Category Archives: Star Wars Report

Everything from your friends at The Star Wars Report; all the written blog content, and all the 2nd Airborne Division Podcasts.

U.K. Release Date and Preorder Deal for Disney Infinity 3.0

We have another big update with Disney Infinity.  Giving us the U.K. release date and a sweet preorder deal. 

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Disney Interactive Announces UK Release Date and Pre-order Incentive for

Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits

 

New Information and Assets Also Released for Toy Box Expansion Games

 

LONDON, United Kingdom – (8 July, 2015) Disney Interactive today announced that Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits will be available in the UK on Friday 28 August 2015. In addition, fans who pre-order the Disney Infinity 3.0Starter Pack, the Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars™ Special Edition, or the Disney Infinity 3.0 Video Game Software (with or without a Play Set), will receive the new Toy Box Takeover Game Piece for free, at participating retailers*.

Available for pre-order now, the following will launch on 28August in the UK:

 

·        Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U), featuringthe Star Wars Twilight of the Republic Play Set, the Disney Infinity 3.0 Video Game Software and Base, Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker character figures, and a web code card that unlocks content for PC and mobile devices   

 

·        Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Special Edition (exclusively for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3), which is the only place fans will be able to play as Boba Fett in Disney Infinity 3.0 and get the Star Wars™ Rise Against the Empire Play Set nearly a month before it hits store shelves

 

o   Additionally fans in the UK and Ireland that already own a Disney Infinity 1.0 or 2.0 Starter Pack can purchase just the Disney Infinity 3.0 Video Game Software*, or the software disc with either the Twilight of the Republic Play Set or Inside Out Play Set*, and use the base they already own**

 

·        Fan-favourite characters, including Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Chewbacca; Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren and Zeb Orrelios from the popular animated TV series Star Wars Rebels™; Inside Out’s Fear, Disgust and Sadness; Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse; Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron: Legacy; Mulan and Olaf

 

·        Power Discs, now sold in labeled franchise-specific packs:Star Wars™ Twilight of the Republic 4-pack

 

For pricing details and to pre-order, please visit Amazon, GAME, Smyths and Tesco, among other UK retailers.

Also revealed today is information and assets for Toy Box Takeover (the pre-order incentive at selected retailers*), and Toy Box Speedway, two new Toy Box Expansion Games available to play in the game.

Toy Box Takeover is an action-adventure game featuring dungeon-crawler gameplay in which players can use all of their favourite Disney Infinity characters across the worlds ofStar Wars™, Marvel, Disney and Disney•Pixar, and Toy Box Speedway is a kart-racing game – both set for release this autumn. Toy Box Expansion Games unlock additional hours of gameplay inside Toy Box 3.0. Players place a Toy Box Expansion Game Piece on the Disney Infinity Base to unlock pre-built games that instantly take them into the action, mixing, matching and mashing-up characters from across The Walt Disney Company and using unlocked toys and gadgets to complete missions.

Toy Box Expansion Game Overviews:

 

Toy Box Takeover

When Syndrome gets his hands on Merlin’s magic wand, it’s up to the player to stop him. Using their favorite characters in Disney Infinity, they must battle across multiple worlds, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Marvel’s Upper Manhattan, The Old West, or The Incredibles Volcano Lair to defeat the bad guys before they ruin the Toy Box forever. Players can complete missions with family and friends via two-player local co-op or four-player online.

 

Toy Box Speedway

Players can join their favorite Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel’s and Star Wars™ characters and vehicles in an action-packed kart-racer.  With nine franchise-themed tracks to choose from – Sugar Rush, Frozen, Tatooine, a classic Star Wars™ location, San Fransokyo, Agrabah, Monsters Inc., Halloween Town, Gravity Falls or Marvel’s Knowhere – they can choose from three different game modes including Time Trial mode, Race mode and Combat mode.   Players put their driving skills to the test as they attack opponents with gadgets and weapons and earn trophies across three challenge cups.

 

Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits is being developed by Avalanche Software in partnership with Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, Studio Gobo and United Front Games. Additional Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars™ figures and Play Sets will be announced in the coming months. With Disney Infinity 3.0, fans have the unique opportunity to play with allof the Star Wars™ characters in all of the Star Wars™ Play Sets.

