Eight Reasons Why I Love The Star Wars Holiday Special

Ok. I get it. Everyone thinks that the Star Wars Holiday Special is a putrid pile of bantha-poodoo. A quick Google search shows a myriad of articles – many of which are written by people who are desperate to prove how cool and edgy they are for slagging the 1978 special.  You won’t be getting that here. Now, before I get into expressing my love for this misunderstood part of Star Wars history, I will make some concessions. Is it campy? Yes. Is it dated? Yes. Does it make you cringe? Yes. Can you see examples of unhappy actors, embarrassed actors and actors who were contractually obligated to be there for the filming? Oh yeah. However, once you get past all of that, you realize that you are watching…well…a really cheesy variety show from 1978.

            Variety shows were a staple of 1970s television. The only thing I can compare it to today, in terms of being such an integral  part of modern television viewing is reality TV. Every channel has some kind of reality programming on at any given time. This was the case with the variety show. Having been around since the dawn of TV, the variety show morphed into a unique animal in the 70’s, as almost anyone with an ounce of fame or recognition had their own show. The Brady Bunch, Sha-Na-Na, Tony Orlando and Dawn and The Muppets all had their own shows with guest stars, musical numbers, comedy and other bits of entertainment that kept folks busy during those prime time hours on any given night. Just to show how crazed the variety show was in the 70s, CBS gave a couple of mimes a prime time spot. MIMES! Go ahead and check out Sheilds and Yarnell on Youtube.  I will be waiting here for you.

            With the variety show being such a huge part of 70s TV, and Star Wars becoming, not only a monstrous, money making hit, but also a world wide phenomenon, the decision was made to bring the franchise to TV to keep it fresh and at the forefront of the public’s mind, while the sequel, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, was being filmed. The end result is the entity we know as THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL.

            Now that we have discussed the how, let us talk about the “why”. That is, “Why I love the Star Wars Holiday Special”. I still remember when I saw it back in 1978. I was 5 ½ years old and devoured any and all things that had to do with Star Wars. I missed the first hour or so of the special. I think I forgot it was on. I remember switching channels to CBS and watching. Some 42 years later, the only part I vividly remember was the scene where Han Solo feints a Stormtrooper into going through a railing and falling off of the walkway of Chewbacca’s palatial estate on Kashyyyk.

            At the time, TSWHS  was the only outlet for Star Wars besides catching the movie at the cinema or drive-in for the umpteenth time. This was a new Star Wars story that we could watch AT HOME. This concept might be lost to you younger folks, where streaming any Star Wars movie or TV show at the drop of a hat is commonplace, but in a world where that didn’t exist, this was huge. 

            So, why do I love the Star Wars Holiday Special? This can only be expressed as a list, because, quite frankly, writing that introduction took a lot out of me.  So, I guess, these are my top eight reasons why I love the Star Wars Holiday Special.

 

  1. Well, first of all – It is Star Wars. Plain and simple. It is a part of the mythos and deserves the recognition. If you like the made for TV Ewok movies and the cartoons of the 80s, then this should be ranked right along with them. Collectively, they are all some of the earliest examples of Star Wars existing beyond the movies.

           

  1. Diahann Carroll as Itchy’s Holographic Wow. Even by 1970s standards, this is over the top. Borderline pornographic, Diahann Carroll’s portrayal of Itchy’s holographic fantasy who “feels her creation” is one of the more cringe worthy moments of the special. In a show marketed for children, this, without a doubt, made the parents of us 70s kids do a double take when she twirled her way into Chewy’s father’s mind.
  2. Jefferson Starship. What is a good variety show without a musical number? Several years removed from their appearance at Woodstock as Jefferson Airplane, and several years before their hit single “We Built This City” as Starship, Jefferson Starship provided both a musical interlude and some well deserved Imperial R and R for a lucky Death Star Trooper who was checking in on the Chewbacca household.

 

  1. Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman and Art Carney all have a role in the tapestry that is the Star Wars universe! Archie Bunker’s sister in law, ¼ of The Honeymooner’s comedic cast, and the greatest, worst straight man ever, have their places in the pantheon of Star Wars actors.

