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From the Pages of Star Wars Insider: Matt Lanter, the Animated Anakin, Talks His Own Star Wars Saga

Mon, 03/29/2021 - 08:00

Matt Lanter achieved Star Wars immortality with his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated series that delved further into the Jedi’s heroic years. But his Star Wars story didn’t end there, as Lanter surprised fans with a memorable live-action cameo in The Mandalorian, playing a New Republic soldier aboard a prison ship. In Star Wars Insider #201, Lanter talks to Bryan Cairns about his journey as Skywalker and beyond in a galaxy far, far away; check out StarWars.com’s exclusive excerpt of the interview below and look for the magazine in stores and digital this week!

Matt Lanter: The Animated Anakin

“I actually had no idea I was auditioning for Anakin Skywalker,” says Matt Lanter of landing one of the lead roles in Lucasfilm’s animated series Star Wars: The Clones Wars (2008-2014, 2020). “They told me the role I was reading for was a character named ‘Deak Starkiller.’ I did a quick online search but there wasn’t much out there, so I really had no idea. I remember Dave Filoni suggesting I give them my best combination of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, and that’s what got me the job. Obviously, there’s a lot of Solo swagger in the Clone Wars Anakin, a lot more than Anakin in the films.”

The show debuted as a feature-length movie in theaters in 2008, and ran for six seasons from 2008 to 2014, with a seventh and final season arriving on Disney+ early in 2020. Lanter, who is now 37, marvels that his Star Wars adventure has lasted so long.

“When I booked that job, I had no idea what was about to happen for the next decade and more of my life, and counting,” admits Lanter. “All these years later, I have so many fond memories of working on The Clone Wars. My castmates, the producers, and everybody at Lucasfilm, they’re like family to me. I made lifelong friends from making that show.

Acting the Part

“I think all voice actors do things differently,” suggests Lanter. “Some will sit down in their chair. Personally, I always stand up. I like to move a little bit, but I wouldn’t be dancing about or anything like that.You can’t really move off mic too much, but occasionally both Ashley Eckstein (who played Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars) and I would grab a pencil if we had to be swinging a lightsaber around, in order to give our bodies some motion. You can hear that movement come through in your voice.”

One such physical moment in the opening arc of Season Seven saw Anakin’s darker side brought to the fore.

“I love those first few episodes with the Bad Batch,” Lanter says. “I thought they were so unique and interesting, and so cool. And there was a great moment for Anakin, where we saw him get really angry at Admiral Trench, and then put his lightsaber through Trench’s chest. I know that fans love those foreshadowing Vader moments, and so do I, because it offers that connectivity to Darth Vader and shows Anakin’s dangerous lack of self-control. Dave Filoni and I were always very specific about those moments, about how dark Anakin was going to get.”

Read the rest of Matt Lanter’s interview in Star Wars Insider #201, and subscribe to Star Wars Insider now for more of the latest news, in-depth articles, and exclusive interviews in every issue!

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Leia Ignites Her Lightsaber in a Dreamlike New Print from Acme Archives – Exclusive Reveal

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 14:17

Poised and determined to continue the fight, Leia Organa stands among the snowcapped mountains, her regal cloaks billowing around her, a blue-bladed lightsaber at her side, ignited and ready for yet another battle. To quote Luke Skywalker, it’s “like something out of a dream.” Or perhaps, as your eyes glide beyond the horizon and the shadow of an Imperial Star Destroyer snaps into focus, it’s more accurate to say it’s a nightmare for the young rebel hero.

This is the image that greets us in a stunning new painting called “Until Our Last Breath” by Christophe Vacher, headed to Acme Archives as a limited print starting today. In the romantic and dramatic piece, Vacher says he envisioned the Leia Organa we glimpsed in a flashback scene in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, training with the weapon of a Jedi but ultimately dedicating her life to the military and political realms in her quest to find some peace and justice in a galaxy plagued by first the Empire, then the First Order. StarWars.com is thrilled to give you your first look at the artwork, with insights from the artist.

StarWars.com: Star Wars fans have rarely seen Leia Organa carrying her lightsaber, so I was thrilled when I first saw how you’d captured her. What inspired this interpretation?

Christophe Vacher: At first, I wasn’t sure how I would visualize Leia, but I knew I wanted to put her in some kind of epic or heroic situation, yet without being corny. While I was putting together some ideas for the piece, I went to Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Canada in December 2019. I had wanted to visit it for 20 years, and was fascinated by the beauty and scale of the place, especially in the depth of winter, while the lake was frozen and the snow covered everything. When I came back, some visuals started to connect in my mind, that epic snowy landscape, and the idea of Leia in the middle of it. What I had seen in the last Star Wars, that short sequence where Leia is trained by Luke, started to trigger questions: what happened to her in those times? How long was she trained? Why did she eventually become a general instead of a Jedi, and did she make that choice or was she pushed into it?

StarWars.com: Your work often has a hauntingly ethereal quality to it, like something from a dream or a fantasy world. Beyond the beautiful mountain scenery, can you tell us more about the composition, especially some of the details like Leia’s robes, which look similar to her dress in Star Wars: A New Hope but fresh and new, and the meaning of the Star Destroyer looming overhead? In your headcanon, where does this scene take place?

Christophe Vacher: Thank you. I love to paint haunting ethereal and epic sceneries. Some of my major influences are the European Symbolists from the 19th century, like Arthur Hacker, Ferdinand Keller, Arnold Bocklin, or even later, the amazing Alphonse Mucha. Although I’d be lucky if I had half their talent. For Leia’s body outfit, I tried to get inspiration from other outfits I had seen in recent Star Wars publications that were depicting a Leia from A New Hope, so it would be consistent with what is out there right now, and I added other elements, like the boots and the robes. I had done another version with just the body outfit without the robes, and it revealed more of the mountains behind her. I liked it too, but it was obvious that the floating robes and the scarf were giving a more epic dimension to the image.

Regarding when this scene takes place, I see it happening after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Eventually, as J.J. Abrams states it, “she makes that personal choice of becoming a general instead of a Jedi,” maybe for selfless reasons, because she feels her people needs her more than ever to lead the fight against the new threat of the First Order, rising from the ashes of the Empire. Since the timeline was kind of loose, I just picked an environment where she might have been training, and where the First Order might have tracked her. The Star Destroyer coming out of the clouds in the background was an idea that came later, at the same time as the title, symbolizing the shadow of things to come and the moment she makes that personal choice.

StarWars.com: You can clearly see the influence of the Romantics in your painting style here. What feeling were you hoping to evoke here?

Christophe Vacher:  You are absolutely right. Along with the painters’ influence I mentioned earlier, I wanted to infuse a strong sense of epic Romanticism in the image: picking a grand mountain landscape as the backdrop and putting a Star Destroyer in it coming out of the dark clouds gave the proper sense of massive scale I was looking for. The very theatrical sunrise lighting provided drama, along with the robe floating in the wind, and the lightsaber, ready to honor its purpose. But beyond their aesthetic value, all these visual elements were there first and foremost to capture and support that moment in time when Leia makes that ultimate choice of becoming a general rather than a Jedi, not to respond to any egotistic drive, but rather to serve and lead her people.

StarWars.com: Can you tell us more about the meaning of the title “Until Our Last Breath”?

Christophe Vacher: The title is the soul of the image, that’s what eventually drove its creation. It underlines not only Leia’s determination facing the resurgence of a daunting enemy, but the determination of her people, as well. It came to my mind at the same time I had the vision of the Star Destroyer coming out of the clouds in front of Leia. In that moment, it all came together: the feeling that emanated from Leia, her frailty as a human being, yet her calm and sheer determination to fight the Empire again, her will to give it all she had until her very last breath, and to serve as a leading example, not by arrogance, but by self-sacrifice, for the love of her people. I wanted to perceive that “all or nothing” feel from her, that idea that she had reached the maturity to willingly make the full sacrifice of her life for a just cause if necessary. That moment of total vulnerability was also what she was drawing her maximum strength from. Once I felt that from the character, it became very natural to keep it as the center of focus, to drive the image, to try and connect the viewers with that emotion.

StarWars.com: It’s clear that you have tremendous respect for Leia as a character. Why does she resonate with you?

