First look at Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens

Happy Star Wars Day and May the Fourth Be With You.

StarWars_Lego_ForceAwakensTo celebrate, here is an 8 minute clip of the upcoming Lego Star Wars game that will adapt Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Lead through by one of the game developers, this is fun look at what is to come.

C3PO_21_panel_aPersonally, I’m excited about the PlayStation exclusive content The Phantom Limb, which could be related to the C-3PO one-shot by former Starman team James Robinson and Tony Harris.

Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens has June 28th release date and can be pre-ordered from Amazon. StarWars_Lego_ForceAwakens_PS4
I plan to attend a special event at the Baxter Barcade in wonderful Chapel Hill this evening. How will you be celebrating this May 4th?

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Lego Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy

With the release and excitement over Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there is no shortage of tie-ins targeting fan nostalgia from books to videogames and toys. But some fans take the initiative by using their skills to pay homage to the most popular modern space opera.

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“Lego Star Wars: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy.” (Vesa Lehtimaki/(c) 2015 LEGO (c) and TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd)

Via WashingtonPost (click the link for more images):

Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimaki began photographing his child’s toys back in 2009 as a way to preserve their memory before they either broke, were given away, or were lost. At around the same time, he took some of his son’s Lego snowtroopers outside and photographed them in the snow and that is when he found his calling to make incredibly detailed action scenes of Lego Star Wars figures. He began uploading the images that he made to Flickr and found that he had a hit on his hands. Six years later, a collection of his images is now available in book form in “LEGO STAR WARS: Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy,” (DK, 2015).

Lehtimaki has created a stunning miniature universe where Lego Star Wars action figures come to life, from Luke Skywalker riding a tauntaun through snow to a Sand Scout riding a sand speeder bike. Some of the tricks Lehtimaki uses to create the scenes include using flashlights for illumination and hot glue to hold the figures in place, experimenting over and over again until he gets the scene just right.

Also of interest is this ascii animated version of Star Wars. The patience and dedication evident in this project is stunning.

Tom Scioli revisits theStar Wars Ride of 1987

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The past is a foreign country, even more so when viewed through the filter of youth. Before every corner of the the Star Wars universe was explored, nearly anything was possible. This is evident in the vaguely remembered Star Wars Ride housed on the Wildwood Boardwalk of NJ back in 1981.

Renowned artist Tom Scioli (Gødland, American Barbarian, Transformers Vs. GI Joe) has created a new comic that takes readers back to a different age when Star Wars, Star Trek and Planet of the Apes were gloriously mashed together.
Read the entire comic here

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Here is a short video upload of Super 8 footage from 1974 showing the Star Trek ride and some Planet of the Apes antics.

Star Wars Scoundrel Goes Solo

OldHanSoloThe roguish pilot of the Millennium Falcon is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters in the entire saga. With a trusty blaster at his side and a walking carpet capable of tearing your arms off, Han Solo is a fan favorite. While actor Harrison Ford was adamant that the quick-witted scoundrel should have died at the conclusion of The Empire Strikes Back, he is excited to return to a galaxy far, far away for more adventure.
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But there will be more Han Solo with the a film devoted entirely to his story (likely set before he encountered the old wizard and his protege, a young farm boy). Back in my early childhood days (which are now my extended childhood days), I often thought that the further adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca had untapped potential. It looks like I may have my wish fulfilled at last.

HanSolo_StarWarsVia MakingStarWars:

Lawrence Kasdan is stepping away from Star Wars. The screenwriting legend scripted The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens. Then he went on to work on the Han Solo anthology film with this son Jon. Now he’s saying enough is enough already and boy, has he earned it.

I don’t know if this is good news but it doesn’t sound like Lawrence Kasdan took the gig to write the screenplay for the Han Solo anthology film, according to THR: 

He added that he had little interest in being involved in the Solo movie, but that his family was so excited about the idea for him, he agreed to co-write the screenplay with his son Jon Kasdan.

Hopefully the opportunity to please his family and work with his son still means Lawrence Kasdan brought his A-game to the gig.

I have now made four Star Wars movies. That’s more than enough.

The man has more than done his part to contribute to the galaxy we all love so much. We’re lucky we have the films we do. Now, I just hope those rumors he’s agreed to take a pass on the Indiana Jones story and be a consultant are true! (Now we’re just getting greedy, though.)

The Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film has a TBD 2018 release date.

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Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens omnibus trailer

SWars_ImaxPutting together all of the footage released to date, Shawn Cauthen has released the ultimate trailer for the next chapter in the epic space opera, Star Wars. The movie has generated unparalleled hype, a high water mark in an era that has given us Batman, Superman, Avengers and Jurassic Park to get excited over.

Tickets went on sale yesterday and already sales have beaten the previous record high… eight times over earning $6.5 million in pre-sales. So I guess I won’t make the midnight showing for this one as I had hoped.

Star Wars The Force Awakens opens December 18th.

