There were loads of new Star Wars figures from Hasbro on display at NY Toy Fair 2019.
Included here are first looks at their new Galaxy of Adventures line, more 6″ Black series figures, including Episode 1 characters, Doctor Aphra, bounty hunters, and more, and the new retro line, inspired by the original Kenner toys from the 1970’s.
We also got a first look at the enormous crowdsourced Jabba’s Sail Barge vehicle, and a new Darth Vader figure that is super poseable and features hidden joints!
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After much anticipation and too many teasers, the day has come – we finally have an official full trailer for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
This new installment in the expanded lore of the Star Wars universe tells the tale of Chewbacca and Han Solo’s first encounter with Lando Calrissian and the Millenium Falcon, and how Han became the scoundrel we all know him as today.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” was directed by Ron Howard, and stars Alden Ehrenreich as Solo, alongside Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany. The film will be the second Star Wars anthology film, following the 2016 film “Rogue One.”
Sideshow Toys brought the one-sixth scale awesomeness with them to NYCC 2017, and unveiled new action figures from a few different licenses. In this video, take an up-close look at figures from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, including new versions of Rey, Luke Skywalker, and Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Han Solo, Jyn Erso, BB-8, Boba Fett, Dengar, Bossk, and characters from Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Thor: Ragnarok.
Out of the four Star Wars movies that I have been alive for, I have now seen two of them on opening day. Episode II was my first, and today I saw Episode VII. If this movie can keep up the momentum, than I think I will be seeing VIII and IX on opening day as well.
If you have not seen the movie and want to read the spoiler-free review, head to this link here instead. I won’t be talking about too many plot points in this article since I want to keep this short (by my standards), just giving a verbose overview of my thoughts about the film, and guess what? They are all pretty darn positive.
Let’s get this out of the way immediately. Does Episode VII make up for the prequels? Absolutely. Everything that was wrong with them is gone, and in their place is something that feels much more like Star Wars. The lackluster elements of the prequels will be a discussion for another day, but the big thing that I can say about those movies versus the newest one is that it feels like it is in the same timeline as the original trilogy was. The prequels feel out of date when you watch them and did not age well for a number of reasons. Watching “The Force Awakens” is like you picked up right where you left off and is a much more natural fit.
If the prequels were a sign of the times of when they were made, Episode VII is a throwback in all of the right ways to make a timeless sci-fi epic. From the physical effects married perfectly with the CGI, to the dialogue and characters acting the way they should that makes sense to them, and the worlds feeling believable and real, this is the true return of the franchise that should not disappoint fans.
The story is a good mix of classic Star Wars with an Abrams twist. It was hard not to draw parallels to what he did with “Star Trek” while watching Episode VII, but I mean that in a positive way. Abrams understands a team dynamic and how to balance multiple actors and stories on screen at once, something that the original trilogy did very well. He gives segments time to breathe and live alongside each other, but they never lose their tension and only gain it in the interim when we visit a different part of the story. Everyone gets their screen time and an equal share of the drama, the heroism, or the sadness.
I loved that, much like the original trilogy, most of the actors were not too well known, but they will certainly be after this. John Boyega as Finn and Daisy Ridley as Rey are great together, and play off each other very well. On the same sentiment as the paragraph above, they each have their stories that we are able to understand in a few sentences, and are seeking things that they are able to get from each other. They are the Luke and Leia of the story, and not the Han and Leia as far as I am concerned (more on that later). Really, the characters are very independent from sci-fi tropes and even what many may have expected from a franchise that set up a lot of the clichés used in this genre, and that is a very positive thing to accomplish.
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a very complex character that I want to a call a villain but was humanized so well that it is difficult to label him a generic bad guy. For you “Avatar: The Last Airbender” fans, Kylo might be our Prince Zuko (#HONOR). Whereas Darth Maul or Count Dooku was absolutely evil, Kylo Ren is immediately given a backstory that no other villains in the series have had the pleasure of having that makes you invested in him, and the thoughts of a possible character arc or redemption story. While Vader was an enigma, we know within the first hour who Kylo is, even to the point of unmasking himself with the greatest of ease instead of drawing it out for another movie. He is a character with a heavy heart and a lot of anger, and in many ways is perhaps how Anakin should have been portrayed in episode 2 and 3 rather than the way he is. For the record, my theory of Kylo was that he was a clone of Anakin, and the big reveal in Episode IX would be when he takes off the mask to reveal Hayden Christenson underneath it. Tell me that would not have been awesome?
BB-8 is obnoxiously adorable to the point that I wanted to pick it up and put tiny cat ears and a tail on it and make it my pet. That’s what merchandise is for! The droid is the most expressive we have seen in a Star Wars film, and more emotive than R2-D2 was, which is impressive on its own.
