The Wilhelm Scream

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What do the movies. Star Wars-The Empire Strikes Back,Toy Story 3,Juno,Where Eagles Dare and Distant Drums(and a few hundred more) have in common?

It’s not the cast or screenplay or even the studio but there are 2 seconds in all these movies which are identical. Those 2 seconds are called “The Wilhelm Scream” which is a sound effect.

The likelihood is great that you’ve heard the Wilhelm Scream at some point when watching a movie or TV show. The sound effect originated in the 1951 Gary Cooper film Distant Drums, and has become a Hollywood sound effects staple for more than 60 years.

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At one point in the film ,Distant Drum , some soldiers are slowly walking through a dark swamp when one of them is fatally attacked by an alligator. At the moment when the alligator  surprises him and drags him underwater, the soldier lets out the first known instance of the iconic scream.

The scream is often used when someone is shot, falls from a great height, or is thrown from an explosion. It  has been used in 382 + movies and countless television shows.

However the name wasn’t used until 1953  In the movie ‘Charge at Feather River’, a character named Private Wilhelm gets shot in the leg with an arrow. He screams as he falls off his horse. Filmmakers used the Wilhelm Scream twice more in that movie as a stock effect to save money.

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The famous scream was made mainstream by the Star Wars franchise. One of Star Wars sound designers named Ben Burtt was busy creating the sound palette for George Lucas’ Star Wars: A New Hope. He came across the Wilhelm scream and realized that a great number of  filmmakers had used it since the 1950s, he decided to pay homage to the sound effect by incorporating it into the  sci-fi classic. The scream can be heard in the  famous scene in which Luke Skywalker shoots a Storm trooper aboard the Death Star and the unfortunate trooper falls off a ledge. In fact the scream is used in all Star Wars movies.

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Research by Burtt suggests that Sheb Wooley, best known for his novelty song “The Purple People Eater” in 1958 and as scout Pete Nolan on the television series Rawhide, is likely to have been the voice actor who originally performed the scream.

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On a different not but yet slightly related another used soundbite that has made it into many Movies/TV Shows and even Heavy Metal albums is the line “Dr. Davis, telephone please. Dr. Blair, Dr. Blair. Dr. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. Hamilton”

I heard it on the classic Queensryche album ‘Operation Mindcrime’ and it was bugging me for I knew I heard it before, and then I heard in an episode of the Cosby show and several other shows and movies.

In case you are wondering about the connection of the painting ‘the Scream’ (at the start of the blog)and ‘the Wilhelm Scream’ there is none, other then the actual word scream. I was looking for a picture of a scream and that was the best one.

Ending the blog with a compilation of ‘the Wilhelm Scream’

 

 

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May the Force be with you

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No movie buff could ignore this day’May the 4th’ or better known as “May the 4th be with you”. The day that is now widely accepted as Star Wars day.

But why is that:

The original movie “Star Wars -A New hope” opened on May 25th 1977.

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It would forever change the way movies were made, and left a footprint so deep in the culture that sometimes “culture” feels synonymous with “Star Wars.”

So why not have he 25th of May as “Star Wars” day. For a time it actually was the 25th.

The phrase ‘May the 4th be with you’ originates from something from a galaxy far far away from Star Wars. It actually comes from British politics.

The reference was first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.Britain’s Conservative Party celebrated the election of British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, by taking out a full-page ad in the London Evening News. The ad read, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.” This was for Thatcher’s inauguration date as Prime Minister: May 4, 1979. In only two years, Star Wars‘ Jedi catchphrase was recognizable and influential enough even to be used in the soap opera that is British politics.

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The date was chosen for the pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you” as “May the Fourth be with you”. Even though the holiday was not actually created or declared by Lucas film, many Star Wars fans across the world have chosen to celebrate the holiday. It has since been embraced by Lucas film as an annual celebration of Star Wars.

I will not go into whether May the 5th or May the 6th should be known as Revenge of the fifth/sixth as a pun on ‘Revenge of the Sith’ that would bring me to close to the dark side. To be honest this is not the Sith fan you are looking for.

