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Our Star Wars Stories: Which Star Wars Character Is Most You?

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:17

In StarWars.com’s new digital series Our Star Wars Stories, Jordan Hembrough travels the country talking to fans about the many ways that Star Wars has impacted their lives. In addition to the series, we’ve asked these fans some essential Star Wars questions. This week, Robin answers a big one: Which Star Wars character is most you? Watch her response below!

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Which #StarWars character do you relate to the most? For Robin, it's a certain Senator, Princess, & General we're all very fond of. See Robin's Star Wars Story at the link in our profile. #OurStarWarsStories

A post shared by Star Wars (@starwars) on Oct 12, 2018 at 1:03pm PDT

But that’s not all — we also posed this question to three Lucasfilm employees. Check out their answers, and let us know your pick in the comments!

“While my favorite character is Kylo Ren, the character I relate to the most is Poe Dameron. Poe is so calm, even in the most intense situations, which in the world of events is something I strive to be, as well. He’s confident in his abilities and wants to do his best 100 percent of the time. Poe has this incredible swagger and charisma that I want to see more of in myself, and he has such amazing style! Plus, he’s also best friends with BB-8, like me.” – Daniel Kennedy (Events Coordinator, Lucasfilm)

“As much as I love the characters from the classic saga, I have come to realize that I identify most with one of the newer characters: Jyn Erso from Rogue One. She is quick-witted, strong-willed, and resourceful, and though I can probably say that about many of the heroes in the Star Wars universe, Jyn has an edginess to her that I can relate to.” – Celina Chu (Softlines Design Manager, Star Wars Product Development)

“Since first meeting her in Marvel’s Darth Vader series, Doctor Aphra has really been one of the Star Wars characters I can most identify with. I may not be a rogue archaeologist, but like her, I am certainly someone passionate about my work. But what I think I most identify with is how no matter the mess she finds herself in, she always finds a way to keep moving forward and persevere. I’d like to think I do that myself. Though I must say, thankfully, the messes in life I find myself in are much more mundane than hers!” – Michael Dailey (Associate Producer, Lucasfilm Games Team)

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Robin’s episode of Our Star Wars Stories.

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

Mud Hole? Slimy? A Star Wars Halloween Mood Table This Is!

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 13:00

Dagobah might be a strange place to find a Jedi Master — according to Luke Skywalker, anyway — but it’s the perfect inspiration for Star Wars Halloween decorations. Give trick-or-treaters and guests the creeps just like Luke with this mood table inspired by Yoda’s favorite slimy mud hole.

You might be wondering — What exactly is a Halloween mood table, anyway? Well, it’s a collection of stuff gathered in one place to celebrate the creepiest of holidays, of course! You can set a scene, make a big pile of spooky items — whatever works for you! In this case, we’re going to the Dagobah system.

So put your Star Wars toy collection to use, pick up some Halloween items from a galaxy far, far away, and even craft a pumpkin to bring Dagobah to life in your house.

What You’ll Need

  • Green “creepy fabric”
  • Black tablecloth (optional)
  • Two flat moss mats
  • Halloween floral “trees” or sticks
  • Floral foam bricks
  • Preserved Spanish moss
  • White spider web
  • Small toy snakes, bugs, and bats
  • White glow sticks
  • Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
  • Star Wars Science Xcavations Creature Crates
  • Star Wars toys: Yoda, R2-D2, an X-wing, anything found on Dagobah!
  • Star Wars Halloween candy and accessories, like a Darth Vader helmet candy bowl

Yoda’s House

  • Small craft pumpkin
  • Tan, dark brown, and dark green acrylic paint
  • Sponge paint brush
  • Paper towel
  • Brown air-dry clay
  • Pumpkin knife
  • Flameless battery-powered candle

Get Started!

Step 1: Place the black tablecloth on the table if you wish to keep the moss and dirt off it, and then place the green creepy fabric on top. Set the two (or more) moss mats in the center of the table.

Step 2: Use the sponge paint brush to completely cover the craft pumpkin in tan paint. (It should have a slightly textured look.) Let dry completely, then paint spots of the pumpkin with dark brown paint, and wipe away with the paper towel. Finally, gently paint the dark green moss color on the pumpkin for more texture and age. Let dry.

Step 3: Carve a medium circle in the front of the pumpkin for the door, and a very small circle on the top for a window.

Step 4: Twist the brown air-dry modeling clay into vines. Lay them across Yoda’s house, and let dry.

Step 5: While the house is drying, gently stretch out and place the white spider webbing across the moss mats to mimic Dagobah’s fog.

Step 6: Next, place the foam bricks in the back of the table. Poke the sticks or Halloween floral decorations into the bricks to make the menacing trees of Dagobah, and then cover the bricks with the preserved moss and/or Spanish moss. If you have small bat toys, you can hang them from the branches, along with more moss.

Step 7: Place Yoda’s house on one end of the display and decorate it with moss. Place the battery-powered candle inside, and a Yoda toy next to it outside.

Step 8: On the other end of the display, place a Star Wars themed candy bowl like Darth Vader’s helmet, and fill it with candy.

Step 9: In the center of the table, place your largest Star Wars decorations, like Are You Scared Darth Vader? and the X-wing toy or model. If you have an X-wing, cover it with pieces of moss to make it look like Yoda just lifted it out of the swamp.

Step 10: Add more plastic bugs and creepy-crawlies, the R2-D2 toy, and the skulls from the Star Wars Science Creature Crates. You can also slide white glow sticks underneath the fog for even more spookiness after the sun goes down. Your table is complete!

After putting together this Halloween craft, you’ll find Dagobah as cozy as Yoda does. Happy Halloween!

Special thanks to Matt at DinosaurDracula.com for the inspiration.

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

Star Wars Echoes: The Legacy of Wedge Antilles and Poe Dameron

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 12:00

Star Wars Echoes examines the lives of two characters — seemingly very different on the surface — and how they’re often more similar than we might think.

Who do we speak about first? The elder, who survived the destruction of two Death Stars. Or his successor, a young hotshot who destroyed a Starkiller of his own. Both incredible flyers, each commanding rebels more than willing to follow their lead. He started as Red Two, but Wedge Antilles grew to be one of the Rebellion’s most capable pilots, trainers, and leaders all in one flight suit. At the end of the New Republic’s fragile, hard-won peace, Black Leader Poe Dameron found himself still navigating relationships with rebels his predecessor worked alongside almost thirty years before. Equally charismatic, neither willing to back down from a dogfight, strap in as we unfold our S-foils and explore the parallel journeys of rock-solid Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles and Resistance hero Poe Dameron.

Each commanded a squadron of X-wing pilots against world-killing satellites. And Nien Nunb was there!

When it comes to beating Death Stars, Wedge Antilles is a flight away from a hat trick. First, the eager Corellian flyboy took on the original Imperial superweapon as Red Two, one of the two members of Red Squadron to survive — the other being Luke Skywalker, who fired the final, one-in-a-million shot. During the Battle of Endor, Wedge accompanied the Millennium Falcon and its crew of Lando Calrissian and Sullustan chatterbox Nien Nunb, into the heart of the second Death Star to destroy it from within. Nunb, whose easy demeanor and quick reflexes contributed to his longevity, was there again when Poe Dameron led a fleet of X-wing starfighters on an assault against the First Order’s Starkiller Base, disabling Supreme Leader Snoke’s ill-fated planet destroyer.

