Her Universe and Disney are expanding their merchandise partnership, the companies announced today. The new deal includes an athleisure line for kids and tweens called “Our Universe.” It debuts with Black Panther and Disney Princess products, with Star Wars additions coming soon. The products will be avaliable exclusively through shopDisney.com and at Disney Store locations.
It may be no surprise that The Force Awakens is nabbing a bunch of key nominations for the Nickelodeon 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards, but a Star Wars book has also earned a nomination, competing against both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. DK’s Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Michael Kogge, and Kerrie Dougherty, is one of six choices to be voted on in the Favorite Book category. Will it stand up to the likes of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Maze Runner? Anyone can vote as much as they want for the Kids’ Choice Awards at nick.com/KCA. Sadly, you can’t skip a category, like Favorite (Music) Collaboration.
In other categories, The Force Awakens has earned nominations for Favorite Movie, Favorite Actor (John Boyega) & Favorite Actress (Daisy Ridley). In the video games category, Disney Infinity 3.0 (which added Star Wars content) is a nominee. The Kids’ Choice Awards will air live on March 12, hosted by Blake Shelton.
Friday, December 4 is the sixth annual Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day. Started as a way to rally support for Katie Goldman, who was bullied in school because she was a girl who liked Star Wars, the movement is a way to show geek pride, take a stand against bullying and state that Star Wars is for everyone.
So here’s how you can mark the day:
Wear Star Wars apparel. If so inclined, post a pic on social media with #WearStarWars2015.
Share Star Wars toys. Donate Star Wars toys to kids in need, and include a note that it can go to a boy or a girl! (You’re already going to Toys R Us to get that Yavin medal, right?
Get more information about Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars 2015 on their Facebook event.
The folks at Jedi Bibliothek have discovered listings for our first Epiosde VII tie-in books for kids. The first batch is still fairly generic, but the second at least tells us that there will be four novels focusing on the era between the original and sequel trilogy:
Journey to Episode VII: Han Solo Middle Grade Novel (September 2015, Hardcover, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, $12,99 USD, 9781484724958)
Journey to Episode VII: Luke Skywalker Middle Grade Novel (September 2015, Hardcover, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, $12,99 USD, 9781484724965)
Journey to Episode VII: The Fall of the Empire/The Rise of the Rebellio (September 2015, Hardcover, Disney-Lucasfilm Press, $17,99 USD, 9781484724989)
Plus a Star Wars Episode VII Character Novel for December. (Daisy Ridley? John Boyega?)
No, it’s not anything from Del Rey that we’re hoping to hear about soon – like the film’s adult novelization – but it is a sign that we’ll at least know something of the state of the galaxy going into Episode VII as soon as next fall.
Disney Publishing, which we already knew was handling the Rebels books, now announces new original-trilogy books for young readers. They’ve tapped bestselling children’s authors Tom Angleberger (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda,) Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles,) Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm,) and R.J. Palacio (Wonder.)
DiTerlizzi will handle The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, which is being illustrated with Ralph McQuarrie’s concept paintings. Palacio will adapt A New Hope, Gidwitz has The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars vet Angleberger takes on Return of the Jedi. All three will be illustrated by prequel and Episode VII concept artist Ian McCaig. (via)
The books will start hitting the shelves in October.
So yes, things are still up in the air as regards the adult novels. Though I did recently learn that Hachette does have an adult sci-fi imprint – Orbit (which yes, I knew of before – just not that it was linked to Hachette. Ugh, stupid me.) But they don’t seem to handle licensed work – could that change if Hachette gets Star Wars after the Del Rey contract expires? Or will Disney Press expand beyond kids’ and art books? Time will tell.
We saw Sabine’s official reveal this morning, and although we’re still waiting for Hera’s, Hasbro confirmed with Newsarama’s Lucas Siegel that action figures of both Rebels ladies are coming, and will be unveiled at SDCC.
There’s been some blowback to the concerns over the lack of women showed in the first wave of Hasbro Rebels toys. But together with the ‘for boys’ nature of Disney XD and the apparent ‘ladies last’ spacing of the character reveals, it’s really felt like the female characters – and thus female fans – are there as an afterthought. (Is it really still not a given that women and girls like action?)
Yes, we know ‘this is how it is.’ Yes, we know that ‘it’s all here to sell toys.’ Yes, we know that’s ‘what advertisers want.’ And that’s exactly why we’re fighting so hard over this. This is our first major rollout since Disney took the wheel, and this is an uphill battle.
With Thor: The Dark Work on the horizon, Marvel and star Natalie Portman are launching the Ultimate Mentor Adventure to inspire more girls to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Girls 14 and up are eligible to apply. UL (Underwriters Laboratories), Dolby Laboratories, National Academy of Sciences and Girl Scouts USA are also sponsoring the effort.
Portman, who reprises her role as astrophysicist Jane Foster in the film, also had some interesting things to say about female characters:
“I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.”