ILMxLAB and The VOID’s Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire trailer and details revealed

secretsoftheempire2

From StarWars.com:

“Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and The VOID have pulled back the curtain on Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a groundbreaking hyper-reality experience that promises to immerse fans in a galaxy far, far away. An official trailer (check it out below!) made its debut today, offering a first look at what to expect, and story details have also been revealed — the rebellion needs you, your family, and your friends for a secret mission.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will send teams of four, under the orders of the budding rebellion, to the lava planet Mustafar. The mission: to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion’s survival. You and your squad must navigate an enemy facility disguised as stormtroopers, with Rogue One‘s K-2SO at your side. You’ll grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill the rebellion’s orders.

The VOID also announced that Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will debut at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando on December 16 and Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim on January 5. Tickets are on sale now at thevoid.com; admission for both the Anaheim and Orlando locations is $29.95 per person plus applicable fees, and Parks admission is not required. […]”

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5 behind-the-scenes secrets on the Prequel Trilogy costumes

From StarWars.com:

” […] All of this detail is on display in the “Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume” traveling exhibit, currently at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

The thoughtful displays put the costumes of the Star Wars galaxy in their best light. The outfits are displayed artfully and accompanied by information about their design and fabrication with quotes from the likes of John Mollo and Trisha Biggar. Outfits from all the eras of cinematic Star Wars are represented, with a special section devoted to Padmé Amidala’s stunning and ever-shifting wardrobe.

While browsing the exhibit, certain notes in particular jumped out. Here are eight facts we learned from Star Wars and the Power of Costume.

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1. Disguise and color go hand in hand.

Padmé stayed hidden among her handmaidens in an ombre travel gown with a deep hood. Though the silk and velvet are brightly hued, the hood allowed Padmé to remain in disguise and unnoticed by her foes. Designed by prequel trilogy costume designer Trisha Biggar, the gown was inspired by the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the nineteenth century — the costume was specifically affected by the rich colors found in those paintings.

powerofcostume2

2. There are emblematic Easter eggs.

The Naboo royal crest appears overtly and subtly in more garments than you might have noticed on screen. You can spot it hidden in plain sight as a repeating burnout pattern in the fabric or tucked away more subtly on the queen and handmaiden gown designs. Keep your eyes glued to their costumes the  next time you watch the prequel trilogy, especially The Phantom Menace. […]

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6. Wookiees need to stay cool.

By the time several Wookiee costumes had to be crafted for Revenge of the Sith, the costume department learned a trick or two about making them more comfortable. No longer would Peter Mayhew have to swelter under pounds of yak fur without relief.

To ensure the actors wearing the heavy fur-covered suits on set kept their cool and maintained tolerable temperatures, costuming devised a cooling suit to go under the fur. The system featured tubing attached to a mesh shirt, so cold water could be circulated through to combat heat.

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7. Tassel time with no hassle.

Sly Moore’s tassel-covered cloak flowed like the surface of water anytime she moved. It’s the kind of costume you stop and notice, even more so when you learn each and every tassel was individually hand-knotted and attached to the garment.

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8. Palps needs a manicure.

Senator Palpatine probably had nice, relatively normal fingernails. He lost those when he transformed in Revenge of the Sith, instead gaining nails that appeared to be fungus-ridden and rotten. Those fingernails are part of the Power of Costume exhibit and not to be missed. They’re made from resin and paint and applied to Ian McDiarmid’s nails , but the commonplace materials don’t make them look any less sinister.”

Psychotherapist praises the ‘realistic’ romance between Padmé and Anakin

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From Time Out:

“We all know that relationships are hard work in real-life and that love is nothing like the movies. But which screen romances are the worst offenders? And can falling for their charms really do any harm? We asked a team of psychologists, therapists and dating coaches which movies have the most unhealthy attitudes to love. […]

A few [romantic movies] the experts like: […]

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

‘If you want to look on the dark side, nothing demonstrates a dysfunctional relationship better than Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker. It didn’t end happily, but it is realistic. She was older, he was younger and infatuated. Even if you forget the age difference, there were so many signs that the relationship was toxic. A good relationship is based on communication, shared values and respect. They failed to communicate effectively. Rather than dealing with it, problems were ignored.’

