Saturday, December 21, 2013

Skywalking in a Winter Wonderland: Outdoor Play the Star Wars Way!

Get outside and enjoy the winter weather, Star Wars style! There are plenty of moments to re-enact in the snow. Imagining being on The Empire Strikes Back's "remote ice world" of Hoth was a common part of outdoor winter play for me. Due to our winters, Hoth seemed the most familiar location among all the exotic locations of the galaxy far, far away.

Of course we didn't have AT-AT walkers, wampas or tauntauns, but we had plenty of snow and imaginations. Snow forts could easily become Echo Base, or the rebel trenches or even the wampa cave. Hanging upside down like Luke was a little trickier though!

The battle of Hoth is one of the coolest (hehe) scenes ever presented on film, but did you know Hoth is not the only icy place to play in the Star Wars Galaxy?

Jude Watson's 2001 children's novel Jedi Quest: The Path to Truth introduced a new icy planet called Ilum to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. There a chilly young Anakin seeks a crystal to create his lightsaber as part of his training, just as Jedi trainees had done for generations before him.

If this sounds familiar to you, you may remember in The Clone Wars when the Jedi Younglings travel to Ilum to seek their own crystals in the ice caves. In The Gathering (episode 6, season 5) Ahsoka & Yoda instruct six young Jedi (including my favourite Gungi the Wookiee!) on what they must do and face within the ice caves to retrieve their very own crystals as a rite of passage for Jedi.

"Cold we ALL are. Complain you will not."
In the earlier Star Wars: Clone Wars "micro-series", 3 mini-episodes (Chapter 14-16) featured Jedi Master Luminara Unduli guiding her Padawan Barriss Offee to construct her own lightsaber with a newly-aquired crystal. Things go horribly wrong when Separatist droids sneak in and try to destroy the sacred temple among the ice caves. Yoda, Padmé, C-3P0 & R2-D2 must brave the cold and face the invisible droids to rescue them.

"Frightful, the weather outside is. Delightful, a fire would be."
Once you're done imagining you're a Jedi on a sacred quest to find your own lightsaber crystal on Ilum, you can take a pretend hyperspace jump over to yet another ice planet in the Star Wars Galaxy to the "bleak, snow-covered planet" of  Orto Plutonia.

In The Clone Wars first season (Episode 15: Trespass), Anakin and Obi-Wan travel to Orto Plutonia to investigate what happened to a Republic base but find themselves in a conflict between the Pantoran military and the furry native Talz species. Peace is eventually reached but not without a price.

For some reason Santa went with reindeer instead.

So if you happen to live somewhere snowy, you can envision yourself riding a Narglatch snow cat with the Talz or zipping over the ice on a Freeco speeder bike too!

UPDATE: December 2014
Once we find out who this guy is and what he's doing in a dark, snowy forest there's whole new scenes to play out & have fun in the snow!



Just because it's cold and snowy outside, don't let that get in the way of your Star Wars play. There's plenty to re-enact or create yourself in the wintery Galaxy. 'Tis the season!

"I'm going to stink for weeks!"

Just an aside: I've never understood how Han Solo's Tauntaun (a native species of Hoth) freezes while Han himself and Luke can survive the freezing conditions. Any thoughts? Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Disney Destiny? Looking Back a Year Later

When Walt Disney purchased Lucasfilm it was a shock to many - but perhaps it was destiny? 

Back in 1980 Mark Hamill made his appearance on very popular The Muppet Show alongside “the stars of Star Wars”. For the grand finale musical number that includes Luke Skywalker, C-3P0, R2-D2 and a naked-looking Chewbacca dancing and singing, a medley of star-related songs climax with the signature Walt Disney song “When You Wish Upon A Star” complete with fireworks under a Dark Side rendition of the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle (aka. the Walt Disney logo). Yep, Muppets & Star Wars characters all singing the Walt Disney theme song…over 30 years ago!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast Gift Guide for Younglings & Padawans: Part 3 "Early Readers"

Got a few younglings or Padawans on your Christmas list? Here's Star Wars Kidscast's continuing recommendations for gifts big and small. Part three is all about the youngest readers on your list.




