Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Cowboys & Aliens (Mild Spoilers)

On Friday we went to see Jon Favreau's new movie, Cowboys & Aliens.  I went into the movie very excited, looking forward to seeing how Ford and Craig would work off of each other and the chance to see the lovely Olivia Wilde in anything is a pleasure.

I will preface this to saying that I really like Jon Favreau's work, of course to me he will always be Gutter, the stoner who screws up the beer run in PCU but finds redemption on the lonely road of life by convincing George Clinton to play a college house party.

Cowboys & Aliens begins and ends like a traditional western, the visuals and the tone is spot on in these scene.  There is definitely a modern flavor sprinkled in with language and actions that seem more modern then would be appropriate to the setting, but overall, I bought into this as a western.  The bulk of the film which occurs in between is scifi/western mash up that at times works and at other times feels like it just missed the mark. 

At this point we have seen so many different Hollywood aliens that it must be tough to come up with a novel concept for aliens.  Cowboys takes an interesting approach with the chest cavity with arms that come out for close in work. 

The aliens in effect lasso townsfolk to experiment on them, testing human physiology for strengths and weaknesses for a future invasion.

The alien technology was pretty cool looking especially their gold smelting technology.  The one issue I have is a question raised by the story and Jake Lonergan's (Daniel Craig) awesome bracelet.  The bracelet is pretty sweet and I particularly enjoyed the holographic sight.  But the story reveals that it is a piece of technology from the aliens that our cowboys are fighting.  The hang up for me was that the bracelet only seemed to work when the aliens were around.  Is it tied to them for energy and needs to have access to that to turn on?  Because if it is designed as a weapon, it doesn't make sense that the aliens would design it to work against themselves but not against other species.  We do see Jake use it against other humans and objects, but only when the aliens are near by.

One of the things that brought the film down a little bit for me was the casting and performances of a few characters.  Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano) is suppose to be a whiny, spoiled, bully, and he sucedes wildly.  The only problem is I am rooting for the aliens to kill him, not for him to be saved.  At the end of the film, I am left thinking, great, this punk lives yet some other much more like able characters are dead.

Doc (Sam Rockwell) is the emasculated, well meaning but not street smart character, that we see often and his story arc is to learn how to be a "man" and rescue his wife.  I can't exactly put my finger on it, but I don't really enjoy Mr. Rockwell's acting.

Emmett (Noah Ringer) is the young kid who for some reason the adults allow to come along on the posse.  Overall Noah's performance left me rather Meh.  But he did provide one of my favorite parts of the movie when Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) provides some great surrogate parenting and a shiny knife. 

There were some very good performances in this movie, Harrison Ford as Dolarhyde starts as a miserable old git but as the movie progresses you seem some real growth from his character.  Daniel Craig is solid in seemingly unstoppable butt kicking machine kind of way.  Olivia Wilde is fun and provides one of the better twists in the movie.  Walton Goggins (Shane from The Shield) provides some fun comedic relief.  My favorite supporting performance comes from Clancy Brown (Preacher Meacham).  Brown portrays a tough as nails man of faith who fits right in on the frontier.  Star Wars fans may recognize Brown as the voice of Savage Opress on The Clone Wars animated series.

The sound work in Cowboys was fantastic, you could feel the action in the theater.  The visuals were also very well done.  There are some broad sweeping vista shots that look beautiful, and the scenes set at night are very well done.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the similarities between a certain scene and Return of the Jedi .  Complete with Harrison Ford being captured by natives and having to be rescued by a god like figure.  The role of C-3P0 played by Olivia Wilde. 

The climactic battle of the movie features one side winning rather handily, then the other side making a comeback.  Even with suspension of disbelief fully engaged, this shift in momentum seemed a little incongruous.  

Overall Cowboys & Aliens is a fun summer movie, that gets a bit bogged down in its story in the middle but is worth the price of admission to see Harrison Ford kick some butt.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lucasfilm's Red Tails Trailer

I love a good war movie and if I was going to judge a movie by its cast and by its trailer, Red Tails looks to be one of the most intriguing war movies to come out in recent years. 

The aerial CGI looks terrific and I can only hope that we will see many extended aerial battles in the film.  Its like the Battle of Yavin and the Battle of Coruscant on steroids. 

Whether it was the old arcade game Afterburner, the film Top Gun, or the Star Wars movies and video games, I am sucker for dog fights.  As a gamer its a ton of fun and as a viewer it is very engaging because of the speed an sharp movement involved in these kind of sequences.

In terms of cast, I have to start off with personal favorites, Major Dad (aka Gerald McRane) and Method Man as kicking off what is a very eclectic cast. There is a very strong core of actors with Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad & Malcolm in the Middle), Cuba Gooding Jr., and Terrance Howard. 

George Lucas provided the story (written by John Riddley) and  is serving as executive producer while Anthony Hemingway will be directing his first feature film.  Mr. Hemingway has rich experience directing for television shows such as Treme, True Blood, Battlestar Galactica, and CSI. posted the following synopsis for the film in 2009:

1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once -- one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin "Easy" Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base -- leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills -- while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.
As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight -- a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses -- Easy's pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy -- and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.
The Trailer for Red Tails:

Red Tails will premiere January 20, 2012.  I'm in, are you?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Harrison Ford vs. Chewie: Jimmie Kimmel Show

This is fantastic. 

Jeff Grubb Untitled Hutt Novel News

SW RPG Adventure in Star Wars Gamer #5

Jeff Grubb is writing a Star Wars novel that is tentatively scheduled to be released May of 2012.  While the title of the novel and the storyline are not yet known we do know that it will focus on those handsome and oh so well mannered, paragons of galactic virtue, the Hutts. 

Mr. Grubb has previously done writing for Wizard of the Coast's Star Wars The Roleplaying game. 

The folks at Del Rey mentioned on Twitter and Facebook today that they are currently working on the manuscript for the book and we got a couple details regarding the book.

Apparently the book is set before the New Jedi Order novel series, which begins with Vector Prime set in 25 ABY.   To the best of my knowledge according to the official novel timeline the last novel before NJO is Survivor's Quest set in 22 ABY so there is about 3 years in the timeline which appear to be fairly open. 

We also learn that the protagonist is named Mander Zuma.  We don't know what species or gender Mander is.  In fact it appears that Mander may be an entirely new character.

Also on Facebook, Leland Chee, chimed in with some interesting Hutt Trivia. 

