Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Pottering

Editor's Note: Now that the HP Book 7 cover has been released (see dweebpost earlier this week), all that's left is ad nauseum second-guessing. Woohoo!

Plus hand-wringing in fear for our favorite characters, and some movie 5 previewing.

'It's a very, very emotional book.'
-- Arthur A. Levine, J.K. Rowling's American editor

Oh, my goodness, here we go -- 112 days till the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," and we've gotten our first look at the cover art for the U.S. and U.K. editions.

We've also heard from one of the first people in the world to read the story, Arthur A. Levine.

The editor of the Potter books' American editions said on NBC's "Today" show that he didn't just cry, he "sobbed" when he read the final novel in the series. Editor's Note: Anyone else besides me now wringing their hands AND hiding under their desks sucking their thumbs?

Just ME?

But he wouldn't reveal anything else about the story.

So take a close look at Mary GrandPre's artwork for the American books ( and at the book jackets for the British children's and adult editions (, and let's try to figure out what's going on.

Levine pointed out that the U.S. book jacket is wider than usual and Lord Voldemort is pictured for the first time.

Look at the background; could Harry and Lord Voldemort be in that ancient chamber in the Ministry of Magic containing the archway with the mysterious black veil? Is this their final confrontation? Why are they both looking up?

Editor's Note: We had the US cover in a dweebpost earlier this week, but here it is again:

On the U.K. book jackets, the children's edition shows Harry, Hermione and Ron in battle, while the adult edition shows a necklace monogrammed with an elaborate, serpentine "S" picked out in emeralds. Hmm, a green, snakelike "S." Could this be the Slytherin locket that contains a sliver of Voldemort's soul?

Here are the Brit Covers (kid's cover first, front and back, then adult cover, front and back).

What do you think?

Write to with your theories.

Last week, Kate P. of Homer Glen asked us all for advice: Her cousin is getting married July 21, and Kate fears she is faced with smuggling "Deathly Hallows" into the church and reception or she'll "miss out on the final installment of my favorite book of all time!"

Turns out Kate's not the only one. Angela M. of Midlothian says she will be going to a cousin's wedding on the evening of July 20, "so that means no midnight release parties for me." She figures she might slip out of the reception a little early so she can pick up her book at a nearby bookstore. Her suggestion for Kate: "I say, read as much as you can in the car, and after maybe there will be another Potter fan at your wedding and you can read together in the corner! Good luck."

But our dean of Muggle studies disagrees.

Amy Dickinson, a PotterWatcher as well as advice columnist, gets the last word:"I know that it will sound hopelessly 'Muggle' of me to say this, but please remember that other relationships need to come before even the most compelling literary passions," Amy says. "Think like Harry. In 'The Chamber of Secrets,' Harry had to go to Nick's Death Day party instead of going to the Halloween feast. Why? Because Nick helped Harry out of a jam and Harry was obligated to honor the relationship. This is what we love the most about Harry -- he has integrity." Editor's Note: It is very confusing when a non-dweeb quotes a dweeb icon to make us be more like non-dweebs.

My head hurts.

But I'm pretty sure that mugglelady is wrong, and has NO sense of proportion.

The best thing to do is not to steal moments during other events to secretly read the book. If you do, both the book and the event will suffer. Savor this last gulp of Harry Potter during a time when you can give it your full and undivided attention.

"Remember, the book isn't going anywhere; it's yours to read again and again -- but the event only happens once."

Think of these weddings as the Quidditch World Cup Tournament. To the bride and groom, they are." Editor's Note: WhatEVER.

EW features 'Potter' covers & all you need to know about 'OotP'
Just a few hours ago we posted some new images from the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie, which will appear in Entertainment Weekly on Friday.

Editor's Note: And ohmygollygraciousme, check out these wonderful pics!

Cho Chang


Dumbledore's Army!

Boo!!! Hiss!!! Dolores Umbridge (MORE booing and hissing!!)

Harry and Sirius Black (Editor's Note: SOME of you...oddbob...just went to a naughty place, didn't you?! "Equus" flash-backs, perchance?)

Harry and the Tribunal at the Minestry of Magic

Hermione (Editor's Note: And thank goodness the young lady came to her senses, so we don't have to be mad at her and can love her evermore! Get a LIFE, you say? Pshaw!)


