The 40th anniversary of Star Wars dominated Star Wars Celebration Orlando this month. In fact, a celebration of 40 years kicked off the convention. George Lucas, Warwick Davis, Mark Hamill, Hayden Christensen, Harrison Ford and many others recounted the history of Star Wars from 1977 to the present and began the conversation from the Galaxy Stage. Naturally, this lead to many conversations about the best and favorite Star Wars moments from the past 40 years. One of my most favorite moments was the release of the Star Wars: Special Editions. I’m certain this is a controversial pick. Many fans hate the changes made to the classic movies. However, I have many reasons for celebrating the 20th anniversary of the special editions. For now, I’ll focus on two, which include a personal reason and a content addition.
PopMinded by Hallmark Introduces Event-Exclusive Products for 2017
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, itty bittys® and gifts among items planned at seven events
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 30, 2017) — PopMinded by Hallmark plans its highest-ever level of yearly participation at the nation’s largest pop culture fan gatherings with limited quantities of products and collectibles developed exclusively for events starting next month.
PopMinded, which debuted nationally last year, is Hallmark’s new way to celebrate fandom with gifts and collectibles created and chosen with all fans in mind. PopMinded continues and expands on Hallmark’s decade-long tradition of providing event attendees access to Hallmark’s ever popular event exclusive products through its event pop-up store.
A couple of days ago, I stopped into our local financial institution to do a bit of banking, and since there were no other customers waiting in line, I took a little extra time to chat with the friendly teller. The course of our discussion took us down the path of musing about change and how open to it people are. About 35 years my junior, I was surprised when Sam told me she did not like change at all. “I like to know what I’m doing when, where I’ll be tomorrow,” she remarked. I remember being her age, and being very open to change. Don’t get me wrong. There is something comforting about the steadfast day-to-day goings-on, but change can open whole new worlds to a person, give one the chance to explore the previously unknown frontier. Different strokes for different folks, of course, but that didn’t stop me from smiling to myself as I left the bank, shaking my head pondering what Sam could be missing by wanting to keep her feet firmly planted in her own yard.
The Star Wars community tends to boil things down to a lowest common denominator. While we all have Wookieepedia bookmarked and a vast knowledge TIE fighter models, we find the conversations being whittled down to likes or dislikes, goods or bads. We polarize our conversations instead of finding deeper levels of understanding through true understanding, dialog and compassion. If you think I’m nuts, have you ever persuaded someone with your theory about who Snoke is? When talking to someone with an opinion on midichlorians, have you changed your mind? There is a call to something greater, though.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars and Hasbro has revealed all-new items to mark the occasion! New Black Series figures, a new Star Wars Monopoly 40th Anniversary Edition, and a Black Series Obi-Wan Force FX Lightsaber will help get fans off to a celebratory start.
Check out the images in the slideshow below:
**SPOILERS** for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The release of Rogue One has the world buzzing. The first ever live-action standalone Star Wars film has proved to be a hit. While the film doesn’t tie directly to the Skywalker Story that permeates the main saga films, it isn’t without some connections to those films. Most notably being Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin. With the film’s obvious lead up to A New Hope it makes logical sense for these two baddies to have appeared. What Rogue One is able to accomplish, beyond giving us an impactful story about hope, is it fundamentally changes the way we now look at Darth Vader and Tarkin in A New Hope. Spoiler alert: I like it.
Rogue One is out as of December 16; the first spin-off in the Star Wars franchise or “Star Wars Story” as they are being titled. The film is about the rag-tag group of Rebels capturing the plans of the first Death Star (not the 2nd, so no Bothan nonsense). But what did we know about this story before? True, this is a story that itself has never been depicted in any film or TV show. In fact, in current canon, all we know is what the opening scroll of Episode 4 – A New Hope says:
It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Empire’s
ultimate weapon, the DEATH
STAR, an armored space
station with enough power
to destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire’s
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save her
people and restore
freedom to the galaxy….
So here is what we knew before, according to Legends.
Recently I’ve become something of a big Wonder Woman fan. Earlier this year DC Comics went through a universe reset and all the comic series started new stories. The first arc of the Wonder Woman series, written by Greg Rucka who should be familiar to Star Wars fans, is called “The Lies.” It takes Diana on a journey to uncover the truth of her past that has become nothing but a shroud of mystery. Naturally, this got me thinking about “The Lies” that permeate the Star Wars saga. Truth and lies are common elements that follow through all the films, shows, books, and comics.
I am well aware that each of us has our individual list of favorite characters from the Star Wars Galaxy. We might like the same character for the same reasons – or even for vastly different reasons. Some of the reasons might revolve around major themes a character embodies, maybe traits we see in ourselves [or wish we’d see].
Yes, that’s right, you heard me, I said that dirty little word “prequel.” Well, guess what? You best get used to hearing it, seeing it, and reading it more often, especially now. You see, there’s a new movie coming out in about three months, and this impending film is set to take place “before” Star Wars: A New Hope. Therefore, making it a prequel film and, yes, I’m talking about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Call it whatever you like, a pioneering film or a groundbreaker. Either way you say it, it is still a prequel. Like them or don’t like them. Regardless, they’re here to stay.
Star Wars is evolving and, as fans, we need to do the same. It’s a new generation of Star Wars and George Lucas is no longer at the helm. Ok, so that might be old news, but so is the timeless fact that we cannot change things that we have no control over. That said, I love Star Wars – all of it! Do I agree with every tiny detail of it? No, but that doesn’t change my love for that galaxy far, far away. Why? Well, for starters, it was meant to be what it is today. The first six were meant to follow a specific pattern – like a poem – they rhyme. There are parallelisms, there are mythology patterns, and yes, tantalizing visuals that are way ahead of their time and remarkably, are still impressive to this very day. Yes, in both the original and prequel films. Side note, there are more practical models in The Phantom Menace than in any of the original three films. Anyways, moving along …