Get ready for Star Wars Day with these Star Wars t-shirts!

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May the Fourth be with you. #StarWarsDay

Star Wars Day is just around the corner!

As we’re preparing our blue milk, Ewok dance parties, and revving up our x-wings for another assault on an Imperial weapon, we’ve got to make sure to celebrate in style. Right? I’ve found a few fabulous t-shirts you should check out as we prepare to celebrate the love on Star Wars Day.

“Stay on target!”

I think this one’s my favorite. It quotes quote Gold Five during an intense moment in A New Hope’s climactic Death Star Assault. And of course I would hope someone would tell me to loosen up if they saw me in this shirt. But this is also some pretty good advice for life in general. Don’t you think?

Free* Boba Fett shirt

Continue reading “Get ready for Star Wars Day with these Star Wars t-shirts!”

A Wookiee playing a cello? Yes. A Wookiee. Playing a cello.

Looking for something fun to do to kick off Star Wars MONTH? It looks like the Fishers Library has just the thing. They’re hosting a Star Wars Day Festival from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow (May 3). The schedule is full of all kinds of fun events, like hands-on exhibits about the science of Star Wars, a Jedi Training Arena, a costume contest, a Star Wars trivia contest, Star Wars themed cupcakes from Gigi’s (oh man, that sounds awesome) and a Wookiee playing a cello.

Yup.

A Wookiee.

Playing a cello.

Wookiee cellist
Image via Wookiee Cellist

The Wookiee Cellist will be performing with the  iL Troubadore Klingon Music Project. This isn’t the first time they’ve performed together. I found this little gem from last year’s Gen Con.

I must admit, though, that I feel a little uneasy about this. A Wookiee performing with a Klingon band? Isn’t that akin to crossing the streams? It might create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.

Anyone heading to the library for some Star Wars awesomeness on Saturday? Who knows? Maybe we’ll load up the kids and head up to Fishers for a while. If so, I’m definitely wearing my Chewbacca shirt.

My Chewbacca selfie

Maybe I can get a selfie with the Cellist. That would be all kinds of awesome.

 

What I hope for Star Wars: Episode VII

Star Wars

I know I’ve been silent about it for a while, but I must say that I’m quite excited that they’re about to start filming Star Wars Episode VII. And now that I know that it’s supposed to take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, I have to admit that I’m looking forward to seeing some of my favorite characters return to the big screen for one last hurrah.

I’m especially looking forward to the return of Jar Jar Binks. That’s right. I’ve dumped Chewie. Jar Jar is my all time favorite Star Wars character. And he would be a great addition to the cast of characters expected to return in Episode VII. Sure, the character will be pushing 90 years old when Gungans generally live to be 65 or so. But that’s OK. Because he’s Jar Jar. And an ancient Jar Jar would be awesome, wouldn’t it? Especially if he becomes a Jedi Knight. He could totally help restore the Jedi Order.

Or maybe they could make him the chief antagonist. Could you imagine Jar Jar as a Dark Lord of the Sith? That would be epic. I sure hope Disney, Lucasfilm, and J.J. Abrams, make this happen. Maybe I should start a petition or something. Think I should get the White House involved? I mean, this is pretty important stuff.

Because the world needs more Jar Jar.

Jedi Jar Jar Binks
Image via Wired.com

Oh. And one more thing.

April Fools.

I know. I totally fooled you. Didn’t I?

Our Indiana Comic Con Quest

Our Indiana Comic Con QuestTowards the end of February, I approached Christy with this proposal:

“After Aly’s (ISSMA-related) choir concert that Saturday morning, how about I take all the kids with me to Comic Con downtown? Aly and Mihret would be free. I’d just have to pay for me and Aiden.”

I thought this was the perfect win-win-win proposition. 1.) I’d get to go to the first-ever Indiana Comic Con. 2.) Christy would get to have some time to herself, which is hard for her to come by. 3.) I’d be stepping up my effort to properly raise a gaggle of geeks. It was the best idea I’d come up with in a long time.