Luna Lovegood (Editor' s Note: Who is WAY too pretty, IMHO. Which frankly, so is Dolores).

The Trio

Editor's Note: Is it my imagination, or do we have this exact same pose of the three of them from almost every movie?

Sirius Black (Editor's Note: Looking VERY handsome, and sort of sad).

The issue features three different covers with Harry, Hermione and Ron, all the information you need to know about the movie, quotes from Daniel Radcliffe and director David Yates and a quiz to test your Harry Potter knowledge.

One article mentions that Mr. Yates has been tapped to direct Half-Blood Prince, although nothing has been finalized yet and that the producers state that the movie will be two and a half hours, the shortest in the series to date.

Or you can start reading the articles here and here for the list of characters, all on the EW site.
Editor's Note: That first link, above, takes you to the articles and such on the EW site. (In the interest of me actually getting some WORK done today at work...ahem...)

Editor's Note: Saving the yummiest for last:

Lucius Malfoy....So Evil, SO pretty....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

P.S. As in Postal Service?

Editor's Note: PS....I think you can vote (for your favorite SW stamp) once per day. It's a very tough choice, though, huh?

I voted for the DUEL today. Probably give Luke, Leia, Han, and Darth some votes as well.

The BIG issues like this need CAREFUL consideration, my padawandweebpals!

ttfn and MTFBWY ker

It's FUN to write LETTERS, Dweebpals!

Star Wars stamp set announced by post office

WASHINGTON — Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi will do battle one more time — and the emperor, Han Solo, Princess Leia and others will join in the struggle.

A set of 15 stamps commemorating the Star Wars movies will be released in May, the Postal Service said today. EDITOR'S NOTE: I have never been so excited by the US Postal Service in my LIFE! (I wonder if my mailman would mind if I ran out and kissed him?)

Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Darth Vader and, of course, R2-D2 are among the unforgettable Star Wars characters debuting on 15 new 41-cent postage stamps unveiled today at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, where the first Star Wars movie opened nearly 30 years ago.

The commemorative stamps feature images from all six movies in the Star Wars saga: Luke Skywalker; Han Solo and Chewbacca; Princess Leia Organa with R2-D2; C-3PO; Yoda; Queen Padmé Amidala; Obi-Wan Kenobi as seen in Episodes IV through VI; Anakin Skywalker battling Obi-Wan Kenobi; Darth Vader; Emperor Palpatine; Darth Maul; Imperial Stormtroopers; Boba Fett; the Millennium Falcon; and an X-wing fighter.

The stamps will be released at a first-day-of-issue ceremony on Friday, May 25, at Star Wars Celebration IV, the biggest Star Wars event in the galaxy, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"Star Wars fans everywhere will delight in the issuance of these exciting new postage stamps," said David Failor, executive director of Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service, who hosted the stamp preview. "Because of the movies' popularity, we believe these stamps have the potential of reaching the blockbuster status of the Elvis stamp, a milestone only the Force could attempt to surpass. The Star Wars films have timeless qualities that cross generations, just like the United States Postal Service," said Failor, who made the announcement of the new Star Wars stamps along with R2-D2, Darth Vader and Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing. Editor's Note: Ok, he had me riiiiiight up until the part where he compared Star Was to the Post Office. SO close, and YET.......

Failor announced the Star Wars and U.S. Postal Service collaboration, which began March 16, when mailboxes around the country were designed to look like R2-D2 — and which doesn't stop with the issuance of commemorative stamps.

This exciting collaboration brings many opportunities to involve stamp collectors and Star Wars fans of all ages.

America Votes on Favorite Star Wars Stamp
Of the 15 images on the Star Wars stamp sheet, the Postal Service is inviting the public to vote on its favorite. The stamp receiving the most votes will be honored with the issuance of a single stamp, which will be for sale later this summer.

Voting for the most popular Star Wars stamp will take place online at beginning today, March 28, through May 23. The winning stamp will be announced at the first-day-of-issue ceremony on May 25.

Check for regular updates on the voting — it's up to America to choose which Star Wars stamp wins the honor of a single-stamp sheet release.

