Synopsis Is Revealed for “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

January 17, 2018 – Lucasfilm has just released the official synopsis for Solo: A Star Wars Story:

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.”

Sounds like a lot of words revealing very little. Most anyone could have guessed the very basics of the background story: “Han Solo … meets Chewbacca … and then Lando … and they all encounter adventures.”

Could the release of the above crumb be an attempt to appease fans in light of the absence of any trailer? With the movie scheduled for release on May 25th, fans had been anticipating the release of the first trailer on January 12th.

Director Ron Howard had fueled the rumor when he earlier tweeted: “Hang in there. Now that Episode 8 is out there, it won’t be long.”

A sneak peak of the second anthology film (the first was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) was expected to have been shown on Good Morning America on January 12th. But the date passed and nothing was released.

The delayed trailer may be due to some final pick-up shots of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich, born 1989) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover, born 1983, and no relation to actor Danny Glover) scheduled for today, Jan. 17th. The shots will then be edited into the trailer for release in the near future.

(L to R) Woody Harrelson, Christopher Miller (fired director), Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, Phil Lord (fired director) and Donald Glover.

Besides the delayed release of a trailer, or even an official image of a young Han Solo, the movie’s production has been somewhat turbulent. Unexpected problems included a protracted search for a young, scruffy looking nerf herder, which finally cast Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo; rumors that Ehrenreich required an acting coach during filming; and last summer’s abrupt firing of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Ron Howard is now in the director’s chair. According to various cast members, the handoff has been smooth. One of the actresses, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (role unknown) said, “The handover there was done with such warmth and generosity from everybody, and Ron’s just a master at his craft. He’s going to make a beautiful film out of it. You just really trust him and it was just really exciting to work with him. I mean, it would’ve been exciting to just pass him in a corridor, let alone for him to be parachuted in to the film you’re working on.”

Disney/Lucasfilm are still committed to a May 25, 2018, release date.

Advertisements

First “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge” Pins and Merchandise Arrive

January 16, 2018 – Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge may not be opening until 2019, but that hasn’t stopped Disney from releasing its first wave of themed merchandise.

The DJ Rex T-shirt is $24.99 and the gray T-shirt is $34.99. (Photo Credit: Walt Disney Co.)

Released several weeks ago at select locations in Disneyland and Walt Disney World (Tatooine Traders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios), the merchandise includes men’s and women’s T-shirts, hats, pins and a lanyard, a framed rendering of the Millennium Falcon at Batuu, a patch and thermos-style cup.

Besides locations at the Disney theme parks, you can find shirts, hats, and art prints online using the Shop Disney Parks app. (Photo Credit: Walt Disney Co.)

The upper pin (Annual Passholder) and lower pin (regular) display the “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge” logo as well as the inscription “Landing 2019”. (Photo Credit: Walt Disney Co.)

The two pins display the “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge” logo and cost $16.99 each. Both pins are limited edition. The weight of the metallic pin requires two clasps on the back side.

The standard pin, pictured below, shows the Falcon parked on Batuu, the remote outpost planet you will be visiting at the themed land.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Annual Passholder pin includes a hinged glass lid, over which is imprinted “Star Wars / Galaxy’s Edge / Landing 2019”. Swing the lid open and it reveals the Falcon parked on Batuu. The cost is $16.99 less 20% Annual Passholder discount, or $13.59.

Newest merchandise at Tatooine Traders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Photo Credit: BlogMickey.com)

If you’re wondering why DJ Rex merits his own T-shirt and cap, recall that his original name was Captain “Rex” RX-24 and that he piloted the Starspeeder 3000. Rex (voiced by Paul Reubens a.k.a. Peewee Herman) was replaced by C-3PO in 2011 when Star Tours was reimagined and reopened as Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

No longer a pilot, Rex will be returning as “DJ Rex” and serving at the cantina when Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019. Disney made the announcement last year in Anaheim at the D23 Expo 2017.

Is Star Wars Dead?

January 12, 2018 – Since its launch in 1977, the Star Wars saga has had an incredibly long and successful run. And yet while some fans have criticized what they perceived to be stumbles in the prequel films (1999-2005) and a lazy copycat plot in The Force Awakens (2015), they have dutifully returned to see The Last Jedi (2017), hoping for a reprise of the early magic of the Original Trilogy.

To say some fans were a bit disappointed in The Last Jedi is an understatement. Strongly disillusioned might be a better description. Agitated might be even better.

