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Archived News
October 2004
Week 3

Saturday October 16, 2004
Jump to Lightspeed: GameSpot Preview

GameSpot posted a great preview of the upcoming expansion pack to the popular Star Wars Galaxies pc game. Here's a brief clip of the article:

At this time, it seems like the best way to get into space as a fighter pilot is to join one of the game's three factions: the Galactic Empire (led by the Emperor and his infamous henchman Darth Vader), the Rebel Alliance (for whom the valiant Luke Skywalker fights), or the Hutts, a neutral mercenary faction affiliated with the dastardly Jabba of Tattooine. Once you're affiliated with one of these three groups, you'll be able to play as a pilot who's aligned with that particular faction. This lets you receive specific training so you can take that faction's ships into space. For instance, signing on the Imperials' dotted line will earn you the deed to a TIE fighter, while siding with the Rebels will get you access to the classic X-Wing fighter. The Hutts have their own proprietary vessels, and all three factions have additional ships available. If you care to, you can also learn an all-new trade--that of the shipwright, who crafts powerful add-ons for starships.

Hyperspace travel takes you to a different star system, but it can't be used instantaneously. Your ship has to complete the proper calculations before your cockpit's view is engulfed by the familiar-looking streaks of light that signal your jump to lightspeed. Since hyperspace travel is automatic, and since regular navigation also includes an autopilot option for you to more efficiently reach your destination, space travel actually seems surprisingly easy--as does keeping your bearings. Even if you do venture out to the bandit-infested Kessel Run on the outskirts of Endor, or even if you try to tackle the freeform player-versus-player territory of deep space, you can always autopilot back to a more familiar location...assuming you can withstand a few parting shots from whatever unfriendly types you might encounter.

Please note, however, that the above impressions are based on time spent with a prerelease beta version of the game, so any and all of the details are subject to change. Hit the link above to read the full article.

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Saturday October 16, 2004
Making of Episode III Webdoc #8

The Official Star Wars Site has made its eighth Episode III webdoc entitled, Behind the Curtain, available to non- Hyperspace members.

This video peaks behind the curtain of blue and greenscreen where an entire world is literally working behind-the-scenes. From the tent that contains the vital HD recording gear, to the soundboard that gathers production dialogue.

Click here to watch the video!

Posted by: themostpowerfuljediever

Friday October 15, 2004
Lucas To Receive AFI Lifetime Award

Yahoo! reports:

LOS ANGELES - After creating "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "American Graffiti," Darth Vader might insist it was George Lucas' DESTINY to get the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award.

Lucas, 60, was picked on Friday to be the recipient of the organization's 33rd annual prize, following such recent recipients as Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Tom Hanks.

"I've been very fortunate to have had a long career doing what I love to do, and being recognized by the AFI for it is really an honor," Lucas said. "I'm proud to be counted among such an extraordinary group of people whose lives are dedicated to the art of making movies."

Hit the link above to read the full article.

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Friday October 15, 2004
Homing Beacon #121

The latest Homing Beacon has arrived and today we get to talk about Star Wars sets. In the summer of 2003, seven soundstages at Fox Studios Australia were transformed into locales on distant worlds or the interiors of massive starships thanks to the skills of over 300 construction personnel. Construction Manager Greg Hajdu oversaw the team of carpenters, leading hands, painters, stagehands, laborers, plasterers, welders and more who built such massive environments as Padmé's verandah, the Separatist control room, the bridge of the Trade Federation cruiser or Palpatine's office complex.

"They all live for Star Wars," says Hajdu. "After the first one we did, they were like, 'Well, when's the next one happening? 'Cause we've never done such a complicated job and we've never had our skills stretched.' It's quite unlike any show we've ever done or will ever get to do probably."

A veteran of over 16 years in the industry, Hajdu counts such films as Attack of the Clones, Moulin Rouge!, Ned Kelly, and Dark City among his construction credits. Despite such experience, he can empathize with the dismay fans often express when they learn the eventual fates of even the most labor-intensive sets.

