Star Wars Merchandise

Star Wars may very likely be the most popular media franchise ever made, and its merchandise history is a long and intricate one. Today we’ll take a short look at the salable materials of everyone’s favorite science-fantasy series.

Boba Fett Kenner figure
Boba Fett Kenner figure

In the years during and following the original trilogy’s release, Kenner, a division of Hasbro, released some of the first Star Wars merchandise: action figures. Over 100 unique action figures were released, and between the years of 1978 and 1985 over 300 million were sold. These toys were usually smaller than four inches, and typically had five moveable points on their bodies. One story you may be familiar with is someone choking on the rocket from the Boba Fett toy, but this was actually caused by a Battlestar Galactica item.

It was also at about this time that the Expanded Universe began to form, beginning with the novel “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye,” a sequel to “Star Wars” (which would later become Episode IV) in which Luke and Leia land on the swamp planet of Mimban and hunt for a crystal. The Expanded Universe (EU) would continue to expand with comic books, television shows, TV specials, and an ever-growing mountain of books.

Beginning in 1983, over 120 video games have been published bearing the Star Wars name; the first was “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” for the Atari 2600, developed by Parker Brothers. After the video game crash of 1983, development halted until 1991. Since then, flight simulators, platformers, mmorpgs, real-time strategy games, first/third-person shooters, and many more have since come and gone, and some gained critical and commercial acclaim.

From its very first release, Star Wars has also been a Halloween mainstay. Darth Vader is consistently the most popular, though recent years have seen surges in many other characters. While the classic styles may be falling out of favor, newer characters like those from the prequels and the Clone Wars animated series continue to show up at our doors.

Star Wars merchandise
These look warm

Star Wars merchandise has stretched from one end of the spectrum to the other. From the cool and creative to the . . . downright terrifying, it seems possible to make your entire house a repository of Star Wars items. What’s your favorite piece of Star Wars merchandise?

Han and Chewie verses the Fetts

Here at Official Star Wars Costumes, we like to ask the tough questions. Not everyone has the courage to ask who would win in a fight between Han Solo and Chewbacca verses Boba and Jango Fett. But we do!

We’re going to overlook the silly questions like “why is Jango Fett alive?” or “how are Boba and Jango wearing the same armor?” or “why doesn’t Chewbacca have to wear pants?” Instead, we’re going to jump right in with a look at what each combatant has to offer, and how they’ll stack up in a no-holds barred two on two fight.

Han and Chewie
Han and Chewie

Han Solo:

While not force-sensitive, Han has spent enough time around force users to become attuned, and he is far from helpless. His unorthodox solutions to difficult problems have frustrated many enemies. His supranatural luck, skill with a blaster, and piloting ability have all served him in dire times. He is also ambidextrous.

Chewbacca:

This giant wookie’s obvious advantage is his great strength, but that strength hides many other aspects. He is an accomplished tactician, having lead Wookies against Separatist forces during the Clone War, and is a master at the game dejarik. He is a superior shot with his bowcaster, and his teamwork with Han Solo has led to the defeat of many of their opponents.

Boba Fett:

Despite having a high-tech arsenal, Boba Fett never let himself become dependent on it. He had access to considerable weaponry, and was a skilled marksman and unarmed combatant. With a jetpack and anti-vehicle weapon, carbine rifle, sidearms, mini concussion rocket launcher, and much more, Fett’s full armament is known only to him.

Jango Fett:

The Fetts
Boba and Jango Fett: http://www.iamfatterthanyou.com/2012/06/star-wars-boba-fett-jango-generations-paper-giclee-print/

While very similar to his son, Jango Fett has several changes in his suit such as Kamino Saberdarts, a flame thrower, and a wrist laser. He also had several different systems in his suit such as sonic beam weapons, boot spikes, and electromagnetic devices in his gloves, allowing him to attract his guns from short distances.

The Battle:

Meeting on an even field of battle would still leave the Fetts with an advantage due to their advanced mobility. However, Han and Chewie can be quickly expected to find ample cover. Both teams will try to outsmart the other, but both will find it difficult or impossible. Out-and-out combat will suit the Fetts more, while stealthy tactics would give Han and Chewie a chance to sneak up on them.

Without a doubt, the battle would be furious. The Fetts would try to overpower Han and Chewie; Han and Chewie would most likely need to find a way to defeat the Fetts that utilized more than just the weapons they had with them.

Who do you think would win this battle between Star Wars titans? Let us know in the comments!

Mace Windu Character Corner

Let’s talk about Mace Windu. This powerful warrior and wise leader is one of the strongest Jedi in its history, and today we’ll take a look at his history, and behind-the-scenes information.

