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The inaugural runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is complete and thousands of runners from around the world have crossed the finish line in three amazing races through the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. After all of my own training, it was finally time to put my running skills to the test. But for all my preparation, I never expected what happened to me on the course this weekend.

cole_runs

When I started this fitness journey a month and a half ago, I hadn’t run in years. I was out of shape, uninspired, and unfocused. Star Wars was the only thing in this galaxy that could interest me in running, but I was still uncertain how I would fare. When I took up the challenge of running the 5k and 10k races, I was simply hoping to finish, not looking to be competitive. But I underestimated just how motivating a runDisney event could be.

The excitement of running through the Disneyland Resort, the Star Wars atmosphere at nearly every point along the way, and the crowds of cheering people made all the difference. I not only finished, but to my surprise I had the two best runs of my life, including a 10k finish among the top third of all runners.  To quote a surprised C-3PO, “I didn’t know I had it in me.”

My final 10K time was 1:14:23, well ahead of my target pace of 1:26. Somewhere around mile three, I realized that all of this training in the snow, all of the healthy eating, running through painful shin splints, flying to California, and getting up at 4 a.m. had all come down to these final three miles. With this in mind, I found the energy to run the second half of the race even faster than the first.

cole_horton_before_and_after

Cole Horton, before and after his training.

All of this running has paid off personal dividends as well. As you can tell in my before and after photos, I managed to not only shed about seven pounds, but gained an untold amount of muscle mass and tone. I’m breathing easier, sleeping better, and have more energy through the day. Most unlikely of all, I actually feel the urge to stay active and run…for fun.

The course was full of surprises. At points along the race, Star Wars characters were taking photos with runners. It was motivating to move into the next stage of each course and discover new surprises waiting. I was thrilled to hear the sound of Darth Vader breathing as we entered a tunnel along the race course. Star Wars music played throughout the course, sometimes in unexpected places; a favorite of mine was the Ewok theme in A Bug’s Land. Even Star Tours was open for a quick ride in the middle of the course.

Along the way, the course was filled with runners in Star Wars costumes. From simple T-shirts and tutus to amazing (and often awkward) creations, I loved the creativity shown by the runDisney community. It was inspiring to see people run great distances in these costumes, many running the half marathon or even multiple races in well-crafted costumes. A personal favorite were the running duo dressed as BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Their giant costumes actually spun as they weaved their way through the crowds in the 5k.

finish

The finish line celebration.

As a Star Wars fan, the whole event reminded me of Star Wars Weekends in Florida. After each race, you could walk through the parks and see other fans wearing Star Wars gear or their race medals. It was also nice to see friends that I otherwise wouldn’t see until Star Wars Celebration in April. The atmosphere around the resort made the days and evenings even more fun.

If you are a runner or just a fan looking for a reason to get healthy, I encourage you to take part in any of the upcoming runDisney races. No matter your experience or fitness level, these races are accessible to almost anyone. Whether you are young or old, big or small, a runner or a walker, there are thousands of other participants just like you. Most importantly, the races are built around a community of the most compassionate, positive, and encouraging people you will ever meet.

Rebel Pilots lend a hand to a fellow runner in need

Rebel pilots lend a hand to a fellow runner in need.

The second Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is already on the calendar for January 14-17, 2016. If you want to take part, be sure to sign up as soon as registration opens. These events sell out fast and now I understand why!

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Until the next runDisney Star Wars race, enjoy my gallery of favorite shots from the weekend (and view more at the official Star Wars flickr). And may the course be with you, always!

Let the Wookiee run

Let the Wookiee run

LEGO runners

LEGO runners

Tink Troopers!

Tink Troopers!

Stay on the leader...

Stay on the leader…

The 5k was a great family event

The 5k was a great family event

Teamwork

Teamwork

signs

That's no moon, that's an umbrella

That’s no moon, that’s an umbrella

Elsa Fett

Elsa Fett

finish_line

pilot_tutu

goofy_runner

Stay on target...

