Category Archives: Star Wars Fans Only

Terrible Star Wars costumes

We like to think we’re positive people. However, we also know we know costumes, especially Star Wars costumes. Every Halloween you’re probably going to see some cool homemade costumes and flashy outfits to drool over, but you will also find some costumes able to benefit from a little more work. Again, we’re positive people, so we can ignore costumes from younger fans, or those meant to be low-quality or cost, but some Star Wars costumes just make you laugh. Here are 4 terrible Star Wars costumes:

The Best of the Terrible:

Terrible three charactersOur first picture presents us with a strange quandary: Who are these characters? From left to right it’s Giant White Solo Cup with blue decals, King Midas ready for a battle, and someone trying desperately to keep the rain off. Oh, he has buns duct taped to his head. Duct taped. That’s going to be a difficult removal process. For C-3PO as well! R2-D2 is the best costume here for just removal purposes.

Terrible Darth Vader MaskSpeaking frankly, the Stormtrooper helmet doesn’t look very bad at all. Maybe a bit misshapen, but aren’t we all? The other mask, however, looks more like Futurama’s Bender than a Lord of the Sith. One of the most defining features of Darth Vader’s helmet is the shape, and this example misses the mark. Don’t worry kid, keep at it.

Terrible R2-D2 costumeDon’t stare too long; it may cause nightmares. Honestly, this isn’t the worst costume we’ve ever seen, or even near to the worst, but the…entire package is a bit disturbing. Best we can come up with, during a monster movie this is the joke monster the protagonists would see while escaping something much worse. Not really very scary, but not very fun to look at, either.

Terrible Jabba the Hutt CostumeJabba the Hutt, why are you packed full of bowling balls? It’s a question for the ages. Not every crime lord has the body volume to carry so many orbs. This costume is the lumpiest thing since Chewbacca’s son. We’re also rather unsure of what he’s holding, though it could be a poker, in case the helium balloons taking up this costume’s space make it float away.

Thanks for reading about these four terrible costumes! Come back next week for more fun fan information!

Battle: Vader and Luke against Rey and Kylo Ren

Luke and Vader battle against Kylo Ren and ReyA few times in the past, we’ve pitted Star Wars character from different eras against each other, investigating who would emerge victorious. We’ve had Han and Chewie against the Fetts, Mace Windu against Darth Maul, and more, and now we have a collection of new characters to pick and choose from. Now, for your enjoyment, we present the battle of Rey and Kylo Ren against Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

At first it seems like a very one-sided battle. Darth Vader, the most powerful Jedi ever, and one of the few to ever beat him, Luke Skywalker, against an upstart Sith and a nameless Jedi? Might as well just end the blog post here. So, to make it a little more fair, we’re going to say Luke is Episode IV Luke, with little training and just the barest notion of what the Jedi and Sith even are. Let’s look at each character, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how the battle might end up going.

Rey:

Strengths – Rey Nolastname is a dark horse in this fight. Though she clearly has the powers of the Jedi, and was even able to beat Kylo Ren in a fight, Rey is untrained and unsure of her own abilities. She can shoot, handle a lightsaber, use minor force abilities, and has a definite willpower. She is also a talented mechanic.

Weaknesses – With no training of any kind, physical or mental, she is at a huge disadvantaged with juggernaut Vader on the field. Getting into a straight duel would spell the end for her.

Kylo Ren:

Strengths – We just said Rey beat him, but there is a caveat. Earlier, Chewbacca shoots Kylo Ren with his Wookiee bowcaster, a weapon powerful enough to disembowel at a distance. Not only does he survive the blow, but he then fights Finn and Rey in the climactic battle. Clearly, the man has more physical power than he gets credit for. He’s also talented with his lightsaber, well-versed in the force, and ruthless.

Weaknesses – As the heartbreaking bridge scene tells us, Kylo Ren is wracked with guilt and unsure if he should really be playing his part as Sith Lord. He also can sometimes lose focus, as well as losing control when his anger gets the best of him.

Darth Vader:

Strengths – Power, armor, lightsaber skills, force mastery.

