The hunt for a new name for my video series is over! Since we mostly focus on the latest in new Star Wars storytelling in TV, films, books, comics, and events, Unboxing Star Wars is now Star Wars Story Talk! Yowie the skunk, Baby Jawa, and I review the latest book for the kid set: Star Wars: ABC-3PO, by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy, with illustrations by Katie Cook. We also flash back to LEGO Star Wars Days held earlier this month at LEGOLAND California and discuss the new LEGO Star Wars TV series, The Freemaker Adventures. For more details on the LEGOLAND event, check out my article on starwars.com: LEGO Star Wars Days. Plus random fun with a Jawa buddy, and then some Baby Jawa fun time!
→ Star Wars: ABC-3PO – Two thumbs up! Love the Katie Cook illustrations and fun rhymes by Calliope Glass and Caitlin Kennedy. Great for fans whether kids or parents! (For ages 3-5)
→ LEGOLAND California: LEGO Star Wars Days 2016 – A lot of fun! In a year without any new permanent Star Wars additions to Miniland, the park still knows how to make a great Star Wars event with plenty of unique activities including photo ops with costumers from the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs; the really awesome Fan Gallery, showcasing amazing Star Wars-themed builds from LEGO fans; family build, trivia and costume contests; and a bunch of scavenger hunts. Plus sneak preview screenings of the first episode of LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.
→ LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Thumbs up! If you’re a fan of the previous LEGO Star Wars series, this new show on Disney XD will delight! Maybe a little more kid-focused than some of the previous series, it still contains the great mix of Star Wars stories with LEGO humor, and introduces a new set of heroes!
We review what #WearStarWarsEveryDay is up to for the second week of May! And we start off with a bang – some really cool biker scout trooper armor! We also had one donation to Collateral Repair Project in this week, and a whole bunch of folks who lent clothing to cover me every day of the week! Thanks to Todd of the Imperial Sands Garrison of the 501st Legion for the helping me fit into his scouttrooper armor, and him, Paul, Darren, James, and Mike for letting me borrow shirts (and even a hockey jersey). This review for Week 19 covers May 6 to May 12 of my wearathon, and an update on fundraising for Collateral Repair Project, a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance, education, and community support to urban refugees.
#WearStarWarsEveryDay heads out of April and into its fifth month, May! No donations to Collateral Repair Project in this week, but we did have a whole bunch of folks who lent or donated clothing for the last two days of my Celebration streak and the beginning of my monthly focus on fandom! Thanks to Paula for the donated shirt, and Todd, Debby, Jennifer, and Caitlin for letting me borrow items of clothing — this time going on the small side with a bib and a ladies small t-shirt. This review for Week 18 covers April 29 to May 5 of my wearathon, and an update on fundraising for Collateral Repair Project, a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance, education, and community support to urban refugees. Also, I was on the Galactic Fashion podcast recently talking about the project and about geek fashion for guys!
Just a reminder, I want May to be a showcase of Star Wars fandom, highlighting different fan efforts such as websites, podcasts, costume clubs, collecting clubs, artwork, etc. So if you’ve got something cool to donate or lend, like a club shirt, hat or costume item, send it on over, and I’ll promote your group or solo effort. I’ve got plenty of 501st Legion wear lent to me, but stuff from other clubs would be awesome! Get the shipping info here.
Word on the streets (well, the message boards) is that Disney has told the 501st and Rebel Legions that certain Expanded Universe characters are “not being allowed to march” in the Star Wars Weekend Motorcade. The only character we know for sure at this time is Mara Jade, but it’s easy to guess at several others from there. Nanci Tosche Station has thoughts.
One big question: Would this apply to characters from other eras who haven’t crossed over into tv or movies, like the Old Republic, or does it only affect post-Return of the Jedi characters who may in the path of the sequels?
Although this means certain costumers (including quite a few women) will no longer be able to march in the official parade, certain means of quiet protest have been suggested: Attendees can still dress in costumes or don EU character shirts.
UPDATE: TFN’s Eric Geller reached out the Lucasfilm on this, and they told him “that neither Disney nor LFL ordered a prohibition on EU characters in the SW Weekends parade.” Tosche Station maintains they’ve heard otherwise from 501st members, although no one is yet sure how high at Disney the orders may come from.
Before the show opening on Sunday, I took a tour of the main convention floor of Star Wars Celebration Europe in Essen, Germany. Check out all the cool ship models and other dioramas from the Belgian 501st Legion, as well as a peek inside the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience and LEGO displays from Halles 11 and 12 of Messe Essen.
And below, a video of the Fan Hall booths in Halle 5, including the R2 Builders Club, Rebel Legion and 501st Legion and other fan organization booths.
While at Comic-Con in San Diego, I got the chance to sit down with Star Wars author John Jackson Miller to discuss his upcoming novel Kenobi, his recently published sci-fi work Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, and his other upcoming projects, and a Kenobi giveaway from Del Rey at Comic-Con.
And below, Miller gets a surprise visit from Lisa Curtis (dressed as Miller’s character Zayne Carrick from Knights of the Old Republic comics), who presents him with an honorary membership in Rebel Legion
Saturday was the first day of the inaugural Course of the Force lightsaber relay, helping to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while celebrating geekery on its way from Santa Monica to San Diego and Comic-Con. Ready for your “Awww..” moment? Skip to 11:45 in the video above to see the last runner of the day – the king of fast, in his adorable Artoo costume!
Sunday will continue the relay from Redondo Beach to Huntington Beach, where there will be another Course of the Force conival at the HB pier (4pm to 9pm), including free performances by The Spazmatics at 6pm, and Dan Finnerty & The Dan Band at 8pm. The relay journey continues on Tuesday and Wednesday, going from Oceanside to Pacific Beach to downtown San Diego and Comic-Con!
Hoping to bring in more visitors, Legoland California has made some minor updates to their Star Wars miniland area, as well as hosting a series of Star Wars Days over the past few weekends to hype up the fun over the Spring Break period. Costumed members of the 501st and Rebel Legion were on hand to help add to the festivities in the Carlsbad theme park.
While Star Wars miniland only opened a year ago with seven dioramas (one for each of the main saga movies, and one for The Clone Wars,) in the theme park industry, you’ve got to keep things fresh (or at least advertise as such) to attract visitors. So this year, the Lego builders have created several additions to the miniland area:
Last Thursday, Legoland California opened up their Star Wars area in Miniland with some big fanfare. The official ribbon cutting was done by Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, and Carson Weiner, a young Star Wars fan representing the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Also on hand for the celebration were James Arnold Taylor and Catherine Taber of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and about 60 costumed members of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion. Other VIPs included skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and “Wait, I was in Star Trek not Star Wars” Christian Slater and Dancing with the Stars‘ Brooke Burke.
Event. The Indiana 501st and Rebel Legion are heading out to cheer on battling roller derby teams at Cyclone Wars this weekend. (via)
Lists. Jennifer Volpe’s Top Ten Best ‘Star Wars’ Games. I’m taking a strange ornery pride in the fact that I haven’t played a single one. (Please don’t tell me to start. Some people don’t read: I don’t game.)