Shazam’s Director Got a Delightful Memento of the Production

io9

I’m always interested to see what objects from a film’s production get a second life in the real world, becoming personal mementos, auctionable collectibles, or being re-used in some other way. For Shazam, director David F. Sandberg got a costume—but not in the way you might expect.

Read more…

https://io9.gizmodo.com/shazam-s-director-got-a-delightful-memento-of-the-produ-1833701866

When Marvel Starts Selling Off Props, It’s Time to Really Say Goodbye to Those Netflix Shows

io9

Even though Netflix has cancelled all of its Marvel shows over the past few months, fans may still be holding onto the hope they could return. And while that’s nice in theory, the fact Marvel is about to literally sell pieces of the shows back to fans probably isn’t a good sign.

Read more…

https://io9.gizmodo.com/when-marvel-starts-selling-off-props-its-time-to-reall-1833466524

Inside the Lucasfilm Archives: The Jedi Texts

StarWars.com

Through the props and costumes of Star Wars, we find a tangible link to connect with the characters from a galaxy far, far away and the stories they inhabit. Inside the Lucasfilm Archive, take a closer look at these artifacts and the stories behind their design.

There’s a feeling of reverence surrounding the ancient Jedi texts. Secreted away on Ahch-To in a sacred place built a thousand generations ago to keep the knowledge of the Jedi Order safe for future disciples, the venerable tomes represent the last remnants of the Jedi religion, the last echoes of wisdom from an order on the verge of extinction.

The Jedi texts.

In-world, the library is a symbol of Luke Skywalker’s lost faith — in himself, the Force, and the teachings of his masters, — realized as simple, incendiary paper volumes that he tries but fails to torch in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Printed books are a rare find in a modern galaxy that prefers datapads and holograms as primary forms of communication. But stashed away in a drawer aboard the Millennium Falcon, the scriptures survive for another day in Rey’s care.

Portia Fontes, Lucasfilm's physical assets coordinator, shows off the hero prop.

Portia Fontes, Lucasfilm’s physical assets coordinator, shows off the hero prop.

To create the hero Jedi Order book, pulled from the petite row and opened to reveal the Jedi emblem for mere seconds on screen, prop makers and artisans designed and printed painstakingly detailed vellum-like sheets then bound them in the cast of a hand-carved cover.

The final effect is mesmerizing in person. “This is a pretty prized piece,” says Lucasfilm Archivist Madlyn Burkert. Beyond that first page are a host of individual pages, designed and lettered as if they truly held the knowledge of those first Jedi practitioners. There’s incredible attention to detail on each page, layers of gold leaf mixed with blue pigments and an unidentified script, perhaps inspired but some of the earliest scrolls and scribbles from our own human history.

Concept art of the Jedi texts.

Concept art of the Jedi texts.
Concept art of the Jedi texts.
Concept art of the Jedi texts.

Originally, the props team conceptualized about 40 different volumes, of varying sizes and finishes, which director Rian Johnson narrowed down to a slim 10 finalists for the sacred shelf.

Burkert says the prop makers were given free rein with their own personal inspiration, provided that the final series looked like a set of ancient volumes when they were finished. As part of the process, the team researched old book-binding methods, so that each book would be unique in its fabrication.

For the hero book, the only volume that gets pulled from the stacks and cracked open on-screen, Burkert says the prop makers created the cover by hand, with lettering cut from leather and applied to the front before being covered in layers of vellum-type paper for texture. Then the entire thing was cast and molded from resin before being tied back together. “For the cover, there’s leather strapping that holds it together,” Burkert says.

Concept art of interior pages by Chris Kitisakkul

Concept art of interior pages by Chris Kitisakkul

Meanwhile, Lucasfilm’s graphics department created about 80 unique interior pages on handmade paper, taking great care beyond the single page glimpsed in the film. Look closely and you can see the way the ream of paper has some give beneath Luke’s gloved hand.

To complete the work, the props department aged and weathered the pages, rebound the book, and added the gold leaf accents. According to Propmaker Martyn Doust, it took the props team two weeks to complete a single volume from start to finish.

Portia Fontes, Lucasfilm's physical assets coordinator, shows off the hero prop.

The finished prop volume has a substantial weight to it, although the bindings make it difficult to flip through like a contemporary printed text. It’s now kept sequestered in a special slip cover and carefully boxed away in the Lucasfilm Archives, a testament to the precision of the prop makers who imbued such an important piece of Jedi history with its own awe-inspiring mystique.

Prop photos taken at Lucasfilm headquarters by Kyle Kao.

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Inside the Lucasfilm Archives: The Jedi Texts

Inside the Lucasfilm Archive: Han Solo’s Dice

StarWars.com

Through the props and costumes of Star Wars, we find a tangible link to connect with the characters from a galaxy far, far away and the stories they inhabit. Inside the Lucasfilm Archive, take a closer look at these artifacts and the stories behind their design.

Even after Han Solo’s luck had run out, his golden dice still dangled in the cockpit of his beloved Millennium Falcon, a symbol of a simpler time, when he was a young man on Corellia just dreaming of getting out of the slums and escaping to the stars.

In-universe, the aurodium-plated chance cubes were Han’s lucky charm, whether adorning the windscreen of a stolen landspeeder, tucked into the palm of his beloved friend Qi’ra, or clutched in the hands of his son, Ben Solo. For many years, the dice hung in the cockpit of the freighter he called home, a relic from the Corellian Spike variation of sabacc.

