We got the news today that Peter Mayhew, the actor behind Chewbacca, passed away. Peter’s passing really touched me. I’m enough of a Star Wars nerd that I’ve attended the Celebration Expo several times and, of all the original cast, Peter always seemed one of the happiest guys in the room. When he got the Chewbacca gig, he was a hospital orderly and I think he never lost sight of how fortunate he was to play such a big role. That being said, it wasn’t all luck. Putting a guy in a six foot dog costume and asking him to follow Harrison Ford around in a potentially campy 70’s sci-fi film could have gone horribly wrong. Peter brought something to the table though. He gave Chewie heart and a lot of us, myself included, certainly connected. Chewbacca never would have become what he is without Peter. As Mark Hamill tweeted, “I’m a better man for just having known him.” There was a lot of sadness from fans of the original trilogy that we never got that scene in the new movies with Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie together. Having now lost both Peter Mayhew and Carrie Fischer, that’s even more true.
When I visit Disneyland (frequently), I have the option to get my picture taken with a variety of characters from Star Wars. The thing is, I always go for Chewbacca. There are probably 100 pictures of me and Chewbacca in my Apple Photos library. There is nothing quite like hugging a Wookiee to set you right. Thanks Peter.
The Teaser …
The Star Wars Celebration Panel on Episode Nine …
Jory Raphael, one of my favorite artists on the Internet, has recently released a brilliant set of Force Awakens icons. You can download for free or optionally pay him something. I gladly paid.
Just a few things you could do with these icons:
Add them to your favorite contacts as images.
Set as OmniFocus Custom Perspectives.
Use to make Apple Watch faces.
Make some badass presentation graphics.
This one pushes all of my buttons.
As an annual passholder, I've enjoyed watching Star Wars grow out of the Disneyland backlot over the last year. The new Star Wars themed land will be called Galaxy's Edge and, thanks to Josh Gad (long story), I spent some quality time with the primary Galaxy's Edge designers. If you are curious, I explain the story and the details in this episode of Rebel Force Radio.
This week Disney announced that John Williams is creating new and original Star Wars themes just for the new park. They even posted a video showcasing the new music with some very recent flybys through the area under construction. Disney says the California iteration of Galaxy's Edge is supposed to open this summer.
Every time I watch the below video, my inner eight-year-old flips out.
Today marks general release of the latest Star Wars Movie. This will be episode VIII and, for me, continuation of a journey started when I was nine years old. I’ve got my Star Wars shirt on and wearing my Star Wars shoes (the same ones I wore a few years ago for Episode VII) and a group of friends and family ready to go see “The Movie” tonight. I’ve been intentionally laying low on social media the last few days and I'm ready to go be amazed. If you’re a geek like me, May the Force Be with You.
Today Ron Howard announced the name of the previously untitled Han Solo Star Wars Movie.
I like it. He finishes the video saying "I'll see you next year." The question is … when next year? Previously Lucas announced Solo would be released in Summer of 2018 but since they've now pushed Episode IX to December of 2019, I wouldn't be surprised if Solo gets pushed back to December 2018.
Reuters is reporting that September 1-3 we are going to get augmented reality Star Wars characters on our iPhones at certain retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and … yes … Apple.
Of course, this is something right in my wheelhouse. It may even compel me to go to a store, which I usually try to avoid.
One curiosity for me is that this AR stunt happens before iOS 11 ships so it will not be taking advantage of the remarkable AR support we’ll see in the next version of iOS. It will be interesting to see how well they pull it off without that advantage.
I spent part of today at the Disney D23 convention where they've got an entire section devoted to the Star Wars Experience at Disneyland. I spoke with lots of Imagineers and learned a lot of information. The Saturday sessions will disclose a lot more about this expansion and I'll write up what I learned more afterward but I thought you may want to start out by looking at pictures of this remarkable model. These images are lightboxed so clicking on them will blow them up. Enjoy.