Christophe Vacher: I think I see her as someone who has become selflessly dedicated to fight for and with her people, despite the tremendous pressure and responsibility as a princess. These are qualities I respect. I felt that in Queen Amidala, too, though in a different way, because Padmé Amidala has a softer personality and I wouldn’t think of her as a general.

I like the evolution of the Leia character throughout the Star Wars saga, from a fairly wild and impulsive young woman to a wise, poised, and collected general. I thought that trying to capture a snapshot of the segment of her life in which that transition happens, trying to capture that transformation and maturity in one image while taking into account all the cultural background and linear story of the Star Wars universe was an interesting challenge.

Check out this story and other news on This Week! In Star Wars below.

“Until Our Last Breath” is available for pre-order now as a limited edition paper print or fine art canvas.

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

In I Wish I Had a Wookiee, Poems for the Young at Heart – Exclusive

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 14:15

We’ve all known the pure delight of ripping open a brand new Star Wars action figure or imagined ourselves in the cockpit of one of the many high-flying hunks of junk in a galaxy far, far away, alongside our loyal Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca. In his new book, Star Wars: I Wish I Had a Wookiee, Ian Doescher explores these playful hallmarks of childhood with a collection of over 75 whimsical and original poems illustrated by Tim Budgen.

Today, StarWars.com is excited to reveal the charming cover art for the forthcoming book as well as two exclusive spreads featuring the titular poem as well as “Dad’s Luke Skywalker Figurine.” In a format reminiscent of the often absurdly hilarious books by Shel Silverstein, Budgen’s artwork visualizes a 10-year-old’s dreams of playing fetch with a pet AT-AT, a little girl escaping the Empire in her T-16 Skyhopper, and more while Doescher, who previously penned the Shakespearean versions of the Skywalker saga, captures the precocious and imaginative play inspired by the Star Wars galaxy, with rhyming poems that are suitable for young fans and the young at heart.

Check out this story and other news on This Week! In Star Wars below.

Star Wars: I Wish I Had a Wookiee arrives September 28, 2021 and is available for pre-order now.

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

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Build Your Own Empire with These New LEGO Star Wars Collector Sets – Exclusive

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 08:00

Say what you will about the tyrannical government of a galaxy far, far away, but one thing’s for sure: the Empire had style. And the LEGO Group is bringing that Imperial flair for design home with three new sets made for adult collectors and intended for display.

Coming April 26 and available for pre-order now, devotees of the Empire can look forward to striking new busts of Darth Vader and the Scout Trooper, as well as a model of the Imperial Probe Droid, complete with movable tentacles and Hoth-inspired base. The LEGO Group sent finished builds of each set to StarWars.com for an early look — we also got to assemble the Probe Droid, a challenging but rewarding build that only took a few hours — and we’re pleased to report that even the Emperor would be a fan. With a modest footprint (Vader, for example, measures 8 inches high, 5.5 inches wide, and 5.5 inches deep), they take up little space and fit well together visually — ideal for those who want to add some tasteful Star Wars décor to their home, apartment, or office. StarWars.com caught up with some of the team behind the three releases, including LEGO Star Wars design director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, senior designer Jan Neergaard Olesen, and designers Hans Burkhard Schlömer and César Carvalhosa Soares to discuss creating LEGO Star Wars sets for adults, which car part served as reference for an element of the Scout Trooper helmet, and the “very non-LEGO-friendly angles” of the Probe Droid.

StarWars.com: These are really quite beautiful display pieces. Is your design approach different for an adult/home decor release as opposed to something for kids?

Jens Kronvold Frederiksen: When we design adult or home decor sets, the focus is mainly on making the model as accurate as possible — beautiful for display and with a lot of detail; often more than in a standard LEGO Star Wars set for the younger audience. The only other difference is that we focus less on play features and functions, as these models are more intended for display than play. Where there is no difference between play and display models is the building experience, though these models are typically more advanced. However, we also do our best to ensure that the models are fun to build, even if they are more complicated and challenging.

StarWars.com: With Vader and the scout trooper, you have some really interesting and odd angles and shapes in their helmet designs. How difficult was it to adapt those features to LEGO form? 

César Carvalhosa Soares: In the Darth Vader helmet, the outer shell was fairly straight forward — basically sculpting with different plates. The hardest part was indeed the nose and eyes area. To achieve the necessary angles and shapes, different sub-builds were made and attached to the model in all kinds of directions and odd ways. For example, the eyes have a clip on the back that connects to a vertical bar, and this allows for them to be positioned in the correct way — slightly angled to the outside. Another interesting and challenging part was the nose, where again several clips and bars are used to get a Z shape sub-build that fits snugly between the eyes.

Hans Burkhard Schlömer: When designing a helmet, it involves the use of more “sculpting” techniques than creating a play set of, for example, a spaceship would. This means we get to use more basic elements to create a shape, instead of using a larger element that already has a specific shape. For the “nose” of the scout trooper helmet, however, I had to use a car mudguard [a.k.a. fender] to match the reference!

StarWars.com: The probe droid is my favorite of the bunch, which I was lucky enough to receive and build. What really amazed me is how it replicates the kit-bashed look of the original prop. How challenging was that to accomplish?

Jan Neergaard Olesen: I am very glad that you like it, it is also my favorite! But to give you a “short” answer: Very challenging! Especially all the sensors on the head that have some very non-LEGO-friendly angles and in very tight space, which gave me quite a bit of headache during the development. Also, the arms were very challenging. To achieve the right look of the arms in different sizes and shapes and still ensure the right quality and stability was not easy at all. But generally we are always aiming to build in as much detail in the models as possible, and getting as close as possible to the original reference material we receive from Lucasfilm.

StarWars.com: The probe droid also has a great sense of depth to it and a lot of detail that you don’t catch from a photo. 

Jan Neergaard Olesen: Yes, and on normal grayscale LEGO models, which we have a few of in LEGO Star Wars, we try to use darker colors on the deeper levels and brighter colors on the outside. So as an example, to add more depth to a light gray model, we could use dark gray and black color to add more of a “shadow” feeling to it.

StarWars.com: I know a lot of people who have discovered LEGO as adults thanks to sets like these. What do you want to say to those who’ve never built a LEGO set before, but see these releases and might consider jumping in?

Jens Kronvold Frederiksen: Give it a try! I am sure it will be fun. No matter If you were playing and building with LEGO as a child, I am sure you will enjoy it now as a grown up. Building these adult-focused sets is almost like solving a three-dimensional puzzle. It is fun and relaxing, and when you are done, you will end up with something to display in your home or office, that for sure will become a topic of conversation!

The LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader helmet, Scout Trooper helmet, and the Imperial Probe Droid are available for pre-order now.

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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.

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A Duel Changes Anakin’s Fate in Skywalker: A Family At War – Exclusive Excerpt

Wed, 03/24/2021 - 08:00

When I started writing Skywalker: A Family At War, we had already been in lockdown for about 105 days. The COVID-19 pandemic had suddenly and irrevocably thrust the world into a strange new era of isolated uncertainty, as the virus ravaged millions of people. During such a grim period in human history, you can imagine how eager I was to step away from the blaring news headlines and immerse myself in the Skywalker saga.

As Qui-Gon Jinn tells his would-be protégé, “Your focus determines your reality.” The days seemed indistinguishable from one another, but evenings and weekends were reserved for rewatching every piece of Star Wars film and animation that involved the family at the center of the story and rereading every book and comic that touched upon their fictional lives. I was eager to take on the role of space scholar and biographer in the same way I had tackled countless profiles over my years as a hard news journalist. In those days, in each story I aimed to provide a glimpse into someone’s private world so that we might all understand ourselves a little better.

In a similar fashion, the story of the Skywalker clan, our modern mythology, resonates because it serves as a mirror to reflect back our humanity, showing our deepest fears, our darkest impulses, and our staggering capacity for love, forgiveness, and hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

I write this now more than a year after that lockdown. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that my journey alongside the Skywalkers made me feel less alone at a time of great uncertainty. In the first official excerpt from the book, we find Anakin Skywalker on the cusp of his own journey into the unknown. His abilities will change the world around him. His self-discovery will bring elation and tragedy. He will bear the burden of the prophecy of the “Chosen One” and thrust the galaxy as he knows it into darkness.

