Category Archives: Star Wars

Starlog Archives: Artists of the Empire


These days, you can’t turn around without having Star Wars thrust in your face.  Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, we can all settle in for a steady stream of new Star Wars material until even the most ardent fan decides they have had enough.  But that wasn’t always the case.  After the completion of the original trilogy, Star Wars slowly slipped into near irrelevance.  In the nineties, the franchise slowly started to come back to life.

Following the success of Timothy Zahn’s novels, Shadows of the Empire was a multimedia project that included all the products one would associate with a new Star Wars movie except the actual film.  There was a video game, novels, comic books, toy lines and trading cards.  The Topps trading cards series featured art by acclaimed painters, Greg and Tim Hildebrandt.  In the Novemeber 1996 issue of Starlog magazine, the brothers discussed their role in the Star Wars event.

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Starlog Archives: Is Star Wars Fandom Dead?


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Earlier this week, We looked at an interview with Sigourney Weaver from the August 1996 issue of Starlog magazine.  The cover prominently featured a picture of Weaver as Ellen Ripley from that summer’s sequel, Aliens.  But what caught readers’ eye was a blurb that seems unthinkable twenty years later.  Starlog magazine, a haven for sci fi geeks of the eighties, asked the question “Is Star Wars fandom dead?”

Twenty years later when a steady stream of new movies and merchandise are flooding the market, such a question seems absurd.  But a few years after Return of the Jedi was released, the franchise went dormant for a few years.  Here is a reminder of those dark days.

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Starlog Archives: Disney’s Star Tours


Today’s Disney fans are waiting in anticipation for news on the upcoming Star Wars projects opening in Disneyland and Walt Disney World.  In 1987, Starlog Magazine published a two-part article covering the first Star Wars attraction, Star Tours.  Star tours opened that year in Anaheim and made its Orlando debut two years later.  In 2011, both simulator attractions were upgraded with 3-D and multiple scenes that are shown randomly.  Here’s a look at the first time Star Wars came to Disney.

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How The Force Awakens Invalidates the Original Trilogy


Star Wars - Kylo Ren

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently breaking box office records.  For the most part, the movie has been embraced by fans and critics alike.  The most common complaint about the new movie is that it borrows heavily from the original films.  These similarities create another issue for the new movie.  It’s easy to feel like the events of the first three films didn’t really matter.

**Spoiler Warning: Plot points for The Force Awakens follow

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Spoilers


The Force Awakens

I already posted my spoiler-free review of the latest Star Wars.  Now it’s time to discuss the movie in detail.  If you have already seen the movie or you don’t mind massive spoilers, read on.  If you haven’t seen The Force Awakens, come back when you have.  We’ll wait for you.

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Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Han and Chewie - Star Wars Force Awakens

The long wait is finally over.  Star Wars Episode VII is open and the good news is that J.J. Abrams’ revival is better than George Lucas’ prequels.  The Force Awakens is similar to Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise.  The story is sloppy, but the action is fast-paced and the movie is fun enough that audiences probably won’t mind its short-comings.  I will keep my review spoiler-free so feel free to read on even if you have yet to see the movie.

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Star Wars Heroes and Villains Bracket Game: Darth Vader Vs. Princess Leia


Vader Leia

There is a little movie coming out later this month.  You may have heard of it.  I think it’s called Star Wars.  At Le Blog, it’s important that we support obscure indie movies like this one.  As part of our build up to the Dec 18th release of The Force Awakens, we’re going to have a bracket game.  All of your favorite Star Wars heroes and villains from the original trilogy (and one or two from the prequels) face off to determine who is your favorite character from the series.

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Star Wars Heroes and Villains Bracket Game: Darth Vader Vs. Jabba the Hutt


Vader Hutt

There is a little movie coming out later this month.  You may have heard of it.  I think it’s called Star Wars.  At Le Blog, it’s important that we support obscure indie movies like this one.  As part of our build up to the Dec 18th release of The Force Awakens, we’re going to have a bracket game.  All of your favorite Star Wars heroes and villains from the original trilogy (and one or two from the prequels) face off to determine who is your favorite character from the series.

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Star Wars Heroes and Villains Bracket Game: Han Solo Vs. Princess Leia Organa


han-and-leia

There is a little movie coming out later this month.  You may have heard of it.  I think it’s called Star Wars.  At Le Blog, it’s important that we support obscure indie movies like this one.  As part of our build up to the Dec 18th release of The Force Awakens, we’re going to have a bracket game.  All of your favorite Star Wars heroes and villains from the original trilogy (and one or two from the prequels) face off to determine who is your favorite character from the series.

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Star Wars Heroes and Villains Bracket Game: Jabba the Hutt Vs. Boba Fett


Jabba Boba Fett

There is a little movie coming out later this month.  You may have heard of it.  I think it’s called Star Wars.  At Le Blog, it’s important that we support obscure indie movies like this one.  As part of our build up to the Dec 18th release of The Force Awakens, we’re going to have a bracket game.  All of your favorite Star Wars heroes and villains from the original trilogy (and one or two from the prequels) face off to determine who is your favorite character from the series.

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Star Wars Heroes and Villains Bracket Game: Luke Skywalker Vs. Darth Vader


Luke V. Darth

There is a little movie coming out later this month.  You may have heard of it.  I think it’s called Star Wars.  At Le Blog, it’s important that we support obscure indie movies like this one.  As part of our build up to the Dec 18th release of The Force Awakens, we’re going to have a bracket game.  All of your favorite Star Wars heroes and villains from the original trilogy (and one or two from the prequels) face off to determine who is your favorite character from the series.

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Star Wars Heroes and Villains Bracket Game: R2-D2 Vs. Princess Leia


R2 Leia

There is a little movie coming out later this month.  You may have heard of it.  I think it’s called Star Wars.  At Le Blog, it’s important that we support obscure indie movies like this one.  As part of our build up to the Dec 18th release of The Force Awakens, we’re going to have a bracket game.  All of your favorite Star Wars heroes and villains from the original trilogy (and one or two from the prequels) face off to determine who is your favorite character from the series.

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Worst to First: My Star Wars toys


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As classic as the original trilogy of Star Wars movies was, who are we kidding? The lasting love many of us have for George Lucas’ space opera series has at least as much to do with the associated toys we managed to get our hands on. After all, Star Wars and its immediate sequel The Empire Strike Back, were released at a time when home video had not yet become prevalent. Even when Return of the Jedi hit theaters in 1983, mainstream U.S. consumers were still a year or two away from thinking of watching movies at home as something that could be a common occurrence. Without the ability to constantly revisit the movies, we reinforced the existing stories we’d seen on the big screen and invented more stories of our own through the time-honored tradition of play.

George Lucas famously held onto licensing rights when his contract was written up for the making of the first movie, and we all helped to make him a very rich man. In a sense, we are guilty of creating the circumstances under which the reviled prequels happened. But nobody was actually prepared for how popular Star Wars would become. The movie opened as a ‘B’ feature and got kicked out of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood after just two weeks because of a pre-existing contract. Kenner secured the licensing for creating toys, but couldn’t produce them fast enough, leading to kids going to Sears and coming home with a piece of cardboard promising them a set of action figures once the darn things got made. My parents wouldn’t buy us a piece of cardboard, but as soon as the figures were actually in the store they happily let us choose one. I don’t think they quite understood at the time that wouldn’t be close to the end of it.

For several years these were some of my favorite and most coveted toys. I didn’t come close to collecting it all, but I sure feel like I got my share. Join me as I rank my favorites!
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