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The last time we saw the Emperor’s “little green friend” in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he was traveling to Force planets, encountering evil spectres of ancient Sith, and unlocking the path to immortality. Not a bad bit of work! But there’s no rest for a Jedi Master, as we’ll soon see on Star Wars Rebels.

As reported on TVGuide.com, Yoda will be featured in the upcoming “Path of the Jedi” episode. Since Star Wars Rebels is set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, this point in the timeline finds Yoda in hiding on Dagboah after the decimation of the Jedi Order. In the episode, he’ll appear only in the form of his disembodied voice — provided by Frank Oz, who voiced the Jedi Master in five Star Wars films and operated the original puppet in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi — communing with Kanan and Ezra. “I felt personally to keep Yoda as this disembodied thing it would confuse the audience less,” executive producer Dave Filoni told TVGuide.com. “I didn’t want you to think Yoda could be teleporting from planet to planet.”

“Path of the Jedi” will air Monday, January 5 at 9/8 CT on Disney XD, and will be available on the Watch Disney XD app beginning Monday, December 29.

Very, very awesome, this is.

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

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/yoda-frank-oz-return-in-star-wars-rebels

Life Day has come and gone (and we hope you had a great one), but the holiday season isn’t over! To quote everyone’s favorite boots-wearing, magical, bearded old man — Count Dooku — “This is just the beginning!”

StarWars.com has always been active around the holidays, with videos, blogs, and crafts to help celebrate the season. So, just like getting the decorations out of the attic, we’re going into the archives for some of our best content that only comes once a year. Check them out below and enjoy!

VIDEOS

The Rose Bowl Star Wars Spectacular Highlights

BLOGS

Holiday Traditions, Star Wars-Style by Amy Ratcliffe

Who’s Who in the Star Wars Holiday Special Cantina by Tim Veekhoven and Kevin Beentjes

Star Wars, Christmas, and Droidels! by Steve Sansweet

The Best Holidays and Celebrations in the Galaxy…and Empire Day, Too by Tim Veekhoven and Kevin Beentjes

Christmas Troopers: A Little Naughty, Mostly Nice by Albin Johnson

Christmas in the Stars (the Star Wars Christmas Album) by Steve Sansweet

Marching with the Maker: A 501st Legion Reflection by Albin Johnson

The Sears Wish Book and Star Wars Toys’ Real Value by Brad Ricca

Star Wars in the UK: 1977, the First Star Wars Christmas by Mark Newbold

A Bowl Full of Hutt by Katie Cook

CRAFTS

DIY Wookiee Life Day Wreaths by Amy Ratcliffe

How to Make a Wampa Cave Shadow Box by Jennifer Landa

DIY Winter Star Wars Sun Jars by Tessa Braun

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

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/ghosts-of-star-wars-holiday-blogs-past

Bespin Boba (a.k.a. Dak) most recently joined two other Fetts, Daniel Logan and Dickey Beer, for another billed Boba Fett Reunion. Fans will recall the Fett tradition started at Celebration Europe II in Essen, Germany, that was capped by five Fett’s performing a Maori haka onstage with Warwick Davis before 7,000 ecstatic fans. This September’s three-Fett reunion was during the 2014 Cincinnati Comic Expo at the Duke Energy Convention Center. The highpoint was a rollicking Reunion Panel before a full house on day three of the con, captured by an Expo video that the organizers have just posted on YouTube.

Followers of Jedi News may have read Dak’s report of the panel highlight: Dickey Beer’s reveal that Princess Leia literally saved his life during shooting of Return of the Jedi’s Sarlacc Pit battle scene.

Attendees — and his fellow panelists — were stunned to hear that Slave Leia laid on him the kiss of life…for real.

Featuring a host of Star Wars fans, the Cincinnati event was one of the most hospitable we’ve encountered. A welcoming spirit permeated the exhibit hall throughout the weekend. Outside the Duke Center, Downtown Cincinnati was in the midst of its Oktoberfest, and the nearby Fountain Square hosted a lot of Old World cosplay with Bavarian schuhplattler (slap dancing) and polka bands leading sing-a-longs of “Schnitzelbank.” Ja, a frothy gemütlichkeit was flowing through the Force.

Lifelong Cincinnatian and comics collector Andrew Satterfield founded the con in 2010 and is its director. His first Expo took place in the concourse of the Cintas Center at Xavier University. The following year, Satterfield moved it to the Duke Center. This year, he had worked with the 501st to create a Star Wars Zone complete with a Dewback.

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We three Fetts sat together in the Zone and were swamped by fans and innumerable Star Wars cosplayers. Note the land-line service adjacent to the Zone was little use to these two members of the Legion and 501st. ET isn’t the only one who can’t phone home.

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Ubiquitous at the con was Comic Book Central’s producer and host Joe Stuber who did a recorded interview of Dickey and Dak plus other con guests for his podcast. Dak’s daughter Emily snapped evidence of Daniel and Dickey with Ada, Ohio, video-gamer Courtney Walland.

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Indeed, Dak too was ever on the lookout for a uniquely catching interview. He couldn’t resist recording this shoulder tattoo below that captures the yin and yang aspects of the balance in the Force.

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Here modeling is the 23-year-old Emily Hannon, a Slave Leia cosplayer who is by day an administrative assistant at Transamerica Financial Advisors. “When I’m not at work,” she told Dak, “I’m reading science fiction, playing video games, or studying to obtain my life insurance license at my home in Fairfield, Ohio.”  Emily attends comic and gaming conventions through the year with her fiance, Anthony Johnson. “We cosplay as Mandalorian Johan Kordav and Slave Leia, Brock and Misty from Pokemon, Hobbits from The LOTR [The Lord of the Rings], and aspire for more. I’m interested in creating custom Mandalorian armor to join my soon-to-be husband in the Mandalorian Mercs.”

The Mercs were very much in evidence at Cincy. Bespin Boba’s clan, the Blue Moon Clan of Kentucky, was there supporting their hosts, Ohio’s Rancor Clan. With them was with his fave Merc, the beasthunter Skanah Dala (Abbie Rich), who is here below sitting on her speed racer.

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These fantastically committed Mercs gave us Fetts a huge welcome.

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Their booth was next to the equally welcoming Shadow Squadron of the Great Lakes Base/Rebel Legion and the 501st Ohio Garrison.

At the far end of the hall, was a large area that housed the Ohio Kentucky Indiana LEGO User’s Group (OKI LUG), one of Satterfield’s partner organizations. Its founder and current president is Rodney Dicus, a Lego artist, by day a firefighter/paramedic who also serves as a fire chaplain. Like the Expo, OKI LUG dates from 2010. The group is based in Florence, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. Dak was particularly taken with one LEGO construct that returned him to the scene of his demise at Hoth.

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Folks came to Cincinnati from afar. One cute little Ewok who came to our table was there with her mom and hailed from Cartersville, Georgia, an hour northwest of Atlanta.

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Her dad, Chris Bern, was running a booth for an outfit called Fans for Christ. Bern, a pastor and sometime stormtrooper, is one of the founders and also the current director of the fan group that serves as a ministry for Christians who are fans of Star Wars, comics, anime, steampunk, and Goth culture, sci-fi, and fantasy. Membership includes folks that cosplay, do gaming and roleplay gaming and attend conventions, renaissance fairs and gatherings of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) that recreates the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe.

Further down the aisle was the Cinematic for the People (CFTP) booth that was featuring a locally produced DVD inspired by Star Wars called Star Odyssey. Founded in 1999 by Cincinnati radio DJ and videographer Jim Hanson and multimedia designer Mike Dellheim, CFTP is a home-made independent Internet-based television show and the riffing group. In 2003-06, Hanson and Dellheim kept the group going as a webcomic, before returning to video production.

Across the way was the Cincinnati Geek Meet table, hosted by cosplayers Karen and Peter. They are the ringleaders of a geek-oriented social club that numbers in the hundreds. The group is “about all things geek” and includes writers, artists, gamers, movie fans, cosplayers and musicians. The group was a testament to alternative Cincinnati scene that is a vibrant and creative corner of the Galaxy.

In sum, we Mandalorians had a most entertaining trip to Bountiful. And we’re next scheduled to reconvene on November 7-9 at the Shatterdome Con near Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia.

John appeared as Dak, Luke Skywalker’s back-seater in the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. He also appeared in the film substituting for Jeremy Bullloch as Boba Fett on Bespin when he utters his famous line to Darth Vader, “He’s no good to me dead.” Follow him on Twitter @tapcaf.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/boba-fett-reunions-its-getting-to-be-a-family-affairfor-clones

The Star Wars saga is the story about the Skywalker family and how their lives had an impact on an entire galaxy. This family connection also exists outside of the movies, with a lot of actors and crewmembers being related to each other. This holiday season we bring you and your family a look at these special bonds.

The Kenobi connection.

The Kenobi connection.

Probably the most well known family connection that exists, besides the Lucas family, is that of Denis Lawson, who played Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy and his nephew, Ewan McGregor.

Denis Lawson grew up in Crieff, a tiny provincial Scottish village, but realized that for his chosen career path of acting he had to leave his beloved town. After beginning with a small role on West End in the stage production of The Metamorphosis, his star rose quickly thanks to roles he played in the TV series Merchant of Venice and Rock Follies before landing the role of Wedge Antilles. He’s been busy in the 37 years since, appearing in too many series, movies, and theater productions to mention here now. In 2001 he returned to his role as Wedge to voice him for the Nintendo GameCube game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II — Rogue Leader.

His nephew Ewan McGregor grew up seeing the strange life his uncle lived and his first brush with acting came at the age of six (in 1977) when the young Ewan was given the chance to play David in a Sunday school production of the Bible story of David and Goliath. There was only one problem: Ewan could not read at that point. Still, he studied hard and managed to give away an impressive performance, with each line remembered word-perfect. The second significant event of his life would come a year later, when Star Wars premiered in the UK, starting his life-long fascination with acting and the Star Wars saga. His uncle would always be a guiding light for Ewan; Denis helped him prepare for his first big role as Private Hopper in the TV series Lipstick on Your Collar. Together they did a couple of stage and film productions together, with Denis directing his nephew. It wouldn’t be until 2011 that they starred together in a movie: Perfect Sense.

Talking about Ewan McGregor, our next family connection has to do with him, as well. Ewan’s stunt double for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith was Nash Edgerton. His brother is Joel, who played the younger incarnation of Uncle Owen as seen in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The elder of the brothers by a year, Nash is mostly known for his work as a director (among his credits are three music videos for Bob Dylan) and as a stuntman. Besides being the stunt double of Ewan, Nash worked on The Matrix trilogy and Superman Returns. His biggest starring role as an actor was Zero Dark Thirty. Joel Edgerton has done lots of work on and off stage, and besides the part of Uncle Owen, he is well-known for his role as William McGill in the Australian television series The Secret Life of Us, which got him noticed in the industry, leading to his international big break with Star Wars. Besides working together on Star Wars, the brothers worked together on several film projects, including the music video of Ben Lee’s 2002 single Something Borrowed, Something Blue in which Nash directed his brother.

The real-life Skywalkers.

The real-life Skywalkers.

When Obi-Wan Kenobi brings Anakin Skywalker’s newborn son to Uncle Owen in Revenge of the Sith, baby Luke (as well as baby Leia) was played Aidan Barton, the son of Revenge of the Sith editor Roger Barton. Roger Barton has worked as a film editor on many Hollywood productions ever since his first movie, James Cameron’s Titanic. The latest projects he worked on were Transformers: Age of Extinction and the upcoming Terminator: Genisys.