But at the outset, Anakin Skywalker is simply a nine-year-old boy who had suddenly lost his connection to his normal life and was just as quickly to be cut off from the future Qui-Gon promised him…

As the Jedi Council gazed upon Anakin for the first time, wise, diminutive Master Yoda sensed that Anakin was gripped by fear. And fear was a dangerous ally. For the Jedi, fear was a path to the dark side of the Force, an entry point to misgivings that could be nursed into anger and hate. Nevertheless, Anakin’s emotional response to his situation, including his fears, was a very human reaction to the sudden upheaval he had experienced in his life; Qui-Gon believed that, with the proper guidance, Anakin’s natural anxieties would subside and be replaced by a Jedi’s clarity of vision. If Jinn was correct, the boy would bring balance to the Force, defeating the creeping darkness that was already beginning to cloud both the Force itself and the Jedi Order’s abilities to perceive the threat to it.

However, where Qui-Gon saw promise, Obi-Wan Kenobi and many on the Jedi Council sensed trouble. Obi-Wan did not hide his concern, even from Anakin himself. The boy’s raw power in the Force was something to be wary of. He was malleable, and in the wrong hands, such explosive potential could be turned to evil.

Few were surprised that Qui-Gon defied the Council’s initial adverse reaction to his request to make good on his promise and train the child. With Obi-Wan almost ready to become a Jedi Knight himself, Qui-Gon was free to take on a new Padawan, and he was determined that Padawan should be Anakin—once the Council came around to the idea, at least.

Qui-Gon began to gently coax Anakin toward a greater understanding in the ways of the Force. If questioned, Qui-Gon would have argued that he was not training the boy, merely providing guidance as a mentor and guardian in his absent mother’s stead. Just as he had done while helping Anakin into his podracer before the Boonta Eve Classic, Qui-Gon offered the boy the benefit of his wisdom: “Always remember, your focus determines your reality,” he told him. “Stay close to me and you’ll be safe.” Those words would resound in Anakin’s subconscious for years to come, an echo of wisdom—and false hope—forming the basis of his doubts that anyone could truly protect him. And if no one could, his young mind reasoned, he would have to become the strongest Jedi who had ever lived in order to protect those around him instead. If he focused hard enough, he could make it come true.

At this time, the unscrupulous Trade Federation was implementing a blockade on the planet of Naboo, stopping all shipments to the peaceful planet in protest over the taxation of trade routes. However, this boycott was merely a clever cover for a plot to invade. While the Galactic Senate sat idly by, Qui-Gon, Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the faithful astromech droid R2-D2 embarked upon a mission to protect Queen Amidala and disrupt the Trade Federation’s invasion of her planet. Once on Naboo, Padmé revealed herself to be Queen Amidala and forged an alliance with the Gungan army to mount a counterattack against the Trade Federation invaders. In the midst of their success, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan once more encountered the beastly Darth Maul.

This warrior was strong in the Force and carried a double-bladed lightsaber that burned blood red, betraying his allegiance to the dark side. With his appearance, came irrefutable proof: the Sith, an ancient order of Force-wielders devoted to the dark side, deception, and greed, long thought defeated and destroyed, had returned. Beneath a cloak of secrecy, a new Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, and his apprentice Darth Maul, had risen up, secretly orchestrating the Trade Federation’s invasion of Naboo as their first act in a scheme that would ultimately lead to the last days of the Republic and give rise to the Galactic Empire. In a duel that pitted the light against the darkness, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan fought Darth Maul, unaware of the true malignant deceit of the Sith at work inside the Galactic Senate. As the Jedi would learn too late, Darth Sidious was really Sheev Palpatine, a placid-looking senator from Naboo who was willing to sacrifice his homeworld to push the peaceful Republic to the brink of war.

As the battle raged, Qui-Gon was pierced by Darth Maul’s blade. Determined to avenge his master, Obi-Wan attacked Maul, but in his anger and despair lost his own lightsaber and nearly his life. Summoning the last of his strength, and empowered by the Force, Obi-Wan called Qui-Gon’s lightsaber to his hand to cleave Maul in two. Thus the apprentice and the sacred weapon came together to avenge the fallen Jinn.

It was too late for medical intervention; no amount of bacta could heal Qui-Gon’s mortal wound. All Obi-Wan could do was cradle his master’s head and heed the Jedi’s dying wish: To train Anakin Skywalker, despite his own deep misgivings.

***

Had Anakin been more attuned to the Force, he might have felt the tremor as Master Jinn’s life was extinguished. As it was, the boy was doing what he did best: flying. Finding himself thrust into the battle, Anakin and R2-D2 sought shelter inside a Naboo starfighter. Through a combination of smashing buttons and switches to override the autopilot and R2-D2’s navigational skill, the pair managed to take off. Whether by luck or the will of the Force, Anakin piloted his fighter toward the Trade Federation’s Droid Control Ship, which was commanding a legion of mechanical troops on the ground. Landing right inside the vessel, Anakin fired his laser cannons at a handful of B1 battle droids. Just as Qui-Gon had advised, Anakin relied upon his instincts and lightning reflexes—and a lucky shot ignited the enemy ship’s main reactor, effectively ending the battle on the planet’s surface below. To Anakin, the experience of battle was more intense and exhilarating, more thrilling and terrifying than any podrace.

Once back on the ground, Anakin’s thrill of victory was immediately tempered by the crushing news of Qui-Gon’s death. In a few short days, Anakin’s life was completely altered and reimagined by the guidance and teachings of this mysterious Jedi. With his swift demise, all Anakin could think was: “What will happen to me now?” In the darkest corners of his mind, fear sent him spiralling into hypothetical scenarios where he was forced back into servitude, never to see his mother again.

Although no one realized what was at stake at the time, Anakin’s very future hung in the balance. Had Qui-Gon survived and Maul been vanquished, Anakin would have been raised under the watchful, calm tutelage of a seasoned teacher. Although the two would likely have had their disagreements, Qui-Gon’s compassion for the former slave might well have brought about a very different outcome. Perhaps Qui-Gon himself would have helped his Padawan return to Tatooine and free the slaves. At the very least, he would have empathized with Anakin’s restlessness with the strict Jedi Code, offering solutions beyond the scope of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s regulation-driven mind. Perhaps Shmi Skywalker would have been saved. In either case, the predatory Sith Master Darth Sidious may well have had a more difficult time manipulating young Anakin’s future and twisting his many natural gifts into perverse, unrecognizable versions of themselves.

As it was, almost as quickly as he’d found it, Anakin lost the closest thing he had ever had to a paternal presence, a willing guide with an unshakable belief in his abilities. For those precious few days, Qui-Gon was a calm advisor, a much-needed buoy for the stormy passions of the young, Force-sensitive boy. Qui-Gon had perfected the art of meditation in combat, focusing his energy for the most skilled defense in his quest to maintain peace in the galaxy. According to the Jedi Code, even in conflict, a Jedi could stay true to the Order’s teachings by accessing its connection to knowledge, serenity, and harmony instead of giving into emotion, passion, and chaos, using the Force and even their lightsabers only for defense.

The specter of Qui-Gon would loom large in Anakin’s thoughts as he embarked on his quest to become a Jedi and the trauma of losing his master would haunt Anakin in a very different way than the separation from his mother. While Shmi held the assurance of the comforts he knew, Qui-Gon had given him the promise of a meaningful future. The patient Jedi represented a bridge between Anakin’s former enslaved self and the vast unknown, a future of infinite possibilities the boy was only beginning to grasp.

The sole remaining constant in Anakin’s life was the Force itself. The soon-to-be Jedi Padawan could feel the thrum of energy binding the galaxy together. Watching the Jedi Master’s body turn to ash on a sacred funeral pyre, Anakin felt a profound sense of loss. In light of the prophecy, Anakin wondered if his very existence had somehow brought danger upon his kind friend. With Obi-Wan’s help, Anakin hoped to prove Qui-Gon Jinn’s most earnest and heartfelt belief—that he was, truly, the Chosen One.

Pre-order your copy of Skywalker: A Family At War now, available April 6, 2021, wherever books are sold.

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

Yum Num: Ewok Sushi

Tue, 03/23/2021 - 10:00

It’s time to celebrate Ewoks! The furry friends from the forest moon of Endor are tiny but tough and sometimes worship a golden god. While their allegiance may be misdirected, they are steadfast allies always willing to lend a helping hand.

