Author Archive



Fully Operational Fandom: Finding Love with the Force

Amy Ratcliffe | February 11, 2013

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Hello and welcome to my first edition of Fully Operational Fandom! I’m excited about my new column because it’s going to be all about the fans. Star Wars enthusiasts make up the most passionate fan community I’ve ever experienced, and I’m continually impressed with how people channel their love for the galaxy far, far away. A common appreciation for Star Wars has been known to bring people together and for some, it’s meant romance.

Though some believe opposites attract (and that can definitely work), it can be fun to share your love about a given topic with your significant other. Especially when the topic is a major part of your life. It makes for fun debates over dinner, it leads to possible couple-themed cosplay, and it means you always have someone to call when Episode VII news is announced. Even if you have a Hoth-like heart, you’ll appreciate these stories about couples who bonded over their excitement for Star Wars. Some even incorporated the saga into their wedding.

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Add the Force to Your School Supplies

Amy Ratcliffe | August 31, 2012

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It’s August – funny how that happens every year – and it’s time for school to be in session again. I actually always looked forward to it when I was younger. Yes, I was that kid. I liked getting back into a routine, learning, having homework (unless it was math), and seeing friends. Mostly though, I liked going shopping for school supplies. I loved getting the list of what items were required for the year’s classes, and I loved crossing the items off just as much. I always found that making my tools more interesting made learning more fun. That’s where Star Wars comes in.

Long days at school can be improved with Star Wars pens, notebooks, and folders. It seems like it wouldn’t matter, but I remember being really frustrated with an algebra problem in high school and feeling slightly better about figuring it out when I used my calculator with a giant She-Ra sticker on it. I don’t remember if I answered the problem correctly, but seeing characters who inspire you when you open your backpack can make a difference. (more…)

SWCVI: The Maul Within

Amy Ratcliffe | August 26, 2012

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It was a no-brainer for Sam Witwer to agree to playing Darth Maul on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He said yes to Dave Filoni even though he wasn’t entirely sure how he would play the character or even how the sliced and diced Sith Lord would make a realistic comeback.

Maul wasn’t Witwer’s first foray into the Star Wars universe. He voiced Starkiller and Palpatine in The Force Unleashed, and he dipped into the Dark side of the Force as the Son in the Mortis trilogy during season three of The Clone Wars. He actually tied some of the Son’s dialogue to the mad ravings and mutterings of Maul when he is first found in his cave.

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SWCVI: A Date With a Princess

Amy Ratcliffe | August 25, 2012

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I’ve learned a few things at Celebration VI, and I can share one piece of important advice with you: if you ever get the chance to see Carrier Fisher live, you shouldn’t miss it. Princess Leia came to the main stage tonight, and she was as charming as ever. I don’t think that even Darth Vader could have resisted her wit.

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SWCVI: James Arnold Taylor’s Talking To Myself

Amy Ratcliffe | August 25, 2012

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James Arnold Taylor made me cry tonight. Twice. I won’t hold it against him though. He performed his one man show, Talking To Myself, at the Chapin Theater for 3,000 fans, and it was an experience I won’t be forgetting any time soon. Fans know him best as the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but that’s not all he does. He’s an incredibly talented voice actor, and you’ve probably heard him in more things than you can even imagine. He shared his world and skills with us tonight.

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SWCVI: The Future of Star Wars in 3D

Amy Ratcliffe | August 25, 2012

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I went into the future of Star Wars in 3D panel excited to see clips from Attack of the Clones and walked out with a much greater appreciation for what it takes to make the films suitable for 3D. I have to admit that I didn’t realize the extent of the process. It took about a year to transform The Phantom Menace from start to finish. Impressive, most impressive. Visual effects supervisors and masters Dennis Muren and John Knoll took the stage to discuss the painstaking work that goes into the conversion process.

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SWCVI: The Second Session of the Super Secret Panel

Amy Ratcliffe | August 25, 2012

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The Super Secret Panel with Todd, Seth, and Matt may not have been as secret today, but I don’t think the fact that people already knew a little made it any less funny. Plus, a very special guest did show up at the end of the panel who wasn’t at yesterday’s session. The team behind the new Star Wars Detours jumped right in and showed us the trailer but only after they had James Arnold Taylor taken off stage by some bounty hunters. I bet no one told Taylor that was part of his hosting duties.

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SWCVI: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Five Premiere

Amy Ratcliffe | August 24, 2012

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Dave Filoni promised he would bring the big guns for Star Wars: The Clone Wars at Celebration VI, and he wasn’t kidding. I was thrilled when he announced the season five premiere would be screened at Celebration. I was excited to see the new episode, sure, but I also knew it would mean watching the series on the big screen. It’s the best way to experience the show. The animation looks beautiful on my television at home, but it’s just nothing compared to seeing it in huge, glorious detail. The episodes play like movies anyways; it’s perfect. And holy Ewoks, did the premiere deliver on all counts.

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SWCVI: An Hour With Ian McDiarmid

Amy Ratcliffe | August 23, 2012

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The Emperor visited the Celebration Stage tonight but don’t worry – no one was struck with Force lightning. Of course, Ian McDiarmid did mention that he wouldn’t mind having little bit of that power in life. “Not enough to kill or maim. Just a little in my pinky.”

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