io9 asks the question and has had some thoughtful answers in the comments, including Leia, Han, Vader, Artoo, Boba Fett and the Bespin ice-cream maker.
This year's annual Hollywood Prop & Art Auction claims to be offering the prop of Luke Skywalker's severed hand from The Empire Strikes Back. But you've got to read the fine print. It turns out this is not Luke's severed hand (which was his right hand) but a sculpt of his left hand:
This piece was created by Stewart Freeborn (creator of Yoda) who was in-charge of make-up and special creature design on the film. It was the original piece created for the final battle until George Lucas decided it should be Luke's right hand. This is the casting of Mark Hamil's [sic] left hand holding the hilt of his lightsaber.
So it's a bit of a scam. If you're still interested, follow the link. Bids close 30 March 2013.
(via ComicBook.com, who did not read the fine print)
This may be the most clever Star Wars T-shirt out there. And it glows in the dark. Follow the link to see what it looks like in the dark.
On 1 May 1977, John Stark attended a preliminary screening of a new "sci-fi" film called Star Wars. He sat behind the director, George Lucas. Stark retells the story wonderfully on Business Insider:
At the end of the film the audience went ballistic. They couldn't stop applauding. I watched Lucas slump in his seat, overwhelmed, as if he’d just outrun the Death Star’s super laser. Attendants tried to collect the preview cards, but nobody was filling them out. There was no need.
(I later read that Fox President Alan Ladd Jr. had flown in from Hollywood for the screening and that he was moved to tears. He had green-lighted the film two years earlier and his reputation was on the line.)
The next day at work I tried to describe to my colleagues what I had just seen. I told them about The Force, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the cantina on Tatooine. “Star Wars is going to be The Wizard of Oz of our generation,” I proclaimed. They thought I had lost my mind. I shut up.
Follow the link for more. It's a great read.
Well why not? asks Sean O'Neal in this AV Club post that is not only funny in its own right, but links to another funny post by the same Mr. O'Neal. The latter piece is about pointless Star Wars 7 speculation by an ex-employee by the name of George Lucas. The former is about how Warwick Davis (and dozens of other Star Wars alumni, most of whom have enjoyed far less success that Mr. Davis) would really really like to be in the new Star Wars movie.
If even a quarter of these faint-hopers end up in the new film, it will be worse than Attack of the Clones.
A smart piece by Mark Wilson. Here's an excerpt, but go read it all:
BusinessWeek argues that the Holocron [the database storing all information about the Star Wars Expanded Universe] added a lot of value to [Disney's] acquisition. And to the suits, I have little doubt that it looked different than any other lucrative list of copyrights and other IP. But I can’t help but wonder if there would be more narrative value without the tome. Every planet and character is a component of feature creep within an otherwise beautifully streamlined universe. It’s unedited imagination, wonderfully inventive but narratively untenable. There are just too many ideas in one place.Star Wars has become a product crafted not for Star Wars fans (or, everyone), but a very particular breed of Star Wars uber fan.
Or so says Abraham Riesman in an ever-so-slightly overstated piece on Motherboard entitled (you guessed it), "Disney and Lucasfilm Just Murdered Billions of People". He is reacting to the cancellation of the Clone Wars television series and other signs that Disney is abandoning the Expanded Universe in favour of its own efforts.
Somewhat disappointingly, Riesman's article is not quite as insanely hysterical as the title he gave it. But it's still pretty excitable, and Riesman doesn't shy away from his genocide theme:
Here we are, where no serious Star Wars fan ever thought we’d be. But at what cost? The metatextual mass murder of fictional billions? Is that a price we’re prepared to pay?
Last week, George Lucas implied that the Holy Trinity of Ford, Fisher, and Hamill are this close to signing on for the J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Wars: Episode VII. Let’s assume for a moment that it’s all true, that the ink dries, and that the wardrobe department starts getting their measurements. What are the implications?
For the workaday filmgoer and the average Star Wars viewer, there are barely any, other than chuckles about a sexagenarian Skywalker and a self-proclaimed crazy Leia. For Disney and Lucasfilm, recognizable faces mean money in the bank, though their casting probably means little to the youngest generation of Star Wars fans, the ones who grew up actually enjoying Episode I and are now in the 18-25 demographic.
But what about us? What about that small fraction of the world’s population who kept watch over the Star Wars universe’s post-Return of the Jedi development? What about the people who, decades ago, gave up any hope that there would ever be filmed sequels? How are we supposed to feel?To put it bluntly, we’ve been abandoned. Our purpose has been served, and we’re being unceremoniously downsized without so much as a “Thanks for Two Decades on the Job” plaque.
We were the stewards of the Galaxy. Under 22 years of our watch, we’ve lived and breathed something called the Expanded Universe (EU), in which the Star Wars mythology grew and flourished to a size that Lucas could never have imagined. I mentioned fictional genocide because now, with the presence of Hamill/Fisher/Ford, much of the EU — and the countless characters, wars, species, and millennia of events the EU contains — will be wiped out at the stroke of a pen.
So Riesman is only referring to fantasy fictional people who don't actually exist in the real world but only in people's imaginations. Also, if you read along you'll discover that these billions of fantasy fictional murdered people haven't actually been fictionally murdered yet by anyone at all in the purely fictional fantasy world they fictionally inhabit. But still...
For more hyper-exaggerated EU fanboy angst about something that hasn't in fact happened, follow the link below. And if you too are badly in need of some perspective on the true gravity of the situation, try here or here or here.
The somewhat belated book launch party for A Long Time Ago was on Saturday. My friend Claire Hunter hosted it beautifully, as you can see below. Thanks to Claire for her wonderful hospitality, and thanks also to everyone who came.