Star Wars poll: Singapore goes rogue

It would seem Star Wars fans in Singapore are a naughty bunch. According to a poll conducted by the PC Show, more than half of the far far away fans here would pledge allegiance to the Galactic Empire if the fate of a Star Wars Millennium Falcon Bluetooth speaker was on the line. 


Fans were asked to pick a side for a chance to win the speaker that could make the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs. More than 300 votes were received in the polling week from Dec 17 to 25. The winner was selected on Christmas Day. 

Even though we’re always left wondering how an organised military force, with the full power of the Sith behind them, are almost always are foiled by a ragtag team of nobodies, we would pledge allegiance to the Empire as well. 
Maybe it’s the cool Trooper suits, or the armoured vehicles or the silent screams of the Twin-Ion Engines. Or, maybe, deep down inside, we are all just a little like Kylo. We’re just too much of a Vader fanboy to want to side with Luke. 

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Star Wars, Star Wars everywhere

We’re in the last month of the year. Everywhere we go, glitzy lights and that familiar tunes follow us. It’s like we need reminders that The Force Awakens is only two weeks away. In the spirit of J.J Abram’s (hype of the) movie, here are some events that have happened, or are happening in Singapore. Let us know if we’ve missed an event, or tell us about your country’s events, in the comments. We’d love to see how Star Wars is celebrated this Christmas.

STAR WARS COOKIES

Japanese cookie company Bourbon has gotten into the Star Wars craze with Dark Side cookies. The tin of 54 bite-size confections are emblazoned with Stormtrooper and Darth Vader impressions as well as the Star Wars logo. And it’s now available in Singapore – while stocks last. Premiere toy shop The Falcon’s Hangar have limited tins of these coveted biscuits for sale at $30 per tin. They’re at Blk 261, Waterloo Centre, #01-27, Waterloo Street. Phone: 6235 2390. Call before you head down.

KK GOES GAGA FOR STAR WARS

Who says medical professionals don’t have a sense of humour? It seems the Division of Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be throwing a Star Wars-themed year-end party this year. The Force will be strong with December babies this year.

KKMedicine

ALL ABOARD THE STAR WARS EXPRESS

From next week, SMRT trains will join The Force Awakens frenzy. The transport provider said special Star Wars-themed trains, in partnership with Disney and LucasFilm, will ply its routes. From artist’s impressions released by SMRT to CNA, it doesn’t look as immersive as Japan’s Nankai Rapi’t Train, but, hey, we still get to ride with R2, 3P0, BB8 and Kylo Ren for reals!

SMRT Wars

Photo from CNA, provided by SMRT

Beyond riding the trains, you can also shop for stuff and win Star Wars goodies from SMRT. Check it out here.

THE FORCE AWAKENS LANDING PARTY CRASHES IN VIVOCITY

VivoCity is giving Lego fans a reason to cheer. Unveiled at the central atrium last night is Singapore’s largest Lego wall mural. Made by the Adult Fans of Lego (AFOLs), this massive 200,000-stud measures 6.2m x 2.4m and is certified to be the largest by the Singapore Book of Records.

 

 The Lego wall depicts the now-famous The Force Awakens movie poster (sans Luke) in full bit-mapped glory. After you’ve posed with the mural, pop by and take in the scaled-to-Lego minifig Millennium Falcon created by Titans Creations. Trivia: Built for Singapore, Han switches seats with Chewie in the cockpit to pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy – on the right-hand drive.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the exhibition after you’ve regained your composure from the Lego section. Try your hand at Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront, check out the army of Pop! Funko The Force Awakens figurines by Simply Toys, get in line to pre-order Hot Toys’ Asia Exclusive Stormtrooper: Copper Chrome figure. Highly articulated and highly coveted, the stocks for this hot toy is limited. Pre-orders started for Action City’s VIPs yesterday (Dec 1) but is now open to the public.

Also available are more toys from Toys R Us, including the below-mentioned Hasbro Black Series collection as well as backpacks and accessories.

From now until Dec 31, the first shoppers of the day to spend a minimum of S$250 can claim a limited edition Star Wars Millennium Falcon notebook. A maximum of three same-day receipts can be used per redemption, and has to include purchases from Tangs or VivoMart.

STAR WARS LANDS IN CHANGI AIRPORT

Planning a flight out of Singapore? Catch a shot or two of the life-sized X-Wing spacecraft and TIE Fighter at Changi Airport‘s Terminal 3 and Terminal 2 respectively. Only 80 tickets are issued every hour for you to mill about, climb and take photos in the cockpit of these iconic Star Wars spacecrafts. Don’t forget to get your gibberish translated at the C3PO booth too.

