Fully Operational Fandom: Star Wars Collecting

Amy Ratcliffe | March 25, 2014

Fully Operational Fandom: Star Wars Collections

Just as there are many characters in the Star Wars universe, there are many sides to Star Wars fandom. Cosplay, comics, trading cards, art — we all focus our passion somewhere. Many fans channel their love of the saga through Star Wars collecting. When you keep at the hobby for years or even decades, you get to know fellow fans along the way. Some collectors look out for each other and keep eyes open for a treasure on someone else’s list and bonding over the hunt for memorabilia can lead to lifelong friendships. You not only acquire collectibles, you acquire connections.

I spoke with a few fans about their collections and people they’ve met along the way.

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Rise of the Mandalorian Mercs, Part 3: SDCC and Mando Weddings

Tom Hutchens | March 24, 2014

Mandalorian Mercs

By the end of 2007, Mandalorian Mercs had started to really take off as a group. Our scattered membership had taken part in many events, and we had gotten our first European Clan. By the time 2008 rolled around, we had five very active clans and just over 50 official members. We had our first real test in damage-control in late 2007 with the death of our website and forum, but we came through that, and by 2008 had a brand new platform running strong for the group. In fact, it’s the same website and forum we continue to use today.

One of my most memorable moments of 2008 was participating in the “Mandalorian Wedding” at San Diego Comic-Con. Two of our members (who had been married in May) had wanted to do a Mandalorian-themed Star Wars wedding. After speaking with them, we all decided that San Diego Comic-Con would be the perfect place to have the “Mando” wedding. It was Mandalorian Mercs’ first year as a fan-group at SDCC, and making sure we presented ourselves and the organization well to the fans was a top priority. I booked a ticket, packed up my newly finished Mark 2 armor, and flew from North Carolina to California to help with our presentation, and the wedding.

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Collecting the Galaxy: New LEGO Star Wars Releases in May

James Burns | March 24, 2014

LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary by DK Publishing

There are two new LEGO Star Wars related releases coming in early May, just in time for the annual May the 4th holiday. Both are updated and revised editions of previous releases but I don’t think either are something you’ll want to pass up…

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The Empire Striketh Back: Shakespeare Meeteth a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Jennifer Heddle | March 21, 2014

The Empire Striketh Back cover

When the idea for a Shakespearean rendition of Star Wars was pitched to us at Lucasfilm, I admit I was skeptical. It sounded like just another gimmick. But then I read Ian Doescher’s manuscript, and my attitude changed. Ian had lovingly crafted a tribute not only to Star Wars but to Shakespeare himself, showing respect and reverence for the Bard’s style even while transporting it to a galaxy far, far away. The rave reader reviews for the first book show that I was not alone in thinking Ian had written something special. And now the second book, The Empire Striketh Back, has been released, and it’s just as entertaining as the first.

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From World War to Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Cole Horton | March 21, 2014

Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Just as World War II impacted every corner of our world, the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars seemed to touch nearly every corner of the Star Wars galaxy. The six seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave us a deeper look into the far-reaching implications of a galactic conflict that had only been glimpsed in the Star Wars films. In 2008, George Lucas said that the upcoming Star Wars: The Clone Wars was “like Band of Brothers only with Jedi,” but little did we know then just how much the award-winning show would draw from history as inspiration. With the complete series of The Clone Wars now on Netflix, now is a great time to look back at just how World War II inspired the galaxy’s greatest conflict.

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A. A Television Show That Mentioned My Name. Q. What Is Jeopardy?

Steve Sansweet | March 20, 2014
Jeopardy logo

Courtesy Jeopardy Productions Inc.

It was just an ordinary Tuesday afternoon a little after 4:15 p.m. I was working at my computer as usual, when I caught an e-mail from my nephew Jeff, a lawyer in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

“Did you know you were just an answer to a Jeopardy question!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Mark Hamill to Appear at Star Wars Weekends for First Time Ever

Gary Buchanan | March 20, 2014

EP5_IA_502_L

His most famous film character has destroyed the Death Star, received the Medal of Bravery following The Battle of Yavin, and resisted a turn to the dark side — so what is he going to do next?

He’s going to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!

No wait, wrong answer. He’s going to Disney World!

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Star Wars-Inspired Music Guide (Including, Yes, Pipe-Organ Albums)

Mark Newbold | March 20, 2014

Star Wars vinyl albums

I’m going to take you on a journey. A stereo journey. Back to the mid 1970s, when a little fancied sci-fi film called Star Wars changed the world of cinema and exploded into popular culture like Bazooka Joe’s bubble gum. It was a world of 7″ and 12″ vinyl, cassettes, and 8-tracks, when your dad’s music setup was often housed within a sideboard the size of a Morris Marina and when the Walkman was still a long-distant dream. So for kids of the day, desperate for as much Star Wars as they could get their hands, eyes, taste buds, and ears on the music of the film was an evocative and much-prized treasure.

Today the music of Star Wars is as iconic as any aspect of the film, weaving its way into the cultural subconsciousness and launching a thousand imitators. The original soundtrack, a double album with booklet released in May 1977 by 20th Century Records, sold in millions and revived not only the popularity of the orchestral soundtrack but also the mass appeal of movie soundtracks in general. It made a global star of the already Oscar-laden John Williams and, completely incidentally, gave a plethora of artists and labels — some non-licensed — the impetus to go out and record some of their own versions of the films score. In these far savvier days, when a cursory glance at the internet would tell you instantly whether or not you were buying the “real thing” the thought of picking up one of these albums might seem crazy, but when kids were clamoring for anything remotely related to the galaxy’s greatest film these releases sold well.

Here then is a look at just a few of those unique releases, some reasonably well-known (MECO hit number #1 on the Billboard Top 100 with his “Star Wars Theme” and today can be heard over the end credits of all RebelForce Radio shows and some not so much (“The Sounds of Star Wars” by The Sonic All-Stars anyone?)

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Star Wars Comics Preview: March 19, 2014

StarWars.com Team | March 19, 2014

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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Collecting the Galaxy: 15 Years of LEGO Star Wars, Part 2

James Burns | March 19, 2014

LEGO Star Wars logo

In the part one of “15 Years of LEGO Star Wars, I looked at the introduction of the mashup franchise through to the end of 2005 and the release of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge on the Sith. Part two of this retrospective looks at the period between 2006 and 2010 which includes the 10th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars and the introduction of the first sets from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. By the end of 2005 we’d seen 124 sets released which included over 125 different minifigures.

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