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Archived News-October 2006

Week 2

Friday October 13, 2006
Homing Beacon #172

The latest Homing Beacon has arrived and today we get to talk with Puppeteer Mike Quinn! Mike Quinn has brought to life numerous Star Wars characters including a Wol Cabasshite, Ree-Yees and Sy Snootles, but it's his performance as the brave Sullustan Rebel pilot Nien Nunb in Return of the Jedi that made his work most memorable with fans.

"My very first Lucasfilm project was Revenge -- er, I mean Return of the Jedi," Quinn says. "I was already a big fan of the first Star Wars movie and an even bigger fan of The Empire Strikes Back -- especially because of Yoda. I was still finishing school around the time Empire was about to come out. Already being a Muppet fanatic, I saw all the pre-publicity coming out about Yoda and got a look at all the pictures. Knowing some of the Jim Henson guys were involved -- especially Frank Oz -- I was really curious to see how this Yoda would move."

"So that summer when Empire finally came out, I was just fascinated by Yoda -- and so was the audience," Quinn recalls. "They would always fall silent when Yoda came on screen. Talk about cinema magic! No one had seen anything like that before. I recall a kid sitting behind me asking his father how Yoda was done and the father wanting to be all-knowing said 'it's a person in a suit.' I think a lot of people must have thought that. Since then, there has been The Dark Crystal, E.T. and many more so people are used to seeing animatronic puppet creatures, but that was a first and it was great!"

Working at the famous Elstree Studios amongst Kermit the Frog and his crew, Quinn waiting for his chance to star with creatures in a galaxy far, far away.

"Elstree Studios was a great place in the early '80s," Quinn recalls. "'The Muppet Show' was shot right across the street from the film studios. My first movie was actually The Great Muppet Caper. They had not long finished shooting Raiders of the Lost Ark there and lots of set artifacts were still lying around. By next movie, The Dark Crystal, they were already making noises about [the next] Star Wars. So as Dark Crystal was drawing to a close, production offices were gearing up for Return of the Jedi. The producer, Robert Watts, interviewed several of the puppeteers and mimes from Dark Crystal and it was that simple. I was at the right place at the right time. All I had to do was have a nice little chat in his office and I was hired. No audition or anything! We were shooting by the following January."

As the co-pilot to Lando Calrissian aboard the Millennium Falcon, Nien Nunb is a crucial member of the Rebel Alliance. The small, mouse-eyed pilot may look lifelike, but that's all due to the wizardry of Quinn's puppetry skills. "Some fans probably don't realize Nien Nunb was actually a puppet in the cockpit," Quinn says. "That puppet weighed a ton too. I remember getting terrible motion sickness in that cockpit!. The stage hands would bounce that thing around all day to simulate the flying and battle. I couldn't see out as I was under the puppet so I was pretty green by the end of each sequence."

Nien Nunb was not the only Sullustan Quinn had a hand in; lesser known is Ten Numb, a fighter pilot who has recently been immortalized as an action figure. "We shot Ten Numb in a B-wing cockpit," Quinn continues. "Those scenes were cut and are probably waiting to be discovered in the archives somewhere. I had to improvise the whole thing as there was no scripted dialogue and they were just generic cutaways for the space battle at the end. I said some pretty stupid things about not getting good reception of his favorite radio station out in space. These days, the Lucasfilm archives take good care of Nien Nunb for me and have preserved him for future aliens to enjoy. Another point of trivia that fans might be interested to know is that he was named Nien Nunb because he was number nine on the shipping list to London."

Though many films today seem to be a showcase for the latest CGI breakthroughs, Quinn is convinced there's still a place for puppetry skills on the big screen. "Puppetry has actually been around for thousands of years and will continue to be," Quinn says. "There has been a pendulum swing back to puppets in the entertainment industry in the last year or two interestingly enough. I've built and performed quite a few characters recently for TV with more in the works. In a way, animation is a kind of puppetry -- especially now as I can use those same puppetry skills to perform CG characters for film in real time. There's an evolution and it's up to people like me to take puppetry to new places. It's what Jim Henson would have done if he were still alive today. He loved the technology and what it allowed him to create. So if anything, puppetry will still be around in its many forms only perhaps with more diversity and computer integration, it's not going away."

Read more behind-the-scenes stories from Quinn in his VIP blog Views From the Cockpit.

