Those of us old enough to have seen the original Star Wars film during it’s initial run have a fond memory to cherish. When the Flash Gordon-inspired, yellow text crawled its way up the screen, it began with, “It is a period of civil war,” and then continued on. There was no subtitle to the film since, we assume, no one really knew if it would be a hit or not. If you’ve seen the film since the 1980s, though, then you’ve most likely seen the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope added above the crawl. (For a GREAT article on May 25, 1977 and all that goes with it, please see May 25, 1977: A Day Long Remembered by Michael Coate.) Read More
Kenny Baker is the actor/entertainer who crawled into the R2-D2 unit for every Star Wars film thus far. Being three feet and eight inches tall never stopped Kenny from making it big in the entertainment industry. He was in several fantastic films including Time Bandits, Flash Gordon, Amadeus, The Elephant Man, and of course the Star Wars films. If all goes well, he should end up being one of the proud few who can claim that they were in every Star Wars film. He currently lives in England and is enjoying life relaxing between touring all over the world and appearing at various Sci-fi conventions, something he really enjoys. Kenny was kind enough to take some time out to answer a few of my questions. (Original posting: July 25, 2000)
Dan Madsen is a publicist/marketing/public relations at Independent consultant working with fan based media. He is the former Founder/President/Publisher at Fantastic Media and created/produced the global official fan clubs, magazines, and merchandise for the Official Star Trek and Star Wars entertainment franchises under license from Paramount Pictures and Lucasfilm Ltd. He’s a humble, friendly guy and even had a cameo in The Phantom Menace. Dan took a moment to answer a few of my questions about fandom. (Original Posting: July 18, 2006)
Peter Diamond (1929-2004) was the stunt coordinator for the original Star Wars trilogy, but he was much more than a well-established master at the art of stunt performing. He was also an actor, fencer, and filmmaker. Being a man of many talents, it’s no surprise to learn that he performed many of the minor roles in the Star Wars films like the Tusken Raider who attacked Luke, the cantina patron who squeals to the Stormtroopers, or one of many dedicated Stormtroopers serving the Empire. Peter took a few minutes to talk to me about his long career in the entertainment industry and, of course, his many roles in the Star Wars saga. (Original Posting: December 11, 2000)
Last year, Sequart published a pair of anthology books discussing Star Wars, starting with A Long Time Ago… Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe and followed by A Galaxy Far, Far Away… Exploring Star Wars Comics. To round out the trilogy, as is often the case with many things Star Wars, Sequart released its third in the series, A More Civilized Age… Exploring the Star Wars Expanded Universe! Read More
As some of you know, this site was launched in 1996. That means it’s been alive for 20 years; a pretty big accomplishment. In that time, I’ve written in my bloggy, informal style here on the site, with the occasional magazine article or sidebar here or there. It gives me great pleasure to announce today that the wonderful Sequart organization has released the first in a trilogy of Star Wars books called A Long Time Ago… Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe. Inside, you’ll be treated to some great writing by some well-respected writers, one of them being me! Read More
As we get closer to the release of The Force Awakens, the marketing machine will steadily increase its output and you’ll see more and more Star Wars branded everything no matter where you go. Marketing has always been integral since the saga’s inception. No one really knew if the first film would be successful in 1977. Marketing efforts helped familiarize people with the foreign aspects of this new form of science fiction/space fantasy. Read More
If you’re a Star Wars fan and love keeping up with Star Wars news, here’s a chance for you to put your skills to work.
I’m in need of some good people with decent writing/reporting skills to help out with the site. Anyone is welcome to apply.
The site is based in WordPress so if you’re familiar with that, you’re halfway there. If not, it’s very easy to learn.
With lots of new films in the works and whatever else is coming, there’s going to be plenty of news to cover for years to come.
Why not be a part of the news instead of just reading it?
Contact me for details.
http://www.gog.com/news/lucasfilm_on_gogcom_wave_ii_starts_nowI count myself lucky enough to have been around at the dawn of home (and arcade) video gaming. From set-top pong variations right up until the Xbox/Playstation generation, I’ve seen and played them all. When home PCs started to become “a thing,” I was there also. Some of my fondest gaming memories are playing the early Star Wars titles on my old custom-built Pentium 90. I spent many an hour working through games like Rebel Assault, X-Wing and Dark Forces, not to mention non-Star Wars titles like The Dig and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Read More
If you are anything like me, you watched Star Wars as a child and had dreams of robots, aliens, and flying through hyperspace. For most fans there is at least one scene or character that just grabs you and becomes a favorite. For me, that is Chewie. Chewbacca the Wookiee. I don’t know if it was because he growled and threw people around, or if it was the way Han somehow knew what he was saying, or just that he was so darn BIG. Whatever it was, I’ve been collecting everything from backpacks and mugs, to action figures with his likeness.
