Krull - Colwyn

Am I The Only One That Likes 1983’s Krull?

Krull was a movie that made a big mark on me when I was young. I can recall watching another 1983 film at my local Drive-In, in this case it was Superman III. Standing in line at that fabled concession stand I happened to glance over and see the poster for Krull. All thoughts of my Chilly Dilly pickle were gone, so I slipped under the railing and went to get a closer look at that poster.
Krull - Movie Poster

I will admit I was drawn to the visage of the Beast first. I had already turned eleven at that point and while not frightening, it certainly demanded my attention. Throw in the odd weapon that I would later learn was called the Glaive. I knew I had to see this film. In addition, after Superman III they actually showed the trailer for Krull!

[Via] Trailer Dwelling

I ask you, how could I not be blown away. Return of the Jedi had finished the Star Wars trilogy and yet I still hungered for space adventures. The very fact that this was a mash-up of sword and sorcery and science fiction was all the better. It was tailor made for a burgeoning cinephile like myself!
Krull - Slayers

Furthermore how can you resist a film with a trident throwing cyclops?

Upon seeing it, in all honesty, I was blown away. While of course there are a few elements from Star Wars that were borrowed for Krull. I am speaking of the Hero’s Journey in this regard. Prince Colwyn is helped on his quest to rescue Princess Lyssa by the appearance of Ynyr. A wise old man that obviously acts as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the film.
Krull - Freddie Jones

Naturally another element that Krull borrows from Star Wars is the Glaive. While it might not be a weapon from a more civilized time, it is ever so much as elegant as the weapon of a Jedi. As well as being a symbol of the royalty of long ago on the Planet Krull as we are told in the film. Most assuredly though I realize that like Lucas did with the lightsaber, the film’s ancient Glaive is a throwback to the likes of King Arthur’s Excalibur or even Hrunting from Beowulf!
Krull - The Glaive

On a side note. If I were thrust into the digital universe of the OASIS from Ready Player One. I can tell you without a doubt that in one hand would be the Glaive, and the other TRON’s identity disc.

Here is the rub though, it appeared that I was in the minority of those that loved the movie. The neighborhood kids definitely didn’t see all that I loved of Krull. Judging by the box office they weren’t alone. With an estimated budget of 47 million dollars – it earned only 16 million. It was pretty much savaged by the critics of the time. Case in point, this vintage review by Siskel and Ebert.

[Via] Gradepoint

I would add that it seems that maybe Gene and Roger in this particular case weren’t paying attention to the film. In addition, did Ebert knock 1981’s Dragonslayer? Now in truth Krull has obtained a cult status. Partly I am sure because of the embarrassment of riches it had with its cast. Liam Neeson, Robbie Coltrane, Freddie Jones, and Alun Armstrong to name a few.
Krull - Alun Armstrong

Let’s not fail to mention that the movie also boasts a fantastic score, by the late and great James Horner.

[Via] 200 Verde

I still find the movie to be just as thrilling as in my youth. I say this having fully removed those rose-tinted spectacles. Is it a perfect movie, most assuredly not. Krull is however an entertaining film, definitely deserving of a better score than 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, friends.
Krull - Rell

I’ve rambled on about things I like about Krull so how about watching something very special?


Thanks to DeeDee Bigelow’s YouTube channel, we can see Ken Marshall, who played Prince Colwyn hold the Glaive in his hands after 30 years.

Star Wars Q and A - Hamill

MidAmeriCon II featuring 1976 Star Wars Q and A!

Friends, you might have noticed the other day when the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story debuted. It sounded very much like the ripping of the fabric of the universe. At least judging by the comments from some of those in the fanbase. But that is certainly not why I am writing this post. Not in the least. This is about the discovery of the MidAmeriCon II panel with Mark Hamill, Gary Kurtz as well as Charles Lippincott. An amazing Star Wars Q and A from September 4th, 1976!

Charles Lippincott is the gentleman in yellow Star Wars t-shirt. He was responsible for drumming up interest in the first film at various conventions. Like at the 34th WorldCon in Kansas City, Missouri.
Star Wars Q and A - Charles Lippincott

Gary Kurtz of course was the producer for the first two Star Wars films. Although he also produced 1973’s American Graffiti as well as co-producing 1982’s The Dark Crystal.
Star Wars Q and A - Gary Kurtz

I don’t believe I need to point out the merits of Mark Hamill, right? This Star Wars Q and A is nearly and hour long. It also is incredibly fascinating how the audience members react. It might shock you but most are quite angry towards the then upcoming film.

