As we move into the next era of Star Wars, easing from the end of The Clone Wars toward Star Wars Rebels and Episode VII, it’s an opportune time to take a look back over two decades to a landmark 1991 release that led us out of The Dark Times. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn brought us into a decade that produced Star Wars Galaxy Magazine, Star Wars Insider, Shadows of the Empire, the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, and The Phantom Menace. It jumpstarted a publishing program that endures to this day and formalized the Expanded Universe — stories set outside of the canon established by the films and TV shows of George Lucas that make the galaxy deeper and richer.
Posts Tagged ‘UK’
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.
Back in the late ’70s in the UK the word “transfer” evoked three things. It brought to mind the musical stylings of Manhattan Transfer, the record-breaking sale of Trevor Francis from Birmingham to Nottingham Forest, and Star Wars. Why Star Wars? Because back in the day for kids raised on Grange Hill, Madness, Pot Noodles, 2000 A.D. and Secret Agents the chance to rub your favorite Star Wars characters onto anything and everything was almost irresistible.
The company that had the Star Wars licence in the UK was Ashford, Kent-based company Letraset. Formed in 1959, the company made its name manufacturing typeface for application to all manner of artwork, a requirement for companies and magazines in those pre-computer typeface days. By the ’60s they applied the dry transfer technique to a children’s game called “Action Transfers” and by the ’70s had branched out into buying licences including DC Superheroes, The Rescuers, and then Star Wars.
The eyes of sci-fi and fantasy, anime, and comics fans across the UK turned to Birmingham, the nation’s second city, over the weekend of 23rd and 24th November as Memorabilia returned to Brum for the second time this year, bringing with it stars of screens both large and small, voice actors, sports stars, cult heroes, comic artists, and writers and cosplayers of every ilk. And, as ever, it made for a fascinating two days of fun, color and vibrancy celebrating every facet of fandom.
As the UK becomes the first country in the world to release Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, London will feel the Force like never before as droids, Stormtroopers, Jedi and the Sith invade the city in a week-long Star Wars spectacular culminating in the galactic transformation of the BT Tower into the World’s Largest Lightsaber.
The week commenced with a rude awakening from the Dark Side, as Darth Vader and a sinister fleet of Stormtroopers took to the streets in an Imperial March that will sent shivers down the spines of Londoners. The march began at St. James’ Park where they joined Changing of the Guards activities, before proceeding to HMV on Oxford Street to meet shoppers as they queued to get their hands on the highly anticipated Blu-ray release.
Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels (C-3PO in all six episodes) provided a lighter touch on Tuesday 13 September as he met fans at the grand opening of the HMV at the new Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, signing copies of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray.
On Thursday 15 September, from inside the exclusive star-studded launch party at the top of the BT Tower, Daniels will press a button lighting up the London skyline for one night only as it morphs into a Jedi Knight’s elegant weapon of choice, projecting a giant ‘blue ray’ of light from the top of the tower.
In the words of Darth Vader himself, “This will be a day long remembered” by Star Wars fans in the UK and across the world.
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You know what would make a boring visit to the mall more exciting? A gigantic lightsaber battle!
If you were in Bristol over the weekend, that’s exactly what you got.
Our fans rock!
WATCH VIDEO: Bristol Lightsaber Flashmob