Posted by: Jedi Power

Friday October 13, 2006
Path to the Force - Episode 118

Today we have Episode 116 of Star Wars Galaxies-Path to the Force which has been created by Nathan Ciprick. You will be able to access these stories through the Comics section. Check out the latest episode!

Star Wars Galaxies-Path to the Force-Episode 118

Be sure to check back next week for the one-hundred and nineteenth episode of Star Wars Galaxies-Path to the Force. Then join us every week as we continue to follow the adventures of the Wookiee E'nac from the Star Wars Galaxies videogame in the form of Gamics!

Posted by: Jedi Power

Wednesday October 11, 2006
Star Wars TV Show Update

Here is part of an interview with George Lucas at

"In 2007, Lucas will begin work on a live-action "Star Wars" show set during the 18-year gap between Episodes III and IV. "We haven't started yet; I start that next year," the filmmaker said, adding that he's determined to write an entire first season before shooting begins on the show that will star "background" characters from that time period.

"None of the Skywalker story, none of that stuff is in there," he explained, shooting down any depiction of a young Han Solo acquiring the Millennium Falcon or running with Lando Calrissian. "It's completely different. The animated series has got all the characters in it. The one that comes after, the live-action one, is with people who were in 'Star Wars,' but they're not the main characters."

Lucas said the plot will be steered by characters such as Tie-Fighter or Rebel pilots, most only briefly glimpsed in the six "Star Wars" films."

Now this is the type of thing I like to hear! X-Wings and TIE Fighters going at it! I am sure we will learn some back story of those pilots that died in the Death Star attack run. Cool!!

Posted by: Jedi Power

Wednesday October 11, 2006 Voted Favorite Official Site

The Official Star Wars Site has announced that more than 30,000 fans have spoken in more than 30 categories, and joins such movie mainstays as Steven Spielberg, Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley at the winner's table in the first annual readers' poll award at

The Official Star Wars website, which has been offering news, features and entertainment to online fans for ten years, was voted as Favorite Official Site. Also of interest to fans, Star Wars won Favorite Franchise, Natalie Portman won Favorite Actress, while Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones was voted as the favorite "Old Fogie" hero to return to the big screen.

Congratulations to all!

Posted by: Jedi Power

Wednesday October 11, 2006
Lucasfilm Wins Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has awarded Lucasfilm Ltd. $20 million in damages in a copyright infringement and unfair competition case against the British firm Shepperton Design Studios and its owner, Andrew Ainsworth. 

The court found that Shepperton Design Studios had been marketing unlicensed copies of Stormtrooper helmets and costumes, and TIE fighter pilot helmets from the Star Wars films, as well as making misleading claims about the authenticity and origins of these items. 

The Judgment, by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, awards damages to Lucasfilm Ltd. for copyright infringement, unfair competition and trademark infringement and permanently bars Shepperton Design Studios from copying, reproducing, importing, licensing, marketing or displaying any of its unauthorized Star Wars products in the United States. Lucasfilm is also pursuing legal action against Shepperton in the U.K., where the company is based, to ensure that the judgment is enforced there. 

"Lucasfilm vigorously protects its intellectual property rights in Star Wars," said Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing. "Infringers like Shepperton need to understand that we will pursue them anywhere in the world to shut them down and seek restitution." 

Roffman noted that many Star Wars fans around the world produce replicas of Star Wars costumes for their own personal use and enjoyment, an activity to which Lucasfilm Ltd. has no objection. One such group, the "501st Legion" of Stormtroopers, is a global organization that has often worked with Lucasfilm and its partners. "We appreciate that Star Wars has sparked the imaginations of fans around the world," he said. "We would never want to discourage fans from showcasing their enthusiasm for the movies. However, anyone who tries to profit from using our copyrights and trademarks without authorization crosses the line; they become an infringer and we will go after them."

Posted by: Jedi Power

Monday October 09, 2006
January 2007 Comics

Star Wars Legacy 8.jpg (39689 bytes)The Official Star Wars Site has provided a look at more Dark Horse Comics for Star Wars fans this January. Dark Horse is poised to celebrate 30 years of Star Wars in 2007 with their mix of regular titles and a few new surprises.

