As of posting this blog, independent filmmaker Ethan Belden has raised nearly $1,000 through Kickstart toward his project of making a feature film adaptation of “Shadows of the Empire.” Belden and his team have 21 days to raise another $9,000 if the project hopes to get off the ground.
They plan to use majority practical effects, not too heavy on CGI – just as the original films had. The image to the right is not computer generated, but their example of what can be done with models and paintings in the background.
“Shadows” was the first Expanded Universe novel I read as a kid. To this day, it’s still one of the most, well-written stories in the Star Wars Universe and fits almost seamlessly in the Original Trilogy era. In the 1990s its success resulted in a smash hit video game for the Nintendo 64.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it takes place between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. One of the reasons I gravitated toward it, was the subplot of Luke, Leia and debut character Dash Rendar’s efforts to retrieving Han Solo after being encased in Carbonite.
The book fleshes out the troubles Boba Fett encountered, between rival bounty hunters and the rebels, in transporting his prisoner to Jabba’s Palace. The novel also introduced Black Sun and motivations that would influence much of what came after it in the Expanded Universe.
I recommend watching the video on the project’s Kickstarter page. This is no amateur project, these guys know what they’re doing and from what I’ve seen of development images – this film is beyond promising and worth the investment from fans. They tease the opening crawl, and prove what they can do with graphics in the video as well. The proposal is well thought out, and they tell you exactly how they plan to accomplish what they say they’re doing.
Also, all the money invested goes 100 percent toward technical and practical needs for the film – not toward actors or payroll. If you like what you see, then donate a few bucks and let’s see this project get off the ground.
Check out the Kickstarter page at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/392447955/star-wars-shadows-of-the-empire
A little over a month ago the team at The Star Wars Report Network launched a new podcast, “Star Wars Bookworms.”
While they’ve released only three episodes so far, I recommend this new podcast to any fans of the Expanded Universe – whether you’re a casual reader or hardcore completist.
Designed to review, analyze and discuss the happenings in the Expanded Universe, the team hosted by Teresa Delgado and Aaron Goins show great promise in being not only an informative podcast about Star Wars comics and literature – but they demonstrate a natural skill set for interviewing creators.
The hosts and guests approach each topic in a casual manner, not overwhelming listeners with an overabundance of timelines and facts. It’s much more like the discussions you’d have with fellow friends at your local comic shop or in your living room.
Bookworms released a two part episode in March, where they breakdown both volumes of Blood Ties – the multi-generational comic book that dives into the familial story of Jango and Boba Fett.
One of the most enjoyable and well written Boba Fett stories to be published over recent years, the team at Bookworms give some great insights into these volumes and make a number of interesting points.
If you’d like to hear their thoughts on Blood Ties, along with a fascinating interview with Alexander Freed, writer on the Old Republic video games.
You can download Star Wars Bookworms free on iTunes
Yahoo! UK & Ireland caught up with Jeremy Bulloch during his appearance at MCM Midlands Comic and Entertainment Expo earlier this month. The interview expanded on Bulloch’s previous statements that he’s more than willing to strap on the Mandalorian gear and reprise his role as Boba Fett.
Bulloch has been very vocal about Episode VII, ever since the announcement was made last year. He’s been quoted in multiple articles, but since rumors have begun about a Boba Fett film, reporters are chopping at the bit to get their exclusive interviews.
Bulloch has had his thumb on the pulse of fans for decades, so hopefully those at Lucasfilm are listening to his input – namely, don’t bastardize the Expanded Universe. There’s very little G-level canon regarding Boba Fett. The character was introduced with great bravo around the time of Empire Strikes Back, but fans unanimously agree, the character was shafted in his treatment in Return of the Jedi.
George Lucas made up for this a little in the prequels, giving Boba Fett an engaging origin story in Attack of the Clones. Still, the story shed more light on the clones and Jango Fett than Boba. While the Clone Wars has given fans further adventures of the young Boba Fett – the majority of his story has existed in comics and books.
For thirty-some years we’ve had to rely on novels and comics to turn to Star Wars literature to get a taste of the bounty hunter. Much of what we most appreciate, love about Boba Fett comes from the Expanded Universe.
If Lucasfilm and Disney completely discard these stories and adventures, there’s a strong potential of fan backlash – if stories like Twin Engines of Destruction or the Bounty Hunter Wars are said to never have happened.
Fans are more prone to accept a compromise of two alternative timelines, which can only happen if the present Expanded Universe is continued and not retconned to fit with the film universe.
We don’t need to see an exact adaptation of the Expanded Universe, but it should at least be respected when making these films. After all, those are the stories that kept fandom alive and made these new movies possible.
Most importantly, Disney needs to redeem Boba Fett in the new films. No more defeats by blind smugglers like we saw in Return of the Jedi, or swapped in place of a slave bride as in his last appearance in Clone Wars.
The good news is Lawrence Kasdan is rumored to be the one scribing a Boba Fett film. Kasdan penned Empire Strikes Back, which was the closest film to flesh out Boba Fett in the badass fashion we’ve seen him portrayed in the Expanded Universe. Therefore, I have faith he is the man that can resurrect the character that for thirty years has had casual fans believing Boba Fett is still in the belly of the Sarlacc.
Kasdan can put the rumors to rest, Boba Fett is alive and well.
