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Before & After the Special Editions: Han and Greedo (Part 2)

Before & After the Special Editions:
Han and Greedo (Part 2)
Stuart Tullis

Last week, I proposed that the exchanged blaster shots between Han and Greedo as seen in the Special Edition essentially changed the lovable smuggler from a “man trying to make his way in the universe” to a relatively shallow character who was inevitably poised to become a hero of the galaxy.  This alteration has continued repercussions on his character development throughout the original trilogy as well as affecting the storyline of the Rebellion as a whole.

Before the change, Han Solo progressed from loner to leader.  He made a deal to carry two men and two ‘droids to Alderaan for a hefty sum of money, not for a noble cause, and certainly not to rescue a princess.  He was coerced into marching into the detention area for an even heftier sum of money.  There is no evidence of altruism or heroism in him at all; he is, as the princess states, a mercenary.  He made the trip to Yavin IV to collect his promised credits for passage to Alderaan plus the expected reward for rescuing the princess.  As Y-Wings and X-Wings were being prepared for the battle ahead of them, Han was filling his hold with credits and cargo.  When Luke confronts him about “turning [his] back on them,” Han encourages the youth to join him and Chewie because Luke was “pretty good in a fight”.  As the younger man walks off, dejected, Han explains himself to his copilot — fighting against the Death Star was suicide.  Still true to his character, Han Solo is in it for himself, hurrying to pay off old debts before he pays with his life.

Han's-Reward

But in that moment when Darth Vader has Luke’s X-Wing in his sights and his wingmen unexpectedly crash and careen into his TIE, Han Solo’s journey is complete (at least for this first installation in the saga).  Although he claimed that he came back so Luke wouldn’t “get all the credit and take all the reward,” when he playfully shoves Luke at the base of his X-Wing, we all realize that there is more to him than money.  He returned to fight alongside his friend, to come to the rescue when the call came his way.  Han becomes heroic in the footsteps of Luke, who had immediately responded to Princess Leia’s holorecording by making it his mission to deliver the ‘droids to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Han’s motivation seems to stem from personal relationships, however, while Luke’s emphasis is on right and wrong.  Therefore Han isn’t committed to the Rebellion, but loyal to his friends. Continue reading

“Dying is Never a Plan” (an X-wing Miniatures Game Scenario by John Jackson Miller and Nathan P. Butler)

Our own Nathan P. Butler joins with John Jackson Miller to create a custom X-wing scenario!

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Every once in a while, opportunity knocks to do something unexpected and just plain fun. Just such an opportunity came to Nathan P. Butler of Star Wars Beyond the Films and The Star Wars Report’s Rebels Roundtable back in early September. On the suggestion of fellow Star Wars fan (and Fantasy Flight Games writer) Keith Kappel, prolific Star Wars author John Jackson Miller reached out to Nathan with an idea in mind. He wanted to create a special, unofficial X-wing Miniatures Game scenario that would recreate much of the atmosphere of a space chase over Cynda in his recently-released novel A New Dawn.

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After a quick-but-intense session of brainstorming, the scenario’s general concept was determined, and Nathan put together the scenario. After a few tweaks from John, it was ready for play. The scenario, Dying is Never a Plan, debuted at Galaxy Comics & Games in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on October 18, 2014, unintentionally making it a nice way for Nathan to celebrate his birthday and the 17th anniversary of his Star Wars Timeline Project that both arrived a day earlier.

Now that the scenario has been played in public, we wanted to share it with you, our readers and listeners, so that you can give it a try the next time you are in the mood for a “mission” style game of X-wing to break up the usual straight-up dogfighting.

We hope you enjoy it.

Click here to download Dying is Never a Plan in PDF format!

Star Wars Exclusive Toys and Saga Legends/Mission Series Previews

The Star Wars Rebels animated series recently aired its fourth episode on Disney XD, “Breaking Ranks,” and some fans pointed out via Twitter that certain characters should be produced as action figures in the near future, including Zare Leonis and Chopper’s Imperial disguise. But, where are the Rebels action figures?

