Milford Hutsell

Milford Hutsell

Comic Book Galaxy explores Marvel‘s Star Wars comic book releases and provides a discussion point on the culture and climate of the Star Wars comic book universe.

If you have been reading Star Wars comics in the past month, you’ve experienced some great storytelling. In Poe Dameron #14, General Leia and the guy who can fly anything discuss the future of the Resistance, and in Screaming Citadel #1, the unlikely team of Luke Skywalker and Dr. Aphra encounter a new kind of scum and villainy in the galaxy. The story of their team up continues in Star Wars #31, and Darth Vader makes his return to monthly comics in the pages of an all new, self-titled book, with the energy and power we have come to expect from the Dark Lord of the Sith. There is also much to learn in the new title, which will be explored in Word Balloon. Here is a look at some of the Star Wars comics released over the course of the past month.

The Month That Was

Poe Dameron #14

  • The issue starts with the funeral of L’lulo, the pilot who sacrificed himself in order to save escape pods in issue #13. He was a lifelong family friend to the Damerons, and the Resistance pilot feels his loss.
  • Poe and General Leia have a conversation in which it is revealed that Leia sees something in Poe that he may be unaware of. She challenges Poe to search within himself, as she believes he is more than a great pilot. He is also a natural leader, and encourages him to foster that burgeoning talent.
  • Agent Terex finds himself in the clutches of Captain Phasma. She and the First Order have grown weary of Terex’s renegade mindset, and Phasma dishes out her version of justice. Terex will never be the same.

Screaming Citadel #1

  • The latest crossover event in Star Wars comics begins here! The one-shot brings the surprising tandem of Luke Skywalker and rogue archaeologist, Dr. Aphra. Their chemistry is much richer than expected, and provides some great moments of irony and humor.
  • Aphra wants to bring Luke to the Screaming Citadel, where the Queen of Ktath’atn resides. The Queen hosts an annual gathering of some of the most unique denizens of the Star Wars; Aphra hopes the farm boy from Tatooine will impress the Queen enough that she will activate an ancient Jedi artifact for them. Both hope to benefit, but the Queen has some sinister plans of her own.
  • The issue features many elements of gothic literature that add a unique element to Star Wars. Seems appropriate, too, since Triple-Zero and Beetee are involved.

Star Wars #31

  • The Screaming Citadel arc continues with the Queen testing Luke’s increasing Jedi abilities. She wants to make sure Skywalker is the real deal. Her methods are unconventional, to say the least.
  • It was revealed in Screaming Citadel #1 that the Queen and her cronies suck the life force out of the residents of the town near the citadel. As this issue goes on, her motivation becomes more and more apparent, as well as frightening for Luke and Aphra. Talk about a deal getting worse all the time!
  • Han, Leia, and Sana put together a rescue mission to save the Rebel hero. They believe Aphra kidnapped Luke, but have no idea what they are actually in for. 

Word Balloon: Highlights from Darth Vader (2017) #1

Darth Vader is the newest monthly Star Wars title, and takes place immediately after Anakin Skywalker is encased in Vader’s iconic black armor in Revenge of the Sith. The first issue, written by Charles Soule and penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli, provides new information on Vader and Emperor Palpatine’s relationship, shows us his first solo mission in his new costume, and begins to reveal how Darth Vader gets his Sith lightsaber. Here are some highlights!

Rebirth and trauma

In Revenge of the Sith, audiences witness Darth Sidious telling Darth Vader that he killed Padmé out of rage. However, what we didn’t see is the aftermath of this conversation. The first panel showcases just how powerful Darth Vader is, much to Palpatine’s surprise and chagrin. Palpatine is slammed (via the Force) into a wall, courtesy of Vader’s intense anger. The psychology of their relationship is manifest in Sidious’ response to this shocking turn of events, and gives more context to the master/apprentice dynamic. There’s a significant threat involved that cements their relationship for the next 19 years, too.

