Author Archive



Bantha Tracks: The Kids Are All Right, Online Edition

Mary Franklin | April 22, 2014

Bantha Tracks #82 in Star Wars Insider, scheduled for newsstands now, features stories of the young fans who are the true next generation of Star Wars fandom. Here are some additional stories and photographs to supplement that edition, with even more junior Jedi, clones, and Stormtroopers.

Good Eggs

Star Wars Easter eggs

“My son Tom and I had a blast this past Easter creating our very own Star Wars Easter eggs,” writes Mary Setny of Ohio. Thank you, Mary and Tom. We’ll use these for inspiration for our own colored eggs.

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Bantha Tracks: Art Galaxy, March 2014

Mary Franklin | March 11, 2014

Yoda fan art in Bantha Tracks: Art Galaxy

For creative Star Wars fans who are natural artists, and for the rest of us who are not artistically gifted but still appreciative, here is a selection of original artwork sent to Bantha Tracks. Thank you, artists, for sharing your talent with the rest of us!

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Tips: Get Yourself in Star Wars Celebration 2015

Mary Franklin | February 27, 2014

Jabba's Palace at Star Wars Celebration

As mentioned in my most recent blog, new Star Wars Celebration 2015 announcements are coming up this April, probably later in the month, to commemorate the one-year-out point of what promises to be one really big Star Wars show.

A integral part of every Star Wars Celebration is what fans bring to the event, both informally and as part of the official program. Just like Bantha Tracks, with the motto, “By the Fans; For the Fans,” Celebrations are as much fun as they are because fans are involved; because they contribute talent, energy, ideas, and creativity.

Want to be part of the show at Celebration 2015? Read on for some tips on what we’re looking for.

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Star Wars Celebration Questions I Love to Ask

Mary Franklin | February 12, 2014

A few weeks ago I was in Anaheim meeting with members of the Reed Expo team, reps from the Anaheim Convention Center, and a few audio/visual companies. We are more than a year out from what will likely be the biggest Celebration we’ve ever done, but planning is well underway.

Now is when we get to ask questions that I’m frankly quite passionate about answering: “Where are the best places for parties?” “How large a screen can we fit in this room?” “Where will the fans naturally gather and meet up?” “Where do we queue up the overnight line folks?”

It’s all about making sure we do the absolute best for the show, and it starts now — before we sign all the guests, before we create and schedule entertainment, and before we sell a single pavilion to a licensee, or create the first exclusive merchandise.

I LOVE this stage of planning. I might be alone in this affectionate obsession, but hopefully some of my site photographs and questions get you wondering too, and looking forward to April 16-19, 2015, in Anaheim. We’ll start the announcements soon at www.starwarscelebration.com.

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Bantha Tracks: Art Galaxy — The Brazil Imperio Series By Adriano Ticiano

Mary Franklin | January 28, 2014

Brazilian Adriano Ticiano is not only a talented artist, he is a lifelong fan of the Star Wars universe. In his series of illustrations entitled Brazil Imperio, Ticiano portrays different regions of his country as he imagines they would appear under the Imperial rule of the Star Wars Empire in a galaxy far, far away.

Ticiano, who says he’s so happy to have his work in Bantha Tracks that he could “pull the ears off a gundark,” plans to show this article to his students at school, who, he says are “Star Wars fanatics.”

Vos Gassu - Bantha Tracks: Art Galaxy

Vos Gassu

Foz do Iguacu, which means “Iguazu river mouth,” is in the southern part of Brazil, and is known for the spectacular Iguacu waterfalls. Iguacu falls have three times the flow capacity of Niagara Falls, which gives some idea of their power to anyone who has visited the US waterfall.

The shape and power of Iguacu called Mustafar to Ticiano’s mind, where hot lava replaces thundering water.

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Bantha Tracks: Best of the Year, Online Edition

Mary Franklin | January 15, 2014

Star Wars Insider #147 cover

This month in Bantha Tracks Volume 80, tucked nicely into Star Wars Insider #147, you will find the annual “Best of the Year” edition. It’s one of my favorite issues of the year to do, and it seems only fitting that a good solid tease of the “BOY” is included here on StarWars.com.

Read on for a taste of the best in images, events, and snapshots of the “life Star Wars” from your fellow fans, and maybe even from you!

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Bantha Tracks: Art Galaxy, Holiday Edition

Mary Franklin | December 20, 2013

Not long ago on my Twitter I was bemoaning the fact that I rarely receive art envelopes in snail mail anymore. (Got one? Send it to me at Mary Franklin/Bantha Tracks/Lucasfilm/1110 Gorgas Avenue/San Francisco, CA 94129!)

However, even though I don’t find the art in the mailbox that I used to, Bantha Tracks still gets beautiful and creative holiday cards each year. Thank you to all who send them. Your creativity is inspiring!

Here are a few of my favorites.

Darth Maul by Dave Filoni

As a fan of Star Wars and just as a person I am so fortunate to count Dave Filoni and his wife Anne as friends. This brilliant Darth Maul/evil reindeer card, an original piece by Dave, was sent in 2010.

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Made in China: Building the Falcon in Shanghai

Mary Franklin | December 11, 2013

The challenge: design and build a “real scale” exhibit incorporating approximately 25% of Han Solo’s beloved YT-1300 light freighter, the Millennium Falcon, then assemble it inside the New Exhibition Center in Pudong, Shanghai, China. The entire project, decided by the Disney China consumer products team for the China Toy Fair less than three weeks from the event, had to go from planning to drawing to construction to execution in that very short amount of time. I happily volunteered to help with design, content, and approvals, but could it be done?

The answer: “This is China. We can do anything.”

I heard that phrase much more than once while I was in Shanghai for Toy Fair and the Disney Consumer Products licensee meeting. I hoped to provide experience in and knowledge of the galaxy far, far, away, and help the process as best I could. I quickly learned that when my colleagues quoted the above, they were not kidding. We made changes and edits on the fly right up to the morning the show opened, but the result was a spectacular display that did indeed look like the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy on the outside, and house a Star Wars movie timeline and licensed toy exhibit on the inside.

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Star Wars Celebration Europe: Your Favorite Memory Photo Book, Part 3

Mary Franklin | November 1, 2013

Not long ago on Twitter I asked for your favorite Star Wars Celebration Europe memories and photographs for Bantha Tracks, the Star Wars fan newsletter. You sent some beauties, and we thank you for that!

This “photo book,” the final installment of a three-part online series, is a great teaser for what will appear in the December edition of Bantha Tracks in Star Wars Insider.

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Star Wars Celebration Europe: Your Favorite Memory Photo Book, Part 2

Mary Franklin | October 2, 2013

Not long ago on Twitter I asked for your favorite Star Wars Celebration Europe memories and photographs for Bantha Tracks, the Star Wars fan newsletter. You sent some beauties, and we thank you for that!

This “photo book,” the second of a three-part online series, is a great teaser for what will appear in the December edition of Bantha Tracks in Star Wars Insider.

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