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Thrass Meets the Future Grand Admiral in Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil – Exclusive Excerpt

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 10:00

Every beginning has an end.

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil arrives November 16, the final installment in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn prequel trilogy, chronicling the rise of the legendary military strategist. The tale finds the Chiss Ascendancy slipping into war, with Thrawn forced to uncover dark secrets in order to save his new home. And StarWars.com has an exclusive excerpt, revealing a key moment in Thrawn’s life.

The “memories” chapters have served an important role in expanding the story explored in the Ascendancy trilogy. In Lesser Evil, the memories once again delve into Thrawn’s past, going back to his earliest days as a member of the Mitth family, this time through the memories of a character whose relationship with Thrawn may be the most important that the future-grand admiral ever had. A legendary character referenced in the previous two Ascendancy novels, but who, in the finale, takes center stage: Thrass.

Here, we see the fateful meeting between Thrass and Thrawn, at a party welcoming new members to the Mitth family. Check out the preview below in print and audio form, and get a first look at artist Jeremy Wilson’s stunning poster included with the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of the book, featuring Thrawn and Thrass.

https://starwarsblog.starwars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/lesser-evil-excerpt-new.mp3

MEMORY I:

Of all the duties foisted on low-ranking family members, Aristocra Mitth’ras’safis had often heard, the task of wel­coming new merit adoptives to their formal rematching dinner was one of the worst. The newcomers were either highly skilled additions to the Mitth, in which case they tended to have an overblown opinion of themselves and their value; or they were freshly initiated into the Ascen­dancy military, in which case they were self-conscious and, well, extremely military. Nearly all of the blood, cousins, and ranking distants opted out of reception duty, leaving most of the burden to fall on Trial-borns and other merit adoptives, none of whom had enough pull to avoid it.

Which made Thrass a definite anomaly . . . because un­like practically everyone else in his circle of friends, he genuinely enjoyed the service.

Of course, he’d only been doing it for the past three years, and in that time he’d only welcomed eleven merit adoptives. Maybe after a couple more years the excite­ment of meeting and evaluating new people would fade and he would become as cynical and world-weary as ev­eryone else.

But he doubted it. Every one of these people had been approved by the Patriarch’s Office, a fair percentage of them by the Patriarch himself, and Thrass liked to see if he could figure out what made each of them special in the family’s eyes.

This one, for example. The young man freshly renamed Mitth’raw’nuru was standing inside the reception room, looking around the walls at the Avidich landscape paint­ings and the corner statuettes representing or created by some of the ancient Mitth Patriarchs. To Thrass’s eye he looked just a bit lost, a fairly common reaction from some­one who’d been rematched from a nondescript family on a minor world into one of the greatest of the Ascendancy’s Nine Ruling Families. Thrawn was wearing the uniform of a Taharim Academy cadet, which meant he’d been taken from his home directly to Naporar and then been brought here to Avidich for his welcome and orientation.

Thrass frowned. For new warriors it usually went the other way around, first to Avidich and then to Naporor. Ap­parently, someone in the family had wanted him signed into the Expansionary Defense Fleet as quickly as possi­ble, before even his formal welcoming.

Hopefully, he wouldn’t look as intimidated in the heat of battle as he did in a grand Ruling Family reception room. The one common attribute of Ascendancy military types was their outward confidence.

The younger man turned as Thrass walked in through the archway. “Cadet Mitth’raw’nuru?” Thrass asked for­mally.

“I am he,” Thrawn said.

“Welcome to Avidich,” Thrass said. “I’m Aristocra Mitth’ras’safis. I’ll be guiding you through the various pro­tocols that will fully and officially rematch you to the Mitth family.” He waved a hand to encompass the room. “And try not to be overwhelmed by all the fancy flourishes and curlicues. This reception room is also where dignitaries and emissaries from other families are brought in, and we like to make sure right from the start that they know who they’re dealing with.”

“I wasn’t intimidated,” Thrawn said mildly. “I was merely noting the unusual fact that the same artist who did three of the landscapes also created two of the statuettes. It’s uncommon for a single artist to excel at both artistic forms.”

Thrass looked around. He’d been in this room dozens of times, and had twice visited the Csilla homestead’s col­lection of official family art, and as far as he could remem­ber none of them had visible signatures or other identifiers.

In fact, that was the whole point of these displays. These were Mitth artworks, to be seen as coming not from indi­viduals but from the family as a whole.

So how did Thrawn know which pieces had been done by which artist? “Which ones?” Thrass asked. “Show me.”

“Those three landscapes,” Thrawn said, pointing. “And those statuettes.” He indicated a pair in one of the corners.

Thrass stepped over for a closer look. Just as he’d re­membered, there was nothing to indicate the artist on any of them. “What makes you think they’re by the same per­son?”

Thrawn’s forehead furrowed in a frown. “They just are,” he said, sounding a little confused. “The lines, the color, the material mix. It’s . . .” His lips compressed briefly.

“Obvious?” Thrass suggested.

Thrawn looked like he was going to agree, then seemed to think better of it. “It’s difficult to explain,” he said in­stead.

“Well, let’s find out,” Thrass said, pulling out his questis. The artwork here might not be labeled, but the specific artists were surely listed in the archives. “Anything else you can tell me about them?” he added as he started the search. “The artist’s height or favorite foods, maybe?”

“No, neither,” Thrawn admitted. If he’d noticed Thrass’s little joke, he didn’t show it. “But I believe a personal or family tragedy may have occurred between the creation of these two.” He pointed to two of the landscapes, one showing a churning ocean tidepool, the other with a snowcapped mountain jutting into the sky. “Actually, the tragedy may predate all of the pieces except the one with the tidepool. I also have the sense that the artist was a woman, but that’s just an impression, not a solid con­clusion.”

“Why that impression?” Thrass asked, peering at his questis. There was the listing. Now to sort through and tag the five pieces Thrawn had specified.

“It’s something about the line and edging,” Thrawn said. “But as I say, I don’t claim that’s necessarily accurate.”

“I understand,” Thrass said, suppressing a smile. Though of course an assertion like that did give him a fifty–fifty chance.

His hidden smile became a hidden grimace. Earlier, he’d told himself he would never get cynical about meet­ing newcomers to the family. Was he breaking that prom­ise already? The listing came up . . .

He stared at the questis. No. It wasn’t possible.

“Is there trouble?” Thrawn asked.

Thrass threw a hooded look at him. No—there was no way the cadet could have simply looked at the works and come to those conclusions. He must have dug into the ar­chives himself in advance.

Except that there were hundreds of thousands of Mitth family artworks, and they were rotated frequently among the various family holdings and official offices. The odds that these particular ones would be on display in this par­ticular reception room at this particular time were practi­cally nonexistent.

He took a careful breath. “You’re right,” he said, forcing his voice to stay calm. A Mitth cousin had no business re­acting in even moderate awe to a freshly chosen merit adoptive. “All five were created by the legendary Twelfth Patriarch, Mitth’omo’rossodo, sometimes called the Tragic. All four of her sons died in battle—” He pulled up her bio and did a quick comparison of the dates. “—three months after the tidepool piece.”

“All four,” Thrawn murmured, looking again at the land­scape. “A terrible loss indeed.”

“According to the archives, she was determined not to let it influence her rule,” Thrass continued. “But that moun­tain landscape was the last piece she ever did. Or at least, the last surviving one.”

“I can understand that,” Thrawn said. “An artist of such skill and self-awareness might well have seen how the scars of memory had affected her inspiration and resolved to put her artwork aside until she could regain her former tranquility.”

Thrass winced. “Only she never did,” he murmured.

“No,” Thrawn said softly. “Some losses run too deep to ever fully heal.”

Thrass studied his face, noting the fresh tension lines in his cheeks and throat. “You sound like you’ve had experi­ence.”

Thrawn shrugged slightly. “No more than many others in the Ascendancy have suffered,” he said, the tension lines smoothing out.

Though it took a conscious effort, Thrass saw. Whatever pain was lurking behind those eyes, it wasn’t going away anytime soon.

But that sort of ache wasn’t for public display. It cer­tainly wasn’t for a new acquaintance to casually poke at. If life had taught Thrass anything, it was to respect others’ privacy. “I’m sorry to hear that,” he said, gesturing toward the door. “Perhaps a discussion for another day. Let me show you to your room. Dinner’s in three hours, and you may want to practice your part of the ceremony.”

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil arrives November 16 and is available for pre-order now.

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Star Wars: Visions Digital Soundtracks Are Here

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 08:00

The music of Star Wars is as synonymous with the films and series as the characters and stories themselves.

