More Forces of Destiny coming October 1

The second wave of Forces of Destiny will begin with two half-hour specials on the Disney Channel and Disney Channel app. The first will debut Sunday, October 1 at 8:00 p.m., followed by the second on October 29 at 8:00pm. They’ll appear on Disney’s Youtube after the specials, a departure from the first wave, which debuted online.

Would you name your baby Kylo? ‘Cause a lot of people are

There were a lot of baby Kylos last year. The name jumped the popularity ranks from #3269 in 2015 to #901 in 2016, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. So it’s not incredibly popular (to contrast, Ben was #704, and Benjamin is #6) but it is getting more popular. And note – it’s still less popular than Anakin, which is #778, up from #910.

At #175 Finn is the most popular sequel-trilogy related name associated with a major character – but it’s in been in wide use and gaining in popularity for more than a decade now, so we can’t peg that to Star Wars alone. Rey hasn’t shown any major growth, though it did jump from 904 to 868 (though as a male name – it’s not in the top 1000 for girls.)

As for the old standbys, Leia is #321, while Luke is #29. Poe, Han, Padme and Armitage (I had to look it up just for kicks) are all unranked.

NYCC: Next Marvel limited series goes back to the prequel era for Obi-Wan & Anakin

obi-ani-1-crop

Obi-Wan & Anakin, a 5-issue limited series from writer Charles Soule (Lando) and artist Marco Checchetto (Shattered Empire) will debut in January, CBR reports. Here’s the official synopsis for #1:

“Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar, and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star… they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker. It’s been a few years since Obi-Wan pledged to train the young “chosen one,” but even as they have grown closer through training, it has been a difficult road. Now, called to a remote planet for assistance, Master and Padawan may be pushed to the breaking point. Writer Charles Soule (Lando, She-Hulk, Daredevil) and artist Marco Checchetto (Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Avengers World, Punisher) bring us a tale of the Jedi at the height of their power…”

Marvel has previously touched on the very end of the prequel era with the Rebels tie-in Kanan: The Last Padawan.

UPDATE: CBR has an interview with Soule about the mini-series.

The first image of Padme and Anakin… From 1993?

brian-ashmore-padmeHere’s a little oddity from the past: Brian Ashmore’s painting of Anakin Skywalker, his wife and baby Luke from 1993. Originally painted for Topps’ Star Wars Galaxy 2 card set, it may very well be the earliest depiction of the couple, for all it was pulled from the set by George Lucas himself. Here’s what Ashmore himself had to say about it back in 2008:

There are a couple things that I find interesting about the image. First, my depiction of Padme (I had no idea of her name at the time…this was 6 years before Episode 1) looks a bit like Natalie Portman. Second, Anakin’s shadow on the wall is in the shape of Darth Vader. I’ve always wondered if this image might have influenced Lucas even just a little tiny bit in his casting of Natalie Portman or even the decision to have little Anakin’s shadow be in the shape of Darth Vader in an early Episode 1 promo poster. Probably not, but I can dream. Can’t I?

I don’t know about the casting choice – Iain McCaig seems to be the culprit there – but the shadow? Stranger things have happened… In any case, the painting eventually saw the light as ‘The Skywalker Flame’ in the Star Wars Galaxy 5 set.

On that note, the Skywalker family is our current Tumblr theme – queued through Friday and including a reblog of the original post that reminded me of this.

The Machete Order and watching the entire saga: Does The Phantom Menace matter?

Last week, three different sources pointed me to Rod Hilton’s blog post from last fall on the Machete order for watching the films of the Star Wars saga (especially for newcomers). While his overall proposed order (start with IV – A New Hope and V – The Empire Strikes Back, then go with the prequels, then show VI – Return of the Jedi isn’t new — Last year, we covered Drew McWeendy’s Film Nerd 2.0 showings to his two sons), Machete goes a step further by cutting out The Phantom Menace. Not because Hilton feels it is a bad movie, but because he points out that it is mostly irrelevant to the saga. Either a point gets brought up again in the other prequels or it isn’t needed at all in the larger scheme of things (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Valorum, podracing). He points out how he thinks it makes the saga stronger, by preserving some of the big reveals, and relating whiny Anakin to whiny Luke as showing Luke on the same path to the dark side in Return of the Jedi as Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. He also points out some of the weaknesses of his ordering of the films, most notably about the Prophecy of the Chosen One, and Anakin’s return to rescue Shmi and pick up Threepio in Attack of the Clones. The Machete Order got me thinking, and also prompted a discussion among some Club Jaders, who looked at the notion of order and TPM‘s relevance from several angles.

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The fandom minute: Sith Fairies and milk stormtroopers

Darth Fairy strikes back. Booturtle created this striking Darth Fairy getup for her daughter to wear to Dragon*Con and for Halloween. It was, not surprisingly, a big hit! Be sure not to miss her Death Star cake, either. (Photo by ConventionFans)

Also in crafts… Make a stormtrooper helmet out of a milk jug. Just the thing for a Star Wars Halloween party. Not that you need the Halloween excuse to throw an awesome Star Wars party.

Original trilogy. Bryan Young has some interesting thoughts on releasing the OT in HD.

Listage. Chewbacca is the #1 sidekick for Hero Complex, while Anakin Skywalker is in suitably annoying company on io9’s list of the most obnoxious superpowered teenagers.