[Via] Sky TV

Not everyone is dismissive of Hamill, Kurtz, and Lippincott of course. The trio also make a point of handling the questions and aggression good-naturedly. Hamill in particular reveals early on his humorous nature. You will also hear some answers to questions that don’t quite mesh with what the finished product turned out to be.

So grab your favorite beverage and snack and enjoy this 1976 Star Wars Q and A!

[Via] Gvaerbe Kfaofse

Okay. So you’ve had a chance to watch the Star Wars Q and A. So why not check out that Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer too?

[Via] Star Wars

Retroist Scoreboard: The Dog and Jedi and Klown Days of Summer

Now I know why the major soundtrack labels unloaded an entire vat of music on us last week: it’s getting hot enough to melt compact discs.  (If you’re hot, they’re hot – bring them inside!)  Fortunately, we’ve got a little splash of interesting classic soundtrack news to cool you off.

Composer John Massari has kicked off an IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign for his orchestral re-recording of his own score from the Chiodo Brothers’ cult classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space.  Re-recordings are wildly varying in quality, but this one is worth your attention: the original composer is behind it, and as he states in his crowdfunding pitch, he always had it in mind as an orchestral score, but the film’s budget limited him to synthesizers.  Also, one only has to pitch in at the $20 level to get an autographed CD of the new recording when it’s done.

Music Box Records has released a very small run (750 copies!) of Georges Delerue‘s score from the 1980 TV series Les Chevaux du Soleil (Horses Of The Sun).  Some music from this series has been presented on prior compilations of Delerue’s work, but this is the entire score from the original sessions, adding over 40 minutes of material not heard before.  Liner notes are included in both French and English.

Also: I missed one earlier this month.  (So many labels, so many soundtrack releases…it happens.)  Moviescoremedia, a label based in Sweden, has release George Shaw‘s score from the Star Wars fan film Way To The Rebellion.

Wait, what?  A soundtrack from a fan film?  It’s not completely unheard-of: there are CDs and/or downloads available of such fan-made projects as Starship Farragut and Star Trek: Renegades (both of them Trek spinoffs), and they’re worth a listen – some of the fan film composers have gone on to “real” projects (though I challenge you to watch Star Trek Continues and tell me that’s not a “real” project).

POW! To the moon!

Shaw, as it happens, already has several “real” projects behind him – Way To The Rebellion was just his chance to be John Williams for a day.  To fill out the CD, some of Shaw’s prior Star Wars-related scores are included, such as First Asian Jedi and Dealbreakers: She’s Never Seen Star Wars?!.  The samples you can listen to on the web site sound big-screen – this is a real orchestra, not a suitcase full of samples.  As someone once said…impressive.  Most impressive.  You can watch Way To The Rebellion in its entirety to get a taste for the music.

Will there be “new” classic film music to talk about next week?  Stay tuned.

Last Jedi Trailer by way of the Apple IIc

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer By Way Of The Apple IIc!

That is something you will not normally read, right? The Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc . Because as a matter of fact, who would think that is even possible? Thankfully for all of us fans of retro as well as movie buffs, one artist decided to do that very thing. Moreover this Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc manages to make it even more awesome!

The artist in question I should add is Wahyu Ichwandardi or Pinot as he is known on Twitter. Furthermore he had this to say on his Twitter channel on remaking the trailer using solely 1984 technology.
“It’s not just about a nostalgia journey, but also a tech history lesson. Kids have access to the old tech to experience better, beyond. And show it to my children.
New tech old tech, we just need to respect the tool to create something beyond its original task.”

Last Jedi Trailer by way of the Apple IIc

I think you will absolutely agree with me, that Pinot just said something very wise. In addition to something incredibly true. Pinot by the way also used two other bits of 1984 technology as well. Broderbund’s Dazzle Draw which is a bitmap paint program that was developed by David Snider. Who you might know better as the designer for the groundbreaking 1982 pinball simulation David’s Midnight Magic.

In addition, Pinot of course had to animate the Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc…by hand.

He did this by using none other than the Koala Pad. A drawing tablet released by Koala Technologies. Naturally. In fact, Pinot was kind enough to comment on Rob O’Hara’s 2012 post just a few days ago.

