Fully Operational Fandom: How One Museum Engages Visitors With Star Wars

Amy Ratcliffe | April 24, 2014

Fully Operational Fandom: Star Wars at the Cleveland Museum of Art

It’s no big revelation that Star Wars is everywhere. I’ve talked about it plenty in this column and know I’m not alone in encountering a quote from the films while I’m shopping or seeing Yoda graffiti while I’m taking a walk in a new city. The way it has pervaded into our culture can still surprise me though, and that happened when I stumbled across the Art Bites tours at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The monthly thirty-minute tours are scheduled at lunchtime, and they offer a unique way to experience the museum’s collections. Bethany Corriveau, an audience engagement specialist, wanted visitors to connect with the pieces on display so she came up with a twist: she based the tours on pop culture. You can see how our past ties to our favorite movies, books, or television shows. Once you see the threads, it opens your mind and makes you more aware of the way art influences other art.

And I bet you know where I’m going with this — yes, there was an Art Bites focused on Star Wars. Corriveau shared her notes on the tour she created to go with the galaxy far, far away, and it was only natural to tie the themes of the saga to Buddhist pieces. I talked with her about figuring out the specifics of the Star Wars tour and creating the Art Bites program.

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Star Wars Comics Preview: April 23, 2014

StarWars.com Team | April 23, 2014

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It’s Wednesday, which means one thing: new comic books! Check out a preview of new Star Wars comics available today after the jump!

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Star Wars Weekends 2014: Full Lineup Revealed

Gary Buchanan | April 23, 2014

Ray Park, a.k.a. Darth Maul, at Star Wars Weekends

Here’s a little trivia: did you know former “Cheers” star and the Disney•Pixar “lucky charm” John Ratzenberger once appeared on the silver screen in the Star Wars saga? Before he frequented the watering hole where everybody knew his name, he braved the frigid planet Hoth in a minor role in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Next stop for Ratzenberger (or, as he may be known to Star Wars fans, Major Bren Derlin) will be Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends 2014.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the full talent lineup for this year’s event. Celebrities scheduled to attend represent Star Wars actors and actresses from the past (from the Star Wars film saga), present (from the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and even the future (from the eagerly anticipated Disney XD animated series Star Wars Rebels).

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Star Wars Day Crafts: Felt Chewbacca Bookmark

Gabby Zapata | April 23, 2014

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If anyone in Star Wars is reliable when help is needed, it’s Chewbacca. Whether he’s piloting the Millennium Falcon in an asteroid field, putting together a blasted-to-bits C-3PO, or Tarzanning into an AT-ST, everyone’s favorite Wookiee is always ready to lend a hand. And now he can help YOU…remember where you stopped in the book you’re reading.

Just in time for Star Wars Day, follow these easy steps to create your own Chewbacca bookmark.

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Bantha Tracks: The Kids Are All Right, Online Edition

Mary Franklin | April 22, 2014

Bantha Tracks #82 in Star Wars Insider, scheduled for newsstands now, features stories of the young fans who are the true next generation of Star Wars fandom. Here are some additional stories and photographs to supplement that edition, with even more junior Jedi, clones, and Stormtroopers.

Good Eggs

Star Wars Easter eggs

“My son Tom and I had a blast this past Easter creating our very own Star Wars Easter eggs,” writes Mary Setny of Ohio. Thank you, Mary and Tom. We’ll use these for inspiration for our own colored eggs.

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I’d Just as Soon Kiss a Wookiee: Star Wars Romances

Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala in Revenge of the Sith - a classic Star Wars couple

Where would the universe be without love? The fate of the Star Wars universe has been decided several times by the consequences of love for the better and for the worse. The forbidden love between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala sealed the doom of the decaying Galactic Republic. Anakin’s fear of losing Padmé led him on a quick and dark path that enabled Darth Sidious to complete his triumph over the Jedi Knights. But then again, it was his compassion for Luke that made Darth Vader break free from Darth Sidious’ oppression and allowed him to spend the last moments of his tragic life in the companionship of his son. Luckily, not all romantic relationships in the Star Wars galaxy had repercussions that made the entire universe tremble with fear. In this blog we’ll have a look at some of the more unusual couples from the Star Wars universe.

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WonderCon 2014: Star Wars Rebels Panel Report

StarWars.com Team | April 19, 2014

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Star Wars Rebels
— and the age of the Empire — is almost here. While details regarding the upcoming animated series have been closely guarded, fans at Lucasfilm’s WonderCon event today were treated to a brand new clip, never-before-seen concept art, insights into the making of the show, and some major announcements. Hosted by Dave Collins, the panel featured executive producer Dave Filoni, voice actress Vanessa Marshall (Hera), and art director Kilian Plunkett. If you were unable to attend, fear not — StarWars.com has you covered with all of the day’s highlights, images, and videos!

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Star Wars Toothbrushes: The Empire Strikes Plaque

Mark Newbold | April 17, 2014

Star Wars toothbrushes

The Star Wars saga has shown us that Han, Luke, Leia, and company had regular brushes with danger, fighting their way out of close scrapes and situations. Here on Earth, the kids of the ’70s and ’80s faced similar terrors, albeit of a slightly less stellar nature. Moms and dads worldwide, desperate to find a way to get their kids to get into the daily routine of brushing their teeth, quickly realized that there was no better way to make it happen than to give their kids the coolest option in oral hygiene — Star Wars toothbrushes. And so it was that from the late ’70s to the mid ’80s kids were raging about their new toothbrushes, adorned with a selection of their favorite characters. Just think, you could brush and go with Threepio, fight the plaque to Hoth and back, scrub your gums with Rebel chums and safely chew thanks to Artoo. Battling tooth decay had suddenly become fun.

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Star Wars Comics Preview: April 16, 2014

StarWars.com Team | April 16, 2014

It’s Wednesday, which means one thing: new comic books! Check out a preview of new Star Wars comics available today after the jump!

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Happy Rancor: Mail-Away Star Wars Action Figures

Dan Brooks | April 16, 2014

Happy Rancor by Dan Brooks on the Star Wars Blog

Happy Rancor explores hidden gems in and around the orbit of Star Wars — from old video games to comics to underrated novels — that have maybe been forgotten, but deserve a little more consideration. In this installment, we take a look at Star Wars toys that require proofs of purchase, postage, and patience.

One element of Star Wars collecting that I’ve always found fascinating is the mail-away action figure, a designation usually reserved for characters especially important to the saga or those that are just visually interesting and mysterious. The process is pretty straightforward: clip and send in “proof of purchase” UPC bar codes from previously purchased items in exchange for a free (more or less, depending on whether or not a shipping payment is required), not-available-anywhere-else toy. It isn’t immediately evident, but mail-aways have quite a big legacy in the history of Star Wars merchandise. This piece is a light history of mail-aways, combined with some autobiography regarding my experience with these special figures.

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