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5 Things We Learned from the Solo Cast on The Star Wars Show

5 hours 11 min ago

It’s almost time to meet the new crew in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and The Star Wars Show recently sat down with the actors from the film for insights into the production, the characters, and how it’s impacted their personal lives.

Here are five things we learned:

1. Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Han Solo, still carries a flip phone. (Which, for a no-frills guy like Han, seems appropriate.) Ehrenreich also revealed that he posed in a promotional cardboard Millennium Falcon next to his Han Solo standee just so his nana could snap a photo. We’d do the same.

2. Joonas Suotamo, the mighty Chewbacca, really embodies his role. Suotamo tackled both stunt training for the physicality and mastered the cadence of Shyriiwook for the film. Ehrenreich also has his own Wookiee impression, but Suotamo is the pro.

3. Paul Bettany’s villain, the menacing Dryden Vos, is actually a foil for our favorite smuggler. “Frankly, he’s a lot like Han, in that the galaxy’s cruel and you’ve got to be cruel to survive in it,” Bettany says.

4. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who brings the droid L3-37 to life, didn’t just voice the character. She was also bolted into the costume on-set, acting in a motion-capture suit for the physically-demanding role.

5. Both Director Ron Howard and Ehrenreich took advice from the man who first brought Han Solo to the screen — Harrison Ford.

Watch the full set of interviews below, and catch gaming news from Star Wars: Force Arena, Qi’ra joining Forces of Destiny in a brand-new short, and a behind-the-scenes look at Solo with Lucasfilm’s Head of Post Production Pippa Anderson.

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives May 25, 2018. All Star Wars, all the time.

Elsa Charretier Teaches Us How to Draw Chewbacca

11 hours 16 min ago

Yesterday, artist Elsa Charretier taught us how to draw Han Solo right down to the smirk and the good blaster at his side.

Today, she returns to complete our training with Han’s loyal friend and longtime co-pilot, the one and only Chewbacca!

Charretier recently illustrated the pair in a variety of fun encounters and fine messes in the new book recently released in celebration of Solo: A Star Wars Story — Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure, with words by Cavan Scott. In the book, you get to help the duo decide how they’ll handle the latest challenge endangering their mission. And soon, you can illustrate your very own adventures.

But first, learn how to draw our favorite walking carpet. Take it away, Elsa!

Step 1: Start out with a circle. From there, we’ll draw guidelines on the face. Sketch a vertical line down the center; this will be the nose line. Add a horizontal line a little below the center of the circle; this will be our eye line.

Chewie’s fur hides his chin and neck, so draw a large-bottomed cylinder that will connect directly to his shoulders.

Step 2: Let’s move on to Chewie’s body. At this stage, think of every section of his anatomy as a cylinder. Arms, torso, and legs are all represented as tubes! Connect his arms to his torso, the torso to the core… all the way to the legs.

Step 3: Now would be a good time to add his bandolier!

Step 4: Move on to inks. For a Wookiee, the approach is different than for drawing a regular human head. To define the shape of Chewbacca’s head, add broad strokes from the inside of the face towards the outside in addition to a lighter outline.

Step 5: Using a similar approach, broad strokes will allow you to define shapes on the rest of the body.

Step 6: Add the details on his bandolier, and keep in mind that just like Han’s jacket, it has folds. The bandolier is a little saggy, so a single large fold with give the impression that it’s full and resting against Chewie’s body.

Step 7: Finally add black areas for shadows, which will allow for more depth.

Step 8: Congratulations, you’re done! Now you can draw Han and Chewie on whatever adventures you can imagine.

For more on Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventurecheck out our interview with Cavan Scott and Elsa Charretier! All Star Wars, all the time.

Elsa Charretier Teaches Us How to Draw Han Solo

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:54

Here at, we’ve been enjoying a charming new book recently released in celebration of Solo: A Star Wars Story — Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure by writer Cavan Scott and artist Elsa Charretier. In this first entry of what will be a series, readers must make decisions for Han Solo and Chewbacca, who are faced with multiple problems after their delivery to Jabba the Hutt goes awry. [Go figure.] It’s great fun for all ages, and Charretier — already a fan favorite for her work on IDW Publishing’s Star Wars comics — fills Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure with beautiful, energetic images in her trademark style. Check out the cover and a peek at what’s inside below.

We love the book and Charretier’s art so much that we asked the artist to pass on what she has learned and teach us how to draw our favorite scoundrel and Wookiee co-pilot. Thankfully, she accepted the job.

First up is the nerf herder himself. You’ll have to come back tomorrow to pick up the walking carpet extraordinaire. Take it away, Elsa!

Step 1: Start out with a circle. From there, we’ll draw guidelines on the face. Sketch a vertical line down the center; this will be the nose line. Since Han is drawn here in three quarters, the line should be slightly on the right. Then draw a horizontal line a little below the center of the circle; this will be our eye line. The mouth will be positioned at the very bottom of the circle. Add the bottom of the face, the chin, and a cylinder for the neck.

Step 2: Add the hair!

Step 3: Now on to the body. It helps to break down the shapes. Draw the torso, core, arms, hips, and legs as a series of cylinders. Note that Han’s arms are crossed here, and the figure contains a lot of overlaps. I suggest you focus on one limb at a time!

Step 4: Add his belt and holster. Don’t forget the little pouches!

Step 5: With ink or a darker pencil, move on to defining his facial features, placing eyes, nose, and mouth on the blue guidelines. Make sure to capture Han’s famous smirk! Fill in most of Han’s hair in black. Some carefully placed white accents will simulate the reflection of light.

Step 6: Let’s move on to defining the shape of the jacket and arms. Don’t worry about details for now, as that will be our next step. Simply note the folds around the elbows, where the arms bend.

Step 7: Add in the black shoulder patch and other jacket details, as well as the hands and black shirt.

Step 8: Ink the belt and holster.

Step 9: Finally, add some black areas for more depth!

Step 10: Congratulations, you’re done! Now you, too, can draw Han Solo.

For more on Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure, check out our interview with Cavan Scott and Elsa Charretier! All Star Wars, all the time.

How Prince and the Clash Inspired the Look of Lando and Han in Solo

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 08:00

Look closely at Lando Calrissian’s neck scarf in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and you may see the familiar lights of a Death Star corridor.

The pattern, pulled from an iconic scene in A New Hope, is just one of many eclectic and inspired creations to come from the costume designing team of David Crossman and Glyn Dillon.

The pair first joined the crew of costume designers on The Force Awakens, where being asked to conceptualize a new era of stormtroopers and mask Darth Vader’s grandson was a dream come to life for the longtime fans. They’ve worked on every new Star Wars film since, including heading up clothing the characters in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an ambitious undertaking that called for more individual costumes than any other film in the galactic franchise before it, the designers say.

To create the gritty world of Han Solo’s youth, and the inhabitants of the seedy underworld of smugglers and thieves, Dillon and Crossman pulled inspiration from Ralph McQuarrie’s original artwork, the original trilogy, and real-world inspirations as varied as the Vietnam conflict and musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Blondie, and the Clash.

‘A very happy day’

Dillon first met Crossman when he came in for an interview to work on the sequel trilogy. He’d only worked on one film before that, “and then Glyn came in and he had this brilliant picture, which I loved,” Crossman said. He was hired.

“It was a very happy day for me because I’ve been a big Star Wars fan…when I saw it, I was six years old and it blew my little mind,” Dillon says. “It was a dream job to work on Star Wars films. Up until that point, and kids these days can’t understand because everything has become derivative of Star Wars, but back then in a science fiction film, nothing looked used, everything looked glossy. So when you saw the Millennium Falcon and it looked basically like a used tractor and, you know, it kind of felt so real, it felt part of the real world. And then stormtroopers, they looked like nothing you’d ever seen before. So everything about it was new and innovative.”

“It’s hard to recapture the feeling of seeing Star Wars for the first time,” adds Crossman, who was around the same age when he first saw the film in the theater. “I can remember it clearly and what a magical thing it was. It was mind blowing.”

