Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from Star Wars Kidscast!

Wishing you all a fun, safe, and Star Wars-filled Halloween. May the Force be with you while you're out bounty hunting tonight for candy. Beware the Dark Side! Don't forget to listen to the Star Wars Kidscast Halloween Special.

Anyone have a caption for this?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Horror Stories from Star Wars? Galaxy of Fear

Long before the much-celebrated "first Star Wars Horror novel" Death Troopers (NOT a children's book) there was a spooky series of Star Wars young reader middle-grade novels called Galaxy of Fear.

Published from 1997-1998, these were sort of a Star Wars take on the then incredibly popular R.L. Stine Goosebumps & Fear Street series. There were twelve books in all in the Galaxy of Fear series, all written by John Whitman. They are no longer in print but they sometimes appear in used book stores, or you can likely find them online...if you dare!

 Have you read this series? Let us know & comment below!

Star Wars KidsCast Episode 2: Halloween Special

What are the spookiest, scariest parts of Star Wars? What is the creepiest creature? Who is the most evil villain? Join the dark side for just one episode. It's Halloween fun, Star Wars Kidscast style! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Download this episode (right click and save)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Star Wars Pins benefiting Variety the Children's Charity

At Star Wars Kidscast we love when Star Wars can be used to help raise awareness or funds for charities, but this one is really close to home.

This video is a collision of my worlds, one as a Star Wars lover the other as a parent to a child with special needs. The programs she benefits from have certainly been helped by Variety and so on a very personal level - as a grateful Dad more than as a Star Wars fan - I ask you to purchase one of these very cool Darth Vader or Yoda gold pins that help support Variety The Children's Charity.





For more info go to Variety's website or StarWars.com

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

EASIEST CONTEST EVER! Star Wars Reads Day prizes

Did you miss out on Star Wars Reads Day on October 5th? Thanks to the fun publishing people at DK Publishing we've got a few leftover goodies that we'd love to give away!


The FIRST THREE randomly chosen entrants will get:
A Star Wars Reads Day LEGO Yoda Chronicles 19" x27" glossy poster (folded)
Star Wars Reads Day rubber wristbands
Star Wars Reads Day bookmarks

And everyone else will get a prize pack of wristbands & bookmarks for your family until we run out!

How To Enter:
Step 1) Spread the word!
Post a review of Star Wars Kidscast on iTunes 
OR Write a comment on any article on StarWarsKidsCast.blogspot.com
OR Use Twitter to Tweet an article from StarWarsKidsCast.blogspot.com  & follow @SWKidscast
Actually - feel free to do all three!

Step 2) Send an email to StarWarsKidscast@gmail.com (subject line: CONTEST) to let us know you've done Step 1 and which you did. Please let us know how many Star Wars lovers are in your house. If /when you win we'll contact you for mailing info etc.

That's it! We'll draw for the poster prize packs soon but keep giving away bracelets and bookmarks until their gone. Seriously - enter now and you'll likely get something!

By the way here's a great set of photos from various Star Wars Reads Day II events!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hints about "Darth Vader Themed TV Specials"?

Some news came out last week that along with next year's new Star Wars Rebels TV show and other fun TV events happening - like the previously announced Phineas & Ferb Star Wars special - that there will also be "Darth Vader Themed TV Specials". Even those of us who try to read everything possible out there about Star Wars news had NO IDEA that these specials (yes, plural!) were even in the works let alone planned for "Spring/Summer 2014"

For more info on that see the original story at JediNews

So what are these specials? At this point, nobody knows. No official word has been given from StarWars.com or anyone from Lucasfilm Ltd. Maybe they're some sort of "look back at the Star Wars saga" with a host and clips from the movies. It's anyone's guess right now.

However, there are some hints out there that could give us a clue. There are two new children's books coming in 2014 from DK publishing (best known for the amazing Visual Dictionary, Character Encyclopedia and Incredible Cross-Sections books) in 2014 that certainly look like fun, but also COULD be related to these specials. The two books are titled Jedi Battles and Sith Wars and are part of a new series called "DK Adventures" or "DK Reads".