Mas Amedda’s influence

In Chuck Wendig’s novel, Empire’s End, it is reinforced that Mas Amedda is nothing more than a figurehead for the Empire. In Darth Vader #1, however, we see the public personae he has crafted for himself, and the charisma he exudes. His venom is palpable, and he also continues Palpatine’s mission to eradicate the existence of the Jedi from the general public. This sequence also shows us what happened to many of the lightsabers of the Jedi. The symbolism of this destruction is shocking, permanent, and powerful.

The origin of the red lightsaber blade

A standout moment of Darth Vader #1 is undoubtedly the moment when Darth Sidious tells his new apprentice why Sith blades are red. Sidious reveals that Vader must “… pour your [Darth Vader’s] pain into the [kyber] crystal and when, at last, the agony becomes more than it can stand … a beautiful crimson. The color of your rage.” This is another shocking example of how the Sith subvert the nature of the Force in all living things, and warp what was once good into something twisted and unnatural. In essence, Vader’s lightsaber blade could be considered as tragic as the former Jedi Knight himself.

How Darth Vader will become in possession of his Sith hilt has yet to be revealed, but this moment will unquestionably add to the legacy of the fallen Jedi.

What did you think of Darth Vader #1? Let us know in the comments below!

Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning, and is the Host and Co-creator of Coffee With Kenobi, a Star Wars podcast that analyzes the saga through critical thinking, analysis, interviews, and discussion. He is also the rebel teacher in the Target Rogue One commercial, and is an avid comic book consumer and longtime reader of the medium.

Thursday, 15 June 2017 12:02

Fantasmic!

‘FANTASMIC!’ RETURNS TO DISNEYLAND PARK – “Fantasmic!,” Disney’s longest-running and most popular nighttime spectacular, returns to the Rivers of America in Disneyland Park in July with enhanced effects, innovative state-of-the-art projection technology, and new storytelling elements. Guests will journey into Mickey Mouse’s imagination as they are immersed in this magical classic, a fan favorite for 25 years. The return of “Fantasmic!” coincides with the reopening of The Disneyland Railroad, Pirates’ Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, and the water crafts – Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes – that sail around the Rivers of America in Frontierland. (Artist Rendering/Disneyland Resort) “FANTASMIC!” (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Mickey proves just how powerful his imagination can be as he defends his dreams against evil Disney villains in the nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland park. Along the Rivers of America, guests can watch high-definition digital animation projected onto water screens, wave to familiar Disney characters, and witness Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” transform into a 40-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort) “FANTASMIC!” (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Mickey proves just how powerful his imagination can be as he defends his dreams against evil Disney villains in the nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland park. Along the Rivers of America, guests can watch high-definition digital animation projected onto water screens, wave to familiar Disney characters, and witness Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” transform into a 40-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort) MORE ‘FANTASMIC!’ THAN EVER — Guests will enjoy magical thrills in the popular “Fantasmic!” spectacular on the Rivers of America in Frontierland. Recent enhancements include the climactic transformation of the evil Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” into a fully animated 40-foot-tall dragon. The show has also added cutting-edge digital video technology and an appearance by Flotsam and Jetsam, the slithering eels who serve Ursula the Sea Witch in “The Little Mermaid.” (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Read more

