The Star Wars Space Armies of John Mollo

John Mollo Starwars costume sketches

Above: (1) Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith – evil figurehead of the Imperial Forces. (2) A member of Darth Vader’s Guard Corps. Notice the Vader style helmet. (3) This Imperial pilot wears armour in the style of the Stormtroopers.

Just in case you’ve been living under an icy rock in a galaxy far, far away you may not have noticed one of two things. Firstly Sci-Fi-O-Rama hasn’t published any new material for aeons, and secondly, there’s a brand new Starwars Film out. So then, in an effort to bound the two together here’s a rare gem I’ve managed to unearth featuring the original trilogy’s Oscar-winning Costume designer John Mollo.

To The Moon (Time-Life Records)

To The Moon - Time Life Records

Something of a special feature here, original photography scanned from the breathtakingly beautiful ‘To The Moon’ (Time-Life 1969) an audio and visual chronology that documents NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and (of course) Apollo projects. ‘To The Moon’ includes 6 doubled sided 12″ Vinyl’s full of famous radio transmissions and interviews, plus an accompanying 190-page slip casebook, and that’s the focus of this post. Many thanks to Craig for the temporary loan!

The first thing that strikes when flicking through ‘To The Moon’ is the muted palette and hues of the colour photography. Bathed in a loving technicolour warmth, the imagery empowers the feeling of not just peering into the past, but through into another world, like suddenly everything could spring to life. What’s also unusual is the obscure nature or relative rarity of content, as you might expect in running and researching this blog I’ve mined many resources from this period, but scanning here presented gem after perfectly preserved gem.

A quick disclaimer on the scans, I’ve tried my best to match the tones of the book, but





Once again, sorry for the brief pause in posting, I don’t know whether anyone’s noticed (I hadn’t till recently!) but Sci-Fi-O-Rama is about to reach 300th posts – thanks for all the support so far! To mark this cyber milestone I have something pretty special planned – more on this very soon…

In the meantime lets shift the focus of this 299th post back to the comically surreal world of US Black Ops patch art, all images are scanned from Trevor Paglen’s excellent book “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World” which turned up in the post the other day.

Here then are my notes:

Top: First up is the wonderfully sinister “Global Engagement – Military Spaceplane Technology Program”.

The source of this patch is the Philips Laboratory Military Spaceplane Technology Program (MiST) at Kirtland airbase New Mexico. Interesting to note here that the swooping X-Wing derived craft was in fact deemed

Minotaur Lockheed Martin Advanced Developement Programs

NRO We Own The Night

Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile

B2 Stealth Bomber To Serve Man

Behind The Green Door Patch

Something slightly different – and frankly bizarre – obscure US Military Patch graphics. I first tagged this set a while back (2008) but only just rediscovered whilst mining through the ever-increasing stack of Sci-Fi-O-Rama resource bookmarks!

What we have here then are six samples or military shoulder/pocket patches taken from “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World” (published Melville House Dec 2007) a compendium of rarely seen “Black Ops” Military Unit/Projects memorabilia researched and compiled by American Artist’s Trevor Paglen. What constitutes a Black

History of The 20th Century

History of The 20th Century - Wrangel is coming


History of The 20th Century - Spion Kop

Ok so something a little different here, Non-SF/Fantasy related material!

The above images come from a full colour 1968 Magazine Publication “History of the 20th Century” that I came across recently. The magazine was a long-running weekly publication that built up into volumes of 16, forming a substantial encyclopedia of mankind’s recent past – as you can imagine, the focus is on colonialism, imperialism and of course war and its devastating effects that have shaped our modern world…

Aside from the extremely in-depth content “History of the 20th Century” contains some stunning imagery, all of which has a real “technicolour” saturated feel photography in the way that only 40-year-old colour print can have.

Some notes on the images:

Top: Illustration from a poster produced by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War (1917-20). Wrangel the White (anti-Bolshevik) general, is shown striding towards