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Poll: What Star Wars Content Are You Going to Watch First on Disney+?

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 10:00

Finally! Earlier this week we learned everything Star Wars coming to Disney+ in the US for the service’s November 12 launch. There’s The Mandalorian — the first live-action Star Wars series — along with Star Wars movies, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Seasons One through Five, plus The Lost Missions), every episode of Star Wars Rebels, the classic Empire of Dreams documentary, and much more. So we want to know…what are you going to watch first? Make your pick in the poll below!

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Todd Kerns Wants to Play a Gig on Tatooine

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 08:00

From the late 1980s, musician Todd Kerns made his name on the Canadian rock scene as a front man with the Age of Electric before being plucked by Guns N’ Roses legend Slash to play bass in his new band, the Conspirators. They released their third album Living The Dream last year and, taking time out from the band’s bantha-sized world tour, Kerns caught up with StarWars.com to discuss his favorite memories from that galaxy far, far away, his appreciation for Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, and why he has equal love for both Star Wars and Star Trek.

StarWars.com: Todd Kerns, welcome to StarWars.com…

Todd Kerns: I’m beyond excited to be here. I just tweeted saying that I’m about to do an interview with StarWars.com and I’m more excited than I would be for a cover story of Rolling Stone magazine!

StarWars.com: Be honest, this is why you got into the business — for moments like this isn’t it?

Todd Kerns: Yeah, I could die now! But once we finish this.

StarWars.com: Yes, finish the interview first, please.

Todd Kerns: All right.

StarWars.com: Imagine that you’ve been sent to a desert island, or even the island of Ahch-To, and you can only take one Star Wars film with you. Which one is it going to be?

Todd Kerns: Hmm. I’m going to… Well, if you want to have a long conversation about best first albums, and there’s quite a few — Appetite For Destruction would be in there, Led Zeppelin I

StarWars.com: Star Wars, Todd! Stay on target.

Todd Kerns: Yeah, sorry! [Laughs] But that’s where I was going with this; I think that A New Hope hits so many bullet points because George Lucas probably wasn’t thinking in terms of, I’m going to make three of these. I think he did such a great job of just making it a standalone film, if that was it and there were no others then we’d say, “What a perfect film.” We can always have that conversation of “Is Empire better than A New Hope?” but after seeing it in the movie theater as a kid, with it is attached so many memories that are beyond desert island enjoyment of a film. It’s the connection of my father taking us to the film, and to this day he talks about the Star Destroyer coming over in that opening shot, and my dad’s usually not that kind of guy. He’d rather go see a cowboy movie or something like that, but it blew his mind. So that whole experience with my brothers and him — and you couldn’t watch this thing at home in those days, so you just went to the theater time and time again.

StarWars.com: So it was more of an event?

Todd Kerns: One hundred percent, and I lived in a small town. So when it finally reached us it was like a city-wide event; we probably went every single night while it played. Well, as much as we could. For us that were there it became everything, it eclipsed everything to that point and it became the benchmark for everything from that point forward. It’s still the benchmark in many ways, I think.

StarWars.com: What’s the nerdiest Star Wars thing you’ve done in your life?

Todd Kerns: I’ve owned so many of the toys that if you come to my house it’s actually embarrassing! I’ve never been big on getting dressed up or that kind of stuff, but I’ve probably blown it with a number of women in my life by getting too far into this kind of thing! But the beauty of it is that you meet the right one who knows what you’re talking about and when you suddenly find yourself toe-to-toe you’re like, “Wow, better marry this one.” My wife is one of those and I can’t go and see a Star Wars film without her. She’d have my head!

StarWars.com: I invited Slash to join us today but he declined, and I’m not sure if it’s the case that he’s not fan enough or man enough!?

Todd Kerns: [Laughs] I think it’s a bit of both, frankly. I’m going to throw that gauntlet down!

StarWars.com: But he is a fan? He told me that he is, anyway.

Todd Kerns: He is a fan but he’d get lost in this conversation. It’s funny because he’s not the kind of guy who would stand in line for The Phantom Menace, but when he was a kid like us I think he would have gone to the original trilogy. It’s funny to think that he would be intimidated by our wealth of knowledge, but it would just be a little out of his comfort zone to be sat here geeking out about Boba Fett’s ship or whatever.

StarWars.com: So it’s fair to say that if you attempted a geek out in the dressing room with the band, you’d be the last man standing — or maybe just the last man in the room?

Todd Kerns: Yeah, a man alone, really! But you know, the funny thing about Star Wars is that everybody knows and enjoys it for what it is, but it’s just different whether people are swimming in the shallow end of that pool or the professional deep end, and I’m always in the deep end! I just love the whole thing.

StarWars.com: If you left Slash and the Conspirators to join a Star Wars band, which would it be?

Todd Kerns: I would go to the cantina band. It’s funny, that whole cantina scene, as it feels like it could probably be dated with the makeup and masks they’re all wearing around the club but it works so well. And the band itself, if I really sat down and analyzed it, I’d be like, “Well it sounds like a clarinet and a bassoon, all very earthly instruments,” but for whatever reason the tune they came up with is brilliant still to this day. We play it on the guitar, we play it all the time, and it’s just the quintessential song. That’s the band.

StarWars.com: Which Star Wars planet would you most like to play a gig on?

Todd Kerns: Wow, I have to say Tatooine. As a kid, and even now, it’s the first that comes to mind. I’d like to play the cantina with all the brawls going on, Greedo could come by… Well, not anymore, as he’s no longer with us.

StarWars.com: You could put on a Greedo tribute night then?

Todd Kerns: Exactly!

StarWars.com: Stepping away from Star Wars for a bit — you’re on the road touring the Conspirators’ third album Living The Dream with Slash. I read that Appetite for Destruction is actually one of your favorite albums of all time, and now you’re in a band with one of the guys that made it. How does that feel?

Todd Kerns: It’s pretty surreal. In 1991 I was in LA trying to get a record deal and all of that stuff, and Slash was at the Rainbow and hung out with us, but it was a lifetime ago and he has no recollection of this particular crossing of paths. But at the time it was like, “Wow that’s the guitar player for the biggest band on the planet and we’re just some kids from Canada trying to get a deal!” It’s funny how you fast forward and then you’re playing with Slash.

StarWars.com: And it doesn’t stop there — you once performed with Bill Murray as well?

Todd Kerns:  Yeah! It was a benefit show for a friend of ours called Kerry Simon, he was a chef in Las Vegas and apparently had been a roommate of Bill’s in the ’70s. So Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Slash, Vince Neil, Todd Rundgren, and I got together to play this benefit show. There were rumors that Bill Murray might show up but nobody ever has a concrete anything about Bill Murray, that’s the way he rolls. But somebody had said earlier in the day that he sometimes likes to get up and sing “Brandy,” so we went through it just in case of the random chance that Billy Murray is going to wander in and sing with us! And then I’m standing side-stage watching whoever was opening the show, and he just rolls in. He had his back to me and then turns around and looks at me and goes, “Oh.” I’ve never met the man in my life and he comes over and shakes my hand. I asked if he’s going to sing tonight and he said, “Warming up, warming up,” and then just walks away! He ended up singing and MC’d the night, but nobody had any kind of structure. He just kind of took over. It was the most surreal thing ever and you kind of forget that Alice Cooper and all those other insane people were there too!

