Archive for 2013

Building a Better R2: R2 Builders Prepare for Celebration Europe


Actually, I have to admit, that headline is borrowed from Don Bies, droid wrangler at Lucasfilm during the filming of Episodes I – III. The same line was used for his preparations for the prequels.

However, on a much more hobbyist scale, it also applies to any R2 Builder in the world.

Building an astromech is not a quick job, as there’s no “complete kit” available, and it can take years to get to a point where you can say your droid is finished. And once there you soon discover glitches. Things break, the middle foot rattles, the dome turns too slow, etc.

(more…) Weekly Roundup: June 28, 2013 Team | June 28, 2013

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


Why Leia Is Awesome

Jennifer Heddle | June 28, 2013


For my next blog post, blog editor Matt Martin suggested I write about why Princess Leia is an inspirational character. Some of you already know that this was not much of a favor to ask — I could talk about Leia every week. I’m not going to, I promise. But I am today!

Princess Leia is rightly regarded as a female role model, yet I still feel like there are certain displays of heroism in the original Star Wars trilogy for which she doesn’t get enough credit. When talking about Leia in general circles, it seems like two things come up over and over again: her sassy comebacks and the metal bikini. I enjoy both of those things as well, but she’s so much more than that, and there are certain excellent, perhaps underappreciated moments in the films that really make Leia stand out as a hero. There’s a reason that she became a symbol of inspiration and accomplishment to young girls of my generation, and it wasn’t for her clothing. (Although, let’s face it, it was partially for her hair.)

So rather than write generally about why Leia is an inspirational character, I thought I would focus in on a few specific incidents, and how they showcase some of her more admirable qualities.


The Del Rey Star Wars Action Team Wants YOU!

Del Rey Books | June 28, 2013

Hello Star Wars fans!

Del Rey Books is thrilled to announce the launch of the Del Rey Star Wars Action Team, or SWAT for short. Whether you’re a die-hard reader who’s consumed every one of the novels over the past 35 years, or a newbie jumping into the books for the first time, the SWAT is looking for a few dedicated recruits. It’s entirely free — all you need is a passion for Star Wars stories and a willingness to help spread the good word.


The Official Star Wars Hashtag Holocron Team | June 28, 2013

There’s a lot going on with Star Wars these days, from Episode VII to Celebration, and it can be hard to keep of track of relevant conversations — especially on Twitter. But fear not: We have created this post to be your one stop shop for all official Star Wars hashtags!


Fully Operational Fandom: Building a Better Jedi Brick by Brick

Amy Ratcliffe | June 27, 2013

blue milk cafe logo

Creative is a word you can apply to most Star Wars fans. You just have to walk around a Celebration event for a few minutes to see how enthusiasm for the universe can be funneled into costumes, dioramas, crafts, and LEGO creations. I know I’m not the only one who walks around the LEGO booth in awe, marveling over the number of tiny bricks that go into a life-size statue of Boba Fett. However, my favorite part is walking around the fan-made creations and seeing the time and love poured into all manner of spaceships, signs, and sets.


Report on Dallas Comic Con 2013: Worlds in Collusion

John "Dak" Morton | June 27, 2013

501 induction
In the title of her June 14 post, Lucasfilm’s Jennifer Heddle used the term “worlds collide” that prompted me to comment. Check it. I wrote that “worlds in collision” was to be in the title of this post, musings on Ben Stevens and Philip Wise’s Dallas Comic Con, a hugely successful event in May that drew 26,000 fans. Since I am blogging, as opposed to doing straight reportage, may I digress for a moment?

When Worlds Collide is a classic sci-fi film referenced in “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” the opening number of The Rocky Horror Show. (Yes, I worked on that musical in 1974-76 while it ran at The King’s Road Theatre in London’s Chelsea, but that is another story.) At the time, I knew EVERY line in the show — “But when worlds collide, said George Pal to his bride, I’m gonna give you some terrible thrills.” Worlds in Collision was a controversial book written two decades earlier by Immanuel Velikovsky. I read it in the early ’70s. So there’s my riff on Jen’s allusion.


The Downside of Seeing Star Wars for the First Time

Tim League | June 27, 2013


I had just turned seven when the original Star Wars came out in 1977. I don’t remember what channel of advertising made it through to me, but I was completely obsessed with Star Wars. I was counting the days until the movie came out and made my mom take me to the theater to see it on opening weekend.


Happy Rancor: Revenge of the Sith Novelization

Dan Brooks | June 26, 2013


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 look at the book adaptation of the last (for now) Star Wars film.

Star Wars novelizations are almost a genre unto themselves. They offer fans a slightly alternate, and often times, deeper look into the Star Wars films with extra dialogue and scenes that expand the scope of what’s in the finished film. At the same time, they have their work cut out for them: they’re competing with the film on which they’re based as well as original Star Wars novels, which can make it difficult for readers to know exactly how to view them. Among all the Star Wars novelizations, Matthew Stover’s adaptation of Revenge of the Sith is a particular favorite. It delves into characters and their motivations more than one would expect, it’s beautifully written, and it enriches the experience of watching the movie in surprising ways.


Unofficial Star Wars Fan Day at Disneyland This Sunday

James Howlett | June 26, 2013


I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since my dad took me to see Return of the Jedi. It was the first Star Wars film I’d ever seen, as I was a bit too young for the others. Now I’ve got tons of action figures and collectables — and a costume, which I wear proudly as a member of the 501st. My wife introduced me to Disneyland and I became hooked; I ended up getting an annual pass and we still go often. Now we have two kids (one and three years old) that will be future Star Wars and Disney geeks. So from my point of view, the he pairing of Star Wars and Disneyland seems a natural fit.

During Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, my friend Britt (a photographer and lifelong Star Wars fan) and I were talking about the lack of Star Wars offerings at Disneyland compared to Walt Disney World; back then, Disney’s California park only had Star Tours, and The Jedi Training Academy hadn’t even opened yet. So taking a tip from Bats Day and other unofficial days at the resort, we decided to start a special day for Star Wars fans at Disneyland.