The 501st Singapore garrison will also make appearances at 4pm on Nov 14, 21, 28, Dec 5, 12, 26 and Jan 2. Hurry, the X-Wing and TIE Fighter will fly out Jan 5, 2016.

The 501st Singapore Garrison will make select appearances at Changi Airport over the next few weekends, but it’s not them in this picture.

STAR WARS TOYS

Star Wars is nothing without its mass merchandising appeal. At the peak of the hype are its toys. Check out the giant Stormtrooper helmet adorning the Royal Selangor display (more info here).

There are more toys available here besides Star Wars, it is after all a toy fair (duh!) but we’re quite sure none of the toys will cut as impressive a figure as this life-sized Boba Fett. The mercenary will follow you home for a mere S$12,999.

 Army builders and toy collectors may want to stop by and check out Hasbro’s Black Series toys – including the 6-inch scale TIE Fighter in all its massive glory.

  
NEXT UP IN THE STAR WARS “CEREAL”

Who says breakfast is boring? Shake out the cereal and get to the Star Wars gems inside. Singapore cereal boxes come with 3D pencil toppers and we hear Malaysia’s versions come with Star Wars bowls!

RIDE THE KALLANG WAVE

Planning to visit the Sports Hub? Drop by the Kallang Wave mall and win big with Star Wars. Spend S$30 and above to get limited edition Star Wars swag.

 STAR WARS ONLINE

Don’t want to jostle with the crowd? Shop for Star wars t-shirts, backpacks, notebooks and more with iMob and get Star Wars swag. Redeem limited editions Stormtrooper tumblers and umbrellas or win a Star Wars experience for two (includes tickets to Dubai and the Middle East Film & Comic Con) when you make a minimum purchase of S$30. Info here.

 SUIT UP

Uniqlo has them – all four series. Star Wars fashion, that is. Choose from short sleeve-tees with graphic prints to sweat shirts, flannel shirts (limited online exclusive now) and even winter outerwear. Whatever the occasion calls for, Uniqlo has you covered – even in a torrential downpour.

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But if you want to channel your inner Sith in your inner wear, check out the Imperial Collection by Underarmour. If you have the galactic credits to spare,  this collection will keep you close to your beloved Star Wars characters. Shop here.

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Besides getting to watch The Force Awakens before the rest of the world (along with Indonesia and Thailand) on Dec 15, France’s design house Celio also has a cool wardrobe of Star Wars outfits. If you want a different look for the premiere screening, do give this a look. Outfits here and local shops here.

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SIGNS OF STAR WARS

While visiting a boutique handcrafted-bespoke leather atelier in Telok Blangah (see more here), we came across this vintage-shop-slash-cafe. If you’re in the market for some good ol’ eats and old school furniture – complete with nostalgic charm, this is where you should head to. What caught our eye? The bus shelter poster for The Phantom Menace from 1999 tucked in the right hand corner.

 

NIXON STAR WARS

Nixon created a disturbance in the Force when it announced a range of adult-collectible watches at the beginning of this year. Even as the noise surrounding its Darth Vader automatic 51-30 timepiece fades, the watchmaker has released its Dark Side phase II series.

Also available in this phase is the Darth Vader 51-30 watch, but priced more reasonably and is powered by a Japanese Quartz movement. However, the show stealer can be found on the back side strap of one of its cheaper models, the Boba Fett Unit. Turn the watch over and you’ll see Han encased in carbonite onto the silicon strap. We think this would get collectors salivating.

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Boba Fett has his captive frozen in time.

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Darth Vader needs to have his 51-30 timepiece.

SILVER AGE OF STAR WARS

Fancy your Star Wars figures in silver? The Royal Selangor Star Wars collection has encased beloved heroes and villains in pewter to go in your display cases. While its main showcase at Suntec City Atrium may have ended on November 22, you can still catch the life-sized Han-in-carbonite on display at VivoCity and Takashimaya basement.

The silver lining for Star Wars

It’s after halloween and nearing December; and everyone is getting into the Star Wars mood. With myriad merchandise rolling out from Disney and its affiliates, the only thing we haven’t yet seen is a Star Wars car.