Those ultra-passionate fans who had been hoping for a second-act revival, similar to the stellar The Empire Strikes Back (1980), have ended up deriding the latest film as a great letdown. Judging by comments on social media, many have foresworn seeing the next installment, Episode IX, or any another Star Wars film for that matter.

So is Star Wars dead?

Like most things in life, the answer is: “It all depends on who you ask.”

Reasons Why “Star Wars” Is Dead


Whether you call the Skywalker saga dead, dying, or having seriously lost its way, fans and critics mean the same thing: The two sequel films (The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi) have utterly changed the character and direction of Star Wars, so as to make it almost unrecognizable. For many fans, they are ready to call it quits and to declare the saga over.

Here’s why (spoilers follow):

1) Two of the three original heroes (Han Solo and Luke Skywalker) have been killed, leaving only General Leia behind. And we know Leia’s days are numbered in Episode IX. The death of actress Carrie Fisher sealed Leia’s fate.

2) The new generation of heroes (Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron) have not yet been fully embraced by many fans. The reasons are many. In The Last Jedi, fans were expecting a big reveal as to the origins of Rey and her stupendous powers. Kylo Ren deflated expectations when he told Rey that her parents were nobodies who had sold her for drinking money on Jakku. Just as underwhelming was Rey’s laughably short training by Luke Skywalker. So by the end of the movie, we still don’t know who Rey is, or much less care.

Similarly, Finn’s character development is nonsensical. First, in The Last Jedi we see him attempt to abandon ship until Rose Tico stuns him. Next, he and Rose go on a fruitless mission to Canto Bight that adds little to the storyline. And finally, when Finn is about to gloriously sacrifice himself to save the fleeing rebels, Rose sabotages his vehicle.

It’s impossible to cheer for an empty shell who has three times attempted to flee the fight, first as a defecting stormtrooper and twice more as a faux rebel. His one attempt at self-sacrifice in the Battle of Crait had the audience ready to cheer for him. But even that hopeful moment was taken away from him.

As for Poe Dameron, the hot shot pilot who committed mutiny, some have argued that he was unnecessarily emasculated in the latest film and, pilot skills aside, fans don’t have a firm grasp of his character or enough of his backstory to really care.

It’s hard to embrace or be sympathetic toward the three would-be heroes when the writers and directors aren’t properly doing their job.

3) The demise of Star Wars can also be traced to the lack of credible, threatening villains in the sequels.

The huge build-up to Supreme Leader Snoke – followed by his sudden all-too-easy demise – takes the fear factor out of Star Wars. Similarly, the emotionally wrought Kylo Ren and his silly attempt to imitate his late grandfather, leave the audience more irritated than fearful. And what of General Hux and Captain Phasma? Apparently, they are little more than throw-away characters who wear cool costumes.

Without a worthy villain, how can our future heroes be tested and rise to the challenge?

Darth Vader and the Emperor broke the mold of pure villainy and are in a class of their own. No wonder the writers and producers are having such a hard time replicating the face of evil.

4) Inconsistencies and Technical Issues:

The following video does a good job summarizing some of the technical and plot issues and the needless cotton candy-fluff in the latest movie:



Despite George Lucas’s occasional missteps in the prequels, at least his storyline was unified and consistent. The following video suggests why The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are all over the map and maddeningly inconsistent:



5) And finally, Mark Hamill did attempt to warn us: This is not his Luke Skywalker.


Reasons Why “Star Wars” Will Endure


1) Box office receipts tell the story in the Disney era:

MOVIE U.S. Gross Foreign Gross
The Force Awakens $936.6 million $1.13 billion
Rogue One $532 million $524 million
The Last Jedi $579M (thru 10 Jan 2018) $651M (thru 10 Jan 2018)
Source: BoxOfficeMojo.com


Far from being “dead”, the three Disney-era movies have been phenomenally successful at the box office. The Force Awakens was No. 1 in box office receipts for 2015. Rogue One ranked No. 2 in worldwide grosses for 2016, just behind Captain America: Civil War. And The Last Jedi was the highest-grossing movie (U.S.) for 2017. [Source: BoxOfficeMojo.com]

2) Star Wars‘ success will continue because it appeals across generations and across global cultures. Just as Lucasfilm groomed a new generation of fans during the prequel era, Disney is now pulling another generation into the fold.

Star Wars belongs not just to the first generation of viewers who laid claim and who were fortunate to see the original trilogy when it first rolled out. Star Wars also belongs to the newer generations who either grew up with the prequels (1999-2005) and, therefore, appreciate them in their own right, or the youngest audience members now watching the sequels with eager young eyes.