Though they are carnivorous creatures who’s to say they wouldn’t dabble in a vegetarian lifestyle now and again? These seasoned tofu pockets filled with brown rice look just like the pint-sized warriors and are just as tasty as they are adorable.

Ewok Sushi

You’ll need:

  • 1 package aburaage tofu pouches
  • 1 sheet seaweed
  • 1 slice salami

For the rice:

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Step 1: Rinse the brown rice until water runs clear. Soak in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.

Step 2: In a large saucepan add the rice and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

Step 3: Cover and reduce heat, then simmer for 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, let sit for 10 minutes, covered.

Step 4: Transfer the rice into a medium bowl and fold in the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Let cool slightly.

Step 5: Prepare tofu pouches according to the package.

Step 6: Pull apart each pouch and stuff with the rice mixture.

Step 7: Cut the corners off both sides of the pouch and push the rice through to form the fluffy ears.

Step 8: Use kitchen shears to cut away the middle part of the pouch to reveal a face area.

Step 9: Cut or punch out seaweed to create eyes and a nose, and cut a small piece of salami for the mouth.

Step 10: Place onto the rice balls to serve.

Yub nub! Your Ewok sushi is ready!

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #StarWarsRecipes

Meet Hasbro’s Adorable (and Hungry) Galactic Snackin’ Grogu

Tue, 03/23/2021 - 09:00

Grogu is back — and as usual, he’s hungry.

This October, Hasbro will release Galactic Snackin’ Grogu, a new take on the adorable young alien from The Mandalorian, featuring cute sounds, animated motions, and interactive accessories. Living up to his name, Galactic Snackin’ Grogu can munch on several included items, including a blue cookie (no doubt Force-nabbed in school on Nevarro), a bowl of soup with a squid-like creature, and can be fed with a spoon; he’ll also react to each, and will let you know what he likes and what belongs in a trash compactor. In addition, he recognizes and responds to his favorite toy, even appearing to use the Force when playing with it. Inspired by the events of The Mandalorian Season 2, Galactic Snackin’ Grogu looks to be a delightful follow-up to last year’s award-winning The Child Animatronic Edition, a landmark release that struck a chord with fans of all ages. StarWars.com caught up with Hasbro’s Vickie Stratford, sr. design director, to talk about the response to The Child Animatronic Edition and why she’s excited to see fans play with this new version.

StarWars.com: First, congratulations on The Child Animatronic Edition winning Toy of the Year and Innovative Toy of the Year. I thought it was just a magical toy and so did my kids. What have the response and accolades meant to the team behind it?

Vickie Stratford: It was so exciting to have been nominated in these categories. So many people worked tirelessly on this item and getting it in the hands of fans of this character was a huge accomplishment. To see kids light up when they interacted with our The Child Animatronic Edition was incredibly meaningful to us. The toy came to life and became real to them, and that was magical for us to see. That type of engagement and love from kids is what we hoped to achieve, and thankfully, we were able to do it. Our team also got a kick out of seeing the creative ways that fans were interacting with our toy on social media. This truly is a toy that connects with people of all ages and to us, that means a lot.

StarWars.com: The big news is that you’re making Galactic Snackin’ Grogu — maybe the best name for a toy ever — which is an update of the Animatronic Edition toy. Where did the idea come from to revisit what was already a very successful release?

Vickie Stratford: We saw Grogu eating his way through the galaxy in Season 2 of The Mandalorian on Disney+ and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring those memorable moments to life. We looked at a lot of different ways to interact with the character and the concept of snacking opened up many fun ideas for our design and development team to create an all-new interactive experience. We are really excited to see kids enjoy Grogu’s different reactions to his snacks when they place the interactive accessories in his hand. Their hearts will melt when Grogu lifts his arms up to be held. We can’t wait to see that!

StarWars.com: Of everything Star Wars you’ve worked on, where does this toy rank?

Vickie Stratford: Don’t make us choose! We love all our toys equally. That said, Grogu will always have a special place in our hearts. The entire team fell in love with him the second we saw him on-screen and that inspired us throughout the whole design process.

Check out more photos of Galactic Snackin’ Grogu below!

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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.

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“Star Wars is a Story for the World”: Artist Huang Hai on His Stunning Jedi Poster

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 07:32

A Jedi meditates. It’s an image we’ve seen before in film, animation, and comics. But not like this.

The ground seems to ripple in waves beneath the Padawan learner; his lightsaber levitates, pointing upward; peering through the windows before him, we see glimpses of X-wings and TIE fighters in battle, while columns cast imposing shadows. Taking a step back, we see that this Padawan sits not in a temple or dojo. Rather, the wall between him and these images of war takes the form of something much darker: the mask of Darth Vader.

This is the work of Huang Hai, a renowned Chinese poster artist who recently offered the world his interpretation of Star Wars with an illustration called “MASTER · Tribute.” Released last month to mark the Lunar New Year, it’s a personal, spiritual piece, reflecting Star Wars themes but directly informed by Huang’s own culture. “I hoped to express the Force through the lens of Eastern aesthetics. To show it through traditional Chinese art forms other than ink painting and Chinese brush calligraphy,” he tells StarWars.com over email. “I meant to show what a Jedi represents in terms of Eastern philosophies. A Jedi embodies a kind of culture, and cultures, per se, are always interlinked.”

Huang is a prequel-generation fan. It was the stories of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé that captured his imagination — a factor that could explain the use of a Padawan over, say, Luke or Leia or Rey as his poster’s central figure. “My first Star Wars experience was watching The Phantom Menace in 1999. It was so visually stunning that I started to devour all the Star Wars movies and stories that I could get my hands on,” Huang says. “I came to know about George Lucas and the Star Wars galaxy that is full of wonders.”

He also, however, saw immediate connections to Chinese culture as he became a fan. And those links would ultimately come to influence his poster years later. “Jedi have a lot in common with Xia Ke, the Chinese knights in the traditional martial arts novels. Both fascinate me,” he says. With this personal and cultural connection, Huang took care to convey his feelings about Star Wars when he began work on his illustration.

“Honestly, it was not an easy journey. I spent four months pondering over what point of view I should come from to present the limitless galaxy of Star Wars. What elements best represent the Star Wars? Jedi? Lightsabers? Darth Vadar’s helmet? The Force? I hoped that I could come up with an original point of view to showcase the Force,” he says. “We finally zeroed in on one idea: ‘looking into oneself by looking into the Force.’ What it takes for a Padawan to become a Jedi Master is not one’s skill level, but his or her balanced control of the Force. In Chinese, we have a phrase, Zi Xing, meaning ‘introspection,’ which is akin to the concept we were pursuing.”

But when one looks at oneself, the reflection isn’t always pretty.

“This is why I chose to look into the Force from the inside of the helmet,” Huang says. “Facing the temptation from the dark side of the Force is a test that every Padawan faces. Isn’t it a test that everyone faces in real life? The Force is like the two sides of light. There is the dark side and there is the light side, and they always co-exist. It is how the universe always is.  What we should do is to find the balance in it.”

Regarding that balance and how Huang represents it, StarWars.com asks specifically about the role Vader’s grille plays in his poster. It forms windows to the outside world, but also casts oppressive shadows — making it almost look like the bars of a jail cell.

“Great observation!” Huang says. “Does the grille indicate a prison cell or a room with window? For a Padawan, will he or she see despair or hope? Everyone will come to their own conclusion. Star Wars is a universal story. Wherever we come from, we can always relate to this story and arrive at an understanding of our own.”

Whatever meaning fans may take from his poster, Huang’s Eastern-influenced interpretation of the galaxy far, far away truly comes from the heart. “It’s my great honor to have this opportunity,” he says. “In my eyes, Star Wars is a story for the world. It’s a story that shows we share so much in common. It’s a story that every storyteller dreams to create.”

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Quiz: Who Said The Star Wars: The Clone Wars Quote?

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 08:00

How well do you know Star Wars: The Clone Wars? With the official StarWars.com rewatch complete, we can’t stop quoting some of our favorite heroes and villains from the animated series. But can you match these unforgettable musings and epic one-liners with the character who said them on screen? Put your knowledge to the test with our latest quiz.

