An Advertising Empire: Creating the Star Wars Rebels Propaganda Posters

Amy Beth Christenson | February 6, 2014
Amy Beth Christenson, Star Wars Rebels artist

Photo by Joel Aron

I get to spend my days designing some of the characters, environments, and spaceships here at Lucasfilm — and also had the very fun task of helping create the six Star Wars Rebels Imperial poster cards that popped up online this week. (Before working on Star Wars Rebels, I was a concept artist on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and several LucasArts games, including The Force Unleashed.)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Kessel Run 2014: Helping Rancho Obi-Wan in Less Than 12 Parsecs

Mark Newbold | February 6, 2014

The Kessel Run Google Hangout

What subject could possibly persuade five webmasters, podscasters, and bloggers to congregate on a Sunday via Google Hangout and chat throughout the day (or until the early hours of the morning for some)? Star Wars, of course, and that’s exactly what Randy Lo Gudice, Johnamarie Macias, Jeremy Conrad, Jason Ward, and I did on January 12 as we embarked on the very first Kessel Run, to raise funds for Rancho Obi-Wan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kenner’s Star Wars Playsets, Part 1: Cardboard Death Stars and Creature Cantinas

Tim Veekhoven | February 5, 2014

Star Wars Kenner playset

Bernard Loomis, president of Kenner, decided to make the Star Wars action figures 3 ¾” tall. That decision caused a revolution in the toy industry, as action figures were usually made 12” or 8” tall. The new size meant that the figures could be offered for a reasonable price and that the line could also include spaceships, vehicles, and playsets. Playsets have always been an important part of the toy industry, from those in the Louis Marx Toy line to the Mego sets in the ’70s. With Star Wars, Kenner produced some of the most memorable playsets ever, rivaling classics like Castle Grayskull from Masters of the Universe and G.I. Joe’s USS Flagg.

Read the rest of this entry »

The StarWars.com 10: Best Fashion Designs

StarWars.com Team | February 4, 2014

The StarWars.com 10: Best Fashion Designs

Welcome to The StarWars.com 10, a feature where StarWars.com’s editorial staff huddles to discuss — in a committee — various topics relating to a galaxy far, far away. Today we’re looking at the top fashions, from princess gowns to Jedi outfits, in the Star Wars universe.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Rebel Troop Carrier, from Echo Base to Rancho Obi-Wan

Steve Sansweet | February 3, 2014
The Rebel Troop Carrier in a scene from The Empire Strikes Back

The Rebel Troop Carrier in a scene from The Empire Strikes Back.

Blink and you’ll miss it on screen in The Empire Strikes Back! On a list of the 200 top vehicles in the Star Wars saga, it wouldn’t make last place. I’m embarrassed that there’s not even an entry for it in the 1.1 million word Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, which I co-wrote. And yet now it’s sitting, in all its amazing full-size glory, in the carport at Rancho Obi-Wan.

The “it” goes by several names: Rebel Personnel Transport, Flight Crew Shuttle, or as the three incredible (and just a bit crazy) guys who built it call it, the Rebel Troop Carrier. You may have seen it on display, or even sat in it, in the R2 Builders Club room at Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Florida in 2010. This is its story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Travis Beacham, Pacific Rim Screenwriter, Talks Star Wars

Bryan Young | February 3, 2014

Luke Skywalker versus rancor

Easily one of my favorite movies of the summer was Pacific Rim. It had everything a big summer blockbuster needed and, thanks to a carefully written script and first-class direction from Guillermo Del Toro, it was one of the smartest and most fun summer movies I’ve ever seen. And let’s face it, giant robots punching giant monsters is a lot of fun.

Over the summer my Full of Sith co-host Mike Pilot and myself were able to interview the screenwriter of Pacific Rim, Travis Beacham, about the movie and his love of Star Wars.

Read the rest of this entry »

The History of Mandalorian Armor

Tom Hutchens | January 31, 2014
Early Mandalorian armor

Crusader armor (3996 BBY), Neo Crusader armor (cir 3060 BBY), and Supercommando armor (60 BBY).

Few sights strike as much fear and awe in the Star Wars universe as the sight of a Mandalorian warrior clad in traditional armor. Star Wars fans were first introduced to it with Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back, with its iconic helmet, sleek weaponry, and very cool jetpack helping to make the bounty hunter a fan favorite. Since then it has made appearances in subsequent Star Wars movies, television shows, books, comics, and games. The armor is, without a doubt, the most iconic symbol of Mandalorian culture.

Mandalorian armor is known as beskar’gam (iron skin) in the Mandalorian language, and is worn exclusively by warriors. It is worn by both men and women, and while it gives excellent protection, it also creates a common appearance regardless of species or gender. The highest quality sets are made by lightsaber-resistant beskar (Mandalorian Iron), but the exceptionally high cost and rarity of beskar has led to the use of durasteel, alum, and duraplast in armor production. Mandalorian metalsmiths have traditionally kepth the methods for working beskar into an alloy a highly guarded secret, but the element could be mixed with other metals such as ciridium to create a highly dense and almost indestructible set of armor. (a)

Read the rest of this entry »

Ewok Hater Vs. Warwick Davis: Horror Beyond Imagination

Jason Surrell | January 31, 2014

Warwick Davis with some Ewok friends at Star Wars Weekends

With apologies to Blue Harvest (in reality Return of the Jedi, née Revenge of the Jedi), I would argue that the tagline “Horror Beyond Imagination” actually applies to another, far lesser known Warwick Davis production. And I was the one who experienced the horror. Allow me to explain.

Read the rest of this entry »

R2-KT and the Power of the Pink Side

Albin Johnson | January 30, 2014
R2-D2 and R2-KT in the Clone Wars feature film

R2-D2 and R2-KT in the Clone Wars feature film.

Much has been said about the plucky astromech that faithfully served Anakin, then Obi-Wan Kenobi, and finally Luke Skywalker. R2-D2 was my hero growing up. So much better than a dog: he could fly a space ship, swim underwater, hack into computer systems, and even zap creepy Muppets. Who wouldn’t want an astromech droid as a friend?

Today there’s a droid living in my house. People who visit are blown away at the mere sight of her. And when she goes on trips, people are amazed to see her rolling on her own steam, dome a-twirling, lights flashing, and that familiar chirp-beep-whistle coming from her speakers. But every time I get the same thing: why is your droid pink?

Okay, so if you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan maybe you’ve heard of her. R2-KT is the pink astromech droid that was built in honor of my daughter, Katie, and that’s why she bears the name “KT.” But some may not know the full story.

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

Read the rest of this entry »