  1. The Boba Fett cartoon. It is what everyone refers to as the best part of the show. Sporting animation from Canada’s Nelvana animation studio, the Boba Fett Cartoon breaks up the camp just long enough to remind everyone that a new threat was going to make his way into theaters with the 1980 release of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

 

  1. Mark Hamil’s makeup. Mark Hamill Is wearing more makeup than the members of Kiss, as he and R2-D2 try to repair some part of some ship. Granted, he was in a horrible automobile accident prior to the filming. However, the lengths gone to cover the damage are pretty hideous. He looks like he fell asleep in a tanning booth while someone dyed his hair. A snapshot in time of an iconic character and the actor who played him.

  1. Carrie Fisher. I don’t know if she didn’t want to be at the filming of the special or if she was dealing with her personal demons during the production. It seems that she is very disconnected from her surroundings throughout the show. Regardless, this is the only time, outside of A NEW HOPE that we get to see Carrie Fisher, in full Princess Leia getup, sing. For such a normal activity, it is the most surreal moment of the entire special.

 

  1. The commercials! My copy, given to me on VHS by a friend of mine back in the early 90’s, is from the legendary WCBS broadcast out of New York. In between the special there are commercials for Star Wars toys, Hungry Jack biscuits, panty hose, make up, cars, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and the infamous 11 o’clock news teaser with Rolland Smith, who informed the viewers that we all would be “Fighting the frizzies at eleven”. Not only are these commercials reflective of American culture at the time, but they are also a part of the complete experience of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

   Happy Life Day!

 

Travis’ Week In Review

Welcome to the start of November where the days get colder and nights get longer. As long as you make the time for STAR WARS, who cares? Welcome to YODASNEWS.COM and your one stop shop for the Star Wars news of the week. Unfortunately, I have to make this a very abbreviated update due to the fact that I am tearing down the Halloween decorations and starting the laborious process of putting up the Christmas decorations today. Yes, my miniature Christmas village will have an AT-AT marching through the town square, in case any of you were wondering. So, don’t blink or you will miss it…here is your Week In Review.

 

  • THE MANDALORIAN! The first episode of season 2 dropped this Friday. No spoilers at all, but keep a running checklist of all of the Easter eggs that are scattered throughout it. Wherever Disney had previously dropped the ball with Star Wars, they got it right here. Jon Faverau and crew are doing a stellar job in telling the story of the 2nd most famous Mandalorian in the galaxy – referencing the movies, books, video games and other media to create a truly unique storytelling experience. You have seen parts of this galaxy before and if you pay close enough attention while watching, you will see them again.
  • HASLABs Razor Crest project has over 14,000 backers at the time of this writing. Two new unlocks were announced – 15,000 backers gets us a display stand and 17,000 gets us a carded Jawa elder. Added to the previous unlocks of the escape pod, the carded Child with hover pram and the 5 carbonite blocks containing captured bounties…this deal just keeps getting better all of the time.
  • I found this great bit about an artist who adds his touch to already completed paintings to make them more Lucas-friendly. The link is below. To quote the Joker “I don’t know if it’s art, but I like it”. https://mymodernmet.com/alteredthriftstorepaintings/

 

            That is it for me this week. Please hit me up with any questions, concerns or just plain Star Wars talk at Traviscrafts@gmail.com. Take care, mask up and I will see you at the pod races…

Hello…

Hey everyone! It has been far too long. Like for many of you, 2020 has kicked me square in the mouth. The pain, anxiety and heartbreak just didn’t want to end. At least for me, things are starting to get back to normal. I don’t know. We still have a few months to go before we welcome in 2021, who knows what can happen in that time. Maybe we will awaken undersea monsters with reckless atomic bomb testing or perhaps everything will go all Walking Dead as the virus mutates to decimates our numbers. I am hoping that we have all seen the end of what 2020 has to offer.

So, with that little rant out of the way…Let’s talk some Star Wars. Before I get back to my normal writing gig here at YODASNEWS.COM, I have several months of Star Wars related backlog to plow through.  So…I guess this is my PAST 6 MONTHS IN REVIEW (Feel free to email me with a better title).

