Thursday, May 25, 2017

Star Wars 40 For 40 - Collectibles



Star Wars 40 For 40 wraps up with my list of top 40 collectibles!

Of the five Star Wars 40 For 40 lists I created, this one took me the longest. How in the galaxy was I supposed to pick just forty pieces out of the thousands of items in my collection? Well, in all honesty, I couldn’t. Thus, I selected forty pieces that fell into one or more of the following categories; emotional attachment/value/memories, great story, most usage/enjoyment, great “the hunt” story/memory, gift from someone special (family or Star Wars world), or just really cool pieces. The list has a little bit of everything. It’s a little Ahsoka, Vader and Stormtrooper heavy, but really, what did you expect? Haha! I kept having this nagging feeling like I was forgetting something however. Unfortunately, since the vast majority of my collection is in storage and/or has yet to be photo archived, I wasn’t able quell the feeling. So if I was to do this again in a year or so, it might be somewhat different. Nevertheless, here’s the list!

Mike’s Top 40 Favorite Star Wars Collectibles
[items from my collection only – in alphabetical order]  
1. 501st Legion Stormtrooper Action Figure (HasbroToyShop.com Exclusive) [Hasbro – The Saga Collection]
2. "Ahsoka" Ahsoka Tano Print (signed by artist Grant Gould)
3. Ahsoka Tano #CW44 3-3/4" Action Figure [Hasbro - The Clone Wars]
4. Ahsoka Tano 6" Action Figure [Hasbro - The Black Series]
5. Ahsoka Tano ARTFX Statue [Kotobukiya]
6. Ahsoka Tano Disney Infinity 3.0 Figure
7. Ahsoka Tano TCW Electronic Lightsaber Hilt (signed by Ashley Eckstein) [Rubies Costume Co.]
8. Anakin Skywalker EPIII Force FX Lightsaber [Master Replicas]
9. Anakin Skywalker EPIII Stunt Replica Lightsaber Hilt [eFX Collectibles]
10. Biker Scout Electronic Blaster [Kenner - Return of the Jedi]
11. Biker Scout on Speeder Biker 6" Figure [Hasbro - The Black Series]
12. BlasTech E-11 Replica Blaster [custom]
13. Celebration IV Commemorative "Padme Saga" Print (signed by artist Jason Palmer)
14. Celebration V Commemorative "Captain Rex" Print (signed by artist Lee Kohse)
15. Darth Plageius Hardcover Novel (one of James Luceno's personal advanced copies, given to me and signed by author James Luceno)
16. Darth Talon Mini-Bust [Gentle Giant]
17. Darth Vader and Ahsoka Tano Poster (signed by Dave Filoni)
18. Darth Vader on Mustafar Cinemascape Statue [Hasbro]
19. Darth Vader Special Edition 500th Figure [Hasbro - The Trilogy Collection]
20. Darth Vader Zip-up Hoodies (Star Wars Celebration IV Store Exclusive)
21. Ewok Village Playset [Kenner - Return of the Jedi]
22. Framed Anakin Skywalk / Darth Vader Dual Photo (signed by Hayden Christensen) [Official Pix]
23. George Lucas (in Stormtrooper diguise) 3-3/4" Action Figure [Hasbro - The Saga Collection]
24. Han Solo as Stormtrooper 3-3/4" Action Figure (Kellogg's Mail Away) [Hasbro - Power of The Force II]
25. Han Solo DL-44 Electronic Blaster [Kenner - Return of the Jedi]
26. Han Solo DL-44 Replica Blaster [custom]
27. Imperial Shuttle (Target Exclusive) [Hasbro - The Saga Collection]
28. Life-Size Darth Vader Standee Display with Celebration V Trip Giveaway Ballot Box
29. Luke Skywalker EPVI Replica Lightsaber Hilt [custom]
30. Millennium Falcon [Kenner - Return of the Jedi]
31. Padme Amidala "Courage" Statue [Hasbro - Unleashed]
32. Princess Leia & R2-D2 Animated Statue [Gentle Giant]
33. Shaak Ti (The Force Unleashed) #BD61 3-3/4" Action Figure [Hasbro - The Legacy Collection]
34. Shae Vizla Mini-Bust [Gentle Giant]
35. Star Wars Celebration IV Backpack (Celebration IV Store Exlcusive)
36. Stormtrooper Mini-Bust [Gentle Giant]
37. Super Articulated Clone Trooper 3-3/4" Action Figure [Hasbro - Revenge of the Sith]
38. The Clone Wars Launch Captain Rex T-Shirt (StarWarsShop.com Exclusive)
39. The Jedi Path Deluxe Edition (given to me by, and signed by, author Daniel Wallace)
40. TIE Fighter [Kenner - Return of the Jedi]


For those playing along on Twitter, what are your favorite collection pieces?   

Previous articles in this series:
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Coming 5-25-17
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Characters
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Movies/Episodes
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Novels
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Fan Experiences


Star Wars 40 For 40 - Fan Experiences



Star Wars 40 For 40 continues with my list of top 40 fan experiences!

