The Circle Is Now Complete

25-May-07 9:18 AM by
Filed under Star Wars; 4 comments.

At last, this is the day we've all been counting down to: the 30th anniversary of Star Wars. On May 25th, 1977, A New Hope debuted, forever changing the scape of film and American culture.

I don't remember Star Wars having ever been in the news this much — not even when the prequels were coming out. With the commemorative stamps coming out today, documentaries being filmed, and specials on television airing soon, it seems everyone has their minds on a galaxy far, far away. Here are some of the best Star Wars spotlights for you to observe today:

(more…)

Padawan Apparel

18-May-07 2:52 PM by
Filed under Star Wars; 2 comments.

A blog dedicated to t-shirts has a collection of the best Star Wars shirts ever, with links to the stores that sell them. Check them out — most of the designs are just this side of hilarious.

One has me confused, though. Is it some sort of Matrix reference?


That's no spoon

Attack of the Colonels

11-May-07 12:04 PM by
Filed under Humor, Star Wars, Television; 2 comments.

Though this is slightly older news, I recently encountered a geek who hadn't heard, so for those who still don't know about it, here's a PSA:

Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich are channeling their inner geeks with Robot Chicken: Star Wars, a special for Adult Swim.

The 30-minute stop-motion animation special, directed by Green, spoofs key scenes and favorite characters from the
Star Wars universe, including the sci-fi saga's creator, George Lucas. It was done in collaboration with Lucasfilm, and Lucas is on board to voice the animated version of himself.

Additionally,
Robot Chicken: Star Wars will feature Mark Hamill as the voice of Luke Skywalker in one sketch and a voice cast that includes Conan O'Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone.

The special… will premiere at 10 p.m. June 17 on Adult Swim, kicking off a best-of
Robot Chicken marathon that will feature reruns of the Star Wars special at the top of every hour.

Story continues at the Hollywood Reporter. Watch the trailer at StarWars.com. And for those of you attending Celebration IV, the Star Wars convention occurring May 24 – 28 in Los Angeles, see Seth Green on a writers' panel.

The Spaceport Tango

04-Apr-07 10:05 AM by
Filed under Star Wars; 5 comments.

I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, but thanks to TheForce.net, I got to see Joey Fantone and Princess Leia dance the tango to the Star Wars theme:

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Dark Lord of the Sith

29-Mar-07 12:44 PM by
Filed under Star Wars; 3 comments.

In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, the United States Postal Service will be releasing 15 Star Wars postage stamps. You can vote for your favorite stamp and play a Star Wars/USPS trivia game to win a trip to Celebration IV Star Wars convention.

This is all in addition to the R2-D2 mailboxes that were rolled out two weeks ago. There are only 320 such droids throughout the country:

USPS Jedimaster

Here's the full gallery of the above mailbox, found in Framingham, Mass.

Revenge of the Nerds

28-Mar-07 9:05 AM by
Filed under Star Wars; 1 comment.

There's a new trailer for Heart of an Empire, a documentary about the Fighting 501st, an international club whose only membership requirement is that you have a Star Wars film-quality Imperial costume, from stormtrooper to Darth Vader. As far as I can tell, these costumes are not sold anywhere, nor are instructions for their manufacture provided by the group; you need to be both a hardcore Star Wars fan AND a talented costumer. The movie looks like a lot of fun, showing the group's diverse aspects. I was especially touched to see stormtroopers participating in one of my favorite charity events.

But I was surprised and angered by what this documentary reveals of the public's perception to such dedicated fans: televised newscasters openly mocking the 501st as single, lonely geeks and nerds. I thought such juvenile behavior was the province of schoolyard bullies. Of course these stormtroopers are single, if such vapid, condescending ignorami are the only available bounties. But we can do better, as exemplified in this recent Vegas Popular article (which is actually meant to delineate why Star Trek is better than Star Wars, but I see little distinction between the two fan groups):

The devotion of Trekkers is an easy target for derision, but I would argue that you'll find a much higher average IQ level among Star Trek fans… And if they take the series' philosophy to heart, they're probably treating each other with kindness and tolerance and making the world a better place.

If you're going to be dedicated, might as well indulge: Heart of the Empire isn't the only Star Wars documentary. There's 5/25/77, which celebrates the release of A New Hope, the 30th anniversary of which looms. There's also The Force Among Us, which recently released a trailer (if a ten-minute video can be called such) featuring a montage of interviews with assorted Warsies. All these films seem to be this universe's take on the Trekkies documentary.

And not a documentary, but no less cool: Star Wars USB drives. Represent!

A Long Time Ago…

14-Mar-07 12:33 PM by
Filed under Star Wars; Comments Off on A Long Time Ago…

Today, March 14th, marks the tenth anniversary of the theatrical release of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Special Edition, the last in a series of re-releases that cleaned up the presentation of the twenty-year-old trilogy. The Special Edition did more than just modernize the three films' special effects, though (and I don't mean making Greedo shoot first). Before 1997, an entire generation had experienced Star Wars the only way it'd been possible: on the TV screen. Reinstating the story to the medium in which it was meant to be delivered — the big screen — gave millions of fans the opportunity to be reminded why they were drawn to this saga in the first place.

Read the rest of this entry at Computerworld.com »

Spoof of Life

06-Mar-07 2:06 PM by
Filed under Films, Humor, Star Wars; 1 comment.

There's nothing like a good spoof — and most of the parodies I see are nothing like a good spoof.

Originality is a key factor. Star Wars parodies abound, and wading through the morass takes some effort. (Just look at the search results in YouTube.) But be it in Star Wars or elsewhere, there are two rarely-exploited formats of spoof that, when done well, realize great potential.

One approach is to portray a film as a genre other than its own. George Lucas' universe is effectively seen from the perspective of a Cops television show in the legendary fan film TROOPS. This same concept can turn the cult classic Office Space (imagine a live-action Dilbert) into a horror film:

The other parody format is a mash-up of two films that have no rights being amalgamated, which Star Wars accomplishes with Tie-Tanic. Elsewhere, this technique combines two Ben Affleck films into one continuous reality. Though it was funnier and more relevant five years ago when its source material was fresh, Pearlmageddon is still exemplary of such humorous fusions:

There are plenty of other examples of these methods out there; look for The Shining as a romantic comedy, or a sequel to Titanic that takes elements from Awakenings and The Fugitive.

What are some of your favorite spoofs, either fan-made or official? (And did you find the Easter Egg [and yes, that's a hint!] in the links above?)