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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

EPISODE VIII: AT THE LONDON ROYAL EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF 'THE LAST JEDI'

Image: 'The Dark Side Wizard'

STAR WARS AFICIONADO Editor Scott Weller, forty years a fan (and now starting to feel like some kind of bizarre 'Legacy' character himself), was proud to attend last night's hugely enjoyable, glitz and glamour-packed, truly magical Royal European Premiere of The Last Jedi at London's red-light soaked Royal Albert Hall, of which pretty much the entire main cast were present to launch the film and meet the Royal brothers (who also make cameos as Stormtroopers in a key movie scene). It was particularly special seeing Mark Hamill at the red carpet, once again, and, more deservedly than ever, firmly back in the limelight for this movie. Believe me, his performance in The Last Jedi is superb- a true cinematic career best so far.

A detailed review for the film and a celebration of key scenes will follow on this site by Christmas. But some early thoughts... George Lucas's presence and genuine creative inspirations remains much-missed by this reviewer, but Rian Johnson proves himself a worthy successor to the work done by J.J. Abrams on The Force Awakens. Though it possesses a slightly sluggish and unevenly structured middle act, The Last Jedi ultimately triumphs thanks to its bigger-than-ever spectacular action and very emotional ring-true character moments (light and dark side) that will prove unforgettable to fans, especially relating to Luke and Leia. Carrie Fisher's final onscreen work is genuinely affecting.

AFICIONADO RATING: 4 out of 5

Early spoiler-ish-free reviews:

The closest to AFICIONADO's views on the film: http://ew.com/movies/2017/12/12/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review/

Other reviews:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5172263/Star-Wars-Jedi-best-distance.html

Alternate Mail review: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5172099/Star-Wars-Jedi-review.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-reviews/star-wars-last-jedi-review-11681473

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/star-wars-8-the-last-jedi-review-critics-reaction-spoilers-free-rian-johnson-adam-driver-carrie-a8106231.html

https://www.ok.co.uk/movies/1253152/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review-daisy-ridley-mark-hamill-anthony-daniels-john-boyega-isaac-gracie

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/star-wars-last-jedi-review-reviews/

https://www.buzzexpress.co.uk/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review-1/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/dec/12/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review-episode-viii-rian-johnson

EPISODE VIII: ON THE RED CARPET OF 'THE LAST JEDI's EUROPEAN PREMIERE!

Daisy and Mark launch The Last Jedi.

America gave it its World Premiere, and now it's time for the UK to launch The Last Jedi into Europe with even greater flair, as well as closing the saga's Fortieth Anniversary celebrations on a satisfying high.

https://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-news/star-wars-the-last-jedi-premiere-princes-william-and-harry-join-cast-as-john-boyega-brings-whole-a3718001.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5172117/Daisy-Ridley-wows-Star-Wars-Jedi-UK-premiere.html

Daisy Ridley sparkles.

John Boyega gives it his all!

The Princes are reunited with BB-8.

It may be cold weather, but Kelly Marie Tran is warmly supported by fans.

Joonas Suotamo is a worthy new Chewbacca for the saga.

Gwendoline Christie with her chaps!

Laura Dern remains delightfully quirky as ever!

Oscar Isaac lights the Resistance fire in the new film.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5174817/Star-Wars-party-Princes-Harry-Williams-home.html

Getting a well deserved 'hiss-boo!' for his character on the Royal Albert Hall stage: Adam Driver.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5174959/Daisy-Ridley-doubted-ability-reprise-Star-Wars-role.html

The man, the myth, the all-round great guy: Mark Hamill.

Prince Harry gets his Stormtrooper helmet!

https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/films/891382/Star-Wars-8-The-Last-Jedi-premiere-live-stream-Royal-Albert-Hall-Mark-Hamill-Daisy-Ridley

'STAR WARS' AT 40: INTRODUCING HARRISON FORD!


He knew he had a great role that he'd make the most of, in a film that may have looked strange, nay bizarre, to work on but which he also knew had a story so attractively primal and recognisable that it would be successful.What Harrison Ford didn't reckon on, however, was just so how successful the original Star Wars would be- launching him on to an incredible and acclaimed box-office smash career and life-changing adventure from 1977 onwards, and the birth of a cinematic legend with his portrayal of space-smuggler Han Solo...

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

EPISODE VIII: WOOKIEE AT WORK!


Watched  by Artoo Detoo, our lovable first mate Chewbacca scrambles into what looks like a previously unseen area of the Millennium Falcon, no doubt for a highly charged action-related scene from The Last Jedi.

