Star Wars Vanity Fair Digest

As you’ve probably heard by now, the cover of the issue of Vanity Fair that has just come out features Rey, Finn, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and BB-8. On May the 4th an exclusive gallery of The Force Awakens photos shot by Annie Leibovitz went up on their website. And now the full cover story is also available online in case you haven’t been able to find a copy. It took several tries to find mine.

Finally! #TheForceAwakens pic.twitter.com/hS18fPEbYk

— Kay (@Geek_Kay) May 14, 2015

But since then more web-exclusive interviews have appeared, and they’re with some of our favorite behind-the-scenes Star Wars people here at FANgirl so we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss them.

Extended J.J. Abrams Interview: This one talks about recapturing the spirit of the originals, sense of humor, and making other film references in Star Wars.

Lawrence Kasdan Says There’s a Future for Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The interview is about way more than the title indicates, but that’s fairly true for all of these. They talk about how he got involved in the world of Star Wars, bringing George’s ideas into the process, and the passage of time.

How Apple Inspired the Stormtroopers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Finally we get to hear from Michael Kaplan, the costume designer for The Force Awakens. There’s talk of his work on Blade Runner, his costuming approach, and what updates have been made. No, he does not tell us where they sourced Rey’s backpack.

. . . → Read More: Star Wars Vanity Fair Digest

Tricia Barr: Tours, Quotes, and Appearances in May

Ultimate Star Wars cover

May has been a busy month with the Ultimate Star Wars book tour. Here are some places I popped up around the web.

I visited the Mos Eisley Comic Port to discuss Princess Leia #3 from Marvel. I loved the connection to the podcast name because I wrote the entry for Mos Eisley spaceport for Ultimate Star Wars! Catrina Dennis and I shared similar positive opinions about this entry in the mini-series.

As part of the book tour promotion I wrote an article for StarWars.com. “Ultimate Star Wars and My Writer’s Journey” dives into how I pulled together the stories and information for important characters like Luke, Leia, and Ahsoka. If you haven’t checked out the book yet, some preview pages are included.

I returned to StarWars.com in an article written by Mark Newbold, in which he captures fan reaction to the return of Captain Rex. Seeing The Clone Wars favorite reappear in Star Wars Rebels was a visceral experience and the words seemed to flow.

During the Tempe, Arizona, book signing on May the Fourth, I recorded a short interview with Who Wars, a podcast dedicated to Doctor Who and Star Wars.

Over at TriciaBarr.com, I have been chronicling my book tour, the people I met and the things I saw. The last stop on the tour is Star Wars Weekends week 3, Friday through Sunday May 29th to 31st. I will be signing from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Writer’s Stop in Hollywood Studios. . . . → Read More: Tricia Barr: Tours, Quotes, and Appearances in May

Tomorrowland: The Review

Ladies and gentlebeings, we’ve reached the Tomorrowland stop on my Strange Age of Tomorrowland World Awakens 2015 movie tour. You may proceed with this review without any major spoilers. Please feel free to stretch your imaginations, take small children by the hand, and be sure to hang on to any personal belongings.

This is my favorite stop so far.

There’s a clear enthusiasm and momentum behind Tomorrowland. And it’s so many things I hesitate to label it as thrilling or reflective or hope-inducing, because as much as it has those elements within it, it’s a much more intricate piece of filmmaking than a broad label can do justice. I have to wonder if that’s why some critics aren’t liking it; it’s not easy to pin down. (Pun completely intended.)

Tomorrowland is reminiscent, modern, and forward-thinking. There is action, adventure and impressive special effects. Moments of whimsy appear and a few times it runs right up to the line of being too silly, but this movie isn’t shying away from the fact that it has a message for you–a very wordy message, but an interesting and thought-provoking one nonetheless.

I’ll admit the narrative is a bit messy and gets complicated at times but the world Brad Bird created makes it easy enough to suspend disbelief and take it all in stride. Fun references to Disneyland are heaviest in the beginning, there’s a bunch of Star Wars in the middle, and a scene right out of The Rocketeer appears towards the end. . . . → Read More: Tomorrowland: The Review

Linda’s Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Fan Interviews: Family Fun

One of the questions Tricia asked the panelists during the From A Certain Point of View panel was what we most enjoyed about Star Wars. Before Celebration Anaheim, I had a fairly stock answer: the movies, of course, especially IV, V, VI; some of the EU novels, especially Timothy Zahn’s; playing SW:TOR; and the interesting people I’ve met. What I realized at the convention was that really, truly, what I love most about Star Wars are the other fans.