Keeper of the Holocron According the the Galactic Phrase Book, Huttese was based on Quechua, an ancient native language of Peru. So if you're fluent in Quechua, that might do.

That is all we know bout the story so far, but now I want to go re-read Darksaber

SOURCES: Star Wars Books on Facebook and @DelReySpectra

Heir to the Empire 20th Anniversary Edition: Annotation #13 Of Moffs and Grand Admirals

Star Wars Books on Facebook has posted the latest in the series of preview annotations to the special 20th Anniversary re-release of Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire.
Annotation #13:
"I wanted HEIR's villain to be a military leader, as opposed to a governor, Moff, or Sith. But a normal admiral seemed too commonplace. Hence, the Grand Admirals. I first ran across the title, by the way, in connection with the German navy in William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." --TZ
 Of course Mr. Zahn inadvertently started a trend where every two bit warlord in what was left of the Empire started declaring themselves, Grand Admirals, Commodores, Lord High Admiral, Grand Moff, etc.

SOURCE: Star Wars Books on Facebook

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Eight Fates of Ahsoka Tano

"I've done eight different endings for her. I'll be talking to George about it soon," said Filoni. ~Comic-Con 2011: Clone Wars Panel

One thing is clear, whether the fans hate or love the story arc for the character of Ahsoka Tano, the creative team behind The Clone Wars is putting a lot of effort into trying to get the story right.  But Dave's quote from Comic-Con got me thinking, what are these eight possible fates of Ahsoka Tano and in how many of them does she survive The Clone Wars?

Starting from the premise that there are two potential fates for Ahsoka Tano at the conclusion of TCW series, one path is that she emerges alive, the other is that she perishes.  That is the easy part, the difficult part is figuring out and interesting and significant resolution for a character that millions have come to love.

The big question of the series is now that Ahsoka Tano has become so popular, particularly with the female audience would George Lucas be willing to kill her off for the sake of the story, or will he spare her and keep her around for potential future Expanded Universe, animated spin-off or Live-Action series use?   

I don't have any inside information about what Dave Filoni is thinking, but below you will find some informed speculation about potential directions I think he is pondering.

Fate #1: Ahsoka Lives: Leaves Jedi Order before Order 66

If Ahsoka is to live following the Clone Wars, then one likely scenario would be her leaving the Jedi Order and Republic military before Order 66 is initiated.  There are a number of storylines that could play out to explain Ahsoka leaving the Order.  Perhaps she falls in love with Lux and they decide to leave the conflict behind and run away together.  This one seems far fetched, but Ahsoka's friendship with Lux certainly exposes her to life and relationships outside of the Jedi Order and opens up this possibility.

Perhaps Ahsoka simply becomes disillusioned with the Republic's war effort.  Does Chancellor Palpatine order Ahsoka to do some particularly heinous act.  If she does it perhaps it drives a wedge between her and Anakin, or if she refuses perhaps she is removed from the war effort.  Maybe she simply cannot emotionally handle killing any more and leaves the Order and the war for those reasons. 

Perhaps Ahsoka leaves the Jedi Order and joins a splinter group such as those Jedi following Master Altis. 

What if Master Yoda fears the war is costing the Jedi to many lives and decides to send a select few Jedi far away into the Unknown Regions or another area of the galaxy to hide and keep the Jedi flame lit should the worst case scenario happen, the Separatists win and the Jedi be crushed in the war.  Ahsoka, as a young and powerful Jedi who has learned from some of the Order's greatest modern Jedi could be a logical choice for such a group. 

Fate #2: Ahsoka Dies: Killed before Battle of Coruscant

The continuity police are all over the fact that Ahsoka doesn't appear in Episode III, nor is she mentioned in the film.  The fact that the events in Episode III happen in fairly quick succession, makes it possible that she simply didn't come up in the discussions between the characters, but what if there is another reason.  What if Ahsoka is not mentioned because the other characters are still dealing with her death and are aware of how emotionally affected by the death Anakin was.  Members of the Order and Padme would be extra sensitive to Anakin's emotion because in the case of the Jedi, he is viewed as the Chosen One, but he is also viewed as having attachment issues that could be a path to the Dark Side.  As such the Jedi Masters would be wary of wanting to push him for fear that he could fall.  Padme may not bring it up out of love, because she knows how much the death affected her husband.

We have a number of characters that could potentially bring about the death of Ahsoka.  I don't think they would have a minor character kill Ahsoka, and I also think it is more likely then not she would be killed by a Force-user  The most likely of which would be in no particular order, Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress, Savage Opress, and Darth Maul.

Darth Maul is set to make a return to the realm of the living in TCW, presumably we will see him at some point in Season 4.  His return was foreshadowed in the Season 3 Nightsisters Trilogy.  Dual-bladed lightsaber versus Ahsoka and her two lightsaber fighting style would be a real cool battle to see.   It would also set up the scenario where Anakin kills the resurrected Maul out of revenge or hatred and furthers his inevitable fall to the Dark Side.  The Savage Opress killing Ahsoka story would be roughly the same as the Darth Maul one.

Asajj Ventress began the series as one of the main villains and even though she has broken with Dooku, perhaps she could hunt and kill Ahsoka in a bid to get back into Dooku's good graces after the Nightsisters, potentially her only ally are defeated.

Count Dooku of the villains would be my favorite candidate to kill Ahsoka.  Lets take a look back at Episode III, when Anakin kills Dooku. 

Supreme Chancellor: [Anakin cuts off Dooku's hands ending the battle. Anakin catches Dooku's lightsabre and ignites it and puts both lightsabres to his neck] Good, Anakin, good. Kill him.
[Dooku looks at Palpatine in shock]
Supreme Chancellor: Kill him now.
Anakin Skywalker: I shouldn't...
Supreme Chancellor: Do it!
Anakin Skywalker: [Anakin decapitates Dooku] I couldn't stop myself.
Supreme Chancellor: You did well, Anakin. He was too dangerous to be kept alive.
Anakin Skywalker: Yes, but he was an unarmed prisoner.
[frees Chancellor Palpatine]
Anakin Skywalker: I shouldn't have done that. It's not the Jedi way.
~IMDB Ep. III Quotes
Why might Dooku have been to dangerous to be kept alive, why might Anakin have been angry enough with him to kill him in cold blood?  Perhaps Dooku killed Ahsoka in the waning days of the Clone Wars.

