The Christmas season will soon be upon us, so the Coffee With Kenobi elves have been busy coming up with a unique, fun, and varied selection of gift ideas to help you out during this busy time of the year. We gathered around Santa’s Workshop, chugged way too much hot chocolate (with marshmallows!), ate more candy canes than was necessary, poured maple syrup on everything, and pondered what the most discerning fans on the planet would love to find under their trees this year.
We hope you’re happy with the results. Santa seemed impressed!
Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History — Coffee With Kenobi Host Dan Z
Authors Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Sam Witwer have crafted the ultimate history of the legendary role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons. This 448-page work of art features some of the most iconic imagery from the popular game’s history, including core role-playing books, Dragon magazine, advertisements, the animated series, and so much more. The writers tell a story about the story of D&D with excitement and intelligence and the result is endlessly entertaining. It is a visual and textual feast, as the art and prose work in synchronicity to bring the game to life even more. Whether you are a burgeoning D&D aficionado, a lover of pop culture, or a curious potential player, this is the gift for you. Note: While this is not a 1:1 Star Wars comparison, the authors are noted fans of Star Wars and the influence of George Lucas is visible throughout the book, with a discerning eye.
Order Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History from Amazon now.
***Michael Witwer, co-author of Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History, is the guest on the latest Coffee With Kenobi. You can listen to the show here.***
“Kylo Ren” by JP Valderrama, Dark Ink, and “Flying Solo” by Steve Anderson, Acme Archives — Coffee With Kenobi‘s Media Specialist Lisa Dullard
While we have yet to learn the ultimate fate of Kylo Ren (or Ben Solo, depending on your point of view), looking back on his first appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is always a thrill. From that first glimpse of his dark and foreboding presence in a snow-filled forest, with his crackling, growling lightsaber ignited, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who was not intrigued. Capturing that spirit perfectly is “Kylo Ren” by artist JP Valderrama from Dark Ink. It’s a dramatically beautiful piece of art, and a fitting depiction of the pure intensity of the character.
Next is “Flying Solo” by artist Steve Anderson, from Acme Archives. This is a piece I have in my personal collection, and I can attest to it being an absolute stunner. It’s a depiction of Han Solo, as portrayed by Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Anyone who even remotely knows me, knows my undying and absolute love for that film. This piece hints at the enduring friendship Han will share with Chewbacca, and the adventures (or misadventures) the two will experience on board the Millennium Falcon. Not to mention the spot-on depiction of Han’s youthful and cocksure swagger.
“Flying Solo” is a 250 piece hand-numbered lithograph, measuring 15.5″ x 28.” $40.00
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 1 and Star Wars: Han Solo Omnibus — Matt Moore, Co-Host of Comics With Kenobi
While there are plenty of holiday gift-giving options for Star Wars fans, if you’re seeking to find something for someone who may not be too familiar with life in that galaxy far, far away, you’d do well to consider not just a Star Wars comic from Marvel or IDW Publishing, but a hardcover graphic novel collecting several issues.
Of particular note are a pair from Marvel, with one sporting a comics-only created character whose drawn solid appeal and wide array of fans, while another is a long-time fave whose name has been a part of Star Wars lore since George Lucas began putting pencil to paper to create what would eventually become his saga. The first is Doctor Aphra Vol. 1, the Kieron Gillen-created character introduced in Marvel’s first Darth Vader series and whose morally amiguous decisions, yet oddly loyal mein, has made her a breakout star, leading to her own solo series.
This volume collects the first eight issues of her namesake series, along with her appearances in Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel one shot and issues 31-32 of the flagship Star Wars monthly. Written by Gillen, with stories by Jason Aaron, and featuring art by Kev Walker, Marco Checcetto, Salvador Larroca and Andrea Broccardo, it’s a perfect jumping-on point for anyone new to Star Wars or its comics. The hardcover is sturdy, with bright pages.
The second option? Star Wars: Han Solo, a 232-page hardcover collecting the 2016 mini series that gave readers a glimpse into Han’s Rebellion activities as well as his penchant for racing and overcoming some incredible odds.
The series, written by Marjorie Liu and penciled by Mark Brooks stands out for another reason: It was nominated for an Eisner Award, the only Star Wars comics title that’s had the honor.
The book also collects Star Wars #8-12, the Jason Aaron-written story arc known as “Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon,” which introduced readers to Han’s “wife,” Sana Starros.
