Happy May the Fourth!

May the Fourth
May the Fourth be with you

Monday is May the Fourth, National Star Wars day. If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate (or a great way to look the part) look no further. Following will be a number of ways to enjoy the fourth of May – some serious, and some silly.

Watch the episodes – all of them

The classic, and probably most used, way to celebrate Star Wars day is to experience ever movie from start to finish. But this of course raises the natural question: what order to watch the movies in? Do you watch the original trilogy first, or prequel trilogy first? It’s an important decision! We recommend a different method, in this order: Episode IV, V, I, II, III, and ending with VI. You could even do it without Episode I. We explain in some greater detail here.

Hit the town with your friends in character

This won’t be for everyone – those a bit more outgoing will find it easier and probably more fun – but even those who think it strange might enjoy it. Get a group of friends, outfits, and go shopping. The mall is a great place for something like this, but there are loads of places where this would be fun, such as the park, movie theater, or museum.

A Star Wars-themed party

Easily integrate one of the above options with a Star Wars-themed gathering. Try out party games, trivia contests, a fashion show, Star Wars themed snacks, and more. It of course goes without saying that you’ll need some Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes or Max Rebo playing.

Raise funds to build a Death Star

A little door-to-dooring never hurt anybody! Whether you’re sincere about wanting a planet-smashing space station, or are just trying to get a laugh is something that both you and the people that answer the door will have to decide. Combine with costumes for the perfect outdoor activity!

There’s no end to the things that you can do to celebrate May the Fourth, just make sure you do it!

Anaheim Star Wars Celebration

SW Celebration Anaheim poster
SW Celebration Anaheim poster

Last week, the Star Wars Celebration was held in Anaheim from April 16-19, and no shortage of amazing news came with it. Not the least of this was the new Star Wars trailer, which we knew was going to be seen in front of the new Avengers movie, but was rumored to be leaked (in J.J. Abrams’ standard method of “accidentally” “leaking” trailers) prior to the movie. While not leaked, we still got to witness the wonder before expected.

Beyond this excitement, however, there’s more! From Anaheim we also saw the trailer for the new Star Wars Battlefront game, being developed by the Swedish EA developer DICE (Digital Illusions CE), the developer responsible for the Battlefield series of games, as well as a number of others. The trailer (here) was developed using the game’s engine, but does not show game play footage. The game, the third in a series, is slated for release on November 17th of 2015 in North America, and the twentieth of November in the U.K. Like the earlier games in the series, the game will give players the ability to battle on the side of the Empire or the Rebel alliance in battles that are both present in the movies (such as Hoth or Endor), as well as some not present in the movies for greater variety.

The final interesting piece of information was the revelation of details about Rogue One, the first of the Star Wars Anthology titles, which is currently expected to have four movies. Rogue One will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters and Godzilla) and is expected to be released December 16th, 2016. So far, only Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) has been cast. Due to similarities between the names Rogue One and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Disney made a deal with Paramount Pictures to not discuss Rogue One until fall of 2015; the lone exception was the Anaheim celebration. Little is known about the plot, but it has been revealed that it involves the mission to steal the original death star plans, sometime between Star Wars Rebels, and Episode IV.

Other smaller panels, and a special screening of four unreleased Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes, also took place. Thanks to this weekend-long event, there’s plenty of new info to keep us waiting with bated breath. We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick rundown of Anaheim; come back often for more fun movie and fan information!

Grand Admiral Thrawn Character Corner

Grand Admiral Thrawn
Grand Admiral Thrawn

The Galactic Empire had no shortage of brilliant commanders and leaders, but one name stands above the rest. He is Mitth’raw’nuruodo, better known . . . as Thrawn. This Chiss tactician nearly destroyed the New Republic years after Emperor Palpatine died, and was close to returning the Empire to its previous stature before his death. Thrawn first appeared in the Star Wars novel Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, the first book of the Thrawn trilogy. In this Character Corner we’ll show you the history – and bloody end – of this Imperial warlord.

History:

Born as a commoner, Thrawn was deemed a worthy adoptee of one of the Chiss ruling families, the Mitth, and gained ranks quickly in the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force. At twenty-seven years before the battle of Yavin, Thrawn became the youngest force commander of the Expansionary fleet ever. Soon he would come in contact with a starship sent by the galactic republic to explore unknown space, including the zone of the galaxy where the Chiss battled the aliens that would later be known as the Yuuzhan Vong. Thrawn was put into contact with Darth Sidious, and destroyed the Republic’s ship.

Some years later, after Sidious emerged as Palpatine and began his rule of the new Galactic Empire, Thrawn engineered his own downfall in order to leave the Chiss force and join Palpatine. Despite the Empire’s anti-alien agenda, Thrawn quickly gained a command rank thanks to an innate tactical genius, though he would not become a high-ranking office until after the Battle of Yavin. During much of his time, he would secretly explore the Unknown Region of space, establishing a military state called the Empire of the Hand and a secret base named the Hand of Thrawn.