Today, StarWars.com is pleased to announce that carrying on that grand tradition, the haunting scores from Star Wars: Visions, the anime anthology series streaming exclusively on Disney+, are now available from Walt Disney Records.

And to celebrate you can watch a music video based on the epic live show featured in the short “Tatooine Rhapsody.”

Immerse yourself in all nine soundtracks available wherever music is streamed:

Plus, check out other StarWars.com coverage of the series:

• Take a closer look at how the anime studios envisioned the series debut with poster art for each short.

• Go behind the scenes with the producers.

• And watch along with episode guides, trailers and more official coverage.

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Meet Galactic Wildlife Big and Small in Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 11:00

It’s time for your family to go on a galactic safari…and become experts on Star Wars creatures and critters!

Today, Lucasfilm announced Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures, an all-new series of animated shorts, with the first two episodes available now on the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel and StarWarsKids.com. Join adventurous droid SF-R3 (“Aree”), a member of the Galactic Society of Creature Enthusiasts, as he journeys across the galaxy to learn everything there is to know about wildlife. 

You can watch the trailer below, and the first episodes on porgs and banthas now!

“The Galactic Society of Creature Enthusiasts was founded during the exploration age of the High Republic by scientists and adventurers interested in researching the myriad of new species found on the frontier worlds of the Republic,” said Matt Martin, sr. creative executive on the Lucasfilm Story Group. “In Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures, we have the opportunity to show how the Society cataloged the galaxy’s wildlife. I hope fans of all ages will enjoy following Aree’s adventures.”

From teaching porgs new tricks to brushing a rancor’s teeth, Aree will get the answers to the biggest — and silliest — creature questions.

In the series, Aree will study creatures big and small: banthas, blurggs, charhounds, Kowakian monkey-lizards, mynocks, nexu, porgs, rancors, tauntauns, tooka cats, voorpaks, and wampas.

Lucasfilm has also created activities and a certificate to become an honorary member of the Galactic Society of Creature Enthusiasts for families to complete together as they watch the series. In addition, you can bring some of these fascinating and cute creatures home.

Mattel Plush is bringing the wildlife of Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures to fans with the Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures line of Stitchlings plush by Mattel. With artistically designed details, a mixture of soft materials and sounds when squeezed, the Stitchlings plush toys are an adorable addition to any Star Wars plush collection. This assortment is currently available for pre-order only at Target. Amazon also has available for sale an assortment of tees, accessories and home goods celebrating your favorite characters from the new series.

Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures will have a 12-episode run, with two new episodes released every Thursday. Never miss an episode by subscribing to Star Wars Kids on YouTube.

Check out the Star Wars Galaxy of Creatures Stitchlings from Mattel Plush and more products inspired by the series below!

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Revenge of the Sith Lord in IDW’s Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #5 – Exclusive Preview

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 10:00

Somehow Darth Vader has returned…from beyond the grave.

In StarWars.com’s exclusive preview of IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #5 — the final issue in the series — Lina, Jaxxon, Hudd, and Skritt kick in the door to Vader’s Mustafar fortress to rescue Milo, but encounter something quite inhuman in their path.

Ghosts of Vader’s Castle, a 5-issue miniseries, concludes Lucasfilm and IDW’s annual tradition of hauntingly horrific Halloween-themed tales! Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #5, from writer Cavan Scott and artist Francesco Francavilla, arrives October 20 and is available for pre-order now on Comixology and at your local comic shop.

Read more on the scary series from creators Cavan Scott and Derek Charm.

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

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Visions Revisited: 5 Highlights from “Lop & Ochō”

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 08:00

Star Wars: Visions is here! The anthology series is now streaming on Disney+, featuring original shorts from some of the world’s best anime studios. In Visions Revisited, StarWars.com picks the greatest moments from each short. Whether you love anime, Star Wars, or both, we’d be honored if you would join us.

Spoiler warning: This article discusses story details from the Star Wars: Visions episode “Lop & Ochō.”

The world of Tao has welcomed the Empire, and the oppressors spell the end of clan Yasaburo, pitting father against daughter, sister against adopted sister. In “Lop & Ochō” the classic theme of found family finds new meaning in a kinship divided by the Empire’s promises. Nature and nurture collide as the next generation takes control, and a father’s insistence on holding fast to his ideals and his planet’s independence mark him as a terrorist against the Imperial regime. Here are five highlights from “Lop & Ochō,” now streaming on Disney+.

1. A family portrait.

Lop’s change of fortunes is jarringly abrupt for the orphaned alien and former slave of the Empire. The family portrait captured by her droid TD-4 captures what should be a happy moment in time, then transports us 7 years later to find Lop’s world under siege. But things aren’t always as they appear.

2. Age of the Empire.

Another family torn apart by the Empire. With her own blood as war paint,  Ochō slices through her long braid and joins her new allies, the Imperials.

3. Tale of the Jedi.

The magic of an ancient legend unfolds in a mystical shrine as Lop is gifted a treasured family heirloom. As their father says later, “Inheritance has nothing to do with blood.”

4. I am your father!

In a moment that flips the script on Luke’s duel with Darth Vader in the bowels of Cloud City, Ochō dons the crisp white uniform of the Empire and clashes weapons with her own dad, Yasaburo. Tradition fights oppression, and Yasaburo loses the fight and his eye.

5. Lop to the rescue.

Ochō’s eyes burn red and her voice becomes a pained shriek as the sisters lock blades, with a duel that ends in a bittersweet victory.

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Associate Editor Kristin Baver is the author of the book Skywalker: A Family At War, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and an all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Follow her on Twitter @KristinBaver.

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13 Bone-Chilling Star Wars Books and Comics to Read This Halloween Season

Wed, 10/13/2021 - 11:00

The galaxy far, far away is no stranger to things that go bump in the night. From brain worms to dianogas to undead Nightsisters, there’s a star-cruiser load of things that send shivers up your spine. Even the world of Star Wars on the printed page has its share of haunts and horrors, and StarWars.com is highlighting some of the best in celebration of Halloween and Star Wars Reads. With these 13 books and comics, readers of all ages can enjoy the delights of the darkness — if they dare!

1. Star Wars: Dark Legends

This collection of short stories will have you sleeping with the lights on! Written by George Mann, and with illustrations by Grant Griffin, this 2020 anthology of seven tales (10 if you can get your claws on the Target-exclusive edition) will take you to the dark corners of the galaxy, from Endor to Exegol, from Sith laboratories to Black Spire Outpost. A shadowy figure snatches children in the night in “The Orphanage.” Dok-Ondar has a mask for sale — but will the curse of its previous wearers haunt its next victim in “Buyer Beware?” In “The Gilded Cage,” a powerful Nightsister seeks revenge against a Sith Lord, Darth Caldoth, but who will trap whom? Plus, a wolfman gone mad, twisted spirits of the Sith, and more. Chills galore in this book from Disney Lucasfilm Press!

2. Star Wars: Death Troopers and Star Wars: Red Harvest

If you’re a fan of George Romero or Max Brooks, you’ll get bitten by this pair of Legends novels from Del Rey, written by Joe Schreiber. 2009’s Star Wars: Death Troopers features the crew and inmates of a drifting prison barge that find a chance for survival aboard a derelict Star Destroyer, but boom — zombies in space! Star Wars: Red Harvest, released in 2010, serves as a prequel showing the development of the virus, set at a Sith academy in Old Republic times — and you guessed it, more and more zombies. Even undead tauntauns!

3. Vader’s Castle Saga

What if your starship broke down on a harsh lava planet, and the only refuge was a creepy castle…that happened to once belong to the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader? Starting as a series of stories being told by the crashed crew as an overall framing device, these tales introduce new characters and bring back familiar faces like Hera Syndulla and the Ghost crew, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Count Dooku, Darth Maul, and even Jaxxon! Writer Cavan Scott, no stranger to horror in Star Wars, penned this comic book collection of spine-tingling stories for IDW Publishing (and also available on Comixology), with tales being released annually around Halloween:

With tales entitled “Vault of the Living Brains” and “Dawn of the Droids,” you know there are a lot of stories reminiscent of classic horror films, as well as stories that delve into the dark as only Star Wars can. Will these terrors haunt your dreams? With Cavan Scott and a crew of amazing artists piloting this series, you bet.