Thursday, 15 June 2017 12:04

Return of the Classics

SAILING SHIP COLUMBIA (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – The Sailing Ship Columbia explores the Rivers of America at Disneyland park. The 110-foot-long, fully rigged ship recreates the grand pioneering adventures of the famous vessel that discovered the Columbia River and became the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe. Guests enjoy marveling at the towering 84-foot mainmast and inspecting the merchant ship’s 10 cannons and two deck-mounted swivel guns, used to thwart the attacks of pirates. (Paul Hiffmeyer/ Disneyland Resort ) FRONTIERLAND – The Mark Twain Riverboat and Big Thunder Mountain are reflected in the Rivers of America in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif. Frontierland brings to life the natural beauty, excitement and promise of the American West in the 1800s. For editorial news use only. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland) While visiting Frontierland, Disneyland park guests can cruise back in time on a 14-minute sightseeing voyage aboard a recreation of the glorious 19th-century steam-powered paddlewheel riverboats that carried people and cargo up and down the mighty Mississippi. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland) One of Disneyland’s original attractions from opening day and arguably Walt Disney’s personal favorite, the trains of the Disneyland Railroad have “covered enough track” in 50 years to circle the earth more than 200 times. The trains provide guests an overall view of the park as well as the Grand Canyon and Primeval World dioramas. With its turn-of-the-century architecture and lush gardens, the Main Street station offers the first point of entry for those who wish to soak up the scenery on a grand circuit tour of Disneyland park aboard one of the trains of the Disneyland Railroad which run on bio-diesel fuel created from recycled cooking oil used throughout the Resort. (Scott Brinegar/Disneyland) ‘FANTASMIC!’ RETURNS TO DISNEYLAND PARK – “Fantasmic!,” Disney’s longest-running and most popular nighttime spectacular, returns to the Rivers of America in Disneyland Park in July with enhanced effects, innovative state-of-the-art projection technology, and new storytelling elements. Guests will journey into Mickey Mouse’s imagination as they are immersed in this magical classic, a fan favorite for 25 years. The return of “Fantasmic!” coincides with the reopening of The Disneyland Railroad, Pirates’ Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, and the water crafts – Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes – that sail around the Rivers of America in Frontierland. (Artist Rendering/Disneyland Resort) “FANTASMIC!” (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Mickey proves just how powerful his imagination can be as he defends his dreams against evil Disney villains in the nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland park. Along the Rivers of America, guests can watch high-definition digital animation projected onto water screens, wave to familiar Disney characters, and witness Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” transform into a 40-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort) “FANTASMIC!” (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Mickey proves just how powerful his imagination can be as he defends his dreams against evil Disney villains in the nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland park. Along the Rivers of America, guests can watch high-definition digital animation projected onto water screens, wave to familiar Disney characters, and witness Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” transform into a 40-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort) MORE ‘FANTASMIC!’ THAN EVER — Guests will enjoy magical thrills in the popular “Fantasmic!” spectacular on the Rivers of America in Frontierland. Recent enhancements include the climactic transformation of the evil Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” into a fully animated 40-foot-tall dragon. The show has also added cutting-edge digital video technology and an appearance by Flotsam and Jetsam, the slithering eels who serve Ursula the Sea Witch in “The Little Mermaid.” (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Read more

 ‘Fantasmic!’ Nighttime Spectacular Opens with New Magic on July 17,  the 62nd Anniversary of the Disneyland Resort

Breathtaking New Views Await Guests on the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America Attractions, Reopening July 29

ANAHEIM (June 15, 2017)– Guests visiting the Disneyland Resort this summer will experience new magic at both theme parks as classic attractions reopen at Disneyland Park in July and the Summer of Heroes festivities continue through Sept. 10 at Disney California Adventure Park, home of the thrilling and hilarious new attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Monday, July 17, marks both the anniversary of the 1955 grand opening of Disneyland and the premiere of a newly enhanced “Fantasmic!,” the popular nighttime spectacular.

Beginning July 29, the Disneyland Railroad will once again take guests on a Grand Circle Tour of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom. Classic Rivers of America attractions – the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes –  will relaunch July 29 as well, bringing new adventures and breathtaking new views. Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island reopens Friday, June 16.

“Fantasmic!,” which tells the story of Mickey Mouse and his vivid imagination, returns to the Rivers of America in Frontierland with its classic theme song and engaging storyline guests have treasured for 25 years. Mickey’s exploration now features new scenes with characters from “Aladdin,” “Tangled,” “The Lion King” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” One dazzling sequence finds Aladdin and Jasmine discovering “A Whole New World” as they float on their flying carpet over a bed of fog on the Rivers of America.

Those sensational “Fantasmic!” adventures come alive with new mist screens and innovative, state-of-the-art projection technology to create visuals that are brighter and more vibrant than ever before.

The Disneyland Railroad, one of the park’s original attractions, returns with its iconic steam-powered locomotives for new adventures. The Disneyland Railroad will now travel across the rocks on a trestle that extends out into the Rivers of America, and for the first time ever it will make a left-hand turn on its tour of the park. Along the way, guests will enjoy a view of Walt Disney’s legendary Dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World, which have been carefully restored to their original splendor with a bit of new magic added to both.