When Return of the Jedi hit theaters in 1983 I was three and a half years old. It was the first movie I ever saw in theaters. It’s also the moment I mark as the start of my Star Wars fandom. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have some incredible Star Wars experiences. Be it simply as a fan, as a collector, or as a 501st Legion member, it’s been an amazing ride thus far! And while the list below only begins to scratch the surface of the experiences I’ve had over the past thirty four years, each one holds many great memories and stories. Maybe one day I’ll write a book about it, but for now, enjoy the list!

Mike’s Top 40 Favorite Star Wars Fan Experiences  
1983 – Return of the Jedi in theaters
1983 – Starting my Star Wars collection
1984 – The network television debut of A New Hope
1987 – Star Tours at Disney World
1991 – Star Tours at Disney World
1997 – A New Hope Special Edition in theaters (opening night)
1997 – The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition in theaters (opening night)
1997 – Return of the Jedi Special Edition in theaters (opening night)
1999 – The Phantom Menace in theaters (opening weekend)
2000 – Star Wars: The Magic of Myth exhibit at the Minnesota Institute of Arts
2002 – Attack of the Clone in theaters (opening weekend)
2005 – Revenge of the Sith in theaters (opening weekend)
2007 – Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles
2007 – Seeing the first-ever The Clone Wars trailer during The Clone Wars Panel at Celebration IV
2008 – Becoming a member of the 501st Legion
2008 – James Luceno 501st Legion Honorary Member induction dinner
2008 – Photos of my Star Wars collection featured on RebelScum.com
2008 – Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit (premiere night with Anthony Daniels)
2008 – Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota
2008 – The Clone Wars Movie in theaters (advanced screening)
2008 – The Clone Wars / Legacy Collection Toys R Us Midnight Release
2008 – The Clone Wars TV premiere
2009 – Fanboys in theaters (opening weekend)
2010 – Dinner with Troy Denning, Daniel Wallace and Gerald Home
2010 – Lunch with Jeremy Bulloch
2010 – Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando
2010 – Interviewed for a Star Wars documentary during Celebration V
2010 – Star Wars in Concert
2011 – Daniel Wallace 501st Legion Honorary Member induction dinner
2012 – Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando
2012 – Being ten feet away from George Lucas during The Clone Wars panel at Celebration VI
2012 – Smuggler's Gambit live radio drama at Celebration VI
2012 – The Phantom Menace 3D in theaters (premiere night)
2014 – The Clone Wars "Lost Missions" debut on Netflix
2015 – Force Friday Toys R Us Midnight Release
2015 – The Force Awakens in theaters (premiere night)
2016 – Cecil Castellucci 501st Legion Honorary Member induction dinner
2016 – Rogue One in theaters (premiere night)
2017 – Star Wars Celebration VIII in Orlando
2017 – Ahsoka Lives Day at Celebration VIII


For those playing along on Twitter, I can’t wait to read about your favorite fan experiences!   

Previous articles in this series:
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Coming 5-25-17
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Characters
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Movies/Episodes
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Novels


Star Wars 40 For 40 - Novels



Star Wars 40 For 40 continues with my list of top 40 novels!

The novels and the chronology of the Expanded Universe became an immensely large part of my Star Wars fandom. Despite some inconsistencies, the chronology which includes: the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy, The Clone Wars movie, six seasons of The Clone Wars, Clone Wars TV mini-series, 158 adult novels, twenty two short stories, and various reference and guide books, is and always will be Star Wars gospel to me. I do not recognize Disney’s “new-canon” as anything other than a false re-telling of history, and refuse to demote the Expanded Universe to the title of “Legends”. Now, that does not mean I can’t, and don’t, enjoy certain installments from Disney’s “new-canon”, it just means that they will never be or feel real to me. Case in point; I absolutely loved Rogue One, but the “real story” of the stolen Death Star plans took place in Rebel Dawn, book 3 of the Han Solo Trilogy. And as you can see below, the Ahsoka novel is on my list and that is a Disney-era novel. But let’s not detract from why we’re here. The Star Wars novels are absolutely amazing! From thousands of years before The Phantom Menace, to forty years past Return of the Jedi, we are introduced to great new stories, awesome new characters, and a plethora of new information from the EPI-EPVI time frame. If you look at my top 40 favorite characters list (link below), you will see that many of them came from these novels. It was tricky to narrow it down to my thirty nine favorites (again, with the Ahsoka novel getting a spot on the list), and I was forced to leave out some fantastic novels.

