Sep 13, 2016

What did Chewbacca originally look like?

Original Chewbacca Conceptual art design

This is one of the original designs of the walking carpet that became known as Chewbacca.

Designed by the famed Ralph McQuarrie, this original work served as inspiration for the character of Zeb in Star Wars Rebels. 

Indeed, Rebels and The Force Awakens borrowed a lot of McQuarrie's design work for their formats.

Sep 12, 2016

Uncle Owen! Aunt Beru! Don't Use Your Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy 7 catch on fire

We couldn't resist sharing this one - for those not in the know, Samsung has recalled their top of the line Galaxy Note 7 phones due to major concerns around battery explosions. Speaking of crispy critters...

Sep 7, 2016

On a scale of 1 - 10 how offended are you by this monstrosity of merchandising?

It looks like we have discovered the ultimate franchise cross over - Pokemon and Star Wars! 

Behold the mash up!  The figurine of the cute and dangerous, Bulba Fett!

Bulba Fett figure


Sep 6, 2016

Practical Effects be damned, The Force Awakens was 96 percent CGI

ILM has released this awesome clip which demonstrates just how amazing the CGI in The Force Awakens really was. 

ILM said:

"We are pleased to share a sample of the visual effects work created for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

The history of ILM leads all the way back to 1975 and origins of Star Wars and The Force Awakens gave us the opportunity to once again push the boundaries of what is possible in character animation and visual effects while combining cutting edge practical effects and physical sets. I

LM studios in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London each contributed to the film effects as did our partners Hybride, Base FX and Virtuos."

So it was a global effort to make the movie. 

One can only wonder how much effort is going into Rogue One and of course Episode VII. Each of those films will no doubt have an epic look and feel due to the marvels of ILM's CGI teams.

Sep 4, 2016

The U-Wing is the coolest toy but it will be the hottest Christmas gift this year!

Rogue One Christmas gift idea

The U-Wing is the coolest toy but it will be the hottest Christmas gift this year!

Coming up to Christmas, it's time to think about ideas for present ideas for the kids and the kid you know who never grew up.

You can't really go wrong with Star Wars presents but THIS year there will be one toy from the Star Wars Rogue One movie that every kid will want to have as a gift.

It’s the the Star Wars: Rogue One Rebel U-Wing Fighter:

Buy the U-Wing for a Christmas gift

The U-Wing looks to be one of the coolest things in Rogue One, and due to its 'real world' play-ability it is guaranteed to be on the hot list of many boys and girls coming into Christmas!

The U-Wing comes with new Star Wars character Captain Cassian Andors and two missile projects from Nerf. The wings move out to change the ship from a transport unit to fighter jet.

True to the Rebel U-Wing’s unique architecture, the Fighter features pivoting wings that swing open for flight and retract for battle action. 

Players can use it to chase down the Empire’s starships with NERF firing cannons that shoot 2 included NERF projectiles they  re-create moments of excitement from the Rogue One movie.

If you have an avid Lego fan to buy a gift for, the U-Wing also has been ‘converted’ into the Lego format as well!

The Lego makers of the ship have described their version of it as:

"The amazing U-Wing Fighter has all the details you would expect from an authentic Star Wars model, including 4 big engines, an opening minifigure cockpit with transparent lower observation window, opening side doors with pull-out stud shooters, dual spring-loaded shooters at the front, rear storage hold and huge wings that sweep back to create an even bigger model."

It also comes with 5 mini-figures.

We suggest you get your order in early so there will be no disappointment come delivery times in late December. Amazon do a great job, but get in as early as you can!

With Rogue One introducing new characters such as Jyn Erso, vehicles and space ships, comes an opportunity for a fantastic new range of figures and models to choose as gifts.

Check these ideas out:

Aug 31, 2016

Meet C2-B5 - the Imperial's wannabe answer to R2

C2-B5 Rogue One Astromech droid

Meet C2-B5 - the Imperial's wannabe answer to R2. This robot will have a part to play in Rogue One. We doubt it's even a 100th of the robot R2 is.

Lady in red...

Some times Twi'lek come in green.

Sometimes they come as sinister red Sith.

Sometimes you get this great cosplay:

darth talon cosplay

Here's some more Darth Talon cosplay.

Aug 28, 2016

What's with the Death Trooper featuring on the Rogue One toy packaging?

