Milford Hutsell

Milford Hutsell

Friday, 15 February 2019 09:55

Triple Force Friday Announced

Triple Force Friday logo.

Let the countdown begin.

Triple Force Friday, the latest in a tradition of Star Wars product launches, is set for October 4, Lucasfilm and Disney announced today. The event will see the debut of brand-new products inspired by three of the year’s biggest Star Wars releases, including:

  • The highly anticipated, final installment of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Episode IX
  • The first-ever Star Wars live-action series, The Mandalorian, set to debut exclusively on the upcoming streaming service, Disney+.
  • The latest title from EA and Respawn — Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — a brand-new action-adventure game releasing holiday 2019

Products spanning categories from toys to collectibles, housewares, books, apparel, and more will go on sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. on October 4. As with past Force Friday celebrations, stores around the world will join the festivities with in-store events and midnight openings.

Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on Triple Force Friday!

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 13:00

5 of the Most Romantic Scenes in Star Wars

There is a lot of, well, war, in Star Wars, what with all the fighting against the Empire, First Order, dark side, and the Sith. But to paraphrase a wise character, you don’t win a conflict by fighting what you hate, but by saving what you love. And there is also enough romance in the saga to keep you cozier than the inside of a tauntaun.

So, for Valentine’s Day, let’s take a look at five of the most romantic scenes in Star Wars. We love them all. But you know that.

Hera and Kanan's first kiss in Star Wars Rebels.

Kanan and Hera’s First Kiss (or “Kanera” Confirmed) (Star Wars Rebels, “Kindred”)

Much of Kanan and Hera’s history is left untold, and I prefer it that way. But when Hera lands a kiss on the Jedi — after his attempt earlier in the episode was interrupted thanks to Ryder — it was a moment worthy of an air-punch and a “Wahoo!” Sadly it happens as the two are separating, and Hera is off to Yavin 4 while Kanan stays behind on Lothal. Theirs has always been an interesting relationship between two complex individuals. So when they finally kiss (for the first time on screen), it simultaneously feels surprising, but entirely natural.

Sy Snootles and Ziro the Hutt kiss in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Sy Snootles and Ziro the Hutt’s Uncaged Passion (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Hunt for Ziro”)

While a Hutt gangster and Pa’lowick singer may make for an odd pairing, even villains fall in love, and the heart (or fluid sack) wants what it wants. The reunion on Nal Hutt between Ziro and former lover Sy Snootles initially appears pretty sweet since their time on Coruscant was the happiest of her life, and he…well, he claims the separation was all Jabba’s fault. Things end badly, mainly for Ziro, but only after a passionate kiss between bars of a prison cell. Sy truly seemed to love Ziro, but she was not one to be betrayed or toyed with.

Attack of the Clones - Anakin and Padme in the Geonosian Arena

Padmé and Anakin Face Their Fate Together (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)

Things don’t get off to a smooth start for Anakin and Padmé’s relationship, what with his vow as a Jedi, and her duty as a senator. When they first kiss, he reacts as coarse as the sand he doesn’t like, and the two decide not to talk about love, or to live a lie — until right around the time they’re about to die on Geonosis. Padmé’s confession that she “truly, deeply” loves him, followed by a passionate kiss is intense. She is owning her emotions at a time when their fate appears sealed, but they will face that fate together, in love.

Jar Jar Binks reunites with Queen Julia in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Jar Jar Binks Saves Queen Julia of Bardotta (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “The Disappeared, Part II”)

It is a challenge determining which scene between Jar Jar and his lost love Julia is more romantic. When he first reunites with her on Bardotta, to come to her aid and stop the Frangawl Cult, it is touching to see her place so much trust in the Gungan. They “meditate,” which also involves a passionate smooch. But I think the more romantic moment occurs when Jar Jar gallantly charges in (with a Force-assist by Mace Windu) to release Julia, and fight the cult leader. After saving her, she in turn saves her beloved, and they fall to the ground. She assures Jar Jar she always knew he’d be her hero.

