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Roundup: Black Series Wave 6, Gentle Giant Maquettes, and More!

The weekend is finally upon us, giving most of us a much needed break from our busy workweeks and allowing us to catch up with the latest Star Wars merchandise news. From updates about The Black Series Wave 6 to Star Wars Rebels figure variants, this roundup will catch you up to speed and bring you back on track with what you need to know and where to find more information.

roundup016-inch The Black Series Wave 6 Appearing in Retail Stores

For fans who enjoy the hunt and finding the latest figures on the shelf, Rebelscum recently reported that The Black Series Wave 6 are hitting retail stores, specifically Target. Wave 6 includes Episode III Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode IV TIE Pilot, Episode V Yoda, and Clone Trooper Sergeant. The report also includes Wave 2 sets of Star Wars Command (Clone Trooper Clash, Droid Destruction, and Rebel Alliance).

roundup02New Gentle Giant Ltd. Maquettes

Designs of Ezra Bridger/Chopper and Zeb Orrelios maquettes appeared earlier this year, and now, Gentle Giant Ltd. brings fans the Star Wars Rebels Stormtrooper, which is a design based on Ralph McQuarrie’s initial Stormtrooper concept art. Sadly, no sign of Hera Syndulla or Sabine Wren, who, unlike the Stormtrooper, are main characters of the series.

Other new/pending statues include Han Solo Hero of Yavin Bust and Ugnaught Jumbo Kenner Figure.

roundup03Packaging Revealed For Hasbro’s Star Wars Rebels Imperial Troop Transport

The original Kenner’s Imperial Troop Transport in 1979 was the source of inspiration for the vehicle we see in the series. As seen on the left, we have the packaging for Hasbro’s new Imperial Troop Transport, revealed via Star Wars Figuren.

roundup05Ezra Bridger Figure Variation

Collectors are always looking for variants, and the first one for Star Wars Rebels has been spotted. Several collector sites, including From 4-LOM to Zuckuss, have reported that there is a variant of the Ezra Bridger figure included in the Toys ‘R’ Us Star Wars Rebels Mission Series The Ghost Pack. Happy hunting!

Hasbro’s Star Wars Figures Timeline

MTV.com recently published a timeline of Hasbro’s Star Wars figures. The simple timeline educates new fans on the placement of the new animated series, Star Wars Rebels, in relation to the movies. Despite the useful information it provides, it neglects Star Wars: The Clone Wars and specific figures lines, such as The Black Series and more.

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Rebels Review: Out of Darkness

Mitchell Stein: Star Wars Rebels just can’t stop getting better and better!

Although not really that much happened story-wise in this episode, it still stands as a really superb piece of Star Wars action and story-telling. It raises a minor question which of course is on its way to be answered in a future episode, and it finally shines some light on Sabine and Hera, the two characters who never nearly got enough screen-time. This episode packed a whole lot of awesomeness into twenty-two jam packed minutes.

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I don’t think this series has the ability to pick up as easy as The Clone Wars did, and these episodes are a fine proof of that. Regardless of the fact, the writers are working with brand-new characters in this series, and they must create new character situations and development to make these characters shine, and this episode was by far the most impressive in that aspect.

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Fans have been waiting to learn a little more about Sabine, other than the small bits of screen-time she made in the other episodes. This episode was clearly about Sabine, and her relationship with the group, and specifically Hera. Sabine feels she isn’t trusted when she discovers Kanan and Hera are being provided with info from a mysterious individual named Fulcrum, who we have yet to find out about.

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Sabine allows us some information about her past in the Empire, which wasn’t that much to be honest, but will hopefully build to a fuller story. Regardless of her previous life before joining the Rebel team, I’m just really excited this character is being built up on, and we’re finally seeing some more of these awesome characters. Now that everything has been set up, the writers should be moving forward pretty quickly from here on in.

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If I were to describe what exactly happened in this episode, it wouldn’t end up being a very long explanation. To be honest, not that much happened in this episode, but this episode was anything but boring. This week was a wonderful blend of great character development and mystery, combined with some seriously exciting action. Rebels is getting better and better every week… can’t wait to see which direction they’ll be heading in next!

Mitchell Stein is a major Star Wars/Disney/Muppet/Marvel fan. He co-operates the website The Mickey Mindset (link: mickeymindset.comwhere he celebrates all these and more, daily! Be sure to check it out and like them on Facebook! (facebook.com/TheMickeyMindset)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens
By Joseph Tavano

It’s time to wake up.

The Force has been sleeping, and you didn’t even know it. This entire time, all that’s happened has been under the guise of a dream. The energy field that binds the universe together is about to rise from its slumber, and what happens next is the contents of a new era in Star Wars.

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Wait—how can the Force sleep?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the makings of the most evocative title this movie franchise has ever presented. There’s a tonal departure here that can’t be ignored. The early sci-fi, pulp-styled titles seen in the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy have shifted to something quite different. Where in the first six films, the titles have described actual characters or groups of characters, the seventh movie is decidedly taking its name from the present state of the universe and a natural phenomenon that will affect everyone. Continue reading

Star Wars: R2-D2’s Droid Workshop Review

Review: Star Wars: R2-D2’s Droid Workshop (or, Pinocchio Wishes He Were This Cool)

This happens to be my first review of a children’s book. I must also admit to feeling a tad of trepidation; I skipped that whole ‘reading children’s books’ (or indeed reading any books) as a kid, so I wasn’t sure if I would be up to it. However, my sister happens to have some small humans that she’s rearing free range: a brace of nieces and a nephew. So I thought it a brilliant idea to try this book (entitled Star Wars: R2-D2’s Droid Workshop by Egmont Publishing) on them. I know, right? Who ever had the thought of it? It’ll be the next big thing, I’m sure of it. I had in mind to sit them down to play over the weekend, only for an hour or so – it’s not that I don’t like them it’s just, well, they’re kind of annoying sometimes. We’d sit down, do all the activities, make our wee Artoo, have fun, laugh, then kindly tuck them away in a cupboard at the end of it and I’d play with Artoo on my own. However, with children (and with errant padawans if certain TV shows have taught us anything), nothing ever quite goes according to plan. If you’re reading this and have kids, or have kids in the family, I’m sure you know this feeling. If you don’t happen to have kids: you few, you happy few, you lucky sods.

513owRfw2kL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ Continue reading

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Star Wars Scrapbook: The Star Wars Holiday Special

Star Wars Scrapbook:
The Star Wars Holiday Special

When you’re a kid, people tend to believe you make exaggerated statements or confuse reality loswookieeswith imagination.  After a while, you even start believing what you thought you saw may never really have happened at all.  Maybe it was a dream.  Maybe it was wishful thinking.  Maybe it was a combination of memories cobbled together.  For years, I had been convinced that my memories of seeing Chewbacca’s family, a holographic circus, more zany aliens in the cantina, and a stormtrooper tearing the head off stuffed toy bantha were “something out of a dream.”  But they were real.  And now, they’re in my Star Wars Scrapbook.

Being the youngest of three children, I rarely had the opportunity to choose TV channels or what we were watching, but on Friday, November 17, 1978, I was the only kid at home.  My brother and sister must have been staying over at friends’ houses, or maybe they were at the movies, but as Dad was flipping through the channels, he saw Wookiees on the screen and called me to see if I wanted to watch Star Wars on TV.  For nearly two hours, I was glued to the television, amazed that my favorite characters were in a new movie.  Undoubtedly, I watched the whole thing, because when I finally got a copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special more than twenty years later, I remembered every scene (though some of them had become funny for entirely different reasons).  Since my first Life Day in 1978, I have had an odd affinity for the campy combination of ‘70s comedy shows and the space opera that some would like to imagine never happened.  A good portion of my love for the show probably has to do with my history of hunting down the elusive television program no one seemed to have seen.