4. Star Wars: Last Shot

In this 2018 Del Rey novel by Daniel José Older, some old misadventures of Lando Calrissian and Han Solo come back to exact their cost as they start to settle down. At different times in their pasts as owners of the Millennium Falcon, Han and Lando each had encounters with Fyzen Gor, a cybernetics scientist devoted to connecting droids with organic parts, and his Phylanx transmitter, which could unleash a virus that would reprogram droids to go onto organic killing sprees. Trying to clean up their mess and stop Gor and destroy the Phylanx, our rogues encounter all kinds of eerie beings, including the Brotherhood of Wire and Bone, a cult of droids outfitted with organic parts — and even some living sentient followers, now with droid appendages. What could be worse than a bunch of cyborgs that look down on organic lifeforms? Those same cyborgs, but driven with religious fanaticism and seeking to unleash a droidpocalypse!

5. Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark

Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark is a very apt name for Claudia Gray’s page-turning book that was in the first wave of titles in The High Republic series. In this 2021 young adult novel, a handful of Jedi are stranded by the Great Hyperspace Disaster, and the only safe port is an ancient abandoned space station. The crew of the Vessel, along with its Jedi passengers, help escort in several other trapped ships, all worried about Nihil attacks, and begin exploring the station. The empty station is teeming with garden life, but the Jedi sense some sort of dark side presence connected to ancient idols. Soon, the station’s visitors start turning on each other, and the Jedi realize they aren’t alone in the dark as one of their number is lost. Escaping with the statues, they regroup on Coruscant and realize their mistake: the idols weren’t the dark side presence, but were keeping the real threat at bay. The heroes return to the station to stop the menace they unwittingly unleashed, but when the Nihil also show up, will it be too late?

6. Star Wars: Galaxy of Fear Series

Star Wars: Galaxy of Fear is a 12-book series for young readers, which came out in 1997 and 1998, riding on the popularity of teen horror fiction such as R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. Now Legends titles, they were written by John Whitman and released by Bantam Spectra, some with holographic covers. The series focused on two Force-sensitve teenaged siblings, who had survived the destruction of Alderaan. The pair traveled the galaxy with their uncle and his droid, trying to avoid discovery by Darth Vader and ending up in terrifying encounters, as recounted in cliffhanging stories such as City of the Dead, The Brain Spiders, and The Nightmare Machine.

7. Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel

“The Screaming Citadel” is a five-issue crossover story from Marvel Comics released in May and June 2017. Written by Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen, the story started with a “Screaming Citadel” one-shot, then alternated between the ongoing Star Wars series and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra series, for two issues of each. Doctor Aphra, the rogue archaeologist, gets Luke Skywalker to join her on a mission to the Screaming Citadel for a Jedi artifact, but soon run afoul of the Citadel’s queen with hypnotic powers. With Han and Leia coming to hunt down Aphra, the heroes and antiheroes have to band together against the queen and her minions. Can the two sides trust each other enough to save Luke from becoming the hive’s “king?” Is the being inside the Jedi artifact really an ally or another foe? Murderbots and symbiotes for everybody! The entire story is collected in The Screaming Citadel trade paperback, and is also available on Comixology.

8. Are You Scared, Darth Vader?

In this fun storybook written and illustrated by Adam Rex, Darth Vader contends with things that try to cause him to fear. Published by Disney Lucasfilm Press in 2018 and chosen by Amazon as one of the best books of 2018 for 6-8 year olds, Are You Scared, Darth Vader? challenges the Dark Lord with the usual scares of Halloween: kids dressed up as vampires, ghosts, witches, and more. How does Darth Vader deal with his own fear as he faces something that finally terrifies him? Pick this delightful book up and find out!

9. Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown

Joe Schreiber returned to the world of Star Wars with the novel Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown, now a Legends title, released in 2014 by Del Rey. Darth Maul has been sent on a mission by his master Darth Sidious to infiltrate a space prison to find a hidden weapon. Along the way, he’s forced into prison gladiatorial combats, contends with a cannibal gang, and something that lives in the pipes and feeds on the prisoners.

10. Star Wars: The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear

In this 2018 middle grade novel, writer Tom Angleberger sends Chewbacca and a young librarian/bounty hunter on a mission to deliver some tooka cats. What could go wrong? The pair, along with a droid (who, unbeknownst to them is K-2SO), end up on a wooded world with a blue mist that induces fear. Inside the forest with the frightful fog, our friends face their own fears as they fend off deadly carnivores, an enchantress, and an ancient entity. Can Chewie and his companions stave off their dread long enough to complete their real mission and get off the planet in one piece? Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series, delivers a fun and fright-filled adventure featuring our favorite Wookiee, in this book from Disney Lucasfilm Press.

11. Star Wars: The High Republic: There is No Fear

Cavan Scott kicked off Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic comic series earlier this year with its first story arc entitled “There is No Fear.” Around the time of the dedication of Starlight Beacon, Keeve Trennis has recently become a Jedi Knight, though something is troubling her former master, the Trandoshan Sskeer. Along with the telepathically linked Jedi, Terec and Ceret, they encounter the wreckage of a Hutt ship attacked by the Nihil, and split up: Sskeer and Ceret heading to the farming colony of Sedri Minor right into a trap, while Keeve and Terec escort the Hutt corpse back to Starlight for examination. Something is amiss in the colony and back on the station, and Keeve ends up finding the threat that has driven her old master mad — something so dangerous, the Jedi and the Hutt Cartel have to work together to stop it from spreading. Issues one through five of The High Republic, containing the “There is No Fear” story, have been collected together in a single trade paperback in print and on Comixology.

12. Star Wars: Myths & Fables

Prior to his book Dark Legends, George Mann brought us Star Wars: Myths & Fables, a collection of nine short stories from Disney Lucasfilm Press of the sort that might be passed down by generations of storytellers in the galaxy far, far away. Illustrated by Grant Griffith, this 2019 book, (re-released in 2020 with a Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge edition with an additional three stories, as well as a Target-exclusive edition with a different set of three additional stories), brings us tales that inspire, teach lessons, or just frighten.

In “Gaze of Stone” a Twi’lek Sith trains under Darth Caldoth, hoping for the chance to best his master. “The Witch & The Wookiee” are the scary antagonists of a trio of pirates trapped on a jungle moon. And in “The Dark Wraith,” parents warn children of a chilling figure that will come in the night to strike down the misbehaving — and the Dark Wraith eventually brings a whole city to destruction over one greedy gambler.

13. BB-8 on the Run

What happens to BB-8 on his journey from Poe Dameron to Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? BB-8 on the Run, a picture book written by Drew Daywalt and beautifully illustrated by Matt Myers, answers this question. Believing Poe dead and now all by himself on Jakku, the rolling droid faces his own fears as he strives to complete his mission, but encounters others that might distract him from his goal. This story, released in 2017 by Disney Lucasfilm Press, shows BB-8 at his heroic best, helping those in need, while facing down Teedo and quelling his own worries about his fate.

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

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James Floyd is a writer, photographer, and organizer of puzzle adventures. He’s a bit tall for a Jawa. You can follow him on Twitter at @jamesjawa or check out his articles on Club Jade and Big Shiny Robot.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #Halloween

A Dangerous Game is Afoot in Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic #10 – Exclusive Preview

Wed, 10/13/2021 - 10:00

To prove she is loyal to the Nihil, Keeve Trennis must do something very un-Jedi like: kill a prisoner and former ally.

In StarWars.com’s preview of Star Wars: The High Republic #10, help is on the way, but will Avar Kriss and the rest of the knights arrive in time?

The High Republic #10 from writer Cavan Scott and artist Georges Jeanty, with a cover by Phil Noto, is available for pre-order now on Comixology and at your local comic shop on October 20.

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

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Now Boarding Marvel’s Star Wars: Halcyon Legacy – Exclusive Reveal

Wed, 10/13/2021 - 09:00

The legendary Halcyon is ready to launch and you’re invited along for the ride.

StarWars.com is pleased to announce Star Wars: Halcyon Legacy, a new 5-issue comic book miniseries from Marvel, debuting next year.

Written by Ethan Sacks, who penned the recent Star Wars: Bounty Hunters run, with art by Will Sliney, whose work includes Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren and others, the series reunites the creative team behind the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge comic miniseries for a new adventure that ties in to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience opening at Walt Disney World Resort in March 2022. “In the summer of 1977, my life was forever changed as a four-year-old by two experiences that have seared themselves in my brain for all these years: Seeing Star Wars in the movie theater and visiting [Walt] Disney World for the first time,” Sacks tells StarWars.com. “The chance to contribute to the lore of both with Halcyon Legacy, the tale of the ship that will be an integral memory for so many fellow fans, is an incredible honor. And to re-team with my Galaxy’s Edge co-pilot, artist extraordinaire Will Sliney, makes it extra-special. I promise we’ll bake that joy into every page of every issue as we take you on a journey across 275 years of epic adventures, from the High Republic through the time of the First Order. You’re going to enjoy this ride.”