There's more on Jedi Battles and Sith Wars and different covers for both books at Amazon.com

Here's why I think there could be a connection:

-The covers available could all be temporary artwork but ALL feature Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

- The release date is currently January 16, kind of early to be called "Spring/Summer 2014" but still...

- These books are not "Early Readers" (typically 32 pages) but chapter books at 128 pages, almost the length of the Junior Novelizations of the films, though traditionally those have come from Scholastic Books.

You may notice the author is listed on these covers as "A. N. Author" which (hopefully) is a fake name until the author(s) is/are revealed. The shroud of secrecy clouds the Dark Side.

So are these junior novelizations of two upcoming TV specials? Will they be novels at all or something more like Daniel Wallace's very cool Jedi Path and Book of Sith books? Looks like we'll find out in January!

Until then, it's always fun to wonder. What do you think? Please comment below!

Congratulations Mr. Sansweet!

It's official, the ultimate Star Wars collectible collection has been certified and included in the Guinness World Records 2014 edition. That estimated 300,000-piece collection belongs to Steve Sansweet, former head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm and author or co-author of 16 Star Wars books! It is housed at Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, California.


Sam, a young friend of Star Wars Kidscast wanted to congratulate Mr. Sansweet with some artwork. He chose a certain bounty hunter to go with Steve's hunt for bounty. Sam is in grade 2 and lives in Surrey, BC. You can see he tried to write "Steve Sansweet" but just went with "Congratulations".
Great artwork Sam & congratulations to Steve Sansweet and all the supporters, workers and volunteers at Rancho Obi-Wan!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Read, You Must: Star Wars Complete Vehicles

Released earlier this year, Star Wars Complete Vehicles gathers gorgeous images from previous Incredible Cross-Sections books and updates & enhances with new vehicles and artwork to make one beautiful 200+ page hardcover book.

The detail of these illustrations and the excitement of seeing the insides of Star Wars places, ships and vehicles that aren't shown so clearly (or at all) in the movies makes this series stand out. There's so much going on inside each picture I can see spending a LOT of time with this! Then there's all the info to read to from some well known Star Wars names.

If you want to know how Sandcrawlers, Podracers & Star Destroyers work and how they look inside, this is the book for you!


From the publisher (DK):

For any fan who wants to explore the inner workings of the spaceships and vehicles of all six Star Wars™ movies comes this fascinating expanded edition of a fan favorite, now with new cross-section artworks and a wealth of new photos.
Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections is packed with visual explorations of more than fifty essential Star Wars spacecraft and landcraft, including the TIE bomber, Imperial shuttle, A-wing, B-wing, and more. Full-color cross-section artwork presents in-depth examinations of each craft's weapon systems, engines, hyperdrives, cockpits, and construction secrets, providing a never-before-seen glimpse at the vehicles that drive the Star Wars universe. Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections now features new and never-before-seen cross-sections!

http://us.dk.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781465408747,00.html

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Countdown to Halloween: 10 Best Star Wars Monsters!

Here's an article from the official Star Wars website about the 10 Best Star Wars Monsters, according to the StarWars.com Team....some of these will make it into the upcoming Star Wars Kidscast Halloween special indeed...
I wish there really was a trading card set of Star Wars monsters!

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2013/10/22/the-starwars-com-10-best-monsters/

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles Book Trailer

From author, Star Wars fan & LEGO expert Daniel Lipkowitz comes this gorgeous hardcover book of LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.

I saw a boy reading it in my daughter's Doctor's office the other day. He asked his mom who a certain character was but she didn't know. I chimed in with "That's Darth Maul". Always happy to help encourage a young fan!

Star Wars Action Figures "Power of the Force" Kenner commercial from 1996

If the voice in this commercial sounds familiar, it should. Sure sounds like Mark Hamill aka. Luke Skywalker to me!

After many years of no new Star Wars figures or playsets (almost 10!) Kenner/Hasbro started making action figures again and hasn't stopped since, thank goodness!

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Papercraft Playset!

New from Funko! Papercraft Star Wars Playset. "No scissors! No tape! No glue!"

I think I like the playsets even more than the characters. I'm reminded of Minecraft for some reason. Love Han Solo in carbonite. Perfect choice for this set. Gonk droid would've worked beautifully too!

