Wednesday 30 September 2015

Star Wars soundtracks to be reissued on vinyl

The original Star Wars soundtrack was the first vinyl LP I owned at the age of six. It started a soundtrack odyssey that continues to this day.

It became a tradition to listen to the soundtrack weeks before the next Star Wars movie opened in UK cinemas. The rare spoiler track title - Ben's Death and Qui-Gon's Noble End - didn't detract from my enjoyment of the upcoming movie. If anything; it further fuelled my anticipation and excitement for the next installment in George Lucas' space opera.

Sony Classical is reissuing a vinyl and CD box set 8th January 2016. Just weeks after JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens opens in cinemas around the world.

The ultimate vinyl collection is available for pre-order.

What are your first memories of hearing the Star Wars soundtrack? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 25 September 2015

Hayden Christensen to return as Darth Vader?

Hayden Christensen may reprise his role as Darth Vader and/or Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VIII, directed by Rian Johnson, if this news tidbit is to be believed!

Making Star Wars was told that: “a team in the U.K. are soon heading to the U.S. to begin training Hayden Christensen for a Star Wars: Episode VIII appearance of some sort.”

There's been much conjecture regarding what role, if any, Anakin Skywalker might play in Disney's new trilogy. This follows the second teaser trailer for The Force Awakens in which Luke describes his father as having the force in the current tense. A force ghost a la Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy? Maybe.

Gareth Edwards' Rogue One is set prior to the events in A New Hope and there's no reason not to envisage Darth Vader making a cameo in the first Star Wars Anthology film, too. An alleged on set sighting of Darth Vader's helmet and working chest piece has only fuelled more rumours. The character has most recently appeared in the brilliant Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD and in Marvel comics.

Either way. Looks like the Dark Lord of the Sith is set to return to a multiplex theatre near you.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Jurassic World director hints at Star Wars

Director Colin Trevorrow hinted at the scope of his upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX in an interview for the Jurassic Park fan podcast Jurassic Cast.

“I obviously can’t talk too much about Star Wars, but the idea of that ‘Universe,’ that word gets thrown around a lot as far as movies are concerned and what people are building, that one’s an actual universe. I think that the size and scope of that. Every kind of story we can think of can be told in the Star Wars universe, because it is endless and boundless.”

I waxed lyrically about how Trevorrow rekindled my enthusiasm for Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park franchise in my review for Jurassic World. Can't wait to see what he does with the final chapter in Disney's new Star Wars trilogy, which begins with JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens this December.

In other Star Wars news. Principal photography on Episode VIII has begun with director Rian Johnson (Looper) filming Mark Hamill's scenes at Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of Southern Island, which is featured in The Force Awakens and is rumoured to be Luke Skywalker's hideaway.

Monday 21 September 2015

Original Star Wars trilogy theatrical cuts on Blu-ray?

Disney's about to release brand new steelbook editions of the entire Star Wars saga on Blu-ray disc, ahead of The Force Awakens theatrical release this December, and there's a rumour the Mouse House may bring the original theatrical cuts to the silver platters in the future, too!

That's according to director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) during a Q&A promoting the American Werewolf maze that's opening at Universal Studios in Orlando.

Landis dropped this bombshell. "Did you know Disney, by the way, is putting out the original Star Wars the way it was? So, Disney, they’re like, money on the floor.",

The rights to the distribution of the original trilogy do not revert to Disney until 2020 and Twentieth Century Fox retains the rights to A New Hope in perpetuity. Presumably some kind of deal would have to be struck before the movies could be shown theatrically or made available to the home market. There's a commercial impetus in view of Disney's sizeable investment in Lucasfilm and its most successful franchise.

Would you like to see the original trilogy sans special editions? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 18 September 2015

Jenna Coleman confirms she's leaving Doctor Who

Jenna Coleman confirms she's leaving the BBC's time-travelling series Doctor Who after three years aboard the TARDIS.

"I have left the Tardis - it's happened," she told BBC Radio 1 on Friday, following reports earlier this week. "I've filmed my last scenes."

The actress who has played Clara - in various guises - since her surprise cameo in Asylum of the Daleks, arguably one of the best episodes of the series to date, went on to say:

"It's been in the works for a very long time," she said, "[Writer] Steven [Moffat] and I sat down a year and a half ago and tried to work out the best place to do it and tell a really good story.

"We're not going to give any details but it will happen at some point this season... We worked out a really good story arc out so hopefully people will love it."

I, for one, will miss Soufflé Girl. Ms Coleman had great chemistry with both co-stars Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. And wish her every success for the future.

Who would you like to see play the Doctor's next companion or do you think Capaldi should fly solo for a while? Let me know in the comments below.

The news series of Doctor Who begins tomorrow on BBC 1 at 7:40PM.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Kylo and the Knights of Ren

The villains in Star Wars always look cooler than the good guys and that tradition continues in The Force Awakens. Enter dark knight Kylo Ren.

