Looking for Leia Takes Center Stage at Geek Girl Con

On Saturday morning I had the great pleasure of being part of the conversation about women in fandom marshalled by documentary filmmaker Dr. Annalise Ophelian—the mighty force behind the upcoming fandom documentary Looking for Leia. Panelists included: Christina Cato, 501st Legion member and BB-8 builder; Pat Yolo, Assistant Jedi Temple Master and founder of the My Little Pony Jedi; Linda Hansen-Raj of Fangirl Blog; Maggie Nowalowska, an elder stateswoman of fandom and curator of early 80’s printed fanzines; and Jamala Henderson, a Seattle radio personality, newscaster, and lifelong fan (she can hum the entire soundtrack!).

Looking for Leia Production Still

Christina Cato poses with the BB-8 she’s building.

Each of the women on the panel came to Star Wars at different times in their life and they focus and express their fandom in different ways but the one overriding theme of the panel and the morning was that Star Wars “has never been a boy thing”. Cato mentioned that she has more than once encountered male fans declaring “I’ve never met a girl who likes Star Wars as much as you.” Her deadpan reply: “Yes you have.” Continue reading

Putting the Chic on the Geeks at the Geekbound Fashion Show

Geek Fashion takes the runway at the Geekbound Show in Seattle. Dress by Elhoffer Design.

Just a few weeks ago, when high-end accessory brand Christian Louboutin announced their partnership with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the news was met on a several fronts with a note of surprise. But for those of us plugged in to what’s going on in geek fashion, the addition of the top-end brand to the pantheon of geek-lady-targeted apparel and accessories felt like a natural progression of the movement—further proof of the rise in the legitimacy of adult geek women as a market force. With luxury brands such as Dooney & Bourke and Nixon wristwatches already making headway (and profits) in the geek-targeted space, it’s no wonder that other brands want in on the action. 

Leading the charge in grown-up apparel and accessories has been Elhoffer Design, helmed by Los Angeles designer and costumer, Catherine Elhoffer.  Since its inception, the brand has been at the forefront of the upward evolution of geek style from its humble beginnings in the graphic t-shirt aisle to today’s plentiful and stylish offerings.  Continue reading

Ascent and Acceptance: Family Dynamics in Leia: Princess of Alderaan

Claudia Gray’s newest Star Wars offering: Leia: Princess of Alderaan opens on Leia Organa’s sixteenth Name Day. With the Rhindon Sword in her hand, she approaches the throne and declares her intention to assume the throne. This is the ceremony that has been performed by Alderaan’s monarchs for millennia. She pledges to take on challenges of the body, mind, and heart to prove her fitness as a ruler to the sitting sovereign.

But for teenage Leia Organa, fitness to rule is hardly a concern. For Leia, the ceremony and its attendant challenges are a chance to grow closer to her parents—from whom she never meant to become distant. Her humanitarian work, first term in the Apprentice Legislature, and plans for the ascent of Appenza Peak are much more in the service of her personal agenda than any royal one. Continue reading

HoloNet Blast #24

Hello again and welcome to our roundup of news from across the Galaxy Far, Far Away!

Meet The Cardinal and remember to pre-order PHASMA!

This week Penguin Random House gave us a taste of what’s to come in PHASMA. In Delilah S. Dawson’s next addition to the Star Wars universe, we’ll learn more about the mysterious history of “one of the most cunning and merciless officers of The First Order”.  PHASMA, a Journey to Star Wars, The Last Jedi novel hits bookstore shelves and e-readers everywhere on September 1st.

Help us, Hollywood Reporter, you’re our only hope….

In what may be the greatest case of clamoring fans getting what they ask for in film franchise history, an Obi-Wan standalone film appears to be in the works. Rumor has it that Lucasfilm is in very early talks with director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) exploring the possibility of a film focused on the Jedi Master who has been played by both Ewan McGregor and Sir Alec Guinness. As yet the film has no script, and no cast is currently attached. The Kenobi standalone is just one of many concepts being explored by the team at Lucasfilm including stories centered on Yoda and Boba Fett.