StarWars.com: I know you’re a big fan of both and there’s absolutely no pressure here, but I will remind you of whom you’re speaking to right now, the official Star WARS website. So Todd Kerns, Wars or Trek?

Todd Kerns: [Laughs] Well, I connect with Star Trek because it’s in the future and Kirk was born in like Iowa or somewhere, and then there’s Russians and Asians, black and white, and we’re all working together. And I think that’s why I’ve always connected with Star Trek, because of the idea that this is actually a potential future for human beings. I always say that if Starfleet was a career option, I would be doing that! And then Star Wars is never quite explained. We don’t really get concrete information, like what is Han Solo or Luke? They’re obviously human, but are they somehow connected to Earth humans? They are so markedly different it’s hard for me to pick one; Star Wars is so much bigger and all-encompassing, while Star Trek feels smaller, which is probably the wrong word to use. Even though it’s all about space travel and the vastness of all that, it just feels like a potential future while Star Wars feels like this great grand escapism-type thing that we can do. At least that’s the way I equate them, but I really would have a hard time saying which one over the other.

StarWars.com: You’re not leaving this room until you get off that fence and give me a definitive answer, Todd…

Todd Kerns: [Laughs] Can we have Han Solo and Captain Kirk duke it out and see what happens?! Beatles and Rolling Stones, Star Trek and Star Wars, it’s all good to me! I enjoy both so much it’s impossible to answer that.

StarWars.com: Okay, let’s finish with some quick-fire-ish Star Wars questions. Who’s your favorite classic character?

Todd Kerns: I think we always thought of Luke as the star. The entire thing is based around this kid and his connection to the Force and to Darth. But I think ultimately Han is the one I find most fascinating. Even the Solo film only really touched on all of what I want to know about Han Solo as a character. There’s a sort of darkness to that character that doesn’t exist in Luke, Leia, and those kind of people, because Han was really always about Han. With Luke you understand his complicated journey and, of course, Darth Vader is a whole different story, but I’m still going with Han.

StarWars.com: What about your favorite new character?

Todd Kerns: I think Poe is great. I really like Oscar Isaac and he also kind of has a bit of Han Solo about him. I also find [Rey] fascinating; I think she’s really great. I think I’ll go with Poe though.

StarWars.com: Light side or dark side? Or is it mood dependent? You can be neutral on this.

Todd Kerns: Light side. It’s really interesting when Yoda talks about the dark side, you kind of forget that it is all based in fear. A lot of the things that we see in the misunderstanding of the human nature is fear-based, and it makes people act a certain way. I like to think of a Jedi as that you have to be one with yourself and strong. I think people aspire to be like that, rather than Dark Lords.

StarWars.com: You’re back on that desert island, do you eat a porg or free a porg? 

Todd Kerns: I would free a porg. I’m vegetarian!

StarWars.com: Okay, fair enough!

Todd Kerns: That whole scene with Chewbacca was hilarious. 

StarWars.com: And finally, bringing your Star Wars and music knowledge together… How badly do you think Kylo Ren wants a My Chemical Romance reunion?

Todd Kerns: I’m sure he would be first in line!

StarWars.com: Todd Kerns, thank you.

Todd Kerns: Thank you, that was a blast.

Living The Dream by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is available now.

Jamie Stangroom is a UK based broadcaster who proudly models his appearance on Chewbacca. He first became engrossed with Star Wars when he choked on a C-3PO Tazo in his cheese and onion crisps, back in 1998. Follow him on Twitter @jamiestangroom.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

We Played Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and We Love It!

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 14:17

A few minutes into a hands-on preview of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Padawan protagonist Cal Kestis eavesdrops on a pair of patrolling stormtroopers. On the planet Zeffo, Cal listens in as the two clueless bucket heads discuss how their empty stomachs might be hurting their ability to aim their blasters.

The encounter is a fun nod to one of Star Wars’ longest running jokes, but it’s not to be trusted. As we quickly learn from behind the budding Jedi skills of Cal, the game’s enemies are no pushovers. Sure, rank-and-file stormtroopers go down with a single slice of Cal’s elegant weapon, but those grunts only represent the Empire’s first line of defense.

Cal’s been sent to Zeffo to dig up some valuable information, mysterious intel that’s also being sought by the Emperor. When we arrive on the windswept planet, it’s already crawling with Imperial forces: baton-wielding scout troopers and stormtroopers shouldering the galactic equivalents of rocket launchers and Gatling guns support the standard patrols.

Zeffo’s also home to a variety of indigenous beasts, such as the ram-like phillak, which doesn’t think twice about introducing intruders to its trio of sharp horns. Toss in Tomb Guardians, towering golems that protect the planets’ sacred crypts, and Cal’s got much more than errant blaster bolts to worry about.

Thankfully, developer Respawn Entertainment has crafted a layered combat system, offering a variety of cool ways to even the odds. Standard attacks deliver satisfying lightsaber swinging action capable of significantly damaging low-level adversaries, while chipping away at more formidable foes’ health bars. Mixing this basic maneuver with blocks and parries is even more effective. The former results in cinematic clashes with those baton-brandishing baddies, while the latter is always accompanied by a stylish animation. Delivering a follow-up attack or final blow by flipping over the back of an enemy is a highlight.

Blocks can also be used to deflect blaster fire back at targets, a smart move if you’re looking to eliminate ranged stormtroopers, while also dealing with closer threats. Defiantly walking toward one of those turret troopers, lightsaber raised and ricocheting blasts back at them, is especially rewarding; even more so when you finish them off with the aptly named “Leaping Slash” — an unlockable skill that sees you delivering a devastating overhead strike.

A number of these special moves are accessed via a skill tree, adding even more flourish-heavy attacks to Cal’s arsenal. By investing XP, or experience points, earned during combat and natural progression, you can shape your play style. By the end of our three-hour demo, we’d unlocked the above move, as well as a “Dash Strike,” and a skill that upped the duration of Cal’s Force “Slow” power.

Speaking of the Force, using and combining Force abilities layers the combat with additional depth. We had access to “Slow” and “Push” during our preview, and had a blast blending them with our growing lightsaber skills. The former worked especially well against those lumbering tower guards, who’d temporarily fall to their knees when hit with the power of the light side. Force abilities can’t be abused, though, as they’re fueled by a depleting meter that replenishes with regular attacks.

Managing and mixing the various lightsaber skills and Force powers makes for some thrilling encounters, especially when tougher fights demand a more strategic approach. The AT-ST battle that brought our demo to a close called on us to not only rely on the tactics we’d learned, but also make liberal use of the evade and dodge-roll inputs. As the walker relentlessly peppered us with blaster fire, missiles, and grenades, we did our best to avoid the barrages, while occasionally sneaking up to hack at its legs. This dogged strategy ultimately worked, but we later learned slowing the mechanical beast’s grenades – before pushing them back at it – would have brought it down much quicker.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s thoughtful combat seems to strike the perfect balance between accessibility and depth, offering pick-up-and-play appeal for those who just want to feel like a Jedi, as well as plenty of nuance for fans craving a more strategic experience. It also offers a number of difficulty settings, further catering to both camps on either end of that curve.