By the time the pair was called in to oversee costuming Solo, they’d already designed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But the latest film presented new challenges and several costume changes to account for different locales, inhabitants, and scenes that were years apart in-universe.

“There’s a lot of variety because the story demands it,” Dillon says. “Han has what, sort of, eight changes of costume and the characters all go through their costume stories. There’s a lot more variety.”

“There’s more costumes on this film than any other Star Wars film,” Crossman added. “There’s so many different worlds in this film.”

‘Capes, capes, capes’

And so many different capes.

Designing Lando Calrissian’s smooth looks took the pair on a musical tour of the 1970s. “It wasn’t quite just capes, capes, capes,” Crossman says.

“We were looking at a lot of our favorite rock stars [like] Hendrix, Marvin Gaye. Glyn had a picture of Marvin Gaye with this leather collar with the detail, which we looked at for Lando. And I think the cape thing just kind of grew a bit because even in the original film, Lando, fair enough, he’s always wearing a cape but …we’re doing this kind of young, aspirant Lando that’s kind of using all his money to buy clothes and project himself.”

“He’s dressing for the job he wants, not the job he has,” adds Dillon, listing Prince and James Brown among his other inspirations.

Real-life musicians also informed designs for Han Solo and Qi’ra.

“We definitely looked at music for not only Lando, but also the young Han Solo, as well,” Crossman says. “Looking at the Clash and their clothes with the cutoff sleeves and that kind of thing. That was a way of still keeping the vest look for Solo, but giving it a younger feel.”

“With Qi’ra [on Corellia], we wanted that kind of ‘80s girlfriend wearing a boyfriend’s big jacket,” adds Dillon. “We looked a lot at Blondie and new wave music influences for her.”

And, of course, you can’t costume a gunslinger without borrowing the aesthetic of a classic Western. “We looked at traditional Westerns for some of the sequences,” Crossman says. “Kind of McCabe and Mrs. Miller riding into town.”

‘Quite proud’

The fans have already embraced some of the new designs, including the cosplayers who lined the red carpet for the film’s world premiere earlier this month in Los Angeles, where the pair gleefully posed with a man dressed as their droid creation L3-37. “I think it’s incredible work,” Dillon says of the build. “And it’s very complimentary. When Rogue One came out and we were at Star Wars Celebration, there was a little boy dressed as Krennic. You just feel pride. In England we call it fancy dress, and my dad always put me in fancy dress. From an early age, I was dressed as a sugar cube or something. I especially like the ones where they make it out of cardboard. They haven’t bought it.  I mean, that’s amazing.”

Costume designers David Crossman, left, and Glyn Dillon, right, stop to pose with cosplayer Darren Moser, dressed as L3-37, during the world premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

While the creature shop often oversees the aliens and oddities populating the galaxy, humanoid droids are still mostly costume creations.

“I can’t wait to see L3[-37] properly because she is mostly costume with Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] painted out,” Dillon says. “She wore the head, which you see onscreen, she wore all of that stuff. Obviously the bits where her body have been painted out, it’s a nice visual effect. A lot was [motion capture]. Phoebe was actually in that costume.”

“I really like what we’ve done for Han Solo. I’m quite proud of all the looks,” Crossman says, unable to choose a favorite among the costume closet. “We love his teen look. His kind of classic hero look with that cropped brown suede jacket, which I think is very nice, I mean hopefully it’s something new that will fit into an existing world and it feels very Han Solo but also feels very fresh. We enjoyed his trench look. All our main characters we loved doing. Lando…”

“Lando was a lot of fun,” Dillon says.

“It was always such a range. I felt very proud. It’s like asking us to choose one of our favorite children. You can’t possibly,” Crossman says.

Well, maybe Dillon can. For him, it has to be L3-37. “It was a tough one to nail down for a long time, because in the early writing process, we hadn’t quite nailed down where she came from. So once it was decided that she was a self-made woman, literally, where she’d made herself from the parts of other droids, it was such a nice idea that she’d built herself up from being an astromech droid into being walking, talking — she’d given herself her voice rather than beeps and boops. And that’s a nice idea but that didn’t come until quite late in the process. So it was quite a rush. And then it’s quite nice when you’ve got to really kind of hit the ground running and get it all done quickly.”

Typically, costume designs go through a painstakingly detailed process to find fabrics, design motifs, sew costumes and then weather the designs to just the right amount of use. And because it’s Star Wars, there’s no detail too small.

“It’s so scrutinized,” Crossman says. “I mean, in most films there’s a broad rule you always take care of [details] because, whatever you don’t want to see, you’re going to end up seeing and whatever you do want to see, you’re not going to see much of. You have to assume that you’re going to see everything, so if you have the time and the budget then you should do your best to sort of make it as detailed as possible. With Lando, you’re hoping the cape’s going to move when he walks around, you’re going to get flashes of that blue against the black cape. It’s all worth it, even if you just see things once. You know there will be somebody, somewhere who will either copy it, or draw it. One of the biggest things about Star Wars, because people love dressing up as Star Wars characters, whenever we’ve got the time, we always try to go as detailed as we can.”

The duo had previously helmed costume design for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which also made some nods to the Vietnam conflict aesthetic to create the gritty world of the early rebellion against the Empire.

“[Director] Gareth [Edwards] wanted this kind of Vietnam War vibe and we were able to apply that to a kind of rebel look and mix in Vietnam looks,” Crossman says, calling his time with Star Wars “a brilliant five years.”

That influence can be felt in the muddy trench scene in Solo, where Val’s utilitarian ropes and carabiners, and the pistol hanging around her neck with a piece of old string, were inspired by Vietcong fighters.

“What we like to see in the cinema is that kind of realism rather than things that look like costumes,” Dillon adds.

“Which is what we’re always striving for, I think,” says Crossman. “And even things like the stormtroopers we re-detailed and we tried to make them kind of more HD-friendly for a modern generation. Because the film was set [just] before A New Hope, you were really there trying to recreate that and add to it as well. Literally, we were asked to go back and play with our toys.”

But in designing Solo, an earlier timeline, new planets, and strikingly different scenarios gave way to a broader scope of costume designs.

Rogue One was very centered on the rebel base and the Death Star,” Crossman says. “Solo takes you all over the place, it goes all over the universe so it just gives you lots of scope and lots of different situations.”

Still, creators behind the new Star Wars films always refer back to the archives and the original masters, like Ralph McQuarrie’s concepts, to keep the new creations feeling authentic.

“Another interesting thing about Lando, in terms of detail, is his second outfit, which is a mostly white outfit and the shirt he’s wearing has a pattern on it,” says Crossman. “In most Star Wars things, you don’t think of there being patterns, but because we wanted to do this kind of Hawaiian shirt look, I got an image from the Ralph McQuarrie book and what’s on the shirt is one of his ships that looks a bit like a bird. I kind of repeated that with a sunset and a little bit of the ocean underneath … so that it’s imbued with the Star Wars-ness of Ralph McQuarrie.”

“And the scarf that Lando wears, the print of that is from a still of Star Wars in A New Hope, when Leia and Luke are going to swing across the chasm in the Death Star,” Crossman adds. “I kind of turned up the contrast all the way up to just the black and the white of the light and that’s the pattern that’s on the scarf. If you want to get a bit meta, he’s wearing the Death Star lights on his scarf.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives May 25, 2018.

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

Hello, What Have We Made Here? A DIY Lando Calrissian Tote

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 15:48

He’s a card player, gambler, scoundrel, and you definitely like him: Of course we’re talking about Lando Calrissian. From his unforgettable first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back to a look at his early days in Solo: A Star Wars Story, there’s something about Lando that is utterly charming and stylish.

Turn a plain white canvas bag into a one-of-kind tote bag inspired by Lando’s bright Solo style with this how-to.

What You’ll Need

  • White canvas tote with black straps
  • Yellow fabric dye
  • Black felt
  • Red satin ribbon
  • White fabric paint
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Hot glue gun

Get Started!

