More Star Wars coming to Hollywood Studios in December, Star Wars Weekends officially canceled

The Disney Parks blog has revealed new information about Star Wars experiences opening in December, including the Launch Bay and the new Jedi Training Academy featuring the Seventh Sister.

A new Star Tours module featuring Jakku will also debut, and will be featured on every Star Tours flight for the first several months. Check out this awesome preview of the Millennium Falcon soaring through Jakku’s starship graveyard.


Alas, with all the upcoming construction around Hollywood Studios, it was announced that Star Wars Weekends will not happen during 2016. No word on whether the annual fan-favorite event will return in upcoming years, but I’m definitely crossing my fingers. Thanks to James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, and all the Disney Parks cast members for making Weekends such a fantastic event. We’ll miss it greatly.

10 Things I Learned Working the Del Rey Booth at NYCC

DR at NYCCAs many of you probably know, I was lucky enough to not only attend New York Comic Con last weekend but to also spend a fair amount of time behind the table of the Del Rey Star Wars booth. Erich, Tom, and everyone were awesome for letting me help out so much.  Working the booth a great way to see and chat with a bunch of different Star Wars folks (Apologies to Pablo for asking about Barriss again and a weird as heck Legacy question). It also definitely gave me a different view of Star Wars fans as a whole.  Therefore, it only seems appropriate to share a few things I learned during my time behind the table.

1. Nothing gets people’s attention faster than yelling “Free Star Wars! Come and get it!”

Over the course of four days, we handed out about five thousand copies of the sampler and twenty-five hundred of Tarkin. That’s a lot of Star Wars! There are very few people in this world who are going to say no to a free Star Wars book when you hand them one unless they already happen to own it. And when you start handing people copies directly? They will start flocking like crazy. On a related note, people will also try really hard to get you to just give them one of the freebies that are purchase or preorder incentives. (Pro Tip: Asking to have one when you aren’t buying something probably won’t work. You’re more likely to get one when you don’t expect it.)

2. It takes all of an hour before you just start nodding when people ask if you’re Del Rey.

And then it takes you at least a week to break yourself of the habit of saying “we” as seen in Exhibit A above. Mostly, it was just easier to say when you were behind the table for hours each day and it just wasn’t worth the effort to explain that no, I’m actually a Star Wars blogger fan who just happens to be handling your purchase today. The Square reader makes you look super official and people don’t notice that your badge says ‘press’ and not ‘exhibitor’.

3. You develop your selling pitches for each of the books really really quickly.

I now have a great one for Rise of the Empire that can be tailored to include Lords of the Sith and Aftermath depending on what else the person has read. Heck, I’ve even got one for Heir to the Jedi (despite not super digging the book) that’s entirely true, sounds nice, and never once has me say that I love the book. You also learn to adapt them for whoever you’re talking to. I did, however, find it amusing when someone asked whether they should get Aftermath or Heir to the Jedi when Chuck was standing next to me and they clearly had no clue who he was. (Spoilers: They ended up buying both.)

And on a related note…

4. I really enjoy saying “ADMIRAL Rae Sloane” in a way that’s both enthusiastic and, upon further consideration, probably more than a little weird.

So maybe I’m just really excited about the Levers of Power story that Jason Fry wrote and maybe I just really want everyone to read about Admiral Rae Sloane at the Battle of Endor. Okay yes, she was part of my sales pitch but she’s also the coolest and every Star Wars fan needs to know about her. My baby’s all grown up and kicking butt at Endor and I’M JUST REALLY REALLY PROUD OF HER, OKAY?

5. Some people really believe that the fake The Force Awakens promo covers were around an actual copy of novelization.

They were not. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, those were actually around a copy of Aftermath and a Danielle Steel book. So, you know, close. The Aftermath II and III and the Bloodline covers were also fake. I’m pretty sure those books don’t even exist yet but that certainly didn’t stop people from trying to get their hands on them which actually became quite humorous after a while.

6. Most of the people who come to the booth are genuinely excited about Star Wars and at least mildly interested in all the new canon books you have there.

For those of us who mainly exist in the online world of Star Wars fandom, we sometimes forget plenty of fans aren’t a part of those discussions. For every person who loved the Expanded Universe, there are three others who never really got into it or who perhaps had never heard of it but who are now intrigued by these books that are a part of the canon. Those are the people who are really fun to talk to because you can bond over Star Wars things that you both enjoy and then just maybe you can get them excited about new Star Wars books or characters that they haven’t heard of yet. Introducing people to this broader world is a genuine joy.

7. …but there are still people who will come up and express their disappointment about the Legends thing. Some of them will come back multiple times to do so.