Han and Leia kiss before Solo is frozen in carbonite in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Han and Leia’s “I Love You / I Know” (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)

The most romantic quote thus far in the saga, and one of the best in all of movie history, this exchange between Han and Leia is tragic, funny, and lovely all at once. After all the flirtatious banter, and fighting, when the chips are down and Han is about be frozen in carbonite, these two have their honest exchange. Of course the emotional bond existed between them, and if they miss the chance at this moment, there was no telling if they’d have another (and they did reverse it later on Endor). Plus, the scene is romantic because it’s so Han to reply the way he does. For me, the entire exchange is echoed when Han and Leia reunite in The Force Awakens. The two are older, more mature, and have a deeper appreciation for their love. But this moment stands as a beacon of what real love is and means.

Aaron Sagers is a tiki-loving, NYC-based journalist, TV host, author, comic-con mod, and professional nerd with endless curiosity. He loves geeking out with fellow fans about sci-fi, horror, and paranormal pop culture on Instagram and Twitter, and his karaoke song is “Yub Nub.”

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the all-new episodes coming thanks to #CloneWarsSaved, we’re undertaking a full chronological rewatch of the five original seasons, The Lost Missions, and the theatrical release. We’d be honored if you would join us and share your thoughts on the award-winning series.

34: “Legacy of Terror” (Season Two, Episode 7)

“Sometimes, accepting help is harder than offering it.”

A scene from

Synopsis:

Jedi Master Luminara Unduli disappears while tracking Poggle the Lesser, leading Obi-Wan, Anakin, and a platoon of clone troopers deep into the hive of Karina the Great.

A scene from

Analysis:

An army of undead warriors is somehow the least creepy thing about this episode, which ventures into the stuff of nightmares quite skillfully.

A scene from A scene from

Between the gray-skinned zombie Geonosians, the reveal of the bloated and egg-birthing queen, and the brain worms, the underground throne room of Queen Karina the Great is a horror show for all who enter.

There’s a sense of claustrophobia from the beginning of the story as Luminara enters the blinding sandstorm, which continues on the journey deep into the catacombs.

A scene from A scene from

Few things in the galaxy can best a Jedi’s lightsaber, but neither the ancient weapon nor a blaster bolt to the head can kill the lurching, dead-eyed soldiers, mere husks controlled by the secret queen thanks to the brain worms that create a hivemind connectivity.

The Jedi’s only hope is distraction and suffocation, taking out supports to collapse the walls and ceiling that create the queen’s chamber in an effort to buy them time to escape with their captive, Poggle the Lesser. Ultimately, their only hope isn’t to kill the bugs, but rather just to slow them down, and important reminder that even Jedi sometimes come up against a foe they cannot beat.

Intel:

  • Anakin’s reaction to the discovery of the zombies is almost an echo of Luke’s response to Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back: “That can’t be true. That’s impossible!”

What did you think of the episode? Tell us in the comments below and share on social with #CloneWarsRewatch!

A scene from

Next up: We haven’t seen the last of the brain worms after all. Come back next Thursday for “Brain Invaders.”

Associate Editor Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Want to talk more about The Clone Wars? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver what you thought about today’s episode.

The Atlanta Braves’ 2019 spring training season at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort officially begins Friday, Feb. 15, when pitchers and catchers report to Champion Stadium.

The Braves have trained at Disney since 1997 and now begin their 22nd and final season at Disney. Winners of the 2018 National League East crown, the Braves are moving their spring training operations to Sarasota County (North Port, Florida) for the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

The team is hoping to start its 2019 season off right at Disney, beginning a quest for its first consecutive division championship since the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Here are five key facts for the final season of Braves spring training at Disney:

  • Atlanta will play a 16-game home spring training schedule at Champion Stadium beginning Monday, Feb. 25, when it hosts the Washington Nationals at 1:05 p.m.
  • The Braves will play their final spring training home game at Champion Stadium on Saturday, March 23, against the New York Mets.
  • Atlanta is moving spring training operations to Sarasota County (North Port, Fla.) in 2020.
  • Atlanta will play three spring training games against two clubs that qualified for the 2018 postseason (Houston Astros, March 4 & 17); and the New York Yankees (March 18).
  • Braves will play three night games under the lights during 2019 spring training action – Philadelphia Phillies, March 8; New York Yankees, March 18; and Detroit Tigers, March 22.