Step 1: Begin by dyeing the white canvas tote yellow by following the directions on the package, and let dry completely.

If you can’t find a tote with black straps and a black bottom, you can use black fabric paint after the bag dries to make the same design.

Step 2: Line up one side of the felt with the black stripe on the right side of the bag. With the chalk and ruler, draw a right-angle triangle on the felt. Cut it out.

Step 3: Trace both edges of the ruler on the felt to make a thick stripe. Cut it out, and then place it on the other side of the black strap. Line it up with the edge of the bag and trim the stripe to fit.

Step 4: Hot glue or stick [if the felt has adhesive backing] the triangle and stripe on the bag. They should approximately line up at the bottom edges on either side of the right strap.

Step 5: Fold and glue one edge of the red satin ribbon to prevent fraying. Then glue the red ribbon around the bottom of the bag, working a few inches at a time. You can cut and fold the other end if you want the ribbon only on the front side of the bag, or glue it around on both sides. Let cool.

Step 6: Use the white fabric paint on the black straps to draw the same small stripes that Lando sports on his stylish scarf. Let dry. Repeat on the back side of the bag if desired, and let dry.

Step 7: Let all paint and glue dry completely, and your Lando tote is complete! Or should we say Lan-tote?

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox, and take a look at her blog the st{art} button for more Star Wars art projects and craft ideas.

We’re Giving Away 5 Alamo Drafthouse Exclusive Solo: A Star Wars Story Glasses

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 14:43

To celebrate the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters May 25the Alamo Drafthouse has once again partnered with Mondo to create a stunning commemorative drinking glass featuring Han, Lando, Chewbacca, and the rest of the new crew, which you can add to your ticket purchase. But as a special thanks to fans, Alamo Drafthouse has smuggled five (5) pint glasses to give away.

To enter for a chance to win, simply tell us the name of the Star Wars character you’re most looking forward to seeing in Solo: A Star Wars Story in the comments below with the hashtag #HanSoloPintSweepstakes and we’ll pick five winners at random. Your comment must include solely the character name and the hashtag to be eligible.

So channel your inner scoundrel, read the official rules below, and good luck!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 5/25/18. Open to 50 US/DC; 18+. Void where prohibited. Rules/odds can be found here.

RULES is giving away five (5) Alamo Drafthouse Mondo Glasses which retail at about $11.91, to five (5) lucky winners! The prize consists of a single Solo: A Star Wars Story glass. To enter for your chance to win, all you have to do is tell us which character you’re most looking forward to seeing in Solo: A Star Wars Story and use #HanSoloPintSweepstakes.

Sweepstakes ends May 25, 2018.

To enter, click “see comments” below this post. You must include#HanSoloPintSweepstakess within your Facebook Comment.

10 Iconic Han Solo Quotes

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 08:00

He’s arrogant. He’s an underdog. Maybe he’s even a bit scruffy-lookin’ on occasion. But there’s a lot more to Han Solo than just his reputation as a scoundrel who, by his own admission, is motivated by the promise of a good payday. In fact, time and again Solo has proven himself to be an invaluable asset to the rebels fighting for a better galaxy. Whether he likes it or not, Han’s a hero with a heart, and the lives he touches throughout the classic Star Wars trilogy — as well as The Force Awakens — are enriched and strengthened by his brash charm.

In this new series for, I’ll be taking another look at my favorite lines in the saga with a focus on individual characters. And since Solo: A Star Wars Story lands in theaters next week on May 25 — which we’re sure will bring many great new Han quotes to the Star Wars lexicon — we’re starting things off with Captain Solo himself.

1. “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs! I’ve outrun Imperial starships, not the local bulk-cruisers, mind you. I’m talking about the big Corellian ships now. She’s fast enough for you, old man.”

Ben Kenobi’s as skeptical of Han’s boasting as Han is of the Force — but this is an important measure of the smuggler’s character. When we first meet him in A New Hope, Han Solo’s down on his luck. He owes a lot of money to a ruthless Hutt, and he’s getting desperate — desperate enough to risk taking on passengers wanted by the Empire. Naturally, he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

2. “Over my dead body.”

Any hobbyist or hot-rodder can sympathize with Han here. He’s not just captain of the Millennium Falcon; his entire sense of self is wrapped up in that battered old YT-model freighter he calls home. When Greedo suggests the Falcon as potential payment for his debts to the gangster Jabba the Hutt, Han is having none of it.

3. “Don’t everybody thank me at once.”

Han and his Wookiee copilot, Chewbacca, find new purpose through their friends in the Alliance. But Han doesn’t shed his tough-guy exterior for just anybody, and he prefers others to believe he holds a high opinion of himself.

4. “It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.”

Although neither of them is as dangerous as they pretend to be in the days before the Battle of Yavin, Chewbacca does have a mighty temper.

5. “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”

When Han Solo meets Luke Skywalker, he doesn’t believe in the Force. This is a key moment in the character’s larger story — a reminder of how much his friendship with Luke Skywalker changes him.

6. “You know, sometimes I amaze even myself.”

For a guy who doesn’t have faith in the mystical, Han has to know how lucky he is. Solo’s got a knack for squeezing his way out of tight spots; he does the impossible and makes it look easy.

7. “Never tell me the odds!”

This is Han’s (slightly angrier) version of Poe’s great mantra: “Happy beeps, buddy.”

8. “Let’s keep a little optimism here.”

In the Star Wars galaxy, whether you put your trust in the teachings of the Jedi or the calculations of a navicomputer, it always pays to have hope. For Han Solo, there’s no situation so grim that a little optimism and a sense of humor won’t win the day.

9. “Chewie, we’re home.”

The Force Awakens gave viewers a lot of touching reunions: Han and Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO — and this scene, in which Han and Chewbacca board the Millennium Falcon for the first time in years.

10. “I used to wonder about that myself. Thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. A magical power holding together good and evil, the dark side and the light? Crazy thing is, it’s true. The Force, the Jedi — all of it. It’s all true.”

Decades after meeting Luke Skywalker, Han Solo’s a different man: older, a bit more world-weary, and much wiser. What once seemed to him “a lot of simple tricks and nonsense,” he realizes, is all too real. He’s seen what the dark side can do firsthand — to Vader, to the galaxy, and to his only son. But he’s also witnessed the heroism and selflessness of a Jedi.

What are your favorite Han Solo quotes? Let us know in the comments below!

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives May 25, 2018.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, SyfyWire, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

Feeling Lucky? Try This Recipe for Han Solo’s Chance Cubes

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 12:35

It was in that fateful game of sabacc [Corellian Spike rules] with the charming Lando Calrissian that the smuggler Han Solo won the fastest ship in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon. The chance cubes from that game hung in the cockpit of the Falcon and proved to be a lucky charm, time and time again.

These edible game tokens are much tastier—made of cake and sweet frosting—featuring the same winning symbols that proved to be a lucky charm over the years. I’ve got a really good feeling about this.

Solo Chance Cubes

What You’ll Need:

Icing Ingredients:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2-3 Tablespoons hot water

Step 1: Use the template to cut the symbols out of fondant. Set aside.

Step 2: Cut the poundcake into 2-inch cubes. Place in the freezer.

Step 3: In a bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, and hot water, whisking until smooth.

Step 4: Dip the frozen pieces of cake into the icing, let set on a wire rack.

Step 5: Add the fondant symbols to the sides of the cube, using icing to hold into place.

Step 6: Once the icing and fondant pieces have set, spray with gold color mist.

Step 7: Let dry, then brush gold luster dust over the cubes to serve.

Get a glimpse of the chance cubes in the featurette below!

Jenn Fujikawa is a lifestyle and food writer. Follow her on Twitter at @justjenn and check her Instagram @justjennrecipes and blog for even more Star Wars food photos.

Poll: What Was Chewbacca’s Greatest Moment?

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 08:00

He may have started out as a walking carpet, but Chewbacca has come a long way since A New Hope. He’s been a co-pilot, a fierce warrior, a rebel hero, and a loyal friend. Before we see a whole lot more Chewie with the upcoming release of Solo: A Star Wars Storylet’s take a look at the Wookiee’s greatest moments so far. Vote for whichever moment you think is best, and if we forgot something big, make sure to mention it in the comments below! All Star Wars, all the time.

7 Things We Learned Inside the Millennium Falcon Experience

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 17:21

There’s something at once awe-inspiring and familiar about walking into the cockpit for the first time.

Bathed in the glow of panels of gleaming buttons and switches, you take a seat at the helm and prepare to make the jump to hyperspace. For a ship that would inspire so many snide remarks, the Millennium Falcon is truly a thing of beauty in its prime. And seated at the controls, if you’re anything like me, you think to yourself, “Chewie, we’re home.”

The Millennium Falcon Experience, a life-size replica of the interior of the ship that made the Kessel Run, is making its penultimate stop this weekend in Salt Lake City. We recently caught up with the Corellian freighter for a tour during a press conference in Los Angeles.

Here are some of the coolest behind-the-scenes details we learned while we were aboard:

It takes a team to build such a fast ship…

The massive site — constructed inside three 40-foot long shipping containers — is a collaboration between builders from BCD (Belgian Prop Builder) and Project X1, with help from Lucasfilm and Pinewood Studios and it’s not the first time they’ve brought the famous ship to life. BCD previously fashioned the seating area out of foam and fabrics for Star Wars Celebration Orlando last year. Kevin Cembolista, a core building from BCD, is also an occasional tour guide.

And sometimes that team works round-the-clock to make it happen.

Este Meza, head of events for Lucasfilm, came up with the concept in October of 2017, but it took months to finish the design, and about six weeks to fully assemble the experience inside the shipping containers. “The biggest challenge was our timeline,” says Meza. “We had agreed to loan our cockpit to be used for a commercial as well as for other video content to support our Solo campaign.” That gave the team just two weeks to build that incredibly important segment of the ship. “A week into the build we learned we actually needed to build the cockpit in our container, then disassemble it so it could be transported and rebuilt on a sound. The Belgian BCD team and I worked ‘round the clock, many nights without any sleep, to make the deadline.”

The holochess table is an official loan.

The table inside the exhibition came from Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco, and was originally inside an office there.

Lando’s bar was painstakingly recreated to match the film.

Almost everything in the bar was exactly as it should be from the set, according to Cembolista. Those fine details include some antique coffee makers that were fully operational before the wiring was removed and greeblies were added for a galactic feel.

“I was amazed at just how many set pieces from Lando’s bar and kitchen the Belgian BCD team was able to research and locate,” Meza adds. “Without any hints from our production team, the Belgian BCD team filled the area with so many pieces it truly felt like Lando could walk in and instantly pour himself a drink.”

A little short for a shipping container.

Casts from the film set of Solo: A Star Wars Story and a ton of reference images were used to recreate the cockpit, down to some of the buttons and switches, which were installed by hand, but because of the sizing restrictions of the containers, some aspects of the cockpit seating were scaled down to fit in the shipping containers, Cembolista says. We’re happy to report the space is still roomy enough for your favorite Wookiee co-pilot.

And some of the buttons are functional!

Although some are there for effect only, a few of the buttons actually operate lights and some of the switches can be moved.

But the best part? The fans.

Meza, who is also an occasional test pilot, says the hard work was completely worth it when he saw the first fans step inside. “Their excitement and pure joy, from all ages, was such a fulfilling experience. We have had fans drive from hundreds of miles away to see this, we have had four generations of a family of fans go inside together, and we even had one marriage proposal in the cockpit!”

The Millennium Falcon Experience lands at the Salt Lake City Megaplex 20 at Jordan Commons, May 18-20, and finishes out its tour in Colorado at the Denver Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Littleton, May 25-27.

Punch it!

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

Star Wars Celebration is Heading to Chicago and The Star Wars Show has the Details

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 15:36

Remove those restraining bolts and pack your bags. Star Wars Celebration, the one-of-a-kind event that welcomes thousands of fans from around the world, will be hosted in a brand new location for its 20th anniversary in 2019, The Star Wars Show exclusively announced today.

Chicago will be setting the stage for fans to celebrate all things Star Wars at McCormick Place on April 11-15, 2019!  Tickets, including multi-day, single-day, and VIP passes, are scheduled to go on sale June 5 at noon CST at

Star Wars Celebration is a fan experience like no other. Each day of the convention is filled with entertainment, celebrity appearances, stage shows, panels, interactive events, exclusive merchandise, screenings and once-in-a-lifetime glimpses into the future of the epic saga.

Check back here soon as we begin announcing more details about guests and events for Star Wars Celebration 2019, produced by Lucasfilm in collaboration with ReedPOP.

And watch this week’s episode for our own small celebration of The Star Wars Show’s own anniversary, a special Be-Han the Scenes tour of Lando’s Falcon with the one and only Pablo Hidalgo, and a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce the red carpet live stream from the Solo: A Star Wars Story world premiere before it arrives May 25, 2018! All Star Wars, all the time.

Unmasking the Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars Creatures and Aliens

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 18:15

Ever since we first stepped inside the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Mos Eisley cantina, Star Wars fans have been enthralled with an endless galaxy of creatures and aliens beyond our wildest dreams.

To achieve these stunning visual effects, artists and creators working on A New Hope used a mix of every makeup, camera, and special effects method they could come up with, and continued to push the boundaries to fearlessly invent new techniques along the way. In the years since, Star Wars films have continued to rise to the challenge, combining CGI with practical effects, populating new worlds with puppets and costumes, and always delivering something new and unique that is unmistakably Star Wars.

But equally important to the magic onscreen are the behind-the-scenes tales that inspire new generations by unmasking the mystery and explaining the amazing techniques that make these creature creations come alive.

In his new book and first in a new series, The Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars: Creatures & Aliens, author Mark Salisbury takes readers on a 40-year journey, from the original trilogy to the newest film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Told in chronological order from the cutting-edge practical effects in the beginning to the strides ahead in CGI for the prequels and beyond, by focusing on Star Wars creatures, the progression of filmmaking and special effects comes alive to showcase the way new achievements in moviemaking magic are shaped by all that came before. But more than simply a history of special effects throughout the saga, the book also provides insights for fans who love to study every behind-the-scenes feature. The latest book was inspired by the likes of The Art of The Empire Strikes Back and The Empire Strikes Back Notebook, and broader looks at film history and DIY effects like Dick Smith’s Monster Make-Up Handbook. “I read those to death when I was a kid,” says Michael Siglain, creative director for Lucasfilm Publishing. “This is a book that I’ve always wanted to see. It’s a behind-the-scenes book for film fans all ages, for fans of monsters and aliens, and for fans of the saga.”

The book includes a treasure trove of photos, fold out features to debunk some of your favorite special effects, and special sketch books that showcase the evolution of some very special characters, like Yoda and Jabba the Hutt, from concept to creation.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the amazing stories and fascinating facts you’ll find between these pages when the book [and the new film] arrive May 25, 2018.  

Bantha fodder

The Tusken Raiders traveled by bantha in single file to hide their numbers, but in reality filmmakers had just one bantha at their disposal — played by a trained elephant named Mardji. For the role, the 8,500-pound animal wore a head mask constructed from chicken wire and foam, horns fashioned from flexible ventilation tubing, and a shaggy overcoat of palm fronds.

What a Wookiee

The original Chewbacca bodysuit was constructed of mohair and yak hair, knit together by make-up artist Stuart Freeborn’s wife, Kay. When the Wookiee returned for The Force Awakens many years later, special effects artist Neal Scanlan and his team tried to use updated methods to achieve a similar effect, but ultimately ended up painstakingly recreating the original concept instead. “There are certain things we consider to be hallowed ground, and Chewie is one of them,” Scanlan says.

