Archive for February, 2013



Balancing the Force as a Star Wars Book Editor and Fangirl

Jennifer Heddle | February 27, 2013

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It’s no secret that I was a lifelong Star Wars fan before I ever took this job; after all, it’s why I took this job. And sometimes that can be a tough line to tread. I have to balance Professional Jen with Fangirl Jen. This struggle can manifest itself in silly ways, like the longing glances I aim at the product display room near my office, or the self-consciousness I sometimes feel when wearing one of my many Princess Leia t-shirts at work, or the fact that the rest of the publishing department knows I will automatically favor any proposed magazine cover with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan on it. And to be fair, it’s easier when it comes to, say, packaging and marketing (the cover of a book, the ads for a comic), which have certain commercial criteria they need to fulfill. The most nebulous, yet arguably most critical part of my job in which I need to maintain the balance between Professional Jen and Fangirl Jen is the editing process.

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Star Wars Pinball Is Here…and There’s More to Come

Neil Sorens | February 27, 2013

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Hey Star Wars fans,

My name is Neil Sorens and I’m the creative director at Zen Studios.

With Star Wars Pinball out today, we’re fielding a lot of questions about how and why we chose our table themes. I’d like to answer those and also get the opinion of you dedicated Star Wars fans on what tables we should do next.

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Palitoy’s Star Wars Ads: The Forgotten Comics

Rich Handley | February 26, 2013

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It’s the collector’s universal dilemma: No matter how much stuff you amass, there’s always something left to find, always one more cool item you didn’t know about. When it comes to Star Wars comics, that’s certainly true.

More than 800 Star Wars comics have been released over the past 35 years, from Marvel, Dark Horse, and the L.A. Times Syndicate. But even if you’ve managed to track down everything from those publishers, there’s still a wide variety of comics you may have overlooked, from Star Wars 3-D, Star Wars Kids, Pizzazz and Contemporary Motivators to Kenner’s Imperial Troop Transporter comic, Rocket’s Blast Comicollector #139, Hasbro Italy’s exclusive comic, Golden Books’ An Ewok Adventure coloring comic and more. No matter how hard you’ve tried to be complete, the chances are good that you’re missing something.

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Hipster Yoda was a Jedi Before Being a Jedi was Cool

Katie Cook | February 26, 2013

Hipster Yoda

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Flat Stanley’s Phantasmagorical Visit To Rancho Obi-Wan: Star Wars Heaven!

Steve Sansweet | February 25, 2013

I'm Flat Stanley.

by Flat Stanley as told to Steve Sansweet (Photos by Anne Neumann)

Hi! My name is Flat Stanley. If you’re of a certain age, you may have met me in school. I was born in a 1964 book by Jeff Brown, but I still look like I go to elementary school because that’s part of the magic of books and reading. I get to travel all over the world thanks to tens of thousands of students who read my adventures and a group called The Flat Stanley Project. I’m even an App!

But this is about one of my recent trips, a 2,636-mile journey from Mrs. Moore’s first-grade class at Six Mile Elementary School in Six Mile, South Carolina, to a magical place called Rancho Obi-Wan about an hour north of San Francisco. I guess I could have taken buses, but even nonstop that would have taken 39 hours — and that’s a long time to be sealed inside an envelope. Instead I was lovingly tucked into a FedEx pack and whisked away. It was marked “Extremely Urgent,” and boy, did that ever make me feel important!

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StarWars.com Weekly Roundup: February 22, 2013

StarWars.com Team | February 22, 2013

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Wondering what’s been happening at StarWars.com? Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed this week!

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George Lucas and Comic Books: An Early Link

J.W. Rinzler | February 21, 2013

So I’m writing another blog. What have I been up to? Well, I’ve had a series of long conversations with Edward (Ed) Summer, which are being published in interview form in the next three issues of Star Wars Insider. Most fans have never heard of Summer, though he’s in at least one photo in the book The Cinema of George Lucas. I first met Summer at the Barney Greengrass deli on the Upper West Side of New York City while doing research for that book. As a result, he allowed us to publish from his collection a photo of George Lucas and Frank Frazetta, outside the latter’s home, probably the only photo of them together (with Summer in it, too).

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Star Wars Mysteries: Getting to the Bottom of Max Rebo

Pablo Hidalgo | February 20, 2013
Star Wars Mysteries: Getting to the Bottom of Max Rebo
Not since Lapti Nek will Max Rebo fans have their worlds rocked this hard. A few months back, ace illustrator Brandon Bird reached out to me via the magic of the Internet to back up his contention concerning Max Rebo, about something most people don’t know about the elephantine keyboardist. Referencing an online article about the action figure incarnation of Max, Brandon insisted that Max was never ever supposed to have legs. And you know what, he’s absolutely right.
[action figure picture]
This diapered humanoid is how Kenner extrapolated the body of Max Rebo in 1983 for his first toy. It was created with the assumption that he’s sitting at the center of his keyboard. Since that time, the Expanded Universe has run with the idea that that Max has legs. The Ortolan species (which was established by Troy Denning in 1989’s Galaxy Guide 4: Alien Species) has two legs and two arms. But that was never the intent of Max’s original designers.
[Ortoloan artwork]
Below is the maquette that Phil Tippett created for Max to first define the alien. In this early incarnation, he was known as Red Ball Jett. Look at the shape of those limbs. Those are legs. They terminate not at shoulders, but rather to large muscles at Max’s base that look like a gluteus maximus. A butt, if I may be so bold.
Schematic artwork defining how Max could possibly work made it clear he doesn’t have shoulders. The limbs begin at the base. Note though, in the final film the number of performers inside Max changed to just one.
Max doesn’t have shoulders. Those limbs begin at his base.
Then, when we look at some of the schematic art for the creature, the idea
But the real clincher is this blueprint for the keyboard — called the Red Ball Jett organ. Yes, it was built as a donut-shaped instrument because the filmmaking reality necessitated that the performer sit inside. But looking at the callouts in the blueprint, the “ring” that surrounds Max’s non-existent trunk is described as a cushion. It was meant to be a pillow that Max is sitting on, not a
Of course, when the creature was created, it was hard not to see the limbs as arms, because that is what was needed to drive the performance. The peculiar hinging of the limbs – the upward slant of femurs to knee to shins instead became lateral slants of humerus to elbow to forearms. The skinflaps remained. And yes, I can understand why an artist would interpret them as arms.
But that wasn’t how Max was designed.

Not since “Lapti Nek” will Max Rebo fans have their worlds rocked this hard. A few months back, ace illustrator Brandon Bird reached out to me via the magic of the Internet to back up a certain contention regarding Max Rebo, concerning something most people don’t know about the elephantine keyboardist. Referencing an online article about the action figure incarnation of Max, Brandon insisted that Max was never ever supposed to have humanoid legs. And you know what, he’s absolutely right.

Max's legs -- the blue elephant in the room.

Max's legs -- the blue elephant in the room.

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Star Wars Celebration II: The Summer’s Biggest Action Hero

Mary Franklin | February 19, 2013

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Of the many memories and impressions that are dear to my heart from Star Wars Celebration II, these two come to mind immediately: what Star Wars fans contributed to the show, and Yoda.

First, about Yoda… What we at Lucasfilm knew, and what the audience in the Indiana Convention Center had not seen, was that Yoda would have his first real lightsaber fight in the upcoming Attack of the Clones. We’d not released any clips of the Jedi Master in action before the show, having saved the excitement for those seeing it first on the big screen.

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StarWars.com Weekly Roundup: February 15, 2013

StarWars.com Team | February 15, 2013

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Wondering what’s been happening at StarWars.com? Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed this week!

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