Archive for February, 2012



Japanese Premium Star Wars Character Straps

Pete Vilmur | February 28, 2012

Starting today, Japanese fans will discover a bunch of cool Star Wars premiums attached to several Suntory beverage products throughout the land, including a dozen Panson Works (a popular soft vinyl toy design in Japan) figure straps and 8 Bearbrick figures from Episode I (also including Darth Vader).

The Panson Works figures, which measure between 2-3 cm tall (1-1.25 inches) will be available on Pepsi Nex products only; the Bearbricks will be distributed through Pepsi NEX, Suntory Natural Mineral Water, IYEMON KOIME, Nichirei Acerola and Lipton Limone. While there are many more brands offering the Bearbricks premiums, there are twice as many Panson Works figures being produced – so look sharp!

Finally, if consumers collect enough Pepsi Nex marks (which are printed on the bottle label of Pepsi Nex), they can redeem them for Big Panson Works — a Darth Maul (15cm tall) and an R2-D2 (12cm tall). Only 500 are being produced and will be available while supplies last! The Star Wars Panson Works and Bearbricks promotion ends April 16, 2012.

Rejected Episode I Toy Concepts: Part 2

Pete Vilmur | February 27, 2012

Four years ago, blogger and ex-toy designer Jason Geyer posted a set of rejected Episode I toy concepts to be used as premiums for Pepsi , who in 1998 was ramping up for some big tie-in promotions for The Phantom Menace. That blog entry created quite a stir among fans and collectors, with the most common response being, ‘Why didn’t this stuff get made?’

While we can’t report any progress on that front (well, perhaps a bit – see below), Geyer has just posted several dozen more unused concepts, which one has to admit are pretty imaginative!

From the blog:

When we were coming up with all of these concepts pretty much the only thing we had to keep in mind was for everyone to make sure we hit every price point with at least a few ideas, so that we weren’t all concentrating on the big tickets things (which were more fun!). And as guys who immersed themselves in Star Wars, it was less about looking for things to concept about, and more to try and design something that would incent fans, moms, and kids to want to buy some Pepsi to get our merchandise.

Unlike the first set revealed in 2008, it appears that at least a few of these ideas did actually see the light of day years later, dreamed up independently by others with a strong connection to the Force (the Death Star Galaxy Projector, Star Wars Golf Set, Han in Carbonite Popsicle Mold, Yoda Backpack, Talking Yoda and Lightsaber Flashlight have all been produced in some form or another).

Check out the full gallery over at actionfigureinsider.com and tell us which items you wish had been made!

Timeline: Ventress Collectibles

Pete Vilmur | February 24, 2012

With Asajj Ventress returning to The Clone Wars tonight, we thought we’d dust off and update this collectibles story from last year about the galaxy’s deadliest (and sultriest) Sith assassin…

With Ventress’s first televised appearance taking place on November 14, 2003 during an episode of the original Clone Wars animated micro-series, the character’s look and story have evolved considerably, culminating in some shocking events we’ll witness in tonight’s episode, “Massacre.”

Since her debut over eight years ago, there’s been quite the coven of Ventress collectibles produced, from her early appearance on the 2003 series posters to the many turns she’s had as a Hasbro action figure. For the intrepid Asajj aficionado, we’ve compiled a year-by-year list of all the Ventress collectibles our dark side sources could uncover:

2003

Late 2003 saw images of Clone Wars villainess Asajj Ventress used on the promotional poster and brochure for the series, as well as two action figures: one based on her animated appearance, and the other interpreted by Hasbro sculptors in a more “real-world” guise.

2004

For the original series’ second season debut in April, 2004, Ventress again appeared on the promotional poster, sold exclusively at StarWarsShop along with a postcard and pin set offered there as well. Acme Archives offered a limited sericel of Asajj vs. Anakin, while Wizards of the Coast served up the first gaming miniature of Dooku’s assassin. Gentle Giant’s stunning maquette of the animated Asajj is highly coveted by collectors of the original series.

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Yoda in 3D Glasses Goes 3D

StarWars.com Team | February 23, 2012

The ‘Yoda in 3D glasses’ design you may have spotted on t-shirts and elsewhere last year is now available – you guessed it — in 3D!

Gentle Giant Premier Guild Members and attendees of this year’s WonderCon in Anaheim, California have a chance to snag a nifty new Mini Bust of Yoda sporting classic ‘50s-style 3D glasses and a box of “Obi-Wan Cinemas” popcorn.