Weaknesses – despite his imposing size and strength, he is a hurt man. Striking his life-support systems could put him out of commission, and a long, drawn-out battle would tire him. Finally, if somebody can reach the emotional side he’s hidden deep within it may stun him.

Luke Skywalker:

Strengths – Luke is a talented pilot, and engineer. He also has his ligthsaber in hand, is a good shot, and has a deep connection to the force. He also has youthful pluck in spades.

Weaknesses – Not very well-trained, not very strong, and without the quiet intensity Rey has, Luke is a huge handcuff for Vader in a two-on-two.

The battle:

Of the four, Kylo is the most likely to rush into battle. The question is would he go after Luke or Vader? The point seems moot, since Vader would probably leap to Luke’s defense. Either way, the two battles would be Kylo against Vader and Luke against Rey.

Luke and Rey, both beginning their Jedi lives, would likely take things slow. However, Rey seems more aggressive of the two, as well as having even more natural abilities than Luke. The close-quarters battle we see at the end of Episode VII gives credence to the thought Rey will quickly overpower Luke, leading to her victory.

Kylo might catch Vader off-guard, but his skill is no match for Vader’s experience, as well as the incredible power Vader possesses naturally. His armor also provides him more. It’s more of a toss-up than Rey and Luke, but still trends in Vader’s favor.

With Rey and Darth Vader left, victory all but seems certain of the original trilogy villain. If Vader teases and tests her, as he did with Luke at the end of Episode V, she may find an opening and poke through, but most of the time Vader will emerge victorious.

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Sabine Wren Leads Rebels Season 3

Ezra and Sabine gracing the season three posterThe third season of Star Wars Rebels debuts on September 24th, and it promises exciting adventures and classic action to rival the previous two seasons. Main characters Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren will lead us through the events following the end of season two: Kanan Jarrus’ blindness, and Ahsoka Tano’s death. Season three also promises a fan-favorite in the form of Grand Admiral Thrawn. This brilliant and analytical leader is featured in the famous Timothy Zahn Expanded Universe novels. The crew of the ghost, now with a base on the planet Atollon, must contend with the Empire’s growing power and escape the unbeatable Thrawn.

Sabine and Ezra’s new roles

After his meeting with former Sith Lord Darth Maul, Ezra has become closer to the dark side. His anger has come to the front. After the respective death and blindness of Ahsoka and Kanan, he is determined to not let anything hurt his friends. Thanks to the influence of the Sith Holocron, Ezra now fights more aggressively. Fights against stormtroopers ends in death instead of just injuries. With his long locks cut and his focus on defeating the empire, it’s clear we have a new leader in Ezra.

Furthermore, Sabine Wren looks to take on an even larger role. The rebel fleet comes to rely on her more and more as the danger increases. Her armor and hair color may be different, but her skills remain fresh. With Thrawn on the other side of the table, will she be able to triumph?

Marc Buhaj, senior vice president of programming and the general manager of Disney, said: “We are proud to bring our audience a third season of Star Wars Rebels, a series that has resonated across generations.” Buhaj added, “The creative team behind the series continues to do a brilliant job in delivering on the key tenets that fans have come to expect from a Star Wars property including adventure, hope and the battle between good vs. evil.”

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Mon Calamari

Mon CalamariIn Return of the Jedi, Tim Rose and Erik Bauersfeld combined their talents to produce Admiral Gial Ackbar. Rose puppeteered and Erik voiced a character seen on film maybe a total of five minutes. He is one of the Mon Calamari — a bipedal, amphibious race from the planet of Dac (commonly known as Mon Cala). This is their story.

Squid Society

Like other species in the Star Wars universe, there is a great deal of information about the Mon Calamari, though much is officially non-canon. Able to breathe through both gills and lungs, Mon Calamari are more comfortable on land, and they can still drown. With bulbous heads, huge fish-like eyes, and webbed hands, they are easy to recognize. Their hands feature suction cups, and they see in a different wavelength than humans. Since Mon Calamari faces are rather stiff, eyes are used to show emotion: staring with the left eye shows surprise, while the right eye is a challenge or an expression of love. Things are complicated in the dating scene, it seems.

