Official Star Wars Headlines

Subscribe to Official Star Wars Headlines feed Official Star Wars Headlines
Updated: 38 min 53 sec ago

Bad Batch First Look: “Infested”

2 hours 10 min ago

The Pykes are back, and that spells trouble for Cid and Clone Force 99. Check out preview images from the latest episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, “Infested,” now streaming on Disney+!

Omega steadies her energy bow with Cid by her side.

A Devaronian male.

The Pyke Syndicate arrives.

Cid leads the Bad Batch through a dark area.

The Marauder hovers above a chasm.

Omega stands with Hunter.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheBadBatch

The Skywalker Twins Explore the Galaxy in IDW’s Star Wars Adventures #7 – Exclusive Preview

Thu, 07/22/2021 - 10:00

Leia Organa is on a mission to help the Rebel Alliance find a new base and this time she’s flying solo. No Han. No Chewie. And no flyboy Luke Skywalker.

Or so she thought when she divided up the list of potential planets and sent the Jedi-in-training on his way.

In StarWars.com’s exclusive preview of IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures #7, Leia arrives on Bogano only to find Luke already planet-side and communing with the Force.

Star Wars Adventures #7, with stories written by Sam Maggs and Landry Walker and illustrations by Liana Kangas and Nick Brokenshire, arrives July 28 and is available for pre-order online now and at your local comic shop.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Hasbro Reveals New Carbonized Black Series Figures Inspired By The Mandalorian

Thu, 07/22/2021 - 08:00

Carbonized Collection fans have some fresh bounties to hunt.

Hasbro announced today new Carbonized Collection editions of Scout Trooper, Shoretrooper, and Paz Vizsla, all inspired by their appearance in The Mandalorian, for the vaunted 6-inch Star Wars: The Black Series line of action figures. In the Carbonized Collection, figures are treated with a sleek, metallic finish, while maintaining all the detail and articulation that are hallmarks of the Black Series. This marks the first complete Carbonized Collection wave dedicated to The Mandalorian since the deco’s debut in 2019; in addition, packaging for this range will also feature a Carbonized-style treatment, complementing the unique paint applications of the figures.

This special trio of figures arrives spring 2022 exclusively at Target. Get a first look below!

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheMandalorian

Keeve Trennis Tangles with a Red-Bladed Menace in Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic #7 – Exclusive Preview

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 11:00

This isn’t right.

In Star Wars: The High Republic #7, Jedi Padawan Keeve Trennis finds herself alone and confused…but not for long. Old friends and a ghostly presence join her on her journey, leading up to a clash of sabers with a fearsome foe.

The High Republic #7 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 July 28.

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

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Luke Skywalker Joins Starlight Squadron in Marvel’s Star Wars #15 – Exclusive Preview

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 10:00

The rebels desperately need a win.

Shara Bey has been captured. Captain Solo has been lost. And every hyperspace jump could be leading the freedom fighters right into yet another Imperial trap.

In Marvel’s Star Wars #15, Luke Skywalker joins his friends in Starlight Squadron to help increase their chances of victory on the battlefield. The story is part of Marvel’s epic crossover War of the Bounty Hunters, centered around Boba Fett’s journey — and battles — to bring Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt following the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In StarWars.com’s exclusive preview of Star Wars #15, the Empire is waiting.

Star Wars #15, from writer Charles Soule and artist Ramon Rosanas with a cover by Carlo Pagulayan, is available for pre-order now on Comixology and at your local comic shop on July 28.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

New Black Series and Vintage Collection Figures to Celebrate the Clone Wars 2D Micro-Series

Wed, 07/21/2021 - 09:00

At long last, a classic Star Wars cartoon is getting the action-figure treatment.

Hasbro revealed today several additions to its popular 6-inch Star Wars: The Black Series and 3.75-inch Star Wars: The Vintage Collection lines devoted solely to Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars 2D MicroSeries, a beloved show from the early 2000s that explored the time between Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Known for its kinetic style, the Clone Wars 2D Micro-Series introduced major characters like General Grievous and would also inspire the long-running and critically-acclaimed Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. When the series was added to Disney+ earlier this year, fans were overjoyed.

The characters making the jump to the Black Series include ARC Trooper, Mace Windu, and General Grievous, while Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, ARC Trooper Captain, ARC Trooper, and Battle Droid join the Vintage Collection; all come from existing releases that have new decos inspired by the vibrant style of the series, and the Vintage Collection packaging also incorporates the show’s beautiful artwork. In contrast, the packaging for the Black Series items will celebrate the original packaging of these toys from the early 2000s, continuing the throwback theme seen in other Lucasfilm 50th programs including the previously-revealed The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and Original Kenner Deco programs. Look for these figures to arrive spring 2022 exclusively at Walmart, and get a sneak peek at the Vintage Collection additions below! (Plus, remember to check out Walmart Collector Con on Thursday, July 22, for even more Star Wars reveals.)

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Star Wars Inside Intel: Religions of the Force

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 10:00

Star Wars Inside Intel is a StarWars.com feature where Lucasfilm Story Group member Emily Shkoukani, whose job is to know as much about a galaxy far, far away as possible, explores obscure facts about Star Wars lore and continuity. In this installment, Emily explores the various religions of the Force…

When Star Wars: A New Hope premiered in 1977, audiences likely anticipated the starships and fantasy settings. But “the Force” was an unforeseen concept. Old Ben Kenobi explained the Force best when he said, “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” What often goes unexplained, however, is that even after all these decades of storytelling, there are religions of the Force.

The various religions of the Force are typically (but not exclusively) rooted in the “side” of which a person is aligned. The Force has a light side (sometimes called Ashla), which represents good; a dark side (sometimes called Bogan), which represents evil; and a middle (Bendu), which represents balance. Despite all these terms, these were not the only words that described the Force and its facets. As religions dedicated to the Force formed, various linguistics formed with it.

Religions of the Force are dogmas that are devoted to the Force. The most common examples of Force religions are the Jedi and the Sith, where the Jedi follow the light side of the Force and the Sith follow the dark side. The two are antithetical, hence their long history of being enemies. It’s essential to understand, though, that just because someone is aligned to the light does not automatically mean they’re a Jedi, and just because someone is aligned to the dark does not automatically mean they’re a Sith. There is an abundance of other Force religions in the Star Wars galaxy, both for Force users and non-Force users, and some are even irreligious.

