Tagged: Lucasfilm

Toledo Mud Hens transform into Wookiees for May The Fourth Be With You

 The Toledo Mud Hens, home team of Maxwell Q Klinger,will be decked out in Star Wars inspired jerseys the weekend of May The Fourth Be With You and The Revenge Of The Fifth.  The team will be decked out in Chewbacca-themed jerseys for the May 4th and 5th games, as part of their Star Wars Weekend celebration.

Other attractions will be appearances by Vader’s Fist, the 501st Legion, Star Wars – themed fireworks, and the use of sound effects from the films during the games.

The jerseys will be auctioned off after the games to benefit charities – proceeds from Saturday’s jersey auction will benefit Read for Literacy. Sunday’s proceeds will go to the Spina Bifida Association of Northwest Ohio.

Minor and major leage baseball has teamed with Lucasfilm before for publicity and fundraising.  Several teams hosted Star Wars Nights to celebrate Star Wars Celebration VI, with proceeds helping Stand Up To Cancer.

While the jerseys will not be available for regular purchase outside of the silent auction, they have made a Star Wars-themed t-shirt available in their online shop.

Marvel-Disney Connection Now Includes Once Upon a Time Hardcover Graphic Novel

OnceUponATimeThe connections between Marvel Comics and its sister divisions within Walt Disney continue to evolve. After the success of graphic novels tying in the quasi-related genre of ABC’s Castle, now the company is about to launch a graphic novel based on another ABC property, Once Upon a Time. It’s fully expected that in 2015, Marvel will once more publish Star Wars comics as the relationship between Lucasfilm, now a Disney vassal, and Dark Horse, comes to a conclusion. Should this continue, we can expect a continuing line of comics tied to other Disney properties, both film and television.

New York, NY (March 28th, 2013)—Dive into the immersive world of ABC’s Once Upon a Time like never before as Marvel Entertainment and Disney-ABC Television Group are proud to announce Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen, an all-new original graphic novel hardcover inspired by the popular series. Plotted by series writer & co-producer Dan Thomsen, and co-written by Corinna Bechko (Planet of The Apes), this landmark release fits into the official continuity of Once Upon a Time and features the lush art of Nimit Malavia, Vasilis Lolos, Mike Del Mundo, Stephanie Hans and Mike Henderson.

Welcome to Storybrooke, a small New England town where seemingly regular people go about their everyday lives with no idea who they really are – the fabled storybook characters we all grew up with! It’s real, all of it! But Fairy Tale Land is not the “happily ever after” you may have heard about – their stories continued, and the Evil Queen cast a Dark Curse over their homeland.

In Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen, the Evil Queen has, quite literally, captured the Huntsman’s heart. With the Huntsman a slave, experience the never-before-told tale behind their twisted relationship—and what happens when a good man is forced to do bad. And when Regina cooks up yet another devious plan to capture Snow White the Huntsman comes face-to-face with his past — including an independent spirit in Red Riding Hood that just may match his own.  Can these two break free of the forces that bind them and save Snow White?

The release of Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen marks the first official graphic fiction tie-in to the hit ABC Studios series.

Once Upon a Time fans are in for a treat with this incredible story that reveals some shocking secrets about Regina and the Huntsman”, said David Gabriel, SVP Sales, Print and Digital Media. “It’s been a pleasure to work with ABC to create a line of high quality original graphic novels that bring new fans into comic stores and also allow us to introduce great franchises like Once Upon a Time to our die-hard fans.”

Shadow of the Queen will bring fans a whole new thread of the intriguing backstory between Regina and the Huntsman – in a uniquely Marvel way”, said Adam Sanderson, SVP Franchise Management for the Disney-ABC Television Group.  “We hope this brand extension will further deepen the engagement our viewers have with one of ABC’s signature series.”

When put to the test, where will the Huntsman’s loyalties lie?  Has the Evil Queen stolen his heart in more ways than one? Find out in Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen available on September 4th in book stores, comic shops, the Marvel Comics app (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod Touch® & Android devices) and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop.

Win a Copy of LEGO STAR WARS: The Empire Strikes Out

EmpireDomesticFilled with charm, action and irreverent humor this original story features characters, locations and vehicles across the entire LEGO Star Wars universe including Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, C-3P0, R2-D2, Darth Maul, and more.   When the premiere of LEGO Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Out aired on Cartoon Network, it became the number-one telecast of the day with kids ages 6-11 and boys ages 2-17. Written by Emmy Award winner Michael Price (The Simpsons), the show features many of the beloved Star Wars voice-actors fans know and love including Anthony Daniels, Sam Witwer, Ahmed Best and more.

Thanks to our friends at Lucasfilm we have two copies of the DVD to give away.



Your favorite characters are back to save the galaxy in LEGO® Star Wars®: The Empire Strikes Out™. The heroes of the Rebel Alliance including heroic Luke Skywalker, swaggering Han Solo and steadfast Princess Leia have no time to celebrate their victory over the Empire as a new Imperial threat arises. But as Jedi-in training Luke embarks on this next mission, he discovers that his celebrity status as a “Death-Star-Blower-Upper” can be a double-edged lightsaber when he’s constantly mobbed by crazed fans. So much for secret missions! Meanwhile, Darth Vader and Darth Maul are locked in a hilarious “Sith-ling” rivalry as they compete for the Emperor’s approval. It’s an action-packed comic adventure that’s out of this world!

In order to win your very own copy of LEGO Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Out on DVD, simply answer the following question. Your answer must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., Thursday, March 28, 2013. The judgement of ComicMix will be final.

What television network did LEGO Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Out premiere on? 

  • Cartoon Network
  • Nickelodeon
  • ABC Family
  • The Disney Channel

From The Muppets to Richard Parker, Animated Animals in Film

Life of Pi TigerIt’s been a very good week for Ang Lee and novelist Yann Martel. Lee, of course, won the Best Director Oscar for The Life of Pi, adapting Martel’s magical novel. The film itself was warmly received, earning it admiration from the Academy. The film is being released by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on March 12.

Based on the acclaimed best-selling novel from Yann Martel that has been published in 40 languages, and brought to life by visionary Academy Award winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), this magical adventure of hope, wonder, survival, and the power of the human spirit has been celebrated by critics all over the world.

Much was made of the animals brought to life through digital legerdemain but the film was far from the first to bring artificial animals to the screen, dating all the way back to Windsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur. In more recent times, puppetry was the way to go, pioneered in numerous ways. The first commercially successful film to use puppets, of course, was from Jim Henson.


The Muppets castThe first Muppet movie came to our screens in 1979 and these lovable characters were created without the use of CGI. Each Muppet character was carved out of various types of foam, and then covered with fleece, fur, or other felt-like material. Muppets represented a multitude of species including animals, humans and aliens. Even in this modern age, when interacting with Muppets, children still tend to act as though the Muppets were living creatures, even when they can see the puppeteers.


The original Star Wars trilogy contained over 100 alien animals spanning a multitude of planets without using CGI. The first film in this epic saga provided audiences with a multitude of film-firsts, including the first ever animated 3D wireframe graphic. Star Wars: A New Hope was made with a relatively small budget by today’s standards and many of the animals and aliens looked surprisingly familiar, check out the very Wolfman-like alien from the iconic Mos Eisley Cantina scene below. This character was changed using CGI for the special edition re-release in 1997.


Blink and you will miss the first use of a realistic CGI animal in a feature film.  The 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth showed off a flying digital owl in the opening credits. The opening sequence of Labyrinth was created by animators Laryy Yaeger and Bill Kroyer and won its animators the NCGA Best Computer Animation award of 1986.



the-lost-world-the-lost-world-jurassic-park-32533948-1800-1013-300x168Lucasfilm’s ILM division provided the Oscar-winning visual effects wizardry in this classic film. The studio used CGI along with animatronics and stop-motion miniatures to create the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. The iconic first glimpse of those Brachiosauri was voted in the top 30 most magical moments in film by Empire magazine and broke new ground in CGI animation of animals on the big screen.


Rise of the Planet of the ApesThe latest addition to the Planet of the Apes franchise did not use a single real-life ape during filming. Working with WETA Digital the studio created lifelike apes through revolutionary motion-capture technology and visual effects. The film highlights the journey of an ape named Caesar, a fully CGI creation realized through a brilliant motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis, who used body suits and cameras to create the realistic movement we see in the film. This is the same technology Serkis used to play Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


Ang Lee’s award winning adaptation Life of Pi relied on the use of CGI to create the Bengal tiger “Richard Parker” which shares the lifeboat with Pi. This was a tough task and so Lee brought in James Cameron and his team from the blockbuster Avatar to make sure that the CGI was the best it could be. To put this into context, the production team employed 15 artists to work only on Richard Parker’s fur, combing and placing all 10 million hairs on the tiger’s body to create the beautiful creature pacing across the screen.

