Archive for ‘Fans and Community’



Art Spiegelman: Comic Book Legend, Star Wars Trading Card Creator

Bryan Young | January 7, 2014

Vintage Star Wars trading cards

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.

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He Kidded That He Was “Almost Famous,” But in the Hearts of Many Fans, Jerry Treiber Was a Shining Star

Steve Sansweet | January 6, 2014
Jerry Treiber's Facebook page header

Part of Jerry Treiber’s Facebook page header, with the infamous lightsaber.

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.

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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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Fully Operational Fandom: Holiday Traditions, Star Wars-Style

Amy Ratcliffe | December 19, 2013

Yoda cookies

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.

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Star Wars in the UK: 1977, the First Star Wars Christmas

Mark Newbold | December 16, 2013

Star Wars in ihe UK
xmas_swituk_collage_1

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.

Star Wars holiday card, 1977

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.

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Star Wars in the UK: Memorabilia, 23-24 November 2013

Mark Newbold | December 13, 2013

Star Wars in the UK

Memorabilia

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.

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UPDATED: Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day

Carrie Goldman | December 12, 2013

katie_501st

UPDATE: Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day 2013 is tomorrow! Check out author Carrie Goldman’s post from last year below, and find out how you can help celebrate this special day.

On Friday, December 14, 2012, we invite you to celebrate the third annual Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day, an affirmation of geek pride and a stance against bullying. Getting involved is easy. Here’s what you can do:

  • Wear something Star Wars or science fiction-related.
  • Donate a Star Wars or science fiction toy to a child in need (but please put a post-it note on the new, unwrapped toy specifying that it can go to a girl or a boy; otherwise, these traditional “boy toys” will be given only to boys). You can bring the toy to a hospital, a shelter, or drop it off with any charitable organization collecting toys.

Join Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars on Facebook

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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 Ambassadors to the Gridiron

Albin Johnson | December 10, 2013

Patriots Trooper versus Panthers Trooper

Star Wars, by its very title, is a tale of epic battles. It’s a pageant of good versus evil, a struggle between conquest and salvation. It’s not called Star Romance or Star Force-Magic or any other title tied to one of its underlying themes. Those things happen against the back-drop of a good-old-fashioned war story.

People love a good throw-down. It’s in our blood to compete. Those of you reading this blog may not engage in tribal warfare like our ancestors, but we still find ways to identify with modern-day “tribes” of a sort. Sports are a clear example of that as an outlet. Sports fans identify with their teams like they are our tribes. We wear their colors, we cheer like maniacs, and we take a lot of joy (and regret) over watching them battle it out.

Two years ago I found a fun way to mash up my love of Star Wars with my love of watching football. I repainted an old set of Stormtrooper armor in Carolina Panthers colors just for fun. I reported in this blog last year the growing number of “Sports Troopers” who decorate their Star Wars costumes to match their favorite sports teams. The responses surprised me.

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Heeding the Call: Rise of the Mandalorian Mercs, Part 2 – Uniting the Clans

| December 4, 2013
Mandalorian Mercs from across the US/Canada at DragonCon 2007

Mandalorian Mercs from across the US/Canada at DragonCon 2007.

Welcome to the second installment of “Heeding the Call,” in which I recount the history of the Mandalorian Mercs fan group. (And a big thanks to everyone who commented and wrote in about part one.) Let’s resume our flashback to 2007, shall we?

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