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.

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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

TOP TEN STAR WARS MOMENTS FROM THE PAST DECADE

We are close to the end of another year and you know what that means, right? Those obnoxious and pretentious top 10 lists that everyone and his pet dewback seem to crank out. We’ve all seen them. Some jerk offers up their yearly top 10 of some aspect of humanity and folks either agree or disagree, ignore or have a meltdown, or just nod their heads in acceptance and move on to the next list which is always right around the corner.

Well. Today, I am that jerk. However, I will not be doing some boring “Top 10 of 2019”. How can I do that when we are not only saying goodbye to 2019, but also bidding a fond adieu to the last decade! That’s right boys and girls. This here is the unofficial…

TOP TEN STAR WARS MOMENTS FROM THE PAST DECADE

Now, before we get started, remember – this is one person’s opinion on what the most significant Star Wars stories of the last 10 years are. If you disagree or think I am wrong, feel free to drop me a line at Traviscrafts@gmail.com and make your case. With that disclaimer out of the way, let us get on to number 10 on our countdown…

10) THE UGLY SIDE OF STAR WARS FANDOM (2018).

I didn’t even want to include this in my list. However, acknowledging their disgusting actions is different from tolerating them. Yes, these are the folks who made Kelly Marie Tran leave social media. These are the folks who can’t seem to stand a female character with pink hair calling the shots. These are the dolts who force me to explain to my co-workers what I think is “wrong with you Star Wars nerds?” There is nothing like hearing how Star Wars fans are “racist” and “sexist”. I remember a time when being a Star Wars fan earned you titles like “pathetic” and “loser”. My, how times have changed.

9) THE DEATH OF THE EXPANDED UNIVERSE (April 25, 2014)

After Disney bought Lucasfilm, the decision was made to eliminate the Expanded Universe from Star Wars canon. What was once the main source for new stories and continuing adventures for our brave heroes from that galaxy far, far away, was now regulated to the “Legends” banner.  With the wave of a Disney magic wand, gone were 36 years of stories. The old timeline was no more. However, great characters are hard to come by. As such, some have found their way from “Legends” to the new canon.

8) THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF STAR WARS (May 25, 2017)

 The one item on this list that makes me feel old. Here is to the next 40 years!

7) THE RELEASE OF ROGUE ONE (December 16, 2016)

In many ways, ROGUE ONE was the make or break point for the vision of Star Wars that Disney was producing.  ROGUE ONE was the first major film release to deal with the Star Wars universe that didn’t have the already established characters in it. If Disney was going to make new material for the Star Wars universe, this was its first step. Luckily, the movie was a financial success and widely accepted my most fans.

6) THE FORCE AWAKENS TEASER TRAILER DEBUTS (November 28, 2014)

Heads were melting, fingers were sore from left clicking the play button over and over again, and imaginations were rekindled as the teaser trailer for THE FORCE AWAKENS was unleashed upon the world. The trailer, which offered the rabid fanbase a whopping one minute and eight seconds of new Star Wars goodness, racked up more than 40 million views on Youtube in less than three days. Much like the teaser for THE PHANTOM MENACE, some fifteen years earlier, fans were left with questions, concerns and just a hint of excitement as the clock started its countdown to the release date of the actual movie.

5) THE FORCE AWAKENS RELEASED (December 18, 2015)

Waiting for that year to pass was torturous for many. Once THE FORCE AWAKENS was released, however, fans were eager to watch the continuation of the Skywalker story. Bringing in over two billion dollars worldwide, Disney hit the home run they were hoping for – ensuring a future for the franchise that was once thought of as a finished story.

4) THE MANDALORIAN DEBUTS (November 12, 2019)

The first, episodic Star Wars television show was finally made into a reality with the release of THE MANDALORIAN on the newly minted DISNEY +.  Not only had Star Wars invaded the world of T.V., but, with Jon Faverau at the helm, did it in a most convincing manner. With the last two episodes earning a rare 100 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and season 2 set to debut in the fall of 2020, THE MANDALORIAN is arguably the best Star Wars story to come out of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. 

3) THE DEATHS OF RALPH MCQUARRIE, KENNY BAKER AND PETER MAYHEW (tie) (March 3, 2012/August 13, 2016/April 30, 2019)

Together, Ralph McQuarrie, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew maintained a certain level of anonymity. Not recognizable by the general public, these three men brought their unique personalities and skills to the table and helped to shape the Star Wars universe – with Mayhew and Baker bringing R2-D2 and Chewbacca to life on screen, and with McQuarrie providing design paintings and concept illustrations that helped create many of the characters and unforgettable moments from the Star Wars films.

2) DISNEY’S ACQUISITION OF LUCASFILM (October 30, 2012)

As if millions of voices suddenly cried out with a collective “uh…what?” It was a day full of double takes from members of the Star Wars fandom when it was announced that Disney was shelling out $4 billion to purchase Lucasfilm. The implications were immediate. Disney announced that the unnamed Episode VII would be released in 2015 and fans started the immediate speculation as to what else would follow. For a franchise that had all but told its story, the prospect of new movies, cartoons, books and television shows being released on a consistent basis was a wonderful concept. Love what Disney is doing with Star Wars or hate it, we now live in a world where new Star Wars content will be readily available on a continual basis.

1) DEATH OF CARRIE FISHER (December 27, 2016)

The passing of Carrie Fisher was a gut punch to Star Wars community. She was THE princess in the world of pop culture and in many hearts. I knew right off the bat that there was no way I could do justice to the memory of Carrie Fisher for this article. What I could do is share the thoughts that my friend The Reverend composed shortly after her death.  His thoughts about what she meant to him and to the fandom community at large are expressed better than I ever could do and better than most have done.