Become a Jedi Shipping and Mailing Master to Win a Trip
On March 16, approximately 400 fully functional mail collection boxes decorated as the beloved Star Wars character R2-D2 appeared on street corners from coast to coast. These R2-D2 boxes were the standard blue Postal Service mail collection boxes, just dressed in costume for the two-week period leading up to today's preview of the Star Wars stamp designs.

A Website address posted on each box invited visitors to log on to to learn more about The Jedi Shipping and Mailing Master challenge. Full sweepstakes rules are available on

From March 28 through May 7, customers can enter this sweepstakes by solving six different challenges about Postal Service products and services featuring a Star Wars theme. As each question is answered correctly, customers are automatically moved to the next challenge. At the start of the sweepstakes, customers enter their contact information into a sweepstakes form. There is a limit of one entry per challenge, for a total of six entries.

The Jedi Shipping and Mailing Master challenge is a fun, interactive Web tool that reminds customers of the quick, easy and convenient suite of services available from the Postal Service, including ZIP Code™ Lookup, International Shipping, Flat Rate Boxes, Click-N-Ship®, Priority Mail® and Free Package Pickup.

The winner of this sweepstakes will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for four to the 30th Anniversary Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles, which runs from May 24 to May 27. (For details, go to

Editor's Note: Ok, this next part is very important, and there WILL be a test following the lecture....
A Brief History of the Star Wars Saga
On Wednesday, May 25, 1977, audiences got their first look at Star Wars (which later added "Episode IV A New Hope" to its title) at 32 theaters in the U.S. Written and directed by George Lucas, it quickly became an international phenomenon, making the phrase "May the Force be with you" and characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader a part of American culture.

A deceptively simple morality tale of good versus evil set across a fantastic galaxy of exotic planets and bizarre creatures, the box-office sensation earned seven Academy Awards. The story of Luke Skywalker and a band of Rebels battling Darth Vader and the forces of the Galactic Empire was continued in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, released in May 1980, and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, released in May 1983.

In May 1999, Star Wars returned after a 16-year absence with the release of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. A box-office smash,Editor's Note: ahemmm...inSPITE of itself? it was also the first of a new trilogy of Star Wars episodes that charted the origins of Darth Vader. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, the first major live-action movie to be shot entirely digitally, was released in 2002, and the climactic Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith was released in 2005. Completing the sprawling Star Wars saga, the most recent movies have attracted a new generation of fans to the vast universe created by George Lucas.

Stamp Sheet Design
The design of the sheet of 15 stamps includes the Star Wars logo and background images of a space battle, including a Star Destroyer, TIE fighters, X-wing fighters, and the second Death Star under construction, as seen in Return of the Jedi.

The background also includes the lightsaber-wielding form of Darth Vader, whose helmet comprises the largest of the 15 stamps.

The back of the stamp sheet includes extensive text describing the dramatic roles that each featured character or vehicle plays in the Star Wars saga. Editor's Note: GROOVYCOOL!

Star Wars stamp artist Drew Struzan's paintings have delighted audiences around the world for a quarter century. Whether he paints album covers, advertising, collectibles, book covers, or his famous movie posters, his strong visual design, draftsmanship, good taste, and immediately recognizable style always produce a memorable and lasting piece of art.

Anyone who has seen his work will remember his paintings for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series, the Back to the Future series, Police Academy, the Muppet movies and Hook.

And people will get to vote on their favorite from the set, which will be reissued in late summer or early fall as a single stamp, said David Failor, director of stamp services at the post office.

"We're hoping that it really grabs a lot of attention. There are certainly a lot of Star Wars fans out there," Failor said in a telephone interview. Editor's Note: WHERE?! REALLLLLLY?!

The 41-cent stamps will be released May 25. The price of sending a letter goes up to that rate on May 14. Editor's Note: So who CARES about the price increase??!!! Give me some of that SW stamplove!

Failor said issuing a Star Wars stamp had been considered previously in the "Celebrate the Century" stamp series, and the advisory committee that selects stamp subjects recently decided to revive the idea for the 30th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars film.

The 15 stamps will be issued on a single sheet that resembles a movie poster. Once the stamps are available, people who want to vote for their favorite will be able to do it online at
Editor's Note: There are also some fun games and stuff on the website. (And a nifty little story tying the Jedi into postal delivery).