While we all know that Mark Hamill played Luke in the original trilogy, and returns to the role for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his son Nathan also appeared in the saga. In The Phantom Menace he played a minor character seen on Naboo, later identified as Rehtul Minnau. But the connection of Nathan to Star Wars does not end there. He was born in the middle of the film shoot for The Empire Strikes Back, early in the morning of the day that his father had to shoot the scene in which he drops from the weathervane and onto the exterior of the Millennium Falcon. Nathan also illustrated sketch cards for the Topps Star Wars Galaxy Series 4 trading card set that came out in 2009.

Original Trilogy connections.

Original trilogy connections.

With Billy Dee Williams’ expanded role for Return of the Jedi, it became apparent that they needed a body double to stand in during some of the more dangerous stunts. Billy Dee immediately turned to ask his son, with whom he often went to the gym, so he knew he was in shape for this tasking job. Corey, having spent quite some time on sets watching his father work, knew how tedious a job it could be so he was reluctant. Corey was also trying to finish some demos for his band, so when it turned out that it was possible for him to bring his close friend, Stephen Costantino, the band’s guitarist, Corey accepted. Stephen was put into the costume of a Gamorrean Guard, while Corey was standing in for his father. The shoot turned out to be a strain on many of the stunt men involved, with many of them getting injured. This led to Corey also donning the costume for Klaatu.

Ever since 1960, when Robert Watts started to work in the movie industry, he wanted to try and get his half-brother actor Jeremy Bulloch in a movie that he was working on. Despite Jeremy Bulloch having appeared in quite a few major productions, like a James Bond movie and two episodes of the British sci-fi classic TV series Doctor Who, it was not until 1979 that it finally happened. Working as an associate producer, Watts had to find someone who would fit in the costume of Boba Fett. He called his half-brother and told him that if the costume fit him, he had the role. When Jeremy Bulloch arrived and put on the costume, it fit him like a glove. George Lucas saw Bulloch as Boba and said, “You look fantastic.”, and thus, an iconic character of the saga was born.

More Original Trilogy connections.

More original trilogy connections.

The very first chronological family connection that exists behind the scenes must have been when producer Gary Kurtz brought his two daughters along with him to Tunisia to stand in as Jawas. Melissa and Tiffany L. Kurtz played these diminutive junk dealers in scenes like the purchase of the droids at the Lars Homestead, but also in the canyon where the Jawas captured R2-D2. Gary Kurtz’s wife at the time, Meredith, planned the wrap party for The Empire Strikes Back in 1979.

Jack Purvis played many characters throughout the saga, starting with the head Jawa who shoots R2-D2, the Cantina patron Kitik Keed’kak, and a gonk droid in A New Hope. He was also the chief Ugnaught, Ugloste, that freezes Han Solo in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back. For Return of the Jedi, he returned as an Ewok, Teebo, and his teenage daughter played the Ewok mother who holds the (very cute) Wokling.

Femi Taylor, a dancer, starred in the musical Cats before playing Oola in Return of the Jedi; her adoptive brother, Benedict, was seen in The Phantom Menace as the Naboo pilot Porro Dolphe (Bravo 2).

Prequel connections.

Prequel connections.

Like Gary Kurtz before him with A New Hope, Rick McCallum, the producer of the prequels, brought his daughter Olivia “Mousy” McCallum along to the sets of Revenge of the Sith, where she served as a set production assistant. She also played the Jedi character called Bene, seen killed by Darth Vader in the hologram recording that Obi-Wan Kenobi watches.

Husband and wife Hilton McRae and Lindsay Duncan are well-respected for their various acting roles on TV, film and theater, before and after Star Wars. Hilton McRae appeared in Return of the Jedi as the A-wing pilot Arvel Crynyd, who crashes into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor. Lindsay Duncan was the voice of TC-14 in The Phantom Menace.

Also seen in The Phantom Menace are the twin sisters, and models, Nifa and Nishan Hindes. They played An and Tann Gella, Sebulba’s masseuses.

Brothers Zac and Jesse Jensen originally worked as set carpenters and set up various departments for Attack of the Clones. Through the course of his work, Zac befriended Matt Sloan from the creature shop crew. While Sloan was going to play Plo Koon, he offered Zac the role of Kit Fisto. Zac then brought his brother Jesse in when he heard they were looking for someone to play Saesee Tiin.

More Prequel connections.

More prequel connections.

Fresh from starring in the movie Jingle All The Way, Jake Lloyd played 9-year old Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace. When filming the end ceremony in the UK, he brought his younger sister Madison with him, and she appears in the scene behind him. These days Jake is working behind the scenes as a freelance editor.

Anakin’s childhood friends also share relatives with people behind the scenes. Melee was played by Megan Udall and is the daughter of Jeanie Udall, the Unit Nurse for The Phantom Menace. Seek, as played by Oliver Walpole, is the son of set decorator Peter Walpole.

The son and daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, a longtime friend of George Lucas, appear together in The Phantom Menace. Sofia Coppola played the handmaiden Saché and her brother Roman appeared as the Naboo Security Forces corporal Cid Rushing.

Longtime fan of Star Wars Seth Green married his wife Clare Grant on the Skywalker Ranch grounds in 2010. The year before saw Seth’s debut as Todo 360 in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in which he would also voice the character Ion Papanoida, based on George Lucas’ son, Jett. His wife voiced the character Latts Razzi in The Clone Wars.

The Lucas family.

The Lucas family.

And we end this article with the man behind it all: George Lucas. It was not until Revenge of the Sith that would make his first on-screen cameo; his daughters and son can be seen in every Star Wars movie since the saga returned in 1999 with The Phantom Menace.

In The Phantom Menace, Amanda (the eldest of the siblings) was credited as Tyger for doing the voice of Tey How, the Neimoidian seen on the Trade Federation battleship. She also played Diva Funquita, standing next to Gardulla the Hutt during the Podrace. In Attack of the Clones, she appears during the Outlander Club scene as Adnama and in Revenge of the Sith she played senator Terr Taneel appearing in the background in a couple of scenes. In the Galaxies Opera House, she can be seen talking to a man in green clothing; this man is her husband, Jason Hallikainen, later identified in Star Wars Chronicles: The Prequels as the character Són Halliikeenovich. The Clone Wars character Che Amanwe Papanoida was based on her.

Katie Lucas played Amee in The Phantom Menace (although she was credited as Jenna Green), Lunae Minx, a purple skinned Twi’lek seen in the Outlander Club in Attack of the Clones, and also portrayed Chi Eekway Papanoida in Revenge of the Sith. She wrote 14 scripts for episodes of The Clone Wars, including the episodes surrounding the return of Darth Maul in “Brothers” and the episode “Sphere of Influence” featuring the Papanoida family.

While Jett Lucas did not appear in The Phantom Menace, he played a Jedi Padawan named Zett Jukassa in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. In Attack of the Clones, he asked Jocasta Nu for help, and in Revenge of the Sith, died at the hands of clone troopers. His name was also the inspiration for the last name of Dexter Jettster.

And there you have it — Star Wars is truly a story about families, both on the screen and behind the scenes.

Sander de Lange (Exar Xan) from the Netherlands worked on the Rogues Gallery feature in Star Wars Insider and has written the back-story for Niai Fieso through “What’s the Story?”. He is an editor for TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars Fanclub and an administrator for the Star Wars Sourcebooks page on Facebook Being born in Deventer, a city used to shoot the world-famous movie A Bridge Too Far, he always had a passion for shooting locations and tourism, in which he hopes to find a job.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-a-family-affair

Long before he was blowing up planets as commander of the Death Star, Grand Moff Tarkin was known as the Imperial Governor of the Outer Rim. One of Tarkin’s legacies was the forced relocation of citizens on the planet Lothal, where displaced people took refuge in a slum they called “Tarkintown.” A nod to the historic “Hoovervilles” made famous during the Great Depression, this location in Star Wars Rebels draws inspiration from the economic difficulties of the 1930s: an event that led to World War II.

In Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion, our heroes make a stop in a slum removed from the capital city of Lothal. There, they find hungry citizens displaced by the Empire who wanted their land. Left with almost nothing, the citizens of Tarkintown find temporary relief from the crew of the Ghost who share food stolen from the Imperials.

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Tarkintown, as seen in Spark of Rebellion.

After the stock market crash of 1929, the global economy took a downward turn that lasted over a decade. Massive unemployment, the failing banking system, and lost investments left many people homeless. The president at the time of the crash was Herbert Hoover, who was criticized for being out of touch with reality and not taking enough action in the wake of the crisis. The shantytowns and slums that popped up in cities across America were named to mock him.

Hoovervilles were an all too real location in the United States. Families from many walks of life moved into the clusters of shacks made of cardboard and other found materials that were forming across the nation. They filled New York’s Central Park and the riverside of Portland, Oregon. Seattle, Washington, had multiple Hoovervilles, full of out-of-work fishermen, loggers, and more. One of the largest was in St. Louis, Missouri, where 5,000 homeless gathered along the Mississippi River.

A Seattle Hooverville (King County Archive Photo)

A Seattle Hooverville (King County Archive Photo).

In the early days of the Great Depression, relief was sparse. American policymakers felt that private charity, not government intervention, was enough to support the unemployed masses. Like the residents of Tarkintown in Star Wars Rebels, charity from private individuals and organizations was what kept many people afloat in the early years of the depression in the United Sates.

Who wants free grub? Residents of Tarkintown rely on the charity of the rebels.

“Who wants free grub?” Residents of Tarkintown rely on the charity of the rebels.

The economic situation of the world in the decades leading to World War II was a major cause of the Second World War. Economic uncertainty around the world, and near economic collapse in some nations, was the catalyst for the political unrest, nationalism, and militarization that led to global conflict.

Ongoing economic hardship after World War I provided the perfect platform for Nazism to flourish in Germany. In Japan, the economic crash of 1929 led to a series of events that placed greater power in the hands of the military. By 1939, the Great Depression was a key reason why many Americans did not want to enter the war at all. In fact, one of the most vocal anti-war figures was the man who served as president during the economic crash: Herbert Hoover. An isolationist like many Americans, Hoover was famous for wanting to avoid what he called “foreign entanglements.” In the end, the attack on Pearl Harbor transformed America’s opinion of the war almost overnight, changing the course of history and the war.

In the end, the economic recovery fueled by the war ultimately led to the end of Hoovervilles in America. The last Hooverville was demolished in the early 1940s. Yet for millions of people around the world, slums and temporary residences remained a way of life. Bombed out cities, forced relocations, ethnic expulsions, and government internment forced millions from their homes, proving to be one of the ghastliest side effects of the war.

As an excited viewer of Star Wars Rebels, I’m curious to see what the future holds for Lothal and the residents of Tarkintown. Will they find relief? Will the Empire’s grasp only get worse? We’ll all just have to follow along to find out.

Cole Horton is an R2 builder and historian featured on StarWars.com and Marvel.com. You can find him on Twitter @ColeHorton.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/from-world-war-to-star-wars-tarkintown-and-hoovervilles

If you’re like me, you’ve maybe gotten some of your holiday shopping done by now, but not all of it. There are always those few last gifts you’re not sure of, a couple more people on your list. But if any of the stragglers on your list are people who like Star Wars (and we would hope they are), we have you covered in the world of publishing! Here are a few of our favorite things this season.

Our children’s editor Frank Parisi recommends three books with very different styles of art that are all nonetheless beautiful and essential to the stories they tell:

Adventures of Luke Skywalker Cover

Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker by Tony DiTerlizzi and Ralph McQuarrie is a beautiful book unlike anything we’ve done before. The original trilogy shines anew with the vibrant concept art of Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary Star Wars conceptual designer. The art accompanies New York Times bestselling author Tony DiTerlizzi’s thrilling retelling of the story of Luke Skywalker, from A New Hope to Return of the Jedi. Both children and adults will find much to appreciate in this lavishly illustrated volume.

A New Hero Picture Book

Star Wars Rebels: A New Hero by Pablo Hidalgo is another book featuring concept art, but this time from the talented team behind the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Ezra Bridger might not have much, but every day is an adventure when it comes to outwitting Imperial stormtroopers who have overrun his little corner of the galaxy’s Outer Rim. But the excitement of collecting trooper helmets and gadgets gets a little old when you’re all alone. And it’s nothing compared to what Ezra discovers when he meets the rebels and goes on board their ship, the Ghost, for his first-ever outer space adventure! But joining the rebels isn’t all fun and games. Ezra quickly realizes that his new friends need his help to take on the Empire just as much as he needs them to help him realize his true potential. Learn all about Ezra Bridger and the dedicated crew of the Ghost alongside beautiful Rebels artwork that you won’t find anywhere else.

Jedi Academy 2 CoverJedi Academy 2: Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown follows up the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Jedi Academy with another tale of Roan, the aspiring Jedi Knight who has to make it through middle school first! Year two sees Roan taking on pilot training, with less than stellar results. Feeling lost, Roan starts hanging out with the class bullies, who aren’t as bad as Roan thought they would be…or are they? 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.

Our nonfiction editor Jonathan Rinzler suggests two books that feature incredible works of art and one that appeals to the more…orderly side of things.

SW Costumes Jacket

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy by Brandon Alinger is an incredible book, and not just because my girl Princess Leia is on the cover. For the first time, we were given full access to the original costumes of Episodes IV, V, and VI, allowing them to be revealed in never-before-seen detail. In over 200 new costume photographs, sketches, and behind-the-scenes photos and notes, based on new interviews, fans will get a fresh perspective on the creation of the clothes and costume props that brought these much-loved characters to life. Just go take a look at it, okay? You’ll love it.

Posters Cover

Star Wars Art: Posters Limited Edition is another lavish book filled with breathtaking pieces of art. From Tom Jung’s iconic one-sheet for Episode IV to Roger Kastel’s Gone with the Wind-inspired painting for Episode V and beyond, Star Wars has enjoyed nearly four decades of poster art from some of the most renowned artists working in movies. The fifth book in the George Lucas-curated Star Wars Art series, Posters collects the best artwork from all six Star Wars films, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series, and limited-edition prints. What really sets this book apart is that the poster art is reproduced without text or logos, so you are free to appreciate the art purely for what it is.

imperial handbookStar Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide by Dan Wallace takes you deep into the world of the Empire. It provides a comprehensive overview of the Imperial war machine from coordination between the various military branches to Imperial battle tactics, mission reports, and equipment supply chains and its role within the Emperor’s long-term plan for galactic domination. Research stormtrooper specializations such as Incinerator stormtroopers and Lavatroopers. Memorize the four principles of the Imperial soldier and the Imperial Naval Code. Learn from the best by studying mission reports written by decorated officials. Get access to inside knowledge on the galaxy’s greatest threats and cutting edge technology. And it’s all housed in a protective case that opens with lights and sounds, making it a perfect conversation piece! Sure to liven up any boring holiday party.

Finally, here are my suggestions from the world of novels and comic books…

The Star Wars Deluxe Edition

The Star Wars deluxe edition by J.W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew collects the eight issues comprising the comic book series The Star Wars, based on George Lucas’ rough-draft script of a galaxy far, far away. Annikin Starkiller is the hero, Luke Skywalker is a wizened Jedi general, Han Solo is a big green alien, and Vader is a guy with a questionable helmet. This deluxe edition contains Issues #0-8 of The Star Wars saga, a portfolio of the comic covers, and an introduction by writer Jonathan Rinzler, all collected in three deluxe, foil-stamped, hardcover volumes, and enclosed in a clothbound clamshell box. This is a truly exquisite package that will be savored by anyone who loves Star Wars or art. And isn’t that pretty much everybody?

Tarkin Cover

Tarkin by James Luceno is an in-depth look at the one man who could get Darth Vader to stop choking a dude. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly…and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion. Under Tarkin’s guidance, a weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of rebellion will be brought to heel — by intimidation…or annihilation. Rich with vivid descriptions of Tarkin’s homeworld and plenty of high-stakes action, Tarkin is the perfect gift for the voracious Star Wars reader on your list.

Empire Striketh Back Cover

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: The Royal Imperial Boxed Set by Ian Doescher includes all three volumes in the original trilogy: Verily, A New Hope; The Empire Striketh Back; and The Jedi Doth Return. Also included is an 8-by-34-inch full-color poster illustrating the complete cast and company of this glorious production. It’s all packaged in a very attractive casing featuring all-new art from illustrator Nicolas Delort. A great gift for students, literary types, and people who like mash-ups. You know who you are.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-books-holiday-gift-guide

The Star Wars phenomenon had only been underway a few months when my dad received a postcard from Larry Cuba, creator of the animated Death Star plans as seen at the Rebel base on Yavin 4. It thanked people who helped him, both directly and along the way.

postcardMy father worked at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), in capacities including manager of the Space Flight Operations Facility, and as I learned, met Cuba sometime in the early ’70s. The ensuing story has been told to me many times over the years (and hasn’t changed), but here it is in my dad’s own words.

“Larry Cuba and another CalArts student, Gary Imhoff, made an early computer graphics film for a project for school. I had slipped them in many times to use the JPL computer without any official permission, so when the film was done they showed it to me and the programmers that had helped them. At the end it acknowledged the generous assistance of the Jet Propulsion Lab, and I said, ‘TAKE THAT OUT, JPL doesn’t know they allowed government-owned computers to be used.’

They replaced it with an acknowledgment of the programmers by name individually, and since my help was not technical, there was another screen that said ‘a special thanks to Mike Plesset,’ which made the viewer wonder just how ‘special’ I was to them.

Later, he got a job from Lucas to do a screen for the movie. He came to JPL to look at screens we used in mission control.* When he told me what it was for and described pilots manually hitting targets, I said that even current fighter plane firing was automated, not aimed by the pilot, because of the speeds, so futuristic ones would definitely be. He said, ‘Well this isn’t high-class science fiction.’ I said, ‘So they’ll be leaning out the window shooting at each other?’ And we laughed about it.

Boy were we wrong, it was the most successful science fiction film of all time by a long, long way.”

(A few years later I had a chance to meet Cuba myself at a party**. The release of The Empire Strikes Back was only a few months away, and I asked if he was working on it; he wasn’t. I also got to hear him describe the rigors of doing the Star Wars CG, which sometimes necessitated working in the middle of the night — whenever his system would work. I brought along my copy of The Art of Star Wars (I had recently gotten it for Christmas), which he autographed.)

–—

*”I don’t think Larry learned anything from the screens at JPL,” he added, “they just had numbers.”

**The party followed a screening of CG shorts, many of them JPL depictions of Jupiter but there was other material, too; one depicted a sleek, highly-maneuverable spaceship (which I found impressive and promising).

death star plans postcard

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/death-star-plans-are-in-the-main-computer-and-special-postcard

The Ghost crew from Star Wars Rebels has had a busy year, what with the start of a rebellion against the Empire, battling the evil Inquisitor, and meet-ups with the mysterious Fulcrum. They deserve a little break, no?

Yeah, we think they do. (Even Chopper.) So, StarWars.com is excited to report that the cast of Star Wars Rebels is coming to the biggest Star Wars party this side of Endor, Star Wars Celebration 2015, April 16-19 in Anaheim — and they’re bringing the premiere of Star Wars Rebels Season Two with them.

That’s right; fans attending Star Wars Celebration will witness the global debut of Season Two’s first episode (following an encore showing of Season One’s two-part finale), and Dave Filoni (executive producer, supervising director), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Kanan), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Steve Blum (Zeb), Taylor Gray (Ezra), and other special guests will take part in a panel discussion on the series. (And in the spirit of Fulcrum-style secrets, word is that they’ll also be showing exclusive sneak peeks of what’s to come in Season Two.) In the meantime, Star Wars Rebels returns on January 5 (9:00 p.m. ET/PT) on Disney XD with all-new episodes, and you can catch the entire series from the very beginning in a Star Wars Rebels Reloaded Marathon this weekend on Disney XD. Catch up, rewatch, and get ready for the premiere of Season Two at Celebration!

But that’s not all — we have enough Star Wars Celebration news to fill a spacecruiser.

The first information on collecting programming, perfect for collectors of all kinds — from those who like to dabble in the toy aisle every now and then, to the mint-on-card hardcore — is now available. Check out the following panels and events below:

Star Tots - Celebration 2015

Star Tots - Celebration 2015

Star Wars T-shirts were among the earliest promotional items and retail merchandise, and Star Wars clothing continues to be a primary way for fans to proclaim “The Force is strong in this one!” Todd and Duncan will cover a wide range of shirts, hats, belts, underwear, socks, shoes, and other clothing and accessories, focusing primarily on ’70s and ’80s items. See vintage advertising and family photos featuring vintage fandom in action! Tips on how to collect, display, and preserve.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-rebels-cast-confirmed-for-star-wars-celebration-2015

Eastenders. Z Cars. Crown Court. Crossroads. These words might mean less than nothing to some readers, but to UK Star Wars fans of a certain vintage they evoke some very specific memories. For the young eagle-eyed Star Wars fans of the ’70s and ’80s they were a treasure trove as a number of very familiar GFFA faces made appearances outside of their galactic selves.

With the original trilogy made here in the UK across a number of London studios including Ealing, Shepperton, and Elstree, the talent pool used was predominantly British. For George Lucas, this meant that the majority of his cast was largely unknown to American viewers — all the better to help immerse the audience into his space fantasy without unnecessary distaction — but for audiences here in Britain it was a very different story. Indeed, you could argue that to win over the UK public to the degree that it did was almost more impressive, as so many of the supporting cast were very familiar to the cross-generational audience.

I could write all day long about the many and various character actors seen across the seven films who are well known to UK fans in other shows — Milton Johns as Imperial Officer Bewill from The Empire Strikes Back, a.k.a. Corner Shop owner Brendan Scott in 32 episodes of Coronation Street, or Sheev Palpatine himself Ian McDiarmid in a 1979 episode of The Professionals. How about The Force Awakens actress Daisy Ridley in Silent Witness and Mister Selfridge or perhaps Bravo 5 from The Phantom Menace, Celie Imrie, better known as Miss Babs from Victoria Woods’ brilliant Acorn Antiques sketches. But I’ll focus on one scene in particular: the Death Star briefing room scene from A New Hope, where Vader makes his first iconic demonstration of the power of the Force by choking Admiral Motti in a scene the wider UK public know well, as it was parodied in an ad for Tunes throat lozenges back in the ’90s (“they come in three fruity flavors”).

Eight characters populate the scene: Lord Darth Vader, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, General Cassio Tagge, Chief Moradmin Bast, Commander Siward Cass, Hurst Romodi, and General Wulff Yularen. Let’s focus on the first five of those characters and start with the Dark Lord himself.

Dave Prowse

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Already known to British audiences as a championship weightlifter and the Green Cross Code Man, David Prowse’s face was hidden from viewers by Darth Vader’s mask. But eagle-eyed readers of the end credits would recognize his name from a number of UK shows, and popular ones at that. Like many prominent British celebrities, Prowse would appear on the Saturday morning kids show Tiswas alongside future Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host Chris Tarrant, comedian Jasper Carrot, and many ’70s boys first crush, Sally James. He also appeared on the hugely popular Morecambe Wise Show in ’76 and ’80, as well as The Benny Hill Show in both ’69 and later in ’80. In ’73 he would appear as Android in the four part Medusa Strain arc of The Tomorrow People and a year later in Edward Woodward’s hard-hitting series Callan (Woodward would be better known to American audiences a decade later as The Equaliser). And of course he appeared in Doctor Who during the reign of the third Doctor, John Pertwee, as the Minotaur in “The Time Monster.”

Peter Cushing

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Peter Cushing was one of the film’s leading actors, a popular and accomplished screen and stage presence known internationally. But, as with many of his British counterparts, he would also make television appearances that viewers outside of the British Isles would likely not be aware. Like Prowse, Cushing was a part of Doctor Who history, playing the first Doctor in the 1965 movie Dr. Who and the Daleks and replacing TV Doctor William Hartnell due to his wider American popularity. In ’76 Cushing appeared in both The New Avengers as Von Claus in the episode “The Eagle’s Nest” and in Space: 1999 as Raan in “Missing Link.” Audiences worldwide knew him best on television for his memorable 1968 portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, but UK audiences will remember him most fondly for his recurring appearances on The Morecambe and Wise Show. Cushing would often joine the duo on stage seeking payment for his first Morecambe and Wise appearance back in ’69, asking, “Have you got my five pounds yet?” When Eric and Ernie moved from BBC 2 to Thames Television in ’78, Cushing appeared in their first special, still asking to be paid and by the Christmas special he finally got his money, crying out, “Paid, at last!”

Richard LeParmentier

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By ’77, Richard LeParmentier (Admiral Conan Antonio Motti) was a regular fixture here in the UK, steadily building a body of work in film and television. In ’77 he appeared as Ed Malcolm in the “Dorzak” episode of Space: 1999 and in ’79 was in the 10th episode of the second season of the popular series Hazell, in “Hazell Gets the Part” as Mort Berman. By ’82 he was Chuck in the hit UK series Shine on Harvey Moon, but as fans of LeParmentier know, his future in television would ultimately lie behind the camera as opposed to in front of it.

Don Henderson

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General Tagge was portrayed by the hugely popular Don Henderson, a stalwart of the UK television scene and a compelling and memorable actor. Like fellow Star Wars actor Jeremy “Gold Two” Sinden (and The Empire Strikes Back‘s Wes Janson, Ian Liston), he appeared in popular early evening soap Crossroads as Mr. Black and in a number of episode of lunchtime court procedural series Crown Court. (It’s worth noting that this is back in the days when TV would go off for a number of hours after lunchtime before kids’ programming started up again late afternoon.) In ’74 he was in Dixon of Dock Green, one of the UK’s longest running series (which had run from ’55 and would end in ’76), but his most memorable UK TV role was Det. Sgt. George Bulman (later Det. Chief Inspector) in 30 episodes of ’82’s Strangers, and later in ’87 for 20 episodes of Bulman. His widow Shirley Stelfox plays Edna Birch in the long-running soap Emmerdale.

Leslie Schofield

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Chief Bast was a constant fixture at the side of Grand Moff Tarkin during A New Hope, and similarly, the actor who portrayed him was a constant fixture on the UK television scene. In ’68 and ’69 Leslie Schofield played two different roles in Dixon of Dock Green (remember, this is before video recorders and regular repeats, so viewers wouldn’t be distracted by the same actor playing two roles) and in ’73 and ’75 did much the same in two episodes of police drama Z Cars (pronounced Zed Cars, which had featured a young Brian Blessed). He appeared in Doctor Who, first in ’69’s Second Doctor arc “The War Games” as Leroy and again in ’77 as Calib in the Fourth Doctors four part arc “The Face of Evil.” A stint in Blakes 7 as Sub-Commander Raiker in the episode “Space Fall” followed in ’78, and by ’79 he was a part of one of British TV’s great comedies, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin for seven episodes as Tom alongside the genius Leonard Rossiter. 1978 to ’81 saw three different roles on Crown Court, before ’92 and ’93 brought him to the world’s longest running TV series Coronation Street. And to complete a rare TV double, he also became a recurring cast member for 152 episodes of Eastenders as Jeff, Pauline Fowler’s partner.

There’s every likelihood that after reading this you will be hitting Google and YouTube hard to see just how these iconic actors appeared outside of their memorable moments in A New Hope. Take the time and make the effort. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Mark is a long-time contributor to Star Wars Insider, the co-owner of Jedi News, a regular contributor to the UK’s biggest free newspaper The Metro and co-host of RebelForce Radio’s UK-centric RADIO 1138 podcast. When he’s not talking or writing about Star Wars, he can usually be found sleeping, where he’ll most likely be dreaming about Star Wars.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-in-the-uk-the-british-tv-roles-of-star-wars-actors

The vintage Star Wars action figures are dear childhood friends of many (older) fans. Even E.T. was introduced to some of them when he visited our planet. Needless to say, vintage action figures are still collected today on their original card and also in loose condition. In this article, I’ll shed some light on the main variations of Kenner’s classic toys.

It’s important to understand that nearly all vintage figures have variations that range from obvious to minor ones. Fans and collectors are still discussing the origin and the validity of certain less obvious differences today. These variations sometimes occurred when figures were produced in a different country or at another factory. For example, most Mexican Lili Ledy figures differ from the ones offered in North America and in Europe (the Lili Ledy figures are left out of this article because they’re nearly all different).

Most of the major variations are found in the Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back lineups. The Return of the Jedi collection certainly has its proper variations, but not as many as the previous waves.

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Luke Skywalker is one of the figures with the most amount of variations in the entire line. The two major variations either have blonde or brown hair. But there is more than meets the eye. Luke’s hair can range from dark brown to lemon blond and his trousers can also range from dark brown to cream. There’s even a Luke figure with “orange” hair. Another infamous variation is the double telescoping (DT) lightsaber. (Kenner used double telescoping lightsabers for the very first figures of Luke, Ben Kenobi, and Darth Vader.) A double telescoping saber is rare and can be recognized by the much longer tip of the saber (almost reaching the surface when pointed downwards). DT Luke is the least rare of the three figures, mostly because it was also included in most Early Bird sets. Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi shares Luke’s hair issues. You can find Ben with gray, but also with white hair. Darth Vader doesn’t have any main regular variations, but double telescoping lightsaber Ben and Vader are the rarest of all loose Star Wars figures and there aren’t many left today.

Double telescoping Luke

Han Solo features one of the most obvious variations. Kenner first released Han with a small head, which was replaced by a larger head that looked a bit more like Harrison Ford. Kenner seems to have overdone themselves since the second head looks a bit too large. The small head was mostly packed with the early cards, so it appears to be less common than the large head.

Action Figure Variations

Another figure from the first wave is the Sand People. Most Tusken Raider figures have filled tubes on the side of their face, but some figures, who were apparently packed on Return of the Jedi cards, have hollow tubes instead. The color of the gloves and belt from Sand People figures may also vary from light brown to dark brown.

An infamous variation took place when Kenner replaced the cheap vinyl cape of its Jawa figure by a cloth cape. Kenner reasoned that, since the Jawa was a smaller figure, they needed to upgrade its value by adding a nice cloth cape. History has its own way of dealing with decisions like that and the short lived vinyl cape Jawa became one of the vintage holy grails. Buying a loose vinyl cape Jawa requires caution and research because many forgeries have been made. The vinyl cape of the Toltoys Jawa (Australia / New Zealand) has a similar color as the cape of Ben Kenobi, while other Jawa vinyl capes should be lighter in color.

Boba Fett comes in a rich variety of colors and differences. A variation that has become quite popular is the “trilogo” Boba Fett which has a much paler color blue (gray) and has no COO (Country of Origin mark). The “trilogo” nickname isn’t really correct, since these Fetts were also sold on Return of the Jedi-cards in Europe.

A minor variation that several figures share, is the color of their face. Figures like the Death Squad Commander (Star Destroyer Commander), Luke Skywalker (X-wing fighter pilot) and Leia Organa can be found with differently colored faces. Walrus Man also has several variations concerning the color of his tusks (white or pink) and his skin. Chewbacca is a fine example of a figure with no major variations, but with many small differences, such as the color of his fur, his bowcaster and his pouch.

The Empire Strikes Back

The first wave of Episode V also has some figures with obvious variations. Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) succeeds in sharing similar characteristics with the original Luke. It also comes in a wide variety of hair colors ranging from pale yellow to greenish brown. The boots of some figures may also be a bit more dark. Lando Calrissian has an easily recognizable variation because some figures’ teeth and eyes aren’t painted. Both variations are equally common. Leia Organa (Bespin Gown) is the next Cloud City figure to feature interesting variations. She comes with a crew neck (flesh color), turtle neck or even a rare gold neck. This figure was also released with a variety of different faces so Leia Bespin figures will rarely be exactly similar.

Action Figure Variations 2

The Rebel Soldier (Hoth Battle Gear) is a figure with many small variations, including the color of his skin and clothes. Not unlike Han Solo (Hoth Battle Gear) whose legs can have different shades of brown. The Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) has an interesting variation, being the YPS / PBP (Spanish) Snowtrooper. YPS was a German comic that often contained extra’s. Issue 150 came with a Snowtrooper that sometimes had a gun from Palitoy’s Action Force line. The YPS / PBP can be identified by several small differences, including circular slots on the skirt and a slightly more detailed body. Other figures from the first wave have less obvious variations. IG-88 comes in metallic or in chrome, the Bespin Security Guard (modeled after Bespin guard Helder Spinoza) comes in a variety of mustaches and Bossk appears with different shades of color on his head, limbs and jumpsuit.

Yoda has endless variations. He’s either accompanied by an orange or by a brownish snake and while these are the two main alterations, the diminutive Jedi Master often appears in different skin colors and his gimer stick is found in several tones of brown.

Action Figure Variations 3

The later waves of The Empire Strikes Back contain less obvious variations, though the Imperial Commander figure sports two head variations: skinny and round. The colors of the skin of the Hoth Rebel Commander, Cloud Car Pilot and the AT-AT Commander can either be flesh or a bit more pale. Lobot and Dengar have similar facial issues, and the Lobots with the flesh face have round dots on their belts instead of circular ones. The Spanish Dengar (PBP) was released in a darker armor. The porcine Ugnaught can be encountered wearing a blueish or a purplish smock. There are Ugnaughts with smocks whose colors differ a little bit from the blue and the purple, though sunlight might have caused the color to fade. Even without the smock, the Ugnaught figure comes in many small differences such as the color of the face, differently colored eyebrows and thin or thick cords of the smock.

Return of the Jedi

Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight Outfit) is the next Luke figure with many variations. An early trailer of Return of the Jedi showed Luke with a blue lightsaber and that’s probably why Kenner released their first Luke Jedi figures with a blue lightsaber instead of a green one. Luke’s cape can be found sewn-shut or with a snap. On top of things, two main sculpts were used for Luke Jedi. One has a molded face with painted darker hair and the other sculpt has molded lighter hair with a painted face (the reason why many Luke Jedi figures have paint damage on the top of their nose). The Rebel Commando and General Madine can be found as well with either a molded or a painted face.

Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard Disguise) exists with a darker or lighter skin tone and a different color of the torso. Ewok figures Logray and Teebo have slightly different shades of fur. Klaatu (Wooof) can have variations in the skirt (different fabrics) and or differently colored limbs and legs. Han Solo (Trench Coat) is the last figure with an obvious variation. He comes with or without camo lapels on the front of the collar of his Endor coat.

Action Figure Variations 4

Although the Max Rebo Band wasn’t sold as individual figures, the set appears with gray or black microphones and with a black or gray chidinkalu (Droopy’s instrument).

These variations are just the top of the iceberg and an endless amount of other diversities can be discovered when you delve deeper into the world of collecting loose vintage figures. Collect them all may be hard to achieve, but it sure can be a lot of fun!

Special thanks to Paul Kerton from Vintage Action Figure Variation Guide for the use of his photos. Other photos by Grant Criddle (double telescoping Luke) from Star Wars Forum UK and by Tim Veekhoven.

Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co-founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars Fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider (Rogues Gallery), is an administrator for Yodapedia and has written character back stories in ‘What’s the Story?’.

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Article source: http://www.starwars.com/news/vintage-variants-large-heads-and-orange-snakes