Stay on target…

skywalking_crew

A_Rebel

Cole Horton is a historian and pop culture geek featured on StarWars.com, Marvel.com, and at Star Wars Celebration. You can find him on Twitter @ColeHorton.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/rundisney-star-wars-the-trench-run-with-photos

School is back in session in a galaxy far, far away.

Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully, the third book in writer/artist Jeffrey Brown’s New York Times bestselling series, continues the story of middle-school life for a young Jedi — and StarWars.com has your first look at the cover!

Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully

Featuring Brown’s trademark cartoon-meets-storybook art style and humor, the cover finds that for all a Jedi’s powers, loose-leaf paper is still a great threat. In addition, there’s the pressure of having Yoda and a Zabrak for teachers! But who is the phantom bully…? Here’s the official summary of the upcoming book:

It’s hard to believe this is Roan’s last year at Jedi Academy. He’s been busier than ever learning to fly (and wash) starships, swimming in the Lake Country on Naboo, studying for the Jedi obstacle course exam, and tracking down dozens of vorpak clones — don’t ask. But now, someone is setting him up to get in trouble with everyone at school, including Yoda. If he doesn’t find out who it is, and fast, he may get kicked out of school! Why can’t middle school just be easy. . .

This incredible, original story captures all of the humor, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school — all told through one boy’s comics, journal entries, letters, sketches, e-mails, and more.

Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on Jedi Academy: The Phantom Bully!

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/jedi-academy-the-phantom-bully-by-jeffrey-brown-exclusive-cover-reveal

Attention Star Wars gamers: you now have reason to party, Ewok-style!

X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter on GOG.com

Disney Interactive and Lucasfilm announced today that the critically-acclaimed X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and several other classic games are coming to GOG.com — with many available digitally for the first time! Starting today, six fan-favorite titles — worthy of recognition in the Jedi Archives — strike back on GOG.com, including:

  • Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (digital distribution premiere)
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance (digital distribution premiere)
  • Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds (digital distribution premiere)
  • Star Wars Battlefront II
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

These releases complete the Star Wars: X-Wing series on GOG.com, allowing players to experience (or re-experience) one of the most loved and influential flight-simulator series of all time. Star Wars Battlefront II, Star Wars: Dark Forces, and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords show different but equally essential sides of Star Wars gaming, from first-person shooters to RPGs.

But this isn’t the end of classics on GOG.com. Other titles are set to return, more powerful than you can possibly imagine: GOG.com will release six more games from a galaxy far, far away for the next 10 days. This will be a day long remembered, indeed!

Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more of Star Wars gaming!

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/x-wing-vs-tie-fighter-and-more-strike-back-on-gog-com

Star Wars Rebels has established Kanan as a heroic — yet flawed — Jedi. He doubts himself, he loses his patience, and he struggles in his new role as a teacher to Ezra. An Order 66 survivor, he also seems haunted by his past; finally, that past will be explored in Marvel’s Kanan: The Last Padawan series, coming this April. And StarWars.com has an exclusive first look at young Kanan — then known as Caleb Dume — right from the sketchbook of series artist Pepe Larraz!

Kanan sketches by Pepe Larraz  Kanan sketches by Pepe Larraz

In these sketchbook pages, Larraz explores different outfits and facial expressions for the young Jedi — decidedly more innocent than the Kanan we know, but still with a bit of the cowboy Jedi’s trademark swagger — hinting at the man he will become. “Pepe leapt into this project so enthusiastically,” says Marvel’s Star Wars editor Jordan D. White, “with tons of ideas on how to depict young Kanan (a.k.a. Caleb) at various stages. Wait until you see this young Padawan in action. It’s truly awesome.”

Stay tuned to StarWars.com and Marvel.com for more on Kanan: The Last Padawan and all Star Wars comics!

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/your-first-look-at-kanan-the-padawan-exclusive

With months of training, costume making, and gearing up behind us, the day has finally come! As the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend kicks off, I’ve got a full report on the runDisney Health Fitness Expo and Wookiee Welcome live from the Disneyland Resort.

Let the Wookiee Win!

I let the Wookiee win!