With a story that spans centuries, readers can revisit the iconic ship at different points in the Star Wars timeline, reunite with familiar faces like the ultimate scoundrel pairing of Lando and Hondo teaming up for the first time, and travel the stars with a featured tale that leads into the events of the Walt Disney World Resort experience, taking place between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. “As a life-long Star Wars fan, I’m thrilled to be a part of the team helping bring Halcyon Legacy to life,” adds Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski. “We’ve all been able to experience Star Wars in so many ways over the years, from watching the films to playing with the toys to reading the comics to even visiting Batuu and drinking at the cantina, but now Walt Disney World is taking things to the next level with this immersive, interactive experience. Our series will get you up to speed on this important part of the galaxy far, far away as you prepare to put on your cloak, pick up your lightsaber and blast off in Orlando.”

Take a look at the cover of issue #1 from E.M. Gist below — featuring the one and only Burryaga — and learn more about the first adventure in the series.

STAR WARS: HALCYON LEGACY #1 (of 5)

Written by ETHAN SACKS

Art by WILL SLINEY

Cover by E.M. GIST

THE VOYAGES OF THE GREATEST OF ALL-STAR CRUISERS!

  • As the legendary HALCYON embarks on a momentous…cruise, the ship heads toward a confrontation with THE FIRST ORDER!
  • But what secret from THE HIGH REPUBLIC ERA can help the passengers and crew all these years later?
  • And how did JEDI NIBS and BURRY fend off a NIHIL attack on one of the ship’s first ever voyages?

Visit Lucasfilm’s official hub for all things Star Wars: The High Republic at StarWars.com/TheHighRepublic.

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

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A Droid Resurrected in Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – IG-88 #1 – Exclusive Preview

Wed, 10/13/2021 - 08:00

Not even a Sith Lord can keep IG-88 down.

In StarWars.com’s exclusive preview of Marvel’s Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters – IG-88 #1, after suffering a fatal defeat at the mechanical hands of Darth Vader, a mysterious stranger arrives to recommission the hunter droid. Meanwhile, the Emperor himself steps in as the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover event intensifies with the next issue from the Star Wars: Darth Vader series, also out next week.

IG-88 #1, from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Guiu Vilanova, with a cover by Mahmud A. Asrar arrives October 20 and is available for pre-order now on Comixology; Darth Vader #17, from writer Greg Pak and artist Raffaele Ienco, with a cover by Aaron Kuder, also arrives October 20 and is available for pre-order now on Comixology. Both comics will be on sale at your local comic shop.

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

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Visions Revisited: 5 Highlights from “The Elder”

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 09:00

Star Wars: Visions is here! The anthology series is now streaming on Disney+, featuring original shorts from some of the world’s best anime studios. In Visions Revisited, StarWars.com picks the greatest moments from each short. Whether you love anime, Star Wars, or both, we’d be honored if you would join us.

Spoiler warning: This article discusses story details from the Star Wars: Visions episode “The Elder.”

The dynamic between student and teacher is at the very heart of Star Wars. Anime studio Trigger explores this theme in the haunting short “The Elder,” which finds a Padawan named Dan and his master, Tajin Crosser, investigating a mysterious threat. Dan is eager for action, while the more experienced Tajin urges caution, with both learning new lessons by story’s end. Here are five highlights from “The Elder,” a visually arresting work of animation that delivers both warmth and unpredictable action.

1. Master and apprentice.

The entire opening sequence is just Dan and Tajin talking, and it’s great. With only a little bit of well-crafted dialogue, we get a sense of Dan’s innocence and his master’s world-wariness and wisdom, subtly underscored by a scarred face. It’s clear that they’re at different stages in life but have deep respect for each other, with conversation being key to their relationship — as we’d see throughout the episode.

2. Dan’s playfulness.

After arriving at a small village, Dan plays a game with the local children, exchanging winks. Though there’s no dialogue, the scene illustrates much about the Padawan’s sense of compassion and friendliness, bringing a lightness that balances his master’s laser focus.

3. Starship discovered.

As Tajin says, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” The experienced Jedi Master was maybe a little too dismissive of the idea that a Sith could be the one they seek — and finds he has much to learn himself.

4. The Elder defeated.

Mostly devoid of color, the Elder makes for a frightening sight, completely juxtaposing the lush greens and gorgeous mountain ranges of the Outer Rim world he’s soiled. It would take both Dan and Tajin, working together, to destroy the dark-side villain in a surprising end to two tense, memorable battles.

5. “Do not forget your training or your kindness.”

Following the duel, Tajin and Dan discuss the day’s events. It’s a beautiful bookend to the opening scene, saying much about the cyclical nature of time and reinforcing one of Star Wars’ greatest tenets: to pass on what you have learned. 

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Dan Brooks is a writer and the editor of StarWars.com. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, Yankees, and Knicks. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #DisneyPlus, #StarWarsVisions

“Bring Home the Bounty” with New Galaxy-Spanning Star Wars Products

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 07:00

Get your tracking fobs ready.

Disney and Lucasfilm today launched “Bring Home the Bounty,” a global consumer products, games, and publishing campaign that will debut new Star Wars toys, collectibles, books, apparel, and more each week through the end of the year.

Every Tuesday from now through December 28, you can expect reveals of new items inspired by everything from The Book of Boba Fett, premiering exclusively on Disney+ December 29, and The Mandalorian to classics like the Skywalker saga films, animated series including Star Wars: The Bad Batch and Star Wars: Visions, and much more.

“With the Lucasfilm 50th anniversary coming to a close this year, we wanted to find a way to celebrate all of our beloved characters and stories from the classic to the new and everything in-between” said Paul Southern, Senior Vice President, Franchise & Licensing, Lucasfilm. “There will be something to excite every Star Wars fan this year with such a wide assortment of items to enjoy and engage with, whether fans are adding to their own collections or scouring for the perfect gift.”

StarWars.com is excited to highlight a few of our favorite products unveiled today, which you can find below!

Mandalorian-Inspired Shoes from Crocs

Graffiti motifs of Grogu and Jibbitz charms of the Razor Crest and Mando’s helmet make these shoes stand out.

Ahsoka, Grogu, and the Mandalorian-Inspired Sunglasses from DIFF

Protect your eyes from the sun in style, with subtle nods to characters from The Mandalorian.

K-2S0 and Moroff from Funko Pop!

Available exclusively at Amazon, these Funko Pops! celebrate the fierce rebels from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Retro-Style Action Figures from Hasbro 

The Mandalorian looks like he’d fit right into the collection of 3.75″ Star Wars figures you had as a kid, and he’s brought friends: Boba Fett, the Armorer, Bo-Katan, a Death Trooper, and Ahsoka Tano.

Lucasfilm 50th Bomber Jacket by Her Universe

Celebrate the company milestone, 50 years of epic storytelling that changed the face of pop culture.

Look for new products and content, from licensees like Hasbro, The LEGO Group, Funko, Mattel and many more, to be revealed each Tuesday at 6 a.m. PT / 9 a.m. ET, with select pre-orders starting Wednesdays at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Products can be found at top retailers globally, including shopDisney.com.

And this week only, watch out for a Jawa sandcrawler on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles as UPS vehicles on select delivery routes will be outfitted to resemble the huge treaded fortresses used by the Tatooine scavengers. Play along and enter the Star Wars Spot the Sandcrawler Sweepstakes on the Disney Products Instagram page for a chance to win Star Wars prize packs from shopDisney.com. See official rules and learn more at StarWarsSpotTheSandcrawlerSweepstakes.com*.

The hunt begins. For more details, visit BringHomeTheBounty.com and follow the conversation on social media using #BringHomeTheBounty and #StarWars.

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*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter Sweepstakes between 10/12/21 at 6:00 AM PT and 10/16/21 at 11:59 PM PT. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., who are 18+ at time of entry. Limit 1 entry per person. See Official Rules for full details on how to enter, eligibility requirements, odds of winning, prize descriptions and limitations. Void where prohibited.

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10 Scary Star Wars Stories to Watch on Disney+

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 08:00

Somewhere in the galaxy, a fanged creature shrieks underground. Witches of the mist cackle in the night. A worm slithers into the brain of a horrified clone trooper. The Star Wars universe has many heroes and rebels, but it also has its fair share of diabolical villains and creepy creatures that go bump in the night. 

