The Great MCM Retrospective 1

IMG_1108

Okay, we’re late with this but it’s been a busy few weeks since MCM. In particular taking into account the fact that it took a week to recover from. It was an enormous success for the pair of us. Better than we anticipated. MCM is always a boomer for us but we love it even more when we see the regulars and those we’ve met at MCM before.

One of the highlights for us at this stage is seeing new fans mixing with older fans coming back for a little more Moon action. Massive, genuine thanks to everyone who came back from Moon 1 or came to see us having read the first two and recommended us to others who had just arrived at the table. The fun we had this time out, a combination of the event and the reception means we now have big plans for the next MCM and we hope to see you there!

In a momentary lull I got a chance to head on out into the crowds and grab some shots of some suspicious looking Moon characters. The Princess Leia one was a little awkward as she was slightly offended that I wanted her head covered but it’d’ve been reverse sexist not to frankly and I’m standing (slightly uneasily) by that.

IRON MOON vs Spider-Moon

Advertisements

Star Wars ‘Call Me Maybe’

The Star Wars cast sings Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. Obi wan (Old and Young) and a host of Skywalkers join Yoda and the Jedi for a quick rendition of an otherwise potentially forgettable pop tune. It even has a Mutilingual bit, who knew what Greedo was saying in the Cantina but it was certainly irritating enough for Han Solo to shoot first (answering a long standing question has to who started it).

It’s good that the dialogue from the love scenes in parts II and III have found a half decent. In the mean time, have to doff your cap to James Covenant fgor finding a new way to see the Star Wars movies – even in this slightly tacky way…

George Takei intervenes in Star Wars / Star Trek Row

When two galaxies collide only one man can stop the inevitable onslaught. The two most unpredictable members of the cast of Star Wars and Star Trek started to go at each other, like a terrifying game of chicken between the Millenium Falcon and the Starship Enterprise. When William Shatner started to flex his ‘clearly visible’ muscles in calling Star Wars out, Star Wars’ super slugger Carrie Fisher came pounding in to the ring like a rogue asteroid with a love of sun chairs. Things were looking tense as these media giants began to wade in – breaking standard protocol by getting cheeky about weight right out of the Stargate. The fates of both franchises now rested on one man’s tiny shoulders…

‘Douche’ identifier and King of the Jungle, Mr G Takei stood ‘tall’ and took them to account swiftly, revealing the true threat that would’ve gone unnoticed….

Thank God for the Takei…. yet again he’s saved the day!! Further details about Shatner and that bikini were imminent. Send in the two B’s!!

Star Wars Trilogy: The Radio Show featuring Pinky / Christopher Walken / Bender

Ever wondered what Star Wars would’ve been like if Bubbles from the Powerpuff girls played Darth Vader? Well now you can. In an inspirational moment of genius at the Emerald City Comicon this year the organisers arranged a script reading of scenes from the original Star Wars script in voices of famous cartoon characters. The intros alone take about 6:45 seconds so scroll on to avoid any major spoilers. It’s not the Goon show or anything but a favourite moment is Pinky as the Storm Trooper on the Tantive IV and Christopher Walken as R2D2. A genuine joy to hear.

Enjoy!!

Star Wars: Crazy Images

It’s fair to say that Star Wars has pretty much conquered the internet and popular culture like an imperial cyber march. So much so that it’s beginning to draw in every other bit of popular culture and chewing on it. Sometimes it’s just self referential using gags that everyone gets. Sometimes it’s so thuggishly funny it has to be included (like the one below). Whatever you think – Star Wars is going nowhere. Avengers photo gags in thirty years? Who knows. It lacks the juicy soap opera of bother and sister having an unsuspecting kiss and gay robots so maybe it will never reach the heady heights that Lucas’ brain child enjoys. Never the less, here’s a selection for you…

George Lucas Strikes Back

Many questions have been asked as to why a man with everything going his way and the greatest franchise in movie history would resort to making Howard the Duck. There is only one answer possible. The real George Lucas was taken from the streets and incarcerated for 20 years while the industry pumped out the prequels in his name. Now Lucas is pissed and has Princess Leia, Short Round and Chewie to back him up.

Darth Maul never stood a fucking chance. But incarceration was never the answer. Lucas has to be shown how it could’ve been done. By none other than William Shatner!!

Star Wars Auditions: Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia was a little feistier by the time Carrie Fisher hit the big screen but then when you’ve been asked to lose 10 pounds to get the part it’ll give you a little kick in the butt. Definitely, the chemistry between Ford and Fisher is right there. Hard to believe that Ford wasn’t automatically the first choice for Solo. But then Lucas isn’t everyone’s first choice for Star Wars movies. 😉

Star Wars Auditions: A Casting Couch far, far away

Lucas shared a joint-casting session with long-time friend Brian De Palma, who was casting his own film Carrie. As a result, Carrie Fisher and Sissy Spacek auditioned for both films in each other’s respective roles. Lucas favored casting young actors without long-time experience. While reading for Luke Skywalker (then known as “Luke Starkiller”), Hamill found the dialogue to be extremely weird because of its universe-embedded concepts. He chose to simply read it sincerely and was selected instead of William Katt, who was subsequently cast in Carrie.
Lucas initially rejected the idea of using Harrison Ford, as he had previously worked with him on American Graffiti, and instead asked Ford to help out in the auditions by reading lines with the other actors and explaining the concepts and history behind the scenes that they were reading. Lucas was eventually won over by Ford’s portrayal and cast him instead of Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Sylvester Stallone, Christopher Walken, Billy Dee Williams (who would play Lando Calrissian in the sequels), and Perry King, who wound up playing Solo in the radio plays.
Many young actresses in Hollywood auditioned for the role of Princess Leia, including Cindy Williams. Carrie Fisher was cast under the condition that she lose 10 pounds for the role. Aware that the studio disagreed with his refusal to cast big-name stars, Lucas signed veteran stage and screen actor Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Additional casting took place in London, where Mayhew was cast as Chewbacca after he stood up to greet Lucas. Lucas immediately turned to Gary Kurtz, and requested that Mayhew be cast. Daniels auditioned for and was cast as C-3PO; he has said that he wanted the role after he saw a McQuarrie drawing of the character and was struck by the vulnerability in the robot’s face. Awww.