Animating The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc took 48 140KB double density disks. As well as 288 image files with a total of 6MB. Obviously a whole heck of a lot of work went into bringing this labor of love to fruition.

However I think after you see the work for yourself you will totally agree on two things. It was totally worth it and Pinot has created something incredibly beautiful!

[Via] PinoDita

Having reveled in The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc. Why not take a few moments and really see how much work Pinot put into the project?

[Via] PinoDita

Rancho Obi-Wan - Steve Sansweet

Sad News – Rancho Obi-Wan Has Been A Victim Of Theft!

Just a few weeks back I shared one of my personal memories of seeing Star Wars for the first time. Like so many of us the saga that George Lucas brought to movie screens in 1977 helped to shape our lives. That statement is perhaps no more truer than in regards to Steve Sansweet. A kind and generous man that has been described as being the Star Wars ambassador. In addition to being a collector he is also an author as well as President and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan, a non-profit museum that in fact holds the largest collection of memorabilia from the saga.
Rancho Obi-Wan - Star Wars Collection

I want to add also that I was lucky enough to have met Sansweet at the San Diego Comic-Con. In the early 90s when he was giving a lecture about his vast collection.

Rancho Obi-Wan wasn’t established until 1998, beginning in one of three former hen houses in fact. Furthermore it wasn’t until 2011 when Sansweet retired as Director of Content Management and head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm. That was actually when Rancho Obi-Wan became not only a non-profit musuem but allowed fans to visit and enjoy his collection.

[Via] How Stuff Works

Which is why I felt like throwing up this afternoon when reading the news of a massive theft at Rancho Obi-Wan. Tom Berges of the exceptional I Grew Up Star Wars was kind enough to share this on the site’s Facebook Page. The reason I am sharing it here on The Retroist is to help get the word out about the possibility of fellow collector’s purchasing stolen property.

Here is the message from Sansweet on the official Rancho Obi-Wan website:
“Dear fellow Star Wars fans and collectors,

I need to share some distressing news with you because I need your help.

In February we at Rancho Obi-Wan found out that we had been the victim of a major theft that surreptitiously took place over many months in late 2015 through 2016.

There were more than 100 valuable items stolen, the majority of them vintage U.S. and foreign carded action figures, many of them rare and important pieces. Most have either been resold or professionally appraised for a total of more than $200,000.

The theft came to light after Philip Wise, a good friend, major collector and owner of several Star Wars websites, posted news of the theft of his rare prototype rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure from his Texas warehouse. Zach Tann, a respected toy dealer and collector in Southern California, immediately notified Philip that he had purchased that figure from Carl Edward Cunningham, 45, a well-known Star Wars collector and R2-D2 builder from Marietta, Georgia.

Tann further told Philip that he previously had bought many other rare Star Wars collectibles from Carl and sent a detailed list. Philip said that he quickly concluded by the quantity and quality of items that they had likely been stolen from my collection here in Petaluma, California.

Tann is working closely with us and authorities to help recover and return as many of the stolen collectibles as possible. Without Zach Tann’s call to Philip, which came despite great potential personal financial exposure to himself, we might still not know of the theft or its extent.

Carl surrendered on an arrest warrant from the Sonoma County, California Sheriff’s Department at the end of March and was charged with felony grand theft. He is currently free on bail with additional hearings in the case scheduled.

I have known Carl for many years, considered him a good and trusted friend, and played host to him at my home numerous times. I, and the staff at Rancho Obi-Wan, are devastated that he is the alleged perpetrator of the thefts. Not only have important items been stolen from the collection, but also our time, energy and ability to trust unconditionally have taken a blow.

If you have any information about Carl Cunningham’s activities or items that he has sold please write to tips@ranchoobiwan.org. If you think you may have purchased a stolen item, please be patient while we work through this process. It is our goal to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and to continue to use the collection at Rancho Obi-Wan to “Inspire through the Force” despite the destruction caused by one person.

Thank you for your help,
Steve Sansweet
Rancho Obi-Wan”

As Sansweet mentions in the closing of his announcement, Rancho Obi-Wan will continue to inspire. That is the takeaway from this heinous incident. With the help of a global community that spans generations, the love of the Star Was saga shines brightly.

Take a closer look at Rancho Obi-Wan with Steve Sansweet and Norman Chan of Tested!


Rancho Obi-Wan - Steve Sansweet - Tested

[Via] Tested