If you remember the 1970s, you may remember the first time you saw the catalog for Star Wars toys–an insert in any and all Star Wars vehicles, playsets, and large-sized action figures. Hasbro has published the complete, first catalog for Episode VII of Star Wars, and as we expected from the preview we discussed last week here at borg.com, plenty of dollars will be spent at midnight, September 4, 2015–“Force Friday”–as the new line of toys spreads across the country. As much as for its groundbreaking space fantasy films, Star Wars is known for its landmark toy and collectible merchandising. Look before Star Wars and nothing compares.
Below, we reprint the new catalog so you can start making your want list. But first, do you remember the first Star Wars catalogs? Just compare what was offered for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back fans to what will be available to the latest generation of Star Wars moviegoers. Not much has changed, has it?
You’ll find 3 3/4-inch action figures, even the first of the 12-inch line of figures, vehicles, lightsabers (although the new line could merit its own catalog), and then those… other items you can’t quite explain. Like Star Wars plastic model kit vans from the past, or now… is that a Chewbacca Furby?
Here are both the catalogs from Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope, Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, and the latest–the catalog for Episode VII, The Force Awakens:
Finally, with only four months to the premiere, Lucasfilm and Disney released their first official movie poster yesterday for Star Wars Episode VII. Shown above, it was painted by Drew Struzan, well-known for many film posters of the past, including his series of posters from Episodes I-VI. Having a poster by Struzan was on the checklist of required elements fans expected to see this year, along with a soundtrack by composer John Williams, the Force, and at least one character saying “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Check out our review of a recent book about Struzan here and documentary here at borg.com.
Also revealed yesterday was a cast photo of the main characters of the coming Star Wars spinoff movie, Rogue One. Other than a guy with a Han Solo parka, there’s not much really screaming Star Wars about the photo. In fact, it could be from a Firefly spinoff or something from any sci-fi franchise or even something from the Suicide Squad.
The stars of Star Wars: Rogue One are Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Diego Luna (Elysium, Milk), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen (Blade II). Rogue One has begun principal photography. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) is directing the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy. Wait–Death Star? Which Death Star?
Last year here at borg.com we reviewed the new canon Star Wars novels A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller and Tarkin by James Luceno. Check out our review of A New Dawn here and Tarkin here. Both of these are recommended reads for fans of Star Wars and those interested in the new universe of the Disney era Star Wars. In particular fans of Star Wars Rebels, the animated series, won’t want to miss these adventures from the characters in the series.
You can now get either of these books as free audiobook downloads at Audible.com. Audible is offering a free trial membership.
Here is a summary of the terms:
- First book free with 30-day trial
- $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
- Cancel easily anytime
- Exchange books you don’t like
- All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
When Star Wars: The Phantom Menace premiered sixteen years ago in 1999, action figure collectors had gone a decade without any new 3 ¾-inch action figures from the Star Wars franchise toy line. Hasbro released updates to the original trilogy beginning in 1995 as Lucasfilm rejuvenated the toy line. At midnight on May 3, 1999, the day of the release of the new trilogy action figures and ten days before the film’s release, Toys ‘R’ Us stores saw waiting lines similar to what we would see for the first week the movie screened in theaters.
The general public had no “first look” at the new line other than a sneak preview figure of Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu, so fans had to decide quickly upon inspecting the new figures whether they were going to jump in with both feet or ignore the line altogether. Instantly appealing figures and characters included Qui-Gonn Jinn and Darth Maul. Wave 1 included eight figures: Anakin in Tatooine outfit, Battle Droid, Darth Maul, Jar Jar Binks, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padme Naberrie, Queen Amidala in Naboo outfit, and Qui-Gonn Jinn. Each came with a Commtech chip (Commtalk in Europe) which produced sounds from the movie if placed on a separately purchased Commtech reader. All card backs featured the face of Darth Maul.
September 4, 2016 is the scheduled release date for the first wave of action figures from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Somehow, the first wave of figures hit the streets this week and made it to eBay, and they reveal twelve new action figures for Hasbro’s now (again) Kenner-branded line. Is one of these going to be the next Jar Jar Binks?
It’s really only one image.
Lucasfilm released a new TV spot in Korea, released internationally via the Interwebs yesterday. It’s brief, with scenes previewed before but recut into a new TV trailer, complete with the new Star Wars Episode VII logo in Korean. But it begins with something new. JJ Abrams & Co. clearly have reached back to the darker side of our own history to reveal the evil behind The First Order–the villains of The Force Awakens.
The First Order, especially as shown in the opening image, should evoke the New Order of Nazi Germany in World War II. This is further bolstered by the name of the Rebels in the post Return of the Jedi galaxy–they are now the Resistance. Resistance groups were those factions opposing the Axis states during World War II.
Abrams is also pulling propaganda imagery created by Goebbels to create awe and fear of Hitler and his ilk. The red banners seen in the preview similar to those carrying swastikas in Hitler’s regime.
We have a dark empire coming to the Star Wars galaxy.