I wish we had more of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and definitely more of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), but I suppose that is what the sequels are for. As of now, Phasma is presumed dead after being thrown into a trash compactor, but there is no way a character that awesome (and who is on all of the merchandise) could be tossed away like rubbish that easily. As for Poe, is anyone else shipping him and Finn together?
Seeing some of the originals again was great, and they were integrated not for the sake of nostalgia but as crucial parts of the story. This is certainly not the last time we will see them (except for Han, of course, but I bet he comes back as a spirit eventually), especially with Luke showing up at the conclusion. I am hoping that Lando Calrissian will make his triumphant comeback in the next one too, along with some more familiar alien species.
Episode VII is not without its flaws, and one of those is certainly the predictability of things. When Han confronted Kylo, everyone in the theater knew he was going to die except for the little kids (most of whom probably did not even know who Han was since no TV channels showed any of the SW films leading up to the release of this, shame on Disney). There are really not too many surprises here, the biggest one being the true identity of Kylo Ren. Everything else was foreshadowed very strongly, almost pandering to make sure that you did not miss the info that would be important later.
Abrams camerawork is always something that can be troublesome. The best comparison to draw from is once again Star Trek, which had a lot of fast pans and quick camera movements, along with an overdose of lens flare. While there is practically none of that, the signature camera shaking syndrome is still there, and it visually feels like an Abrams movie. I would have loved more steady shots and less reliance on a camera in constant motion. The blurs are too quick and I left the theatre with a vicious headache. It’s not nearly as shaky as most other action movies are these days, so don’t get me wrong, but I believe Star Wars is known for wide shots that suck you into the world. None of the locations were too awe-inspiring or made my imagination start running, and that may have been because of how self-contained everything felt and how small things were because of the constant motion. It was useful as a storytelling device, especially in the dogfights with the TIE fighters and X-Wings, but too much of it makes it hard to get invested and looks too much like a video game.
On that note, here is my nerdy complaint. Only X-Wings and TIE Fighters? What happened to the Y-Wing, A-Wing, B-Wing, TIE Bomber, TIE Interceptor, and damn near every other type of ship. Most importantly, my biggest qualm with the plot itself – WHY DID THEY NEED TO KILL THE NEW DEATH STAR ALREADY!!! Seriously, this thing was eight times bigger than the original and able to destroy multiple planets at once, and it gets taken out like a chump in the exact same way the original two Death Stars went down. Did the First Order not learn from the other two huge blunders? It would have been much cooler to save this big Death Star as a tease in this movie and make it into something really big and grand, rather than something that really did not get a lot of screen time or get hyped in a way that made it truly threatening (again, predictability of the movie).
Also, can we start a drinking game for whenever a character says “This map will tell us the location of Luke Skywalker”?
Like all of the Star Wars films, there are a few plot holes here and there, but they are nothing that stopped me in my tracks. That might be attributed to how fast-paced JJ Abrams works so that you don’t have time to nitpick at first glance, but with a few more viewings even the most unobservant person should pick up on them. Do they ruin the film? Not at all, just little minor annoyances that are quickly forgiven.
The big issue I have seen many people debate is how much of a rehash this film is to “Episode IV: A New Hope”. Once again, we have a desert planet, a death star, a reluctant hero with family issues and a reason to stay in their sandy home, another Death Star, and plenty of other similarities. Are they copying the original, or following a pattern? Too early to tell, but my belief is that while there were certainly elements that are undeniably familiar, the story is far enough removed and goes to vastly different places that it is its own movie.
Is Episode VII a complete story, meaning that it does not need a sequel and can stand on its own? Yes and no. Being a Star Wars film means that it will obviously have a sequel attached to, especially since this is the start of the trilogy. Does this movie have its own definitive end-point. Yes, with the destruction of the new super-duper Death Star. However, with all of the characters going their own way, and with the big reveal at the end, it is sequel fodder. We met everyone, we shot some stuff, blew some things up, and everyone is off adventuring until we see them again in the next film. What they are doing is not even hinted at with the exception of Rey, and that is a pretty big tease.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had too much on the line to be bad. It had to be good, and it was. It’s a step in the right direction, and is a movie filled with optimism, intrigue, and wonder. It lacks the whimsy of the original, but feels like a natural continuation and captures the essence of what the series is about. The series is in good hands, but I can see it being derailed by the dark side if they do not make some improvements from this one to make it more mysterious and give it the uniqueness that it deserves to have.
Welcome back, Star Wars. It’s good to have you again, and I look forward to seeing more.