Wedge and Poe both recruited former Imperial soldiers into their respective rebellions.

Eighteen months after the Battle of Yavin, Antilles helped deliver resources and supplies to the planet of Oulanne, where his path crossed that of Thane Kyrell. A native of Jelucan, Kyrell had been one of Coruscant’s Royal Imperial Academy’s brightest young pilots until the destruction of Alderaan and the death of his friends engendered a resentment against the Empire that would blossom into full-blown rebellion. Following a brief stint aboard a Wookiee cargo transport, Kyrell was swayed to join the rebel cause by a particularly persuasive Wedge Antilles. Much later, despite usually adopting the stance of brash pilot or risky strategic commander, for one unexpected moment, Poe unknowingly found himself cast in the role of recruiter. Desperate to leave the First Order, former stormtrooper FN-2187 rescued Poe from Kylo Ren’s clutches. The brief interaction eventually led the newly-named Finn down a path that would make him one of the Resistance’s fiercest allies.

And they both knew the Wexley clan.

On a mission for the New Republic following the Battle of Endor, Antilles’ fake identity was discovered and he was arrested by Admiral Rae Sloane. Tortured by the former advisor to the Emperor, Yupe Tashu, Wedge managed to break free and send a call to war before falling into Sloane’s hands once more. It would take a newly-forming team of heroes to save Wedge, including the Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari, Republic pilot Norra Wexley who’d flown with Antilles at Endor, and her son Temmin…who would one day be known as “Snap” when he flew with Poe as part of Black Squadron.

Two planets — one snowy, one covered in salt — played host to Poe and Wedge’s desperate, ultimately futile attack runs against All Terrain Armored Transports.

AT-ATs! The sight of the monstrous walkers, thundering across the tundra, is enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone in their line of fire. On Hoth, during the Empire’s assault on Echo Base, Wedge served alongside Luke Skywalker yet again as Rogue Squadron dove, dodged and dared harpoon as many walkers as possible, in hopes of bringing them crashing down into the snowy terrain. Antilles, along with his gunner, Janson, was the first to bring down a walker on Hoth, using a tow cable to tangle its legs and then fire on its exposed neck once the AT-AT fell to the ground. Decades later on Crait, Poe found himself racing toward a team of vastly upgraded walkers — the AT-M6, lighter and stronger versions that recharge more quickly — alongside a ragtag team of Resistance fighters on the flight of their lives. Tearing across a field of salt in long-forgotten, rather shaky V-4X-D ski speeders, Dameron’s squad showed incredible grit and determination against an enemy force that both outweighed and outnumbered their tiny band of heroes. In the end, their brave advance resulted in heavy losses. But they could thank the same man for his brilliant intervention tactics…

Both Wedge and Poe would experience last-second saves thanks to Luke Skywalker.

All seemed lost on Crait. Poe had led the last of the Resistance against the might of the First Order…only to be scattered and pushed back inside their barely-protected stronghold. One way out, no retreat. Then a man in a robe — a legend from the past on whom they couldn’t have expected to rely — appeared on the field and bought them enough time to escape. That final sacrifice and bravery returned the spark of hope into the heart of the Resistance…and into Dameron himself, who could finally see what it meant to be a hero and leader. Decades earlier, Wedge Antilles entered the trench circumnavigating the Death Star alongside Biggs Darklighter and Luke Skywalker, hoping this run at the station’s thermal exhaust port would result in victory. Unfortunately, a targeted strike by Darth Vader killed Biggs and sent Wedge’s damaged X-wing into retreat. But Skywalker managed to complete the shot and destroy the Death Star.

Two men, each present at a legend’s first and last heroic act. And though both endured victories and defeats over the years, they continued fighting to free the galaxy and resist the forces of tyranny. Poe and Wedge were more than just pilots or squadron commanders. They were natural leaders and beacons of hope.

This is the final installment of Star Wars Echoes. It’s our hope that you’ve enjoyed it. Thanks for joining us!

Neil Kleid is a writer and designer who truly belongs among the clouds. He digs Star Wars, comix, mobile design, BBQ, and baseball. Talk to him about design and Lobot on Twitter at @neilkleid.

Quiz: Which Star Wars Resistance Character Are You?

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:00

Calling all wannabe racers, Resistance fighters, and toughened mechanics. This week, we’re touching down on the Colossus with a quiz that will determine if you have what it takes to join the colorful characters who make the platform their home. Find out which character is most like you, then let us know in the comments below! Strap in, and hold on tight because…Here. We. Go.

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

 

Save on Classic Star Wars Games at GOG.com

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 08:00

Here are some deals that would make any Star Wars scoundrel jealous.

The entire library of classic Star Wars games on GOG.com — as well as some other Lucasfilm-produced gems of yesteryear — is on sale. Whether you missed them the first time around, or if you just want to revisit a personal favorite, now’s your chance to save on critically-acclaimed hits like Star Wars Episode I: Racer (15% off); Star Wars: Empire at War – Gold Pack (60% off), Star Wars Battlefront II (Classic, 2005; 60% off), and many, many more. (Plus, if you purchase five games or more, you’ll get an additional discount of up to 75% off.) The sale will run until October 19. Check out the full list below and head over to GOG.com to add some to your collection!

Star Wars: Empire at War – Gold Pack

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Star Wars Battlefront II (Classic, 2005)

Plus these other amazing titles:

  • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Star Wars : The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Jedi Academy
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault I  
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault II
  • Star Wars: Rebellion
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
  • Star Wars: Starfighter
  • Star Wars: TIE Fighter Special Edition
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Special Edition
  • Star Wars : X-Wing vs TIE Fighter – Balance of Power Campaigns
  • Afterlife
  • Armed and Dangerous
  • The Curse of Monkey Island
  • The Dig
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
  • Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
  • LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
  • LOOM
  • Maniac Mansion
  • Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders

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

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 10:00

In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.

In 2010’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, actor Sam Witwer reprises his Legends role as Darth Vader’s mighty apprentice, Starkiller, the son of a Jedi slain during the Dark Times. After helping to spark the Rebellion alongside heroes like Bail (Jimmy Smits) and Leia Organa (Catherine Taber) in the original Unleashed, Starkiller fell in battle against the Sith Lords overseeing the Death Star’s construction. So when the martyred hero awakens before Vader in the sequel, he’s imprisoned in a facility on the ocean world of Kamino, where the clone army of the Republic was born.

“You have served your purpose well, my apprentice,” Vader (Matt Sloan) tells him in the opening cinematic. “But I have no further use for you.” The Dark Lord orders his stormtroopers to execute the would-be Jedi. This, it seems, is a glimpse into one possible future.

After a traditional opening crawl, we find the clone of Starkiller being kept in isolation. Vader’s been telling him about the original Starkiller’s rebel legacy, and mentions that the Jedi general who aided him in the previous game, Rahm Kota (Cully Fredricksen), is being held prisoner on the planet Cato Neimoidia. The apprentice’s first task, Vader says, will be to eliminate Kota. Still, the clone’s been having visions through the Force — “memories of a dead man,” Vader insists. And Starkiller’s doppelgänger can’t bring himself to follow the order to strike down a training droid made to resemble Juno Eclipse (Nathalie Cox), the pilot his clone template fell in love with not so long ago.