● HASLAB – You are killing me. How can I justify three hundred and fifty bucks for a toy? No, really…please tell me. I need to know how to make this nagging guilt go the way of the Death Star. Following in the footsteps of Jabba’s Sail Barge, Haslab is slated to produce the RAZOR CREST ship from THE MANDALORIAN. We have seen the mock ups and the unlocked bonus features that just fatten this deal. As much as I grumble about the price, we all know that I will pull the trigger and this will be a part of the collection come 2021. The more I examine this from a business standpoint, maybe this is the future of toys and collectables – Production on demand. You pay to play and they ship it out based on the numbers. No more Zannahs clogging up the racks at Target under this model. Maybe not…but I would never have thought that HASLAB’s success would have been possible 20 years ago. The hobby is evolving.
● I love the fact that THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is still playing at my local theater. I mean, how cool is that? A film that came out 40 years ago is still making money on the big screen. For those of you who have never seen it at your favorite movie house, I strongly recommend checking it out before it goes away. For someone who missed it the first time, trust me – Never pass on seeing STAR WARS on the big screen.
● A second trailer for THE MANDALORIAN? I don’t know if my heart can take the already excruciating long wait until October 30th. I am glad to see that Disney is getting this right after what I thought was a disappointing end to the Skywalker saga.
● At least we have new merch from Hasbro hitting the shelves (supposedly).  Thanks to the success of The Vintage Collection as well as the increasing popularity of THE MANDALORIAN, the promise of new merchandise is floating through the air like the stink of a gutted Tauntaun on the snowy fields of Hoth. Now, as always, the big question is will the general public actually see the merchandise on the shelves or will distribution issues just be another nightmare that 2020 can take credit for?

I know I had more to say, but to be honest, my brain is fried at this point. It is hard to get back into the swing of things.  I hope to be back with more Star Wars blurbs – mainly the Week in Review and my love letter to the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special – in the weeks to come. It is time to get back to normal. Star Wars has always put a smile on my face and I hope it always had for you as well. With that said, let us start grinning again…

TWO BROTHERS AND AN EWOK

When THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK was released in 1980, I was ready to go. I absorbed STAR WARS 3 years earlier and I spent the following 3 years obsessing over the action figures, comic books, cast appearances on The Mike Douglass Show (Google it) and the only real bit of the Expanded Universe available to a 5 ½ year old at the time – The Star Wars Holiday Special. When I heard from a friend of the family that Star Wars Part 2 was on the way, My little 7 year old head almost came unscrewed. I remember asking him if there were going to be lightsabers in part 2. He said “yes”. I then asked if the trash monster from the Death Star garbage masher would be in it. I think I stumped him with that question, but it was a burning issue in my little mind. Now, remember, this was before the internet – where spoilers are easy to come by for the next blockbuster. He told me what he knew, which wasn’t much. All he knew for certain  was that it was being released in May.

I was charged up! My parents took me to see the original STAR WARS several times up to that point. They were the ones that got me hooked. They enabled me and helped to feed my Lucas branded addiction. Of course they would be there for me when the next part of this grandiose epic was released, right?

The events of the summer of 1980 infuriated the younger me and evolved into half hearted anger and good natured ribbing as the years went on for my brother and I.   My baby brother, Brandon Crafts was waiting to make his debut to the world the same time that THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK was being released – My brother was born on June 29th 1980 and TESB came out on May 21st, 1980.  Having a brother was going to be cool, but all I wanted was to see THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Unfortunately, my folks weren’t having it. They had to be ready for Brandon’s arrival and able to move at the drop of a hat if my mother was to go into labor.  So, thanks to Brandon, I never got to see THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK on its first theatrical run in the United States. My parents, and by proxy, my brother, Sith-blocked me and forced me to wait until the mid 80s, when I saw it via a rented VHS tape. Was there guilt on my parents part for not taking me to see it because of Brandon’s birth? Oh, you bet. I remember seeing my brother for the first time in the hospital nursery – he was covered up in a blanket with a cartoonish football player on it. Shortly after that, my father took me down to a local department store so I could get my hands on Topps’ THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Trading cards. That turned into the new Kenner toys for Christmas and Marvel’s comic book adaptation later on, but never EMPIRE on the big screen. 