In honor of the Halloween season, StarWars.com has compiled a list of the best in scary Star Wars on Disney+. There’s nothing better than enjoying some pumpkin spice Palpatine cookies while watching a Star Wars marathon. Especially if it’s some of the most frighteningly fun moments in the galaxy. So grab a glass of blue milk, recline on the couch, and get ready for some scares!

1. LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales | Stream on Disney+

Take an unexpected trip to the volcanic planet Mustafar with Poe Dameron and BB-8 in the first true Halloween-themed Star Wars special! Poe, BB-8, Graballa the Hutt, and Dean (a spunky kid who works as Graballa’s mechanic) journey deep into Darth Vader’s creepy castle with an equally creepy guide, who treats our heroes to scary stories. Soon, however, they realize that they’re in the middle of their own terrifying tale. The result is a fun mix of frights, LEGO Star Wars humor, and an instant Star Wars Halloween classic. 

2. Star Wars: The Clone Wars — “Brain Invaders” (Season 2, Episode 8 | Stream on Disney+)

If you’re a fan of horror movies, you will thoroughly enjoy this episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The story revolves around brain worms, which are worm-like parasites that enter the body and then control the brain of the living host. Brain worms can also revive dead Geonosians and turn them into zombies! Though first introduced in “Legacy of Terror” (Season 2, Episode 7), it’s this episode that shows how these parasites wreak havoc. When Jedi Padawan Barriss Offee and a group of clone troopers become infected with the Geonosian worms, it’s up to Ahsoka Tano to figure out how to save the plagued group. Brain worms alone are enough to send shivers down the spine, but it’s how they enter the body of the host that really ups the icky factor. 

3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars Nightsisters Arc — “Nightsisters” (Season 3, Episode 12 | Stream on Disney+), “Monster” (Season 3, Episode 13 | Stream on Disney+), “Witches of the Mist” (Season 3, Episode 14 | Stream on Disney+)

The Nighstisters arc features three bone-chilling episodes and it is a must-watch (or re-watch) for any Star Wars fan. The first installment finds Asajj Ventress seeking revenge against her old master Count Dooku, which leads her home to Dathomir; there, the former Sith apprentice enlists the help of Mother Talzin and her tribe of witches, the Nightsisters. In the second episode, we meet Savage Opress, a monstrous warrior who Mother Talzin offers to Dooku as his new Sith apprentice. Thanks to Talzin’s dark magic, Savage is altered into a powerful and deadly monstrosity that will stop at nothing to defend the Nightsisters. In “Witches of the Mist,” Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi hunt for the mysterious figure behind the deaths of several Jedi. Taken together, these episodes ooze creepiness, have a haunting vibe, and are filled with the darker elements of Star Wars. In other words, perfect Halloween viewing. 

4. Star Wars: The Bad Batch — “Battle Scars” (Season 1, Episode 7 | Stream on Disney+)

The Bad Batch crew discovers what happens when the biggest threat is one of their own. Teased for a few episodes, Wrecker’s inhibitor chip fully activates; he becomes a relentless monster, immune to reason, and a weapon for Palpatine in a shocking sequence. Speaking of monsters, the mission also has a close call with a massive tentacled creature. Because in the Star Wars universe, whenever there’s a body of water, you never know what’s lurking down below.

5. Star Wars Rebels — “Out of Darkness” (Season 1, Episode 7 | Stream on Disney+)

What lives in darkness, has sharp teeth and claws, and glowing eyes? It’s a ferocious creature known as a fyrnock and it’s exactly the kind of monster you don’t want to run into while on a secret mission. Unfortunately, Hera and Sabine experience the wrath of this monster during a supply run on Fort Anaxes. Will they escape the pack of fyrnocks unharmed? Will Sabine trust Hera’s need for secrecy? Will Zeb get to eat his space waffles in peace? Find out in this surprisingly spine-tingling episode.

6. The Mandalorian — “The Prisoner” (Season 1, Episode 6 | Stream on Disney+)

Watch the Mandalorian, Din Djarin, go on a dangerous mission with a group of mercenaries that are cutthroat and vicious. The job may be risky, but it turns out that the crew itself is the bigger problem. The backdrop for much of the story is a New Republic prison ship that’s reminiscent of a haunted Halloween maze — picture glowing red hallways, lights flashing, and a deadly game of cat and mouse. This chapter is action-packed, full of frightful moments, and like any good Star Wars story, there’s a little family drama sprinkled in. Will Mando be able to complete the mission unscathed, or will the gang turn on him before the job is done? This is one nail-biting episode.

7. Star Wars: The Clone Wars — “Lair of Grievous” (Season 1, Episode 10 | Stream on Disney+)

Step inside General Grievous’ ghoulish lair and experience the terror it has to offer. Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his former Padawan, Jedi Nahdar Vebb, track escaped prisoner Nute Gunray to a remote world only to discover that they are the bait in a trap inside Grievous’ castle. His abode is perfectly frightful — it’s shrouded in a fog, there’s a display of trophies from murdered Jedi, he has a deadly pet roggwart (that Fisto and Vebb have to battle), and it’s booby-trapped for uninvited guests like Jedi. Worst of all is there is a medical droid that performs painful and horrific experiments on Grievous. Everything about this story is what nightmares are made of! 

8. The Mandalorian — “The Passenger” (Season 2, Episode 2 | Stream on Disney+)

There is only one creature that can make even Mando run, and that is the knobby white ice spider. Sure, the eggs are a perfect snack for Grogu, but once those critters hatch, they become everyone’s worst nightmare. Their appearance in this chapter of The Mandalorian will have you on the edge of your seat, and the story offers an unexpected twist that is must-stream TV.

9. Star Wars: The Bad Batch — “Infested” (Season 1, Episode 13 | Stream on Disney+)

Journey into a creepy old mining tunnel with the Bad Batch, and witness the horrors that live beneath Ord Mantel City! The Bad Batch have a knack for encountering some of the most harrowing creatures of the galaxy, and in this episode, it is large winged insects known as irlings. Irlings are nocturnal and will become aggressive if a noise wakes them during their sleep; this small detail creates a lot of tension throughout the story and when the flying beasts are finally unleashed, the crew experiences a Hitchcockian nightmare. 

10. Star Wars: The Clone Wars — “Massacre” (Season 4, Episode 19 | Stream on Disney+)

Voodoo dolls, witches, and a zombie army make this one frightful chapter in The Clone Wars. After the failed assassination attack on Count Dooku, the Count uses General Grievous to get revenge against Asajj Ventress and the Nightsisters of Dathomir. However, Mother Talzin and Ventress defend their clan with all the dark powers at their command including an undead army of Nightsisters and a voodoo doll of Dooku. The shrieks of the zombie warriors alone are enough to cause goosebumps, but it’s the dramatic showdown between the Nightsisters and Grievous that will leave you aghast.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back — The Mynock Scene | Stream on Disney+

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is full of hair-raising moments, like when Luke confronts himself in the dark-side cave or Han Solo becomes entombed in carbonite. But it’s the mynock jump-scare and subsequent exploration of the “cave” that’s pure creepy.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — Vader Hallway Scene | Stream on Disney+

Witness Darth Vader at his most ruthless in this shocking scene from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. What makes this moment so nightmarish is that the camera does not cut away from his brutality. We see everything and it is horrific. 

Star Wars Rebels — “The Mystery of Chopper Base” (Season 2, Episode 20 | Stream on Disney+)

Imagine a monster that has six legs. Its skin is resistant to blaster bolts. The species are also predators that capture prey and cocoon them in underground hives. These hair-raising creatures are known as the krykna, and when the rebels finally locate a potential site for a secret base, they quickly learn that their new home is full of the gigantic spider-like creatures. If you’re like Zeb and find multi-leggers creepy, this episode will definitely make your skin crawl.

Ewoks — “The Raich” (Season 2, Episode 3 | Stream on Disney+)

Younglings and fans of retro Star Wars will enjoy this vintage Ewoks episode, in which Wicket Warrick and his friends Latara and Teebo accidentally awaken a carnivorous forest monster known as the raich. This episode has flying hooshas, weird magic, and just the right amount of spookiness for younger fans. After all, Bright Tree Village is always a fun place to visit…unless you’re invited to a feast in C-3PO’s honor. 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Dark Side Rey | Stream on Disney+

When Rey discovers a dark side vision of herself in the Emperor’s private chambers, it’s frightening to see our hero transformed into evil incarnate. Actress Daisy Ridley’s performance is haunting and terrifying as Rey’s dark side counterpart, and the dramatic battle between the two Reys is heightened thanks to the eerie sound design and striking visual effects. 