 More Star Wars fun at Funko's website!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast: Now on iTunes!

If iTunes is where you find your podcasts then great - we're now there! If you are new Star Wars Kidscast AND podcasts in general, you can listen here or visit us on iTunes. It's free to listen or download this podcast.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Star Wars Reads Day 2013 Q&A at the Scholastic Store, NYC

Here's a video from Star Wars Reads Day II with four Star Wars authors discussing their love of our favourite Galaxy!
Love all the kids in the background!

Read, You Must: Droids cause trouble in AND out of the cantina!

Ever wonder what C-3P0 & R2-D2 were up to while Luke & Obi-Wan were meeting Han & Chewie in the Mos Eisley cantina? Seems they were getting into all sorts of trouble and hiding under all sorts of flaps in Heroes in Hiding, a pop-up book from 1996 by Ken Steacy.


You can still find used copies around. Try Amazon.com or other sites.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Now Available: LEGO Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles on DVD!

These short movies are a lot of fun and full of jokes for all ages. Great animation and voice acting too!
For more info visit StarWars.com

Read, You Must: Han & Chewie's "Adventures in Hyperspace"

What were Han Solo & Chewbacca up to before they met Luke & Obi-Wan? They were zipping across the galaxy running not-very-legal shipments for shady characters like Jabba the Hutt! Those times have been depicted in grown-up novels and comics but here's one of the first stories for kids to tell those tales.

The two "Adventures in Hyperspace" chapter books from Scholastic are full of fun illustrations and the stories by frequent Star Wars author Ryder Windham are entertaining and engaging. There was apparently going to be a third book in the series. We'll see about that, but for now I recommend you check out #1 Fire Ring Race and #2 Shinbone Showdown.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Star Wars KidsCast Episode 1: The Episode 1 Episode

Here it is! The debut episode of Star Wars KidsCast! Thanks everyone for the enthusiasm and excitement for this new show! I really hope you enjoy it and share it with Star Wars fan families. Please comment!
  Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right click and save)

Star Wars Rebels: New Villain Revealed!

Meet your new enemy, the Imperial Inquisitor! He's ugly, he's mean and he's out to hunt Jedi in the upcoming new series Star Wars: Rebels coming 2014 on Disney XD!


Funny 1999 KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell Commercial - Episode One

Friday, October 11, 2013

Read, You Must: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader by Ryder Windham

Interested in getting into Star Wars young reader novels? Ryder Windham's 2007 The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader is a fantastic place to start. Most of it will be familiar if you've only seen the movies, but you may enjoy that it connects to many other stories and books from the Star Wars Universe.
Even though the title doesn't appear on the front for some reason - perhaps because the artwork is just too beautiful to cover up - the book very much lives up to its title. The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader tells Anakin Skywalker's life story and covers all six Star Wars films. It is a novel for young readers but doesn't shy away from the horrible deeds of Darth Vader. I would recommend even adult fans read this one too.

For more information on this book click here.

Paperback 211 pages.
Scholastic

Jedi Camp - Official Teaser Trailer


Jedi Camp is 6-part fan movie about kids who love Star Wars & learn about bullying and personal strength at Jedi Camp! Check it out:



The website for more info about Jedi Camp is http://www.jedicamp.com

Celebrate UN Day of the Girl Child today!

Today is an international UN celebration of The Day of the Girl Child, a celebration and recognition of the importance of respecting the rights young girls throughout the world. Some very active girls put together the website DayOfTheGirl.org 

There's an image on their website that looks remarkably like a certain Hutt you may recognize...



One of the themes of Star Wars is the importance of everybody having rights and having a voice. From the Galactic Senate that had countless alien species gathered to the fact that seemingly unimportant creatures like Gungans & Ewoks can change the course of history, everybody can make a difference.

Add to that how vital woman like Leia, Padmé, Ahsoka are to the overall Star Wars story and The Day of the Girl is clearly something Star Wars fans can & should support!

For more info and ideas of what you can do visit http://dayofthegirl.org

Thursday, October 10, 2013

LEGO® Star Wars™ - Umbara Episode 1 Part 1

Yet another brand new LEGO Star Wars video! More Clone Wars action!