Guests on board the Disneyland Railroad also will discover a breathtaking new view along the north bank of Rivers of America. A gorgeous new Columbia Gorge section highlighted by five new picturesque waterfalls can be seen from the trains as well as from the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. This new adventure complements the scenes guests have come to know and cherish through the years. Landscapes inspired by four of America’s majestic rivers–the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande–are carefully recreated, complete with indigenous rock formations, natural forests and wildlife, and the waterfalls.

In addition to the returning classics in Frontierland and New Orleans Square, the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade continues nightly performances in Disneyland through Aug. 20, featuring such favorite scenes as Cinderella’s ball, the appearance (and disappearance) of Elliot, the smoke-breathing, tail-wagging “Pete’s Dragon,” and the glittering “To Honor America” finale.

At Disney California Adventure, guests experience an epic new adventure and high-energy thrills on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! It’s the only Disney attraction in the universe where guests step into a Guardians of the Galaxy story, as they help Rocket rescue this cosmic gang of misfits. With multiple ride profiles, guests never know which adventure they’ll encounter.

#  #  #

About the Disneyland Resort
The Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure Park – plus three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprising unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s hotels are the luxurious, 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which also features 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club units; the magical, 973-room Disneyland Hotel – both AAA Four Diamond properties – and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its “day-at-the-beach” theme. For information on attractions and vacations at the Disneyland Resort, visit Disneyland.com, call (866) 43-DISNEY or contact local travel agents. Located in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort opened July 17, 1955. Open daily, year-round.

Media Contacts:
Disneyland Resort Public Relations
714-781-4500
DisneylandNews.com
DisneyParksBlog.com
Twitter.com/Disneyland

Imagine your high school reunion, except you all made Star Wars together.

On May 27, 2017, a unique gathering took place at a small production studio just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Known today as 32Ten Studios, it had been the home of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for nearly three decades, from the creation of The Empire Strikes Back to Revenge of the Sith.

Veterans of the original trilogy of Star Wars films, including model makers, cameramen, optical technicians, grips, and production coordinators, even a few actors and puppeteers — the magicians and dreamers that championed a revolution in moviemaking — came together for a reunion celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut effort, Star Wars: A New Hope, or as it was simply known at the time, Star Wars.

The gathering was chiefly organized by Rose Duignan, a veteran producer and early trailblazer at ILM. Rose began as a production staffer on the original Star Wars, working at George Lucas’ side during his visits to ILM’s studio, then located in Van Nuys, California. “Who knew that we would show up here 40 years later to share this amazing event?” Duignan would proclaim to the adoring crowd of attendees. “I am just so grateful.”

With hugs and smiles abound, reminiscence filled the main stage at the 32Ten facility. This night was for reflection and enjoyment, to pick up where their last meetings had left off. Filmmaking is often so arduous that the chance of a reunion hardly enters the mind once a project has eked its way to completion. But the laughter that swirled through the crowd was testament to the unique bond shared by this group.

A commemorative board featuring the classic ILM insignia signed by the attendees.

“It’s almost like a piece of magic just happened,” Michael Quinn told StarWars.com. A puppeteer and actor who played Nien Nunb among other characters in Return of the Jedi, Quinn later worked at ILM himself. “Everybody in here did something that hadn’t been done before. In theory it’s not possible. How could you do that? But they did it, and they’re all here.”

Towards the evening’s conclusion — after the attendees had posed for an awe-inspiring group photo — a handful of veterans came forward to share their reflections with the crowd of friends and loved ones.

“All of us changed the direction of filmmaking,” declared Robert Blalack, who first established the Optical Department at ILM and had traveled from Paris in order to attend the reunion. “Because of you, visions that were once completely impossible are now within reach. And you know it wasn’t always like that.” Remembering those early days on Star Wars, Blalack would jokingly add, “We discovered that building ILM from scratch during production was like jumping out of a plane and stitching up the parachute during free fall.”