Getting into the Hallo-scream spirit is easy with all of these Star Wars stories available to stream on Disney+. Whether you watch them back-to-back or savor one a day, you’re bound to have a frightfully gourd time. 

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Jennifer Landa is an actress, host, and crafter. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferLanda and for more Star Wars-inspired content, visit her YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/jenniferlanda.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #Halloween, #DisneyPlus

From a Certain Point of View: What is the Scariest Creature in Star Wars?

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 10:00

One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious B. Crumb have the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, StarWars.com presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In celebration of the Halloween season, two StarWars.com writers make a case for the most bone-chilling creature in the entire galaxy.

It’s the ice spiders, says Dan.

Star Wars has always had its share of scares and monsters. There’s the mynock saying hello to Leia in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the people-chomping rancor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and even the amorphous Drengir plant-creatures from Star Wars: The High Republic books and comics. These sequences and creatures are creepy enough, sure. But then we met the ice spiders — a whole big bag of nope nope nope — in The Mandalorian.

In “Chapter 10: The Passenger,” Mando, Grogu, and Frog Lady crash land on an unknown ice planet. With the Razor Crest suffering severe damage and temperatures frigid, Frog Lady secretly ventures outside and finds a hot spring, which she uses to warm herself and her unfertilized eggs. While Mando and Grogu do track her down, the ever-hungry little one wanders off — into a large ring of what looks like oval-shaped white eggs. Grogu stops at one, considers it, and claws it open. He reaches in and pulls out what looks to be a spider, then quickly gobbles it down.

I’ve rewatched this sequence a few times and, at this point in the scene, I’m always struck by the music. Not because of how ominous or chilling it is, but rather, how it isn’t. Ludwig Göransson’s score during this moment sounds something like a twinkling harpsichord, presenting the events as almost playful. Isn’t Grogu’s curiosity charming? Even as he pulls out the spider, strings swell in a sense of wonder. Yet your brain isn’t so sure. And I love it, because signaling to the audience via dark-hued music that SOMETHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN would have been the easy way out. Here, the filmmakers and Göransson put you in tension limbo: I know this looks like Grogu is doing something dangerous, but the music is telling me something different. It leaves you feeling conflicted and nervous. An expert setup. Then things shift.

As Grogu munches, the surrounding eggs begin to stir with life. That’s when the music turns south and, well, you get a bad feeling about all this. Spiders hatch from the eggs. Others emerge from deeper in the cave. They aggressively scuttle toward our heroes. They chitter and their legs go clack clack clack and it’s enough to make your skin crawl. But when a really big one shows up, all bets are off.

Mando (with Grogu in his arms) and Frog Lady run for their lives. A truly countless number of ice spiders give chase, firing webs as they pursue their prey. It doesn’t matter what Mando tries — flame thrower, blaster, catching the things in mid-air and squeezing — he can’t kill them all and he knows it. Even when the group reaches the cockpit of the Razor Crest and it looks like they’re going to make it out alive, Mama Ice Spider has other ideas, jumping onto the ship — its massive legs nearly impaling Mando as it strikes through the glass. Thankfully for Mando and friends, some unexpected help shows up just at that moment. Finally, we can all exhale.

For my money, this is the most frightening sequence in all of Star Wars. It doesn’t have that adventure-movie feel of the space slug scene in Empire or the King Kong vibes of the rancor pit, where you’re kind of dazzled. This is hide-your-face, squirm-in-your seat horror. The ice spider brings forth some primal fears of our galaxy’s own creepy crawlies. The legs, the crawling, the multiple eyes, the webs, the teeth. This is a Star Wars monster that doesn’t deviate that much from its Earthly inspirations. It just amplifies them, and to great effect.

I’ve always loved Star Wars monsters, but none have ever scared me like the ice spider. And for that, I’ll always be grateful.

Nope. It’s the Drengir, says Kristin.

The ice spiders are plenty creepy, I’ll give you that. But who can really blame a creature for going after an intruder who’s been eating its young straight from the egg? (Sorry, Grogu, but that’s just bad form.)

For me, on the galactic scale of scary nothing beats the Drengir. You wouldn’t think a hungry plant would be quite so bone-chilling, but with a murmuring chorus of one word — “meat” — they become something else entirely. Yet even their rustling hunger, the stuff of classic horror film scare tactics, doesn’t compete with the way they infest and infect, harvesting all those who cross their path be they civilian, Jedi, Hutt, or even fearsome rancor.

When first introduced to the Drengir in Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark from Star Wars: The High Republic, I mistakenly discounted their fear factor. But as they came to life and scared not just Padawans but experienced Jedi, I started to squirm in my seat. Then I turned to Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic comic, which takes us on the frontlines of the battle with the sentient flora in all its illustrated glory. I routinely give Cavan Scott a hard time for breaking my heart by writing characters I love so deeply that their pain and misfortune gives me a pronounced emotional response, but coupled with the art of Ario Anindito, their treatment of the Drengir inspired a very different visceral reaction. In mere words, I had imagined the Drengir as quietly hostile, creatures capable of extreme forms of camouflage made all the more terrifying because it allowed them to blend in with something I typically find soothing and serene: nature itself. But to see those greedy roots not just squeezing the life out of their victims but fully snaking their way up their noses and down their throats gives me that same sensation. Is something touching me? Is it a tentacle root? Am I about to get eaten by my houseplant?

I can’t think of anything worse than having the life slowly siphoned from one’s body, trapped, vulnerable, and forcibly silenced yet still totally conscious and aware until it’s too late. Their means of annihilation are scary enough, but seeing a towering rancor succumb to the Drengir is proof no amount of muscle and tough-hide can protect you. And watching not just Sskeer but several Jedi ensnared by those tentacles? If even a Jedi can’t ward them off, the rest of us are surely done for.

But perhaps the scariest thing about them is the nuance that Scott and Gray have seeded into their creation. The Drengir can’t be neatly filed away as something purely evil, despite the darkness permeating their existence and everything they touch. They are hungry, and we’re the sustenance. It’s impossible not to see a little bit of ourselves reflected back in their insatiable urge to survive.

What do you think? Do you agree with Kristin or Dan? Or is there another creepy creature that gets your vote? Let us know on social using #FromACertainPOV!

Epic Stories. Tons of TV. Live Sports.Get the Disney Bundle

Dan Brooks is a writer and the editor of StarWars.com. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, Yankees, and Knicks. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks.

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is the author of the book Skywalker: A Family At War, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and an all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Follow her on Twitter @KristinBaver.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheMandalorian, #TheHighRepublic, #Halloween

Quiz: Which Star Wars Book Should You Read Now?

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 08:00

To celebrate Star Wars Reads, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, we’re ready to tackle our towering pile of to-be-read titles. Whether you’re looking to re-read a favorite or simply need help determining where to start, this StarWars.com quiz will help you decide which Star Wars book should rise to the top of your reading list.

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

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StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

 

Star Wars: Visions Posters Celebrate the Art of Anime

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 13:30

Star Wars: Visions is a unique blend of galactic lore and visual storytelling, an anthology series that invited seven Japanese anime studios to explore their own idea of Star Wars.

To celebrate the series debut, now streaming on Disney+, the artists behind the animation created poster art for every short, custom creations that capture the identity of each story and studio. Listen in as Star Wars: Visions producer Kanako Shirasaki breaks down each one from the literal connotation of “Akakiri,” realized in a wash of red, to the tour poster feel of “Tatooine Rhapsody.”

“The Duel” from Kamikaze Douga

“‘The Duel’ imagines the Star Wars universe as a classic samurai film. This nostalgic framing contrasts with a modern take on the colorful Sith bandit leader shown here instead as a pop idol, as if she were having a concert in the village.”

“Tatooine Rhapsody” from Studio Colorido

“The band Star Waver performs at the Mos Espa Grand Arena seen in ‘Tatooine Rhapsody.’ I imagine this could be a concert poster for their tour leading up to that performance!”

“THE TWINS” from Trigger

“Contrasting the colorful style of the episode, this silhouette of the Twin Star Destroyer on a starfield powerfully tells us the theme of the story. It is one of the most iconic Star Wars shots, and designer Shigeto Koyama pays a stylish homage to that.”

“The Village Bride” from Kinema Citrus

“This beautiful poster captures two strong characters, F the Jedi and Haru the bride. They are like yin and yang but share a similar strength — standing up to protect those who are in a desperate situation. The illustration is by Shiori Tani, the character designer and animation director of ‘The Village Bride.'”