"He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren," director JJ Abrams told Entertainment Weekly in August.

"He is not your prototypical moustache-twirling bad guy. He is a little bit more complex than that, and it was a great joy to work with Adam Driver on this role, because he threw himself into it in a deep and remarkable way."

"He's full of emotion," added writer Lawrence Kasdan. "No matter how we express ourselves in the world, whether we hide it and act very calm or whether we're very out there and demonstrative, everybody's roiling with emotion. And you want your characters to be that way, too."

Kylo Ren isn't a Sith according to director JJ Abrams. So does this make him an über Darth Vader fanboy as implied in the second teaser trailer? This could be an interesting plot twist, if true, and has prompted a theory I have regarding the fate of another character and their story arc in the new trilogy.

Do you think Kylo Ren is a Sith? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 14 September 2015

The Rock n' Roll Doctor on his companion Clara

In the new issue of Radio Times magazine Doctor Who co-stars, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, talk about the relationship between the Doctor and Clara and their own friendship.

“It has no equivalent in TV or fiction, a friendship between an alien creature and an extremely bright, clever and brave young woman,” says Capaldi. “It’s unusual for a man of my age to be friendly with such a youthful lady. She wants to go out into the universe and enjoy herself, happy to be reckless and in danger.

“I was so lucky it was Jenna because it might not have worked with anyone else. It’s tricky to come into a long-established show, especially as the lead, and Jenna has proved to be a wonderful actress and friend.”

The new issue of Radio Times is on sale from Tuesday 15th September.

With only days to go until the new series starts, the BBC has announced episode titles on Twitter.

Friday 11 September 2015

Doctor Who faces exile in prologue to Series 9

It's just over a week until new Doctor Who adventures begin on television and the BBC has posted an official two-minute prologue to series 9.

The Sisterhood of Karn, last seen in the lauded mini-episode The Night of the Doctor, mark their mysterious return as the Doctor seemingly faces exile in the new series.

The two-part premiere features Missy and the Daleks in various nostalgic incarnations from the series' rich history.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One at 7:40PM on Saturday 19th September! International readers, please check local listings.

Looking forward to new adventures in space and time? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

100 days to go until Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Save the date UK-based Star Wars fans. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens 17th December. This means cinema audiences get to see the new movie one day in advance of the US.

This news follows in the wake of Force Friday, which saw merchandise for the new movie released globally. Sphero's app-enabled droid, BB-8, is sold out in many stores and is set to become the must-have toy this holiday season.

France gets to see the adventures of Finn, Rey, BB-8 and old friends on the 16th December.

It's exactly 100 days to go until the UK premiere. Booking tickets for a day-one screening? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 7 September 2015

Hot Toys' First Order Stormtrooper

Hot Toys has opened pre-orders for its awesome First Order Stormtrooper (affiliate link) collection. Can the company do no wrong?

What did you buy during Force Friday? I've just received my order for Elite Series Die-Cast action figure Captain Phasma and BB-8 by Sphero from the Disney Store.

Friday 4 September 2015

Design By Humans releases The Force Awakens apparel

Design By Humans has launched officially licensed Star Wars: The Force Awakens apparel for Force Friday!

Fans and collectors can choose from an amazing high quality collection encompassing beloved characters from the original trilogy and new characters from The Force Awakens including BB-8, Finn, Rey and, my personal favourite, Kylo Ren.

To celebrate Labor Day weekend in the US. Use coupon code LABORDAY and save 15% off with no minimum spend, save 20% & free shipping when you spend $75, save 25% & free shipping when you spend $100. Offer good through 14th September.

Shop Design By Humans for official The Force Awakens apparel today!

This blog post is sponsored by Design By Humans and as such I may receive compensation for any referrals.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Many unboxings on Force Friday, there will be

Tomorrow is Force Friday! When merchandise for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is unleashed across the globe in partnership with retailers including Toys "R" Us, Target and World of Disney stores.

“Star Wars toys have always played an important role in how our fans interact with the saga,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says. The new products “will continue that tradition.”

Fans will be able to watch an official unboxing live stream on YouTube.

Will you be posting an unboxing video? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Play the Star Wars Battlefront Beta this October

Publisher EA has announced a Star Wars Battlefront Beta for early October.

"Coming early October to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and on Origin for PC, the Star Wars Battlefront Beta* is a technical test and will feature Walker Assault on Hoth, a 40-player multiplayer battle featuring Rebels and the Empire. Walker Assault will also give you the chance to play as two of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars™ universe: Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The Beta will also feature our Survival Mission on Tatooine, where you and a Rebel friend must fight back waves of Imperial forces."

The multiplayer beta will be open to everyone.

A companion app for iOS and Android devices will be available prior to the release of Star Wars Battlefront on 17th November.

Excited for Star Wars Battlefront? Let me know in the comments below.