Disney character appearances and special moments such as kids running the bases after every game are some of the entertainment opportunities that make Braves spring training at Disney a unique experience.

Individual spring training game tickets are still available at www.espnwwos.com/braves, through Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) and at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Box Office. Tickets range from $15 (general admission berm seating in left field) to $59 (lower level reserved seats).

Information on Braves spring training season tickets, suite/hospitality access, group tickets and mini-plans (two three-game options) is available by calling the premium sales team at 407-939-GAME and online at www.espnwwos.com/braves.

2019 Atlanta Braves Spring Training Home Schedule

Date Opponent Time
Monday, Feb. 25 Washington Nationals 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 26 New York Mets 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 28 Detroit Tigers 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 1 Toronto Blue Jays 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 3 Miami Marlins 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 4 Houston Astros 1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 6 Detroit Tigers 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 8 Philadelphia Phillies 6:05 p.m.
Monday, March 11 Pittsburgh Pirates 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12 St. Louis Cardinals 1:05 p.m.
Friday, March 15 Miami Marlins 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 17 Houston Astros 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 18 New York Yankees 6:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19
Friday, March 22 Detroit Tigers 6:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 New York Mets 1:05 p.m.

All dates, times and opponents are subject to change.

 

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Much to Learn You Still Have is a rundown of trivia and fun facts, both in-universe and behind-the-scenes, about the aliens, droids, ships, and species of the Star Wars galaxy. Whether you’ve never set foot in a cantina or you’re a well-traveled Jedi Master, you’ll find the intel you need.

Kowakian monkey-lizards are more than meets the eye. Star Wars fans met their first monkey-lizard in Jabba’s Palace from Return of the Jedi. But did you know that Salacious Crumb was almost an unnamed, background alien until George Lucas and the crew fell in love with him? Or that monkey-lizards are born from eggs and live in tree nests?

Here are five things you might not have known about Kowakian monkey-lizards.

1. Out in the wild, Kowakian monkey-lizards work as a team.

Monkey-lizards out in the wild have been known to move in packs and are not often seen roaming alone. Although their groups aren’t very structured, they do seem to assign members with different duties to maintain where they live.

Fun Fact #1: The leadership within a group of monkey-lizards usually goes to the oldest female.

2. That shrill cackle can be very useful.

Many know the monkey-lizards by their boisterous laugh, but did you know the sound is useful for more than reacting to jokes? In the wild, monkey-lizards will use their signature laughs to ward off any oncoming predators. Since they are known to roam in packs, their laughter builds up to a powerful clamor, which helps keep away any unwanted guests.

Fun Fact #2: The unmistakable laugh of Salacious B. Crumb came from crew member Mark Dodson. Sound designer Ben Burtt described it as a “funny, hyena-like laugh.”

3. They often have ties to the underworld.

Some monkey-lizards find themselves as pets to underworld kingpins. Salacious B. Crumb was the companion of Jabba the Hutt, the powerful gangster. Brothers Pilf Mukmuk and Pikk Mukmuk belonged to Hondo Ohnaka, the notorious pirate.

4. They’re more than just pets.

They may be small, but monkey-lizards can do some damage. In Return of the Jedi, we see Salacious B. Crumb attack C-3PO’s eye on Jabba’s sail barge. We also see Pikk Mukmuk at the controls of a gunner tank doing some damage on the planet Felucia, when his owner Hondo Ohnaka is fighting with Anakin Skywalker. Pikk’s brother, Pilf, has also put Anakin in a tough spot by trying to crush him with a chandelier, although he obviously didn’t take Anakin’s Force abilities into account when coming up with his plan.

Fun Fact #3: Kowakian monkey-lizards are closely related to the Kowakian apes, the creature that terrorized Poe and Kaz on board a freighter in Star Wars Resistance. They both share the facial features of a bony beak and tufts of fur, but the Kowakian ape is much larger in size and strength.

5. What’s in a name?

Ever wonder how Salacious B. Crumb got his name? The crew of Return of the Jedi and George Lucas had fallen in love with the little puppet  and Lucas tasked them to come up with a name for him. During a lunch outing with ILM’s Phil Tippett and others, Tippett noticed his shoe was untied. “Wait a minute guys while I tie my soolacious,” said Tippett as he bent down. A combination of the misspoken word and the name of comic artist Robert Crumb became the name of the most popular monkey-lizard.

Fun Fact #4: The original idea for the character of Salacious B. Crumb came from Ben Burtt. He said “Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a little tiny creature that sat on the shoulder of one of the creatures and repeated everything that the big creature said during the argument?”

Ready to adopt your very own monkey-lizard now? Let us know what your favorite monkey-lizard facts are in the comments below.

And be sure to check out our “Much to Learn” segment feature on The Star Wars Show this week!

Sources: The Making of Return of the Jedi,J.W. Rinzler, Del Rey, 2013., Star Wars The New Essential Guide To Alien Species, Ann Margaret Lewis and Helen Keier, Del Rey, 2006.

Amanda Jean Camarillo is an associate producer for The Star Wars Show. She is a big fan of droids, space waffles, and Loth-cats and spending her time with watching movies, crafting, and visiting Disney parks. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram and tell her about all your favorite Star Wars things.

In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan Kenobi implores his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, to temper his request that a young Anakin Skywalker be trained as a Jedi. “Don’t defy the Council, master. Not again,” he says. “I will do what I must, Obi-Wan,” Qui-Gon replies. It’s an exchange that offers great insight into their relationship — one of both friction and respect. Indeed, Qui-Gon would later acknowledge that his student is much wiser than he.

Claudia Gray’s upcoming Star Wars: Master & Apprentice, arriving April 16 in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook, will delve further into the dynamic between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, which has gone relatively unexplored until now. In the exclusive excerpt below, the Jedi Council summons Qui-Gon following a difficult mission and makes a surprising offer…

Star Wars: Master and Apprentice cover.

As ever, after a mission, Qui-Gon had been summoned to the Jedi Council’s chambers for his report. It was nighttime—later than the Council usually met, at least for ordinary business—and the darkness around them was illuminated by the cyclone of Coruscanti traffic and ships’ lights. Yet here, within this room, a sense of serenity prevailed. Qui-Gon relished the contrast.

Master Billaba leaned forward, studying her datapad with a frown on her face. “It worries me, this misunderstanding between you and your Padawan. This isn’t the first time you’ve reported such difficulties.”

Qui-Gon bowed his head slightly. “It worries me as well. Obi-Wan is strong in the Force, and eager to do his duty. The failure must be mine. Fundamentally, I fear, we are a mismatch. I’ve been unable to adapt my teaching methods to his needs, despite my best efforts.”

Yoda cocked his head. “Adapt he must as well. Cooperation is learned not through individual effort. Only together can you progress.”

Agreeing to that proposition—sensible though it was—would mean shifting some of the blame onto Obi-Wan, which Qui-Gon preferred not to do. He simply remained quiet. The Jedi Council had a habit of assuming that silence equaled agreement; Qui-Gon had found this habit useful, from time to time.

Regardless, he expected the Council to eventually ask him if he wanted them to reassign Obi-Wan’s training to another Master. He’d known before this meeting began that they might even ask the ques­tion tonight, but he still wasn’t sure what he would say. The suspense seemed worse than he would’ve anticipated, maybe because he didn’t know what he wanted to answer . . .

. . . or because the silence in the room had lasted a suspiciously long period of time.

Qui-Gon focused his attention back on the Masters surrounding him. They were exchanging glances in what seemed to be anticipation. He straightened. “Have you another mission for us?” Maybe they in­tended to test him and Obi-Wan one more time before any decision about reassignment would be made.

“Yes, another task for you we have.” Yoda’s ears lowered, a sign of deep intent. “Consider it carefully, you must.”

Mace Windu drew himself upright and folded his hands together in a formal gesture of respect. “You may not have heard that Master Dapatian intends to retire from the Council, effective next month.”

Qui-Gon glanced at Poli Dapatian, a Master of great renown . . . so much so that Qui-Gon had failed to note, in recent years, how aged he had become. “That is our loss.”

“We hope it will also be our gain,” Mace replied. “Qui-Gon Jinn, we hereby offer you a seat on the Jedi Council.”

