Christopher Lee passes away at age 93

christopher-lee-dooku

Veteran actor Christopher Lee, who counted Star Wars’ Count Dooku among his hundreds of film roles, died Sunday in London.

In the ’50s and ’60s, he was best known for his work in the Hammer Horror films, where he famously played Count Dracula, often alongside another actor who eventually showed up in Star Wars, Peter Cushing. In the ’70s, he upped his profile with pivotal roles in The Wicker Man and The Man with the Golden Gun.

(My personal introduction to Lee was 1982’s The Last Unicorn, where he voiced the villain, King Haggard.)

In the early 2000s, he gained a whole new audience in two of the decades biggest franchises, playing Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and the wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptions. He also appeared in several Tim Burton films.

Films aside, Lee led a intriguing life: He served as an intelligence officer during and just after World War II, where his duties involved hunting down Nazi war criminals. (In an infamous bit from the Lord of the Rings extras, he tells Peter Jackson how it sounds when a man is stabbed in the back.)

He also released several heavy metal concept albums, the last in 2013.

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Dominic Monaghan up for an Episode VII role?

Dominic Monaghan as Charlie on Lost

Will Star Wars be gaining an ex-hobbit for Episode VII? Bleeding Cool thinks they might be. They point to some potentially suspicious behavior from Dominic Monaghan at The Lone Ranger premiere, and note he could be a good fit for the thirtysomething intellectual role in last week’s casting call.

Naturally he’s a big Star Wars fan (who isn’t?) but Monaghan may have an in with the Bad Robot team from his days playing Charlie Pace, one of the original castaways on Lost. He’s also known for playing Merry in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

It’s only speculation, of course, but I can see where they’re coming from… Particularly if the role turns out to be a supporting one. Look, I generally hate this kind of thing, but the idea of Monaghan in Star Wars does not make me immediately say ‘nope,’ and that a rare thing.

As for other actors who’d like a go at Episode VII, Totalfilm has released a third edition of their video series.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back of fan bases?

Or is it Attack of the Clones? Well, I suppose that depends on your certain point of view…

Earlier this week, Vulture posted a massive list of what they’re calling the most influential fan bases, and Star Wars came in number 2 – pretty good, all things considered. Occupying the #1 spot is Game of Thrones, which I can’t really be all that bitter about seeing as they’re peaking right now. (And, well, I’m a fan, if not technically in the fandom.)

It’s an interesting series, but one major qualm with the Star Wars listing: Warsies? Dude, no one with an actual clue uses that term. It’s not even a Trekker/Trekkie situation: No one uses it.

The Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Joss Whedon and Lord of the Rings fandoms also made the list. It’s all part of a week-long series, which also covers things like naming your fandom (don’t,) psychology and the crazy shit fans buy.

They’ve also profiled several influential fans, including the Leaky Cauldron’s Melissa Anelli, The One Ring’s Erica Challis and TFN’s Dustin Roberts.