Remembering Vader’s betrayal of the original host, this new Starkiller makes the fateful decision to escape Kamino. He unleashes a devastating burst of lightning from his fingertips, staggering Vader, and dives out the window, plummeting toward the rain-slicked walkways below.

Starkiller’s new journey takes him to worlds evoking the prequel trilogy and classic films alike, showing the Neimoidian race under Imperial rule. Players also encounter the fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett (Dee Bradley Baker) and a world-weary Yoda in exile (Tom Kane), who offers a few words of wisdom without wanting to get involved in another Sith war. It’s a more intimate, personal story than the first Unleashed, but brought us closer to feeling like we were in Star Wars movie. If Battlefront II (2017) is the perfect way to experience the galaxy far, far away through the eyes of a soldier, then The Force Unleashed II is the ultimate Legends-era Jedi action game.

One of the major highlights is a truly jaw-dropping gladiatorial sequence featuring a beast called the Gorog; suffice it to say it’s bigger than your average video-game boss. And the final confrontation against Vader is reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back in its operatic spectacle, as well as utterly unique for reasons I wouldn’t want to spoil for anyone. However, it’s worth mentioning that this, like the first game, includes an alternate dark-side ending.

Starkiller wields two lightsabers this time around, and the more streamlined combat and upgrade systems allow for swordplay animations straight out of the concept art (again led by Lucasfilm Animation’s Amy Beth Christenson). The Force Unleashed II is a triumphant example of what the universe has to offer in the realm of blockbuster gaming. It’s been eight years since the game launched on consoles and PC. Yet the moment you hear Mark Griskey’s thundering score, and the snap-hiss of Starkiller’s twin blades, it feels like only yesterday.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is available on Xbox OneSteamGOG.com, and the Humble Store.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Syfy Wire, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

The Clone Wars Rewatch: A “Jedi Crash” and the Master Ahsoka Fears to Lose

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 08:00

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.

17: “Jedi Crash” (Season One, Episode 13)

“Greed and fear of loss are the roots that lead to the tree of evil.”

Synopsis:

When Anakin and Ahsoka try to help a besieged Jedi General Aayla Secura, Anakin is gravely injured. A crash landing on the uncharted grass-covered planet of Maridun forces the survivors to plead with the colonists there for medical aid.

Analysis:

It’s one of Jedi Master Yoda’s most enduring lessons put into action — a Jedi must learn to let go of everything they fear to lose. For Ahsoka, that means going against her feelings — dominated by worry and doubt — and leaving her badly injured master behind. It’s the best chance she and the rest of the crew have of not only surviving themselves, but finding a way off the grassy rock where they’ve crash landed and finding some medical attention for their wounded.

Leaving Anakin, with Captain Rex standing vigilant guard, is what’s best for the group. But that doesn’t make Ahsoka’s choice an easy one. And her emotional response to the situation is a confusing one for the young Padawan. “It is forbidden for Jedi to form attachments, yet we are supposed to be compassionate,” she says.

Care for the masses, but not for any individual person. An attachment to a single other soul over all others can cloud your judgement. Or as Master Aayla puts it, “Don’t lose 1,000 lives just to save one.” Afterall, Anakin was hurt in the course of saving Ahsoka, Aayla, and the others by sacrificing himself, saving many lives and risking just one.

Ahsoka lets go for the greater good, walks away from her friend and teacher when her instincts tell her to stay by his side.  The small band of explorers encounter savage beasts on their journey, but there is no time for their sorrows. When some of their clone troopers are lost, they must keep moving and save their mourning for another day.

And eventually their sacrifice is rewarded, at least in part. The Lurmen, a peaceful people, are reticent to help. But their brave leader, Tee Watt Kaa, is also compassionate to the Jedi’s plea. And by sending his son the healer, Ahsoka has at least completed her mission to help Anakin recover.

But violence breeds violence, and the Lurmens initial fear of the visitors is not unfounded.

Intel:

  • Both the Expanded Universe and a race left over from Revenge of the Sith influenced the story in this episode.
  • If you recognize the sound of Anakin’s ventilator, it’s because it’s the same effect that is emitted by Darth Vader’s breathing mask.

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

Next up: Come back Tuesday when Tee Watt Kaa and the other peaceful Lurmen must choose a side in “Defenders of Peace.”

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.

Jedi Knight Revan Joins Galaxy of Heroes

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 15:17

Next week, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes players embark on an ancient journey with a new type of event featuring a Jedi warrior of legend.

In continued celebration of the 15th anniversary of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the event allows you to unlock that enigmatic masked hero of the Jedi Civil War — Jedi Knight Revan!

The “Legend of the Old Republic” event begins October 18 with a series of six events loosely based on the Knights of the Old Republic storyline, plunging players deep into familiar locales like the sewers of Taris and the ancient Sith tomb on Korriban.

For more details, click here, and check out today’s episode of The Star Wars Show for a glimpse at the event, a firsthand look at the Our Star Wars Stories panel at New York Comic Con last weekend, and more porgs than you can stack inside a trench coat when we dive into ILMxLaAB’s new Star Wars: Project Porg and chat with Chewie and the Porgs author Kevin Shinick.

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

Train the Galaxy’s Cutest Creatures in ILMxLAB’s Star Wars: Project Porg

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 12:30

The porgs are coming — from the island of Ahch-To to your living room.

Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB has hatched a new project, fully unveiled today at Magic Leap’s L.E.A.P. Conference: Star Wars: Project Porg, a mixed-reality immersive experiment in which you’ll need to gain the trust and affection of your porgs. How? You’ll feed them treats, play with them, and you’ll also teach them how to maneuver real-world environments with care instructions from C-3PO himself.

Project Porg will arrive this December as a free digital download for the Magic Leap One. Anthony Daniels, who played C-3PO in all his appearances in Star Wars films and animation, returns to voice the iconic droid; porgs are playing themselves, though Star Wars animation supervisor Paul Kavanagh advised on bringing them to life for the experience.

Prepare yourself for porgs, and stay tuned to StarWars.com and ILMxLAB.com for more on Project Porg.

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

7 Star Wars Characters Who Changed Galactic History by Switching Sides

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 08:00

If Star Wars has taught us anything, it’s that there is an ambiguity to good and evil and the lines between what is right and wrong are often muddied. Each side in a conflict has their own idea of a moral code and what is considered ethical. But our ideas, and sometimes our allegiance, can shift as we grow and learn more.

Star Wars is about hope for the future and that future is often shaped by people who have the courage to choose a different path and fight for what they believe in. In fact, several important characters who were vital to critical victories started out working for the opposing side.

Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker’s transition from Jedi Knight to Darth Vader was marked by pain, manipulation, and the failures of the Jedi Order. His deception was the final key to turning the Galactic Republic into the Empire and eliminating the majority of the Jedi — making it easier for Darth Sidious to push his false narrative to the senate and the people and reign supreme. Anakin’s drastic change was the result of smaller moments that led him to the dark side and defined his character: being ripped away from his mother, forbidden to love Padmé and manipulated by Darth Sidious to believe that the Jedi were holding him back and hiding secrets from him. Darth Vader became one of the most feared people in the galaxy and spearheaded the Emperor’s plans with an iron fist.