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Sources

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“These are not the soldiers you are looking for” The Jedi in WWII

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This blog is about 2 men of whom you could say “They just don’t make them like that anymore” Both Christopher Lee and Sir Alec Guinness were formidable actors and both served in WWII.

Christopher Lee

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Famous for so many iconic roles like Dracula, Count Dooku in Star Wars prequels  and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings. And lets not forget Christopher Lee was also an accomplished Heavy Metal performer and recording artist. However he showed his true grit in WWII.

In an interview with the Independent he said “When the Second World War finished I was 23 and already I had seen enough horror to last me a lifetime,”

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When the Second World War broke out, Lee volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War in 1939.He and other British volunteers were kept away from actual fighting, but they were issued winter gear and were posted on guard duty a safe distance from the front line.

Christopher Lee enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940, where he worked as an intelligence officer specializing in cracking German ciphers . In North Africa he was attached to the Long Range Desert Patrol, the forerunner of the SAS,

As an intelligence officer attached to No. 260 Squadron RAF, he reportedly prevented a small mutiny after troops – frustrated and lacking news from the eastern front – threatened to break ranks.

For a while he was assigned to the Long Range Desert Group.

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For the final few months of his service, Lee, who spoke fluent French and German, among other languages, was seconded to the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects Here, he was tasked with helping to track down Nazi war criminals.Of his time with the organisation, Lee said: “We were given dossiers of what they’d done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority … We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not.” He retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of flight lieutenant, and later again Jedi Master and Sith Lord.

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Sir Alec Guinness

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Sir Alec Guinness(center row third from right in the picture above) was one of the most versatile actors of all time. His genres included comedy,drama and science fiction. Probably most known for his portrayal as Ben Kenobi aka Obi Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars Trilogy.

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The Bridge on the River Kwai is one of my favourite WWII movies, actually one of my favourite movies overall and it is mainly because of Alec Guinness’s convincing portrayal of Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson that makes the movie so compelling.

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Alec Guinness de Cuffe was born to mother Agnes Cuff and an unknown father in Britain in 1914.

Guinness served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in the Second World War,download initially as a seaman in 1941, before receiving a commission as a Temporary Sub-lieutenant on 30 April 1942 and a promotion to Temporary Lieutenant the following year.[Guinness then commanded a landing craft at the Allied invasion of Sicily, he aslo saw action in the , the invasion of Elbe,and Normandy and later ferried supplies and agents to the Yugoslav partisans in the eastern Mediterranean theatre.

During the war, he was granted leave to appear in the Broadway production Flare Path, which was a play about the RAF Bomber Command.

 

Two heroes on and off screen.

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That time Jabba the Hut was Jabba the Human.

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We all know Jabba the Hut the big blob in Star Wars, he basically was a Mafia Godfather. However originally Jabba the Hut wasn’t an alien but a man from Belfast, well at leats actor from Belfast.

Declan Mulholland was born on December 6, 1932 in Belfast, Northern Ireland as Thomas Declan Mulholland. He is known for his work on Time Bandits (1981), The Land That Time Forgot (1974) and The Onedin Line (1971).

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In Mulholland’s scenes as Jabba, Jabba is represented as a rotund Human dressed in a shaggy fur coat. George Lucas has stated his intention was to use an alien creature for Jabba, but the special effects technology of the time was not up to the task of replacing Mulholland. The scene was to have a “stop-motion” character overlay him, but budget constraints forced George Lucas to cut the scene altogether, that is until recently. As part of the re-release of the Star Wars Trilogy, this scene has been re-inserted into the film. However, you won’t be able to see Declan, since Lucasfilm now had the funds to complete the production, inserting a Return Of The Jedi style Jabba The Hutt, over his character, once again.

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A very brief clip of the “Han meets Jabba” scene from “Star Wars” as originally shot, with Mulholland as Jabba, was shown in the TV special, “From ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Jedi’: The Making of a Saga” in 1983, around the time of the original release of “Return of the Jedi”

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Sources

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Close encounters of a Star Wars kind.

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It’s no secret that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are good pals, but perhaps the best demonstration of their friendship is the fact that not even a $40 million bet has been able to come between them.

