Last week, the titular statue from The Maltese Falcon sold for over $4 million. It seems like a high price tag until you consider that the Maltese Falcon is the stuff dreams are made of. If you’re wealthy and still in the movie memorabilia market, you may want to turn your attention to a galaxy far, far away because Han Solo’s blaster is up for auction. It’s the blaster from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, so it’s not the one used to kill Greedo. It’s also not the live-fire version used for close-ups. But it was used in Cloud City and the Battle of Endor, so it’s clearly still got some value. However, if you want it in your collection, you’re going to have to have serious change. The starting bid is $200,000 and it’s estimated to go as high as $300,000.
Hit the jump to check out close-ups of the blaster.
A little over a week ago, we reported on some lost footage from Return of the Jedi. At the time, it just looked like some alternate takes, and the poster, who found footage from an old promo Laserdisc, was simply posting the footage piecemeal. But after posting 22 minutes and 49 seconds, “rotjeditdroid” uncovered something that would have profoundly changed the relationship between Luke, Obi-wan, and Yoda. It’s a single line, but in the context of the revelation regarding what Luke was told his father, it turns “a certain point of view” into a conspiracy. The line is “Obi-Wan would have told you long ago had I let him…”
Hit the jump for more.
For all of the special features that came loaded on to the Blu-ray release for Star Wars, it wasn’t everything. For those of you not old to remember Laserdiscs, they were pretty much gigantic CDs, and they never really took off due to how expensive they and the players were. But they still remain among collectors, and they’re surprisingly durable. Star Wars fan “rotjeditdroid” picked up a Laserdisc created by Lucasfilm to show off their EditDroid station, a digital editing station created almost 30 years ago. This Laserdisc was loaded with Star Wars clips, and rotjeditdroid shelled out $699 on eBay for the item. He/she is now uploading the clips from Return of the Jedi piecemeal to his/her Facebook page, and they reveal an interesting alternate takes and behind-the-scenes footage from Yoda’s death scene. More footage is supposedly on the way, and rotjeditdroid is claiming the posts are protected by Fair Use, but Fair Use is very hazy, and Lucasfilm could still take this down.
Hit the jump to check out the clips while you can, and click here for some previously unseen bloopers from Star Wars: A New Hope.
Entertainment Weekly has announced the complete lineup for the upcoming EW CapeTown Film Festival, and it’s chock-full of great films and exciting guests. Screenings include Shaun of the Dead, The Thing, Escape from New York, The Goonies, Twelve Monkeys, and Star Trek (2009), with a special “May the 4th Be With You” all-day marathon of Return of the Jedi. More excitingly, though, is the fact that Edgar Wright, John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Richard Donner, Neil Gaiman, Terry Gilliam, Leonard Nemoy, and more will be onhand to introduce and discuss the various films.
Hit the jump to check out the full lineup, which also includes a special announcement that’s coming soon. EW CapeTown Film Festival will run in Los Angeles from April 30th – May 6th.
Our daily series where Allison Keene watches the Star Wars movies for the first time. Read her intro/explanation here, and here’s her reviews of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.
Before the scroll started (and by the way, what a great thing that scroll is — such a simple way to convey backstory exposition, yet you never see it used elsewhere) there should have been a line that said “… and now for something completely different!”
I want to say upfront that I really enjoyed Return of the Jedi, even though for the first time it felt like a movie in a clearly family-oriented franchise, and not one just for the fanboys (and girls). It had a more direct story trajectory than Empire Strikes Back, but still found time for side-bar narratives, like bringing back Lando in a redemptive arc and introducing Ewoks (which I loved, series infantilization aside). It also had a number of great small victories that all lead up to that final standoff between Luke and Darth Vader. Hit the jump for more of my take on Jedi and its turn to the Dark Side (family franchise here we come!).
Return of the Jedi could have been a much darker movie. No, I’m not talking about killing off Han Solo or Luke walking off alone like a wandering samurai. I’m saying it’s a good thing the rebels calculated the blast radius of destroying the second Death Star. Otherwise, teddy bear celebration would have been replaced with awkward-yet-glorious silence.
Hit the jump to check out an “alternate ending” to Return of the Jedi.
Mondo will be finishing up their Mondo Star Wars series with work from Tyler Stout. Stout has designed a poster and a variant for each of the original series. So if you’re still smarting that you didn’t nab one of Olly Moss’ amazing prints for the original trilogy, you now have a second chance at an awesome Star Wars poster set. You’ll also have a much better chance this time around as this will be Mondo’s widest release to date: 850 posters of the standard edition and 275 of the gold-and-silver variants. The posters measure 24″x36″ each and will go on sale at Mondotees.com on December 31st at a random time. As always, be sure you’re following @MondoNews for the announcement.
Hit the jump to check out the posters.
Mondo’s Star Wars poster series continues with arguably their best work to date: posters for each of the original films by artist Olly Moss. Not to diminish the incredible work of the other artists who have contributed to this series, but Moss’ pieces are astounding. It’s an ingenious combination of character and setting silhouettes and I predict that these posters will sell out faster than any of the ones that have come before. If you manage to nab all three, you’re a very lucky guy/gal (who likely has a speedy internet connection).
Hit the jump to check out the posters. Each of the posters measures 24″x36″, is limited to an edition of 400, and costs $50. The posters go on sale Monday at a random time so be sure you’re following @MondoNews on Twitter for the announcement.
No, it’s not a trap. Admiral Ackbar was very nearly crowned the new mascot at the University of Mississippi. Monday night, ESPN premiered a commercial that makes light of the situation but it is, in fact, a true story. In February, the students of Ole Miss voted to change their mascot from the dated “Coloniel Reb” and Ackbar, the Mon Calamari who leads the Rebel Alliance in their attack against the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, garnered a lot of support. The talk got so serious that Lucasfilm even released a brief statement embracing the idea:
“Lucasfilm is flattered that our Star Wars fans at the University of Mississippi are considering electing Admiral Ackbar as their mascot. The last time we checked in with Admiral Ackbar he was leading the Rebel Alliance Fleet on a critical mission so it will be difficult for him to show up for the games!”
Ultimately, Ackbar’s nomination spawned a lot of backlash and he wasn’t one of the final nominees. The contest is still ongoing. But the commercial still rocks. Check it out after the jump.
Artist Andy Helms has drawn up a set of stunning Star Wars prints based on the original trilogy. I really dig the symmetry across the three prints and the minimalist approach. Unfortunately, the prints are sold out, but he says he’s looking into a limited run of some offset prints made of all three of them together. Fingers crossed he goes ahead with it.
Hit the jump to check out the prints.
In a fascinating interview, Gary Kurtz, who produced Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, spoke bluntly on a variety Star Wars-related topics. Kurtz talked about the original plot for Return of the Jedi and how selling toys twisted it into something else, his thoughts on the prequel, and what was his relationship with George Lucas was like before Star Wars changed everything.
Kurtz has so many great things to say, especially if you’re like me and love hearing about movies that never were or how they were originally set up to be. Hit the jump for quotes that are a must-read for anyone interested in the history of Star Wars.
About a month ago we reported Lucasfilm would be doing a special one-night-only charity screening of The Empire Strikes Back at the Arclight in Hollywood with Harrison Ford doing a very rare on-stage Q&A! The screening would benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and tickets were $100 each. Well, tonight was the screening and while I was curious how the event would play out, I’ll admit as a lifelong Star Wars fan, getting to see Ford talk for 30 minutes about playing Han Solo was very cool.
Since the theater only held about 400 people, I decided to take notes on the Q&A and also write about the entire night. For a full recap, hit the jump:
One of the biggest mysteries in our cosmos is not what happens when you die. No, I’d say the biggest mystery is what are the lyrics to the Ewoks song at the end of Return of the Jedi. I say this because I’ve seen the movie 100 times and I still couldn’t tell you what they’re saying. But thanks to Rob Tyler and his Ewok Karaoke video, the answer to one of life’s biggest mysteries is as simple as hitting the jump.