Inspired Haunted Mansion stretch gallery/Star Wars mashup

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Karen Hallion, a frustrated Disney animator, has updated her brilliant Princess Leia/Haunted Mansion mashup from 2014 with an inspired, complete set of Star Wars inspired Haunted Mansion stretch-gallery portraits. Read the rest

The journey of Anakin's lightsaber

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I used to think Star Wars was the story of C3P0 and R2D2, but The Force Awakens suggests Anakin's lightsaber may be the talisman that ties the room together. This fantastic video by youtuber Christopher Sherwood shows us that iconic weapon from inspiration up to its place in the current story.

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Attack of the Journal – Part journal part sketchbook and a great companion to the Star Wars Jedi Academy series

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

When an author who writes books for grown-ups is successful at translating his voice into books for kids it’s a win-win. Jeffrey Brown, author of graphic novels such as Clumsy and Funny Misshapen Body has done just that with his series Star Wars Jedi Academy. These graphic novels follow Roan, a young Jedi fumbling his way through middle school’s version of the Jedi Arts. This latest installation, Attack of the Journal, is part activity book part sketchbook and a great accompaniment to the series. It features familiar characters from the books, but you don’t need to have read the actual novels to enjoy the journal. Unlike many character-based activity books for children, Attack of the Journal gives the reins over to the reader. Instead of preprinted mazes and simple seek and finds, Brown’s activities are open-ended and challenge readers to try drawing new things and to write their own stories.

The book is great for elementary-aged kids, but even younger can have fun with the “Draw Your Friends As Aliens” page or attempt a self-portrait. I found it’s a great way to practice letters and words with kids in a way that is fun for everyone. Even the fact that it’s a hardback makes whatever you create inside feel more important. Jeffrey Brown’s sense of humor and kind encouragement are felt in the journal activities, helping young authors and illustrators not take it too seriously if their “Create your own Lightsaber” page looks more like a Wookie. Read the rest

Bake: homemade Jabba the Hutt peeps

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The perfect accompaniment to your home-made poop emoji peeps: a marshmallow Jabba the Hutt. Read the rest

Death Star Skull tee

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Fanfreak's Space Skull tee is $20 at the Neatoshop; how is it that I've never seen this design concept before? Read the rest

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' concept art revealed by ILM

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ILM has just revealed 45 concept illustrations from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What secrets will they contain?

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Darth Vader and Son gives us a funny peek at Vader's hypothetical daddy side

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Darth Vader and Son is cute, and perfect for the little Star Wars fan in your life. It playfully posits the question “What if Darth Vader had actually raised Luke?” Author and illustrator Jeffrey Brown turns run-of-the-mill parenting activities into fun moments full of Star Wars references.

This book isn’t so much a story as it is a peek into the hypothetical everyday life of Vader and Luke. Every page of the book tells its own complete story of sorts. Some pages are miniature comics while others are full-page illustrations. Brown does an incredible job of telling his story in these single images. I imagine this book would be great for children just learning to read, similar to how the Owly books help develop a sense of story without the need for lines and lines of text. If you have a child that enjoys books but isn’t yet able to read longer children’s books with more words, Darth Vader and Son is a great compromise. At 64 pages it is long enough to be engaging for an extended period of time, but you can basically jump in and out of the book at any point.

Brown’s art style is colorful and light, reminiscent of childhood crayon drawings. Darth Vader always looks slightly goofy, which goes a long way to establish the tone of the book. The drawings include a number of visual references to the Star Wars films that will delight anyone with the eye to catch them (and there’s something on almost every page, so have fun looking for everything). Read the rest

Return of the Jedi creature designer's LSD trip report

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VFX pioneer Phil Tippett, creator of Jabba the Hutt's pet Rancor, dropped acid during the production of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi:

“I took LSD when I was working on Return of the Jedi. I could communicate with my cat Brian, and Brian took me on a journey.

“I crawled into this cupboard with Brian the cat and we went to the centre of the Earth for like three billion years and I was just in this world of molecules. It was fine, it was very calming.

“I decided to go back to work and I was at ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) and I walked into the blue screen stage and it’s huge - everything’s just super illuminated bright blue - and it was just like ‘Aaaah, I took like way too much.’’

More in this VICE video: "My Life in Monsters" (via The Independent)

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Imperial March in "major key"

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If Star Wars were directed by Paul Verhoeven: what the stormtroopers actually march to, far from John Williams' anti-Imperial minor key propaganda. Read the rest

Chewbacca screaming like a teenage girl in a horror movie

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By Tal Prints. See below for "Chebacca screaming like a grown man in a torture porn movie." [via Kotaku]

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Scan of original 1977 35mm print of Star Wars released online

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A restored high-definition digital scan, taken from 35mm prints of the original, unmolested version of Star Wars, is now available online to those who are looking. May the celluloid be with you. Always.
While this isn't the first time that attempts have been made to restore Star Wars to its original theatrical version—that's the one without the much-maligned CGI effects and edits of later "special" editions—it is the first to have been based entirely on a single 35mm print of the film, rather than cut together from various sources.

Here's a post from the team who located usable prints and spent years working on their restoration.

Despite having access to the original source, and to all the cleaned footage as the project progressed, I was still completely blown away by the final version. I had no idea it could look so good! Honestly! Way back at the start I had created a comparison clip with the 2006 Bonus DVD on top and the raw scan of LPP on the bottom, in order to see which frames (if any) were missing from the print, and I remember being rather alarmed that it made the GOUT look good!:

Creator George Lucas said, in disowning his original work, that all the copies of it were destroyed. "The only issue with Team Negative 1's version of the film," reports Mark Walton, "is that it isn't exactly legal."

Here it is, compared to the official Blu-Ray:

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Fans de-Lucas original Star Wars, post a digitized 1977 35mm theatrical print

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Team Negative 1, an all-volunteer Star Wars nerd squad, have spent thousands to source, digitize and restore an original 1977 theatrical print of Star Wars (known in contemporary canon as "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope"). Read the rest

Better than the movie? LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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The folks who make these trailers are awfully clever. You can pre-order the game via Amazon. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens via Amazon Read the rest

To do in Toronto: Create a Rey doll hackathon

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Many people have noticed that the female lead character Rey is notably underrepresented in the tsunami of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. Read the rest

Gorgeous Star Wars inspired frocks

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Catherine Elhoffer from Elhoffer Design created these awesome "The Force, Fashioned" dresses that riff off the costume designs in The Force Awakens. Read the rest

The Force is with this beautiful short Star Wars fan movie

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Kara, protected by her father, stumbles through the sands of Jakku as a dogfight erupts overhead. Where is she headed? Joe Sill's fan movie is trim, affecting and very well-made. The performances are good enough to make me wonder, just a little, why the official Star Wars movies have to be so stagey. [via] Read the rest

Star Wars Rebels mid-season trailer connects to Force Awakens

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Star Wars Rebels second season has been a roller coaster! This mid-season trailer promises that the second half will be even more packed with must-see lore and heartbreaking resolutions than the first!

The second half of the season, which returns on Wednesday, January 20th, will re-introduce old friends, take us to an ancient Jedi temple, and reveal an oddly familiar lightsaber with cross-guard! Fan-favorite Ashoka seems destined to facedown her old master, and we hear anguish in his voice. While Ezra's force-abilities develop, Yoda can not help but meddle, but Darth Maul may be edging in on his business!

...and I particularly enjoyed hearing her royal highness explain why she fights. Read the rest

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