Kenner and Hasbro have been doing Star Wars action figures since the movies came out, but a relatively new company named Hot Toys just created the Chewbacca you have (well… I have) always wanted.
Star Wars is coming back to the small screen!
“Star Wars Rebels” is going to be asked to carry the torch until new movies come in 2015. “Star Wars The Clone Wars” ended it’s 5 year run with what many, including myself, consider to be its best season. Now, while we wait for more Star Wars, I think it’s a good time to look at this new show and speculate a little on what could be a major part of the saga.
You should already know that the show debuts this fall and that it will begin as a one-hour special on the Disney Channel, followed by a series on Disney XD. It takes place between Episodes III and IV, about 14 years after the events of the prequel trilogy in a time when the rebellion is forming and the jedi have all but been stomped out of existence. Read More
Star Wars action figures are 3 ¾ inches tall.
This has been the standard for 30+ years. Sure, there have been action figures produced in many different sizes over the years, but Star Wars set the 3 ¾ inch, or 1:18 scale, standard way back in 1977 when an American toy company named Kenner Products started producing action figures for what became the biggest merchandising franchise in history.
The term “action figure” was coined in 1964 by the Hasbro corporation with it’s 12 inch, or 1:6 scale, G.I. Joe line that was targeted at boys and sprang from how popular dolls like Barbie were for girls. G.I. Joe eventually ended up becoming much more popular after a move to the 3 ¾ inch scale. Many other companies and other movie, comic, cartoon, and video game properties have followed in this model, producing action figures in this scale.
Hasbro is about to place their newest line of Star Wars figures on the market. The new “Black Series” is the first realistic line that Star Wars has had in the 6 inch, or 1:10 scale. The 6 inch action figure has had some recent popularity with Marvel Legends, begun by the Toy Biz company, and continued by Hasbro, based on the Marvel Comics catalog of superheroes. Hasbro proceeded to follow this with a line of figures based on those same Marvel characters in… you guessed it… the 3 ¾ inch scale.
This news has been out there on the Internet for awhile now, so I’m sure I haven’t shocked anyone. The question is… are you excited, surprised, bummed, or indifferent to this news? The smaller figures are not going away. In fact, there will be two lines, similar to the way Marvel is represented, with characters in each of the 1:10 and 1:18 scales. There will also be Star Wars figures produced with the classic 5 points of articulation in the 1:18 scale aimed at kids for a lower price. Did I mention the larger figures will be selling for $20 each?
I believe that this puts people in one of 5 different categories:
- Old-school collectors that have everything in the small scale and don’t want the change to 6 inch figures.
- Collectors that collect everything they can and are excited about something new.
- New collectors that can’t wait to get a chance to collect the whole line… which is virtually impossible with all that has been produced in the smaller scale.
- Kids that will see the variety of figures, want the more expensive figures, and either have the money to get them or have to settle for the cheaper ones.
- And those who have stopped collecting anything except their particular niche due to either collector fatigue, the fact that you really can’t collect everything anymore, or the cost of plastic driving prices up.
I’ve heard a very vocal group placing themselves in the first or last category, stating they won’t be buying the new larger figures. It is difficult to predict if the higher cost will stop new collectors from entering the arena, but it appears that Hasbro is appealing to those new collectors and to kids in order to keep this incredible run of toys alive.
Hasbro vice president of boys marketing, Darryl DePriest said, “Our focus here is the adult collector, the dad. We know they have their own generation of youngsters they like to share the adventure with. It can be something for dad, and the 3¾ world can be something for the kids to share.”
I won’t say where I am on the issue, but I can say that the image at the top of this article has me pretty intrigued to see these in person. Pictures will be flowing in from San Diego Comic Con and it won’t be long before these are on the shelves. Will this marketing and new scale of figures be successful? Time will tell.
Tell me where you are in this debate. Will you be buying these new 6 inch figures?
~kknight – is a lifelong Star Wars fanatic that is incredibly excited to be working with T-bone. I’m a toy fanatic and have a pretty impressive collection of Star Wars “stuff”. Maybe one day I’ll be able to share it with everyone, but for now it is packed away. Will I add 6″ figures to my collection? … probably a few.
JediNews.co.uk and Star Wars Celebration Europe are delighted to announce Caravan of the Force in association with Toys ‘R’ Us.
Caravan of the Force is a two vehicle convoy with six people on-board, all with the common goal of raising money for Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Caravan will be travelling from the UK to France, Belgium, Holland and Germany arriving in time for Star Wars Celebration Europe that takes place 26-28th July in Messe Essen, and then all the way back to London again! As they reach each country they’ll be welcomed by the local 501st Garrison in order to raise awareness of the trip and raise funds for Make-A-Wish.
The trip has been organized and will be led by James Burns and Mark Newbold who co-own/run Jedi News, the UK’s #1 Star Wars fan site and the largest English speaking Star Wars fan site in Europe. James and Mark also write for the Official Star Wars magazine, Star Wars Insider, as well as the Official Star Wars Blog at StarWars.com where you’ll be able to track their progress with daily updates. Lucasfilm worked with James and Mark to put the Caravan together and help turn their wacky idea into reality.