 

Disney Infinity 3.0 Video Game and Base are required to play the Toy Box Expansion Games. Toy Box Takeover and Toy Box Speedway will be sold separately. All figures and Power Discs from the 1.0 and 2.0 editions of Disney Infinity will be compatible with Disney Infinity 3.0 in the enhanced Toy Box 3.0.

Han Solo Anthology Film Announced!

Starwars.com just dropped that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have the bridge on a new Han Solo Anthology film.  The dynamic duo of Miller and Lord have worked on films like Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs. The screenplay will be written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.  The movie will provide Han Solo’ backstory as to how he became a smuggler.  This topic provides a lot of different angles to take, and should provide the filmmakers with the position to put out a quality film.

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Roundup: Sideshow Collectibles, SDCC Exclusives, and More!

Here’s the toy and merchandise roundup for July 2015 to help you catch up to speed with what you’ve missed in the past month. It compiles the latest major announcements and developments related to Star Wars toys and other products.

General News

Disney Infinity 3.0 has certainly grabbed the attention of the Star Wars community. Some are looking forward to the game, while many more are looking to collect the figures attached to it. Later this year, certain figures will be exclusive to a handful of retailers for a limited time. If you’re looking to collect the sets, check out this list from the Infinity Inquirer:

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This past holiday weekend, the Ezra Bridger Vinylmation figure went on sale at D-Street locations. There’s the standard Ezra Bridger figure as well as the variant version with his custom-painted helmet.

If you are unable to get one in person, I highly recommend searching eBay, since many users tend to offer it through that service.

StarWars.com, Hasbro, and fan sites joined forces over the past few weeks to conduct a massive fan poll to see which character will be made into the next 6-inch Black Series figure. To place your final vote, head on over to StarWars.com.

Sign up with Hasbro Pulse to receive news and information regarding upcoming reveals for your favorite brands, behind the scenes look with Hasbro designers, participating in fan polls, and much more. Read more about it over at Yakface.com.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

hasbro-first-order-trooper-force-awakensHasbro’s First Order Trooper will be making its debut at San Diego Comic-Con. Read up on the description about the figure, as posted by MakingStarWars.net:

“Shock Troopers clad in white armor first appeared on the Galactic Stage during the opening battles of the Clone Wars. Clone Trooper Armor became iconic almost immediately; Its stark white design stood for hope that peace and stability might be restored to a galaxy at war. But this dream of peace died with the Republic, and the Empire that rose to take its place imposed order by any means necessary. Soldiers within The Grand Army of the Republic were given a new name: Stormtroopers. As these former protectors of galactic peace mercilessly crushed resistance across the galaxy, their white armor came to symbolize oppression and indomitable power of the Emperor’s will. Yet the tyranny of Imperial Rule sparked Rebellion, and the Stormtrooper legions were scattered in the aftermath of the Empire’s fall. Now, the rise of the first order ushers in the next chapter in the Stormtrooper’s legacy as a new era of ruthless brutality begins.”

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To celebrate the highly anticipated release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mattel will be making the first character car based on the First Order Stormtrooper. The Star Wars-themed Hot Wheels character car will be available in its exclusive packaging for $10.

Although it’s currently out of stock, make sure to check back and get your teaser poster of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens from Disney Movie Rewards. Read more about the announcement over at Yakface.com.

Announcements

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Earlier this week, Hot Toys announced via Facebook a 1/6th Scale Millennium Falcon Cockpit Collectible. “An incredibly detailed prototype of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit will makes its first appearance at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con this week, so don’t miss the chance to check it out at Booth #1929 during the event!”

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Coming soon to Sideshow Collectibles is the Sixth Scale Imperial AT-AT Driver Figure. “Trained to pilot the All Terrain Armored Transport, these tried and true soldiers of the Empire had one intense job! Following the releases of Sideshow’s other Star Wars pilots of Luke Skywalker: Red Five X-Wing and Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot will be the Imperial AT-AT Driver sixth scale figure! This Empire soldier will be available for Pre-Order in the future! Attending Comic-Con in San Diego in 2015? Be sure to stop by the Sideshow booth to see the full figure with your own eyes!”

