Welcome to the second installment of “Heeding the Call,” in which I recount the history of the Mandalorian Mercs fan group. (And a big thanks to everyone who commented and wrote in about part one.) Let’s resume our flashback to 2007, shall we?
Welcome to the third of 12 articles revealing — for the first time ever — material cut from The Essential Guide to Warfare before its April 2012 publication. Each section will be preceded by brief comments discussing why the material wound up on the cutting-room floor.
XIM THE DESPOT
Jason Fry: I’ve been a huge fan of Xim the Despot ever since reading about this ancient galactic ruler in the pages of Brian Daley’s Han Solo and the Lost Legacy back in 1980. I’ve never missed a chance to fill in Xim’s backstory, starting with a write-up of the planet Desevro in Wizards of the Coast’s Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds and continuing in The Essential Atlas. The Atlas had barely reached bookstores before I started working up an online supplement about the Tion Hegemony, Xim’s old stomping grounds.
I continued this merry obsession in Warfare — among other things, that book features the first-ever look at Xim’s warships. But looking over the Warfare manuscript, I knew I’d gone way overboard –– this wasn’t The Essential Guide to Xim the Despot. I like this goofball mashup of Hamlet, “Ozymandias,” and snobby English 19th century travel narratives. But as was often true with Warfare’s “in-universe” essays, it was less important than the more straightforward writing about Xim we already had quite a lot of.
What originally started out as strictly a Star Wars event, Fan Days has become something of a pop culture show held each October at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas. This is one of three different shows we put on in the Lone Star state each year. Our media guests range from Star Wars to Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica to The Walking Dead, Back to the Future to Lord of the Rings and everything in between from both film and television.
This past October 4-6, we had a great lineup of Star Wars talent for attendees to meet. As usual, I had each guest into the Official Pix autograph office during the show to sign for us on a variety of items in varying numbers. Personally, this is my favorite time with our guests. It’s quiet, the A/C is cranked down, there’s an ice-cold water station and comfortable chairs making it one of the more pleasant locations.
The Star Wars Holiday Special celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The show aired in the US on November 17, 1978, on CBS for the first and only time. The 97-minute special would also air in other countries. It’s safe to assume that it probably wasn’t what most fans had expected it to be. It featured Leia singing lyrics to the Star Wars Main Theme, it featured Luke who apparently hadn’t visited a Sullustan Barber (and with a lot of make-up), and it showed a bunch of strange (musical) intermezzo’s that were more than awkward. Since its initial release, there hasn’t been much love and appraisal for the Holiday Special. Therefore it has never been officially released on any medium by Lucasfilm.
In its third year, Seattle’s GeekGirlCon highlights what fans can accomplish when they put their hearts and minds into a passion project. The convention, which is run by fans for fans, sold out before the doors opened. My experience with GeekGirlCon exemplifies the best thing about conventions: getting to meet new people — specifically, in my case, lots of new Star Wars fans.
Feel the Force…of savings! There will be sales and savings on almost everything Star Wars-related this holiday weekend and StarWars.com has compiled a guide to some of the best discounts available. Check out the list below and consider your search over: These are the deals you’re looking for.
By skybridges and streets, according to event organizer Steve Perry, well over 30,000 attendees descended on Providence’s Rhode Island Convention Center to gather at the 2013 Rhode Island Comic Con. Among a huge list of media guests and artists, Perry featured what he billed as a “very, very rare bounty hunters reunion.” Several jumped across The Pond via the Leisure Corridor. Dak made the transit north from Tierfon on the I-95 hyperlane, re-entering realspace somewhere to the west to stay at the baronial hall of a local lord and lady (a noted paleontologist pair) on the Waterman Reservoir. Headlining the con was the debonair onetime gambler and baron administrator of Cloud City, Lando Calrissian. RICC proved to be an epic Underworld gathering.
Being a proud member of the initial generation of Star Wars fans who marveled at the first film back in 1977, it’s always nostalgic look back at that time, remembering those first releases of comics, books, novels, toys, and audio. One of the many Star Wars products to arrive in the late ’70s was the latest in an ongoing line of Read-Along Adventures, released by Buena Vista Records (known here in the UK as Rainbow), which is part of Disney.
The format had been in existence since 1958, when Disneyland Records released their first large format record of Sleeping Beauty and soon a slew of Disney titles including Herbie and The Love Bug, Treasure Island, Frosty’s Adventures in Wonderland and Pirates of the Carribean (based on the ride of course, not the film) were released. 1977 arrived, bringing with it Star Wars, and by 1979 (under the freshly monickered Buena Vista Records label) the galaxy far, far away dropped into a million kids’ cassette decks and record players.