This Expo is a three-day event where runners can find exclusive event merchandise, get tips from experts in the runDisney speaker series, and more. The Health Fitness Expo continues Friday, January 16, and Saturday, January 17. For hours and more, check out runDisney.com. Be sure to get there quick for the official merchandise; they’ve got gear for every type of runner or collector.

Official merchandise at the Expo

Official merchandise at the Expo.

The real highlight of the day was the Wookiee Welcome Party, a private event in the Disneyland Park. Runners had the chance to ride Tomorrowland attractions with fellow runDisney Star Wars fans and celebrate the start of the weekend. I had my fill of Wookiee Cookies and met fellow runners from all over the country. To top it all off, Star Wars and Disney characters were there for the occasion. I couldn’t pass up a photo with Chewbacca; After all, it was his party!

Chip the Ewok dances on the party stage.

Chip the Ewok dances on the party stage.

I’m off to face my own trials in the 5k and 10k races. If I pass my challenge,  I’ll be back at the end of the weekend with a full recap of events. For all of the runners out there: May the Force be with us!

Cole Horton is a historian and pop culture geek featured on StarWars.com, Marvel.com, and Star Wars Celebration. You can find him on Twitter @ColeHorton.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/rundisney-star-wars-a-wookiee-welcome

As a member of the (very small) social media team here at Lucasfilm, I have the honor of reading, responding to, laughing at, loving, and sharing all of your Star Wars conversations every day. Our fans are creative, passionate, funny, and very active across the Internet; every Friday, I’ll share my favorite social media posts from the week in the Social Scanner, so show me what you’ve got!

Reading @Marvel @StarWars #1 using @comixology on my iPad. It’s all about the experience.

A video posted by Louis Ghanem (@lgghanem) on Jan 14, 2015 at 1:35pm PST

Definitely one of the biggest topics of the week was the release of John Cassaday and Jason Aaron’s Star Wars #1. From reviews (yes, we read them) to release party photos, the tail end of the week was dominated by comic talk.

Some scenes from todays big Star Wars release party at the comic shop. Great day(very busy, non-stop traffic all day. Was barely off register, lol), got a very cool Obi Wan sketch,  the book is awesome. -

“Some scenes from today’s big Star Wars release party at the comic shop. Great day (very busy, non-stop traffic all day. Was barely off register, lol), got a very cool Obi Wan sketch, the book is awesome.” – More at TheSquirrelBoy on Tumblr

Yesterday @kyrimorut_clan represented the @mandalorianmercs club at the #starwars comic launch party and met John Morton. Now he’ll have a piece of kyrimorut forever. OYA #starwarslove #starwarsfan #mandalorian #bobafett

A photo posted by Kyrimorut Clan (@kyrimorut_clan) on Jan 15, 2015 at 9:45am PST

Hi, Dak!

The last two posts confirm: growing up is overrated.

The runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend starts today! Check back in the next Social Scanner for more highlights.

This week, we’ll wrap things up with some creative costuming. I must say. I see a lot of interesting costumes on my feeds, but definitely a first, this was.

Andi Gutierrez is the Star Wars social media correspondent and host of Rebels Recon. You can follow her on Twitter

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/social-scanner-january-16-2015

On the occasion of Marvel’s official re-entry into the Star Wars galaxy this week, I thought I’d share a handful of vintage Star Wars comic covers from around the world that may be new to many fans. While the content of these comics doesn’t veer too far from what was originally released in the US versions, they do contain the occasional editorial exclusive and pin-up sketched by a regional artist. Since the vast number of Marvel Star Wars comics reprinted throughout the world used variations of the US covers, these examples stand out for being totally original and, for the most part, exclusive to their region. Here are nine obscure covers I’m betting most Star Wars fans have never seen, and perhaps even a few experienced collectors —

Titans #56, Sept 1983 - Marvel Star Wars comicTitans #56, Sept 1983

This, ahem, unique cover for the 56th issue of France’s Titans comic showcases Chewbacca and Leia (yeah, that’s her) on speeder-bike-type vehicles complete with motorcycle-style handlebars and saddlebags. One of over two dozen unique Star Wars covers put out by Titans from 1979 to the mid-’80s, this one stands out for its charming retro sensibility and insufferable silliness.

Guerra de Las Galaxias #8, 1983 - Marvel Star Wars comicGuerra de Las Galaxias #8, 1983

This rare cover from Spain is actually a derivation of a similar US cover (#34) but done in a more painterly style to appeal to the region’s local consumers. Just one of a series of eight similarly-styled covers from Spain, a subsequent Spanish series by a different publisher would re-purpose the regular US covers.

La Guerre des Etoiles #7, July 1984 - Marvel Star Wars comicLa Guerre des Etoiles #7, July 1984

At first glance, this rare Star Wars comic from Canada appears to introduce a new dynamic duo into the Star Wars fold, or promote some kind of strange Star Wars/Marvel Universe cross-over storyline. Upon closer inspection, though, we see that this comic contains three separate Marvel stories, all under the Star Wars title. That’s Power-Man and Iron Fist staring out from beneath the “Three-In-One Star Wars” title, the only occurrence of a non-related image to appear on the cover of this obscure 10-issue run by Editions Heritage.

La Guerre des Etoiles, 1982 - Marvel Star Wars comic La Guerre des Etoiles, 1982

This unusual comic compilation pocket book, which in its US printing is already quite rare, is even more obscure under the French title. This 159-page book from France reprints four separate stories originally published in the British Star Wars Weekly comics, including one from an issue of the short-lived Pizzazz magazine. Aside from its provocative cover, where else are you going to find Leia’s blaster speaking French? (Actually, the blaster speaks the same language in the US version, too.)

UK Star Wars Annual, 1981 - Marvel Star Wars comicStar Wars Annual, 1981

Okay, some of you may have seen this one, but I couldn’t leave the somewhat obscure third Star Wars Annual from the UK out since I absolutely love this cover. Striking for its unusual choice of color palette (purples, greens, and oranges versus the more traditional Star Wars reds and blues), this hardcover publication collected several storylines within, presented in sharper detail and on brighter paper than the original comic books.

Spider-Man and Zoids, June 1986 - Marvel Star Wars comicSpider-Man and Zoids, June 1986

What, you never heard of the crossover comic that teamed Vader up with Spider-Man and Zoids? Actually, this UK issue of Star Wars comics, which began after the long-running Return of the Jedi Monthly series ended, was the first issue in a set of eight that reprinted stories from the US Star Wars Annual #3 (not to be confused with the UK hardcover above). This was the only issue of Spider-Man and Zoids to feature a Star Wars cover.

La Guerra de Las Galaxias #3, 1978 - Marvel Star Wars comic

La Guerra de Las Galaxias #4, 1978 - Marvel Star Wars comic La Guerra de Las Galaxias #3 4, 1978

This pair of oversize comic books from Chile is actually my favorite of the bunch. Like the oversize Star Wars Treasury comic books from the US, which reprinted the story from A New Hope in two large volumes, this unique pair split the second half of the film into two parts. While issues #1 and #2 of the Chilean set re-used the US Star Wars Treasury covers, these two gems are totally original, and clearly devised by the local publisher to squeeze two more issues out of the original A New Hope storyline.

foom coverFOOM, Spring 1978

While this doesn’t technically qualify as a Marvel Star Wars comic, it does qualify as a Marvel Star Wars comic cover (I chose my title carefully). FOOM was Marvel’s self-published fan magazine, and this amazing wrap-around cover for their 21st issue was done by “The New York Tribe,” a group which consisted of several artists contracted to Marvel who remain stubbornly anonymous. A stunning cover, and not known to many fans due to its off-the-grid status (click the image to view the full wrap-around cover).

Be sure to check out StarWars.com Blog contributor Mark Newbold’s ongoing series documenting the British Star Wars Monthly comics, which also feature many exclusive covers unique to the UK.

Pete Vilmur is currently a writer for Lucasfilm Publicity and worked previously for Lucas Digital Media, where he created content for Lucasfilm’s websites, blogs, and social networks. Pete co-authored two books with Steve Sansweet — The Star Wars Poster Book and The Star Wars Vault — and a third with Ryder Windham, The Complete Vader.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/9-marvel-star-wars-covers-youve-never-seen

The Star Wars saga has it all. Action, space battles, lightsabers, interesting characters. Everything. Fans discuss every aspect of the saga and channel their enthusiasm into blogs, fan films, podcasts, and crafts. I’m constantly surprised by what they do. I know, it’s a phrase I repeat again and again, but hey, that’s why this column exists.

I stumble across a lot of fan-fueled projects on social media, and I recently noticed photos popping up in my feeds from Star Wars in the Classroom. The images featured moments from the films, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels and shared a lesson or quote that connected to the scene. They weave Star Wars into education, and it extends beyond bite-sized lessons on social media. Wes Dodgens and Thomas Riddle run an entire website devoted to helping educators and fans teach and learn with Star Wars. I talked with Dodgens and Riddle about their project, examples of real world application, and the themes in Star Wars they find themselves continually referencing.

Star Wars in the Classroom

StarWars.com: Tell me a little about the history of Star Wars in the Classroom and your mission.

Wes Dodgens: Growing up a huge fan of the original trilogy, Star Wars was always a major part of my life. As I grew older and decided to pursue a degree in social studies education, I began to notice the many connections of our world to that of the Star Wars universe. During my first few years as a high school teacher, I would throw in Star Wars references here and there, but I stopped short of showing clips or the films themselves. My co-worker and future collaborator, Thomas Riddle, was the first to help me realize the potential of actually using Star Wars in the classroom.

On a fateful road trip to a professional development conference back in 2007, Thomas told me about a unit he had developed on teaching mythology through Star Wars. I was captivated and began looking for more ways to integrate Star Wars into my own curriculum. Since that time, I have used Star Wars wherever I can fit it into my content.

Our first collaboration, however, began with Indiana Jones due to a mutual and deep appreciation for the Young Indiana Jones series. In 2007, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was nearing its theatrical debut and the Young Indiana Jones series was approaching its long awaited DVD release. We decided to move forward with launching an educational website built around Indiana Jones. That initiative sparked a good bit of interest and got the attention of some folks at Lucasfilm.

Thomas Riddle: While I continued to teach with Indiana Jones, it was around 1995 that I began actively teaching with Star Wars as part of my World History classes. I found myself frequently making comparisons between the stories of the original trilogy and the history that I was teaching. Eventually, I formalized my loose references into a coherent curriculum called, Star Wars and the Hero’s Journey that involved teaching the entire original trilogy as part of a study of ancient world history. The students really enjoyed learning in this manner.

By 2012, Wes and I decided it was time to launch a Star Wars education initiative similar to our Indy one and that became Star Wars in the Classroom. The mission: to inspire transdisciplinary teaching and learning with the Star Wars saga.

Star Wars in the Classroom - Luke Skywalker / Joseph Campbell slide

StarWars.com: Can you give me an example of a time where you incorporated Star Wars in a lesson and a student gave you feedback about how it resonated with him or her?

Wes Dodgens: The most extensive way I use Star Wars in the classroom is in my World Wars elective course. Each year I show the prequel trilogy and have my students note and discuss the similarities between the rise of Palpatine to that of Adolf Hitler. Students also compare the Jedi purge to Hitler’s execution of SA leaders in the Night of the Long Knives.

Thomas Riddle: Perhaps the most impactful assignment that I gave to students required them to apply each stage of the Hero’s Journey to their own lives having analyzed all three films and comparing them to the mythologies of all the ancient civilizations that we studied. Who are your hero partners? Who is your wise and helpful guide? What is your magic talisman? What masks do you wear and why? What monster(s) do you combat? While answering these and other questions, my students would really bare their souls. For some, it would often seem cathartic. The writing that they did for this assignment was always the best of the year.

Two years ago, one of my former students, Richard, contacted me to wish me luck before I was to give a TEDx talk on “Imagineering Education.” He wanted to let me know how much he enjoyed my class and that he still tells his friends about learning mythology with Star Wars and having to apply that knowledge to his own life. I taught Richard in 1999 and he still remembers what he learned. Whenever I run into former students or hear from them on Facebook, they typically talk about all that they learned with Star Wars.

Star Wars in the Classroom - Sample history display for classroom

StarWars.com: How do you communicate lesson material to other educators? Do you have any idea how many teachers use or reference your work?

Wes Dodgens: Currently, our content is presented via our website, but we also utilize social media to promote educational uses of Star Wars. In the coming weeks we will be launching an online forum, The Rogues Ready Room, for educators wanting to learn more or share how they teach with Star Wars. We hope this forum will foster discussion and collaboration amongst teachers who wish to use or already use Star Wars in the classroom.

We are also excited to announce that we will be monthly guests on Coffee with Kenobi, an outstanding podcast co-hosted by fellow Rogue Dan Zehr. During our segment we’ll be discussing a wide range of topics related to Star Wars and education.

Thomas Riddle: As for the number of teachers who are using our work, well, we currently have 130 registered Rogues, from multiple countries. There are many more who we hear from that are taking our work and adapting it to their own classrooms. It’s really hard to determine the reach but we know that it appears to be growing rapidly.

StarWars.com: What are some themes in Star Wars you find yourselves continually referencing when you develop lessons?

Wes Dodgens: Although Star Wars lends itself to so many curriculums, I am most interested in how Star Wars was influenced by the World Wars. Of course, both World Wars are my favorite historical eras to teach, so it is only fitting that I place my focus there. During World War II the development of new military weapons and tactics, the failure of democracy and the threat of dictatorship, the dangers of appeasement, and the battle of good versus evil consumed the planet. We see these same themes mirrored throughout history and these concepts make numerous connections to Star Wars.

Thomas Riddle: We touch upon many themes, especially those around the mythology of the saga: love, friendship, redemption, heroism, selfless service, etc. We also try to promote the development of the creative capacity of students and help them discover their innate abilities and interests and use them for the benefit of themselves and others.

Star Wars in the Classroom - Star Wars Rebels' Tarkintown real-life connections

StarWars.com: What new opportunities for education have you developed based on Star Wars Rebels? Do you find it’s more relatable since it features young teenagers as part of the central cast?

Wes Dodgens: Star Wars Rebels has been fantastic and we recently launched our educational companion area Rebels: Connections. Each episode seems to lend itself to educational discussion and it’s wonderful having new, relevant content to take inspiration from. Some of the recent additions include comparisons between Tarkintown to the Hoovervilles of the United States’ Great Depression, whistleblowers like W. Mark Felt (a.k.a. Deep Throat) to Gall Trayvis who openly challenges Imperial tyranny, and the role nationalism plays in forging empires and unifying countries behind a common purpose.

Thomas Riddle: As for the series being more relatable, I think that, so far, it is providing fertile ground to explore issues that adolescents often face, such as trying to determine who they are as an individual and how they fit in with a larger group that may not necessarily be like themselves. They are also developing a sense of their responsibility in taking a stand for what they believe to be true and right. Stories such as the ones that we’re seeing in Rebels are a great way to introduce complex ideas to students and have them develop their thoughts around them.

Learn more about Star Wars in the Classroom at their website and keep up with bite-sized lessons at Twitter.

Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with all things Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. You can follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek and keep up with all things geeky at her blog.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/fully-operational-fandom-star-wars-in-the-classroom

If you’ve ever unwittingly muttered the word “awesome” while gazing at a premium Star Wars figure, there’s a good chance it was made by Sideshow Collectibles. The company’s highly-detailed, film-accurate figures are beautiful and, definitely very, very awesome. From likenesses (see Hoth-gear Han Solo, which looks uncannily like Harrison Ford, right down to his chin scar) to clothing (see the stitching on X-wing Luke’s outfit), they capture the look of iconic characters in amazing detail. And now, Sideshow’s done it with a certain blue-and-white astromech droid.

Sideshow’s R2-D2 Deluxe Sixth Scale Figure, now available for pre-order, is a lovingly-made tribute to the overweight glob of grease. Artoo appears fittingly grimy thanks to finely detailed paint apps, and features sequencing lights, a swiveling dome with hinged panels, and accessories from every film of the original trilogy — including, again, awesomely, the serving tray from his stint as Jabba’s waiter. StarWars.com caught up with Matt Bischof, Sideshow project manager, for some select insights into how they made this stunning version of the droid you’re looking for.

The figure sculpt drives the creative process. The first goal is to make a film-accurate collectible; Artoo’s wonderful toys come later. “We started off with a base model design which needed quite a bit of work to get closer to film accuracy,” says Bischof. “Artoo doesn’t change much through the original trilogy, so we wanted to create an Artoo figure whose features encompassed scenes from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. After getting the outer shell up to speed, we proceeded to add in the features we wanted it to have: the extendable instruments in the head, the panels opening, the tools, bar arm, and tray.”

Astromech lighting is a little harder in this galaxy. Artoo has more than retractable tools and bleeps and bloops in the films. Lights are a key part of his design and character, too, but adapting them to figure-form — without ruining the sculpt — was a challenge. “Lights were a mandatory feature for Artoo — he had to have them,” Bischof says. “We knew we didn’t want an obtrusive light switch on the body, so it was really cool that we were able to get a touch sensor after reviewing a bunch of different ideas. We wanted some type of movement in both of those displays and settled on a light sequence, which I think does a good job of providing movement.”

The accessories tell Artoo’s story. By including gadgets from all the original trilogy films, you get the details of Artoo’s journey that you can’t in a standalone figure. “The goal was to have this Artoo be able to display scenes from all three original trilogy films and to be able to showcase his travels and adventures,” explains Bischof. “Not only do the tools and accessories represent specific scenes from each film, so do the dome features — we included an illuminated holographic light port where Leia’s message was stored, the life form scanner and visual imaging scanner from The Empire Strikes Back, and the lightsaber launcher from Return of the Jedi.”

Research was extensive — and fun. The team worked hard to get every detail just right, using reference provided straight from Lucasfilm. “We repeatedly viewed the original trilogy, reference books, Artoo replica sites, and licensed reference imagery,” Bischof says. “There are a lot of details that you can’t pick up in the films, so we spent a lot of time blowing up images and screenshots to try and match the details as close as we could. We do have access to a lot of great reference imagery, which Lucasfilm has on hand.”

This figure even reproduces movie mistakes. As Artoo was a practical, hand-built prop, there were some oversights during filming. Sideshow has gone as far as to include these in the figure. “Due to inconsistency during filming, Artoo’s horseshoe-shaped shoulder panels are switched in different scenes,” explains Bischof. “We made these same panels removable so that they could be swapped between the two shoulders. I would imagine 98 percent of people wouldn’t notice or even care, but this feature is for those 2 percenters who might appreciate this subtle nod.”

Check out an unboxing gallery of R2-D2 below, featuring Sideshow’s Matt Bischof!

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Sideshow sixth scale R2-D2

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content writer, and spends his days writing stuff for and around StarWars.com. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/sideshow-collectibles-building-a-better-r2-d2

gonk droid

pit droid

mouse droid

buzz droid

commando droid

IG-RM thug droid

pilot droid

MagnaGuard

dwarf spider droid

droideka

sniper droid

commando droid

battle droid

Retail Caucus droid

super battle droid

police droid

sniper droid

battle droid

vulture droid

droideka

protocol droid

buzz droid

assassin droid

probe droid

WAC-47

IG-88

4-LOM

C-21 Highsinger

C-3PO

battle droid

super battle droid

IG-88

R2-D2

C1-10P

U9-C4

M5-BZ

R5-D4

R2-D2

Chopper

QT-KT

You know everything there is to know about droids. You understand their strengths, weaknesses, and would welcome one in your Jedi starfighter or X-wing.

You know droids’ basic features and skills, and could probably sell them to moisture farmers if you wanted to. But you have room for improvement!

You have a basic knowledge of droids — basically, you can turn battle droids on and off and that’s it. But that’s really all you need to know to invade a planet.

You don’t really know anything about droids, but if the chips (and the Sail Barge) were down, you could peck one’s eyes out.


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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-quiz-how-well-do-you-know-your-droids