As stated previously, religions often came with their own linguistics regarding “the Force.” The Nightsisters referred to their use of the Force as “magick” and used it to produce spells and incantations that allowed them to resurrect the dead, terraform surroundings, and obscure themselves to be invisible. They drew on the dark side to achieve such abilities. The Zeffo called the Force the “Life Wind” and let its will guide them as they built extravagant temples and tombs that were abundant in puzzles to keep their precious secrets and relics. Originally the Zeffo drew on the light side as they prospered in the galaxy but eventually succumbed to the temptations of the dark side, which ultimately led to their extinction.

And then there are irreligious Force users that did not follow any dogma. Ahsoka Tano’s journey as a Force user best exemplifies this. While she was raised in the Jedi Order and upheld its beliefs for much of her young life, she lost faith in the religion after the Order wrongfully accused her of a horrific crime. Although the mistake was later rectified, Ahsoka’s decision was made and she left the Order. But of course, this did not make her any less of a Force user; that was something she innately possessed. Instead, it was now up to her to do with the Force as she saw fit, forging her own path rather than following the Jedi Order’s code (although because she was raised a Jedi, their practices still greatly influenced her).

Where Ahsoka was aligned to the light side of the Force but followed no religion, Kylo Ren was aligned to the dark side of the Force and followed no religion. Kylo’s journey started similarly to Ahsoka’s, where he was raised to be a Jedi until he was manipulated into turning to the dark side. Kylo also forged his own path with the Force, uninfluenced by the Sith’s “Rule of Two” and other dogmatic decrees.

Devotion to the Force was not exclusive to Force users, though. There were religions that were made up of people incapable of using the mystical energy that bound the galaxy together, yet they still believed in and preached its power. Both the Guardians of the Whills and Disciples of the Whills were examples of these types of religions. The Guardians of the Whills were people who believed in the Force and attempted to sense its will, despite not necessarily being able to use it (like a Jedi). Chirrut Îmwe was a Guardian of the Whills who was devoted to protecting holy sites such as Jedha’s Temple of the Kyber through the Force around him. While Chirrut was dedicated to the Force, he was incapable of using the Force, which was what separated him from Force users. In contrast to the Guardians, the Disciples of the Whills simply listened to what they believed to be the Force’s will but did not act on it.

Religions of the Force are abundantly diverse, and the nature of the Force could be interpreted in many different ways. Even the Nightsisters and the Sith, who both used the dark side of the Force, had vastly different utilizations of it. The Zeffo were compelled to build vaults and the Jedi were compelled to keep peace. There is an unknowable amount of ideologies for this mystical energy field.

As the Jedi would say, “May the Force be with you.”

Did you learn something new about religions of the Force? Check back bi-weekly to learn something new about the Star Wars galaxy!

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

Emily Shkoukani is a jr. creative executive at Lucasfilm who helps to maintain the lore and continuity of the Star Wars galaxy. And sometimes, they write for StarWars.com!

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Mando Brings the Holiday Cheer with This Year’s LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar – Exclusive Reveal

Tue, 07/20/2021 - 08:00

A new snow has fallen. Carolers sing outside your window. You cozy up by the fireplace, cup of hot cocoa in hand.

And there’s Grogu in a holiday sweater, enjoying the season while Tusken Raiders launch snowballs at stormtroopers.

In other words, it’s the perfect Christmastime scene.

We could only be talking, of course, about the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar for 2021 — the latest installment in what has become a LEGO Star Wars Christmas tradition, and revealed exclusively here on StarWars.com. Themed to The Mandalorian, the set features minifigures and small builds inspired by the Disney+ Original Series, and many with a fun holiday twist. There are seven LEGO Star Wars characters packed with the set, including The Mandalorian and Grogu in a wintery scarf and holiday sweater, respectively, plus a Scout Trooper, Stormtrooper, Tusken Raider, IG-11, and IT-O Interrogator Droid. Fans will also find mini ships, such as The Razor Crest, Riot Mar’s starfighter, Imperial Troop Transport, X-wing, TIE Fighter, Imperial Light Cruiser, Boba Fett’s starship, and Grogu’s hoverpram; other mini builds include an E-web heavy blaster snow launcher, training targets, Tusken Raider’s weapon rack and snow launcher, Imperial weapon rack, and Mandalorian weapon rack. It’s an adorable collection that would fill even Moff Gideon’s heart with holiday cheer; for LEGO Star Wars fans, we can think of no better bounty to help count down to Christmas. StarWars.com caught up with LEGO Star Wars designer Jason Zapantis to talk about this year’s LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar, available September 1.

StarWars.com: I love the very funny holiday touches in this set, like Grogu in a holiday sweater and the snowball cannons. Can you tell us about the LEGO Group’s creative process for the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar’s minifigures and mini builds?

Jason Zapantis: This advent calendar is a first in the decade we have been doing them, as it is completely dedicated to The Mandalorian. All the days correspond with things that appear in show, with some items getting a festive touch as we have done in previous years.

We look to pick a variety of builds balancing between the iconic elements from the show, recognizable favorites, and offering up some unique builds. Of course, we always have our Christmas-themed minifigures/modified builds each year. Something different for this year is that we have a buildable speeder bike that can be used by the Scout Trooper with room to attach Grogu in his holder on the back.

We have a hover crib for Grogu and the ride-on droid transport trailer. A lot of the items allow for interaction and play with minifigures, with some builds belonging to a sub group in the calendar. There’s a lot of opportunity to create your own little stories with the builds.

StarWars.com: The mini builds of ships and vehicles are pretty adorable. Is it challenging to simplify complex Star Wars ships in this way?

Jason Zapantis: Yes, it can be a challenge as we need to be able to show how a ship can built in only one instruction. So when designing, we want to keep builds easy to read and minimize the amount of parts. We look for elements that are as close to resembling the different shapes found on a vehicle and avoid building it out.

StarWars.com: What’s your favorite item and/or element in this year’s LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar, and why?

Jason Zapantis: My favorite element in the Advent Calendar is the 1×1 brick with four knobs. The brick brings so much versatility into achieving certain builds and is used a few times in different days.

It allows you to build in all directions and also has the added ability to insert a shaft element from either side, allowing you to do quite a lot with the limitations we have.

