Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Keep an Eye Out for Weird C-3PO Toys!

Poor C-3PO! If any character in Star Wars has continual vision problems, it's the loveable - if occasionally annoying - protocol droid. 

In Episode I young Anakin introduces Padmé to the droid, only to discover he's missing an eye! Then in Episode V as Chewbacca tries to reassemble him, he exclaims "Something's not right because now I can't see!"

Finally in Episode VI Jabba's cackling sidekick alien Salacious Crumb goes so far as to peck one of C-3PO's eyes right out!

C-3PO keeps an eye out for Jabba's henchmen!

Only George Lucas knows why "Threepio" was made to suffer, but it seems the folks at Hasbro toys are having some fun with the droid's "photo receptor" mishaps. At least that's the only thing that makes sense to explain a bizarre situation with the eyes on the latest C-3PO action figures.

The Star Wars Rebels version of C-3PO, as seen in the first episode "Droids in Distress", is supposed to look like this official picture from Hasbro:

Reality is a bit different and many fans are noticing some incredibly funny paint-jobs on his eyes:

What's he looking at down there?

So serious!
One eye is perfect! So close!
To be fair, a couple of people have found Star Wars Rebels C-3PO figures that look at least something like they're supposed to, but I am not one of those fortunate ones. It's hard to understand why the paint-jobs are so terrible on so many of this figure, and differently terrible on each one. 

Here's the BEST ones found so far:
Still not quite right.

Was it something I said?
Does your C-3PO have a funny expression? Does yours look "right"? Either way, leave a comment below or send a photo to starwarskidscast@gmail.com 
Thanks to Mike & Adam for the two "good" pictures : )

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Have a Happy Star Wars Rebels Valentine's Day!

Guys? Where's Hera or Sabine?

Valentine’s Day means giving out heart-covered cards and other goodies to friends and classmates, but also can be another way to share your love for movies, TV shows and toys. Star Wars valentines have been around almost as long as Star Wars movies.

This year’s batch of valentines feature for the first time characters from Star Wars Rebels, so there’s yet another opportunity to spread the word about this fantastic DisneyXD show.

Will next year’s cards have characters and scenes from the new Star Wars movie The Force Awakens? Very likely, but for now here’s a look at some of the cards and treats available.

Paper Magic has at least two sets of Star Wars Rebels valentines out there. One contains miniscule glow rods to go with each card, presumably because they sort of look like little lightsaber blades? They are only slightly larger than LEGO Star Wars lightsabers. Another Paper Magic set comes with tattoos of the main Rebels characters. There is also a very similar set that comes with stickers instead of tattoos.

The glow stick is actual size!
Rebels candies in a heart-shaped box
One odd thing: throughout the first few episodes of Star Wars Rebels, Hera is often calling Kanan “Love” as a pet-name. Obviously they are very close, whatever she means by the term. So why isn't the word Love on any of these valentines? Seems like of all days, Valentine's Day would be appropriate to say it.

Not all the valentines out this year focus on Star Wars Rebels though.

There's a lot of images from our friends at JediNews.co.uk with new Star Wars valentine items from several countries.

Here's a few more of this year's items at RebelScum.com 

Vader wonders...When will we see Empire Day cards?
And don't forget Scholastic's A Very Vader Valentine's Day, illustrated by Katie Cook, guest on Star Wars Kidscast podcast episode 6!


- Chris @SWKidscast

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Marvel Star Wars #1 Arrives!

Star Wars #1 (2015)
Marvel Comics was the first company to print Star Wars comics back in 1977 and continued the series until 1986 along with the Droids and Ewoks comics until 1987. After a few years of no Star Wars comics at all, Dark Horse Comics began its own very successful storytelling in the galaxy far, far away from 1991 to the end of 2014. 

Star Wars #1 (1977)
Hundreds of stories later, Star Wars returns this week to its original comic home as Marvel releases yet another comic entitled simply Star Wars #1.

The 2015 Star Wars series kicks off a brand-new storyline set between Episodes 4 and 5. The first Death Star has been destroyed, Han and Chewbacca are getting used to be being good guys, Luke hasn’t met Yoda yet and Leia has resumed her role as a leader of the Rebellion. 

This is the same time period of the original Marvel Star Wars comics of the 1970’s, as well as many books like the Rebel Force series of kids’ novels.
Rebel Force: Target

The comic is well-written by Jason Aaron and drawn by artist John Cassaday and has many fun twists even within the first issue. You can read detailed reviews elsewhere but the real question for us is: Is it appropriate for kids?

The first issue comes with a Teen rating and earns it with a degree of violence similar to what you’d see in the movies. The story is not inappropriate for older kids who love the movies. Kids are just not the main intended audience. Shootings, slavery and lightsaber slicings happen, as you would expect in a Star Wars story along with comedic moments as part of the adventure. 