Vader was able to redeem himself and turn from the dark side in the end. With his son, Luke, reminding him of compassion and the ways of the Jedi, he destroyed Darth Sidious and helped the Rebellion gain a monumental victory to turn the tide of the war. Because of Anakin’s final sacrifice, he was able to fulfill a long-held prophecy.

Bodhi Rook

If it was not for Bodhi Rook leaving the Empire and carrying Galen Erso’s message, the Rebellion would not have even known of the Death Star until it was too late. Bodhi was able to deliver the message to Saw Gerrera and, when he joined the rag-tag team of Rogue One, opened up communications to the Rebel Alliance from Scarif’s surface so the Death Star plans could be transmitted.

When Bodhi served as an Imperial cargo pilot, Galen Erso was able to convince him that the Empire he was serving was corrupt. He later told Jyn that her father said he could get right by himself if he was brave enough and listened to what was in his heart, and he made a difference in the future of the Rebel Alliance.

Ahsoka Tano

While both Ahsoka and Anakin left the Jedi Order, Ahsoka believed the Order had failed her after she was falsely framed for murder. After nearly everyone turned against her only to invite her back, she abandoned the role of Jedi to find her own path.

By walking away, she was able to survive the events of Order 66 and go undercover to help the fledgling Rebel Alliance. Ahsoka became a vital figure in the Rebellion and helped Bail Organa open communications between various rebel factions throughout the galaxy. Later, she was in a position to help the Ghost crew and search for Ezra after he disappeared with Thrawn. While Ahsoka lost her faith in the Jedi Order, she still always believed in the Force and how it balanced the galaxy.

Finn

Seeing the First Order’s brutality up close on Jakku was enough for Finn to realize that he didn’t want to serve them. While he did not immediately join the Resistance, his defection led him to Poe and Rey — two important relationships for the lone Imperial deserter. In the First Order, Finn was little more than a number and completely replaceable. Taken from his family at a young age, he never knew companionship or compassion. Poe was the first one to give him an actual name and make him feel valued as a person. Rey helped save his life on Starkiller Base. And when he chose his path, gave himself over to the Resistance and prepared to sacrifice himself for their safety, Rose was there to save him and remind him that he wasn’t fighting against hate, he was trying to save what he loved.

Iden Versio

Much like Finn, seeing the Empire’s brutality during Operation: Cinder spurred Iden to leave the Empire and help the Rebellion. But her desire to save innocent people on Vardos went against Admiral Versio’s orders to leave them behind and her conviction to do the right thing meant she had to leave her father, the only family she had ever known.

But after Iden joined the Rebel Alliance, she created her own Inferno Squad that helped people rather than harmed them. Iden became a critical member of the Alliance and fought off the last remnants of the old Empire. After the Battle of Jakku, Iden stayed on as a Resistance leader and fought against the First Order. She passed on her morals to Zay, her daughter, and taught her how to be a good person and a strong fighter. And Iden’s final mission for the Resistance gave them a chance to discover the First Order’s Dreadnought and evacuate D’Qar.

Ben Solo

Ben’s transformation into Kylo Ren started through manipulation by Supreme Leader Snoke but, ultimately, was a decision he made willingly. As Kylo Ren, Ben was able to hide behind a mask and separate himself from his family, tormenting the galaxy and doing Snoke’s bidding. He drew his inspiration from Darth Vader and left the new Jedi in order to fulfill Vader’s destiny of eradicating the Jedi. And after he killed his own father, Ben fully embraced his new identity.

Asajj Ventress

Born into the Nightsister clan and raised as a slave, Asajj led a life filled with anger and hate, abandonment and loss. Rather than confront her emotions, she embraced her rage and let it consume her until she fell to the dark side — where she served as Count Dooku’s apprentice.

After fleeing from the Separatists and Count Dooku, Asajj was able to save Obi-Wan Kenobi — her long-time enemy — from Darth Maul and Savage Opress. By letting go of her hatred, Ventress was able to fall in love with Quinlan Vos and help Ahsoka Tano when she was trying to prove her innocence to the Jedi Council. Much like Ahsoka, Asajj did not convert from Sith to Jedi, but rather made a choice to love rather than hate and firmly remained on her own path.

These characters remind us that sometimes our convictions will clash with our duty, like Iden Versio and Ahsoka Tano, and we must decide what path to follow. There is always a choice. And even if you choose the wrong path, like Darth Vader and Asajj Ventress, there is always hope of redemption.

Kristen Bates is flying by the seat of her pants and doing the best she can. Slow walker. Spends too much time on the internet. Season ticket holder for the Boonta Eve Classic. Aspiring smuggler. Find her on the interwebs @kristenkbates.

Back to Alderaan Academy

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 19:12
If Leia hadn't been a senator busy saving the galaxy, she would have rocked this chic varsity jacket at her high school.

This Is No Cave – It’s a DIY Space Slug Pumpkin

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:00

Star Wars certainly has its moments with creepy creatures, but perhaps none are as startling as the space slug that tried to gobble up our beloved heroes in The Empire Strikes Back. If that scene stands out as one of your favorites, commemorate it with an eye-catching pumpkin craft you can put on the porch on Halloween year after year. (Mynocks not included.)

What You’ll Need

Exogorth (Space Slug)

  • Small craft pumpkin
  • Tan, grey, and gold acrylic paint
  • White air-dry modeling clay
  • Pumpkin carving knife
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil
  • Millennium Falcon Micro Machine or small toy
  • Clear plastic toothpick

Asteroid

  • Large/tall craft pumpkin
  • Stone texture spray paint
  • Black spray paint
  • Small rocks or stones, like gravel
  • Pumpkin carving knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil

Get Started!

Step 1: Begin by spray-painting the large craft pumpkin with the stone texture spray paint. Set it aside to dry.

Step 2: Next, use the tan acrylic paint to completely cover the small craft pumpkin. Let dry. Lightly dry-brush or use a sponge brush to add the grey and gold paint to the small pumpkin to add some dirt and texture to the exogorth. Let dry completely.

Step 3: While the paint is drying, use the white modeling clay to make the two “antenna” shapes that go on either side of the pumpkin. Let the clay air-dry, possibly overnight, then paint the two antenna the same tan, gold, and grey colors as the pumpkin. Let dry, and hot glue the antenna to either side of the pumpkin.

Step 4: Use a pencil to lightly draw the wide-open mouth of the space slug. (It should be wide enough to look like it’s trying to chomp on the Millennium Falcon.) Use the pumpkin carving knife to cut out the mouth.

Step 5: Make a set of rounded but pointy teeth with the white modeling clay, enough to fill the mouth that you just carved. Let the modeling clay dry completely. Mix a little bit of the grey paint with water, and lightly wash the clay so that the teeth look worn and weathered. Let dry.

Step 6: Hot glue the teeth inside the exogorth’s mouth, and the space slug is complete.

Step 7: Hold the space slug pumpkin against the middle of the asteroid and draw around it lightly with the pencil. Cut a hole in the middle of the large pumpkin. (It’s better to start small and work your way bigger as needed, since you’ll want the space slug to fit snugly in the hole.)

Step 8: Spray paint the inside of the large pumpkin black and let completely dry.

Step 9: Hot glue the gravel and small rocks around the hole you just cut. Spray paint the rocks the same stone texture color, and let all paint dry.

Step 10: While the paint is drying, hot glue the bottom of the Millennium Falcon Micro Machine or toy to the blunt end of the clear plastic toothpick. Once cool, gently push the pointed end into the space slug pumpkin just below the mouth.

Step 11: Finally, gently push the small space slug pumpkin into the hole you cut in the asteroid pumpkin. It should fit snugly.

One of your favorite scenes from The Empire Strikes Back is now complete! While this pumpkin doesn’t light up like a traditional jack-o’-lantern, you can make the exogorth’s mouth wide enough to put a battery-powered candle in if you prefer. Just remember to use flameless candles only!

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox, and take a look at her blog the st{art} button for more Star Wars art projects and craft ideas.

The Clone Wars Rewatch: Honor Among Jedi and “The Gungan General”

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 08:00

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.

16: “The Gungan General” (Season One, Episode 12)

“Fail with honor rather than succeed by fraud.”

Synopsis:

Anakin and Obi-Wan have been duped and are being held for ransom along with Count Dooku by the pirate chief Hondo Ohnaka. Meanwhile, the Republic sends the ransom via a special envoy, including Representative Jar Jar Binks.

Analysis:

It would appear there is no honor among pirates — We’re looking at you, Turk Falso. But among Force wielders? It’s a mixed bag.

Obi-Wan has plenty of reasons to strike down Hondo and fight his gang. He’s been duped, drugged, and imprisoned, shackled to his apprentice Anakin and the dreaded Count Dooku. But when he and Anakin finally get the upper hand, he readily walks away. “We have no quarrel with you and we seek no revenge,” he says simply, allowing Hondo to not only live but remain free.

His stance is perfectly in line with the Jedi teachings, but it takes Anakin by surprise as he holds Hondo within inches of his lightsaber blade. Whether he intends to kill him or take him prisoner is up for debate. At this stage, probably the latter.

Even given the chance to see Dooku potentially fall to his death, through no fault of their own, Obi-Wan grabs Dooku by the hands, jeopardizing his and Anakin’s chances of escaping in the process.  It’s unclear if it’s his desire to do what’s right or a more tactical strategy at play. After all, this whole mission did start off with the Jedi’s own foiled plot to capture Dooku. Obi-Wan is honorable, but the Jedi are not above kidnapping the enemy in this time of war.

Dooku, meanwhile, holds up his reputation as a disgrace to the Jedi teachings. While he’s shackled to Anakin and Obi-Wan, he reminds them that he would kill them where they stand if it didn’t mean he’d be weighed down by dragging their bodies around. And when he does get free, any pirate in his path gets executed wantonly as he makes his escape.

Anakin, for his part, is almost always firmly on the line between the Jedi teachings and going off the deep end, Dooku style. His emotions roiling, were he in his master’s place, Anakin may very well have allowed Dooku to plummet to his death and given the order to execute Hondo (if he thought he could handle the rest of the pirates left standing.)

He’s no Jedi, but we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the other honorable one in this episode: Representative Binks. Jar Jar once again proves he has a good heart, taking the time to honor the fallen senator who saved his life moments before their ship crashed, and leading the survivors to rescue his friends.

Intel:

  • An Easter egg in this episode pays homage to Indiana Jones, which also famously gave a nod to the galaxy far, far away on film. In this case, the top of Senator Kharrus’ staff has a striking resemblance to the head of the Staff of Ra from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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

Next up: Come back Thursday when Ahsoka learns an important lesson about personal attachments in “Jedi Crash.”

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.

NYCC 2018: 6 Things We Learned at the Star Wars Hasbro Panel

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:41

A Hasbro panel at an event like New York Comic Con can mean only one thing: invasion. Of our action figure shelves, that is. At Sunday’s panel, Hasbro’s Patrick Schneider, senior brand manager, and Steve Evans, design director, announced some exciting additions to the Black Series and beyond.

1. Doctor Aphra, Triple Zero, and BT-1 are coming to the Black Series. The official announcement that Doctor Aphra, Triple Zero, and Bee-Tee would be joining the Black Series line sent loud cheers throughout the panel room. Aphra’s Black Series figure will have more detail and articulation than the Vintage Collection version that was also recently revealed. On the larger version, both her vest and cap are removable as a nod to how each artist in the comics draws her differently and to allow for some variation, they said.

2. And the murder droids have some upgrades. Triple Zero has articulated elbows like the 4-LOM figure, hands with posable fingers so they can grip, and an adjusted leg length. Meanwhile, Bee-Tee has revised pop out arms with new weapons, or “refinements for this collection,” as Schneider called them. Expect to see all three on store shelves this summer.

3. Hello there. Obi-Wan’s clone armor look from Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated Clone Wars series kicks off next year’s prequel celebration and joins the line-up with the clone armor based off the film style. The Imperial Rocket Trooper, as seen in Star Wars Rebels and Battlefront II, and Luke Skywalker, in his stormtrooper disguise and fresh out of the garbage compactor, will be exclusives available in the spring. And some will come with a brand new triangular stand.  “I call it a slipper but everyone laughs at me,” Evans said. It allows for a better center of balance and for figures to be posed more dynamically.

4. The Black Series is growing… shorter than we expected. The often requested General Grievous is finally joining the Black Series.“It is the one I get pinned up against the wall and people say, ‘Oy Evans, make this figure. Where is it?’” Evans said. General Grievous will be available in the spring for $29.99, and with a slightly larger box. Grievous comes with four lightsabers and his limbs can split into four. His red and gray cape also has pockets to fit the lightsaber hilts should you choose to display him without a weapon in hand.

5. The Black Series Archive line is bringing back three classics this summer. Jedi Master Yoda, Revenge of the Sith-era Anakin Skywalker, and a Scout Trooper sans speeder bike are all returning to toy shelves, and this time with Hasbro’s Photo Real paint technology.

6. And the Vintage Collection continues to grow. A new figure in the image of Luke Skywalker projecting himself into battle on Crait appeared right into the middle of the line up on screen, eliciting excitement from the audience. Expect to see him on shelves in the spring. Also in addition to the Scarif trooper, Klaatu, Yakface, and Boushh Leia, and the Gamorrean guard revealed on Thursday, fans can also collect Han Solo in stormtrooper disguise this spring as well as the 41st Elite Corps Trooper and the newly announced Imperial Assault Tank Commander.

Hasbro still has eight more figures to reveal as a part of the Spring 2019 wave so stay tuned. And check out a full gallery below:

Bria LaVorgna is a writer who doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love Star Wars. She also really loves Alderaan, Doctor Aphra, and Inferno Squad. You can follow her on Twitter @chaosbria.

5 Tips for Pitching Your Own Star Wars Celebration Panel

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 10:00

One of the best parts of Star Wars Celebration is that it is all Star Wars, all the time when it comes to the panel programming. Whether your particular interests are about the movies and shows, reading books and comics, collecting, costuming, or gaming, there’s probably a panel that’s right up your alley. If your interests are even more niche, like connecting Star Wars to the real world through teaching, or learning about fan organizations around the world, or watching master vegetable carvers and origami folders at work, there’s still the perfect panel for your tastes. And if there isn’t, you can always host your own panel at Celebration — it’s pretty easy to propose a panel idea, and if accepted, turn that idea into a full panel! I’ve been organizing fan panels and other programming (the Bounty Hunt series of puzzle races) since Star Wars Celebration III, as well as at other pop culture conventions, and I’m eager to share some tips for how to submit successful panel pitches. Keep these in mind and you just might see your panel accepted for Star Wars Celebration Chicago, coming to McCormick Place from April 11-15, 2019.

