Roundup: Star Wars April Fools pranks thin on the ground

sw-paintNo April Fools’ Day is complete without a fake Star Wars product or two, and this year we saw Force Paint from The Fowndry and a crossover My Little Pony tv show (presumbably with lots of matching merchandise) from Star Wars Underworld.

Alas, April 1 MVPs ThinkGeek didn’t do anything Star Wars this year, but they do have Rosetta Stone for Klingon and a Flux Capacitor Car Charger.

Wookieepedia’s main prank was actually somewhat clever – a ‘Wookieepedia Pro’ subscription service. Less clever? Making their breast page (circa ’07) a featured article. (The talk page is super charming. Be sure to visit the archives!) The twelve-year-old is strong in this one.

There were refreshingly few Episode VII-themed pranks – mostly so blatantly unsuccessful that I won’t even bother linking them. Tor claimed that Lena Dunham is consulting on the script, which is somewhat left field even with the Adam Driver connection. Elsewhere, the the ForceCast took a whack at some ‘rumors’… And Eleven-ThirtyEight did look at what Star Wars can learn from Glee.

The comic licensees got spoofed – Bleeding Cool took on Dark Horse while Star Wars Union set up a comic ‘news’ site previewing Marvel’s first Rebels comic. And lest we forget the books, Jedi-Bibliothek has a bloody Jar Jar revenge novel from Joe Schreiber.

Overall? Maybe I’m just grumpy (okay, I’m totally grumpy) but the pranks this year just seem… Lacking. Have we finally reached critical mass on April’s best holiday?

Sitting out April Fools

Last year we put Star Wars in the Disney Vault, in 2012 we shared some Celebration VI programming, 2011 brought Ewok recipes, 2010 was the Jar Jar mysteries and in 2009 we debuted a Laurel K. Hamilton Star Wars book.

This year? We got nothing.


The ghost of April Fools past
The ghost of April Fools past
After doing this for all these years, I can’t help but feel like we’ve come to the end of the line with April Fools’ Day, at least for the moment. It’s not that I hate the pranks, it’s just that in the current situation of Star Wars and fandom, with this lull of news and rampant uncertainty, when we get ridiculous rumors on the regular, it would be more cruel than ever to come up with something fake regarding the Expanded Universe or Episode VII.

The best pranks are just a tiny bit believable (though I’m still shocked that anyone took that LKH one seriously) and fandom is in such a flux state right now that pretty much anything we came up with is likely to be believed – I’ve seen people do it with our previous pranks, no matter how ridiculously obvious they may be.

And yeah, there’s still plenty we could do, things in the vein of the Ewok recipes, other fandoms, rededicate ourselves as Club Fett etc. – but the sad truth is this has been kind of a shitty year thus far, and we’re just not feeling up to it.

I can’t say we’ll never do an April Fools prank again – the way these things go, I’ll have a great idea for one next week – but this year? No foolin’. Sorry.

I’ll be back later with a roundup from the rest of the fandom, but so far things seem pretty restrained. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.

Roundup: What is Peter Jackson doing with Episode VIII?

Tricksy Hobbit!April Fools! Here’s one we missed: First Showing spotted what appears to be an Episode VIII script or treatment that appears very briefly in Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit behind-the-scenes video, which was released on Monday. Of course, there are also appear to be scripts that say The Silmarillion, which I don’t believe anyone even has the film rights for, so take it as you will. I’m sure you can guess how I’m leaning. Well played, hobbitses.

Box office. The Motley Fool predicts that Episode VII will make a lot of money. Not just a a lot of money (because duh) but that it will go where only James Cameron has gone before: To make $2 billion worldwide. Well, if anyone can, it would be Star Wars… Right?

People. J.J. Abrams talks Star Wars and Star Trek with SFX, while Harrison Ford’s lips are sealed on Entertainment Tonight Oh the humanity. Or maybe he’s just tortured his publicist enough this week.

Back… To the future! gathers some Lucas’ quotes on earlier plans for extending the saga.

April Fools: Your Star Wars roundup

Sleeping Beauty, yo.

No, Disney isn’t putting Star Wars in the vault, or pulling a Sleeping Beauty on Lucasfilm. Big thanks to everyone who played along (as is our tradition) and for those of you who fell for it… Better luck next year?

The screen-oriented
takeiThe first Star Wars prank of the day was pulled by none other than George Takei himself, who announced on Facebook that he’d be playing “Master Ceti Maru” in Star Wars Episode VII: Galactic Empire. Later on, reported statements from Michael Arndt revealing that the film would “contradict the continuity and events of all the existing Star Wars films.”

Meanwhile, Tosche Station asked a newbie what she’s like to see in EpVII, Big Shiny Robot cast Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, The Bearded Trio ‘confirmed’ that Michael Bay would direct a spinoff film and Fangirl had look at some of The Clone Wars bonus content.

The 501st Legion approved some startling new costuming regulations, while Wookieepedia rebranded themselves as Memory Aurek, a “Star Wars/Trek encyclopedia.”

Books and merchandise
Del Rey announced the video game tie-in Pinball: Boba Fett by John Jackson Miller, while ThinkGeek included a Death Star Trench Toss among their arsenal.

Roqoo Depot went for numbers, ‘announcing’ the return of Karen Traviss, a new Denning book and a Doctor Who/Star Wars crossover comic, among others.

This is certainly not everything, so what was your favorite prank this year?

Disney putting Star Wars in the vault

The Disney Vault

The cancellation of The Clone Wars was not an isolated incident, it seems.

We’re hearing word that Disney is ceasing the release of all new Star Wars products and merchandise until such time as Episode VII is released.

Star Wars and the fandom has proved to be a bit more of a handful than Disney was expecting,” our source says. “They knew you guys would be difficult but the reality was a complete shock to the company. Their own fandom is, for the most part, far more accepting and docile. Disney isn’t really used to their decisions being greeted with such outright hatred and protest…”

“They’re going to shut everything down and clear the market for a while while they reaccess the situation. The sequel trilogy is still happening, but it may be delayed as late as 2019, depending on various factors.”

Anything that’s not already deep into the production pipeline – aka actually sitting in a warehouse somewhere – will simply not be coming out. Disney expects the last products to drop early this summer, after which nothing new will be produced until we approach the release of Episode VII… Whenever that ends up being.

Disney has long used their ‘vault’ in the service of making animated releases scarce. This is, to our knowledge, the first time an entire franchise has been placed on hold.

We are, however, hearing that no further layoffs are taking place at Lucasfilm itself, although curiously a series of giant thorn bushes had grown up around such company outposts as the Letterman Digital Arts Center and Skywalker Ranch…

Artist's Rendition