Veterans of the original Star Wars, including (L-R): Miki Herman, Joe Johnston, Alvan Miller, John Dykstra, David Scott, Rose Duignan, and others.

John Dykstra, the pioneering visual effects supervisor who spearheaded the ILM efforts on the original film, was making his first visit to the facility that evening, and he brought his Academy Award for Star Wars along with him. “If there was one component of the group we had on the first Star Wars, it was that we worked together,” he said. “The people in each department knew what was going on in other departments and made an effort to improve their work in order to improve what everyone was doing. There was great enthusiasm and joy.

“It was a truly life-changing experience and in my entire career that is what I most treasure,” Dykstra would conclude, perhaps defining for all in the room the meaning of their accomplishments. Together they had created something the world had never seen, and together they celebrated 40 years later. In both inspiration and practice, their legacy has made its way into nearly every imaginable kind of film and media production happening today.

Photos by 32Ten Studios, Rose Duignan, and Don Bies.

Lucas O. Seastrom is a writer, historian, and filmmaker living in Marin County, CA. He grew up on a farm in California’s Central Valley, is a lifelong Star Wars fan, and volunteers at Rancho Obi-Wan. Follow him on Twitter @losnorcal.

Initially introduced as a Twi’lek freedom fighter on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Cham Syndulla has become more and more a vital character in the Star Wars canon. His daughter, Hera, was the General Syndulla mentioned in Rogue One, and she’s one of the stars of Star Wars Rebels. Cham’s story is an interesting one, stemming from one war to another, with affecting him on deeply personal levels.

1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (“Supply Lines” – Season 3, Episode 24) — In Cham’s first appearance on the timeline, the fate of the people of Ryloth hangs in the balance while Senator Organa and Representative Binks negotiate with the Toydarians for their relief.

2. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (“Liberty on Ryloth” – Season 1, Episode 21) — The war on Ryloth waged for a long time and it offered a difficult path for Cham, the freedom of his people, and the fate of his family.

3. Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp — The next time we see Cham, he’s no longer fighting the Separatists, but the Empire. This book documents his daring plot to assassinate the evil Emperor and his dark enforcer, Darth Vader, for the good of the galaxy. It’s apparent he doesn’t succeed, but seeing how Cham can survive is thrilling.

4. Star Wars Rebels (“Homecoming” – Season 2, Episode 16) — Years after the events of Lords of the Sith, Cham is still fighting for the freedom of Ryloth, but now he needs the help of his estranged daughter Hera — and the Rebel Alliance.

5. Star Wars Rebels (“Hera’s Heroes” – Season 3, Episode 5) — In Cham’s most recent appearance in the timeline, he’s enlisted the help of his daughter and Phoenix Squadron once more, but this time Grand Admiral Thrawn is involved.

Like Saw Gerrera before him, Cham’s story shows us the difficult strain on relationships that fighting against the Empire for so long can have. It’s a wonder any relationships, familial or otherwise, survived the battle against Palpatine’s tyranny.

Check out the playlist for another freedom fighter, Saw Gerrera!

Bryan Young is an author, a filmmakerjournalist, and the editor in chief of BigShinyRobot.com! He’s also the co-host of the Star Wars podcast, Full of Sith. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Stumped on what to get the dad who has every Star Wars collectible for Father’s Day this year? Make your own unique piece of Star Wars memorabilia that celebrates Dad’s love of a galaxy far, far away while reminding him of a special family memory.

Find a copy of a Star Wars comic book featuring one of his favorite characters — trust us, don’t use one of his books unless you want him to turn to the dark side — or track down a beat-up vintage comic for a striking look. Then it’s time to get crafting! Here’s the how-to.

What You Need

  • Wooden photo frame
  • Star Wars comic book (vintage or recent)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Decoupage glue
  • Paint brush

Get Started!

Begin by finding a Star Wars comic book that you don’t mind ripping pages out of. Older comics, like this 1978 issue, can be found in bargain bins at your local comic book shop or convention. You can also pick up a recent comic, like Doctor Aphra or Poe Dameron, if Dad is a fan of the new faces in Star Wars.