Advanced and civilized, the Mon Calamari culture included great creativity in arts, music, literature, and science. They tended to be soft-spoken and gentle, extremely tempered and slow to anger. Many saw them as determined and dedicated, not willing to give up. This combination of temperament and focus made them famous allies for both the Galactic Republic and the Rebel Alliance.

Due to the fact they saw their work as art rather than simply function, the Mon Calamari also became known as first-class starship builders,. Efficient and unique while still remaining useful to other species, we can see numerous examples of Mon Calamari ships in the battle scene of Return of the Jedi.

Ride of the Mon Calamari
Mon Cala Shipyard
Mon Cala Shipyard

Though they cherished peace, the Mon Calamari were not above fighting. Long traditions of military service extended down family trees for generations, believing their warrior skills second-to-none. When the Galactic Empire took control, warfare began to define the Mon Calamari. They allied with the rebels, and began producing warships. Thousands of soldiers filled the ranks of the rebellion.

Rivaling the wookiees in their resolve, the Mon Calamari could fight on land, and pilot their unique craft with expert precision. They were also, naturally, well-suited for amphibious assaults. Even after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, they continued supplying the Republic with ships and weapons, eventually creating an artificial shipyard ring around their planet.

Famous Mon Calamari Admiral Ackbar was in The Force Awakens. Following the death of Erik Bauersfeld, the character may end up retired for future films.

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Admiral Ackbar
You’re reading this in my voice!

Funerals in Star Wars

Funerals comparisonFans have leveled criticism at The Force Awakens for similarities to A New Hope. While many may not care overly, a few deem it lesser for copying the original. Did J.J. Abrams want to relive the glory of the original trilogy, or was it just the best choice? As a third option, could artistry be involved? A theory is rolling around noting how strange similarities in the prequels and original series line up. The funerals are one example.

Both trilogies end in a funeral, in very different circumstances, and bringing the trilogies to different emotional ends. The two dead—Padme and Anakin Skywalker—are two halves of a couple. The dark side kills both (Anakin kills Padme, Darth Sidious kills Anakin), the public mourns both deaths, and both died trying to protect someone from the Dark Side. In Anakin’s case it was his son Luke; in Padme’s case Anakin himself. Both scenes carry the importance of an ending era, and John William’s beautiful soundtrack highlights both.

There are plenty of differences, however, highlighting the different circumstances of their deaths. Anakin was burned in a funeral pyre in his Darth Vader suit. The western world used the funeral pyre as a common way to dispose of the deceased—often chieftains and notable warriors. On the other hand, Padme’s rested on a bed of flowers during her funeral—common symbols of love for the deceased. She nearly glows in the Naboo twilight.

A cycle of funerals

Scenes of the world they ushered in surround both funerals. Padme’s body proceeds down the capital of Naboo as Darth Vader and his master inspect the growing Death Star. While Darth Vader’s body burns his son sees the approval of the Jedi he once knew. Padme’s funeral comes with rebellion, civil war, and tyranny, even though it presents as peaceful, quiet, and beauty. Darth Vader’s comes with celebration, victory, and happiness, despite his loud, fiery, and sparsely-attended end.

This mix of notable similarities and differences bringing each trilogy to a close add even greater power to the Ring Theory (linked above). They further work to change our perception of George Lucas as a filmmaker, even after his distance from the movies.

More proof?
Qui-Gon Jinn's funeral
Qui-Gon Jinn’s funeral

There are two parts to the Ring Theory: first, both trilogies follow a pattern. Second, the trilogies mirror each other. We see Darth Vader’s funeral pyre at the end of Return of the Jedi, and a similar scene for Qui-Gon Jinn at the end of The Phantom Menace. Padme’s funeral is not mirrored, yet Luke and the other characters mourn Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom Anakin also kills.

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Score Episode VII

Score the Star Wars moviesA few months ago we ranked the Star Wars movies, taking from fan polls and lists online. But how do the critics agree? We looked at Rotten Tomatoes, score the movies in chronological order, and also included the latest installment to see where it falls!

Episode IV

A legendary beginning to a legendary series, the original Star Wars is regarded as one of the silver screen’s enduring legends. Based on the classic hero’s journey and set in a unique and imaginative world. Movies changed after “A New Hope” came out, but how does it stand up to the critics?

