Season One Wrap-Up Part 1 (or Jen is Back!) – Rebels Roundtable #14

The Star Wars Report’s Rebels Roundtable breaks down the first season of Rebels in the first part of our Season On Wrap-Up.

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The Star Wars Report’s Rebels Roundtable returns this week to take a “deep dive” into Season 1 and begin our traditional season wrap-up.

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(Gather ’round and watch, kiddies. It’s Rebels.)

Join Johnathan, Berent, Nathan, Mark, and Jen (she’s back!) as they discuss their initial impressions, thoughts on the heroic characters, and more. Oh, and it turns out that now that the first season is over, Jen . . . doesn’t . . . actually . . . like . . . Rebels. (Gasp!) That alone is worth a listen, isn’t it? 

(Note #1: The bloopers for this episode were somewhat more explicit than normal, so they will be available separately through a link on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, not at the end of the episode or in the podcast feed. Yes, they’re that bad.)

(Note #2: There were major technical issues with the recordings of this episode. Thankfully, there were two different recordings, so it was able to be reconstructed rather well. Any technical issues that you hear in the final episode is the best quality that could be attained for material that we simply didn’t feel we should cut. We figured you would rather hear it, even if not perfect, rather than not hear it.)

Download the MP3 of this episode HERE (right click, save as).

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The Force United at Star Wars Celebration!

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Star Wars Celebration Anaheim is almost upon us. The time to Celebrate is NOW!

We’d like to take this opportunity to let you in on some of the fun things we’ll be doing while at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim with fellow Friends and Fans of our beloved Saga! Specifically The Force United!logo_patch_final

The Force United (TheForceUnited.com) is returning to Star Wars Celebration, and it is bringing MORE friends! Fan Sites included this year are; JediNews.co.uk, JediBusiness.com, JediTempleArchives.com, Star Wars Forum UK (swfukpodcast.podbean.com), Yakface.com, and our own site THE STAR WARS REPORT!

These sites will be taking turns covering the booth, allowing each site’s staff to attend as many panels, and events as possible while keeping the booth manned for Celebration goers.

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If you’ve been to The Force United at past Celebrations, you probably know about the EXCLUSIVE goodies! This year, there will be a set of six trading cards, each with the logo of one of the websites helping put on the booth. When you collect them all and put them together there is a special surprise on the reverse side! A pin-up style image of Jabba’s Twi’lek dancer Oola, created by Mark Daniel of Sublevel Studios! So come in and say “Hi”, and get them all!

Visit The Force United booth at 1074 for distribution times and may the Force be with you!

A Moff By Any Other Name… – SWBTF Ep 167

Tarkin, Vader, Palpatine, and a Rebel Plot against them all! …and much, much more! All on the next Star Wars Beyond the Films. YOUR Star Wars discussion podcast! YOUR Podcast of Legends! YOUR ticket to that Galaxy far, far away!

This week true believers, Beyonders, Fanboys, Fangirls, respected aliens around the galaxy, The Champion of the Multiverse; Mark Hurliman, and your Count of Continuities; Nathan P. Butler sit down with Johnathan Brenner of Rebels Roundtable to explore Star Wars: Tarkin. So strap in and tighten your crash webbing Fandom, Star Wars Beyond the Films is setting off on another rapid-fire trip into the galaxy far, far away!

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Celebrating Tarkin – SWBW #39

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This is our Celebration preview episode where we talk about all the cool stuff we are excited for. We also announce some exciting things going on at our live episode of Star Wars Bookworms happening on the Podcast Stage. And we finally get to that Tarkin review we keep talking about.

  • We are still reading Heir to the Jedi for our Goodreads book club. At the end of April we will start our discussion of Lords of the Sith.
  • Exciting things going on for our live show. We will be on the Celebration Podcast Stage at 4:30 PM on Friday, April 17th. Joining us will be special guests author Drew Karpyshyn and Del Rey Books editor Erich Schoeneweiss. And we will be giving away lots of free books!
  • We take a look at the Celebration schedule and talk through some of the things we want to attend
  • Kanan #1 is now out and we give our brief thoughts.
  • For the Tarkin review Teresa had to go pack for Celebration, but Aaron brings on guests Stephen (Ion Cannon Podcast) and Mark Hurliman (Star Wars Beyond the Films, Star Wars Report) to help him review the book.
  • Stephen, Mark, and Aaron get way off track and talk about Celebration, Legends, new canon, and more.. and finally get around to actually reviewing Tarkin.

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Review: Draw Star Wars Rebels

Review: Draw Star Wars Rebels (or, The Art of the Nozzie)

The psychological illusionist Derren Brown once conveyed a story in his book, Confessions of a Conjuror. That tale was one from when he was a child, perhaps four or five years old, and was attempting to draw a 3D nose. This wasn’t something he decided to do out of the blue, I should add. He saw a looking though a picture book, and wanted to replicate a drawing he had liked. At first he started to draw a line on the page and then moved his pencil up – that is to say, made it hover above the page (the conventional hovering, that is. He didn’t start to hover people until at least six years of age. He was a slow learner). Naturally, this failed to produce the desired result. Undeterred, he proceeded to bow the paper towards him, but was again left unsatisfied. Again and again he tried, until his mother finally taught him the secret art of drawing nozzies, a skill that eludes the grasp of many an adult artist, today.