Star Wars has made creator George Lucas a lot of money over the year. But in 1977, he made a bet with fellow director Steven Spielberg that has wound up costing him over $40,00,000 so far, and all of it going directly into Spielberg’s pocket.

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The bet was made when Lucas was visiting Spielberg on the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977, before Star Wars: A New Hope came out. Suddenly, the two of them were arguing which movie would do better — but they were arguing for each other’s films. Lucas said Close Encounterswould make more money, while Spielberg insisted on Star Wars.

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So the bet was made: Each of them would give the other 2.5% of their respective stakes in their own film, if it was the most successful. And even though Close Encounters made a whopping $303 million, Star Wars trounced it, making $775 worldwide in 1977 alone.

Since then, Spielberg has continued to get his share from theatrical re-releases, home video sales, and more.Adjusted for inflation, the film has made $1.48 billion at the box office, It is estimated that Spielberg made $40 million.

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What’s perhaps most remarkable is that Lucas supposedly actually made good on his bet with Spielberg — and the two have remained friends, teaming up for four Indiana Jones films in the years since the lopsided bet. Of course, the fact that they’re both billionaires may have made the wager a slightly less bitter pill to swallow.

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Star Wars VIII(and a half)- The forgotten one.

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With the force being bestowed upon us very soon again with the last Jedi it is a good time to look back at some of the forgotten or  lesser known Star Wars facts.

Darth Vader’s chest piece has Ancient Hebrew etched onto it. It reads: “His deeds will not be forgiven, until he merits”

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The blizzard in the Hoth scenes was real. They were shot at Hardangerjøkulen glacier near Finse, Norway, and no special effects were used.

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Qui-Gon Jinn’s communicator is actually a modified Gillette Ladies Sensor Excell razor.
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The majority of Stormtroopers are left-handed due to the construction of their prop guns. They are modeled on the Sterling L2A3 9mm SMG (sub-machine gun), a military weapon from the 1950s with the magazine located on the left hand side.Stormtrooper_Corps.png

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E.T.’s species (Asogians) appears in The Phantom Menace at a political speech in the galactic senate.
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Bounty Hunter Bossk from The Empire Strikes Back wears a costume from a 1966 Doctor Who episode.
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Many of the buildings constructed to be used in shots of Tatooine are still standing in Tunisia. In fact, some of them are still used by locals.

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Finally

Star Wars-Black Angel

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For all of you die hard Star Wars fans who think that you have seen all movies in the Star Wars universe, more then likely you have not.

A long time ago in a galaxy not so far away, in fact this galaxy.

The 1980 short film was created to accompany The Empire Strikes Back in theaters. It was the directorial debut of Star Wars‘ pioneering set decorator Roger Christian and a special request by the big man himself, George Lucas. After it screened in cinemas, it suddenly vanished.

The film was shot at Eilean Donan in Scotland in autumn 1979. The budget of £25,000 was given to Roger Christian by an Eady Scheme fund from the UK government

Sir Maddox, a medieval knight, returns from the Crusades to find his home rife with sickness and his family gone. As he journeys through this mystical realm he encounters a mysterious and beautiful maiden, who appears to him as he is drowning. Sir Maddox learns that the maiden is being held prisoner by a black knight and in order to free her he must confront her captor, the Black Angel.

Star Wars is supposedly set somewhere in arthurian times and the crusades. Dark Angel ties in with that.

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Star Wars-The time John Lithgow was Yoda.

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I reckon at least 70% of all Star Wars fans will hang their heads in shame after reading this blog for not knowing this.I did after I heard about this.

“Rising to the challenge of a Skyhopper race against the cocky Fixer, Luke wins the race and the respect of his peers. When Luke spots the capture of the Tantive IV by the Devastator in the Tatooine sky, his friends ridicule him”

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I know that all of you are scratching your heads now and are about to take out the Star Wars box set, for you don’t recall the above described scene.But let me spare you the effort and keep you safe from accidentally watching Jar Jar Binks again. The scene is actually not from any of the movies or the many spin off TV shows.

The scene is from “Star Wars the radio show”

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An expanded radio dramatization of the original Star Wars trilogy was produced in 1981, 1983, and 1996. The first two radio series, based on Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, were produced and broadcast by National Public Radio (NPR) as part of NPR Playhouse. A dramatization of Return of the Jedi was produced by most of the same team and also broadcast on NPR.