With the Cantina Band 

Traveling the galaxy as part of Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes is no easy gig, and neither was acting as the legendary seven-piece cantina band. Each mask had just one small air hole at the mouth for the actors to breathe through. Since it was often covered by an instrument, performers started to collapse on set until a quick-thinking producer, Gary Kurtz, stepped in to poke some air holes into the masks with a box cutter.

You seek Yoda

Over six months in 1978, Yoda transformed from a gnome to something closer to the green Jedi master we know and love. But creature designer Stuart Freeborn had just one day to create the iconic design for the puppet’s expressive face. “I added ridges, as George [Lucas] had described the character as very wise, and I felt that might indicate thought. I also gave the little fellow Einstein’s eyes to really drive home the sense of intelligence,” Freeborn says. When Lucas returned in the afternoon to check on Freeborn’s work, “I covered my eyes, convinced he would hate it,” Freeborn remembers. “He looked at it very carefully and said, ‘Yes! That’s it.’”

His excellency, Jabba the Hutt

It took six people to operate the massive Jabba the Hutt seen in Return of the Jedi, including one person on the slimy gangster’s slug-like tail. Similar techniques are still used today. In The Force Awakens, another six-person team was called upon to operate the 20-foot-long, eight-foot-tall happabore puppet.

Neimoidians to Geonosians

Sometimes new Star Wars concepts are inspired by unused designs from the saga, like Zeb in Star Wars Rebels whose look came from an early Ralph McQuarrie concept for Chewbacca. In Attack of the Clones, the look of the Geonosians came from some of artist Doug Chiang’s favorite unused designs for the original Neimoidians from The Phantom Menace. “That design was too good not to use,” says concept artist Dermot Power.


Inspiration can strike from anywhere. The elegant and skilled cloners of Kamino were an homage to Steven Spielberg, a deliberate nod to the classic alien look from his film Close Encounters. But for the rathtars in The Force Awakens, designers were inspired by a spiky ball intended as a dog’s toy. “Ultimately, in silhouette, that’s what it is: a big round ball with spikes,” says Scanlan.


When designers were working on the beloved porgs from The Last Jedi, concept designer Jake Lunt Davies literally went to the drawing board and created a simple flip-animation book to show how he envisioned the porg’s moving and flying to director Rian Johnson.

And introducing: Rio

In Solo: A Star Wars Story, we meet six-limbed pilot Rio Durrant. The character is a culmination of the movie magic mastery that has come before, combining a CGI face with the practical on-set antics of performer Katy Kartwheel, a four-foot-six acrobat and gymnast. “He is part practical, part digital, so you get the best of both worlds,” says Scanlan.

Check out the trailer for The Moviemaking Magic of Star Wars: Creatures & Aliens below!

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

Paint the Best Star Pilot Planters in the Galaxy

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 08:00

Who really is the best star pilot in the galaxy? Star Wars Rebels’ Hera Syndulla? “One hell of a pilot” Poe Dameron? Or maybe that scoundrel Han Solo? It’s okay if you can’t pick just one — you can choose all three with this craft honoring the best pilots in the galaxy.

These painted pots put the perfect Star Wars spin on your springtime plants with subtle homages to your favorite pilots.

What You’ll Need

  • 3 medium-sized terra cotta clay pots
  • Acrylic paint
    • Black
    • Red
    • Silver
    • Gold
    • Navy blue
    • Forest green
    • Light green
    • Orange
    • Grey
    • Dark brown
  • Painter’s tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes

Get Started!

Poe Dameron

Step 1: Begin by using the painter’s tape to mark the triangle and thin rectangle shapes on Poe’s X-wing helmet. Paint the shapes red, and let dry.

Step 2: Use the painter’s tape to create the rounded rectangle to right of the red shapes, and paint it silver. Let dry.

Step 3: Paint the bottom of the pot with the gold paint, making a stripe about an inch wide around the bottom edge. Let dry.

Step 4: Once the stripes and shapes are all dry, paint the rest of the flower pot black, and set aside to dry. (You may need more than one coat for best coverage.)

Han Solo

Step 1: With the silver paint, paint Han’s hexagonal belt buckle shape in the top rim of the pot. Let dry.

Step 2: Paint the rest of the top rim a dark brown for Han’s belt, and let dry.

Step 3: Draw a rectangle shape with rounded corners on the painter’s tape, and carefully cut it out. This will be your template for the stripes on Han’s pants.

Step 4: Trace five more rounded rectangle shapes for a total of six, and cut them out of the tape. Place the stripes evenly down either side of the pot.

Step 5: Paint the bottom of the pot with the black paint, making a stripe about an inch wide around the bottom edge. Let dry.

Step 6: Paint the rest of the flower pot navy blue. (Don’t completely cover the tape stripes, but you can paint on the edges of them.) More than one coat may be needed. Let dry.

Step 7: Remove the taped stripes, and paint the stripes red. Let all paint dry completely.

Hera Syndulla

Step 1: Paint the top ¼ of the flower pot forest green, bringing the paint just below the top rim. Let dry.

Step 2: Paint a grey strip about one inch thick below the forest green one, and let dry.

Step 3: Paint the bottom of the pot orange (the color of Hera’s flight suit), bringing the paint about one inch above the bottom edge. Let dry.

Step 4: Paint the rest of the pot dark brown, and let dry.

Step 5: Use the light green paint and a thin paint brush to paint the designs on Hera’s lekku on the forest green part of the pot. Let completely dry.


Your flower pots are ready to jump into the cockpit! Well, not quite, but they are ready to put a stylish spin on your window sill or outdoor garden.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox, and take a look at her blog the st{art} button for more Star Wars art projects and craft ideas.

These Solo: A Star Wars Story Cosplayers Met Their Makers at the Red Carpet Premiere

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 13:30

It was 10 a.m., just hours before the Solo: A Star Wars Story world premiere, when Darren Moser slipped into his completed L3-37 cosplay for the first time.

Moser had been scrambling for three months to finish the build in time to line the red carpet in Los Angeles, relying on a few scarce images from Topps trading cards, movie clips, and a single Funko action figure to help guide him on the detailed backside of the new droid.

Luckily, the costume not only fit, but the effect was so stunning Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the actor who brings the self-made droid to life on screen in the film, stopped to joyously appraise his work during the special event.

So did the film’s costume designers, David Crossman and Glyn Dillon.

Moser was among many most impressive fans and cosplayers who lined the red carpet to usher in the world premiere of the new film last week. The event was the culmination of months of hard work by cosplayers to bring the new crew of scoundrels and smugglers to life and gave some the chance to thank their makers in person at the star-studded event.

A couple of scoundrels

Ashleigh Olson, 30, Ventura County, California, and her boyfriend Bryan Morton, 33, Glendale, California, cosplayed the duo of Han Solo and Qi’ra for their first time on a Star Wars red carpet. Then they quickly became a trio when they met their own no-good swindler, Lando cosplayer Ben Iserhien, 19, Orange County, California, at the event and became fast friends.

Olson and Morton said they tore apart ready-made jackets and refashioned them to look like the costumes from the film every time new images became available. “Anything: a standee, a poster, something in a book,  a magazine. We would rip it apart and then add it,” Olson said.

Olson was already a big fan of Emilia Clarke, and was excited to meet the woman who brings Qi’ra to life in the new movie. “Oh, I’m going to cry. This make-up’s gone,” Olson said.

When Clarke spotted Olson’s Qi’ra cosplay, she stopped for a hug while Morton captured the moment on camera. The look on Olson’s face? Pure joy.

Smoothie in a cape

Everything you’ve heard about Iserhien’s Lando cosplay is true. When he first heard about the film, “My first thought was, I want to be cast as Lando,” he said.

Of course, Donald Glover landed the role. “Ok, I’ll be the first to make the costume,” he conceded. From the moment he saw the first character poster, Iserhien worked nonstop to hand stitch the yellow and blue ensemble without the help of a sewing machine. When something wasn’t to his liking, he tore it up and started again, remaking the cape and tie the weekend before the red carpet debut, he said. “I actually finished this on Tuesday,” he said Thursday night, painting the last details onto the black and white tie.