Star Wars merchandise has always been unusual. The license has been used by so many companies to make great things like books and action figures, and more unique items like chopsticks and cookie jars. Made by Kotobukiya, the “Star Wars Han Solo Carbonite Ice Cube tray” is one of those more peculiar items, and today we are going to take a look at this novelty item and see if it is worth spending your hard-earned cash on.
The silicone rubber tray measures six inches long and four and 1/4 inches top to bottom, with the small spots for the cubes just under half-an-inch deep and the large spot under 3/4″ deep. The underside of the tray has flat portions where the molds are, to ensure that your ice cubes retain the shape of Han Solo without being crushed by the interior of your freezer.
I was curious about any multi-purpose uses for this ice cube tray, like using it as a mold for chocolate. However, it is recommended that you not use hot liquids in this since it may warp the shape of the tray. More importantly, who knows what chemical reactions might be caused from the heat with the rubber, so even if you made a chocolate mold of Han Solo without ruining the tray, you might be poisoning yourself instead. On the plus side, your epitaph would be “Han shot first.” I can not condone it, but I will investigate further using this as a mold, but if you really want a chocolate Han, you might as well buy one from ThinkGeek directly!
I filled the tray up with water and stuck it in the freezer to see how long it would take to freeze. If you are in a rush to use this ice in a short time frame, it should be noted that the larger slot will take at least twice as long as the other slots to completely freeze solid, but within an hour or more, all the spots should be ready to go (unless you feel like setting your freezer from the medium level to a higher one).
Here we are once everything was frozen! The ice cubes perfectly pick up the tiny likeness of Harrison Ford, although with water it will be harder to see this. In later photos, I used red gatorade to make the image easier for you to see. I was surprised by how well the detail looks on these tiny ones, and especially on the larger ice cube. This is definitely Han Solo in carbonite in ice form. I imagine this is what the bartender in the Mos Eisley cantina puts in his cold drinks, or would have if he was not from a time long, long ago.
Using the red gatorade, the detail becomes a bit clearer. The problem with freezing plain water is that you will get “freezer burn” which will make your ice more opague. Colored water will make Han be more visible, and I recommend using that instead of uncolored water. The cubes, or ice rectangles to be more accurate, easily pop out thanks to the soft silicone tray, meaning you don’t need to get rough with the tray to yank them out after they have froze.
Overall, this is a fun novelty item with a lot of uses. If you like to throw parties, the Han Solo ice cube tray will be a great conversation-starter, especially with its two different sizes, and be a cute addition to alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.
This tray sells for $10 on ThinkGeek at this link here, and makes for a perfect stocking-stuffer, gift for an office party, or something for your favorite Star Wars fan. I give this two thumbs up for the fun factor and practicality of this far-fetched item. If only they had a book on how to make Star Wars-themed mixed drinks to complete this item…
When I first reported about this Han Solo Carbonite Chocolate Bar, I was head over heels for the concept. Star Wars + Chocolate= Amazing. The centerpiece of the Star Wars universe could now be the main event in my dessert of sugary cocoa cravings! Man, this smuggler really does get around.
The fine folks over at ThinkGeek were cool enough to send me a bar for me to try out and review, so that I could pass on the info to all of my hungry readers. The idea is great, but how is the execution on this treat? Is this nothing more than a quick sugar rush, or is this packed with levels of deliciousness, the magnitude of which you can not repel? Take a look at the review and find out for yourself! Continue reading “Star Wars Han Solo Carbonite Chocolate Bar” Review→
Over on ThinkGeek, the company is now distributing the only smuggler that can make the Kessel Run in six parsecs or less or your cargo is free, Han Solo, in chocolate form.
Shaped to resemble Han from the end of “Empire Strikes Back” and the beginning of “Return of The Jedi,” this chocolate bar is the closest thing to having Han pressed in carbonite since a time long, long ago. This item is exclusive to ThinkGeek, each bar is 4.5 oz of premium dark chocolate and measures 6 inches in length.
Here is the official description from them:
“It’s tough being a crime lord. You need to keep track of your bounty hunters, your smugglers, your assassins, your bodyguards, your dancing girls, your droids. You need to rig the gambling games to be sure the house keeps an advantage. It’s a pretty rough life. Lucrative, sure, but rough. Sometimes, you just want to escape to a simpler way of doing business.
Which is why Jabba has opened his own sweets factory. A little side venture where he makes Lightsaber Popsicles, Wookiee Cookies, Candy Rancorn, Twi’lek Dancer Lollipops, and the ever popular coconut Wamparoons. Getting these Han Solo in Carbonite Chocolate Bars shipped in from a galaxy far, far away took a long, long time, but they’re finally here! Enjoy this rich chocolate bounty from Tatooine’s Tasty Treats.”
Talk about a great stocking stuffer! Grab one of these now, and when you do, let me know how they taste!
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