Lucasfilm and Disney were clever to end The Last Jedi with the scene of a young stable boy, Temiri Blagg (yes, he has a name) , grabbing a broom with his Force powers and looking hopefully up at the night sky.

The symbolism is rich. As director Rian Johnson commented to Entertainment Weekly: “To me, it shows that the act Luke Skywalker did, of deciding to take on this mantle of ‘the legend,’ after he had decided the galaxy was better off with[out], had farther reaching consequences than saving 20 people in a cave. Now the Legend of Luke Skywalker is spreading. Hope is reignited in the galaxy.” And, we might add, to a generation of new fans.

3) Despite all the naysaying and gnashing of teeth of some ultra-passionate fans, Star Wars is not forever “ruined” just because the Original Trilogy protagonists have died, or because of perceived inconsistencies in the latest storyline, or any other imagined ill.

Not everyone is a movie critic or a hardcore fan. For every naysayer, there are many more who generally enjoyed the storytelling, special effects, humor and drama of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi.

Bottom Line


It is a valid expression of remorse and disillusionment to say Star Wars is dead. To the disappointed, the 40-year saga has indeed changed. The story of the Skywalkers has finally come to an end, and the brightest lights have dimmed or been altogether extinguished. Gone are Obi-wan, Yoda, Vader, Han, Luke – and soon Leia.

Even the secondary favorites, Chewie, R2 and C-3PO, appear on screen as mere homages to the past. They don’t significantly advance the sequels in any way.

However, as a financial juggernaut and evolving space fantasy, Star Wars is far from dead. The franchise is thriving and doing well financially. But where the ever-changing story goes, nobody really knows.

Perhaps it is change and the uncertainty that make most people uncomfortable. We all knew the Skywalker story had to eventually end, and the end point is now.

The Last Jedi is full of clues that the change-moment has finally arrived. We can start with Rey’s symbolic attempt to return Luke’s lightsaber to him (a metaphor for the passing of the torch). Luke tosses the lightsaber away with little thought and Rey eventually retrieves it, completing the passing of the torch to her.

Equally symbolic is the destruction of the lightsaber. During their climactic struggle, Kylo Ren and Rey struggle for control, and Luke’s lightsaber is broken in half. End of an era, the door is about to be closed.

Next, as if to state the obvious, Kylo Ren says: “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.” And that’s what The Last Jedi proceeds to do.

By film’s end, we have witnessed General Leia and her command ship blown away, heard that Admiral Ackbar has perished, and seen Luke Skywalker sacrifice himself so that some 20 rebels might escape. Each moment is an emotional exclamation point to Kylo Ren’s admonition, “Let the past die.”

We suspect that the cultural and gravitational pull of Star Wars is so strong that even the strongest critics will feel compelled to see Episode IX in 2019, and the next one after that, and the next after that, and the next, and the next….

Sketch of Overhead Layout of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

January 11, 2018 – A pen-and-ink sketch by Martin Smith provides an overhead view of what a completed Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will look like at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Like pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle coming together, we can finally see how the two new themed lands will fit together in Disney’s most ambitious expansion project ever.

Sketch by Martin Smith shows the overall layout of both Toy Story Land (left) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (right) coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

To help better understand the details of both lands, we have added a numbered and lettered legend below. The blue circles depict details within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; green circles are Toy Story Land; and yellow circles are structures adjacent to both lands.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (opening in mid- to late-2019)

A – Main tunnel entrance from Grand Avenue
B – First Order Battle Escape attraction
C – Millennium Falcon attraction (plus possible mini-museum of props, costumes and other displays)
D – Cantina-style full-service restaurant
E – Shops and retail
F – More shops, retail and quick-service eatery
G – Berm with trees, shrubs, foliage to block views into/out of Galaxy’s Edge
H – Secondary tunnel entrance between Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land
I – Backstage building (admin, maintenance, support)

Toy Story Land (opening early summer, 2018)

J – Main entrance to Toy Story Land
K – New entrance to Toy Story Midway Mania!
L – Exit pathway from Toy Story Midway Mania!
M – Woody’s Lunch Box, a counter service eatery
N – Alien Swirling Saucers attraction
O – Entrance to Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster

Adjacent Structures

1 – Grand Avenue (remnant of former Streets of America)
2 – Muppet・Vision 3D attraction
3 – Parking plaza (to be reconfigured)
4 – Walt Disney Presents (formerly One Man’s Dream), an interactive gallery
5 – Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (under construction, estimated opening: May 2019; formerly The Great Movie Ride)
6 – Pixar Place (to be closed and become a backstage area)

Star Wars Land Construction Update (Orlando, Dec. 2017)

January 2, 2018 – In late Dec. 2017, temporary construction walls were removed at the end of Grand Avenue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For the first time, guests can now walk up to the tunnel entrance to the future Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Disney’s largest expansion of a themed land at 14 acres.

