Studying Skywalkers: Star Wars in the Classroom

Dan Zehr | February 27, 2014
The Empire Strikes Back vintage poster with Boba Fett

Vintage poster from 1980 that adorns my classroom wall.

As an educator at the Secondary level, it’s imperative that you keep your students engaged and interested in the curriculum, as you navigate the distractions that life may provide at any given moment.  While attending college to become certified as a high school English teacher, I was constantly told that students need to be met where they are at in their lives, and heard catch phrases like “edutainment” to describe the pedagogical approach that many are encouraged to pursue.

This is one of many reasons why incorporating Star Wars into the curriculum is all at once gratifying, exciting, and rewarding. It’s wonderful to see how integrating the saga can inspire students to explore other worlds, analyze complex themes, examine characters and characterization, and think critically about that galaxy far, far away. Navigating the saga encourages empathy and creativity that is essential to molding young minds to become something greater than themselves. Just as Luke Skywalker looked into the twin suns of Tatooine for an outlet to other worlds, and to find his place in the universe, each student is encouraged to make similar connections for the betterment of his or her own world.  Star Wars is an excellent avenue for this.

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Tips: Get Yourself in Star Wars Celebration 2015

Mary Franklin | February 27, 2014

Jabba's Palace at Star Wars Celebration

As mentioned in my most recent blog, new Star Wars Celebration 2015 announcements are coming up this April, probably later in the month, to commemorate the one-year-out point of what promises to be one really big Star Wars show.

A integral part of every Star Wars Celebration is what fans bring to the event, both informally and as part of the official program. Just like Bantha Tracks, with the motto, “By the Fans; For the Fans,” Celebrations are as much fun as they are because fans are involved; because they contribute talent, energy, ideas, and creativity.

Want to be part of the show at Celebration 2015? Read on for some tips on what we’re looking for.

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Star Wars Comics Preview: February 26, 2014

StarWars.com Team | February 26, 2014

star-wars-legacy-header-02272014

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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Kenner’s Star Wars Playsets, Part 2: From Icy Trenches to Ewok Campfires

Tim Veekhoven | February 26, 2014

In the first part of this series, I discussed the playsets of A New Hope. Onto the next batch!

Darth Vader's Star Destroyer Action Playset box
Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer Action Playset (1980): This one has always been a bit of an ugly Nuna. Not because it’s a bad playset, but because personally I’ve always considered this to be a ship and not a playset. And the Star Destroyer doesn’t look like the Executor at all. The toy can roughly be interpreted as the bridge of Vader’s Super Star Destroyer. The box has an ominous reddish hue and it shows Boba Fett, Bossk, and IG-88 standing on the ship/playset. A picture on the side of box does the same (and even adds Dengar). On the back of the box you can spot a lot of the action features of the set, explained by black and white artwork. Another issue that makes this set rather odd is that most of its features never appear in The Empire Strikes Back.

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Collecting the Galaxy: Star Wars At Toy Fair 2014

James Burns | February 25, 2014

IMG_7003

The International Toy Fair in New York wrapped up last Wednesday, and the team from StarWars.com was there to ensure we brought you all the latest news on what you can expect from the industry over the upcoming months. There were lots of new products to see, including new items from Star Wars Rebels as well as products from the original and prequel trilogies.

In addition to the galleries already presented by Hasbro and LEGO, we present new images of some of the products on display. The first LEGO gallery didn’t include any of the summer product line, which includes a new Imperial Star Destroyer which opens up fully with some great new play features and comes with fix new minifigures (2 x Strormtrooper, Imperial Officer, Imperial Navy Trooper, Imperial Crew, and Darth Vader) as well as a stunning brand new holographic Emperor micro figure. For all fans of The Empire Strikes Back we look forward to new sets of the AT-AT featuring four new minifigures (General Veers, Snowtrooper Commander, AT-AT Driver, and 2 x Snowtroopers). In a new take on one of the first sets released 15 years ago, the snowspeeder which comes with three new minifigures (Sandtrooper, Luke Skywalker, and Dak Ralter) and a new firing harpoon mechanism.

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The Brilliance of Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi

Jennifer Heddle | February 24, 2014

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Book 1

Next month sadly will see the final issue of Dark Horse Comics’ Dawn of the Jedi. John Ostrander and Jan Duursema have done an amazing job of conceiving a Star Wars universe set more than 25,000 years before the events of A New Hope. As dawn turns to dusk, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about what I particularly loved about this groundbreaking series.

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Star Wars Weekends 2014 Extended! (Thanks to Darth Sidious)

Gary Buchanan | February 21, 2014

Star Wars Weekends 2014 art

As the Rebel Alliance continues its fight for freedom and democracy in the Star Wars galaxy, the phantom puppetmaster himself, Darth Sidious (a.k.a. Emperor Palpatine), has issued a new galactic decree about Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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“Luke, I Am Your Lather”: Star Wars Shampoo, Soap, and Bubble Bath

Mark Newbold | February 20, 2014

Star Wars Bath Bubbles

Back in the ’70s, when kids still played outside with their frisbees and space hoppers, rolling in the dirt and generally causing all kinds of havoc, there were a nation of moms and dads despairing at the daily grind of coaxing little Janet or John into the bath. So whichever marketing executive came up with the grand idea of launching a range of Star Wars related bubble baths and shampoos — starting a chain reaction that launched a plethora of brands and hygiene related products – would no doubt have the undying gratitude of the parents of the first Star Wars generation, because after Princess Leia and her GFFA pals entered the bathroom you couldn’t keep kids away.

We’re going to take a dive into the bubblicious waters of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi shampoo, soaps, and bubble baths, scrubbing away the grime of time and taking a look at some of the fantastic releases that hit the UK and US during the original trilogy era.

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Star Wars Comics Preview: February 19, 2014

StarWars.com Team | February 19, 2014

star-wars-comics-02202014

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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The History of the 501st Legion: Founding of the UK Garrison

Albin Johnson | February 19, 2014

The 501st Legion of Stormtroopers in 1998

 It was December 1998 and the 501st Squad was growing. Fast.

Following the blunders at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia, I was puzzling over the destiny of the group that gathered on the website Detention Block 2551. It made quite a show, all those pictures of Stormtroopers on the web. But where was all this headed? Would a grassroots fan club catch on with fans worldwide?

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