On the shelves you’ll find the Jakks 20″ and 31″ figures, a few plush toys, and the Star Wars Rebels Command Battle figures, but not much else. I recently picked up Hasbro’s Star Wars Rebels Jedi Reveal Pack with Ezra, Kanan, and Obi-Wan Kenobi from Toys ‘R’ Us, but other figures haven’t appeared yet at my local store. There have been exceptions. For example, Yakface recently reported that Hasbro’s Star Wars Rebels/Saga Legends and Mission Series figures arrived from Entertainment Earth and other reported seeing some on the shelves in California. Visit Yakface’s toyguide preview for carded images. (Yakface also has a preview images for Wave 5 figures, which includes Sabine Wren’s figure.)

As for when more figures will become available, Jedi Temple Archives wrote January 30, 2015? The rumor states that some cases of figures went out early, but Hasbro appears to be pushing the general release of Rebels figures to early 2015.

Despite the rumor, there are exclusives that may catch your attention in the meantime.

From left to right:

Here’s hoping we see more figures and other merchandise on the shelves before Christmas.  Stay tuned for more toy updates as they become available.

New Star Wars Rebels T-Shirts

If you take a peek over at the Disney Store, you’ll find a few youth Star Wars Rebels shirts (made just for boys) that unfortunately exclude Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren. For example, there’s Cast Blast, Do or Do Not, Rebel with a Cause, and Star Sleeper. There is one Sabine Wren shirt, where she is joined by Chopper and Ezra, but the shirt is part of the “Create Your Own” feature that allows customers to make their own shirts. Her Universe came to the rescue recently and provided Star Wars fangirls both adult and youth-sized Star Wars Rebels shirts, but the issue of excluding the female characters in merchandise aimed for boys remains (as does excluding the female fanbase).

Though it doesn’t resolve the main issue entirely, the author of the Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide, Adam Bray, found new Lucasfilm licensed shirts over at Amazon that include our favorite females from the animated series.

From left to right:

Get them while they’re still available!

Review: Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy

Leia-Hoth-Costume

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy

Written by: Brandon Alinger
Photos by: Joseph McDonald

Brandon Alinger’s Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy is about more than just what costumes were worn in the original Star Wars movies.  Included are stories about the making of the film, the design process, the art direction, the people who worked on the film and the history behind these iconic costumes.  These are the untold stories of the original trilogy.

It’s hard to discuss this book without first acknowledging J.W. Rinzler’s Making of books and Trisha Biggar’s Dressing a Galaxy, which focused on the costumes of the prequel trilogy.  Alinger’s book compliments and adds to the knowledge of those books.

The book opens with forewords by John Mollo, costume designer for A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, Aggie Rodgers and Nilo Rodis-Jamero, co-credited costume designers for Return of the Jedi.  Each one tells an interesting story of how they first met George Lucas and became part of the crew building the galaxy far, far away.  It’s interesting to read their stories of Lucas’ vision for the movies, and how his vision changed over time, especially during the production of A New Hope.  Each one of them played a crucial role in refining his vision and making it a reality.

The book is broken up into three sections, one for each film.  The costumes are presented in an approximation of when the costumes and characters first appeared on screen.  The costumes are detailed with a full page photograph of the costume modeled on a mannequin, and a written description going into the design process, construction, behind the scenes anecdotes, and how the character’s costume evolved over the course of the trilogy.

As a costumer myself, I was immediately studying the photographs for details and spent the better part of an evening just going through the book page by page looking at the gorgeous layouts for each costume.

Nearly every costume that had any kind of significant screen time is presented here, from the major heroes like Han, Luke and Leia to the various costumes of the Empire to the denizens of Jabba’s Palace.  Special gatefolds give more detail on Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Princess Leia’s slave outfit.  It’s interesting that there is almost no mention of the Special Edition or any of the later changes to the films.  The book’s focus is primarily on the original production for the films from 1975-1983.

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Between the costumes there are spotlights on particular crew members.  This sheds even more light on the behind the scenes production and crew, showcasing those members who normally are just another name in a long list of credits.  It’s nice to see those individuals get the recognition for their contributions.

The book is a large coffee table sized book with a heavy paper weight that works well with the large photographs.  The photos are all well shot on a neutral background with good lighting for seeing all the details.  Along with the new photographs are publicity stills and production photos to show them as they were on set.  I did have two pages stick together, but it was minor and did not appear to be a printing error.

This book is a must buy for anyone interested in Star Wars costuming, as well as those interested in the making of the saga.  As a 501st member and costumer I’ve studied many of the costumes of the Star Wars saga in detail, I found new details here and learned new things about the history behind the costumes.