An image of the Millenium Falcon blocks the tunnel entrance to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At right is a swing gate to backstage areas which could possibly be opened to allow for extended queue lines to the entrance. (Photo Credit: WDWMagic Dec. 17, 2017)

Palm trees were recently added near the tunnel entrance, consistent with the Los Angeles theming of the storefronts and façades along Grand Avenue. Just steps away to the left of the tunnel is Grand Court (formerly Muppets Courtyard, not pictured here), which has its own distinct New York City vibe. Some critics have suggested that Disney needs to better harmonize the two themes.

A closer view of the tunnel entrance. (Photo Credit: WDWMagic Dec. 17, 2017)

In the aerial photo below, taken by Twitter user bioreconstruct on 22 Dec 2017, the concrete tunnel (between letters “B” and “C”) jogs to the right. The beginning of artificial rock formations, which guests will see when clearing the tunnel, can be seen at letter “A”.

Expect vast landscaping (trees, shrubs, tall foliage) to be planted in the elevated dirt mounds inside the outer walls. The foliage and rock work will create the illusion of an alien outpost called Batuu while blocking views of the rest of Hollywood Studios.

How to Visualize Orlando’s Galaxy Edge


The layout of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (aka “Star Wars Land”) in Orlando will be slightly different than Disneyland’s version in Anaheim, California. The west coast version will have three entrances, as opposed to Orlando’s two access points, and Anaheim will have a longer tree-friendly corridor for guests to stroll prior to reaching the heart of Batuu. Orlando’s entrance path will be somewhat more truncated.

Nonetheless, both themed lands will each occupy approximately 14 acres of land. Both will have the same two immersive attractions, a Millenium Falcon ride and a Battle Escape ride or rides in the massive hangar-style building. Both themed lands will also have a similar full-service Cantina-style restaurant, a quick-service dining area, exotic retail shops that might slightly remind you of the souks of Morocco or Istanbul, and droids and aliens galore.

The photo below, with the superimposed graphic map, shows you how Orlando’s layout will come together. The left side of the graphic is occupied by the First Order and the right side by the Resistance/Rebels.

The main tunnel entrance is at the far left (in gray). Travelers can try the First Order Battle Escape experience first (upper left) or head for the Millenium Falcon attraction (upper right).

The photos linked to the graphic layout give a clearer idea how the land will come together. (Images: Walt Disney Co.)

An outdoor stage in the First Order area will likely house small shows – perhaps similar to the brief stage performances currently seen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

“Battle Escape” is a massive trackless ride rumored to cost nearly half a billion dollars and one of Disney’s most ambitious attractions ever. Guests can expect to see over 150 animatronics and staged scenes featuring nearly life-sized AT-ATs. Your ride experience could have up to 18 different scenes.

The First Order (left side) and Resistance (right side) areas of the land will likely overlap in the middle at a merchant’s alley, where aliens and droids from both camps might mingle. One retail shop will be massive (about half the size of a football field), others will be far more intimate. An image of the first retailer, Toydarium, can be seen below.

Toydarium will welcome you and your credits in 2019.

There is a strong possibility that a lightsaber-construction and buying experience will be available. The set up will be reminiscent of the wand-acquisition experience at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Once you exit the merchant’s alley area, a 100-foot wide Millenium Falcon will greet you amidst more lush foliage. Each cockpit will seat six. Depending on how your team performs during the simulator ride, your exploits and reputation will follow you throughout your visit to Batuu. By one estimate, there are four large cylindrical bays with seven pods or cockpits in each. Multiply that by six guests each, and you have a ride capacity of 168 guests.

An artist’s rendering shows travelers waiting to board the Falcon (Image Credit: Walt Disney Co.)

When you are ready for nourishment, a Mos Eisley-inspired cantina will feed and entertain you. Animatronic aliens and droids will be featured on a small stage as well as throughout your dining or drinking experience. If you wish, you can grab a Blue Milk or other alien concoction at the cantina or at a separate quick-service spot.

But Where’s the Hotel?


