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

Go visit the "I'm a stormtrooper" blog

Yesterday I followed someone new on Twitter called I'm a stormtrooper (@akmd65). She kindly followed me back. This morning on the train I had a look at her blog. It's wonderful! Her Twitter bio explains,

Relativity normal single mom with an obsession for Star Wars, roller coasters, 80s movies and ice cream. I speak fluent sarcasm and fight autism like a superhero.

Her blog is a delightful, touching mix of funny things her autistic daughter Maymay says, Maymay's movie reviews, and random thoughts from mum. I especially enjoyed Maymay's review of The Legend of Hercules, which can be summed up by this perfect sentence, "The movie made me mad because it was completely wrong." Also mum's blog post, "More reasons to love Mr. Rogers", which will make you want to go watch Mr. Rogers' six-minute presentation before the US Senate so I'll just embed it here:

I also enjoyed this bit of dating advice from Maymay to mum.

Besides all this charming content, the blog is decorated with funny photographs of stormtrooper action figures (etc.) in unlikely situations. You've seen that sort of thing before, of course, but it's very nicely done here.

So congratulations to I'm a stormtrooper for a lovely little blog (which by the way is more proof--as if more were needed--that Star Wars isn't just for boys). I'll be visiting again soon.

I'm a stormtrooper


Talking #starwars and #indiepub with AD Barker

Andrew David Barker, author of The Electric and ardent supporter of A Long Time Ago (thank you thank you), has published an interview with me on his blog. In his introduction, Andy is nice enough to say:

Gib Van Ert’s memoir is a beautifully written book – touching, and very funny; for anyone whose childhood was shaped by George Lucas. It will bring back many happy memories for any fan of the original Star Wars films, and have you saying, ‘Oh, I remember that!’ over and over again. It is also about how childhood can slip through our fingers, and with it the obsessions of that shimmering age.

If you're interested in Star Wars and self-publishing (as Andy and I both are), I think you'll enjoy this interview. 

Andrew David Barker: Interview with Gib Van Ert: Author of Star Wars Memoir 'A Long Time Ago'


US under-18 hockey team to wear Vader sweaters

NESN (New England Sports Network) reports that the US national under-18 boys hockey team will be wearing these Darth Vader sweaters in their tilt against the Waterloo Black Hawks on 18 January in Ann Arbor, Michigan in yet another Star Wars/sports team tie-in. Says NESN:

For one game in January, the U.S National U-18 Team will become the Galactic Empire.

The team, which plays in the USHL as part of the National Team Development Program, will be hosting its third annual Star Wars Night when the Waterloo Black Hawks visit the Ann Arbor Ice Cube on Jan. 18.

“This is the third straight season we’ve held this fantastic promotion,” Scott Monaghan, senior director of operations with the NTDP, said in a press release. “Each year this night has grown and it’s now one of the most popular games on the schedule.”

The event will feature a variety of promotions based on George Lucas‘ iconic films, but the centerpiece will be the team’s jerseys, which will feature the Star Wars logo and a oversized, wraparound image of a menacing Darth Vader. The jerseys will then be auctioned after the game, with all proceeds benefiting the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.

High-level junior leagues like the USHL usually remain above the absurd gimmicks that minor league hockey is known for, but promotions like this show that these teams still know how to have some fun.

Personally I prefer the Vader sweaters worn by my buddy Dave's team.


Artist makes Star Wars action figures out of modern-day icons

The Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York is currently showing an exhibit by Seattle artist Michael Leavitt entitled Empire Peaks. The artworks are being described around the internet as action figure mashups. But there is more to them than that. From the gallery's web site:

In this exhibition, Leavitt pairs the traits of his recognizable subjects with characters from Star Wars, juxtaposing the classic archetypal roles found in Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and the rest of the famed cast with pop-culture personas. Through these clever mash-ups, the artist explores themes of coveting mass-produced collectibles as well as idol worship throughout human history—examining the recurring patterns of our civilization and its shared compulsive needs for heroes and villains or rebels and tyrants, rising and falling or celebrated then overthrown, repeatedly over time.

The gallery's web site has a great collection of photos of the sculptures. Here are a few but there are many more. Go have a look!

Jonathan LeVine Gallery: Michael Leavitt Empire Peaks

Mike Leavitt's web site


Heroes aren't always fictional


Star Wars Holiday Special burlesque

Loathe as I am to turn this into a Star Wars burlesque blog (see my last post), I can't help but note that a burlesque outfit in New York City called Hotsy Totsy is mounting a tribute to the Star Wars Holiday Special. Sez Hotsy Totsy:

It is the holiday season and time once again at The Home For Wayward Girls and Fallen Women for the annual viewing of Cherry’s favorite TV show: The Star Wars Holiday Special! Join us for a night of Star Wars themed burlesque acts and clips from the actual 1978 fiasco. George Lucas has reportedly said:  "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it."  We are so proud to own a copy!