Star Wars was a thirteen-part (6½ hour) expanded radio adaptation of the original Star Wars film, produced in 1981 and broadcast by National Public Radio as part of NPR Playhouse. It was adapted by Brian Daley and directed by John Madden and published by HighBridge Audio. It is the first in a series of radio dramatizations of the original Star Wars trilogy; Following its success, two more radio dramatizations were produced, of The Empire Strikes Back (1983) and Return of the Jedi (1996).

The series was made with the full cooperation of George Lucas, who donated the rights and allowed the use of sound effects and music from the films.

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As with other Legends material, only material matching what was featured in the original film is considered canon, but many elements of the story first featured in the radio broadcasts were later referenced in other Legends stories. Many of the actors involved in the movie were unavailable to reprise their roles (Harrison Ford, for instance, was committed to Raiders of the Lost Ark), but Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels returned to reprise Luke Skywalker and C-3PO, respectively.

In October 2013, HighBridge Audio released two limited-edition, mp3 Collector’s Volumes: Star Wars: A New Hope – The Original Radio Drama, “Light Side” and “Dark Side.” Each volume includes the original Star Wars: A New Hope radio drama, an exclusive trading card from Topps, and rare audio content and interviews from the making of the radio drama

..Episode titles:

  1. “A Wind to Shake the Stars”
  2. “Points of Origin”
  3. “Black Knight, White Princess, and Pawns”
  4. “While Giants Mark Time”
  5. “Jedi that Was, Jedi To Be”
  6. “The Millennium Falcon Deal”
  7. “The Han Solo Solution”
  8. “Death Star’s Transit”
  9. “Rogues, Rebels and Robots”
  10. “The Luke Skywalker Initiative”
  11. “The Jedi Nexus”
  12. “The Case for Rebellion”
  13. “Force and Counter Force

Billy Dee Williams reprised Lando Calrissian, and John Lithgow played Yoda at the same time Madden was directing Lithgow in the play Beyond Therapy. Hamill and Daniels returned to voice Skywalker and C-3PO.

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Some other notable cast members were Ed Begley, Jr. as Boba Fett ,Edward Asner as Jabba The Hutt and Perry King as Han Solo.

In October 2013, HighBridge Audio released two limited-edition, mp3 Collector’s Volumes: Star Wars: A New Hope – The Original Radio Drama, “Light Side” and “Dark Side.” Each volume includes the original Star Wars: A New Hoperadio drama, an exclusive trading card from Topps, and rare audio content and interviews from the making of the radio drama.

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Hopefully this blog and the hunt for the 13 episodes will keep you busy until the last Jedi.

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In a galaxy far far away.

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Well actually it was not that far far away. It was actually on this planet all along.

These are just some “behind the scene” images of Star wars. The above picture is lunch time on set.

Filming Star Wars inside of the iconic “Millennium Falcon” spacecraft.

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Would you care for a dance your higness

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Getting a bit thirsty

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Cheers

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Aarrgghh, put the mask back on

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I find your lack if camera skills disturbing.

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Give us a kiss

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Grease,Elvis and Star Wars

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I am not going to apologize for this but it is a fact I am a massive Grease fan, and today happens to be the anniversary of the single “Grease” reaching the #1 position on the Billboard top 100.

However as the title of this blog suggests there is more to the story. Here are some lesser known fact about the most successful musical of all time.

Elvis was Offered a Feature Role

The story goes that the King of Rock was asked to be the Guardian Angel, Frenchy’s hair salon singing mentor, but when he turned it down Frankie Avalon was given the part instead.

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Carrie Fisher Almost Got The Role of Sandy

Yes it’s true. Our Star Wars favorite was considered for the role, but “Grease” director thought she didn’t have the right look for Sandy. Maybe his friend George Lucas talked him out of it.

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This Company Lost Out Big Time

Coca- Cola had initially had a lucrative deal with the film creators, but unfortunately for them their agreement stopped in the later stages of shooting. Because of this, any hints of Coca-Cola branding were blurred out of the last edits of the film.

