Park Avenue Star Wars Advent Calendar

As is becoming tradition at this time of year, December 1st marks the beginning of a new Star Wars Advent Calendar counting down the days to Christmas. Several were available this year, but I opted for Park Avenue's Force Awakens-themed offering.

As is customary, the calendar contains twenty-five opening compartments - each with a small chocolate behind. While the chocolates are in traditional Christmas (not Star Wars) themed shapes, the back of the calendar does contain a cut-out card matching game featuring characters from The Force Awakens. You can pick up your very own from most New Zealand grocery stores for just $4.99.

Star Wars Auto Sunshade

While it's been available abroad for a while now, this nifty Star Wars auto sunshade has only just begun turning up at Warehouse stores here in New Zealand for $20.00 a piece.

The sunshade is made from a high-quality material and is a one-size-fits-all deal - folding down at either end to suit narrower windshields. It's a great novelty item, and one that's sure to bring a smile to any fans wandering past your car. 

Rogue One Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

As something of a companion to the Celebration reel, has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Rogue One. You can check it out below!

This video is a particularly nice introduction for those not obsessively following every Star Wars film release - explaining Rogue One's positioning (and importance) within the wider saga. Also included are a few brand new shots from the film!

[UPDATE 06/12/1986: In addition to this extended featurette, two further behind the scenes videos - Creature Featurette and Introducing Jyn Erso - have also been released.]

Countdown Cosmic Shells Collection

After Countdown supermarkets around New Zealand ran several Disney-themed giveaways over recent years, it seemed like it was only a matter of time until we saw a similar 'Wars-themed promotion. Our patience was rewarded in August when shoppers were given the opportunity to collect a set of 36 "Cosmic Shells" featuring characters, ships and planets from the Star Wars universe - including The Force Awakens.

One shell was given away with every $20 of groceries purchased, and with the help of my parents I was able to complete a full set. The shells could then be displayed in a specially-designed album available from Countdown supermarkets for $8. Also included with the album was a game board poster and rules that allowed the shells (which featured statistics on the reverse sides) to be used in a checkers-style game.

Rogue One Second Official Trailer Released

After a surprise announcement on yesterday's episode of The Star Wars Show, this morning saw the release of the third and final trailer for Rogue One. You can check it out below:

Immediately prior to this release, I was confidently claiming that I didn't need another trailer. The previous trailer had been damn-near perfect, and gave me everything I needed to reach Force Awakens-levels of anticipation for this film. It turns out I was wrong. So, so wrong.

While August's trailer stoked the fires of nostalgia, this latest morsel aims directly for the heart. It's clear that Rogue One will - perhaps more than any Star Wars film before - focus on the sheer grit and heroism of those soldiers fighting evil in that galaxy far, far away. These aren't vaunted Jedi - they're simple, everyday souls trying to better the galaxy. It's a side of Star Wars that we've never really seen before, and if Rogue One can pull it off, it might very well find itself a place among the best films of the saga.

[UPDATE 06/12/2016: This trailer - along with the original - have now been spliced into five separate TV spots: Together, Hope, Dream, Jyn & Cassian, Trust, and Breath.]