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Also coming soon to Sideshow Collectibles is the R2-Q5 Imperial Astromech Droid Sixth Scale Figure. “Rolling in the footsteps of the droids R2-D2 and R5-D4, R2-Q5 is outfitted perfectly to serve the Empire as an Imperial droid. Those attending Comic-Con in San Diego in 2015 will get a chance to see R2-Q5 in person. Star Wars fans, be sure to sign up above to get updates on this upcoming release!”

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Priced at $219.99, you can now pre-order the Jawa Sixth Scale Figure Set over at Sideshow Collectibles. “Ready to peddle their hastily refurbished finds, the Jawas are equipped with an impressive cache of weapons and accessories, including a space thermos, welder, droid caller, magnetic restraining bolt, a blaster pistol which fits neatly in a belt holster, and a droid-stunning Ion Blaster for difficult acquisitions.”

More San Diego Comic-Con Previews/Exclusives

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Recently announced as an item you will be able to see in person at San Diego Comic-Con, the Ralph McQuarrie Boba Fett Statue from the Star Wars Concept Artist Series will also be made available for pre-order in the near future.

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Once again, if you’re attending Comic-Con in the next few days, make sure to stop by the Sideshow Collectibles booth to see the Darth Maul Sixth Scale Figure! It will also be made available for pre-order soon on their website, so stay tuned for further updates.

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Find the 20-inch “First Appearance Boba Fett” at the JAKKS Pacific booth for $50. “The outfit is from Boba Fett’s first public appearance in the San Anselmo County Fair on September 24, 1978, marching alongside Darth Vader. The armor, worn by assistant film editor Duwayne Dunham, features several differences such as the brightly colored blue jump suit, yellow and red armor highlights, and tribal marks on the helmet.” (via StarWars.com)

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Available from Gentle Giant is the Prototype Boba Fett Mini Bust based on the 1978 early concept art by Ralph McQuarrie and Jon Johnston. “Digitally sculpted by master artisans using actual archival footage and designs, each piece comes individually numbered with a matching certificate of authenticity.” The SDCC exclusive is fresh out of pre-orders, but stop by the booth to see the bust in person. Gentle Giant is also bringing the Droids Boba Fett Jumbo Figure and Droids R2-D2 Jumbo Figure.

Acme Databank will be debuting five new Star Wars Rebels character keys at San Diego Comic-Con. The characters include Chopper, Ezra Bridger, the Inquisitor, Kanan Jarrus, and Sabine Wren.

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At the Entertainment Earth booth, you will find the JAKKS Hologram Darth Vader. The figure features seven points of articulation as well as LED light-up effects. Read more about it over at StarWars.com. You can also find the online listing here at Entertainment Earth.

Funko

Earlier this month, Funko announced the return of the POP! Star Wars: Jawa. “We’re celebrating this Throwback Thursday by taking Jawa out of The Vault! These famous scavengers appear throughout the Star Wars series and are best-known for their glowing yellow eyes! As with all of our Pop!s from The Vault, Jawa comes in updated packaging! Make sure to get yours before the whole clan is gone again!”

In the fifth wave of SDCC announcements, Funko revealed the Chrome C-3PO Gold figure. And in the seventh wave of announcements, the Princess Leia (Boushh Unmasked) figure was unveiled.

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Star Wars: Dark Disciple Review (contains spoilers)

Note: This article contains spoilers for the new book, Star Wars: Dark Disciple.

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Often in the real world do people lose themselves in the grasp of new love. They attempt to redefine themselves within the sheltering confines of a new relationship, only to emerge a changed version of the person that once was. We find that with Quinlan Vos, who falls in love with the enigmatic and exotic Asajj Ventress in Star Wars: Dark Disciple, the new novel by Christie Golden that was adapted from eight unaired scripts from The Clone Wars.

Vos, in his heady willingness to embrace new feelings of love, strays from the Jedi path he always knew and not only accepts a larger view of his emotional range, but also of the Force. And with this emotional bravery comes reciprocated feelings from the most unexpected person: Asajj Ventress, the one-time Sith acolyte turned yellow-lightsaber-wielding bounty hunter. Together, their relationship will force them each to face their past, as well as their affiliations to the dark side and the light, drawing in both the Jedi and the Sith as they grow into fully-formed beings of both light and dark that crave nothing more than freedom to be who they are.