1. Don’t wait until the last minute and definitely don’t miss the deadline!

If you go to StarWarsCelebration.com, you’ll see a countdown clock to the start of Celebration next April. But to get into the programming, you can’t wait that long! The deadline for fan content and panels is October 31, 2018, and you can find out more on the application page. Sure, you could wait until October 31, but would you really want to spend your Halloween scrambling to find panelists for your perfect idea? Better to reach out early to your potential panelists and get them on board as your crew for this job!

2. Titles: Be catchy and clear!

When coming up with your panel title, you want to draw fans in but also let them know exactly what the panel is about. If your panel is about the practical real-world uses of binary loadlifters, you might need something catchier than “Binary Loadlifters: Everyday Applications” — maybe go with “We Love Loadlifters” or “Why Cargo Droids Rock.” Last Celebration, I hosted an improv comedy show entitled “Whose Line Is It, Alderaan?”, which was catchy, but didn’t immediately say what the panel was about. (It was a riff on Whose Line Is It, Anyway?). So I added “Star Wars Improv Comedy” to the end of the title. Perhaps that was a little long — remember you also have the description in the guide and app. Your panel is open to a global audience, so your title should make sense not only to the American fan, but also to attendees coming from around the world. Be able to also describe your panel in as few words as possible for use in the blocked-out format for programming schedules, in this case “Loadlifters” and “SW Improv Comedy” might fit in a tiny block.

3. Descriptions: Really sell it!

The panel description is where you say what the panel is about. Give the who, what, why, and how for your panel. (Don’t worry about the when or where, since that’s up to the Celebration organizers to determine, and will appear adjacent to your description.) This is what Celebration attendees will see in the printed program as well as online, so this is where you really sell the panel to them!

How you describe the panel sets the tone for what type of programming the audience expects — if your presentation is more academic in content or focuses on a serious discussion, use a more formal tone describing your session. If your program will be more “fans gushing about this aspect of Star Wars,” you can use a more informal description. Not only are you communicating what the panel will be about, but also how it will be. You want to hook your desired audience: make them consider your panel a must-see event, and even call out who your intended audience is, whether people interested in costuming, families with children, fans of Ewoks, whoever! Also, mention the format. Is it going to be a show, or a panel discussion, one-person presentation, or a game with audience participation? Finally, if you have particular expertise on the subject from panelists guaranteed to show up, you can also mention that. Name drop them and why you should see them! And if you can’t guarantee any individuals, or they aren’t well-known enough to be a draw, no worries — it’s better to not promise what you can’t deliver!

When writing your description, have other people look it over for readability, as well as for proofreading. Does it make sense? Does it entice the intended audience? Does it represent what the panel will be about? Is it clear and concise? Those panel descriptions often get printed in a small font in the programming guide, so don’t go on and on, like this tip does — stick to one paragraph or less!

4. Picking panelists.

For the traditional convention discussion panel, you’re going to want to bring a group of panelists together. While it’s always easy to just pick your friends, really consider who you are bringing and what they have to offer, both individually and as an ensemble. To be successful, a panel needs to feature several voices, each providing their own thoughts and opinions. A panel really is a team effort, even if the panelists may have never met or conversed previously. Consider recruiting from a diversity of points of view — does each person think about Star Wars in a different way, bringing their own knowledge and experiences to how they interpret the topic? Some key questions to bring up with potential panelists:

  • Are they committed to going to Star Wars Celebration? Being a panelist can help them get a badge, but all other expenses, like travel and lodging, are not covered.
  • Are they comfortable speaking publicly on a panel in front of an audience?
  • Can they commit to the panel whenever it gets scheduled, even if it conflicts with their favorite star’s panel on the main stage?
  • How will they interact with their fellow panel members? Some folks may be fine when talking on their own, but might end up monopolizing a conversation or shrinking to the corners in a group discussion. Will the Sith Lord on your panel get along with the Jedi Master seated further down the line?
  • What does each panelist bring that is special to them? A distinct point of view? Unique knowledge or experience related to the subject? Wit and charm?

Finally, you’ll need a moderator — and that doesn’t mean that you as the panel organizer have to automatically be the moderator. (You don’t even have to be on the panel as long as you’re the one coordinating the whole effort to make it happen.) Moderating a panel is a separate skill from simply being on a panel — there’s managing the time, keeping the discussion from going off topic or becoming uninteresting, being able to bring new questions or ideas when there’s a lull, and managing the panelists (and sometimes the audience) so everyone gets a chance to speak when they want. It’s a combination of referee and ringmaster. Some people can moderate and participate as a panelist at the same time, while others may prefer one job or the other.

Recruit your panelists and be sure to get their email address — it’s required on the submission form for each panelist. The good news is that when you submit your list of panelists, it’s not set in stone. You can add or swap panelists after the panel gets approved or even after the panel gets scheduled, based on changes in availability. (It will happen!) It’s always good to cultivate a large panel (the max is six on a panel) or have a few backups in mind just in case someone drops out at the last moment. I’ve had a panelist cancel on me the day before the panel because of airline issues. As they say, the show must go on!

5. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket!

Not every panel idea gets approved, so don’t get discouraged if yours isn’t selected. I’ve had a bunch that didn’t make the cut. The flip side of this is that you aren’t limited to submitting just one panel pitch. Do you have multiple ideas for what would make something unique and cool for Star Wars fans? Submit each idea separately (after fleshing them out, of course)! Sometimes, I have pitched panel ideas based on finding a common interest or expertise between potential panelists — for instance, I happened to know fans involved in various fan organizations around the world and thought, “If I could get them all on stage together, we could talk about different international fan groups,” and Boom! I had a panel at Celebration Europe on fan organizations in different countries. Star Wars Celebration is always looking for programming content that hasn’t been seen before (either at previous Celebrations, or at other conventions), and letting fans submit their own panels is one way to bring the best content.

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.

Bucket’s List Extra: 8 Fun Facts from “The Recruit” – Star Wars Resistance

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 08:00

Star Wars Resistance is here! The animated series follows Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order. Visit StarWars.com following each episode for “Bucket’s List Extra,” an expansion of our weekly fun-facts video series Bucket’s List.

Bucket’s List Extra

1. New X-wings!

The X-wings in the opening sequence are the T-85 model — the latest version of the craft first introduced as the T-65 in the original Star Wars. The X-wings seen in the Resistance are a slightly older model, the T-70.

2. Bird is the word.

Early notes about Kaz’s character describe him as “like a bird, hopping around clumsily on the ground, but put him in the air and he is awesome.”

3. About that hyperdrive…

Hyperdrive-equipped TIE fighters were a rarity in the days of the Galactic Empire, but the current technology of the First Order makes it possible, especially in high-end models like Major Vonreg’s ship.

4. Hello, New Republic crest.

The New Republic crest was first described in the Aftermath series of novels; this is its first on-screen appearance.

5. Welcome back, Greg Proops!

Greg Proops returns to Star Wars to voice a race announcer, but it’s not the two-headed announcer from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’s podrace. Although the voice is the same, it’s more akin to a copycat invoking a classic announcer style.