My favorite item has to be Grogu’s hover crib. It’s the first time we have done a build of it in the Advent Calendar, and the little red festive highlights go well with Grogu’s festive-themed getup.

The LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar for 2021 arrives September 1.

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.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheMandalorian, #Disney+

Wrecker Goes Pop!

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 16:03
Add the muscle of Clone Force 99 from Star Wars: The Bad Batch to your Funko Pop! collection.

The War of the Bounty Hunters Comes to a Shocking End in Marvel’s October 2021 Star Wars Comics – Exclusive

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 10:00

It’s all come down to this.

Boba Fett’s battle to reclaim Han Solo, still frozen in carbonite, has drawn in major players throughout the galaxy. Now, with bounties on his own head, Fett must fight to survive and take back what’s rightfully his — or die trying — as the epic War of the Bounty Hunters concludes this October. StarWars.com has your first look at covers and plot details for the final comics in the crossover, including Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #5, Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters –– IG-88 #1, Star Wars #18, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #15, Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #17, and Star Wars: Darth Vader #17. As the story ends, the Star Wars comics landscape will find a new status quo!

Plus, Star Wars: The High Republic — Trail of Shadows #1 begins with the mysterious murder of a Jedi Master, while fallout from the events of The Rising Storm hits Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic ongoing series.

Get all the details and select covers below!

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC – TRAIL OF SHADOWS #1 (OF 5)

DANIEL JOSÉ OLDER (W) • DAVE WACHTER (A) • Cover by DAVID LÓPEZ
Variant Cover by ARIO ANINDITO
Variant Cover by JULIAN  TEDESCO

JEDI KNIGHT AND PRIVATE EYE TEAM UP TO UNCOVER A MYSTERY

THAT WILL CHANGE THE HIGH REPUBLIC FOREVER!

A Jedi Master is dead. Another is in a state of complete shock. It’s a murder the likes of which the Jedi Order has never seen before. There are no leads. There are no suspects. There is no motive. But Jedi Investigator EMERICK CAPHTOR must solve the case before it’s too late. The fate of the Jedi, the Hutts, the Nihil and everyone in the galaxy, hangs by this tangled thread of lies and deceit. Emerick will need to dive into the darkness, testing himself and his Jedi ideals like never before. He’ll need help. Luckily, Private Eye SIAN HOLT lives in the dark. Together, they’ll follow this trail of shadows wherever it leads. If they can work together, that is.

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC #10

CAVAN SCOTT (W) • ARIO ANINDITO (A) • Cover by PHIL NOTO
Variant Cover by GEORGES JEANTY
Variant Cover by CASPAR WIJNGAARD

A NEW STORY BEGINS THIS ISSUE – THE SHADOW OF THE NIHIL!

  • Following the terrible events of The Rising Storm, the villainous NIHIL are in retreat, hunted by THE JEDI.
  • WAYSEEKER KNIGHT ORLA JARENI is attacked by a lone Nihil Stormship in deep space, a Stormship commanded by one of the Jedi’s own.
  • Which of STARLIGHT BEACON’S number have joined the Nihil Horde? And how far will they turn from the light?

STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS #5 (OF 5)

CHARLES SOULE (W) • LUKE ROSS (A) • Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN
Variant Cover by by CARLO PAGULAYAN
Action Figure Variant Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
Bounty Hunter Handbook Variant Cover by RON FRENZ
Trading Card Variant Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
Carbonite Variant Cover by STEVE McNIVEN
Boba Always Gets His Bounty Variant Cover by Steve McNiven

THE ULTIMATE FINALE! THE BIGGEST EVENT OF THE YEAR

CHANGES THE FACE OF THE GALAXY!

  • Everything and everyone in the galaxy is against bounty hunter BOBA FETT, from Sith Lords to Hutt rulers to the mysterious CRIMSON DAWN.
  • He can’t succeed. There’s no way he can regain HAN SOLO, escape the bounties on his head, and survive to get his prize to JABBA THE HUTT and get paid. But HAN SOLO belongs to him, and no one will take him away.
  • With a shocker of an ending that sets up a revolutionary new status quo for STAR WARS COMICS!

STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS – IG-88 #1

RODNEY BARNES (W) • GUIU VILANOVA (A) • Cover by Mahmud Asrar
Variant Cover by by CASPAR WIJNGAARD
Variant Cover by RAY-ANTHONY HEIGHT
Bounty Hunter Handbook Variant Cover RON FRENZ
Carbonite Variant Cover by MAHMUD ASRAR

NO ONE CAN DEFEAT IG-88! WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS TIE-IN!

IG-88 is an advanced assassin droid designed for death, destruction, and mayhem. Its weapons systems are unparalleled, its design flawless. Yet the galaxy’s most sinister droid bounty hunter can still fail. What motivates IG-88’s resurrection time and time again? Is it programming or something…more? And can IG-88 find a strategy to overcome its old foe, Boba Fett?! Rodney Barnes’ and Guiu Vilanova’s one-shot is the fourth of four action-packed “War of the Bounty Hunters” tie-ins about the criminal underworld’s most notorious hunters and scoundrels, all told by the best STAR WARS writers and illustrators in the galaxy.

STAR WARS #18

CHARLES SOULE (W) • RAMON ROSANAS (A) • Cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN
Variant Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
Bounty Hunter Handbook Variant Cover by RON FRENZ
Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Variant Cover by CHRIS SPROUSE
Carbonite Variant Cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN
Action Figure Variant Cover by John Tyler Christopher

“COLLISION COURSE”

  • Reeling from the events on JEKARA and forced to confront the reality of her own choices and losses, LEIA ORGANA meets QI’RA to discuss the person they both have in common – heroic smuggler HAN SOLO!
  • How has he influenced their lives to that point?
  • And how will it change their fate moving forward?

STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #15

ALYSSA WONG (W) • MINKYU JUNG (A) • Cover by SARA PICHELLI
Bounty Hunter Handbook Variant Cover by RON FRENZ
Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Variant Cover by CHRIS SPROUSE
Carbonite Variant Cover by SARA PICHELLI

“PARTY FAVORS”

  • CRIMSON DAWN is back, and DOCTOR APHRA is trapped aboard their ship!
  • What treasures lie aboard the VERMILLION?
  • And what price will Aphra have to pay to obtain them?

STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #17

ETHAN SACKS (W) • PAOLO VILLANELLI (A) • Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Bounty Hunter Handbook Variant Cover by RON FRENZ
Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Variant Cover by CHRIS SPROUSE
Carbonite Variant Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

“LAST STAND”

  • Severely wounded, VALANCE must make a desperate escape attempt from an Imperial Star Destroyer.
  • Will T’ONGA and her crew reach him in time?
  • Plus: A shocking twist that will leave the survivors’ lives forever altered!

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #17

GREG PAK (W) • RAFFAELE IENCO (A) • Cover by AARON KUDER
Bounty Hunter Handbook Variant Cover by RON FRENZ
Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Variant Cover by CHRIS SPROUSE
Carbonite Variant Cover by AARON KUDER

“JUST REWARDS”

  • Throughout the search for HAN SOLO, DARTH VADER has carved his way through shadows, unraveling mysteries cloaked in deceptions and betrayal.
  • Now Vader finally takes care of all his business in this blockbuster conclusion to the WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS story arc.
  • But is he the true master of betrayal in this tale? Or is there another?
Epic Stories. Tons of TV. Live Sports.Get the Disney Bundle

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheHighRepublic

Hera Flies Again: Vanessa Marshall on Returning as the High-Flying Pilot in Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 08:05

For Vanessa Marshall, it wasn’t even a question. But when the producers of Star Wars: The Bad Batch had an idea to tell an origin story of sorts for Hera Syndulla, who Marshall has voiced for years, they first reached out to see if she’d want to return to the role.

“I got an email asking if I would be interested in doing this,” Marshall says, chuckling. “Of course! I was so blown away to get this email and did not expect it at all. I had no idea what it would look like or how they would present it or in the context of what narrative. I had so many questions.”

Marshall would have to wait to get her answers. As she would find out, though The Bad Batch focuses on a gifted squad of clones and their young charge, Omega, following the end of the Clone Wars, this would be no mere cameo for Hera.

“I remember getting the script for the first episode the night before recording, and I was completely sobbing. As usual!” she says. “But it was just so moving and I really felt that they captured her innocence at that point, that would blossom into such a brilliant fighter, such a nurturing general, such a strong, iconic female character. But it was great to see her dreams before they came true.”

Hera once more

Star Wars Rebels premiered in October 2014, and it represented a defining moment for Lucasfilm. The animated series was the first canonical Star Wars storytelling to not include input from George Lucas; it followed the beloved Star Wars: The Clone Wars; and it was developed under the guidance of Dave Filoni, who all but studied under Lucas as the supervising director of The Clone Wars. For these not-insignificant reasons, it marked the beginning of a new Star Wars era. Expectations were high and there was a lot on the line with Star Wars Rebels

It’s safe to say that those expectations were met and exceeded. Star Wars Rebels would tell the story of how the Rebellion came to be, while centering on a small, ragtag group of heroes. It ran for four broadcast seasons and garnered much critical acclaim, including four Emmy Award nominations. When Dave Filoni announced that the series would be ending to a packed crowd at Star Wars Celebration in 2017, fans shed tears. 

Among the characters at the heart of Star Wars Rebels was Hera Syndulla. Hera was the ace Twi’lek pilot of the Ghost and the clear leader of her found family, there to listen and offer guidance one minute, blasting stormtroopers and leading a quick escape the next. If any character in Star Wars Rebels represented the ideal rebel, it was Hera. Fans loved and love her. And she was brought to life by Vanessa Marshall, who imbued Hera with a dual sense of warmth and authority that was essential for the character. For her part, Marshall identified with Hera right from her first audition.

“There are certain issues that I care very much about in my life, in terms of equality and representation and fighting for those who are marginalized, and speaking up for those who may have no voice. This character seemed to do that,” she says. “There’s also a part of me that loves to bring people together.” In addition, Marshall has spent significant time flying with her father, a recreational pilot — another connection point with Hera. “I love flying with him. So I brought all of these elements together in my heart and my soul to Hera, and it just sort of fit together.”

Still, Marshall is quick to note that she is not an exact match for Hera — and that she even learned from her character. “I would say that her level of focus far exceeds mine,” Marshall says, laughing. “I am easily distracted and working on it. She actually ended up inspiring me, in ways. I feel like we grew together as the series went on. So to do an about-face and look back at her relationship with her father, and her dealings with her uncle, very much like me flying with my dad — to be able to go back and explore that was an honor.”

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

In The Bad Batch episodes “Devil’s Deal” and “Rescue on Ryloth,” now streaming on Disney+, we meet a young Hera Syndulla who is not yet the fully-formed leader of the Ghost crew in Star Wars Rebels, but still shows a rebellious streak and a dream of flying. Going back in time as Hera, however, meant that Marshall would need to deliver a different kind of performance. She’d never played Hera as a young girl, and Twi’leks normally speak with a French accent. (Something Hera lost along the way, but reverted to during an angry conversation with her father in Star Wars Rebels. More on that in a bit.)

“That’s the whole point of voiceover. That we can do anything. And I do play kids, and pieces of cheese, and golf balls. I get to do this all day long. It’s kind of the fun that comes with the trade,” Marshall says. “There were a couple of things going on. I’ve studied French for 14 years in school, I’m fluent in French, I had a dear friend who was French. I know the French accent. So there was putting that layer on top of it, and also making her younger. I’m well versed in that exercise, but this one was sort of two-fold in that it had to be true to the Hera that we know, with a Ryloth accent, and as a teenager. So there was a lot going on. But what I find is key for a most successful experience is to go from the inside out, as opposed to the outside in. What I mean by that is, if I’m trying to affect a sound, it’s not going to ring true. But the minute I put myself in her position, knowing all that befalls her in the future, I was really able to have fun playing with what her innocence might feel like. If I really went from her earnest desire to fly and be free in that fashion, the voice really kind of found itself.”

When the Empire seeks to establish a military presence on her homeworld of Ryloth in the episodes, Hera and her droid Chopper (who would later join her on the Ghost) are quick to take action, and it leads to conflict with her father, Cham Syndulla, a hero of the Clone Wars. In one poignant scene, they clash over how to respond to the Empire; Cham is not ready to pick up arms, while Hera sides more with her uncle, who wants to be rid of the Imperials. While Cham ultimately only wants to protect his daughter, he fails to realize that Hera is too much like him to sit things out. This conversation provides a bookend to a sequence in Star Wars Rebels, in which Hera, years later, confronts her father over their past disagreements and rocky history.