Mike’s Top 40 Favorite Star Wars Novels
[in alphabetical order]
1. Ahsoka
2. Allegiance
3. Choices of One
4. Coruscant Nights Trilogy: Jedi Twilight
5. Coruscant Nights Trilogy: Street of Shadows
6. Coruscant Nights Trilogy: Patterns of Force
7. Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
8. Darth Bane - Path of Destruction
9. Darth Bane - Rule of Two
10. Darth Bane - Dynasty of Evil
11. Darth Maul: Lockdown
12. Darth Plagueis
13. Fate of the Jedi: Outcast
14. Fate of the Jedi: Omen
15. Fate of the Jedi: Abyss
16. Fate of the Jedi: Backlash
17. Fate of the Jedi: Allies
18. Fate of the Jedi: Vortex
19. Fate of the Jedi: Conviction
20. Fate of the Jedi: Ascension
21. Fate of the Jedi: Apocolypse
22. Honor Among Thieves
23. Kenobi
24. Legacy of The Force: Betrayal
25. Legacy of The Force: Bloodlines
26. Legacy of The Force: Tempest
27. Legacy of The Force: Exile
28. Legacy of The Force: Sacrifice
29. Legacy of The Force: Inferno
30. Legacy of The Force: Fury
31. Legacy of The Force: Revelation
32. Legacy of The Force: Invincible
33. Lost Tribe of the Sith (Collected Stories)
34. Millennium Falcon
35. Survivor's Quest
36. The Approaching Storm
37. The Force Unleashed
38. The Force Unleashed II
39. The Old Republic: Deceived
40. The Wrath of Darth Maul

It is obviously moot at this point, but I will always feel that the nine Legacy of The Force novels are what should have been adapted to make the Episodes VII, VIII and IX movies. It would have made the climatic end of Episode IX the emotional duel between Jaina Solo and Jacen (Darth Caedus) Solo. It would have been absolutely incredible. But I digress.

I know there are many Star Wars fans who have never gotten into the novels. For anyone who hasn’t, I sincerely urge you to dive in. Unlike those of us who got on board in the beginning, and read the novels as they were released, you can start at the beginning and go all the way through in chronological order. Actually, now that I’ve read all of the EU novels, I am now going to re-read them all in chronological order.  

For those playing along on Twitter, how many of these novels appear on your list as well?  

Previous articles in this series:
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Coming 5-25-17
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Characters
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Movies/Episodes


Star Wars 40 For 40 - Movies/Episodes



Star Wars 40 For 40 continues with my list of top 40 movies/episodes!

The Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy are the obvious foundation of my list, followed by The Clone Wars Movie. It was honestly a little tricky selecting my favorite twenty eight episodes of The Clone Wars however, but I had to leave room for the three The Old Republic cinematic trailers and the two The Force Unleashed II cinematic trailers. Prior to the start of the Disney-era, I was hoping that we may one day get full length movies of The Old Republic and The Force Unleashed, adapted from the trailers, video games and novels. If you haven’t seen these five trailers, I highly recommend finding them on YouTube and watching them a few hundred times. I burned a DVD of the five trailers so I can watch them all together on my TV. 

Mike’s Top 40 Favorite Star Wars Movies/Episodes
[in alphabetical order]
1. EPI - The Phantom Menace
2. EPII - Attack of the Clones
3. EPIII - Revenge of the Sith
4. EPIV - A New Hope
5. EPV - The Empire Strikes Back
6. EPVI - Return of the Jedi
7. The Clone Wars Movie
8. The Clone Wars 1.02 Rising Malevolence
9. The Clone Wars 1.03 Shadow of Malevolence
10. The Clone Wars 1.04 Destroy Malevolence
11. The Clone Wars 1.06 Downfall of a Droid
12. The Clone Wars 1.07 Duel of the Droids
13. The Clone Wars 1.11 Dooku Captured
14. The Clone Wars 1.12 The Gungan General
15. The Clone Wars 1.13 Jedi Crash
16. The Clone Wars 1.14 Defenders of Peace
17. The Clone Wars 1.16 The Hidden Enemy
18. The Clone Wars 1.17 The Blue Shadow Virus
19. The Clone Wars 1.18 Mystery of a Thousand Moons
20. The Clone Wars 2.01 Holocron Heist
21. The Clone Wars 2.02 Cargo of Doom
22. The Clone Wars 2.03 Children of The Force
23. The Clone Wars 2.11 Lightsaber Lost
24. The Clone Wars 2.21 R2 Come Home
25. The Clone Wars 3.02 Lethal Track Down
26. The Clone Wars 3.02 ARC Troopers
27. The Clone Wars 3.09 Hunt for Zero
28. The Clone Wars 3.10 Heroes on Both Sides
29. The Clone Wars 3.15 Overlords
30. The Clone Wars 3.16 Altar of Mortis
31. The Clone Wars 3.17 Ghosts of Mortis
32. The Clone Wars 5.06 The Gathering
33. The Clone Wars 5.07 A Test of Strength
34. The Clone Wars 5.08 Bound for Rescue
35. The Clone Wars 5.09 A Necessary Bond
36. The Force Unleashed II Cinematic Trailer 1
37. The Force Unleashed II Cinematic Trailer 2
38. The Old Republic "Deceived" Cinematic Trailer
39. The Old Republic "Hope" Cinematic Trailer
40. The Old Republic "Return" Cinematic Trailer

For those playing along on Twitter, how many of these appear on your list as well?  

Previous articles in this series:
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Coming 5-25-17
Star Wars 40 For 40 – Characters