Regardless of your skill level and chosen difficulty, you’ll always have the opportunity to redeem yourself following an untimely demise. One of the game’s cooler, combat-related systems encourages you to hunt down the enemy that signed your death warrant. Upon re-spawning, any damage dealt to your executioner will replenish your lost XP, as well as your health and Force meters. It’s a great inclusion that drives the gameplay, while also weaving these mini revenge tales into the larger narrative.

While we spent the majority of our demo introducing the Empire’s finest to the business end of Cal’s lightsaber, we did experience a good deal of the game’s platforming-heavy exploration. Zeffo actually serves as the perfect playground to showcase Cal’s acrobatic skills, as it features variety and verticality. We rarely traveled more than a few steps without encountering some sort of platforming challenge, from running along walls and swinging on vines to catching air on wind gusts and sliding on ice slides.

Individually, these elements make the world a more compelling place to explore, but when combined they infuse the action with an extra jolt of adrenaline. Exiting a wall-run to immediately grab a rope, then swing right onto a long stretch of ice that sends you hurtling forward never gets old. Factor in the Force, for maneuvering platforming objects, like windmills and fan blades, and simply navigating Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order‘s world becomes as absorbing as freeing it of Imperial foes.

Combat and traversal still just scratch the surface of what fans can expect from the final game. We also got a tease of its puzzle-solving side, manipulating wind tunnels and using Force powers to solve quite the conundrum, and we got a peek at cosmetic customization options available for BD-1 and Cal, by re-skinning the former in a “Blue Leader” get-up that made him look like R2-D2’s little brother and changing the latter’s lightsaber blade from blue to green.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the game’s original story and characters. Respawn guarded those details like they were Death Star plans, but we did meet Greez, a four-armed Latero (a brand-new Star Wars species.) Cranky and comedic, he pilots the Stinger Mantis — your hub ship in the game — when not calling BD-1 a “bucket of bolts.” Cal’s mentor Cere also makes an appearance. The former Jedi is mostly still a mystery, but it seems she’ll play a significant role in Cal’s efforts to rebuild the Jedi Order.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order clearly has plenty more secrets and surprises in store. We can’t wait to uncover them all — and get back behind Cal’s awesome lightsaber and platforming skills — when the game arrives next month.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order arrives November 15 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and is available for pre-order now.

A full-time freelance writer born in Lizzie Borden’s hometown, Matt Cabral has covered film, television, and video games for over a decade. You can follow him on Twitter @gamegoat or find him in the basement of an abandoned building hoarding all the canned goods, med-kits, and shotgun shells.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog #StarWarsJediFallenOrder

11 of Our Favorite Star Wars Characters That Started in Books and Comics

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 07:55

One of the great things about Star Wars is that there are multiple ways to enjoy the stories of the galaxy far, far way — through nearly every conceivable medium. A television series has the advantage of having time to develop minor characters that a film might not be able to focus on, while the written word or a comic book can easily peer into the mind of heroes and villains alike. Since Star Wars stories are all connected in one sweeping saga, characters from one story sometimes return in later stories, even if those later stories are in a different format — after all, a great character is a great character! In celebration of Star Wars Reads this month, let’s honor some fan-favorite characters that started out on the pages of books and comics, old and new.

Thrawn

First appearing in the Legends story Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn in 1991, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a superb foil to our heroes — the Chiss strategist more formally known as Mitth’raw’nuruodo wasn’t a sinister villain but a super competent Imperial leader, outthinking his opponents through his observations of individuals and cultures through their actions and art, and inspiring loyalty among those under his command. Though he was defeated by the end of his namesake trilogy, the white-clad alien admiral quickly jumped from the novels to comic adaptations and video game appearances, and returned for a new generation in Star Wars Rebels in 2017 and with a new trilogy of novels by Zahn, focusing on his career at the height of the Empire. Plus, there’s even more Thrawn stories on the horizon.

Doctor Aphra

Doctor Chelli Aphra became a breakout star soon after she was introduced in 2015 in Marvel’s Darth Vader #3, written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Salvador Larroca. A criminal archaeologist of questionable morals, and accompanied by her murder-happy droids BT-1 and 0-0-0, she is first seen on a mission for Darth Vader, and manages to escape with her life. She received instant popularity among fans for being a complicated character, unpredictable in her ethics, fun-loving, flawed, and diverse.

She soon appeared in the main Marvel Star Wars title before getting her own ongoing monthly series in late 2016, becoming the first original character not from the movies to get her own ongoing series by Marvel — now with over 40 issues, including annuals, written first by Gillen and then later by Simon Spurrier. Aphra was even the focus of a short story in the Star Wars: A New Hope-themed anthology From a Certain Point of View (2017), and got her own action figure in 2018.

Quinlan Vos & Aayla Secura

Before her appearance in the Geonosian arena in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and her last stand on Felucia in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, the Twi’lek Jedi Aayla Secura and her mentor, the unorthodox Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, were fan-favorite characters of the Dark Horse Comics’ ongoing Star Wars series, later retitled Legends Republic, under the writing of Jon Ostrander with artwork by Jan Duursema. Starting in the “Twilight” arc in 2000, where Aayla has been kidnapped and Quinlan has had his memory erased, the two eventually reunite to stop a conspiracy leading from the spice mines of Ryloth all the way to the Senate. Constantly edging closer and closer to the dark side, Quinlan undertook many undercover missions for the Jedi, and was kept from straying too far by his friendship with his former Padawan, Aayla, now a general during the Clone Wars.

Aayla’s character moved to the big screen in the prequels after her introduction in the comics. But Quinlan Vos, based on a split-second background character in Mos Espa in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, got a mention in dialogue in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, and later appeared in an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, helping Obi-Wan in “The Hunt for Ziro” in 2010, before becoming one of the lead characters in the 2015 novel Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. The novel was based on unproduced The Clone Wars scripts by Katie Lucas, in which Quinlan Vos teams up with Asajj Ventress in an undercover plot to assassinate Count Dooku.

Vi Moradi & Cardinal

Fans first met Vi Moradi on the page in Phasma (2017) by Delilah S. Dawson, but can now see the flesh-and-blood character in Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. As one of General Organa’s top Resistance spies and a knitting enthusiast, Vi recounts the secret story of how Phasma came to join the First Order while being interrogated by Phasma’s rival, the ruthlessly loyal red-armored soldier Cardinal. The adventures of Cardinal and Vi resumed in the post-Star Wars: The Last Jedi timeframe with this summer’s release of Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire, also written by Dawson. The latest sees Vi, put in charge while still recovering from her torture, and Cardinal, now a jaded defector from the First Order, attempt to establish a base on Batuu and begin recruiting for the Resistance while being hunted by Cardinal’s former colleagues.

Rae Sloane

Rae Sloane is another Star Wars villain that readers ended up rooting for and clamoring to see again. Competent, ambitious, and yet strongly loyal to the Empire, she is able to see the larger picture of how some Imperial policies (and some Imperial leaders) are detrimental to the overall success of the Empire. First appearing as a young but capable Star Destroyer captain in A New Dawn, by John Jackson Miller, in 2014, Sloane works against and even briefly in collaboration with Kanan Jarrus when the former Jedi comes out of hiding to fight Imperial injustice. In Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, after being the senior naval officer to survive the Battle of Endor, she allies with Gallius Rax in building up the Empire in order to keep fighting the Rebels. After disagreeing with his overall leadership (and having him use her aide to assassinate her), Grand Admiral Sloane and Rax turn on each other while the Imperial forces get hammered at Jakku, and she emerges to survive and withdraw as one of the leaders of the Contingency — the beginnings of the First Order. Like Thrawn, she represents the best of the Empire — loyal, ambitious, calculating, willing to be ruthless, but not evil or willing to squander her troops or resources. But unlike her Chiss colleague, she is able to play the political game as well.

