Monday, April 28, 2014

New LEGO Star Wars Special clip!

A brand-new LEGO Star Wars "New Yoda Chronicles" special will air this Sunday in time to celebrate "Star Wars Day" aka May the Fourth! In the US it is apparently scheduled to air on Disney XD while here in Canada it will be on Family Channel. Check local listings.

Here's a sneak peek:

May the Fourth be with you!

For an interview with Michael Price, the writer of all the LEGO Star Wars TV specials, check out Star Wars Kidscast Episode 4!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Read, You Must: What Makes a Monster?

What Makes a Monster? is the third title in DK publishing’s new line of young reader books called DK Adventures after Jedi Battles and Sith Wars (reviewed here). It focuses on the many, many animals, creatures and wild beasts within the six current Star Wars films. Some are “monsters” and some are not monstrous at all. Some are massively huge and some are tiny and cute (almost).

Each of these digest-sized books are 128 pages - a little smaller and much thicker than the popular DK Readers books - and intended for “confident readers”. They are all FULL of gorgeous movie images spanning the Star Wars saga, and occasionally borrow art and diagrams from other DK books like the Incredible Cross-Sections titles. Often there’s a close-up on something only quickly glimpsed in the movies giving even long-time fans something new to see.

Author Adam Bray continues the tradition of many DK titles by writing “in-universe”. There’s no mention that these are about movies at all. Each section has a new heading and then the text focuses on that element for a few pages such as Creatures of the Deep, Monsters as Pets, Creepy Crawlies and Space Monsters.

Sadly there’s no creatures from Star Wars: The Clone Wars in here or from the Expanded Universe. The Zillo Beast is just too big to fit in this book, I imagine!

The book serves as an excellent introduction to the many non-human, non-sentient lifeforms in the Star Wars movies. Think of it as a sort of a young readers’ The Wildlife of Star Wars: A Field Guide.

Recommended for any detail-oriented reader who’s enthusiastic to learn more about the furry, scaly, slimy or slithery beasts in the Star Wars saga.

Stay tuned for an interview with What Makes a Monster? author Adam Bray coming soon to Star Wars Kidscast podcast!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

FAN EXPO Vancouver: Part II MORE Star Wars fan fun!!

Our 2nd day at FAN EXPO Vancouver was a blast and chock full of Star Wars fun! (To read about the first day click here).

Without the makeup she didn't recognize Ray Park (Darth Maul)!
For starters we had a brief chat with actor/stuntman/martial arts expert Ray Park aka. Darth Maul from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace! Yesterday was just a handshake but today we got a picture and chatted a little bit about martial arts and child development.

Did you know this Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious was once an instructor for parent & tot martial arts classes? I sure didn't!

Then we made our way to the LEGO booth to see the mural in all it's finished glory! Yesterday it looked like this but today it was completed. A close inspection was in order...

The highlight of the day though was Star Wars Kids Hour put on by volunteers from the 501st Legion & Rebel Legion. Basically the kids did various Star Wars-themed games (mostly bean-bag tosses) and then were entered in a draw for great prizes including toys and DK Star Wars books.

Plenty of costumed kids were there to play.

Receiving her orders from the Empire!

"Great shot, Kid! That's one in a million!"
Stretching to pin the tail on the very cute Tauntaun!

Dangerous for the Empire to encourage this, don't you think?

Some of the hard-working volunteers that made the event great!

Young Clone trooper claiming his prize.
Thank you to all the fun Star Wars fan families we met over the weekend, thanks to the 501st & Rebel Legions for making the day extra fun for kids and thanks to FAN EXPO Vancouver for a wonderful weekend. See you next year!

FAN EXPO Vancouver: Star Wars fan fun!

I'm so confused!
FAN EXPO is a celebration of everything from science-fiction to horror to fantasy along with bringing together creators of movies, television, anime, comics, games and more! If you're into your favourite series or style there's plenty of like-minded people there among the expected 25,000 attendees! You'll also likely encounter many fans in costumes of your favourite characters.

This couple were a lot of fun!
Among the cyborgs, zombies & superheroes we encountered plenty of like-minded Star Wars fans. It's not specifically a kids' event but they do try to make it a family-friendly one and we saw plenty of children there. Many in costumes!

A Sith, a Jedi & a Solo!

Celebrities in attendance include Ray Park, the actor best known as DARTH MAUL from Episode 1! He was very nice and not at all scary like his famous Sith apprentice character!

I also had a moment to chat with Steven Blum, well-known voice-actor in animation and one of the stars of the upcoming Star Wars Rebels series. He'll be the new character Zeb! He was also very friendly and will probably join Star Wars Kidscast podcast for a chat in the Fall!

At the LEGO display there was an almost life-size LEGO Darth Maul along with Superman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

There was also a mural in-progress that visitors could add pieces too. See if you can recognize who will be in the picture when it's done:

I think I see a certain green Jedi Master in there...
Other highlights included talking with Star Wars artist Ken Steacy and meeting the 501st Legion & Rebel Legion Star Wars costuming groups. They were helping raise funds for Variety the Children's Charity which was fantastic to see! We got a few pictures:

She really wanted to see Boba Fett!
Unfortunately we missed "Star Wars Kids Hour". Getting around the huge space was at times challenging so plan to be there a while & plan your moves in advance! The plan is to head straight for that today! Hopefully see you there!

She had a good time, weird as it must have been to her!
Did your family attend Fan Expo Vancouver? If you have pictures we'd love to see them! Email

Monday, April 14, 2014

Star Wars Kidscast Episode 8: Teaching with Star Wars

Star Wars Kidscast is back with a BIG episode! So big in fact that there’s TWICE as many guests as we’ve ever had! OK, that just means two guests, but that’s still pretty exciting.

First we chat briefly with Terry Chui from the 501st Legion about Star Wars costuming, “bad guys” doing good for charities and the specific kid-oriented fun planned for Fan Expo Vancouver 2014.  (For more Fan Expo Star Wars excitement see this article.)

Next we get in-depth with Craig Dickinson, a 6th grade teacher who uses ALL SIX Star Wars films in his classroom. Imagine studying the Star Wars saga in class as an assignment! Sign me up!

All that & more in this jam-packed episode!

Twitter @FanExpoVan

Twitter @501stLegion

Twitter @Influxman

More excellent Star Wars teaching resources at:
Star Wars In the Classroom

Download this episode (right click and save)

Listen on iTunes! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Star Wars: The Clone Wars for the youngest Younglings

I'm happy to say another article I worked on has been published on, an introduction to Star Wars: The Clone Wars for parents & guardians.

At Star Wars Kidscast, we're BIG fans of The Clone Wars but it should be said that many episodes are scary, darkly intense and possibly too much for the younger younglings in your family.

However, here's an intro to a few of the many episodes that are fun and enjoyable for all ages:

Thanks to Johnamarie Macias & Elisa Ardell for working together on this!

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