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!
Archive for ‘Fans and Community’
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.
I never pass up an opportunity to ask people whose work I idolize about Star Wars. And I recently had the chance to speak to Art Spiegelman about his art, the Pulitzer Prize he won for his anthropomorphic tale of the holocaust, Maus, and the rest of his career. He has a show of his work going on in New York at the Jewish Museum, though it contains nothing from the Star Wars saga.
Spiegelman worked at the Topps card company for a long time (he even came up with the idea of Garbage Pail Kids) and I thought he might have an interesting take on Star Wars, since Topps produced my favorite collectible from the ’70s, the Star Wars bubblegum trading cards.
He Kidded That He Was “Almost Famous,” But in the Hearts of Many Fans, Jerry Treiber Was a Shining Star
I first became acquainted with Jerry Treiber nearly 20 years ago. I was Los Angeles bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal at the time, my first two Star Wars books had been published, and I had started my six-year stint as a sidekick on QVC Star Wars Collectibles shows. I was in my office editing a story when I heard a worried voice.
“Steve, is anyone working on a story so hot that someone would want to send a bomb to the office?” asked Inga, my very-worried sounding admin. She got my attention quickly. When I approached her desk I saw a half-opened cardboard box addressed to me with a clearly written return address. Buried in the packaging material I could make out what looked like a hand-made cylinder; it looked far too nice to be a bomb.
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.
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.
For myself and many of you, Star Wars is part of life. You start your morning with a lightsaber toothbrush, scribble your to-do list in a Darth Vader notebook, and see your R2-D2 action figure on your desk or in your home. Like the Force, your fandom is all around you — even during the holidays. Giving Star Wars presents and watching the movies are obvious way fans incorporate the saga into their holiday traditions, but many take it to the another level.
The most popular responses about Star Wars traditions included: marathoning the films, turning action figures into tree ornaments, hanging up stockings that look like Chewbacca or other characters, making Star Wars-themed paper snowflakes, getting the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar every year, and using Star Wars figures in nativity sets. I’ve started posing some of my action figures with miniature trees, wreaths, and presents to make my own holiday cards. These are all perfect places to start, and you can build on them from year to year.
As the 37th Star Wars Christmas arrives, it’s a great opportunity to roll back the years to the very first, in 1977, and see what it was like here in the UK. Compared to the traditional Star Wars Christmases that have followed, it was distinctly unique.
After the release and record-breaking success of Star Wars in North America on 25th May 1977, the anticipation for Star Wars in the UK was palpable. As was the way back in the ’70s and ’80s, UK audiences had to often wait months for American films to cross the Atlantic, and so all summer and autumn we heard about this groundbreaking space fantasy that broke convention and records in equal measure, full of faces familiar to UK audiences.
The eyes of sci-fi and fantasy, anime, and comics fans across the UK turned to Birmingham, the nation’s second city, over the weekend of 23rd and 24th November as Memorabilia returned to Brum for the second time this year, bringing with it stars of screens both large and small, voice actors, sports stars, cult heroes, comic artists, and writers and cosplayers of every ilk. And, as ever, it made for a fascinating two days of fun, color and vibrancy celebrating every facet of fandom.
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.