Gryph

So far, we’ve covered several bad guys (and gals) and a couple of heroes, but where’s the love for scoundrels? Marn Hierogryph aka “Gryph” is a favorite rogue to root for. This Snivvian con man is always looking for the next hustle, but ends up on the lam with his one-time pursuer, the Padawan Zayne Carrick, when the two are wrongfully framed for the murder of Zayne’s Jedi classmates, at the start of the Legends Knights of the Old Republic comic series written by John Jackson Miller for Dark Horse Comics. As a smooth liar and self-proclaimed mastermind, Gryph uses his illicit skill set to help Carrick and their friends survive being hunted by Jedi, getting caught up in the Mandalorian Wars, and more harrowing adventures. As the smart mouth of the team, Gryph adds a little levity when things get serious, and is quick to complain when notoriety goes from getting respect to getting shot at.

Tenel Ka

Readers first got to know Legends character Tenel Ka as a red-haired teenager — best friend and humorless classmate at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi academy to Jacen and Jaina Solo, and Lowbacca in the Young Jedi Knights series of junior novels by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, published from 1995 to 1998. While she was heir to the Hapan throne through her father’s side, she was more comfortable in her mother’s culture of Dathomiran light side witches, and even made her lightsaber hilt from a rancor’s tooth. While a lightsaber mishap left her with one arm, she was still a warrior and Jedi to be reckoned with as the teens battled new threats to the galaxy. Later, during the events of the New Jedi Order series, Tenel Ka fought on a key strike mission against the Yuuzhan Vong, and later was selected as the Hapan Queen Mother. With a rebuilt Hapan fleet under her command, she became a key member of the Galactic Alliance. After the Vong were defeated, she and Jacen Solo secretly had a baby girl, Allana, and she left the Jedi Order to rule Hapes. Tenel Ka’s love for Jacen turned to loathing as he slipped into the dark side and turned against and her and their child in the Fate of the Jedi series.

Mister Bones

On their own, B1 battle droids aren’t very scary — but when a young Temmin Wexley builds his own droid bodyguard and friend out of a junked battle droid, the result is Mister Bones, a lethal protector with a vibroblade arm. Programmed with multiple martial arts styles and a warped sensibility, Bones would often hum or sing while rampaging through foes, or as he calls it, “committing violence.” A key member of the team in the Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig, Mister Bones was obedient and loyal to his maker, and even a little affectionate to Temmin and his mother, Norra. Able to repair himself and upgraded several times after losing limbs in battle, Bones is a formidable fighter, but it is the combination of his almost childlike comic view of the world and his penchant for dealing death that made him a fan favorite.

Mara Jade

Emperor’s Hand. Smuggler. Jedi. Love of Luke Skywalker. All-around badass. Fan-favorite Mara Jade has been all these things in her life, and cemented her place in Star Wars Legends as a main character on par with Luke, Leia, and Han. When she was first introduced in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire in 1991, she had already restarted her life after Endor from being a secret agent and assassin reporting directly to the Emperor via the Force to rising to second in command of Talon Karrde’s smuggling organization. Mara Jade continued to appear in novels, starred in her own comic mini-series, Mara Jade: By The Emperor’s Hand (by Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole, with art by the late Carlos Ezquerra), and eventually grew closer to the one she once was compelled to kill — the Jedi who saw past her background and helped her heal, Luke Skywalker. They eventually married (in the Star Wars: Union comic by Stackpole and artists Robert Teranishi and Christopher Chuckry) and she became a full Jedi, taking Jaina Solo as an apprentice before she and Luke had a son, Ben Skywalker, during the New Jedi Order series, before falling to the Sith Lord Darth Caedus, her own nephew, in the Fate of the Jedi series in 2007. Just how popular is Mara Jade? When Star Wars Insider magazine ran a poll of favorite characters in 1997, Mara Jade was the only non-movie character to make the list. She has appeared in numerous video games, and her red-haired green-eyed likeness has graced several action figures, gaming miniatures, and more, often portrayed by model Shannon McRandle.

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

The Clone Wars Rewatch: Surviving the “Water War”

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 05:55

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

67: “Water War” (Season Four, Episode 1)

“When destiny calls, the chosen have no choice.”

Synopsis:

When the king of Mon Cala is assassinated, talks break down between the Mon Calamari people and the Quarren, co-inhabitants of the aquatic world. To stop a civil war, the Republic sends Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, but unbeknownst to them, the Quarren are already being backed by the Separatists. Now the Jedi must protect Mon Cala’s new leader, the young Prince Lee-Char, from the attack.

Analysis:

Struggling with grief over his murdered father and badly in need of guidance, Prince Lee-Char questions his own abilities to lead his people as much as those who are rejecting his rule.

But commanders, he will quickly learn, must make hard choices and stick to them. They must take decisive action and trust in themselves to instill that same faith in others. They must know when to be brave and charge ahead and when to retreat to survive for another day and another battle.

These nuances of leadership are somewhat lost on the young prince, who stands on the front lines and directly in the line of fire when those more experienced in the art of war and politics — Jedi Anakin Skywalker and Captain Ackbar among them — would prefer he retreat to safety. But he’s learning.

His world under the sea is under siege, and the Quarren who refuse to be led by a Mon Calamari king are in league with the Separatists. Coupled with the terrifyingly shark-like facade of Riff Tamson, this obstacle alone would be scary enough.

But now the Separatists have brought in a powerful hybrid weapon — half machine, half beast — to win this civil war. And the prince must quickly overcome his idealism and find his place in all this if he’s to lead his people to victory and survive the skirmish.

To quote Captain Ackbar: “It’s an attack!”

Intel:

  • Both the Mon Calamari and Quarren species were first created for the screen in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi. The former included Admiral Ackbar, seen in this episode as a captain on his homeworld. The latter was a background character for the scene in Jabba’s palace.

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when friendly reinforcements arrive from nearby Naboo in “Gungan Attack.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and 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. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #CloneWarsRewatch

Celebrate Star Wars Reads All October! – Updated

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 18:35

Update: We’ve added new posters inspired by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker books and more! Check them out below!

This October, join us and roll into readingStar Wars Reads, a month-long celebration of reading and Star Wars, is back!

Celebrating its eighth year, Star Wars Reads kicks off October 1 with special events and offers throughout the month.

From the youngest Padawans to the wisest Jedi Masters, there will be new and fun ways for everyone to explore a galaxy far, far away including story time events across the country, free comic-book giveaways at thousands of retailers, special appearances by bestselling and award-winning authors at New York Comic Con and other venues nationwide, and much more.

Throughout the month, get ready for Star Wars events, promotional discounts, and giveaways.

More ways to celebrate:

  • Check with your local library and bookstore to see if they are hosting any Reads events. If not, download the activity kit below and take the lead on hosting an event.
  • Participate in the Reads celebration with your classroom when your school participates in Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Fairs.
  • Turn the page on adventure by sharing a Star Wars book with a friend or younger sibling on your own.
  • Join the Star Wars Reads conversation on social media with #StarWarsReads, sharing your Star Wars Reads celebrations or favorite Star Wars books.

Star Wars Reads 2019 Printable Activity Kit: Plan your own Star Wars event with this official activity kit, complete with custom games and activities for kids and adults of all ages!

  • Activity Kit: PDF

Star Wars Reads 2019 Posters: Decorate your event with these fun posters!

Star Wars Reads Digital Banners: Download these digital banners for an instant upgrade to social media and other online promotions for Star Wars Reads.

Roll into reading.

#StarWarsReads

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Get a First Look at the The Art of Star Wars Rebels Limited Edition

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:21

To quote Kanan Jarrus, we’re about to let everyone in on the secret: The Art of Star Wars Rebels arrives March 17, 2020, and there will be a stunning limited edition version.

Written by Dan Wallace and coming from Dark Horse Books and Lucasfilm, The Art of Star Wars Rebels will feature never-before-seen concept art and exclusive commentary from the show’s creative team, taking fans inside the beloved series like never before. You can get your first look at the beautiful slipcase limited edition below, exclusively on StarWars.com:

In addition, The Art of Star Wars Rebels Limited Edition includes the following:

  • Clamshell slipcase with magnetic closure.
  • Illuminating lightsabers with ignition SFX.
  • Two prints of sketches from Dave Filoni’s personal sketchbook.
  • Exclusive cover.

Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on The Art of Star Wars Rebels.

The Art of Star Wars Rebels arrives March 17, 2020; you can pre-order the regular edition and the limited edition now.

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Aggressive Negotiations Unfold in Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #3 – Exclusive

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:44

Somebody has to save their skins.

The delicate balance of diplomatic negotiations on Mon Cala has been upended by a street brawl between Resistance fighters Rey, Rose Tico, and Chewbacca and the local Quarren. In Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #3, the latest installment in the new Marvel Star Wars miniseries written by Ethan Sacks and with art by Luke Ross, Mon Cala’s brutal history comes screaming into the present while General Leia Organa tries to save her friends and talk her way out of a deadly situation. Check out StarWars.com’s exclusive preview of the issue, available October 23, below!

Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #3

Check out more on new comics and other Star Wars news on The Star Wars Show, which you can watch below!

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Revisit Jabba the Hutt in Return to Vader’s Castle #4 – Exclusive

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:42

The mighty Jabba the Hutt loves to host a menagerie of terrifying creatures in his humble palace on Tatooine. So it only makes sense that his cousin, Crakka, would arrive after decades of estrangement bearing a sharp-toothed gift.

But there’s something even creepier lurking in the shadows…

In Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle issue #4, due out on October 23, explore “Vault of the Living Brains,” a deliciously macabre tale written by Cavan Scott with art by Francesco Francavilla and Nicoletta Baldari. The installment is the penultimate issue in the series celebrating Halloween with a Star Wars twist.

Sit back and enjoy an exclusive preview of the next issue below. You won’t even need a protocol droid to act as an interpreter!

Check out more on new comics and other Star Wars news on The Star Wars Show, which you can watch below!

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

This Pumpkin Spice Palpatine Cookie Is Your Master Now

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 10:00

It’s finally fall, and StarWars.com has a treat perfect for Halloween season — one that is a pathway to many flavors some consider to be delicious.

Presenting Pumkpin Spice Palpatines: soft pumpkin-spiced cookies, cloaked and ready to show off the friendly smile of Darth Sidious himself.

Get into the seasonal spirit and make a batch of these for the apprentice in your life. Do it!

Pumpkin Spice Palpatines

Cookie ingredients:

  • 2-¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Gray frosting ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons milk, as needed
  • Black food gel dye

You’ll need:

  • Red icing
  • Yellow icing
  • Black fondant

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep baking sheets with silpats or parchment.

Step 2: In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Step 3: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.

Step 4: Stir in the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla.

Step 5: Slowly add in the dry ingredients until combined.

Step 6: Use a scoop to create 2.5-inch balls of dough, flatten slightly. Place on the prepped baking sheets.

Step 7: Bake for 14 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Step 8: While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter while adding the sugar, a little at a time. Add the vanilla, then the milk as needed.

Step 9: Stir in the black food gel dye to get a grayish color.

Step 10: Use an offset spatula to frost the cookie.

Step 11: With a #7 tip, pipe the gray icing onto the cookie, creating the details of Palpatine’s face.

Step 12: Use #4 tips with red and yellow icings to create his eyes.

Step 13: Roll out and drape the black fondant around the cookie to create the cloak.

Step 14: When the icing has set, the cookies are ready to serve.

Finish your Pumpkin Spice Palpatines…and your journey toward the spice side will be complete!

Jenn Fujikawa is a lifestyle and food writer. Follow her on Twitter at @justjenn and check her Instagram @justjennrecipes and blog www.justjennrecipes.com for even more Star Wars food photos.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

The LEGO Galaxy Expands with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 07:55

Even in LEGO brick form, the ominous black wings of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren’s personal shuttle straighten to come in for a landing and tilt for flight. And in a bit of movie magic, the wings on the new brick version can also retract, impressively collapsing in on themselves thanks to simple mechanics.

That functionality has become an essential part of adding nuance and depth to the LEGO Star Wars creations over the 20-year collaboration between the two pop culture icons, says Leah Barash, a spokesperson for the LEGO Group. For the children building the sets to recreate scenes from the trailer of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at home, it comes down to playability. But older fans also enjoy the attention to detail, which makes sets destined for display endlessly posable.

“Part of bringing all of this to life is that we are fortunate enough to have a lead designer who’s been working on the product line for the entirety of our partnership,” Barash adds, in a nod to LEGO’s design director for Star Wars, Jens Kronvold Frederiksen. “He’s able to really find nuances that keep getting it closer and closer to those real-life vehicles and models.”

Earlier this month on Triple Force Friday, the LEGO Group released eight new Star Wars sets, with five vehicles from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, an AT-ST Raider from The Mandalorian, and a handful of new minifigures depicting some of the Knights of Ren, the mysterious Boolio, Cara Dune and the titular Mandalorian, and more.

Always in motion

Several of the new sets, including a Y-wing featuring the first Zorii Bliss minifigure, feature levers and triggers for repositioning wings and deploying bombs. “Even though it is the classic brick…some of the functionality really brings it to life,” Barash says, especially for Kylo Ren’s new ride. “It really reflects how you’re seeing it in the trailers and in the film where it looks like it’s landing and taking off.”

For Kylo’s shuttle, the movement is triggered by a twist of the engine. On the Y-wing, it’s a subtle movement of a concealed knob. “There’s a lot of little hidden functionalities in these that make the roleplay come to life,” Barash says, noting the implementation of handles in some recent sets like the Slave I allow kids to get a grip on flying their creations.

The Mandalorian

Creating a set for The Mandalorian presented its own new set of challenges, Barash says.

Star Wars has always been presented with a realistic and thoroughly used-future feel, but the first live-action series, set after the fall of the Empire, has an even grittier look than we’re used to seeing.