In January, Star Wars Legacy continues with Supergirl artist Adam DeKraker making his Star Wars debut! The first issue of Legacy revealed the facts of the attack on the Jedi Academy on Ossus and of the betrayal of Emperor Roan Fel by Darth Krayt and the Sith. Now it is time to learn of the machinations and of the secret alliances behind those actions.

Grand Moff Nyna Calixte supervises intelligence gathering for the Empire. Darth Maladi does the same for the Sith. Together they could form an unbeatable team, able to sway the course of a galaxy. That is, if they don't destroy one another first!

From the ambush of the Galactic Alliance's fleet to Roan Fel's narrow escape from assassination, the true story of the Sith overthrow of the Empire can at last be told!

Star Wars: Legacy #8 is by John Ostrander and Adam DeKraker with cover art by Brad Anderson. It is due out January 10.

How many bad deeds can be justified by one good deed? In order to help his friend Bomo Greenbark, Jedi Dass Jennir has been forced into a series of questionable actions -- and none is more potentially destructive than the one he now contemplates.

Or is this the true genius of Palpatine's evil? The Jedi, their status destroyed and their order broken, must now become outlaws and lawbreakers in order to do what was once considered their duty.

The dark times have barely begun, and already Dass Jennir is so engulfed in darkness, he wonders if he will ever find his way back! Star Wars: Dark Times #4, the fourth installment of The Path to Nowhere story arc, is by Welles Hartley, Mick Harrison, Douglas Wheatley with cover art by Ronda Pattison. It is due out on January 31.

A perfect jumping-on point for new readers, the wildest space adventure in the Old Republic begins a new story arc featuring stolen starships, killer droids, and the debut of a dangerous villain!

When fugitive Padawan Zayne Carrick and his small-time con artist cohort Gryph part ways with their friends on the Last Resort, the odd couple sets out to score a new ship. Soon enough, the two find that helping themselves to something they can't afford carries a much higher price than they bargained for! Meanwhile, a sinister power from across the galaxy begins hunting the Last Resort, determined to stop at nothing until the ship's owners are within his grasp!

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #13 is by John Jackson Miller, Dustn Waever, Michael Atiyeh with cover art by Brian Ching. It is due out on January 31.

Starting in 2007, the monthly Star Wars 30th Anniversary Collection series will bring readers a limited-edition hardcover of the best of Dark Horse's Star Wars graphic novels. Available only through Direct Market retail outlets, each volume's print run is limited to initial orders and will not be reprinted.

First up is a this deluxe hardcover limited-edition of long-out-of-print The Freedon Nadd Uprising. The planet Onderon, almost four thousand years before the Battle of Yavin and the events in A New Hope: Freedon Nadd is dead, but his dark spirit lives on, and it has been used to abduct Jedi Master Arca! Nomi Sunrider and Ulic Qel-Droma lead the mission to free their Master, but not before the evil King Ommin spreads the seeds of Sith evil to a new generation . . .

Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collection Volume 1: The Freedom Nadd Uprising is by Tom Veitch, Tony Atkins, Denis Rodier, Suzanne Bourdages and Dave Dorman. It is scheduled for release on March 14.

Also in March, the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy faces four of his most dangerous missions in this volume of hard-to-find Boba Fett adventures!

Whether it's taking on an Imperial ship designed to wipe out entire alien species or battling amidst a vicious civil war fueled by both the Rebellion and the Empire, entering an abandoned Star Destroyer seeking a mysterious prize or settling a dispute between an Imperial outpost and the local leadership, there's no job too deadly for the man in the Mandalorian armor -- if the price is right!

Star Wars: Boba Fett -- Man With a Mission features the works of Thomas Andrews, Ron Marz, John Ostrander, John Wagner, Cam Kennedy, Adriana Melo, Francisco Ruiz Velasco and Tsuneo Sanda. It is scheduled for release on March 14.

Posted by: Jedi Power

Monday October 09, 2006
Path to the Force - Episode 117

Today we have Episode 117 of Star Wars Galaxies-Path to the Force which has been created by Nathan Ciprick. You will be able to access these stories through the Comics section. Check out the latest episode!

Star Wars Galaxies-Path to the Force-Episode 117

Be sure to check back later this week for the one-hundred and eighteenth episode of Star Wars Galaxies-Path to the Force. Then join us every week as we continue to follow the adventures of the Wookiee E'nac from the Star Wars Galaxies videogame in the form of Gamics!

Posted by: Jedi Power