Made Grand Admiral in 2 ABY, Thrawn spent most of that period on Coruscant, dealing with the politics of the position. He feigned defeat by Palpatine in political posturing to continue both of their goals of exploring the unknown parts of the galaxy. He would return there several times, but shortly after he left for his last trip, Palpatine was defeated at the Battle of Endor.

Four years later, Thrawn returned to the known galaxy with an intention to destroy the New Republic and waged a final campaign to that end. Utilizing brilliant fleet tactics, elite clone warriors, and victory after victory, pushed the New Republic back and seemed unstoppable. He was ultimately betrayed by his previously-loyal bodyguard Rukh, when Rukh found that Thrawn was the one who machinated the oppression of the Noghri planet and people, of which Rukh is one. Zahn had a clone created that would take his place, but it was destroyed while still incubating.

Behind the Scenes:

Timothy Zahn’s trilogy marked a new era in the expanded universe. Zahn has said that several real-life characters were combined, such as Erwin Rommel, Robert E. Lee, and even Sherlock Holmes. Zahn has said that he would be willing to create another clone if the desire was there. It was even suspected early in Episode VII’s development that Thrawn would be the new trilogy’s villain, but this has clearly been disproved.

Thrawn and Palpatine
Thrawn and Palpatine

We hope you’ve enjoyed the information about this Expanded Universe character. Come back next week for more cool information!

Episode VII trailer #2, Digital Download

Episode VII
Episode VII

This week, more information about an upcoming Episode VII trailer and today, Friday the tenth of April 2015, the six Star Wars films are now available for digital purchase and download. From retailers such as Xbox, Playstation, iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu, with some taking pre-orders of the full set or individual movies. They movies are still the special edition, but come packaged with extensive extra features, including featurettes for each movie, conversations between contributors about things such as special effects, props, and discarded ideas, deleted scenes, and more. To add to this excitement, information about the next Episode VII trailer has been released – though it is unsure how accurate this information is. We know this: The next trailer will first be seen before the upcoming Avengers movie, released May first. However, two groups have come forward with differing information about the trailer.

The earlier version, as reported by Umberto Gonzalez of Latino Review (a publication well-known for breaking leaks). Includes a voice-over by a character thought to be played by Lupita Nyong’o, a cloaked Luke Skywalker, a shot of Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) and a blue alien as Finn ignites a green lightsaber. A large city, TIE fighter zoom shots, established characters like Han, Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2, and another voice-over by who is thought to be Andy Serkis, as well as a few other shots.

This information is contradicted by a new source, Making Star Wars. This version of the new Episode VII trailer is less detailed, but still gives us a run down. Shots include: the planet Yavin, Finn with a blue lightsaber, a shot of Captain Phasma the chrome stormtrooper, Kylo Ren’s helmeted face, multiple shots of the characters in a base, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader’s helmet sitting on a podium, and a number of short shots of TIE fighters or X-Wings. No Nyong’o, Serkis, or Luke is present/heard. Making Star Wars has been derided as a rumor mill without substance, but it’s clear we won’t know the truth until we see the trailer for ourselves.

J.J. Abrams has locked down any information coming from the production and filming of Episode VII, but his personal history means we may see an intended leak in the future. We’ll be waiting.

April Fools Star Wars Pranks

April Fools Star Wars
I’m sure this turned out fine

April Fools has come and gone, and pranks have been pulled with gusto. Did you get pranked? That’s okay, so did we. The Superhero FB page replaced all of the crème filling in our Oreos with toothpaste. We have minty fresh breath and a new outlook on April fools pranks, and it got us thinking about how Star Wars characters would celebrate this esteemed holiday:

A few Ewoks would probably have the bright idea of dressing up as Chewie, and attempt to go out to save the galaxy with Han and Luke. Most likely, this will end up with Han and Luke in an imperial cell, three Ewoks trapped in a rapidly-closing trash compactor, and a very angry Chewbacca hanging from a trap in an Endor tree.

We also think we know what the rebel forces would do. When attacked by stormtroopers, with lasers flying everywhere, rebel fighters will shout out “I’m hit!” or “Oh no, you got me!” and fall to the floor, defeated. Then, when the stormtroopers come to count their fresh kills, the rebels jump up and, armed with silly string and/or water balloons, show them what real marksmanship is like! Many laughs are had.

Darth Vader, legendary joker that he is, has been waiting for this day all year. The entire Death Star waits with baited breath to find out what the Sith Lord’s day has in store for them. It’s too bad that April Fools just happened to be the day the Millennium Falcon arrived. Everybody entered, expecting a great prank, instead find an “empty” cargo hauler. Many are confused and surprised at the interesting lack of prank, until they find a trio of Ewoks stuck in a trash compactor.

What other April Fools pranks could the Star Wars characters pull? What great Star-Wars themed pranks can you think of? Leave a comment and let us know!