“The Ninth Jedi” from Production I.G

“Kara’s life journey makes an unexpected turn in ‘The Ninth Jedi,’ but she remains hopeful. The artwork embodies her will, strength, and potential. The light that emerges symbolizes her connection to the Force, which gets stronger during the episode.”

“T0-B1” from Science SARU

“The past, present, and future of our beloved droid T0-B1 are all here: His peaceful days with Professor Mitaka and his droid friends. The Inquisitor who completely changes his life. His newfound mission to travel the galaxy to save those in need.”

“The Elder” from Trigger

“Created by character designer Kamome Shirahama, this poster perfectly captures the memorable fight between the ghastly Elder, Master Tajin, and Padawan Dan.”

“Lop & Ochо̄” from Geno Studio “The arrival of the Empire to planet Tao forces Lop, Ochо̄, and Yasaburo to make painful decisions that challenge their family. The colors of traditional hand-drawn anime posters infuse the design of a classic Star Wars poster in these gorgeous visuals.”

“Akakiri” from Science SARU

“Akakiri means red haze in Japanese. Whose hand is reaching up? Are they trying to save Tsubaki? Or is this person trying to pull him into the haze? This striking artwork hauntingly implies Tsubaki’s destiny has been written on the wall.”

Epic Stories. Tons of TV. Live Sports.Get the Disney Bundle

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is the author of the book Skywalker: A Family At War, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and an all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Follow her on Twitter @KristinBaver.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #StarWarsVisions

The Plot Thickens in Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic: Trail of Shadows #2 – Exclusive Cover Reveals

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 12:00

There’s a new team in the galaxy.

Star Wars: The High Republic: Trail of Shadows picks up following the tragic events at the Republic fair, as depicted in the novel Star Wars: The High Republic: The Rising Storm. Jedi Knight Emerick Caphtor and in-demand private eye Sian Holt are on the case, and in Trail of Shadows #2, they’ll become partners.

StarWars.com is happy to offer a first look at stunning variant covers for issue #2 from artists David López and Meghan Hetrick, as well as the previously-seen main cover, all depicting the investigative duo in action. Check them out below, along with the official synopsis!

Trail of Shadows #2, from writer Daniel José Older and artist David Wachter, arrives November 10. For more on Trail of Shadows, check out StarWars.com’s interview with Daniel José Older and Lucasfilm Publishing creative director Michael Siglain.

Variant cover by Meghan Hetrick.

Variant cover by David López.

Main cover by David López.

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC: TRAIL OF SHADOWS #2 (OF 5)

Written by DANIEL JOSÉ OLDER
Art by DAVE WACHTER
Cover by DAVID LÓPEZ
VARIANT COVER BY DAVID LÓPEZ
VARIANT COVER BY MEGHAN HETRICK

EMERICK AND SIAN FACE TOTAL AN-NIHIL-ATION!

  • As dead ends and loose threads mount in Jedi Master Emerick Caphtor’s investigation, he’s called to Coruscant, where Chancellor Soh introduces him to his new partner: private eye Sian Holt.
  • Together, they must go undercover to infiltrate one of the most crime-riddled and dangerous planets in the galaxy.
  • Will Emerick’s duty to the Republic get in the way of Sian’s personal vendetta? Time’s running out to close this case…and what do the Nihil have to do with any of this?!

Visit Lucasfilm’s official hub for all things Star Wars: The High Republic at StarWars.com/TheHighRepublic.

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

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StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

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Hauntings from Evil Anakin in IDW’s Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #4 – Exclusive Preview

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 10:00

Nothing good comes out of a visit to Mustafar.

In StarWars.com’s exclusive preview of IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #4 and the scary story “Beware…the Chosen One,” Jaxxon leads our heroes to Mustafar in the hopes of rescuing Milo, with TIEs in hot pursuit. But when something strange happens, Lina experiences a more sinister threat that she cannot explain…

Ghosts of Vader’s Castle, a 5-issue miniseries, concludes Lucasfilm and IDW’s annual tradition of hauntingly horrific Halloween-themed tales! Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #4, from writer Cavan Scott and artists Chris Fenoglio and Francesco Francavilla, arrives October 13 and is available for pre-order now on the official IDW site and at your local comic shop

Epic Stories. Tons of TV. Live Sports.Get the Disney Bundle

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #Halloween

New Books Starring Luke and Lando, Obi-Wan and Anakin, and More Revealed – Exclusive

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 09:00

Some essential Star Wars stories are coming to our galaxy.

StarWars.com is thrilled to reveal four new books featuring never-before-told tales from across the Star Wars saga. Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith, a novel from author Adam Christopher, takes place after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and finds Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian on a mission to locate Exegol; the novel Star Wars: Brotherhood, by Mike Chen, follows Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker amidst the chaos of the Clone Wars — and Skywalker’s rise to Jedi Knight; Star Wars: Stories of Jedi and Sith, a new middle-grade anthology, features adventures from 10 acclaimed authors; and the Young Adult novel Star Wars: Padawan, by Kiersten White, depicts Obi-Wan in his early days as a student of Qui-Gon Jinn. Check out the official synopses and release dates for all below!

SHADOW OF THE SITH

By Adam Christopher
Del Rey
Release date: June 28, 2022, available for pre-order now

Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian return in this essential novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens

The Empire is dead. Nearly two decades on from the Battle of Endor, the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s forces have fled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But for the heroes of the New Republic, danger and loss are ever-present companions, even in this newly forged era of peace.

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is haunted by visions of the dark side, foretelling an ominous secret growing somewhere in the depths of space, on a dead world called Exegol. The disturbance in the Force is undeniable…and Luke’s worst fears are confirmed when his old friend, Lando Calrissian, comes to him with reports of a new Sith menace. 

After his daughter was stolen from his arms, Lando searched the stars for any trace of his lost child. But every new rumor only led to dead ends and fading hopes–until he crossed paths with Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl.  

Ochi’s true motives remain shrouded to Luke and Lando. For on a junkyard moon, a mysterious envoy of the Sith Eternal has bequeathed a sacred blade to the assassin, promising that it will give him answers to the questions that have haunted him since the Empire fell. In exchange, he must complete a final mission: return to Exegol with the key to the Sith’s glorious rebirth—the granddaughter of Darth Sidious himself, Rey. 

As Ochi hunts Rey and her parents to the edge of the galaxy, Luke and Lando race into the mystery of the Sith’s lingering shadow and aid a young family running for their lives.

BROTHERHOOD

By Mike Chen
Del Rey
Release date: May 10, 2022, available for pre-order now

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must stem the tide of the raging Clone Wars and forge a new bond as Jedi Knights.

The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are being drawn throughout the galaxy. With every world that joins the Separatists, the peace guarded by the Jedi Order is slipping through their fingers. 

After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is blamed and the fragile neutrality of the planet is threatened. The Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to dangerously shift. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to draw the planet into their conspiracy–and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cloak the planet.

Amid the brewing chaos, Anakin Skywalker rises to the rank of Jedi Knight. Despite the mandate that Obi-Wan travel alone–and his former master’s insistence that he listen this time–Anakin’s headstrong determination means nothing can stop him from crashing the party, and bringing along a promising but conflicted youngling.

Once a Padawan to Obi-Wan, Anakin now finds himself on equal–but uncertain–footing with the man who raised him. The lingering friction between them increases the danger for everyone around them.  The two knights must learn a new way to work together—and they must learn quickly, to save Cato Neimoidia and its people from the fires of war. To overcome the threat they face they must grow beyond master and apprentice. They must stand together as brothers.

STORIES OF JEDI AND SITH

Edited by Jennifer Heddle 
Disney Lucasfilm Press 
Release date: June 7, 2022

The battle between good and evil never ends….

The brave Jedi. The devious Sith. These iconic heroes and villains embody the struggle between light and dark that is at the very heart of Star Wars. In this exciting middle grade anthology, ten acclaimed authors imagine all-new tales for some of the saga’s most popular characters, from Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader, from Obi-Wan Kenobi to Asajj Ventress, and beyond, complete with beautiful spot illustrations. Epic stand-offs, cunning plots, courageous action and ruthless anger are all here in this showcase of the enduring power of one of the greatest movie sagas of all time. 

Included are stories by the following authors: 

Roseanne A. Brown 
Sarwat Chadda 
Delilah S. Dawson
Tessa Gratton 
Michael Kogge
Sam Maggs 
Michael Moreci
Alex Segura 
Vera Strange
Karen Strong 
With illustrations by Jake Bartok! 