Side-note: There has been lots of talk about Luke Skywalker being Kylo Ren in disguise, but images of Luke in Jedi robes and an unmasked Kylo Ren have been posted previously. Also, there is still no word on actor Max Von Sydow’s role in the film. Will he be old Boba Fett?
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New Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens Black Series Action Figures Debuted

SWars_Logo_NewVia Newsarama: During New York Comic-Con 2015, Hasbro revealed several new Star Wars products coming in late 2015 and into 2016. Among the big reveals were new figures in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens line, as well as new toys based on characters and ships from the original six movies.

The highlight was the debit of several new figures for the 3.75″ Black Series. The Black Series toys are built using 3D model scans of the actors, giving the toys an unusually high level of detail.

Also, highly recommended on Hulu, Plastic Galaxy, the Story of Star Wars Toys. It’s a fun-filled trip to a time far far away… the 70’s. Find it here.

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AURALNAUTS- STAR WARS EPISODE 4: LASER MOON AWAKENS

As many readers of my blog know, I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, but there’s always room for levity. In the Auralnauts’ fourth riff on Star Wars, the Jedi are dance-dueling/drug-peddling thugs, C-3PO (Creepio) is obsessed with obtaining human flesh and the rebellion… is an ass-focused mess. Empire is a family-friendly entertainment corporation transforming local businesses and neighborhoods into ‘family fun zones’ with their moon-sized Laser Moon fun park.
Warning: Explicit language

For some, the Star Wars will never end

As Bill Murray’s tune from SNL put it, “If they should bar wars, please let there be Star Wars forever.” It can certainly be said that Star Wars has enjoyed an unprecedented success in toy form that may never end. This year, the baton is taken back up and the toy soldiers are marching again.

Star Wars, a mammoth multimedia franchise began in 1977 with interest ebbing and waning over the decades since. But for some, like toy designer Mark Boudreaux, Star Wars has never truly been over. Replicated in miniature, Star Wars was launched as a toy line that captured the imagination of a generation and remains legendary. For some, these toys have a magical quality that is hard to explain. Even children of today’s digital age are enthralled by them as my own 6 year-old son cites the ’77 Kenner Star Wars action figures as the high water mark for toys.

The latest line of toys heralding the latest installment of the adventure that began long, long ago and far, far away has been made in a style not dissimilar to the classic 3.75 inch line from 1977 with limited articulation and masterful, yet simple detailing rather than super-articulation. The impact is immediate and the toys have been flying off the shelves nationwide.

For older fans, it’s an opportunity to revisit a world from the childhood, but for toy designer Boudreaux, it’s a trip back to the miniature intergalactic trenches of imagination and marketing. Bloomberg News interviewed the celebrity designer on his remarkable history with Star Wars and his bright exciting future.

What follows is an excerpt:

The 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Set

The 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Set

Boudreaux has been behind the scenes all along, crafting Star Wars merchandise since he was a 21-year-old industrial design student at the University of Cincinnati. He landed a paid internship in January 1977 at nearby Kenner Products, which at the time was best known for making dolls based off The Six Million Dollar Man television show. (Yes, the same ones Steve Carell fawned over in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.) A month later, Boudreaux was in a conference room when an executive walked in with a VHS cassette. “He put in the tape, and it was the trailer for Star Wars,” Boudreaux recalls. “We just went bonkers. We had never seen anything like that.”

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Kenner scrambled but soon realized there wouldn’t be any Star Wars toys ready in time for Christmas. “It was discussed internally that we should have something that folks could put under the tree, to build that excitement and anticipation,” Boudreaux says.

The solution was selling an empty box marketed as the “Star Wars Early Bird Set,” a sort of IOU from the company that could be redeemed for a real toy later. Kenner, which was acquired by Hasbro in 1991, actually made a television commercial for what amounted to a piece of cardboard that could be folded into a toy display stand. In a sign of just how much of a sensation Star Wars was becoming, parents bought the cardboard in droves. Kids could then send away a certificate from the box to receive four action figures by June 1.

It’s safe to mark this moment as the unofficial beginning of the Star Wars collecting mania. Many of those same kids who unwrapped an empty cardboard box in 1977 are going to be lining up for the first crack at The Force Awakens toys going on sale today. Any collector lucky enough to be holding on to an unredeemed early bird box now can sell the collectible for about $8,000, according to recent EBay auctions.

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Now here comes the only exclusive spoiler in this article about the plot of The Force Awakens: There’s no pop-up weapon akin to the Nerf cannon in the version of theMillennium Falcon that appears in the new film, which hits theaters on Dec. 18. And no, Boudreaux admits, even his position as a senior toy designer at Hasbro hasn’t given him enough clout to see the film. As a self-described Star Wars geek, just like all the hard-core fans hoarding toys, he can’t wait to see his muse on the big screen again.

Boudreaux is already making toys for Rogue One, the first spinoff movie for the Star Wars universe, which Disney is expected to release in December 2016. His goal, of course, is to work on Episodes VIII and IX, completing his third trilogy. It’s a toymaking career Boudreaux doesn’t take for granted. He’s a genuine celebrity at places like Comic Con, and he’s made friends with actors from some of the films. Boudreaux has even put his own likeness on the faces of generic action figures, including an anonymous rebel soldier from Return of the Jedi.