The description from Gentle Giant:

To celebrate the return of 1999′s Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3-D, Gentle Giant presents a special commemorative exclusive Yoda mini bust. This highly-detailed, film-accurate collectible puts the Jedi Master in the theater seat, with a box of “Obi-Wan Cinemas” popcorn and a removable pair of “3-D” styled glasses which sport real red and blue cellophane gel lenses. This hand-numbered limited edition is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity.

Check out the pics of this cool convention exclusive below, and head on over to Gentle Giant for more details!

Filoni Answers Clone Wars Fans’ Questions

StarWars.com Team | February 21, 2012


Supervising Director Dave Filoni at his desk.

Recently, fans of The Clone Wars got a nice treat from Supervising Director Dave Filoni who answers questions on his Facebook page about the current season and things to come.

Here are some of the highlights. Be sure to follow Filoni on Facebook here.

Is there an endgame for the series in mind already? Do you know what the last episode or mini-series already is, it’s just a matter of how long will Cartoon Network let you take to get there? — Beej Powers

I always have an endgame in sight. George and I have discussed it, but we just keep writing more stories and finding new and exciting situations for the characters. New stories come along that change the end game, so it’s still evolving. We know we are on a collision course with Revenge of the Sith, but there are details surrounding the fate of certain characters that are still in discussion. This is an exciting time for the writing team, because big things are going to happen with significant characters.

Are to see a revolution on Mandalore. The Essential Atlas mentioned AWOL ARC trooper Alpha-02 “Spar” being the one who returns the Mandalorians to their warrior ways. Are we going to see this event AND more importantly Satine’s faction fate? — Pavel Klimes

What you saw in Season 4 with the Death Watch was just a small taste of what is to come. I think the Madalorians are involved in one of the best story arcs next season. A great deal is at stake and big things happen. As far as Spar, the clones and the Mandalorians go, you have to understand that in the film saga, and the TV series, clones don’t really identify with Mandalorians. The vast majority of clones never met Jango Fett, and the series has focused more on the clones having their own culture, rather than adopting a culture that they never really came in contact with. Satine will be returning and I promise you she will have bigger problems than tainted Moogan Tea this time.

Why wasn’t Cody at Obi’s funeral? Isn’t he is second in command? — Leonor Cardenas

In order to keep the nature of Obi-Wan’s mission as secret as possible, the Jedi Council assigned Cody to a mission so he could not attend. A fact that did not sit well with the Commander.

My question is simply weather Obi-Wan and Satine will be seeing each other, face-to-face once more. — Madison Sneddon

That’s a very thoughtful question Madison, so I will answer you. YES!

Are there any plans to convert General Grievous to Episode III, with his six fingered hands instead of four? — Bryce Martin

We have never updated Grievous since we did the original model but that’s overdue. Let me talk to Kilian and see what he says, but I think that’s a really good idea. The show has evolved, and maybe that should too.

Read more of Filoni’s fan question answers here on Facebook.

It’s a Trap! Rare Video Interview with Ackbar Voice Actor

Pete Vilmur | February 21, 2012

San Francisco’s SFGate.com just posted a rare video interview with Berkeley KPFA radio dramatist Erik Bauersfeld, the man responsible for voicing Admiral Ackbar’s iconic “It’s a trap!” and other classic lines spoken by Return of the Jedi’s intrepid Mon Calamari hero.

In addition, Bauersfeld was also the voice behind Bib Fortuna, Jabba’s Return of the Jedi majordomo, and had even auditioned for the voice of Yoda. The accompanying editorial also exposes some new items of interest:

  • Bauersfeld wasn’t listed in the cast when “Return of the Jedi” came out, but has since been credited.
  • Bauersfeld was unaware of the Internet memes and surge in popularity for Ackbar and “It’s a trap!” He seemed to find the University of Mississippi’s drive to have the character named a school mascot especially entertaining.
  • To this day [Bauersfeld] hasn’t seen the original “Star Wars,” but he’s developed a growing fondness for “Star Wars” fans, saving their correspondence in a filing cabinet and writing personal responses to each one.

