In praise of Star Wars Rebels

I'm changing the name of this blog, and #WeWantLeia is why

I spoil it for Siri

Guest Post: How I came back to Star Wars action figures by YASWB

Beatrice and I watch Star Wars together

[Review] William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher 

Star Wars oil painting exhibit "Sandstorm" opens

Breakneck boredom: an old time Star Wars fan's thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness

They put me on the news to talk about Star Wars

More from Steve Sansweet on Star Wars and gay marriage

Carmine Infantio has died

I can die happy: I've been interviewed by Dungeons & Dragons

Star Wars Episode 7: All My Children?

What JJ Abrams needs to really succeed with Star Wars 7

Star Wars: The Old Republic is gay--on one planet at least

Tongal and Pringles bring us DYI desecration of Star Wars

Reminiscences about West End Games' Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Here's the biggest Star Wars news of 2012

Stephen Quinn interviews me about Star Wars on CBC Vancouver

Star Wars: modern myth or global franchise?

Parents turn child's 1st birthday into extended Lucasfilm/Hasbro advert

Me reading from A Long Time Ago

Highlights and lowlights of the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI

Grown men (mostly) dressed up as Lando Calrissian

Beggar's Canyon Toys offer Star Wars toy "restoration" service

Blog's t-shirts banned by Zazzle

Will the real David Prowse please stand up?

LaserSaber: Unlicensed, dangerous and yours for only $99

Is this the future of Star Wars?

Is Star Wars link bait?

Dissent not tolerated at the Prequel Appreciation Society

TSOT discovers its nemesis

Comme des idiots: Star Wars teams up with poncy fashion house

US Christian activist attacks SWTOR for being gay

Yodaphone--the latest product pitch from Star Wars Inc.

Attention tortoise-fanciers: do you like Star Wars?

History of Star Wars as related by a bot

Is Star Wars a travesty of science fiction?

Luke Skywalker and company on the Muppet Show

Yoda now shilling instant soup in Japan

Commander who?

$6000 for a toy you can't even play with

Star Wars underwear

Retro Star Wars decor in my son's bedroom

Phantom Menace 3D: Now With Plot

Star Wars and disco: the forgotten love affair

Will Muschamp: What a guy!

Oi, fanboy: grow up! A reply to Darren Franich


aaction figures aboriginal action figures admiral ackbar Advertising Afghanistan ai alderaan Alec Guiness amazon Apple Architecture artoo Arts and crafts atari AT-AT a-team AT-ST auction Australia AV Club bad feeling bar mitzvah Beatrice bedding beeb Ben Affleck bib fortuna birds birthdays blogs bloopers blu-ray Boba Fett Boing Boing Bonnie Burton Books boxing Bryzgalov bullying Burger King burlesque c-3po calgary herald Canada candles candy cantina Carmine Infantino carrie fisher cars cartoon cell phones Chewbacca China Chris Woods christmas Clone Wars Clothing & Fashion cocktails coffee cold war Colin Mochrie Collectibles Comics comics conspiracy copy red leader copyright corrupting youth Cory Doctorow costumes Crime cufflinks Culture Cyndi Lauper D&D dark horse Darth Vader darwin Dave Banks david prowse ddark horse death star deathstarpr diapers diary Dick Cheney dinosaur comics Disco Disney diy documentaries doll Dr Seuss dr. who dresses droids early bird easter egg eBay eepisode 7 effects elstree Empire Empire Uncut Endor episode 7 etsy Events ewoks expanded universe extras Ezra fanboys father first viewing Food food football Frozen Furnishings Games gamorrean guard Gary Gygax Gary Kurtz gawthrok geekdad geeks gene siskel George Lucas gifts graffiti Grand Moff Tarkin Greedo Grenadier growing up Halloween han solo Han Solo harmonica harrison ford Hasbro helmet high definition hockey holidays hologram homophobia honeymoon Hot Problems humour Humour Hygiene Ian Doescher iron-on transfers izzard jabba james last Jamie Benning jar jar jawas jaxxon jedi Jefferson Starship Jesus jewellery JJ Abrams john booth john williams Joseph Campbell judaism jumping the shark Kanan kari maaren kdp Kelowna Kenner kids Kobo Lando Calrissian language laundry Law Lawrence Kasdan Lego leigh brackett Life Day lightsabers lincoln little free library lollipops Los Angeles Times louvre luke Malaysia mark hamill marvel masers may the fourth Mayfair Theatre Meco memes michael arndt middle ages midichlorians millennium falcon miniatures Minnesota mMy book Mona Lisa money montreal canadiens Movies Music My book myth nasa Navajo needlecraft nelson mandela New York New York Times New Zealand nostalgia obama Obi-Wan Kenobi Ottawa paedophilia pants Parenting pee Pen-Mar Penticton Peter Cushing pets Pets physics plasticine please stop Politics porkins porn posters pranks prequelitis Prequels prequels Princess Leia princess leia pringles prop psa pulp novels puppetry purim pussy riot quotes R2-D2 radio ralph mcquarrie ratherchildish reddit Relationships Religion reviews Rick McCallum right on brother Rob Lang roger ebert RPGs rumours Sam Witwer san francisco sandcrawler Sandstorm Science & Tech science fiction Scribd sculpture sellout shakespeare shoes silence sillof siri smells snowspeeder sorry Spaceballs special editions speeder bike sperm Sports star trek Star Wars Celebration star wars detours Star Wars Holiday Special star wars logo Star Wars Rebels star wars rebels Star Wars Uncut Star Wars Uncut Starlog starwarsremix steve nash Steven Sansweet stormtroopers stupidity tattoo tauntaun Tel Aviv Television terrariums The Board of Education The Emperor the force The Muppets thermal detonator Threepio Threepio TIE fighter toilet Topps tortoises Toys tractor beam trading cards trailer tuna tupac Turkey twitter underwear USSR vader valentine's day vancouver violin Volkswagen wales wampa Warwick Davis watermelon wedding West End westerns Whedon William Wordsworth wired women and girls wtf wygant xkcd x-wing yaswb yoda yoga zazzle

