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Review: The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Making of the Return of the JediIt’s that most wonderful time of the year: When all the Star Wars gift books come out. So which ones are worth putting on your gift list for the year?

If you have enjoyed J.W. Rinzler’s previous explorations into A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, then you are going to flip over his look at The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. It’s just as full of interesting stories and pictures and documents as the previous ones.

Rinzler has had unprecedented access to the archives and to the key players involved with the movies. George Lucas has done several reviews of his material to make sure things are captured correctly. He was also able to find lost interviews and pictures that complete the story for those who are no longer with us.

So yes. This is definitely one to put high on your wish list. However, if you are not an OCD completist nut like myself, you might choose to go the Enhanced Edition route and read it on your Kindle, instead. The book is heavy. The print is small for my old eyes. (Old Fart Fan, here.) And while it’s delightful to spend a few hours doing nothing but flipping pages and looking at the glorious pictures and layout, reading it on a Kindle-compatible device is much easier on both the eyes and back. Plus, the Enhanced Edition also had some pretty amazing video and audio that hasn’t been seen before. SO cool.

Go forth. Add it to the list.

Santa Maul would approve if you decided to put both the book and the enhanced versions on it. It’s only right.

Roundup: Filoni talks Maul, Savage, Ahsoka and The Clone Wars S5

TCW: The Wrong JediCartoons. StarWars.com has continues their Dave Filoni interview. It focuses on The Clone Wars S5. (Part 1 dropped a few weeks ago.)

One year on. Here are a few more flashbacks to the big announcement last year: I spent that evening talking it over the buyout/Episode VII announcement with Tosche Station’s Bryan and Nanci. (Please don’t tell me if I said anything dumb.) And here’s the special edition tweet roundup.

Retro. Alas, the lawyers caught up with the Star Wars blooper reel, but check out these two other great behind-the-scenes pics that (I suspect) originate from the enhanced Making of eBooks: A different angle on Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford during the medal ceremony and Mark Hamill gets meditative (or just bored) during the filming of Return of the Jedi.

Also on Tumblr. Artist Jeff Bennett improves the sentimental schlock of Thomas Kincade by adding Star Wars; The Stooge tackles the top ten soon-to-be-confirmed Star Wars rumors and a great pair of homemade Artoo and Threepio costumes.

Making of Star Wars eBooks available now

And so the Making of eBook poledance continues, with video clips on Yahoo (stormtrooper on fire!) and Mashable (Hamill and Fisher’s chasm jump). Today, Entertainment Weekly heads to the Sarlacc.

Weighing the purchase? StarWars.com has a complete listing of the additional content for each book.

Out this week: Making of eBooks, Legacy #8

Making of eBookReleasing Tuesday are the eBook versions of J. W. Rinzler’s Making of books for the original trilogy, featuring video, audio and other extra content. Random House has them priced at $17.99, but check your device’s marketplaces.

Comic fans can head to the shops on Wednesday for Legacy #8.

It’s also time to keep an eye out for the new Star Wars Insider, which features a Leia short story bu editor Jen Heddle.

Next week brings The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett (now dated to the 29th) and the still-pricey-but-not-ridiculously-so version of Frames.

And there’s a fairly recent update to our book release schedule – the Crucible paperback is scheduled for May 27.

Roundup: No John Williams for Rebels

Rebels (logo)Rebels. Lucasfilm’s Tracy Cannobbio tells Lightsaber Rattling that John Williams is “not composing music for Star Wars Rebels.” So keep on speculating, I guess.

Video. There’s another Jett Lucas interview; Harrison Ford continues to not say much about Episode VII.

Nonfiction. Star Wars Books has posted some screencaps from the enhanced Making of eBooks, which will be out next week.

Out this week: Making of Return of the Jedi

Making of the Return of the JediIt’s the nonfiction release of the year today, as The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi is finally available. For the occasion, author J. W. Rinzler is interviewed at FX Guide, and the book is reviewed by Jedi News, Star Wars Aficionado, Knights’ Archive and Tosche Station.

Meanwhile, at the comic store Wednesday are The Star Wars #2 and a special #1 for $1 Star Wars.

Ten things that might even be new to you, from The Making of Return of the Jedi

Ewoks

With J.W. Rinzler’s The Making of Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi just around the corner, io9 has ten things you might not have known about the film, as drawn from the book.

Meanwhile, in other not-quite novel news, looks like there’s more Shakespeare Star Wars in the pipeline. Because of course.

EUbits: Get a glimpse of Razor’s Edge

razors-edge-crop2Razor’s Edge. Fangirl has some exclusive art of the book’s cast, plus an interview with artist Magali Villeneuve. (Follow the link to see the whole thing!) Author Martha Wells chats with This Blog is Full of Words, Geek with Curves and Jedi News. (I’ll have more Razor’s Edge links later in the new release post.)

The blogside. At the official blog, editor Jennifer Heddle talks about the process behind Kenobi, while Bryan Young discusses the cinematic influences behind some of the books. Meanwhile, on my personal blog, I wrote a guide to the Expanded Universe for casual fans.

Street date shuffle. Can we still call it ‘street’ date for an eBook? The enhanced eBooks for Making of Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars have been pushed back to October 22, Star Wars Books has announced. The hardcover Making of Return of the Jedi will still be out on October 1.

Interviews. Suvudu had the transcript of John Jackson Miller’s Facebook chat, plus Shelly Shapiro and Brian Wood. Eleven-ThirtyEight chats with Jason Fry, Star Wars Union with Alan Dean Foster, and Target Audience magazine has Timothy Zahn.

Reviews. James was impressed with Dark Times: A Spark Remains #3.

Pablo Hidalgo giving Rebels presentation at NYCC

Rebels: The GhostThere’s one major media con left for the year: New York Comic Con. And Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo will be there for a presentation on the upcoming cartoon Rebels, StarWars.com announced today. The panel, subtitled ‘Might of the Empire,’ will be held Saturday, October 12 at 2:45 p.m. Here’s the description:

What happens when the Galactic Empire takes over a planet? What if Imperials took interest in your world, and garrisoned Stormtroopers and TIE fighters to maintain order? Star Wars Rebels, the thrilling, all-new animated television series from Lucasfilm for Disney XD will ask those questions — and so will this panel hosted by Lucasfilm’s resident Star Wars expert, Pablo Hidalgo.

Details on the show are closely guarded, but fans at NYCC will get a first look at new art from the series, and learn new information about the formidable forces of the Galactic Empire. Star Wars Rebels is set between Episodes III and IV, and it is a dark time in the galaxy. In the spirit of the original trilogy, the Empire is once again the preeminent villain of the saga, and Star Wars Rebels puts the awesome might of Imperial forces in the spotlight.

The series is still a year away, so don’t miss this chance to get an early look at its development.

We got our most extensive look (so far) at Rebels from Dave Filoni at Celebration Europe in July. It’s expected to begin airing next fall.

There will also be panels on The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi with J.W. Rinzler and Jason Fry, origami with Chris Alexander, “Blast-A-Trooper” with the 501st Legion and several licensees, including Del Rey and Dark Horse.

And before you ask…

SDCC: Interview with J. W. Rinzler on The Making of Return of the Jedi and The Star Wars

On Saturday at Comic-Con, I had a chance to sit down with Lucasfilm’s J. W. Rinzler to discuss his upcoming works: The Making of Return of the Jedi, The Making of … ebooks with enhanced content, and The Star Wars, the eight-issue comic portraying the original draft screenplay of George Lucas for Star Wars. Big thanks to Mr. Rinzler for the interview, and Del Rey for their secret press room.