Fun photos for those who love Star Wars!

San Diego Comic-Con is approaching fast.

With the appearance of this year’s Comic-Con trolley wraps, many people I speak to are starting to get excited.

Now that I’m thinking about Comic-Con, too, it has occurred to me that over the years my blog has featured lots of photos concerning one of the absolute biggest franchises in pop culture: Star Wars!

I’ve rounded up a bunch of links that would be fun to check out. You’ll find unique photos of Star Wars artwork, models, cosplay, and even some humorous Star Wars street art!

Star Wars lightsaber combat at Maker Faire!

Cool–and funny–Star Wars street art!

A cool Star Wars character created by local artist!

Star Wars cosplay at Independence Day parade!

San Diego artist spray paints cool Star Wars images!

Three cool street art faces in East Village!

(Click the above link at your discretion. Yes, I’m afraid there’s an image of Jar Jar Binks.)

Comic-Con insanity! More cosplay and a TV star!

(Click to see many instances of Star Wars cosplay, including a Jawa.)

Cosplay photos and other 2017 Comic-Con stuff!

(Click to see more Star Wars cosplay, plus a full size replica of a Star Wars T-47 Snowspeeder.)

Some cool photos from Comic-Con Preview Night.

(Click to see a fair amount of Star Wars stuff, including the full size speeder used by Rey in The Force Awakens.)

Enjoy!

Photos inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.

The stern of HMS Surprise, the beautiful ship used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe.
The stern of HMS Surprise, the beautiful ship used in the filming of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe.

If you’ve watched the memorable movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, you might recall the fictional British warship HMS Surprise was center stage for most of the film, which was set during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is now home to the working ship that was used in the filming of Master and Commander. Originally built in 1970 as a replica of the HMS Rose, a British 24-gun frigate from 1757, the ship was purchased by 20th Century Fox in 2001 and modified to appear in scenes in the 2003 film. Because of its starring role in Master and Commander, the ship was subsequently re-registered as HMS Surprise.

The critically acclaimed movie, starring Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin, was based on a series of popular novels written by Patrick O’Brien. Russell Crowe has been lobbying for a sequel for over a decade now. According to what I’ve heard, there’s a possibility the sequel might finally be made.

The museum recently debuted a new exhibit aboard HMS Surprise called Man-of-War, and along with many new signs on the main deck and gun deck, the captain’s great cabin is now open to the public. (You can see other aspects of the new Man-of-War exhibit here. Clicking the link will take you to a past blog post concerning HMS Surprise, where I’ve added updated photographs.)

Several memorable scenes in the movie take place inside the great cabin. Among others, you might recall scenes of officers dining and strategizing as they pursue the French privateer Acheron around Cape Horn to the Galapagos Islands, and of Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin playing the violin and cello.

While I’ve been told much of the filming of Master and Commander was done on movie sets, the great cabin visitors see on the working ship HMS Surprise is much like the one portrayed in the movie.

The great cabin of HMS Surprise is now open to the public. Several displays provide interesting information.
The great cabin of HMS Surprise is now open to the public. Several displays provide interesting information.
Sign reads the Great Cabin in the stern of the Surprise was reserved for the captain's use. Here he slept, held council with his officers, and entertained his invited guests.
Sign reads the Great Cabin in the stern of the Surprise was reserved for the captain’s use. Here he slept, held council with his officers, and entertained his invited guests.
Photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise. In real life the space feels cramped and the table is small. The large stern windows are a familiar sight in the movie.
Photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise. In real life the space feels cramped and the table is small. The large stern windows are a familiar sight in the movie.
Unlike most of the crew, the captain enjoyed wine and ate in style.
Unlike most of the crew, the captain enjoyed wine and ate in style.
Historically, guns were deployed in the great cabin during battles at sea. To make room, furniture was removed and placed in a longboat which was then towed behind the ship!
Historically, guns were deployed in the great cabin during battles at sea. To make room for the gunners, the furniture was removed and placed in a longboat which was then towed behind the ship!
Another photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.
Another photo inside the great cabin of HMS Surprise.
Photo on wall recalls a scene in Master and Commander. Captain Jack Aubrey shares a toast with ship's doctor and officers.
Photo on wall recalls a scene in Master and Commander. Captain Jack Aubrey shares a toast with ship’s doctor and officers.
A display in the great cabin concerns prize money and medals. After a victorious battle, captains and crews were rewarded by the British government.
A display in the great cabin concerns prize money and medals. After a victorious battle, captains and crews were rewarded by the British government.
Gun on the starboard side of the great cabin, next to a chest and swords hung at the ready in case the ship was boarded by the enemy, or sailors mutiny.
Gun on the starboard side of the great cabin, next to a chest and swords hung at the ready in case the ship was boarded by the enemy, or sailors mutiny.
A violin on a stand. The favorite musical instrument of the fictional Captain Jack Aubrey.
A violin on a stand. The favorite musical instrument of the fictional Captain Jack Aubrey.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Photo memories of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con!

