Author Archives: Bethany Blanton

“The World According to Star Wars” Book Review

Star Wars Glasses (or how we see the world through the lens of Star Wars).

This is a book review of Cass Sunstein’s The World According To Star Wars.

We all have many different lenses with which we look at life; they can come from from an infinity of different places, but they all serve the same purpose: to provide context for our experience in the world, allow us to perhaps articulate that experience more accurately to others, and in doing so cultivate empathy for them, their lenses, and their experiences. In The World According to Star Wars, Cass Sunstein invites us to take a dive through one of his (and my) favorite life lenses: the Star Wars franchise.

world according to SW Continue reading

Why Star Wars Rebels is a Must-Watch for any Star Wars Fan

Ever since Lucasfilm and Disney XD unveiled their latest Star Wars television series, Star Wars Rebels sometime last year, I have been enthralled with the latest exploration of the Star Wars universe. Aside from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there’s no doubt in my mind that Rebels is the absolute best Star Wars production since The Return of the Jedi.

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There’s a lot of debate among Star Wars fans who prefer The Clone Wars to Star Wars Rebels. While The Clone Wars has its many merits and is an absolutely wonderful series, I won’t be making any comparisons between the two shows, because in all honesty they’re both great shows in their own ways and don’t really deserve to be pitted against each other. Instead, I’ll be looking at what makes Rebels such a nearly-perfect show, and I’ll save the Clone Wars vs Rebels discussion for another article.

Anyone that knows that I’m a Star Wars fan should be well aware that I prefer the original trilogy over the prequel trilogy to the franchise, so when Rebels was the first Star Wars production to return to that era last year, it was something worth celebrating, and it felt like a return to something eerily familiar in the most unfamiliar of settings. Though we’re roughly in the same era as A New Hope, we’re being told a completely different story with entirely different, unfamiliar characters, and surprisingly, it works wonders. The series follows an unlikely team of Rebels who rise against the Empire during the dark period set before Luke Skywalker even enters the picture. Surprisingly, that setting of the show works well, and with this original new storytelling, and it makes a nice addition to the vast Star Wars universe.

But what makes Star Wars Rebels a truly impressive entry in the Star Wars canon? The storytelling throughout the show is so rich and engaging, and adds so many unpredictable twists along the way, crafting likable and complex characters. The series does a great job at setting itself between the dark period between The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, not only does it do a good job at playing itself within that Star Wars period, but it also incorporates characters and set pieces from the original trilogy quite well. The thing that makes it so impressive though is that everything that made the Star Wars originals so spectacular is present in the series, from its superb storytelling right down to its quirky, subtle humor, Rebels has all the markings of a Star Wars classic.

There’s also plenty of bonus surprises for fans of The Clone Wars to be found in Rebels. Several key characters have made integral appearances on the show, and some with major story arcs that carry over from The Clone Wars into the rest of the Star Wars universe. Though it doesn’t quite necessarily need these characters to make Rebels a great show, the show benefits from having many of the same creators as The Clone Wars to throw in a few extra surprises to satisfy fans of the previous series.

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In the end, Star Wars Rebels continues to be an absolutely impressive new addition from Lucasfilm on a weekly basis, and a very welcome and satisfying inclusion to the Star Wars universe that’s bound to impress any Star Wars fan. Thanks to its likable characters and well-crafted storytelling, Rebels is truly a must-see show for the ages.

Mitchell Stein is the founder and operator of the Disney-fan based website The Mickey Mindset which is a leader in delivering Disney news, articles and opinions across the company. He can be contacted by following him on Twitter @MitchellStein1.

Help Support Rancho Obi-Wan’s Mission of Inspiration for Every Generation

Here’s a message from our friends over at Rancho Obi-Wan:

Inspiration for Every Generation

Last year’s build-up to The Force Awakens took us many places. We saw lots of old friends and met many new ones. Today we’d like to tell you all about what’s up this year–our fifth anniversary!

We have two collection installations that you can currently view:

  • “Eye of the Collector” at The Perot Museum in Dallas can be seen through Labor Day. Enjoy a sampling of the items found here at ROW as well as many other diverse collections like PEZ, Dallas Cowboys and fossils.
  • Copperfield’s in Petaluma has a small selection of unusual Star Wars books from ROW displayed in one window.
Our free school-tour program has tripled now that we have docents who are expanding our ability to serve the increasing number of young people embracing Star Wars fandom. We have recently inspired groups from local middle and high schools, universities, homeschoolers and continuing education programs.
Please partner with us to continue these endeavors as we use the collection at Rancho Obi-Wan to serve the public and inspire the world.
Announcing our spring 2016 fundraiser:
Inspiration for Every Generation
You can join with Rancho Obi-Wan to fulfill our mission to inspire creativity for generations to come! Even a small donation helps fund:
  • the operation of the museum
  • the protection and documentation of the collection
  • free educational tours for schools
  • donated tours to other charities for their fundraisers
  • traveling exhibits of specially curated objects

Every donation of $45 or more receives a one-year membership to Rancho Obi-Wan and a special thank you gift. This year’s membership patch features art by Daniel Bergren.

Rancho Recruiter continues–refer a friend or Become a Fundraiser with your own official Rancho Obi-Wan fundraiser page and share with your office, Facebook friends, or family.

FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 6-10PM PT
LIVE PODCAST FUNDRAISER @ WWW.RANCHOOBIWAN.ORG
 

Listen to a live podcast fundraiser to benefit Rancho Obi-Wan hosted by Jimmy “Mac” McInerney of Rebel Force Radio and Steve Sansweet.  Special guests from the Star Wars world and beyond will be coming to you direct from Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, CA. You won’t want to miss the fun!

Listen Live at www.ranchoobiwan.org and www.rebelforceradio.com
Submit questions for Jimmy Mac, Steve or anyone at ROW by April 27 10pm PT
 
 

TUESDAY, MAY 3, 5:30-8:30PM
“STAR WARS DAY: THE PREQUEL”
FUNDRAISER @ LAGUNITAS TAPROOM
1280 N. McDowell Blvd in Petaluma, CA. See Jabba the Hutt and costumed characters! This family-friendly event includes a raffle, door prizes, kids’ costume contest, and Roy’s Chicago Dogs available for purchase (as well as great Lagunitas refreshments for the adults). Silent auction contributions from Brian’s Comics,Comic ImagesEntertainment EarthFunko,Kotobukiya, artist Michael O’Shields, and Santa Cruz Skateboards.
$20 cover for adults. Purchase tickets online at
donate.ranchoobiwan.org/lagunitas2016

Limited number of tickets available at the door.
*OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT RANCHO OBI-WAN
AS ALWAYS, YOU HAVE OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE FOR
YOUR PARTNERSHIP AND SUPPORT IN INSPIRING THROUGH THE FORCE!

Stormtrooper Toothbrush Review

Do you have issues getting your children to brush their teeth? Do YOU dislike brushing your teeth? Fear not Star Wars fans, the new Stormtrooper toothbrush will help turn ‘brush time into play time’! The fine folks over at Firefly (no, not the space ship or the movie) sent us a couple of their brushes, and I have to say my teeth have been sparkling white and clean (almost like new Stormtrooper armor) ever since! Have I laid on the puns thick enough yet? No? Well, it’s like this toothbrush targets cavities and plaque like Stormtroopers do Rebels! Okay, okay, I should probably stop….

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In all seriousness though, I do wish this had existed in my childhood, as these new Firefly Star Wars 3D Stormtrooper Toothbrushes would have made my bedtime brushing routine a lot more imaginative!

Firely Storm Trooper Toothbrush

This toothbrush is marked for ages 3 – 12, but we all know as Star Wars fans that it’s more like 3 – 105. (Hey, when 900 years old we are, need more dental care, we will.) The toothbrush is available at Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, and I imagine you can find it online as well.

It has soft bristles for those of us with sensitive gums, and the coloring of the whole toothbrush matches the Stormtrooper theme.

I love the fact that they stand upright even outside of the package. (I have a pet peeve about toothbrushes getting dirty when I set them down on sinks. Especially hotel sinks.)

Firefly plans on releasing other Star Wars toothbrushes as well, including Kylo Ren, and characters from other properties and franchises. They have lightsaber toothbrushes as well, and they make the number one selling kids toothbrush line, the Ready Go, which is available in Yoda, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and BB-8 versions.

The brush has the feel of an action figure with a full Stormtrooper set on the front end.

I’ll admit I was amused by the idea of a Stormtrooper toothbrush, and so I do believe that parents who legitimately have issues getting their kids to accept brush time could use this to make brushing teeth fun. I’ve known several young children who associate brushing teeth with discomfort because of their teething, and I think this would be helpful in getting them over the idea that brushing teeth is unpleasant.

For more information, or to order your own toothbrush online, go here: http://fireflytoothbrush.com/.

Happy brushing, and may the force be with you.

~ Bethany

Star Wars Soundtracks: The Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, & The Empire Strikes Back are Free on Amazon!

Thanks to @ChrisPirillo & @CloudCityCasino on Twitter for alerting us to the fact that Star Wars soundtracks for Episode III, IV, and V are free on Amazon right now! Links below:

Episode III

Episode IV

Episode V

~ Bethany Blanton