I met quite a few interesting people at Celebration Anaheim, and in this series of posts I would like to share their stories with you.

I count myself as lucky in a number of ways – I have good friends that I share passionate interests with, and I get to work with passionate colleagues. But to be able share a love of Star Wars with work friends? That’s blessed. This is why I’m particularly excited to share Kati and Ray Lai’s experience of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.

I’ve known Kati and Ray Lai for over ten years now. Back then, Ray and I shared an office. I had a Yoda who sat on my desk, next to a pothos plant. When you pressed his hand he would predict the future like a Magic 8 Ball, though his favorite thing to say was “Mmm, the future, always in motion.” When I changed jobs, I entrusted Yoda to Ray. As these work things go, I returned to a version of my old job . . . → Read More: Linda’s Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Fan Interviews: Family Fun

Kay Joins a Meeting of the Assembly of Geeks

American television network upfronts recently took place and we now have a better idea of what shows will be around this fall. This week I had the chance to join the Assembly of Geeks podcast for a segment on some of the new show first looks that have already graced us with their presence.

She looks like Natalie Dormer. You see it too, right?

No one looks like Natalie Dormer here and that’s completely ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our panel included hosts Amy, Scott, and Jeff (also known as Agent Archer, Merchman, and Admiral Eighties) as well as fellow guest Rebecca of Supergirl Radio. Together we looked at the previews for The Muppets, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. Which one am I intrigued by? Which one am I hesitant on? And which one has me totally lost? Listen to find out.

From the show notes:

This week’s podcast opens with Regina Davis &and Matt Moore of Comic Book Noob as we get to know them a little better & learn more about their passion for comics. In today’s Geek Assembly meeting Geek Kay of FANgirl Blog and Rebecca Johnson of Supergirl Radio join us to discuss the TV show trailers for The Muppets, Supergirl & Legends of Tomorrow.

Other topics include Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch changing parents again, the chance for a Star Wars/Marvel channel, Stephen Amell’s claim that Arrow is done and Doomsday’s reported appearance in Batman vs. Superman.

Also see . . . → Read More: Kay Joins a Meeting of the Assembly of Geeks

Star Wars Weekends 2015: Weekend One

SWW 2015 theater

With several years of owning Lucasfilm and Star Wars under their belts, Disney is beginning to take full advantage of the virtually unlimited possibilities for Star Wars Weekends. Although many traditional elements of the showcase remain in place – the celebrity motorcade and stage appearances, special merchandise, extra sessions of Jedi Training Academy, nightly fireworks – this year brought several significant changes that give the experience an increasing prominence throughout Hollywood Studios. Like the franchise itself, Star Wars Weekends seem to be headed in bigger and better directions in the years ahead.

The celebrity stage shows have been upgraded to the larger, more visible Theater of the Stars. In previous years, programs with movie actors in Stars of the Saga, voice actors from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and celebrity features like Obi-Wan & Beyond or An Ewok’s Tale had been hosted in the Premiere Theater, a venue at the far edge of the park without a natural queue location or built-in FastPass+ entry. Beginning after Star Wars Weekends last summer, the Frozen Sing-Along moved into the space, and remains there (including a full slate of sing-alongs during Star Wars Weekends) pending a rumored expansion into the now-vacated American Idol Experience stage. To accommodate the increased interest in Star Wars, the Beauty and the Beast show currently housed at Theater of the Stars has shifted to three morning performances, leaving the afternoon open for all of the Star Wars Weekends programming to run after lunch and into the . . . → Read More: Star Wars Weekends 2015: Weekend One

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim: Pulling Back the Curtain on Star Wars Rebels

In many ways, Celebration Anaheim marked the first full-scale introduction of Star Wars Rebels to the fandom at large. Rebels was highlighted in panels at a few previous general-interest conventions like New York Comic Con and San Diego Comic-Con, and individual members of the principal voice cast made appearances at Disney’s Star Wars Weekends in Florida last summer. Celebration Anaheim provided the opportunity to truly showcase the series to a massive gathering of Star War fans. Rebels received a premium panel on the arena-sized Celebration Stage on Saturday morning, a red carpet line and the world premiere of Season Two on Saturday evening in a packed Digital Stage, and a Sunday panel featuring behind-the-scenes insights into the show’s creation and development.