Had he misheard? No, he hadn’t. Qui-Gon slowly gazed around the circle, taking in the expressions of each Council member in turn. Some of them looked amused, others pleased. A few of them, Yoda included, appeared more rueful than not. But they were serious.

“I admit—you’ve surprised me,” Qui-Gon finally said.

“I imagine so,” Mace said drily. “A few years ago, we would’ve been astonished to learn we would ever consider this. But in the time since, we’ve all changed. We’ve grown. Which means the possibilities have changed as well.”

Qui-Gon took a moment to collect himself. Without any warning, one of the turning points of his life had arrived. Everything he said and did in the next days would be of great consequence. “You’ve argued with my methods often as not, or perhaps you’d say I’ve argued with yours.”

“Truth, this is,” Yoda said.

Depa Billaba gave Yoda a look Qui-Gon couldn’t interpret. “It’s also true that the Jedi Council needs more perspectives.”

Is the Council actually making sense? Qui-Gon hoped none of them had picked up on that thought.

Mace nodded. “Yes, Qui-Gon, we’ve disagreed often. Butted heads, even. But you’ve always acted with respect for the Council’s authority, without compromising your inner convictions. This shows a great gift for—”

“Diplomacy?” Qui-Gon asked.

Mace replied, “I was going to say balance.

It was a delicate line to walk, one Qui-Gon had stumbled over on many occasions. But those occasions had become rarer as the years went on. He’d learned how to handle the Council well enough. Now, it seemed, the Council had become ready to hear him in return.

Qui-Gon had never imagined sitting on the Jedi Council itself, at least not since he was a youngling. Dooku had chuckled once, early in Qui-Gon’s training, when they spoke of the Council. “You have your own mind, my Padawan,” he’d said. “The Council doesn’t always re­spond well to that.” Given how many times Qui-Gon had clashed with the Council—from his earliest days as a Jedi Knight up to six weeks ago—he’d always assumed that he would never ascend to the heights of the Order.

But now it could happen. Would happen. He’d be able to weigh in on the Council’s decisions, and perhaps create some of the change he wanted to see. It was the greatest opportunity of his life.

“You honor me,” Qui-Gon said. “I ask for some time to meditate upon this before I accept.” Of course he would take the seat on the Council. But in doing so, he wanted to more fully reflect upon how this would change him, and the breadth of the important role he would assume.

“Very wise,” said Depa. “Most of those asked to join the Council do the same, myself included. If someone didn’t—well, I’d think maybe he didn’t know what he was getting into.”

Laughter went around the room. Amusement bubbled within Poli Dapatian’s respirator mask. Depa Billaba’s grin was infectious, and Qui-Gon realized he was smiling back at her. Although the Council had never been hostile to him, this was the first time Qui-Gon had felt a deeper camaraderie—the friendliness of equals. Already Teth and the Hutts seemed like a problem from years ago. The future shone so boldly that it threatened to eclipse the present.

Steady, he told himself. Even an invitation to the Jedi Council mustn’t go to your head.

“Consider carefully, you must,” said Yoda, the only member of the Council who remained gravely serious. “No hasty answer should you give.”

“Of course,” Qui-Gon said. Hadn’t he just indicated that he in­tended to do exactly that?

Before he could think more on it, Mace said, “In some ways, this invitation comes at an opportune time. This change could, potentially, resolve other problems.”

Only then did it hit Qui-Gon: If he took a seat on the Council, then Obi-Wan would be transferred to another Master.

It wasn’t forbidden for a Jedi on the Council to train a Padawan learner; one of Qui-Gon’s crèche-mates had become the Padawan of Master Dapatian, back in the day. Exceptions had been made during times of crisis as well, when everyone needed to take on extra duties. But such exceptions were rare. Serving on the Council required a great deal of time, concentration, and commitment. Balancing that com­mitment with the equally sacred task of training a Padawan—well, it would be a difficult situation, one potentially unfair to both Master and student. Only those who had served on the Council for a long time, and had adjusted to its demands, contemplated such a step.

“I see what you mean,” Qui-Gon said. “Perhaps it would be for the best. But I must think upon it.”

“Of course,” Depa said warmly. Yoda nodded, clutching his gimer stick and saying nothing.