Star Wars Colors Third in a recent series of board books for the earliest readers, Colors features big bright photos from the Star Wars movies that illustrate various colors. These are large-sized board books so are more for reading together than for toddlers to hold themselves in the car or stroller. Previous titles include Star Wars ABC and Star Wars 123. (Scholastic)




DK Readers: Star Wars: Are Ewoks Scared of Stormtroopers?
DK keeps coming out with more fun titles in their DK Readers series. The Star Wars ones are no exception. Each is clearly labelled with a suggested reading level and each is illustrated with still images from the Star Wars movies, Clone Wars, LEGO Star Wars or Angry Birds Star Wars. They all have a theme and look at the characters & worlds of Star Wars in an age-appropriate way. (DK Books)






Adventures In Hyperspace - Two fun adventures for younger readers starring Han Solo & Chewbacca. Every page spread is illustrated in these early chapter books. (Scholastic) Read our review here








Star Wars Character Encyclopedia - A who's who of the Star Wars Galaxy. Great start to your Star Wars reference library fully illustrated with photos galore! (DK Books)










Star Wars Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia - A Clone Wars-specific character guide. ALMOST every character from the Clone Wars gets the Encyclopedia treatment here. A perfect companion to the show! (DK Books)








LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia - Not only a comprehensive guide to all the minifigure characters of LEGO Star Wars but you get some background on the evolution of the toy line. Great for young fans AND collectors. (DK Books)







Star Wars: Darth Vader and Son & Vader's Little Princess
If you don't already have these VERY popular books they are cute, fun and colorful collections of moments of an imagined alternate childhood of Luke and Leia and life with their Dad, Darth Vader from artist Jeffrey Brown. Suitable for grownups to enjoy and for kids of all ages. (Chronicle Books)




More recommendations to come! Hopefully in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast Gift Guide for Younglings & Padawans: Part 2 "Star Wars Reads"

Got a few younglings or Padawans on your Christmas list? Here's Star Wars Kidscast's recommendations for gifts big and small.

Ages 8 & Up 

Enjoy the Star Wars movies in a whole different way, anytime and anywhere. For each Star Wars film there's a junior novelization of the whole story, written at an age-appropriate reading level. A strong young reader may want the "grown-up" versions, but most kids would do better with these. (Scholastic Books)







Star Wars Complete Vehicles - Gathering the best of several Incredible Cross Sections books into one beautiful coffee-table sized hardcover book. If your younglings are as into visuals and details as reading then this is an amazing book. (DK Books) Read our review here

 Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger: Set on Earth in the present day, these funny and occasionally touching Star Wars-infused novels will entertain many older kids and even adults!  There's a new book coming in Spring 2014 but a great start would be the first four books in this box set: The Origami Yoda Files.

Included are The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (2010), Darth Paper Strikes Back (2011), The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (2012) & The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett (2013). (Abrams/Amulet Books)




Star Wars: Ewoks - Shadows of Endor : Fun, fast-paced story to engage Star Wars fans young and old. Endor never looked this good or was this exciting in comics! (Dark Horse Books) Read our review here 

Fun fact: Shadows of Endor artist/writer Zack Giallongo was the first guest ever on the Star Wars Kidscast podcast! Have a listen here!





Star Wars Folded Flyers - You gotta know when to fold 'em...An activity book that takes paper airplane-making to a whole new level, and a whole new Galaxy! (Klutz Books) Read our review here







More gift ideas to come including Clone Wars books, Young Reader books, clothes, toys & stocking stuffers!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast Gift Guide for Younglings & Padawans: Part 1 "Watch & Listen"

At the top of any list should be the actual Star Wars films. If your family has yet to own copies of the first 6 movies (fun to be able to say that because Episode 7 draws closer each day!) now is a good time to get them. The "Prequel Trilogy" (Ep. 1-3) & the "Original Trilogy" (Ep. 4-6) are available now as BluRay/DVD combo boxed sets. If you can still find it though, we recommend the earlier BluRay "Complete Saga" set because it has THREE DISCS of bonus features!


