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Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope - Official Celebration Special

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope - Official Celebration Special

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope - Official Celebration Special
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The wait is over. STAR. TREK. IS. BACK! Star Trek is back on TV with the all-new incarnation, Star Trek: Discovery! If you want to find out everything about this thoroughly modern take on Star Trek then the Star Trek: Discovery Special is essential reading! Packed with profiles of the new Starfleet crew, and interviews with the cast; Behind-the-scenes features; and all illustrated with lavish photography and production designs! Come on a voyage of discovery, with Star Trek: Discovery Collectors Edition!

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United Kingdom
Titan Publishing Group

in this issue

1 min.
star wars the myth

There simply was no other film in the 1970s like Star Wars. There were fantasy movies of course; war movies and westerns; big spiritual stories with ties to mythological archetypes; and scififilms with elaborate sets and costumes, with alien creatures, dinosaurs, or highly evolved apes—even animatronic robots. But Star Wars was the first to put all of these elements together, creating a new, original universe— an epic dimension able to appeal to adults and kids alike. Moreover, state-of-the-art special effects of a kind that had previously been considered too expensive and unprofitable by movie studios came into their own, playing a crucial role in a blockbuster motion picture for the first time. The success of George Lucas’ vision changed the film industry forever, encouraging investment in merchandising and special effects, and the…

4 min.
structuring star wars

ACT ONE In which the setting is created. The hero and his everyday world, the main characters, and their relationship are introduced, along with the conflflict that moves the story forward. An Imperial Star Destroyer captures Princess Leia’s ship. Before the Emperor’s emissary, Darth Vader, finds the princess, she loads the stolen plans of an Imperial superweapon—a space station called the Death Star— into the droid R2-D2. He and another droid, C-3PO, flee in an escape pod and land on the planet Tatooine, where they are bought by a farmer and his nephew, Luke Skywalker. Luke inadvertently activates a message in R2-D2, in which Leia asks for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi. The little droid goes off in search of Kenobi, and Luke and C-3PO follow. They are attacked by Tusken Raiders, but…

5 min.
before star wars

At some point after he finished his second feature film, American Graffiti (1973), George Lucas realized that very few films were being made for young people and, of the ones that were being made, none were anything like the movies he had grown up with in the 1950s—Westerns, outer-space fantasies, and pirate movies. Together with comic books and pulp fiction, such movies had had a lasting effect on the young Lucas, with powerful imagery that made him feel good and inspired him to dream. So, instead of continuing with the movie about the Vietnam War he had planned to make next (Apocalypse Now, which Francis Ford Coppola would later direct) Lucas started to write a new, more optimistic story. He envisioned it as an update of the mythic tales that had…

4 min.

The name C-3PO, or “Seethreepio” as originally written, together with “Artwo Deetwo,” first appears in George Lucas’ notes in 1974, while he was working on the rough draft of the story that would become Star Wars. At first, both characters were envisioned as workmen, but then Lucas reimagined them as two very different robots. Inspired by his love of classic cinema, Lucas pictured C-3PO with a look similar to Maria, the mechanical woman in Fritz Lang’s silent expressionist masterpiece, Metropolis (1927). Following Lucas’ descriptions of C-3PO as a more “human robot” alongside the “robot robot” look of R2-D2, concept designer and illustrator Ralph McQuarrie drew his first sketches of the characters in 1974. In January the following year, he finished the first key illustration for the film, featuring R2-D2 and C-3PO…

3 min.

While working on the second draft of the story that would become Star Wars (completed in January 1975), George Lucas realized that the two droids that flee a small rebel ship when it comes under attack had to become more than just the comic relief. In fact, the story itself had to be told from their point of view. And so, R2- D2 and C-3PO—the former in particular—became the throughline of the picture, going on the same journey of discovery as the audience, meeting one main character after another. Just like his protocol droid companion, R2-D2’s design was based on concept art by Ralph McQuarrie, who created detailed paintings based on George Lucas’ descriptions. McQuarrie depicted the droid as a compact “garbage can” with three short legs, and in August 1975…

4 min.
darth vader behind the mask

George Lucas put an Imperial general at the heart of his story for Star Wars right from the start. In 1973, this general was called Owen Lars, a name Lucas would later use for Luke’s uncle. The general became Darth Vader in 1974 and finally “Lord Darth Vader, right hand to the Master of the Sith” in January 1975. Yet it was only in January 1976, with the fourth and final draft, that the character was fully realized, becoming a man machine. Lucas had figured out his backstory by then: Vader had killed Luke’s father, before being confronted by Ben Kenobi and falling into a volcanic pit. This explained Vader’s suit and mask —as depicted in one of concept artist Ralph McQuarrie’s key illustrations—but also let Lucas address a theme that…