6. How good is Torra Doza?

Torra Doza’s stats, translated from Aurebesh, list the following:

  • Time in Top 5 – 100%
  • Challenge Rate – 87%
  • Finishes – 100%
  • Wins – 100%
  • Wins By Disqualification – 100%
  • Top Speed – 92%

7. What does that say?

The sign outside the shop that Flix and Orka run identifies it as “OFFICE OF ACQUISITIONS.”

8. Don’t tell Jar Jar.

Gorgs were first introduced in the Mos Espa street market sequence of The Phantom Menace. A hapless Jar Jar Binks tried to eat a gorg from an angry vendor without paying for it first.

In case you missed this week’s Bucket’s List video, check it out below!

Bucket’s List

Star Wars Resistance airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.

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

“The Recruit” Episode Guide – Star Wars Resistance

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 07:54

Star Wars Resistance is here! The animated series follows Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order. Visit StarWars.com following each episode for a full guide featuring fun facts, galleries, and more.

Welcome to the Resistance! A new era of Star Wars animation has begun with “The Recruit,” the two-part series premiere of Star Wars Resistance.

Episode: “The Recruit”
Original Air Date: October 7, 2018
Supervising Director: Justin Ridge
Story: Dave Filoni
Directors: Steward Lee and Saul Ruiz
Writer: Brandon Auman

The Basics

Poe Dameron assigns the gifted but green Resistance pilot Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono to an undercover mission: he will pose as a racer on the Colossus, a massive refueling platform on the Outer Rim ocean planet Castellon. Sources tell the Resistance that someone on Castellon is helping the First Order, and Kaz must find out who it is. On the Colossus, Kaz meets Yeager, Tam, Neeku, and their trusty, slightly rusty astromech, Bucket — together, they form Team Fireball, named for Kaz’s ship.

Introducing: Bucket’s List

More from Bucket’s List

  • The X-wings in the opening sequence are the T-85 model — the latest version of the craft first introduced as the T-65 in the original Star Wars. The X-wings seen in the Resistance are a slightly older model, the T-70.

  • Early notes about Kaz’s character describe him as “like a bird, hopping around clumsily on the ground, but put him in the air and he is awesome.”

  • Hyperdrive-equipped TIE fighters were a rarity in the days of the Galactic Empire, but the current technology of the First Order makes it possible, especially in high-end models like Major Vonreg’s ship.

  • The New Republic crest was first described in the Aftermath series of novels; this is its first on-screen appearance.

  • Greg Proops returns to Star Wars to voice a race announcer, but it’s not the two-headed announcer from The Phantom Menace’s podrace. Although the voice is the same, it’s more akin to a copycat invoking a classic announcer style.

  • Torra Doza’s stats, translated from Aurebesh, list the following:
    • Time in Top 5 – 100%
    • Challenge Rate – 87%
    • Finishes – 100%
    • Wins – 100%
    • Wins By Disqualification – 100%
    • Top Speed – 92%

  • The sign outside the shop that Flix and Orka run identifies it as “OFFICE OF ACQUISITIONS.”

  • Gorgs were first introduced in the Mos Espa street market sequence of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. A hapless Jar Jar Binks tried to eat a gorg from an angry vendor without paying for it first.

Databank

Episode Gallery

Concept Art

Poe Dameron full character illustration by JP Balmet.

Kaz Xiono full character illustration by JP Balmet.

Torra Doza full character illustration by Amy Beth Christenson.

Early series concept art by Polygon Pictures.

Character and location study by Amy Beth Christenson.

Star Wars Resistance airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel.

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

NYCC 2018: 5 Things We Learned from 5 Female Star Wars Writers

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 15:42

There are moments in Star Wars that speak to us. For author Delilah S. Dawson, it was being able to see herself in the galaxy for the first time when Leia fell off the speeder bike and befriended the Ewoks on Endor.

“Right now, the one I love is Rey leaning up against her rusty AT-AT wearing that helmet and looking up at the sky,” added Katie Cook.”It speaks of dreams and it speaks of hope for something else.”

The two creators were among five panelists at the Celebration of Female Writers at New York Comic Con this weekend, rounded out by Mur Lafferty, Amy Ratcliffe, and Justina Ireland and moderated by Lucasfilm Publishing’s Mary Ann Zissimos. During an hour of laughs and serious observations, the creators discussed everything from their writing processes to whether they’d be a part of the light side or the dark side.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from the hour:

1. When in doubt, change the point of view. When Lafferty sat down to write the Solo novelization, she had both the film’s script and the middle-grade novelization available to read. That posed its own problem. “I felt like I was bordering on plagiarism because how do I write this scene in a completely new way?” Lafferty said. “Point of view was everything.” Changing point of view also gave her the opportunity to make peace with L3’s decision to merge with the Falcon, penning the transition partially from L3’s perspective.

Ireland added that writing a scene from a different character’s point of view, even for a scene of her own creation, “opened up a whole new world.” In Lando’s Luck, she wrote a space battle from a child’s point of view as opposed to Lando’s, because it would be a new experience for a child and offer different insights, she said.

2. There’s no flying by the seat of your pants for writing Star Wars. When it comes to writing in the galaxy far, far away, it doesn’t matter what an author’s usual method for writing is: you have to outline. It’s just part of writing in someone else’s universe, Lafferty said. “No one trusts you that much. No one.”

It can also help avoid overlap. Ireland said her first synopsis for Lando’s Luck turned out to be too close to the plot of another new Lando-related story. “They were like… ‘yeah that’s the Solo movie. You can’t do that,’” Ireland said with a laugh.

3. Music moves the world. Dawson wrote Phasma sitting at her kitchen island, with a Star Wars film on mute and blaring the soundtrack from Mad Max: Fury Road. Coincidentally, Lafferty had the Mad Max soundtrack in her own music rotation mixed in with Star Wars (of course) and sometimes The Matrix. “[The music’s] got to be exciting,” Lafferty said. Meanwhile, Ireland took a different musical approach and listened primarily to funk music from the 1970s on her vinyl record player. “If I’m going to write the coolest man in the galaxy, I have to listen to the coolest music,” she said.

4. Role-playing games can be a great entry point for telling Star Wars stories. Star Wars role-playing games taught Dawson a lesson about how characters have to make choices, she said. In fact, Phasma is dedicated to her husband for helping her by killing her first character in an RPG. “He killed me with a bunch of Noghri in a Jedi library,” she said.

Games are also important to Ratcliffe. “I play a diplomatic agitator,” she said. “It’s how I get to live out my Rebellion dreams.”

5. The galaxy is a big place. Ratcliffe noted that while working on Women of the Galaxy, it was important to highlight characters from the books and comics in addition to the films and television shows, to showcase women archaeologists, wine experts on Canto Bight, and bounty hunters alongside the more prominent villains and heroes in the galaxy.

That’s true for every new Star Wars story. “I just wanted to show the galaxy is a really big place,” Ireland said. “Kids get really focused on certain things. They don’t necessarily realize how big the world is and so I wanted to show kids who might just be coming into the Star Wars galaxy that it is bigger than Luke and Leia. There’s a whole galaxy out there for them to explore.”

Photos by AJ Camarillo.

Bria LaVorgna is a writer who doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love Star Wars. She also really loves Alderaan, Doctor Aphra, and Inferno Squad. You can follow her on Twitter @chaosbria.

NYCC 2018: Hasbro Joins the Resistance

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 13:35

The Resistance has arrived.