Even though the products that have excited us thus far have been the toys (Millennium Falcon drone, anyone?), more products have been pushed towards the adult fans of late. Have you seen the Nixon Star Wars #Darkside collection yet? Another brand to target the Star Wars fans who had grown up with the original 1977 release is Royal Selangor Pewter. Continue reading →

Thank God for Force Friday

So it’s 4am and I’m too excited to sleep.

I’d just returned from the Singapore leg of the global unveiling of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise. Even before the midnight launch at Toys R US United Square, there had been a global unboxing livestreamed around the world on YouTube. While there had been many toys touted and coveted, I had personally kept my eye on the Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens MIllennium Falcon, which has – gasp! – an old Han Solo minifig! Of course, it was available at our Force Friday launch for $299 but being on crutches meant I had to choose my purchases carefully.

The queue into United Square atrium snaked around the mall

Rebels and Empire forces worked together to keep the rabble in line

Wisely, I decided to keep to a BB8 theme for the night. I’d arrived an hour ahead of the event and was promptly labeled 165 in the queue – which had, by this time, snaked around the basement atrium at United Square. Then it’s hunkering down for the hour.

My queue number – 165. Almost a lucky number, I think

My queue number – 165, almost a lucky number. I think. This ticket also lets me collect a goodie bag at the end of the night.

Nearing midnight, there was a sudden countdown and the queue lurched forward. It didn’t move very fast nor very long though. We’d barely taken five steps before the queue stopped again. This wasn’t unexpected, here was a very determined crowd of people who are craving the latest toys for The Force Awakens – and they WILL NOT BE rushed.

The entrance to the toyshop! I feel like a kid at Christmas!

The entrance to the toy shop! I feel like a kid at Christmas all over again!

Waiting in line didn’t wane our excitement. Of course, the good folks at the 501st Legion made sure we had lots of photo opportunities and there were many kids bashfully asking for portraits with their favourite Sith, Jedis, stormtroopers, scout troopers, rebel pilots and TIE pilots.

Jedis, stormtroopers, everyone wants to lay their hands on The Force Awakens merchandise

Jedis, stormtroopers, everyone wants to lay their hands on The Force Awakens merchandise

When push came to shove, even TIE pilots had to help direct fans to the nearest cashiers. With about 10 cashiers on hand, the queue moved very quickly as you can tell.

TIE Pilots were roped in to manage the very well controlled crowd

TIE pilots were roped in to match fans with cashiers

A “drone” view of the crowd taken by this lonely photographer from the top.

A lone photographer taking aerial shots

A lone photographer taking aerial shots

Lots of merchandise were on display but these First Order stormtroopers were begging to be shot.

Bag these First Order Stormtroopers!

Bag these First Order Stormtroopers!

After an hour of waiting, and another hour browsing the store on crutches – trying very hard not to get my foot trampled on – these were my two precious buys. The coveted Sphero BB8 app-enabled droid ($239) and the Hasbro Black Series Rey with BB8 doll.

Purchases for the night: Sphero BB8 and Black Series Rey with BB8

Purchases for the night: Sphero BB8 ($239) and Black Series Rey with BB8 ($39.90). Considering what i was up against, I think the purchases have been tempered.

Before I head to dreamland to play with my new acquisitions, I leave you with an unboxing of the Sphero BB8 droid. I hope you enjoy it!

This little Han went to market

if anyone tells you Singapore is a pristine haven devoid of character, ask them about Pasar Bella.

An interesting signage of Pasar Bella made from corrugated zinc, the kind you’d find on the roofs of kampung houses.

Continue reading →

A Star Wars homecoming (Or why Star Wars is really Singaporean at heart)

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…” is probably the most famous line in all of movie history. It is the first of the now legendary narrative we see in Star Wars: A New Hope, a science fiction movie concocted by film auteur George Lucas, that spawned multigenerational fans, billion-dollar merchandising and changed the way we watched and made movies — particularly of the science fiction genre.

It is also the line that distanced fans not based in the US or the UK. For decades, Asia would have to wait for movies to make its way to our time zone, usually about two weeks. Thankfully, this was before social media and waiting a fortnight was bearable, if only just. But the world is getting smaller. And the gap to information is closing. These days, we have not only bridged the gap sometimes we’re even ahead. For example, Singaporeans got to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron about a fortnight before the American premiere.

LucasFilm's Singapore campus affectionately named The Sandcrawler.

LucasFilm’s Singapore campus affectionately named The Sandcrawler.

Continue reading →

Mace and Palpatine: The Force is strong with Star Wars: The Force Awakens

TFA trailer2-1