I know these days that it seems like every day is a holiday of one sort of another but how could I let May the 4th go by without acknowledging it. Why do I love Star Wars? One reason is because of the fans. They are completely insane ... like me. Last year, Adam Driver did a funny skit on Saturday Night Live where his Star Wars character, Kylo Ren, went on Undercover Boss as "Matt, radar technician".
As I was walking through the Star Wars celebration, I stumbled into a group of people that dressed up as "Matt". That's right, they even cosplay the spoofs. Star Wars has some of the greatest fans in the world. May the force be with you.
Today was the Episode VIII panel at Star Wars Celebration and it was pretty great. The corker was a 2 minute teaser that LucasFilm is calling a "trailer". I don't see how you can call this a trailer though. It's just the barest of sketches about what's going on with our heroes and villains in the middle act of the trilogy. It's very well done and I like the fact that it conveys very little information about what to expect. The movie is still eight months away. Keep us in suspense a bit longer please.
About that Poster
I really like the new poster. Seeing old Luke so prominantly is awesome considering he had such a small role in The Force Awakens.
I also like the way Rey at the bottom harkens back to Luke in the original Star Wars poster from 1977. (I remember seeing that poster as a kid and not sure what to make of it. The guy holding the light saber looked more like someone out of a Spartacus movie than Mark Hamil.)
Also, did you notice how Rey's saber transitions from blue to red? The point of the middle episode is to leave us feeling our heroes are completely screwed. Between the trailer and this poster, I expect they'll deliver on that promise.
MacSparky's Celebration Multi-Media Extravaganza
So far at Celebration I've been watching panels and meeting up with friends. Today I plan to spend a lot of time on the show floor taking pictures of both the awesome and the bazaar. It's all here gang. Follow me today on Twitter, Instagram, and/or SnapChat for plenty of Star Wars content. I'll even be posting video with my SnapChat Glasses. Such a nerd.
I remember being a teenager and talking to one of the older gents in my neighborhood. At the time I thought he was ancient but looking back I'm pretty sure he was younger than I am now. Anyway, he told me that the older you get, the weirder you get. I've never forgot about that and it generally rings true with my life.
As I've been busy with MacSparky, the law practice, and my family, I've disconnected from a lot of popular culture things over the years. I don't keep up with sports and I don't watch much TV. I do, however, spend way too much time thinking about Star Wars. I was eight years old when the first movie came out and I bonded to it like a baby duck to its mama. I've heard all of the critiques of Star Wars and even agree with a few of them but at the end of the day, I still love it more than a grown man reasonably should.
So this week I’m taking a little trip to Orlando Florida where I will be attending the Star Wars Celebration. It's a gathering of the Star Wars tribe where I won't be giving any presentations or working with sponsors or any of the other things I do at most conferences. Instead, I'll be just another guy going to sessions, making a few new friends, and geeking out.
The organizers of the event were crazy enough to give me a media badge so I’m going to take that seriously and even write a few posts here about what's really going on in that galaxy far, far away. I'm also going to be posting photos on my Snapchat and Instagram accounts. I’ll probably also make some noise on Twitter as well.
So if you're attending the Star Wars Celebration, please look me up. If Star Wars makes your eyes roll, please feel free to ignore my posts on the subject this week. I will tag them all “Star Wars” so you can set your filters accordingly.
Alexander Gustaveson wrote a great post at ILM.com about how much digital work they did after photography ended on Rogue One. They have things to such a science now that they can even replace a live action character’s live action gun with a digital one.
I was very interested in the Rogue One soundtrack in that it is the first Star Wars film music not written by John Williams. Michael Giacchino did a great job. I didn't realize exactly how great of a job he did until I listened to this episode of Star Wars Oxygen. David Collins is a musical detective but don't just take my word for it. The Maestro agrees.
Disneyland has a display of some props from Rogue One. So of course I made the trek and shot pictures. Enjoy. Expect more Star Wars coverage than usual this week. Rogue One releases in a few days and I'm feeling it.
My wife went to Disneyland yesterday and documented the current progress of the Star Wars expansion. My favorite image is where she rode the Thunder Mountain roller coaster so she could get a shot down at the construction. This confluence of Star Wars and Disneyland can only be good for my marriage.