Nifty, might be the wrong word?

Star Wars stamps:
Individual stamps feature:
— Darth Vader.
— Yoda.
— Obi-Wan Kenobi.
— Han Solo and Chewbacca.
— Anakin Skywalker fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi.
— Queen Padme Amidala.
— Luke Skywalker.
— Princess Leia Organa with R2-D2.
— Emperor Palpatine.
— Darth Maul.
— Imperial Stormtroopers.
— Boba Fett.
— The Millennium Falcon.
— An X-wing fighter.
— C-3PO.

Editor's Note: But wait, there's MORE....
There's a new force in overnight shipping - Star Wars Express Mail Pre-paid 3-packs, available beginning April 6 for a limited time, ONLY online.

Factory sealed, Star Wars-branded packaging features portraits of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Darth Vader.

Customers can begin pre-ordering on Friday, April 6 at packaging will be available to ship on Sunday, May 6, through Saturday, September 1.

More fun with Harry!

Deathly Hallows Book Covers Revealed!
Source: Scholastic Corporation
March 28, 2007

Scholastic today released both the front and back covers (see below) of the highly anticipated "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," J.K. Rowling's seventh and final Harry Potter book due in stores on July 21st at 12:01 a.m.

Once again, the stunning cover art was created by Mary GrandPré, Editor's Note: Who lives in my old home-town of Sarasota, Florida. (yes, there WILL be a quiz...) the acclaimed illustrator of all six previous U.S. editions of the Harry Potter books.

"The front cover of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' features a dramatic sky of oranges and golds. It depicts 17-year-old Harry with arm outstretched, reaching upward. The structures around Harry show evident destruction and in the shadows behind him, we see outlines of other people," said David Saylor, Scholastic's Vice President and Creative Director who has designed all seven Harry Potter covers.

"For the first time the cover is a wrap-around. On the back cover spidery hands are outstretched towards Harry. Only when the book is opened does one see a powerful image of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, his glowing red eyes peering out from his hood." Editor's Note: Goosebumps and chills!!!!

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc also today released the cover images for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which will appear on editions distributed in Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many other countries throughout the world.

Monday, March 26, 2007

HEROES artwork up for bidding!

Editor's Note: Here's a cool bit of dweeb news...and a good CAUSE, too!


You saw it in Heroes. Now you can own it yourself.

Imagine a signed limited edition print of Hiro and the T-Rex hanging in your very own home—and the original drawing that inspired it from artist Tim Sale. These limited edition prints are actually displayed on canvas and stretched over wooden frames, just like in Isaac's studio.

On March 26, you can bid on these prints and other memorable artwork from the show.

You not only have a shot at owning a piece of history, but you'll also support the ongoing efforts of the National Epilepsy Foundation. Over 2.7 Million Americans are living with epilepsy everyday. The Epilepsy Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures can participate in all life experiences.

So join Greg Grunberg of Heroes and make a bid on exclusive Heroes artwork.

In this auction, everyone goes home a winner.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Enough Star Wars Pics to CHOKE A TAUNTAUN! (not that you'd WANT to?)

Though a work in progress, this backdrop is complete enough to contain a lot of action and excitement.

Botany fans, rejoice... these adventures allow you to really get into Felucian plantlife.

2007. Black is the new red.

2007, Organic Pad.
A vessel of intriguing design touches down on a wholly natural landing pad on the overgrown plains of

Despite hazard signs cautioning about the dangers of heavy gas processing equipment, you just know an action scene is going to find its way into here.

2007, Night on the Town
The times may be dark, but the neon distractions help a bit.

This souped up transport has the mode to fit the mission.

2007. Occasionally, moral dilemmas are this clear cut.

Death of the Cruiser. A series of storyboards chronicles the demise of the
Republic cruiser within the Trade Federation battleship's hangar bay.

Naboo Mounts.
Terryl Whitlatch studies a number of potential animal mounts for Naboo natives for Episode I.

Miss Fisto?
Dermot Power's explorations of alien life forms in Episode II would enventually develop into the Jedi Master Kit Fisto, among others.

John Mollo's original costume sketch for the
Bespin Wing Guards was considerably more elaborate than what ended up in the finished film.

