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!
Being a kid in the ’70s here in the UK was, in a word, brilliant. We had Grange Hill, Chopper bikes, flares, and Green Flashes, 8-tracks in the car, Judge Dredd in 2000 AD and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the radio. ELO and Wings toured the world while the Sex Pistols caused scandal wherever they went, and the Bee Gees notched up what was then the biggest selling album in music history with Saturday Night Fever. Oh, and Ipswich Town won the FA Cup, beating Arsenal 1-0 (and my beloved West Bromwich Albion in the semi-finals), and the nation was still buzzing after the Silver Jubilee celebrations of ’77. But being a kid, and a hungry one at that, one of the best things about the late ’70s was the food. Monster Munch, Secret Agents, Pacers, Space Invaders, Spangles, and of course, Lyons Maid ice cream. And being a Star Wars kid in ’77 who was hungry for anything to do with the galaxy far, far away, the Star Wars tie-in with Lyons Maid ice cream was a scoop.
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.
Welcome to the fourth of 12 articles revealing — for the first time ever — material cut from The Essential Guide to Warfare before its April 2012 publication. Each section will be preceded by brief comments discussing why the material wound up on the cutting-room floor.
2013 was a very, very big year for Star Wars. From movies to video games, there were milestones, announcements, and revelations galore, all of which made one thing very clear: the future of a galaxy far, far away is very bright. The StarWars.com editorial staff has huddled together and picked the biggest and best moments of the year — check out the list after the jump!
Did the Rebels truly defeat Palpatine’s Empire at the Battle of Endor? The deep roots of the Star Wars mythos continue exploring that subject with tremendous zeal. In the literature of the galaxy far, far away, the conflict between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the crumbling Empire has played out in a multitude of wars for years beyond Return of the Jedi. Though the Galactic Civil War finally came to an end with the signing of a peace treaty almost two decades after the desolation of the second Death Star, this no-holds-barred primer profiles the most memorable and powerful Imperial renegades of those intervening years, the so-called “Warlords,” who fought valiantly, viciously and fanatically for the scraps of the once-glorious First Galactic Empire and whose selfishness ultimately brought about its self-destruction. (In case you missed them, you can also read part one and part two in the series.)
The Nihilism and Artistry of Lord Shadowspawn (~0.3-11 Years After Endor)
Who, or what, is Lord Shadowspawn? The answer to that is a riddle wrapped in a Lodi mystery inside a Rakata mind trap.
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.
The Official Star Wars Blog is taking a break for a couple of weeks, so you won’t hear from us for a little while. But fear not — we shall return, more powerful than you could possibly imagine. (We hope.)
Thanks so much for visiting us in 2013 — and get ready for the coming year. It’s going to be a big one for Star Wars and StarWars.com, and we can’t wait for it to start.
Have a safe and happy holiday. And may the Force be with you!