Time to go into Comic-Con mode!

I can’t believe how quickly the years pass by. It feels 2017 San Diego Comic-Con happened only yesterday!

Just for fun, I’ve been reviewing my blog posts from last year. It was amazing. So much fantastic stuff going on. Running like a crazy person around downtown taking hundreds of photos almost wore me out, but what an incredible, unforgettable experience!

Would you like to revisit some of the cool cosplay and fun activities outside Comic-Con in 2017?

Click the following links to see lots and lots of photos!

Photos of Steven Universe music video with Estelle!

Photos of uniforms, weapons, props of Star Trek: Discovery!

Comic-Con! Huge crowds! Cool cosplay! Crazy fun!

Comic-Con insanity! More cosplay and a TV star!

A look inside the Futurism and Tech Pavilion at Comic-Con.

Vikings actors greet crowd! A longship burns!

More craziness and cosplay at 2017 Comic-Con!

Broad City fans paint big coloring book at Comic-Con!

Celebrities! Cool cosplay! A rare Alien Queen!

More fun and cool cosplay at SDCC 2017!

Rabbitville gallery celebrates Gaslamp during Comic-Con.

The Walking Dead eat fans at 2017 Comic-Con!

Cosplay photos and other 2017 Comic-Con stuff!

Fun stuff outside Comic-Con on Preview Night!

Ron English’s POPaganda art exhibit at Comic-Con.

Hall H line begins, and photos of other stuff.

Cartoon Network character balloons take flight!

More photos of preparations for 2017 Comic-Con!

Super fan is first in line for Conan at Comic-Con!

Photos of how to get Wrecked at Comic-Con!

A look inside the Laika Experience at Comic-Con!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Tasty upgrades coming to the Gaslamp!

The large Reading Cinemas building on Fifth Avenue is being renovated. Once reopened, the interior will be radically altered.
The large Reading Cinemas building on Fifth Avenue is being renovated. Once reopened, the interior will be radically altered.

Early yesterday morning I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter. As usual, I was amazed at all the ongoing renovation of buildings and businesses up and down Fifth Avenue.

It isn’t unusual for restaurants and nightclubs to come and go, but several projects are in progress that will upgrade long-time San Diego destinations.

The two projects that I observed were a radical transformation of the building that used to be home to the now closed 15-screen Reading Cinemas, and an expansion and redesign of the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.

The old Reading Cinemas building is being converted into a luxury movie theater and two restaurants. The developer is part owner of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The Gaslamp’s new 8-screen Theatre Box will host film festivals, San Diego Comic-Con events, and be within steps of a tasty new Sugar Factory restaurant (which includes a candy store with superhero themes) and a Landshark Bar and Grill (part of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville food and hospitality empire).

A somewhat confined Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop down the street is being expanded and made much more roomy and inviting. When completed, it will once again welcome visitors to the Gaslamp Quarter with a tempting array of delectable, mouth-watering treats!

Fifth Avenue south of Broadway is the hub of San Diego's popular Gaslamp Quarter.
Fifth Avenue south of Broadway is the hub of San Diego’s popular Gaslamp Quarter.
Workers beautify a building that will be home to a luxury theater and two new restaurants.
Workers beautify a building that will be home to a luxury theater and two new restaurants.
One of several Gaslamp destinations undergoing renovation. Many downtown establishments strive to be attractive and upscale.
One of several Gaslamp destinations undergoing renovation. Many downtown establishments strive to be attractive and upscale.
The iconic Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will also see various changes.
The iconic Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop will also see various changes.
Square footage is being increased and counters repositioned. The interior will be less crowded, more inviting.
Square footage is being increased and counters repositioned. The interior will be less crowded, more inviting.
A graphic on a construction fence designed to make people drool! All these Ghirardelli treats and more will be returning to the Gaslamp!
A graphic on a construction fence designed to make people drool! All these Ghirardelli treats and more will be returning to the Gaslamp!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A tour inside the historic Spreckels Theatre.

A tour group has entered the Spreckels Theatre from the Grand Lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building in downtown San Diego.
A tour group has entered the Spreckels Theatre from the Grand Lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building in downtown San Diego.

Several years ago I wrote a short blog about the Spreckels Theater Building on Broadway. I took a few photos of the six-story office building’s exterior and Grand Lobby. You can see those here.