Star Wars Maker Lab — Coffee With Kenobi Newsman Tom Gross
While 2018 brought a host of fantastic Star Wars literature to broaden our imagination and lore of the Star Wars galaxy, the Star Wars Maker Lab by Liz Lee Heinecke and Cole Horton will bring joy and hours of Star Wars themed fun to your home. This exciting book includes 20 craft and science projects along with important, time saving templates that will keep you, your kids, or those visiting relatives busy with fun Star Wars themed experiments.
Each craft and experiment includes a list of what you need to complete the project, step-by-step directions with photos of how to complete each step, and lots of great Star Wars connections and tidbits of fact from the Star Wars galaxy that is associated with the experiment. Also, each experiment and craft has a difficulty level from easy to medium to tricky. Having completed several of the experiments and crafts with my children, who are 7 and 11 years old, the levels are very accurate on what to expect in regards to the difficulty of each project. Both my 7 and 11 year old were able to complete the projects we did with little help from me on the easy levels and with some help from me on the tricky levels.
The project we completed from the easy level was the Death Star Superlaser. We also took on a tricky project and created Kyber Crystals in our craft area. We also have to watch out for hovercraft speeders flying around the living room and down the hallway!
Completing the tasks doesn’t cost much if anything as most of the crafts use materials that are around the house or may be found in the recycling bin. We love getting second use of materials that we might otherwise find in the garbage can.
Star Wars Maker Lab is the creation of Liz Lee Heinecke and Star Wars historian, Cole Horton. Heinecke is author and creator of science projects from her other Maker Lab books such as Kitchen Science Lab for Kids, STEAM Lab for Kids, and Outdoor Science Lab for Kids. Cole Horton is a historian on starwars.com and has written several Star Wars books including Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know and Lego Star Wars: Chronicles of the Force.
Stop by your local book or craft store and flip through the pages of Star Wars Maker Lab, and you will be convinced that this book should be under the tree as it will be a hit with the entire family.
Star Wars LEGO Sets — Coffee With Kenobi Blogger Dennis Keithly
For the first time since 2015, Star Wars fans don’t have a new Star Wars movie to enjoy the holidays with. Unfortunately, that also means that there are no new LEGO sets that tie-in to this non-existent movie. However, there are still plenty of wonderful LEGO sets from 2018 that fans of all ages and abilities would enjoy. Plus, there are still plenty of sets tied to 2018’s Star Wars release: Solo: A Star Wars Story.
For younger and less experienced builders, there is Han Solo’s Landspeeder. This speeder was featured in the opening scenes of Solo: A Star Wars Story as Han and Qi’ra fled from Lady Proxima and the White Worms. At 345 pieces, it is simple enough to keep the interest of children, but complex enough to still be fun for adults. It would likely take a builder thirty minutes or less to construct this model. This set also comes with minfigures of Han, Qi’ra, and a Corellian hound.
For builders with a little more advanced skills, there is the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon. Also from Solo: A Star Wars Story, this version of the Millennium Falcon has the white and blue paint scheme made famous by the movie. Plus, it has the escape pod that rests in the front mandibles that was unique to Solo and this version of the LEGO model. With over 1,400 pieces, this set is more challenging and will likely take a builder a couple of hours to complete. It is also includes six minifigures: Han, Qi’ra, Chewbacca, Lando, Quay Tolsite, and a DD-BD droid.
Finally, for Star Wars fans that want a greater challenge, there is the Ultimate Collector Edition Y-Wing. At over 1,900 pieces, builders young and old will find this more of a challenge that contains more complex building techniques. However, as with other Ultimate Collector sets, it is more detailed and more to scale than standard sets. This will likely take a builder several hours to build.
The great thing about LEGO sets, which is also true of Star Wars, is that it has a wide appeal for children and adults. Building a set fuels the imagination and provides an opportunity to get a closer look at some of our favorite models from the movies.