If you have not seen The Star Wars Holiday Special, then you have not seen special guest star Bea Arthur sing and dance with the space alien bar patrons from the Tatooine Cantina. The Star Wars Holiday Special was quite possibly the worst holiday special ever conceived.  It is literally Star Wars meets The Carol Burnett Show as it stars the cast of the original Star Wars trilogy Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher & Harrison Ford (they were under contract and couldn’t get out of it) and was written by the staff writers of the Carol Burnett show, featuring special guest stars Harvey Korman, Bea Arthur, Art Carney, The Jefferson Starship and a cast of fur suited character actors as Chewbacca’s family.  It is chock full of WTF moments, such as Carrie Fisher singing an intergalactic holiday carol to the tune of the Star Wars theme song and even includes Wookie-porn. We promise to show you the best (we mean the worst) bits.

Hosted by Cherry Pitz and Handsome Brad with performances by Brief Sweat, Clara Coquette, Hard Corey, Ivory Fox, Jenny C'est Quoi and Rosey La Rouge.  Kittening by Tiger Bay and gogo entertainment by Erika Rodgers.

The show starts at 8 pm on 17 December 2013 at R-Bar, 218 Bowery (between Prince and Spring), NYC. You can get advance tickets here. For more about the show, visit


Vancouver Star Wars burlesque

And I thought their usual armour was ineffective.Vancouver geek collective Geekenders are mounting an encore performance of their recent burlesque, Star Wars: A Nude Hope. From the blurb:

Been looking for love in Alderaan places? 

We invite you to enter a galaxy a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away with acclaimed fandom theatre troupe Geekenders, who are concentrating their usual pop culture theatre, comedy and burlesque into a randy two-act reboot of a sci-fi classic.

Featuring a cast of twenty-five of Geekenders all-star nerdlesque performers, the event and theatre troupe is pulling out all the stops to ensure a memorable, sexy, nerd-herding night for geeks of all types.

The encore takes place at 8 pm (doors at 7) on 14 December 2013 at the Rio Theatre. Tickets are $20 in advance at or $25 at the door. 19+ only. You're invited to come in costume but I wouldn't recommend it.  

For photos from the previous show, click here (probably NSFW). 


Dark Side hockey sweaters

My friend (and A Long Time Ago proofreader) Dave (aka Darth Daver) plays hockey in Vancouver with a team called Dark Side. Check out their new kit.

I especially like the shoulder flashes. I'm told even their socks have the Vader image on them, which may be a step too far...

Dark Side are 6-2-1 so far this season but have just come off a 7-1 drubbing by the Warriors. Next game in tonight at 9:45 at Hillcrest rink, in case you want to see this gear in person.


Aug 1983 diary entry: "I wish I was Luke Skywalker"

My Twitter pal @mspratt did this in 1983, then tweeted it out last night. It's pretty great.




ThisSortOfThing's 2013 Star Wars holiday gift guide

Star Wars Inc. reliably churns out vast amounts of merch and noise to distract us all from anything important that may be going on in the world. Much of it is crap, but there are gems, especially (but not exclusively) items produced by people without a Lucasfilm licence. (It must be said that Lucasfilm, and now Disney, are admirably tolerant of independent makers.)

So here's my latest list of likeable starwarsia, well in time for the holidays.

Zeon Star Wars watches

That's a goodlukeing watch. US$199 from ThinkGeek.

That's What I'm Tarkin About t-shirt

I own this and wear it frequently. Shouldn't you? US$12 from CoastCityShirts on Etsy.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars

I've praised it before. US$12 or so (hardcover) on Amazon. Coming soon: The Empire Striketh Back and the Jedi Doth Return.

Star Wars skirts from GoFollowRabbits

For the Star Wars lady in your life (who may be you). Also available in R2-D2, Vader, Bounty Hunter and (if you'll forgive a brief departure from the Star Wars universe) this awesome man on the moon print. US$55 from GoFollowRabbits on Etsy.

Kenner action figures iPhone case

Awfully hard not to like this. US$16.99 from MichaelEllisCases on Etsy.

A Long Time Ago: Growing up with and out of Star Wars

"a thoughtful, funny, and beautifully written story...scathingly hilarious and bang on." -- Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing

Did you really think I wasn't going to plug my book? What do you think this blog is for? US$10.79 (paperback), US$2.87 (Kindle) on Amazon.

Oh and by the way

I still want these cufflinks. I put them in last year's gift guide but didn't get them.