With that in mind, the AT-ST Raider had to incorporate pieces in various shades of gray and brown to give the set more depth and differentiation from the uniform look of an Imperial-owned walker, Barash says. Designers also incorporated graphical elements for a red-hued paint scheme and exposed wiring running up one leg.

“Because we’re not a solid molded figure or display piece and we have so many different sizes of bricks and studs, you can kind of do a mosaic feel,” Barash notes.

A hunk of junk

For the latest Millennium Falcon, designers continue to strive to capture the unique vehicle with new molded pieces for added accuracy and detail.

Minifigures in the set include the never-before-seen Boolio, a character with a special molded head that’s a departure from the typical LEGO head peg, a debonair and graying Lando Calrissian, and a tiny D-O droid.

An A-wing set includes the first Lieutenant Connix minifigure, Barash notes, and Kylo’s shuttle includes the first General Pryde and a Sith trooper, plus an updated version of Kylo Ren that incorporates the details of his repaired helmet as seen in the film’s trailer.

“It’s interesting because the Star Wars galaxy obviously brings so many different types of droids and characters that it can be exciting and challenging,” Barash says. For example, Finn’s new hair presented a chance to design a different headpiece for the former First Order stormtrooper. “I think they are always very excited about having new molds and opportunities to flex their artistic muscle,” Barash says of the artists behind the sets. “Even when you see these characters year over year, they often get tweaks and updates so there’s some newness to them that really reflects that and stays as close to the character as we can….There’s a lot of fine-tuned details.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and 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. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Here’s Everything Star Wars Coming to Disney+ in the US on November 12

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 11:00

This is the intel you need to plan your Star Wars marathon.

Disney+ launches on November 12, and it will feature a galaxy of Star Wars movies and series. From the original Star Wars trilogy to The Mandalorian — the first live-action Star Wars series, available exclusively on Disney+ — you’ll find your favorite stories from a galaxy far, far away available for streaming. StarWars.com is thrilled to reveal the full list of everything Star Wars coming to Disney+ in the US on November 12:

Live-Action Series

  • The Mandalorian

Movies

  • Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Documentaries

  • Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy

Animated Series

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Seasons One to Five)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars — The Lost Missions
  • Star Wars Rebels (All Seasons)
  • Star Wars Resistance Season One
  • LEGO Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles — Clash of the Skywalkers
  • LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures (All Seasons)
  • LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars

During the first year of service launch in the US, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will become available. Coming to Disney+ in February 2020 is the long-awaited conclusion of the beloved animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with 12 new episodes helmed by series shepherd Dave Filoni. A Cassian Andor live-action series starring Diego Luna (reprising his Rogue One role) is in the works for Disney+, and just announced at D23 Expo 2019, an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor is planned for the service.

In addition, Disney+ will feature never-before-seen original programming from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, and more. In its first year, Disney+ will release more than 25 original series, 10 original films, and documentaries. Subscribers will also enjoy unprecedented access to Disney’s vast collection of films and television shows.

Visit disneyplus.com for more information and/or to sign up early to Disney+.

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

Who Is Mother Talzin?

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 09:55

Star Wars has more than its fair share of horror. From the slithering, mind-reading Mairans like Bor Gullet to the writhing rathtars to the Emperor himself, there are terrors lurking in just about every corner of the galaxy far, far away. But there is one formidable adversary to both Jedi and Sith alike who is not only terrifying, but unafraid to take on Palpatine directly: Mother Talzin.

A miasma of supernatural green energy snakes from her fingertips as she wields a powerful dark magick. Who is this witch of Dathomir? And why is she an important figure in the Clone Wars? In the spirit of Halloween, let’s meet Talzin and explore the role she played in a galaxy at war.

The Origins of Talzin

Mother Talzin’s appearance is based on Iain McCaig’s original concept art for the villain of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, a foe who would eventually be realized as Darth Maul. (Talzin and Maul’s lives have been intertwined since the very beginning, it would seem.) But Talzin herself didn’t appear until 2011 in an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars called “Nightsisters.”

In the Season Three episode, Asajj Ventress returned to her home planet of Dathomir after being grievously injured by Count Dooku. Appearing in the dark forest like a red-robed wraith to greet her, Talzin makes a striking entrance and gives Ventress a surprisingly warm welcome, deeming her a fellow Nightsister. As the leader of the Nightsisters, the warrior women of Dathomir, Mother Talzin trained these wielders of mysterious dark magicks. She soon swayed Ventress to join her on a quest for vengeance against Dooku — and her true, hidden goal, the destruction of his master, Darth Sidious.

A Quest for Vengeance

After Ventress failed to kill the Count, Talzin switched tactics and offered a new apprentice to repay a debt to Dooku, who didn’t suspect her involvement in the assassination attempt. Together with the Nightsisters, Talzin used magick to transform her own son, a Nightbrother named Savage Opress, in both body and mind. He became immensely powerful and brutally strong. Opress was bound to Talzin’s will, and she waited for the right moment to use him to strike Dooku down.

The epic confrontation finally came in The Clone Wars episode “Witches of the Mist.” When he was commanded to destroy Dooku, the conflicted Opress turned on both Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress and was overpowered by the Sith Lord. He fled to Dathomir where Talzin told Opress that he had a brother, releasing the hulking Savage on a new quest to bring home his kin to continue their quest for vengeance.

Her other son’s name? Maul.

The Return of Maul

Savage was eventually successful, using Talzin’s magick to lead him to the crazed and broken shell of Maul. Savage brought his lost brother back to Dathomir, delivering him to Talzin so the magical matriarch could cure him of his madness and replace his cybernetic spider appendages with bipedal legs, restoring the former Sith to his full power at the cost of some of her own life energy. Maul, son of Dathomir, was reborn.

Talzin held a special fondness for Maul over the rest of her children; her thirst for vengeance was fueled by the inciting act of Darth Sidious taking Maul away to train as his apprentice after he recognized the youth’s connection to the Force and potential as a Sith. Feeling abandoned by the Sith after his defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Maul shared in Talzin’s obsession for revenge, and together with Savage Opress they began to put their next plan into motion.

The Great Mother

Mother Talzin resurfaced when a cult gathered the living Force from Force sensitive members of the planet Bardotta’s ruling council, the Dagoyan Masters. When Jedi Master Mace Windu and Jar Jar Binks investigated in the two-part episode “The Disappeared,” they came face to face with the terrifying Nightsister, who was using the cult to amass more power and become stronger than any Sith or Jedi. Master Windu and Jar Jar disrupted her plans and she disappeared into the ether. But her story wasn’t over.

The 2014 limited comic book series Son of Dathomir revealed a glimpse at both the beginning and ultimately the end of Mother Talzin’s quest for power and vengeance. “Talzin is an older and fouler creature than you guess,” Dooku tells General Grievous in the comic. “Her power runs deep.” Darth Sidious once sought the secrets behind her magick, and the two were allies for a time until he took Maul from her.

Maul and Talzin played a strategic game with Darth Sidious, finally capturing Count Dooku and taking him to Dathomir for one last confrontation. Sidious followed to put an end to her once and for all. Talzin possessed Dooku, raising his lightsaber against his master, but proved to be no match for the Sith Lord. She released Dooku and materialized in the flesh to face Palpatine herself.