Note: This blog entry contains SPOILERS to “Star Wars: In the Shadow of Yavin” #2
The second issue to the bestselling title, “Star Wars,” is full of secret missions and familiar faces – along with some surprises.
When Entertainment Weekly published a sneak peak at this issue last month, it turns out that was the opening for this month’s story. Han Solo and Chewbacca are drifting in the Corsair Outback, on a rendezvous mission assigned by Mon Monthma.
Even though they sit in deep space, among space debris, the smuggler and his companion are discovered by Slave I. This story transpires before Empire Strikes Back, so Boba Fett is hunting Solo due to the bounty placed on his head by Jabba the Hutt.
Solo is forced to make a space jump after Slave I opens fire on his ship. They end up making seven jumps before they’re clear of the bounty hunter. This was disappointing – the issue was marketed as showing the appearance of Boba Fett – but we never actually see the Mandalorian. In fact, the three page preview is the entirety of Fett’s appearance in the issue.
This was a chance for Dark Horse to tear down common tropes comic books have executed with the relationship between Boba Fett and Han Solo. Instead, they kept to the formula of Han Solo being tracked down by Fett, he makes a run for it and escapes. Let’s hope this story arc doesn’t consist of repeated “near encounters” between the adversaries.
I’ve said this in an earlier blog entry – let Solo be captured by Boba Fett, but manage to escape. We need to see why the presence of Boba Fett strikes the fear Solo experiences in the films, that don’t come up with other encounters with bounty hunters, like Greedo.
The issue also sets up two more plot points. In many ways this issue sets up what we should anticipate for the rest of the story arc. Monthma gives Leia a secret assignment, as does the Emperor to Darth Vader. These secret assignments introduce two characters to keep an eye on.
Leia puts together a team of X-Wing pilots to conduct a secret mission to locate a base for the Rebels. This assignment must be done in secret, because Monthma suspects a spy in their ranks.
Among the pilots is Rus Kal from Durkteel. Kal is part of a subspecies of Transdoshan – the race of Bossk. I’m engaged by this member of the team. I don’t know too much about this species, but I have to wonder how close their characteristics are from their cousins, Transdoshans.
Am I overanalyzing things, or is this foreshadowing that we may see Bossk in the near future pop up?
The second character of interest is Colonel Bircher, who has been put in charge of Darth Vader’s crew and Star Destroyer. While Vader is on his secret mission, Bircher is leading the charge of hunting down the Rebel Alliance.
I enjoyed this issue and the artwork is some of the best that’s come out of Dark Horse, besides the work being down in “Agent of the Empire.” I need to emphasize my disappointment though, we were teased with Boba Fett and Darth Vader in the official synopsis of the issue, but Boba Fett is only in a couple panels and Vader is only mentioned by name.
“A bounty hunter never stops for rest, especially while hunting his prize catch. Boba Fett, the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter, has been tracking Han Solo for months. Using modified armor and new shape-shifting technology, Fett morphs into Slave I mode and flies to Coruscant, where Solo was last spotted.”
A mash up of two popular franchises, the Hasbro Star Wars Transformers line is fun and unique. What’s brilliant about this toy line is Hasbro’s approach to the series, which is really a “What if…?”
Within the universe of this toy line, Star Wars characters have upgraded their spacecraft to transform into giant robotic battle suits that carry their likeness. Hasbro could have simply created this toy line without an explanation, but I like that they created an engaging back story.
Boba Fett’s vehicle comes in two modes – the traditional Slave I, which transforms into a battle suit, features rocket firing action. In its battle suit mode, the cannons of the Slave I double as blasters. The transformation steps are simple to learn and blend beautifully together.
I love how the miniature figurine of Boba Fett can be placed in the cockpit, where he sits and controls the battle suit. While in this mode, the arms have a good range of dexterity, but the legs have a limited allowance in how wide you can stance the figure.
The figure has poor balance due to the design of its legs, though. However, the problems that are common place for Transformers toys cannot detract from this toy’s “cool” factor. This mash up allows you to experience the Star Wars Universe in a fresh and new perspective.
In 2011, Topps began brainstorming a new series of trading cards that would prove engaging, informative and collectible. With a base set consisting of 350 cards, the Star Wars Galactic Files succeeded in spades, including a comprehensive collection of characters from the films and Expanded Universe.
In a blog entry last month, product developer David Waldeck wrote Topps wanted a series that worked as a “Who’s Who” for the Star Wars Universe. He said in an era of Internet sites and Blu-ray extras, the bonus information provided through trading cards has diminished.
Waldeck said the series needed to be informative and possess interactivity between cards. The reverse of each card is packed with interest. Not only does each card provide a brief synopsis of the character card, but points out what era of the Star Wars timeline the person was active, and what other cards the individual has history with.
Boba Fett is featured on four of the 350 base cards. One provides information on the bounty hunter as a child, then two more for track Boba Fett as an adult at two different points in the film. The fourth card features his ship, Slave I, which he inherited from his father following his death. He is also mentioned in other character’s cards, like bounty hunter Aurra Sing.
What’s also nice about this series is it could easily be expanded upon. Theoretically, the series could track each character through the various eras they remained active – whether film or Expanded Universe. Though, this could be complicated depending on what direction Disney takes its newly adopted trilogy and other future films.