This was probably a no brainer but yep, I got to interact with some Legends folks! Very few people will be rude to your face though… they’ll just mutter comments as they walk away or say them loudly as they walk by because either they’re being passive aggressive or because they think you can’t hear them?  Honestly, I can’t say anyone was particularly bad. This wasn’t the Facebook comments in real life. Some folks just aren’t going to move on and that’s just that.

But uhhh… folks? I know you miss Legends. I miss Legends. But uhh… don’t try and Kickstart the EU. I can’t even begin to explain all of the reasons why that won’t work.

8. Alexander Freed is the master of working a signing line.

While I’ve never been on the signing end of things, I imagine that it’s not an easy task to repeatedly say hi and have a brief conversation with someone while also signing your name on a poster or book for the dozenth time. Freed not only moved the line along quickly but also took the time to actually talk to everyone. It’s doubly impressive that he even did so on Sunday afternoon when everyone was tired. Honestly, the mastery is difficult to describe unless you got to observe it. It’s an art form.  (By the way, you should all get excited for Twilight Company!)

9. Luke Skywalker is going to die at least 20 times in Aftermath: Life Debt and they will all be Nanci’s fault. Or N4N-C1’s fault.

It’s confirmed news. Sorry, Nanci. Right out of the Wendig’s mouth during his Saturday signing. Just wait until we get to Aftermath: Empire’s Electric Boogaloo! HE’S GONNA DIE A HUNDRED TIMES. AT LEAST.

10. Working on the other side of the book table is a hell of a lot of fun and the Del Rey folks have the best jobs in the world.

Need I say more?

The Dragon Con Aftermath Panel

Two weeks ago, I had the honor of moderating the Aftermath panel with author Chuck Wendig. I was super excited for this event because, as I explained at the start of the panel, I love Star Wars, I love the Expanded Universe, and I love Chuck Wendig’s writing.

I was nervous, of course, as I always am before panels. Even though 2015 marked my third year (!!!) doing panels at Dragon Con, and even though I’ve been co-hosting the podcast for over 3.5 years (!!!!!), I still worry about freaking out while talking in front of a crowd. Not only that, but this was my first panel interviewing someone famous and my first panel without Brian on stage as well. I was all on my own. Could I handle the pressure? Would I say something really dumb? Would I have to run off the stage to barf?

Thankfully, none of those things happened. (Of course they didn’t. Anxiety sucks!) And most of that had to do with the fact that Chuck Wendig is a hilarious and awesome human being. I’d had a few Twitter exchanges with him prior to the convention, and met him the night before the panel at his Barnes and Noble signing. It was comforting to know he was just a regular guy, and that he would be just as tired as I was come Friday at 8:30 pm after not going to sleep until some godforsaken hour that morning. (We were up all night to get Star Wars!)

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Dragon Con 2015 Recap

Just one week ago, Dragon Con 2015 was wrapping up and Brian, Nanci, and Bria were on their ways back to their respective homes. We posted a whopping twelve panel recordings, ten of which at least one member of Tosche Station participated in. We also got to meet awesome people like Chuck Wendig and Vanessa Marshall, and hang out with the awesome Star Wars fan community.

Nanci will be writing a post soon about her experience moderating the Aftermath panel. For now, here’s a breakdown of all our coverage from the convention itself.

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Tosche Station at Dragon Con!

Dragon Con logoThis week, Brian, Nanci, and Bria are off to Dragon Con! The annual convention, held each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, is a highlight of the con season. The Star Wars at Dragon Con track, led by Brandy Roatsey and a team of intrepid volunteers, puts on the best Star Wars panel content outside of Celebration. And we at Tosche Station are lucky enough to participate in some of these panels.

Here’s where you’ll be able to catch us at the convention!

Brian and Nanci:

  • Speculating on The Force Awakens (Friday, 11:30 am, Hilton Grand Ballroom West)
  • Force Friday Finds (Friday, 1 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Star Wars and Disney Parks (Saturday, 11:30 am, Marriott A706)
  • New Canon (Sunday, 10 am, Marriott A706)

In addition, Nanci will be moderating the Aftermath panel with Chuck Wendig (Friday, 8:30 pm, Marriott A706).


  • Fan Discussion of Rebels (Saturday, 2:30 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Evolution of Costumes for The Force Awakens (Saturday, 5:30 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Strong Women of Star Wars (Sunday, 8:30 pm, Marriott A706)
  • Palpatine’s Plan (Monday, 11:30 am, Marriott A706)

You will likely be able to find us hanging around or near the Star Wars track room (Marriott A706), so stop us and say hi! We’ve got buttons, wristbands, and other neat swag for you.

