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Category Archives: Star Wars

Why I love R2D2 (and why you probably do too)

r2d2I had the good-timing fortune of being at Disney World in Florida a few days ago for a “Star Wars weekend,” the now-annual month-long celebration of the movies held at the Hollywood Studios park. Part of the festivities included a parade of characters from the movies and some of the actors who voiced them. While it was nice to see the likes of Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Warwick Davis (Wicket) in the flesh, my favourite moment was when R2D2 wheeled down the parade route making his trademark beeps and bloops.

He was obviously being controlled remotely by someone nearby, but I didn’t care – seeing “him” made me giddy and even a little misty-eyed. It activated some sort of child memories in me.

Then I remembered that it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. I had the same reaction the first time I saw Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace back in 1999. I couldn’t help but squeal with joy when R2 made his debut in the prequel, saving the day as usual.

Fans of the original trilogy had been waiting a very long time for more Star Wars, me included, and it turned out the thing I had missed most was that plucky little droid. Watching the parade at Disney World years later, I had an odd epiphany: I love R2D2. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in movies, robots, Star Wars

 

Review: Sandcrawler the best Star Wars Lego set yet

sandcrawler1Is there a better way to celebrate May the 4th than with some new Star Wars Lego? I certainly don’t know of it, which is why I went down to the local Lego store bright and early Saturday morning to pick up the brand new Sandcrawler. The 3,296-piece monstrosity is the first big, new, original-trilogy vehicle in some time, so I was naturally jazzed for it. At $349, it’s pricey, but it is one of the biggest sets Lego sells – not just in the Star Wars line, but overall. (Anyone wondering at this point why a grown adult may want to play with Lego should probably read this before continuing on).

I was immediately impressed upon cracking the box open to find 20 plastic packages of Lego, as well as a thick, 315-page booklet that resembles a car manual more than a set of toy instructions. It’s clear the Sandcrawler is something special, with a six-page introduction giving some background on how the Jawa scavengers of Tattoine use their rolling factory to collect and sell droids, plus an interview with model creator Olav Kroigaard. I’ve never seen such a preamble in a Lego instruction book before.

The first few hours and plastic packages were the most enjoyable part of the build since, with a big set like this one, you’re never really sure which section you’re starting with or why. It was obvious that the vehicle’s base was up first, but I couldn’t help but wonder why the instructions didn’t start with the tracks. This only became clear several hours later, once a strong foundation had been established upon which the rest of the Sandcrawler – including its locomotion apparatus – would depend. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in lego, review, Star Wars

 

Me and my Lego Star Destroyer

sd13The whole concept of gift-giving around Christmas seems to get tougher with each passing year. It’s not that I have trouble figuring out what to get friends and family – that’s usually pretty easy – it’s the reverse that’s always a challenge. I’ve been pretty lucky in life, so I have most of the things I want or need. The few things I do desire are usually so expensive or frivolous that I have no business in asking anyone to get them for me.

Case in point: the Star Wars Lego Super Star Destroyer. Here’s a $500 toy that no sane adult really should be playing with, much less coveting. Yet, if you’ve followed me on Twitter at all this year, you probably know that Star Wars Lego is something of an obsession for me (original trilogy only, none of that Jar Jar-era or Clone Wars crap for me).

It turns out I’m not crazy – or alone – in having this offbeat hobby. I wrote a story about adult Lego aficionados earlier this year and, in speaking with company designers and toy industry analysts, found that the brick sets are actually pretty popular with more than just kids.

Adults like Lego for the same reason that other grown-ups are attracted to gardening, car mechanics or wood carving – it’s a physical hobby that lets you work with your hands. For those of us who deal in the digital world and stare at screens all day, it may be even more important to actually exercise our tactile capabilities. Yes, it’s nerdy, but it’s better than completely zoning into the Matrix, right?

I put all that together as my official rationalizations for finally buying the Super Star Destroyer a few weeks ago. So yeah, I’m not ashamed. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in lego, Star Wars

 

Me and my Lego Death Star

Luke and Leia about to make their perilous swing. Lego-style.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been preparing for two major events in my life. Firstly, this weekend I’ll be getting married to my lovely fiancee Claudette down in New Orleans (we’re actually down here right now, enjoying some jazz and Hurricane drinks). Secondly, and probably considerably less important, was doing my taxes. Believe it or not, the two ended up becoming related, resulting in a Lego Death Star.

In looking at my past year’s expenses, which I track very carefully now that I’m a freelancer, it became clear to me that I’m fairly miserly. I grew up poor, which has made me a tightwad when it comes to spending money. So, with the wedding coming, I figured why not go out and buy something frivolous?

Enter the Death Star. As a $500 toy, there probably isn’t a more frivolous purchase for a grown man.

Nevertheless, Lego – particularly the Star Wars kind – is a growing hobby among adults, as I wrote about in a story for MSN (I’ll link to it once I see it go up). Many of us grew up with the toys, so it’s ingrained in our psyches. The same can be said for Star Wars. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in lego, Star Wars

 

Pizza for nerds

Everybody knows nerds love pizza, so it’s a little surprising that this took so long: presenting, the Star Trek pizza cutter. As you can see from the picture below, it’s a pizza cutter in the shape of the U.S.S. Starship Enterprise:

This particular gem comes from the folks at ThinkGeek.com, purveyors of all sorts of nerdly novelty items (i.e. the Tauntaun sleeping bag and the Ladies of Star Wars playing cards). It’s only $24.99 and will make a nice counterpart to that Klingon cork screw you’ve got.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in food, Star Wars

 
 
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