“I thought it was important to demonstrate that while she was subversive in the sense that she was still doing what she wanted to do for the cause she believed in with her uncle, as opposed to following her father’s instructions, that she did have a meek demeanor around him because she wasn’t quite the person that we see in the episodes of Rebels where she confronts him with that Ryloth accent. I wanted it to be a sharp contrast to what we see later on. I was trying to sort of lay the groundwork for what is an incredible transformation for someone who is yearning.”

While we do see the rise of Hera the rebel in The Bad Batch, the episodes also take time to show her love of flying and early attempts in the cockpit. Thematically, this desire smartly reinforces the story’s themes of fighting back against occupation; when Hera sums up why she wants to fly, she simply says, “You’re free.”

“I’ll tell you, my father most celebrates the perspective that one gets by being above all the minutia, all the petty grievances, all the very harrowing things that are going on in the world. Once one is up above those things, it’s a much-needed break that cleanses the soul,” Marshall says. “I think for Hera, there’s a spiritual element for her, as well, but there’s also a political one. If she can utilize that ability to help people, and the fact that she does so, to me is remarkable and important to note. I’m just blown away by how far she does go.”

Hera forever

At the time of this interview, Marshall has only seen “Devil’s Due.” That’s because she’s watching the series just like the rest of us: when it’s released on Disney+. And even though she plays Hera, watching the episode still proved emotional.

“I was completely crying the entire time,” she says, laughing. “It was just so great.” 

She also couldn’t help but notice how fans responded.

“I’m pleased to see that people were happy to see Hera return and that there were lines quoted. ‘Flying is a feeling,’ ‘Instruments are part of it,’ and ‘You’re free.’ It was very moving to see that, very gratifying. The fans hold a special place in my heart, so to see that they’re pleased means everything to me.” 

When you talk to Marshall about Star Wars, you come to understand that she too is a Star Wars fan. The kind that can rattle off ship names and planets and character beats with ease. (“As a Clone Wars fan, to go back to Ryloth was just the best,” she says.) So the opportunity to be on The Bad Batch was also just plain exciting for the actor.

“I am a huge fan of the show and I adore Omega,” Marshall says. “My experience of her, really, is solely through watching The Bad Batch. So for me, as a fan, to see me interact with Omega, I was completely fangirling out.”

Six years after the debut of Star Wars Rebels, Hera looms large in the Star Wars galaxy. The character has subsequently appeared in video games (voiced and performed via motion-capture by Marshall in Star Wars: Squadrons), comics, books, and now The Bad Batch. (She was also mentioned in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to the delight of fans.) It’s a growing legacy that is not lost on Marshall.

“I’m delighted that she is still relevant. I care about her so much, and I care about what she stands for,” Marshall says. “I’m grateful that it resonates with people.”

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, #TheBadBatch, #DisneyPlus

The Bad Batch Declassified: 5 Highlights from “Rescue on Ryloth”

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 08:00

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is here, chronicling the adventures of the elite squad Clone Force 99 following the end of the Clone War. In Bad Batch Declassified, we’ll explore our favorite moments from each episode of the series, available only on Disney+. Armor up and join us for the ride.

Spoiler warning: This article discusses details and plot points from the Star Wars: The Bad Batch episode, “Rescue on Ryloth.”

With the Empire cracking down on the people of Ryloth, soldiers on both sides are forced to wrestle with their conscience. On the side of the Imperials, Clone Captain Howzer struggles with turning on a group of people he’d previously sworn to protect. And on the run, Hunter and the Bad Batch must weigh personal risk when a young Twi’lek in need calls upon them for help. Here are five highlights from the episode, now streaming on Disney+.

1. Hera’s plea.

Evoking Princess Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi, a young Hera uses an emergency channel to send a desperate request to Omega and Clone Force 99. But while the Bad Batch initially intends to shrug off her concerns, Omega alone challenges their preference for flight over fight. “We can’t put ourselves on the line every time someone’s in trouble,” Hunter says. But in Omega’s eyes, that just doesn’t make sense, inspiring the young clone to challenge her brother with two simple words: “Why not?”

2. Family matters.

Omega’s compassion for Hera shines through, one child relating to another on a level that the soldiers around her don’t quite understand. For the newest member of Clone Force 99, Hera’s blind determination makes perfect sense. In the same position with the Bad Batch imprisoned, Omega knows she’d do whatever she could to try to save her family.

3. Secret agent droid.

Fans of Star Wars Rebels fondly remember the way Sabine could conceal Chopper beneath a layer of Imperial paint to help him blend in on an undercover mission. On a trek inside the Imperial refinery, Chopper already has the confidence to pull off the job, but unfortunately his exterior — hardly standard Imperial issue for a droid — and his trouble at the terminal blow his cover quite quickly.

4. Hera takes flight!

Sure, it’s a stolen Imperial shuttle and Hera’s still getting a sense of attack patterns, but the look on her face at the helm of a ship? Pure joy.

5. Howzer’s conscience.

After struggling with his orders, Howzer makes the difficult decision to openly object to the Empire’s decrees in the hopes of inspiring the good men in his squad to take a stand alongside him. It’s a powerful sign of things to come for the rebels, and the might of just one individual standing up for what’s right. And on the flip side: Crosshair, who seems pretty pleased to be on the hunt for the Bad Batch.

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, #TheBadBatch, #DisneyPlus

Quiz: Can You Guess the Characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars?

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 11:00

You’ve watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars and rewatched it. Now it’s time to test your knowledge of the legion of Star Wars characters from the animated series now on Disney+. How quickly can you decode these scrambled signals and identify the Jedi, bounty hunters, clones, and other characters? Find out when you decipher the images of Star Wars: The Clone Wars characters in the quiz below!

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #StarWarsQuiz

“Oh, No!” The Rancor May Join The Black Series Via HasLab

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 10:00

The towering hulk of muscle who greeted Luke Skywalker in the shadowy pit beneath Jabba the Hutt’s throne room is poised to make a comeback.

Although bested by the Jedi in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, this morning Hasbro announced plans to bring the sharp-toothed beast into the 6-inch scale Star Wars: The Black Series line if the brand’s next HasLab crowd-funded campaign reaches its target for production.