Find two facing pages that would make a picture-perfect scene for the frame, and carefully rip them from the comic book.

Trim the extra white spaces around the panels on the two pages to fit them together seamlessly on the frame.

Arrange the first page on the front of the frame, and then flip it over to mark the opening of the frame with a pencil.

Make small cuts in the page where you marked it so that you can wrap the paper around the frame without it bunching.

Line up the other page as well as you can.

Trace the opening of the frame on the page that covers it completely, and cut it out, leaving enough room to wrap the paper around the inside of the frame.

Use the decoupage glue to glue both pages to the front of the frame.

Use the decoupage glue on the outside and inside edges of the frame, and wrap the pages around the frame. You may need to make small cuts to wrap it around the corners without bunching.

Paint a layer of decoupage glue on the front of the frame, completely covering the paper, to keep it from tearing and give it a shiny look. (If you notice any edges of the paper that aren’t secured, glue them down.)

Repeat with a second layer.

Let the decoupage glue dry completely, and your frame is complete.

Find one of Dad’s favorite family photos — preferably not something on Mustafar — and your thoughtful gift will remind him of it often.

Kelly Knox is a freelance writer who loves creating crafts with her daughter. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox, and take a look at her blog the st{art} button for more Star Wars art projects and craft ideas.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 12:15

Father’s Day Darth Vader Pretzels

This Father’s Day, celebrate pretzels infused with the dark side. Shaped like Lord Vader’s helmet, together with this tasty snack you can rule the galaxy.

These are no-boil pretzels, so they’re a little more bready, but still full of flavor with a nice crunchy crust. Add a healthy amount of coarse salt — it may be rough, and irritating, and get everywhere, but it sure is delicious on top of a crusty pretzel.

Darth Vader Pretzels

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups warm water
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil (to grease the bowl)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Coarse salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer add the warm water, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for 5 minutes until it begins to foam.

Add the flour and butter and mix with the dough hook attachment until smooth.

Remove the dough from the bowl and set aside.

Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, then return the dough to the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for about 1 hour, until the dough doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and prep baking pans with buttered parchment or silpats.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Pull off a piece and roll it out into a long rope to form the outline of Vader’s head. Use more dough to create the eye and mouth details, press to secure.

Place the pretzels onto the prepped baking sheets. Brush the tops of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk mixture, then sprinkle with the coarse salt.

Bake for 12 -14 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack.

Serve with mustard or cheese sauce. And embrace the flavor of the dark side.

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.

Monday, 12 June 2017 15:46

Star Wars Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is coming this Sunday, June 18 — and there’s still time to get something for dads who feel the Force. Check out StarWars.com’s gift guide below, featuring a wide-range of ideas for Star Wars-fan fathers, including everything from Star Wars grills to record players. So if you’ve had a hard time finding just the right thing, fear not. These are the gifts you’re looking for. (And if you forget to mow the lawn or turn off the light in your room, one of these just might get you out of trash compactor duty.)

For the dad who cooks like an Ewok making roast Han:

For the dad who’s a Jedi (or Sith) at work:

For the dad who is strong with the power of coffee (or tea):

For the dad who was there in 1977 (or just likes awesome action figures):

For the dad who feels music is the ultimate power in the universe:

For the dad who has his own speeder bike:

For the dad who says “Droid please!”: 

For the dad who worships Darth Vader as much as Kylo Ren:

For the dad who would be too cold on Hoth:

For the dad who needs an armor upgrade:

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

Does anyone not know Pez? Tabs of candy that you manually load into a dispenser adorned with, usually, the head of your favorite character, Pez was one of the first brands that made candy interactive and fun. It’s been a cultural mainstay, from neighborhood grocery stores to Seinfeld episodes, and remains both a nostalgic and modern favorite.

Created in 1927 in Austria by Eduard Haas III, Pez tabs were initially sold in tins, and only landed in North America in 1952. The now-classic flip-top design hit stores in 1955, leading to well over 1,500 different designs, with over 550 specific heads being sculpted. Today, the candy is produced in Connecticut, while the dispensers are manufactured in China and Hungary.

