Dejarik Table #2

Matt, Eric and George discuss the new Rogue One trailer and their thoughts and wants for new products from the new movie that releases in December.

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George Kostal: A Star Wars Story

Apologies now: this is about to go all over the place, so bear with me.

Now, I’ve talked a bit before about my Star Wars story, but today I’d like to dive in with a little more detail.  For those of you who don’t feel like clicking through, I grew up with the Prequels.  I was born in 1994, and there’s no denying that being born in that era colored my perception of Star Wars.  That said, I wasn’t taking an active part in the fandom for the entirety of my childhood.  When my dad first showed me A New Hope, I was too young to really appreciate it.  That said, I was certainly aware of the franchise’s existence for the duration of my childhood.  I still remember getting a Sith Infiltrator 3-D Puzzle as a party favor back then. Continue reading

Emperor’s Collection: A Very Star Wars Christmas

R2 3PO Santa

With the recent release of The Force Awakens and the accompanying flood of merchandise, people around the world are finding plenty of Star Wars product under their trees.  Star Wars has long been a holiday juggernaut, going back to 1977 and the famed (infamous?) Early Bird Kit.  But what of those times when Star Wars leans full on in to the holiday season, and fans actually end up with legitimate Star Wars/Christmas collectibles?  It happens more often than you might think.  I suppose “Moments in Collecting” might be slightly misleading, for as opposed to looking at one particular moment in time I’ll be looking at the merchandise that’s been released over the years to capitalize on the Christmas season.  Now, to accomplish that in full would be fairly difficult in and of itself, so I’m going to be putting a particular focus on the works of two companies that I know pretty well, Hasbro and Gentle Giant, with a few other choice pieces thrown in for good measure.  Now, there’s obvious Christmas stuff like the myriad Hallmark ornaments out there, but because those, for the most part, don’t actually have a cross-over between Star Wars and Christmas, I’ll be skipping them.  Sorry if that explanation isn’t clear, but it should become so momentarily. Continue reading

The New Canon 1: Battlefront Twilight Company

Welcome to the first episode of our literary podcast, The New Canon.  In this episode we take a look at the latest Star Wars novel, Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed.  Present were host George, Shiloh, and guest John Katsanakis of Geek, Unchained.  Have a listen, why not?

George’s New York Comic Con Adventures!

One of my favorite things about going to school in the heart of Manhattan is that New York Comic Con, held annually at the Javits Center, is within walking distance of my dorm.  I’ve gone every year I’ve attended Fordham, but this was the first time I’d gone all four days, and is the first time I’ve gone while running this site.  In that spirit, I figured I’d give a brief rundown of what I did there (but only the stuff that applied to Star Wars, in keeping with the tradition of this site).  I’ll first go through the various panels I attended, and after that I’ll have some pictures of my pick-ups and I’ll talk about how exactly I came to get them.  Shall we get to it?

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Timothy Zahn and the EU

Now is perhaps the best time ever for new fans to enter the wonderful world of Star Wars.  With new movies on the way, a TV show in the midst of airing, and novels and comics coming out at a regular pace, there’s a lot of new stuff to ingest.  Best of all, for new fans, is that those novels and comics are more accessible than ever, not relying on the colossal existing body of Expanded Universe work.  Wanting to read every canon Star Wars novel and comic is, right now, a very manageable task.  Now, that is all well and good, but it also means that the classic works of the EU are going pretty much ignored by new fans.  Take my buddy John, over at Geek, Unchained for example.  With the new canon, he’s actually been buying novels and reading the new comics, while in the past if he read an Expanded Universe work it was pretty much only at my suggestion.  Now, even if I recommend an old EU novel, it takes the backseat to stuff from the new canon (and many other books, seeing as John has a far wider literary purview than myself).  Again, this isn’t a totally bad thing. He, and the numerous other people I’m using him as stand-in for, are more invested in the franchise than ever.  That said, I think that many people now interested in the franchise would enjoy reading the best of what the EU has to offer.  Even though it’s non-canon, there are still plenty of excellent books and comics  out there, forming a rich tapestry of characters and stories across a period of millennia.  Of course, it’s the exact breadth of its scope that makes the Expanded Universe so daunting to new fans.  As such, I thought that I would put together a list of works that I thought would make for a good introduction to the EU, suggesting at its wide scope while being manageable for a new reader.  As it happens, I was recently doing some catch-up work in the EU, reading some novels that I hadn’t yet gotten around to, and I realized that the combined works of one particular author served as the perfect introduction to the Expanded Universe.  That author, perhaps unsurprisingly to connoisseurs of the EU, is Timothy Zahn. Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Hondo Ohnaka

Did you know that last Saturday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day?  If you didn’t, you do now.  In the spirit of that most important international holiday, I thought I would talk about one of my favorite pirates in Star Wars, Hondo Ohnaka.

Hondo Tall Continue reading

Force Friday Live Blog

In fairness, this isn’t actually a Live Blog.  This is a transcription of a Live Blog I did over on my site, Galactic Academy.  Still, it should be a fairly fun read as I recount my experiences at the epicenter of Star Wars activity for the last 13 or so hours.  I’m not going to toy too much with the formatting, as that would eliminate some of the “livebloginess” of it all, so apologies now for the look of some of the photos. Continue reading

Moments in Collecting: Midnight Madness 2008

Later this week, stores across the nation will be open at 12:01 AM Friday morning for the big release of the first wave of merchandise for The Force Awakens.  Dubbed “Force Friday,” fans everywhere will be lining up outside of their local retailers to get their first crack at the merchandise (myself included, of course).  Now, for most Star Wars fans, this sort of release isn’t uncommon.  Previously dubbed “Midnight Madness,” events like Force Friday have been around for over 15 years, going back to the release of The Phantom Menace.  I was four for that event, and by the time of Attack of the Clones I wasn’t engrossed enough in Star Wars to be interested in attending.  For Revenge of the Sith‘s event, I was interested in Star Wars but wasn’t quite the toy collector I am today (of course, within a few months I would be well on the path).  I have, however, attended one Midnight Madness event: in 2008, for the release of the tie-in merchandise to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  In the start of 2008, Hasbro was winding down the Thirtieth Anniversary Collection of action figures, and in February of that year they showed the first waves of their upcoming action figure lines: The Legacy Collection, which would feature characters from the movies, and The Clone Wars, which, well, duh.  Also shown were roleplaying sets, vehicles, and really all manner of toys that would be later available.  Of course, none of the toys were immediately available, leaving customers in a tantalizing wait for products.  Several chains had Midnight Madness events in the past, but in 2008 the action was centered around Toys R Us (TRU).  For this article, I’ll discuss what was available, the promotions that were being run by Toys R Us, and my own personal experience at the event.  First, let’s take a look at the items that were being released.  I’m going to focus on Hasbro, but I’ll throw in a quick list of what Lego released as well. Continue reading

Character Spotlight: Grand Moff Tarkin

Tarkin Cover

Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin is one of the most interesting characters in the Star Wars saga.  In his first appearance, A New Hope, he actually commands enough respect to stop Vader from choking a fellow officer!  Once Tarkin is dead, Imperial officers start dropping like flies, thanks to that darling Sith.  What got him in to such a prestigious position?  Well, to an extent, it depends on the canon you’re looking at.   Continue reading