Here’s how she replied to my foolproof plan:

“That’s money we don’t really have right now. I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Ouch.

She seemed pretty committed in her response, so I really wasn’t going to press the issue. She was probably right. There are a lot of irregular expenses coming up. It probably made sense not to spend the extra money. Besides, some family members still send me birthday money. So I figured I could use that cash to cover the admission prices anyway.

Then my birthday came. My family gave me a nice little surprise. Christy was going to take Mihret to her school’s Carnival on Saturday and I was going to take the big kids to Comic Con! Christy and the kids had already planned the whole thing out before I approached Christy with my proposal.

My family.

They get me.

A rough start

When Saturday morning finally came, it started with a potentially disastrous beginning.

That’s right. My worst nightmare came true. I slept through my alarm and Aly almost missed one of the most important performances of the year. I’m convinced that it’s only by a miraculous act of God that she got there in time. We were sure that her choir was scheduled to perform at 8:00. We pulled into the parking lot at 8:01. Our hearts sank as we approached the gym and heard voices singing. We were late. She had missed her performance. Her grade was going to suffer. All because Dad couldn’t set his alarm.

“Well,” I said, “you should support your classmates. Let’s stand at the door and listen.” We walked to the door and peeked in the window. A different school was performing! We quickly looked at the schedule that was posted on the wall and found her choir. She joined them with approximately 4 whole minutes to spare.

They finished warming up together. Aly and the choir filed into the gym to perform. And they sounded wonderful!
Aly's choir

Whew. Crisis averted.

When we got home, I threw on my Chewbacca shirt, ate the breakfast that Christy had prepared for us, and we were on our way to a day full of all-out geekness. And walking. Lots of walking.

With all of the events happening downtown that weekend, I was a bit worried about getting gouged in a parking lot. Some of those event parking prices are ridiculous. I parked in a lot that was right across the street from the Convention Center. And it only wound up costing me $7 for the whole day.

Whew. Another crisis averted.

When we entered the Convention Center, things got a little crazy.

"Hey kid! The line ENDS here. It begins… THERE" #LongLine

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A lot of digital ink has been spilled about what went wrong with the logistics of Indiana Comic Con. Since this was only my second ever convention like this (GenCon was my first), I’m nowhere near an expert. So I’ll just say that signs are a good thing. And if you really want to get a grasp on how many people will be there, it would be a good idea to make it cheaper to buy tickets ahead of time instead of at the door.

Now, let’s move along…

Indiana Comic Con Randomness

As you can see, we had a great time while we were there. Even though a sword fight or two might have broken out.

And then a sword fight broke out

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I really enjoyed seeing the collectibles. I honestly wish they had more.

Shockwave

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They also had another Shockwave from Japan. He cost $350.

That’s a lot of cash. I think I’m in the wrong business. 😉

The Droid Factory was the first Star Wars toy I ever had. I remember standing in the toy aisle at Service Merchandise, trying to convince my parents to buy me a sand crawler. It was awesome. I was pretty sure that it even came with an escape pod. But there were no action figures that came with it. So my parents talked me into getting the Droid Factory so I could build my own droids to play with. It was pretty cool.

Dude! I have this!!!

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Aiden recognized the Droid Factory when he saw the box. Parts of the toy are still in my parents’ basement. He remembers playing with it. That was a pretty cool moment where we were able to bridge our generation gap.

I like to give mom a hard time about my Star Wars toys because I used to keep all the boxes. One day, while I was at school, she threw all of them away. I use pictures like this to remind her how valuable those toys would be if I still had my boxes that she had tossed out. In reality, I know that the toys are nowhere near mint condition because they were played with over and over and over again.

But it would still be cool to have the old boxes.