This early artwork by John Mollo depicts a ceremonial Rebel guard (left) and an "Aquillian Ranger," developed during the pre-production of the original Star Wars.

A predecessor to
IG-88, the famous assassin droid, was explored in early concept art for Episode III by Feng Zhu.

A curious creature development sketch, unsigned, from The Empire Strikes Back.

The debate in Clerks centered around whether innocent contract labor or guilty stormtroopers built the Death Star -- this photographic element from Return of the Jedi seems to suggest the latter. Though it's still not yet known if the average stormtrooper knows how to install a toilet.

Joe Johnston illustrates an early iteration of the Imperial capital world for Return of the Jedi, long before it would become known as

An unused
Doug Chiang design for a "baron droid," an elite form of battle droid belonging to the Trade Federation.

A look at some very sleek
Y-wing fighter illustrations by Joe Johnston.

A rare behind-the-scenes photo of Labria, the devil-faced cantina alien, suggests a woman played this particular male alien in Episode IV.

A rare close-up view of Trinto Duaba, also known as "Terminal Man" during the production of Episode IV.

Aww...isn't she a cutie?! Plus, she's the leader of the rebellion and a traitor!

Luke Skywalker's last-second leap from the carbon-freezing chamber was actually performed by this ILM puppet. Editor's Note: And no...for you people (on my LIST) who would opine that the puppet outacted the real thing.....NO.

The rather simplistic model of the Rebel power generators, meant to be seen only at a distance or through electrobinoculars.

A costume reference photo of the Rebel Alliance fleet controllers glimpsed in the backgrounds of Return of the Jedi.

Now About that Loan. The Banking Clan would like to have a word with you... as established in this whimsical illustration by Iain McCaig.

Beautiful Danger
Iain McCaig's early illustrations exploring a possible female Sith warrior for Attack of the Clones.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Just cause he moved to the big city, don't mean we'uns down here on the farm don't still think of our wacky maul-lovin pal OddBob! (Sorry, OB...having a "L'il Abner" moment....)
"This is the majority of my
Darth Maul Collection. There are things from all over the world: Bottle caps from Japan, candy containers from England, and even some custom items." From the collection of Darth T-B0NE.

These storyboards from Return of the Jedi have an additional moment of Imperial hubris as
Executor officers doubt the ability of Rebel fighters to penetrate their shields.

Early in the production of Star Wars, the Y-wings were Red Squadron and the X-wings were Blue. When bluescreen limitations prevented blue X-wings, their colors changed such that Y-wings were gold. Here is a rare photo of the original Red Leader Y-wing under construction.

It appears that B-wing pilot Ten Numb was going to have some dialogue, if this bluescreen puppeteering shoot is any indication.

A costume-fitting stand-in wears the uniform of a Rebel Alliance dignitary from Return of the Jedi.

The background Rebel fleet ships from the end of Empire have long been a mystery to fans. Turns out, most don't exist as models and were actually airbrushed artwork mounted on glass.

ILM Effects Cameraman Ken Ralston airbrushes detail onto flat Rebel starship artwork mounted against glass for one of the last shots in Empire.

A close-up view of one of the holographic chess characters, dubbed a "ghhhk" by the Expanded Universe.

A very early illustration of
Naboo royalty by Terryl Whitlatch -- which describes the scene as a "Royal Procession in Utapau."

An early concept by
Doug Chiang of a Republic attack gunship, loaded with combat-ready clone troopers.

Ralph McQuarrie's concept illustrations for the creatures that inhabit the murky waters of Dagobah.


"A collection of Star Wars books, magazines and other works throughout the past few years that I have read. Pieces range from the famed New
Jedi Order series to Star Wars Insider magazines, as well as vintage art pieces." From the collection of JedsSiths.

The fast and the furriest?

A rare photo of the chimpanzee whose eyes became the Emperor's in the original theatrical edition of The Empire Strikes Back. The holographic Emperor seen in 1980 was a composite of a woman wearing heavy makeup and superimposed chimp eyes.


EDITOR'S NOTE: I'd been saving these pics for a longo time. Seems perfect for lazy Sunday perusal, yes? Hope you enjoyed them, and have a lovely restofyourweekend, dweebpals!