Part 2 of New LEGO® Star Wars™ The Yoda Chronicles: Clones vs Droidekas

Here's part 2...Nice to see Krell being friendly. Love the double-handshake!

LEGO® Star Wars™ The Yoda Chronicles: Clones vs Droidekas Part1

First Look! Star Wars Rebels action figure packaging

Ok, so the packaging alone to a new line of Star Wars figures may not be too exciting to some fans, but they exciting part is that this is the first official confirmation that there will indeed be new Hasbro action figures from with the upcoming Star Wars Rebels TV show!

What is Star Wars Rebels? It's a new TV show from some of the same talented people who made The Clone Wars that will be airing on Disney XD starting in the Fall of 2014. At Star Wars Kidscast we're VERY excited to see this show!

From Hasbro:
"STAR WARS REBELS continues the epic tradition of the legendary Star Wars saga with all-new exciting, action-packed adventures. It is a dark time in the galaxy, as the evil Galactic Empire tightens its grip of power from world to world. As the series begins, Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet, ruling with an iron fist and ruining the lives of its people. But there are a select few who are brave enough to stand up against the endless Stormtroopers and TIE fighters of the Empire: the clever and motley crew of the starship Ghost. Together, this ragtag group will face threatening new villains, have thrilling adventures, and become heroes."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Making Reading Fun...the Star Wars way!

Very happy to see students and staff at Winnipeg's École Dieppe really got into the spirit of Star Wars Reads Day II! Check out their fun video here!

Thanks to DK for being such a terrific supporter of Star Wars Reads Day II. My daughter loves her SWRDII bracelet!






LEGO® Star Wars ™ - Headhunter - Episode 7 Part 1

Fans of The Clone Wars will know Jedi Master Krell featured in this new LEGO video! He's not to be trusted!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sneak Peek: Star Wars Kidscast Podcast Intro!

Ok, I know you can't "peek" at a podcast exactly...but here's a quick taste of what's to come! Wait, you can't "taste" a podcast either. Is there a word that means to only hear a tiny amount?

ANYWAY, here's a rough mix of the opening for Star Wars Kidscast. What do you think? Please leave a comment!

Kellogg's C-3PO's Cereal: A New Force at Breakfast

Did you know that there once was a Star Wars breakfast cereal? Yep, Kellogg's C-3PO's were "a new Force at breakfast!" back in 1984.

I don't remember loving the taste but it sure was fun to have. They probably tasted something like Alpha-Bits or Honey Combs. Why they are "double O's" I can't explain though. They must have been ok because I think I we had them a few times.

I remember clearly a Luke Skywalker mask you could cut out from the back, if you wanted a flat cardboard painting of Luke on your face.

Much later there were also apparently Episode II and Episode III tie-in cereals for a short time, but I don't remember seeing those. In Canada we get most things but don't always get everything released in the US.

Here's a commercial that ran on Saturday mornings...

Her Universe: Wonderful Star Wars clothing items for girls (and women)!

Wow this is cute! I think my daughter would look so adorable in this. Seems odd to me I have to look in the "Boys" section of stores to get her a cool Star Wars shirt. Check out all the wonderful kids' Star Wars clothing items specifically for girls at HerUniverse.com

Monday, October 7, 2013

Star Wars Mission Series Action Figures "Coruscant Pack"

I love the detail of the new "Black Series" Action Figures, but I REALLY love the retro Kenner style and durability (ie. long play life!) of the "Mission Series" figures. Here's my favourite 2-pack from the first wave:
I might have to get the Jango Fett set too. Looking forward to many more characters done in this style!

See more at Hasbro.com 

What are your favourites?

First Look! Star Wars Rebels: Teaser Trailer


Ok so there's not much here but it's sure fun to see something about Rebels, and it IS just a "teaser"! For those of you who don't alreay know, Star Wars: Rebels is a brand-new animated TV show coming to Disney XD NEXT Fall...yep that's 2014. It's going to be great!

Angry Birds Star Wars II: Darth Maul Teaser Trailer

Preview : Star Wars Ewoks: Shadows of Endor

From the Dark Horse Comics this week comes Star Wars Ewoks: Shadows of Endor! 80 pages of all-new Ewoks adventures! Here's a preview...