During the San Diego Architectural Foundation 2018 OPEN HOUSE event last weekend, I enjoyed a tour of the Spreckels Theatre, which is found inside the large mixed-use building. Our group met in the building’s Grand Lobby near the original old box office, which for many years had been hidden and forgotten behind a wall. We then ventured into the theatre’s smaller elegant Baroque lobby.

After learning some fascinating history, we headed down an aisle through the theatre, up over the orchestra pit and right up onto the stage! By tilting our heads back we could gaze six floors straight up at the stage’s complex workings, and by walking a few steps off the stage, we could poke our noses into the three “Star” dressing suites.

Our group was provided with in all sorts of cool information, but sadly I didn’t write it all down. We did learn that the Spreckels Theatre and the building that it’s housed in was built by San Diego entrepreneur and philanthropist John D. Spreckels, and was designed by Harrison Albight. The structure is built of concrete and steel–it actually contains more steel than nearby modern high-rises. The Grand Lobby outside the theatre entrance contains a vast quantity of beautiful onyx that was shipped in from Mexico.

When the theatre opened in 1912 it was the largest theatre of its kind west of New York City. The theatre originally had 1915 seats, to celebrate the 1915 Panama-California Exposition which would be held in Balboa Park. The theatre has been operating continuously for its entire existence–well over a hundred years. To this day, the theatre has one of the best acoustic ratings anywhere in the world.

Everyone in our tour group smiled when we heard about a 1923 production of Ben Hur, which included horse-drawn chariots actually racing across the Spreckel Theatre’s stage! Apparently the chariots raced in a circle through the lot behind the building, and would periodically come into the building to thunder across the stage!

The interior of the theatre was fairly dark during our tour, so many of my photographs didn’t come out very good. Please read the captions to learn some more about this very cool old theatre.

One additional thing! When questions were posed to the theatre’s manager, I asked whether Conan O’Brien would be returning to the Spreckels Theatre for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. The answer was he almost certainly will!

The Grand Lobby shines with onyx brought in from Mexico. I learned this original box office was hidden for many years behind a wall and forgotten.
The Grand Lobby shines with onyx brought in from Mexico. I learned this original box office was hidden for many years behind a wall and forgotten.
A sign describes the Spreckels Theatre story. In the 1920's, it was transformed into a grand movie house, hosting Hollywood premieres and the leading stars of the day.
A sign describes the Spreckels Theatre story. In the 1920’s, it was transformed into a grand movie house, hosting Hollywood premieres and the leading stars of the day.
We've stepped into the lobby of the theatre. The amazing glass artwork above the entrance was created in 1983 by Yaakov Agam, commissioned by theatre President, Jacquelyn Littlefield.
We’ve stepped into the lobby of the theatre. The amazing glass artwork above the entrance was created in 1983 by Yaakov Agam, commissioned by theatre President, Jacquelyn Littlefield. Check out its very different reflection in the mirror!
The very elegant concession counter in the theatre, still in use today.
The very elegant concession counter in the theatre, still in use today.
Old photos in glass displays behind the lobby counter show the historic building, past movie stars and John D. Spreckels.
Old photos in glass displays behind the lobby’s counter show the historic building, past movie stars and John D. Spreckels.
Spreckels Theatre. Opening Night August 23, 1912.
Spreckels Theatre. Opening Night: August 23, 1912.
Looking up at light fixtures, one at the theatre lobby and one up some stairs at the Mezzanine.
Looking up at light fixtures, one at the theatre lobby and one up some stairs at the Mezzanine.
Portraits of Hollywood stars left of the front counter.
Portraits of Hollywood stars left of the front counter.
Early movie stars on the right side.
Early movie stars on the right side.
Resolution by San Diego City Council honoring Jacqelyn Littlefield Day, owner and operator of the beautiful Spreckels Theatre since 1970.
Resolution by San Diego City Council honoring Jacqelyn Littlefield Day, owner and operator of the beautiful Spreckels Theatre since 1970.
Cool poster from Conan O'Brien's appearance at the Spreckels Theatre during 2015 San Diego Comic-Con.
Cool poster from Conan O’Brien’s appearance at the Spreckels Theatre during 2015 San Diego Comic-Con.
Now we've entered the dark theatre where my camera struggles. Here's an idea of what you will see.
Now we’ve entered the dark theatre where my old camera struggles. Here’s an idea of what you will see.
Balcony seats surrounded by fantastic Baroque elegance.
Balcony seats surrounded by fantastic Baroque elegance.
One of two plaster sculptures by Charles C. Cristadoro, who would go on to work for Walt Disney.
One of two plaster sculptures by Charles C. Cristadoro, who would go on to work for Walt Disney.
Looking out toward some seats from the theatre's stage.
Looking out toward some seats from the theatre’s stage.
A distinctive Spreckels Theatre design at the end of every seat row.
The distinctive Spreckels Theatre design at the end of every seat row.
A quick peek into a modest suite to the side of the stage. A mirror, sink and restroom are reserved for the biggest stars.
A quick peek into a modest suite to the side of the stage. A mirror, sink and restroom are reserved for the biggest stars.
Our group learns some of the fascinating history of one of San Diego's most treasured places.
Our tour group learns some of the fascinating history of one of San Diego’s most treasured places.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Star Wars lightsaber combat at Maker Faire!