Mace Windu rose from his chair to put his hand on Qui-Gon’s shoulder. “We will of course keep this invitation private unless and until you choose to join us. At this point, the only person outside this room who knows of it is Chancellor Kaj herself. But if you need to discuss it with Padawan Kenobi, or any other friends, you may feel free to do so, as long as they will promise to be discreet.”

“Understood.”

Qui-Gon walked out of the Council Chamber into the Temple in a strange state of mind. He couldn’t call it a daze, because this was in some ways the exact opposite. Every detail of his surroundings struck him with fresh vividness, whether it was the colorful patterns of inlaid marble beneath his feet or the scarlet trim on a young Jedi Knight’s gown. It was as though the invitation to join the Council had given him new eyes. A new way of seeing the world, one that he would no doubt spend the rest of his life learning to comprehend.

The Council, he said to himself. By the Force, the Council.

Perhaps another Jedi might have given way to elation, or even the temptation of pride. Qui-Gon Jinn was made of sterner stuff. Besides, he couldn’t bring himself to feel entirely happy when he considered the question of Obi-Wan.

He’d already come to believe that they were mismatched as teacher and student. The main reason Qui-Gon hadn’t asked for a transfer before was that he knew Obi-Wan would be hurt by it, and would blame himself. The Council’s invitation would allow the transfer to be impersonal, merely practical. Obi-Wan could then be reassigned to a teacher who would serve him better.

Why, then, did the idea fill Qui-Gon with such a profound sense of loss?

Star Wars: Master & Apprentice is available for pre-order now.

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 13:00

The Art of Star Wars Rebels Book Revealed

Even Chopper would be excited about this.

The beloved animated series Star Wars Rebels will be celebrated with a major new book, it was revealed this week. The Art of Star Wars Rebels, written by Dan Wallace and coming October 1 from Dark Horse Books and Lucasfilm, will chronicle the making of the show over its four-season run, complete with never-before-seen concept art and process pieces, along with exclusive commentary from creators Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Carrie Beck, among others. It’s available for pre-order now.

Temporary cover for The Art of Star Wars Rebels.

Temporary cover for The Art of Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels followed the motley Ghost crew in the early days of the rebellion against the Empire, while incorporating elements and characters from Star Wars: The Clone WarsRogue One: A Star Wars Story, and much more from across the Star Wars saga. Be sure to check out StarWars.com’s extensive Star Wars Rebels coverage, including episode guides, in-depth interviews, and insightful editorials on the series.

Stay tuned to StarWars.com for more on The Art of Star Wars Rebels. Fulcrum out.

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Just days before he defends his Daytona 500 victory, NASCAR star Austin Dillon spent his day off from the speedway Tuesday having a magical day at Walt Disney World Resort.

Dillon, 28, interacted with popular Disney characters, posed for photos wearing Mickey Mouse ears and experienced several signature attractions, such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

He also surprised a young racing fan, who had given him a lucky penny just before he won the Daytona 500 last year. Dillon presented the young fan, 12-year-old Jordan Wade of Bradenton, FL., with a Daytona 500 champions ring.

It was Dillon’s first visit to Walt Disney World Resort since his family brought him to the famous theme park as a child. Dillon was joined by his mother, wife and friends.

Dillon returns to the track on Thursday for the 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway. Dillon will once again drive the famous No. 3 Dow Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing during the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

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In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.

Released six months after Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, LucasArts’ Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is the ultimate Legends-era Episode II prequel. With Temuera Morrison and Leeanna Walsman reprising their roles as Jango Fett and Zam Wesell from the film, the game also costars Clancy Brown (Savage Opress) as the ruthless Mandalorian Montross and Corey Burton (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Count Dooku. Originally launched exclusively for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, the game was given the royal treatment in November 2015, when it was included as part of a special Star Wars Battlefront bundle for PlayStation 4.

In terms of narrative and presentation, Bounty Hunter delivers the goods. It’s got high-quality cinematics rendered by the special-effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic; it’s got original music by Jeremy Soule, who later composed the original score for Knights of the Old Republic (2003); and it tells a story that adds color and depth to some of Jango Fett’s best dialogue in Episode II.

Darth Sidious speaks with Count Dooku in the game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.

