The Best New Star Wars Game You Haven’t Played Yet

According to The Guardian, board game sales have recently increased between 25% and 40%. The quantity and quality of board games has been on an increase every year since the release of Settlers of Catan, a German board game is first introduced in 1995 (according to FiveThirtyEight). Board game designers have started producing innovative, exciting, and beautiful games that offer experiences not found in even the best types of software-based games. One example of such a game is Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures. The dogfighting turn-based game gives you the rush of being Luke Skywalker going up against TIE Fighters with the beloved X-Wing. There are three main reasons why this game is brilliant and adored by thousands of Star Wars Fans.

Easy Setup
One of the biggest I convinces for board games is the elaborate setup. Some games require hundreds of little pieces that must be precisely laid out. X Wing Miniatures requires as little or as much setup preparation as you want. At the very least, the setup requires a blank table and enough room for a couple of ship pieces. From there you just need to navigate the ships using set pieces and dice. The game sells difference ship packages, such as the Slave II ship flown by Boba Fett, so you can bring these other pieces into play for a more elaborate setup. It all depends on how much time and effort you’re willing to put into it.

Customized Gameplay
Dovetailing off the custom setup, the game itself can be adjusted on the fly. A full game can take as little as 20 minutes to complete, or you can add ships and teams to expand the game for a few hours. Not only can you adjust the time, but you can also adjust the game’s style. Each pilot has a skill level. Luke Skywalker is skilled enough to take on two standard TIE Fighters, so that can be a two-on-one battle scenario. The more pilot points you play with, the more types of ship combinations you can use.

Competitive for Everyone
One excellent feature this game allows is varying difficulties. When I played for the first time, I was given a pilot with more points than what my opponent uses. This handicap allows hardcore fans and gamers to introduce newbies to the game without completely crushing them and causing them to lose interest. But rather, as a new player develops skill, the gameplay can be altered to more evenly-matched.

What you need to know to play this game right away
A starter pack for this game includes Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing and two TIE Fighters. This is simply all you need to get going. Each player receives a dial that you set each turn to determine your pilot’s trajectory. You do this blind to what your opponent does. At that point, it comes down to getting within firing range of each other’s ship, and the luck of the dice. Each ship can deliver and take certain amounts of damage. Each pilot also has a set of skills that can aid their ship.

It takes a few games to get the hang of the skills and added features of each pilot. But once you understand the game flow, you will be hooked. If there is one downside of this game, it’s that beyond the first startup set, the pieces can get pretty expensive. This may limit how you play this game long-term if you aren’t willing to invest in the additional pieces needed for a more advanced gameplay. But if you do invest in the pieces, you’re not just adding value to the game quality, but you have some souvenirs you can display at all times on your desk or bookshelves.

The Biggest Events Star Wars Fans Should Attend in 2016

1. Rebel Jedi Princess Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume
Discovery Times Square – through Sep, 5 2016
“From the mind of creator George Lucas to the concept artists who put these ideas to paper… Star Wars and the Power of Costume examine the complex process of costume making.” This exhibition displays over 70 hand-crafted costumes from the Original Star Wars Trilogy and the Prequels. From Darth Vader’s mask to the infamous Princess Leia bikini, you can see up close the detailed work put into each of these iconic costumes. Check out more details here.

2. Star Wars Celebration, LucasFilm’s “Love Letter to Star Wars fans”
ExCel London Exhibition Centre – July 15-17 2016
This family-friendly event will feature writers and celebrities from the films, including Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. LucasFilm’s President, Kathleen Kennedy will also grace the stage Along with Gareth Edwars, the director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

If you have a fan club, you may be able to have a table at the event to promote your organization to other Star Wars fans. This would be an excellent opportunity to engage with local fans and support your own club to others. Check out their site for full details.

3. Disney World’s Star Wars World Resort: Disney Hollywood
From replica movie props to rides, experience Star Wars in real life at Disney World’s theme park. They are currently running a short film about the fall and return of the Jedi Order. The Tatooine Traders exhibit lets you shop and build your own droid to engage in intergalactic commerce. Their Jedi Training exhibit lets your younglings take on the Dark Side and Darth Vader with Lightsaber duels. Check out the dozens of other Star Wars attractions on their website.

4. For the Love of the Force – An Independent Star Wars Fan Convention
Bowlers Exhibition Centre – Manchester, United Kingdom December 3-4
This event serves as a meeting ground for fans, both young and old. This event will showcase two days full of cosplay, props & exhibits, merchandise stalls, gaming, and musical entertainment.

This second annual independent convention will bring together fans, and also contribute to a local charity organization. Actors from the films will be in attendance, cosplayers, Jedi training, Cantina cocktail space bar, and children activities will all be included in this two-day event this December. Find out more details from the group’s Facebook page.

5. South Bay Star Wars Fan Club San Jose, CA
This club is dedicated to allowing Star Wars fans to meet up and interact with each other. With monthly meetings, along with additional movie outings and conventions, this group is dedicated to bringing together all Star Wars fans in the South Bay Area. Check their Meetup page for time and places of their events.

All Things Star Wars

In the world we live in today, news travels fast. Covering Star Wars news old and new, we’re here to keep you up to date with the latest, and not-so latest, news. Maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t. Regardless, we’ve got you covered.

Now let’s kick things into hyperdrive and get things going.

 

The Star Wars Show

Last Tuesday saw the announcement of The Star Wars Show. Pete Townley and Andi Gutierrez are the hosts of the online show, keeping viewers up to date with any news and announcements.

This is an official show of Lucasfilm/Disney, meaning we know everything they say is true, because it’s made and filmed in the very building where they work on Star Wars. Only one episode has aired so far, but viewers and fans should keep an eye on this show since it’s likely to be the place where Star Wars news breaks first.

New episodes are posted every Wednesday on the Star Wars YouTube channel and StarWars.com. You can watch the first episode here is not the xxx version :).

 

Everything We Know About Star Wars Land (So Far)

Disney-Star-Wars-land-lead-2-1020x610
Last summer was a dream come true for any Star Wars fan when Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger took to the stage at the D23 Expo to announce what will be Star Wars Land, explaining it’s the “first time our guests can immerse themselves in the real physical world that is Star Wars.” Guests will be able to visit the 14 acre park expansion in both Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Iger gave fans a small taste of what to expect in the park, mentioning “local inhabitants” of the Star Wars universe will occupy stores, restaurants, and other sections of the park. This alone is a huge step for Disney Parks, as it’s something that’s never before been experienced anywhere. Not that we know of, at least.

That all sounds amazing, but guests care about one thing above all else: the rides and attractions.

“The land will have two fantastic signature attractions,” Iger stated, “including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy: the Millennium Falcon…”

Done. Sold. Sign us up. But wait, there’s more.

Iger then continued with the description of the second attraction, stating, “and the epic Star Wars adventure that puts you right in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

Other information about the park is under wraps and the park’s opening date is yet to be announced, but it’s safe to say we’ll be there when it’s open!

 

The New Wave of Star Wars Figures from Funko

Great news for the Star Wars collectors! Funko has announced the third wave of Star Wars Pop figures! The majority of the figures are from The Force Awakens, but there are a few in there from the original trilogy.

Characters like Rey, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren already have figures, but this line is offering fans new versions. Not sure about anyone else, but we’ll be picking up a few, and by “a few,” we mean all.

“Traitor!” That’s right! The mysterious crowd favorite FN-2199 scored his own figure in the new wave of figures, along with Maz Kanata and Luke Skywalker!

Be on the lookout for these figures, as some are exclusives to Target, Walgreens, Hot Topic, and GameStop.

You can find the full list of new wave Star Wars Funko Pop figures here.

The new wave of Star Wars Funko Pop figure’s are set to be released this July.

Tips for Star Wars Collectors

Anyone diving into this article is either a Star Wars fan, a collector, or both. Chances are you’ve heard of these collectibles and figures, but if you haven’t, let us help build your collection with these quick suggestions!

Disney Elite Series

Whether a casual collector or toy for the kids (or the grown ups. Hey, we’re not judging), the Elite Series figure is a good option. These die cast figures are exclusive to the Disney Store only and retail for around $24.95. Only some characters are sold online, but you may have luck finding certain figures at your local Disney Store.

 

 

Black Series

Like the Elite Series, the Black Series is a fairly priced line of Star Wars figures. Selling for around $20 (depending on the store), these figures are incredibly rare to find.

The Black Series ranges from small Star Wars vehicles to six inch figures to a full on, wearable Kylo Ren helmet. Not in the market for a full size helmet? The Black Series has a line of smaller helmets, which can be neatly displayed anywhere with a built-in stand.

There’s something in this line for everyone.

 

Funko Pop Figures

Now, who hasn’t heard of Funko? If you don’t know the name off the top of your head, you’ll know the look of the figures. Funko Pop figures are everywhere, with almost any character you can imagine.

Even Star Wars characters.

Find characters from the original trilogy and The Force Awakens. Keep them in the box or take them out. There’s no right or wrong when choosing how to display these figures!

Of everything listed in this article, the Funko Pop figures are the most affordable, and probably the most fun.

 

Star Wars LEGO Sets

Some of these sets can be pricey, but they’re fun to build and look beautiful in the collection!

 

Hot Toys – Sixth Scale Figure

Now these figures are way up there in terms of price, but if you’re the collector with a bigger budget, you might want to consider the Star Wars line from Hot Toys. In case one isn’t familiar with the name, Hot Toys is a company that manufactures extremely detailed collectibles.

Hot Toys makes beautiful figures, but our favorite of all the Star Wars characters is the sixth scale Boba Fett. Now, there are two versions of the character. One from the Empire Strikes Back and the other from Return of the Jedi.

With the Return of the Jedi figure, there are two versions. A standard and a deluxe for twenty-five dollars more. The deluxe version includes a collectible Sarlacc base.

Standing just over eleven inches, the figure has thirty points of articulation and includes accessories like his jetpack, blaster, shin tools, and more. The paint job on the figure is out of this world. See what we did there? But seriously, the paint job and details is something you’ll have to see to believe.

You can find a great in-depth review from dfuzeNL of the Return of the Jedi figure here.

The Empire Strikes Back version of the figures is available for purchase now, and the Return of the Jedi Boba Fett by Hot Toy is available now for pre-order on the Sideshow Collectibles website.

Collectors can also find other sixth scale figures and more collectible characters from the original trilogy, like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca. You’re also in luck if you’re a fan of The Force Awakens, as they have many of the characters up for pre-order now.

The Perfect Vacation Spots for Star Wars Fans

When we first watched Star Wars, our minds were opened to the idea that an entire galaxy was out there, waiting to be explored. We saw such a wide variety of environments, ranging from the deserts of Tatooine to the polar environment on Hoth to the forest on Endor. Some of us were imbued with this spirit of exploration and decided we would travel to as many places on Earth as we could, at least until we could explore other planets. For hardcore Star Wars fans, there are still several exotic destinations that you can seek out if you’re in the mood to begin your own hero’s journey.

Tunisia

 The Star Wars saga often has its setting on Tatooine, and Lucas found the perfect desert filming location in the North African country of Tunisia. Fortunately, almost all of the sets have stayed put so that fans can hire tours to visit several pieces of Star Wars history. For example, old Ben Kenobi’s home in A New Hope is still in place, currently used by fishermen on the island of Djerba. Luke’s home and the Tusken raiders’ canyon in A New Hope, along with Mos Espa from The Phantom Menace are located in Tozeur, a southwestern Tozeur town. In Matmata, you can even sleep in Luke’s home! A hotel has since been established on that set with a few modifications to make it guest-friendly.

The Royal Palace at Caserta

Campania_Caserta2_tango7174

 This UNESCO World Heritage Site, just north of Naples, Italy, was the site of filming for the indoor Naboo scenes in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Lucas really sold the opulence of Naboo, and it was thanks to the Renaissance qualities that this palace exudes. The Palace at Caserta is one of the biggest royal homes in the world, comprised of five floors and 1,200 rooms. It was built for King Charles VII of Naples, later King Charles III of Spain. It was meant to imitate the design of the Palace of Versailles, and visitors can see with their own eyes that the architect delivered on his promise. The palace is also home to the English Garden, one of the oldest continuously operated gardens in Europe.

Tikal

RES080903181_2_jun29

 Near the end of A New Hope, you see a Rebel soldier witnessing the descent of the Millennium Falcon into the jungle of Yavin IV, the rebel base. That shot was filmed from the staircase of Temple IV in the Guatemalan archeological site called Tikal. Tikal was a city inhabited by the Mayans from approximately 400 BC until 950 AD. The site is filled with temples that commemorated the various kings the ruled the city over the years. Temple IV was particularly built for King Yik’in Chan K’awiil. This temple is the tallest one in Tikal and one of the tallest ancient structures in Latin America. The other temples visible in the New Hope shot are Temples II and III. Tikal is great for fans of ancient history in this galaxy and the farther galaxy.

Hardangerjøkulen

That slashed O already tells you this is somewhere in the wind-swept tundras of Scandinavia. In fact, Hardangerjøkulen Glacier in southern Norway was the site where the battle scenes on Hoth were filmed. While there are no longer any AT-AT ruins lying around, you can hike across the battlefield where many Rebels lost their lives. It is a very cold location, so you may need to follow Han’s lead and get a good coat so you don’t have to find an open Tauntaun for warmth.

If you’re a fan of Star Wars and have the money and time to visit these locations, you will be all the wiser for it, gaining a new respect for the variety of biomes and the history that this planet has preserved. In these sites, far from modern civilization, you may also feel a stronger connection to some sort of Force present in nature.

Star Wars Gets Kinky

When you really get down to it, George Lucas had an affinity for subtle sexuality in his Star Wars film. The awkwardness that Luke and Leia must have felt after realizing they were brother and sister despite kissing earlier on is fertile ground for a dark comedy. In the hands of a skilled romance writer, Anakin’s and Padme’s struggles to maintain a secret relationship would’ve kept couples entranced. However, some people say that subtlety is really against the Star Wars ethos, and have pushed these themes into full-on pornographic films. Reviewing the various Star Wars-themed films that have been released over the years allows us to see the obvious truth: maybe’s there’s a reason Lucas didn’t include sex in an alien-heavy universe.

Star Babe

One of the first Star Wars xxx parodies, Star Babe was released in 1977 with a very thin plot involving three “Star Angels” sent to planet Phallus (easy with the innuendos there, fellas). One notable parody is a Wookie-like creature named Woogie, who at one point is seen smoking a cigarette while playing an Evel Knievel pinball machine. Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper also get in on the “action” in the movie. This parody was particularly heavy on woman-alien sex, not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.

Sex Wars

In contrast with Star Babe, this parody did use more analogues of actual Star Wars characters, such as Princess Layme as Leia, Brinker Duo as Han Solo (nice “double” entendre), and Mark Starkiller as Luke Skywalker. What also makes Sex Wars different from Star Babe is that most of the sexual contact occurs between humans, which most of us relate with better. Of course, there are a couple of sex acts with aliens in this film’s version of the Mos Eisley cantina. Just in case you’re into that sort of thing.

Hollywood-Sex-Wars

Space Nuts

This film also uses interesting names, calling its Han Solo figure Buzz Starfokker; on the other hand, the name of the universe where the story takes place is the Clitorian system, which probably didn’t take too long to figure out. The plot revolves around the building sexuality between Buzz and Princess Hubba Hubba, this film’s version of Leia. This film doesn’t exactly have too much of a connection to Star Wars beyond its two protagonists.

Porn Wars: Episode I

This installment, released in 2006, is more faithful to the themes of the Star Wars saga rather than its characters. The plot synopsis calls the protagonists “Jodi” warriors, and explains that these warriors are fighting “The Darkness.” Eh, close enough. This film also explores the Force as a sexual energy rather than just a power that can lift stuff. However, none of the characters are recognizable, although names such as Traley Sommersaid, Dart Forsennt and Sonnen Lightside show that the directors at least made an attempt to imitate the creativity of Star Wars names.

Star Wars XXX

One of the more recent xxx parodies of the franchise, released in 2012, Star Wars XXX is much more faithful than its predecessors to the Star Wars movies. Most of the characters more or less resemble their Star Wars counterparts. Anyone interested in incest will enjoy the Darth Vader-Leia scene. Chewbacca’s scene with a couple of Stormtroopers satisfies the growing furry crowd. Obi-Wan and a Tusken Raider… OK, I’m not sure who that’s aimed at. In any case, Star Wars XXX attempts to satisfy the gamut of desires that Star Wars fans have fantasied about at one point or another.

Star Wars was one of the first blockbuster films to spawn porn parody, so it’s safe to say that the genre is irreversibly intertwined with the franchise. As can be seen by this list, intertwined bodies of all types of species have been made available for anyone who enjoys a little “fantasy” with their sci-fi.

The Hidden Stories behind Star Wars Background Characters

Luke. Leia. Anakin. Obi-Wan. Vader. Palpatine. Most of Star Wars’ biggest characters can be identified by one name, and generate some emotional reaction for us, potentially good or bad. However, the Star Wars cinematic universe has generated many other characters that, at first glance, challenge us to muster up anything more than apathy. However, examining a couple of characters relegated to the background may help us to better understand the struggles of the common man (or droid… or alien) in this galaxy far, far away.

TC-14

tc-14_08341508

TC-14 has the notable distinction of being the first character to appear in The Phantom Menace with female characteristics (if you don’t count Obi-Wan’s ponytail). Others may best remember her for only being a silver-plated copy of the beloved protocol droid C-3PO. However, once you get past your looks, you start to gain sympathy for TC-14, employed by a couple of Trade Federation scumbags.  According to canon informational material, TC-14’s mind was routinely wiped so she wouldn’t develop a conscience, which implies that TC-14 was quick to realize that she wasn’t in the best line of work. Her intelligence is further proven when you notice that, in the movie, she’s the one to point out that the “ambassadors” are Jedis, while the ship captains, apparently thinking that robes are a fashion statement, are relatively ignorant of the impending danger up to that point. TC-14 is truly the brain of that operation.

Biggs

landscape-1431106672-star-wars-biggs

In A New Hope, Luke mentions his friend Biggs offhandedly several times before he actually appears onscreen. You hear him very little and he dies during the Death Star attack; it appears to affect Luke emotionally even though we barely knew what was under that checkered helmet of his. This was later explained by the release of deleted scenes from this seminal movie. One scene was filmed where Biggs has returned to Tatooine after graduating from the Imperial Academy, the school that Luke wishes he could attend. Biggs explains to Luke that he had decided to seek out the Rebellion, which gets Luke hyped up. So Biggs probably played a bigger role than we imagined in Luke developing a hatred for the Empire. (Of course, that whole murder of his aunt and uncle probably didn’t help.) In a restored scene in the Special Edition, Biggs also vouches for Luke, calling him one of the best bushpilots in the Outer Rim. All this helps us to understand that Luke’s friend, who we barely get to understand, had an important influence on his life even before his encounters with the Force.

Gragra

creature

 She’s probably the most background of all characters on this list, appearing for approximately two seconds in The Phantom Menace as the vendor who gets angry at Jar Jar Binks (OK, I can already identify) for eating her gorgs, a lizard-like food, without paying for them. However, according to Star Wars Galaxies, Gragra, like many of us after dealing with a problematic customer in the retail industry, despairingly thought to herself, “Am I really going to do this for the rest of my life?” Somehow, this stupid Jar Jar moment impulsed her to begin a spinoff sauce business in addition to her gorg selling so that she could buy a ship and leave Mos Espa to start a new life. If only the rest of The Phantom Menace were that inspirational.

Salacious Crumb

Crumb_btm

This lizard is most remembered for causing annoyance to Return of the Jedi watchers by means of his incessant cackling. However, Card Trader explains that Crumb was enlisted by Jabba the Hutt to serve as his jester. Working for a crime lord is usually a dicey proposition, and more so for Crumb, who would be killed by Jabba if he was unamused by Crumb for an entire day. Of course, with your life at stake, you’re gonna treat every remotely funny action like an 80s sitcom, with laugh track all over the place. Crumb is forced to do a thankless job, and truly embodies the sad clown in our society.

As you can see, life in the Star Wars universe is just like life for us: a couple of huge characters that dominate the news while the majority of people live out their lives fighting their own personal battles to stay alive, get ahead or defeat a giant spherical ship.