Category Archives: Star Wars

The Veterans of Yavin

Seems everyone is starting to celebrate 35 Years of Star Wars, Mark Daniels (aka Sublevel Studios) designed this stunning Star Wars, Battle of Yavin Veterans Association Poster.

Star Wars 35 Years Veterans Association

Unfortunately there’s a downside, he was going to sell the posters on his website, but was forbidden by Lucasfilm to do so. Read Lucasfilm’s response below on how they (rightfully) protect their intellectual property rights.

Gentlemen:

Lucasfilm Ltd. and its affiliated and related entities (collectively « Lucasfilm ») are the exclusive owners of all rights in and to the STAR WARS major motion pictures and any other STAR WARS film or property. Those properties and the characters and unique elements which appear therein (the « STAR WARS Copyrights and Trademarks ») are protected by the copyright and trademark laws of the United States and other nations.

We note that STAR WARS Copyrights and Trademarks are being posted and distributed on the above website without Lucasfilm’s authorization (« Unauthorized Item »). This unauthorized use of STAR WARS Copyrights and Trademarks constitutes copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition. By this letter, we request that you immediately suspend and/or disable the account of the above website and/or that you immediately remove the Unauthorized Items from the above website.

We further request written assurance that you will comply with this demand. Lucasfilm is the exclusive owner of all relevant rights in and to the Star Wars Films. We have a good faith belief that any items falling into the categories identified above infringe Lucasfilm’s copyrights and other intellectual property rights, and are not authorized by Lucasfilm or its agents. Pursuant to the DMCA, we have a good faith belief that any items falling into the categories identified above infringe Lucasfilm’s copyrights and other intellectual property rights, and are not authorized by Lucasfilm or its agents. I am authorized to act on Lucasfilm’s behalf regarding these matters. The information provided in this communication is accurate to the best of my knowledge and is provided under penalty of perjury.

Thank you for your cooperation. Nothing in this letter shall be construed as a waiver or relinquishment of any right or remedy possessed by Lucasfilm or any other affected party, all of which are expressly reserved.

Sincerely,
Lucasfilm Ltd., (Antipiracy)
Business Affairs

Star Wars & Me 1978

A Long Time Ago in a Cinema Not to Far Away

It’s hard to believe 2012 heralds the 35th year of Star Wars …’how time flies’.

For me, there’s so much I could say about my ‘favourite’ film, but instead I thought I’d reminisce about the day I went to see Star Wars for the very first time. I first heard about the film when a young 10-year-old Neil Stringer told me about this amazing picture he’d seen on our way home from School, but this wasn’t May 1977 (25th) when it was first released in the United States, but more like early 78, as the UK premier wasn’t actually until Boxing Day 1977, a full 7 months later in two West End cinemas, the Leicester Square Theatre and the Dominion, Tottenham Court Road, where it took a record-breaking £117,690 in its first week.

Star Wars continued to play exclusively at these two cinemas for over the next four weeks, were it instantly became the hottest ticket in town, ticket-touts where reportedly selling £2.20 tickets for £30 quid. But on the 29th January it finally opened in Leeds. For me I can’t remember the precise date I went to see it, although it was a Saturday in February at the Odeon Cinema on The Headrow in Leeds. It wasn’t a family outing, but instead a trip out with my good friend Mark Adams and his Granddad.
The Odeon on The Headrow Leeds
So we set off on the No:5 bus to a sunny Leeds City Centre to eagerly wait in turn queuing down the side of the Headrow (This seems to be a long forgotten experience within Leeds to queue around buildings to see a new movie) but once we finally got into the foyer and purchased out tickets, there was a plethora of memorabilia available to buy behind the confectionary counter. For me it had to be the Official Movie Souvenir Programme and the giant fold-out poster to take home and adorn my bedroom wall, both of which I still have today. (below)
Star Wars Souvenir Programme and Film Poster 1978
The Odeon was a three screen cinema in those early days, before it was later split into a 5 screens, this meant the main screen 1 auditorium was ‘HUGE’…well, it felt huge to a small 11-year-old lad like me. So I sat down proudly holding my first swag of Star Wars keepsakes while watching Pearl & Dean as I awaited the film to start. It was at this point the curtains would close while you could hear the tiny motors widening the screen size from its 1/3rd size to full 70mm capacity.

The Headrow Odeon Leeds Interiors
Image used courtesy of Ian Grundy ©Stagedoor 2012

One of the amazing qualities of this amphitheatre of film was the sound and its sheer volume (something the Health & Safety sphincter police must have curtailed in later years) It was this sound that had a physical impact on me, because you could feel the noise of the opening Star Destroyer approaching, vibrating through your body before it appeared on-screen, and when it did appear…HOLY WOW!! It just went on and on and on, that thing was HUGE. Even at the very end of the film your spacial senses were tested as well, when Luke’s X-Wing swooped into the Death Star trench you wobbled from left to right in the same you do at an IMAX screening today. From the moment the credit finally rolled up  I was hooked…FOR LIFE…and subsequently went to see it more time than I can remember (25 Geekish times I think) even to this day I love to watch it and still don’t get bored. The new Blu-Ray gave me another excuse to have a family Star Wars viewing night, one which we have each year.