 As Brandon grew up, I force fed him my love of STAR WARS. When RETURN OF THE JEDI came out and the traveling JEDI ADVENTURE CENTER came to our local mall, I had to go. My mother brought my brother and I to see it.  We had our photo taken with a cardboard ewok and had a wonderful time. Later on in life, my brother inherited my Star Wars toys. I outgrew them and, foolishly, gave them to him to play with and destroy. As we both grew older, he tolerated my obsession, even going so far to pose with my collection as a goof. He understood my passion for Star Wars, even if he didn’t really share it. Brandon got me the crown jewel of my collection several years ago at Christmas – a production drawing of R2-D2 that was turned into an animation cel for the Star Wars Holiday Special cartoon that introduced Boba Fett. My brother was born into STAR WARS. Although it was always in the forefront of my life, it provided him with a background that was nearly synonymous with his older brother.

My brother, Brandon Crafts, died last month at the age of 39 of a heart attack.  One of the last conversations we had was about THE RISE OF SKYWALKER and how he thought it was pandering to a rabid fan base. “This is fan fiction,” he told me as we were discussing the last entry in the STAR WARS SAGA. It was never his cup of tea, but he was a willing participant in my fandom.  He would have been 40 today.

Before his death, whenever I watched THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK I was reminded of how Brandon’s impending arrival into the world absolutely stonewalled my chances to see it the first time. Now, it will forever remind me of, not only his birth, but also how quickly he left this life.

It’s not just our hobbies or pastimes – it’s who we share those things with. Thanks for putting up with my Star Wars craziness for almost 40 years brother. I will see you on the other side.

Week in Review

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the home of good droids with bad motivators, YODASNEWS.COM! Another week down in the battle against the coronavirus and another couple of pounds I have gained while quarantining with the magic of curbside pick up.  Not a ton of news this week. I have just three items to go over and then you can get back to watching Tiger King. Here comes your week in review.

  • Just a reminder that YODASNEWS.COM is a part of Hasbro’s Official Fan Vote! In one swift moment, you can take part in TWO things that make America great – exercising your right to vote and STAR WARS! To quote what Mark said in an earlier post – “You are placing a vote for your favorite Hasbro Star Wars: The Black Series figure to be refreshed with photoreal deco (if applicable) and join The Black Series Archive line as one of the top Star Wars: The Black Series figures! Once voting closes we will send our top 10 picks to Hasbro, they will then use that list and input from the other fan sites that were asked to participate to host a final fan vote on Hasbro Pulse on Friday, 5/15! To vote, you need to e-mail us at Yodasnews@gmail.com with the subject line 2020 HASBRO FAN VOTE – Please make sure that you use that specific subject so we are sure to make every vote count!”
  • May 4th is today STARWARS.COM has compiled a list of some of the crazy deals that are going on now, or will be live on the 4th (https://www.starwars.com/news/starwarsdaydeals). This could be the financial rebound the economy needs right now – Rabid Star Wars fans are stuck at home, maybe not thinking too clearly after weeks of frozen pizzas and Dr. Pepper. Stimulus checks are sitting in their bank accounts, waiting for the right moment to do their duty. A bunch of really cool Star Wars goodies will be available and on sale. I tell ya, tomorrow could be the day where the country turns the financial corner…and Star Wars fans will be reason. I know I will be there!
  • In addition to the May 4th madness, Disney has decided to release THE RISE OF SKYWALKER on Disney +. That’s right – starting on May the fourth, all nine STAR WARS films will be available to stream on Disney +. C’mon…show the world what TRUE binge watching is…

Well, that’s it this week. Just a quick plug that part 2 of the Prequels vs. Sequels discussion will be on YODASNEWS.com this week. Lightsaber battles will be the topic. Where does the best blade action reside? Hmmm…I should probably find out and let you know. As always, email me at Traviscrafts@gmail.com . See you in a few days!