Brandon Jackson, a Rebel Legion leader from California and a longtime Lando fan, also cosplayed the colorful new ensemble in a costume created by his friend and prolific costume maker Dawn Bright. Bright has made over 50 Star Wars costume creations for different costuming groups, including 30 that were Legion firsts. Jackson paused to strike a pose with his own Han, Brent Williams, 27, of Los Angeles, and Val, Elicia Duncan, 32, Pasadena.

“Who doesn’t want to be Han?” Williams said of choosing the cosplay. “I really felt like I had a connection with this one because it was a young Han, starting out and trying to find his place in the world….This costume represents a beginning and I still feel like I’m at a beginning — in my costuming career and in life.”

The belt was the finishing the touch. “It’s not Han without a holster.”

Duncan arguably had the most difficult time pulling off her Val cosplay because there was so little information and few images about the mysterious character played by Thandie Newton.

“I found one single picture,” Duncan said, but she pulled it off. The crowning achievement? When Newton excitedly crossed the red carpet to meet her.

A different kind of droid

As for Moser and his L3 cosplay, you may remember that he was previously featured here for building a brilliant K-2SO puppet. This time, he donned 4-inch platform heels and salvaged astromech parts, including legs and vents, to become Lando’s droid sidekick. Unlike his previous build, Moser hadn’t seen the film yet when he put the finishing touches on this cosplay. “It’s a little bit of guessing but it’s a really great character,” Moser said. “I think she’s going to find her own fandom.”

Moser’s towering silhouette was rivaled only by the mighty Chewbacca, an impressively furry creation worn by cosplayer Daniel Young, and the actor who portrays the beloved Wookiee in the new film, Joonas Suotamo.

Moser was intrigued by hints that L3 was unlike any droid that had come before, from her asymmetrical and cobbled together look — including a different number of fingers on each hand — to her fascination with droid rights, he said.

“You see all the familiar but it’s in a very new way, which is intriguing. What’s her story? Why does she look like this?”

You’ll have to see the film to find out.

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives May 25, 2018.

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

We’re Putting Together a Crew: Meet the Cast and Creators of Solo: A Star Wars Story

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 08:00

Ron Howard has long been a fan of Star Wars, and he knows his fellow fans of the galaxy far, far away genuinely care about the stories, characters, and the lore that binds them.

That also goes for the other creators making new films today, like the highly-anticipated Solo: A Star Wars Story, which Howard directed. “It’s a blast because the people around a movie like Solo are so dedicated to not just what’s existed before but what else they can do,” Howard says.

Still, the experience wasn’t without its challenges. “I’m at a point in my life where I like experimenting, I like to take some chances.” When he got the chance to direct Solo, he told himself: “Ron, don’t [mess] this up.”

On Saturday, the cast and crew of Solo: A Star Wars Story gathered in Los Angeles to talk about creating new characters, share insights from the set, and discuss honoring the original people who brought a certain scruffy looking nerfherder and his co-pilot to life.

On honoring the originals

For Solo scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan, everything he needed to know about Han Solo’s character came from the first time he saw A New Hope. “This is the kind of character that I have loved always,” Kasdan says. “This is a character who’s reckless, who’s cynical, doesn’t trust anybody. He’s a little bit stupid. I love that. He just does things he shouldn’t do. He gets in over his head.” And while the new film builds upon that, the multifaceted personality was captured in the first Solo scene in George Lucas’s original film. “You can see it in the brilliance of George’s cantina scene. It’s just a few minutes and you get everything about who this guy is.”

Earlier in the day Saturday, Harrison Ford had surprised Alden Ehrenreich, walking up behind the new film’s titular star during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. It wasn’t the first time they met. Two years ago, Ehrenreich and Ford had lunch to talk about passing the baton on the iconic role. “He was really encouraging, really supportive,” Ehrenreich says. And Ford has given the finished film his blessing since the world premiere on Thursday. “It’s just such a huge deal to have him really genuinely love it.”

Ehreneich also studied up on Ford’s performance after landing the part. “The way I went about it pretty much was to watch the original movies very early on and just kind of absorb as much as I could both of, you know, I think mainly the character, how the character operated in the world and Harrison and the whole Star Wars universe, which is so rich and there’s so much to it. So I tried to kind of take in as much of that as I could very early…and then move into working on the part and kind of put all of that aside and forget about it and play this guy where he is now in his life because the most important thing is that it feels like a real person.”

To embody the mighty Chewbacca, Joonas Suotamo went to Wookiee boot camp, training alongside the actor who portrayed the original walking carpet. “Peter Mayhew, who created this character with George Lucas, has been so instrumental, giving me his blessing and giving me some tips in our weeklong session together on how to be this character,” Suotamo says. “I never could have understood what went on underneath the mask of Peter Mayhew…It was so important to get right in this film.”

On how the film has changed the lives of the actors playing Han, Chewie, and Lando

“It’s really wild, really exciting, bigger than you could wrap your head around and it’s wonderful particularly being in the Millennium Falcon,” Ehrenreich says of becoming Solo. “You kind of get in and you can’t believe you’re in it and it’s so surreal…and then a couple of months into shooting, you’re inside of it, you’re flying, and you know where the buttons are.”

Donald Glover’s father was a huge Lando fan, and the then 7-year-old Glover also loved the character. So when he first heard about the film, he knew he wanted to be a part of it. He called up his agent and said, “If they’re making anything with Lando in it, I have to be Lando,” he says.

His agent was skeptical. “I hear you, I don’t like your odds.”

Suotamo was living with his mother when he got the chance to play the towering Wookiee. “I really couldn’t sleep at night and I was so excited,” he says. “This was a life changer for me. I was borderline jobless…My now fiancée, then girlfriend, has seen me go from living with my mom to becoming Chewbacca. That’s the span of our relationship.”

On creating the new crew

The story also introduces several new characters including Emilia Clarke as the mysterious Qi’ra, Thandie Newton as Val, Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the self-made droid L3-37, Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett and Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos.

“It was really fun,” Clarke says. “It’s pretty difficult to talk about because she is completely mysterious.” The film also leaps forward in time, skipping ahead three years after audiences first meet the young Qi’ra. “When we find her again, she seems to have lived a pretty dark life,” Clarke says.

Bettany says Howard helped him find his character’s personality with a single whispered word: oligarch. “And I went, ‘Got it!’” After working on the Avengers: Infinity War, where he played the heroic Vision, Bettany relished getting to play a villain. “It was just lovely to play someone…Just somebody who is deliciously bad and really OK with it,” he says. “No guilt…Just super happy about being evil.”

But Bettany admits he was wooed by Chewbacca on his first day on set. “The problem was I had to shake hands with Chewbacca and I started shaking his hand and…I went in for a cuddle,” he says, miming a hug.

Harrelson’s character is inspired by western gunslingers. “It was a really easy character for me to play because he’s a scoundrel,” Harrelson jokes. “He was really well written…Larry Kasdan really wrote an extraordinary script and just at the right time Ron came in and did his magic.”

Plus he was just happy to be included in the galaxy. “It’s pretty cool getting to be in Star Wars.”

Thandie Newton says shooting could get messy, especially during muddy battle sequences. “We would have fun, we’d be in really extreme situations sometimes,” she says. “Mud in places you didn’t even know you had places.” But the cast always kept each other laughing. “The camaraderie between us was just humor…Some of the stuff that you share and just taking the piss out of each other all the time.” And just like in the Star Wars universe, not everything went according to plan during shooting. “Things would go wrong,” Newton says. “A lot going wrong, by the way.”

Waller-Bridge’s L3 is unlike any other droid seen before in the Star Wars universe. “She’s a self-made droid so she created herself out of parts of other droids.

“She’s got a great attitude…she’s fearless, she’s uncensored, she’s very funny, and she’s a revolutionary. She has an agenda, which is bigger than the sum of her parts.”

