Big Moon Rising: Why I don’t mind if the Star Wars sequels mean the end of the Expanded Universe

The Death of ChewbaccaI’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was barely 13, and became an Expanded Universe fan only days later. My entire experience of falling in love with Star Wars was prompted and is because of the Expanded Universe; I ‘first’ saw the movies on VHS over Christmas break in 1991. And we wouldn’t have even had those copies in the house if not for the release of Heir to the Empire in the spring of that year.

I owe my entire fandom to Heir to the Empire and the Thrawn trilogy. The Expanded Universe, which was pretty much all there was back in those days, formed the nucleus of my fandom. They hooked me, and they hooked me well enough that I sit here, 22 years later, running a fairly popular blog devoted to the franchise, with those same worn copies of Heir, Dark Force Rising and The Last Command not four feet away.

I love the Expanded Universe. It’s a weird kind of love that you get with this sort of fandom; I kept with it through some of the absolute worst fiction I have ever read, and many books that could I barely bring myself to call mediocre and, yes, even those rare gems that make it all worth it.

But I’m also okay with letting it go.

Continue reading

Interactive Imperial Handbook and original trilogy costume book coming this year

Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide (Not final, but it gives you an idea.)

Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide (Not final, but it gives you an idea.)

Becker & Mayer, producers of the awesome books-with-cool-electronic-cases such as The Jedi Path and Book of Sith, have a few new offerings for later in 2014, showcased in their catalog. The Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide will have a deluxe edition, written by Dan Wallace, with illustrations by Chris Trevas & Chris Reiff.

Like the previous guidebooks, it will include a mechanized case with lights and sound, and the book will have annonations from various characters, including a introduction note by Luke Skywalker, and several items, including a die-cast Imperial military medal. Here’s the official blurb:

As the Imperial Empire expands, high-ranking officials from each branch of the Imperial Military have set down tactical guidelines and procedures for all newly ascending commanders. Set in-universe, this compendium of ordinance, mission reports, and Imperial philosophy was intercepted by members of the Rebel Alliance, some of whom also left commentary scribbled in the margins. Housed in a deluxe case that opens with lights and sounds, this never-before-seen Imperial Handbook is perfect for Star Wars fans—no matter which side of the Civil War they’re on.

Also coming up:

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy (Mockup cover)Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, by Brandon Alinger. Here’s the details on this 266-page hardcover gem:

Who can forget the first time they saw Darth Vader with his black cape and mask? The white hard-body suit of the stormtroopers? Or Leia’s outfit as Jabba’s slave? These costumes—like so many that adorned the characters of that galaxy far, far away—have become iconic. For the first time, the Lucasfilm Archives has unpacked the original costumes to be revealed in breathtaking detail.

Featuring all-new photography, Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy affords both new and longtime Star Wars fans the opportunity to examine the stormtrooper armor and discover how it changed from movie to movie; explore Boba Fett’s suit and inspect the rarely seen details of his blaster and jetpack; compare the helmets and jumpsuits of the rebel fighters; and study the details of the Hoth fighter uniforms.

This lavish large-format book not only showcases high-quality photography of each costume, it also pairs these stunning images with original sketches, behind-the-scenes photographs, production notes, and stories.

It seems like a perfect reference for the costumer on your gift list!

Also listed in the catalog:

  • A new slipcase edition of the trade versions of The Jedi Code and Book of Sith
  • An enhanced eBook version of The Jedi Path
  • Trade version of The Bounty Hunter Code
  • Build Darth Vader, a new papercraft book
  • Pablo Hidalgo’s latest Head-to-Head book, this time based on Star Wars Rebels

Report: Peter Mayhew back as Chewbacca for Episode VII

SWGTCC's Chewbacca, as found via the WookAs we all guessed after that tweet two weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter is now saying that Peter Mayhew will return as Chewbacca in Episode VII.

Mayhew last donned the Chewbacca suit in Revenge of the Sith, and many speculated he’d be returning after he recovered from knee surgery last year.

The Hollywood Reporter makes this a much stronger report, but we only consider information confirmed if it’s openly from Lucasfilm/Disney or appears on StarWars.com.

Disney’s Alan Horn: Episode VII mostly cast, they’re “shooting some of it now.”

We have a lot of them, we’re just not completely done yet,” Disney’s Alan Horn said about the cast at a live interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Galloway at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television in Los Angeles.

Horn acknowledged there had been some problems getting the script right. “It’s all about the screenplay,” he said. “It has to be screenplay, screenplay, screenplay.” Asked if the screenplay was fully where it needed to be, he added: “It actually is now.” The script has been co-written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams, following an early draft by Michael Arndt.

What’s being shot now could be, as many have speculated based on the various rumors, second unit work for use by ILM.

Horn also says that in-universe, the film will take place 35 years after Return of the Jedi. StarWars.com said in March that the film takes place “about 30 years after,” (emphasis mine.)

Why the Wookieepedia article on breasts is a big deal

wookTo be honest, I hadn’t planned to write more about Wookieepedia’s page on breasts. I’m already on record as disapproving, twice. Outrage fatigue happens even to the outraged, and quite honestly I don’t have the temperament or patience to continue to explain Feminism 101 to this fandom.

But the page and one of the responses ended up on Tumblr – one of those areas of fandom where you do actually see female majorities in many circles – and I remembered why it’s important that we keep speaking out.

Continue reading

Wookieepedia makes a statement about their breast page, still misses the point

Not long ago, Wookieepedia released an official statement regarding the breast article I wrote about earlier today.

Although Brian at Tosche Station has already written a great response to the statement, and I agree with him wholeheartedly, I still feel I should address it personally.

Continue reading