Friday, March 28, 2014

Star Wars Kidscast on Official Star Wars site: The Muppet Connection

Darth Vader & Oscar the Grouch briefly appear together in Night at the Museum
Check out the Official Star Wars Blog and see my first post there! It focuses on the connections between two of my favourite entertainment entities: Star Wars (of course) and The Muppets.

Did you know that Chewbacca once danced on The Muppet Show? Or that C-3PO & R2-D2 visited Sesame Street? Learn more here!

Wocka wocka!

Monday, March 24, 2014

FAN EXPO Vancouver: Plenty for Star Wars Fans!

You know an event is off to a good start when their announcements contain a Yoda quote! If you're fortunate enough to live in the Vancouver area (like me) or within travel distance, be sure to attend FAN EXPO Vancouver April 18-20th.

Here's their announcement, edited for Star Wars lovers like us...

FAN EXPO Vancouver™ will mark its third year by delivering a fan-tastic Easter Break escape for geeks and superheroes of all ages. The celebration of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming returns April 18-20, 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

In the wise words of Jedi Master Yoda “Do or do not, there is no try.” At FAN EXPO Vancouver™ fans can 'do' it all: Q&A’s with celebrities and industry pros, sketch duels, photos opportunities with the entire Star Wars 501st Legion crew, retail and exhibitor areas bursting with rare comics and collectibles to the latest nerd-wear and tech-gear, and gatherings of fellow minded superheroes in and out of disguise (Batman or Bunny costume optional).

“FAN EXPO is the perfect playground for pop culture fans of all ages and this year we made it bigger for Vancouver fans,” says FAN EXPO HQ President, Steve Menzie. "We added 50% more space and a third day so our fans can enjoy even more of the fandom they are so passionate about."

Meet Darth Maul/Ray Park in person...if you dare!

- Star Wars Episode 1's Darth Maul aka. martial arts expert RAY PARK will be there!

- Star Wars Rebels' (the upcoming, very exciting animated TV show) voice actor Steven Blum. He'll be playing Zeb on the new show.
Zeb from the upcoming Star Wars Rebels!

- Star Wars/Lucasfilm artist Robert Bailey will be displaying artwork!

- Star Wars comic & book artist Ken Steacy!


- STAR WARS KIDS HOUR Just for Kids! Join the 501st Legion for Star Wars themed games of skill, with lots of giveaways such as Star Wars tattoos, activity & coloring books! Having fun will be strictly enforced by the Stormtroopers on hand, plus some other special guests!

- STAR WARS GOLD HEART CAMPAIGN Variety - the children’s charity will be on site at Fan Expo Vancouver to sell this year’s limited edition gold heart. More info on these collectibles here.

Of course there will be plenty else to do and celebrity guests to meet if you're into things like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and much more! But this is the STAR WARS Kidscast site! For the complete list of guests, info and tickets, visit

Sunday, March 16, 2014

6 Adventures in 1 Book with Star Wars Omnibus: Adventures

Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars Omnibus: Adventures gathers six Star Wars Adventures graphic novel digests into one hefty 456 page paperback volume.

The adventures are smaller in scale than what you'd see in the movies and don’t directly impact the larger Star Wars saga. In fact, the only story to directly connect to any movie events is the final story Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnakes. While training on Dagobah with Yoda, Luke learns a lot more about that water creature that tried to eat R2-D2 and spit him out!

Each story focuses on a key character (though Princess Leia and the Royal Ransom feels like it’s really more about Han Solo) and are mostly set between the events of Episode 4 & 5. Chewbacca and the Slavers of the Shadowlands is mostly a flashback from the young wookiee’s childhood. Since they are not connected the stories can be read in any order.

Boba Fett goes treasure hunting!
With different creators for each story, Star Wars Omnibus: Adventures offers a variety of artwork that may be jarring from story to story. The styles range from traditional comic book art to wildly stylized digital paintings. The cutest artwork is in Chewbacca’s story, which is oddly the most violent story of the whole book. 

That raises the question: who are the Adventures books intended for? Dark Horse Comics created this series with younger readers in mind, but they are not for all children. Dark Horse correctly suggests that these books are for ages 8 and older.

Leia shares the spotlight with Han in her story
Star Wars Ewoks: Shadows of Endor was part of the Adventures series so it is not included in this Omnibus collection, though it would fit in here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Read, You Must: Jedi Battles and Sith Wars

DK publishing introduces a new line of young reader books called DK Adventures and starts well with a pair of new Star Wars titles: Jedi Battles and Sith Wars.

Each digest-sized book is 128 pages - a little smaller and much thicker than the popular DK Readers books - and intended for “confident readers”. They are both FULL of gorgeous movie images spanning the Star Wars movie saga, and occasionally borrow art and diagrams from other DK books like the Incredible Cross-Sections titles.

Like many DK titles the two books are written “in-universe”. There’s no mention that these are about movies at all. Each page spread has a new heading and then the text focuses on that element, like in Sith Wars there are spreads about Darth Vader’s armour, Sith artifacts, Order 66 events & Dark Powers. There’s also pages about various other villains in Star Wars like Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt.

That leads to one small complaint: the titles make little sense. Based on what’s inside, the books should’ve been called something like Star Wars: Good Guys and Star Wars: Bad Guys or perhaps Light Side and Dark Side. However it’s what’s inside that counts and inside is jam-packed with all sorts of cool information for a curious, detail-oriented young fan.

Recommended for any young reader who’s enthusiastic to take a closer look at the Star Wars saga. Here’s a sneak peek at What Makes a Monster? the next book in the series, due out April 21, 2014.

Further reading: Stronger young readers (and grown-ups) may enjoy Daniel Wallace’s fantastic in-universe guide books like The Jedi Path and Book of Sith.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Photos from New LEGO® Star Wars Miniland!

If you're a Star Wars fan of ANY age, and live near Chicago, IL (unfortunately I do not), there's some very cool additions to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago, and a special event March 15-16, 2014.
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago unveils a newly redesigned Center giving the thousands of families who visit an even better brick experience. The renovation includes improvements to the Center’s highly popular play areas, cafe and all new model display areas, including LEGO® Star WarsTM Miniland – a large-scale, interactive LEGO model display chronicling the adventures of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

As part of the new intergalactic exhibit, guests can help the Rebel Alliance destroy the Galactic Empire’s powerful Death Star, experience the epic duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, watch in awe as the Millennium Falcon rises from the deserts of Tatooine, discover the bustling city of Mos Eisley, and take in the busy cantina where the band plays its familiar tune and dangerous characters lurk in dark corners. The display replaces the Center’s previous Star Wars Miniland, which featured scenes from Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.

The first event taking place in the newly refurbished Center is LEGO® Star Wars™ Days, March 15-16, featuring special out-of-this-world activities, including:

  • Build your own LEGO creation in Build and Test
  • A meet and greet with members of the Star Wars 501st Legion
  • Take photos with life-sized LEGO Star Wars Darth Vader and LEGO Star Wars R2-D2
  • Win prizes and giveaways, while supplies last
 For more information and to purchase tickets visit:

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