Death Trooper Rogue One

Did you notice anything really interesting about the marketing material for Rogue One?

In particular the packaging for the Rogue One 3.75 inch figurines? Look to your right >> for a picture of the packaging.

The common feature across every toy unit is the Imperial Death Trooper.

In Rogue One, these guys are the body guards of Director Krennic. There's a sweet look at two of them at the top of this article.

This is very interesting. 

If you recall the marketing and packaging for The Force Awakens was Kylo Ren.

Kylo Ren, bloody everywhere.

The Phantom Menace featured Darth Maul’s black red visage.

Darth Maul, bloody everywhere.

Yet for Rogue One, they are using the basically anonymous Black Death Squad Storm Trooper. Which seems a fairly benign sort of move. Yes, he’s a DEATH trooper but Disney has a huge ace up their sleeve which they don’t appear to be using:

Darth Vader

Yes, in case you’ve been recently held captive in one of Jabba’s cells, Darth Vader is in Rogue One. He was in the trailer.

One would have thought that Disney would be marketing the SHIT out Darth Vader for Rogue One but it would appear the official merchandising packaging is not going to include him.

It’s like they are leaving money on the table, especially as Rogue One is being released just before Christmas and all the Star Wars toys and masks will be flying out the door as presents. Darth Vader will out sell the Death Trooper 100 times to one. I know these numbers to be fact, as I asked my wife for the number.

Maybe the marketing team at Disney is doing this a bit different this time around deliberately. They know that Rogue One, is a Star Wars story but it’s not THE STAR WARS STORY so they are trying to manage brand expectations.

Maybe not.

We suspect that this trench run tranche of Rogue One figurines is just the first gambit. Disney is going to release a whole heap of Darth Vader toys and figures as effectively he is being re-introduced to a new generation of Star Wars fans. It would look pretty stupid for a Darth Vader figurine to be sold with the Death Trooper on the packaging.

That’s kind of like U2 opening a concert for Fall Out Boy which is just ridiculous so expect new packaging in due course.

Update - the Death Trooper packaging is across The Force Awakens and Star War Rebels figurines as well, so it's a more broadly deliberate strategy than just the promotion of Rogue One toy merchandise.

Still got your thinking on? What does the name of Rogue One mean?

Aug 23, 2016

What does the title of Rogue One mean?

Rogue One title meaning

What does the name of the film ‘Rogue One’ actually mean?

When Rogue One was officially announced we pondered what the title meant as all the Star Wars movie names have some kind of thematic expression of what the movie is about.  'A New Hope' for instance is a reference to Luke Skywalker being the one that could perhaps bring down the Empire.

So what does it mean for this fourth Star Wars prequel?

Is it a military call sign?

Rogue One could easily be first considered as a military call sign that echoes Luke’s Rogue Squadron which was first shown in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke leads Rogue Squadron during the Battle of Hoth. In the wider Star Wars universe, Wedge Antilles featured heavily as the leader of the squad which proved popular and so the legacy of the name has stayed with Star Wars fans. 

So at first glance, Rogue One is part reference to that the past legacy of Star Wars and perhaps more so, the Squadron’s attitude of bravery and fearlessness.

A reference to Jyn Erso?

But, if you frame the film's meaning in the light of Jyn Erso as one can for Luke in ANH, Jyn is in fact a rogue one. 

The word rogue can be used to describe someone as being a scoundrel or a rascal or a dishonest person or a rebel or a thing out of place from the expected system. We know that Jyn Erso has been under arrest  (Hey! Jyn, rebels!) and is only granted her freedom by the Rebel Alliance so that she can do her mission of stealing the Death Star plans. 

This concept is very similar to the famous war movie, The Dirty Dozen where the rogues of that movie were sent on a suicide mission in return for their freedom (This is why we think a lot of the characters will die during the movie). So the meaning of Rogue One is that it is a reference to the character of Jyn Erso.

A description of the movie's place in the franchise?

But, as Yoda might say, there is another meaning. 

The film’s director Gareth Edward’s offered this meaning of the title which suggests it is descriptive of what kind of movie Rogue One is when compared to the 7 other movies. Edward’s said:
“…this is the first film that’s gone off-piste and is not part of the saga – or the Anakin story – so it’s the ‘rogue’ one, you know?”
In reality we think the movie's title is deliberately meant to evoke all three meanings. In that sense, it's really clever - it says nothing, yet everything about the movie.