Joining James and Mark is fan favorite actor Jeremy Bulloch, who played Boba Fett in the original Star Wars films as well as a cameo part in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In addition to his Star Wars roles he’s acted in several other television shows and films including Summer Holiday and the James Bond film Octopussy which like Return of the Jedi also celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Jeremy’s wife Maureen is also coming along to keep us all in check!
The final two people joining the Caravan are Jedi News team members Matt Booker (Automattic Comics) and Dave Tree (All the Cool Stuff and Palitoy Archive) who bring their driving skills and almost eighty years of combined Star Wars knowledge on-board.
A journey like this is a great way to spread the word, explain what Make-A-Wish does, raise money for them, and at the same time continue to promote the great charitable efforts the Star Wars community provides worldwide each and every day. Our aim is to raise a total of £5,000 for Make-A-Wish to help make a difference to children who won’t necessarily get the chance to travel on exciting journeys like this or enjoy the magic of Star Wars at a Celebration event. We invite friends, family, strangers and Star Wars fans alike to dig deep and contribute to the Caravan of the Force at JustGiving.co.uk which accepts all major currencies. It doesn’t matter how big or little the contribution, it all goes to Make-A-Wish and hopefully together we can help bring smiles to the faces of many terminally ill children by turning their wishes and dreams into reality.
The Caravan would not be possible without our generous sponsors including Toys ‘R’ Us, Holiday Inn (who supplied our accommodation in the UK), Hyundai (who supplied our vehicles), P&O Ferries (who enabled us to cross the channel) and Vodafone (who are powering our communications across the whole trip).
You can join in the fun too at one of our first stops on July 19th when we’ll be visiting Toys ‘R’ Us in Brent Cross, London for the launch of Hasbro’s new Star Wars series of 3.75” and 6” figures called The Black Series. The event will start at 7:30pm and Jeremy Bulloch will be signing autographs on a special Black Series backing card. You’ll have the first opportunity in Europe to buy the figures. The 501st UK Garrison, Rebel Legion and R2 Builders Club will be on hand to keep the crowds under control and pose for fun photos.
There will be more chances to catch up with the Caravan of the Force at various locations across the UK, France, Belgium and Germany – more details to follow.
When George Lucas decided to retire and sell Lucasfilm, everyone expected a few changes. New President, Kathleen Kennedy, faced many challenges and had to make some hard decisions. Under the oppressively huge shadow of the multimedia juggernaut known as Disney, it appeared that some of those decisions might have instead fallen into the demand rather than decision category.
Being that Disney already had well-established multimedia divisions in place, the decision to dismantle certain entities such as LucasArts seemed to be aimed at avoiding competition with oneself. Disney’s interactive arm already develops games and software, among other things. Why have another internal company creating games? I know they’ve hired EA, but I’m sure they’ll develop some stuff internally. Something similar could be said for Lucasfilm’s animation division. The successful Clone Wars animated series was abruptly canceled which upset many fans and left some story arcs incomplete. Almost a whole season sits in limbo, waiting to find its way to fans. Will Disney buy and air the final episodes? Probably not. Will they go straight to DVD? Possibly. We’ll see. I never really watched the show but what I did see was pretty good.
The show aired on Cartoon Network, a direct competitor to Disney’s television stations, including Disney XD which is the home to many of Disney’s shows including Spider-Man and Avengers cartoons as well as other animated and live action programs.
So why cancel the show in the first place? No one really knows for sure but it probably revolved around money somehow. Perhaps Disney didn’t want to buy the show out or just didn’t want anything to do with something touched by the Time Warner-owned Cartoon Network.
In any case, we’re getting something else now: Star Wars Rebels.
Many a fan, including myself have wondered when Lucasfilm would venture into this nearly untouched period of time before Episode IV concerning the “Jedi Purge,” in fanboy speak. I didn’t think we’d get it in animated form but just because one medium is involved, doesn’t mean others won’t follow. Once new characters and scenarios are established, endless books, comics, and perhaps even films will be sure to follow.
Here’s an excerpt from the Starwars.com press release:
Production has begun on Star Wars Rebels, an exciting, all-new animated television series based on one of the greatest entertainment franchises of all time. Scheduled to premiere in fall 2014 as a one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, it will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.
The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.
Lucasfilm and Disney Studios announced today that Star Wars Episode VII (no title yet) will be filmed in the United Kingdom.
The news comes as no surprise to long time fans, as the other Star Wars Motion Picture Films have set up production there in past years.
The J.J Abrams directed Star Wars Episode VII will start production soon in hopes of making the previously announced 2015 release date.
This is just the beginning of what’s to become an onslaught of official news coming from Disney Studios, so fans should stay tuned.