“Following the success of the previous two HasLab campaigns for Star Wars: The Vintage Collection, our team is so thrilled to offer fans the first-ever HasLab project from The Black Series – the Rancor!” says Michael Ballog, Hasbro’s vice president for the Star Wars brand. “We hope fans of The Black Series line are prepared for this iconic creature to join their 6-inch-scale collections.”

In 2018, HasLab launched with Jabba’s sail barge, the Khetanna, which set sail with just under 10,000 backers. Then in 2020, HasLab added the Razor Crest from The Mandalorian, generating enough backers for production in just over a day.

Check back on StarWars.com for more details on this exciting new announcement in the weeks ahead, then make like Malakili the rancor keeper to secure your own prized pet.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Bad Batch First Look: “Rescue on Ryloth”

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 08:00

With Cham and Eleni Syndulla imprisoned, young Hera must turn to Clone Force 99 and her new friend Omega for help on Ryloth. Check out preview images of the latest episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, “Rescue on Ryloth,” now streaming on Disney+!

Rocky spires on Ryloth.

Eleni and Cham Syndulla with Gobi Glie.

Clone trooper Howzer.

Howzer and Admiral Rampart.

The Bad Batch with Hera Syndulla.

Eleni and Cham Syndulla.

Hera with the Bad Batch in the Marauder.

Hera Syndulla and Omega.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheBadBatch

Mission to the Hutt Homeworld in Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #6 – Exclusive Preview

Thu, 07/15/2021 - 10:00

On the world of Nal Hutta, young Jedi Farzala is about to put his skills at diplomacy and Huttese to the test.

In StarWars.com’s exclusive preview of IDW Publishing’s Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #6, aboard the Vessel, Jedi Master Obratuk is deep in hibernation. But with the help of the “awesome weirdo pilot” Leox, Farzala may just charm his way into a peaceful negotiation with the notorious crime family.

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures #6, “Mission to Bilbousa, Part 1” written by Daniel José Older and illustrated by Harvey Tolibao and Pow Rodrix, arrives July 21 and is available for pre-order online now and at your local comic shop.

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

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheHighRepublic

The LEGO Star Wars Republic Gunship Strikes Back! – Exclusive Reveal

Thu, 07/15/2021 - 07:30

Battle droids surround vastly outnumbered Jedi in the Geonosis arena. The secret Sith Lord Count Dooku watches from above, demanding surrender. There is little hope for the guardians of peace and justice.

Until a swarm of Republic gunships show up, that is, filled with clone troopers, laying waste to countless battle droids, and even giving Yoda a ride. 

The Republic gunship became an instant fan favorite upon its surprise debut during the climax of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and subsequent appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and now, fans have brought it back. The iconic clone-piloted craft has won a recent fan poll on the LEGO Ideas site — besting two ships by winning 58% of the vote and pulling in over 30,000 votes — and will be made into a new Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) set for the first time ever.

Revealed exclusively on StarWars.com, the LEGO Star Wars Republic Gunship clocks in at a massive 3,292 pieces, measures 13 inches high, 29 inches wide, and 27 inches long, and comes complete with features and details faithful to its onscreen inspiration. There are the classic bubble cockpits and gunner stations, swing-out spherical gun turrets, and plenty of space for troops and Jedi. The free-swinging doors can open and close, and utilize some of the largest moving parts ever created for a LEGO Star Wars build; it also includes Mace Windu and Clone Trooper Commander minifigures, ready to take down some clankers. Whether you’re a longtime LEGO Star Wars AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) or looking to take your first steps into this bricktastic world, the LEGO Star Wars Republic Gunship promises to be a worthy addition to any fleet when it arrives August 1. StarWars.com caught up with Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, creative lead of LEGO Star Wars at the LEGO Group, and Hans Burkhard Schlömer, designer of the LEGO Star Wars Republic Gunship, to talk about the vehicle’s most interesting feature, figuring out how to adapt the ship’s front cannons to LEGO form, and how fans are helping to guide LEGO Star Wars

StarWars.com: The LEGO Star Wars Republic Gunship was made as a result of a fan vote on LEGO Ideas. Does the fact that you know this is something fans especially want add to the sense of responsibility you have in bringing it to life?

Jens Kronvold Frederiksen: When designing the LEGO Star Wars models, we are always doing our absolute best to deliver the best possible building and play experiences, or the most awesome looking display model. It is the same for anything we do, from the smallest Microfighter to the biggest UCS model. However, the fact that this model was the fans’ choice, of course put a bit of extra pressure on us. We know that a lot of people have been looking forward to seeing this model, so we are, of course, extra excited to see if the live up to the expectations!

StarWars.com: It’s such a unique ship in Star Wars, with multiple bubble-like gunner seats, a troop hold, wings, cannons, and more. As a designer, what do you most appreciate about it?

Hans Burkhard Schlömer: Many ships from Star Wars have a compact form. While the gunship also looks very sleek and detailed, it has a particularly interesting feature: most of it is wide open! The passenger/troop compartment is huge — it a big open space right where the support structure for the engines and the wing connections should be. Most of the weight of the model is hanging over empty air! Quite a challenge for a designer to turn this original design into a sturdy and buildable LEGO set.

StarWars.com: How challenging was it to adapt to LEGO form?

Hans Burkhard Schlömer: After designing an appropriate support structure, I could turn my attention towards some of the details. Sometimes, even small details can become big challenges! It turned out that the front guns are mounted on ball joints. But we really don’t have any such elements nearly big enough for the task. Luckily, we had recently created a new curved type of element for the engines of the X-Wing Starfighter, which allowed me to build rings around the ball joints, making them look bigger. Overall, the shaping of the ship came together quite nicely.  

StarWars.com: We’ve had Republic Gunships before from the LEGO Group, but never in the UCS scale. What are both the benefits and difficulties in designing it at a larger scale?

Jens Kronvold Frederiksen: First of all, with the UCS models we can create extremely large models. The size and scale mean that we can make complicated shapes, not possible in a smaller scale. And then, of course, we can really dial up on the level of details! That is the fun part, and what make these models looks so authentic.

The biggest challenge is stability. Even it is a large model primarily meant for display, it should be possible to handle and lift. That most often means a relatively complex construction, with a good amount of hidden LEGO Technic elements to support the structure.