The Official Confirmation that JJ Abrams is Directing Star Wars VII

JJ-AbramsIt takes a lot these days to make the internet meltdown but the news that Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams was signing to direct Disney’s new Star Wars film was just the megatonage needed. It was a very good week for Abrams, whose production company also sold pilots to NBC and Fox. To avoid being totally eclipsed by the news, Paramount Pictures made it clear that Abrams and team would remain involved in some manner with its Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises. Here’s the official release which Disney sent out late last night:

J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII

J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.

“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”

George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller.  He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”

“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”

J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.

Star Wars logoAlso consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.  Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.

John Ostrander: Freelancers Live Without A Net

Ostrander Art 130106As the comics world knows, writer Peter David recently had a stroke. I’ve known Peter for a long time and I both respect and often envy his talent, skill and the breadth of his work. Peter has health insurance but there are plenty of bills that just won’t get covered and, as pointed out here on ComicMix, fans who want to show financial support can do so by purchasing his work at Crazy 8 Press. That’s incredibly easy; not only do your help Peter and his family but will probably get a damn fine read out of it at the same time. Like I said, Peter is a very talented writer.

Peter’s better prepared (as far as anyone can be prepared for something like this) than many in the field; he has health insurance and most other freelancers – including myself – don’t. It’s hard to get, and harder to afford, health insurance when you’re a freelancer. By it’s very nature, a freelancer’s life is precarious.

Take for example, job security. There isn’t any. Beyond your current contract (if you have one), there’s no guarantee you’ll have a job when it ends. You may be on a title for a long time, but that always ends. I had a “continuity contract” at one time with DC which guaranteed me so much work (and health insurance) within a given time frame, but that is long since gone. I don’t know if it’s offered any more. It was difficult for me to get a mortgage back when I bought my house (which I no longer own) and I dare say it’s tougher now if you’re a freelancer.

When you’re a freelancer, you only get paid for the work you actually do. There’s no sick pay, there’s no paid holidays, there’s no paid vacation. You sometimes get royalties ( or “participation” or whatever term a given company chooses to call it) and that’s nice. Amanda Waller’s “participation” in the Green Lantern movie sent me some nice bucks that were sorely needed at the time but that’s like finding an extra twenty in your jeans that you forgot you had. You never know when it’s coming and you can’t rely on it.

In some cases, you can’t even be sure you’ll get the check. The major companies are reliable but the smaller ones can be iffy. One company went into bankruptcy owing me thousands of dollars that I never saw. As I grow older, I continuously worry about getting work. For the past ten years I’ve done Star Wars comics over at Dark Horse but, with the sale of LucasFilm to Disney, that could change. (And, no, I don’t know any more about that than you do.) Will I be able to get other work? I’m going to be 64 this year and haven’t worked in an office for maybe 35 years. What office would hire me now?

When I was just out of college and aiming for a life in theater (another financially iffy occupation), my mother really wanted me to get a master’s degree in English. That way, I might be able to teach, have something to fall back on. My problem was – and is – that I know that if I had something to fall back on, I’d fall back on it. I had to work without a net, I felt, if I was going to make it at all.

Right now, it feels like I’m on the high trapeze and all the lights are out. At some point I’m going to have to let go of the bar and soar into the darkness and hope there’s another trapeze for me to grab. I have no pension, I have no life insurance or health insurance, I have no net.

This is not a pity plea. This is my life and I’ve chosen it. I’ve made my decisions and I live with them as best I can. I wish I had followed Peter’s example and branched out more into other media. I’m happy with some decisions I’ve made and regretful of others. That’s life.

What I’m doing is issuing a warning. There are many, many young writers and artists out there who want a career in comics. Very, very few can make a living off of it and, in many cases, that living only lasts a while. Some, like my fellow ComicMix columnist Marc Alan Fishman and his cohorts at Unshaven Comics, work day jobs while doing their comics work in their increasingly disappearing spare time. Once they’ve created the work, the Unshaven Comics crew also takes to the road, selling their comics at conventions. Ask them how tough that gets.

