In just a few months, Star Wars: Episode VII will go into production at Pinewood Studios in London, with director J.J. Abrams at the helm. This will be the first movie in a new chapter in the Star Wars Saga, and offers a perfect time to take a look back at where it all started. A number of infographics and videos have emerged that showcase everything from lightsabers to trivia you may or may not have known about your favorite galaxy far, far away.
First up, an infographic that breaks downhow a lightsaber works. George Lucas was inspired by many different sources to make Star Wars a reality. Along with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, he found insight in pulpy science fiction like Flash Gordon. One of the elements Lucas lifted was the idea of a swashbuckling space adventure. You can’t have a swashbuckling melee without a sword, and Lucas came up with the saga’s signature weapon, the lightsaber.
The lightsaber is a unique weapon because it’s both mechanical and natural at the same time. While the casing and mechanism is completely electronic, a special and colorful Lightsaber Crystal powers it. Interestingly, lightsabers are made by hand during a Jedi Knight or Sith Lord’s training.
Next up, a new Star Wars tumblr has emerged that features another new infographic, 19 Things You Didn’t Know About Star Wars. The piece features tidbits about production, like the three different actors who played Darth Vader in the original trilogy (four, if you count Hayden Christensen in the Return of the Jedi special edition), and that Han Solo was based on director Francis Ford Coppola. The most interesting bit in the lot is that Lucas started Industrial Light and Magic after he found out Twentieth Century Fox shut down their special effects department. Star Wars had already been green lit, and he needed a place to do his wok.
Meanwhile, Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World is quickly coming up this year. The four-weekend event will take place on the three-day weekends starting on May 16, 2014, and run until June 8. That’s four solid weekends of everything Star Wars, including the Jedi Academy and various other Star Wars-related attractions. Disney Parks released the first of what will be many new videos featuring the upcoming event. Check out this video of Goofy as Darth Vader trying to move an X-Wing with the Force.
Lastly, a “lost” Star Wars anime was unearthed. A new video that imagines the original trilogy as an anime has been making the rounds around the Internet. While it’s an absurd video, it’s actually funny to see an X-Wing and the Millennium Falcon “mega-merge” into a giant freakin’ robot Voltron-style. The video also addresses the “love” between Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. The sketch comedy video troupe Nacho Punch made the video as a teaser to, which I expect to be a longer video web series.
With the release of the first Star Wars movie in 10 years coming up in 2015, there’s going to be a lot of news in the near future. Come back to GFR for the latest and greatest in everything sci-fi.
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters everywhere on December 18, 2015.