Wondering what’s been happening at StarWars.com? Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed this week!
Ever since I received my first Star Wars figures in 1981 I have always been an avid fan of Kenner’s vintage line. It brought me a lot of childhood memories and it has taken a prominent place in my collection. One of the charms of the Kenner line are the “naive” names given to a lot of the figures. I’ve always embraced and loved more realistic names like Ponda Baba and Momaw Nadon, but I keep calling the Kenner figures Walrus Man and Hammerhead. Lucasfilm rarely named background characters during the production of the classics so Kenner didn’t have much of a choice but to use the production names or a few monikers given in the novelizations or the comics.
What if Lucasfilm had already given all those characters their names when the figures were released? Let’s have a look at the contemporary and alternate names of the Kenner action figures.
Aliens are one of the most fascinating aspects of the Star Wars saga. They look strange, sound strange and act strange — all things at odds with another iconic element of Star Wars: the martial order and perfect conformity of the Galactic Empire. This series sheds a light on some of the most notorious alien henchmen of the Empire to straddle these worlds, drawing upon the films and the Expanded Universe. In case you missed them, please read part one and part two.
Given the many aliens who worked alongside Senator Palpatine during his rise to power (Sly Moore of Umbara, Mas Amedda of Champala, Onaconda Farr of Rodia, and Kashyyyk’s Yarua, among others), few could have foreseen the ideological changes that would accompany his assumption of the Imperial throne. Palpatine’s true beliefs became evident only after it was too late for anyone to stop his sinister plans.
A long time ago in a little kids room far far away, a 10-year-old boy tried to muster the Force with all of his will and power. Just like Yoda teaching Luke to raise the X-wing from the swamp, all the little boy wanted was to turn that little red light on in the nose of his toy X-wing fighter — all the way across the room from his bed. It wasn’t working, but he believed it would happen, so for what seemed like hours he tried and tried with amazing concentration, until he fell asleep, exhausted. The next morning when he woke, everything had changed. The light was on. It had worked, and it had to be because he believed in the power of the Force.
A new school year has started and many young Padawans are taking Star Wars to school with them. Star Wars backpacks, lunchboxes, water bottles, binders, and folders. Most of these items feature the male characters of Star Wars, leaving us fangirls to get crafty if we want something featuring female Star Wars heroines and/or villains. I got this idea from fellow fangirl Kristen, who posted this photo of her first grader’s school binder on my Her Universe Facebook page.
Fans are the foundation of any convention. Without excited ticket-purchasing attendees who want to see their favorite celebrities or comic creators or authors, conventions wouldn’t exist. But Dragon Con takes fandom to the next level: it’s run by the fans for the fans. So, while companies like Lucasfilm or Dark Horse or the typical convention staples didn’t have official presences in Atlanta, you could still attend fun and interesting panels focusing on Star Wars all weekend long. And since panelists were mostly fellow fans, it was often like one big roundtable. It’s unlike any convention I’ve ever attended.
Ask anyone who went to Dragon Con this year, and they will tell you: The crowds were insane. Last year, Atlanta police estimated that 80,000 people turned up to watch the parade (show attendance was around 52,000), and this year, it certainly felt like an even bigger spectator turnout. While that makes for a tighter situation on the sidewalks (and makes jostling for a good view more complicated), it also adds to the excitement and energy — something everyone can use after a late night of socializing.
I never quite get over the dedication of the fans who walk in the parade. Getting up early during a con to put on a costume — often heavy with multiple layers — and walk through Atlanta’s humid streets just to share your love of your fandom? That’s commitment.
As always, the Star Wars group wrapped up the parade in style. We’re at an interesting time in Star Wars fandom. The announcement of more movies on the horizon has rekindled enthusiasm for the franchise, but since we don’t know much about the upcoming films yet, costuming fans who want to do something new are turning to really creative interpretations of existing characters. So as faction after faction came through the course, we were treated to quite a few surprises.
Every summer, tens of thousands of people flock to Atlanta to attend one of the largest pop culture conventions in the nation: Dragon Con. As always there was a considerable Star Wars presence at the convention this year, with celebrities like Billy Dee Williams, Daniel Logan, and Matt Wood in attendance.
I had the chance to sit in on the panel featuring young Boba Fett himself, Daniel Logan, and the voice of General Grievous, Matt Wood. The panel was moderated by author (and writer for this blog) Bryan Young.
Bryan started out the panel by asking the guests to describe their personal Star Wars fandom before they worked on the films. Daniel Logan said that he had never heard of Star Wars; he was very young when he was cast to play the part of Boba Fett in Attack of the Clones. He said that his aunt told him his life would change. “And now I am here in Atlanta telling stories about my life as Boba Fett.”
Matt said he was a fan from the age of five, and that he would take the cardboard tubes from the Christmas wrapping paper and run around the house with his friends playing Star Wars. He started working for Lucasfilm when he was only 17, testing video games. “It was a complete dream come true and I never left.”