Disney has committed to building a Star Wars-themed resort in Orlando, most likely adjacent to Galaxy’s Edge. The resort will allow resort guests early and direct access to Galaxy’s Edge as well as immersive experiences within the hotel.

Expect to pay premium prices at the Star Wars-themed resort in Orlando, which will include interactive droids, a cantina, and views overlooking Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (Image Credit: Walt Disney Co.)

Construction Status in Orlando


Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently reached a construction milestone with the topping off of the highest point of Galaxy’s Edge. By tradition, construction crews have erected an American flag and a tree to mark the highest elevation of the project. Standing at approimately 130 feet tall, the high point is located atop some artificial rockwork reaching skyward above the Millennium Falcon attraction. A similar “topping off” ceremony occurred some three months earlier, on Aug. 21, 2017, in Anaheim.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yet there is still a long way to go before an expected 2019 opening. The following aerial photos from Twitter’s bioreconstruct show construction status as of late Dec. 2017.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A New Year’s Resolution for the Serious Star Wars Collector: Time to Organize and Declutter

January 1, 2018 – For the serious Star Wars collector, the start of the New Year is a perfect time to take a step back and to cast a critical eye on your collection.

Ask yourself: How organized are your Star Wars items? Do you truly know what you have, or are your treasures scattered in unlabeled tote boxes or hidden somewhere deep in a closet or storage? If there was a fire, flood or theft, what is the replacement value? Do you have a focused collecting strategy? And is your collection still bringing you joy – or has the shine worn off, and you sometimes feel you’ve become a slave to a jumbled horde?

Assess Your Goals


No one is born a Star Wars collector. Unless your mother’s name is Padmé Amidala, you do not have Star Wars DNA ingrained in you. Instead, a collection begins accidentally and haphazardly.

Perhaps you received gifts of books and action figures and games as a child. Years or decades later, you forgot about all these items until Star Wars somehow rekindled your imagination. Soon, everyone thought you loved Star Wars and began showering you again with all manner of Star Wars gifts and goofiness (and sometimes Star Trek, too, because Grandma confuses the two universes). And then you got in the habit (or obsession) of acquiring items and became a “completist” or a Star Wars junkie.

To prevent a jumbled mess from invading their lives, most collectors will have disciplined themselves and focused on, say, only 3.75-inch action figures or vehicles or books and comics.

But even if you somehow managed to limit yourself to only the 3.75-inch action figures, a longtime collector will have easily amassed over 2,000 figures (and growing).

Now would be a good time to fine-tune your collecting goals. If your revised goal is to collect only vintage figures (1977-1985), or all-things-Yoda, or aliens-and-droids, your task is now more manageable.

Other possible goals for 2018:

Give yourself permission to take a break. You do not have to collect every figure, vehicle, plushie or geegaw from each successive wave or line. Your bank account will thank you and planet Earth will keep spinning even in your absence from “the hunt”.

Consider paring down: A collection of figures or books that brought you joy and a sense of satisfaction a decade ago, may no longer serve the same purpose today. If you haven’t touched or looked at these items in years, why do you still have them? Would you truly miss them if they disappeared? Consider selling or even giving away these objects to others who might use and enjoy them more.

● Begin or update your written and visual inventories. (Details below)

Written and Visual Inventories


Once you have fine-tuned your collecting goals, it’s imperative to organize and inventory what you have. Each complements the other.

A written inventory can be as simple or as detailed as you desire. You can hand-write or type your own lists or download lists from certain sites. (This is particularly true for action figures – JediBusiness.com, among others, is a good source).

A good inventory list might have several columns next to each item. For example, column one will describe the item (“Floating Leia, TLJ”); column two is the price you paid and date acquired (optional); and column three is the FMV replacement price (strongly recommended for insurance purposes).

A spreadsheet program, such as Excel, will help you keep a running tally of how much you have spent (be prepared to be shocked) and what the replacement or fair-market value of your collection is (double shock). [Note: While there is inventory-software available, we cannot recommend any at this time.]

You will want to maintain several different inventory lists according to distinct categories. Depending on your particular needs, categories might include “Books/Comics”; “Action Figures, Vintage”; “Action Figures, TBS 6-Inch”; “Vehicles, 3.75-Inch Scale”; “Clothing”; “Music, DVD’s, Games”; and so on.

To keep each inventory list manageable, each category should have its own file name saved in your Word, Excel or other software program. Resist the urge to create a Master Inventory file or you will be scrolling pages for days.