Keep coming back to Tosche-Station.net for news of the Kenobi film as it breaks. 

Pew-Pew! Battlefront II!

This week, EA Star Wars gave us a thrilling peek at the Starfighter combat that awaits us in Star Wars Battlefront II’s Starfighter Assault mode. The trailer, originally scheduled to debut next week, offers us an exquisite look at in-engine footage of what is to come. A live game play demonstration is scheduled for Gamescom this week. Star Wars Battlefront II is slated for release in November, with an open Beta scheduled for October.

That’s it for this week’s news! Send Star Wars news tips to Tosche-Station.net. Send kombucha starters to @MandaTheGinger.

Holonet Blast #19

Welcome once again to our weekly round-up of Star Wars news from across the galaxy. This was an exciting week to be a Star Wars fan! Sit back, relax, and enjoy re-living some epic moments from the GFFA, or use this opportunity to catch up on anything you may have missed in the whirlwind of amazing things we got to enjoy this week. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Dawn of Rebellion:

The week kicked off with some exciting news for our Of Dice and Droids crew and fellow roleplayers worldwide when Fantasy Flight Games announced a new sourcebook for the Star Wars RPG. Dawn of Rebellion, scheduled for release later this year, is the first sourcebook of its kind, designed to be used alongside the existing SWRPG modules.

Primarily focusing on the years preceding the Battle of Yavin, Dawn of Rebellion features descriptions, context, and statistics for many of the iconic characters and vehicles appearing in the Star Wars: Rebels television show and in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story…..

Dawn of Rebellion will equip players and gamemasters with new options, guides, and insights for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game when it releases later this year. In the meantime, stay on alert for more previews for how this exciting new book will expand your games of Star Wars Roleplaying!

This book is set to deepen, rather than broaden, the already expansive Star Wars RPG universe. The artwork is beautifully done, and the information contained within is likely to be an invaluable resource to Game Masters the galaxy over. Continue reading

Holonet Blast #11

Not a whole lot to report in the Galaxy Far, Far Away this week, but here are a couple of exciting tidbits that might mean the fandom is heating up in your neighborhood:

Star Wars Film Concert Series coming to New York
Star Wars fans in the Big Apple will get to experience their favorite franchise in an all new way this fall. This September and October, the films will screen at David Geffen Hall accompanied by a live score performed by the New York Philharmonic under conductor David Newman. Tickets for the Star Wars Concert Film Series are on sale now.

Major League Fandom
This past May The Fourth, Major League Baseball teams kicked off a series of Star Wars celebrations around the league. Both the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox hosted Star Wars nights in their parks, complete with creative Star Wars/baseball hybrid giveaways. This begins a full season of Star Wars nights at Major League parks around the nation. The full schedule is available here. Are you planning on attending Star Wars night with your hometown team?

Holonet Blast #6

News! Since the last time the Holonet checked in, some exciting things have happened in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Here’s a rundown:

Adjust your spell-checkers accordingly, Mitth’raw’nuruodo is back in canon!

In a stunning, yet not-altogether-surprising reveal, last week we learned via exclusive excerpt that Grand Admiral Thrawn’s full name is officially part of the current canon. For those of you who need all the Thrawn you can get, the excerpt is here and don’t forget to tune into to Tosche Station’s Thrawncast for an in-depth (and occasionally ridiculous) look at the Grand Admiral’s advent in Legends.

Talking about Yoda, he is not…

…but the legendary puppeteer and the human behind our favorite little green man from outer space is one of the featured subjects of the documentary film “Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched” which premiered this week at the SXSW film festival. Although the documentary focuses on the Muppet Show exclusively, the insights in to the life of a puppeteer and into Frank Oz himself are second-to-none. Keep an eye out for the film when it comes to theatres or streaming. Continue reading

Princess Leia: Royal Rebel

royal_rebel_coverToday I spent my morning with Princess Leia: Royal Rebel, part of the Scholastic Star Wars Backstories series. Aimed at fans in grades 3-7, it was a quick read: only 128 pages including a glossary and index, and many of those filled with captioned illustrations. Although imperfect in some aspects, it was a cute book and worth the little time it took to devour it.

