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As Random as a game of Pazzak

The Force Friday Awakens! – CCC Ep. 012

We are back and joining Michael Morris and Bruce Gibson in the C3 VIP lounge is the host of The Idiot’s Array Podcast, Ryder Waldron.


New Force Friday merchandise is being leaked worse than a set of Death Star plan and like General Dodanna we analyze these leaks and talk about what we look forward to the most and what we aren’t so thrilled about.  Find Waldron on his own Podcast Idiots Array!


Star Wars Gifts for Gamers

So many Star Wars games and yet not enough time to play them all. Just as there is no shortage of Star Wars fans there is no shortage of Star Wars games ranging from a variety of video games to a number of Star Wars themed card and strategy games. The range of games is so vast there is surely something for the avid video gamer to enjoy as well as the fan of more traditional games like poker and chess. The following is a list specifically designed for gamers of all sorts. 

Top Two Star Wars Video Games 

Gamers who fantasize about driving their own pod through Beggar’s Canyon, meeting other Jedi in the forests of old Alderaan, or even facing down the Sith can experience all this and much more with the Star Wars video games currently on the market.

The Kinect Star Wars game is one of the absolute favorites of Star Wars gamers who want an interactive experience, jumping around and pretending to be a Jedi Knight. The game is absolutely huge in scope and players can enjoy the entire experience with no controller. Players do all of the movements themselves, including the lightsaber action. Players also experience controlling a podracer as well as the Speeder Bike, avoiding obstacles and putting down their foot when appropriate. This is the ultimate in Star Wars fan gaming with the only downside being the need for a relatively large gaming space. 

The biggest and best game in the genre is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which is available on various platforms, including PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, DS and PSP. This game has been the classic movie tie-in ever since it first came on the market for the original Xbox. The Force Unleashed has a fan base of legions that increases each year, and/or when the game experience is enhanced by add-ons or a new version is released. The Force Unleashed genre has stood the test of time partly due to being beautifully rendered and its stunning graphics. It may also be due to the immense game play and the fact it has an actual story, making it challenging enough to keep the attention of the average gamer as well as fun. Truthfully it is everything a fan would want from a Star Wars video game. 

Star Wars Themed Strategy Games

Surely, of all the Star Wars fans out there in the world some of them must also be fans of poker. It is easy to imagine someone like Han Solo being a card shark, while Chewie watches his back in one of the dimly lit back rooms of the Chalmun’s Cantina. Remember that fictional bar (cantina) in the pirate city of Mos Eisley on planet Tatooine? It’s the one with all the various alien races and dangerous characters. This makes it easy to picture fans of the movie genre also being fans of playing poker.

Fortunately, there is a Star Wars Poker Set to link the two together. There are a wide range of poker games that can be played with this poker set. While many people know how to play some of the basic poker games like Omaha, Stud and Texas Hold’em, you can always learn more online, sharpen your poker knowledge and strategy.   which have become popular in recent years. If you are unsure, check out the rules of these games online; they are fun and exciting variations. Star Wars fans will love the case of this poker set with its 72 LED lights that illuminate the chips in lightsaber colors of red, green, and blue. Licensed by Star Wars, the product is a limited edition and will surely be a collector’s item. Inside the case there are two hundred chips, two casino-quality Star Wars decks exclusive to this particular set, and much more. 

Lego Star Wars Chess - Dark Side

The other strategy game that is quite popular is the Star Wars Chess Set. Just as there are Star Wars fans who are also poker players, there are fans who love to play chess as well. This is truly a collectible chess set if there ever was one. Even Star Wars fans that have never played chess would surely delight in owning this set and it is pretty simple to learn the rules of chess, and there are even Star Wars Chess groups.

The set has pieces fashioned in all the classic figures and ships, including Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Han Solo, C3-PO, and R2-D2 to name a few. The design of the chess set is like no other set out there with pieces made from pewter with a luxurious silver and gold finish. The board itself is a marvel with a glass etched top with Death Star imagery. The chess board also has a slide out drawer to protect all 32 pieces when the game is not being played. Then again, a true Star Wars fan would probably leave the pieces out on the board to show them off. 

Just For Fun

Star Wars fans looking for a game just for fun might want to check out the Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Death Star game. It is exactly as it sounds; it is an Angry Birds game come-to-life, but for Star Wars aficionados.

The first stage of the game involves building a piggy Death Star out of Jenga blocks. Then comes the fun; launching birds to destroy it. The birds included in the game are that of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, with the latter bird being exclusive to the set. The game also comes with five pigs (a Darth Vader pig and four Storm trooper pigs). This is truly a fun game and an intergalactic battle to send the Death Star crashing down. 


Star Wars: The Next Generation “Midnight Madness”

Star Wars: The Next Generation
“Midnight Madness”

As a young father with limited resources, my Star Wars toy habit was on hiatus when the prequels were released.  Admittedly, I would peruse the toy aisles in Wal-Mart and Target when the family was shopping, and the Star Wars aisles at Toys ‘R’ Us and Kay-Bee were always my first place to browse when we went to the toy stores.  But apart from some Playskool Star Wars toys for my daughter and Galactic Heroes and Jedi Force figures for my son, it wasn’t until the release of Revenge of the Sith around my son’s third birthday that my Star Wars collecting was reborn.

