Star Wars Day: A feel good story

May the Fourth be with you. Well, technically that was yesterday but here in Singapore, it is a three-day affair so we still have plenty of time to revel in the celebrations. If you don’t already know, this year’s Star Wars Day is held at the mystical Gardens by the Bay.

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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.

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

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When is too much, too much?

About a week ago, we were alerted to a new Star Wars Digital Release Commemorative Collection from Hasbro by @greybear on Instagram (follow us here). The collection, which carries four 3.75-inch figurines each, features six box sets spanning across all the episodes in the Star Wars saga.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Digital Release collection. Photo: starwars.hasbro.com

The four key figurines are crucial in advancing the plot so Episode I: The Phantom Menace focused on Padme Amidala, R2D2, a battle droid (with bells and whistles) and Darth Maul. While we’re glad Jar Jar wasn’t included, it’s hard not to shed a tear for the fallen Gungans in the Battle of Naboo.

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George Lucas originally planned to shoot Ep VII: Report

Unknown file photo of Director, Writer, Producer George Lucas.

Unknown file photo of Director, Writer, Producer George Lucas.

The auteur told newspaper USA Today he had already started to develop the next Star Wars trilogy but understood it came with a decade-long commitment. Lucas said he originally wanted to finish Episode VII, release it in May 2015 and then sell the company afterward, said the report.

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Rebel’s Simon Kinberg to take over Star Wars Spin-off: Reports

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Star Wars spin-off writer Gary Whitta has left the project, a rumour has sprouted to suggest Disney’s Star Wars Rebels Co-creator and Executive Producer Simon Kinberg will fill the spot.

Screengrab of Simon Kinberg's interview for Disney's Star Wars Rebels

Screengrab of Simon Kinberg’s interview for Disney’s Star Wars Rebels

According to movie blog, SlashFilm, the writer/producer is next-in-line to script the 2016 release. They were, however, unable to get confirmation from Lucasfilm or Kinberg’s representatives, said IGN.

The movie is reportedly about a band of bounty hunters who steal the plans for the Death Star. The plans eventually fall into the hands of one Princess Leia whose ship was boarded by Darth Vader in Episode IV. Even though Disney has maintained that the film will feature the Millennium Falcon but not Han Solo, rumours are that Aaron Paul will play a younger version of the charming smuggler. Speculations also include origins story for Boba Fett or one revolving around the Falcon’s original owner, Lando Calrissian.

Disney has announced three spin-off movies which will not be part of the Star Wars canon. This has left pundits debating the merits of creating origin stories versus brand new plotlines. The three movies are planned to be released in 2016, 2018 and 2020 between Episodes VII, VIII, IX.

Kinberg has worked on screenplays for X-Men: Last Stand, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes, Mr & Mrs Smith and produced many more notable films. He had been pipped to write another of the spin-off series and it is unclear if the 2016 film will replace his other commitment or add on to it, reported movienewsguide.com.

 

 

Return of the smuggler

Who's that playing Sabacc with Zeb?

Who’s that playing Sabacc with Zeb? Screengrabs courtesy of Tim Veekhoven (@sompeetalay) and Blue Leader (@blue__leader)

Nope. This time, we’re not talking about Han. We’re talking about the other lovable smuggler, Lando Calrissian. It seems Disney’s Star Wars Rebels animated series has some kind of tractor beam that pulls celebrity names (some out of retirement) into voicing their original Star Wars characters. Besides Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels and Frank Oz have made their appearances as Darth Vader, C3PO and Yoda respectively.

The return of General Calrissian... well, before he was a General — and probably still pals with Han.

The return of General Calrissian… well, before he was a General — and probably still pals with Han. Screengrabs courtesy of Tim Veekhoven (@sompeetalay) and Blue Leader (@blue__leader)

So why are we more excited about Billy Dee Williams? Well, if you grew up in the 80s, you’d know Billy Dee Williams wasn’t just a two-hit wonder in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. He had also made notable appearances in long running TV soap Dynasty and as Two-Face in Michael Keaton’s Batman. (He was also in Night Hawks with Sylvester Stallone but let’s not bring that up.)

Williams is the only actor on Star Wars who has actively kept his character alive, with productions such as Robot Chicken’s Star Wars II and III, and in the awesome-st Lego movie. The episode, titled Idiot’s Array, will air in the U.S on Jan 19.

There has yet been no word on the Lando’s return in Episode VII: The Force Awakens – but we can hope.

We think the resemblance is uncanny! Can you tell the real and the CG apart? That hair!

We think the resemblance is uncanny! Can you tell the real and the CG apart? That hair! Images: Screengrab courtesy of Tim Veekhoven (@sompeetalay) and Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Rebels takes place in a timeline between Episodes III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. This is a time when the Galactic Empire is unfurling its iron grip throughout the galaxy and the ragtag crew of the starship Ghost, which includes Force-strong teen Ezra and Jedi Knight-in-hiding Kanan, makes guerilla strikes on Imperial Forces.