The book is presented as an in-universe biography of the famous Princess and General and includes an illustrated section on her most famous “friends, family, and foes.” The in-universe timeline for the book is interesting, in that it mentions the events of The Force Awakens, therefore presuming that the key events of the film (the destruction of Hosnian Prime, the death of Han Solo, the discovery of Rey and her Force-sensitive nature) have already occurred. Knowing what we do about Episode VIII following so quickly on the heels of The Force Awakens, it took a little fudging in the suspension of disbelief department for me to get past that.

The introduction is done in first-person by General Leia Organa herself and dovetails nicely onto events in Moving Target–wherein an archival droid is pestering her for a memoir. “I’d much rather be doing things than talking about things I’ve already done,” Leia bemoans in the opening paragraph. And the General’s reticence on matters of her life comes in handy later in the volume.

The body of the book itself is basically a Leia-centric retelling of everything we know about Star Wars. With an at-a-glance chronology that begins with Padme and Anakin meeting, we get a summary walk through the saga focusing on where Leia was and what she was up to at any given time (including her appearances in Moving Target, the Princess Leia comic books, and Star Wars Rebels). There are notable gaps in information available about the years between events of Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens. “These records,” the imaginary biographer posits, “may have been lost when the First Order destroyed the system of Hosnian Prime.” It is also alluded to that perhaps little is known because after the war the Princess kept her private life…well…private. It’s a useful device for allowing this book to bridge the gap in the saga without giving anything away.

Continue reading

Unintentional Voyeurism by Express Invitation: My Read on “The Princess Diarist”

Today I read The Princess Diarist. Depending on who you are and how you approach fandom, I might recommend that you do the same. Or I might not.

The Princess Diarist is a personal book. It’s less the telling of the story of the making of Star Wars as it is a glimpse into the emotional life of its then-nineteen-year-old leading actress. Through this book we get a very intimate glimpse of what it has been like to be Carrie Fisher- beginning in her youth as the famous-once-removed daughter of Hollywood royalty through to her current experience of the “celebrity lap dance” that she continues to perform thanks to her permanent alter-ego: “Princess Leia Organa, formerly of Alderaan and presently of anywhere and everywhere she damn well pleased”.

If you’re at all into that sort of thing, or even morbidly curious as to what it might be like to get a glimpse inside Ms. Fisher’s head, then picking up The Princess Diarist is definitely worth your consideration. But if celebrity tell-alls and occasionally uncomfortable recollections aren’t your cup of tea, then perhaps this book isn’t for you. In The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher not only gives you a glimpse into her inner life, she holds it up to your face and forces you to look at it- in all its sordid and uncomfortable relief, until you’re almost squirming at your own unintentional voyeurism. And if you don’t go in for that level of discomfort, then perhaps you should steer clear. This book is filled with unvarnished truth-telling, but more so in an emotional sense than a factual one. It left me tearful, empathetic, and grateful to Ms. Fisher for her willingness to lay herself so bare to the world. I love this book and I love Carrie Fisher [even more than I already did] for writing it.

Continue reading

The Every Day Empire: Reflections on Catalyst

Catalyst was a good book. It was a worthwhile read. And, as it was very thoughtfully and craftily designed to do, it has whet my appetite for next month’s release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Catalyst is the story of Galen Erso: his passion for science, his devotion to both his family and his work, and the relationships that come to bear on his personal and professional life; all wrapped up in a volume that feels unmistakably Star Wars. From the opening paragraph, the GFFA seems familiar in a way that’s been missing (although I would be hard pressed to use the term ‘lacking’) from recent Star Wars books. Perhaps it’s just that Luceno contributed so much to the Legends universe that is to account for this feeling of familiarity. Whatever is behind it: Catalyst felt a little bit like coming home, and that made me smile.

Continue reading