One potential odd ball fate is related to the Mortis trilogy in which Ahsoka died and was brought back to life by the life force of the Daughter channeled into her by Anakin.  Perhaps this fix was only temporary and Ahsoka eventually weakens and dies as the Daughter's life force fades within her. 

Fate #3:  Ahsoka Lives: Escapes Order 66

The Dark Times between Episodes III and IV is part of the Star Wars timeline that is ripe for storytelling and exploration.  This happens to be the setting of the currently on-hold Live-Action series.  What little we know about the Live-Action series is that it isn't going to focus on Jedi or the main characters from the movies, but instead will focus on other parts of the Star Wars universe.  As a result it seems likely that Ahsoka wouldn't be planned on appearing in the series, however her surviving the Clone Wars and appearing in the series would certainly help bring some fans from the cartoon to the Live-Action series as they grow up and mature.  Even if she was not to be in the Live-Action series, there is always the possibility they could do another cartoon series or use Ahsoka in novels, comics or games in the future.

How exactly could Ahsoka escape Order 66?  Ahsoka could pull a Yoda and kill the Clones sent to execute her then go into hiding.  Ahsoka could be saved by a friendly clone such as Captain Rex or ARC Trooper Fives.  The Clone could desert and go on the run with Ahsoka or could die protecting her while she escaped.  One idea that I like is to have someone help Ahsoka escape, perhaps Mon Mothma performs a service for Ahsoka similar to what Bail Organa did for Obi-Wan and Anakin in Episode III. 

Fate #4:  Ahsoka Dies: Darth Vader's Jedi Purge

If by chance Ahsoka managed to escape Order 66, The Clone Wars series could do a story arc set in the immediate aftermath of Episode III where Vader is doing the initial purge of any Jedi suspected or rumored to have escaped the Clones assassinations.   Darth Vader in his suit in the Clone Wars animated style would be awesome to see and would also create tons of merchandising opportunities for the franchise.

This would be a very dark way to end the series, but not the darkest.  Just wait till I get to the end of the list.

Fate #5:  Ahsoka Lives:  Spared by Darth Vader

An interesting twist on the Jedi Purge storyline would be for Vader (in armor) after Episode III to track down a rumored Jedi only for it to turn out to be Ahsoka.  In the last compassionate act we see on screen by Vader until Episode VI, he would spare Ahsoka, leaving her to go into hiding.  Ahsoka wouldn't have knowledge that Vader is Anakin unless they wrote it in a way that he told her.  She could simply be confused but thankful for the mercy. 

I kind of like this ending because it shows that there is still some good in Anakin, no matter how far he has fallen.  It would also show that his attachment issue is a problem for his commitment both to the Jedi and now to the Sith. 

Fate #6: Ahsoka Dies:  Anakin Kills Ahsoka

Ahsoka dying at the hands of Anakin would only add to the tragedy that is the Anakin Skywalker story.  But this loss, the grief, fear and regret that it would cause could only help explain Anakin's extreme fear of losing Padme in Episode III.  There are two major scenarios that I would see in my mind for this one.  The first is that Anakin accidentally kills Ahsoka.  One idea is that the accidental death could occur during a battle when Anakin loses control and uses the Dark Side in some way, perhaps he accidentally unleashes a massive bout of Force Lightning and Ahsoka is caught in its path.

The other major scenario, would be very dark and may just be too extreme to be likely.  If Ahsoka learns of Anakin's relationship with Padme and threatens to to the Jedi Council, perhaps Anakin may lose control in a fit of anger/fear and kill her.  Not in a premeditated action, but in the spur of the moment, either overwhelmed by emotion or the Dark Side.  Immediately he would regret it and it would stain his soul. 

Fate #7:  Ahsoka Lives: Anakin mindwipes Ahsoka

One off-beat scenario would only be potentially possible because Anakin is so immensely powerful in the Force.  I can see a story-line where Ahsoka learns of Anakin's marriage to Padme.  Ahsoka doesn't want to betray her Master but feels duty bound to inform the Council.  Anakin resorts to the drastic measure of using his Force powers to mind wipe Ahsoka.  Perhaps he goes to far and creates a permanent amnesia.  This amnesia could be total, or only to a certain point in the past, or only temporary.  After he wipes her memory of him and being a Jedi he could maroon her on some out of the way planet and hope that she never finds her way back to Coruscant or anyone that knows who she is.  Inadvertently this act would save Ahsoka's life because she would be safe from the initial slaughter of Order 66.  It could also set up a story where she slowly regains her memory, realizing that she is a Jedi, but becoming aware of what she is in a galaxy that fears and hunts her kind. 

Fate #8: Ahsoka Dies: Darth Vader's Assault on the Jedi Temple

The final scenario I will present you with, is the most unlikely, the most controversial, yet one that because George Lucas is a tinkerer, one that I wouldn't be shocked to see.

[Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda are escaping the Jedi temple as Obi-Wan noticed the hologram center]
Obi-Wan: Wait, Master. There is something I must know.
Yoda: If into the security recordings you go, only pain will you find.
Obi-Wan: I must know the truth, Master.
[Obi-Wan watches the recordings of Jedi, even younglings, being slaughtered]
Obi-Wan: It can't be... It can't be...
Anakin Skywalker: The traitors have been taken care of, Lord Sidious.
Darth Sidious: Good... Good... you have done well, my apprentice. Now Lord Vader, go and bring peace to the Empire.
Obi-Wan: [switches off the hologram] I can't watch any more.
Yoda: Destroy the Sith we must.
~IMDB Ep. III Quotes

What if Ahsoka was in the Jedi Temple when Anakin arrived to do "what must be done?"  Ahsoka giving her life in a massive lightsaber duel against her Master, attempting to protect younglings from his slaughter.  This would be an incredibly heroic way for Ahsoka to go out.  Perhaps she even protects some Padawans or Knights who manage to escape and then are used in future Expanded Universe stories or in the Live-Action series.   

It would of course be extremely controversial with fans. Obi-Wan seeing Anakin kill fellow Jedi and younglings would be bad enough, but it would be the ultimate gut punch to see Anakin kill Ahsoka.

In the end, the fate of Ahsoka Tano is in the hands of George Lucas and Dave Filoni, based on the quality of the series so far I am sure they will come up with something pretty good and it will probably be something I haven't even thought of. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Catherine Taber interview from Comic-Con 2011 via Movie Web

Nothing ground breaking, but I couldn't resist posting this interview done by with Catherine Taber the voice of Padme on TCW. 


