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Topics - Nicklab

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The Force Awakens / Where is Rey?
« on: January 21, 2016, 06:38 AM »
There's been an ongoing discussion in social media and now the broader media about the relative lack of Rey merchandise at retail over the past month or so.  It came to a significant head when the discussion turned to the Star Wars Monopoly game, which didn't feature Rey as a playing piece in the game.  These licensed merchandise decisions also seem to go against the general narrative of THE FORCE AWAKENS, since Rey is the central character in the film.

Well, check out THIS ARTICLE.  Specifically, these paragraphs about how Rey was not going to be the central focus of licensed merchandise marketing efforts dating back to meetings in January of 2015:

In January 2015, a number of toy and merchandise vendors descended on Lucasfilm’s Letterman Center in San Francisco. In a series of confidential meetings, the vendors presented their product ideas to tie in with the highly-anticipated new Star Wars film. Representatives presented, pitched, discussed, and agreed upon prototype products. The seeds of the controversies Lucasfilm is facing regarding the marketing and merchandising of The Force Awakens were sown in those meetings, according to the industry insider.

The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.

“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”

Lucasfilm did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

The industry insider went on to describe how excluding female action characters has been a common yet frustrating trend over the past few years. “Diminishing of girl characters is common in the industry. Power Rangers asked us to do it. Paw Patrol, too.” (Update: we’ve learned that Paw Patrol is currently working on a new line of toys for girls.)

If this is indeed true, it gives some insight into the institutional thinking about the marketing of female characters VS male characters.  The fact that nobody would openly go on record is telling as well.  Because it seems more and more like this general discussion about how female characters are represented in licensed merchandise is getting some legs.  This general issue started getting more traction with the REBELS toy line and the relatively light representation for Sabine and Hera.  But now with THE FORCE AWAKENS, where Rey is the focal point?  This is a much bigger deal now.

The Sequel Trilogy / First Order Stormtrooper Transport
« on: December 28, 2015, 08:40 AM »
One of the interesting developments of the vehicle/starship front has to be the new First Order Stormtrooper Transport.  This is NOT your PT era Republic Gunship by any stretch of the imagination.  This is much more like a WWII Higgins boat landing craft from Omaha beach.  And it's one of the first vehicles we see in THE FORCE AWAKENS.  What do you think of this new vehicle?

The Original Trilogy / Marcia Lucas's impact on the OT
« on: December 28, 2015, 07:52 AM »
Check out this article about Marcia Lucas.  Marcia was married to George Lucas and was also an accomplished film editor.  George and Marcia met in the late 60's while working on film projects together.  And when George was working on the first Star Wars film he brought in his wife Marcia as an editor the OT films.  Some have regarded her as the 'Secret Weapon' of the OT, having been very much responsible for editing key story points that proved to be pivotal to the story in ANH and the other OT films.

Jocasta's Reading Room / Incredible Cross Sections - The Force Awakens
« on: December 20, 2015, 12:36 PM »
Tin the Incredible Cross Sections book series is out now, and it's got some great stuff in it!  Star Wars: The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections.  And the Amazon listing has some great images from the book.

See the vehicles of Star Wars: The Force Awakens™ in unparalleled detail with this newest addition to the Star Wars Incredible Cross Sections series. Twelve breathtaking artworks bring the new craft to life, showing all of the weapons, engines, and technology, while engaging text explains each vehicle's backstory and key features.

Also, it looks like author Jason Fry will be taking part in a book tour to promote the new book.  I know he's going to be hitting a great independent book shop near me.

Modern Classifieds / FS: Hot Toys Loki
« on: October 28, 2015, 11:14 PM »
FS:  Hot Toys Loki from Thor - The Dark World - $225 SHIPPED IN CONUS

Up for sale is my Hot Toys Loki from Thor - The Dark World.  It's fresh out of the shipping box.  It's never been opened or displayed except for these photos.

