The first image of Padme and Anakin… From 1993?

brian-ashmore-padmeHere’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.

Episode VII not likely to return to Skellig Michael

rumors-skellContrary to what Latino Review reported last week, it seems that Episode VII is unlikely to return to Skellig Michael to shoot further scenes, per the Irish Examiner. “No filming has been scheduled for Skellig Michael in the coming months,” they were told by Louise Ryan of the Irish Film Board. (via)

I seem to recall there was some scuttlebut floating about during the first shoot that it was originally scheduled for the fall, and moved up due to Harrison Ford’s injury, so perhaps that’s where the second date comes in.

Out this week: A New Dawn

a-new-dawn-sdcc-cropChances are you don’t need this reminder, given that Del Rey Fancorps members woke up at least 8 emails in their inbox about the release of A New Dawn. It is, of course, the first of the new canon novels, a prequel to Rebels and our first new Star Wars novel since Honor Among Thieves back in March.

In addition the emails, there are the reviews. We have James’, of course, but you can also catch opinions from the usual suspects: Tosche Station (who also did a Go/No-Go) Jedi News (twice,) EU Cantina, Roqoo Depot, Lightsaber Rattling and Making Star Wars (twice.)

We’re also just about a month away from the official premiere of Rebels itself, on October 3rd. The next novel, James Luceno’s Tarkin, is due out on November 4.

Review: A New Dawn pumps up excitement for Rebels

star-wars-a-new-dawnOn sale today, A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller is the first novel that is part of the Lucasfilm Story Group approved timeline. Set in the dark times between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and several years before the upcoming Rebels cartoon, it’s a tale of how two of the show’s main characters, Hera and Kanan, first encounter each other and eventually decide to team up. As someone excited by Rebels, I enjoyed the novel and found it interesting to see the characters before they united for a common cause.

Miller brings his skills in combining likable characters with clashing viewpoints, in a story setting that he has mastered before in Kenobi and Knight Errant: a Jedi alone in hostile territory. Only this time, the Jedi’s not interested in being a Jedi, or even be on the hero’s path at all – while someone else is sorting out what type of people are and aren’t needed for a rebellion to the Empire’s rule. And as with Knight Errant and Lost Tribe of the Sith series, where various Sith philosophies were being forged and tested against each other, the villain, Count Vidian, has his own philosophy being pushed to the extreme, and we witness it in practice.

Minor spoilers beyond this point.

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Today in Episode VII: Rumordumping on the Sith, Skelling Michael, and that stormtrooper photo

rumors-skell → There’s a new rumordump from Dave Gonzales at Latino Review addressing some of the rumors floating around: Mainly Sith, Luke’s location, and what the Skelling Michael location will be. Shrug.

Star Wars Episode 7 News thinks they have proof the stormtrooper helmet pics are legit. Of course, none of us have any idea if that kind of thing can be faked, so again, shrug. It’s not like that light pattern is super unusual (or not possible indoors, though I’ll let the light-spectrum geeks debate that one.) I wouldn’t go so far as to call it confirmed, but it’s certainly possible.

→ And finally, let’s recall the innate ridiculousness of rumors with Always Star Wars, who looks back at some things we heard before The Phantom Menace. Ben Kenobi owns the Millennium Falcon!