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Archived News
September 2004
Week 5

Thursday September 30, 2004
Homing Beacon #120

The latest edition of the Star Wars Homing Beacon is out, which focuses mainly on Anthony Daniels (C-3P0). Though C-3PO seems to have trouble remembering key events from one generation to the next, actor Anthony Daniels' recollections are far more precise. With the release of the Star Wars Trilogy on DVD, many of those memories have come rushing back, in crystal clarity thanks to unparalleled image and sound quality and recently unearthed archival footage.

"The very first day out in the desert, I thought there was going to be Hollywood-style trailers, and there was a boy-scout tent." recalls Daniels. "I stood there and put on my underclothes and then had six people attack me with various bits of the costume and two hours later, I was in pain!"

It took two hours to fit Daniels into the very first Threepio costume, a process that now, by Episode III, has finally been perfected to just a matter of minutes. "Somebody switched on the light and C-3PO's eyes lit up and then they pulled back the curtains of the tent and I stepped forward into the rising sun," continues Daniels. "The sun was just coming up over the dunes, and just hit my costume. Around me, all the crew -- Americans, Europeans and the local Tunisian people -- just stopped work and gazed. It was his greatest moment, but from then on we had to start filming and was all a bit down hill from then on!"

What coaxed Daniels into the uncomfortable golden suit was the poignant strength of a concept painting by Ralph McQuarrie, depicting the lonely droid standing in the sprawling desert. Daniels says he felt a kinship with the droid, particularly when it came time to shoot the desert sequences.

"You have to realize that the cameras were about a mile away and Artoo was empty and being pulled along by someone with a wire. The wind was blowing. It was cold. I'm all alone. I can see people at the camera, and they're going to wave at me when they're ready. I'm looking around, and there, very, very close to me, is a Tunisian desert person -- a real one, not someone George had made up. With a face like a million old leather handbags all sewn together, he was looking at me in this strange way."

Daniels likens the experience to the classic scene in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial when young Drew Barrymore sees the alien for the first time. "It was the same. We both went, 'AHHH!' I looked at the camera and I looked back and he'd gone. He absolutely melted back into the sands. That was a very bizarre experience. He's in some village now saying, 'And then there was the day when I saw the gold god...'"

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Thursday September 30, 2004
New Amazing Stories Magazine

Subscription Deal on New Amazing Stories Magazine and Star Wars Merchandise Specials Available Now on

Paizo Publishing, LLC, announces that, for a limited time, subscriptions to Amazing Stories, the 21st-century entertainment magazine, will be available to Star Wars Insider fans for the amazing rate of only $29.95, a savings of $41.93 off of the cover price and $5.00 off of our charter subscription rate! Subscribe online at before November 30, 2004, and use the promotional code SWI at checkout.

Your love of good science fiction and fantasy probably doesn’t stop with Star Wars. You may also be interested in fantastic storytelling in books, movies, comics, TV, and more, from The Lord of the Rings to Spider-Man to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brought to you by the same great editorial staff as Star Wars Insider, we’ve set out to bring readers a magazine featuring great new stories in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, supernatural horror, and superheroes. We are carrying on the 78-year tradition of Amazing Stories by publishing new, original fiction from your favorite authors, such as Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, Greg Keyes, as well as covering the storytellers of our generation in all of the other mediums.

While you’re on our revamped website, check out the other Star Wars items still available! We’ve got a wide variety of Star Wars Insider and Star Wars Gamer back issues, as well as a few silver Boba Fett action figures. Also, we’re having a moving sale for our Episode II IMAX posters and banners. For a limited time, the IMAX poster is available for $14.95 and the huge IMAX banner is $150. We also have a very small quantity of autographed photos of Amy Allen (Aayla Secura) and Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing) on a limited-edition ticket given away at the Fan Club dinner in Seattle in February 2004. These are available for $29.99 each.

So, swing by to score on your Amazing Stories subscription special, as well as the IMAX poster and banner, the autographed photos of Amy Allen and Michonne Bourriague, and all the other great finds for the Star Wars fan at

Paizo Publishing™, LLC, publishes special-interest magazines in the fields of entertainment and hobby gaming. It is Paizo’s goal for every magazine and every product to be an event that encourages new and experienced hobbyists and fans to become more excited about their interests. Dragon is the official source of new rules, spells, artifacts, and ideas for players of Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeon is the official source of D&D adventures. Undefeated, the magazine for “Games You Can Win,” is a graphically intense publication featuring the tactics and strategies to exorcise the “loser” in all of us. Amazing Stories, our newest magazine, is the relaunch of an American classic and reports on all the best in the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural horror, and features original works of fiction from the world’s top authors.