The two clashed in an explosion of power and crackling energy, the dark side of the Force versus supernatural dark magick. When Count Dooku added his own Force lightning into the fray, Talzin couldn’t stand against their combined might, and chose to save her beloved son before falling to General Grievous’s blades.

Mother Talzin was a terrifying wielder of dark magick, willing to do whatever it took to amass power, but also a mother and fierce protector of her people. The mother of all witches of Dathomir remains one of the most frightening figures in Star Wars, consumed by vengeance and ruthless in her pursuit of retribution.

Kelly Knox is a Seattle-based freelance writer who loves creating Star Wars crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Bucket’s List Extra: 7 Fun Facts from “A Quick Salvage Run” – Star Wars Resistance

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 07:55

The second season of Star Wars Resistance is here! In Season Two, pilot Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono and his friends aboard the Colossus search for the Resistance base, but the First Order is in close pursuit. Visit StarWars.com following each episode for “Bucket’s List Extra,” an expansion of our weekly fun-facts video series Bucket’s List, often featuring never-before-seen concept art and stills from the show. In this installment, we look at “A Quick Salvage Run.”

Bucket’s List Extra — “A Quick Salvage Run”

1. Dress for the job you have.

Hamato Xiono, Kaz’s dad, had a very specific costume design, according to series art director Amy Beth Christenson. “It needed to reflect who he was very quickly, since we only get a quick glimpse of him,” she tells StarWars.com. The cut of the costume is somewhat ceremonial and decorative, since he is a senator; the rank badge and epaulettes are a nod to his military ties, and the gold details to imply wealth and status.  

2. The aftermath.

“Since the Colossus arrives at D’Qar shortly after the battle seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, all of the debris is from ships seen in that sequence,” Christenson says. “The large piece of Star Destroyer that they go to is actually a small piece of the Dreadnought that exploded. There is a fire on the planet surface to imply that the Resistance base was destroyed after they escaped in the movie.”

3. Where it’s AT-AT.

The bridge to the pirate ship Galleon is located inside of the AT-AT head of the ship. The interior is based off of a heavily modified AT-AT cockpit, which is why Kragan has a periscope similar to General Veers’, as seen in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

4. Conflict averted.

At one point, the episode was to feature Kaz and the pirate salvagers fighting a squad of First Order sentry droids aboard the wreckage of the Dreadnought.

5. Coaxium cooperation.

The various coaxium containers were all based on design studies from Solo: A Star Wars Story, which was being developed at the same time as Star Wars Resistance.

6. A pirate’s life for Neeku.

Neeku’s innocent ideas about pirates come from him growing up and hearing heroic tales of pirates robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. An earlier version of the episode had him saying as much.

7. Saved in the edit.

An extra obstacle of the coaxium cartridge not fitting into the Colossus’ fuel chamber was cut to save time in the fast-paced third act. 

Watch the Bucket’s List video for “A Quick Salvage Run!”

Star Wars Resistance airs Sundays at 6 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD, Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel, and is available on the DisneyNow app.

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #BucketsListExtra

Disney Parks’ Halloween-Themed Droids Are Frighteningly Fun

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 10:00

It has a chilling, bone-white face. Its spooky appearance brings to mind a reanimated skeleton. And in the dark, it glows a ghostly green.

Is this a supernatural specter, returned from beyond to haunt the living?

Nope. It’s R5-B0019, the latest ghoulishly great astromech in Disney Parks’ Halloween-themed droid series of figures.

Over the last few years, Disney Parks have created an annual tradition that celebrates both Star Wars and our collective love of all things Halloween with this clever line. The series kicked off in 2016 with R2-B00, an astromech sporting an of-the-season black, orange, green, and purple color scheme. 

R2-B00

R3-B0017

R4-B0018

R5-B0019

“We received an amazing reaction to our first release, R2-B00,” says Cody Hampton, senior merchandiser, strategy and product development of Disney Parks. “Fans are really drawn to new, unique, and fun types of droids. I don’t think guests were expecting a Halloween-themed droid and it was something they had never seen before.” R2-B00’s success confirmed that the line would continue — and the figure’s “B00” name would carry on with each subsequent entry. (Why mess with puntastic perfection?)

The Halloween series has origins in the Droid Factory Experience within Disney Parks, where guests can build and name their own astromech droid or protocol droid, as well as Disney Parks’ line of Christmas and New Year’s holiday-themed droids, which launched in 2015 with R2-H15. Moving the line into Halloween was a no-brainer for Hampton. “We received such positive feedback from R2-H15 that we extended the series to a Halloween-themed droid the next year,” he says.

Each year, the Disney Parks merchandise team takes classic Halloween elements, throws them in a brainstorming cauldron, and creates their latest dreadful droid. This has led, so far, to four astromechs truly possessed with Halloween spirit: the original R2-B00, 2017’s ghostly R3-B0017 (“A nod to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes that feature green mist that swirls through the air on Dathomir,” Hampton says), 2018’s Halloween-treat-colored R4-B0018 (who comes, amazingly, with a candy-inspired accessory), and 2019’s R5-B0019, whose black-and-white paint applications draw from creepy skeleton costumes. All have original box art featuring bios that tell a story; for example, R3-B0017 serves Darth Maul, while R5-B0019 “awaits his fate in the dark and formidable bowels of a sandcrawler.” And if you want to play mad scientist, you can mix and match parts to create your own unnatural Frankendroids.

“I enjoy this line of astromechs because I really love to see the creativity of the Disney Parks merchandise team year after year,” Hampton says. “R5-B0019’s cool design and fun glow-in-the-dark features really makes this droid a great new addition. I am so excited to see these four droids continue to grow as a series and I can’t wait to see what droid is next.”

When it comes to astromechs, Star Wars fans will always love R2-D2, BB-8, and Chopper. But during Halloween season, these are the droids you’re looking for. 

Halloween-themed droids are available every September and October at Star Traders at Disneyland Park, Tatooine Traders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Galactic Outpost at Disney Springs, and other locations across Disney Parks.

Photos by Kyle Kao.

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things. Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Poll: What is Your Favorite Star Wars Monster Moment?

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 07:55

As we celebrate the menacing monsters that make Halloween season great, we’re revisiting some of the most frightening monster moments in the Star Wars saga. Between the Zillo Beast running amok on Coruscant and the frightful creatures terrorizing the Geonosian arena, there are a lot of spooky scenes to choose from. But we want to know: what is your favorite Star Wars monster moment? Make your pick in the poll below, or tell us what creepy creature we forgot in the comments!

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

‘This Is All A Dream Come True’: Fans Share Their Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Reactions

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 10:00

With the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Walt Disney World Resort, fans can do something new: they can step into the galaxy far, far away. Walking into Batuu is like taking a transport into a Star Wars story — only this time, you’re at the center of the narrative. You can step inside the Millennium Falcon‘s cockpit for a thrilling mission, swing by the local cantina for fizzy libations, and observe all the little details that make Black Spire Outpost feel like an aged village that’s been hosting visitors for a very long time.

StarWars.com caught up with some fans visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and asked them to share their impressions of Batuu. One common point of enthusiasm? All the details.

On Xiao’s first-ever visit to Disneyland Park, he came to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. “It’s awesome. Star Wars is one of my favorite movies and seeing, like, Kylo Ren in real life… This is all a dream come true,” he says. Xiao went on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and held the gunner position, where he helped eliminate the enemy while he kept his eyes on the action. He had fun on the attraction, but it’s the immersion of the land that gets him most excited.