StarWars.com: LEGO Star Wars has a rich 20-plus year legacy, and I think releases like this show that there’s still so much potential to create really amazing builds. On the creative side, how does designing and releasing something as impressive as the Republic Gunship, and knowing that fans played a part, inspire the team moving forward? 

Jens Kronvold Frederiksen: This whole process with the fans’ choice have been super exciting. We were really amazed about the number of people voting! It is probably not the last time we do something like that.

In fact, the interaction with fans means a lot. We are following them, and therefore we have a pretty good idea about which models are high on the wish list, and therefore, models we consider for the future.

And even if we have been in it for more than 20 years, there are still so many things we have not yet made. I am sure we have ideas for models for at least 20 more years!

Tune into the LEGO Group’s special YouTube premiere on July 15 at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT, where the full set will be revealed.

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.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Mattel Celebrates Star Wars Comics History with Special Darth Vader Hot Wheels Character Car for Comic-Con@Home 2021 – Exclusive Reveal

Thu, 07/15/2021 - 07:00

Bryan Benedict has always had only one dream: to design cars. And it’s all thanks to his love of an iconic toy.

“Growing up, Hot Wheels was everything to me,” he tells StarWars.com. “We didn’t have a whole lot of toys. We grew up with not a lot of money. Hot Wheels were a buck then and they’re a buck now, and so it was the one thing I could kind of get my hands on. I collected as many as I could and I still have all of those Hot Wheels I had from way back when.”

He would achieve his dream and then some. Benedict attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and landed a job at Honda straight away. He would work there for five years before moving onto a few different OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). But then something unexpected happened.

“Ultimately, Hot Wheels called me up out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to join the team here. It sounded like a great opportunity. In the back of my mind, it was always like, Hot Wheels would be the ultimate car-design job because you just do wild, crazy stuff. So I decided to jump at the opportunity and haven’t regretted it for a second,” he says. “It’s been an awesome ride.”

Seventeen years later, Benedict is the design director of Matchbox and Hot Wheels at Mattel, and surely then envy of his past self. Yet he probably couldn’t have predicted that this dream job would take him somewhere else entirely: the galaxy far, far away.

Honoring the first Star Wars comic for Comic-Con@Home

Since Mattel became a Star Wars licensee in 2014, Benedict has been able to combine two of his favorite fandoms. “I love Star Wars,” he says. “Now, I kind of got into it later in the game. I never got a chance to see the movies as a kid. So in my adult life I became an obsessed fan. Now I have five kids myself, and we watch the movies religiously. We’re definitely a Star Wars family.”

With the Hot Wheels Carships and Hot Wheels Character Cars line, Benedict takes characters, vehicles, and other iconography from the saga and turns them into, essentially, the dream cars of any Star Wars fan. So far, Mattel has done everything from X-wings that look like drag racers to a Grogu-inspired buggy, complete with aerodynamic ears. They run the line from the coolest cars you’ve ever seen to the most adorable, perfect for both display and play. And for Mattel’s Comic-Con@Home 2021 exclusive, Benedict and his team wanted to do something different that would speak to the event specifically; a special Hot Wheels Character Cars release that pays tribute to both the history of Star Wars and comics.

To achieve this, they went all the way back to Marvel’s Star Wars #1, originally published on April 12, 1977 — over a month before the release of Star Wars: A New Hope. On the cover of that landmark issue you’ll see a looming Darth Vader, but he doesn’t look quite like the Sith Lord we know. Here, most likely due to coloring techniques of the day and limited reference, Vader’s armor appears with green highlights.

“For a few years now actually, I’ve been wanting to do the green Darth. That first issue of the Marvel Star Wars comics with green Darth on the cover, it’s so striking because you never see Darth that way. This was the first year we were really able to do it,” Benedict says. “It’s exciting to finally see it come to life.”

In designing this new-meets-retro take on Vader, Benedict strived for the toy to achieve various successes, and all at once.

“I wanted to make sure that it felt somewhat timeless. In my mind, Star Wars is timeless. So I wanted to create a car that would hopefully do that, as well,” he says. “I picked up cues from both past cars and future styling, and even tapped in a little bit to Twin Mill, which is our iconic Hot Wheels car. I wanted to give a few little touches here and there just to root it in Hot Wheels. But for the most part, I wanted it to be a strong, foreboding, powerful, menacing car. Something that if you saw it coming in your rearview mirror, it would be somewhat terrifying.”

This finished product, officially called the Hot Wheels Star Wars Green Darth Vader Character Car, is both beautiful and beautifully threatening, and a fun interpretation of Vader from this classic comic cover, which StarWars.com is honored to reveal. Vader’s helmet and mask form the car’s body, and have been adapted in clever ways: the lenses make up the dual windshield; the dome is the hood; the neck guard forms the rear; the grille of the mask, naturally, has become the car’s grille. There are other smart details, like Vader’s lightsaber doubling as a side pipe, and the armor’s control panel acting as a supercharger.

“[George] Lucas made it easy on us because Darth is such an awesome character to start with. And a lot of the elements of his look naturally lend themselves to a cool-looking car,” Benedict says. “But there are challenges when you’re interpreting a character and you want to make sure that it reads as a cool, authentic, legitimate car, and not too literal an interpretation of a character. It’s all about getting the proportions right and working those details in, in a way that feels authentic and relates back to something that’s automotive.”

Critically, the chrome green paint is downright eye-catching, with black-and-white shading making for a cool comic-art effect.

“That was important to us, to really nail it,” Benedict says. “First of all, the paint itself is green Spectraflame. We have this Spectraflame finish that goes all the way back to the beginnings of Hot Wheels in 1968, when all of our cars had this really shimmery colorful finish. We tapped into that to get this effect of an almost chrome-like, colored finish. But even then, we still wanted to do more to really give it that comic vibe. That’s where we added the graphics that indicate the harsh highlights and shadows on the chrome finish. I think where it landed is really effective. I’m really happy with how the green turned out. It’s a nice match to the comic cover.”

And for those looking to see what this new green Vader car can do, they won’t be disappointed. “I did intend it to be a track performer,” Benedict says. “It’s a pretty strong car.” Most impressive, one might say.