“Star Wars is nothing short of pure unadulterated entertainment, something that has been sorely lacking in a great majority of recent films.” – Vern Perry

“It’s a near timeless milestone in cinema that lives up to its legacy as a simple, exciting, and fun science fiction fantasy.” – Felix Vasquez Jr.

Almost universal acclaim. Critical reviews call it childish and nothing more but a toy creation system – though their voices are covered by positive reviews. And the audience? Seeing even a three-star review out of five is surprising (allowing for the knee-jerk ½ star reactions).

Scores: Tomatometer 93%, Audience 96%

Episode V

Regarded as the prime cut among the Star Wars series, “The Empire Strikes Back” is the series’ highest point. Bearing even higher scores than the original, this movie is fraught with emotion, danger, and one of the greatest twist endings in movie history (albeit one everyone knows of by now). What have the critics said?

“The Empire Strikes Back is the ultimate in fantasies, a visual wonder and a movie that should be recommended highly if only because it makes you feel good.” – Rena Andrews

“Has any movie sequel ever so thoroughly surpassed impossible expectations as The Empire Strikes Back?” – Tim Brayton

Again, nearly universal. The audience as well loves this movie to the ends of the earth, and their scores reflect it.

Score: Tomatometer 94%, Audience 97%

Episode VI

Finally we get a movie a bit more contentious. Known as the weakest of the original trilogy, “The Empire Strikes Back” is still very well-liked by critics and audience.

“It’s everything it ought to be — glorious, exhilarating, exciting, absorbing, technically wondrous. But there also is something bittersweet in the knowledge that, with Jedi, we are bidding a fond farewell to all of the characters we got to know so well.” – Rena Andrews

“[A] capper to a solid trilogy that’s nevertheless not quite the flawless work its reputation would seem to indicate.” – David Nusair

Audiences seem to enjoy it at a higher rate, even though some might not like the Ewoks.

Score: Tomatometer 80%, Audience 94%

Episode I

And thus we begin the lean months. The first of the prequel movies began at the top of the box office, but the shine quickly wore off. Dense sections of special effects bookend boring trade, politics, and the beginning of the worst movie romance in twenty years.

“Mr. Lucas is not without a certain technocratic sagacity, but I don’t think he’s communicating even with the young as astutely as he once did.” – Andrew Sarris

“The Force may not be strong in this episode, but it’s there.” John Hanlon

There are some bright spots – Darth Maul was a compelling if underused character, and the podracing sequence, while too long, was at least exciting – but George Lucas’ iron-fisted control of the entire production brought it down. Audience reception has been better but nowhere near as good as even Episode VI.

Score: Tomatometer 55%, Audience 60%

Episode II

Better? Worse? The debate rages on whether or not this one or Episode I is the worst of the Star Wars films. While better received by critics, audiences were not as kind. The aforementioned romance, terrible dialogue, and more overpowering special effects equal the movie’s redeeming qualities.

“In lieu of a proper climax, Attack Of The Clones ends with a tantalizing cliffhanger for the next episode, but Lucas’ lumbering series is presenting fewer and fewer reasons to tune in.” – Scott Tobias

“Attack of the Clones is the best Star Wars installment since The Empire Strikes Back, hurtling along so quickly that you hardly notice the many moments when the story fails to make sense — even on its own fantastical terms.” – David Sterritt

The battle scene at the end was exciting, as was the lightsaber fight against Count Dooku, but as the movie ages it proves its lack of quality.

Score: Tomatometer 65%, Audience 58%

Episode III

Seen as a dramatic improvement on Attack of the Clones, “Revenge of the Sith,” but this installment brings much more dramatic tension and real emotion to the table. Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side is the crux of the entire series, and manages to get the on-screen respect it deserves.

“Special effects have greatly advanced since 1978, but technology needs imagination after it has made an initial impression. Imagination is not the strong suit of Revenge of the Sith.” – Philip French

“Revenge of the Sith is far from a great film but it easily trumps its two predecessors.” – Jeff Meyers

Audience scores make rising and falling mountain range of reception. Some like the close of the trilogy for its emotional weight. Others find the acting and dialogue enough to bring it down.