Saturday, July 23, 2011

SUVUDU Lunch with Timothy Zahn and Shelly Shapiro

From 1983 until 1991 Star Wars fans had to wonder, what happened next after Return of the Jedi? What was the fate of our heroes?  Did Han and Leia live happily ever after?  Did Luke have further adventures?

Into the galaxy far, far away entered an author, Timothy Zahn, who not only started to answer some of these questions about the characters we loved in the movies, but also introduced a cadre of new characters that would grow to be loved by fans just as much as some of the characters from the original trilogy.  Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Captain Pellaeon, Jacen, Jaina, Ghent, Winter, the list goes on and on.

Since that fateful book the popularity of Star Wars novels has exploded exponentially.

Mr. Zahn captured my imagination as a child, I could see our heroes new adventures, I could hear John Williams music in the background while I read and I was hooked.  Today, Mr. Zahn is joined by a host of other authors who get the privilege to play in George Lucas' shared Star Wars universe.

For fans such as myself, the opportunity I had today as a result of a contest that the website ran in conjunction with San Diego Comic-Con was a once in a lifetime chance to meet an author who has given me countless and I literally mean countless hours of enjoyment from his books.  I have lost track the number of times I have read the original Thrawn trilogy, but I can honestly say it is one set of books I enjoyed reading at 10 years old and one set I am sure I will enjoy reading when I am 80 years old. ran a contest on there website.  All you had to do was sign up and you had the chance to win a 2 hour lunch with Mr. Zaun and Shelly Shapiro, the chief Star Wars editor at Del Rey.  The Force was with me on this one and along with to very nice young ladies who also won, we had a great time at the Hilton Bay Front Hotel on Saturday.  One of my fellow winners flew all of the way to San Diego from Indiana just to attend the lunch, I bow to her fandom.

Ms. Shapiro and Mr. Zaun probably think I am crazier then a force-using clone because I couldn't stop grinning through the entire lunch.  It was incredible and I can't thank them both enough for taking the time out of their busy schedules to interact with us fans.  I would also like to thank and Del Rey for putting on the contest.

Lunch was a blast, the discussion ranged from writing to editing to publishing, topics included past books and characters, as well as stuff that we may see in the future.  Much of the discussion I have been sworn to secrecy regarding, but not only was it cool to see Mr. Zahn discuss ideas that he has been recently pitching to Ms. Shapiro for potential future books, but he also had a moment of insight and creativity and began thinking of a new story during the lunch.

Some of the stuff we talked about was also mentioned during Del Rey's Star Wars book panel at Comic-Con, which was posted on-line by James at Club Jade.  I suggest you go check out those videos if you were unable to attend Comic-Con.

Some of the stuff discussed I think I am safe to mention as they are reiterations of stuff we have heard before such as:

The NJO story about the decision to kill Anakin Solo instead of Jacen Solo.  The interesting spin that Shelly mentioned today was, that that decision precipitated the way they wrote the NJO series in order to specifically build up the character of Anakin so it would be more impactful when he died.

Mr. Zahn would love to do anniversary annotated editions of Dark Force Rising and The Last Command.

Ms. Shapiro has been previously quoted discussing the move away from the large multiple book series to smaller trilogies, duologies or stand alone novels.  During the course of the discussion some of the issues that face both the authors and the editors on such large series with multiple authors was explained and made pretty clear just how tough it is to get these to work.

Ms. Shapiro was also kind enough to touch upon the Imperial Commando II issue, which she also discussed at the Comic-Con panel, for her comments regarding that see the video linked above.  They tried to make it work but there was difficulty finding an author and getting the timing to conclude the series.  She seemed to indicate at some point it may happen in some form.  Fingers crossed Omega squad and Clan Skirata fans.

We have often heard Star Wars referred to as George Lucas' sandbox, but Mr. Zahn used an analogy another gentleman came up with both on the panel at Comic-Con and at the lunch.  Star Wars is George Lucas' driveway, and sometimes he backs up his truck and runs over the EU. 

I wish there was enough room at the table for everyone to have joined us and there is a lot more I wish I could talk about,  but it wouldn't be appropriate. However, one of the highlights for me was to learn that Mr. Zahn would be very interested in writing an episode or trilogy of episodes for The Clone Wars animated series.  I won't go into specifics about what was discussed but if Dave Filoni and crew could make this happens I think my head might explode. 

After lunch the five of us retired to a lounge area to continue the discussion, when who happened by but Leland Chee (Keeper of the Holocron and guardian of Star Wars continuity for Lucasfilm).  Mr. Chee was kind enough to join our little troop and we ended up sitting around talking for an extra 30 minutes after the lunch was suppose to be over.  Mr. Chee is very impressive, he is either a human replica droid or has one of the best memories of anyone I have met.  Lucasfilm would be glad to know he was also very careful not to give up any secrets.  One tidbit that Mr. Chee did mention came up when I was asking Ms. Shapiro about Lowbacca (the Wookiee Jedi from the Young Jedi Knight and NJO series), is that contrary to popular belief there is no moratorium on Wookiee Jedi.

I can say enough about how down to earth Mr. Zahn, Ms. Shapiro and Mr. Chee where, it was a pleasure to meet them and they were very nice.  Lucasfilm and their licensees have a reputation as being very fan friendly and if these folks were any indication of how the rest of their companies operate, then the franchise is in very good hands.

I would suggest fans not only visit for potential other contests and information, but also the Facebook pages for Star Wars Books (Del Rey's Star Wars page) , Timothy Zahn's page, and Leland Chee's page

Friday, July 22, 2011

SDCC 2011: Star Wars Book News: BOOK OF SITH

Book of Sith promotional cards. Pyramid! #SDCC on Twitpic

Author Dan Wallace posted a very interesting twitpic on Twitter today of promotional material of the follow up to the Jedi Path book.  It is entitled, Book of Sith and according to the material it will be released in January 2012.

This book is the logical follow up to the very popular Jedi Path, our review of which you can find here.

SOURCE: @danwall88

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Star Wars: Riptide Mini-excerpt #3: One Sith

Star Wars Books on Facebook has posted another mini-excerpt from Paul S. Kemp's next Star Wars novel, Riptide. Due out on October 25, 2011, Riptide is the sequel to Crosscurrent and follows the adventures of Jedi Knight Jaden Korr.

RIPTIDE Mini-excerpt #3: (ES)

Not for the first time, he wondered how much of recent events the Master had foreseen, how far into the future the Master’s foresight extended. It was as though the Master had a recorder on the eye of fate, and through it saw and anticipated events like no one else.