However, it is one thing to be brought into the light after living a lifetime in darkness. It is quite another for a person who has lived in the light to fall to the dark.

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As a reader I found myself excited for Master Vos and his daring exploration of what it means for a good Jedi to know love. On the other hand, I became anxious for the man and his too-quick compromising of his core beliefs. This sort of change did not feel healthy, albeit far too realistic. Who hasn’t had a friend change overnight when starting a new romance?

However I think Master Vos’ willingness to embrace love was the right way; it is a complicated area of the Force that the Jedi never truly conquered. If anything can be learned from the fall of the republic and of the Jedi, it is that the Jedi Order did not grow and change. It did not iterate upon itself to become a more perfect organization of Force devotees, and in doing so became obsolete. Quinlan and Asajj were on the right path; if only they did not have death, destruction and the dark side to unite them in common purpose.

Master Vos’ willingness to accept the power that the dark side granted him was another thing altogether. Asajj led him down the wrong path, and it nearly consumed the man. Throughout the entire novel, I grappled with the idea that it was possible to control the dark side. It went against all Star Wars canon to this point. The dark side consumes; it takes exceptionally powerful Force users such as Anchorites or Chosen Ones to balance the Force. Unfortunately, Quinlan Vos was neither.

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I’m in an interesting position: I feel rather fortunate that I never knew the EU version of Quinlan Vos, who, for all accounts (and all my research), was a very interesting character. The Quinlan Vos I know is a glimpse of a background character in The Phantom Menace, a mere mention in Revenge of the Sith, and sadly, not much more than a caricature in a bizarre season three episode of The Clone Wars that actualy gave him a surfboard. Needless to say, there was a major opportunity to make something of the character in canon, and this novel does so exceedingly well. I had a clean slate for who this Vos is, and had nothing to compare and analyze. It was breath of fresh air to see his arc unfold without the trappings and baggage of previous work in the back of my head.

At the outset of the novel, Quinlan Vos is a good Jedi, perhaps a great one. He embraces the Force with a delight and happiness we see in Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, and the self-awareness and experience of one who understands the ways of the Living Force. One wonders who Vos would have been if he never crossed Ventress. Who would he have become? Would he still have gone the same way? Clearly, his embrace of the dark side could not have been achieved without major doubt in the surety of the Jedi Order.

And to that point, the idea of an assassination attempt by the Jedi shows just how lost the order is. It is decidedly a bad idea, and not the way of the Force.  This seems like a last resort for an order of knights who have lost their way in the fog of war. As the dark side shrouded and impeded their ability to use the light side of the Force, they have made decisions that are worse and worse. This feels like an all-time low for the Order. Kenobi is at his best in the anticlimax of the book, reprimanding the Jedi Council on how they have lost their way.

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I am also relieved to see a genuine and deep friendship between Kenobi and Vos. It makes the younger Kenobi of The Clone Wars a more well-rounded character and less of a sarcasm machine for Anakin to bounce off. Kenobi’s depth is real, just as his admiration for Ventress is as well. It is always refreshing to understand a little more of Kenobi the man rather than Kenobi the master. Besides, who doesn’t love to see Kenobi in his natural habitat: a seedy bar!

The romance between Vos and Asajj is honest, well-won, and a pleasure to read. Golden is masterful in her development of this relationship, allowing the reader to see both points of view with equitable charity. Golden paints scenes with passion, sensuality and tenderness not often found in science fiction, and rounds the characters in ways not often seen in Star Wars. The romance in the first half of the book is legendary, and only sets up the tragedy of the second half to deliver upon.

At the outset, Vos and Ventress are at once complete opposites and kindred spirits. He is the optimist, a beacon of casual, unorthodox hope. She is world-weary and damaged, smoldering with anger at many futures lost. He is steadfast in his place in the universe, a loner who loves his friends and his home. She is lost, rejected at every turn, living day-to-day; a loner by necessity, not by choice. He seems to radiate unbounded light; she expounds a controlled darkness that’s apart from the ways of the Sith. Together, they forge their own way into a grey area of the Force based on the full range of their emotions, and it takes Vos to plunge into darkness and hate for Asajj to find her goodness.