Score: Tomatometer 79%, Audience 65%

Episode VII

J.J. Abrams gives us another taste of delicious Star Wars pie, and the consensus is it brought back the magic of the original trilogy. One of the common criticisms is the film is a modern copy of “A New Hope.” So?

“I’m happy to tell you that, despite some minor fumbles, this is definitely the Star Wars film we’ve been looking for.” – Kanin Srimaneekulroj

“That’s what’s so impressive about the tricky balancing act Abrams has pulled off with The Force Awakens: He’s made a movie that’s simultaneously gripping and a huge release. We are in good hands, at last.” – Christy Lemire

Audience reaction is joyful, exuberant, and full of the happiness the last ten years has lacked. It has more humor, solid characters, and better special effects.

Score: Tomatometer 92%, Audience 89%

Thanks for reading! Do you agree with Episode VII’s place? Where does it fall for you? Come back next week for more fun fan information!

Lightsaber — Build Your Own

Build your own lightsaberTrying to find a way to elevate yourself over other Star Wars fans? Looking for the ultimate way to prove your superiority when the next movie releases? How about building your own lightsaber? What’s that? Impossible you say? You are correct: you can’t construct a weapon powerful enough to cut through steel and deflect laser bolts, but we can get a little more creative than you might think.

Harness the Power of the Crystals

Do you want a functioning sword at least? Try out the comprehensive (and fairly complicated) instructions over at Popular Science, which include using bonding glue, a hacksaw, a drill, soldering iron, and naked wires to light up the blade. Perfect if you’re a steady hand and looking for a cool DIY project (and you have all the tools and materials required). You can also decorate it to your specifications.

A user on Instructables named MrTinkerer has created another guide, based on his numerous previous creations. He suggests, if you are so inclined, to use The Custom Saber shop to help visualize your own hilt before creation. Another option is the site Ultra Sabers. He has parts and instructions for every section of the lightsaber, from the blade to the inner electronics. You can use his step-by-step instructions as well as places to order pre-made parts, based on the level of lightsaber you wish to wield. MrTinkerer has even said materials and ease-of-use have improved, meaning it’s become even easier to make a famous weapons.

Still not enough? You can find dozens or hundreds of videos about the process on Youtube. Their quality and capacity will vary wildly.

Don’t think you’ll be able to get away with a little bit of work. Both linked instructions prove you’ll spend hours constructing your own Jedi weapon. If you put in the effort you’ll come away with a unique item to prove you’re the greatest Star Wars fan.

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Reshoots for Rogue One

Rogue One's reshootsExecutive meddling is normally seen as a bad thing. What suit-wearing executive can understand the artistic vision of a director, a writer, or even a video game producer? So, you may ask, is Disney’s recent demand of extension reshoots for Rogue One bad? Star Mads Mikkelsen says not really.

Mikkelsen, a veteran of dozens of movies as well as experienced in television, says reshoots are no big deal. “Basically, all the big films I have done always have reshoots, it is part of their budget. They’re either not super happy with a scene bit, the way we were acting, or maybe there’s something they want to add. It’s not a new thing, it happens with every film. Whether it’s bigger or less, I have no idea, I have nothing to compare with. It’s the same film, it’s just adding little bits here and there to do the final polishing. That’s my feeling.”

In fact, for many films (including this one) reshoots are scheduled before shooting even begins—people are on a tight schedule when filming, especially for something as scrutinized as Rogue One. However, reshoots did have to be pushed back to allow Edwards and his team to determine what to change, which brings us to the worst news: apparently, Disney was not pleased with the film. Edwards plans to add small scenes for character development: talking in cockpits or walking down hallways. Thankfully, no expensive battle scenes need redoing.

Director Gareth Edwards previously revealed he was leaving the Godzilla sequel to focus on Rogue One. “Coming off The Force Awakens, there’s an incredibly high bar for this movie and we have a responsibility to the franchise and to the fans to deliver the best possible movie we can.” The picture is to be locked (meaning all the filming is done) by mid-August, with scoring beginning in September. The film is on an earlier timeline than The Force Awakens, which also went through summer reshoots and locked in October.

