Tag Archives: collecting

The skimmed book review: The Complete Vader

Clearly, I need to take a speed reading course. I don’t know how anyone can quickly get through the coffee table books that seem to come out each year for your holiday pleasure. There’s always so much text involved. So why not just do a review on first impressions? For instance, the awesomeness that is The Complete Vader by Ryder Windham and Peter Vilmur.

This book basically takes you through the story and pop culture development of Darth Vader over the years; from his development to The Clone Wars television show.

In between? Awesome things inserted into the book. And I do love me the special books where they have things stuck in them. For instance, towards the beginning is a folder that allows you to take out a copy of the piece-by-piece instructions for putting on the Vader costume that was used for public appearances. (Sorry. Did I just crush some childhood dreams there?) And there’s also an early costume sketch that is all aged and faded looking, as if it was smuggled out of the Archives. And then there’s a look at the early toys associated with Vader.

And this is basically how the book unfolds. You hear about story developments in the years being addressed. Expanded Universe products. And the toys and pop culture  happenings.

My only complaint about the book would be its construction. The pages and inserts are so heavy that it exposes the binding; giving it a flimsy air. Although I don’t believe it’s actually flimsy precisely because it’s stitched in, instead of glued. However, this might turn off well-meaning relatives trying to get you that awesome holiday gift.

So is it worth getting and/or putting on your “Star Wars things I haven’t actually purchased” list for the holidays? Absolutely; especially for fans of the pop culture aspects of Vader. It’ll be a fun stroll down memory lane.

Oprah is looking for Princess Leia collectors

Oprah Winfrey’s people are looking for collectors of Princess Leia merchandise:

Are you a big Star Wars fanatic obsessed with Princess Leia? Do you collect the biggest, best, most outrageous Princess Leia memorabilia in the universe? We’re looking for fans with the most unique collectors’ items out there. Do you have a special edition Princess Leia Pez dispenser, a life-sized model of Princess Leia — or do you own all the Princess Leia figurines/dolls in existence?

If other Star Wars fans are envious of your unusual collection of Princess Leia goodies — then we want to hear from you!

Could Carrie Fisher be going on the show? Maybe Katie? We’ll find out.

The fandom minute: Star Wars spending

Making maths. Justin Brown calculates how much he’s spent on Star Wars over the years. And although it’s a nice chunk of change, it’s still less than one copy of Frames, so I’ll give him a pass, despite that whole Boba Fett thing.

A social experiment. Ryan Britt takes a look at just how confused Clone Wars loving kids may be by their first look at the rest of the movies. Could ‘Anakin becomes Vader’ end up as their ‘Han shot first?’

…And for their parents. John Scalzi looks at awesome scenes in bad movies.

Right at home. Artist Cedric Delsaux returns to fandom’s radar with a new set of Star Wars images taken in what may be the world’s most sci-fiesque city, Dubai.

Why stormtroopers miss. Cracked explains the much-maligned plot hole with science.

Eye Candy Vader and Yoda via font.

Book Review: The Jedi Path (Vault Edition)

Do you want to make people smile?  Get The Jedi Path (Vault Edition) and tell them to push the button. 

I brought this to my local Star Wars club meeting, yesterday, and people actually squealed with delight when the vault opened.  And when they calmed down enough to do it again and listen to the sound effects?  Delighted claps that made them look like five-year-olds on their birthdays. 

Going beyond the coolness of the vault, the book itself is fantastic!  It’s designed as an orientation manual/text book for younglings at the Jedi Temple that has been passed from master to apprentice in a line descending from Yoda to, belatedly, Luke.  (And, yes, they explain how this happens.)

As with many textbooks, it’s filled with notes scribbled in the margins.  And I think this is my favorite part.  It represents a conversation through the ages.  And Dan Wallace really captures each owner’s voice in these notes.  Of particular amusement, however, are Darth Sidious’ notes after he captured the book in the Order 66 aftermath.

There are also tons of keepsakes inserted by its various owners that are hilarious.  My only complaint would be a coin that keeps falling out of the book and rolling across the room; a particular source of amusement for my dogs.  I suspect that will make it difficult to keep this collectible intact in the future.

As to the book itself?  It’s a brilliant compilation of thirty-three years of Star Wars lore in a spackle job at a level not seen since Michael Stackpole’s I, Jedi untangled the Bantam Era.  Contradictions are explained.  Disparate details from several different authors are melded into a coherent theory.  And it’s all in the style of textbook; along with some stunning illustrations.

I’m no Santa Maul, but I would definitely add this one to your holiday/birthday wish list.

Celebration V roundup: Less than a week to go!

Postcard Art by Randy Martinez

The schedule appears pretty much complete, and the good news is that the the Main Event looks to be taking up every screen in the place.