I’m quite sure you’ll hear more about ‘Me & Star Wars’ over the coming years on this blog, but for now it just leaves me to say…

Happy 35th Birthday Star Wars

Star Wars Planetary Tourism Posters

These posters by Justin Van Genderen really caught my eye, (thanks to my ‘Arty’ daughter).. firstly because their ‘Star Wars’ but mainly for the minimalist approach in which they’ve been graphically executed, they have an almost Vintage Travel and British Railway theme to them. Simple, yet effective.

Star Wars Planetary Tourism Poster | TatoonineStar Wars Planetary Tourism Poster | CoruscantStar Wars Planetary Tourism Posters | EndorStar Wars Planetary Tourism Posters | Various

Halloween Yoda Pumpkin

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

Both my girls are now of an age were pumpkin carving is just ‘not’ their thing, so inspired by StarWars.com, I decided to make a Yoda Pumpkin all on my own, here’s how I had so much fun making it.

The gear required for the Yoda Pumpkin is:

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

A good 200-220mm in diameter Pumpkin
2 Oranges (mine were nice Seville one)
A good gnarly sweet potato or a gourd (if you can find one)
2 Tea lights
Straight pins
Serrated knife
Carving spoons or Pumpkin Kit

How-to-Sculpt a Yoda Halloween Pumpkin:

First start off with the sweet potato, mine was really nice gnarly South African one from the wonderful cultural stalls at Leeds Market, I did look a fool going through the box of potatoes to find the right one, and then only purchase a single potato. Now use the serrated knife to carefully cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise.

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

Next to gouge out the inner of the potato either with a good spoon or melon ball peeler, whilst leaving a good edge around it. This was heavy going with a spoon for me, and of all the elements took the longest.

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

Moving onto the Seville oranges, I cut one in half and other into quarters, removed the inner orange, which tasted quite delicious. Now carefully cut through just the peel, going from top to bottom, to get the crescent shape shown. Some crescents are thinner than others. The top one, over the eye, is widest, with the bottom ones thinner. The nose is just a very wide crescent slice with two, almost complete circles cut into the bottom edge, the slice bends back into itself to form Yoda’s nose.

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

As you can see, the upper lip of the mouth slice has several arrow-shaped cuts made on the bottom edge and the bottom slice has just one cut. These cuts depict his wrinkles. As the orange peels weathers, they look even older. …it is after all a Yoda Pumpkin! And ‘when nine hundred years old you reach, look as good, you will not.’

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

All the main face pieces are now done; time to move onto the Pumpkin

Cut the pumpkin open and remove the seeds and scrape some of the inner walls down a bit. This is the messiest part of the job…really slimy!!

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

Now to prepare the holes, first cut a 25mm diameter hole, front and centre for the nose. Be careful to make the cuts parallel, not at an angle. This will allow you to put the nose slice into it without it wanting to slip out! A straight pin, as seen in the photo, pushes into the bottom flap of the nose and into the top edge of the pumpkin wall, securing the nose in position.

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

For the eyes, cut a 40mm diameter hole, leaving a triangle spike on the upper right of each cut. This slice will aid in identifying it as an eye. The top orange peel eyelid wraps around and holds the bottom lids in position. Secure the ends of the top eye lids with straight pins. A pin or two should be added to the bottom eyelids to secure them as well.

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

After making a long 65mm wide crescent-shaped cut for the mouth, add the bottom lip and secured in a similar manner to the eyes, however, you will want to give the mouth some shape. Straight pins at the edges of the lips secure them in place. The bending and shaping of the mouth piece may be required.

Now mark holes for the ears, holding the sweet potato next to the wall. Cut the hole smaller than you need; you can always make it bigger later. Finally cut a 20mm hole in the top lid of the pumpkin behind the stem, so it doesn’t show so you can properly ventilate the burning tea lights.

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

Now add 2 tea lights, but watch out for the pins when putting them in…Ouch! Light them up and your Yoda pumpkin is now complete and ready for the window sill and the approaching Trick-or-Treaters.

Star Wars Yoda Pumpkin

SIDE NOTE:

Posted an image on Twitter once I’d finished, and to my joy @starwars re-tweeted it to nearly 140 thousand of their followers….Icing on the cake:)

Twitter

Wordle: Typographical Cloud Maps

Wordle is a fantastic typographical tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide, or even better links to your Blog. The clouds will then give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in your posts. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. Continue reading Wordle: Typographical Cloud Maps