We hear the sound of a TIE fighter overhead, and Xiao exclaims, “Stuff like that! You hear the TIE fighter go by and you’re lost in your reaction. You’re immersed in Star Wars. You can’t hear or see any of Disneyland. It’s just perfectly done.”

He encourages fans coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to put aside any distractions, at least for a little while. “Come in with an inquisitive mind. You’re here to see all the small stuff that the engineers took their time to put in.”

Dana, visiting from Fresno, California, has walked the streets of Black Spire Outpost three times in the past two weeks. Why she decided to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is pretty straightforward. “I love Star Wars. Anything Star Wars,” Dana explains. “But this particular second it was to try the blue and green milk.”

Dana and her friends have multiple cups of the frozen treats from the Milk Stand. They sample each flavor separately, and then try blending the two different flavors together with mixed results. 

Between sips of blue milk, Dana shares her initial impressions of the themed land. “The scale of everything was overwhelmingly amazing, especially the Millennium Falcon and all of the detail to it. It exceeded my expectations,” she says. She adds the whole Batuu experience is great, but that if you can snag the right-side pilot seat on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, you’ll enjoy “the best part of the ride.” 

Nan came to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for one primary reason: “I wanted to see the art direction and scene elements. I wanted to see what kind of job [the Walt Disney Imagineers] did with the sound design and scenic design,” he says as he looks around Black Spire Outpost’s marketplace.

The verdict? They nailed it. Nan thinks they did a really good job with the art direction and has nothing but praise for all the different textures around the marketplace and land. He’s impressed with the otherworldly environment they’ve created.

If you’re visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, he advises, “Pay attention to the little details of craftsmanship and the little Easter eggs that tie to all the movies.”

Amber stopped into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge from Roseville, California. Sporting Rey’s signature triple buns, Amber admits she was most excited about spending time in Disneyland Park overall. However, getting to also see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? Icing on the cake. “I was really excited when this opened,” she says. “I didn’t know what to expect, but anything that I was expecting…it’s just been exceeded. It’s so realistic and you feel very immersed.”

First Order stormtroopers hover near Kylo Ren’s TIE echelon nearby, interrogating passersby about the Resistance. Though Amber styled her hair like Rey, she’s wearing a dark side shirt. Besides wanting to return to Batuu at night to see it lit up, she says she’s most looking forward to one thing: “Meeting a stormtrooper, for sure.”

Brianna and Trevor made the trek from Utah to see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. There was no question of if they’d visit, it was only a matter of when. Trevor says, “I’ve always loved Star Wars; I remember growing up and watching all the movies. We’ve watched The Clone Wars, [Star Wars] Rebels, all the cartoons. So, I’ve been excited for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge since it opened!”

Surveying the area near Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, Brianna adds, “We’re really excited to see all the architecture and all the details that have come out of this place. It’s incredible, all the spires and the amount of work and all of the time.”

While Trevor was wowed by the spectacle and scale of the Millennium Falcon, they both pointed out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is all about the small touches. They spotted Easter eggs from the animated series inside Dok-Ondar’s. And when it comes to the village, “I really liked all of the smaller alcoves in the marketplace,” Brianna says. Especially the entry to Ronto Roasters. “It really reminds me of The Force Awakens when they come into Maz’s place. That sort of feel. It brings you into the movies.”

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort.

Amy Ratcliffe is passionate about Star Wars and coffee. She always has her nose stuck in a book. She’s the author of Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy and a co-host of the podcast Lattes with Leia. Nerd out with her on Twitter at @amy_geek.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

The Clone Wars Rewatch: The Chase is On in the “Wookiee Hunt”

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 05:55

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

66: “Wookiee Hunt” (Season Three, Episode 22)

“A great student is what the teacher hopes to be.”

Synopsis:

As Ahsoka and her youngling allies struggle to evade the Trandoshan hunters, their efforts receive an unexpected boost when a new captive — Chewbacca the Wookiee — arrives. Chewie scrounges parts to assemble a communicator to send out a distress signal and later help arrives from Wookiee warriors led by General Tarfful.

Analysis:

Last week, Ahsoka brought hope to the hopeless younglings surviving in hiding on the Trandoshan moon of Wasskah. But the loss of their leader, killed by a hunter, deals an emotional blow to those left behind.

Through her Jedi training, and later the help of a certain Wookiee, Ahsoka is able to rally the remaining younglings to fight back, staging an offensive on the beach, an organized and bold strategy to free themselves from the dim hunters.

“If it’s only a matter of time ’til we die, I say we go down with a fight!” Ahsoka says, a rallying cry and an inspiration.

The ever-resourceful Chewbacca is able to get a message to his nearby homeworld by cobbling together a transmitter from the debris at the crash site. That ultimately results in the rescue party of Wookiee warriors they need for the hunters to become the hunted.

Ahsoka and Chewbacca are survivors. Despite bleak circumstances, they summon the strength to fight back and find a way off the moon. But even after she’s been made to suffer, Ahsoka never forgets who she is. She refuses to let Garnac place the blame on her for his son’s death, and when he reaches for his weapon, she uses the Force in self-defense, not for attack.

Because of her training, Ahoska became a leader in an impossible situation, a savior among survivors, and a self-rescuing Padawan.

Intel:

  • Many of the background Trandoshans are named for real and fictional reptiles, with inspiration from rattlesnakes to The Creature from Black Lagoon, but at least one pays homage to former Lucasfilm employee Mary Franklin: Ramy.

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

Next up: Come back next Thursday when the battle reaches the depths of Mon Cala in “Water War.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and 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. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #CloneWarsRewatch

The Legacy of Admiral Ackbar in Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Allegiance #2 – Exclusive

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 14:16

Times have changed. When Admiral Ackbar led freedom fighters for the Rebel Alliance, his homeworld was a major hub for the cause.

In Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #2, by writer Ethan Sacks and artist Luke Ross, Leia Organa arrives on Mon Cala with some of the Resistance’s finest heroes — Rey, Chewbacca, and Rose Tico — to ask for help from Ackbar’s son, Aftab. But the visitors are met by locals with weapons drawn. Check out StarWars.com’s exclusive preview for the issue, available October 16, below!

Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #2

For this and more news from The Star Wars Show, watch this week’s full episode below!

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

General Anakin Skywalker Comes to Galaxy of Heroes – Exclusive

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 14:13

StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that General Anakin Skywalker is officially coming to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, the hit mobile strategy game. Anakin can be unlocked October 11-13 by completing the new Epic Confrontation, Clash On Kamino. The event will first take you to a conflict raging in space, where you’ll battle General Grievous as he attempts to stop Skywalker from saving his friends on Kamino. Then, you’ll head down to the planet’s surface for a massive ground battle, defending Tipoca City from Asajj Ventress and the Separatist invasion with the help of General Kenobi. Get a first look at Anakin and Clash On Kamino in the Galaxy of Heroes screenshots below!

According to EA, Skywalker will be the most powerful character in the game to date — so get ready for the Chosen One to join your squad!

See a clip of Anakin in this week’s episode of The Star Wars Show below!

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is available for Android and iOS devices.

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #StarWarsGames

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