The Sequel Trilogy / Star Wars Episode IX
« on: July 10, 2015, 10:06 AM »
Heroic Hollywood is reporting that a director has been named for Episode IX, and it will be Colin Trevorrow.  He's coming off of the very successful Jurassic World, and his role as director of Episode IX is set to be announced at SDCC 2015 today during the Star Wars presentation in Hall H.

It looks like Sideshow will be revisiting a 1/6th scale Darth Maul.  The likeness on this new version looks pretty amazing.  Check out the preview for this new version that will be unveiled at SDCC2015 later this week:

File this under TFA 6" figures:

This appears to be an image of 6" figure prototypes for THE FORCE AWAKENS line.  There are no names associated with the characters, but from left to right it appears to be:

-Kylo Ren ???

Watto's Junk Yard / Doctor Strange
« on: December 5, 2014, 09:08 AM »

Check out THIS VIDEO FROM THE OFFICIAL SITE.  It's a trailer for the new reference book Star Wars Costumes - The Original Trilogy which was released yesterday.  This volume has photographed many of the OT costumes in painstaking detail.  There are Rebel pilot helmets that have never been seen with such detail.  The tiny intricacies of Vader's costume.  And I'm sure there's probably a little bit about the infamous brown or blue coat worn by Han Solo in TESB. currently has this book on sale for $37.95.  And it looks impressive.

Most impressive.

The Original Trilogy / ANH - The Medal Ceremony - As it REALLY happened
« on: September 15, 2014, 12:49 PM »
For years there have been stories about the filming of the medal ceremony scene from A NEW HOPE.  Grousing extras taking pot shots at the stars as they walked towards the dais, etc.   Well, check THIS OUT!  It's almost like being on the set.


Star Wars Universe / Anime OT Space Battle
« on: July 3, 2014, 09:58 PM »
This just popped up in my Facebook news feed.  It's an anime style Star Wars space battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire.  Truth be told, it looks pretty amazing!  The Imperial Forces include Star Destroyers, TIE Fighters, TIE Bombers and TIE Interceptors.  That force faces off against a Rebel fleet with a Nebulon B Frigate, X-Wings and Y-Wing fighters.

Evidently there was something of a bidding war among cities that wanted to be the home of George Lucas's museum.  The results are in, and the winner is:  CHICAGO!  Here's the article:

The Force Be With You: George Lucas Picks Chicago for Museum
By Amy Langfield

Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Alfred E. Neuman and Kim Novak may all be headed to Chicago to live under the same roof.

The Windy City this week was tapped as the future home of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the dream project of director George Lucas, whose credits include "Star Wars," "Indiana Jones" and other blockbusters.

"LMNA will be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of the visual image — from illustration to cinema to digital arts," reads a statement from the museum.

"I'm actually super excited about the Lucas museum because there hasn't been anything that looks at quite what they're going to look at," said Brooks Peck, a curator at the EMP Museum in Seattle, which focuses on music, sci-fi and pop culture. The Lucas project, which is still somewhat under wraps, looks like it will be "highlighting very American art forms" including the work of Norman Rockwell, special effects and sci-fi blockbusters, Peck said. "These are all American inventions."

The website for the planned museum includes a neo-classical painting from Maxfield Parrish, a 1963 cover of MAD magazine, a pinup-style drawing of actress Kim Novak by Alberto Vargas and a still from the movie "Rango."

Peck said he's hoping the museum includes a lot of behind-the-scenes items, such as storyboards and technical equipment that is gaining in popularity at other museums.

The Lucas museum will "be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images—from illustration to cinema to the digital mediums of the future. The museum's seed collection—a gift from founder George Lucas — spans a century-and-a-half and features the images and the mediums that have profoundly shaped our cultural heritage," according to the website.