Sequels vs Prequels

Here we go! Let’s start the knock-down, drag-out duel of the fates! In one corner, the movie event that almost eclipsed coming of the original trilogy! In the other, the Disney sanctioned sequels that promised to continue the tale of that galaxy far, far away!

Will it be THE PHANTOM MENACE, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, and REVENGE OF THE SITH or will THE FORCE AWAKENS, THE LAST JEDI, and THE RISE OF SKYWALKER take the title?

Ladies and Gentlemen –           

            Which trilogy was better? Episodes 1 – 3 or episodes 7 – 9? I will be breaking it down over the next few weeks – examining different parts of the movies until we have an answer. How about we begin with…

DROIDS

            Let’s start off with the cornerstone of any good Star Wars film – The droids. Artoo-Deetoo and See-Threepio set the bar awfully high in the original trilogy. How do the prequels and sequels stack up? Both have our lovable Laurel and Hardy of outer space in them, so we won’t be counting R2 and C-3PO in this study as they cancel each other out. For the sequels, the addition of BB-8 was both a fresh addition and a callback to the original films. BB-8 was expressive, funny and wasn’t afraid to follow the crew into danger. Much like the gutsy R2-D2, BB-8 was the perfect droid vehicle to help move the story forward.

            Looking at the prequels, it’s obvious that the battle droids lead the charge in this category. Outside of the perceived threat of IG-88 in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, droids had never been seen as killing machines on the big screen. Between the battle, destroyer and vulture droids, the prequels gave the world the proof that droids can be deadly, even while sounding like a 1950’s, B-movie robot.

As much as I love BB-8, I have to give this one to the prequels. Lucas brought droids into the fray with the 3 prequel films and it was a game changer. From the movies to The Clone Wars, the new threat droids now presented was enough to solidify their importance in the Star Wars universe.

Side Note – Attack of the Clones introduced us to FLO, the WA-7 waitress droid that worked at Dexter’s Diner. That alone is almost enough for me to give the win to the prequels.

Prequels – 1

Sequels – 0

Next Category? How about lightsaber action?  See you in a few days…

Week In Review!

Happy Monday everyone! Glad to have you back! Have you all been washing your hands and doing your best to help flatten the curve? If you haven’t – start now. It would be a shame if you did something that might make you miss out on the future of this franchise we all know and love. Speaking of the future of Star Wars, let us jump right into the week in review…

  • On April 24th, Lucasfilm announced the addition of four new actors to the upcoming CASSIAN ANDOR series on Disney +. Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgard, Denise Gough and Kyle Soller will be joining Diego Luna on the series. Can Disney catch lightning in a bottle again and duplicate the success of THE MANDALORIAN?
  • According to Forbes, THE RISE OF SKYWALKER was the most watched movie at home last week. The data is based on cable, satellite and internet video on demand viewings. Rounding out the top five are Bad Boys for Life, Sonic the Hedgehog, Dolittle, and Jumanji: The Next Level. Not too bad considering your local Mega-plex is shut down. TROS is still in the public eye 4  months after it’s release.
  • From the “What else are you going to do during quarantine” Dept. Some magical soul decided to edit all 9 Star Wars movies together so one could see them all during one viewing. On paper, it is a very cool idea. However, finding a practical application of such an endeavor is maddening. By all means, give it a shot.

 Not the biggest news week, but some is better than none. Until next time, don’t bullseye the womp rats – they never did anything to you, did they?

Week In Review!

Greetings and welcome to the home of all things Star Wars – YODASNEWS.COM. I am going to try to get back into the swing of things here and bring you all of this week’s Star Wars News. Please stay 6 feet apart and practice social distancing while we go through your week in review.

  • ROGUE ONE screenwriters Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz revealed some tasty tidbits while on the latest installment of IGN’s Watch From Home Theater. It seems that some titles that were contemplated before settling on ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY were DARK TIMES, REBELLION and SHADOW OF THE EMPIRE. Thank goodness they stuck with ROGUE ONE. 