"Whether it's timber, plywood, MDF... whether it's painted or not, it all ends up in 30 cubic meter skip bins and goes off to get burnt to run power stations instead of coal, basically," he says. Within the span of a day, a set that took weeks to construct is completely dismantled and demolished. The constant workload of a busy production schedule tends to be the perfect remedy for any lingering connections to a doomed set.

"You're so busy the next week or the next day, that it doesn't matter," he says. "You're creating the next bit, so you forget about what was here in Stage 7, because now it's the General's Quarters where Palpatine's Office used to be. It can be hard at the end of the show for some of the crew, because it starts so suddenly, it's so busy and then it stops so suddenly too."

Continues Hajdu, "It's a shame, but it doesn't matter because it's been created. The set has already been captured on film or on tape. It exists forever."

Posted by: Jedi Power

Thursday October 14, 2004
EPIII: Teaser Banner Revealed?

Reported by TF.N:

We were sent this picture of what sure looks like a banner for Episode III. Is it legit? Here's a description to boot:

Spoiler - Highlight to read:
The banner is Anakin standing looking particularly evil in his dark Jedi robes. In the background are the tall walls of a Star Destroyer. The floors reflect the light of the walls. Around him is the silhouette or Darth Vader which fades into his Jedi outift. THE SAGA IS COMPLETE is printed across the top of the banner.

MAY 2005

Our thoughts? It is way more inspiring than the AOTC banner. Definitely in the same family as Episode I. Sweet!

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Tuesday October 12, 2004
January 2005 Comics

The Official Star Wars Site has provided a look at the Star Wars titles Dark Horse Comics has planned to ring in the new year.

You remember Jabiim, don't you? A water-logged mudworld that served as a grueling battlefront during the Clone Wars. Decades later, the ruling Galactic Empire is starting to lose interest in the world, as the planet's valuable ores are dwindling. Palpatine is not yet willing to pull the last of his troopers off Jabiim, despite the repeated harassment of the local Jabiimi rebels.

The Rebel Alliance arrives to support the locals, but as Luke Skywalker sets foot on the planet, he realizes he's stepping into his father's shadow. A generation ago, Anakin Skywalker served on Jabiim, and the locals haven't forgotten... or forgiven.

This story is told in Star Wars: Empire #29, by Thomas Andrews and Adriana Melo. It features cover art by Tomas Giorello. It is scheduled for release on January 5.

In the time before Episode III, Obi-Wan's quest for Asajj Ventress has lured him and Anakin Skywalker aboard a drifting space wreck. There, the Jedi must face off against the seemingly unkillable foe. Anakin has learned to be unstoppable too, by tapping into his unrestrained power. Separated from Obi-Wan, Anakin gives into his power, and squares off against Durge as no Jedi has before.

This action packed issue of Star Wars: Obsession is by Haden Blackman and Brian Ching. It is the third chapter of a five-part prequel to Episode III. It is scheduled for release on January 19.

Two of the most deadly challenges faced by Aayla Secura in recent years have been the Anzati and the Morgukai. The Anzati assassins are a vampiric species of centuries-old killers. The Morgukai were a fanatical cult of Nikto warriors whose strength and tenacity made them dangerous adversaries to even trained Jedi. She survived both threats intact, but now, the two have joined forces.

The Separatists are employing Morgukai in large numbers, trained by Anzati masters working for Count Dooku. Together, Master Tholme and Aayla Secura have uncovered this plot, but can they disrupt it before it's too late?

Find out in Star Wars: Republic #73, by Jon Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons, featuring cover art by David Michael Beck. This issue is scheduled for release on January 26.

Jumping ahead to February, that month sees the release of the third Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures digest-sized trade paperback. The Clone Wars continue to rock the Star Wars universe. The Republic's forces, led by the Jedi, find themselves drawn ever-deeper into Darth Sidious' evil web. With stories covering all aspects of the Clone Wars -- from the trials of the revered Jedi Master Yoda, to the tribulations of the lowliest clone troopers fighting on the front lines, to the wicked machinations of the dreaded Count Dooku and General Grievous -- these fast-paced tales feature a unique look into the world of Star Wars and at the events that shook the galaxy far, far away...

