From World War to Star Wars: Spaceships, Submarines, and Seismic Charges

Cole Horton | April 15, 2014

While many of the ships from Star Wars were inspired by planes from World War II, the space combat seen in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Two episode “Cat and Mouse” took space combat to new depths — literally. This Clone Wars story introduces Star Wars fans to a Republic stealth ship that draws on many parallels to submarine warfare of the past.

Submarines and stealth ships in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

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Vanessa Marshall, the Galaxy’s Newest Rebel, Is Heading to WonderCon

StarWars.com Team | April 14, 2014

Hera from Star Wars Rebels

WonderCon is back at the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend, but now with 100% more ace Twi’lek pilots: Vanessa Marshall, voice of Hera on Lucasfilm’s upcoming animated series, will be joining Dave Filoni on his special “Behind the Scenes of Star Wars Rebels” panel. Hera is the steel-willed captain of the Ghost starship, and the heart of the show’s fledgling group of Rebels. Like the rest of the team, she has her own reasons for wanting to fight the Empire; uncovering those reasons will be part of the journey of Star Wars Rebels. “Every time we get a script,” said Marshall in the character’s introductory video, “I am breathless with anticipation. I cannot wait to read what’s next because I want to see where we’re going, too.”

Check out a full list of Star Wars-related programming at WonderCon after the jump!

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Collecting the Galaxy: BBC2′s Collectaholics and Building “The X-Wing”

James Burns | April 11, 2014

The X-Wing logo, inspired by Collectaholics

In January 2013 a TV crew invaded our house to record for a brand new collecting show for the BBC2 called Collectaholics. Around 100 days later we wrapped filming on April 12, but not until our house and my collection were literally turned upside down. This is that story…

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Imagineering Star Tours, Part 3: Visual Effects (and Disney) Magic

Jason Surrell | April 11, 2014

Star Tours

When we last left our heroes, Disney Imagineers Tom Fitzgerald, Tony Baxter, and their project team had collaborated with George Lucas to develop a concept for their flight simulator attraction Star Tours. In their story, the interstellar spaceline offers flights throughout a galaxy recently made safe by the Rebel victory over the evil Galactic Empire…but, of course, the proverbial “something horrible” would inevitably go wrong. For the ride-film itself, George unleashed the same visual effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic that had transported audiences to a galaxy far, far away in the Star Wars trilogy.

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Remembering Katie, Inspiring Hope with R2-KT Art, Part 1

Albin Johnson | April 11, 2014

Star Wars has spawned a universe of incredible artwork, both licensed and fan-created. Since 2006 when R2-KT became a reality thanks to the hard work of the R2 Builders organization, the pink droid has become something of her own celebrity. The fan community has embraced a cute pink droid that carries on in the memory of her namesake — my daughter, Katie — and crusades for awareness of pediatric illnesses and fund-raising for worthy charities.

I thought it would be cool to showcase the art of R2-KT’s fans. Some incredible stuff has been done in the pink palette, and ties in nicely with other “think pink” campaigns that all have one thing in common: hope. What better notion than hope from a saga that started with A New Hope?

Star Wars artist Tsuneo Sanda and R2-KT

Star Wars artist Tsuneo Sanda and R2-KT.

Star Wars artist Tsuneo Sanda has been a big supporter of my family since Katie was diagnosed with cancer. Her story touched his heart and he has created a number of works in her memory. He wrote on his own web site the following thoughts: “It’s been almost a year since lovely Katie-chan passed away. I do not have actual feeling that she died because, we can see photographs of her shining face on the net in the world…Please see the paintings of Katie-chan I imagined. I expressed her loveliness in three paintings in my own way. May her soul rest in peace.” Sanda-san sent us three custom pieces featuring Katie with her droid and one rare copy of his enormous tableau of Star Wars characters where he repainted R2-D2 pink! Truly magical, just like everything Mr. Sanda does. You can see the incredible work of Sanda on his site, www.sandaworld.com.

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5 Kid-Friendly Episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars logo

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an Emmy Award-winning series that pushed the boundaries of animation and storytelling, while exploring the events that followed Attack of the Clones and preceded Revenge of the Sith. Executive producer George Lucas was directly involved in every episode of the show, which makes it essential viewing for Star Wars fans. Now thatthe entire series and feature film have arrived on Netflix, a whole new audience can experience The Clone Wars — but is it for all ages?

Despite it being an animated series that aired on networks geared towards children, it would be a mistake to dismiss The Clone Wars as “just for kids.” Teen and adult viewers may be surprised by the maturity and complexity of the characters and stories presented. Many adult fans have stated that the storylines made them see the prequel films in a whole new light, adding layers of depth to the saga. For the grown-ups in the audience, do not miss out on this wonderful show!

It is because of that maturity and intensity of situations, however, that The Clone Wars cannot be called a “children’s show” without some qualification. As Obi-Wan would say, it depends greatly on your personal point of view. It is family entertainment akin to the Star Wars films, but some episodes may be a better introduction point for kids than others.

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Fully Operational Fandom: How Star Wars Inspires Careers

Amy Ratcliffe | April 10, 2014

When Star Wars came along, it captivated the imagination of countless moviegoers. Every facet from the technology to the effects to the characters came together to create something new and fresh. It wasn’t quite like anything people had seen before, and over the years it’s gained a massive following and made an impression upon thousands of people. Star Wars has even inspired others to pursue certain careers. Just think of how many hundreds of fans entered the film industry because of the adventures of Luke Skywalker and his friends.

The saga didn’t only inspire filmmakers. It also spurred people to chase positions in robotics, entrepreneurial roles, fight choreography, and writing. I spoke with fans in those areas about how Star Wars helped shape who they’ve become.

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Studying Skywalkers: The Star Wars Bard, Ian Doescher, Makes a Classroom Appearance

Dan Zehr | April 10, 2014
Enjoying Ian Doescher’s the Empire Striketh Back

Enjoying Ian’s book.

The power of Ian Doescher’s contribution to the zeitgeist of Star Wars culture is a marvelous thing to behold, particularly when it accomplishes something many educators spend a lifetime trying to accomplish: getting students to invest in the power of Shakespeare’s figurative language. This was on display in my classroom recently, as Ian visited my freshmen students via Skype to discuss his contributions to Star Wars literature, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars and The Empire Striketh Back.

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Star Wars Comics Preview: April 9, 2014

StarWars.com Team | April 9, 2014

star-wars-16-header

It’s Wednesday, which means one thing: new comic books! Check out a preview of new Star Wars comics available today after the jump!

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Star Wars – D-Tech Me Returns to Star Wars Weekends

Steven Miller | April 9, 2014

Star Wars D-Tech Me at Star Wars Weekends

I recently shared with you a first look at new merchandise coming to Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning May 16. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that the Star Wars – D-Tech Me experience will return this year with a few new options for guests. This year, the experience will be located inside Darth’s Mall, located in Soundstage 1 between Studio Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania.

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