Thursday, 17 April 2014

Talking Star Wars Toys With Galaxy of Toys

Thanks so much to Star Wars collecting podcast, Galaxy of Toys for having me on their latest episode.  We discussed our latest purchases, their panel at Emerald City Comic Con, The Clone Wars: Lost Missions and the upcoming Rebel Rendezvous at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studiios for Star Wars Weekends.

Nothing better than talking Star Wars!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Guesting On TechnoRetro Dads Podcast

Thanks to TechnoRetro Dads for inviting me onto their First Birthday Celebration episode to discuss Big Jim toys.  Naturally we managed to talk about Star Wars too, and, hey, how about that banana sketch?

Below is the artwork for the week's show, created by co-host Jedi Shua. It features guests that they've had on the show over the past year.  And, yes, I look just like that with my shirt off.

Be sure to check out TechnoRetro Dads on Facebook too!

Thanks again to Shua and Shaz for asking me back!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Star Wars Rebels: Last of the Jedi?

On the February 21, 2014 episode of Rebel Force Radio, the hosts had a very cool discussion about what the character of Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi hiding from the Empire and Order 66,  and featured in the upcoming Star Wars Rebels TV show, means to the Star Wars Saga as a whole. Specifically does it change the fact that we have always believed that Obi-Wan ‘Ben’ Kenobi and Yoda are the last of the Jedi Knights.  The question posed by Rebel Force Radio was whether the appearance of a Jedi in the period between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope would now change how we view Ben and Yoda in their roles of “Last of the Jedi.”

Of course we’ll have to see how Rebels plays out over the course of it’s run to know for sure but I anticipate that Kanan’s story will only enhance Ben’s role when we meet him in Episode 4.  We know so little about what Ben's experience was while in exile on Tatooine  that Kanan's role in Rebels won't diminish the 'specialness' of meeting our first Jedi Knight in Episode 4.  

While I think we all assumed that Ben (and later Yoda) were the last of the Jedi, Ben does say "now the Jedi are all but extinct."--not "I'm the last of my kind" as Tarkin refers to Vader.  It's obvious the Jedi have been forgotten but it's very likely that others escaped Order 66.  If Ben and Yoda could disappear from the Empire's sight, why not others?  After all, we never thought Anakin had a Padawan until we met Ahsoka in The Clone Wars.  

Picture Ben Kenobi living in seclusion for 20 years "far from the centre of the universe."  It's likely he is as cutoff from the news of the galaxy as could only happen on a desolate desert planet. Twenty years of isolation have perhaps beaten Ben down, indeed look at him! Until the Prequels came along I think we all assumed Ben was a very old man when in fact he's in his 50's. His weathered appearance, his limp as he rushes through Mos Eisley, his comment that he's "too old for this sort of thing" all reveal a man with a broken spirit. Too broken to believe that there may be more of his kind out in the galaxy. 

Ben's role on Tatooine was to watch over Luke until the time was right. Basically hurry up and wait.  Wait without knowing what was going on in the galaxy.  Look at Ben's reactions when Luke refers to 'Obi-Wan' that first time in the Jundland Wastes or when he reacts to Leia's holographic message.  This is a man who has been waiting to take action, but is stunned when he finally has to.  

By having a Jedi appear during Rebels achieves two important themes:

-As the Empire asserts it's power, there is still hope in the galaxy for good. That hope may be a few more years away, but it's still there.

-Meeting Ben Kenobi in Episode 4 for the first time will now create a link between Rebels and the role of the reemerging Jedi in the Original Trilogy. 

Just like with Ahsoka, Kanan will be a character that we will want to know his ultimate fate.  Perhaps we already know it when Yoda tells Luke in Return of the Jedi, “when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be.”

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My Star Wars Room featured on Facebook page!

Many thanks to for featuring my Star Wars room on their Facebook page.  It's gotten a ton of views and a crazy amount of comments (all positive)!  Of course, since I sent the photos a few weeks ago I've already made some changes.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Guest Appearance on Techno Retro Dads Podcast

The unrealness that is myself in the Star Wars community continues.  First, this blog managed to reach over 24,000 hits since I started it last February.  The fact that so many people have checked this website out is just amazing to me.  To make it even more surreal, I recently made my first podcast appearance.  

The guys at TechnoRetroDads were kind enough to answer my mass tweet where I asked the podcast community, "Just putting this out there.  I really want to be on a starwars podcast and I love the old Marvel series."  It's one thing to listen to a show you listen to every week, it's quite another to actually be part of the conversation!

After some pre-show chat, we recorded about 30 minutes or so of a conversation about The Yoda Chronicles LEGO TV specials along with Chris from Star Wars Kidscast.  We also discussed what LEGO meant to us as kids and we also managed to cover Order 66 from Revenge of the Sith.  It was a lot of fun, nerve wracking at first, but fun.  I don't have much opportunity to just geek out with other Star Wars fans (my wife does her best) so it was great to just talk Star Wars.  And talk Star Wars in a positive way. No rumour discussions, no prequel bashing, just a few guys talking about what they enjoy. 