Despite himself, Wyyrlok felt awed by the Master’s power.
 This book is interesting in that it we will be once again see the return of Darth Kryat's One Sith and Kryat's spokesman and guardian Darth Wyyrlok (The First).  This will help connect Dark Horse's Legacy comic series to the rest of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and has me intrigued in just how much of the One Sith we end up seeing in Riptide.

SOURCE: Star Wars Books on Facebook

SDCC 2011: Thursday Star Wars: The Clone Wars Panel Round-up

Thursday at Comic-Con brought us a Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4 Preview Panel.

TheForce.Net had a live chat going using Cover It Live.  Some highlights include:

Regarding the 3 Part Season Premier Battle of Dac arc:
*The three episodes will be set on the Mon Cal homeworld of Dac.
*Confirmation that Admiral (then Captain) Ackbar will make an appearance.
*Reveal of new shark like Separatist Villain named Rik Enson (tentative spelling)

Other juicy tidbits:
*The Besalisk gets a name, General Krell.
*We will see a new planet, Umbara.  It is set in permanent darkness and is the homeworld of Sly Moore an aid to Palpatine.
*Characters confirmed to appear in Season 4: Savage Opress, Asajj Ventress, The Nightsisters, Cade Bane, Bossk, Boba Fett, Dengar, Clone Commandos will appear (not Delta again).

For a complete transcript please visit TFN .

Lazypadawan (@lasypadawan) has a very good summary of the panel at her, The Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society website.

There’s also a brief glimpse at a Z-95 Headhunter, which goes back to the old Star Wars RPG from the late ’80s!
There was also discussion of designing new models for characters, especially the diving clonetroopers seen in the water battles. Apparently Captain Rex is realizing the Republic is viewing the clones as expendable.
For the complete blow by blow recap please visit SWPAS.

IGN also has a great write up of the panel with some cool info such as:

And we were also shown some very early, unfinished and uncolored animation ("George has not seen this yet!", noted Filoni) of the Nightsisters using lightsabers to fight a horde of Battle Droids, showing that there will indeed be more fallout from the split between Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress in Season 3. ...
The duo also talked about the new Jedi character, General Krell, who comes from the same species as Dexter Jettster. Silver described him as an "Unconventional Jedi with unconventional methods," who "Causes the clones to question things in different ways."
For the complete article please visit

Finally for tonight, has a new Season 4 Preview clip entitled "Water War" from the Season 4 Premier Battle of Dac Trilogy.  The Scuba Troopers look pretty slick. 

To watch the high quality trailer please visit

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Teaser Trailer on

This teaser trailer on Cartoon Network's website appears to be new.  It contains some images we have seen previously but also some new clips of troops/Jedi jumping from transports into the water, more of the Grievous.Gungan battle wear it looks like the General is impaled, and what appears to be a new fighter-craft.

CN Season 4 Teaser

Comic-Con 2011: Official Star Wars Blog Flickr Stream

If you are unable to attend Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, then the next best thing is to follow the convention through the lens of Bonnie Burton's camera. 

The Official Star Wars Blog's FLICKR photostream.

Also follow Bonnie on Twitter @bonniegrrl

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SDCC 2011: Cover Preview: Star Wars: Revan

Thursday 7/21 Update: has posted a high quality version of the Revan final cover art first scene at the Del Rey Star Wars booth at Comic-Con. 

Star Wars Books on Facebook has posted an image from Del Rey's Star Wars booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011.  The crown jewel of the booth is the blown up cover art of the new Old Republic novel by Drew Karpyshyn

I am curious that they have Revan with what looks like a green lightsaber blade.  According to the Wook, it looks like Revan used just about every color blade except green.

Revan wielded a violet-bladed lightsaber when he acquired his trademark helmet on Cathar.[20] By the end of the Mandalorian Wars, however, Revan's lightsaber shined a deep cyan.[5] Upon falling to the dark side of the Force and becoming a Sith Lord, he would change his lightsaber color to crimson.[6] Following his capture, reconstruction and redemption, Revan would once again utilize a blue lightsaber crystal in his fight against Malak and the Sith.[5][35]

SOURCE: Star Wars Books on Facebook and Wookieepedia

A Boba Fett film and Sio Bibble in Game of Thrones

It is not going to happen but as a Fett fan I would love to see it.  Joe Johnston the director of Captain America: The First Avenger, and former Lucasfilm designer and visual arts supervisor who worked on the Original Trilogy wants George Lucas to make a feature film based around Boba Fett.

SOURCE: ScreenRant

Oliver Ford Davies who played Sio Bibble an adviser to Queen Amidala of Naboo will be joining the cast of HBO's Game of Thrones according to author George R. R. Martin in the role of Maester Cressen.


The SDCC 2011: Clone Wars Season 4: Deathwatch Starbuck Video has given us a sneak preview of a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive clip that will be played Thursday at 4:45pm at the Star Wars The Clone Wars panel.

It looks awesome.

EW also has some juicy tidbits about the episode, when it will air and another guest star for Season 4.

Sackhoff will be the first female Mandalorian warrior we’ve seen on not only the show but the Star Wars franchise in general. Her episode, set to air midway through the Cartoon Network series’ fourth season, reunites Padawan Ahsoka Tano with her Separatist friend Lux, who’s renounced Count Dooku’s galaxy spanning war against the Republic. To oppose Dooku, Lux has sought refuge with the Death Watch, a Mandalorian terrorist group. In case you’ve forgotten your Expanded Universe lore, the Mandalorians are the helmeted warrior race that spawned Jango and Boba Fett. When last seen, the Death Watch were led by a platinum-haired militant voiced by Jon Favreau (whose Cowboys & Aliens will make its debut at Comic-Con), who will be returning to the Lucasfilm series this season as a Big Bad. But the sight (or rather, sound) of Sackhoff returning to the space opera genre, with her character this time appearing in chrome-domed glory herself, is cause for a major geekquake. So say we all?

Interesting that the video shows Ahsoka presumably drugged and disarmed by Lux Bonteri.  Bonteri you will remember was the teenage boy flirting with Ahsoka during episode 3.10 "Heroes on Both Sides."   Lux is the son of Seperatist politician Mina who was friends with Padme and later presumably murdered by Dooku.