Because apart from that dodgy nose, the restorer just nailed it.

As a child (okay, even as an adult) I struggled with making a drawing of a person look alive. A simple flick of the wrist by an actual artist that made a hand look realistic, for example, were things that I could never quite master. Which is why, when I started reading this book, Draw Star Wars Rebels by Egmont Publishing, my mind was put quickly at ease. This is because one of the first things that it discusses is something called ‘overlines’ – those very same touches that I had trouble with. It was then that I knew this was a book I could share with The Kids.

Okay, but since that’s page twelve of an 89 page book, I should probably write just a little bit more. Mix things up a little. So, on to the review proper!

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I mention above that one of the first things the book does is tell you about overlines, but – apart from a few quick rules – the first thing it does is tell you, using the tracing paper provided, to trace a picture of Ezra Bridger surfing on Chopper (seriously). For a book that’s about learning to draw, this does seem a tad incongruous. It says that they – the editors of the book – believe in the power of the shortcut, and that tracing teaches you about curves, lines and shapes. I’m a bit sceptical; I’m not entirely convinced that this does help. Oh, tracing is fun, certainly, and is a quick and easy way to get results. But as a means of learning, I’m unsure – but that’s just me playing armchair artist. I don’t really know, but I’ll take it in good faith that it is so. But even if not, the tracing activities do make an (infrequent) appearance*, enabling you to draw well a few of the characters and several space ships, so for that alone it is, on the whole, a good addition.

*By that I mean, the activities including tracing paper alone. In the first ten pages you can trace the faint but fully detailed outlines of the other characters on the paper page itself. These faint outlines make a frequent appearance, in various stages of detail, in almost every drawing space in the book. I’ll expand on that later.

The instructions themselves are presented in four stages: 1) stick figures, 2) shapes, 3) basic details and 4) detailed details. Without going into too much detail (otherwise you won’t need the book. I highly recommend getting the book, by the way. If only because it comes with a Star Wars: Rebels embossed mechanical pencil. And some colouring pencils, a black marker and a rubber, but I’m mainly just excited about the mechanical pencil), each stage talks about what is involved in that specific stage, and does so at a fairly easy pace, so that you never really feel overwhelmed when advancing through the book. I think this is the best way forward for those new to painting. My niece, for example, is one such person. And though she wasn’t inclined to follow the prescribed guidelines at first, I do believe that she did benefit from such instruction and pacing. And this is the small human whose greatest masterpiece is the painting of the colour orange. No detail. Just painted the page orange.

I call it 'Ceci Ne Pas Orange'. That'll be a million quid, please.

I call it ‘Ceci Ne Pas Orange’. That’ll be a million pounds, please.

But this is a fairly simple thing to do. Not the painting the colour orange bit; the advancing at a steady pace bit. That’s easy. The neat trick is that, with each drawing space provided, the tracing images that are already on the page, intended to be used as gentle guides, are slowly simplified with each drawing, so that, by the time you finish the segment, there’s no pre-existing image at all. By that time, you will have hopefully gained enough confidence and skill with that particular stage that you can do it without any help. This is something that is done with each segment, and it’s a great touch. There’s no ‘ripping the band-aid'; just a slow easing into it. That, I fully believe, is for the best and a very useful aspect of the book.

That’s not to say that the book has its faults; it certainly does. Later on, you’re asked to fill in much more detail so that a few blocky shapes, that are the vaguest of outlines of a stormtrooper, can turn (supposedly) into, well, this:

Yeah, I totally drew that. Honest.

This is treated with much less ease. There’s just two stages: basic details and detailed details, and they come with very little instruction or notes. I think this was a bad idea, as it can perhaps be a bit daunting to one just learning to draw. Certainly, Niece was happy to just stick with the more basic outlines and attempt to draw the rebels without consulting the book at all – which leads me to believe that this part could have well done with a few more steps. Or at least much more instruction and break-down of the character details.

But it wasn’t just those steps that could have been included, but other things, too. I think it could have benefited from discussing shading techniques. As I write this, I’m looking at the page demonstrating how to draw Sabine. There are several areas of her body that require shading, but there’s no real discussion on it. Of course, the budding artist can copy it just by looking at the picture provided, but my mind keeps drifting back to the four year old Derren Brown. He could have simply drawn the nose as he had seen it in his drawing book, and produced the same effect. But he wouldn’t have understood how it was done. It needed the intervention of his mother to explain how the effect was, and can be, achieved.

However, despite the aforementioned faults, the book does provide solid basic skills upon which you can build – and that is the whole point of it. But that leaves one last important question: it could make you very good at drawing, but just drawing these characters. Are these skills transferable? Again those faults come to mind, and are what stop me from giving an unequivocal yes – but it is a yes. Those same basic skills are both an important foundation and easily transferable. Furthermore, with practice, I am certain that the budding artist can fully grasp those ‘detailed details’ that can bring drawings of your favourite characters to life.

Michael Dare

Drawing Star Wars Rebels, published by Egmont, is out now in UK bookstores. Thank you to Egmont for providing a copy for review purposes.