With Star Wars Resistancethe new anime-inspired animated series, just days away from its premiere, Hasbro unveiled several new 3.75” action figures based on Kazuda Xiono and many more at New York Comic Con. And the toymaker gave us a glimpse at some other figures headed for toy shelves soon, including some new additions to the Vintage Collection fit for Jabba’s palace.

Featuring both heroes and villains from the television show, Kaz and Torra Doza will be included in the spring line to bring the competition between Team Fireball and the Aces home. Hasbro’s design and development director Steve Evans says he’s fascinated by one of the more mysterious characters: Synara San, a salvager. “I don’t know much about her but she looks wonderful.”

There’s also standard First Order stormtrooper with a distinctly animated flair; Major Vonreg, the pilot with distinct crimson armor;  and Commander Pyre, a unique black and gold stormtrooper.

The new line will also feature some two-packs, including a stylized Poe Dameron and BB-8, the duo responsible for sending Kaz on his secret spy mission, and new characters Jarek Yeager and his droid Bucket. “Bucket is one of the team’s favorites,” Evans says. “When we saw the reference, we were like, ‘Oh okay. How are we going to make that?’ It’s all of these cut throughs and undercuts.”

Perched on a scaled prototype of Jabba’s sail barge, the first offering from HasLab last year, the Hasbro team also displayed new additions to the Vintage Collection, the highly articulated 3.75″ line, including Leia in Boushh disguise, Yakface, Klatuu, and a reissued Gammorrean guard. “You can never have too many Gammorean guards,” Evans says. “Probably one of the most popular Vintage collection figure there are.”

Just as important as getting the figure right is nailing the packaging, adds Patrick Schneider, the senior manager of global brand development and marketing. “Each one has a little bit of a story,” adds Evans, whether the process involved going back into the archives to find the original photographs used for the vintage figures or, in the case of the recent Doctor Aphra figure, taking inspiration from the original comic book panels.

Here’s a closer look at both lines:

Check back later for more news after Hasbro’s NYCC panel Sunday.

Bria LaVorgna is a writer who doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love Star Wars. She also really loves Alderaan, Doctor Aphra, and Inferno Squad. You can follow her on Twitter @chaosbria.

NYCC 2018: The Making of Lucasfilm’s Our Star Wars Stories Digital Series

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 13:08

On Friday at New York Comic Con, Matt Martin of Lucasfilm Story Group and Jordan Hembrough (Toy Hunter) took a deeper dive into Lucasfilm’s new digital series, Our Star Wars Stories, which focuses on fans’ amazing journeys with the saga. In the panel, Martin (moderator and a producer of the show) and Hembrough (host and producer), talked about the production of Our Star Wars Stories from conception to finish, and were joined by four of the fans interviewed for the show: Albin Johnson, Christina Cato, Robin Bocra, and FJ DeRobertis.

The story of Our Star Wars Stories

The panel started with a trailer of Our Star Wars Stories and what we can expect from the exciting digital series. “It’s a weekly series,” said Martin about the show, “There’s going to be five episodes in this first season.”

Hembrough talked about his passion for collecting Star Wars toys and how he wanted to seek out other collectors and tell their stories. “I’m transitioning from hearing all of these wonderful stories from people around the world who have these collections to actually being a vehicle and telling them to the world,” said Hembrough.

The conception of the first season for Our Star Wars Stories was challenging because of how difficult it was to select five individuals over the thousands to be chosen from. “We were all involved with sifting through these incredible stories from, not just the country, but all over the world,” said Hembrough about the series. He hopes that Our Star Wars Stories will be a show that inspires other Star Wars fans by embracing their fanhood.

After the outline of the series, the four panelists who were on the show gave brief introductions and talked about their experience filming their episodes.

Albin Johnson

Albin Johnson was on Our Star Wars Stories’ first episode that premiered on October 2. Johnson is the founder of the 501st Legion and has been a fan of the saga since its premiere in 1977. Star Wars holds a very personal place in his life and he’s helped thousands of Star Wars fans around the world find their passion through the 501st Legion. You can watch his episode above.

Christina Cato

Cato is a droid builder and a member of the 501st Legion. She was also involved in a documentary called Looking for Leia — a six-part docu-series that focuses on women in Star Wars fandom. The director of Looking for Leia gave Cato’s story to Hembrough and, when Cato was contacted for the series, she said she was really honored to be a part of it. “I really wanted to inspire people,” said Cato. She wanted to provide a platform where women who built droids in the Star Wars community can gather and be together. The Stardust Builders Initiative was her way of creating that space for the female fandom.

Robin Bocra

Bocra is a collector of vintage Star Wars toys and prides herself on having “one of the largest collections” of vintage toys amongst women collectors. Hembrough reached out to her because of this collection and asked her to be on the series.

Star Wars is our communal bond,” said Bocra. She’s a lifelong fan of Star Wars and believes that it is a passion to be shared by everyone. Bocra’s story will debut Tuesday, October 9.

FJ DeRobertis

DeRobertis and Hembrough had already shared a friendship prior to filming this series because of their love of Star Wars action figures. DeRobertis submitted his story due to reconnecting with Hembrough years later; when he found out that he was accepted, it was one of the most exciting moments of his life.

“I was influenced by Star Wars from a very young age,” said DeRobertis, acknowledging that Star Wars taught him the important lesson of self-acceptance, and was a large part of his bond he shared with his father.

Producing the series

The entire run of episodes was shot in a week, according to Martin. The crew for the series traveled from the East Coast to the West Coast in order to interview the five selected subjects. “It was ‘hit the ground running’ and shoot,” recalled Hembrough. “We had a small crew and it was really great because we all shared this bonding experience.”

The panelists were asked how they prepared for their interviews, and all four said they spent the time cleaning and organizing their collections and home. “I dusted every square inch of my collection,” said DeRobertis.

Cato had just moved to her new place before the shoot date, and she recalled having to unpack as quickly as possible while getting everything organized, and also get some droid repairs done in time.

Our Star Wars experience

The panel continued with a recollection of Star Wars experiences that affected the panelists. DeRobertis recalled how much of a strong bond he shared with his dad, who recently passed away. “I never realize how much Star Wars brought a connection to us,” he said. “It brought Star Wars into a whole new light for me.”

Similar to DeRobertis, Bocra shared a strong bond with her mother through collecting vintage Star Wars toys. She talked about the kinship that Star Wars fans share amongst each other. “It’s our love for this mutual idea of Star Wars and the feeling that it gives you,” said Bocra.

Johnson recalled the emotional experience he had while filming his episode of the series. He received a lot of negative pushback when he first launched the 501st Legion. “It was a dark time,” said Johnson. “You’re standing in a hotel at a giant convention and holding a sign and other fans are laughing at you about wanting to join that club.” Even after these negative experiences, Johnson still pushed through to make the Legion work.

The panel ended with a Q&A from the audience and an exclusive clip from an upcoming show in the Our Star Wars Stories series featuring an interview with the Perales family — a cosplaying family with a passion for Star Wars Rebels characters.

New installments of Our Star Wars Stories will be released on the official Star Wars YouTubeTwitter, and Facebook pages, and on StarWars.com.

Kristen Bates is flying by the seat of her pants and doing the best she can. Slow walker. Spends too much time on the internet. Season ticket holder for the Boonta Eve Classic. Aspiring smuggler. Find her on the interwebs @kristenkbates.

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