Video: Unboxing Star Wars: Little Golden Books & Concept Art Show at Gnomon

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Happy 39th birthday, Star Wars! To celebrate, we’ve got a new episode of Unboxing Star Wars! Yowie the skunk, Baby Jawa, and I review some of the latest crop of Star Wars Little Golden Books: I Am a Droid, I Am a Pilot, and I Am a Jedi, as well as I give my recap on the James Clyne and Iain McCaig presentation and The Force Awakens concept art exhibition at Gnomon in Hollywood. For more info on the presentations by Art Director James Clyne and Concept Artist Iain McCaig, check out my article on starwars.com: Designing The Force Awakens. Also, check out photos from the concept art exhibition and the artists’ presentation. Plus random fun with Ponda Baba, and then some Baby Jawa fun time!

Quick reviews
I Am a Droid – Thumbs up! Written by Christopher Nicholas and illustrated by Chris Kennett, this Little Golden Book focuses on different aspects and roles of droids in Star Wars. My favorite of the bunch, though possibly could have done without a page showing a droid being tortured.
I Am a Jedi – Just OK. This Little Golden Book by Christopher Nicholas and illustrated by Ron Cohee talks about the basics of what a Jedi is and what a Jedi can do, and a little about the Force and the Sith. Nothing from The Force Awakens, but it does reveal the identity of Darth Vader, just in case you want to save that revelation for later in your child’s life.
I Am a Pilot – Just OK. By Christopher Nicholas and illustrated by Alan Batson, this Little Golden Book showcases a bunch of different pilot characteristics in Star Wars and some of the more famous pilots. Sadly, none of the pilots in the book are women.
Episode VII: The Art of James Clyne & Iain McCaig at Gnomon Gallery, Hollywood – Go see it if you’re in the area! There’s almost fifty pieces on display, pretty evenly split between Clyne and McCaig. I *think* all of the displayed artwork can be found in The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but here’s a chance to see it in a larger format. The exhibition runs until July 20, 2016.

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Note: No Aqualish were harmed in the filming of this program.

It’s May 25, and Star Wars is 39 years old today

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The original Star Wars was released on this day in 1977, making both the franchise and the film 39 years old today. Nowadays we call it A New Hope, but it didn’t receive the subtitle until a 1981 re-release.

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Return of the Jedi also came out on May 25, in 1983, making it 33 today.

Other Star Wars movie birthdays this month were Attack of the Clones on the 16th (14 years); The Phantom Menace (17 years) and Revenge of the Sith (11 years) on May 19; and The Empire Strikes Back (36 years) on May 21.

Happy real Star Wars Day! Whatever else happens today… Well, we’ll see.

Tickets for 2017’s Celebration Orlando will go on sale today

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Tickets for next year’s Celebration Orlando (April 13-16) will go on sale Wednesday at noon Pacific, 3 p.m. Eastern. A standard 4-Day Adult pass is $150, while the VIP is going for $700.

Remember that while regular tickets for the forthcoming Celebration Europe have sold out more quickly than usual, we’re still not quite at SDCC levels yet, so there’s no need to crash any servers.

This will be the eighth domestic Celebration, and the third at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. 2015’s Celebration Anaheim saw a record 60K fans attend.

Sequel stuff: The fork is strong with Carrie and Mark

viii-tweets-carrie-fork052416cI’m sorry. I’m really sorry. But they are adorable, right? “The fork surrounds you, binds you, & feeds you….” Thanks, Carrie.

→ Not cute enough? Some Irish schoolkids got a visit from Chewbacca. On that note, word on the street is that they’ve finished up VIII filming in Ireland…

The Force Awakens editor Maryann Brandon took part in a Q&A at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

→ The teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast has broken the record for 24-hour views set by the second teaser for The Force Awakens last year. I’m puzzled (the B&TB trailer is super bland,) but such is the media ecosystem.

→ And to take us out, a video highlighting the sound editing of The Force Awakens.