Head on over to SFGate.com to check out the rare interview – and yes, he serves up at least a couple “It’s a traps,” which sound just as deliciously meme-friendly as they did almost 30 years ago…

Win a LEGO Episode I 3D Mural

StarWars.com Team | February 16, 2012

Southern California fans (Update: see below) have a chance to win one of the stunning Star Wars: Episode I 3D murals comprised completely of LEGO bricks spotted at select theaters across the country. ArcLight Hollywood has just posted a contest to their Facebook page asking fans who see The Phantom Menace 3D at the Hollywood venue to snap a photo of themselves in front of the mural with a caption explaining what makes them the biggest Star Wars fan!

The entry that receives the most votes by Wednesday, February 22 will take the LEGO mural home! Click here to enter.

There’s a good chance that more of these murals will become available in similar contests across the country, so stay tuned as we’ll update this entry with any new contests that are announced!

Go to the official ArcLight site for more info.

UPDATE: It appears that Harkins Theatres of Scottsdale, Arizona has launched their own mural giveaway contest, requiring only that you “Like” them on Facebook to enter! Check it out here!

Jabba the Cake!

Bonnie Burton | February 15, 2012

This Jabba the Hutt cake looks like one tasty Lickmoomoo — that’s Huttese for dessert! Henry is one lucky kid to get this amazing edible creation from Kates Kakes!

Celebs Share Phantom Menace Memories

StarWars.com Team | February 10, 2012

To celebrate the 3D release of Jar Jar, Queen Amidala, Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn and little Anakin Skywalker hitting the big screen in glorious 3D, here are some of our favorite quotes from celebrities and bands interviewed in our past Star Wars Rocks section (no longer available on StarWars.com) who shared their favorite memories of The Phantom Menace.

Kyle Newman — Fanboys director: I remember lining up at the Union Square theater in New York City over a day and a half in advance. I was mesmerized by the already massive turnout, and thought, “Is this going to be the last movie to ever have a line like this?” In many ways it was. We didn’t need to line up, we wanted to! I had reserved my tickets online two weeks before. My seat at the midnight screening was secure, but I needed to be in that line because the movie is only part of the Star Wars experience!

After sixteen years without a film, I not only wanted a piece of that magic again — I wanted to celebrate the past too; to stand amongst anxious fellow fans and wonder and laugh and debate about what we were about to see; and discuss how it would change the face of what we knew and loved forever. It was exciting and nerve-racking. I was actually nervous! The hours leading up to the screening were electric. As soon as the usher dropped that velvet rope, the race for the perfect seat was on. But by that point it didn’t matter where I was sitting. I think I saw The Phantom Menace nine more times that week! And I waited in line every time. That sense of community and camaraderie and nostalgia are what makes Star Wars so very special!

Seth Green — Robot Chicken co-creator, actor: Impossibly, I got to go to Skywalker Ranch, and see The Phantom Menace for the first time in the Stag Theater with George just 10 rows behind me. There was so much excitement around the movie, and being there was really overwhelming. Such a great day.

Matthew Senreich — Robot Chicken co-creator: I remember standing outside the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City for a super-late night showing. It was a long, long wait. I interacted with way too many people who dressed in costume. It was quite fascinating actually.

Bill Hader — Saturday Night Live player: When I was going to college in Phoenix, my friends and I took turns waiting in a line at the mall to see The Phantom Menace. One friend would be there at 6 in the morning; then I took over at noon. People kept asking us what we were in line for, and we thought it was so obvious since there was a dude dressed as Yoda behind me. But for a laugh we bought this cheap Backstreet Boys poster and made a sign saying “In line for Backstreet Boys” and told all these kids we were so excited to see them play.

Weird Al Yankovic — comedian/singer: I actually wrote “The Saga Begins” before I ever saw the movie [The Phantom Menace]. I wanted to get the parody out absolutely as soon as possible after the movie premiered in theaters, so I scanned the Internet for leaks and rumors, pieced together the plot as best as I could, and then wrote and recorded the song based on that. I actually did wait until I was able to go to the charity screening of The Phantom Menace before I actually mastered the album — just in case all those Internet leaks were completely bogus. I certainly expected the song to do well, just based on the fact that it was based on Episode I, which I think was the most heavily-anticipated film of my lifetime.

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Star Wars Valentine’s Day Roundup!

StarWars.com Team | February 9, 2012


MTV star Liz Lee smooches a Gamorrean GuardGet in the Valentine’s Day spirit with this list of fun Star Wars-related romantic sites.

VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS & CRAFTS:

VALENTINE’S DAY FUN: