Saturday, December 21, 2013

Skywalking in a Winter Wonderland: Outdoor Play the Star Wars Way!

Get outside and enjoy the winter weather, Star Wars style! There are plenty of moments to re-enact in the snow. Imagining being on The Empire Strikes Back's "remote ice world" of Hoth was a common part of outdoor winter play for me. Due to our winters, Hoth seemed the most familiar location among all the exotic locations of the galaxy far, far away.

Of course we didn't have AT-AT walkers, wampas or tauntauns, but we had plenty of snow and imaginations. Snow forts could easily become Echo Base, or the rebel trenches or even the wampa cave. Hanging upside down like Luke was a little trickier though!

The battle of Hoth is one of the coolest (hehe) scenes ever presented on film, but did you know Hoth is not the only icy place to play in the Star Wars Galaxy?

Jude Watson's 2001 children's novel Jedi Quest: The Path to Truth introduced a new icy planet called Ilum to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. There a chilly young Anakin seeks a crystal to create his lightsaber as part of his training, just as Jedi trainees had done for generations before him.

If this sounds familiar to you, you may remember in The Clone Wars when the Jedi Younglings travel to Ilum to seek their own crystals in the ice caves. In The Gathering (episode 6, season 5) Ahsoka & Yoda instruct six young Jedi (including my favourite Gungi the Wookiee!) on what they must do and face within the ice caves to retrieve their very own crystals as a rite of passage for Jedi.

"Cold we ALL are. Complain you will not."
In the earlier Star Wars: Clone Wars "micro-series", 3 mini-episodes (Chapter 14-16) featured Jedi Master Luminara Unduli guiding her Padawan Barriss Offee to construct her own lightsaber with a newly-aquired crystal. Things go horribly wrong when Separatist droids sneak in and try to destroy the sacred temple among the ice caves. Yoda, Padmé, C-3P0 & R2-D2 must brave the cold and face the invisible droids to rescue them.

"Frightful, the weather outside is. Delightful, a fire would be."
Once you're done imagining you're a Jedi on a sacred quest to find your own lightsaber crystal on Ilum, you can take a pretend hyperspace jump over to yet another ice planet in the Star Wars Galaxy to the "bleak, snow-covered planet" of  Orto Plutonia.

In The Clone Wars first season (Episode 15: Trespass), Anakin and Obi-Wan travel to Orto Plutonia to investigate what happened to a Republic base but find themselves in a conflict between the Pantoran military and the furry native Talz species. Peace is eventually reached but not without a price.

For some reason Santa went with reindeer instead.

So if you happen to live somewhere snowy, you can envision yourself riding a Narglatch snow cat with the Talz or zipping over the ice on a Freeco speeder bike too!

UPDATE: December 2014
Once we find out who this guy is and what he's doing in a dark, snowy forest there's whole new scenes to play out & have fun in the snow!



Just because it's cold and snowy outside, don't let that get in the way of your Star Wars play. There's plenty to re-enact or create yourself in the wintery Galaxy. 'Tis the season!

"I'm going to stink for weeks!"

Just an aside: I've never understood how Han Solo's Tauntaun (a native species of Hoth) freezes while Han himself and Luke can survive the freezing conditions. Any thoughts? Leave a comment below!

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