Lux apparently has struck a deal with Deathwatch, but by the way the clip looks, could Deathwatch be reconsidering that bargain?  Could handing over Ahsoka be the price Lux is required to pay in order to get Deathwatch's help? 

We also learn that episode is mid-season and that Jon Favreau who previously played Deathwatch leader Pre Vizsla will also be returning to the series in potentially a new evil role.  


New Star Wars Timeline Gold by Nathan P. Butler is up!

Nathan P. Butler, author, teacher, Podcaster, galactic historian and fandom archivist is at it again, unleashing Star Wars Timeline Gold #49 as well as another in his series of must listen EU podcasts, The EU Primer. 

The SWTG is massive free PDF download.  Many thanks for Nathan for pouring untold numbers of hours into this project.  Incredible resource for fans. 

The EU Primer Podcast is one of my favorite Podcasts that I have found and the best cliff notes like version of the SWEU storyline. 

SOURCES: Star Wars Timeline Gold and SWFanWorks

Timothy Zahn Suvudu Interview and Borders Blog is running a weekly column leading up the release of the Star Wars Complete Saga Blu-ray set on 9/16/11.  This past week's author was Timothy Zahn and he relates reading to food/meals and according to Zahn Star Wars is dark chocolate.  Yum

I’ve been a fan of the Galaxy Far, Far Away for the past thirty-four years, and been privileged to be a small part of it for the past twenty. And as I’ve mulled over that question, I’ve come to the conclusion that, in the grand banquet of literature, Star Wars is the dark chocolate.
Think about it. Dark chocolate is elegant, a delight to the taste buds, and – as the medical types are just now figuring out – actually pretty good for us. It goes with almost anything, is a perfect snack, and can compliment any meal. also published one of their "5 Questions" interviews with Timothy Zahn to promote his new book Choices of One.

SS: Was it enjoyable returning to some of the characters you’ve helped immortalize over the years?
TZ: Oh, absolutely! Part of the fun of writing Star Wars is coming up with new adventures, and the rest is finding new ways for the classic and new characters to interact. That’s especially tricky with Rebellion era stories like CHOICES, where certain characters can’t interact with each other, and established future events have to be protected or worked around.


SDCC 2011: New Star Wars Mimbots: OT Love

These things are pretty cool looking, if a little expensive.  Lando and Bossk look sweet.

The new Star Wars MIMOBOT Series 7 features a product offering based on many iconic characters from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Leading off is Han Solo MIMOBOT with Carbonite carrying case, a keychain accessory that encases Han Solo in a sculpted plastic protective block re-imagining a new use for the famous frozen intergalactic smuggler. For the first time in MIMOBOT form is Lando Calrissian, Solo’s redeemed friend who aids in his rescue and pilots the Millennium Falcon helping to destroy the Death Star. Billy Dee Williams, famous for starring as Lando, will join Mimoco for an autograph session at the Star Wars Pavilion (#2913M) on Friday at 12:00pm – 1:30pm to promote the new series. Also joining in the fight against the Galactic Empire is Princess Leia MIMOBOT, disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh, ready to save the one she loves from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. Lastly, the fan-favorite Boba Fett has been reissued in Return of the Jedi styling, updated with a new battle-scarred suit and more intimidating scowl. These new additions join previously announced SDCC exclusive Trandoshan bounty-hunter Bossk. Each Star Wars Series 7 MIMOBOT purchased at Comic-Con comes with a free poster.

SOURCE: Comic Book Resources

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm Back! New Posts starting Wednesday

Hello All,

As readers of our Facebook page will know, I have been on vacation for the past week so there has been a lack of updates to Lightsaber Rattling.  There is a lot of news to review as well as a lot of news that will undoubtedly break this week at San Diego's Comic-Con 2011. 

Look for new posts starting tomorrow and resuming are usual frequent posting.  Also look for a recap of my lunch with 2 other fans and Timothy Zahn and Shelly Shapiro this Saturday.   Most likely the lunch will be off the record but any tidbits I can get the OK to mention I will.

Tomorrow a new iOS App will be launching for the Star Wars Blu-ray release, seems like I was calling for Lucasfilm to put out an iOS App months ago.  Hopefully we will see more Apps to follow.  I will give you a full recap of the APP as soon as I can get my hands on it.

In addition, look for my thoughts on the latest Lost Tribe of the Sith ebook novella, some Spoiler filled discussion of Timothy Zahn's Choices of One, a recap of the book news that has broken over the last week, Comic-Con coverage and whatever else may percolate to the surface of my brain.

As always, thanks so much for following this blog.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Review Star Wars: Choices of One by Timothy Zahn

The choices of one shape the futures of all. ~Jedi Saying

Choices of One by New York Times best selling author Timothy Zahn marks the triumphant return to the Star Wars expanded Universe for the author in his first book in over four years.  Choices of One operates as a sequel to Zahn's last novel, Allegience starring Mara Jade and a group of AWOL Stormtroopers using the nom de guerre, "The Hand of Judgement."   While Choices of One is a sequel to Allegience occuring soon after the events of that novel and involves many of the same characters, the story stands on its own.

While Allegience isn't a necessary read before Choices of One, it will deepen your understanding of the characters in the story and I highly suggest that you go and pick up that book and give it a read.

To be frank, while I have enjoyed Zahn's recent Star Wars novels, Outbound Flight, Survivor's Quest and Allegience they where embellishing stories and characters that were at their best in the Thrawn Trilogy and the Hand of Thrawn Duology.  While Zahn has certainly been instrumental in creating characters and story lines that have shaped the modern Expanded Universe, at times it seems like he is carving out his own little fiefdom with in the Expanded Universe and retreading the same storytelling ground to often. 

All that being said, to truly appreciate Choices of One, you need to have read all of Zahn's novels as well as many of his short stories.  What we get in Choices of One is the keystone to Zahn's overriding story arch, a tale that connects both the earliest novel Outbound Flight and the latest novel Vision of the Future

Choices of One is set between Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and as the publisher's summary below explains, it features Luke, Mara, Han, Leia, and Chewie, new characters Governor Ferrouz and Warlord Nuso Esva, as well as a cavalcade of the Zahn's favorite characters.

I don't want to ruin the fun for anyone, so I won't reveal just who else appears in the novel, but rest assured just about every major character that you would expect from a Zahn novel set in this time period appears with one glaring omission who at least got a mention.