Star Wars: The Force Awakens podcast with Michael Spratt

As you may have noticed, I'm not keeping this blog up any more. But I was recently a guest on Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt's podcast The Docket. While that is generally a podcast about Canadian legal issues, this episode was all about Star Wars, and especially The Force Awakens. You can listen above or here.


Beatrice wants more girl Star Wars figures

My daughter wants Sabine and Hera action figures from Star Wars Rebels, and other female Star Wars figures, too. I can't blame her. (And yes that is an original Kenner carrying case. Why doesn't Hasbro make some of those while they're at it?)



Space Wars (July 1979) brings us "Interview with Chewbacca"

Vol. 3 no. 3 of Space Wars magazine (July 1979) contained more than a few groan-provoking articles, including "How to Travel to a Star War" by Professor Irwin B. Smug and "You Can Build Muffy: Battlestar Galactica's Robot Daggit". But the worst entry in this already dreadful little magazine--in which the articles were clearly nothing more than weak excuses for reprinting photographs from Star Wars and a few other films--must be "Interview With Chewbacca" by Mike Moore. 

Here it is, for your reading discomfort. If you liked The Phantom Menace, you'll probably think this is alright.


Beatrice on Empire and Jedi

I finally showed Beatrice The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. If you've read my book you'll know a little about Beatrice, and about my anxiety that she not be exposed to the World's Biggest Spoiler. Despite the odds (which worsened considerably after her cousin Rory learned about Darth Vader without ever having seen ESB), I somehow managed to keep the secret from her and her brother Zachary. But I felt I was pushing my luck. Now was the time for the big reveal.

Once "I am your father" is out of the bag, there's no reason not to go on and see ROTJ. We watched it together a week later. Above is a video of Beatrice's thoughts on the two films.


In praise of Star Wars Rebels

I decided to set aside my skepticism of all things Star Wars produced after 1983 and give Star Wars Rebels a try. I had watched the trailer and a few other previews online and was attracted to the Ralph-McQuarrie-inspired art and the apparent lack of any references to the dreaded (and dreadful) prequels. So I signed up for a season's pass on iTunes and watched the first episode with the kids (Beatrice and Zach, six-and-a-half and four). We've been watching one episode a week ever since. 

I'm amazed at how right Star Wars Rebels is. The characters are terrific. Zeb is a wonderful mix of strong and smart, gruff and gentle. He's possibly my favourite character. Sabine and Hera, while a little underdeveloped so far, are promising female leads in a universe that has always been too short on them--something that bothers me a lot more now that I have a daughter than it did seven+ years ago. Chopper is a genuinely new take on a droid (unless he's not--I've never watched Clone Wars so I don't know what I've missed, but he seems fresh and original to me). 

