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Before & After the Special Editions: Blast It Biggs! Who Are You?

Star Wars: Before and After the Special Editions
Blast It, Biggs!  Who Are You?

When we first saw Star Wars in 1977, we heard about Biggs in a discussion around the dinner table in the Lars’ home, but we didn’t actually see him until he was revealed as “Red Three” during the Rebels’ attack on the Death Star at the end of the movie.  Somehow, we always understood that Luke and Biggs were good friends back on Tatooine, even though we only saw them interact over a comlink while in their X-Wing Fighters.  In the battle, when Luke barely pulled up in time to avoid colliding with the enormous space station, we recognized the concern Biggs had for his young friend when he asked Luke if he was “all right”.  He did his best to protect Luke from a trio of TIE Fighters in the trench run.  Then, after no more than a few seconds of screen time in the film, his X-Wing exploded in a ball of fire.  Biggs was gone, and we were left to imagine his and Luke’s history together.

2e78940d865eadcc29227981b00e2b1aAnd imagine we did.  When we read the Star Wars Storybook, we saw pictures of a scene we had never seen.  We saw Luke and Biggs at Toshe Station and read a brief snippet of their conversation there.  When we opened the Star Wars comic, we saw more of the same.  The radio drama provided us with the audio we needed to complete the scene in our minds.  Furthermore, we saw the two friends reunited at the Rebel base before the attack on the Death Star through the same media.  In the days before home video, many of us translated these visuals and words into fully-rendered scenes in our minds, leading some of us to insist years later that we had seen a version of the movie that actually contained these scenes.  We could describe almost flawlessly the scenes we had never seen, filling in the gaps we hadn’t been shown, and building a story in our minds of the friendship of Luke and Biggs.

Others among us who hadn’t seen the comics or storybook became somewhat confused during the dogfight over the Death Star.  Luke, when pursued by a TIE Fighter, muttered to himself, “Blast it, Biggs! Where are you?”  As if responding to his words, “Red Two” drilled the unsuspecting Imperial with shots from his own X-Wing.  The youngest among us wondered whether we heard Luke correctly or if perhaps we had mistakenly saddled the mustachioed pilot with the name “Biggs” and Denis Lawson’s character was actually Luke’s friend from Tatooine.  In Luke’s trench run, the confusion continued as he distinctly referred to each pilot by their correct names.  Which one was Biggs?  Was Wedge someone Luke had known from Tatooine, as well?  If Biggs was Luke’s best friend, why hadn’t we seen more of him?

Star-Wars-X-Wing-Miniatures-Biggs-DarklighterAs the years passed, we all came to understand which was Wedge and which was Biggs.  We heard about “deleted scenes” with Biggs that were extricated from the movie.  We learned the backstory through “making of” documentaries and publications, developed a fondness for Wedge through the next two films of the trilogy, and yearned to know more about the Biggs we never really knew on screen.

And then came the Special Editions in 1997.  Most of the scene with Luke and Biggs in the hangar before the Battle of Yavin was reinserted into the movie, adding depth to the relationship between Luke and Biggs, and making his death more tragic for Luke — adding empathy to Luke’s response to his demise as the young Skywalker continued his trajectory towards the vulnerable exhaust port on the Death Star.  Finally, we were given an onscreen representation of the friendship we had ascertained from various sources.  While we wanted more, there was a feeling of satisfaction in seeing their joyful reunion in the Rebel Alliance.

But we wanted more.  As Star Wars fans, we seem to always want more.  Especially when we know footage exists showing the scenes we had seen in pictures, heard on the radio, and read in books.  Graciously, in the Blu-ray release of the saga, we were given a relatively clean version of the scene on the bonus features disc.  Many of us watched in silent reverence as Luke burst into Toshe Station to find Biggs among his other friends, playing games.  We listened intently as Biggs told Luke about his plans to join the Rebel Alliance.  We took a collective deep breath as we contemplated what we had just seen on our flat screen TVs, having finally seen what we had only imagined.  The long wait was finally over.

The addition of the Luke and Biggs reunion in the hangar to Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition was a welcome addition to the movie we had all known and loved.  It was brief, conveyed the depth of their friendship, and provided gravitas to the trench run scene, as Luke lost another link to his past.  Lucas’s restraint from reinserting the deleted scenes from Tatooine were also the right choice, since they would have slowed the pace of the opening scenes of the movie and added an ultimately unnecessary plot line that would have distracted us from the dangerous situation taking place miles above the surface of the desert planet.  In its treatment of the Biggs Darklighter story, the Special Edition hit the nail on the head.