I could get used to this, anyone else looking for a guest?

Check out the January 13, 2014 episode of 
Techno Retro Dads entitled "Bionic Brangus and the Badawans."

                                               In the recording studio/Star Wars room

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year's Eve Star Wars Style!

Ringing in 2014 with Return of the Jedi and the Death Star blowing up at midnight....An idea started by Jimmy Mac at Rebel Force Radio.

Click here for video

Final Day! 12 Days of Star Wars Collecting-Favourites From My Collection-Hallmark “Force Is Strong” Family Picture Frame

Hallmark “Force Is Strong” Family Picture Frame

We made it! We made it! The final post in this series! Happy New Year!

For the last of my favourite collectibles I’ve chosen something that isn’t down in the Star Wars room and something I get to look at everyday. It sits on the corner of the desk in our living room.  It’s a picture frame with the phrase, “The Force runs strong in my family.—Luke Skywalker” inscribed on it.  Yes, it should actually read “The Force IS strong in my family” but hey it’s still grammatically correct at least.  I change the photo in this frame usually once a year. When I first got it I put a family photo of us from a camping trip. 

Currently the photo in the frame is one taken at Motor City Comic Con from last May.  It’s significant because it commemorates the first year my entire family began attending cons together.  The first one was a month earlier in Toronto but we weren’t able to get the four of us together for a photo for some reason. I started going with my brother Doug and friends and Mitch has been coming with me for a few years now but last year was the first time Kari and Shelby also came.  

It’s been so much fun walking around the booths pointing out all sorts of pop culture (but mostly Star Wars) items for sale.  Mitch is old enough now to take off with his buddies when we go now but Kari and Shelby stick with me and act as my extra sets of eyes as we walk the aisles searching for Star Wars treasures.  Shelby really seems to enjoy these shows and tries to pose with as many members of the 501st and Rebel Legion as possible.

As I said though, the first photo I put into this frame was from one of our many camping trips. So although it’s obviously a Star Wars collectible, it’s content doesn’t need to be exclusive to that.  My family and I have shared many interests over the years, Star Wars, superhero movies, Walt Disney World, camping and lately Red Lobster come to think of it.  

So I like to think that The Force as referenced on the picture frame is just as Ben Kenobi told Luke, “it surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”  

Or, you know, family.

Thanks for checking out this series, it’s been a lot of fun and a good way to put the Christmas season 2013 to bed.  Have a great 2014 folks and #MTFBWY

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Day 11 of the 12 Days of Star Wars Collecting-Favourites From My Collection--Modern Vintage Hasbro Figures

For my penultimate post of this series, I’m choosing a slightly vague premise. When I was deciding on my 12 favourite collectibles I stood in the centre of my Star Wars room and jotted down initial reactions to items I saw.  Some items were no-brainers: plush Chewbacca, X-Wing Fighter, Angus MacInnes’ autograph. As I spun around the room, looking for inspiration my eyes kept falling back onto two carded figures sitting on my Kenner shelf: Wedge Antilles and Emperor’s Royal Guard both from the modern Vintage Collection series Hasbro started in 2010.
Wedge is pretty much a sentimental favourite for a lot of collectors both for his heroics in the Original Trilogy as well as the fact that for whatever reason, he hasn’t been represented very well over the years in toy form.  In fact, I believe this is only the second time he’s been featured alone on a card. It's very cool to finally see one of the unsung heroes of the OT on a vintage style card.

The Royal Guard figure has gone through a bunch of versions over the years (my personal favourite being the “salt shaker” version from 1997), but what always stands out is the all-red, priest-like robes the character wears.  The photo used on this card especially stands out from other figures, it’s so vibrant that it sort of reminds me of the weird backgrounds used on the cardbacks of the original Kenner line.

Both of these carded figures sit in the middle of my display of the Original 21 Kenner figures.  You can see in the photo that I have used the recent Vintage Collection line as a backdrop for my childhood-era toys. I had hoped to have all 21 of the new line to match the old but unless Hasbro resurrects the line in the future, that won’t happen.  In order to fill up the background of newer carded figures, I included my favourite Vintage Collection figures from the Original Trilogy (A Princess Leia “Revenge” card joins these other two).  

While these particular figures are certainly favourites in my collection, they also represent how cool the entire modern Vintage Collection is. They are toys that, for all intents and purposes, look like the toys I bought as a 10 year old. The toys that were quickly liberated from their plastic prisons, the cards thrown away almost instantly.  

They are the closest I will ever come to re-owning the toys of my childhood in mint on card form.  Good job Hasbro, now can we finish my shelf?

Thanks to Jedi Temple Archives for their always awesome information!