Check out the trailer:
Today we have a smorgasbord of comic book previews for books hitting comic book stores everywhere on this Comic Book Wednesday. Topping the list, guest artist Simone Bianchi joins writer Jason Aaron for Marvel’s Star Wars #7, a standalone issue featuring Ben Kenobi. You can only get the rare Elite Comics cover with Chewie and C-3PO (shown above) at Elite beginning today and at Kansas City Comic Con August 7-9, 2015.
We have previews today with truly something for anyone and everyone, from Star Wars to The X-Files, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jungle Girl, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, to Deep State and Escape from New York, from Hacktivist to the latest Red Sonja, to Munchkin, Skylanders, and Transformers. Even Donald Duck and Betty and Veronica.
And don’t miss out on the preview for the first issue of the new Shrinking Man, adapted from the story that inspired the classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man–inspiration for this month’s big screen release Ant-Man.
Without further adieu, here are this week’s previews:
So how can you possibly select the best image from Friday’s sneak preview of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at San Diego Comic-Con? Really, so many quick glimpses seem to reveal too much too soon. We now seem to know what everyone will look like, and you can almost begin to piece together scenes and plot lines from the teaser, the trailer, and more than three minutes of previews shown in the Hall H panel at SDCC 2015 yesterday.
Watch the entire sneak preview below. But first, let’s look at all these great shots from the preview. It’s the original cast of characters that brings back those memories of seeing Star Wars for the first time. And the set decoration. C-3PO in front of the war room glass as we once saw him and Princess Leia long ago. A certain Wookiee and his pal Han back in the Falcon. Princess Leia giving someone a talking to, like she did back on Hoth or Yavin.
Then there’s the new. The remnants of a TIE-Fighter. An X-Wing pilot named Poe taken prisoner. Some Jabba’s palace-style denizens. The new droid. And stormtroopers everywhere you turn, one with a torch weapon like those that took out Uncle Own and Aunt Beru.
Check out stills from the preview and then watch it all below:
Comic Con season officially begins this weekend in San Diego, but it continues August 7-9 in Kansas City with the inaugural Kansas City Comic Con at the Kansas City Convention Center at Bartle Hall. The year of Star Wars, beginning with the new canon novels previewed at borg.com here, here, and here, and continuing with the new Marvel Comics monthlies, is leading up to the release of the eagerly awaited Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The trailer, previewed here, has everyone revved up to see Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, R2, and 3P0 again. And an entirely new cast of Rebels and Imperials.
KCCC will be celebrating Star Wars with some great exclusives.
First, check out this exclusive Marvel Comics Star Wars Issue #7 variant cover, a Return of the Jedi throwback, available only at KCCC 2015:
Sponsored by Elite Comics, this cover was created by artist Kevin Nowlan and features a standalone story by Jason Aaron. And coincidentally (or not) you can meet both Nowlan and Aaron at KCCC, buy your copy, and get it signed by both creators.
But that’s not all.
If you missed the first season of Star Wars Rebels, now is the time to find out what you have been missing. Last year we reviewed Season 1 here at borg.com. Far better than the animated Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels ups the ante with animation that conjures the original series like nothing we’ve seen since Return of the Jedi. And with original trilogy actors Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Frank Oz and James Earl Jones returning to their roles, it’s something that fans have only dreamed about–until now. Disney released an early look at Season Two this past week with the one-hour season premiere and you still can catch it in one of its many re-airings this week.
The series takes place five years before Star Wars: A New Hope, following the crew of a resistance vessel bringing their battle to the Empire. Season Two will expand the role of Darth Vader, voiced again this season by James Earl Jones. This is Vader like we have not seen him before–a veteran of villainy well beyond the untried Jedi youth once known as Anakin Skywalker.
If you’re iffy about the new Star Wars universe under Disney, this may be what brings you back into the fun of what was the original Star Wars we all remember.
Just check out several previews and behind the scenes clips below for a taste of what’s coming later this year and then check your local listings for Disney X D to watch a re-broadcast of the one-hour premiere of Season Two.
Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope and long before we had any guess about what might happen in the prequel trilogy, George Lucas, for good or bad, retooled all three episodes of the Star Wars trilogy into the Star Wars Special Edition theatrical release. Between January and March 1997 the world got to “see the movies again for the first time” and was reminded where the word blockbuster actually came from. Now Marvel Comics is following suit with its own look back to original Star Wars source material.
Marvel Comics is releasing two new versions of Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin’s original six-issue adaptation of the original Star Wars. This is the classic adaptation that saw its first chapter, Issue #1, released before the movie hit theaters.
The first volume is being released today: Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope. The OGN is for “oversized graphic novel” but the value in this book is the restoration, George Lucas style, of Howard Chaykin’s original artwork via a replacement of Marie Severin’s original 1970s colors with Chris Sotomayor’s update of the six-issue movie adaptation into a more modern color scheme. Adi Granov supplies the new cover art for this edition. Marvel said it will soon release similar editions of its adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Check out a preview of the new look at a classic movie adaptation below.
IDW Publishing and Marvel Comics announced this week a second treatment of the same Star Wars comic book adaptation. The Star Wars Artist’s Edition will be consistent with past IDW “artist’s edition” offerings, showcasing the original comic book pencil and ink art behind the series in high quality color reprints of the original, giant-sized page format that the artists sketched the artwork.