There is a lot going on in Choices of One and with a lesser author the story could have collapsed under the weight of all these characters, plot threads, reveals and surprises.  Zahn captures the voice of Han and Leia with great skill and provides a portrayal of Luke Skywalker that is both endearing and humanizing, it makes sense for Luke to be somewhat lost in terms of what it means to be a Jedi, being only very briefly changed but saddled with high expectations for being a Jedi based on memories from the Old Republic.  The title comes into play as the main characters all of choices to make, there decisions send ripples through the Force and through the lives of those around them shaping future Expanded Universe events well into the future.  

In the end Choices of One is a thoroughly entertaining read that leaves you guessing until the final reveal, and will once again have fans saying that Timothy Zahn is the Grand Master of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Choices of One will be released July 19th, 2011 in Hardcover and eBook formats and will be available wherever books are sold.

Publisher's Summary:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn comes a brand-new Star Wars adventure, set in the time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and featuring the young Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and the beloved Mara Jade.

The fate of the Rebellion rests on Luke Skywalker’s next move.
But have the rebels entered a safe harbor or a death trap?

Eight months after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion is in desperate need of a new base. So when Governor Ferrouz of Candoras Sector proposes an alliance, offering the Rebels sanctuary in return for protection against the alien warlord Nuso Esva, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are sent to evaluate the deal.

Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand, is also heading for Candoras, along with the five renegade stormtroopers known as the Hand of Judgment. Their mission: to punish Ferrouz’s treason and smash the Rebels for good.

But in this treacherous game of betrayals within betrayals, a wild card is waiting to be played.

Don’t miss the new novella by Timothy Zahn, “Crisis of Faith,” featured in the 20th anniversary edition of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

Author's Note: A special thanks to David Moench at Del Rey/Random House for providing Lightsaber Rattling with a review copy of Choices of One.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

SUVUDU Contest: Lunch with Author Timothy Zahn and Editor Shelly Shapiro

Image Source is running a really cool contest in conjunction with San Diego Comic-Con.  The contest is the chance for three people to sit down for lunch with author Timothy Zahn and Del Rey's Star Wars Editor Shelly Shapiro. 

Do you have questions for the New York Times bestselling author? Do you want a free meal?
Well, if you’re going to be in San Diego during San Diego Comic-Con, and want to win a chance to have lunch with him and Star Wars editor Shelly Shapiro, here’s your shot!
Three lucky readers will be randomly chosen to have lunch with Tim and Shelly on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011. Obviously you have to be in the area at the time (sorry–can’t pay your plane fare!), but if you are, why not enter?
Open to US residents 18 and older. For complete rules and more details, click the link below.
Otherwise, fill out the form to be entered. Entries close at Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 5pm ET.


Cover Preview & Discussion of Star Wars: Darth Plagueis

"What is thy bidding, my Master..."

We have seen the Sith Master/Apprentice relationship between Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Darth Tyrannus with Palpatine (Darth Sideous) but now for the first time we get to see a young Palpatine in the role as Sith Apprentice. 

Little is known at this point about the story or Palpatine's Master, other then his name, species and the time setting for the book.  Darth Plagueis is a Muun, natives of the planet Muunilinst and home of the InterGalactic Banking Clan. 

In Episode III, at the Opera, Chancellor Palpatine relates a Sith "legend" to Anakin Skywalker as part of Palpatine's seduction of the young man to the Dark Side.  Playing on Anakin's fear of losing those he loves, in particular his wife Padme, Palpatine tells Anakin of a Sith Lord so powerful he could effect midi-chlorians to create life and stave off death. 

"Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?..
Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying....He became so powerful, the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew. Then, his apprentice killed him in his sleep...Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself."
According to the publisher the book will be set 67 years before A New Hope.  In Star Wars time everything is related to the Battle of Yavin (concluding battle of ANH) by the acronym BBY.  For perspective the first Prequel movie, The Phantom Menace is set at 32 BBY and Palpatine's approximate birth year is 82 BBY according to Leland Chee.  So that means we are looking at an a teenage(15-16 year old) Palpatine unless they will be canonizing a new birth year for Palpatine. 

The cover itself looks gorgeous and I cannot wait to see the finished book in person, I love the coloring of what looks like green and burgundy robes for Darth Plagueis. 

SOURCES:, Star Wars Books on Facebook, and Wookieepedia

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Star Wars at Comic-Con 2011: Panel Details

For those attending Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego in a couple weeks the location and schedule for panels has been released.  Below I have included some of the Star Wars focused or Star Wars related panels.

Thursday, July 21, 2011:

10:00-11:00 Kinect Star Wars Panel— 
Enter the Galaxy with studio head Jorg Neumann (Kinect Publishing) and lead producer Craig Derrick (LucasArts) as they discuss the highly anticipated title with USA Today's Mike Snider, sharing new game play from the iconic Star Wars universe, revealing an all-new mode, and unveiling an exciting announcement. All attendees will receive a limited-edition poster. Room 32AB

11:00-12:00 Creating Licensed Interpretive Art— 
Acme Archives is joined by acclaimed Star Wars and Disney artists Brian Rood, Steven Daily, and Jerry Vander Stelt, along with Steve Carrasco from Disney Consumer Products, to illuminate and answer questions about the process of limited-edition interpretive fine art creation, from inception through release, while Brian Rood paints a new piece live before the audience's eyes! Room 32AB

3:00-4:00 State of the Geek Report: From Avatar to Zardoz 
The world's foremost geeksperts once again converge at Comic-Con to discuss the state of contemporary sci-fi, fantasy, and horror cinema and television, ranging from the superhero smackdown of the summer of 2011 to the future of 3D films to why we'll never have a summer as good as 1982 again. Screenwriter Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class), director Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise, The Hills Run Red), writer Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: The Series), Mark A. Altman (Free Enterprise, DOA: Dead Or Alive), and Bill Hunt (The Digital Bits), along with guests, discuss the past, present, and future state of the genre, brought to you by the new Geek Monthly. Room 5AB

3:30-4:30 Star Wars: The Old Republic : Join Us, It Is Your Destiny— 
BioWare and LucasArts are creating the most immersive MMO experience you've ever played with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Hear from BioWare developers as they discuss development of a story-driven MMO, debut new gameplay footage, and perhaps spring a few surprises along the way. Exclusive reveals, giveaways, guests, and Q&A! Room 6BCF

