May the 4th Be With You!

The fourth of May has come around again, and you know what that means: It's Star Wars day! May the 4th be with you! I'll be kicking back with some blue milk, watching the films, and maybe adding a few new choice items to my collection.


Have you got any special plans for Star Wars Day? If you do, be sure to share them with us via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com!

New Animated Television Series "Star Wars Resistance" Announced

Following on from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, StarWars.com this morning announced the next animated instalment in the saga: Star Wars Resistance.

(Image courtesy of StarWars.com)

This announcement isn't all that surprising (having produced both prequel- and original trilogy-era shows, it only made sense that the next would be based in the sequel-era) but is nevertheless very welcome. The finale of Star Wars Rebels left me thirsty for more, and knowing that Dave Filoni (the creative genius behond both Rebels and its predecessor, The Clone Wars) will be helming this project gives me complete faith that it'll be a phenomenal show. Specifically, the series will follow:
"...Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order. It will premiere this fall on Disney Channel in the U.S. and thereafter, on Disney XD and around the world. 
Featuring the high-flying adventure that audiences of all ages have come to expect from Star Wars, Star Wars Resistance — set in the time prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens — will feature the beloved droid BB-8 alongside ace pilots, colorful new characters and appearances by fan favorites including Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma, voiced by actors Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, respectively."
How about you? What are your thoughts on this announcement? Be sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com!

The Black Series 6" Porg Two-Pack

In addition to the items on my Force Link 2.0 and Vintage Collection hunt lists, I made one extra purchase on the April 13th Solo product release day: this adorable two pack of Black Series porgs.


While these are technically from the 6" line of figures, my fiancée was quick to point out that they're small enough to also look perfectly at home among my 3 3/4" figures (as pictured above). She wasn't wrong! The only 3 3/4" scale porg we've seen so far is the one that came with the Force Link Chewbacca. Unfortunately, it was a pretty underwhelming - and perhaps too-small - sculpt. These, however, are incredibly well detailed - as is to be expected of any item from the Black Series line. Most surprisingly, these aren't entirely static pieces. One of the porgs actually comes with four points of articulation, being able to twist his legs and move his ball-jointed wings into all sorts of amusing poses!

The Hunt Is On - The Vintage Collection 3 3/4" VC120 Rebel Trooper (Hoth) Found

Along with the first wave of Force Link 2.0 figures, the April 13th Solo product release date also saw the return of the wildly popular Vintage Collection after a hiatus of almost five years. Featuring phenomenal articulation and fantastic accessories, the Vintage Collection represented the very pinnacle of the 3 3/4" line, and I - like many fans - am thrilled beyond words to have it back. My picks from this line will be somewhat selective. When it comes to newer characters (i.e., those from the prequel, sequel, and standalone films) I tend to make my purchases from the main movie line as something of a 'time-capsule' of that particular era of figures. For this reason, my Vintage Collection hunt list will be focused on original trilogy and Expanded Universe characters. There was one figure in the first wave of new Vintage figures that fit this bill - and that filled a glaring omission in my collection thus far - the Hoth Rebel Trooper.


This trooper proved somewhat elusive, being that he's both (1) highly desirable to fans of the original trilogy, and (2) a great army builder (meaning that most collectors will tend to buy multiple). After some hunting, however, I managed to track one down at a Gamestop of all places. The Hoth Rebel Trooper encapsulates everything that's great about the Vintage Collection line. Featuring a wonderful fourteen points of articulation, two blasters, a working holster, and removable headgear and backpack, there isn't much more you could expect from a plastic representation of this character. The sculpt and paint app are - as always - on-point, and there's even some soft goods to add an extra sense of quality to the figure.

Hoth-themed figures have been getting a lot of love over recent years, including the wonderful Imperial Probe Droid and Wampa figures I picked up over the last few months. The Hoth Rebel Trooper will look great alongside these other recent additions!

The Hunt Is On - Force Link 2.0 3 3/4" Wave 1 Figures Found

As was the case across much of the country, the product release for Solo: A Star Wars Story arrived with something of a whimper in my neck of the woods. For the most part, staff - even those stationed exclusively in the toy section - had no idea that there were any new Star Wars items on their way. It took visits to two Walmarts and four Targets across two states before I finally came across the items I was after. It was only at the last of these that I lucked out by being in the toy section just as a shelf-stocker wheeled a trolley of new product into the aisle (despite being told by the manager only moments earlier that they hadn't received the shipment of new stock). The stocker was kind enough to let myself and two other fans stand by as she unpacked the new product, and gave us first choice on the items as they emerged from their boxes. As a result, I managed to get everything on my Force Link 2.0 hunt list in one fell swoop.



While the distribution of these figures may have been disappointing, the products themselves certainly are not. I picked up most of the Solo characters available including Qi'ra, the Rangetrooper, the Mimban Stormtrooper, Lando (with a Kessel Guard), and Enfys Nest (with her speeder bike). Continuing the trend started in 2015, these basic movie-line figures are mostly five-points-of-articulation (5POA). That being said, the sculpting and paint apps have been significantly improving with every wave of new figures. Qi'ra is a phenomenal example of this - her face framed with finely detailed wisps of hair, and her face painted in an uncanny likeness of actress Emilia Clarke. The quality of the basic line is improving elsewhere, too: Qi'ra, the Mimban Stormtrooper, and Enfys nest all comes with two extra points of articulation in their wrists, and Enfys also comes with a cloth cape - the first we've seen in the basic line since its advent.