PADAWAN

By Kiersten White
Disney Lucasfilm Press 
Release date: July 26, 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi struggles with his place in the Force as a young Padawan in this coming-of-age adventure!

Obi-Wan Kenobi really wants to be a good Padawan. The best Padawan, even. But that’s feeling more and more impossible with his new master, Qui-Gon Jinn. All of Obi-Wan’s friends are off training to be real Jedi, getting mission experience, while he’s still on Coruscant, practicing his forms and sitting in silent contemplation. Ever since Qui-Gon’s former master, Dooku, left the Order, it feels like Qui-Gon has been too busy trying to connect with the Force or arguing with the Jedi Council to properly train his Padawan. 

When Obi-Wan finally convinces Qui-Gon to take him on a mission to a remote planet once explored by an ancient Jedi, his master doesn’t show up the morning they are to leave—so Obi-Wan impulsively takes off by himself. Upon arriving on the mysterious, lush planet, he encounters a group of teenagers with no adult supervision—and who all seem to have some connection to the Force. Free from the constraints of the Order, Obi-Wan joins them in their daring adventures, but the Padawan side of him keeps questioning the teens’ strange relationship to the Force, and to the verdant planet around them, and what all of it might mean to his future. Obi-Wan will test the limits of his relationship to the Jedi and to the Force in this exciting, yet soulful exploration of one of Star Wars’ most enduring heroes. 

Celebrate Star Wars Reads throughout the month of October!

Epic Stories. Tons of TV. Live Sports.Get the Disney Bundle

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

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Visions Revisited: 5 Highlights from “T0-B1”

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 08:00

Star Wars: Visions is here! The anthology series is now streaming on Disney+, featuring original shorts from some of the world’s best anime studios. In Visions Revisited, StarWars.com picks the greatest moments from each short. Whether you love anime, Star Wars, or both, we’d be honored if you would join us.

Spoiler warning: This article discusses story details from the Star Wars: Visions episode “T0-B1.

Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things. But in “T0-B1,” the titular cybernetic boy has dreams of becoming a Jedi and traveling the galaxy in search of exactly that. It’s a modern take on Pinocchio, with T0-B1’s altruism ultimately rewarded as he searches within himself to become the hero he was always meant to be. Here are five highlights from “T0-B1,” now streaming on Disney+.

1. A magical room.

T0-B1’s search for his friend C03 leads him to an entrancing space in their home: an observation tower where the walls are etched with tales of heroism, laser swords, and the fight against the Empire.

2. Search for a kyber crystal.

I love the musical score that accompanies T0-B1’s search, literally lifting rocks in his quest to find the hidden gem and trying to use the Force without success.

3. Professor Mitaka’s surprise.

The benevolent professor is wise in the ways of the Force. After paraphrasing Master Yoda, he surprises T0-B1 by removing the door of his hidden ship using his mind and the mystical energy binding the galaxy. But the arrival of an Inquisitor forces Mitaka to sacrifice himself to protect the child he loves.

4. Life in death.

Bringing life back to a barren world is an admirable task, and T0-B1 puts aside his own dreams to complete the professor’s lifelong work. In a fitting tribute, his success is seen in the greenery sprouting on Mitaka’s final resting place. I’m not crying. You’re crying! And is T0-B1 crying or is that the rain?

5. Jedi Knight Tobi.

In a vision through the Force, Mitaka is made whole again. With his arms restored, he uses a lightsaber to knight T0-B1 as a true Jedi, giving him the belief in himself to avenge his master and fulfill his destiny.

Epic Stories. Tons of TV. Live Sports.Get the Disney Bundle

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is the author of the book Skywalker: A Family At War, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and an all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Follow her on Twitter @KristinBaver.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #StarWarsVisions

Cavan Scott and Derek Charm Hope the Ghosts of Vader’s Castle Will Haunt You

Wed, 10/06/2021 - 10:00

Fun. Creepy. Unexpected. That’s how author Cavan Scott sums up IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures: Ghosts of Vader’s Castle, the latest comic book miniseries to take Star Wars straight to scaresville. Before Ghosts, the IDW comic series Tales From Vader’s Castle, Return to Vader’s Castle, and The Shadow of Vader’s Castle gave us Star Wars frights in years past. This year, Scott teamed up with wildly talented artists including Francesco Francavilla and Derek Charm for five horrifically great tales set in a galaxy far, far away. Scott and Charm recently sat down with StarWars.com to chat about Ghosts of Vader’s Castle as the annual Halloween tradition comes to a close.

StarWars.com: If this is a fan’s first time venturing into Vader’s castle, what do they “need” to know before they read Ghosts of Vader’s Castle?

Cavan Scott: Each issue features a framing story that runs through the series, plus also scary stories told by the characters as they fight through whatever horrors they’re facing. In past series the stories told have been campfire tales shared by spacers in a galaxy far, far away. This time they are dreams and nightmares recounted by our heroes — dreams and nightmares which seem to be coming true.

StarWars.com: Derek, the (fantastic) palette for Ghosts of Vader’s Castle #2 is dominated by orange and green; can you talk about the choice to use those colors?

Derek Charm: Thank you! I think color is a really great way to evoke atmosphere, and horror stories really lend themselves to non-literal, expressionistic colors. All of my previous Vader’s Castle stories had taken place in the actual castle on Mustafar, and I was using a really tight blue/red color palette there as a reference to Hammer horror movies, which were a major influence on our early stories.

With this one we’re on Kashyyyk during their harvest festival, so I wanted to keep the limited palette but change it up and use green and orange as the dominant colors to give it a more natural Halloween vibe and play up the folk-horror aspects Cavan was going for.

StarWars.com: Cavan, it’s no secret that you’re a fan of Jaxxon, and it’s great to see him in this series as well. What is it about the character that appeals to you?

Cavan Scott: My first ever Star Wars experience was picking up Star Wars Weekly issue 16 back in 1978, the Marvel UK weekly that reprinted the original Star Wars Marvel run of comics in glorious black and white. And there was Jaxxon on page one of the story standing alongside Han and Chewie. I must have read and re-read that issue hundreds of times and fell in love with the big green space bunny from the off. I remember being really disappointed he wasn’t in The Empire Strikes Back!

From a writing point of view, I love Jaxxon because he brings with him a natural dollop of comic relief, which is especially important in an all-age horror book like this. Plus, he’s a useful character to have around as he is constantly being underestimated by the villains of the piece (and quite a few of the heroes, too!). People look at him and write him off as a bit silly…usually before they received a swift kick to the head!

Jaxxon has nothing to lose and everything to prove, which is always a fun combination. When I realized that Lina and company needed a pilot this year, well, what other choice did I have…?

StarWars.com: Derek, without spoiling too much, what was your favorite thing to draw for issue #2?

Derek Charm: I loved doing the monstrous versions of some of the classic characters, but my favorite is the Wookiee Shaman that sort of sets the story in motion. Cavan asked for a unique look for him, and Lucasfilm suggested a wooden headdress of some kind. I really like how his look came together.

StarWars.com: What do you think is the scariest thing in Star Wars?

Cavan Scott: You mean other than Vader himself? Actually, most of the scariest moments come from the Dark Lord of the Sith. Leia’s interrogation in Episode IV. His saber snapping on in front of the younglings in Episode III. His approach down the corridor in Rogue One. Crispy Anakin by the lava flows of Mustafar. Each and every one of those moments could be in a horror film.

Derek Charm: Ewoks.

StarWars.com: The Vader’s Castle comics finally brought Halloween storytelling to the Star Wars galaxy, which meant a lot to fans. As you close the series out, any reflections?

Derek Charm: I remember first hearing about this from Cavan at a comic con years ago and being so excited about the idea of telling a Star Wars story through this horror filter. Halloween is a holiday that brings so much atmosphere with it, it’s been really fun to get to apply that sensibility to Star Wars and see that it totally fits.

Cavan Scott: I still can’t believe the things they’ve let us do! Zombie droids? The Wicker Man with Ewoks? Turning Tarkin into Baron Frankenstein? Turning Dooku into Dracula? Every time I’ve suggested something thinking we’d never be allowed, Lucasfilm has given us a big thumbs up.

Star Wars and Halloween were born to be together. My biggest hope is that fans come back to these stories time and time again whenever scary season rolls around.

Find all of the horror hijinks at Vader’s Castle now on Comixology and at your local comic shop!

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Kelly Knox writes features and DIYs for StarWars.com. Her work can also be seen on DC Comics, IGN, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk Star Wars, bad dad jokes, and crafts.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #Halloween

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