If you want to make comics a career, go for it. But you should understand what you’re getting into. I love my job and feel fortunate to have been able to do it for as long as I have. However, a freelancer’s life – whatever field – is precarious at best. It can be very scary.

If you want to try to make a living as a freelancer, just make sure you can deal with the idea of living without a net.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell


George Lucas is betting Barack Obama will win re-election

Time 100 2006 gala, George Lucas.

By now, you’ve heard that Lucasfilm has been sold to The Walt Disney Corporation for $4.05 billion dollars. You also see that we’ve discussed what this could mean for Star Wars, Disney, Dark Horse Comics, and many other players. However, what you may not realize is that this also means that George Lucas thinks that the Force is with Barack Obama and in six days, he will win re-election as President of the United States.

Why? Because of what will happen on January 1st.

That’s the day when the Bush Tax Cuts are scheduled to expire. Right now, the current rate on income from corporate dividends and long-term capital gains is 15 percent. With the Bush cuts gone, those numbers would jump to 39.6 percent on dividends and 20 percent on gains.

George Lucas founded Lucasfilm in 1971 and is the sole shareholder. So all the long-term capital gains go straight to him. He would stand to pay an extra 5% on the purchase price, an additional $202.5 million dollars in taxes if he delayed the transaction to 2013.

Now, it should be noted that one of the few things Mitt Romney’s told us about his tax plan is that he plans to keep the 15 percent maximum rate on long-term capital gains and most dividends for taxpayers with income of more than $200,000 per year. So if Romney wins the election, Lucas doesn’t get a bigger tax bill.

But Lucas isn’t doing that– he’s acting now. Ergo, he thinks there’s a significant chance that Romney will lose and that the risk is too big to take.

What does the Disney / Lucasfilm purchase really mean?

OK, you’ve already heard the news.  The final selling price…well, more wealth than YOU can imagine!

Slowly but surely, intellectual property is flowing into larger lumps, eerily mimicking the actions of the country’s banks.  The WWE owns the assets of its former major (only) competitor, WCW. Dreamworks owns Classic Media, which means it controls a massive library of classic animation and TV, including Jay Ward and Harveytoons.   Disney now controls its own properties, the Muppets, Marvel Comics and now Lucasfilm.  They also finally got back the rights of one of Walt’s earliest creations, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which he had done for Walter Lantz.  He’s now starring in their [[[Epic Mickey]]] video games, and now that they own him outright, I’m sure there are plans for using him as well.

If there’s one thing Disney is good at, it’s finding innovative ways to use and market its properties.  In addition to the promised new Star Wars film in 2015 (get in line now!) I expect they already have a full list of plans to execute. Here are our predictions… (more…)


George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm Ltd. to the Walt Disney Company. Disney announced plans for new Star Wars movies to premiere beginning 2015.

Global leader in high-quality family entertainment agrees to acquire world-renowned Lucasfilm Ltd, including legendary STAR WARS franchise.

Acquisition continues Disney’s strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world’s best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value.

Lucasfilm to join company’s global portfolio of world class brands including Disney, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel Comics, and ABC.

STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 feature film targeted for release in 2015.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

You can read the full (lengthy) press release at http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/disney-news/press-releases/2012/10/disney-acquire-lucasfilm-ltd.

There has been no news as yet regarding the future of Lucasfilm’s beloved pulp adventurer, Indiana Jones.

Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4 Billion; ‘Star Wars 7’ Coming In 2015


In a deal that rivals the size of its Marvel purchase, Disney has just confirmed that it has agreed to acquire George Lucas’ Lucasfilm Ltd, including all rights to the Star Wars franchise. The companies have also announced a 2015 release for Star Wars: Episode VII. The stock and cash transaction is worth an estimated $4.05 billion, and a conference call is going on right now to discuss the deal.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger in a release announcing the deal. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

But Disney is paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing based on Disney’s stock price on October 26. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm chairman and founder Lucas.

via UPDATE: BREAKING: ‘Star Wars 7’ Slated For 2015 Release As Disney Buys Lucasfilm – Deadline.com.

We’ll note that this deal is happening on a day that the New York Stock Exchange is closed, so the impact of such a huge announcement on Disney’s stock price is minimized.

A quick note: Avengers 2 is also scheduled for 2015. One wonders how scheduling for these two mega-blockbusters is going to shake out.

We’ll have more news as we know about it.