  • On May 12th, a revamped, refurbished and rehashed version of STAR WARS EPISODE 1: RACER will be released on the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch video game systems. Boasting new graphics and controls true to the original, the racing classic will be sure to attract fans who weren’t around 20 years ago for the original release, as well as bring back the casual gamer who played this on the N64 at the end of the millennium. I, for one, can’t wait to buy some Hot Pockets, put some Smashmouth on in the background, and play this until the wee hours of the morning. Who would have thought I would be anxious to relive my mid-twenties?

  • Is that stimulus check burning a hole in your bank account? Have no fear, Lego is here. Just in time for May 4th, the toy that has caused permanent injury to millions of unsuspecting feet around the world has announced their latest entry into their Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series – the A-Wing. Clocking in at 1,672 pieces, with a price tag of $199.99, the A-wing comes with a display stand, information plaque and A-Wing pilot. I have several of the Ultimate Collector Series ships and I think they are amazing. Just be careful when you move them around. One of the worst feelings in the world is losing your balance and dropping a 1500 piece Lego B-Wing fighter.

  • Finally, if you are one of those folks who are finding themselves in Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting with no end in sight, STARWARS.COM has come through for you! Offering over 30 backgrounds for your side of the camera, STARWARS.COM is bringing you to the galaxy far, far away while you are being far, far away from work. Want to talk to your boss while you are on Hoth? No problem. Need to focus your employees’ attention while you talk about the mission statement? When your background is Starkiller Base, that isn’t a problem. Chatting with Grandma? Do it from Tatooine. If you are going to zoom, at least have fun with it. 

Well, that’s it boys and girls. I am going to try to get new content up here as soon as possible. In fact, barring some unforeseen circumstances, I hope to settle a question that has been around for a whopping 4 months now – which trilogy was better? Episodes 1-3 or Episodes 7-9? Stay tuned to YODASNEWS.COM for the answer.

Oh, if you don’t hear anything from me in a week, please email me at TRAVISCRAFTS@GMAIL.COM and tell me to get off my Hutt like backside and start writing, huh? Thanks. Stay safe everyone!

The Little Things

Hey everyone…

I haven’t written anything for YODASNEWS.COM for sometime now. Between work, my mother’s health and, now of all things, a pandemic, I haven’t had the time or motivation to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.

I work at a public school in Maine. The plan was to stay closed until the beginning of May and then re-evaluate the situation. The word just came down today that we are to be closed until the new school year starts in September.

This was always a possibility. I guess a month ago we were all hoping that things would settle down quickly and life would get back to normal as soon as possible.

Sadly, that is not the case.

The Senior class of the high school where I work are being robbed. No prom. No Graduation ceremony. No wacky senior hijinks that will live on as whispered legends, passed on by underclassmen. They will be missing the last 4 months of what they have been working towards their entire lives.

It sucks. No two ways around it.

The last month has not been full of high points. In fact, the low points have been many and, at times, almost too much to deal with.

Then I found the little things.

Whoopie pie ice cream. That got me through a night. Going through my CD collection and putting it all on my hard drive to play through my new Bluetooth receiver. That process is still bringing me back to my college days and younger years when I thought I was bulletproof. Putting my Christmas lights (which I have not taken off of my house yet) on at night just because.

Now, my first big bit of escapism came in the form of watching STAR WARS – The Despecialized edition. Yes. This is  the fan edit that has seamlessly restored Episode IV to its original form – No Greedo shooting first, no Jabba and no CGI X-Wings attacking the Death Star. It was the film as I saw it almost 43 years ago at the age of 4.

When I watched it for the first time, I completely melted. For the next 2 hours, I was back at that tender age of 4 and everything seemed huge and full of wonder once again. I forgot about everything that was wrong with the world and, even for just the briefest of moments, I relaxed and enjoyed a time of zero worry and total bliss.

The point of this isn’t to hype up the Despecialized edition (but if I was doing that, I would be calling it an amazing restoration and claiming that we have all forgotten what the original film looked and felt like with all of the changes that have been made to it over the years….off the soapbox now), but more so to remind us to take a breath and find those little things in these strange times. Enjoy that cookie. Laugh with the family. And, if you are in a situation to, watch a really good movie from 1977 about robots, wizards, scoundrels and blue milk.