Another dream come true

While Benedict has designed Hot Wheels cars of all types — including lots of Star Wars cars — this release seems to carry extra weight and importance to him. As a nod to longtime fans and early Star Wars history, it was a rare opportunity even for him.

“It’s incredibly meaningful to me,” Benedict says. “In my adult life, I’ve gotten so immersed in the Star Wars universe and the lore around it. I love tapping into these little things, and sometimes it’s things that are more subtle and things that only the superfans know about. But I just love that kind of stuff. I love Easter eggs and diving deep into characters and all the backstories and things like that. So I always get really, really excited about doing projects like this that tap into something that has real meaning to fans.”

The Hot Wheels Star Wars Green Darth Vader Character Car will be available starting Thursday, July 22, at 9 a.m. PST / 12 p.m. EST at MattelCreations.com.

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.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

New Star Wars x Enso Rings Are Made for Adventure

Wed, 07/14/2021 - 10:00

Stylish silicone rings designed with hardworking bounty hunters in mind? It’s not jewelry from a galaxy far, far away. These comfortable bands were made right here on our own planet! Enso Rings’ new Star Wars collection features six silicone rings emblazoned with your favorite characters in eye-catching designs.

Aaron Dalley and Brighton Jones, the co-founders of Enso Rings, have been Star Wars fans for most of their lives. “Star Wars got super real for me in the hype leading up to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” Jones tells StarWars.com. “The lightsaber duels. The podracing. I was into it. I wanted to fly a Naboo N-1 starfighter so bad! Heck, I still want to fly one.”

For Dalley, it was a family affair. “The [Star Wars] universe is a huge part of my family culture,” he recalls. “The movies, the video games, the books. My parents were passionate fans. They shared that passion with me, and I’ve passed it on to my kids.”

Now the two fans have combined their love of Star Wars with their professional lives. StarWars.com recently spoke with the co-founders as well as senior art director Ian Wambold to learn all about the new Enso Ring Star Wars collaboration.

StarWars.com: How did you choose the characters to feature in this ring set? 

Ian Wambold: Brighton fought hard in our early design meetings for a yellow Naboo N-1 starfighter. Which, don’t get me wrong, would be awesome. Ultimately, though, we decided we wanted to create a mix of classic and new heroes and villains foundational to the series, plus new characters like the Mandalorian. 

There were major design considerations, too. Our silicone rings are an entirely new medium to express these characters. Characters like C-3PO and R2-D2, the ones who carry us through the Star Wars saga, well, they’re made of metal. They’re shiny and metallic. When we express these characters in our rings, we get to mirror that metallic look in silicone. So not only did we look into which characters would most profoundly connect with the fans, we looked into which characters would beautifully and uniquely shine with the materials of our craft.

StarWars.com: Is one character a particular favorite?

Aaron Dalley: The Mandalorian! My favorite character is Mando, and his ring was far and above my favorite to work on. A big part of what makes Enso Rings special is our patented process for infusing precious gems and metals into some of our flagship rings. With Mando it’s not just print on a ring. It’s a handcrafted silicone ring infused with precious metal and laser-etched with Mando’s iconic look. Designing his ring was like etching directly into actual beskar armor! It’s what makes silicone rings such a cool lifestyle medium to work in. Their form, their function, the style and expression all support each other.

And as soon as our shipment of actual beskar arrives from Concordia, maybe we’ll get to play with that, too. (Just kidding!)

StarWars.com: For some Star Wars fans, this might be the first silicone ring they add to their collection. Do you have any tips for taking care of one?

Brighton Jones: The thing is, you actually can’t think about silicone rings in the same way that you think about traditional rings. There’s no cleaning or nervousness about wear that you need to worry about. Every time you wash your hands, you’re cleaning your ring. You really do forget you’re wearing it until someone says, “Hey, is that Vader on your ring?” 

A lot of exclusive collectors’ items, they’re fragile. You’ve got to put them in a case, be careful with them, show them off every now and again. A Star Wars x Enso collector’s ring, though, [is] made for any level of activity. Whatever you’re doing, you can wear it.

Aaron Dalley: Welcome to the light side of the Force! And also lifetime warranties! Don’t ever be afraid to rock your Star Wars allegiance. Going where you go is at the core of our design philosophy. Silicone rings don’t mind water. They’re super easy to clean. They’re light. We craft them to be low maintenance.

Star Wars.com: You’ve released a few other collections before. How did this one stand out on a personal level?

Aaron Dalley: Honestly, the creative challenge was what made it personal to me. It’s one thing to sit down with your team and build something beautiful when you have no limitations. It’s a totally different thing to mesh your creative direction and vision with an established and beloved staple of our culture and apply that to a medium that has some inherent design limitations. 

Brighton Jones: For me, it’s been about a chance to create within the Star Wars cultural canon. I was an established fanboy long before the Star Wars x Enso collaboration. Crafting this collection meant that something I’d helped make would forever be an official part of a universe I love, my friends love, my family loves. It was a chance to creatively dip my toe in a history that matters to many of the people in my life.

StarWars.com: What has the response from Star Wars fans been like?

Brighton Jones: So CRAZY! After the first day we knew it was going to be big. The surge of related unboxing videos, of social media mentions, of direct feedback from our customers, has all been so unprecedentedly positive.

Aaron DalleyStar War fans in particular have loved the collection, and that was really important to me. As a company, we’re first-time guests to this party, and it was important that our vision for a Star Wars silicone ring matched the expectations of a longtime fan on every level, from the color options to the size and style of the character etchings.

We have big plans for the future with more launches on the horizon. The reaction from fans so far has only supported those plans.

The Star Wars collection is available now on the Enso Rings website.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Deva Lompop Joins the Hunt for Han Solo in Marvel’s Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters: Jabba the Hutt #1 – Exclusive Preview

Wed, 07/14/2021 - 09:00

As it turns out, Jabba has a deep bounty hunter bench.

In Marvel’s special one-shot, Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters: Jabba the Hutt #1, the titular crime boss has grown impatient waiting for the delivery of Han Solo. He calls upon Deva Lompop — an ancient, legendary bounty hunter — to finish the job…

War of the Bounty Hunters: Jabba the Hutt #1, from writer Justina Ireland and artists Ibraim Roberson and Luca Pizzari, with a cover by Mahmuo Asrar and Matthew Wilson, arrives July 21 and is available for pre-order now on Comixology and at your local comic shop.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Pages