“I realize that the position I’m in is once in a lifetime,” he says. “That’s not lost on me.”

Read the entire interview here

Many Bothan Spies Died to Bring You These Images

Entertainment Weekly (yes, that one) premiered these amazing images from the upcoming seventh episode of the Star Wars saga.
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Set thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star and the defeat of the Empire in 1983’s Episode VI, The Force Awakens is co-written by JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). It will be a blend of the old and the new with young heroes and villains rubbing shoulders with renowned characters such as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Chewbacca. The new photos feature the ‘Chrome Trooper’ Captain Phasma, X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron, the evil Sith Kylo Ren and new villain General Hux. Additionally, we have our first glimpse of the classic protocol droid C-3PO (sporting another new limb) and trusty astromech R2-D2.


As December draws closer, anticipation mounts for the latest installment in the modern space opera. The new international TV spot even contains some new images!

More as it comes…

BONUS images of Star wars Episode VII The Force Awakens action figures via StarWarsNow:

Finn FlameTrooper KyloRenn Phasma
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Bonus 2: First image of Luke Skywalker from Episode VII: The Force Awakens and displayed costumes of Kylo Ren and First Order Stormtroopers.
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The New era of Star Wars begins

(Vintage Howard Chaykin Star Wars poster)

(Vintage Howard Chaykin Star Wars poster)

Who knew back in 1977 that Star Wars would become a multi-generation phenomenon, spawning toy lines, comic books, video games, cartoons, TV specials and more? After the prequels, creator George Lucas had pretty much burned out on the adventures set in a galaxy far far away. Luckily a new team of film makers will be taking up his mantle and blazing a new trail that will take fans deeper into that long ago time. In addition to three new movies set after Return of the Jedi, a series of ‘Anthology’ films are also planned. For the first time in a while, Star Wars feels new and exciting again. It’s a good time to be young (and a bad time to be a poor parent!).

Star Wars VII tee by zerobriant

Star Wars VII tee by zerobriant

Episode VII: The Force Awakens – December 18, 2015

StarWars_VII_Force Awakens Thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star, JJ Abrams film reunites the stars of the first trilogy (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker) while introducing new stars (John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou).

Fans will get to see Han Solo and Chewbacca pilot the Millennium Falcon again but also meet new villains such as Kylo Ren (seen in the first trailer with the cross-shaped red lightsaber).

All we have so far is conjecture, but I have pieced together the following from various sources: The story will involve The Resistance (formerly the Rebel Alliance) fighting the First Order (formerly the Empire) across several new worlds. The baton will be passed to a new generation (perhaps literally as Luke can be seen handing his lightsaber to someone) as Poe Dameron (along with his astromech BB-8), Rey and Finn renew the battle against evil led by Kylo Ren. Award-winning actress Lupito Nyong’o will portray an alien pirate named Maz Kanata, but details on other cast members are very few aside from the ‘Chrome Trooper’ Captain Phasma. What parts will be played by Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow are still unknown, though many think that Gleeson may be Luke Skywalker’s son Ben.

Regardless of what happens and who is who… this looks to be the most impressive new chapter in the Star Wars mythology. Additionally, it just ‘feels’ like Star Wars while the CGi-heavy prequels lacked that signature charm. More as it comes.

Rogue One- 2016

Design by Ryan Crain

Design by Ryan Crain

Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla 2014), starring Ben Mendelsohn and Felicity Jones. The first ‘Star Wars Anthology’ film will be set between Episodes III and IV and involve the theft of the Imperial plans for the Death Star. Mendelsohn will play a rebel soldier leading the mission but Jones is rumored to play an important role.

The teaser played at Celebration 2015 featured a voice over from Sir Alec Guinness and a scene of X-Wing fighter flying in low under the cover of a dense forest to reveal a glimpse of the Death Star.

Boba Fett- TBD 2018

Star-Wars-Boba-Fett Details are slim on this one, but Fantastic Four director Josh Trank just left production with no word from Disney as to why.

Introduced in Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back), Boba Fett was essentially Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name in space (the sound of spurs can even be heard in the film when he enters a room). A cold and calculating bounty hunter, his face was covered by a helmet marred from previous battles. Scalps from old wars hung from his arms, an arsenal of weapons was embedded into his armor which was covered in details from a million unknown adventures.

He was possibly the coolest character ever in Star Wars and barely said a word. Of course he was unceremoniously ‘killed’ off in Episode VI and brought back as a clone of Jango Fett in Episode II… but this movie could establish the ‘origin’ of character.

It’s a real head scratcher because fans have already seen young Boba in film and in the excellent Clone Wars cartoon where he teams up with a gang of bounty hunters. But this could be the one spinoff film fans have been waiting a very long time for (and maybe Fett creator Joe Johnston will direct!).

I still remember when Boba was an exquisitely designed new character donning a beach towel (as seen in this rare film).

I do like the rumor that the Boba Fett solo film will establish a new Fett, one who kills the whiny kid seen in Episode II and takes his place. It’s almost definitely not the direction the film will take, but we can dream.