Undefeated is a trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC. Amazing Stories is a trademark of, and Dragon and Dungeon are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Star Wars and related marks are trademarks of Lucasfilm, Ltd.

Jenny Bendel Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Pop Tart, Roller Girl, Revolutionist, and 5th-Level Half-Elf Chaotic Evil Rogue

Posted by: Jedi Power

Thursday September 30, 2004
JediNet Redesign

JediNet has just redesigned there site with an old Star Wars comic book style. I think it is an improvement over their last design, but you still have those advertisements to deal with. Be sure to go and have a look!

Posted by: Jedi Power

Wednesday September 29, 2004
Life Story Movie Magic special on Star Wars

Life Story has created a Deluxe Collector's Edition Movie Magic magazine in celebration of the DVD releases. The magazine is roughly 100 pages and covers topics such as "The Making of The Star Wars Trilogy" to "The Visual Effects of Star Wars", and many more including a Star Wars Movie Poster Gallery. Overall it is a pretty good magazine with a lot of pictures, some popular, some a little rarer. The bad part about it is, even though it's supposed to be all about Star Wars, only about 3/4 of it really is. There's articles on Harry Potter, Star Treck and other films. The magazine should be on display until November 22, 2004 and cost around $9.95.

Posted by: jadegirl

Tuesday September 28, 2004
Daily Star Wars Webstrips Start Next Week!

The Official Star Wars Site has announced another new Hyperspace feature! Members of Hyperspace, the Official Star Wars Fan Club will soon have access to new installments of Star Wars adventures every weekday in the form of exclusive comic strips starting October 4th! Hyperspace will be home to four ongoing strips, each telling a different tale set in the Star Wars galaxy. Two of these are new never-before-seen strips, while the other two are reprints from the original newspaper comics that ran in the late 1970s and early '80s. Be sure to read the full article and see what is in store for us next week.

Posted by: Jedi Power

Tuesday September 28, 2004
SW Celebration 3 Registration Opens

Registration for Celebration III is now available:

Fans who purchase a 4-day admission badge for Celebration III from the official site, and choose to have the badge shipped in advance, can receive the show's first exclusive collectible - a Darth Vader "3-in-1 topper." The topper, featuring Darth Vader's signature mask and helmet, is for car antennas, pencils, and key chains, and is free for 4-day badge holders for only $2.95 shipping and handling. Vader toppers will be shipped with admission badges in 2005, close to the start of the show.

Once at Celebration, collectors can pick up a set of three other exclusive Star Wars toppers, complete with a display case. The display case will be designed to hold four toppers, but the only way to get the fourth - Darth Vader - is with a 4-day advance sale Celebration III badge. The Darth Vader toppers are limited to one per 4-day badge purchased in advance, adult or child


Posted by: Rebel Racer

Tuesday September 28, 2004
Steve Gawley & Jon Berg Chat Tomorrow

The Official Star Wars Site has announced another Hyperspace chat for tomorrow! With the classic Star Wars films finally on DVD, Hyperspace has been inviting some of the original artists who developed the amazing visuals of the saga to participate in online chats with Fan Club members. This month, legends such as Dennis Muren, Lorne Peterson, Paul Huston and Tom St. Amand have fielded questions from original trilogy fans. This week wraps up the Classic ILM chats with two guests left on the roster: Steve Gawley and Jon Berg.

Steve Gawley began his professional modelmaking career with ILM in 1975 as one of the first 15 original visual effects crewmembers to work with George Lucas on the production of Star Wars. Since that time, he has supervised and participated in the budgeting and construction of the high quality work in many of ILM's projects, including all the Star Wars films.

He has built models for 10 of ILM's 14 Academy Award-winning film projects and received a 1989 Academy Award nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects on the feature film Back To The Future, Part II. Gawley's other credits include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Space Cowboys, Pearl Harbor, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Hulk.

Jon Berg was a stop-motion animator and modelmaker for the original Star Wars trilogy. He worked alongside Phil Tippett in bringing an assortment of holographic aliens to life for a chess game between Chewbacca and R2-D2. In Empire, he worked extensively on the AT AT walker sequence, designing the amazingly intricate walkers as fully workable stop-motion puppets. For Return of the Jedi, he worked in the Creature Shop, serving as consultant in the design of the myriad of aliens that populated that film.

Berg's other, non-ILM film credits include Ghost Busters, Robocop II, The Fly and Naked Lunch. Jon Berg, working from molds created by Don Bies, is also responsible for the constructing the Star Wars Fan Film award trophies given out each year.

