Aliens' Power Loader Was Way More Massive in Syd Mead's Concept Art

Legendary Blade Runner designer Syd Mead helped to inspire the AT-ATs in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, with some "walking tanks" he designed for a U.S. Steel catalog. A few years later, Mead was allowed to do his own walker design, when he created the first art for the power loader in Aliens. » 3/30/14 5:30pm 3/30/14 5:30pm

A pioneering early "slow-mo" technique was developed only as padding

Lost for decades, the sword-and-sorcery short film that showed before Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is finally being shown again at the Mill Valley Film Festival. And it turns out the most innovative thing about Black Angel, a technique for slowing down the fight scenes, was purely to pad out the length. » 9/11/13 12:15pm 9/11/13 12:15pm

The Ultimate Recipe for a Dark Hero's Dark Journey into Darkness

This summer, everybody is going into a very dark place. Superman is growing an underwater beard and getting angsty, Iron Man is getting his soul crushed, and Star Trek wants you to know that it's going into darkness so badly, they put that in the title. So if you're planning to film an epic story about a legendary… » 1/15/13 1:03pm 1/15/13 1:03pm

The Lost Sword-And-Sorcery Classic From the Art Director of Star Wars

If you saw Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in the theater in Europe or Australia, you may also have seen a short film called Black Angel. This ground-breaking 20 minute sword-and-sorcery film was directed by Star Wars art director Roger Christian, and it influenced the look and feel of 1980s fantasy films like » 12/29/12 5:00pm 12/29/12 5:00pm

The 1980s were when science fiction franchises got big

These days, every cool science fiction universe is a "franchise," meaning that it's a piece of intellectual property separate from any particular creator or even set of characters. It wasn't always that way — everything changed in the 1980s. » 12/14/10 8:30am 12/14/10 8:30am

10 things you didn't know about The Empire Strikes Back

Here's a slightly different version of the battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader at the end of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. It's just one of many revelations in a new making-of book. More rare concept art below. » 10/12/10 8:30am 10/12/10 8:30am