Now, we have a unique opportunity to see the Toshe Station scene added to the official story line of Star Wars in Star Wars: Rebels, the animated series on Disney XD.  As this new and exciting series tracks the growth of the rebellion, there is an opportunity for Dave Filoni’s crew to explore the “friends” Biggs reveals to Luke that he met at the academy.  Perhaps he will meet Zare Leonis, a cadet we have already seen in the series.  Maybe he has a run-in with Sabine Wren or even Ezra Bridger, who appears to be exactly the same age as Luke Skywalker.  As the story develops, we might even follow Biggs home to Tatooine and witness (in animation) the joyful reunion of Luke and Biggs at Toshe Station.  These things would probably not occur until the fifth season, but they would be worth the wait because they would establish the widespread growth of the rebellion, connect the new characters with familiar favorites in a meaningful way, and finally give us (onscreen) the satisfaction of seeing Luke and Biggs as the friends we know they are.

Before the Special Editions, we could only imagine.  After a few seasons of Rebels, everything we have “known” may finally be realized.  Only time will tell.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 6-Inch Figures Leaked Photo

The new year is just around the corner, but before 2014 comes to an end, a new leak surfaced online, stirring the toy collecting pocket of the fan community. points the way to a leaked photo of 6-inch figure prototypes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The photo, originally posted in a Star Wars Chinese forum, highlights characters that resemble Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series ongoing toy line. Continue reading

Roundup: Sabine Figure Spotted, Gentle Giant Video, and More!

Christmas day is almost upon us, but before we don our ugly sweaters and break out the eggnog, catch up with the latest toy and merchandise news.

Star Wars Rebels Missions Series Sabine Wren 3.75 Action Figure


A father found a Star Wars Rebels Mission Series Sabine Wren figure at a Toys “R” Us in Hong Kong. He also had the Star Wars Rebels Missions Series Wullffwarro & Wookiee Warrior 3.75 action figures in hand, but left them behind at the time of purchase.

No official word on the release date of the figures in North America. Some toy sites estimate a December/January arrival. Earlier this December, Dave Filoni shared a picture of the Hera Syndulla figure, bringing fans hope that the figures will be revealed soon.

 LEGO Star Wars: 2015 Catalog and Pre-Orders

Groove Bricks recently shared previews of the LEGO 2015 catalog. New LEGO Star Wars sets include the 75084 Wookiee Gunship with a Kanan Jarrus minifigure, the 75090 Ezra’s Speeder Bike set with the helmet-less Sabine Wren minifigure, among others. In fact, you can now pre-order some of these sets over at the LEGO Shop, including the $199.99 75060 Slave I set.

To see what a helmeted Sabine Wren minifigure would look like, check out xero_fett‘s completed custom minifigure cast of Star Wars Rebels. “With the great helmet & curved torso from @arealightcustoms and the awesome range finder from @clonearmycustoms, we are able to finally put the whole Rebels team together!” Continue reading

Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day

Today is Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day! This started in 2010 when a young Star Wars fan, Katie Goldman, was bullied for liking Star Wars. When Star Wars fans found out, they rallied to support her, which eventually culminated in this day. Star Wars fans and geeks wear something that represents their fandom today, showing that their geeky side is something they’re proud of, and that no one, especially children, should be bullied for something they like. This is the 5th annual celebration, and we encourage you to wear something Star Wars related, take a picture of yourself, and post that picture along with #WearStarWars2014 on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!


Teresa Delgado gives us her suggestions on how to celebrate today, and how to brighten the lives of other geeks this holiday season!

1). Wearing something Star Wars or science fiction-related. 

2). Donating a Star Wars or science fiction toy to a child in need (but please put a post-it note on the new, unwrapped toy specifying that it can go to a girl or a boy; otherwise, these traditional “boy toys” will be given only to boys). You can bring the toy to a hospital, a shelter, or drop it off with any charitable organization collecting toys.

3). Post your pics on this Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #WearStarWars2014

Your school or workplace can use this as a fun way to stand up to the terrible problem of bullying and help needy kids at the same time!

~ Bethany Blanton

Review: Star Wars Annual 2015

Review: Star Wars Annual 2015 (or, They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used Ter)

What is the purpose of an annual?

This admittedly odd question popped into my head when I flicked through my copy of the Star Wars Annual 2015 by Egmont Publishing. I confess I never really figured it out – at least by myself. I had to talk to several people on the internet, who very patiently explained it to me, using small words and varied hand gestures. Which was odd, because we communicated via text. No webcams were involved, and thus I couldn’t see their hand gestures. People are weird on the internet.

But this was explained to me afterwards. During the read-through, I struggled quite a bit. So perhaps it’s best that I split this review into two parts: my experience, and the experience of The Kids – because our experiences differed wildly. Before I continue, I want to point out that my reaction was largely negative, but not at the fault of the book itself. It was entirely down to me. This is because, as a kid in the late 90s, I had an annual that I adored. The Star Wars Annual 1998; I have it in my possession even now. These memories largely coloured my thoughts. But if you continue reading (please do, I’m needy that way), I think you’ll find all is explained. So. To business.

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