Star Wars #1 isn’t a kids’ comic book but for young readers who enjoy the movies, this is a great time to start enjoying monthly adventures in the galactic battle between Dark and Light.

In this issue is also a sneak peek at the upcoming new Darth Vader and Princess Leia comics, coming soon along with a series focusing on Kanan from Star Wars Rebels. No word if Marvel has plans to make comics specifically for kids but of course that would be mentioned here if/when that happens!

-Chris @SWKidscast

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Read, You Must: Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight

As part of a series of new books retelling the Star Wars saga for young readers, Disney Books begins with Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight written by popular children’s author/illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi and illustrated by the late Ralph McQuarrie, the artist who defined the look of the Star Wars universe more than anyone else. 

Despite the very long title, the story compacts Luke Skywalker’s heroic journey from Episodes IV, V and VI into one 64-page picture book.

Like Pablo Hidalgo’s Star Wars Rebels: A New Hero, this book is illustrated using “pre-production” or “concept” artwork - images created early in the making of a movie or TV show to give an idea how it will look later.

Tony DiTerlizzi, best known for creating fantastical, detailed worlds in the middle-grade novel series The Spiderwick Chronicles and more recently the WondLa books, condenses the three-movie story by focusing mainly on moments Luke was around. The word “adventures” is in the title on purpose as DiTerlizzi briskly focuses on key action scenes.

For some fans, this book is worth having simply as a collection of Ralph McQuarrie artwork. Most of this art has been used before on posters, book covers or featured in books and magazines about the making of Star Wars. However even this long-time fan discovered some images I’d never come across before! Having them all collected in an inexpensive hardcover book is a wonderful alternative to earlier coffee-table books.

Early version of what Yoda might've looked like, by Ralph McQuarrie
Other fans may be puzzled by the images that, while beautifully painted and reproduced, often don’t quite match what is seen in the movies. Yoda, Lando and C-3PO in particular may look odd, even “wrong”, at times. I remember having that reaction as a kid when many of these early paintings were on trading cards, before I learned what pre-production meant.

As wonderful as it is to see Ralph McQuarrie’s art in a new setting and presented to a young audience, Tony DiTerlizzi is an amazing artist himself and hopefully he will create some Star Wars artwork in the very near future! 

Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight is as much an impressive art collection for nostalgic parents as it is an engaging introduction to Luke Skywalker’s story.

-Chris @SWKidscast

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Questions and Answers from The Force Awakens Official Teaser Trailer!

On Friday November 28, the world saw its first official glimpses of the next Star Wars film: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, due in theatres Dec 18, 2015. The key word here is “glimpses” because this was what’s known as a “teaser” trailer - just a few hints and peeks at what’s to come to get you excited, but not enough to give away anything major. Remember at this point the movie is still another whole YEAR away! 

If you haven't seen it yet here it is:

So what are some of the questions you might have after watching it?

Who is talking? Who is he talking to? What does he say?
It's not certain at this point who the character is (he may be the mysterious character in black) but he sure sounds evil and in Star Wars, evil people usually have an apprentice or two, so get ready for some new bad guys!

He says: "There has been an Awakening. Have you felt it? The dark side...and the light."

It's COLD here! Have you felt it?

Who is the man in the desert? Is he a stormtrooper or clone trooper? Why doesn’t he look like a clone from The Clone Wars?

Well it's sure hot HERE!
Few people know exactly who he is or what his role in the story is. He could be a rebel in a stormtrooper uniform (like Luke & Han inside the first Death Star) or he could be an Imperial but he is clearly not a clone trooper. This movie will take place many years AFTER Return of the Jedi, and the Clone Wars happened many years BEFORE that. The Empire did not use clones much (if at all) after the Clone Wars ended and so stormtroopers can be any race, gender, or species. Some of this is being shown already in Star Wars Rebels.

Remember, the use of clone armies was one reason that particular galactic war was different than others in Star Wars history, so that is why the term “Clone Wars” was specifically used for that time.

Why are there stormtroopers and TIE fighters? Wasn’t the Empire defeated in Return of the Jedi?

We’ll have to wait and see what the official explanation is but not every general, soldier or spaceship of the galaxy-wide Empire was there at the battle of Endor. Perhaps some parts of the Empire survived and held power on some planets?

What’s that new droid that looks like R2-D2 on a ball?

Merrily, we roll along...
Some are already calling that “soccer ball droid”! It’s not a droid seen before in a Star Wars movie or TV show, but its sort of similar to a rolling destroyer droid with an R2 head, isn’t it? The real question is: what is it running from...or towards...in such a hurry?

Where’s Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, C-3P0 and R2-D2?

Patience : )

Where’s the space battles & aliens?

Again, patience. It’s all coming! The next trailer will reveal much more, hopefully coming Spring 2015.

No caption needed for this one!
Do you have any other questions about the teaser trailer or The Force Awakens in general? Post them here or leave a voice mail on the app on the right side. We’ll do our best to answer them!