My name is Alex Albrecht and I’m a Star Wars nerd. I say this with pride. As a child of the ‘80s I, like most of us, fell in and out of love with many different nerdy things over the years. My love affairs included trysts with the likes of Inhumanoids, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Visionaries as well as many others. What did they all have in common? I stopped being enamored with them all. All except one, Star Wars.
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I was born in the 70s. I don’t remember much of it, other than seeing Steve Martin live in Vegas with my parents, “Bewitched”, and a vague notion of un-ironic green shag carpet. My greatest memory from the otherwise greasy time period was undoubtedly seeing Star Wars in the theater on opening weekend. My dad and I had dropped my mom off at the airport back in the days when you could smoke on planes and walk people to their gate. We left the terminal and went straight to a movie theater to see what this space movie business was all about.
One hundred and twenty-five minutes later (no, I’m not counting the previews for whatever disco-themed movies probably ran) my brain was altered. A New Hope had grabbed my tiny imagination by the scruff and shook it for all it was worth. I saw the movie again. And again. And again.
Hi hi! Katie Linendoll here from Spike TV’s “All Access Weekly.” I am super pumped to be running in Course of the Force! As many of you know Course of the Force is an Olympic-style lightsaber torch run from Santa Monica to San Diego in preparation for Comic-Con. Naturally, I asked my mom to design a one-of-a-kind light-up R2 costume for me. Why? Because I’m obsessed with R2!! From R2 ice cube trays, an R2 robot that patrols my home and my R2 Xbox, he is the one and only man for me. Anyhow, mom delivered a custom R2 costume with an English twist (including fascinator) -formally dubbing it “R2-D2 Across the Pond” – nerd amazingness!! She also hand-painted R2 shoes! What do you think??
SW column May 1987 (c) Dow Jones & Co.
People often ask how I got involved with Lucasfilm. There are several answers, some less embarrassing than others.
In 1987, just a few months after I had become Los Angeles Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, and well aware of the upcoming Star Wars 10th Anniversary, I proposed an editorial page column looking back at and assessing the amazing cultural phenomenon and Lucas’ career. I had never written for the edit page before, but the New York editors said yes. Then I—a fiercely independent, hard-bitten journalist who had once spent two years tracking down and reporting on multinational corporate bribery scandals—began fantasizing about my first visit to the fabled Skywalker Ranch and a chat with George Lucas. Oh, the cruelty of daydreams that dissipate as quickly as a cold front during an Orlando summer!
Editor’s Note: Whether you’re a regular reader of this blog or not, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of, or met, Steve Sansweet. (And he’s appeared in the blog many, many times.) In addition to owning the world’s largest collection of Star Wars collectibles — on display at Rancho Obi-Wan — Steve has been a frequent presence at fan conventions, expos and gatherings around the world. He is also an advisor to Lucasfilm, where he served for over a decade as the company’s Head of Fan Relations. And now he’s a blogger. Welcome, Steve!
To celebrate the release of The Phantom Menace in 3D (out in theaters Feb. 10, 2012), we asked some of our favorite Star Wars fan groups, celebs and Clone Wars actors to rev their engines for our first ever Virtual Podrace on Twitter!
On Jan. 14, 2012, fans gathered together to watch and have fun participating in our virtual podrace. While some tweeted at their favorite racers, other fans went a step further and joined the virtual pit droid crew!
The Podracers included:
Cyborgturkey AKA Robot Chicken, TheForce.net, Darth Vader, Ben Quadinaros, Deathstar PR, 501st Legion, Fanboys director Kyle Newman, Boba Fett actor Daniel Logan, The Clone Wars actor James Arnold Taylor, and Team Unicorn members: Clare Grant, Michele Boyd, and Milynn Sarley. Plus special guest sniper, bounty hunter Aurra Sing voice actor from The Clone Wars — Jaime King!
Podracers tweeted as themselves, or as the characters they play in The Clone Wars. The @StarWars Twitter served as the commentator who called out play by play action by rolling dice to determine who went forward, who had engine problems, who got shot at by a bounty hunter, who sped ahead and who got sideswiped.
As the @StarWars Twitter tweeted play by play actions, the Podracers tweeted what was happening to them and the racers around them.
Everyone used the hashtag #Podrace at the end of their tweets so the Podrace could be followed by fans on Twitter who wanted to see the action.
There were a lot of explosions on the racetrack, surprise sniping from none other than Jaime King as Aurra Sing, a surprising romance with Darth Vader and plenty of hilarious comments from the racers!
And in the end, none other than The 501st Legion won the Podrace!
Our Virtual race was so popular that we even got the hashtag #Podrace to trend on Twitter! Yay us!
For those of you who missed all the action, here’s the play by play for you below. READ THE TWEETS FROM BOTTOM TO TOP to follow the race in its entirety.
College students can feel extra stressful during final exams week, and sometimes it takes a Sith Lord to put it all in perspective. This week at Algonquin College in Ontario, the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir performed a “Carol of the Bells” flash mob conducted none other than by Darth Vader himself to put students in the festive spirit.
WATCH VIDEO: Darth Vader Conducts Christmas Choir Flash Mob
Inspired by the Christmas Food Court Flash Mob Hallelujah Chorus, the Television Broadcasting students at Algonquin College wanted to showcase the new Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence by lightening the mood with the help of the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir and Darth Vader. Please note: Lord Vader is not enrolled or on faculty at Algonquin.
Well played Darth Vader, well played.
This year, on Dec. 16, Katie’s mom urges fans to show off their Star Wars pride by wearing a Star Wars shirt — but to also consider donating a Star Wars gift to toy drives with the condition that it can go to a boy OR a girl, not just a boy! This helps spread the word that Star Wars is for both girls and boys!
Read more about this special event here:
Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars Day
Carrie Goldman (Katie’s mom) writes:
Please join us in the second annual Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars event on December 16, 2011. Celebrate this day of geek pride and anti-bullying by wearing something Star Wars or science fiction-related.
Since it is the holiday season, please also celebrate the day by donating a Star Wars or science fiction toy to a child in need (but be sure to 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 organization collecting toys. Feel free to host a similar toy drive at your child’s school, although you could call it “Proud To Be Me Day,” like Katie’s school does, so that the reach goes beyond science fiction.
Here’s our goal: let’s get Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars to spread to as many people as possible! Every time you read or write a blog post about the event or upload a photo of what you’ll be wearing, share it on Twitter with the hashtag #WearStarWarsShareStarWars.
If you are on Facebook, you can join the event here.