Three sets of dice props from three different films.

The evolution of Han’s dice (from left to right): the original dice prop created for The Force Awakens, concept art by Laura Grant from The Last Jedi, and the prop created for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

In reality, the prop counterpart to this particular piece of Star Wars lore has developed over time from simple set dressing trinket to major plot point, with several iterations along the way. “What makes the dice interesting is their evolution over time,” says Lucasfilm Archivist Madlyn Burkert.

The dice were first spotted in A New Hope, most notably in a brief shot where Chewbacca’s head knocks them slightly, Burkert says. Many props and costumes from those earliest days of filming have been lost to time, but the first prop was a simple pair of Earth dice painted gold.

If you’ve never spotted these dice from their brief appearance in the film, you’re not alone, says Pablo Hidalgo, Lucasfilm’s Senior Creative Executive for Franchise Story and Content. “They did not make much of a splash in the pages of comics, guides or novels either, but there is one noteworthy appearance in Marvel Comics’ Star Wars #81, cover-dated March 1984,” Hidalgo says. In one panel, when Han is reunited with his beloved ship after the Battle of Endor, he spots the dice he “won her with.”

Nearly 40 years later, the creative team working on The Force Awakens resurrected the diminutive dice when they resurfaced for Han’s reunion with the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. The prop used for the part appear to be a light plastic resin casting of Earth dice once again given golden deco by hand. “These are really, really light,” Burkert notes.

In both cases, the dice were seen at such a distance, “they didn’t have to have to be uniquely Star Wars,” she adds. “They didn’t have to have the visual language of Star Wars and so they used a regular set of dice as the basis for it.”

For The Last Jedi, the dice prop became more of a focal point, a symbol of loss passed from Luke Skywalker to his sister, and Han’s widow, Leia Organa. This time, prop makers experimented with fabricated metal, two bronze-colored versions that were slightly larger and heavier than earlier incarnations with finer attention to the detailed symbols on each side, and a golden-hued duplicate for background shots.

Han's dice as seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

But for Solo: A Star Wars Story, where the prop plays an even bigger role in exploring Han Solo’s psyche and the events that shaped him, designers returned to the drawing board for yet another, smaller version. “It’s at the discretion of the props making team who is fabricating it,” Burkert says. And each design choice takes into account the prop’s role in the story and how it will be used onscreen.

Han's dice as seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Today, the Lucasfilm Archive contains several copies and versions of the sturdy dice forged from brass, equally perfect for close-up shots and fast-paced chase scenes. “There’s a reason they might make a lot more of any given prop as it has prominence in a film,” Burkert says. “It’s look. It’s weight. But it’s also damage control. Sometimes props break on set. They also could get scratched.”

Even with lucky dice, it helps to have a stunt double or two.

Concept art by Molly Sole

But that still leaves the question – “Did Han and Lando indeed play a Corellian Spike version of sabacc and were the dice used in that fateful game on Numidian Prime seen in Solo, where Han wins the Falcon?” Hidalgo asks. “Perhaps.” The game doesn’t play out onscreen in full, “But it should be pointed out that Han could have used them in their most basic form: as a good luck charm.”

For more props from The Force Awakens, check out this week’s episode of The Star Wars Show below.

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Inside the Lucasfilm Archive: Han Solo’s Dice

Use Caution When Spending Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars on Star Wars Props

io9

There is no more desirable collectible for a fan than owning a prop from their favorite movie. And when a movie is as popular as Star Wars, props can go for insane amounts of money. However, that also means people can be assholes and make fakes, so you want to be extra sure it’s the real thing before buying, or…

Read more…

https://io9.gizmodo.com/use-caution-when-spending-hundreds-of-thousands-of-doll-1831014269

Porgs and Other Props From the Lucasfilm Display Case

StarWars.com

Lucky visitors to the halls of Lucasfilm can now get a closer look at the touch-ably soft downy feathers of a screen-used porg puppet and other props from the most recent Star Wars films.

Props are shown in the Lucasfilm display case.

But for those who can’t make it to San Francisco, this week the excitable hosts of The Star Wars Show make a mad dash down the hall from our converted copy room recording studio to give you a glimpse at the glorious pieces.

“We made these selections from our new films to showcase the breadth and incredible craftsmanship of our Costume, Props, and Creature FX departments,” says Collections & Exhibitions Archivist Madlyn Burkert.

Among the amazing props and pieces:

A helmet is shown in the Lucasfilm display case.

• Finn’s bloodied First Order bucket and a Praetorian Guard helmet, from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

A broken lightsaber is shown in the Lucasfilm display case.

• The blaster Han Solo gives to Rey in The Force Awakens and the broken lightsaber from The Last Jedi.

An assortment of toys are shown in the Lucasfilm display case.

• Jyn Erso’s collection of wooden toys, including Stormie, as seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

• The card reader from Han’s enlistment in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

A Porg puppet is shown in the Lucasfilm display case.

• And one of Burkert’s personal favorites: the porg! “I love his little teeth and all the intricate featherwork,” says Burkert, “and I am thrilled to be able to showcase the talent of our creature artists!”

Get an even closer look on The Star Wars Show below:

StarWars.com All Star Wars, all the time.

Porgs and Other Props From the Lucasfilm Display Case