'STAR WARS' AT 40: STUNT MAN CHALLENGE!

Peter Diamond on location in Tunisia.

Right from the film's opening frames, the original Star Wars would be an action-packed adventure indeed. Bringing that adrenaline charged spectacle to life, from the corridors Rebel Blockade Runner to those of the labyrinth-esque Death Star, its incredible to believe that during the five month filming that there were really only three regular stuntman working on the film at Elstree Studios. A British film and TV veteran of the stunt world, Peter Diamond would be the tried and tested Stunt coordinator and lead stuntman for George Lucas's opus, performing many memorable scenes in the film within a variety of character guises- at first, he was the only stuntman out in Tunisia in March 1976, playing the Sandperson that attacks Luke Skywalker, though he would be joined a month later in London by colleagues Colin Skeaping and Reg Harding, a combined presence soon affectionately known on set as 'The Three Stooges'. The trio can be best seen as themselves primarily in the Death Star prison area battle scene, where they play Imperial troopers gunned down by Luke, Han and Chewie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH__gUwm-j0

Diamond rehearsing his scene with Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels.

Most importantly, however, it was Diamond that choreographed and oversaw the very first lightsaber duel for the saga- between Sir Alec Guinness's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Dave Prowse's Darth Vader, setting the duelling standard and use of the unique ancient weapons that continues to this day.

Diamond as the Stormtrooper that falls down the chasm shaft.

Monday, 11 December 2017

EPISODE VIII: MEET THE CARETAKERS!


Those cute but pesky little Porgs may be the main alien race seen on the mysterious and millennia old Jedi Temple world of Ahch-To, but there's also these intriguing new creatures, known as the Caretakers, existing to maintain the remaining surviving architecture to the island currently inhabited by Luke Skywalker, a distraction whom they grudgingly accept on their world, as The Last Jedi opens in cinemas this week.

http://ew.com/movies/2017/08/09/star-wars-last-jedi-porgs-caretakers/

'STAR WARS' AT 40: ESTABLISHING THE VISUAL STYLE!


Helping George Lucas bring his vision for Star Wars to celluloid life, acclaimed old school British cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, then fresh from filming duties with Richard Donner on the horror hit The Omen, would not strike up the greatest of friendships with the young American writer/director - relations further strained via communication problems over the London filming's duration. But there's no denying that the finished look of the original 1977 adventure remains as fresh and striking as ever forty years on, holding up to great scrutiny in HD with its crisp and stylish clarity.

Taylor, in blue cap, with Mark Hamill in Tunisia.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

EPSODE VIII: THE (FORCE) BONDS OF FAMILY!


They were light years apart during the struggles of The Force Awakens. Will brother and sister Skywalkers finally be reunited? Or have the family ties finally been severed. We'll find out in The Last Jedi.


Two great character posters from the film aimed at the Chinese market.

EPISODE VIII: THE OFFICIAL WORLDWIDE PREMIERE LAUNCH OF 'THE LAST JEDI'

The Battle of Crait scenario recreation welcomes Daisy Ridley!

Glitzy, glamorous and exciting, with the film ultimately receiving near universal Twitter after-screening notes for its excitement, surprises galore and intense character/action scenes- welcome to the world, The Last Jedi!

It's still the saga's Fortieth Anniversary. So where was George Lucas?

John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran.

Watch the premiere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVNIEszp2UQ

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5163797/Daisy-Ridley-leads-Jedi-premiere-Hollywood.html?ITO=1490

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5163919/John-Boyega-Star-Wars-Jedi-premiere-LA.html

http://www.dailynews.com/2017/12/09/photos-star-wars-the-last-jedi-world-premiere-in-la/

Light and Darkness assemble with the film's cast and crew.

You're the Last Jedi. No, you are!

'STAR WARS' AT 40: THE THREE AMIGOS!


It could have been Will Selzer, Christopher Walken and Terri Nunn. In an alternate universe those three talented people may well be the swiftly iconic leads of that first Star Wars film, and that would be very intriguing to see. But in our universe in 1976 at Elstree Studios, it was Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher ultimately chosen by George Lucas to inhabit the lives and adventures of smuggler Han Solo, farmboy hero Luke Skywalker and the older than her years and commanding young beauty Princess Leia Organa- the three actors bonding closely on an incredible and strange cinematic filming adventure, and in a far away country, unlike anything they'd seen or acted in before...

A comradeship of fun - June 1976, at Elstree.