For those of you who can’t make it to Dragon Con, don’t worry. We’ll be recording panel audio and posting recaps throughout the convention, so keep an eye on the Twitter feed and be sure you’re subscribed to Tosche Station Radio on iTunes and Stitcher.

The Force Awakens at San Diego Comic Con

The Force Awakens panel happened last night at San Diego Comic Con. Harrison Ford was there, and then they brought everyone to a concert that ended with fireworks.

They also showed a Behind the Scenes video, which you can find on YouTube.

The entire panel is also now on YouTube.

There’s also a ton of galleries, live blogs, and analyses online: Variety, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today,, io9, The Verge, and screenshots from Star Wars New Zealand and Collider.

Edit: Added articles from Vanity Fair and a photo gallery from Entertainment Weekly.

Awesome Con 2015 – Convention Report

AC_2015_LOGO_DC_DARKAnother year, another awesome Awesome Con. As promised, this still relatively young convention headed by Ben Penrod pulled together another great show that left attendees happy and content by the end of Sunday. When you look around the hall, it’s hard to remember that Awesome Con is a mere three years old and that it was mostly confined to a hall perhaps a quarter of the size of its current location in its inaugural year in 2013. While it’s true that DC was thirsty for a convention just like this, what has really helped Awesome Con succeed is its willingness to listen, learn, and correct its mistakes. Last year, the biggest complaint was over registration. They were prepared this year and no one was forced to wait outside in the heat thanks to a combination of changing their precise location within the convention center, mailing out 3-day badges to those who preordered in time, and having a huge area dedicated to registration and entering. Panel lines also appeared to be managed much better this year with some rooms actually being dedicated line spaces for the larger rooms.

One of the great things about Awesome Con is that it’s hard to get bored. The convention hall was even bigger then last year, featuring tons of dealers, lots of great artists, and even a corner for all things Star Wars. The aisles are adequately wide enough so that one never felt claustrophobic trying to get through the crowds. The convention also made good use of the expanse convention center building. What fascinated me was how freaking huge that convention center is. I thought there was only the building used the previous two years but oh no. There is way more then that which is great news is Awesome Con wants to keep growing larger and larger. Space won’t be an issue any time soon.

Detouring back for a moment, the Star Wars corner was a great addition to the convention as a one stop shop for all the GFFA action. The local 501st, Rebel Legion, and Mandalorian Mercs groups all had tables set up as did the Artoo Builders and the local DC Collectors. The corner also featured Rob and Leanne Hannah; creators of the Blue Milk Special web comic. As someone who was fresh off a Star Wars centric convention, I loved this area of the floor because it felt like home.  The Star Wars corner also hosted ‘Blast a Trooper’ for charity which is exactly what it sounds like.  My hat is off to those brave souls who were willingly shot at with nerf guns in the name of charity. Continue reading

Star Wars Weekends Episode I: The Humidity Menace

May 15-17 marked the first weekend of Walt Disney World’s annual Star Wars Weekends, held during five weekends in May and June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Given our love of both Star Wars and Disney World, our close proximity to the parks (about 10 minutes from our garage to the DHS parking lot), and our status as annual passholders, it’s a no-brainer that we spend at least some part of every weekend at the park.

This year Brian and I decided to take off work on Day 1 in order to kick off the festivities with a bang. Week 1 also marked the first ever appearance of Ian McDiarmid at Star Wars Weekends!

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Celebration Anaheim: Interview with Jason Fry

jace-hed2During the first day of Celebration Anaheim, Brian and I were fortunate enough to run into author Jason Fry and he graciously allowed us to shove a microphone in his face. Unfortunately the recording quality was too poor to upload as its own podcast, but you can read a transcription of the interview under the cut. We chatted about Servants of the Empire and writing in the Star Wars universe, his original Jupiter Pirates series, and, of course, the new The Force Awakens teaser.

Note: This interview contains spoilers for the Servants of the Empire series. 

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Star Wars Celebration Anaheim Updates!

celebration_keyart_wideWe’re less than a week until the start of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, and we’ve been getting a bunch of updates just in time to finalize all your plans.


From Her Universe, a sneak peek of exclusives coming to Celebration, including dresses, cardigans, and t-shirts for women and girls.

Think Geek exclusives, including:

  • Star Wars Celebration Pin Trading Exclusive – Lando Calrissian
  • Star Wars Celebration Exclusive ThinkGeek Pin
  • Russell Walks Retro Star Wars Poster Set (only 250 made)
  • Russell Walk 8×10 Propaganda Prints, featuring the 501st – Vader’s Fist
  • Limited-edition Star Wars Celebration Patch with purchase of Con Bag of Holding


Finally, Amy Ratcliffe has tips and tricks regarding general convention-going, Celebration, and the Anaheim Convention Center.