This member of the San Diego Sabers has personally made many lightsabers. Some examples lie on the group's table during Maker Faire in Balboa Park.
This member of the San Diego Sabers has personally made many lightsabers. Some examples lie on the group’s table during Maker Faire in Balboa Park.

The last couple of years at Maker Faire San Diego I’ve watched a group of Star Wars enthusiasts entertain audiences with lightsaber duels. They have engaged in their elaborate play on the main stage, swinging their illuminated lightsabers in mock combat, to rousing music from the Star Wars movies.

This year, as I walked around Maker Faire, I happened upon this group’s cool lightsaber exhibit. These local Star Wars fans call themselves the San Diego Sabers. They are one of many similar groups all around the world that make their own lightsabers and engage in mock combat.

I asked all sort of questions and learned more than I expected. Most of the extremely elaborate lightsabers used by the members produce colored light, illuminating a long clear tube that can be attached, thereby appearing much like the Jedi and Sith weapons made famous in the movies. Most of the mock weapons also generate that distinctive lightsaber sound. I learned that it’s also possible to order a variety of lightsabers from several online vendors.

Regional competitions are often held between groups, and the method of scoring is similar to that used in fencing. The sport is lightning fast, highly athletic and incorporates various styles of martial arts. The San Diego Sabers provide demos free to the public, teach all ages including kids (often using foam lightsabers for safety), and encourage acceptance, respect, and a positive attitude.

And it’s obvious they have a lot of fun!

Many DIY lightsabers are surprisingly elaborate, generating light and sound, while appearing as authentic as any movie prop.
Many DIY lightsabers are surprisingly elaborate, generating light and sound, while appearing as authentic as any movie prop.
The San Diego Sabers provides full contact lightsaber training based on fencing, HEMA, Kendo and Wu-shu. Kids are welcome and it's free!
The San Diego Sabers provides full contact lightsaber training based on fencing, HEMA, Kendo and Wu-shu. Kids are welcome and it’s free!
Someone picks up one of the cool lightsabers on display.
Someone picks up one of the cool lightsabers on display.
Members of the San Diego Sabers demonstrate mock combat using foam attachments. Together they've got enough lightsabers to take on General Grievous!
Members of the San Diego Sabers demonstrate mock combat using foam attachments. Together they’ve got enough lightsabers to take on General Grievous!
A kid checks out one of the cool lightsabers. As you might have noticed, I took these photos on two different days during Maker Faire San Diego.
A kid checks out one of the cool lightsabers. As you might have noticed, I took these photos on two different days during Maker Faire San Diego.
Kids have a lot of fun with the foam lightsabers.
Kids have a lot of fun with the foam lightsabers.
Members of the San Diego Sabers arrive at the Maker Faire main stage in the Plaza de Panama. A combat exhibition is about to begin.
Members of the San Diego Sabers arrive at the Maker Faire main stage in the Plaza de Panama. A combat exhibition is about to begin.
As Star Wars music plays, two members of the San Diego Sabers simulate an epic battle between the Jedi and Sith.
As Star Wars music plays, two members of the San Diego Sabers simulate an epic battle between the Jedi and Sith.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Finding Nemo street art in Mission Beach!

Fun street art in Mission Beach, a short distance from Mission Bay. Characters from the movie Finding Nemo have been painted on a utility box!
Fun street art in Mission Beach, a short distance from Mission Bay. Characters from the beloved animated movie Finding Nemo have been painted on a utility box!

Look what I spotted during my weekend walk through Mission Beach! Some really fun Finding Nemo street art!

Squirt and Pearl.
Squirt and Pearl.
Blenny and Bubbles and Peach.
Blenny and Bubbles and Peach.
Sheldon and Jacques.
Sheldon and Jacques.
And, of course, Dory and Nemo! This happy street art was created by the Splatter Club!
And, of course, Dory and Nemo! This happy street art was painted by the Splatter Club!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!