But it wasn’t until 1997 that Pez would meet the power of the Force. Here’s a run through the history of Star Wars and Pez, with many of the major releases over the last 20 years.

1997

The first five Star Wars Pez dispensers were released back in the busy saga year of 1997. With the Special Editions at the forefront of people’s minds and Star Wars making a high-profile comeback in terms of merchandise, it was the perfect moment for Pez to pick up the license. The Pez range kicked off with a quintet of classic characters — Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and Stormtrooper.

There were also some eye-catching boxes holding the candy packets on shelves for fans of the day to enjoy, which are now highly desirable to collectors.

1999

The prequel trilogy kicked off in 1999, and to mark this momentous occasion, Pez released four dispensers in advance of the May 19 premiere of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. 

Oddly, none of the regular releases were characters from the prequels. Luke Skywalker in his X-wing pilots helmet, Princess Leia, Wicket the Ewok, and the first release of Boba Fett represented the original trilogy.

However, there was a box set which brought to life a scene from The Phantom Menace.

Take a look at the in-depth article by Matt Dracula about this quirky release and enjoy the video of Jar Jar doing his thing. As with many product releases around 1999, this was somewhat out-there and, as such, totally charming. Or creepy, depends on your point of view.

2002

Three Star Wars Pez dispensers were released in 2002, the year Attack of the Clones landed in theaters. The simple man making his way through the universe, Jango Fett, Clone Trooper, and R2-D2 received the candy treatment.

2005

2005 saw the arrival of the film that would (at that time) complete the circle, Revenge of the Sith. Pez went all-out to commemorate this epic event with 14 giant Pez releases.

Darth Vader, Clone Trooper, R2-D2, C-3PO, Death Star, Chewbacca, Yoda, General Grievous, and Emperor Palpatine were available in an oversize format, and there were also some variants: Crystal Vader, Crystal Yoda, Crystal C-3P0, Bronze Chewbacca, and Pearl Grievous.

In this celebratory year, a Walmart glow-in-the-dark variant of Emperor Palpatine was released, as well as a Walmart 9-dispenser box set and a standard 9-dispenser box.

In addition, there were four regular releases including Emperor Palpatine, General Grievous, the Death Star, and a second version of Chewbacca.

2009

The StarWars: The Clone Wars movie hit in 2008, and Pez released three dispensers the following year. We had our first Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Snips herself, Ahsoka Tano.

2012 and 2013

With the 3D release of The Phantom Menace in 2012, Pez released a duo of characters to commemorate. Darth Maul finally made it as a spring-loaded plastic candy dispenser, and Yoda saw a 2012 refresh. In 2013, we saw a new sculpt for the eternally popular Boba Fett, which arrived with a different paint job.

2015

The Force Awakens was the big news of 2015, but before its release, Pez made four limited-edition regular-sized crystal Star Wars Pez. Crystal Vader, Crystal Yoda and Crystal C-3P0 returned, joined by Crystal R2-D2. The four also came in a box set.

2016

The Force Awakens finally arrived in 2015. Kylo Ren, First Order Stormtrooper, Rey, and BB-8 landed first in Pez form.

The end of 2016 saw Rogue One releases, including the fearsome Death Trooper and a new version of the Death Star. These, alongside Darth Vader and the original trilogy Stormtrooper, were released in a special Rogue One gift set.

And that’s it for 20 years of Pez. Do you have a favorite Star Wars Pez dispenser? Let us know in the comments below!

Pez photos courtesy PEZ Candy, Inc. and Duncan Jenkins.

Mark writes for Star Wars Insider, the Official Star Trek Magazine, Geeky Monkey magazine, and Build The Millennium Falcon partwork, and co-hosts the RADIO 1138 and Take Cover podcasts. He’s an honorary member of the 501st and Rebel Legion and when he’s not talking, tweeting, or writing about Star Wars, he can usually be found sleeping, where he’ll most likely be dreaming about Star Wars.

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