Archive for November, 2012

Get Ahmed Best’s Autograph!

November 30, 2012

Ahmed Best will be signing autographs for Coolwaters Productions next month. For 30 bucks, you can pre-order a signed photo (choose from one of three photos) or for $25, you can send in a personal item for Best to sign. This works like signings for Official Pix or Wattographs where someone will stop in for a day or two and sign a bunch of stuff, then they’re mailed out to customers.

You must pre-order or send in your prized Jar Jar memento by December 17. Get all of the details at Coolwaters.

H/T: Montgomery Chuchu

Matthew Wood Video

November 30, 2012

Check out this cool video with sound designer and the voice of General Grievous, Matthew Wood.

Clone Wars Preview: “Secret Weapons”

November 30, 2012

Check out this video and this video with previews of tomorrow’s episode “Secret Weapons.”

Official McCallum Statement

November 30, 2012 posted an official statement from Rick McCallum on his retirement from Lucasfilm, living in Prague, working on small indie projects, and the possibility of working with George Lucas again.

Finally! They Officially Officially Verify 3D Release Dates

November 29, 2012

It only took several days, but star finally posted the already-reported release dates for AOTC 3D and ROTS 3D. So there, it’s 100% official.

Buy Sansweet’s Stuff!

November 29, 2012

Want almost 2000 loose action figures? Here’s your golden opportunity:

An auction of one of the most complete collections of loose Star Wars action figures was launched today on eBay (Nov. 29) for the benefit of the nonprofit Rancho Obi-Wan, which houses the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia: http://eBayActionFigureAuction.The auction is in conjunction with the anniversary of the northern California museum and the release of the new book, Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection (Chronicle Books, $40): http://UltimateAFC.

The action figure collection was built over more than 30 years by Fon Davis, a long-time ILM model maker and now owner of FonCoCreative Services, Lagunitas, CA.“Fon’s generosity in donating this collection is mind-blowing, but it was done in the true spirit of Star Wars fandom,” said Steve Sansweet, chief executive of Rancho Obi Wan Inc. and principal author of the new action figure book.

The auction includes 1,950 different Star Wars action figures starting with the vintage line in 1978 and continuing through the beginning of 2011. It makes up about 85% of the figures documented in The Ultimate Action Figure Collection; most of those not included are from the last two years. All figures are in very good to excellent condition with most original accessories. Detailed descriptions of vintage figures and photos of the collection are on the auction page. The collection has been appraised at a minimum value of $8,200 by Pete Vilmur, collecting expert and co-author of four Star Wars books.

“This incredible collection of nearly every Star Wars action figure ever produced is the largest group of figures I’ve seen offered in a single lot,” Vilmur said. “Based on the sharp condition and completeness of this collection (100% of the 1978-85 series is here, and nearly every subsequent figure produced to early 2011), I’d appraise this set at a minimum $8,200 to $8,500. There is minor wear on some of the vintage figures (as is typical around the edges of the feet) while all modern figures appear fresh off the card. All vintage accessories are accounted for unless otherwise indicated and are believed to be authentic.”

The auction includes a list of all the included action figures by inventory number and by book page number; the vast majority of all original accessories for each figure; many additional loose accessories that may be matched to each figure; many action figure stands that were included with the packaged figures; and a copy of The Ultimate Action Figure Collection with a bookplate signed by all four authors.

The new book shows and lists every Star Wars action figure—the quintessential toy of the 1970s and 1980s—from the first in 1978 through earlier this year, nearly 2,300 in all.

Rancho Obi-Wan, first established in 1998, was incorporated a year ago as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose specific mission is to serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts, using the collection to provide meaningful educational, aesthetic, intellectual and cultural experiences for a wide array of audiences and to carry on other charitable and educational activities associated with this goal. Money raised for or donated to Rancho Obi-Wan is used for maintenance, insurance, security, professional services, public outreach and related activities; none is used for acquisitions.

Visit and follow on Twitter @RanchoObiWan

I just got this book and it covers quite a bit! Whew!

The Ricker’s Retirement

November 27, 2012

Lost in the shuffle over Disney acquiring Lucasfilm and the announcement of Star Wars films in perpetuity was the retirement of producer Rick McCallum. McCallum had been part of the Lucasfilm crew for over 20 years, working on “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles,” the Special Editions, Eps I-III, and the recent “Red Tails.” There was no formal announcement of his departure. It only came out after Steve Sansweet was asked about McCallum producing the new trilogy during the October 30 Forcecast; he said no because McCallum had retired from Lucasfilm.

For some reason, it took a month for anybody to notice this and as you might have guessed, reading most of the coverage last night about it has been like watching natives in an old Tarzan movie cheerful execute their captives. The worst was i09 claiming, without knowing any facts, that Disney fired McCallum. Just about all of the coverage or the comments to those stories perpetuated the “yes man” meme, which put me in the same mood Anakin was in at the sand people camp because I am so utterly sick of hearing it from uniformed morons who are just parroting what they hear or read.

Just what was McCallum or anyone else working with Lucas supposed to say “no” to? How could you possibly know years in advance in the middle of the production process what precisely was going to send the internet peanut gallery into an irrational rage? When people say that, they really mean that they wanted someone who can telepathically read what they wanted in a Star Wars movie and what they don’t want and force Lucas to act accordingly. They wanted a cipher who thinks just like they do to be on the set with Lucas and tell him what to do. (See a great post on this, “The House of Yes” on A Certain Point Of View). Unfortunately, Gary Kurtz has retroactively tried to come across as that cipher but back then, he wasn’t taking orders from Fanboy Nation either.

If you go to work for someone, you are there to assist that person with getting the job done, not to second guess every decision. Trading around ideas and suggestions can be part of the process. Anyone who has paid close attention to this stuff can see that McCallum did have his own suggestions and ideas and sometimes went to the mat for them. For example he fought for a long time for the scene in ROTS where Yoda goes off to Dagobah and felt it should have been included at the end of the film. If you read “The Art of ROTS,” you can see that concept artists were making suggestions on the plot through some of their work. Sometimes Lucas went with their ideas, and sometimes he didn’t. Everyone accepted though that Lucas was the boss. Why is this so hard for people to figure out? Since when do the likes of Ridley Scott or Joss Whedon or James Cameron surround themselves with people who want to overrule everything the director wants to do? Why should it be any different for Lucas?

McCallum’s job was to see to the details of getting the movie made on time and on/below budget, so Lucas could focus on the creative stuff. Whatever you might think of McCallum himself, you can’t deny that he succeeded at those things. He was also boundless in his enthusiasm for the films, tirelessly attending Celebrations and Comic Con and taking questions from fans. I remember he was pretty protective of some of the newer, younger performers like Hayden Christensen. His job could not have been easy at all yet he seemed to have made the process a lot more painless for everyone else.

It’s not clear exactly when McCallum decided to retire but it bears repeating that an awful lot of the older Lucasfilm stalwarts have retired within the past couple of years, including George Lucas himself. Steve Sansweet, who retired in 2011, has some sort of consulting role while Howard Roffman retired (also without much fanfare) just a couple of months ago, only to be asked back as brand manager. It is entirely possible that McCallum chose to retire because Lucas did. Maybe one Star Wars trilogy was enough for him. Maybe McCallum will return to produce Lucas’s independent experimental films. We’ll see and eventually the full story will come out.

In the meantime, SWPAS thanks McCallum for his work and his contributions the saga and wishes him well in the future, whatever he does. Stay f’n awesome!

Camille Paglia Video On ROTS

November 26, 2012

Just found this video interview with Camille Paglia on PJTV. The video is pretty long, over 14 minutes long, and Paglia talks about her book, art, politics, etc.. If you want to just catch the Star Wars stuff, it’s at around 8:36.

Clone Wars Debriefing: “A Necessary Bond”

November 26, 2012

The finale of the Young Jedi arc begins with a terrific action sequence every bit as good as any you’ll find in the actual films. Ahsoka and the younglings who rescued her are on the run and the remaining Jedi novices on the ship attempt to rescue them. It doesn’t go very well, otherwise there would be nothing to do the remaining 15-20 minutes of the show. Meanwhile, General Grievous and friends take over the planet from Hondo’s pirate gang. Hondo and his gang realize quickly that Separatists will screw you over eventually, forcing them to rebuild an alliance with the Jedi.

The real point of this episode is to show that Hondo, in spite of his rather douche-y behavior of the past couple of weeks, has a heart. He’s trying to boost confidence in the young Jedi by asking them to turn on their new lightsabers and a minute later, he’s privately expressing to Ahsoka his reservations about having children fight. He takes to one of the kids, Katooni, and helps her overcome her doubts while she inspires him to do the right thing.

At the end of the episode, he seems to be the same old pirate, trying to extort money out of Obi-Wan and getting indignant when he’s met with skepticism. But then he nods at Katooni, an expression of friendship.

Ahsoka also gets to display her leadership and diplomatic skills, not to mention her capacity to forgive when it’s necessary. She is the one who convinces the pirates their chances are better as her allies rather than on their own. Without even thinking about it, she takes on Grievous to help her young charges escape.

Professor Huyang is back and he becomes a surrogate Threepio with Artoo, giving the episode an additional Star Wars movie feel. And looky here, it’s the Slave I, which we haven’t seen since the end of Season Three.

The end of the episode finds the Jedi Kids ready to take on the galaxy. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them again, whether it’s in a future episode or on their own show.

WeLoveFine Cyber Monday Promo Code

November 23, 2012

Plan on buying something from WeLoveFine on Monday? Use the code STARWARSCYBER25 all day 11/26 (midnight to 11:59 p.m. PST) for 25% off your entire order. WeLoveFine’s Facebook page will also be doing giveaways all day.