"Until now, the Ewoks had been able to ignore the arrival of the Empire’s stormtroopers on Endor. But when they discover their rivals, the Duloks, have been enslaved and a legendary beast has been awakened, the Ewoks realize they may have to prepare for war—as soon as they figure out how to survive the beast!

* Leads directly into the events of Return of the Jedi!
* Ties into the beloved Ewoks TV series and movies!"
Preview :: Dark Horse Comics

Star Wars Underoos Commercial. Yep, a kids' underwear ad from TV!

I'm pretty sure there hasn't been Star Wars underwear for kids advertised on TV for a while. This was for some reason fairly normal when I was a kid. I had Spider-Man Underoos though. I remember by grade 6 Underoos were seen as "little kid" items and NOT cool.

Anyway, enjoy a blast from the past...remember though, Underoos are for earthlings only!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Clone Wars Season 5 on DVD & Blu-Ray October 14th!

Here it is: Season 5, the last full season of the fantastic Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will be available to own next week!

If you don't already know how great The Clone Wars was (sadly it's now off the air) now is a good time to dive in! Season 5 actually has quite a few episodes that are easy to enjoy even if you haven't seen Seasons 1-4, particularly the "Younglings" episodes that focus on a group of very young Jedi-in-training. However, we do HIGHLY RECOMMEND you see ALL episodes of The Clone Wars.

Here's a trailer to give you a few glimpses of what to expect from Season 5....


(Note: October 14th is the UK release date. In North America it will be the 15th.)

We'll still have to wait to see how much and what of the never-aired Season 6 surfaces, but for now I'll be busy watching this set this month!

Note to Parents: don't let the fact this is a cartoon fool you! This is REAL Star Wars and it only very rarely feels like a "kiddie" show. In fact, some episodes may be frightening or too intense for younger children but if they can handle the Star Wars films they will be fine here too. If you want something tamer, try the entertaining Lego Star Wars DVDs.

Read, You Must: Boba Fett : The Fight to Survive

If you're an enthusiastic chapter book reader and want to know more about the story of young Boba Fett, you'll want to find a copy of The Fight to Survive by Terry Bisson, the first young reader novel in the Star Wars: Boba Fett series. However, do not read this book before watching Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones! There are some major scenes that would be spoiled in the movie if you haven't seen it yet!

The book covers much of the same events and moments as Episode II but from young Boba Fett's perspective. He's a 10 year-old boy at this time. Fans of any age will appreciate the scenes from the movie that are just a little different and sometimes more detailed. Then we find out what happens to Boba Fett AFTER the movie is over.

Fett fans will notice that for some reason Boba Fett doesn't even make it onto the cover of the paperback version. That's his dad JANGO Fett!

This is just the first book of the series so I'm looking forward to tracking down the rest of the stories. For more info on the story click here.

Since this series started coming out in 2002, you may not be able to find it at a regular book store. You can likely find it at your local library, used book store or online.

Star Wars Reads Day II

Hope everybody had a good Star Wars Reads Day yesterday!

Even if your area didn't have an event hopefully you found a good book to enjoy. Here in the Vancouver, BC area we had a small event at Chapter's bookstore in Metrotown mall. It wasn't well publicized (no mention online or anywhere in the store!) so I wish more people knew about it, but those who were there got to enjoy hanging out with Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion, answer some trivia and win some prizes. There were plenty of prizes and giveaways for everyone. My daughter scored a little Yoda and R2-D2 : )

Next year we're going to try to put together something in the Surrey area. If you want an event in YOUR town, start talking to your local children's librarian or bookstore soon and show them photos online of other events so they get the idea how cool this could be.

Did you go to an event? Was it fun? Were there costumes? Feel free to post a comment below!

Star Wars Lightsaber Commercial (Kenner, 1978)



I didn't have this version of the old-school lightsaber. My brother and I had ones that were long plastic tubes with flashlights on the end. They lasted about 5 minutes but it was a fun 5 minutes!

My favourite part of this commercial is at the end..."balloons not included". Did anyone buy the lightsaber but was upset by the lack of balloons to come with it?

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