So why are written inventories so important? First, they will give you a good grasp on what you have and on any gaps in your collection. Second, they are required in case you need to file a claim with your insurance carrier and/or law enforcement in case of fire, flood, theft or other loss. And third, they are a great tool to efficiently track and locate items stored out of sight.

Next, consider a visual inventory, whether photographic or video. For unique and high-valued items, you might want to photograph your rare collectibles. But what about the hundreds and hundreds of other items? Photography is time-consuming and impracticable.

Grab your smartphone or camcorder and video-record your collection, slowly scanning from shelf to shelf, display to display, and all open storage (tote boxes, closets, etc.). Turn up the room lights when recording.

Also, why not video inventory your entire house contents, not just your Star Wars collection. This can probably be done in less than 15 or 20 minutes, walking room to room. While recording, you might wish to talk aloud and describe each room you are in and describe the high-value items you are filming. Your audience is, of course, the future insurance adjuster.

Why bother? First, you will need documentation for insurance and reporting purposes. Second, if your insurance carrier tries to deny or low-ball your claim, you will have proof to share with your attorney. Third, peace of mind. And fourth, it’s fun to look back years later at what a mess your house and/or collection was.

TIP: Be sure to back up your inventories offsite and/or in the cloud. If you don’t have access to iCloud, a Dropbox basic account is free and offers 2 GB space. Alternatively, YouTube (set your video to “private”) is another back-up option.

TIP: If you are renting a place, don’t assume your landlord’s insurance will cover you. Their policies often do not cover a renter’s possessions. Renter’s insurance is usually very affordable. Also, if you own your domicile, don’t assume your homeowner’s insurance will cover your collectibles. They may be excluded. Consider buying a supplemental policy or rider so you are fully covered.

Thin Out the Herd


It may be time to cull your collection and thin out the herd if you discover:

– The walls are closing in and you’re running out of storage space
Star Wars tchotchkes are encroaching into too many other living spaces
– You spend more time dusting than enjoying your collection
– You are spending hard-earned money for commercial storage space
– You haven’t touched/seen/enjoyed certain Star Wars items in over a year and completely forgot about them
– You accidentally bought a duplicate item only to discover it’s already in your collection. (This is more an inventory and awareness problem. But it could also be a sign your collection is too large.)

The KonMari Method: If any combination of the above is true for you, seriously consider selling, donating or even discarding those items that no longer “spark joy” (to borrow a term from Japanese tidying consultant Marie Kondo).

Organize


Once you have refined your Goals for 2018, created an Inventory System, and begun to thin out your collection to a manageable whole, you are on your way to an organized Star Wars collection.

Happy collecting in 2018 and beyond!

A Final Farewell to Carrie Fisher


December 31, 2017 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, like nearly all of the Star Wars films that preceded it, has its great fans and its equally vociferous detractors.

For all its flash and bang, moments of humor and headscratching missteps, The Last Jedi left one uneasy question still open: What is to become of General Leia?

Rumors earlier in the year strongly suggested that we would finally get to see Leia display her Force powers in spectacular fashion, likely sacrificing herself in order to save her fellow Rebels. But, alas, the rumor was only half true and – what was director Rian Johnson thinking?! – appeared to transform itself into a weird moment of Mary Poppins-like trickery.

In light of Carrie Fisher’s passing on Dec. 27th, 2016, it would have provided much needed closure on screen – and a cathartic moment of shared sadness – to see everyone’s favorite princess bow out in style. But we didn’t get to say farewell, and the 2 1/2-hour movie missed what could have become a truly great moment in cinematic history. Instead, many viewers felt cheated or confused.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has already announced that Leia Organa – at least her physical manifestation – will play no part in Episode IX, which is scheduled for release on Dec. 20, 2019. There is no script, and therefore no useable scraps of video footage, that could place Carrie Fisher in the final Skywalker movie. Furthermore, insertion of a CGI Leia has been firmly ruled out by Lucasfilm.

To compound the tragedy, Episode IX was rumored to have focused on General Leia. It would have been her moment to shine, just as Han Solo (Harrison Ford) received much of the attention in Ep. VII and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Ep. VIII.

The baton has now been returned to J.J. Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens (2015), to chart a new course and to flesh out the final Skywalker episode. How will Abrams retire General Leia? How will we finally get to say “Good-bye”?

A wait of two years for the next episode feels like an awfully long eternity. And frankly, we don’t want to wait.

The following tribute video can help to bring closure along with some bonus behind-the-scenes footage of Carrie Fisher.