Steve Gawley will be online this Wednesday, September 29 at 2:30 p.m. U.S. Pacific time (5:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time) for his Hyperspace chat. Jon Berg will log on this Friday, October 1 at 2:30 p.m. U.S. Pacific time (5:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time) for his chat. Please note that last minute schedule changes may happen, and that although hundreds of questions are often submitted, not all can be answered.

Posted by: Jedi Power

Monday September 27, 2004
Episode III Rating In The Dark

USA Today reports that Revenge of the Sith might be headed toward a PG-13 rating.

The dark side of the Force rules in Revenge of the Sith, the finale of the Star Wars saga, due in theaters May 19.

Looking for proof? Filmmaker George Lucas expects the film to have a stricter rating than any of his previous Star Wars adventures, all of which have been rated a family-friendly PG.

The sixth Star Wars film (actually Episode III in the mythical timeline) details how Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen (news)) falls prey to "the dark side" and becomes Darth Vader, the iconic baddie first seen in 1977's Star Wars, now called Episode IV: A New Hope.

"This is the darkest of them all," says Lucas, speaking at a New York event to promote the recent release of his THX 1138 DVD. "I don't think it's going to be rated like the other ones. It's just more emotionally intense."

The PG-13 rating makes sense, considering the story line, says Scott Chitwood of TheForce.Net, a Star Wars news Web site. "From the original trilogy, we know that in Episode III, Anakin is horribly burned, Padmé (Amidala, the queen and senator who becomes the mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia) dies, Mace Windu dies, Luke and Leia are separated, and the Jedi are wiped out," he says. "It would be hard to do them justice without the film being PG-13."

A move to that rating for Sith isn't likely to hurt attendance. Those with children ages 10 and 11 might think twice, says Paul Dergarabedian of box office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations, "but their kids probably already have video games at home that are PG-13 in violence levels."

To read the full article, hit the link above.

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Monday September 27, 2004
Sun Times Interviews John Lowry

The Chicago Sun Times has an interview this weekend with a one of the central figures behind the Star Wars DVD restoration:

Q. How involved was George Lucas throughout the process?
A. Well, it's always more interesting when you're restoring a film and the director's still alive. [Laughs] But he was there every step of the way. He'd always ask for something to be sharpened more, never made softer. He was approving every reel, every shot. George Lucas is great to work with because he's not shy about doing some things to improve his movies.

Q. What are you looking for when you're making sure a frame of film is cleaned?
A. We want to improve the image sequence to make it the best it can be, while at the same time never creating an artifact that should not be there, or removing something that's in the picture that should be there. For example, you think it's a speck of dirt and it's really someone's fingertip. In our restorations we enhance the image, improve the contrast, give it a sharpness and image stability, get rid of the "flicker." That's all part of the automated process we use.

Q. How many frames did you have to clean up for the trilogy box set?
A. We went through about 520,000 frames for the trilogy digital restoration. I use the term restoration because it was originally a film, and regardless of the output format, it is a motion picture restoration. It may not be a film restoration, but it is a motion picture restoration. Basically, in the restoration process you do your best to bring the movie back to the quality that the director and cinematographer saw in their dailies during original filming.

Q. Did you work on the films in order?
A. I think we ended up shipping "Jedi" first. The biggest challenge of the three was "A New Hope." There was so much dirt, for example, in that desert scene, that our computer was getting fooled into thinking it was part of the actual image and not dirt that had to be removed from the image. In that sequence alone we ended up cleaning out about a million pieces of dirt. We've done about 100 films to date, and none was ever that hard.

Hit the link above for the full article, with some very interesting questions and answers!

Posted by: Rebel Racer

Monday September 27, 2004
Darth Vader Invades Network Associates Coliseum

This press release hit over the weekend featuring the big game on ESPN this Sunday night. If you caught the game, you saw plenty of Star Wars / Raider fans!

The Force will be with the Oakland Raiders when Darth Vader descends upon Network Associates Coliseum with his Storm Troopers as the Team of the Decades -- the Oakland Raiders -- face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, September 26, 2004 at 5:30 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

This match-up between Oakland and Tampa Bay coincides with the September 21 release of the STAR WARS TRILOGY on DVD -- the most-awaited DVD of all time -- and its companion video game, Star Wars Battlefront.

This Sunday's event, kicking off a season-long STAR WARS presence at Network Associates Coliseum, will feature appearances by some of the most popular Star Wars characters, including Darth Vader, as well as special giveaways and other celebrations.

Posted by: Rebel Racer