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Elvis Died on the Same Day as Shooting Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee

To pay respect to the music legend, who almost played a part in “Grease”, the producers added a line to the Sandra Dee song. Next time you watch, try listen out for it, “Elvis Elvis let me be, keep that pelvis far from me”.

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Not A Teenage Heartbreak

Though most of the characters were supposedly high school sweethearts, the real life actors were far from it. Travolta was 23, Jeff Conaway was 26 and Olivia Newton-John was 28. Makes you look at them differently right?

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Danny was Almost Played by Someone Else

Initially, producers offered the main role to Henry Winkler, the Happy Days actor who played Fonzie. We are so glad he turned it down, giving John the limelight he deserved.

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Not having a Ball

Lucille Ball’s daughter was the first to be offered the role of Rizzo. Though after stating that she was better than the role offered, Rizzo became the character we know her as today.

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Barry Pearl AKA Doody, AKA Professor Erasmus Q. Tinkerputt.

Barry Pearl who played Doody in Grease also played , iProfessor Erasmus Q. Tinkerputt in the kids show Barney the dinosaur. In fact he earned more money in Barney then in Grease.

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Star Wars-May the Force continue

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Princess Leia is one of the most iconic cinema characters that has ever been. Be it in a gold bikini or with donuts in her hair, everyone knows who she is. Everyone aged 1 to 100. Alas the Princess passed away on 27 December 2016.

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it was Billy Dee Williams Jr aka Lando who said it better then anyone else “The Force has gone dark” However since it is Carrie Fischer’s(Princess Leia) Birthday today another change to look at the Star Wars Saga

 

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I have always been a massive Star Wars fan it triggered my long lasting love affair with movies and especially Science Fiction movies.Many people don’t realize how many Star Wars movies there actually are.

Just a quick recap on the force.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Holiday Special

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The Star Wars Holiday Special is a 1978 American musical science fiction television film set in the Star Wars Galaxy It stars the series’ first film’s main cast while introducing the character Boba Fett, who would appear in later films. It is one of the first official Star Wars spin-offs and was directed by Steve Binder.

In the storyline that ties the special together, Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Kashyyyk, Chewbacca’s home world, to celebrate Life Day. They are pursued by agents of the Galactic Empire, who are searching for members of the Rebel Alliance on the planet. The special introduces three members of Chewbacca’s family: his father Itchy, his wife Malla, and his son Lumpy, though these names were later explained to have been nicknames, their full names being Attichitcuk, Mallatobuck, and Lumpawarrump, respectively.

Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure

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The film is set in a timeframe approximate to the Ewoks animated series occurring sometime after the events of Episode IV: A New Hope but before the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.As the film opens, the Towani family’s starcruiser has crashed on the forest moon of Endor, and the Towani parents, Jeremitt and Catarine cannot locate their children, Mace and Cindel.

Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

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Nearly six months have passed since the events of the first film; the Towani family’s star cruiser is almost completely fixed and Jeremitt is putting the final touches on the craft.

Then George Lucas decided to embark on another trilogy,one including the most hated Star Wars character,maybe even most hated cinematic character, Jar Jar Binks.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

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Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

The one where we see Anakin Skywalker transform into Darth Vader.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The animated movie that takes place between Episode II and Episode II

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In 2015 the impossible happened JJ Abrams who previously directed the rebooted version of the new Star Trek franchise,also took charge of the first movie of the last trilogy of the Star Wars Saga

Star Wars:Episode VII- The Force Awakens

With a return of some of the original cast of the 1st trilogy and new characters. After a disappointing 2nd trilogy(mainly because the woeful “Phantom Menace”) this one re-ignited the spark for Star Wars fans across the globe.

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The remaining 2 are set to be released in 2017 and 2019.The death of Carrie Fisher will surely mean that especially the story line for the last one needs to be altered. Most of the 2nd one ,Episode VIII, has already been shot.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens , Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.

Aside from the ‘original’ Star Wars saga there also will be 3 stand alone movies.The first one released earlier this month and is probably one of the best Star Wars movies.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The story follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of the unwilling designer of the Galactic Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star, and her quest to retrieve his plans for destroying it.

And is set just before the first of the Star Wars movies “A New Hope”

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

$2.00