Solo Official Trailer Released

With only seven weeks until its premiere, Solo: A Star Wars Story finally had its official trailer released this evening. You can check it out below:


Lucasfilm's marketing is on-point, because in the matter of a few short months they've managed to take me from largely indifferent about this film, to incredibly excited for its release. Solo certainly looks like it may be the 'coolest' Star Wars film yet - brimming with a charm and swagger that we haven't really seen in this universe before (except, of course from its titular character).

How about you? What are your thoughts on the official trailer for Solo: A Star Wars StoryBe sure to let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or by sending an email to relicsoftheforce@gmail.com!

Future Star Wars Miniatures Projects

I've been thinking about Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Miniatures game a lot lately. Between 2005 and 2009 I amassed a decent collection from this line, and - after playing a lot of River Horse's Labyrinth board game with my fiancée lately - I've had a real hankering to get back into some strategy gaming. 


But that's the thing. Unlike other tabletop wargames such as Warhammer (which, don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved - and played to no end), Miniatures wasn't just a strategy game. The complex scenarios, unique abilities of characters, and small party sizes (sometimes limited to only two or three miniatures) meant that there was a real sense of story around each game. An evening's worth of play felt more like a mini RPG session than it did a military campaign.

For now, my collection of miniatures is safely in storage back at my parents' place in New Zealand. I hope to break them out again in the near future - and when I do, I have a few projects planned. This post is a way of bookmarking some of those ideas and the inspirations behind them.

Kinder Surprise Twistheads

It's Easter Sunday today, and among the parcel of chocolate treats my fiancée and I received from my parents were four Star Wars-themed Kinder Surprise eggs. We didn't know what to expect inside, but it turned out to be a second series of the wonderfully weird 'Twistheads' line that first debuted back in 2013 - this time featuring a line of new characters from the sequel trilogy.


Each figure comes with a twisting head (as the name suggests), though the previously-included dial mechanic is no longer present. The attached string on the the head means the figure can be used as a phone or bag charm, or even as a keyring. There are eight Twistheads in the series, and by a stroke of luck we managed to get four unique characters: C-3PO, Finn, a First Order Stormtrooper, and - our favourite - Captain Phasma. The latter is made even more awesome by the inclusion of a tiny fabric shoulder cape that ties around her neck!

The Hunt Is On - Force Link 3 3/4" Battle On Crait Pack Found

The last item to be released in the Force Link line of figures is the "Battle On Crait" set, which continues the recent tradition of releasing a four-pack to coincide with the home video release of the latest film (in this case, The Last Jedi). Mine turned up in the mail this week courtesy of Target - and at $24.99US ($34.56), it's a great little set.


"Battle On Crait" is a vast improvement on the "Takodana Encounter" pack that accompanied the home video release of The Force Awakens. That set disappointingly came with three repacks - but it was the only way to get hold of Maz Kanata (and her adorable lightsaber chest). This time around, we're seeing three brand new characters: Rose (Crait Defense), the First Order Gunner, and the First Order Walker Driver. Granted, the latter is a repaint of the Force Awakens First Order Snowtrooper - but I'm a fiend a for trooper variants, and will take them any way they come. Rose and the Gunner are entirely new sculpts, however. The Gunner (who, with his flared trousers and ostentatious helmet, certainly wins the award for most ridiculous trooper uniform) is a basic sculpt, but looks great alongside his other 3 3/4" First Order comrades.

The Last Jedi Target Exclusive Blu-Ray and DVD Set

This week saw the home video release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. There were a battery of different purchase options available, but I eventually decided to go for the Target exclusive Blu-Ray and DVD set.


This pack includes The Last Jedi on Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital as well as a Blu-Ray disc containing the standard assortment of special features and the Target Exclusive DVD disc with the "Meet the Porgs" featurette. The included special features give some wonderful insights into the film-making process, but the real standout is The Director and the Jedi - a heartfelt feature-length look behind-the-scenes of The Last Jedi. It's a wonderful tribute to the contributions of both Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill to the saga, and might just be my second favourite Star Wars documentary yet (after the wonderful Empire of Dreams that accompanied the 2004 DVD release of the original trilogy).

The deleted scenes are another great highlight. Whereas these scenes are usually dull and uninspired - making clear the director's reasons for their omission - the deleted scenes from The Last Jedi are, for the most part, truly excellent. More than once, my fiancee and I found ourselves saying "I wish they'd left that in". It's a real credit to director Rian Johnson that - even after assembling a two-and-a-half hour film (the longest Star Wars movie to date) - there was still a raft of great scenes left on the cutting-room floor.

Also included is a gorgeous 40-page 'Gallery Book' featuring factoids, concept art, and behind-the-scenes photographs. The packaging features stunning photographs of the cast - all suffused with the red palette that became the signature of this film. At only $27.99US ($38.71NZ) it is - in my estimations - the best way to go if you're looking to add this movie to your collection!