If you already have the movies and haven't been collecting each season set of The Clone Wars, you can get the complete set now of all 5 seasons! Each are also individually sold too. This show was/is amazing and never got the recognition it deserved. Sadly it's over, but there's 5 seasons to enjoy again and again!






HighBridge Audio recently re-released the Star Wars Radio Drama on a single mp3 CD. Now you can enjoy this expanded version of Episode 4: A New Hope on the road or at home. Recorded in 1981 with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Anthony Daniels (C-3P0) reprising their on-screen roles, this official radio adaptation features all the sound effects and music you'd expect, and many scenes that did not make it into the final film.

Imagine if Star Wars was longer with more of Luke's story, more of Leia's journey, and just more original Star Wars! You can chose between two different art styles...light side or dark side. Each comes with 2 Topps collector cards and some extra bonus material including vintage commercials and a making-of documentary. Visit the HighBridge Audio site here to order!


If you've got a young music lover to shop for, consider any (or all!) of the 6 Star Wars soundtrack CDs each with fantastic and memorable scores by John Williams! 



More recommendations to come including MANY Star Wars books, toys, clothes & more!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Read, You Must: Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars

If you're a young artist and fan of the the (sadly) now-cancelled The Clone Wars TV series, this spiral-bound activity book is for you. With illustrations by Star Wars artist Grant Gould and witty instructions by "the editors of Klutz" and Bonnie Burton this is a fun way to practice using basic art concepts, figure drawing and polishing your work into clean, professional-looking Clone Wars art.

You may be tempted to just follow the pictures in a book like this, but cheeky side-notes, tips and comments throughout offer an extra layer of fun in what could've been a pretty straightforward instructional book. So even though this is a Klutz book (which usually means more DOING than reading), make sure you stop & read along the way. Even the credits at the back are pretty funny!

The focus here is on drawing full body characters and action poses. You start with stick figures and build from there giving your characters dimension, weight and form. Eventually it moves to details and finished artwork. I would've liked to also see some attention to creating facial expressions and close-up details, like how to do Ahsoka's facial markings correctly or Plo Koon's mask for example. However this is a great place to start and it comes with quality drawing supplies to get you going. Hopefully we'll see a similar Star Wars Rebels drawing book when that show comes out!
Available online or in most book stores!

Publisher's description:
Draw Star Wars®: The Clone Wars™ is packed with tips and techniques, practice space to draw right in the book, and translucent overlays to make you a master of drawing. Start with stick figures, move onto basic shapes, and finish up with the details. Learn to draw 20 different Clone Wars characters. Age Range: 8 and up, Grade Level: 3 and up
Comes With: black marker, 3 double-tipped metallic colored pencils, always-sharp mechanical pencil, eraser

Also by Bonnie Burton:
The Star Wars Craft Book (LucasBooks 2011)
You Can Draw: Star Wars (DK 2007)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Read, You Must: LEGO Star Wars Yoda Chronicles

Did you enjoy the hilarious conclusion to the LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles series? The three specials may be done but you can keep enjoying The Yoda Chronicles with the companion book from DK!

LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles written by Daniel Lipkowitz is a gorgeous full-colour 64-page hardcover book that ties in nicely to the TV specials but also looks at many aspects of the the LEGO Star Wars Universe from Yoda's perspective. This book came out before the specials all aired so it doesn't go too deep into those plots. Instead it provides MANY fun facts about Yoda's story and other LEGO Star Wars characters and planets, all with the beautiful photography you'd expect from DK books.

