucasfilm and Disney, he’s game to return to the diminutive character with whom he’s been associated for more than 30 years. “He’s in my heart,” Oz said. “I know Yoda very deeply.” Following last month’s news that J.J. Abrams is set to direct “Episode VII,” one of the biggest developments in the future of the “Star Wars” universe was the confirmation this week from Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger […]
Feb. 07, 2013 | 5:28 p.m.
Jedi Master Yoda is one of the most famous and iconic of the hundreds of characters in the “Star Wars” universe and one of the men most responsible for creating that character was makeup artist Stuart Freeborn, who died in London on Wednesday at age 98. Freeborn worked closely with Lucas and Frank Oz, the puppeteer and director who was known for controlling the Muppet Miss Piggy before he joined “The Empire Strikes Back” to perform the ancient Jedi Master. Reached by phone, Oz recalled the series of meetings that took place with Freeborn at Elstree Studios. MORE: Remembering Stuart Freeborn “He was a legend already. He was brilliant and he was a sweet man,” Oz said. “I remember going into that first meeting in this small workshop. I remember looking up and seeing masks of Chewbacca and everything else.” […]
Feb. 07, 2013 | 1:47 p.m.
Legendary Hollywood makeup man Stuart Freeborn, who created some of the most memorable characters ever in science fiction including Yoda in the “Star Wars” films and the ape men of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” has died at the age of 98. Freeborn’s daughter, Michelle, told the Associated Press that the legendary makeup man died in London from a combination of ailments due to his age. In a statement, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas said, “Stuart was already a makeup legend when he started on ‘Star Wars.’ He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy. His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His ‘Star Wars’ creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the […]