Why Waiting for Star Wars Is a Good Thing

Darren Hayes | March 13, 2014

Return of the Jedi 30th anniversary screening at the Egyptian Theatre

I had a Star Wars epiphany last year while standing in line for the 30th anniversary screening of Return of the Jedi in Los Angeles. As many fans know, this particular screening of the film featured a surprise cameo by Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill — who casually strolled up to the podium to partake in the post screening Q&A. The atmosphere in the room was electric as you can imagine. The mood shifted quickly from stunned silence to an eruption of hysteria as Mark took to the stage.

Mark is the quintessential amazing nice guy and super-talented actor we all know and love. Where any other celebrity might shy away from the intense enthusiasm directed at them, he was incredibly gracious and, let’s face it, wonderfully patient with all the fanboys and girls who attended. It was a room of fans from every generation. From those in their 40’s like me, those older and many new fans; children who stared in silent awe that their hero was in the same room as them.

But as amazing as it was, this was not the highlight for me.

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Dave Filoni on The Lost Missions’ Yoda Arc

Dan Brooks | March 12, 2014

Yoda in Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions

Back when I interviewed Dave Filoni about Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we spoke for a long time regarding the series’ themes, its final broadcast season, and its legacy. I included almost everything we discussed in the final three-part piece…except for one brief exchange that had to remain on the cutting room floor: our talk about the Lost Missions’ Yoda arc, which at the time, was a little too spoilery to publish. Now that the episodes are out on Netflix for everyone to enjoy, I’m really happy to share his thoughts on this essential story.

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Who Will Win This Is Madness’ Play-In Matchups?

Chris David | March 12, 2014

This Is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament 2014 logo

This Is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament has returned, and all eyes will be on Yoda, who be looking to repeat as champion. Last year, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order defeated Darth Vader in the finale by a 3:2 margin (60%) of votes. The loss for Vader didn’t sit well with a lot of Star Wars fans, and was deemed an upset by many after watching him cruise through the Dark Side conference.

For this year’s tournament, both Yoda and Vader will be squaring off against old foes and some new faces as well. The action started yesterday with Attack of the Play-Ins, in which four Star Wars characters will have to win a spot in the tournament.

Last year, we at VegasInsider.com handicapped the bracket and are back to offer some insight on the opening weekend.

Let the Madness begin!

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Bantha Tracks: Art Galaxy, March 2014

Mary Franklin | March 11, 2014

Yoda fan art in Bantha Tracks: Art Galaxy

For creative Star Wars fans who are natural artists, and for the rest of us who are not artistically gifted but still appreciative, here is a selection of original artwork sent to Bantha Tracks. Thank you, artists, for sharing your talent with the rest of us!

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Capturing Han Solo in Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves

Jennifer Heddle | March 10, 2014

Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves

On the surface Han Solo is an “easy” character — a wise-cracking scoundrel with a penchant for getting in over his head. But for authors who want to really capture the sum of Han’s parts, it’s not quite as easy as it looks, especially post-Episode IV. He’s a mercenary, but he’s currently hooked up with a non-profit operation. He looks out for himself, but it’s his friends that are keeping him around. Author James S.A. Corey does a great job of handling this balancing act in the new book, Honor Among Thieves, out this week.

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To Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Thank You

Dave Filoni | March 10, 2014

Star Wars: The Clone Wars logo

The Clone Wars “Lost Missions” made its debut on Netflix on Friday, and in honor of that fact I thought it was time for a new blog post, specifically for everyone who supported the show.

Growing up a Star Wars fan I dreamed of what the Clone Wars were like, but I never dared dream I would be lucky enough to be a part of the telling of these stories, with some of the most creative and talented people I have ever known.

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Star Wars in the UK: An Empire of Erasers

Mark Newbold | March 7, 2014

Star Wars in the UK

Vintage Star Wars erasers

In today’s world, when communication is conducted largely by the tapping of a keyboard and the click of a mouse and deletions are executed by the pressing of the backspace button, excitement over erasers — or rubbers, as we commonly call them here in the UK — may seem odd. But back in the day, when rubbers were among the many cool branded items you could grab at a cheap price that had the characters and vehicles of Star Wars on them, they were an essential purchase. And importantly, they were a great way of showing your love of the movie to your fellow fans at school while pretending to focus on the teacher at the front of the class. We had pencil cases, pens, pencils, rulers, sharpeners, stationary sets, and more, but back in the days when fragrant erasers were still allowed to be sold in the UK, Star Wars erasers were an essential tool in one’s school supplies pouch.

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Orlando Jones Talks Star Wars

Bryan Young | March 7, 2014

Orlando Jones has been a mainstay in the world of geekdom from his time on Mad TV, through his turns in movies like Evolution and The Time Machine, and currently with his work on the hit show Sleepy Hollow as Captain Frank Irving.

We had him on the Full of Sith podcast to talk about his work and his Star Wars fandom and he treated us to the story of the first time he encountered Star Wars in 1977 as a nine-year-old boy.

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Shake Hands with the Money: Remembering David Tomblin, First Assistant Director

John "Dak" Morton | March 5, 2014

David Tomblin with Carrie Fisher on the set of Return of the Jedi

He was a bear of a man. Big men — gaffers and grips — worked for him and did so with the greatest of affection. Broad and full were his shoulders, carried high, pushed tight against the neck. With his barrel-chest, he squeezed his words through the back of his throat and nostrils, as is the manner of those suburban London lads that communicates controlled authority, experienced professionalism. In tributes after he died in 2005 at the age of 74, he was lauded as the finest and most respected first assistant director in the world. Around the time he AD’d Return of the Jedi, he reckoned he had done 478 films. In a previous post, I characterized him as a great who orchestrated symphonies out of chaos. This time, I’m going as far as to say that David Tomblin was the greatest first assistant ever.

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The Genesis and Goals of Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves

James S.A. Corey | March 4, 2014

Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves cover

There’s this story about being a writer that it’s a lonesome, solitary job where one labors in a garret or something. The reality is pretty different, and not just for us. Any writer going through traditional publishing models is at the very least working with an editor, a copyeditor, and the layout and design team. Often there are also first readers who give some distance and perspective on a new book, friends, and spouses who we bounce ideas off, other writers who we sit at bars with and talk about business and craft. So just from the outset, let’s be clear: Writing is only a solitary business when you compare it to something like tech support or consulting.

Writing for something like Star Wars? That’s a whole different level of collaboration. When we stepped into the project, there were already somewhere between 80 and 90 writers just on the novels in the Expanded Universe. Recent estimates have it that with the books, comic books, video games, and television shows, the Star Wars universe has more stories in it than there are atoms in the universe, though that may be a slight overstatement.

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