StarWars.com is posting some handy guides based on your Star Wars foci. So far: Movie fans, Costuming and clothing, Builders/Makers and Engineers, art and art lovers and The Clone Wars.

(No EU yet, but the signing schedule for authors is up!)

I fly out Tuesday and I haven’t done a damn thing. Eek! But we will have swag: More on that later! In the meantime, head over to Facebook and tell us what your most-wanted item is.

Roundup: Still counting down to Celebration V

It’s 50 days to Celebration V and I finally booked my flight! But seriously, here’s the haps, with more sure to come:

Meanwhile, let’s all just hope that skeevy celebrity blogger Perez Hilton doesn’t show up.

Roundup: All the Celebration V news you can shake your broken droid leg at

Anthony Daniels and his famous gold jacket at the 2007 Disney Weekends / Photo by Ron Riccio / starwarsblog @ flickrGuest list. Anthony Daniels is coming to the autograph hall and on stage. (WTF moment: “He was the voice of Legolas in the 1978 animation, Lord Of The Rings.” The awful one that turned me off Tolkien for decades? What what?)

Panels. And the collecting track just keeps on coming. Don’t fret, folks: I’m sure there’ll be something for the rest of us. (Right?)

Costumes. Register your fabulous duds for the Costume Pageants. If you don’t, they might send the 501st after you.

Book now! There’s no time to waste!

Guide. The folks at Reed have put together Orlando 101.

The fandom minute: Of parties and fan tributes

Woe be unto you, Club Jade fans.  Dunc is having a real life this week and has left me to round up the news for you.  So, sorry.  She’ll be back soon!  So let’s round up some bits and bobs in the world of Star Wars, shall we?

  • That awesome fan project, Star Wars: Uncut, is now cut.  And we have a trailer!
  • Speaking of fans, the University of Georgia paper profiles a member of the 501st Georgia Garrison.  Yes, Athens fans, there are others near you!
  • And they’ll need all the help they can get.  Star Wars Weekends is cranking up again.
  • The 501st even helped Lando, um, I mean Billy Dee Williams, arrive in style to the Sunscreen Film Festival.  I bet he’d love to have  Colt 45 can greet him, just once.
  • We’ll move from that The Empire Strikes Back actor to StarWars.com’s review of Empire cast and crew swag.  (I’ve always wanted one of those passports.)
  • And finally, from the film that inspired it all, Kurosawa Hidden Fortress action figures.  Awesome!

Dunc will be back soon.  Promise!

Hasbro discontinuing Comic Packs

Sales haven’t been good for one of the few sources for Expanded Universe action figures, so the line won’t continue in regular stores through the Spring. Here’s what Hasbro said in a Q&A last month:

We can confirm that the Comic Packs will be discontinued after Spring 2010 (meaning no packs for Fall 2010). The Wal-Mart exclusive Comic Pack program has been cancelled after the last ones ship this Fall. Wave 3, including the pack with Tholme and T’ra Saa, will now be on shelf approximately March in the U.S. along with the rest of the Fall Comic Packs shown at Comic Con. This schedule should hold unless there are further delays. The Spring 2010 Wave 1 packs shown at Comic Con, including the Darth Nihl & Deliah Blue pack, may not make it out at all based on the current rate of sale, but we remain hopeful. The Camie/Fixer pack will be a convention exclusive next year.

This doesn’t bode well for EU figures, though it doesn’t effect the Jacen and Jaina figures (they’re part of Legacy Collection, an entirely different line.)

The fandom minute: Space cowboys, art, alignments, cakes, devalued collectibles and Gonk

Scum and villainy.Yippee-ki-yay. Star Wars is SpaceWestern.com’s #1 most influential space western. Please spare us all the argument about how it’s totally not a space western; It’s an amalgam, silly. (Also, while I don’t think anyone can deny Firefly, isn’t it a bit early to rank it quite so high on a list that’s supposed to be about influence? Far as I can tell, the only thing that it’s inspired so far is a funny clip of Castle and Fox renewing Dollhouse.)

Art or something like it. io9 collects the greatest velvet paintings of science fiction. (As Wookieepedia is to Cracked, Google Image Search is to io9.) Giant Samurai Vader was a big hit on Twitter, and the official site gives us another peek at Visions featuring some of Club Jade’s favorite things (non-alcoholic division.) Dude, we get it: It’s a Star Wars fine art book, right? Enough teasing already.

Contain your shock. Darth Vader is Lawful Evil. No!

Baked-good corner. Two extremely well-made Star Wars cakes – Jabba and Darth Maul – from L.A.’s Rosebud Cakes. For the 30-year-old child party moll in all of us. As for something we can all achieve, take a cue from the sarlacc bundt cake.

Collecting. The ten most embarrassingly collectible Star Wars toys of the 90’s. Why didn’t I sell my Special Edition Luke when it was actually worth something? WHY?

At random. Power Droid gots to get his money.