Mace Windu
I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of how cool I am

History

Born seventy-two years BBY (Before Battle of Yavin) on the planet Haruun Kal, Mace Windu brought to the Jedi temple at the standard age of six months. At an early age, he developed the strange Shatterpoint ability, able to see how he would affect future actions, as well as the vulnerabilities of opponents. He traveled to the planet of Hurikane to create his distinctive purple lightsaber. Before becoming a Jedi Master, he went on many missions and trained several force-adepts as Jedi.

Prodigious in the force, Windu became a Jedi Master at the age of twenty-eight. He would eventually rise to become Master of the Order, making him the leader of the Jedi Council. He was only behind Yoda in rank.

Windu would stay active while on the council, leading diplomatic and peace-keeping missions, including ones to Yinchorr, Malastare, tracked and killed murderers, dealt with revolutions and civil wars alike, dealt with terrorists on Coruscant, as well as adding to the great reservoir of Jedi teachings. He also developed a new style of lightsaber fighting, Vaapad, to help make his weakness to the dark side a valid strength.

During the invasion of Naboo, Windu first met Anakin, voting not to train him due to his age and uncertain future. After Qui-Gon Jinn’s death, Windu and the other masters appointed Obi-Wan Kenobi to train Skywalker.

Mace Windu was present at the first battle of the Clone Wars on Geonosis, fighting and killing Jango Fett. Like all the Jedi, Windu was busy during the Clone Wars, acting as high Jedi General. He encountered his old friend Sora Bulq, who was a Jedi against involvement in the war, but who was tricked into fighting Windu by Asajj Ventress. Bulq revealed he was a confederate agent, and had fallen to the dark side, and Windu killed him.

Windu battled on many worlds, including Simocadia, Haruun Kal, Ryloth, Juma 9, and many others. Near the end of the war, Windu and other council members detected a dark side influence around Chancellor Palpatine. They saw him turning into a dictator, and did not trust him to return his emergency powers. When Windu was told by Anakin Skywalker that Palpatine was actually the Sith Master behind the Clone Wars, Windu resolved to arrest him.

Windu and three others attempted to arrest Palpatine, but were forced into a battle with the Chancellor instead. Windu was the only one who survived the initial charge, and a furious battle followed. Windu overpowered the Chancellor, but Skywalker intervened and gave Palpatine the opportunity to kill Windu.

Behind the Scenes

Mace Windu was originally from the thirteen-page treatment that George Lucas wrote for Star Wars, though entirely different from how he is in the movies.

Samuel L. Jackson, who portrays Windu in the movies, strived to add his own originality to the character, asking to have a purple lightsaber (purple is Jackson’s favorite color, and likes to have an item of that color in each movie he’s in), keeping his head bald, and asking that, for Episode III, Mace Windu “Not die like some punk.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Star Wars character corner, and will come back here for more fun Star Wars information and trivia.

Explaining the Slave Leia Outfit’s Popularity

What happens when you combine Carrie Fisher, a crime lord, and an outfit inspired by Frank Frazetta?Slave Leia

It’s one of the most famous moments from Star Wars, and remains an enduring pop culture reference. But why? The obvious reason, of course, is that it’s attractive, but could there be a deeper reason? Let’s discuss:

One of the things someone might notice is when the “Slave Leia” costume began to appear in popular culture. Appearances includes Family Guy, World of Warcraft, Bring Back . . . Star Wars, Chuck, Fanboys, and perhaps most famously, Friends. All of these appearances have several things in common: the age of the intended audience.

In Chuck, Sarah Walker wears the Slave Leia outfit for the titular Chuck, much to the delight of him and other male characters. Chuck, as stated in the show, is in his mid-twenties when the show begins in 2007, which would have made him a child when The Return of the Jedi came out in theaters. The character Ross Geller from Friends is an even better example, as he would have likely been a teenager when the movie came out. If the characters aren’t the target age, then the audience is (or, both). World of Warcraft, Robot Chicken Star Wars, Family Guy . . . the list goes on.

This is likely due to the fact that being both an exciting, action-packed film, and suitable for younger children, many of the actors, directors, writers, and producers – not to mention viewers – of the titles listed above are now people who may have viewed the Star Wars movies at a young age, as opposed to older men and women that saw it in their twenties or thirties.

Why, then, does viewing Slave Leia’s saucy outfit at a young age drive such an appreciation for the costume? It’s easy to determine: For many children of the era this is likely the first sexualized character they’ve seen, though Princess Leia does nothing more than wear the outfit. Due to its generally kid-friendly appeal, most parents would see nothing wrong with allowing their children to see the movies, even as young as six or seven, and while seeing the outfit may not have exactly jump-started viewer’s puberty, it is often discussed as the moment many male viewers began to realize there is something more to women – we’ll leave it at that.

So this poses the question: is the Slave Leia outfit enduring? Will she go the way of bombshells such as Farrah Fawcett, Linda Carter, and Betty Grable, female icons that are tied to a specific era? Will her look and effect spread farther or last longer, due to Star War’s intense and enduring popularity? It’s hard to tell. What do you think?