At the outset, Dooku (“Tyranus”) is still a Sith in training under Darth Sidious. The seedy galactic underworld, meanwhile, is slipping into chaos under the influence of factions like the Bando Gora, a Force-worshipping death cult led by Komari Vosa, a former disciple of Dooku’s. Two tasks are laid out before Sidious’s new apprentice: eliminate the threat of the Bando Gora, and find a suitable host for the Grand Army of the Republic, which of course the Sith intend to use for their own nefarious purposes.

The Count of Serenno puts a bounty out on Vosa: five million Republic credits. Whoever manages to kill Dooku’s former Padawan will become the template for the Republic’s clone army. (To further flesh out this epic prequel story, LucasArts’ Haden Blackman also wrote a tie-in comic, Jango Fett: Open Seasons, that explored Fett’s relationship to Montross, his longtime rival among the Mandalorian people.)

From a gameplay perspective, Bounty Hunter’s built on a classic, tried-and-true formula rarely seen in more modern action titles. Jango’s primary weapons are his dual blaster pistols, which can be rapid-fired as quickly as you can press the gamepad’s square button. The twist is that you can lock on to targets, making survival less about precision aiming and more about agility. With Jango’s jetpack, which requires a slight cooldown after being used for a certain length of time, you can essentially fly over enemies’ heads as you rain down blasterfire on them from above; crouching and strafing also let you keep the upper hand in a straight fight on the ground.

Darth Sidious in the game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.

The game includes several exciting boss fights against characters central to Fett’s backstory, as well as an optional bounties system that allows you to scan, identify, and hunt down wanted individuals hiding out in the galaxy’s underbelly. Progressing through the story also unlocks fun bonus content like comic-book pages, Fett-related Star Wars Trading Card Game scans, over a hundred works of concept art, and a few minutes’ worth of humorous outtakes from the game’s voice-over sessions, which have been animated to various degrees by ILM.

Uprezzed to 1080p high definition and featuring additions like PSN Trophies support, the PS4 port of Bounty Hunter is the definitive version of an already stellar game. Many fans remember it as probably the best Clones-era tie-in game — alongside Pandemic’s Battlefront predecessor, The Clone Wars (2002) — and I’m pleased to report that it’s aged phenomenally. With the game’s fast, fluid framerate, intuitive control scheme, and smooth third-person camera, it’s effortless to slip into the armor and feel like a simple man tryin’ to make his way in the universe. And well worth your time.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is available on PlayStation 4.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

You know the Empire’s motto: if you’re going to make a battle station, why not make a prototype out of waffles first. Valentine’s Day is a time of love, even for a moon-sized super weapon. These holiday breakfast treats are tinted to honor the hue of Quadanium steel coupled with the effervescent pink tied to Valentine’s Day.

Making these sweet space stations will surely win over your valentine this February 14. That’s no moon…it’s my heart.

Valentine’s Day Death Star Waffles

You’ll need:

  • Death Star waffle maker
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pink food gel dye
  • Black food gel dye

Step 1: Prep the waffle iron by greasing generously with non-stick spray. 

An easy Death Star waffles recipe for Valentine's Day.

Step 2: In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Step 3: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients then add the buttermilk, eggs, cream cheese, and vanilla.

An easy Death Star waffles recipe for Valentine's Day.

Step 4: Separate the batter equally into two bowls. Into one, add a few drops of pink gel dye until combined. In the second bowl, add a drop of black gel dye, stirring until gray in color.

An easy Death Star waffles recipe for Valentine's Day.

 Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepped waffle maker, and cook until crisp. (Note: Death Star waffler will brown the waffles.)

An easy Death Star waffles recipe for Valentine's Day.An easy Death Star waffles recipe for Valentine's Day.

Step 6: Use the heart-shaped cutter to cut out a heart from both a pink waffle and a gray waffle. Interchange the hearts in the waffles.

An easy Death Star waffles recipe for Valentine's Day.

Step 7: Serve warm with syrup.

Death Star waffle maker available from ThinkGeek. Lightsaber flatware available at Hot Topic.

Jenn Fujikawa is a lifestyle and food writer. Follow her on Twitter at @justjenn and check her Instagram @justjennrecipes and blog www.justjennrecipes.com for even more Star Wars food photos.

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