MORE POSTS 
 

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

 

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Monday
Dec082014

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.

Sunday
Nov162014

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.

Wednesday
Sep172014

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.

Monday
Sep012014

"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 OriginalTrilogy.com 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

Saturday
Aug162014

Touring Marvel Star Wars

I'm really enjoying Brett White's "Touring Marvel's Star Wars" series on ComicBook.com. 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 ComicBook.com 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.

ComicBook.com: Touring Marvel's Star Wars #4--Explodey-Wan Kenobi

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

Saturday
Jul262014

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.

Saturday
Jul262014

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."

Sunday
Jul132014

Amazing gifts from artist Chris Woods

You may remember last year's terrific Sandstorm art exhibit by Chris Woods. Chris funded the exhibit in part through Indiegogo and has spent a huge amount of time and effort since then producing drawings and prints for those who contributed. 

Chris was also kind enough to prepare something for me. I wasn't expecting anything, and I certainly wasn't expecting THREE fabulous pieces. These came in the mail a couple weeks ago. 

Untitled, by Chris WoodsHeroes in Danger, by Chris WoodsVillain, by Chris Woods

"Villain" is my wife's favourite. In fact she just asked me what I planned to do with it, in a way that made clear that it wasn't leaving the house! Fine by me. I especially like the moodiness of "Heroes in Danger".

I can't thank Chris enough for his immense generosity. But I can at least tell you that Chris's Sandstorn exhibit is showing again this summer at Gallery Jones in Vancouver from 12 July to 3 August. I understand these amazing works are for sale. Contact Chris on Twitter (@chriswoodsart) for more information.

Gallery Jones: Sandstorm by Chris Woods

Monday
Jul072014

Worst Star Wars exhibit ever?

Chewbacca, apparently (source: Metro.co.uk)From Metro UK: 

Princess Leia lying awkwardly on the floor like a drunk belly dancer, dirty clothes and manky old wigs.

Those visiting the Stars Wars exhibition in Wolfsburg, Germany, would have been forgiven for mistaking it for the set of a budget porn film.

The force was definitely not strong in this awful display of creepy mannequins, terrible lighting and all-round lameness.

Take Chewie for example – obviously just a wig glued to a doll head.

Metro: This is the worst Star Wars exhibition ever

Tuesday
Jun242014

10 reasons to be glad the EU is gone--except that it probably isn't

Uproxx's list of 10 Star Wars characters we'll never see in the movies starts out a bit obviously with Jaxxon and Ackmena but gets weirder, funnier and sadder with every new name. Here's a sample:

Triclops, The Emperor’s Three-Eyed Son
If the fact that the Emperor’s three-eyed son is named Triclops doesn’t make you groan, know that there’s a guy who pretended to be the Emperor’s three-eyed son, and his name is… wait for it… Trioculus. The possible result of genetic experimentation instead of good old-fashioned sexytimes, Triclops was kept imprisoned for years, because the Emperor was cringingly embarrassed that he named his three-eyed son Triclops. “What was I thinking? Was I on a Homer kick that day?,” he could be heard to mutter as he roamed the halls of the Death Star late at night. “Could I not have gone with Greg or Jerry or, I dunno, Bob?” Triclops eventually escaped captivity and had a two-eyed son, named not Duoclops but Ken. Again: The Emperor has a grandson named Ken. Somehow, Duoclops would’ve been better.

For this, and nine more reasons, the author concludes, we can be glad the EU is gone. Except that it probably isn't really gone, and even if it is gone the things that will replace it will likely be just as cringeworthy from time to time.

Follow the link for more EU absurdities.

Uproxx: Here Are The ‘Star Wars’ Characters Who Will Never, Ever, Ever Be In The New Movies