Saturday morning kicked off with the main panel, officially titled “New Allies and New Villains in Star Wars Rebels Season 2.” The panel was live-streamed and live-blogged by StarWars.com, not to mention thousands of fans packed into the Celebration Stage. Host James Arnold Taylor greeted all five members of the voice cast, as well as Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni. The wide-ranging discussion included the characters, the voice actors’ experience joining the Star Wars franchise, and the fan response to Rebels. The Season Two trailer revealed the return of Captain Rex, prompting huge cheers. Dee Bradley Baker and Ashley Eckstein then also took the stage to speak about what their fan-favorite characters from The Clone Wars bring to Rebels. Although the panel included some fun anecdotes, hysterical good-natured teasing . . . → Read More: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim: Pulling Back the Curtain on Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim: Ideas Become Reality: Star Wars Production Class

When the schedule for Star Wars Celebration Anaheim came out, one of the University-track panels I immediately got excited about was “Ideas Become Reality: Star Wars Production Class”. When it comes to your favorite TV shows or movies, you probably know who stars in it, you may even know who directed it and often who wrote it too, but fans tend to not recognize producers quite as widely. Tricia, BJ, and I talked briefly about producing when we focused on Kathleen Kennedy in episode three of Hyperspace Theories. In it I admired Kennedy’s ability to get things done–a very useful trait when you’re running a production.

What does it mean to be a “producer,” and what does it mean to produce for Lucasfilm? Athena Portillo, Line Producer for Star Wars Rebels and Liz Marshall, Production Manager for Star Wars Rebels, will dive in to the specific roles of production staff, cover skills and traits needed to do the job, and give tips and insider tricks how to deal with the challenges and the ever–changing landscape -Ideas Become Reality: Star Wars Production Class listing

the flowchart of a show at the packed Star Wars Production Class

Held on Saturday afternoon, the Star Wars Production panel was run by Athena Portillo and Liz Marshall who both work in a producing role on Star Wars Rebels. The room was filled to capacity and these women hit the ground running to cover a lot of info in their allotted time. There was no . . . → Read More: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim: Ideas Become Reality: Star Wars Production Class

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Fan Interviews by Linda: Part Two

Dan Brooks SWCA Cantina

One of the questions Tricia asked the panelists during the From A Certain Point of View panel was what we most enjoyed about Star Wars. Before Celebration Anaheim, I had a fairly stock answer: the movies, of course, especially IV, V, VI; some of the EU novels, especially Timothy Zahn’s, playing SW:TOR and the interesting people I’ve met. What I realized at the convention was that really, truly, what I love most about Star Wars are the other fans.

I met quite a few interesting people at SWCA and in this series of posts I would like to share their stories with you.

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim ran from April 16-19, but it began early for me. I flew out on April 15, and the party started from the moment I was at the gate waiting to fly from San Francisco to Anaheim. I had one of those lucky mornings where there was no traffic, I got TSA precheck, and I was at the gate comfortably early. I sat with my Peets and people-watched, trying to figure out who was going to Celebration. It turned out it was almost the whole flight.

That’s where I met Dan Brooks.

I was familiar with his name, of course, as he’s Lucasfilm’s senior content writer and one of the editors of StarWars.com. It was fun to put a real person together with “a guy whose job I really envy.” In his interview, Dan talks about the joy of meeting other Star Wars fans, . . . → Read More: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Fan Interviews by Linda: Part Two

Get Your Geek On with Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy

Two paragraphs into Sam Maggs’ The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and I was hooked. She starts by clarifying the term “fangirl” and it meant a lot to me because back when Tricia invited me to join FANgirl Blog, I hesitated. I didn’t want to be labeled a fangirl. The connotation I associated the term with was negative. But Tricia convinced me this was an opportunity to redefine the word in my own terms, to contribute to thoughtful fandom discourse, to show that not everyone is a fan of everything in exactly the same way.

I’m not a screaming-her-head-off, jumping-all-over-the-place kind of fan. I may cheer from time to time or applaud really loudly but for the most part the more moved I am by something, the stiller I get, the quieter I get, and sometimes the more teary-eyed I get. If that’s you too, then here’s a high five of solidarity. And if that’s not you? That’s ok too. That’s what Fangirl’s Guide is ultimately about–that there are so many different ways to participate in a fandom and you get to choose what you want to do.

I got to meet Sam Maggs recently and her friendliness translates well to the page. In the book she even makes a point to welcome anyone who wants to read this guide, regardless of gender identity. And while it’s a formidable companion if you’re new to this whole larger world of fandom, Fangirl’s Guide could really be applicable for anyone. Although I . . . → Read More: Get Your Geek On with Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy