Thursday, April 26, 2007

Star Wars Items

Editor's Note: Some thisandthat misc. Star Wars items to share....

"Robot Chicken" Star Wars-Themed Special

Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken" travels to a galaxy far, far away to create an all Star Wars-themed special.

Premiering on June 17, "Robot Chicken: Star Wars" brazenly combines the satirical sensibilities of Seth Green and Matthew Senreich's (Stoopid Monkey Productions) "Robot Chicken" with the unforgettable moments and favorite characters of the Star Wars universe -- among them, its creator himself, George Lucas.

Transformed into the stop-motion animated characters that are the hallmark of Adult Swim's "Robot Chicken," and in conjunction with ShadowMachine Films (Alex Bulkley/Corey Campodonicos), the Star Wars galaxy takes on an entirely different attitude.

"The special is a funny and ironic take on the Star Wars universe," says Green. "We're thrilled to be able to collaborate with Lucasfilm Ltd. and to have fun with the very property that shaped our sensibilities."

"It's a cliché to say but this is a dream come true," says Senreich. "How many people can say that George Lucas let them play with his entire Star Wars universe and do 'Robot Chicken'-like things to it?" Editor's Note: Just the fact that you use the phrase 'robot chicken' in that sentence, narrows the list of who can say it down to a VERY small number.

and more is the pity.....

In addition to the ultimate get of having George Lucas himself voice his stop-motion animated likeness for the special, other noteworthy voice actors include Conan O'Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Robert Smigel, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone.

"We were big fans of the work that Matt and Seth had done, so when they approached us with the idea to make a Robot Chicken episode dedicated to Star Wars we were really enthusiastic about it," says Tom Warner, Senior Director of Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd. "They caught the human and fun side of Star Wars and put an entirely different spin on it. We think Star Wars fans are really going to enjoy it." Editor's Note: Yes, I realize I am not unbiased, but what other franchise creator has the splendid sense of humor about snarking in his universe as our Uncle G?

Robot Chicken: Star Wars was created and executive produced by Green and Senreich under their own Stoopid Monkey Productions, in conjunction with Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico's ShadowMachine Films.

The special is directed by Green. The duo also executive produce, write and direct the series, with Green providing many of the voices in the special and the series, which begins its third season later this year.

Editor's Note: And more on this, passed along by everstalwart dweebpal PlanoKevin. (THANKS, Kev!)

Lucas, Hamill reunite for 'Star Wars' spoof

Editor's Note: He's lookin GOOD!

George Lucas and Mark Hamill will reunite for "Robot Chicken: Star Wars," a 30-minute stop-motion animation special for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late-night programming block.
The special spoofs key scenes and favorite characters from the "Star Wars" universe. It was done in collaboration with Lucas' production company Lucasfilm. Lucas, the creator of the "Star Wars" franchise, will voice a cartoon version of himself, and Hamill will resurrect Luke Skywalker. Editor's Note: I know I need to get out more, but I luvs me some Luke! (even OLDLuke!)

The special, set to premiere at 10 p.m. on June 17, comes from "Robot Chicken" creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. Green directed.

The voice cast also includes Conan O'Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone. Editor's Note: No Chicks, huh? TYPICAL.

The special stems from three "Star Wars" skits on "Robot Chicken," including the popular "Emperor's Phone Call," featuring Darth Vader calling Emperor Palpatine to tell him that the Death Star has been blown up.

Representatives for Lucasfilm wanted to post that sketch on, and they set up a meeting with Green and Senreich that turned into a pitch meeting for a special.

"We were big fans of the work that Matt and Seth had done, so when they approached us about the idea to make a 'Robot Chicken' episode dedicated to 'Star Wars,' we were really enthusiastic about it," said Tom Warner, Lucasfilm's senior director of marketing.

The "Star Wars" special was developed with Lucasfilm's approval at every stage. The company also helped with sound files on Chewbacca and R2-D2.

Green has been a big fan of the "Star Wars" universe.

"It informed my whole creative sensibility, and the 'Star Wars' toys I played with in my childhood inspired my imagination," Green said. "I've always wanted to be a part of a 'Star Wars' project, and I got to make one."

And he got to direct Lucas.

"It was really exciting," Green said. "He was very shy but very playful."

Let the Anniversary BEGIN!
Star Wars 30th Anniversary Book-signing Celebrations will be held across the country.

Click here to see book signing info for your location.

Star Wars Stamp Sheet Available for Pre-Order
Can't wait? The U.S. Postal Service announced customers may pre-order the set of 15 Star Wars stamps starting yesterday

The stamps will officially go on sale Friday, May 25, following a special dedication ceremony at Star Wars Celebration IV at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

For $6.15, customers can ensure they receive these collector stamps by going to or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24.

All Star Wars stamps preorders will be shipped on May 25.

Voting continues for America's favorite stampVoting continues through May 23 on

Editor's Note: Here they are one by one (I'm rooting for either Luke with the Twin iconic image....or Anakin and Obi-Wan in their duel, the core event of the whole saga, IMHO).

Editor's Note: And here's OddBob's favorite?

Editor's Note: ALSO an iconic image....but who wants a whole sheet of EVIL stamps!?

The winning stamp will be announced at the first-day-of-issue ceremony of the Star Wars stamp sheet on May 25 during Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles and will be honored with the issuance of a single stamp, which will be for sale later this summer.

Which one is your favorite? 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.

Which one is your favorite?

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

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cool little Article

Old interviews redefine 'Star Wars' mythology
By Gregg Kilday
April 20, 2007

"Star Wars" is so firmly ensconced in the pop culture firmament that its success -- in a movie universe a long time ago -- would seem to have been pre-ordained.

But that was hardly the case.

As the movie celebrates its 30th anniversary, George Lucas will be joined by many of his collaborators at a special screening at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' Goldwyn Theater on Monday. Editor's Note: Today, fyi....

Simultaneously, Ballantine Books is publishing J.W. Rinzler's "The Making of Star Wars," which bills itself as "The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film."

More than just a promotional making-of book, Rinzler's account seeks to strip away a lot of the mythology about the movie's creation that has grown up over the years.

Rinzler, an executive editor at Lucasfilm, was aided in that quest when he discovered a treasure chest of interviews that Charles Lippincott, Lucasfilm's vp marketing and merchandising in the mid-'70s, conducted with the film's principals between 1975 and 1978.

They provided him with a contemporaneous view into the movie's origins, uncolored by its eventual success.

"Everyone's memories are somewhat faulty, and opinions have changed over the years," Rinzler explains. But the discovery of the old interviews allowed him "to do as close to an aural history as I could."

Among the forgotten aspects of the movie's production that he unearthed was a failed attempt to use front-projection, forcing the production to shift to bluescreen.

Rinzler quotes Lucas saying, "The biggest change during filming was from front projection to bluescreen. We had shot the approach to the Death Star, but once we got the results, we realized it wasn't going to work."

n fact, the production was constantly fighting battles on two fronts.

A skeptical 20th Century Fox whittled away the budget -- just four months before shooting was to begin in 1976, the studio shaved the production budget from $7.5 million to $6.9 million.

At the same time, Lucas was constantly challenging his crew to come up with innovative solutions like John Dykstra's motion-control camera that defined the state-of-the-art.

But as Lucas was forced to fund most of the movie's preproduction, one of the suits, Alan Ladd Jr., then the studio's production chief, emerged as a hero.

In October 1975, smarting from the failure of the big-budget "Lucky Lady" with Gene Hackman, Burt Reynolds and Liza Minnelli, Fox imposed a moratorium on further spending on "Star Wars" until its board met on Dec. 13. It was Ladd, personally vouching for his belief in the project, who persuaded the board to issue a greenlight.

But even on May 25, 1977, when the movie opened to lines that snaked around Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, no one involved was quite convinced that they were witnessing a pop cultural phenomenon.

"Star Wars" bowed in just 32 theaters nationwide, and the only reason it was booked into the prestigious Chinese was that the release of William Friedkin's "Sorcerer," which had been set to play that house, had been postponed.

Lucas himself was holed up at the Goldwyn Studios, mixing down the film's 8-track stereo mix to monaural for its wider release. Ladd called him with the first boxoffice results.

"Wait, calm down," Lucas told the studio boss. "Remember, science-fiction films do really great the first week, then they drop off to nothing. It's a good sign, but it doesn't mean anything. Let's wait a couple of weeks."

Turning to the others in the room, Lucas added, "The movie's only been released for five hours. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch."Editor's Note: Well no one can accuse Uncle George of grand-standing or over confidence!