Disney movies are coming to Netflix in September (but not The Force Awakens)

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Netflix announced today that come September, they will be “the exclusive U.S. pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.” The date is new, but the deal itself is old news, as is one key fact: The Force Awakens is the last film under Disney’s former deal with Starz, which means it’ll first run on the traditional pay cable channel in the U.S.

Unless you’re in Canada, Rogue One will be the first Star Wars to have first-run on Netflix, alongside Disney’s other 2016 releases, like The Jungle Book (above,) Zootopia, and Captain America: Civil War.

Out this week: Star Wars #19, Anakin & Obi-Wan #5

Head to your favored comic book vendor this Wednesday for Star Wars #19, the second printing of Poe Dameron #1, and Obi-Wan and Anakin #5.

For the trade collectors, there’s a new hardcover collection of Dark Horse’s The Phantom Menace adaptation from 1999, plus the second collection of Kanan.

This weekend in Episode VIII: Set photos, more Knights of Ren

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Looks like some enterprising fans have managed to sneak into the sprawling Episode VIII set at Pinewood, and got up close and personal with some of the structures there. (via) A second set of photos has also surfaced, these taken in daylight. (Although they also say it’s a different film studio!)

→ Making Star Wars has a follow-up report to Wednesday’s spoilerific Knights of Ren piece, about another sequence that seems to feature the group. Again, these could very well be big spoilers, so click forewarned.

→ And finally, local sources have reported that the third actor who’s been spotted at the Ireland shoots has rejoined Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. Recent reports of Carrie Fisher being present are likely false, as the date overlaps with her very public appearance in Cannes.

That Episode VIII title rumor? It’s a fake, because they always are

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We’ve been here before. I recognize that tree.

This is not a movie.

This is not a movie.

At some point during the production of a Star Wars film, the rumor mill starts churning about possible titles. With The Force Awakens, the big one was ‘A New Dawn,’ which later ended up being a book title. Pablo Hidalgo later revealed that ‘Shadow of the Empire’ was a working title, but it certainly never leaked as such. And while a fan did guess The Force Awakens on a message board in 2012, that title never gained much steam elsewhere.

Star Wars title rumors are almost always guesses – and the only one the internet ever got right was the most predictable one: “Revenge of the Sith is the only Internet-era title that got out before its announce,” Hidalgo tweeted this week. “It’s the only one with a final title during production.” Which means even Lucasfilm likely doesn’t have a final title in place for VIII yet. It remains Space Bear.

But if you’re still curious, io9 has a great takedown of this new title rumor, and how clumsy the ‘leak’ really is. (They clearly put some effort in, but it’s extremely clumsy.)

Will we get a title at Celebration Europe? Well, maybe. But we only got The Force Awakens when principal photography wrapped on VII, so if anyone wants to guesstimate that, be my guest.

So don’t be surprised when latest terribly undynamic title can officially take a minor place in fandom history alongside fake titles like Rise of the Empire, The Creeping Fear and Balance of the Force.

eBook version of Star Wars: Aftermath on sale

jtfa-aftermath-crop900Whether you’ve been waiting or just would like an electronic copy, the ebook version of Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath is currently on sale for $1.99, for Kindle, iBook and Kobo. These eBook sales are often for a limited time, so grab it as soon as you can.

Although the book has been occasionally controversial, I enjoyed it. The second book in the trilogy, Life Debt, will be out in July.

Wear Star Wars Every Day: Week 20


This week, #WearStarWarsEveryDay goes to the dark side! The whole week is a showcase of clothing from the 501st Legion, lent by Darth Paul of Imperial Sands Garrison. We’ve got the usual shirts, but also a happi coat from the Japanese Garrison. But no donations to Collateral Repair Project in this week – maybe you can do something about it for next week! This review for Week 20 covers May 13 to May 19 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.

Get more info on what Wear Star Wars Every Day is all about, or make a donation or a per-day pledge!