The included "Exclusive Minifigure" is of a Republic Special Forces Commander. If you're a die-hard collector of the LEGO minifigs then I guess that would be exciting. To me it would've made much more sense to include a Yoda figure in the Yoda Chronicles book, but this character is pretty cool.

Since I'm not a LEGO collector I enjoyed this book more for the entertaining writing with plenty to look at. Viewed that way, the minifig is a nice bonus to a fun book.

LEGO Star Wars Yoda Chronicles is available now in bookstores and online.

***Enter to WIN a cool YODA CHRONICLES POSTER here!***

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast Episode 4: Chronicles of the Yoda Chronicles!

What happens when a Simpsons writer is unleashed in the world of Star Wars? You get FIVE hilarious LEGO Star Wars specials, including the brand-new final chapter of the Yoda Chronicles series - ATTACK OF THE JEDI! Join us for a fun, family-friendly chat with screenwriter Michael Price as we discuss Star Wars memories, parenting, writing and why punctuality is so important when attending movies!


Download this episode (right click and save)

Listen on iTunes!

Monday, November 18, 2013

TELETOON presents LEGO: Star Wars Day - November 28th!

The third & final LEGO: Star Wars Yoda Chronicles episode will debut on Wednesday, November 27th on Cartoon Network USA, and to prep you for it they're running repeats of the first 2 Yoda Chronicles episodes first. 

Here in Canada we have to wait a day to see the Yoda Chronicles finale but TELETOON is certainly making it worth the wait with a marathon of ALL 4 previous  LEGO: Star Wars shows before the new one! No wonder their calling it LEGO: Star Wars day!

On Thursday, November 28 at 7 p.m. ET/PT, TELETOON presents Attack of the Jedi,” Part 3 of LEGO® Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles. Leading up to the premiere, starting at 5 p.m. ET/PT, TELETOON will broadcast a marathon of back-to-back LEGO® Star Wars specials, including LEGO® Star Wars: The Padawan Menace, LEGO® Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, The Yoda Chronicles: The Phantom Clone and The Yoda Chronicles: The Menace of Sith.

Here's the schedule:

  • LEGO® Star Wars: The Padawan Menace - 5 p.m. ET/PT
  • LEGO® Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out - 5:30 p.m. ET/PT
  • LEGO® Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles: The Phantom Clone (Part 1) - 6 p.m. ET/PT
  • LEGO® Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles:  The Menace of the Sith (Part 2) - 6:30 p.m. ET/PT
 Then the BRAND NEW finale to the Yoda Chronicles series:

  • LEGO® Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles: Attack of the Jedi (Part 3)
Premieres Thursday, November 28 at 7 p.m. ET/PT
Obi-Wan learns that several major Sith lords and their apprentices are gathered at Mustafar. The Jedi hurry to Mustafar to destroy the Sith in one blow, only to discover that it’s a trap. The Republic fleet is destroyed, but the Padawans manage to put their bus back together. Yoda, Anakin and the Padawans travel to Endor where JEK is. All hope now rests on JEK.

 

Check your local listings for more info or visit Teletoon.com

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Read, You Must: Star Wars Folded Flyers

I have to admit, my paper airplanes usually look cool but would probably fly farther if I just crumpled the paper and tossed them like a baseball. Along comes Benjamin Harper and "the Scientists of Klutz Labs" to offer up Star Wars Folded Flyers, a book of fold-able templates to help you not only make better flyers, but man they look great too!

Like other Klutz titles, this is an activity book with far more to DO than to read. The book is divided into two sections: the first is the glossy description, tips & instruction pages that are a lot of fun, give a little background info for each starfighter and even some info for the related characters. Seeing what is basically Darth Vader's driver's license was a highlight of this section.

The second half is pre-designed template sheets for you to pull out and fold. What's great is you get several copies of each ship in case you make mistakes or more likely in case you have 4 kids who ALL want a Millennium Falcon! And they might, because the artwork is wonderful and incredibly detailed.

