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Friday, 23 September 2016

One of our dragons is missing: How Disney’s missing dinosaur appeared in Star Wars

The skeleton in Star Wars that was re-used
from One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing

In the spring of 1976, my birthday treat was to be taken to the cinema with some friends. The film, like almost all of those I had seen at the cinema up to then, was from Disney. It was called One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing. Not only was it the kind of movie that pretty much disappeared after Star Wars, but you can actually see the symbolic death of the Disney family comedy in a memorable moment from Star Wars itself. 

Friday, 16 September 2016

The music of Star Wars that we never heard again – part 2

John Williams conducting the score to Star Wars

Episode Nothing continues to look at the musical themes that played a major part in Star Wars but were never reprised in the sequels. Last week it was the motif for the Death Star. Today, the piece that was originally known as Darth Vader's Theme.

Friday, 9 September 2016

The music of Star Wars that we never heard again – part 1

John Williams conducting the Star Wars score

Episode Nothing takes a look at a tiny fragment of music which played a memorable role in the original Star Wars – and was never to feature in the films again.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Book review: How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor

The cover of How Star Wars Conquered
the Universe
by Chris Taylor, published by Head of Zeus

You would need a wookie’s lifespan to read every book published so far about Star Wars – and most of that time would be spent on spin-off novels or the sumptuously illustrated official guides to the films.

But Chris Taylor's book How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is something different: an intelligent, entertaining unauthorised account of the influence Star Wars has had on the world – and a record of the highs and lows experienced by Star Wars fans over the past four decades.

Friday, 26 August 2016

RIP Kenny Baker, 1934-2016: the man who was R2-D2

Kenny Baker with Anthony Daniels
on the set of Star Wars in 1976

The fan reaction to the death of Kenny Baker, the man who was R2-D2, showed how much the character meant to generations of Star Wars lovers. Episode Nothing reflects on Kenny Baker’s contribution to the original Star Wars – and considers what difference it made to have a real person operating the levers and lights to bring R2-D2 to life.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Did Elvis Presley see Star Wars?

Elvis on May 29, 1977, the week Star Wars
was released. Photo:

Episode Nothing asks whether Elvis saw Star Wars – and considers what that question tells us about the tumultuous times of 1977.

Friday, 5 August 2016

5 ways things might have been different if Star Wars had not been a hit

A young George Lucas 

George Lucas believed there might just be enough science fiction fans in the world to ensure that a film with a title like Star Wars was at least modestly profitable.
If Star Wars had been just that kind of minor success, or even a failure, the history of cinema since then might have looked very different. But so would the course George Lucas’s subsequent career. Oddly enough, even the films he made before Star Wars would be different today.