Here’s hoping the film finishes and astounds us. Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun fan information!

Tusken Raiders

Tusken RaidersIn the past, we’ve taken a look at some of the civilizations the Star Wars universe, such as the fierce Mandalorians and the scavenging Jawas. This week, we take a look at another facet of life on Tatooine: the Tusken Raiders.

Native to the harsh deserts and blinding wind of Tatooine, the Tusken Raiders, also known as Sand People, became harshly territorial and xenophobic, ready and willing to attack anything and everything they come across. Further, Tusken Raiders believed all water was sacred and promised to them, resulting in fury whenever they find anyone else in possession (such as a moisture farm). Groups, known as clans, consisted of around twenty to thirty individuals, led by tribal chiefs or warlords.

At the age of fifteen a Tusken Raider becomes an adult, and must slay a krayt dragon, dangerous reptilian creatures living on Tatooine, and retrieve the natural pearl from its stomach. Living in encampments in the rocky area known as Jundland Wastes known as The Needles, clans are normally guarded by vicious doglike creatures called massiffs. Male Tusken Raiders acted primarily as warriors, wearing rough cloths to both protect themselves from the natural Tatooine landscape and allowe ease of movement, wielding gaderffii sticks in close-quarters combat and using rifles called Tusken Cyclers for vehicles or long range. Every Tusken Raider warrior has their own unique gaderffii stick.

Female Tusken Raiders are distinguished by their elaborate jeweled masks and torso-covering sand shrouds. The children wore simple cowls and cloaks, and were not allowed to dress in specifically male or female dress until reaching fifteen. All Sand People, regardless of age or sex, wear mouth grilles and eye glasses to keep sand out and conserve water. Tusken Raiders are forbidden to remove clothing except during childbirth, wedding nights, and coming-of-age ceremonies.

At age fifteen every Tusken Raider is given a bantha of matching gender, with which they share a close and tied relationship. When Tusken Raiders marry, their banthas also mate, and when the rider dies the bantha is also usually quick to perish. The large bantha graveyard is treated with great respect by all Tusken Raiders.

Behind the Scenes:

Initially appearing in the second draft of A New Hope as a type of Imperial spy, Tusken Raiders had red eyes and drove distinctive speeders. They became a native of Tatooine in the next draft. Though Tusken Raiders sound much like sea lions, their piercing cries were actually made from donkey brays by sound designer Ben Burtt

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May Fourth: The Ultimate Party

Will the Modal Nodes help you celebrate May Fourth?
Will the Modal Nodes help you celebrate May Fourth?

Happy May Fourth! In the past, we’ve shown you a few ways to make your Star Wars gathering really cool–including special treats and off-the-wall activities. These ideas, thought certainly not wastes, lack an out-of-this world quality. They’re stuck on Earth, away from the amazing vistas and stars that make up half of the Star Wars name. How would the greatest May Fourth party look?

Would it take place surrounded by the crystal spires of Coruscant? Perhaps you would have to decorate the stark military walls of the Death Star, or start the barbecues on Endor’s Moon. There are tons of venues to choose from! As an example, let’s pick the awards ceremony at the end of A New Hope, but instead of soldiers and pilots standing in crisp rows, it’s the entire rebellion getting down.

What’s to eat? The Star Wars movies don’t tend to focus on food, in fact a lot of the most unnecessary scenes from the prequels are during meals (Jar-Jar snapping up food with his tongue, or Anakin floating a slice of pear to Padmé, for instance). So what’s to keep you from choosing all of your favorite foods, real or fake? Pizzas, fried slices of the sentient denizens of the Burger planet, and one of those soda fountains where you can mix the flavors—the choice is yours.

Classic musicians of the Star Wars universe like Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, or the Max Rebo Band may appear, or you can drop in one of your favorite artists to play. Suggestions like Daft Punk, David Bowie, or a house version of Also Sprach Zarathustra for extra points, and for the ultimate meta get John Williams to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra.

How would your ultimate May Fourth Star Wars party go? Leave a note, and be sure to come back next week for more fun fan information! Thanks for reading!