While I was excited to see items like Shockwave and the Star Wars Droid Factory, I was most excited about explaining the awesomeness that was Intellivision to the kids. They didn’t quite understand my excitement, but I did get them to admit that I would totally kick their collective tails in biplanes. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have an extra $150 sitting around. I’d have been tempted to buy this.
Intellivision - $150

Aiden really enjoyed talking to some of the comic book artists, especially Ron Braun. I think he also enjoyed hanging out with Darth Vader. Unfortunately, it appears that he was seduced by the Dark Side.

I guess Aiden joined the Dark Side 🙁

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There is still good in him. I can feel it…

Aly really enjoyed the costumes. She liked seeing the costumes everyone made. She also liked dressing up herself.

Aly at Indiana Comic Con 2014

 

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Aly and Elsa

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I think the 6(ish) year old Batman was her favorite.
Young Batman and his Batmobile at Indiana Comic Con 2014

We’ll be back

We had a good time at our first-ever Comic Con. While there were some bumps in the road, I think the overall experience was worth it. Aiden and Aly have both said they’d like to go back next year. So, we’ll be back, Comic Con. Hopefully it’ll be even bigger and better next year!

Indiana Comic Con Selfie

An interview with a Wookiee

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Interview with a Wookiee

Star Wars Movie Tickets

Earlier this week, I sat down with my bobblehead Chewbacca for a little one-on-one chat. As you probably already know, I’m a big fan of the Giant Walking Carpet. I think it was egged on by the fact that my roommate started calling me Chewbacca after I returned home from Philmont.

Meeting Chewbacca
This is the first time I “met” Chewbacca. It was at the New York Planet Hollywood in 1998.

I’ve even “met” Chewbacca on a couple occasions. OK. I didn’t really meet him. I just got to stand really close to some Chewbacca costumes that had been used in the films. That counts for something. I’d love to meet Peter Mayhew someday, though. Maybe I should add that to my list of 100-ish Things I Want to Do Before I Die.

With all that being said, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that I have a Chewbacca bobblehead sitting at my workspace. Should it?

Bobblehead Chewie and I sat down for our interview one cold morning this past week. Here’s how our conversation went…

Me: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this morning. We’ve known each other for quite a while now. Right?

Chewbacca Bobblehead

Bobblehead Chewie: Well, you should know.

Me: You were the first thing I bought and brought in to sit on my desk after I started working at Slingshot. That’s been close to two years. That sounds like a pretty decent amount of time.

Bobblehead Chewie: Whatever you say.

Me: That’s an interesting response.

Bobblehead Chewie: Good.

Me: What’s your deal? Who peed in your Wheaties this morning?

Bobblehead Chewie: I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the other Chewbacca at your desk? He’s always hanging out with you. You even take cool pictures with him.

Me: Um…That was almost three years ago. It’s been a while.

Chewbacca vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Bobblehead Chewie: Whatever. He thinks he runs this desk. He still brags about how he threw that Ninja Turtle off his perch. And that was months ago! He keeps saying that makes him King of the Hill.

Me: That wasn’t even my Turtle.

Bobblehead Chewie: It doesn’t matter! He’s getting out of control and you need to stop him before I rip his arms out of his sockets. 

Me: Heh. That would be fun to watch. Do you think we could set up some kind of pay-per-view broadcast of the epic Wookiee on Wookiee duel?

Bobblehead Chewie: Whatever.

Me: OK. You’re right. He’s getting a little too big for his britches. I’ve removed him from the situation and put him in a coffee mug. He’ll be in time out for a while. Like a three year old. Are you happy now?

Bobblehead Chewie: Well….

Me: Oh, what else is wrong?

Bobblehead Chewie: It’s that stupid Christmas Jawa.

Jawa: Utini!

Christmas Jawa Bobblehead

Me: Now wait a second. He’s on the other side of the desk. He’s about as far away as he can be from you.

Bobblehead Chewie: I know. But he kind of stinks like a dead Hutt. And his eyes are so spooky. It’s like they glow in the dark. They give me nightmares when I sleep. And it’s not like I get to sleep for very long. Have you heard him sing? It’s absolutely dreadful. All he sings is Christmas songs. Off key. And he does it all. night. long.

Me: Well, you’re just going to have to make the most of it. Christmas is only a few weeks away. Then he’ll be put back in the box for another 11 months.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens Tickets

Jawa: Utini!

Me: I think he comes down with a horrible case of cabin fever when he’s in that storage box. It just takes him a while to get all of his energy out of his system.

Bobblehead Chewie: I get that. I really do. But he’s grating on everyone’s last nerve.

Me: Sorry. Y’all are just going to have to deal with it.

Bobblehead Chewie: You know, maybe you have too many Star Wars trinkets at your desk. Have you ever thought of putting some of them away?

Me: You know, you’re right! Maybe I should start by putting you away….

Bobblehead Chewie: No. I see your point. I think you have just the right amount. Now, where were we with this interview? Didn’t you have a question for me?

Me: I think it’s safe to say that this interview is over. You’ve said quite enough already.

**********************

This post was inspired by #ThinkKit December post-a-day blog writing challenge by Smallbox. The prompt: Conduct an interview

Why The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite

Empire Strikes Back

I believe The Empire Strikes Back is the first movie I remember going to see in a movie theatre. I remember waiting in line with Uncle Don and Aunt Patsy. I’m sure other people were there with us, but I definitely remember them because Uncle Don told me that they use glowing swords that make a humming noise and go “bzzzzp” when they hit each other. I came to find out much later that they were concerned that the lightsaber scenes were going to scare me.

Scare me?

They were awesome.

I appreciate the sentiment. But I already knew all about the sound lightsabers make. I was already a huge Star Wars fan. I had the storybooks. I’d heard The Story of Star Wars. Like most kids my age, I was hooked. And the toys from The Empire Strikes Back – especially the Hoth playsets – certainly helped fuel my Star Wars addiction.

I owned that playset. It’s still in my parents’ basement. It’s one of my favorites. Always has been. Always will be.

Of course, the toys aren’t the only reason The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite…

Everybody’s Doing It

It seems that it has become quite cool to say that The Empire Strikes Back is your favorite of the Original Trilogy (and if it’s your favorite from the OT, then it’s probably your favorite of the entire series of Star Wars flicks because it’s entirely unlikely that one would think that any of the prequels is better than Empire – just sayin’). Roger Ebert said it was his favorite in the Star Wars saga. It is the highest-rated episode in the entire Star Wars filmography, according to rottentomatoes.com. Wired magazine says that “the other five movies are comic books. Empire is a fairy tale.” I’m pretty sure they mean that as a compliment.

In high school, I started telling everyone that Empire was my favorite of the three films. I got some pretty crazy looks from people for two reasons:

  1. Star Wars wasn’t “cool” anymore. I was part of the minority. I still loved the stories even when very few of my classmates would admit to being a Star Wars fan. I guess you could say I’m a Star Wars hipster. I liked the films before they were cool again. Those were dark times, though.
  2. For many of those who thought Star Wars was still worth discussing, Empire was just a bridge between A New Hope and Jedi. They didn’t see the way Empire was essential in fleshing out Luke’s development as a character. They didn’t understand how the hero had to lose before he could win.* They didn’t appreciate the complexities of the lover’s triangle that was brewing between Han, Leia, and Luke. They just wanted explosions and action and stuff. Empire was just a means unto an end.

Chewbacca

Sad Chewie by David Bigler via http://davidbigler.com/art/illustration/the-empire-strikes-back-30th-anniversary-drawing-a-day-may-5-sad-chewie/attachment/empire-strikes-back-30th-sad-chewbacca-hoth-db/
image via David Bigler

Most of the time, Chewbacca’s  character is about as static as when you rub a balloon against my head. Not so in Empire. He isn’t just a walking carpet with anger management issues in this edition. He cares. Deeply. He’s distraught over the shield doors closing at night, trapping his closest friend in the frozen horror that is Hoth at night. He goes berserk in his attempt to protect Han from the carbon chamber. He comforts Leia as she watches Han descend into the unknown. It’s subtle. But there’s a lot of depth to Chewie in Empire.

“No. There is another…”

Do me a favor. Ignore the prequels for a minute. I know. You’d rather ignore them forever. I get that.

Think back to the time when you had no idea that Luke and Leia were siblings.* When Yoda tells Obiwan that Luke is not their last hope, it sends a shiver down your spine. The mystery of who the other hope for the galaxy? Now that’s a cliffhanger.

Ch-ch-changes. Or not.

I have disagreed with a lot of the changes that George Lucas made when he released the Special Edition. I thought most of them were unnecessary. It should say something, then, that The Empire Strikes Back was the one film that George Lucas didn’t change very much. Yeah, there are a few expanded scenes and the visuals are enhanced, but it’s nothing like the changes in the other two. I firmly believe it’s because Empire was so well done that there wasn’t much Lucas could tinker around with (except Boba Fett’s voice. I’m still upset about that). That’s a sign of a well-told story. And I like that.

The bad guys are winning*

There is very little hope at the end of the second installment of the Original Trilogy. Very little hope, indeed. The Rebels are on the run. Luke’s received horrifying news. Han has been taken off to who-knows-where. The entire galaxy is spinning further into darkness. The Dark Side has won the day. You can’t have the joyful ending in Return of the Jedi without the dark, almost depressing ending found in The Empire Strikes Back

And because of this, The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite.

*Like I said earlier, it’s 30+ years. If this is a spoiler for you, I’m sorry. You need to get with the program. I even have a few copies of the films you can borrow.

S is for Sound Effects

A to Z Challenge 2013 S is for Sound Effects

A to Z Challenge 2013 S is for Sound Effects

You need these sound effect buttons in your life.  Trust me.

Just click away and sprinkle these sound effects liberally throughout your day.

Vader nooooooooooooooo

Drama Button

Inception Button

Emergency Yodel

Chewbacca button

You’re welcome.

 

Disney + Star Wars = ???

Jedi Mickey

Jedi Mickey

Come on. This really isn’t that big of a surprise. Disney and Lucas have been in bed together for ages. StarTours. Star Wars Weekends. Jedi Mickey (seen above). This isn’t that big of a jump.

Did Lucas sell out? Probably. But…come on…he’s been selling out for years. And at 4+ billion? You’d do the same thing.

If Disney had purchased Lucasfilm 10 or 15 years ago, I’d be worried about the future of the saga. Things have changed since then. Disney seems to have done a pretty good job with Marvel movies. And George released Episode II. And kept changing the Original Trilogy, trying to pretend it was the way he had always envisioned it with little regard to the path of destruction left in his wake.

As the husband of a coworker of mine said today, “Lucas can’t hurt Star Wars anymore.”

Hate all you want. I’m excited about the possibilities. George won’t be tinkering around anymore, generating a special effect without a story. Disney understands their audience. Disney understands their brand. They won’t screw this up. They’d better not.

Am I excited about the next set of movies that will be coming out? Oh yeah. I get to take my son to see them. That’s always been my dream. Will we go to a midnight showing? Probably not. Been there. Done that. Swore it off after the last one.

And who knows? Maybe Han will go back to shooting first.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

In the meantime, let’s celebrate!

The Return of Wonderful Wookiee Wednesday

Wonderful Wookiee Wednesday is back for a special limited engagement. You could say that it’s in celebration of the fact that Mr. George is re-releasing the Star Wars saga this month. But it’s Episode I. And I’m not sure if I know anyone who is excited about watching JarJar Binks and the forced, wooden dialogue pop out at them in 3D. Hey – at least you get to see Darth Maul fight the Jedi in 3D. That might be cool.

No, this is much more important. There’s a problem spreading that has almost reached epidemic proportions. This is serious stuff, people. Our educational system is falling apart and important things like correct spelling are falling through the cracks.

 

Thank you, Distracted by Star Wars, for passing along this important documentary.