Gurpreet Singh [Relate counsellor and psychotherapist]”

Portman and McGregor were reportedly “wounded” by Episodes I and II reviews (UPDATE : or maybe not)

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From J. W. Rinzler Blog:

”   […] Back on set, whenever George asked Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa) to modify his performance or alter an action, Smits would reply, “Yes, sir.” Often when George asked Christensen or McGregor, they would reply, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
They weren’t disrespectful, but they weren’t necessarily buying it either. They were going along with it.
Back on the Original Trilogy, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) had understood instinctively where Lucas was coming from, though he was famously uncommunicative. It was nothing personal. As many know, “Faster” and/or “More intense,” was what Lucas often requested of his actors.
Part of his general reticence on any set was due to the fact that he simply didn’t want to be there. Lucas had told Roger Christian back in 1976, set decorator on Star Wars, that each day he woke up with a metaphorical sack of large stones on his back and spent the day struggling to remove them, painfully, one by one. On set for Episode III, I overheard George asking himself one morning, “Why am I putting myself through this again?”
In 1978, three crewmembers got into a post-film analysis of their ex-boss, concluding that he took too much on himself and stressed himself out unnecessarily. They also thought he often put his trust in the wrong people. I’ve read similar complaints about similar visionaries. Evidently, when you’re hounded by success, it often becomes difficult to tell who has your best interests at heart, particularly given that many folks may have already told you things that didn’t turn out to be true, or said that something wouldn’t work that did turn out to work, and vice versa, etc., etc. It’s a difficult position to be in.
Despite his directorial shorthand and his on-set suffering, Lucas, Ford, Fisher, and Hamill worked well together on the Original Trilogy and remained friends afterward. Lucas seemed particularly close with Fisher.
It didn’t help that Portman and McGregor had been wounded by negative reviews of the first two prequels, making this last one harder for them. In fact when I was given the greenlight to talk to McGregor on set, I went over to introduce myself and before I’d said two words, he shouted in a loud and annoyed voice, “Well, I’ll just let you know then!”
It was a tad awkward. Crew would tell me that on Episode I McGregor had been enthusiastic and kind, helping to move chairs for the next setup. But he’d changed. Rick told me that the actor was frustrated, and on an “emotional rollercoaster.”
He and Portman were never ready to be interviewed (instead I relied on EPKs). […]”


UPDATE!

J. W. Rinzler altered his article, which now says: “It didn’t help that Portman and McGregor may have been wounded by negative reviews of the first two prequels, making this last one harder for them.”

He removed the anecdotes about McGregor’s behavior, and softened another part where he describes Christensen expressing his lack of understanding of Lucas’ vision of Anakin at one point.


J. W. Rinzler used to be a writer and editor at Lucas Licensing. He wrote The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the SithThe Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,  and many other behind-the-scenes books.

Prequel Trilogy producer Rick McCallum reportedly couldn’t stand Lucasfilm Corporate

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From J. W. Rinzler Blog:

“With Episode II out the door, Lucas took perhaps a week off and then turned full-time to Episode III, last chapter of the Prequel Trilogy. On Fridays I’d sneak out of publishing for each art department “show,” which one artist described as “a gallery opening every week.” George would go from left to right, scanning dozens of artworks pinned to foam core boards, making comments, perhaps choosing a drawing to be one creature or a particular city or vehicle, or approving for functions unknown. Unlike the artists, I had nothing on the line. I was there only to observe how Lucas worked creatively, building up his story, his visuals, and his ideas in concert with their concepts, generated from what he’d told them about the script, idea, or story the week before: it was a symbiotic relationship. George might mention a volcano planet; someone might paint a strange creature on that planet; George might add that creature to that scene or a different scene.
Lucas was patient, and the artists enjoyed working with him. They kept long hours, often pulling all-nighters fueled by Red Bull to bridge Thursday to Friday. As the concept art department hit full stride, their number grew to about 12. Iain McCaig came onboard early on, welcomed back, a master of character design, who had come up with the look for Darth Maul on Episode I, among others.
While working on the script, Lucas traditionally went on what Jane Bay called his “writing retreat”: that is, he would write in seclusion at home in his converted carriage house from Monday through Thursday, in pencil on his yellow legal pads, taking phone calls only when necessary. On Fridays, he would come in for the art department meeting and the rest of his Lucasfilm business.
As preproduction progressed, Licensing also needed to know about the script, details about characters and creatures and vehicles, in order to initiate product development to coincide with Episode III’s release window. Lucas was understanding of licensing’s needs and those of publishing; after all, he was going to make a fortune off of it. While usually being accommodating, McCallum nevertheless had a great contempt for Lucasfilm Corporate, which he often and mostly referred to as the “Dark Side.” He couldn’t wait for licensing, marketing, PR, and the rest of us leeches to be moved to Big Rock Ranch. The farther away, the better. From what he told me, I gathered he felt that licensing and corporate basically made his job of running the nuts and bolts of production harder, from building up the egos in production/ILM/etc. in the fan magazine (by running articles/interviews on ILMers and actors), to gumming up the works in other ways—for instance, the documentary team would want access to record B-roll, or the development of one creature or character or vehicle might take priority over another, or need to be fast-tracked, because its anticipated manufacturing time would take longer or be more complex, etc.—all of these being things a usual movie production didn’t have to deal with.
If production designer Gavin Bocquet, costume designer Trisha Biggar, or stunt coordinator Nick Gillard were in town, Rick would therefore close the art dept. down to only essential personnel in order to obtain important answers from Lucas. At least once or twice, Rick invited one or two HODs (head of departments) to fly over from the UK expressly and strategically to get those answers. When Rick placed Biggar or Bocquet in a room with Lucas, the latter knew they’d reached a critical juncture; it was Rick’s way of putting pressure on him—because without timely decisions from Lucas, preproduction/production would fall hopelessly and expensively behind schedule, something neither of them wanted.
At some point I asked Rick if I could write The Art of Episode III book, since I was going to all the meetings. He was fine with it, but wanted me to explain to George what I had in mind, briefly. So after one art session on the third floor, Rick re-introduced me. This time, George looked me up and down. I was being scanned while I made my pitch: “I want to organize the art-of book chronologically,” I said (something like this). “We could tell the story of how you and the art department work together, how things slowly come to pass organically. It’ll be a companion piece to the Making of book, by another writer, which he’ll also tell chronologically; I’ll edit that one, and the two books will work together as companion pieces.”
His scan complete, George said, “Okay.””


“McCallum’s professional association with Lucas began with The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992) and Radioland Murders (1994), and continued through the Special Edition release of the Star Wars Trilogy (1997), the prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III, 1999-2005), and most recently Red Tails (2012).” (source: StarWars.com)


J. W. Rinzler used to be a writer and editor at Lucas Licensing. He wrote The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the SithThe Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the SithThe Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original FilmThe Making of The Empire Strikes BackThe Making of Return of the Jedi, and also the comic mini-series The Star Wars and two episodes of The Clone Wars.

Rumor: is General Grievous a playable character in Battlefront II?

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From Eurogamer.net:

“A list of heroes has been uncovered in Star Wars Battlefront 2’s ongoing closed alpha.

References to new and returning hero characters were found within its files by reddit user uninspired_zebra. You can find the full list below.

Returning are Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Lando, the Emperor and Bossk.

New for DICE’s sequel are Yoda, prequel-era characters Darth Maul and General Grievous, plus the sequel era’s Rey, Kylo Ren, Phasma and original character Iden Versio.

Battlefront 1 characters from the main game and DLC not included in Battlefront 2’s starting line-up include Nien Nunb, Greedo, Dengar, Jyn Erso and Orson Krennic.

EA has previously confirmed a few of the above – as well as Finn, who will arrive with Phasma late this year as free DLC.

Here’s the full list of characters with data found in the alpha’s files:

  • Boba Fett
  • Han Solo
  • Leia
  • Luke
  • Bossk
  • Chewbacca
  • Darth Vader
  • Emperor
  • Grievous
  • Iden
  • Kylo Ren
  • Lando
  • Maul
  • Phasma
  • Rey
  • Yoda”