Seattle's EMP museum, co-founded by Microsoft's Paul Allen, has had some experience in this realm, including "Icons of Science Fiction, Battlestar Galactica" and "Avatar: The Exhibition." The Avatar exhibition was a technical behind-the-scenes exhibition while the Battlestar Galactica show focused more on the story and themes, said Peck, who worked on both shows. "Sci-fi allows you to explore different social problems a little bit removed because it makes it easier to talk about," he said.

Indeed, this won't be the first time Lucas' work has found its way into a museum. In 1997, the hugely popular "Star Wars: The Magic of Myth" exhibition made its debut at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and toured internationally for several years after.

That exhibition drew heavily on Joseph Campbell's view of the "hero's journey" drawing on mythical themes such as a young hero with faithful companions, an endangered maiden, a wise guide, monster combat, sacrifice and resurrection. And of course it included scale models of the Imperial Star Destroyer and the Millennium Falcon and costumes from the likes of R2-D2, C-3PO, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Maul and Jabba the Hutt.

"George was a good friend of Joseph Campbell, and has been a good friend to the Foundation," the not-for-profit Joseph Campbell Foundation said in a statement to CNBC. "We admire and respect George's decision to share his extensive art collection with the public, and wish him success in finding an appropriate venue."

Chicago this week was chosen as the winning city for the museum, which is planned to open by 2018. On Wednesday, the location was approved by Lucas' museum board members; their names have not yet been made public, a spokeswoman for the museum said.

"Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the Museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in the Bay Area," said Lucas, who set "American Graffiti" in his hometown of Modesto, California.

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he's enthusiastic about the museum's plans, the Chicago Tribune warns there will likely be a legal challenge from open space advocates who will argue the plan for the 17-acre site violates Chicago's landmark Lakefront Protection Ordinance. The Lucas group plans to submit architectural renderings for the site to the City of Chicago in the fall.

"No other museum like this exists in the world, making it a tremendous educational, cultural and job creation asset for all Chicagoans, as well as an unparalleled draw for international tourists," Emanuel said.
Indeed Chicago could use the boost as its share of the international tourist market has grown more slowly than other major U.S. cities, according to data from the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office. International tourists are much sought after as they tend to stay longer and spend more, according to industry surveys.

The Lucas project should help provide a strong boost to Chicago's already strong museum scene, said Ford Bell the president of the American Alliance of Museums.

While the Alliance's database includes more than 22,000 U.S. museums, there is no other narrative art museum.

"I think it's unique, which is what you'd expect from George Lucas," Bell said.

(The EMP Museum exhibition on "Battlestar Galactica" included items from the archives of NBCUniversal. CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal.)

Star Wars Rebels / Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends Figures
« on: December 30, 2013, 02:16 PM »
Behold, the Inquisitor

The Original Trilogy / ROTJ Lost Footage?
« on: October 28, 2013, 11:29 AM »
Lost 'Return of the Jedi' footage discovered on $699 LaserDisc.

Check out the text from the article:

Buyers of a rare LaserDisc used to demonstrate an 80s-vintage film editing system have found it full of raw footage from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, graciously posting clips to a Facebook account over the course of the past several days. Most of the clips are from Luke Skywalker's last visit to Yoda on Dagobah, but another gem features a full minute (without audio, unfortunately) of R2-D2 repairing Skywalker's damaged X-wing.
For the lucky buyer, $699 well spent

The origin of the LaserDisc isn't entirely clear, but it was purchased for $699 off eBay, apparently once used to demonstrate Lucasfilm's EditDroid station — one of the first digital film editing systems sold nearly 30 years ago. Ironically, George Lucas himself never used EditDroid to make a movie; the Star Wars clips were loaded simply to show off its capabilities to prospective buyers.

Lucasfilm, of course, is no stranger to fiercely protecting Star Wars copyrights, and it's reasonable to assume the disc buyer's clips may not stay online for long — particularly considering that they'd make a great addition to a future Blu-ray bundle.

The article includes some of the footage of R2-D2 making repairs on Luke's X-Wing.

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