Well, I’ve got some time off from work now.  Let’s talk some Star Wars.

As always, buzz me at Traviscrafts@gmail.com . I will see you soon.

Hang in there.

IT IS TIME FOR A REBOOT

It came to me in my waking hours.  That time where my gray matter is usually running the morning diagnosis – making sure all systems are go after a poor night’s sleep, flushing out one random earworm that somehow surfaced from my subconscious (this morning it was Gordon Lightfoot’s “Carefree Highway”) and stumbling to the bathroom to take care of those things that never used to wake me up before I turned 40. It was during this time that I discovered I had a new routine that was shoehorned into my morning cognitive schedule. The new routine was just a word, but what that word meant and represented was as clear as a Naboo stream. The word was REBOOT.

Let us face the hard facts – Hollywood is creatively bankrupt. The lack of new and fresh ideas has given way to rehashed franchises, movies based on toys and board games and the reboot. Ah, the reboot. Taking a movie or TV show that once held an important place in the hearts and minds of people and trying to recreate the same emotions with a younger cast, fresh take on the story, or just more glitz, CGI and special effects. Hollywood has produced 7 Spider-Man movies with 3 different actors and 3 different “universes”. J.J. Abrams used his voodoo juju to reboot the Star Trek franchise to mixed results while raking in the box office gold. Kevin Smith even confessed to the act by naming his latest movie JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT, without a hint of shame.

Reboots are now a part of the entertainment world. You can’t avoid them. They are everywhere and everyone is getting in on the act.

So, where am I going with this? I assure you I am not talking about rebooting our precious Star Wars movies. No. That would be insane.

I am talking about the toys.

Thanks to THE MANDALORIAN, we now have the first, live action screen time for the Imperial Troop Transport. The 1979 Kenner vehicle that never saw a lick of screen time in the original trilogy is now on full display on the Disney + series. That version is a soon to be released Hasbro vehicle for our beloved 3 ¾ action figures. Lovingly based on the original Imperial Troop Transport, this version is a sleeker, more refined vehicle that captures the essence of the original but has a more modern take on the concept.

In essence – a REBOOT.

So, before Star Wars fandom, my friends and family, and my force infused maker, I proudly and boldly state –

HASBRO…REBOOT MY TOYS!

Please take my childhood LAND OF THE JAWAS with its cardboard backdrop and exclusive escape pod and bring it into the roaring 20’s. Reestablish the CREATURE CANTINA as the only place a spacer action figure can go to find a job in Mos Eisley. Take my beloved DEATH STAR SPACE STATION playset and give it that sweet reboot action that Hollywood bestowed upon TOMB RAIDER, HELLBOY and GHOSTBUSTERS – take what was once sacred and make it different, yet familiar.

Hasbro, please reboot the toys from my youth. Take what was old and treasured and weave your magic to make something relevant to this day and age with the proper nostalgic appeal for us old nerds. Heck, Super 7 did it with the Masters of the Universe SNAKE MOUNTAIN. Make it crowd funded if you have to. I long for the day when I can go to my local Target and pick up the rebooted DROID FACTORY playset. I’m sure something like that would have to be rebooted with a hint of modern technology thrown in the mix…maybe an app that would help one plan what droids to create or some scanning feature that would show how your creations would move.  I don’t care. I want a plastic, 3 ¾ scale reboot. And I want it now.

In the shrinking, if not dying, modern Star Wars collectors market, something needs to be done to reignite the passion collectors once had.  Golden action figures didn’t do it. I’m guessing the lack of product for RISE OF SKYWALKER didn’t help matters either. I’m not saying rebooting Kenner’s line of toys from the 70’s and 80’s is the answer, but it might be a step in the right direction. The Vintage Collection seems to fly off the shelves as soon as they are put out and vintage packaging seems to be all the rage. Nolgastia sells. Hasbro, take it to the next level and give me a Rebooted childhood.

#rebootmystarwarstoys