And the writers revealed Waller-Bridge also helped contribute to the character’s personality and her lines, including a retort about equal rights for droids. “It’s a real treat to work with everyone on this panel,” Jonathan Kasdan says. “You write situations and then have performers and writers in their own right who can contribute a better idea on top of what you created is a big part of it. It makes us look good and it makes everybody feel good.…That is the perfect example of something that feels totally true to her character.”

On the importance of the Star Wars universe

Newton brought her young son to the set on her first day, and he immediately gravitated toward an R2-D2 puppet on set. After the two chatted — the boy gabbing in toddler speak while the puppeteer behind the astromech responded in beeps and bloops — “It ended, I kid you not, with my son hugging R2-D2,” Newton says. “This is the stuff that dreams are made of…. These characters have a kind of magnetism that is unparalleled.” Newton herself remembers the magic of seeing the unforgettable opening crawl of Star Wars for the first time. “This stuff like imprints on your psyche. I think it goes so far beyond even us as filmmakers.”

On the biggest surprises

Howard says the film has more in common with Indiana Jones than the traditional Star Wars saga film, because it’s more character driven. Even big action sequences, while technically complicated and complex, would “really be about testing Han Solo,” he says “What does this mean? What does this tell us about Han Solo? It sort of defined the way the action scenes would be cut, would be shot and roll out. It was challenging, but it was really fun and exciting. The big surprise for me is what a blast it was.”

Glover enjoyed Lando’s cape armoire, even if he didn’t get to bring any of the custom costumes home with him after the film wrapped. But he did get a memento. “The fur cape I had, they had extra material, and they made a pillow out of it for me,” he says. “Now I have a pillow that I try and wear as a cape.”

On making Solo their own

Howard, who came on midway through shooting, says he approached the tale as if it were inspired by true events. “I immediately said, you know, I’m going to treat this like a true story. I’ve done a lot of true stories. And I’m going to get technical advisors….I’m a fan and I always appreciated the movies, but I’m not encyclopedic,” Howard says. “I don’t know everything, I haven’t seen everything, I haven’t read everything. And so I came into the situation and immediately of course I started working more off of instinct than anything else.”

Jonathan Kasdan says he wanted to script to reflect the gray area between right and wrong. “Star Wars so often, and almost really up to this moment, has been a very classic story of the dark and the light, good and evil, and we saw this as an opportunity…to really make a character movie where every character had some ambiguity to them,” he says.

His father and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan has been part of Star Wars storytelling since he penned The Empire Strikes Back. “George had set up something that could go off in many different directions and it would be wonderful for a long time. And I’ve never really changed my opinion. It happens to be a Star Wars story, but always first we’re trying to tell a story that will keep you interested.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives May 25, 2018.

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

We Love Forces of Destiny Season 2 – Part 4

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 12:17

Luke and Leia. Finn and Rey. Ahsoka and Ezra.

The second season of Star Wars Forces of Destiny is all about reuniting beloved characters in the latest exciting animated shorts available now on Disney’s YouTube channel.

Scroll down to see the last three episodes and read up on our favorite highlights and memorable moments celebrating life’s smaller victories and the way our everyday choices ultimately shape us. Then tell us what you think of the new episodes from Star Wars Forces of Destiny, which will debut on the Disney Channel in a TV special on May 25.

Episode: “Perilous Pursuit”

In a relentless snowspeeder chase across Starkiller Base, Rey and Finn work together to make their escape.


The jacket!

We love when these shorts act as deleted scenes to our favorite films and this one is no exception. Now we finally know why Rey was briefly wearing Finn’s jacket in The Force Awakens! Her Jakku garb isn’t quite warm enough for a daring escape on snowy Starkiller Base.

Switch places. 

Are you sure you don’t want Rey to fly? Sorry, Finn, but navigating the forest requires the kind of piloting skill that our favorite scavenger is known for.


And outsmarting the First Order with perfectly aimed blaster fire? That’s a job for Big Deal himself.

Episode: “Traps and Tribulations”

Luke and Leia work together to help a pair of Ewoks by resetting their traps to stop a rampaging creature.


The Gorax. It’s a trap! And Luke is the bait. Didn’t he just leave this party in the rancor pit on Tatooine? Luke igniting his lightsaber… Mark Hamill returns to voice the iconic hero and wields the green blade he fashioned for himself. And sharing the elegant weapon with his twin sister. Leia with a lightsaber! Need we say more?

Episode: “A Disarming Lesson”

Ahsoka encourages Ezra to find his inner strength during a lightsaber training exercise.


Jedi Master Snips?

When she left Anakin and the order, she was but the learner. And even though she’s no Jedi, Ahsoka proves that she could have been a great master and teacher.

Kanan never taught him like this!

The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. But Ezra is not a Jedi yet, and in this vignette he still has much to learn.

A valuable lesson.

If Ezra concentrates, he can anticipate and evade an opponent even without a weapon. It’s an important exercise in finding multiple solutions to the problem at hand.

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

Latest Look at Solo: Meet Enfys Nest, See Qi’ra in Action, and More!

Thu, 05/10/2018 - 14:51

It’s a classic showdown: Enfys Nest versus Han Solo and his crew.

A quick and subtle gesture and Han is ready to reach for the blaster at his side, despite Beckett’s calm and stern warning. What’s a scoundrel to do? Same thing he always does. Talk his way out of it.

We’re just hours away from the world premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and while we continue the countdown, there are a few all-new clips from the film to enjoy!

Big problem!

In the clip, “Enfys Nest,” we see Han show off his patented bravado and hear Enfys Nest speak!

New Val and Qi’ra footage!

When has Han ever steered you wrong? In the TV spot, “Lieutenant,” we spend a little more time getting to know some new characters, including glimpses of Val and Qi’ra in action.

“You made that move. OK.”

Before the standard wisdom was to let the Wookiee win, we see Beckett schooling Chewie on the art of strategy in the new clip “Holochess.”

“It’s Han, but that’s OK.”

Everything you’ve heard about Lando is true, and we learn a little bit more about the first time Han meets his buddy in the new clip, “Han Meets Lando.”

Punch it!

And in the TV spot “Risk,” there’s a lesson to be learned.

Check back at 5 p.m. PT on for our red carpet live stream, presented by NISSAN, from the world premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story in Los Angeles.

Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives May 25, 2018. All Star Wars, all the time.

Quiz: Which Lando Calrissian Outfit Should You Wear?

Thu, 05/10/2018 - 14:00

Lando Calrissian is one dapper dude. Not that we had any doubt, but Donald Glover certainly confirmed it with his recent tour of Lando’s Millennium Falcon. Have you ever wondered which of the smooth-talking smuggler’s get-ups would be the ideal fashion choice for you? Find out now with our new quiz below and make sure to catch all of Lando’s new and undeniably cool outfits in Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters May 25! All Star Wars, all the time. 



A Landspeeder Action Figure Set Fit for a Scoundrel

Thu, 05/10/2018 - 13:28
Buckle up, baby. Join the new crew as a driver with Han's Landspeeder, complete with movie sound effects and lines.

Choose Han Solo’s Destiny: Writer Cavan Scott and Artist Elsa Charretier Discuss Their Charming New Book

Thu, 05/10/2018 - 12:51

There are a lot of great books for all ages coming out to coincide with the release of the new movie Solo: A Star Wars Story, but in only one of them can readers choose their destiny and control the direction of the story itself. Star Wars: Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure is the first of a series of new books from Lucasfilm Press.

Readers must make decisions for Han Solo and Chewbacca, faced with multiple problems after their delivery to Jabba the Hutt goes awry. The book is aimed at young readers (ages 6-8) but like all Star Wars stories, readers of any age can dive in to experience their own Star Wars story.

Writer Cavan Scott and artist Elsa Charretier [first-time collaborators who have both worked on stories for the IDW comic series Star Wars Adventures] emailed recently with about how they created this new and unique adventure story for the captain and co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon. Did you read gamebooks [international titles where readers are able to change the direction of the story at various points] as a child? If so, did you have any favorites?

