Archive for ‘Fans and Community’



Fully Operational Fandom: Every Celebration Needs an R2-D2 Cake

Amy Ratcliffe | January 29, 2014

Rice Krispie Mos Eisley Cantina by TK Peggy

Star Wars fans continually impress me with the ways they incorporate the saga into their lives. It’s a testament to the lasting power of the films that people spend time and resources to create their own space in fandom. Sometimes it’s costumes, sometimes it’s dioramas, and sometimes it’s baked goods. Peggy Eisenhauer, a.k.a. TK Peggy, has created several Star Wars inspired treats over the years from easy to complex. From an awesome R2-D2 cake to a Rice Krispie version of Mos Eisley Cantina, she’s used her baking skills and creativity to make the galaxy far, far away look delicious.

Even if we don’t get to devour the desserts, Peggy has posted detailed instructions for her recipes so that they can be replicated at home. Like she says, anyone can do it!

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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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Collecting the Galaxy: UK Toy Fair 2014

James Burns | January 27, 2014

ToyFair 2014 logo

This past week saw Toy Fair come to London, and over three days, 236 companies exhibited their products for members of the UK toy industry. I was lucky enough to go on Press Day, normally the first day of the show.

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Hoth: Wish You Were Here?

Jennifer Heddle | January 24, 2014

Han and his tauntaun on Hoth

With the extreme cold weather much of the country has been facing this winter, the Hoth references have been flying fast and furious across social media. Just this month, welovefine.com released a tauntaun hoodie, complete with tauntaun guts drawn on the interior. Much of the Mythbusters Star Wars special last month focused on Hoth. What is it about Hoth that makes it so iconic? After all, we don’t reference Tatooine when it’s hot during the summer — not yet, anyway. So what is it about Hoth?

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Sculptor Lawrence Noble’s Long Journey with Yoda

Steve Sansweet | January 20, 2014
Lawrence Noble’s bronze Yoda welcomes visitors to Lucasfilm headquarters at the Presidio (Photo By R. Sheridan)

Lawrence Noble’s bronze Yoda welcomes visitors to Lucasfilm headquarters at the Presidio. (Photo By R. Sheridan)

The thing about life-changing experiences is that you never know when they’re going to happen. For sculptor Lawrence Noble, it came in a darkened theater watching an advance screening of The Empire Strikes Back, seated next to his longtime friend and fellow artist John Alvin. And it happened because of a major and risky gamble by George Lucas.

Yoda was going to be the heart and soul of Empire. But could a puppet carry that large a burden? With the creation of creature master Stuart Freeborn and the incredible puppetry and voice of Frank Oz, Yoda not only worked but was magical!

Speed forward nearly 34 years, and the iconic Yoda statue that graces a fountain at Lucasfilm’s headquarters at San Francisco’s Presidio, as well as three other monumental bronzes created by Noble, has brought him, George Lucas and the late landscape architect on the project, Lawrence Halprin, the prestigious Henry Hering Memorial Medal for Art and Architecture for 2014, awarded by the National Sculptural Society, founded in New York in 1893. The award is given for outstanding collaboration between owner, architect, and sculptor in the distinguished use of sculpture in an architectural project.

For a talented artist as well as a diehard Star Wars fan, the award couldn’t be more gratifying for Noble, who is currently San Francisco Academy of Art University’s Sculpture Chair. Noble’s father was a fan of science fiction and fantasy, and the first time Lawrence saw Star Wars it blew him away. “It hit me on so many levels — certainly including the visual one.”

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Here’s Where the Fun Begins!

Jason Surrell | January 17, 2014

Jason Surrell

That classic Han Solo line from A New Hope — I committed all of them to memory at age seven — is the perfect title for my first blog post here at StarWars.com. That’s because it’s an amazing time to be a Star Wars fan. In fact, it’s probably the very best time in the almost 40-year history of the saga. In the next two years alone, Star Wars will be returning to both the big screen and the TV screen with Star Wars Rebels and Episode VII, respectively. But it’s safe to say you all knew that!

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Fully Operational Fandom: Do You Want to Build a Snowtrooper?

Amy Ratcliffe | January 16, 2014

Fully Operational Fandom - Tauntaun in a Jar

For many people, it’s winter time. And at least in the United States, this winter hasn’t exactly been mild. We’ve recently been experiencing brisk temperatures and painful wind chill factors. The local meteorologist doesn’t rank the cold in comparison to Hoth’s climate, but I’m going to assume it’s close. I haven’t frozen on the trip to the first marker (my mailbox) and back yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I have to learn what a tauntaun smells like on the inside from experience.

What? I have the tauntaun sleeping bag from ThinkGeek.

Winter isn’t all misery and gloom though. It can be an opportunity to get outdoors and build snow people and creatures, to set up AT-ATs and reenact the Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, or you can enjoy your time indoors with movies and crafts. So many Star Wars options, so little time.

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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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The Ten Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty: Sasquatch Hunting…with Lightsabers

Rictor Riolo | January 10, 2014

Rictor Riolo and Dax Rushlow of The Ten Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty

My name is Rictor Riolo, and my friend Dax Rushlow and I are two lifelong Star Wars fans that work as a team on Spike TV’s new reality show, The Ten Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty beginning today. Dax is 43, an avid outdoorsman from Massachusetts and has experienced two Bigfoot encounters before he became a full-time Bigfoot researcher. I have made a name for myself in the Bigfoot community with my Bigfoot webcast called After Hours with Rictor. I’m 41, from Las Vegas and have never been out in the woods before — EVER — and was taught the ways of the forest by Dax. With cameras on, there is no time for mistakes — it’s get out there and get evidence of Bigfoot — or be sent home. In doing so, new and creative ideas are needed, and being that Dax and I are the biggest Star Wars fans, we brought our FX lightsabers out on the hunt! Do or do not, there is no try!

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History of the 501st Legion: DragonCon, Part 2

Albin Johnson | January 9, 2014

The 501st Legion at DragonCon

The first-ever meeting of the 501st was not the epic moment one would think from such a large and tightly-knit organization it is today. Like a lot of success stories, the first tenuous steps were lurching, staggering, anxious ones. DragonCon seemed the perfect place to bring together the first pioneers of organized Star Wars costuming. But lumped in with the wildly diverse energy of the con was… well, wildly diverse energy!

The Florida group that showed up was large and in charge. It was happy to troop with the rest of us, but it was more for the sake of a themed costume group than anything else. And for anyone who’s been to DragonCon enough times, costume themes are short-lived bursts of excitement. They wandered the halls, taking in the sights and having fun with it. And no one could blame them. After years of being at Dragoncon, I now know it’s one big party. But at the time I was new to all of that. I was serious about making a real go of a club. I was on a mission. But the excitement I heard on the internet was a far cry from what folks wanted to do when together, it seemed. Rather than lead the pack, I ended up following the group carrying my little sign and wondering if I’d been fooling myself.

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