“Why am I upset by Carrie Fisher’s passing? “She’s just another celebrity gone. She lived a hard life.” True…very true. However, 1.) She championed mental illness. My Princess was as flawed as me. 2.) I loved Princess Leia since I was 5. She was always both my hero and ideal. 3.) Carrie Fisher was smart as f**k. 4.) I almost got a chance to meet her and get a photo op. She pulled out due to illness. I was actually heartbroken… Now I’ll never get that chance. 5.) A large piece of my childhood, which I hold dear, because I find the adult world disgusting, dichotomous and ridiculous in many aspects, died today. And we should all hold on to those things that make us remember the magic of being a kiddo.

I will NEVER grow up. I will ALWAYS love Star Wars…

And Carrie Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia will always be My Princess.”

There it is folks! My top 10 Star Wars events of the last 10 years. Let’s do it again in 2029! Hopefully we will be talking about the last 9 seasons of THE MANDALORIAN and a slew of new Star Wars movies. Here’s hoping it is a wild ride! Take care and we will see you in 2020, right here at YODASNEWS.COM!

Week In Review!

Ho, ho, ho and Happy Holidays everyone! The rumors of my carbon freezing has been wildly exaggerated. The Star Wars Week In Review makes a grand return to the interwebs just under the wire as we get ready to say goodbye to 2019 and greet 2020 with much anticipation. I couldn’t have picked a better time to come back. I guess there was a movie that came out recently? Some kind of fan favorite that had weird, hairy creatures doing all kinds of crazy things? Yes, we will talk about CATS later on, but right now, here at YODASNEWS.COM, let us get into the holiday bounty that is STAR WARS – THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. Here is your week in review.

  • What else is there, right? THE RISE OF SKYWALKER made its debut this week. VARIETY reports that it is on track to earn just shy of 200 million this weekend. Earning 40 million on Thursday preview alone, TROS sits behind THE LAST JEDI and THE FORCE AWAKENS in Thursday previews for the new trilogy (making 45 million and 57 million respectively). Reactions been split on Episode 9, with it earning 58 percent on Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer but holding 86 percent on its audience score as of this writing. Whatever you think of it, THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is the ending to the story that started over 42 years ago. Now, the next big question – What will DISNEY do next?

  • I mean, What will DISNEY do next AFTER they give us episode 8 of THE MANDALORIAN? For all intents and purposes, Jon Favreau has been crushing it with this series. By providing a great story, well developed characters and the look and feel of the seedier corners of the Star Wars universe, Favreau just might be the “go to” guy in the future of Star Wars storytelling. And, of course, “Baby Yoda” doesn’t hurt matters either. In my other life, I work at a high school. In the last month, at least once or twice a day, I have heard students talking about “Baby Yoda”. Some have seen the show and some have no clue what Star Wars is. However, “Baby Yoda” is common knowledge. Is “Baby Yoda” a marketing tool? Absolutely. And you know what? It is working.

  • That is all I have for this week. I hope you all have a great Life Day and enjoy the season. If I may get just a wee bit preachy here – if you are able to help out…Toys for Tots or your local giving tree…please do so this holiday season. I remember opening up many a toy (mostly Star Wars) on the 25 of December, both as a child and as an adult, and it is a joyous feeling that no child should miss out on. If you can – do so.

            Thanks for having me back!

Week In Review!

Hey everybody! How was your Triple Force Friday? As good as mine? Man, I hope not. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Welcome to Yodasnews.com – Where the Bothans should have gone to get their information in the first place. Here is your week in review.

  • Well, another Force Friday is in the books. The day that showcases the newest and latest Star Wars merchandise was met with desperate searching for said merchandise by collectors who were more than willing to drop some of their hard earned income to acquire it. More than one report claims that stores all over the country either had little to no new Star Wars product out on the shelves, or that the items they did have for sale were not the “Hot” Items (i.e. The Mandalorian figures and The Vintage Collection) – with some claiming that employees snagged those figs before the doors were unlocked. There is no finger pointing here. There were people who did score and some reports claim certain stores had an abundance of product. Personally, I visited two Wal-Marts and a Target only to find one Black Series 6 inch Cal Kestis figure and several Skiffs, of which I grabbed one. So, if you are lucky enough to count yourself as one who hit the jackpot on Triple Force Friday – Congratulations! Hopefully Hasbro keeps the pipeline full of Star Wars goodness so those of us who missed out can catch up with those who scored.

  • According to USA Today, Porsche has teamed up with Lucasfilm to promote THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. On Porsche’s Instagram account, a photo is shown with the caption “Something exciting is coming from a galaxy far, far away”. C’mon Porsche…I just dropped 40 bucks on the toy skiff. I’m not made of money.

  • Speaking of spending crazy money on Star Wars stuff because..well..what else are you going to do with it, cookware giant Le Creuset is introducing a line of Star Wars inspired, kitchenwares. From a Han Solo in carbonite roaster ($450) to a Death Star Trivet ($20), Le Creuset has got your Lucas branded, kitchen needs covered. I will now write four words I know I have never written in the same sentence before – Darth Vader Dutch Oven.

  • Diahann Carroll passed away on October 4th. Best known for her work on Broadway and her TV show JULIA, Carroll was a multi-talented performer who was involved in the entertainment field for over 60 years. Of course, she will always be MERMEIA the HOLOGRAPHIC WOW from THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL in my book.

 That’s all from me this week. Be sure to check out all of our coverage from New York Comic Con on Instagram, Facebook and on Yodasnews.com. It seems like there is some really cool stuff out there this year. I’m off to find a recipe for Rootleaf Stew so I can eat like Yoda when I get my BB-8 pot. If you have any questions, concerns or Star Wars recipes, hit me up at Traviscrafts@gmail.com. Until next time – Don’t bullseye the womp rats. What did they ever do to you?