Check out Kurt Russell’s audition for Star Wars below. Poor. Little too relaxed there Mr Russell. Not sure who the other guy is but I’ll pretty sure there’s a McDonalds somewhere in California that is very well run as a result of this audition.

Star Wars IV: A New Hope : How it all Started

Hard to know what was going into George Lucas’ head when the Star Wars trailer went out in Cinema Screens throughout the US. In the time it had taken him to create Star Wars Pinewood studios employees had been openly laughing at the the weird menagerie of creatures parading between the sound stages. A young director with a decent success under his belt, Lucas was dealing with dissent and boredom from his actors, most prominently the seasoned actor Alec Guinness. If you credit Lucas with nothing else it has to be vision and tenacity as he stuck resolutely to his lasers. Luck is in there somewhere but in 1977 something kicked off in cinemas throughout the world that literally changed the shape of popular culture for the remaining final fifth of the Twentieth Century.

Introducing in the first three minutes, characters that would become cultural icons, Darth Vader (voted No.1 Villain of all time in an Empire poll), C-3PO, R2-D2 (later to get their own series) and Princess Leia. The assured nature of what new audiences saw on that screen was due to Lucas’ faultless vision and willingness to experiment.

On a reportedly shoe string budget of (equivilent) $1 Million (a pittance for a sprawling space saga) for special effects some of the effects footage was filmed using a truck, firecrackers and a moving truck.

Produced with a budget of $11 million and released on May 25, 1977, the film went on to earn $460 million in the United States and $337 million overseas, surpassing Jaws as the highest-grossing film of all time at the time. Among the many awards the film received, it gained ten Academy Award nominations, winning six; the nominations included Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guinness and Best Picture. Lucas has re-released the film on several occasions, sometimes with significant changes; the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition and the 2004 DVD release, which have modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, and added scenes. As if you didn’t know that already.

But more than that – it has become part of a tiny canon of cultural flagships – markers of culture throughout history – culturally equivalent (at least thus far though history’ll tell) as the Odyssey, Macbeth and (incredibly) with the effect of a religious text. If you are in doubt attend the same conventions I do and keep your eyes open for Stormtroopers.

What was presented to an excited public was this and still to this day, those who attended the premier screenings across the US, UK and ultimately the globe still talk about the awe inspiring moment the star destroyer flew overhead. From that moment on, with hindsight, it seems obvious now that Star Wars was a revolution that would spawn a million more stories and an entire universe of possibilities for a multitude of fans.

George Lucas; we salute you.

A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away….: BTB enters the Star Wars Universe!!

Welcome to the new Beyond the Bunker Star Wars zone. Every Wednesday there will be something from the enormously expansive Star Wars Universe. Be it from the core films I-III or the classic IV-VI, the expanded universe – Clone Wars, Droids, Ewoks – even the Holiday Special if we can find it. And the funnies too.

Interspersed among the existing material will be my little fanboy creation. The Lost Jedi was a title I developed in a fanboy fever while serving as a Jedi/Rebel Trooper at the Star Wars Exhibition in London. Working with a host of exceptional actors, performers, fight trainers and technicians we performed 8 or more Jedi Schools in the central chamber of County Hall, Westminster, in the heart of London. Still the greatest job I’ve ever done – I spent the day training younglings to fight like a Jedi, die like a Rebel Trooper. In my time there, surrounded by the sights and sounds of Lucas and John Williams it was difficult not to be completely overwhelmed by it all.

In a central chamber lay the shining corvette, spitfiresque frame of a Naboo Fighter. To the side of that Wookee costumes and a speeder like that which was ridden by the Skywalkers on Endor. In a darkened room at the back of the exhibition stood a solitary figure. A 7 foot tall goliath in a glass cage. Darth Vader’s suit loomed in the darkness and captured everyone’s imagination that entered. There was never noise in that room, only an eerie and awed hush as tourists stood and basked in a character that is now utterly synonomous with evil and tragedy. And cool.

Expanding so much further beyond mere cinema, Star Wars is an ideology nowadays. A universe that has influenced popular and scientific culture. Star Wars, perhaps more than any other cultural phenomenon of the late twentieth century has the capacity to move into historical lore and take a place in mythology. At its most challenging and insistent, the material developed by the films (even with the less impressive prequels) the cultural and ideological impact of Star Wars gives us insight into the breeding of myths of Gods and Monsters from ancient times. A modern day Odyssey perhaps, it shows us the way religious texts expand and are embraced, whether originally intended by their creators or not. If anything it shows how once a cultural phenomenon is formed it can be expanded upon and used to generate enormous monies for the creator.

Naboo N1-Fighter, parked in landing bay 1, Westminster, 2007

Offering ideologies, an alternative global religion (?!), expansion in gaming, cinema and digital technologies – both in sound and light (and magic), universal themes and characters and having been embraced by effectively billions globally noone should underestimate the width of influence a Dark Lord of the Sith might have.

Jedis unite. For Star Wars has arrived on Beyond the Bunker. Featuring articles, fan films, reviews and the Lost Jedi fan material we are planning to fill the next six months with insight and delight associated with the Star Wars Universe. I’ve got a bad feeling about this….

Next Week: The Lost Jedi. Part One.