That being the case, I had never considered going to Star Wars events (other than the movies) when my children were very young.  I certainly wasn’t going to any “Midnight Madness” releases of Star Wars toys I couldn’t buy anyway.  All that changed in 2008 when, in anticipation of the release of The Clone Wars in August, Toys ‘R’ Us stores hosted a “Midnight Madness” event to release the new line of Star Wars figures and toys.  Fortuitously, we were visiting family in Atlanta when the day arrived, so we headed up to the Kennesaw store at about 10:00 to get in line.

I didn’t know what to expect from something like this.  Apart from keeping the kids up way past their bedtime, I wasn’t concerned about taking them to Toys ‘R’ Us for this event.  After all, Star Wars fans are well known for their kindness and cordiality, so I was certain that everyone would be on their best behavior.  My wife, on the other hand, was sure that our younglings (small even for their ages) would be trampled by maniacal fans storming the store in competition for a big Millennium Falcon or V-19 Torrent Fighter.  Once we saw other families with their children there and talked to the folks near us in line, her concerns were lessened.

Then the unexpected occurred.

dsc04088Out the front doors marched a couple stormtroopers, a Republic Commando, and a bounty hunter named Boussh.  My wife and the kids watched as others stepped forward to see the life-sized action figures.  With some coaching and prodding, I was eventually able to get my six year-old son to meet the members of the Georgia Garrison of the 501st.  Within a few minutes, we returned to our place in line as my wife checked to ensure the youngest shazling was unscathed after his encounter with the Imperials just in time for the doors to open.

As we entered the store, all the customers who had been waiting in line calmly took their carts to the display and began picking the figures and toys they wanted to purchase.  There were more than enough Millennium Falcons and AT-TEs to satisfy customers, though some of the more highly anticipated figures were disappearing quickly.  I made sure to get my Yarna — certain that she would sell out immediately.  Luke chose a Captain Rex and Darth Vader.  And I topped off our shopping list with a V-19 Torrent Fighter.  We weren’t going to be big spenders, but this selection would put us above the price point to allow us to get a free holographic General Grievous Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive.

By the time we made it back to the in-laws’ house, both kids were asleep and my wife was happy that (1) they hadn’t been trampled and (2) I hadn’t emptied the bank account.

With another “Midnight Madness” on the horizon, I thought it would be beneficial to make a few suggestions for parents who are considering a trip to Toys ‘R’ Us on September 4th.

Make sure the store you’re considering is Clock Midnightactually hosting this event.  Although official site for the 2015 “Midnight Madness” states that all locations (except for those in Paramus, NJ), my local Toys ‘R’ Us has told me that they will not be even participating in “Midnight Madness” this time around.  I live in a relatively small city without a large contingent of Star Wars collectors.  If yours is the same, you may have to drive a bit further to find a store that will be hosting Destination: Star Wars, the official designation of the event.

Check to see if the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, or Mandalorian Mercs will be attending.  Part of the magic of events like this is seeing your kids’ favorite characters from the movies, television, and toy aisles come to life.  Through their websites, you may even be able to find out which characters will be at certain stores.  Even if your local Toys ‘R’ Us is hosting Destination: Star Wars, you may want to go to another location if you want to make sure to have some interaction with Star Wars characters.

Consider costuming.  You might want to join in the fun, too.  Most everyone enjoys dressing-up — especially kids.  Even if your kids don’t have a costume and you lack the ability to craft a screen accurate costume yourself, ask your younglings if they would like to dress-up as one of their favorite characters for the event.  Let them help put together a costume.  A robe, some plain pants, and a toy lightsaber can make a convincing Jedi.  Cardboard and foam sheets can become Stormtrooper armor.  Be inventive.  Your kids will always remember the time you let them go out in public in costume when it wasn’t even Hallowe’en!  And if you have the energy to put into it, think about becoming a character yourself.  Those present for the event will enjoy having a character along with them for the night, especially if none of the well-known organizations aren’t in attendance.

HanSoloShirtWear Star Wars items.  In 2008, I didn’t have a single Star Wars T-shirt.  It seems unbelievable to me now that I have several* in my closet and drawer.  Still, I had the wherewithal to pull out an old iron-on transfer from my collection to put on a white shirt.  (For those who are shouting about the audacity of actually using an iron-on from the ‘70s, never fear: I scanned it into the computer and printed it out on iron-on transfer paper for printers.)  With Star Wars in public awareness, you can likely find an inexpensive shirt at Target or Wal-Mart for the occasion.

Set aside some money now.  We all know that Christmas is coming in just a few months.  And while I was reluctant to make big purchases at my first “Midnight Madness” because I knew that Santa would be bringing one or both of the big vehicles to my house in December, as I think back to that night, it would have been an exciting impromptu summer holiday for my younglings had we brought home the big Millennium Falcon that night.  Even if you decide to limit your spending at this event, it’s best to prepare beforehand so you can budget yourself accordingly without taking out a credit card because you suddenly decide to get more than you had planned.  Knowing how much you are able to spend will help you choose what is most important to you on September 4th.

If you have other ideas or advice to add to this list, feel free to add it below in the comments or contact me @shazbazzar on Twitter.  Happy hunting on “Force Friday” this September!

DICE Releases Aerial Combat Batefront Trailer


EA has just posted another YouTube trailer for the upcoming Battlefront game.  It shows a massive multiplayer atmospheric dogfight, with the usual Rebel and Imperial ships, but with Han Solo in the Falcon, and Boba Fett in Slave I.
The trailer itself was done beautifully, getting any type of fan excited.
This game literally, looks as though it will be out of this world.