Star Wars The Black Series Legends Jaina Solo, 6-inch — Legends Library Co-Host Luke Seitters
Legends fans rejoice! The perfect gift for the holiday season is most certainly the Jaina Solo 6-inch Black Series figure. With too many points of articulation to count and 4 accessories (fighter helmet, flight harness, blaster pistol, and lightsaber) this product will brighten any Legends fans holiday season. The “cocky” Solo family grin is perfectly added and will make you reminisce the great Legends stories she is a part of. Underneath the flight harness and life support system, Jaina is wearing a black flight suit with orange stripes, reminiscent of her Stealth-X outfit. The lightsaber can be held in either hand and the blaster pistol fits flawlessly in its holster. The lightsaber is a brilliant purple color. Upon opening this gift it’s safe to say that we will be well into January by the time you have found all the excellent poses you can make with 20+ points of articulation and various mentioned accessories. You can be assured that not only will you be satisfied with the purchase but will also admire the craftsmanship that makes this one of the best Black Series figures available. Collectors and Legends (Expanded Universe) fans will remember this gift for years to come.
Star Wars Pinball Wizard — Coffee With Kenobi Blogger Melinda Wolf
Lights shining brightly. Colors lit to dazzle the eyes. Iconic lines and musical themes streaming from speakers. A ball drops into the launch bay.
Are you ready to play Star Wars Pinball?!
With the resurgence of Star Wars in 2015, pinball manufacturing giant Stern Pinball jumped on the bandwagon to create a new and improved Star Wars Pinball Machine. Stern released a trailer depicting the creations (there are three models) in late 2017, and early this past spring the first machines became available for purchase.
The three models retail for $5,999 (Pro model), $7,599 (Premium model), and $8,999 (LE model; which quickly sold out). Game play among the three models is basically the same, but as one steps up in price, a few extra features are added to the corresponding model. Also, the beautiful cabinetry of each model is different — with the Pro model favoring the Rebellion and the Light Side of the Force, the Premium model showcasing the Empire and Dark Side of the Force, and the LE version highlighting that scruffy-looking nerf herder and his loyal co-pilot.
Stern, located in Illinois, does not retail the pinball machines directly to the public. If one is so inclined to purchase one of the pinball machines for a loved on or for oneself, it is necessary to find a pinball machine retail shop. Not all states have them, but pretty much all of them will ship the machines (or offer white-glove delivery, if close enough to you). Stern offers a list of retailers to make it easy for consumers to choose a store with which to do business.
A Star Wars Pinball Machine might not fit under the Christmas tree, but it definitely lights up like a Christmas tree! Wouldn’t it be fun to find one with a giant bow around it somewhere in your house this holiday season?!
Star Wars 7-Quart Slow Cooker — Coffee With Kenobi Blogger Jay Krebs
Are you looking for a fun Star Wars gift, but one that is also great for everyday use? This item is not only fully functional, but it will be the talk of the party! This Star Wars 7-quart slow cooker is available from Box Lunch, and it’s as adorable as it is useful! Whether you’re cooking up a nerf shoulder roast or prepping some shurra fruit cobbler for dessert, this is a great piece! The appliance is Disney/Lucasfilm licensed, and it features cute cartoon-y designs of our favorite characters from the GFFA. It has a removable stoneware insert (hand wash only), has a tempered glass lid and various heat settings. I own this slow cooker and I love it! The only feature its missing is one of those stretchy lid holder thingies. I also wish the cord was a tad longer, especially for those holiday carry-ins that don’t have a ton of outlets, but other than that, I highly recommend it!
“Obi-Wan” Print by John Alvin — Founder of The Bearded Trio and Coffee With Kenobi Contributor Rob Wainfur
John Alvin is a legend when it comes to memorable movie posters. He has done some incredible and unforgettable artwork spanning 35 years for movies such as E.T., Gremlins, The Lion King and Cocoon to name just a few. So a print featuring his work and being Star Wars themed is a perfect gift that would be appreciated by any movie fan.
The piece I’m recommending is called “Obi-Wan” and is a collectors edition measuring 14×11 inches on 250gsm paper bagged with backing board and a certificate of authenticity, created by artist John Alvin.
We see Ben in the background with Luke standing in the middle of the frame and his land speeder to one side. The colours used are beautiful and actually reminds me a little of The Lion King poster, perhaps an intentional nod to his previous work.
I’ve had a few prints from SmartArts Gallery and all have been of the highest quality. The company is run by fans and they genuinely have an interest in the genres that SmartArts sell products for. What’s more is those products are all official. I can’t recommend them enough.
The print is currently a very reasonable £12 and if you live in the UK, they currently offer free shipping. It’s worth checking out their other Star Wars prints and also their collectible coins. These have proven to be very popular with the Jaws one now fetching a tidy sum on Ebay.
Happy shopping! And may the Force be with you… Always.
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