The book comes with an "Ages 8 & up" suggestion and it is very accurate to my experience. While I found the instructions refreshingly straight-forward, the only child who was able to do most of the folding himself was 8. If your kids are younger, be prepared to do pretty much all the folding yourself.

Most of the starships included look great when folded and some look just ok. The TIE Advanced X1 (TIE fighter) looks a little too much like a toilet-paper roll with wings. The X-wing and Jedi Starfighter looked the best.

There are ships from all across the Star Wars film saga. When folded carefully they look great (mostly) and fly pretty well. For the price of 1 plastic Star Wars toy (and I have nothing against having more toys!), consider this alternative that involves both fine AND gross motor skills, assuming your kids do some folding, and you don't get caught up having fun doing all the launching yourself!

For more info, visit the Klutz website here. 

Here's a cute video of a mom & son building the Millennium Falcon : http://youtu.be/eLFGhRw6IUs

Star Wars Kidscast Salutes MOvember!

Can you name all these Star Wars Moustaches? Comment below!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast Episode 3: Ewok Talk!

Are Ewoks cute & cuddly characters for kids or fierce warriors? Hop on a speeder bike, sharpen your spear and get ready for some Ewok talk! Zack Giallongo, writer & artist of the new Dark Horse comic digest Star Wars: Ewoks - Shadows of Endor becomes the very first guest on the Star Wars Kidscast! Join us as we chat about Ewoks' image problems, The Clone Wars, art and of course Star Wars! www.ZackGiallongo.com


Also enjoy our regular features including News Updates, Kids' Questions and an ongoing Contest!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast visits Dadsaster podcast!

It's nice to talk about Star Wars with anyone, especially other Dads who grew up with the original trilogy and enjoy Star Wars now with their kids. The guys at Dadsaster invited me on to talk a little about that. Little did they know our little girl would be making herself heard as well. Parents listen and enjoy...we're on near the end:
Listen here to Dadsaster "Tech Dad" episode.


http://www.dadsaster.com
Twitter: @Dadsaster

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GUM® Star Wars Toothbrushes for Children

Shopping with our daughter tonight and I saw these at a local store. I've seen other Star Wars toothbrushes before, but these are probably the coolest ones I've ever come across.

These are the GUM® Star Wars Lightsaber toothbrushes. They are lightsaber-shaped and the blades flash for 60-second intervals to encourage longer brushing. The hilts or handles are really detailed close-up. Better than some of the toys!

They come in Anakin blue, Vader red and Yoda green each with unique hilts. No Darth Maul double-bladed ones yet!

Anybody tried these yet? Something fun but strange about putting a weapon in your mouth, but as Obi-Wan said, it is an elegant weapon for a more civilized age....and smile.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Read, You Must: Star Wars Thumb Doodles: The Epic Saga at Your Fingertips

Star Wars Thumb Doodles is not a book to read exactly but an activity book to DO. From Klutz comes this fun and silly art book for young artists of nearly any skill level.

The concept is simple: you make thumbprints or fingerprints using the included (ink-luded?) ink pads, then use the supplied marker and the very cool double-sided lightsaber pencil crayon to add details. With a little practice your prints can become Star Wars characters and vehicles. Various movie scenes are recreated in black & white as simple but effective backgrounds.

The colours included seem limited at first but you can go pretty far with this small palette. The drawing style of the sample illustrations is simple enough that the children who tried it with me had no problems creating characters. We had fun making cartoon-y versions of Ewoks, Yoda, Darth Vader, Jabba & AT-AT walkers.

The characters and scenes in the book highly favour Episodes 4-6 with only brief appearances by some from the Episodes 1-3. The kids using it with me wanted to know where Anakin and Padmé were. Good question.

Some of the pictures are quite funny like "Really Young Yoda". Some characters work much better than others in this form. Ewoks look great for example, but others like C-3PO & Chewbacca look unrecognizable unless you can add a lot with the marker.

