I will be mostly offline in the coming week, so there will be no updates until August 1. See you then!
Archive for July, 2010
Acme Archives Direct has several new Star Wars pieces available. Most of them debuted this weekend at Comic Con. This batch includes a great Qui-Gon portrait by John Alvin, a Boba and Jango Fett portrait by Tsuneo Sanda, and “Amidala” by Jerry Vanderstelt, which I bought at Comic Con on Thursday.
The only problem with Acme Archives is that the art is $$$. Canvas prints run over $300 generally, while the cheaper paper prints are still north of $100. Still, they are stunning pieces.
Earlier today at Comic Con, I got to sit through the hour-long program on The Clone Wars. Most of the presentation was about technical stuff, whether it was clothing design, the nightmare of Aurra Sing’s pony tail, or cinematic lighting used on the show. There was a little bit about the upcoming season, including a new trailer with a little bit of new footage. It’s up now on starwars.com, but beware of spoilers!
At the Q&A afterward, one of the first questions was from a young boy asking about why a certain character was wielding a lightsaber, heh heh. We were promised a lot more about Season Three at Celebration in a couple of weeks. Of course!
Earlier, I got an autograph from the voice of all the clones on the show, Dee Bradley Baker. He’s a very nice guy, as are all of the folks on Clone Wars, and he was very psyched for Season Three. He told me that the season will kick off with a three-part arc about the clone soldiers featured in the “Rookies” episode from Season One.
I can’t figure out why Titan would start an entirely new magazine devoted to Clone Wars instead of just featuring CW-themed pieces in Star Wars Insider, unless it’s aimed at kids. But that’s what they’re doing, with the first issue hitting the stands October 5, just in time for Season Three.
Read more info here.
The last several batches of exclusive art available at Celebration V have been posted, and there are some amazing pieces, including a great Darth Maul by Jan Duursema (she seems to have a shirtless Maul fetish), a panorama of clone troopers and stormtroopers, a cute Star Wars theme park map by Tom Hodges, and my favorite, a piece by Erik Maell featuring Anakin, Padmé, Luke, Leia, and Vader. The whole happy crew!
Check them all out here.
I will be attending Comic Con Thursday-Saturday and whatever I find out, I’ll keep you all posted! The biggest must-see for me is the Clone Wars panel on Friday. Stay tuned and drop by my Facebook page for quick bulletins. I’ll likely post a full report a week or so down the line.
Why bother with secret codes when you can find out all kinds of “secrets” about Season Three here? Warning: BIG spoilers in the videos and the site I’m linking to is generally NSFW. The links to the vids are at the top of the page, so as long as you don’t scroll down, you’re fine.
One of the ongoing grievances at SWPAS is official fandom treating the prequel films like illegitimate children via some prostitute with crabs. An indicator that official fandom has taken that position is the very low amount of prequel -themed merchandise available since 2005. There’s plenty of retro, nostalgic, and new stuff based on the first set of Star Wars movies and of course, plenty of kid stuff based on Clone Wars. In fact, if you go through any current line of licensed merchandise, whether it’s Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids, Payless, Adidas, Stride Rite, etc., everything is either from Eps IV-VI or from Clone Wars. There are no Queen Amidala cookie molds or Qui-Gon sneakers or Jango Fett lunch boxes. Why is that?
I’m sure if I were to point this out to Lucas Licensing, they would likely argue that they made tons of prequel-themed merchandise for years and that the market for them is long-saturated. They would likely argue that there wasn’t a lot of stuff based on the first trilogy after the Special Editions and they’re just making up for lost time. They might also argue the first trilogy of films have been around longer and have greater general recognition and general nostalgic value for older Star Wars fans who have the spending loot and kids with whom they want to share their appreciation for those films. They may even try to be slick and say, “We’ve got the prequels covered with the Clone Wars.”
It’s completely understandable that it’s in their interest to keep Eps IV-VI in the public eye and of course, I’m perfectly fine with that. Clearly there’s a demand for merch from those movies. I can even understand they want to see how things from the first set of movies sell first before expanding a line to include prequel stuff. But since there weren’t Adidas shoes when TPM, AOTC, or ROTS were out, what’s stopping them from doing those shoes now? Again, it’s been five years since anything new has hit the shelves. Little kids from that era are teens and young adults now.
As for Clone Wars, we at SWPAS clearly love the show but while Clone Wars includes many of the same characters, it’s not the same thing as the movies. And for some reason they don’t think anyone over the age of 10 enjoys the show. Anyway, using Clone Wars as a cover to avoid the prequel movies cheapens both the show and the movies. Clone Wars should exist as an entity to enjoy in its own right, and not be used as a way to sweep the movies under some rug or toss them into the memory hole.
No, the nagging feeling we have is that there are two things going on here. One, Lucas Licensing is distancing itself from the prequel films because of a perception they’re not popular or loved by fans. Two, a lot of people who work at Lucasfilm or with them just don’t like the prequels very much.
Now, there are good licensees who recognize there is demand for prequel film products, even to this day. Sideshow Collectibles continues to produce a steady stream of high-quality merchandise and Hasbro still produces prequel film action figures. Kotobukiya and Diamond Select Toys still produce prequel stuff. We’re keeping an eye on Her Universe.
But there’s a lot more they could be doing, but they’re not doing. I’ve stopped buying a lot of stuff partially for this reason. Until the licensing program starts to treat all of the movies equally and like the classics that they are, I’m buying only from licensees that do treat them all equally.
I have considered an All Or Nothing campaign, a letter campaign, or a petition to request more prequel film stuff. So long as they think there’s no demand, things won’t change. Let me know what you think is the most viable–there are advantages and disadvantages to letters, petitions, or boycotts/buycotts.
It looks like the igloo-shaped building that was Luke Skywalker’s childhood digs and where Anakin Skywalker made his fateful visit in AOTC is falling apart. A group of Star Wars fans is raising money so they can head back to the location in Tunisia sometime in 2011 or 2012 and restore it to its original glory.
Note: SWPAS cannot vouch for whether these guys are on the up-and-up, so donate at your own risk.