Cavan Scott: Oh absolutely. For me, it was the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone in the early 80s. I was given the first one, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and became an avid collector of the series. I love the fact that they’re getting a renaissance now.

Elsa Charretier: I have to admit that if I did, I don’t remember. I was mostly into bande dessinée [comics and graphic novels] growing up. Cavan, you have written several Star Wars books for young readers in the Adventures in Wild Space series, but had you ever written a gamebook before?

Cavan Scott: No, this was my first time, but I’d always wanted to write one. Back in the mid-2000s I used to edit a number of Disney kid’s magazines over here in the UK. I was always pitching original gamebooks as covermount gifts. I almost got to write a Pirates of the Caribbean one, but the timing didn’t work out. That said, I’m glad that my first gamebook was for Star Wars! Did Lucasfilm Press approach you about writing a Star Wars gamebook or was this by any chance a suggestion from you?

Cavan Scott: We were talking about me writing some straight chapter books to follow on from the Adventures in Wild Space series, each featuring different iconic Star Wars characters. Along the way, Lucasfilm came up with the suggestion that we make them gamebooks to add an interactive element. Each would have one canon path which would be part of the character’s official life, with lots of left-turns along the way. I jumped at the chance. Elsa, is this the first book you have done illustrations for? Were there any major differences in your process creating cover art and illustrations for this book than your usual work process for comics or graphic novels?

Elsa Charretier: I do cover work pretty regularly, but this was my first illustration book, yes. It’s a completely different approach than comic book storytelling, and one I found really refreshing. Most of the time, since comic book covers are done so much in advance, artists have very little idea of what’s actually happening in the book. So we try our best to come up with a unique approach to the character with little material. Working on the gamebook was the complete opposite. I knew everything about the challenges the characters were facing, the setting, even dialogue. Then, it’s a matter about choosing the right picture to tell as much as possible and hopefully completes Cavan’s great story. I loved reading Han saying my favorite line from the Solo trailer — “I’ve good a good feeling about this” — right at the beginning of the book! Are there any crossovers between this book and the new movie?

Cavan Scott: In fact, there were a number of coincidences along the way. The first outline I put through mirrored events in Solo without me knowing, so tweaks had to be made! Tell us a bit about the new characters introduced in this book – Nodo, Meecha Odon, Lallani etc.

Cavan Scott: Nodo owns an interplanetary chop shop on a remote jungle planet. He receives stolen ships and breaks them down into parts or changes their registration to sell them on. He has a small band of mechanics and engineers who don’t ask too many questions, and has sidelines in various other criminal activities from kidnapping to blackmail. Meech is a young Twi’lek who works for him, and takes an interest in the Falcon as soon as Han and Chewie arrive on Nodo’s planet.

Lallani is a Quarren crime boss, who has employed Nodo’s services from time to time. She is ruthless and definitely knows how to hold a grudge, especially against her rivals in the galactic underground. She also knows how such feuds can also come home to roost so surrounds herself with highly trained Mandalorian mercenaries. Is Nodo a new alien species in the Star Wars universe and if so what was your inspiration for the look of this character? Did you pass on any visual inspirations for this character to Elsa for her illustrations?

Cavan Scott: I was asked to provide a series of illustration briefs for Elsa, which included Nodo who, yes, is a member of an as-yet-unnamed race. This is what I sent: “Nodo is a tall reptilian as tall as Chewbacca, with four muscular arms, a thick neck and green scales. His eyes are like that of a snake, as he has a wide mouth full of crocodile-teeth. He has a blaster in one of his hands, and a tool belt hanging from his hip.”

I just love Elsa’s interpretation. I certainly don’t think we’ve seen the last of him!

Elsa Charretier: Cavan’s descriptions were short, but very straightforward and I was able to start working on characters before talking to him. I think it’s sometimes best to come with your own idea on what the writer is suggesting. Because it is your own interpretation of their words, it might spark new ideas, things the writer hadn’t thought about. After that, of course, collaboration is key. Although you want to be able to bring your personality to a project, you also want to respect the writer’s view.

Regarding the design itself, it’s mostly about figuring out what the character projects. Simple shapes will tell you a lot about a character personality. Curvy shapes are considered friendliest and will evoke likable characters, square-like shapes convey stability and confidence, and triangular shapes are common in villains/bad guys designs. I tried to instill a little bit of basic theory in all their designs. Cavan, why did you decide to have some new characters from established Star Wars alien species [Twi’lek and Quarren] while other characters were new to the Star Wars universe [Skreech as a Hoopaloo for instance]? I’m also curious about the Lammaxian turkeys and if they had ever shown up in a Star Wars story before.

Cavan Scott: Whenever I write Star Wars I try to balance the reappearance of familiar species with the introduction of new aliens. While you need recognizable creatures, I think it’s important that not every alien is something we’ve seen before. It’s a big galaxy out there, teaming with life on thousands of worlds. Always having characters coming up against familiar species not only gets boring, it makes the Star Wars universe seem smaller. We don’t want the likes of Han or Chewie to have seen everything already. There needs to be surprises for our heroes and, in turn, the readers too.

The scruffy Lammaxian turkeys make their first appearance in the book, although Lammax itself was mentioned in the Star Wars roleplaying game back in 1997. I love dropping little references in like this, and who knows, perhaps the Lammaxian turkeys will become a delicacy the galaxy over. Were the new characters easier or more challenging to draw than beloved characters like Han and Chewie?

Elsa Charretier: Easier, definitely. Iconic characters like Han and Chewie can be a challenge, honestly. First, there’s this voice going in a loop in your mind “You better not screw that up!” And there are already hundreds of interpretations of those two. Some absolutely brilliant. So, of course, it’s a lot of pressure. Were you working on the art for this book at the same time Cavan was writing it or did you get to read the book first?

Elsa Charretier: I had the chance to read a full script before I started laying out the illustrations. I didn’t know what to expect at all, and I loved it. I read the entire script in one sitting and I couldn’t wait to get to the board. Artists work long hours, it’s a grueling profession, and you need that fire, that energy that pushes you to keep going. Working on illustrations without any context is tough for me, because I’m less invested, but Cavan’s script was so much fun I had an incredible time on this book. I loved the dynamic reds and oranges used in the illustrations for the new unnamed planet in Han & Chewie. Did you test out different shades of red and orange for this project or did you always know you wanted to use bold colors?

Elsa Charretier: I rarely color my work, and when I do, since I’m not a colorist, I go as simple as possible. My style is cartoony and I’ve always found that bold colors worked best. So that was definitely the original intent, but I went a different direction at the beginning. More purple and pink shades than reds. After talking with the editorial team, we went for what you can see in the final illustrations. And it’s definitely for the best! Are there any illustrations you created for this book that didn’t make the final version of the book?

Elsa Charretier: All of them made the cut but we did change the format on one of them. On one picture Han and Chewie were surrounded by Mandalorians, and in the final picture, we pulled closer on our two heroes and kept the bounty hunters out of the shot. There are over twenty possible outcomes to this story. How did you organize your work for this project and not get completely lost?

Cavan Scott: I had a big flow-chart that mapped out all the possible solutions and outcomes. Everything was color-coded from the correct canon path to all the off-shoots. The trick was not to get carried away. It would have been all too easy to give the story over fifty outcomes, maybe even more, but one of the tasks in writing a book like this is to drop in clues about the way the story should run, so if readers find themselves guiding Han and Chewie into a sticky situation, they can go back and make different choices to lead the story through to its logical conclusion. Do you have any hints for readers about how to answer the questions [go with your gut, etc.]?

Cavan Scott: Try to think like Han and remember that everyone’s favorite scoundrel doesn’t always follow the most heroic path, especially this early on in his life.

Amy Richau is a writer, lifelong Star Wars geek, and diehard Denver Broncos fan. You can find her on Twitter @amyrichau and more of her writing on FANgirl Blog.