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Get Ready for the LEGO Star Wars Minifigure Madness Tournament!

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 14:09

Who’s the greatest LEGO Star Wars minifigure? You can help decide!

The LEGO Star Wars 2021 Minifigure Madness Tournament kicks off Friday, March 19, on @LEGO_Group’s Twitter page, where  you can vote for your favorite heroes and villains from across the Star Wars saga. There will be four rounds of matchups all leading to the Final, which will run April 4-6, and the winner will be announced April 7.

The tournament features 32 minifigure characters, grouped into four themed regions: Light Side, Droids, Dark Side, and Allies & Adversaries. Can Grogu beat Han Solo? Will Finn take down Chewbacca? You can get a first look at these matchups and more in the bracket below:

Will a Jedi be crowned champion? A Sith? A loyal droid companion? Feel the Force — and the bricks — and vote!

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Marvel Celebrates Sana Starros and More in Star Wars Pride Month Comics Covers this June

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 11:16

This Pride Month, gay and transgender artists will pay homage to some of the LGBTQ+ characters inhabiting a galaxy far, far away in a special line of variant comic book covers.

Among those featured in the June issues of Marvel’s Star Wars comics, Rae Sloane will grace the cover of Darth Vader #13 as drawn by J.J. Kirby, Doctor Aphra will get into mischief on War of the Bounty Hunters #1 with art from Babs Tarr, Yrica Quell will be captured by artist Jacopo Camagni on the cover of Bounty Hunters #13, Jedi twins Terec and Ceret from Star Wars: The High Republic will be portrayed by artist Javier Garron on a variant for issue #6, and the smooth-talking scoundrel Lando Calrissian will be decked out in style on the cover of Star Wars #14, illustrated by Stephen Byrne.

But first, StarWars.com is thrilled to exclusively reveal the inks from a Sana Starros portrait that will be available on the cover of Marvel’s Doctor Aphra #11 below, with art by Jan Bazaldua.

“This talented team of artists is bringing so much passion and enthusiasm to these covers,” says Marvel editor Tom Groneman. “For me, sharing that passion with fans and readers is a wonderful celebration of the most unique, compelling, and iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy.”

Learn more about the full line of Star Wars comics hitting store shelves this June.

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Fan Favorites from Classic Star Wars Stories Come to Hasbro’s Black Series – Exclusive

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 08:00

Even Jennifer Heddle, executive editor of Lucasfilm Publishing, couldn’t believe it. A longtime reader of Star Wars books and comics long before she made it her career, she understands the importance of those stories better than most. And when word came down that Hasbro would honor that legacy for Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary, bringing several characters to life in the popular 6-inch Star Wars The Black Series line, it held deep personal significance.

“I’ve been a fan of Star Wars comic books since the 1980s, so the very idea of having action figures based on Star Wars comics publishing is mind-blowing in the very best way,” she tells StarWars.com. “Seeing these figures takes me right back to memories of sitting on my bedroom floor, paging through the latest Star Wars comic, hardly able to believe I was reading original adventures about my favorite characters. Publishing’s ability to create those kinds of memories is a driving force behind what I do, and to have Lucasfilm acknowledge that legacy in this way is absolutely thrilling. Fans are going to be so excited to see these comic book characters in a new way, especially when done with the incredible skill and detail the Black Series is famous for.”

Pulled from Legends tales and current storytelling, the heroes and villains chosen for plastic immortality form a true all-star wave: Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Heir to the Empire), Jaxxon (1970s Marvel Star Wars and IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures), Darth Maul (Star Wars: Darth Maul), and Carnor Jax (Star Wars: Crimson Empire). “With so many stories and fan-favorite characters to choose from, it’s a challenge to narrow down to just a few,” says Chris Gollaher, director of product design at Lucasfilm. “We selected these four based on fan appeal, and because they show the tremendous range and potential of our publishing program by representing comics and novels alike.”

Luke Skywalker (Star Wars: Heir to the Empire) 

Inspired by the comic book adaptation (written by Mike Baron and illustrated by Olivier Vatine) of Timothy Zahn’s seminal novel, this Luke Skywalker figure depicts the Jedi five years after the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. “This is an opportunity to have a Luke action figure in a time period that he hasn’t appeared in as an action figure before, so that’s a real landmark for me both as a member of Lucasfilm Publishing and as a Star Wars fan,” says Heddle. “This is the Luke we met in our mind’s eye in 1991, and seeing it brings me right back to that exciting time. He’s an emblem of the decades-long Star Wars publishing legacy.”

In addition to his lightsaber, Luke comes packed with a ysalamiri – a favorite pet of Grand Admiral Thrawn for its Force-blocking abilities. “Since the ysalamiri play such a crucial part in the trilogy, it was important to us to get that creature into the line,” says Eric Franer, associate product designer, action brands, at Hasbro.” We even sculpted the ysalamiri to fit around the neck of our recently released Black Series Archive Grand Admiral Thrawn, so collectors can pose that figure out with the ysalamiri to recreate those iconic moments from the novels and comics.”

Jaxxon (Star Wars Adventures)

Created by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin for Marvel’s 1970s Star Wars comics, the rabbit-like Jaxxon was recently fully adopted into modern continuity thanks to an appearance in a Star Wars Adventures tale by Cavan Scott. A cult favorite for decades, the release of this figure is sure to send fans hopping (pun definitely intended) down the toy aisles. “Jaxxon is a legacy character from the very beginning of Star Wars publishing — his first appearance was in the original Marvel comics series, issue #8 in 1978,” says Heddle. “A wise-cracking, tough-as-nails, giant green rabbit — what’s not to love? For many fans, Jaxxon is the ultimate symbol of that original Marvel run. It was a delight to be able to bring Jaxxon into more recent canon material, but this figure commemorates the character from his very beginnings, as it should. I can’t wait to have Jaxxon on my bookshelf.”

“Jaxxon is one of the most unique and fun figures we have ever done and the publishing program was the perfect place to introduce this character,” adds Franer. “We really wanted to capture his unique silhouette so we tooled up a new head, shoulder pads, and belt to make him look truly unique from any other Black Series figure we have done up until this point. Making a realistic interpretation of the character’s portrait was also a fun challenge, especially since he has been seen in so many different styles throughout the years.”

Darth Maul (Star Wars: Darth Maul)

This version of Darth Maul comes from a 2000 comic series set pre-Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Written by Ron Marz and pencilled by Jan Duursema, Star Wars: Darth Maul offers a glimpse into Maul’s Sith training and sees him dispatched to handle a new threat to his master. “It feels like an absolute gift any time we can feature Darth Maul in publishing, and having an action figure of Maul in a costume he has worn only in the comic books is really fun,” says Heddle. “At this point in the timeline, he’s full of rage and drive, and poetic in his athleticism. I love the dynamism of this figure.”

“This is our first time doing the shirtless Darth Maul and showing off the full body tattoo; it is a striking update to an already awesome looking figure!” says Farner. “We used this opportunity to sculpt up a new head as well, focusing on the bared teeth snarl he has in many of his appearances.”

Carnor Jax (Star Wars: Crimson Empire)

A student of the dark side and a rising Sith Lord, Carnor Jax was first introduced in 1997’s Star Wars: Crimson Empire comic miniseries, written by Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley with art by Paul Gulacy. With an intimidating look based on the classic Imperial guard from Return of the Jedi, Jax’s outfit features salient details, including a purple cape lining. “I wasn’t familiar with the Crimson Empire comic book series until I started working at Lucasfilm, and if memory serves I did shepherd it through the end of its run,” Heddle says. “I was a big fan of the series. The very concept of an Imperial guard turning on his brethren was a fantastic idea from writers Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley, and Carnor Jax was a complex villain you loved to hate. One of the coolest aspects of the Crimson Empire series was seeing the red-robed Imperial guards in action, not just standing still as we see them in Return of the Jedi, but rather engaging in furious hand to hand combat. It wasn’t like anything Star Wars fans had seen before. So I love seeing this important piece of Star Wars publishing history come to life in this wonderfully-detailed action figure.”

“This Black Series Carnor Jax figure is actually an update to our previously released Black Series Imperial Royal Guard figure,” says Franer. “In the films we never see the Imperial guards without their cloak, so we based the figure’s undersuit on Carnor Jax’s outfit. Now, it’s worked out great to make this update and create this Carnor Jax Black Series figure. He comes with brand new soft goods which feature a striking purple on the interior of the cloak and his iconic double ended vibroblade. We also wanted to pay homage to the cover art for this collection, so we tried to recreate that look as closely as possible for this figure.”

Remembering Legends

While this wave is definitely a surprise, it was actually something of a no-brainer. “At its core, Star Wars is all about amazing storytelling, and throughout the history of the company, some of the most imaginative and exciting stories have come from our publishing program,” says Gollaher. “We couldn’t celebrate the first 50 years of the company without acknowledging some of the great characters and stories that have come from our novels and comic series throughout the years.”

So make some room on your book or toy shelves — these figures will fit well on either.

All figures available for pre-order starting Friday, March 19, at 10 a.m. PT.

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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

10 Fantastic Finn Quotes

Wed, 03/17/2021 - 11:22

FN-2187. Finn. General. No matter what you call him, Finn is a hero. While the former First Order stormtrooper never intended to be a leader, much less a member of the Resistance, the friends he makes on his journey show him there’s so much worth fighting for. 

Throughout the sequel trilogy, Finn is adept at making both quick quips and rousing speeches. Here are just a few of our favorite lines from a hero who really is a big deal in the Resistance.

1. “Finn. I like that.” (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

In the midst of a daring escape from the First Order, Poe Dameron takes a moment to help his new friend choose a name instead of a designation. It’s Finn’s first step into a larger galaxy and a greater purpose.

2. “I’m a big deal in the Resistance.” (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Finn shows more bravado than bravery when he first meets Rey and Han Solo. Desperate to escape his former life, Finn will say whatever he can to stay on the run. In time, Finn finds the courage to live up to that statement.

3. “That’s one hell of a pilot!” (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Finn can’t help but yell when Black Squadron comes to their aid on Takodana. As Poe’s X-wing swoops and soars through the air in hot pursuit of First Order TIE fighters, Finn gets swept up in the excitement. It’s the first of many times Finn cheers for his friends.

4. “I’m in charge now, Phasma. I’m in charge.” (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Finn obviously has a lot of feelings when he returns to Starkiller Base. It’s a big moment for someone who’s never been in charge of himself to face his merciless former commander again.

5. “You’re wrong.” (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

Slicer-for-hire DJ insists playing both sides is just business, but Finn won’t hear it. DJ serves as a cautionary tale of what it means to only look out for yourself when the entire galaxy is at war. It’s a lesson Finn won’t forget. He’s finally made the choice to stop running and start taking a stand. 

6. “Rebel scum.” (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

Blaster bolts fly and sparking batons clash in a battle for the ages. Defeated, Phasma calls Finn scum with disdain. He corrects her by proudly adding “rebel” in front of it. The former stormtrooper knows who he is now.

7. “We gotta take out that cannon.” (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

Finn makes his first inspiring speech in the dark mines on Crait. It won’t be his last. He rallies what’s left of the ragtag Resistance to buy time for help to arrive.

8. “Rey, I never told you–” (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

As Finn is claimed by the sinking sands of Pasaana, he tries to blurt out a revelation to one of his best friends. When they all emerge safely on the other side, Poe can’t help but be curious what Finn was about to confess. (Finn would rather have a talk about his newfound awareness of the Force when they’re not lost in subterranean tunnels.)

9. “We’re all in this. Until the end.” (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

Rey is devastated by the loss of Chewbacca. With a sincere pep talk and a squeeze of her hand, Finn shows the Jedi that he will always stand by her side. It’s just what she needs to hear to keep fighting through her doubts.

10. “Leia never gave up. And neither will we.” (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

This is it. Everything is on the line, and newly minted General Finn rallies the troops once last time before the final battle begins. Leia’s legacy of hope and tenacity even when facing seemingly insurmountable odds will endure, thanks to heroes like Finn and the Resistance. 

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

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Aphra Takes a Dive in Marvel’s Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #8 – Exclusive Preview

Wed, 03/17/2021 - 10:00

On Dol’har Hyde, deep in the Outer Rim, what remains of an ancient Nihil battleship has been swallowed by the trees.

But Doctor Aphra and Sana Starros are intent on unearthing the secrets enshrined in the mechanical remnants left behind by the fearless marauders. What awaits them inside the devastation of the ancient battlefield? Judging by StarWars.com’s exclusive first look, untold treasures and one very long fall.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #8, from writer Alyssa Wong and artist Minkyu Jung, with a cover by Joshua “SWAY” Swaby, arrives March 24 and is available for pre-order now on Comixology and at your local comic shop.

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A General, a Jedi, and a Wookiee Plot a Rescue as War of the Bounty Hunters Begins and More from Marvel’s June 2021 Star Wars Comics – Exclusive Preview

Wed, 03/17/2021 - 08:00

There’s about to be a battle for the greatest prize of all: Han Solo.

In an epic storytelling event, Marvel’s June 2021 Star Wars comics will usher in a cross-title tie-in to kick-off the War of the Bounty Hunters miniseries, and StarWars.com has your first look at the solicits, including the flagship Star Wars series, The High RepublicBounty Hunters, Darth Vader, and Doctor Aphra. Find out Jedi Master Sskeer’s terrible secret in The High Republic, and follow the battle for the rebel scoundrel now frozen in carbonite…

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC #6 on sale June 30

Written by CAVAN SCOTT
Art by GEORGES JEANTY
Cover by PHIL NOTO
Variant Cover by PEACH MOMOKO

ATTACK OF THE HUTTS!

  • The HIGH REPUBLIC JEDI clash with HUTT forces. GAMORREANS! NIKTO! BATTLE RANCORS!
  • STARLIGHT BEACON over-run by a creeping alien horror! Can VERNESTRA RWOH and her Padawan IMRI CANTAROS find a way to save Starlight’s infected masses?
  • Plus, KEEVE TRENNIS learns the terrible secret MASTER SSKEER has been carrying for so long. Can she ever trust him again?

STAR WARS: WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS #1 (OF 5) on sale June 2

Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art and Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN
Variant Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
Wraparound Variant Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

AT WAR FOR THE GREATEST PRIZE OF ALL: HAN SOLO!

THE HUNT BEGINS!

  • Nobody. Steals. From BOBA FETT! The notorious bounty hunter will not stop until he gets what’s rightfully his. For the thief, no corner of the galaxy is safe. Good thing for them that the REBEL ALLIANCE, THE EMPIRE and every bounty hunter in the galaxy is standing in Boba’s way.
  • With a last-page reveal that will blow this Death Star–sized story wide open, Issue #1 is just the beginning. The biggest crossover in STAR WARS history will continue raging through the pages of the WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS event miniseries and tie-in to STAR WARS, DOCTOR APHRA, DARTH VADER and BOUNTY HUNTERS through October.
  • Only one hunter will be left standing, and the STAR WARS galaxy will never be the same!

STAR WARS #14 on sale June 16

Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art by RAMON ROSANAS
Cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN

WAR OF THE BOUNTY HUNTERS TIE-IN!

  • The REBELS finally have a lead on the location of HAN SOLO!
  • It’s time to save the captain of the MILLENNIUM FALCON from his frozen carbonite tomb!
  • A general, a Jedi, and a Wookiee will mount a desperate rescue mission… But they have no idea what actually awaits them.

STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #11 on sale June 30

Written by ALYSSA WONG
Art by MINKYU JUNG
COVER BY SARA PICHELLI

MYSTERIES ABOUND ABOARD A DURGE-ANGED SHIP!

  • DOCTOR APHRA and SANA STARROS discover an eerie abandoned ship while on a new mission from DOMINA TAGGE.
  • But on board they will come face-to-face with a nightmarish horror not seen in the galaxy for untold eons.
  • And then there’s….THE FEARSOME BOUNTY HUNTER DURGE!

STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #13 on sale June 9

Written by ETHAN SACKS
Art by PAOLO VILLANELLI
COVER BY GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI

THE WOOKIEE ALWAYS WINS!

  • Hot on the trail of BOBA FETT, VALANCE and DENGAR run into a rather large obstacle—the mighty CHEWBACCA!
  • Will T’ONGA escape the trap set by a mysterious organization out to upend the underworld?
  • And who is the figure in the shadows hunting them all?!

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #13 on sale June 23

Written by GREG PAK
Art by RAFFAELE IENCO
Cover by AARON KUDER

DARK LORD VS. DARK DROID!

  • DARTH VADER and OCHI OF BESTOON embark upon a search for the carbonite-frozen body of HAN SOLO.
  • Get ready for intrigue, betrayal and action in the heart of HUTT SPACE with the explosive reappearance of EVERYONE’S FAVORITE ASSASSIN DROID, IG-88!
  • …And a shocking cliffhanger brings the shadows to life!

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Get Your Vines on This DIY Drengir Planter

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 10:00

The High Republic is a period of prosperity. But in the dark corners of the Republic, something sinister is creeping in the shadows…the Drengir! These plant-like predators want little more than to sink their teeth into the creatures of the galaxy. Monstrous mounds of vegetation-like bodies with writhing thorny vines and a blaster in “hand,” the Drengir are formidable foes even for a Jedi Knight.

You would never keep these verdant villains as a houseplant, but you can make your own DIY Drengir planter to add a nod to the High Republic to your home décor. Add a spiky or unusual plant inside and you’ve got a creepy, creeping conversation piece like no other.

What You’ll Need

  • Black plastic plant pot
  • Printed High Republic template
  • Gold vinyl adhesive sheet
  • Green acrylic paint (various shades)
  • Glossy clear coat or decoupage glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil

Get Started!

Step 1: Begin by printing and cutting out the High Republic symbol.

Step 2: Trace the symbol on the back of the gold vinyl adhesive sheet. Cut it out.

Step 3: Peel the backing from the vinyl and attach the High Republic symbol to the plastic pot.

Step 4: Use the hot glue gun to make “vines” creeping up the sides of the planter.

Tip: This is a rare project where you don’t have to worry about any annoying hot glue strings. They add to the creepiness!

Step 5: Let the hot glue cool completely.

Step 6: Next, mix a few shades of green acrylic paint. Paint the glue vines the darkest shade of green. Let dry.

Step 7: Use the lighter shades of green on the vines, particularly the ends, to add more color and highlights. Let all paint dry.

Step 8: Add a coat of decoupage glue or glossy clear varnish to protect the acrylic paint when the plant is watered. Let dry completely.

Your Drengir is done! A spiky succulent or something with creeping vines will find your handiwork to be the perfect home.

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

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

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheHighRepublic, #StarWarsCrafts

R2-D2 is Making Waffles

Mon, 03/15/2021 - 16:00
This droid doesn't just co-pilot starfighters anymore. Now he's cooking up breakfast.

A Jedi Rides a Rancor on the Cover of Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic #6, and It’s Amazing – Exclusive Reveal

Mon, 03/15/2021 - 08:00

It’s taken almost 40 years, but we will finally see a Jedi ride a rancor.

On the cover of Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic #6, revealed below on StarWars.com, Jedi Master Avar Kriss sits perched atop the towering creature, lightsaber ignited and ready. Illustrated by modern Star Wars comics great Phil Noto, it’s a completely arresting image, both fun and surprising, with an ironic wink at audiences’ first introduction to the creatures; rancors debuted in 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, becoming an instantly iconic movie monster when Luke Skywalker tussled with one of the beasts in Jabba the Hutt’s underground pit. 

In addition, you can get a first look at Peach Momoko’s beautiful, watercolor-style variant cover below, featuring a dreamlike take on Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis.

In The High Republic #6, the Jedi will clash with Hutt forces — meaning Gamorreans, Nikto, and battle rancors — while Starlight Beacon is over-run by a creeping alien horror. Plus, Keeve Trennis finally uncovers Master Sskeer’s terrible secret…

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #TheHighRepublic

6 Galactically Good “Doggos” of Star Wars

Fri, 03/12/2021 - 08:00

Just like in our galaxy, the dog-like creatures of Star Wars make great best friends. Some may look like monsters, and some might actually be monsters, but all of them are fond of a gentle pat on the head and a yummy treat. These creatures aren’t exactly pups — some of them don’t even have a patch of fur — but they are just as steadfast as any canine pet on our own planet.

Let’s meet six creature companions who live in the galaxy far, far away; whether they’re at the side of a scoundrel or a faithful friend of a Jedi, these good “doggos” all deserve a good belly rub.

1. Barghest (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

They look absolutely terrifying with all those teeth and red eyes, but barghests are surprisingly loyal and genuine pets. Dozens of razor-sharp teeth fill a barghest’s massive jaws, and its dark leathery skin only has a few patches of coarse fur. This is definitely a beast that doesn’t fall under the category of “cute.”

But that doesn’t mean the barghest is a thoughtless brute. The four-legged, six-eyed canine-like creatures fiercely protect their companions from all kinds of danger. Gwellis Bagnoro, an expert forger who stopped by Maz’s Castle on Takodana, is one such fortunate owner.

2. Charhound (Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi)

Charhounds are found on the hot, dusty world of Elphrona. Like much of the iron-rich world itself, the small, four-legged creatures are muted colors of black, white, and grey. Spots of red and orange dot their hides. Their bright yellow eyes shine with intelligence. They have an amazing amount of stamina for an animal so lithe and quick. Charhounds also hide an unexpected trait for anyone who gets on their bad side.

Bell Zettifar, Padawan of the High Republic, is often accompanied by his charhound buddy Ember. Like all good dogs, charhounds appreciate a nice scratch behind the ears, and Bell is always happy to oblige.

3. Corellian Hound (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

You might not consider these canines good boys when they’re hot on your trail, but Corellian hounds are a mainstay of the industrial planet. A variety of breeds live across Corellia. Sibians in particular are used for tracking and hunting thanks to their sensitive sense of smell and oversized teeth. The hairless creatures also have two wideset eyes and are surprisingly light on their feet.

Not even Rebolt and Syke, handlers with the White Worms, can resist giving the Sibian hounds some treats. Syke’s favorite Sibian is named Taomat.

4. Loth-wolf (Star Wars Rebels)

Not much is known about the Loth-wolf, a canine creature native to Lothal. The mysterious wolf-like beings are deeply connected to the Force. Loth-wolves, often covered in white, black, or grey fur, are highly intelligent and can communicate with those strong in the Force. They’ve been intertwined with the planet’s history for so long that there are even ancient paintings dedicated to the ghostly wolves.

While the standoffish Loth-wolves are too massive and wild to be pets, they do allow other beings to ride on their backs across the grassy plains of Lothal.

5. Massiff (The Mandalorian)

The massiffs domesticated by Tusken Raiders on Tatooine are more reptilian than mammal. Republic clone troopers also tamed and trained massiffs to track their enemies during the Clone Wars. Scales and spikes cover their stout body, their large black eyes are well-suited for seeing in the dark, and their hide is thick and armored for defense. Jagged teeth poke out of their sizeable mouths.

Despite their aggressive appearance, massiffs love scritches and attention.

6. Vulptex (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

The fox-like vulptices of Crait are easily identified by their shining crystalline fur. A group of vulptices, called a skulk, found a home in an abandoned rebel base on the desolate planet. The omnivorous animals survive by eating Craithian shrub grass and mole mice. Their small size, agile bodies, and acute eyesight give them the ability to reach the depths of the caverns where they’re safe.

A vulptex isn’t typically tamed or domesticated, but the curious canines helped Resistance members escape the First Order.

Which of these good space doggies would you want as a pet?

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

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

UPDATED: We’re Rewatching Star Wars: The Clone Wars!

Thu, 03/11/2021 - 11:00

If you’ve been longing to revisit the critically-acclaimed animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars in full, now you can let StarWars.com be your guide for a chronological deep dive through all seven seasons!

StarWars.com kicked off its rewatch in 2018 in celebration of the series’ 10th anniversary and just after the surprise announcement that The Clone Wars had been saved and would be returning for a proper final season on Disney+. For two and a half years, we documented our chronological rewatch of the entire series and film right here, inviting fans to watch along with us, share their thoughts on favorite moments, characters, and story arcs, and read our recaps breaking down each episode and its ties to the saga and beyond.

With the rewatch of the 12 episodes that encompassed the series revival in 2020, our series has come to an end.

When it first debuted in 2008, The Clone Wars sought to explore the rich world of characters and conflicts, deeply personal sacrifices, alliances and betrayals at play during the galaxy-shifting war, with episodes taking  place between the films Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, documenting the period of civil war between the Republic and the Separatist Alliance. Through it all, we were introduced to new favorite characters like Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan Ahsoka Tano and got a deeper appreciation for the people and planets caught in the middle of the war, including the regular citizens, the Jedi Knights, and the clones themselves.

Here is the full Clone Wars rewatch in chronological order:

1: “Cat and Mouse” (Season Two, Episode 16)

2: “The Hidden Enemy” (Season One, Episode 16)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars theatrical release (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3)

3: “Clone Cadets” (Season Three, Episode 1)

4: “Supply Lines” (Season Three, Episode 3)

5: “Ambush” (Season One, Episode 1)

6: “Rising Malevolence” (Season One, Episode 2)

7: “Shadow of Malevolence” (Season One, Episode 3)

8: “Destroy Malevolence” (Season One, Episode 4)

9: “Rookies” (Season One, Episode 5)

10: “Downfall of a Droid” (Season One, Episode 6)

11: “Duel of the Droids(Season One, Episode 7)

12: “Bombad Jedi” (Season One, Episode 8)

13: “Cloak of Darkness” (Season One, Episode 9)

14: “Lair of Grievous” (Season One, Episode 10)

15: “Dooku Captured” (Season One, Episode 11)

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

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

18: “Defenders of Peace”(Season One, Episode 14)

19: “Trespass” (Season One, Episode 15)

20: “Blue Shadow Virus” (Season One, Episode 17)

21: “Mystery of a Thousand Moons” (Season One, Episode 18)

22: “Storm Over Ryloth” (Season One, Episode 19)

23“Innocents of Ryloth” (Season One, Episode 20)

24: “Liberty on Ryloth” (Season One, Episode 21)

25: “Holocron Heist” (Season Two, Episode 1)

26: “Cargo of Doom” (Season Two, Episode 2)

27: “Children of the Force” (Season Two, Episode 3)

28: “Bounty Hunters” (Season Two, Episode 17)

29: “The Zillo Beast” (Season Two, Episode 18)

30: “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back” (Season Two, Episode 19)

31: “Senate Spy” (Season Two, Episode 4)

32: “Landing at Point Rain” (Season Two, Episode 5)

33: “Weapons Factory” (Season Two, Episode 6)

34: “Legacy of Terror” (Season Two, Episode 7)

35: “Brain Invaders” (Season Two, Episode 8)

36: “Grievous Intrigue” (Season Two, Episode 9)

37: “The Deserter” (Season Two, Episode 10)

38: “Lightsaber Lost” (Season Two, Episode 11)

39: “The Mandalore Plot” (Season Two, Episode 12)

40: “Voyage of Temptation” (Season Two, Episode 13)

41: “Duchess of Mandalore” (Season Two, Episode 14)

42: “Death Trap” (Season Two, Episode 20)

43: “R2 Come Home” (Season Two, Episode 21)

44: “Lethal Trackdown” (Season Two, Episode 22)

45: “Corruption” (Season Three, Episode 5)

46: “The Academy” (Season Three, Episode 6)

47: “Assassin” (Season Three, Episode 7)

48: “ARC Troopers” (Season Three, Episode 2)

49: “Sphere of Influence” (Season Three, Episode 4)

50: “Evil Plans” (Season Three, Episode 8)

51: “Hostage Crisis” (Season One, Episode 22)

52: “Hunt for Ziro” (Season Three, Episode 9)

53: “Heroes on Both Sides” (Season Three, Episode 10)

54: “Pursuit of Peace” (Season Three, Episode 11)

55: “Senate Murders” (Season Two, Episode 15)

56: “Nightsisters” (Season Three, Episode 12)

57: “Monster” (Season Three, Episode 13)

58: “Witches of the Mist” (Season Three, Episode 14)

59: “Overlords” (Season Three, Episode 15)

60: “Altar of Mortis” (Season Three, Episode 16)

61: “Ghosts of Mortis” (Season Three, Episode 17)

62: “The Citadel” (Season Three, Episode 18)

63: “Counterattack” (Season Three, Episode 19)

64: “Citadel Rescue” (Season Three, Episode 20)

65:“Padawan Lost” (Season Three, Episode 21)

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

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

68: “Gungan Attack” (Season Four, Episode 2)

69: “Prisoners” (Season Four, Episode 3)

70: “Shadow Warrior” (Season Four, Episode 4)

71: “Mercy Mission” (Season Four, Episode 5)

72: “Nomad Droids” (Season Four, Episode 6)

73: “Darkness on Umbara” (Season Four, Episode 7)

74: “The General” (Season Four, Episode 8)

75: “Plan of Dissent” (Season Four, Episode 9)

76: “Carnage of Krell” (Season Four, Episode 19)

77: “Kidnapped” (Season Four, Episode 11)

78: “Slaves of the Republic” (Season Four, Episode 12)

79: “Escape from Kadavo” (Season Four, Episode 13)

80: “A Friend in Need” (Season Four, Episode 14)

81: “Deception” (Season Four, Episode 15)

82: “Friends and Enemies” (Season Four, Episode 16)

83: “The Box” (Season Four, Episode 17)

84: “Crisis on Naboo” (Season Four, Episode 18)

85: “Massacre” (Season Four, Episode 19)

86: “Bounty” (Season Four, Episode 20)

87: “Brothers” (Season Four, Episode 21)

88: “Revenge” (Season Four, Episode 22)

89: “A War on Two Fronts” (Season Five, Episode 2)

90: “Front Runners” (Season Five, Episode 3)

91: “The Soft War” (Season Five, Episode 4)

92: “Tipping Points” (Season Five, Episode 5)

93: “The Gathering” (Season Five, Episode 6)

94: “A Test of Strength” (Season Five, Episode 7)

95: “Bound for Rescue” (Season Five, Episode 8)

96: “A Necessary Bond” (Season Five, Episode 9)

97: “Secret Weapons” (Season Five, Episode 10)

98: “A Sunny Day in the Void” (Season Five, Episode 11)

99: “Missing in Action” (Season Five, Episode 12)

100: “Point of No Return” (Season Five, Episode 13)

101: “Revival” (Season Five, Episode 1)

102: “Eminence” (Season Five, Episode 14)

103: “Shades of Reason” (Season Five, Episode 15)

104: “The Lawless” (Season Five, Episode 16)

105: “Sabotage” (Season Five, Episode 17)

106: “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much” (Season Five, Episode 18)

107: “To Catch a Jedi” (Season Five, Episode 19)

108: “The Wrong Jedi” (Season Five, Episode 20)

109: “The Unknown” (Season Six, Episode 1)

110: “Conspiracy” (Season Six, Episode 2)

111: “Fugitive” (Season Six, Episode 3)

112: “Orders” (Season Six, Episode 4)

113: “An Old Friend” (Season Six, Episode 5)

114: “The Rise of Clovis” (Season Six, Episode 6)

115: “Crisis at the Heart” (Season Six, Episode 7)

116: “The Disappeared” (Season Six, Episode 8)

117: “The Disappeared” Part II (Season Six, Episode 9)

118: “The Lost One” (Season Six, Episode 10)

119: “Voices” (Season Six, Episode 11)

120: “Destiny” (Season Six, Episode 12)

121: Sacrifice” (Season Six, Episode 13)

122: “Gone with a Trace” (Season Seven, Episode 5)

123: “Deal No Deal” (Season Seven, Episode 6)

124: “Dangerous Debt” (Season Seven, Episode 7)

125: “Together Again” (Season Seven, Episode 8)

126: “The Bad Batch” (Season Seven, Episode 1)

127: “A Distant Echo” (Season Seven, Episode 2)

128: “On the Wings of Keeradaks” (Season Seven, Episode 3)

129: “Unfinished Business” (Season Seven, Episode 4)

130: “Old Friends Not Forgotten” (Season Seven, Episode 9)

131: “The Phantom Apprentice” (Season Seven, Episode 10)

132: “Shattered” (Season Seven, Episode 11)

133: “Victory and Death” (Season Seven, Episode 12)

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

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

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog

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