One thing not really stressed in the instructions is that you need to wait for the ink to dry before adding detail, or turning the page. Some kids were more patient than others! Any complaints are minimal as we had fun with this book, several kids wanted to know where I got it (most book stores carry Klutz/Scholastic titles) and I was happy the ink washed off my fingers with ease!

(Only slightly) Stained thumbs up!

For more info & images click here

Friday, November 1, 2013

Read, You Must: Star Wars: Ewoks - Shadows of Endor

What were the Ewoks up to shortly before they tied up Han & Luke and worshiped C-3PO? How did the Ewoks know about a secret entrance into the Death Star's deflector shield generator? Star Wars: Ewoks - Shadows of Endor tries to answer these questions in a fun adventure that works for kids and adults. It also sets up the Ewoks' encounter with the Rebellion in Return of the Jedi.

Written and illustrated by Zack Giallongo, with gorgeous colours by Braden Lamb, this digest-sized (like many Clone Wars titles, or Archie!) graphic novel from Dark Horse Books tells the story of how a group of Ewoks must trust an old enemy to get through many troubles and even face Imperials!

If all you know of the Ewoks is Return of the Jedi, then you're in for a treat as Giallongo shows us a much more diverse and dangerous "Sanctuary Moon" of Endor. The Empire is sometimes only a MINOR threat compared to some creatures there.

However, if you have ever read the Marvel Star Comics Ewoks series or remember the Saturday morning cartoon shows from back in the mid-1980's, you'll see plenty from those. Visually and story-wise, Shadows of Endor works as a clever and modern continuation of both of those Ewoks stories, but has it's own style and ties into the two 1980's Ewoks live action made-for-TV movies and even some stories from The Clone Wars TV show!

Don't be fooled into thinking this is just soft-and-cuddly cuteness though - these Ewoks have teeth...and spears! There's violence and bloodshed here, darkness and creepiness too. Endor is not as safe and sweet as it seemed on TV! However, there's no more graphic or violent content than The Clone Wars, it just jumps out a little more here.

I don't want to spoil anything by going into the storyline much. Let's just say I really enjoyed reading this story and look forward to more Star Wars: Ewoks tales if this is what they're going to be like!

For the Star Wars Kidscast interview with creator Zack Giallongo click here.

More info:
The entire original Ewoks (and Droids) Marvel Star Comics series have been recently reprinted in one book. Unfortunately the Ewoks cartoon TV show has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray...yet.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from Star Wars Kidscast!

Wishing you all a fun, safe, and Star Wars-filled Halloween. May the Force be with you while you're out bounty hunting tonight for candy. Beware the Dark Side! Don't forget to listen to the Star Wars Kidscast Halloween Special.

Anyone have a caption for this?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Horror Stories from Star Wars? Galaxy of Fear

Long before the much-celebrated "first Star Wars Horror novel" Death Troopers (NOT a children's book) there was a spooky series of Star Wars young reader middle-grade novels called Galaxy of Fear.

Published from 1997-1998, these were sort of a Star Wars take on the then incredibly popular R.L. Stine Goosebumps & Fear Street series. There were twelve books in all in the Galaxy of Fear series, all written by John Whitman. They are no longer in print but they sometimes appear in used book stores, or you can likely find them online...if you dare!

 Have you read this series? Let us know & comment below!

Star Wars KidsCast Episode 2: Halloween Special

What are the spookiest, scariest parts of Star Wars? What is the creepiest creature? Who is the most evil villain? Join the dark side for just one episode. It's Halloween fun, Star Wars Kidscast style! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Download this episode (right click and save)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Star Wars Pins benefiting Variety the Children's Charity

At Star Wars Kidscast we love when Star Wars can be used to help raise awareness or funds for charities, but this one is really close to home.

This video is a collision of my worlds, one as a Star Wars lover the other as a parent to a child with special needs. The programs she benefits from have certainly been helped by Variety and so on a very personal level - as a grateful Dad more than as a Star Wars fan - I ask you to purchase one of these very cool Darth Vader or Yoda gold pins that help support Variety The Children's Charity.





For more info go to Variety's website or StarWars.com

Monday, October 28, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

EASIEST CONTEST EVER! Star Wars Reads Day prizes

Did you miss out on Star Wars Reads Day on October 5th? Thanks to the fun publishing people at DK Publishing we've got a few leftover goodies that we'd love to give away!


The FIRST THREE randomly chosen entrants will get:
A Star Wars Reads Day LEGO Yoda Chronicles 19" x27" glossy poster (folded)
Star Wars Reads Day rubber wristbands
Star Wars Reads Day bookmarks

And everyone else will get a prize pack of wristbands & bookmarks for your family until we run out!

How To Enter:
Step 1) Spread the word!
Post a review of Star Wars Kidscast on iTunes 
OR Write a comment on any article on StarWarsKidsCast.blogspot.com
OR Use Twitter to Tweet an article from StarWarsKidsCast.blogspot.com  & follow @SWKidscast
Actually - feel free to do all three!

Step 2) Send an email to StarWarsKidscast@gmail.com (subject line: CONTEST) to let us know you've done Step 1 and which you did. Please let us know how many Star Wars lovers are in your house. If /when you win we'll contact you for mailing info etc.

That's it! We'll draw for the poster prize packs soon but keep giving away bracelets and bookmarks until their gone. Seriously - enter now and you'll likely get something!

By the way here's a great set of photos from various Star Wars Reads Day II events!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hints about "Darth Vader Themed TV Specials"?

Some news came out last week that along with next year's new Star Wars Rebels TV show and other fun TV events happening - like the previously announced Phineas & Ferb Star Wars special - that there will also be "Darth Vader Themed TV Specials". Even those of us who try to read everything possible out there about Star Wars news had NO IDEA that these specials (yes, plural!) were even in the works let alone planned for "Spring/Summer 2014"

For more info on that see the original story at JediNews

So what are these specials? At this point, nobody knows. No official word has been given from StarWars.com or anyone from Lucasfilm Ltd. Maybe they're some sort of "look back at the Star Wars saga" with a host and clips from the movies. It's anyone's guess right now.

However, there are some hints out there that could give us a clue. There are two new children's books coming in 2014 from DK publishing (best known for the amazing Visual Dictionary, Character Encyclopedia and Incredible Cross-Sections books) in 2014 that certainly look like fun, but also COULD be related to these specials. The two books are titled Jedi Battles and Sith Wars and are part of a new series called "DK Adventures" or "DK Reads".


There's more on Jedi Battles and Sith Wars and different covers for both books at Amazon.com

Here's why I think there could be a connection:

-The covers available could all be temporary artwork but ALL feature Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

- The release date is currently January 16, kind of early to be called "Spring/Summer 2014" but still...

- These books are not "Early Readers" (typically 32 pages) but chapter books at 128 pages, almost the length of the Junior Novelizations of the films, though traditionally those have come from Scholastic Books.

You may notice the author is listed on these covers as "A. N. Author" which (hopefully) is a fake name until the author(s) is/are revealed. The shroud of secrecy clouds the Dark Side.

So are these junior novelizations of two upcoming TV specials? Will they be novels at all or something more like Daniel Wallace's very cool Jedi Path and Book of Sith books? Looks like we'll find out in January!

Until then, it's always fun to wonder. What do you think? Please comment below!

Congratulations Mr. Sansweet!

It's official, the ultimate Star Wars collectible collection has been certified and included in the Guinness World Records 2014 edition. That estimated 300,000-piece collection belongs to Steve Sansweet, former head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm and author or co-author of 16 Star Wars books! It is housed at Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, California.


