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.

IMG_2265

Continue reading →

Advertisements

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 9.47.17 am

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 9.49.51 am

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 9.47.56 am

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.

66372DD3-36F5-49CC-ADFA-F786AF926F6B

Boba Fett has his captive frozen in time.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

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.

Things you learn from blogging

As much as my friends would disagree, I wouldn’t call myself a Star Wars fan. At most, I like it very much. Even though I have the Imperial March as the soundtrack to my life, I did not get very much into the Expanded Universe — a crime serious enough to revoke my membership to the Star Wars fan club. Which is why I love to blog about Star Wars. It is an opportunity to learn more about the made-up universe that I love so much. For example, while guest blogging on the new Star wars Lego sets for the geekerati, Geekculture.co, I was reminded that Luke Skywalker had played with a model of the T-16 Skyhopper in a scene from A New Hope, while a background matte painting of his actual craft was displayed in the window! I had totally forgotten about the craft if I hadn’t researched it.

Luke Skywalker playing with T-16 model. You can see the engine of his craft peeking in the window.

Luke Skywalker playing with T-16 model. You can see the chassis of his craft peeking in the window.

You may be the hottest bush pilot this side of Mos Eisley, Luke, but those little skyhoppers can be dangerous. They move awfully fast for tropospheric craft—faster than they need to. Keep playing engine jockey with one and someday, whammo! You’re going to be nothing more than a dark spot on the damp side of a canyon wall. – Biggs Darklighter

Another lesson I’d learned from writing the same blog was Ralph McQuarrie had designed a series of Star Wars greeting cards in the late 70s, which were later turned into Holiday Edition collectibles by Hasbro. Hello, #mindblown! If I had the capacity, I’d hunt down those figurines for my display shelf. You can also get the Lego versions of this adorable set in the 2015 Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015.

C3PO Santa and Rd@D Rudolph as Hasbro toys. Picture: Starwars.com

C3PO Santa and Rd@D Rudolph as Hasbro toys. Picture: Starwars.com

But the biggest lesson I’d taken away from this experience is I’d love to own the Star Wars Lego The Death Star Final Duel (75093) set if only to have a Darth Vader minifig that opens into two parts, just like in the movie. Nah, I’m just kidding. The biggest lesson is to know that only by improving what I know, only then will my love grow.

75093 The Death Star Final Duel 3

75093 The Death Star Final Duel

I hope you’ll continue to teach and guide me along, and I hope I have been able to offer something new for you to learn.

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

[Recap] Star Wars: The Force Awakens leaks

It’s mid-January. The start of a glorious Star Wars imbued year. Since the release of The Force Awakens trailer on Nov 28, 2014 — a lifetime away, it’d seem — many blogs, websites, fansites have unleashed a torrent of leaks. As people who are way too into Star Wars (as our spouses would espouse), we’ve scoured the interwebs for the latest, and the coolest leaks.

Alert: This post may not be for the faint-of-heart or people who want to avoid spoilers. Luckily for us, we have the memory of goldfish.

So, where were we? It’s mid-January. The start of a glorious Star Wars imbued year. Indeed.

[spoilers start after read more]

Continue reading →

Aural Pleasure of Star Wars

So, apparently, audio plays have become a thing. Back in the day, I had caught snippets of Mandarin soap operas playing on Rediffusion as I flit between home, the neighbours’ apartments and the expanse of the common corridors lining our HDB homes. I had always marvelled at the range of emotion that could be expressed on an audio platform. It provided for the most livid of imagery as scenes were only limited by my imagination.

Today, audio books, which have some following, are trending because of viral podcast, Serial. A spin-off from radioshow and podcast This American Life, Serial reopens a homicide case from 1999. The story revolves around the murder of a Korean highschool teen Hae Min Lee. The suspect: Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, a popular kid on campus. Although Syed maintained his innocence and police struggled to piece evidence that he did, the boy was eventually incarcerated based on the strength of a key witness, Jay.

serial-screengrab

Screengrab of the Serial website.

Through the 12 episodes, listeners learned, as did producer and host Sarah Koenig, that testimonies were sketchy, leads were not followed up, and various details that seemed important — at least on the podcast — were not mentioned in court.

Serial-reddit

File photo of the victim Hae Min Lee (second from right) and alleged murderer Adnan Syed (bottom). Photo from Reddit

Season one of Serial wrapped a couple of weeks ago and has been dubbed the “most popular podcast in the world” by The Huffington Post. You can hear the entire season here.

And, now, live audio performances have also become a thing. Last month, Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, played Luke Skywalker in a live audio performance of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Bad. This led to rumours that the thespian will be cast as one Han Solo in the Star Wars spin-off movies.

Unknown picture of Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, whom some have said resemble a young Han Solo.

Unknown picture of Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, whom some have said resemble a young Han Solo.

Today, starwars.com have announced a one-off live audio performance of Star Wars: Smuggler’s Bounty at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration held at Anaheim, California over April 16-19. No prizes for guessing who the protagonist in the feature will be.

Directed by Kyle Newman (of Fanboys fame) and co-written by him and FJ DeSanto, the audio play reunites the creative team behind Celebrations IV’s Star Wars: Smuggler’s Gambit audio drama. If you can’t imagine what an audio play would be like, it will be a “live performance on the Celebration Stage, with music, live sound effects, and a star-studded cast”, reported starwars.com.

The show promises to stay true to classic radio dramas and the Star Wars saga. Han Solo will be played by David W Collins, and accompanied by voice talents James Arnold Tayor and Jimmy Mac. Clone Wars alums Sam Witwer, Jaime King as well as other surprise guests will join the cast, continued the report.

If the show is anything like my Star Wars cassette read-along book, I’m sure it will be mesmerising.

If you’d like to travel back to your childhood and relive the read-along book, thestarwarstrilogy.com have downloadable audio files with scanned jpegs of the pages.

Star Wars read-along cassette audio book. Picture from thestarwarstrilogy.com

Star Wars read-along cassette audio book. Picture from thestarwarstrilogy.com