But most intriguing to me are Kanan, billed as the cowboy Jedi, and Ezra, his accidental protegé. Watching how the show's writers have drawn these two characters, I feel like I'm finally seeing what I had hoped for from the prequels: a coming-of-age story mixed with a Jedi take on the buddy flick. Kanan and Ezra's complex relationship, in which annoyance and admiration are mutual and frequently simultaneous, is what Obi-Wan and Anakin's could and should have been. Utterly unlike the prequels, the age difference here is perfect: Ezra is old enough to be interesting and young enough to be forgivable, while Kanan is old enough to be authoritative and young enough to be in over his head in training a would-be Jedi. Isn't this exactly what the original trilogy led us to believe about Kenobi and Skywalker? It's hard for me not to see the Kanan-Ezra relationship as a gentle rebuke of the prequels, as though the Star Wars Rebels writers are saying to old-time Star Wars fans like me, "This is what could have been".

Perhaps my favourite thing about Star Wars Rebels so far is that it actually feels like Star Wars, by which I of course mean the original trilogy. The stormtroopers look like stormtroopers. The vehicles are familiar, even when they are given novel twists. The settings have the eerily organic quality of McQuarrie's paintings. I feel delightfully at home in this world. 

Hanging over the entire series is the knowledge that, by the time of the Episode IV era (said to be five years in the future) the only Jedi left in the galaxy are Obi-Wan and Yoda. What this means for the arc of Star Wars Rebels is brutally clear: Kanan and Ezra must die. The grim inevitability of their deaths brings an unexpected poignancy to the show. For the moment, I want Star Wars Rebels to go on and on. But eventually it has to end, and the ending must be harsh. I pray the show doesn't flinch from the impending tragedy. Judging by the perfect-pitch storytelling we've seen so far, it won't. In that case the best of Star Wars Rebels is yet to come.


My cousin Rory wrote a book about Star Wars

Pretty good for a six year old. Writing books about Star Wars seems to run in the family.


"Despecialized Edition" of Star Wars a huge task

This video shows how a new, fan-made "Despecialized Edition" of Star Wars was created. It's an astonishing amount of work. As CinemaBlend explains,

The video you see above is dedicated to the creation of Star Wars: Despecialized - an amazing, fan-made, high definition cut of the originally theatrically released Star Wars trilogy, constructed using a number of different versions of the movie that have been released over the years. Credit for the creation of restoration goes to a user named Harmy from the message boards, who has really put together something magnificent here. As you'll learn watching the featurette, the greatest resource for the project was the Star Wars Blu-ray box set that was released back in 2011 - but Harmy's version actually goes beyond that flawed professionally-made cut and creates something that's in many ways superior.

CinemaBlend: Amazing Star Wars Fan Restoration Removes All Of George Lucas's Mistakes


Touring Marvel Star Wars

I'm really enjoying Brett White's "Touring Marvel's Star Wars" series on White (@brettwhite) is reviewing the old Marvel Star Wars comics, starting at number one. He does it with a lot of humour and also a lot of knowledge of the artists that drew, wrote and coloured those first comics. If you're an old-time Star Wars fan--and if you're not, why are you here?--you'll enjoy this.

Here's a sample from White's recent review of Star Wars #4:

The middle panel features a line from Han that was presumably added in by Thomas: "Y'know kid—getting back to the Falcon's going to be like flying thru the Five Fire Rings of Fornax!" Doesn't sound like Star Wars, does it? It sounds a lot like something out of a Flash Gordon serial or a pulp sci-fi novel, right? "Star Wars" is weird in that it both took heavy inspiration from that type of science fiction, but it also grounded it in reality—a reality set in a galaxy far, far away, but still a reality. You don't hear words with a lot of gratuitous Xs and Zs in "Star Wars." You get words like "Jedi" and "Wookiee," words that sound alien but lack any of the alien signifiers usually used. For example, George Lucas came up with "Kessel Run" and Roy Thomas came up with "Five Fire Rings of Fornax." Both are made up, but man, they really sound different.

It's great stuff. My only complaint is the needs to put up a page with all White's "Touring" posts in one place. If you want to start from the beginning and read them all (as I suggest you do), it's a bit of a hassle right now. Touring Marvel's Star Wars #4--Explodey-Wan Kenobi

For the first three parts of "Touring Marvel's Star Wars" click herehere & here


Kevin Smith on the set of Episode VII

Kevin Smith's account of his recent visit to the set of Episode VII at San Diego Comic-Con. Not safe for work. In fact I'm really not sure how it was appropriate for Comic-Con--children do go to this event, don't they? But it's spoiler-free.


Deeth Starr Valley

From the Facebook feed of my colleague Greg Allen. His comment: "Deeth Starr Valley, NV. The place to be for functionally illiterate Star Wars fans."