Sam, a young friend of Star Wars Kidscast wanted to congratulate Mr. Sansweet with some artwork. He chose a certain bounty hunter to go with Steve's hunt for bounty. Sam is in grade 2 and lives in Surrey, BC. You can see he tried to write "Steve Sansweet" but just went with "Congratulations".
Great artwork Sam & congratulations to Steve Sansweet and all the supporters, workers and volunteers at Rancho Obi-Wan!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Read, You Must: Star Wars Complete Vehicles

Released earlier this year, Star Wars Complete Vehicles gathers gorgeous images from previous Incredible Cross-Sections books and updates & enhances with new vehicles and artwork to make one beautiful 200+ page hardcover book.

The detail of these illustrations and the excitement of seeing the insides of Star Wars places, ships and vehicles that aren't shown so clearly (or at all) in the movies makes this series stand out. There's so much going on inside each picture I can see spending a LOT of time with this! Then there's all the info to read to from some well known Star Wars names.

If you want to know how Sandcrawlers, Podracers & Star Destroyers work and how they look inside, this is the book for you!


From the publisher (DK):

For any fan who wants to explore the inner workings of the spaceships and vehicles of all six Star Wars™ movies comes this fascinating expanded edition of a fan favorite, now with new cross-section artworks and a wealth of new photos.
Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections is packed with visual explorations of more than fifty essential Star Wars spacecraft and landcraft, including the TIE bomber, Imperial shuttle, A-wing, B-wing, and more. Full-color cross-section artwork presents in-depth examinations of each craft's weapon systems, engines, hyperdrives, cockpits, and construction secrets, providing a never-before-seen glimpse at the vehicles that drive the Star Wars universe. Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections now features new and never-before-seen cross-sections!

http://us.dk.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781465408747,00.html

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Countdown to Halloween: 10 Best Star Wars Monsters!

Here's an article from the official Star Wars website about the 10 Best Star Wars Monsters, according to the StarWars.com Team....some of these will make it into the upcoming Star Wars Kidscast Halloween special indeed...
I wish there really was a trading card set of Star Wars monsters!

http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2013/10/22/the-starwars-com-10-best-monsters/

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles Book Trailer

From author, Star Wars fan & LEGO expert Daniel Lipkowitz comes this gorgeous hardcover book of LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.

I saw a boy reading it in my daughter's Doctor's office the other day. He asked his mom who a certain character was but she didn't know. I chimed in with "That's Darth Maul". Always happy to help encourage a young fan!

Star Wars Action Figures "Power of the Force" Kenner commercial from 1996

If the voice in this commercial sounds familiar, it should. Sure sounds like Mark Hamill aka. Luke Skywalker to me!

After many years of no new Star Wars figures or playsets (almost 10!) Kenner/Hasbro started making action figures again and hasn't stopped since, thank goodness!

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Papercraft Playset!

New from Funko! Papercraft Star Wars Playset. "No scissors! No tape! No glue!"

I think I like the playsets even more than the characters. I'm reminded of Minecraft for some reason. Love Han Solo in carbonite. Perfect choice for this set. Gonk droid would've worked beautifully too!

 More Star Wars fun at Funko's website!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Star Wars Kidscast: Now on iTunes!

If iTunes is where you find your podcasts then great - we're now there! If you are new Star Wars Kidscast AND podcasts in general, you can listen here or visit us on iTunes. It's free to listen or download this podcast.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Star Wars Reads Day 2013 Q&A at the Scholastic Store, NYC

Here's a video from Star Wars Reads Day II with four Star Wars authors discussing their love of our favourite Galaxy!
Love all the kids in the background!

Read, You Must: Droids cause trouble in AND out of the cantina!

Ever wonder what C-3P0 & R2-D2 were up to while Luke & Obi-Wan were meeting Han & Chewie in the Mos Eisley cantina? Seems they were getting into all sorts of trouble and hiding under all sorts of flaps in Heroes in Hiding, a pop-up book from 1996 by Ken Steacy.


You can still find used copies around. Try Amazon.com or other sites.

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