4:45-5:45 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Four Preview— 
The epic conflict of Star Wars: The Clone Wars intensifies in the upcoming season, as new battle lines are drawn, new threats arise, and old enemies resurface. Take an unparalleled first look into this fall's action, drama, and adventure as the creators of hit series from Lucasfilm preview some of what will astound Star Wars fans in Season Four. Featuring supervising director Dave Filoni, CG lighting/FX supervisor Joel Aron, and other talents from behind the scenes at Lucasfilm Animation. Hosted by Pablo Hidalgo. Room 6BCF

5:00-6:00 2011-2012: The Golden Age of Blu-ray?— 
With such titles as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Ben-Hur, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, Titanic, and Raiders of the Lost Ark on the way, could this be Blu-ray's Golden Age? Panelists Bill Hunt, Adam Jahnke, and Todd Doogan of The Digital, along with BD producers Charles de Lauzirika (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, Crave) and Cliff Stephenson (Rambo, The Expendables, Crank 2, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), Warner Home Video's George Feltenstein (senior vice president, theatrical catalog marketing) and othere discuss the subject, hold Q&A, and offer giveaways. Room 5AB

5:00-6:00 Batman: Arkham City 
Get the inside scoop on Batman: Arkham City, the highly anticipated follow-up to Batman: Arkham Asylum, one of the top-selling games of 2009 and the Guinness World Record holder for the Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever. Be among the first to see and hear new details about the next chapter in Batman's gritty, immersive world -- including some surprise game and character reveals -- from panelists Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series), DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, writer Paul Dini (Lost, Tower Prep), and game director Sefton Hill (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City). Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

6:00-7:00 Her Universe: What Women Want in Their Female Sci-Fi Heroes— 
In the early days of sci-fi, female characters were the designated damsels in distress. Thankfully, today a new generation of creative minds are molding the strong, intelligent, and powerful female roles we see in some sci-fi films, TV shows, comics and other media. What are the differences between past sci-fi adventures with female characters and today's feminine heroes that women can really connect with? How do you create truly interesting and unique female characters in the sci-fi universe? How are they different from their male counterparts? As the voice of a strong female role model, host Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) wants to bring this conversation to the forefront. Join Ashley for a dynamic panel of creative minds from television, film, and comics to explore this timely topic, featuring Dave Filoni (supervising director, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Chris Sanagustin (SVP development and current programming for Universal Cable Productions), Bryan Q. Miller (executive story editor, Smallville; writer, DC's Batgirl), Betsy Mitchell (editor-in-chief, Del Rey Books), Melinda Hsu Taylor (writer/producer, Lost, Medium; supervising producer, Touch), and Gail Simone (writer, DC's Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, and the new Batgirl comic). Room 25ABC

8:30-11:30 Star Wars Fan Movie Awards—

Celebrating its tenth year, the Star Wars Fan Movie Awards are always entertaining, and often studded with surprises. Each year the top prize -- the George Lucas Selects Award -- is chosen by Star Wars writer/director George Lucas. Finalists wait with anticipation to learn who will win industry and audience recognition, as well as the coveted Star Wars-themed trophies. Hosted by David Collins, this promises to be a night of entertainment that fans won't want to miss! Ballroom 20


Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace TV Special Air Date and Details

Lucasfilm, the Cartoon Network and The LEGO Group have announced the details of the Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace television special.

The Plot of the show:
A routine Jedi Academy field trip is turned into a rip-roaring comic adventure in LEGO Star Wars™: The Padawan Menace™. Tour guide Master Yoda leads a group of rambunctious Jedi younglings through Senate chambers when he senses a disturbance in the Force. Summoned to help save the Republic, he discovers that one of the younglings secretly boarded his ship...and has a taste for adventure! Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are put in charge of the boisterous group and find themselves in over their heads. As the evil Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it's up to Yoda and the droids to ensure that their young charges aren't torn to bricks!
 Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace will premier on The Cartoon Network on Friday July 22nd at 7 p.m. and will re-air on Saturday 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

 Full Press Release:

Premiering Friday, July 22, LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace™ Will Feature Signature Family-Friendly Fun, Spirited Action and Irreverent Humor

SAN FRANCISCO, July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After the runaway success of their wildly popular building sets, video game collaborations and animated shorts, The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm will join forces once again for an all-new adventure – their first-ever original television special. Premiering on Cartoon Network on Friday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT) in high-definition computer animation, the 30-minute original standalone special – LEGO® Star Wars: The Padawan Menace – will feature the charm, action and irreverent humor that have become the signature style of LEGO Star Wars animation collaborations.
Featuring situations, characters and locations from throughout the entire Star Wars Saga, the original adventure is written by Emmy® Award winner Michael Price (The Simpsons) and produced by Academy Award-winning Animal Logic, the production company behind Happy Feet.
"We're certain that fans of LEGO play and the Star Wars universe will be as excited by this new original animated LEGO Star Wars episode as we are," said Jill Wilfert, vice president of licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. "Developing original animated content leveraging the LEGO and Star Wars brands is incredibly rewarding for us because it not only engages and entertains fans in original stories and adventures that further their imaginative play, it authentically delivers on the inherent values and fun that LEGO play brings to the partnership."
To date, Star Wars is the first and most successful LEGO licensed product collection in the company's history, generating more than 200 LEGO models and approximately 275 LEGO minifigures inspired by the Saga, which has also spurred a blockbuster collection of videogames, selling 25 million units to date worldwide. In addition to its popularity among younger fans, a significant portion of the LEGO Star Wars consumer fan base is made up of nostalgic adults and franchise collectors.
LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace is scheduled to air multiple times on Cartoon Network during the weekend including: Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), Saturday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT) and Sunday, July 24 at 4:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
A routine Jedi Academy field trip is turned into a rip-roaring comic adventure in LEGO Star Wars™: The Padawan Menace™. Tour guide Master Yoda leads a group of rambunctious Jedi younglings through Senate chambers when he senses a disturbance in the Force. Summoned to help save the Republic, he discovers that one of the younglings secretly boarded his ship...and has a taste for adventure! Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are put in charge of the boisterous group and find themselves in over their heads. As the evil Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it's up to Yoda and the droids to ensure that their young charges aren't torn to bricks!
Lucasfilm, Star Wars™ and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd.  All rights reserved.  All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick & Knob configurations and the Minifigure are trademarks of The LEGO Group. ©2011 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.
Chris Argyropoulos, Lucasfilm Ltd.
415-623-1018 /
Wendy Rutherford, Cartoon Network
404-827-5097 /
Michael McNally, The LEGO Group
860-830-5885 /
 SOURCE: Star and PRNewsWire