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Despite the twists and turns that Quinlan Vos takes between the dark side and the light, not a page went by that I didn’t think of the line from Episode III: “In short, they are going very well. Saleucami has fallen, and Master Vos has moved his troops to Boz Pity.” I knew the character would end up there, but in what form? For a while, I wondered if Vos would be an enemy retreating to Boz Pity!

I do think there was an opportunity lost here. The Outer Rim sieges should have begun here. It would have been great to see this final conflict in the war, to see Asajj and Vos fighting side by side. And, of course, did Vos survive Order 66?

Additionally, there are many interesting things to be learned about Count Dooku in this book. As the years go by, it is clear that the Count is one of the more enigmatic characters in the saga. Was he truly a Sith? (Sort of.) Did he really want to overthrow Sidious with Kenobi’s help? It turns out that yes, he actually did. Dooku, like Ventress, sought to use the dark side but not be consumed by it. We identified as Sith, but by his own admission in the book, he was not “a normal Sith.” This clarity and insight into the character alone makes Dark Disciple a must-read.

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Surprisingly, one of the most boring parts of this book is the rather pedestrian adventures of Anakin and Obi-Wan. Anakin feels static; there’s nothing of the edgy, anger prone character from the Utapau arc. Where did he go? There was an opportunity to tie this book’s Anakin into the larger Star Wars saga here that was missed.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing scenes at the Nightsister village, where Asajj pressures Quinlan to take a step wholly unnatural in his slaying of the Sleeper. Such twisting and darkness was beautifully portrayed—but did you catch the multiple references to Dune? Time and again, Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi epic provides inspiration for Star Wars. Here, it all but confirms that the Nightsisters are directly inspired by the Bene Gesserit of Dune. First, they are both referred to as witches. Second, they both drink a substance known as the water of life as initiation, which provides insight and power. Third, the water of life is created by a creature that lives deep below the planet’s surface. Fourth, their organizations are led by “Mothers.” Fifth, the entire idea of “awakening the sleeper” is a direct reference to Dune’s Kwaisitch Haderach, who is referred to as a sleeper that must awaken. These are unmistakable markers for those in the know, and it is very satisfying to see Star Wars still drawing influence from such a rich source even 40 years later.

Finally, the end of this book merits special attention. As our character converge for final confrontation, we finally see Quinlan Vos brought back to the light side through his own choice He did it for love, and was redeemed from within. However, none of it would have been possible without a momentarily prescient vision from Ventress. What spurred this? It would seem to be an honest redemption of her place in the Force; an acceptance of the light side through her love of Vos that led to unlocking newfound powers. And, in doing so, she understood she must sacrifice herself to save her true love.

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In my accounting, Asajj Ventress was the first person in canon to die of Sith lightning. Not Luke, not Yoda, not Windu, not Palpatine, and not Vader (trust me; proof coming soon to RetroZap). Why did Ventress die, when all others did not? In my opinion, she accepted her destiny in this moment and allowed herself to succumb to this attack in a way others would not. Either that or Nightsisters are really vulnerable to it. No matter what, the redemption of Ventress, a character with over a decade of backstory behind her, was an absolute payoff, and the redemption of Vos was well deserved after his torture throughout this novel.

From a literary standpoint, Golden uses overuses litotes in her writing, creating paragraphs that cause a reader to be lifted out of the story. They stand out and feel unnatural in contrast to the other 99% of the book. I’d like to see this removed from her future works, as it does nothing to improve her considerable command of storytelling voice and pacing.

And, as for future work, I hope Golden writes many, many more Star Wars novels; she took what could have been a throwaway story that was never aired into an absolute classic of Star Wars storytelling. Honestly, I prefer this story as a novel; it allows us to get inside the minds of the characters and linger with their thoughts and motivations in a way that 22-minute animated storytelling just cannot do. It is far and away the best novel of the new canon. If this is the direction for the future, I am very, very pleased.