In first grade, lunchroom and playground conversation often centered around Star Wars.  Whether we were reenacting scenes from the movie, playing with our Kenner toys, or just wondering if they would really make another Star Wars movie, one of the most popular subjects in school was Star Wars.  That being the case, it was rather strange that no one in my class seemed to have known about the Holiday Special.  After talking to a few of my friends, I discovered that none of them could relate to my story about the Wookiee boy’s little lost bantha cub and the evil Stormtrooper who tore up his toy.  Over the next few years, I gave up trying to remind people of the Star Wars Wookiees movie they never saw.  Having had no luck finding anyone who had seen or even heard of the Holiday Special, I began to think I had retroactively mixed up The Wookiee Storybook from our school library with cut scenes from the Making of Star Wars special I had seen on TV.  I left elementary school with no expectation of finding another soul who remembered the elusive Holiday Special along with all our doubts that we would ever see another Star Wars movie.

As I entered middle school, rumors about a prequel trilogy or a far, future sequel trilogy continued to come up in conversations.  All Star Wars discussions centered around what might happen in those movies.  I had all but forgotten that quirky special all those years ago.  That is, until the new Droids cartoon featured Boba Fett in the style of his original appearance in the Holiday Special.  Seeing the bounty hunter in action again led me to ask all my new friends if they had seen or heard about a Christmas special with Wookiees and the Boba Fett cartoon.  No one had seen it, but at least one guy had heard about it.  He had heard his older brother’s friend talking about The Star Wars Holiday Special.  He had no idea who the friend was, however.  This minor setback was nothing compared to the excitement of finding news of someone else remembering this obscure show.  At last my memories would be proven true!

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It wasn’t until my senior year that I found out who the mysterious friend was.  He was my brother’s age and was working at Camelot Music in the mall.  One evening, as I was talking to him about the possibility of prequels (which he said would never happen), he mentioned the Holiday Special.  Once I clarified that he was talking about the one with the Wookiees, I asked if he had a copy.  Not only did he say he didn’t have one, but he said it wasn’t even worth watching.  After my brief defense of the show (based on my eleven year-old memories), he promised to get me a copy from some friends in England.  I’m still waiting on that copy.

Years later, when the World Wide Web was being spun by grid spiders in cyberspace, I started starwarsholidayspecial-harveykormanfinding more evidence and information about The Star Wars Holiday Special.  Harvey Korman was one of the guest stars.  Since my family watched The Carol Burnett Show regularly with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway, I was looking forward to seeing what role he had played in the Holiday Special.  I found some people on the Bulletin Boards complaining about the lack of subtitles for the Wookiee segments of the show, but I couldn’t recallr that being a problem.  As the Internet grew, I sought out pictures, sounds, and video clips of the Holiday Special periodically, eventually leading me to discover The Star Wars Holiday Special website by SKot Kirkwood.  It contained all kinds of information that pushed me to locate my own video copy through eBay.  When it arrived, it wasn’t in very good condition, but I was committed to watching the whole thing through.  Elation gave way to frustration when the DVD malfunctioned about forty minutes into the show.

Unfazed, I got back online, found another seller, and got a better copy of the Holiday Special.

Was it worth watching?  Of course.  It was almost exactly as I remembered it — yet without the commercial breaks.  The comedy was classic ‘70s.  The music was retro synth pop.  The Boba Fett cartoon was amazing.  The tragic case of the toy bantha brought a tear to my eye.  In fact, the only disappointment in the whole show was Itchy’s excitement about the mind evaporator he received from Trader Dann.

For me, The Star Wars Holiday Special is not simply a TV special or Star Wars collectible.  It is a cherished evening of my youth, a vindication of my memories, a completed quest, and has now become an annual celebration with my family each November.  The Star Wars Holiday Special is something I’ll always keep in my Star Wars Scrapbook.

(You can hear the TechnoRetro Dads’ 2014 tribute to the Holiday Special with a special Life Day wish from The Star Wars Report here!)

- shazbazzar