It sounds like they won’t be beating around the bush at Celebration Anaheim – the first event sounds like it’ll be J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy themselves, and for some reason I doubt they’ll show up empty-handed. There’s very little doubt that we’re going to get a new The Force Awakens trailer at the con, so just as well get it out of the way ASAP. And having this on Thursday instead of Saturday means it might be a tad easier to get wristbands, right? (Ha.)
Also, if you head to the Art Show page on the Celebration site and click on the artists, you can get a first look at the art that will be on sale, including a Thrawn trilogy-themed piece from Grant Gould!
Del Rey previews Luke art for the Star Wars Insider. The artwork by Magali Villeneuve will illustrate an excerpt from Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi in issue #155.
Here’s a little oddity from the past: Brian Ashmore’s painting of Anakin Skywalker, his wife and baby Luke from 1993. Originally painted for Topps’ Star Wars Galaxy 2 card set, it may very well be the earliest depiction of the couple, for all it was pulled from the set by George Lucas himself. Here’s what Ashmore himself had to say about it back in 2008:
There are a couple things that I find interesting about the image. First, my depiction of Padme (I had no idea of her name at the time…this was 6 years before Episode 1) looks a bit like Natalie Portman. Second, Anakin’s shadow on the wall is in the shape of Darth Vader. I’ve always wondered if this image might have influenced Lucas even just a little tiny bit in his casting of Natalie Portman or even the decision to have little Anakin’s shadow be in the shape of Darth Vader in an early Episode 1 promo poster. Probably not, but I can dream. Can’t I?
I don’t know about the casting choice – Iain McCaig seems to be the culprit there – but the shadow? Stranger things have happened… In any case, the painting eventually saw the light as ‘The Skywalker Flame’ in the Star Wars Galaxy 5 set.
On that note, the Skywalker family is our current Tumblr theme – queued through Friday and including a reblog of the original post that reminded me of this.
Another helmet-based art exhibit in showing in Los Angeles this week. The Star Wars Legion exhibit runs May 2-4 at the Robert Vargas Gallery.
Upcoming. Del Rey has revealed the back cover of Honor Among Thieves and posted another mini-excerpt for Maul: Lockdown.
The blogside. For the detail oriented, StarWars.com has Imperial warlords from Abel G. Peña and Daniel Wallace and Xim the Despot by Jason Fry with Paul Urquhart. From the fan side, Eleven-ThirtyEight has Alexander Gaultier looking at the lost books of the EU and Ben Crofts defends implausible victories, or, welcome to the wonderful world of Space Opera.
Interview. Roqoo Depot talks to artist Chris Trevas about the Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual.
On the Tumblr. Mirax Terrik art from Tony Foti for the RPG.
Looking for some new Mara Jade artwork? Fantasy Flight Games slid a few image of Mara Jade into the base set of Star Wars: The Card Game, which came out in December. The game features artwork on all of the cards, ranging from concept art from Ralph McQuarrie to new artwork done for Fantasy Flight. While not directly named on any cards, Mara Jade makes her appearance as the Emperor’s Hand on two cards in the Sith deck sets for the Dark Side player.
Artist Drew Struzan is adding some context to his remarks from earlier in the week about Disney and Star Wars. On Facebook, he says there’s been nothing official, only chats with friends at the company:
“Disney” has said nothing to me and I expect nothing. That a couple of friends were wishing is only an expression of the hope that many are sharing but says nothing regarding the Studio itself. Even if ‘they’ did ask, which Disney has not, I’d rather leave the new films to the next generation to interpret. I’ve had my time and they were exceptional blessings for which I will forever be grateful.
Disappointing, but the man is retired, after all. Still, I hope Lucasfilm and Disney continue the trend of painted artwork for the primary movie posters – even if it is with a different artist. I’m sure there are plenty of worthy contenders out there who’d love the chance.
The final set of Celebration VI art prints are revealed, with Katie Cook (above,) David Rabbitte, Cat Staggs and Spencer Brinkerhoff, as well as some info on pre-ordering.
Art prints. The fourth set of art prints was revealed yesterday, including works by Joe Corroney, Doug Wheatley and Erik Maell, left. There’s one more reveal to go.
Disney World. Still no word on any official events at the park, but Disney is offering special pricing for Celebration attendees.
Exclusives. Hallmark fans will want to pick up the Obi-Wan Kenobi & Ponda Baba 3-pack in Orlando. 3-pack! Get it?
Kids. The Jawas Junkyard will “assembling and painting model Gonks.” You can check out some of astromechs from previous cons on Facebook.