Browsing Category

Star Was official

Phantom at 25 | Ben Burtt Talks Sound Design and Picture Editing with George Lucas

Kicking off the highly-anticipated prequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace arrived May 19, 1999. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, presents “Phantom at 25,” a special series of interviews, editorials, and more.

Back in 1975, Ben Burtt had been hired as the sound designer for Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), becoming one of the first artists of any discipline to work on George Lucas’ space fantasy. Some two decades later, as Lucas began to lay the groundwork for his new prequel trilogy of Star Wars films, Burtt was recruited once again to join the upstart crew.

“I had been working on some project at the Technical Building at Skywalker Ranch,” Burtt tells, “and I got a call from Jane Bay, George’s executive assistant, and she said, ‘Ben, George

Phantom at 25 | Sound-mixing The Phantom Menace with Gary Rydstrom

Rydstrom at Skywalker Sound in the early 2000’s, not long after his work on The Phantom Menace.

Kicking off the highly-anticipated prequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace arrived May 19, 1999. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, presents “Phantom at 25,” a special series of interviews, editorials, and more.

By 1999, sound artist Gary Rydstrom had worked at Skywalker Sound for 16 years. He’d won seven Academy Awards for his work on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Jurassic Park (1993), Titanic (1997), and Saving Private Ryan (1999). He was on the cutting edge of Lucasfilm’s pioneering work in digital sound technology. But he still hadn’t worked on a Star Wars movie.

“I will point out that I worked on Spaceballs [1987], so that kind of counts,” Rydstrom notes with a laugh.

The Acolyte Star Amandla Stenberg Performs New John Williams Star Wars Arrangement

We’ve known The Acolyte star Amandla Stenberg is a dedicated Star Wars fan since she first walked out on stage at Star Wars Celebration Europe in full Padmé Amidala cosplay. The actor is also an accomplished musician. She not only dreamed of winning a role in the galaxy far, far away, but hoped to one day record the iconic Star Wars music on her grandfather’s violin.

Today, a new behind-the-scenes featurette takes us inside that recording session at the John Williams Music Building at the former home of MGM Studios. Watch Stenberg’s performance of the solo violin arrangement written by Williams just for Stenberg.

Stenberg arrives as Mae in the two-episode series premiere of Star Wars: The Acolyte streaming June 4 on Disney+.

Star Wars: The High Republic: Temptation of the Force – First Excerpt

When Star Wars: The High Republic: Temptation of the Force arrives this summer, the story that unfolds is about three things: emotional connections, heart-pumping action, and one very worried Wookiee.

„I like to joke that, at heart, Temptation is a bunch of really intense conversations wrapped up in action, banter, and Burryaga being quietly stressed out in the background,” says author Tessa Gratton. “But honestly there are four conversations between Avar and Elzar that make up the emotional spine of the book.”

In the first excerpt from the sequel to The Eye of Darkness, after finally escaping the Nihil Occlusion Zone we find Avar Kriss continuing the fight against the Nihil alongside fellow Jedi Master Elzar Mann. Reunited in private at the Jedi Temple, as they prepare for their next adventure, they

Quiz: Which Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Character Are You?

With Star Wars: The Phantom Menace back in theaters to mark its 25th anniversary, we’ve been quoting the prequel film to our friends and singing along — badly — to the Duel of the Fates. Even before its premiere on May 19, 1999, we were mesmerized by the array of new aliens and other characters, including the teaser poster that famously juxtaposes a young and seemingly innocent Anakin Skywalker with the looming shadow of Darth Vader. Where would you fit into the first chapter of the Skywalker saga? Take the official quiz to find out…

Animating The Phantom Menace with ILM’s Rob Coleman

Fairly late in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999), as the heroes plan their concerted attack on the Trade Federation army occupying Naboo, Jar Jar Binks and Boss Nass have a brief moment together. They walk through a forest, the shorter and squatter Boss Nass’ arm wrapped around Jar Jar’s taller and lankier shoulders. The onetime Gugnan outcast is now in rising favor with his people’s leader, and Jar Jar enjoys brushing off Boss Nass’ adulations with mock-humility. It is only when Nass tells Jar Jar that he is to be made a general that Jar Jar breaks character and faints with surprise. 

The moment is portrayed in one shot as the camera pans from right to left. The characters’ equal sense of playfulness and pomposity is fun and believable, communicated

Phantom at 25 | John Knoll Breaks Down 3 Iconic Visual Effects from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Kicking off the highly-anticipated prequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace arrived May 19, 1999. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, presents “Phantom at 25,” a special series of interviews, editorials, and more.

To put it simply, there is no Star Wars: The Phantom Menace without John Knoll. 

Having joined Industrial Light & Magic in 1986 as a technical assistant, Knoll cut his teeth and worked his way up on projects ranging from Captain EO to The Abyss, but the turning point in his career came with the Star Wars Special Editions. Working directly with George Lucas, he served as visual effects supervisor on new, digital additions to the classic films.

Though he actually started as a model maker, Knoll embraced digital visual effects early — he’s a co-creator of Photoshop —

Quiz: Are You More Barriss Offee or Morgan Elsbeth?

In Star Wars: Tales of the Empire, Morgan Elsbeth and Barriss Offee are two warriors on divergent paths. Morgan is driven by anger to become a powerful ally of Thrawn and the Empire. Barriss is driven by an idealistic mindset, leading her to betray the Jedi Order and be forced to align with the Empire to survive after Order 66. But who are you more like? Take the quiz below to find out.

Star Wars Celebration I: An Oral History

With tickets for Star Wars Celebration Japan now on sale, we wanted to take a look back at the very first Star Wars Celebration, which opened 25 years ago in Denver, Colorado. The following article was originally published in the 2019 Star Wars Celebration guide, and is presented here for the first time on with minor updates. 

For 25 years, Star Wars fans have gathered around the world to celebrate their love of the saga, forge new friendships over shared interests, and stand in awe among the creators, actors, and artists they admire. To celebrate the anniversary of the very first (and soaking wet) Star Wars Celebration in Denver, Colorado in 1999, we take a look back across the years with event producers, collectors, and fans.

Costumed fans gather in a rare