Inspired by the style and energy of the Cartoon Network's award-winning Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series, these comics feature the talents of Haden Blackman, Ryan Kaufman, Wells Hartley, Matt Fillbach and Shawn Fillbach. This 96-page book is scheduled for release on February 23.

Posted by: Jedi Power

Monday October 11, 2004
Republic Commando: XBox Preview

GameSpy posted a review of the gaming title Republic Commando, due to be released for X-Box later this year:

In many spots, you can use context sensitive commands, such as breaching a door or setting a bomb. If you aim your reticle over one of these areas, a hologram (similar to the "help me Obi Wan" one in Episode IV) will come up, showing the placement of your teammates if you decide to choose that command. It's a surprisingly effective pre-visualization tool, and it allows you to set up your character to take advantage of the situation in the best way possible. In the level I played, I found that it paid to use your teammates as much as possible, as charging in by yourself will result in certain death. However, if you do happen to die, you can have your teammates revive you (providing they're alive, that is), and you can also do the same to them if they fall in battle.

Everything in the game is looking pretty tight, even at this early stage. The graphics remind me quite a bit of Metroid Prime, although the settings I've seen are a bit darker than those found in Nintendo's game. There are a few other Metroid homages, as well. You view everything in the game through your character's face shield, and most of the HUD is presented on your screen. Your weapon is a lot like Samus', too, as you can quickly change it (using the D-pad) to perform different functions. Clicking to the right will put it into sniper mode, while pushing left will turn it into a machine gun. It's not know how many modes there will be, but it's a cool way to do it.

Although Star Wars: Republic Commando was due to come out earlier this year, it looks like holding it back was a good idea. There are a ton of great shooters coming out this holiday season, and it would be a shame if this one got lost in the crowd. While it doesn't necessarily break a lot of new ground, it's always nice to see the Star Wars franchise moving into new genres. It's starting to look like 2005 is going to be a good year for all of the wannabe Jedis out there.

Hit the link above to read the full article.

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Monday October 11, 2004
Episode III: Trailer Description

TF.N reports what the first(?) Episode III trailer will look like:

Spoilers - Highlight to read:
A familiar voice over with Alec Guinness. Fans will love to hear him speak his monologue to Luke from A New Hope about "Jedi Knights always being the guardians of peace." As we hear these familiar phrases, they've intercut shots from various Star Wars episodes, excluding Episode 3. Only when the monologue ends with "Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force" about 40 seconds into the trailer do we see the face of Anakin. He is partly covered with dark hood, looking positively evil.

This is followed by the shot of erupting volcanoes, then some sort of volcanic field with crab-like creatures and then darkness, all accompanied by Vader breathing. Then the following is heard:

Sidious: "Lord Vader..."

Vader: "Yes?"

Sidious: "Rise."

Then we see Anakin in full Vader gear rising on some sort of operating table to which he is chained. The rising is slow and is intercut with shot of various Star Wars main characters. When the table has fully risen so that Vader is basically standing upright, the meatiest part of trailer begins, with many, many shots from Episode III. Most of them are very, very short - this will be something for freeze-frame fanatics to analyze.

The ones that stuck in my memory:

Dozens of Wookiees on some sort of floating platform.

Padme with signature Leia hairdo.

The Tri-Fighter, aka the precursor to the TIE fighter with three curving wings and guns mounted between each wing. They shoot red lasers.

The ARC Clonefigthter, aka the precursor to X-Wing, with three wings on each side.

A gigantic starship being sprayed by streams of something that looks like dense acid.

The trailer ends with the title "THE SAGA IS COMPLETE - MAY 2005" and it is about 100 seconds long.

Amazing. The trailer should start playing in theaters next month (November)!

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Sunday October 10, 2004
10,000 Days Of Star Wars

Today marks a pretty cool milestone. It's the 10,000th day (or 864,000,000 seconds) since the first airing of Star Wars back on May 25, 1977. You can check it out for yourself at the days between dates calculator page. Source: TF.N

Posted by: Rebel Racer